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Eliot, William Greenleaf, Jr. (05 August 1811–23 January 1887), Unitarian minister and university administrator, was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the son of William Greenleaf Eliot, a merchant and postal official, and Margaret Dawes. Eliot graduated from Columbian College in 1830 and Harvard Divinity School in 1834. That same year he began his ministry to a newly formed Unitarian congregation in St. Louis. In 1837 he married Abby Adams Cranch; they had fourteen children. Eliot was grandfather of the poet ...

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Hill, Thomas (07 January 1818–21 November 1891), Unitarian clergyman, college president, and scientist, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the son of Thomas Hill, a judge, and Henrietta Barker. Hill’s father died when Hill was ten, leaving the family only a modest amount of money. In his early years, Hill apprenticed himself to a printer and to an apothecary, but he was not happy in either of these professions. With the financial help of his older brothers, Hill hired a tutor in Latin and Greek and was accepted into Harvard in 1839. In his senior year he published a pamphlet, ...

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Holley, Horace (13 February 1781–31 July 1827), Unitarian minister and educator, was born in Salisbury, Connecticut, the son of Luther Holley, a merchant, and Sarah Dakin, daughter of a Baptist minister. At the age of three he was sent to elementary school, completing all courses available to him. He then turned to employment in the family store. In 1797 emerging academic interests brought him to enter the Academy of Williams College, a preparatory institution. Two years later Holley entered Yale University, graduating in 1803. During his senior year he came under the influence of a religious revival underway in New Haven. After graduation, he left for New York City to begin the study of law. Holley quickly found law uncongenial and returned to New Haven to study divinity under the Reverend ...

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Stebbins, Horatio (08 August 1821–08 April 1902), minister, was born in South Wilbraham (present-day Hampden), Massachusetts, the son of Calvin Stebbins and Amelia Adams, farmers. He did not have an easy childhood. His mother died when he was six, and the financial needs of his family required him to help on the farm, which he remembered later consisted mostly of digging potatoes and husking corn. As a result, his initial schooling was erratic. Eventually, however, Stebbins was able to attend Phillips Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, from which he graduated in 1846. He then attended Harvard, where he earned an A.B. in 1848 and, as a student in its divinity school, an A.M. in 1851. A story familiar to his friends told of how he had grown potatoes near Divinity Hall one summer, in addition to teaching, in order to earn his tuition at Harvard, a poignant vignette that attests to his difficult struggle to gain an education. Nevertheless, he completed his studies, and at age twenty-nine he was ready for the Unitarian ministry, which had been his goal for years....