North American Scholar

OLDFATHER, Charles Henry

  • Image
  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1887-06-13
  • Born City: Tabriz
  • Born State/Country: Persia
  • Parents: Jeremiah M. & Felicia Narcissa Rice O., Presbyterian missionaries.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1954-08-20
  • Death City: Lincoln
  • Death State/Country: NE
  • Married: Margaret Kinsey McLelland, 7 Sept. 1914.
  • Education:

    B.A. Hanover Coll. (IN), 1906; LL.D, 1933; D.D. McCormick Theological Seminary, 1911; study at Munich, 1911-12; Ph.D. U. Wisconsin, 1922.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. Eng. Syrian Protestant Coll. (now American U.), Beirut, 1912-4; prof, class. Hanover Coll., 1914-6; prof. Gk. & anc. hist. Wabash Coll., 1916-26; prof. anc. hist. U. Nebraska, 1926-51; chair, history dept., 1929-46; dean coll. arts & sci., 1932-52.

  • Dissertation:

    "The Greek Literary Papyri from Greco-Roman Egypt: A Study in the History of Civilization" (Wisconsin, 1922); printed: Wisconsin University Studies in the Social Sciences & History, 9 (1923).

  • Publications:

    Samuel Freiherr von Pufendorf, De Jure Naturae et Gentium libri octo, trans, with William Abbott Oldfather, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1934); "A Forgotten Emendation of Strabo xvi.4.10," CP 30 (1935) 352-3; Diodorus Siculus (trans.) vols. I-VI, LCL (Cambridge & London, 1933-54).

  • Notes:

    Charles Henry Oldfather, brother of William Abbott Oldfather, enjoyed a twofold career as an ancient historian and a university administrator. His long tenure as dean at the University of Nebraska coincided with the most difficult period in that university's history. He dealt constructively with the problems associated with the Depression, World War II, and the enrollment increases due to returning veterans, while retaining the confidence of both faculty and administration. The present-day College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska still bears the imprint of his personality and academic values.Oldfather's major contribution as a classical scholar is his edition and translation of Diodorus Siculus for the Loeb Classical Library. He was able to complete the first six of the twelve volumes, books 1 through 15.19 of Diodorus. On the University of Nebraska campus he is commemorated by Oldfather Hall, which contains the offices of the College of Arts and Sciences and several departments in the college.

  • Sources:

    AmHistR 60 (Jan. 1955) 493; Hanover Coll. archives; NYTimes (22 Aug. 1954) 92; R. McLaran Sawyer, Centennial History of the University of Nebraska: II. The Modern University, 1920-1969 (Lincoln, 1973); U. Nebraska archives; WhE&EA 1069; Wilson Lib. Bull. 29 (Oct. 1954) 29.

  • Author: Valdis Leinieks