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Stevens, Moses Cobb, 1827-1910



  • Existence: July 5, 1827 - March 21, 1910

Moses Cobb Steven was a professor and department head in Mathematics at Purdue and served as registrar, librarian, and as secretary on the Board of Trustees.

Moses Cobb Stevens was born July 5, 1827, in Windham, Maine and was raised in a Quaker household. Stevens married Sarah Dicks and they had one daughter, Martha Dicks Stevens. He received his early education from the Friends Boarding School in Providence, Rhode Island where he served as a teacher for five years after graduation. He then taught at the Farmers Institute in Lafayette, Indiana in 1852, which was a Society of Friend's educational institution established in 1851 and the earliest institution of higher education in the county. From 1853 to 1857, he taught in Richmond, Indiana, at the Greenmount Hicksite School and the Friends Boarding School, later Earlham College. From 1859 to 1871, he was Professor of Mathematics at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, then served as Superintendent of Schools in Salem, Ohio from 1871 to 1880 where he also taught mathematics.

He earned his Applied Minors (A.M.) degree from Earlham College in 1883, then joined the Purdue University faculty as Professor of Higher Mathematics the same year, later becoming head of the department. Additionally, he served as Purdue’s Registrar and Librarian starting in 1880, and on the Board of Trustees as Secretary (1885-1889) during his tenure. Stevens retired in 1902.

Stevens was one of the first nine people from Indiana to join the New York Mathematical Society in 1891, which became the American Mathematical Society three years later. He was also a member of the Indiana College Association, National Teachers’ Association, and the Indiana Academy of Science. Stevens died March 21,1910 at his winter home in Tallapoosa, Georgia.


Indiana Academy of Science, Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science (Indiana Academy of Science, 1968), 398. January 30, 2024.


Stevens Mills family papers, MSP 329, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries, West Lafayette, IN. April 15, 2024.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Moses C. Stevens papers

 Collection — Box: Communal Collections 37, Placement: 09
Identifier: MSF 361
Scope and Contents The collection consists of one folder which contains an article by M.C. Stevens and a bio on him from a 1892 Debris.
Dates: 1856 - 1892