This web page has interesting material on the Williams class of 1863 on the occasion of their 40th reunion in 1903. Seems like the class historian did a pretty good job of summarizing 40 years of living. Here is a representative example:

WELLMAN, son of Joshua Barnard and Lucy Hough Wellman, was born November 14, 1838, in Cornish, New Hampshire. He prepared for college at Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, New Hampshire, and entered our Class at its formation, in 1859. On account of a serious difficulty with his eyes he was obliged to give up study, and he left our Class in April, 1860. He returned to his home in Cornish, and devoted himself to farming. Though his eyesight improved after a time, his eyes never became strong, and he was obliged to follow out-of-door occupations. He did such literary work as was demanded in the management of a county newspaper, and was at times in the service of an organization known as the Patrons of Husbandry. In August, 1862, he enlisted, as a nine months’ volunteer, in the Sixteenth New Hampshire Infantry and served as sergeant. There is a report that he taught school in 1865. In 1866 he married Miss Carrie M. Powers, of Windsor, Vermont. There was one child by this marriage, a daughter, now living in Sullivan County, New Hampshire. After farming some years on the home farm in Cornish, Wellman sought a larger field in the West. This was about 1870, and he established himself on a large farm or plantation in Jericho, Cedar County, Missouri, where he seems, according to his report in 1883, to have attained a success very satisfactory to himself. But evidently he has sought other fields in which to glean, as the Class circular sent to this last address was returned unclaimed, and Mr. Wellman’s present address is unknown.

Comments:

1) 100 years later, we at the Williams Blog are still trying to figure out where are classmates ended up!

2) Reading through these, you can’t help but be struck with the high mortality rates in this era, both for the graduates and their children.

3) I tried to identify famous alumni but didn’t find much. (Suggestions are welcome.) It was interesting, however, to note that the Williams preference for alumni children has an established pedigree, seen here with the son of Mark Hopkins.

4) There is a great undergraduate thesis in history to be written about this class and the times that they lived through.

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