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Binney, Amos (18 October 1803–18 February 1847), biologist and businessman, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Amos Binney, a businessman, and Hannah Dolliver. Interested early in natural history, Binney accumulated rocks, shells, and birds’ eggs. He attended an academy at Hingham, Massachusetts, and at the age of fourteen entered Brown University, where he was especially interested in the natural sciences and expanded his collection of shells. After graduating in 1821, he studied medicine with a physician in Boston, then attended medical lectures at Dartmouth College....

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Cutler, Manasseh (13 May 1742–28 July 1823), preacher, botanist, and land promoter, was born in Killingly, Connecticut, the son of Hezekiah Cutler and Susanna Clark, prosperous farmers. After preparatory study with Killingly pastor Aaron Brown, Cutler matriculated at Yale College (A.B., 1765; A.M., 1768; LL.D., 1789). He married Mary Balch, daughter of Rev. Thomas Balch of Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1766; they had four children. During a brief residence on Martha’s Vineyard (1766–1768), he completed his training for the ministry under his father-in-law’s direction before being licensed to preach in 1770 and ordained at the Congregational church in Ipswich Hamlet (after 1793, Hamilton), where he remained until his death. In 1782 Cutler opened a boarding school that catered to the sons of leading Essex County families....

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Starrett, William Aiken (14 June 1877–25 March 1932), engineer, building contractor, and real-estate financier, was born in Lawrence, Kansas, the son of William A. Starrett, a Presbyterian minister, farmer, and lawyer, and Helen Martha Ekin, a Quaker teacher, journalist, and editor. He attended the University of Michigan for two years, then returned to graduate with a degree in civil engineering in 1917. In 1900 Starrett married Eloise Gedney of East Orange, New Jersey; they had two children....

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Torrence, Joseph Thatcher (15 March 1843–31 October 1896), industrial engineer, entrepreneur, and developer, was born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, the son of James Torrence and Rebecca (maiden name unknown). He began his career working for a blast-furnace operator outside of Pittsburgh at Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania. From there he moved west to Youngstown, Ohio, where he became a blacksmith, and by the time of the Civil War, he had worked his way up to assistant foreman at a blast furnace....