Biographical Chronology

HAG=Harry Augustus Garfield

Oct. 11, 1863

HAG is born in Hiram, Ohio to Lucretia R. and General James A. Garfield. General Garfield is away serving in the Army of the Cumberland (Union Army) at the time of his son?s birth. Garfield spends his childhood years between Washington D.C. (while his father served in Congress) and Hiram and Mentor, Ohio.


HAG attends St. Paul?s School in Concord, N.H.

Nov. 1880

James A. Garfield is elected 20th President of the United States.


HAG returns to Washington in 1881 to be privately tutored.

July 2, 1881

James A. Garfield is shot at Washington train station while enroute to Williamstown to attend his class reunion. HAG and his brother James R. were accompanying their father on the trip.

Sep. 5, 1881

HAG and James R. enter Williams College.

Sep. 19, 1881

James A. Garfield dies at Elberon, N.J.


HAG attends Williams College.(photo) HAG is a member of Alpha Delta Phi, the Philologian Society, Glee Club, church choir and the Athenaeum writing staff.


HAG teaches Latin and ancient history at St. Paul?s School.


HAG studies at Columbia Law School. HAG spends the second year reading law at All Soul?s College, Oxford and the Inns Court, London.


HAG practices law in Cleveland, Ohio in partnership with brother James

Jun. 14, 1888

HAG marries Belle Mason, his third cousin. His sister Mollie marries Joseph Stanley-Brown in the double wedding ceremony.

Oct. 28, 1889

The Garfields? first child James is born.


Professor of Contracts at Western Reserve Law School.

Oct. 3, 1892

Mason, the Garfields? second son, is born.

Jan. 18, 1894

Lucretia, the Garfields? only daughter, is born.

Aug. 3, 1895

Stanton, the fourth and last of the Garfields? children, is born.


HAG becomes a charter member of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce. He serves as chairman of the building committee 1895-1898 and then as president 1898.


HAG helps organize the Cleveland Trust Co.


HAG serves as a charter member and the first president of the Cleveland Municipal Association


HAG serves as trustee of Western Reserve University


HAG manages a syndicate for Ohio railroad companies. The syndicate is involved in the development of coal mines and the transportation of coal to markets.


HAG serves as president of the National Consular Reorganization Committee. The committee works to replace political patronage in consular appointments with requirements to appoint qualified appointees who would promote American trade.


Woodrow Wilson appoints HAG as professor of politics at Princeton University.


HAG accepts appointment as the President of Williams College


A new curriculum is instituted abolishing elective excess and establishing majors with required prerequisites.


Sabbatical leave policy is instituted


Faculty Club is established.


HAG abolishes the annual cane contest. HAG supports the creation of the Student Council.

Nov. 1914

Bok Lecture Courses begin. Edward Bok provides funding for lectures on occupations. William H. Taft gives the first address titled "The Lawyer of Today."


Thompson Fund is established to fund entertainment by nationally known artists.


HAG serves as Chairman of the Price Committee of the United States Food Administration. The Committee fixes the price of the 1917 wheat crop.


HAG serves as Chairman of the Price Committee of the United States Fuel Administration. The Committee regulates the price and distribution of coal during the war. Henry Wild assumes the duties of the college president during Garfield?s absence.


Military Courses are offered at Williams. Major General William Pew serves as Commanding Officer of the training camp.


Lucretia R. Garfield dies in Pasadena, CA. after a lengthy illness.

Oct. 17, 1919

Victory Celebration. The Williams War Medal is awarded to Williams veterans.

Jun. 20, 1920

The remains of Colonel Ephraim Williams are re-interred at Thompson Chapel and the War Memorial dedicated to Williams veterans is unveiled.


HAG receives the Distinguished Service Medal presented by Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker.


The first Institute of Politics is held in August. HAG begins annual leave of absence to Europe (usually Jan.-Feb.) to solicit participants for the Institute.


Honors Courses are approved by the Board of Trustees


The Commons Club is established. The Club is a realization of HAG?s desire to provide a social organization that would serve as an alternative to fraternities, especially for freshmen. The Commons Club is later renamed the Garfield Club


The last session of the Institute of Politics is held. HAG cites lack of funds as the demise of the Institute.

Oct. 1933

HAG announces his resignation.


HAG retires and begins a one year round-the-world trip with wife Belle.


The Garfields return to the U.S. and settle in Washington D.C. where HAG spends time studying international problems. The Garfields continue to spend their summers in Williamstown and Duxbury, Massachusetts.


HAG accepts an appointment to the War Department Defense Board, a fourteen member board whose purpose is to study applications of the Excess Profits Law during World War II. James P. Baxter, president of Williams College, also serves on this board.

Dec. 12,1942

HAG dies of natural causes at the Williamstown Inn.

Harry A. Garfield Records, 1908-1934

Garfield Family, c.1934

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