- Honorary Degree (1834)
- Doctor of Divinity
- Bloomington, Indiana
- Presenter: Andrew Wylie
William Henry, Sr., was born in Ireland in 1768 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1793. He was a minister of the Gospel and ordained a ruling elder in 1801. He was also a mechanic, merchant, and innovator. He specialized in gas lighting, as early as 1816, just ten years after it had been invented. He once refused the request to light a theater for religious reasons. In 1834, Indiana College (now IU) awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. He died peacefully in 1846 with his family around him.
Henry Sr.’s son and namesake (William H. Henry) graduated from IU Bloomington. William Jr. studied theology in Oxford, Ohio, became a minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, and resided in Bloomington. He died ten years after his father, at age 25, in Bloomington.
His biographer wrote that he was “generous, and an intelligent, humble, consistent Christian” – “a man of peace, willing to spend and be spent in the service of his Lord.”