The Men of Lafayette, 1826-1893
Lafayette College, Its History, Its Men, Their Record
Selden J. Coffin 1891
John William Yeomans, D. D., was born in Hinsdale, Massachusetts, on the 7th of January,
1800. When quite young he served some time as an apprentice, but soon turned his attention to study and commenced his preparation for college under the
direction of the Rev. Dr. Cummings, of Albany, N. Y. After the short space of a
year and a half spent in preparatory study, he entered the junior class of Williams
College, Mass. He graduated in 1824 with the second honor in his class, Mark Hopkins (afterwards President), being the first. For two years he was Tutor in the
college, after which he studied theology in the Seminary at Andover, Mass. His first
pastoral charge was at North Adams, Mass., where he remained from November, 1828, till the spring of 1832, when he became pastor of the First Congregational
Church of Pittsfield, Mass. In the spring of 1834 he was called to the First
Presbyterian Church of Trenton, N. J., as successor to the Rev Dr. James W. Alexander.
In the spring of 1841 he accepted the Presidency of Lafayette College, remaining
until the early part of the year 1845, when he became pastor of the Mahoning Church,
in Danville, Pa., where he continued in the discharge of his ministerial duties until
his death, June 22, 1862. Dr. Yeomans was a deep thinker and a vigorous and able
writer. He was regarded as one of the leading theologians in the Presbyterian
Church, and as a metaphysician, he had probably but few equals among his brethren.
The degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him by three different colleges
at the same time,-the College of New Jersey, Williams College and Miami
University. In 1860 he was elected Moderator of the General Assembly.