Colby, Gardner

Colby, Gardner a distinguished Baptist layman and philanthropist, was born at Bowdoinham, Maine, September 3, 1810. When but twenty years of age he opened a store in Boston, and steadily rose in mercantile success, carrying on for many years the manufacture of woollen goods, in connection with Hon. J. Wiley Edmunds, and during the late civil war becoming a large government contractor for the army. In 1870 he was interested in the building of the Wisconsin Central Railroad, and in securing the government appropriation of lands along its line. Early in his business life he formed the habit of cheerful giving; for years was a trustee and treasurer of the Newton Theological Institution; and gave liberally to Brown University, of which he was a trustee for nearly a quarter of a century. The cause of missions, both home and foreign, found in him an efficient helper. In 1867 the name of Waterville College was changed to that of Colby University, in testimony of the appreciation of the corporation of a gift of $50,000 made to the institution by Mr. Colby. He died at his residence in Newton Centre, April 2, 1879. See The Boston Advertiser, May 3, 1879; The Watchman, April 10, 1879; Cathcart, Baptist Encyclop. s.v. (J.C.S.)

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