Trustees 227
At the first meeting, he handed in his resignation as president of the
Board, of which an account was given in Volume I, 386f.
At the meeting in November, 1865, only nine members, a bare
quorum, were present. Nearly all of these continued as trustees until
either feeble health or death interrupted their labors. One of these,
James S. Purefoy, continued those great services which had already
given him high rank among the benefactors of the College with
unflagging zeal; he was treasurer until 1872, and agent, 1873-76, and
all the time was planning and praying for the welfare of the College.
Another who was present, not at the meeting of November, 1865,
but at the meeting in Raleigh in May, 1866, was G. R. French of
Wilmington, who had been a Trustee since 1848, and remained such
until his death, March 15, 1889. A native of Fall River,
Massachusetts, he had come to Wilmington early in life, and as head
of the firm of George R. French & Sons, wholesale shoe house, was at
the time of his death the oldest merchant in that city. A member of the
First Baptist Church, he was generally known as "Deacon French." He
was a strong friend and supporter of the College, and as he neared
death enjoined that a pledge he had made for its endowment fund
should be faithfully
paid.2
These were among the wisest and best of
the trustees; even those of them who departed earliest had the
satisfaction of seeing the College of their love well started on its way
again, while several, Purefoy who died on March 10, 1889, and T. E.
Skinner, who died on April 5, 1905, and John Mitchell, who died last
of that faithful group on March 3, 1906, after almost forty-seven years
of continuous service as trustee, saw the College greater than they had
dared to dream that it could be in their lifetime.
Owing to the decimation of their ranks by the ravages of four years
of war the Trustees in November, 1865, had to think of recruiting
their numbers, and elected five new members, all men of affairs of
Raleigh. All proved able and faithful; two of them,
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2
The names of those who attended the meeting in 1865 have been given In
chapter one of this volume.
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