|Dr. Henry R. Kreider
First Chairman of the
Department of Chemistry
University of Toledo
Henry R. Kreider
Dr. Henry R. Kreider, born into a rural Pennsylvania family April 24, 1874, graduated
from Franklin and Marshall College with BA and MA degrees in 1898. In 1901, he was
graduated by Eastern Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and was ordained
as a minister in the Reformed Church (United Church of Christ). After his marriage
to Mary Elizabeth Moyer in 1902 and his serving a pastorate of three years, he entered
the graduate school in chemistry at Johns Hopkins University in 1904. He suspended
his studies for two years for a teaching position at the Pennsylvania State Forest
Academy at Mont Alto, Pennsylvania and a research fellowship at Dalhousie College,
Halifax, N.S., then received his PhD in 1910 from Johns Hopkins.
For the following three years, 1910-1913, Dr. Kreider occupied the Chair of Chemistry
at Baltimore Medical College, while continuing to do research in free radicals at
Johns Hopkins University. In 1913 he accepted the position of Acing Professor of Chemistry
at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota.
In 1915, Dr. Kreider joined the fledgling University of Toledo, then located on Cherry
Street, as Professor of Chemistry and Chairman of the Department, and he served in
this capacity until his retirement in 1944. Dr. Kreider was a strong and stable influence
in the growth and development of the department, as he oversaw its eventual move to
University Hall at the new campus on W. Bancroft Street. He was a member of many scientific,
professional, and fraternal organizations and was instrumental in establishing and
was charter member of the Toledo Section of the American Chemical Society.
Dr. Kreider's unusual personality is shown by his activity in two fields of endeavor
- science and the ministry. Along with his academic duties, he was able to continue
his witness to a strong religious faith as assistant pastor of the then First Reformed
Church of Toledo for seven years and later as pastor of the then Emanuel Reformed
Church of Haskins, Ohio for eleven years and continued to be active in church work
as long as his health permitted. Long after his retirement from the University he
continued to write or talk on one of his favorite subjects, "Science and Religion"
in which he found no conflict in his own mind, but felt that one strengthened the
other. In 1959 he and his wife moved to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he died in
1961 at the age of 87.
He was a gentle, modest man with a keen sense of humor, a ready story and a flair
for poetry. As an undergraduate at Franklin Marshall, he was designated class poet
of his class of 1898. His stature as a scientist and teacher was enhanced by his kindly
understanding of his students. They looked upon him as counselor and guide, as well
as teacher. At his urging, many of the students went on to graduate school in chemistry
or to medical school and have held influential positions throughout the country.