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Maryville Times, (Blount Co. TN) Wednesday, May 24, 1893:
“Capt. A. Durfey, wife and son left Tuesday morning for their former home in Paulding, Ohio. Everybody in Maryville regretted very much to have these excellent people leave. They will be missed by a large circle of friends and their departure will be an irreparable loss to Maryville. For a number of years John Durfey who graduated this year has been attending the [Maryville] College at this place and there never was a more popular young man in the school. He was counted the very best “all around” man in the college, for wherever he was, he was at the front not from any “cheekiness” on his part, but because he was placed there by the unanimous agreement of his schoolmates. In the classroom he was always up with his lessons and a thorough student. In the musical line he was recognized as the best singer ever graduating at this college. On the baseball diamond it has been Capt. Durfey every year since he came, except one. On the football field no other boy was thought of as Captain as long as John was around. In this, as in everything else, he was chosen without any seeking on his part and many times in spite of his protests. As this was his graduation year he had decided to retire from the athletics, but the boys wouldn’t hear to it and it was again Captain Durfey. The secret of this popularity was his strong determination to succeed in whatever he tried, coupled with sound judgment. He worked hard to gain perfection and he expected others to do the same and the boys know what his earnestness was by the hours of hard practice he made them undergo after he had been placed at their head. In this he did not spare himself but was always in the thickest part of the play. Many is the time, on the football field, after being tossed up into the clouds by a larger man and coming in contact with the ground so hard as to knock all the breath out of him, he has pluckily went on playing and always found where his presence was most needed urging his men on by example and words of encouragement. He will be greatly missed on college hill. His place will be hard to fill. May he continue to be a leader of men and achieve greater success in the more important struggles of life is the wish of his Maryville friends.”