Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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RUTER, Martin, clergyman, born in Charlton, Worcester County, Massachusetts, 3 April, 1785; died in Washington, Texas, 16 May, 1888. He received a common-school education, studied theology, and in June, 1801, was admitted to the New York conference of the Methodist Episcopal church. He preached in New Hampshire and Montreal, Canada, became an elder at the age of twenty, was stationed at Boston, Massachusetts, Portland, Maine, and other places, had charge for a time of New Market academy, and in 1820-'8 conducted the Book-concern in Cincinnati, Ohio. When Augusta college, Kentucky, was established in 1828 he was selected for the presidency, and he held that office until he resigned in order to return to the ministry in 1832. He preached in Pitts-burg, Pennsylvania. for two years, and then became president of Allegheny college. Obtaining the appointment of superintendent of the mission to Texas. he resigned in July, 1837. He went to the field that he had selected, rode more than 2,000 miles through Texas, organized churches, made arrangements for establishing a college, and laid out the greater part of the state into circuits. The fatigues and privations that he endured destroyed his health, and he died after setting out on the homeward journey. He was the first Methodist clergyman in the United States to receive the degree of D. D., which was conferred on him by Transylvania university in 1820. Rutersville, Texas, was named for him, and the college there was founded in his honor. Dr. Ruter published a " Collection of Miscellaneous Pieces"; y' Explanatory Notes on the Ninth Chapter of Romans" ; "Sketch of Calvin's Life and Doe-trine" ; "Letter on Calvin and Calvinism" (1816); " Hebrew Grammar" ; " History of Martyrs" ; " Ecclesiastical History," which was long a standard text-book in theological seminaries; and several educational text-books. He left unfinished a "Plea for Africa as a Field for Missionary Labor" and a " Life of Bishop Asbury."
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