Born in Kentucky, Durbin became a cabinet maker apprentice at the age 13 following his father’s death. Durbin continued to educate himself, eventually becoming a licensed minister. His travels led him to Ohio where he was able to attend college. After graduating, he taught at Augusta College in Kentucky and became Chaplain for the United States Senate. John Price Durbin served as president of Dickinson College from 1834 until 1842 when he returned to the ministry. He died on October 18, 1876.
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