Biography of Rev. Augustus H. Tevis

The scholarly subject of this sketch is a native of Rush County, Indiana, born on his father’s farm, May 13, 1841, and was the ninth child of a family of three sons and seven daughters. His parents were Dr. Daniel H. and Phoebe (Scott) Tevis, the former having been a physician by profession,—a self-made man, who enjoyed a large and lucrative practice. He (Dr. Daniel H.) was born in Bracken county, Kentucky, and was quite a scholar as a linguist, being a proficient in both Latin and Greek. The elder Dr. Tevis died in 1858, and his wife in 1862, both of whom are buried in Rush county, Indiana. After his father’s death, the management of the extensive farming operations, embracing several large farms, left by him, all devolved on Augustus H., then but seventeen years old. In 1860 he entered Asbury University at Greencastle, Indiana, then under the control of Bishop Bowman. Early in the beginning of the civil troubles, however, young Tevis left college to volunteer like a true patriot and aid in suppressing the rebellion. He enlisted in September, 1861, and became second lieutenant of company H, thirty-seventh Indiana volunteers. He was in active service for over three years, participating in many hard battles, fights and skirmishes, including Stone river, New Hope Church, Resacca, before Atlanta, and numerous others. At Stone river, he was slightly wounded, and soon afterwards was promoted to a first lieutenancy. He was mustered out in November, 1864, and soon re-entered the same institution he had left to join the army. In the close of 1868 he was graduated therefrom, and, in due course was honored with the degree of A. M. On August 6, following, he married Sallie A. Webster, daughter of Dr. E. Webster, of Connersville, Indiana. One child has been born of this union, a bright little girl named Lora Belle. Dr. Tevis’ first charge as pastor was that of the M. E. Church at Liberty, Union county, Ind. Following this he was stationed at Wooster and Taylorville, and was next elected superintendent of city schools at Madison, where he served one year. His conference then sent him to Palestine, thence again to Peru, from which latter charge he was transferred by Bishop Peck, to Carson City, Nevada, where he remained two years, and was chaplain both of the Legislature and State prison. It was while here that he went into print as an author, and wrote his “Jesuitism, the Bible, and the Schools,” and also his “Beyond the Sierras,” published by Lippincott & Co., of Philadelphia. He also corresponded for various newspapers and literary journals. Santa Barbara, California, was his next charge, and from thence he was sent to San Diego. The ill health of his family necessitated his return to Indiana in 1879, and he having already read medicine studiously, entered the Medical College at Indianapolis, from which he soon after graduated as M. D. He was then sent by Bishop Wiley to Springfield, Missouri, where he was pastor of Grace M. E. Church till the spring, of 1883, when he retired therefrom. Besides his more solid literary attainments, Dr. Tevis has paid considerable attention to art, and is quite proficient in music and painting, and has his home decorated with a number of paintings indicative of true art, produced by himself and wife. He has had many of his sermons published which rank him high as a theologian. At present, he is writing a book on infidelity considered in relation to its evil effects as contrasted with Christianity, which will be completed before this work is put in press. Had it not been for the assassination of President Garfield Dr. Tevis would doubtless have received the appointment to the Jerusalem consulate, for which he had received the recommendation of most public men at Washington. Zealous in his ministerial work, fully imbued with a love for mankind and a hearty desire for their spiritual and mental elevation,—always a student and given to habits of indefatigable research, Dr. Tevis is one of those rare men who constitute a valuable acquisition to any community; while the high social qualities of himself and wife render their companionship in the keenest sense enjoyable, and win them hosts of friends wherever they are known.



Holcombe, Return I. History of Greene County Missouri. Western Historical Company, St. Louis. 1883.

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