Asa Drury was born 26 July 1801 in Athol, Worcester County, Massachusetts to Joel Drury (1768-) and Ruth Hill (c1770-) and died 18 March 1870 St. Anthony, Hennepin County, Minnesota of unspecified causes. He married Hannah Perry (c1801-c1838) 17 January 1832 . He married Elizabeth Drury (c1805-) 1840 .


Asa Drury was an American Baptist minister and educator primarily teaching at Granville Literary and Theological Institution (today's Denison University) in Granville, Ohio and the Western Baptist Theological Institute in Covington, Kentucky, and establishing the public schools in Covington. He is best known for his antebellum abolitionist views and his role in establishing the Underground Railroad in Ohio.

Early Life

Although most of his professional and biographical references give 1802 as his birth year, the Vital Records of Athol, MA state that Asa Drury was born July 26, 1801. Source: New England Historic Genealogical Society. Massachusetts Town Birth Records [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1999.

Born in Athol, Massachusetts as the fifth of eleven children. Drury studied at Yale University, earning his A.B. degree in 1829. Upon graduation, he served as rector of the Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven, Connecticut from 1829 to 1831. He earned his A.M. degree at Brown University in 1832, followed by his D.D. from the same institution in 1834. He was ordained as a Baptist minister in Providence, Rhode Island on September 14, 1834.


While teaching Latin and Greek at the Granville Literary and Theological Institution (now Dennison University in Granville, Ohio, he helped organized the 1836 Ohio Abolitionist Convention and a related station on the Underground Railroad. Probably had to leave town because of the Granville Riot.

Afterwards he taught at Cincinnati College and Waterville College. (1837-1845).

Covington Career

Drury was among the first faculty members at the Western Baptist Theological Institute in Covington, where he taught theology. He was also responsible for the classical school attached to the seminary.

In 1853 Drury departed to serve as principal at the newly opened Covington Public High School. Three years later he became the first Superintendent of the Covington Public School System.

In 1859 Drury and a partner opened the Judsonia Female Seminary in the old Western Baptist Theological Institute building (the institute having closed several years earlier in 1855). The Judsonia Seminary did not survive beyond 1861 when the seminary building was used as a hospital during the American Civil War.

Civil War Chaplain

Commissioned on February 8, 1862, Drury served as chaplain for the 18th Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Infantry in the Union Army during the Civil War. He was captured at the Battle of Richmond in Kentucky on August 30, 1862 and sent home on parole, officially mustering out of the service on October 4, 1863.


In 1864 he moved to Minnesota and taught private school for a year. In 1865, he accepted a position as the pastor of the First Baptist Church in St. Anthony, Minnesota. He died there on March 18, 1870. Drury was buried at Linden Grove Cemetery in Covington, Kentucky on March 26, 1870.

Marriage & Family

1st Marriage: Hannah Perry

Drury married first Hannah Perry of Brookfield, Massachusetts on January 17, 1832, and they had no children.

2nd Marriage: Elizabeth

During the 1839–1840 academic year, Drury was teaching in Waterville, Maine, and he was married a second time to Elizabeth (unknown). He and Elizabeth had two sons.

  1. Alexander Greer Drury (1844-1929) - a noted physician and medical historian with a practice in Cincinnati and noted medical teaching appointments to local colleges. He served as president of the Ohio State Medical Association.
  2. Marshall P Drury (1846-) - was an insurance broker in St. Louis, Missouri.


Offspring of Asa Drury and Elizabeth Drury (c1805-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Alexander Greer Drury (1844-1929) 3 February 1844 Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, United States 17 January 1929 Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, United States
Marshall P Drury (1846-)


Offspring of Joel Drury (1768-) and Ruth Hill (c1770-)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Dorothy Drury (1793-1874)
Dolly Drury (1793-)
Lydia Drury (1795-)
Asenath Drury (1797-1882)
George Washington Drury (1799-)
Asa Drury (1801-1870) 26 July 1801 Athol, Worcester County, Massachusetts 18 March 1870 St. Anthony, Hennepin County, Minnesota Hannah Perry (c1801-c1838)
Elizabeth Drury (c1805-)
Olive Drury (1802-)
Sally Drury (1803-)
Joel Drury (1806-)
Ruth Drury (1808-)
John Smith Drury (1811-)
Willard Blucher Drury (1817-)
Lucy Luan Drury (1821-)


Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General