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Delaware County, Iowa

 Biography Directory


William Flude

Professor of Music

Bowen Collegiate Institute

 Hopkinton, Delaware



        WILLIAM FLUDE. There is no more prominent figure in the educational field of music than the gentleman of whom we now write. He is a native of Leicestershire, England, born January 20, 1818. The educational advantages of our subject were limited to the common district schools His parents were poor and unable to offer him the opportunities of obtaining a thorough literary education. He developed a fondness for music early in life, and at the age of ten years began taking private instructions in the “art divine.” His progress was rapid, and he soon began taking instructions, vocal and instrumental, from John Hullah, an English composer of considerable note. He received a certificate from this noted professor as a testimonial of the advancement he had made. At the age of sixteen young Flude began teaching music himself. He had a small room in his modest home where he gave instructions to his pupils, and in this way obtained means wherewith to prosecute his own studies.  At the age of nineteen he accepted a position as organist in Rev. John Bickersteth’s church, which he filled to the entire satisfaction of the noted divine and his congregation for five years. In 1842 he was called to preside at the organ in the famous Lutterworth church, where the venerable John Wycliff preached his powerful sermons on reform. in the fourteenth century. He filled this honorable position so acceptably that he was retained for fifteen years. In the mean time he gave instructions in music to a large number of pupils and established quite a reputation as a successful teacher.


     In 1857 Professor Flude determined to sail for America and cast his fortunes in the new world. He arrived at Castle Garden, New York city, in May of. that year, and proceeded as far west as Iowa. He soon established a reputation as a competent instructor in music, and in a short time was engaged as professor of music in the Bowen Collegiate Institute, located at Hopkinton, Delaware county, Iowa. The name of this popular institution has since been changed to Lenox College, and Professor Flude is still principal of the musical department. In 1868 the financial affairs of the college were not in a satisfactory condition, and the board of trustees at their annual session was puzzled to know what to do to remedy the matter. Professor Flude came forward with a proposition, at which time an endowment fund of $10,000 was provided for and other changes made that relieved the institution from its financial embarrassment. The board unanimously voted to accept the proposition, and at once made Professor Flude the financial manager of the college, a position he has ably filled ever since. The proposed endowment fund was raised, and the college has prospered financially ever since.


      Professor Flude married October, 1850, taking for a life companion Miss Louisa Elton, a native of England, by whom he had two children, viz.: Louisa E., now wife of D. N. Howe, of Manchester, and a successful teacher of music, and C. W., a successful hardware dealer in Onawa, Iowa. Mrs. Flude died in 1861, and he contracted a second marriage with Miss Sarah E. Crosby, a native of Illinois. Two children were born to this union: Emma E. (deceased) and Alfred L., editor and publisher of the Springville New Era, at Springville, Iowa.


     Professor Flude and his estimable wife are zealous members of the Presbyterian church and are recognized pillars of that denomination. Professor Flude is truly a self-made man, who, through much study and patient labor has developed his powers and attained the high degree of honor and esteem which he now holds in the world of music. In disposition he is kind, charitable and generous, and has formed many lasting friendships wherever he has lived.


~ source: Biographical souvenir of the counties of Delaware and Buchanan, Iowa; Chicago : F. A. Battey, 1890. Page 261-262; LDS microfilm #985424

~ contributed by Thom Carlson