B. LONGDEN, Class of 1881
September 13, 1860 - November 8, 1948
Henry Boyer Longden
born in Vevay,
Indiana, on September 13, 1860. The son of
Samuel Longden, an English emigrant and a Methodist minister, Henry began
preparatory school at Indiana Asbury College in 1877, pledged Deke in
the chapter's eleventh year of existence, and earned the
undergraduate degree with Phi Beta Kappa honors in 1881. He
intended to study medicine, but he couldn't earn enough money to
pursue his ambition during the few months after his graduation.
Shortly before the 1881 - 82 school began, Longden was asked to teach
Greek and science in Asbury's preparatory department. He began teaching on his 21st birthday in
September, 1881. Later he taught Latin
in the College of Liberal Arts, and in 1892 he was named professor of German
language and literature. A sympathetic interpreter of German civilization, he
often was referred to by his students with affection as "Kaiser"
In 1884 Longden received a masters degree and in 1925
was granted a doctor of law degree, both from DePauw. During a
leave in 1888-1890 and again in 1898, he studied at Goettingen and
Leipzig universities and later at the University of Berlin, Amherst
College and the University of Chicago.
Professor Longden became a veritable institution at DePauw during his 73
years as student and teacher-administrator. For many years he was called
upon to give the welcoming address on the opening day of college. He
once wired an entering student this recipe for a successful college
career: "Choose men, not subjects; attend chapel daily."
Besides teaching, which was his main love, Longden held many
administrative posts, including registrar and librarian early in his
career. In 1919 he was named secretary of the Rector Scholarship
Foundation and was
instrumental in guiding the Edward Rector dollars, a total of $3.5
million to DePauw.
1921, he sold a portion of his farm at the east end of Anderson Street
to the fraternity. The cornerstone of the Psi Phi Deke House was
laid at 620 Anderson Street in 1923, the chapter moved into the house in
1925, and it occupied that house for nearly 70 years, until 1992.
1922, Longden was named vice president of the university, a largely
honorary position, though it placed him in charge of university
affairs during presidential absences in 1921-22 and 1924-25. Longden
Hall, constructed in 1927 through the generosity of Edward and Lucy
Rowland Rector, was named for the veteran German professor.
He was well liked in the
academic community and was asked to give numerous chapel talks and
addresses. Dr. Longden was interested in the progress of education and
served on the Indiana State Board of Education for a number of years.
July 1886, Henry Longden married DePauw graduate Mary Louise Johnson of Greenwood,
Indiana, who preceded him in death in 1935. They had two children, Beatrice and Grafton who were born
January 1890 while Longden was on sabbatical in Leipzig, Germany.
Beatrice died on the trip home from Indianapolis to Greenwood. Grafton,
who pledged Deke and was in the Class of 1913, married Hazel Day
Dr. Henry Boyer Longden lived on in Greencastle after
retirement, dying November
8, 1948, at age 88.