North Central College - Naperville, IL

Henry H. Rassweiler

1883-1888, Second President

Henry H. Rassweiler was born in Pennsylvania to a German family that moved to Illinois in 1857. He taught at a district school when he was 17.

He entered Plainfield College in 1862 and was hired as a professor of mathematics and natural science immediately after his graduation with a bachelor of science degree in 1868. His cousin, Charles F. Rassweiler, graduated two years later and served on the faculty until 1886.

Henry Rassweiler met his future wife, Susie Victoria Harlacher, when both were students at the College. They were married in 1868. Together, they lived in a house on Brainard Street on property later acquired by the College. Active in the community, Rassweiler was central to the organization of Grace Evangelical Church and became president of the Naperville Temperance Union.

Rassweiler served as the president of North-Western College from 1883 to 1888. While very popular among students and faculty at the College, he was dismissed by the board for his support of an Illinois amendment that would have required a major change in the composition of the trustees on the board.

Rassweiler opened an insurance business after leaving the College and later served as a College trustee for five years. He spoke at the inauguration of President Seager in 1911 and died in 1928.

At the College’s memorial service, Dr. Albert Goldspohn commented that Rassweiler was “one of the very few men whom [he] had met in his life who seemed to be born to instruct.” President Rall read a message that former President Rassweiler had left for the College: “The warp represents the limitations of heredity and environment. These cannot be changed. However the power lies within each individual to weave within this warp a beautiful pattern of life.”