William Coombs Dana, D.D., was born at Newburyport, Massachusetts, February 13th, 1810. He graduated at Dartmouth College, NH in 1828. After leaving college he spent several years in teaching at Thetford, Vermont, Chesterfield, New Hampshire, and Westborough, Massachusetts. His theological studies were pursued at Andover Seminary, Columbia Seminary, and Princeton Seminary. He was licensed by Harmony Presbytery (SC), April 10th, 1835, and was ordained by Charleston Union Presbytery, February 14th, 1936. In December of 1835 he began to preach for the Central Presbyterian Church of Charleston, SC, and soon after accepted a call to become its pastor, and was installed on the day of his ordination, already stated. Here he found his life-work. He continued to be pastor of this one church until he died, a period of about forty-five years, of nearly unbroken ministerial labor. His death occurred November 30th, 1880, in the seventy-first year of his age.
Dr. Dana was a man of singularly pure and beautiful life, and was faithful, earnest and effective in his ministerial work. He was possessed of great gentleness and sweetness of spirit, of a warm and sympathetic nature, and of chivalric nobleness of spirit. He had exquisite literary taste and culture, was an accurate and elegant classical scholar, and a polished writer. He was eminent as a preacher, and tenderly loved as a pastor.