Hersey, Harvey R.
Age: 0, credited to Calais, VTVITALS
Birth: 11/22/1830, Calais, VTADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Died in Burlington, VT
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and other veterans who may be buried there.
The Tufts College Graduate
THE OLDEST GRADUATE Harvey Hersey is one of the two surviving members of the first class, '57. He is now the oldest living graduate of the College. The other living member of '57 is William Newhall Eayrs. The third member was the late Professor Dearborn. When this first class entered Tufts, something more than a half-century ago, the one hundred acres of land donated by Mr. Tufts for the site of the College, in the form of a coneshaped round eminence, presented in appearance little else than a barren pasture, crossed with the ordinary stone fences of a New England farm. Not one shade tree adorned the Hill. Not one street, avenue, or walk had been finished, or even laid out. Only two buildings stood on the Hill, Ballon Hall, or the main college building, and a residence for the first President. The latter house stood then across the street from the present Zeta Psi House.
Under these circumstances, in the early spring of the year in which Mr. Hersey graduated, more than a half-century ago, he thoughtfully purchased and planted on the Hill the first tree. It is an elm tree, and now stands where it was first planted, the first tree and nearest to Ballon Hall on the left-hand side of the avenue leading southward. Eighteen inches above the ground this tree now measures eight feet in circumference, two feet and a half in diameter, with its trunk rearing so high that its lofty branches wave in the breezes above the main threestory college building.
The evolution of this tree during the half-century may fitly be taken as typical of the evolution of the College itself. Hundreds of similar trees, almost equal in stature to this first tree, now stand in concentric rows around the Hill, with beautiful avenues and walks between. So many buildings have been added to the original two that from a distance the appearance is that of "a city set on a hill." With eleven students at the beginning, the College now numbers about eleven hundred. With four professors at first, more than two hundred professors and tutors now find all the work they can do. The one original department, the College of Letters, has differentiated into six departments, all in vigorous working condition, forming the solid basis of the future university. brook Seminary, with Edwin Ginn, who was his classmate at Tufts College. He graduated with the degree of A.B. in i 862.
Mr. Hersey now enjoys the satisfaction of having watched all this growth and development of his Alma Mater from so humble a beginning to her present prosperous condition.
After his graduation, Mr. Hersey remained a while at the College, taking a brief course of post-graduate study as preparation for the Universalist ministry. With the outbreak of the War of Rebellion, he served as Chaplain in the 17th Regiment, Maine Volunteers. After twenty years in the ministry, including regular, preaching at Methuen, Mass., Portland, Me., Provincetown, Mass., and Watertown, N. Y., he retired, to pursue literary work. During the last twenty years he has resided in Barre, Vt., near his childhood home. In this rapidly growing granite city he became, aside from other duties, a builder and dealer in real estate. Among the buildings which he added to the city stands his private residence in one of the most pleasant locations of the city.
Taking an active part in city affairs, in the year 1900 he was elected and served a term as mayor of the city. During his mayoralty he saved the city of Barre about §36,000 by his economical measures.
He has of late years devoted himself exclusively to his literary work. Mr. Hersey has a scientific interest in geology. He is at present engaged upon a book.
The Tufts College Graduate. A Quarterly Magazine. vi:3, Oct. 1908, pp. 157-158.