Randolph New Hampshire’s Wellesley College President and Director of WAVEs: Dr. Mildred Helen (McAfee) Horton (1900-1994)

Mildred McAfee was the daughter of Rev. Dr. Cleland Boyd & Harriett (Brown) McAfee.

Dr. Mildred Helen (McAfee) Horton (1900-1994). She was the first Director of the WAVES (Women’s Reserve of the Navy), and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1945

She was born in Missouri in 1900, and died in 1994 in Berlin, New Hampshire. Mildred graduated from a Vassar College in 1920, and received a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. She taught Economics and Sociology, and was Dean of Women at Centre and Oberlin Colleges.

She was the first woman to receive a naval commission and retired as captain in 1946. During World War II she was the first Director of the WAVES (Women’s Reserve of the Navy), and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1945.

On 10 August 1945 while President of Wellesley College, Mildred McAfee married Rev. Douglas Horton in Jaffrey New Hampshire. (He was a widower with children by his first wife). Their brief wedding notice in Time magazine stated, “The bridal gown had a hint of Navy rank: tailored white crepe with gold buttons and gold belt.”

In 1946, she served as a member of the American Education Mission to Japan. After leaving Wellesley, she served on a number of corporate, civic and educational boards. She was Vice President of the Federal Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, and President of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. She was a member of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.

On March 12, 1945 her face and story graced “Time” magazine.

In 1959 when her husband Douglas retired from Harvard, they settled in Randolph, New Hampshire, and started a “retreat center” called Horton Center on Pine Mountain. This center was donated to New Hampshire’s Conference, UCC, by Douglas Horton for use as an outdoor ministry.

In 1963 Mildred co-chaired the National Women’s Committee for Civil Rights, and became a trustee for the University of New Hampshire (which she continued for 11 years, and becoming its first chairman of the board).  Her husband Douglas died in 1968.


*Additional Reading*

-Vassar College Biography & Photograph of Mildred McAfee

Notable American Women: Mildred McAfee Horton

Obituary, September 4, 1994
Mildred McAfee Horton Dies; First Head of WAVES Was 94


