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HEZEKIAH WALDEN


The successful operator of the denominational schools calls for a man of unusual versatility. He must keep his curriculum on a par with public institutions as far as he goes; he must finance his school, largely within his own denomination, which means that he must constantly keep his work before the annual gatherings of the brethren and he must give careful supervision to the business administration of his school. So it will be seen that he must be an educator, a public speaker of ability, and a business executive. Just such a man is Rev. Hezekiah Walden, President of the West Virginia Industrial School, Seminary and College, at Red Star, W. Va. He is a native of the Old Dominion, having been born at Markham in Fauquier County, Va., on March 15, 1866. His father, James Walden, a farmer, was the son of Hedgeman Walden. The mother of our subject was, before her marriage. Miss Nancy Gaskins, daughter of Hezekiah and Fannie Gaskins. Young Walden laid the foundation of his education in the local public schools from which he passed to Washington. While he was under the necessity of making his own way in school, and even assisting in the support of the home folks he never faltered, but pressed forward under the inspiration of his religion and his desire to equip himself for the work of life. He took the Normal and Academic Courses at Wayland Seminary and spent one year at Colburn Classical Institute, Waterville, Mo., after which he matriculated at Colby College, Waterville, Mo., and won his A,B. Degree in 1898.

After his graduation he taught Natural Sciences at Roger Williams University, Nashville, Tenn., from 1899 to 1905. The following year he taught Natural Science and industries at Marshall, Texas, and went from there to teach science in the Lincoln High School at Kansas City, Mo., where he remained till 1910. After that he went to Salt Lake City. In 1917 he came back East and taught at the Bluefield Colored Institute for two years, having charge of the normal training work. In 1919 he was elected to his present work, and his coming has marked a new era in the life and work of the institution. The character of his work has been such as to inspire the confidence of the brotherhood, and there has been steady growth in both enrollment and the grad of work done. He is the head of the faculty of five and the present year (1922) shows applications in excess of capacity.

Mr. Walden's religious experience began with his conversion when he was a lad of fourteen. He was ordained to the work of the ministry by the First Baptist Church of Nashville, Tenn., while teaching at Roger Williams College, and although he has been preaching for more than twenty years, he has given himself so completely to the cause of Christian education that he has not accepted a regular pastorate.

On September 24, 1900, Mr. Walden married Miss Mary Louise Williams, daughter of Charles and Edmonia Williams of Orlean, Va. They have three children, Coburn E., Edmonia Louise and Marie Virginia Walden.

Among the secret, benevolent and racial societies, Mr. Walden holds membership in the Masons, National Benevolent Society and the N. A. A. C. P. In politics he is a Republican. He has had opportunity to study conditions, North and South, in the city and in the country and is of the opinion that the practical application of the Golden Rule would solve all our problems and make for permanent progress in every department of lie. A word about the West Virginia Industrial School Seminary and College will not be out of place here. It is located at Hill Top in Fayette County on a beautiful site of 50 acres, with permanent brick building. The school is steadily advancing year by year toward the grade of a college. It is under the auspices of the West Virginia Baptist State Convention and is an institution of real worth and great promise.


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