Carl Clinton Van Doren (1885-1950)
Where: Town Street and Cream Hill
Van Doren was born in Hope, Illinois, and studied at the University of Illinois and then Columbia University, where he earned his doctorate in 1911. Van Doren then took a teaching post at Columbia after graduating. Though he only taught regularly at Columbia for five
years, he maintained a position as an associate professor of English through 1930.
From 1916 to 1919, Van Doren served as headmaster at the Brearley School for girls in New York. Beginning in 1917, Van Doren also served as an editor for The Cambridge History of American Literature, which he left in 1921. From 1919 through 1922, Van Doren was an editor of The Nation; he then became an editor for The Century Magazine from 1922 through 1925. Van Doren joined The Literary Guild as an editor in 1926 through 1934. In 1935 his career shifted to focus on writing about American History. Of the 19 books Van Doren authored in his lifetime, he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1939 for his biography, Benjamin Franklin.
In 1915 Van Doren and his then wife, Irita, were in search of a home in country away from the commotion of the city. They were introduced to Cornwall via family and purchased a home on Town Street that same year. Van Doren purchased a second home on Cream Hill after his divorce in 1935. He died in Torrington in 1950.
Image from the Collection of the Cornwall Historical Society