Rev. Dr. Samuel Robert Calthrop
our third minister, was born in Swineshead
Everard. Growing up he was an excellent student
in chess, crew, cricket, rugby, and tennis.
been raised in the Church of England, Sams desire was to become a minister in that church.
However, to graduate from
an exact Roman Catholic statement on the Trinity and Reincarnation. This was the Church of
Bishops death. He refused to sign the
39 Articles and left
He then decided to move to
Always interested in science, he patented
the air resisting train in 1865, the countrys first notion
of a bullet train. Needing funds to support a growing family, he sold his
interests in the patent in a few years, thereby loosing out on later profits
resulting from subsequent developments related to the train idea. Financial
problems followed him to
While at May Memorial he often held classes
in a variety of subjects, such as astronomy, botany, geology, chemistry,
Roman history, and the Hebrew prophets. The Syracuse Botany Club was formed
by his students (Hoefer & Baros-Johnson, 1988, p. 19). Using a
telescope he received as a gift, Sam studied sunspots and became adept at
predicting the weather from these observations. He often issued widely quoted
reports related to the weather. He also organized chess tournaments, kept
a large garden, and actually grew the first tomatoes ever shown at the
He was also a gifted poet, writing dozens of wonderful poems. Click here for a sample.
Sam was legendary, too, for being absent minded, leaving horses and even one of his children behind once while doing errands. He even forgot a wedding at which he was to officiate, until anxious members of the wedding party found him reading a book in the library.
Here is a biography of his early years compiled by his daughter, Edith Calthrop Bump. Finally, read this very delightful article written by a man who remembers Rev. Calthrop as a very important mentor: Recollections of the Old Master: Rev. Samuel Robert Calthrop.
Sam was a character, a scientist, and a beloved minister. He died in Syracuse in 1917. Here are photos of headstones of Sam and several family members.
Hoefer, J. M., & Baros-Johnson,
Prepared for web page display on August 23, 2008