William Gibson Collection

William Gibson was born November 20, 1827, and lived most of his life in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was a partner with his father in a Cincinnati plumbing business and was active in the Reformed Presbyterian Church. He was also a philanthropist who became, according to his obituary, a substantial citizen of Cincinnati. In 1891, after a short illness, Gibson died. In his will, Gibson pledged significant assets to a number of Presbyterian denominational agencies, including $25,000 to Cedarville College in Cedarville, Ohio, which at that time was a College in name only, chartered by the State of Ohio in 1887. The substantial bequest from William Gibson arrived at a critical moment when the Cedarville College trustees were convinced they should abandon the project, lacking the funds to proceed. The Gibson bequest revitalized the project, and the Trustees moved forward to obtain facilities and faculty. Classes opened in the Fall of 1894 with 32 students. Without Gibson's bequest, it is possible that the dream for Cedarville College might never have been realized. The College has been continuously open since 1894 and today operates as Cedarville University.

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