F. W. W. DesBarres 1914 - 1942
Frederick William Wallet DesBarres was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia on 10 March 1867 but grew up in Guysborough, Nova Scotia. He came to Mount Allison in 1885 and graduated in 1889 with a Bachelor of Arts. In that year he was received as a candidate for the ministry and returned to Mount Allison to study theology. He was ordained into the Methodist Church in 1893.

Between 1907 and 1909, DesBarres studied theology at Oxford University and also at the United Free Church College in Glasgow, Scotland. He returned to the University of Mount Allison College in 1909 as a professor of theology. In 1916 he was appointed head of the newly formed Department of Modern History and remained in that position until his retirement in 1936, when he went to live in Pictou, Nova Scotia.

Concurrent with his teaching duties, from 1914 DesBarres served as Chief Librarian. Even after he resigned his position in the history department in 1936, he continued to spend three days each week in his library office doing the book buying and overseeing the general work of the Library. Upon retirement as Librarian in 1942, the Record reported that “under his leadership the Mount Allison Memorial Library has become a vital force not only on the campus itself but among the libraries of the Maritimes”.

During world war two when the head of the history department was on war service, DesBarres returned to the department, teaching courses in 1941/42. It was during this period that he began teaching Church History, which he continued until his 90th year.

In addition to his teachings, DesBarres was also an active member of the Sackville and Mount Allison communities. He was one of the founders of the Sackville Golf Course, an active member of the Rotary Club, the Sackville United Church, and the Mount Allison Board of Regents, an honorary president of the Mount Allison Alumni Association, and served a term as president of the Sackville Curling Club from 1923 to 1924.

Mount Allison bestowed upon him an honorary Doctor of Laws honorary degree in 1950. He died on 29 July 1964 at Sackville, NB.

Photograph from Mount Allison Archives, Picture Collection 2007.07/949