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William Stokes Wyman, Educator
of Alabama (1830 - 1915)

This is the biography of William Stokes Wyman, educator, of Alabama, as recorded in History of Alabama and dictionary of Alabama biography, volume 4 by Thomas McAdory Owen and Marie Bankhead Owen, published in 1921 by S.J. Clarke Publishing Company of Chicago. The biography is copied, nearly verbatim (I have made some formatting changes to improve legibility and have added some text in square brackets for clarification), from the referenced text, which is out of copyright. I have done further research on this individual to fill out additional details, which are listed in the Francis Wyman Family Tree on this site, along with data extracted from this text. If you have any further information about William, his parents, grandparents, or descendants, please let me know.

Biography of William Stokes Wyman, educator

William Stokes Wyman, educator, was born November 23, 1830, in Montgomery, [Alabama] and died October 20, 1915: son of Justus and Mary Amelia (Stokes) Wyman, the former a native of Woburn, Mass., of Puritan stock, who moved to Alabama before the state was admitted to the Union, settled in Claiborne, Monroe County, in 1818, and in 1822, moved to Montgomery, where he became an influential merchant, the latter a member of the Stokes family of North Carolina; grandson of Benjamin Wyman of Woburn, Mass.; and a descendant of Francis Wyman, who with his brother, John, came from Hertford County, England, and settled at Woburn, Mass., in the seventeenth century.

He attended Harvard University, 1847-1848; was graduated with first honor from the University of Alabama, A.B., 1851, and A.M., 1853; and received the degree of LL.D. from that institution in 1882. In 1852, he became a member of the faculty of the University of Alabama, and remained there until 1902. He served as tutor of Latin and Greek, 1852-1855; professor of Latin, 1856-1860; professor of Latin and Greek, 1860-1865; representative in the State legislature, 1870-1872; professor in Latin in the university, 1872-1901; and president of the institution, 1901-1902. Prior to his acceptance of the presidency, he had been offered and had declined that position six times, and had, four times, served as president pro tem. Dr. Wyman was a student of the history of the Southeastern and Gulf States in the original sources, and was considered the leading authority of the state on Indian history and linguistics. He made a specialty of early exploration and settlement, and the history of the aboriginal and Indian inhabitants of the state. His collections embrace practically all early French, Spanish and other works, either in the originals or translations, bearing on the Southern country and the Indians, and includes a number now out of print and exceedingly rare. He was author of "Syntax of the Latin Compound Sentence," 1880; "The Trial of Milo," 1885; and was a contributor to the Knickerbocker Magazine, Century Magazine, New York Nation, Magazine of American History, and others. Dr. Wyman was a member of Phi Beta Kappa fraternity.

Married: December 29, 1853, to Melissa A. Dearing, of Tuscaloosa, daughter of Alexander Bonepart and Ruth Rogers (Martin) Dearing, of that place, the former who moved from Rockingham County, N.C., in 1831 or 1832, to Lowndes County, Miss., where he purchased large tracts of land and engaged in farming, later moved to Tuscaloosa, was one of the original stockholders of the old North East & South Western Railroad, now the Alabama Great Southern, and belonged to a family of North Carolina planters who had fought in the Revolution, the latter a native of Rockingham County, N.C., whose grandfather, Col. James Martin, fought in the Revolution.

Children: 1. Benjamin Leon [Wyman] (q.v.); 2. William Stokes [Wyman] (q.v.); 3. Charles Augustus [Wyman], served in the Spanish-American War, as first sergeant, then second lieutenant of Co. F., Second Alabama regiment, U.S. volunteers, 1898, and was at one time manager commissary of the Searcy Rope and Yarn Mills. Samantha; 4. Alice Searcy [Wyman]. Last residence: Tuscaloosa.

For further information regarding William Stokes Wyman and his descendants and ancestors, including a family tree starting with his ancestor, Francis Wyman, one of the founding generation of the country, please see Francis Wyman Family Tree.