Born: September 6, 1821, Mendham, New Jersey.
Died: October 6, 1902, Montclair, New Jersey.
Buried: Rosedale Cemetery, Orange, New Jersey.
Wolfe was educated at Williams College (1844) and Union Theological Seminary, New York (1848–51). On April 9, 1851, he was licensed by the Third Presbytery of New York.
He ran a young ladies’ school in Tallahassee, Florida (1852–55), and in 1859, established the Hillside Seminary for Young Ladies in West Bloomington (now Montclair), New Jersey.
In 1858, he contributed seven hymns, under the signature
A. R. W., to Church Melodies, by Thomas Hastings. He retired in 1872.
The devout spirit of the man is fittingly illustrated by the account he once gave his friends of an incident which shaped his after-career somewhat seriously.
When he left Florida in the summer of 1855 he put all his effects—library, notes, and things of that sort—on board a sailing-vessel at St. Mark’s, and with a simple gripsack returned North by way of Nashville and Chicago.
Reaching New York after some two weeks spent in journeying, he sought his goods at the commission house to which they had been consigned.
There he learned that, on the day appointed for sailing, the vessel had been struck by lightning, the mate killed at the foot of the mast, and the vessel, laden with turpentine, burned to the water’s edge. Books, papers, notes, everything of past treasure had gone up in smoke.
He looked upon this as a special providence of God, shaping his life, and fixing his home. For it made him a teacher of the young rather than a pastor of a church; and soon the way was opened for the beginning of one of the most useful engagements with Dr. Abbott, and so his life was fashioned…Thus the Lord made up his petty losses by a rich reward.
Robinson, p. 361