An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Hare, William Hobart

(May 16, 1838-Oct. 23, 1909). Bishop and missionary to American Indians. He was born in Princeton, New Jersey. Hare studied at the University of Pennsylvania but never graduated. He studied for the ordained ministry on his own, while teaching at St. Mark's Academy, Philadelphia. Hare was ordained deacon on June 19, 1859, and served as an assistant at St. Luke's Church, Philadelphia. In May 1861 he became rector of St. Paul's Church, Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. He was ordained priest on May 25, 1862. Because of his wife's failing health, he took her to Minnesota in Sept. 1863 for a change of climate to help her. In Minnesota, Hare met some Indians and this awakened in him the interest which would dominate the rest of his life. In 1867 he became the rector of the Church of the Ascension, Philadelphia. Hare was appointed secretary and general agent of the Foreign Committee of the Board of Missions in 1871, and moved to New York. On Oct. 24, 1871, the House of Bishops created the Missionary District of Niobrara, and on Nov. 1, 1872, elected Hare the Missionary Bishop. Hare was consecrated Missionary Bishop on Jan. 9, 1873. The missionary district was named for the Niobrara River, which runs along the border between Nebraska and South Dakota. He worked only among the American Indians. In a sense, he was bishop for a race of people rather than a particular place. On Oct. 11, 1883, the House of Bishops divided the Missionary District of Dakota into the Missionary Districts of North Dakota and South Dakota, and the Missionary District of Niobrara was abolished. Hare became the Missionary Bishop of South Dakota. He served in this position until his death in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.