ST. JOHN, SAMUEL (29 Mar. 1813-9 Sept. 1876), science professor, proponent of natural history, and newspaper publisher during his short time in the Cleveland area in the mid-1800s, was born in New Canaan, Conn., son of Samuel and Hannah Benedict Richards St. John. He graduated as valedictorian from Yale in 1834, and in 1839 became professor of chemistry, geology, and mineralogy at Western Reserve College in Hudson, teaching biology as well (see CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY). When the college established its Medical Dept. in Cleveland in 1843, St. John was appointed to oversee the awarding of degrees by the medical faculty, becoming professor of chemistry, natural history, and medical jurisprudence at the Medical College.
St. John was an original curator and secretary of the CLEVELAND ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES when it was organized in 1845, and also was secretary of the publication committee for the 1853 meeting in Cleveland of the American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science. In 1851 he and Prof. Jehu Brainard published a geology text, Elements of Geology. St. John tried his hand at newspaper editing, joining Dr. JARED P. KIRTLAND and O. H. Knapp in 1850 as coeditor of the weekly Family Visitor, which was published until around 1858. In 1852, St. John resigned from Western Reserve College in a dispute with the administration over back salary owed him. He stayed in Cleveland, reportedly becoming principal of the CLEVELAND FEMALE SEMINARY in 1854. In 1856 he accepted a chair in chemistry at the College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York.
St. John married Amelia Parkinson Curtis ca. 1840. They had 3 children: Eliza, Samuel Benedict, and George. He died in New Canaan, Conn.