Alexander Scudder

A native of New Jersey and graduate of Princeton, Alexander McLean Scudder (1819-1892) settled in Athens where he lived for more than forty years. He owned and taught at the successful Centre Hill Academy. Augustus Longstreet Hull reminisced that “he taught a flourishing school for many years and whipped half the men in town.”

Alexander McLean Scudder was born Princeton, New Jersey in 1819. He entered Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania in 1835, but completed his studies at Princeton in 1839. He then moved to Athens, Georgia where he lived for over 40 years. In Athens, he established and taught at the Centre Hill Academy, a successful boys school. As a teacher, Scudder sometimes voiced opinions that left parents exasperated and frustrated. When Mary Ann Cobb voiced concern that her husband Howell’s frequent absences as he pursued a political career might negatively impact her sons’ futures, Scudder remarked that "few children of public men ever did well." Mary Ann complained to her absent husband that "Mr. Scudder could in one month render me a fit subject for a lunatic asylum." During the Civil War, Scudder served as a private in a home guard unit dubbed the Lipscomb Volunteers. Its members proved so limited in their physical abilities due to age and a variety of infirmities that General Howell Cobb referred to the company as “the Lipscomb Cripples.” After the war, Scudder worked as an agent for Northwestern Life Insurance Company. A dedicated member of the Presbyterian Church, he took a special interest in the Synods and Presbyteries and all aspects of church governance. He also served as a trustee of the Lucy Cobb Institute. He married Susan Allen Clark (1821-1898) of Northampton, Massachusetts on December 14, 1847. Their marriage produced six children, three of whom survived their parents. Despite Scudder’s sometimes acerbic interactions with parents and the memory that he “had whipped half the men in town,” by the time of his death in 1892, Athenians acknowledged him as one of their oldest and most honored citizens.

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