Written by: Patrick Cash
October 28, 1980: Retired Professor of English John Angus McLeod passed away on the morning of October 28 following several months of declining health. During his 43-year tenure at Mars Hill College, Mr. McLeod served as Professor of English, chair of the English Department, advisor and editor of college publications, and community correspondent for the Asheville-Citizens Times. Perhaps Mr. McLeod’s most notable project from his time at Mars Hill College is his publication, From These Stones, the official history of the institution that was published in coordination of the school’s centennial celebration in 1956.
John A. McLeod was born on August 19, 1985 in Alfordsville, North Carolina. Mr. McLeod attended North Greenville Academy and Haywood Institutes at Clyde before enrolled in at Furman College, from which he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1923. After graduation, Mr. McLeod served as principal of Berea High School in Greenville, South Carolina before accepting an invitation from President Dr. Robert L. Moore to join the English faculty at Mars Hill College. Even after accepting Dr. Moore’s invitation, Mr. McLeod continued his education, receiving his Master of Arts from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1929 and studying at both the University of Chicago and the University of London. In 1927, Mr. McLeod and Mr. J. P. Huskins of Burnsville founded Mars Hill College student newspaper, The Hilltop, a publication that remained in existence until the early 2000’s.
Along with his professional career, Mr. McLeod was an ordained minister who pastored churches in the Greenville area during his years at Furman. Upon arriving at Mars Hill, Mr. McLeod would serve at as the Jupiter and Piney Mountain Baptist Churches in Buncombe County and the California Creek Baptist Church in Madison County over the years. He also served on the board of deacons at the Mars Hill Baptist Church for more than 40 years.
Mr. John A. McLeod retired from Mars Hill College in 1967. Today, we remember his for his outstanding work both inside and outside the classroom. Historians of Mars Hill still hail From These Stones as a great piece of scholarly work that saved much of the schools early history. His work not only outlines the history of the institution, but also sketches the educational, sociological, and economic conditions under which the founding of the school took place.