History of Tufts College, 1854-1896Start, Alaric Bertrand
ANSON B. CURTIS, B. D., Ph.D.
ANSON BARTIE CURTIS was born in the township of Tompkins, Michigan, December 11, 1863. His father was a farmer, and would have been glad had his son been content to follow the same pursuit. But farming had no attractions for young Bartie, whose literary tastes began to develop at an early age. When seven years old he was sent to the district school, where he soon mastered all that the local teachers were capable of imparting. At fifteen he was prepared for college in several branches; and now thoroughly convinced that farming was not his sphere, his parents sent him to the High School at Jackson, twelve miles from home. Here he took at once both the Classical and English courses, besides doing in the latter half of his last year a full year's work in Hebrew as a member of Professor Harper's correspondence class. Notwithstanding all this extra work, he relaxed none of his characteristic thoroughness, and during his course at Jackson always held the highest rank in his class.
It was during his last year at Jackson that young Curtis decided to become a minister of the Gospel, and it was this determination which led him to take up the study of Hebrew, of which mention has been made. In this study he became an enthusiast, and pursued it diligently, by correspondence, by attendance on Professor Harper's summer schools, and by hard personal work.
In the Fall of 1884 he entered the University of Michigan, where he remained three years, earnestly working with the thought of the ministry constantly before him. A weekly Bible class of students conducted by him is spoken of in the highest terms.
During his Senior year a class in Hebrew was formed with Mr. Curtis as instructor, a position for which he was highly recommended by Professor Harper, then at Yale. During his college life, the young man began to feel that his religious sympathies were with the liberal church, but he put away such ideas at first, and looked to a course at Yale or Andover Theological School to settle his convictions on their old foundations.
In 1887 he graduated with the degree of A. B., and for four months preached to a Congregationalist parish at Grand Ledge, where he was urged to remain as pastor. But Professor Harper induced him to go to Yale, where he remained for a year, dividing his time between Hebrew and philosophy. But he found himself getting farther and farther away from orthodoxy, and his parents, unwilling to encourage such "heresy," withdrew their support. His proficiency in Hebrew and Greek now served him well, for two theological schools offered to pay his current expenses in return for his teaching classes in those branches. Under this arrangement he went to the Unitarian school at Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he remained one year, teaching six hours a week, and doing sufficient work to obtain the'degrees of B. D. and A. M., which were conferred upon him in 1889. The next year he received from Allegheny College the degree of Ph. D., which he had earned by a two years' course in philosophy.
While at Meadville he became settled in his religious convictions, and having finished his course there accepted a call to a liberal church at Big Rapids, Michigan, where he remained one year, when he was invited to the position of Instructor in Hebrew and the Old Testament at the Tufts Divinity School. Here he began his work in the Fall of 1890, and in 1894 received his professorship.
In 1889, after leaving Meadville, Dr. Curtis was married to Miss Mae Christie, and they now have two children. Professor Curtis for several years has been a prolific writer,
|contributing articles, mostly on Old Testament subjects, to many of the leading papers of the country. His first book, "Back to the Old Testament," appeared in 1894.|
Published by the Class of 1897. The original contains appendices with a directory of alumni, the college catalog, and the college charter. These were not included in this addition.
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