JAMES CLARK FOYE was the son of Rev. John Foye and his wife, Rhoda Clark,
sister of the late Bishop Clark of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was born March
1, 1841, at Great Falls, now city of Somersworth, Nev Hampshire. He was fitted for
college in the schools of his native town, and entered college with our Class in the
autumn of 1859. Early in the college course, Foye showed marked aptitude for the
natural sciences. He was not in evidence, to any considerable extent, in the voluntary
societies of the college. He was a member of the 'Logian Literary Society, and in 1862
served as treasurer; he was also, during Senior year, a member of the Lyceum of Natural
History. Senior year, he occupied the Astronomical Observatory and was in charge of
the routine observations assigned to the Senior class. He received a Commencement
The year following graduation, Foye entered upon his life work as a teacher. He was
appointed instructor of natural sciences in Cincinnati Female College. For a short time
he was principal of Linden Hill Academy, New Carlisle, Ohio, and afterward president of
Jonesboro Female College, Jonesboro, Tennessee. In 1867, he accepted the appointment
of professor of chemistry and physics at Lawrenceville University, Appleton, Wisconsin.
He held this chair with increasing satisfaction to himself and the university for twenty-six
years, and during twelve years of this period he was vice-president and fiscal agent of the
university. At the opening of the Armour Institute at Chicago in 1893, our classmate
was called to take charge of the department of chemistry and chemical engineering. His
position was that of director of his department, and he successfully managed that
department till his sudden death, overcome by heat while riding a bicycle, July 3, 1896.
In due course, Foye received the degree of M.A. from his Alma Mater; also the degree of Ph.D. from De Pauw University, Indiana, in 1882; and the degree of LL.D.
from Lawrenceville University, Wisconsin, in 1893. He was a member of the Wisconsin
Academy of Science, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of
While at Lawrenceville University, Foye wrote and published the following books: 1.
"Chemical Problems;" first edition in 1879, rewritten and reprinted in 1883; in 1892 the
fourth edition was issued. 2. "Table for the Determination and Classification of
Minerals;" first edition issued in 1879, rewritten and enlarged in 1882. 3. "Handbook of
Mineralogy;" first edition in 1886; fourth edition in 1892.
In 1872, June 25, Foye married Miss Janette Williams, of
daughter of Rev. John Williams and his wife, Charlotte Henderson. Their only child,
Charlotte Henderson Foye, was born February 11, 1874. Miss Foye was graduated from
the University of Chicago in June, 1895. She then took a course in library science at
Armour Institute, and since completing this special course she has been connected with
the John Crerar Library of Chicago.
Our distinguished classmate was esteemed by all who knew him in his private and
professional life, "as an example in character, symmetrical in all manly equipoise, firm,
true, abiding in his friendships, living on an exalted plane far above the petty jealousies
of life, a man of unimpeachable integrity, and in all of his social and domestic life a
lovable, high-minded gentleman, with a bright mind enriched by thorough cultivation,
eminent in the position which he so ably filled as director and professor of chemistry at
the Armour Institute in Chicago." Such was the tribute that came from his old home in
Wisconsin, given by those who knew him most intimately.
Class of Sixty-Three Williams College Fortieth Year Report, by
the Class Historian, Thomas Todd Printer, Boston, 1903