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Philetus B. Spear papers, A1047

Identifier: A1047


  • Creation: 1831 - 1891

Access to Collection

Collection is open for research.

Biographical Note

Philetus B. Spear was born in 1811 in Palmyra, New York, and lived there throughout his childhood and young adulthood. He came to Hamilton in 1831 and entered the first class in Madison University that took the full classical course. He became an assistant teacher in 1835 before graduating in 1836. He then attended the Madison Theological Seminary and graduated in 1838. Later that same year he was ordained to the Baptist ministry. In the years that followed, Spear remained at the University in various capacities. He served as a tutor, professor, treasurer, librarian, secretary, and member of various committees, as well as being principal of the grammar school connected with the college. Spear stayed connected to the school for fifty years both as a student and an educator. He personally knew every member on the faculty and was very in touch with the different phases of the University's history. Spear was faithful, earnest, and efficient in both his duties as a teacher and as a treasurer. He looked out for the best interests of those he served and was responsible for increasing endowments to the school as well as ensuring that funds were used properly and covered what needed to be paid. A successful businessmen, he inherited property, increased it, and out of his own income gave back to good causes, especially those that sought to improve the University. Spear remained physically active until his death in 1901, but was forced to give up many of his responsibilities due to his advanced age and failing eyesight.


0.6 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Guide to the Philetus B. Spear papers
Kathleen Trychta and Sarah Keen
December 20, 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Colgate University Libraries Repository

13 Oak Drive
Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology
Colgate University
Hamilton New York 13346 United States US
315-228-7934 (Fax)