Augusta College Echo Hall
Rev. William Fee's Younger Years
- Below is an excerpt from "Garnering the Sheaves," by Rev. William Fee submitted by Caroline Miller. William was a cousin of Rev. John G. Fee, another graduate of Augusta College.
"Neither my father nor mother had ever spoken a word to me about preaching. One day my father said to me: "Do you see that beautiful colt? That is yours whenever you become a Methodist traveling preacher." "Would you like to go to Augusta College?" This college was the first chartered Methodist college in the world, and was only six miles from my native place. This was the fall of 1838.
"Most of the men where from the southern states and were the sons of wealthy and distinguished men. The faculty of the college at that time consisted of the following persons: Rev. Joseph S. Tomlinson, president; Rev. H.B. Bascom, finest orator in the world; Rev. Joseph M. Trimble of Ohio; and Rev. Burr H. McCown, professor of languages.
"I remember, on one Saturday, the religious students met together in order to prepare for the work of the Sabbath. A nephew of one of the governors of Ohio, the son of a pious mother, who dedicated him to God when she died, though a young man of remarkable promise, was very wicked. When I went to his room and asked he attend a religious meeting, he said: "I must go out on the river to skate. I must go!" My heart was almost broken.
"When Professor Trimble, who was his cousin, spoke to him about disgracing his mother, he went to Fee's room and said: "O, I can't eat or sleep until I find Christ! Pray for me!"
"When future Bishop Hubbard H. Kavanaugh was riding me home on his horse, he replied: "I believe that God intends you to be a minister, and a Methodist traveling preacher. Your ability to cling to that horse has settled that question with me."
"In the month of June, 1842, I was graduated with sixteen others, and received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. My college acquaintances amount to many hundreds in all parts of the Western and Southern states. I was an anti-slavery man, and the Southern associations had no charms for me."