Almon C. Bacone, A.M., President of the Indian University, was born in Scott, Cortland County, N.J., April 25, 1830. His early days were spent on a farm, but his father dying, and the young man’s health and strength rendering him unfitted for physical labor, he walked to the village of Cortland at the age of fifteen and sought occupation in a tailor shop. During three years spent at this place, he acquired a keen desire for education, and moving to the village of Homer, became a student in the Cortland Academy. During his early studentship he was forced to labor in various capacities to pay his board bill. But when sufficient knowledge was obtained, he was enabled, by teaching a part of the time, to complete his preparation for college. Entering Rochester University, he soon graduated in the class of 1858. During his preparatory studies, Mr. Bacone united with the Baptist Church, and for some time entertained serious thoughts of entering the ministry, but circumstances seemed to require that he should engage in teaching. In this capacity he has held prominent positions in the schools of New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and Ohio; but the work which enlisted his sympathies most has been among the Indian people. In 1878 he was called to take charge of the Cherokee Male Seminary, located at Tahlequah, the capital of the nation. While thus employed for a year and a half, there was furnished to him a good opportunity for getting a better insight into Indian character, and studying the best means of elevating the people. Consulting prominent Indian missionaries, the work of founding an Indian University followed. It is pre-eminently a Christian institution, having for its primary object the training of native Christian workers.
Biographical Sketch of Almon C. Bacone, A. M.
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