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Eben Horsford papers

Identifier: 2GI-Board of Visitors

Scope and Contents

Collection includes correspondence of Eben Horsford, dating from 1859 to 1887. Includes photocopies and transcripts of letters (mostly to Horsford), invitations and programs, concerning his gifts to Wellesley College, the administration of Wellesley College, the Class of 1886, and his relationship with members of the College community. Includes a donation certificate and publications.


  • 1859-1889

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. To make an appointment to view materials, please contact the Archives staff by email at or by phone at (781) 283-3745.

Conditions Governing Use

The Wellesley College Archives welcomes researchers to use materials in the public domain, to make fair use of copyrighted materials as defined by copyright law, and to request permission to use works whose copyright is held by Wellesley College. All materials from the Archives, regardless of copyright status, should be attributed to the Wellesley College Archives, Library and Technology Services when cited, quoted, or reproduced.

Biographical / Historical

Eben Norton Horsford (1818-1893) was a friend of Pauline and Henry Durant (the founders of Wellesley College) and a foremost benefactor of the college in its early years. Horsford earned a Degree in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and later a medical degree in Castleton, Vermont. He studied in a chemical laboratory in Giessen, Germany, and went on to hold the Rumford Professorship of Applied Science at Harvard University. Horsford found financial success when he created an “acid phosphate,” named Horsford Yeast Powder, and founded the Rumford Chemical Works in Rhode Island. He was President of the Rumford Chemical Works while Henry Durant was Vice President. In 1886 he published a profit sharing plan for Rumford employees. He was involved in planning the service pipes of Boston’s water works. Horsford consulted with the Durants during the planning of the college, and was an advisor to the college as the Chairman of the Board of Visitors until his death in 1893.

[Information from: "Wellesley College 1875-1975: A Century of Women” by Jean Glasscock, 1975, at URL:]


0.6 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Collection is arranged predominantly in chronological order.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Wellesley College Archives Repository