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William Henry Purnell

William Henry Purnell, American state official, college president.


  • Purnell, William Henry was born on February 3, 1826 in Worcester County, Maryland, United States. Son of Moses and Maria (Bowen) Purnell.

  • Education

    • Graduate Delaware College (now U. Delaware), 1846. Read law with Judge John R. Franklin.


    • Admitted to Maryland. bar, 1848. Prosecuting attorney Worcester County (Maryland.). 1850-1853; deputy attorney general Maryland., 1853-1855.

      Comptroller Maryland. Treasury, 1855-1861; deputy postmaster Baltimore, 1861. Organized “Purnell Legion,” 1861, commissioned colonel, resigned command, 1862.

      President Delaware College, 1870-1875, instructor elocution and oratory, 1897-1902. Principal Frederick Female Seminary, 1885.


    • Married Margaret Neill Martin, June 13, 1849, 5 children including Caroline.
    • father: Moses Purnell
    • mother: Maria (Bowen) Purnell
    • spouse: Margaret Neill Martin
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    Born February 3, 1826
    Died March 30, 1902
    (aged 76)