Frank William Padelford

Frank William Padelford, Colby 1894

Colby 1894, A.M 1897, D.D. (Honorary), 1911

Frank Padelford was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts on April 6, 1872 to Adoniram Judson Padelford and Julia Smith Morgan, but he grew up in Calais, Maine. He attended Calais high school and then Colby College, graduating in 1894. At Colby he was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and Phi Beta Kappa. He became a minister and later attended the Rochester Theological Seminary, graduating in 1897. He also received Doctor of Laws degrees from Denison University (1927) and MacMaster University (1930). He worked as a minister at the Portland Street Baptist Church in Haverhill, Massachusetts, as well as the Washington Street Baptist Church in Lynn, Massachusetts, between 1897-1908. He then became an executive secretary for both the Massachusetts Baptist Missionary Society and the Baptist Board of Education, becoming a leading voice in the American Baptist Convention. In the 1920s and 1930s he traveled to China, Japan, and India as a member of an educational commission promoting Christian education in service of the American Baptist Convention. He died February 18, 1944 in Claremont, California, at the age of 71. At the time of his death, he had served on the Board of Trustees at Colby for a longer period than any other member, being elected to the Board in 1916. While on the Board, he was a member of the Campus Development Committee and was untiring in his efforts to support the move to Mayflower Hill. He married a Colby graduate, Grace Ilsley (Colby 1894) in 1897, and after her death in 1919, he married her sister, Gertrude Ilsley (Colby 1896) in 1922. He had one son, Norman Judson Padelford, born in 1903, who became a professor of international law at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Frank Padelford was an ardent supporter of both coeducation and keeping women at Colby, and organized an alumni petition in 1901 to protest the proposed exclusion of women from Colby.

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