Biographies > Oberlin College
Corbin, Paul L.

Paul Leaton Corbin was born in Carlinville, Illinois, on September 28, 1875. He studied at Blackburn College in Carlinville, receiving the A.B. degree in 1898. After one term at the Chicago Theological Seminary, Corbin was ordained to the Congregational ministry on October 12, 1899. In 1900, after serving as pastor of Congregational churches in Illinois, Corbin entered the Oberlin Theological Seminary, where he completed the B.D. degree in 1903. He spent the year 1903-04 as a traveling Secretary for the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions, headquartered in New York City. On June 9, 1904, he was married to Miriam Hannah Locke (1878-1928), who had studied in the literary course and Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College 1899-1903.

In August of 1904, at the urging of Oberlin College President Henry Churchill King (1858-1934), Paul and Miriam Corbin departed for China to assist in rebuilding the ABCFM mission in Taigu, Shanxi Province, which had been destroyed during the Boxer rebellion in 1900. Later he worked with H. H. Kung (1881-1967; Oberlin College class of 1906) in establishing and developing the Ming Hsien, the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Schools, in Taigu.

In addition to his work for Ming Hsien, Corbin served tirelessly in the Shanxi field, sitting on various educational committees for the Shanxi District. In 1918, he helped to gather epidemiological data during a pneumonic plague epidemic, and in 1925, he worked for famine relief in North Shaanxi Province. Corbin continued to work in the Shanxi field until 1932 when poor health forced him to relinquish many of his duties.

Paul L. Corbin died in Taigu, China, of a brain hemorrhage on January 9, 1936.

For more information, see: Oberlin College Archives

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