Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
College History



Reverend Daniel Tenney, Commencement speaker

The Reverend Daniel Tenney of Boston, Massachusetts, offered the Commencement address.

Born in Chester, NH, 10 Dec. 1816, Tenney graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1841, and from the Theological Seminary, Walnut Hill, Ohio, in 1844, the same year he married.

Ordained as the second pastor of Second Presbyterian Church, Oxford, Ohio, on June 30, 1844, Tenney served there for twelve years. In 1853, Tenney and 45 others incorporated The Western Female Seminary, according to the Mount Holyoke system, in the town of Oxford.  Tenney presented the diplomas at the 1859 graduation ceremony, telling the students that their education had prepared them for "usefulness", that their diplomas were "commissions to labor in the Master's harvest grounds"; and that their education would help build the kingdom of God on earth. [Daniel Tenney Scrapbook, Western College Alumni Association Archives, Oxford, Ohio]

After leaving Ohio, Tenney was ordained as pastor of the Central Congregational Church, Lawrence, MA, in 1857.  There he met the Rev. Lyman Whiting, then pastor of the Lawrence Street Church.  Central Church burned to the ground on 12 August 1859, but the congregation laid a new cornerstone on 30 September, met for worship in the basement of the new church in January 1860, and dedicated the new structure on 8 June 1860.  Tenney preached his sermon that day from Haggai ii:9: "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts."

An honorary member of American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Tenney remained in Lawrence until 1862, then moved to the Springfield Street Church in Boston from 1862 to 1865. Later he moved to Poughkeepsie, NY, and retired from the ministry in 1890, when he moved to Sand Diego, CA, where he died in 1902. At the time of his death, one of his sons, the Rev. Charles Tenney, was the president of the Imperial University of Tien-Tsin, China, enduring attacks and sieges related to the Boxer Rebellion and invasion by Russian troops.

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