Durant, Henry Fowle, 1822-81, American lawyer and educator, b. Hanover, N.H., grad. Harvard, 1841. Christened Henry Welles Smith, he adopted the name Durant (1851) because he felt there were too many lawyers in Boston named Smith. After the death of his son (1863) he abandoned the law and became an evangelist. In 1870 he obtained a charter for Wellesley College and from that time on devoted himself completely to the college, of which he was officially the treasurer.
Durant, Thomas Clark, 1820-85, American railroad builder, chief figure in the construction of the Union Pacific RR, b. Lee, Mass. He was successful in building railroads in the Midwest, and, after the Union Pacific was organized (1862) by an act of Congress, John A. Dix was elected president and Durant vice president of the company. The burden of management and money raising was assumed by Durant, and, with much money at his disposal, he helped to secure in 1864 the passage of a bill that increased the land grants and privileges of the railroad. He organized and at first controlled the Crédit Mobilier of America, but later (1867) he lost control of the company to Oakes Ames and his brother. Durant, however, continued on the directorate of the Union Pacific and furiously pushed construction of the railroad until it met the Central Pacific RR on May 10, 1869. The Ames group then procured his discharge.

See biography by H. K. Hochschild (1961).

Durant, William James, 1885-1981, American historian and essayist, b. North Adams, Mass. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1917 and published his doctoral dissertation, Philosophy and the Social Problem, in the same year. This was followed by The Story of Philosophy (1926), an immediate best seller that opened the way for a school of popularized history. Durant then embarked upon a life-long project, the writing of a comprehensive history of civilization. The Story of Civilization (11 vol., 1935-75; vol. 7-11 written with his wife, Ariel Durant) is a monumental work stretching from prehistory to the 19th cent.

See also their The Lessons of History (1968) and Interpretations of Life (1970).

Durant, city (1990 pop. 12,823), seat of Bryan co., S central Okla., in the Red River valley farm area; inc. 1873. It is the commercial and processing center for an agricultural region where peanuts, cotton, wheat, and oil are produced and cattle are raised. There is some light manufacturing. Durant is the seat of Southeastern Oklahoma State Univ. The ruins of Fort Washita, on nearby Lake Texoma, include 48 buildings.
Durant is a city in Cedar, Muscatine, and Scott counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 1,677 at the 2000 census. The community is named in honor of Dr. Thomas Clark Durant, one of the pioneers of the Transcontinental Railroad and an individual who contributed the bulk of funds needed to build the town's first public school.

The Scott County portion of Durant is part of the DavenportMolineRock Island, IA-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Muscatine County portion of the city is part of the Muscatine Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Durant is located at (41.600973, -90.909183).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.0 square miles (2.6 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,677 people, 672 households, and 469 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,685.4 people per square mile (647.5/km²). There were 702 housing units at an average density of 705.5/sq mi (271.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.81% White, 0.12% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.72% of the population.

There were 672 households out of which 34.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.5% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 88.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $41,681, and the median income for a family was $51,667. Males had a median income of $37,188 versus $22,500 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,399. About 3.8% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and 13.0% of those age 65 or over.


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