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Joseph Hetherington McDaniels (October 25, 1840 - July 22, 1933) was a Hobart professor of Greek language and literature. A memorial to John Safford Fiske, by his friend Joseph Hetherington McDaniels, reveals that Fiske had guided historian Edward Augustus Freeman in his travels and research for a book on Sicily, and "had been the intimate companion of the scholar and diplomatist, Eugene Schuyler, in voyages through the Levant and the Aegean sea." Fiske, Freeman, and Schuyler had constituted a "brace of comrades." McDaniels had visited Fiske's villa in Alassio, and recalled his "bewitching garden which he opened hospitably and freely to his friends" and the many "pictures which were mostly mementos of beloved artist friends." McDaniels called Fiske "a sweet soul that gave much and asked no praise, but affection. And that affection he certainly had."

Joseph H. McDaniels was born in Dennis, Massachusetts on October 25, 1840, the son of John McDaniels and Ann Hetherington. He graduated from Lowell High School in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1857 and then went to Harvard where he got his A.B. in 1861. He graduated at the top of his class, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. His Harvard class numbered just 81, but included, among others, Oliver Wendell Holmes. He obtained his A.M. from Harvard in 1872. McDaniels began working as a teacher in 1862 when he took a post teaching mathematics and classics at Lowell High School, his old alma mater. In 1868, he moved on to the joint position of Professor of Greek Language and Literature at William Smith College and Hobart College in Geneva, New York. He became an internationally known and respected scholar of Greek. McDaniels was a member of the American Philological Association and Phi Beta Kappa. His career at Hobart lasted over 65 years, as he remained active on the campus even beyond his retirement in 1911. When he died in 1933, alumni established a Professorship in Classics in his honor, and his family gifted his house to William Smith and Hobart College.

Professor McDaniels received honorary degrees from Griswold in 1891 and Hobart in 1911. He was political “Independent,” an Episcopalian, and a dedicated servant to Hobart for 65 years. He died on July 22, 1933 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester after a brief illness at the age of 93.


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