Ancestry of Rev. Dr. Cleland Boyd McAfee

Rev. Dr. Cleland Boyd McAfee, son of John Armstrong & Anna Waddell (Bailey) McAfee, b. 25 Sept 1866 at Ashley, Pike County, [or Fulton] Missouri. He died 4 February 1944 at Asheville, Buncombe Co. NC.  He married 10 August 1892 to Harriett “Hattie” Lawson Brown. She b. 13 August 1867 in Whitby, Ontario Province, Canada and d. 12 July 1959 in Hanover, Jefferson County, Indiana. For twenty years Cleland McAfee was at Park College in Parkville Missouri serving on the faculty, and as college chaplain and choir director. He “pastored” in Chicago, Illinois and Brooklyn, New York. He was on the faculty of the McCormick Theological Seminar in Chicago fromm 1912-1930 and directed the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions (1930-1936). Near the end of his life he resided at “Four Acres” in Jaffrey New Hampshire, and often presented guest sermons at the First Church, Jaffrey Center. He authored religious music (i.e. “Near To the Heart of God,” and was a public author (i.e. “Study of the King James Bible.”) [More about him]   [photo]
[music]  [online book]
Historical Newspapers > Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) > 1944 > February > 5
Dr. C.B. McAfee Dies in NC, 77–Jaffrey, N.H., Feb. 5 — Dr. Cleland Boyd McAfee, 77, a resident of this town, died suddenly last night of a heart attack in an Asheville, N.C. hospital. He had been a patient in the hospital for a week, but his death was unexpected.
Dr. McAfee, father of Capt. Mildred H. McAfee, commandant of the WAVEs and president of Wellesley college, was a formre moderator of the general assembly of the (Northern) Presbyterian church. He was secretary emertus of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, and was a well-known writer. He maintained offices in New York, but spent some time in Asheville, but his home, where he spent most of his time, was at Four Acres here.
In addition to Capt. McAfee, he is survived by his wife, and two other daughters, Mrs. Albert G. Parker, wife of the president of Hanover College, Hanover, Ind., and Mrs. George W. Brown, wife of the pastor of the Presbyterian church in Binghampton, N.Y.
U.S. Census > 1900 United States Federal Census > Missouri > Platte > Pettis > District 139
McAfee, Cleland Head W M Sept 1866 32 married 8 yrs Missouri Missouri Missouri Professor, Colelge
McAfee, Hattie wife W F Aug 1867 31 married 8 yrs 3 ch 3 living Can-Eng Can-Eng Can-Eng
McAfee, Ruth M. dau W F June 1893 6 single Missouri
McAfee, Catherine dau W F Dec 1896 3 single Missouri
McAfee, Mildred dau W F May 1900 0/21 single Missouri
Howard, Blanch Boarder W F Oct 1879 20 single Kansas MA Can-Eng at school
Copeland, Effie boarder W F June 1879 20 single Kansas at school
—living next door—
McAfee, Howard, Head W M Dec 1861 38 married 14 yrs Missouri Missouri Missouri, Manager Park ?College
McAfee, Lucy wife W F Sept 1861 38 married 14 yrs 6 ch 4 living Missouri PA KY
McAfee, Paul? son W M Jan 1888 12 single Missouri at school
McAfee, John son W M March 1889 11 single Missouri at school
McAfee, Helena dau W F May 1898 2 single Missouri
McAfee Carolyn daughter W F July 1899 3/12 single Missouri
Cunningham, Anna, boarder W F Feb 1881 19 single Missouri Ire Ire at school
Judy, Francis, boarder W F Oct 1893 16 single IL Indiana KY at school
Youngman, Emma boarder W F Dec 1881 18 single PA PA PA at school
Belden, Della boarder B F Sept 1880 19 single Missouri Missouri Missouri servant (house)
U.S. Census > 1910 United States Federal Census > New York > Kings > Brooklyn Ward 20 > District 471
Cleland B McAfee  W M 43 m1x 17 yrs Missouri Missouri Virginia Minister, church
Harriet B McAfee wife, W F 42 m1x 17 yrs 3 ch 3 living Canada-Eng C-E C-E immigrated 1871
Ruth M McAfee W F 16 dau, single Missouri
Cathrine A McAfee  W F dau, 13 single Missouri
Mildred McAfee  W F 9 dau, single Missouri
Eli Parsons M Black servant, 49 m1x 19 yrs servant NC NC VA butler private family
Dovie J Parsons, Black, servant, 39, m1x 19 yrs 0 ch 0 living NC NC NC
1920 United States Federal Census > Illinois > Cook (Chicago) > Chicago Ward 23 > 1270
McAfee, Cleland B. Head M W 53 married Missouri Missouri Missouri Professor McCormick Seminary
McAfee, Harriet B. wife F W 52 married imm 1870 naturalized, Can-Eng Can-Eng Missouri
McAfee, Katharine dau F W 23 single Missouri Missouri Can-Eng secretary, Railroad
McAfee, Mildred Daughter F W 19 single Missouri Missouri Can-Eng
Wiliber Alexander servant M Black 31 Married KY KY Can-Eng Servant-Private Family
Wiliber Ora servant F Black 29 married KY KY KY Servant-Private Family
Children of Cleland B. & Harriet L. (Brown) McAfee:
1. Ruth Myrtle McAfee, b. 24 June 1893 Parkville, Platte Co. Missouri; m. 15 Oct 1914 to George William Brown. He was b. 10 March 1888 in Harrisville, Butler Co. PA; had issue
2. Catherine McAfee, b. 21 Dec 1896 Parkville, Platte Co., Missouri; m. 10 Aug 1920 to Albert George Parker Jr.; had issue
3. +Mildred Helen McAfee, b. 21 May 1900 Missouri, Parkeville, Platte Co., Missouri; she married in 1945 to Rev. Douglas Horton, former Dean of Harvard Divinity School.

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