Hitchcock, Samuel Austin

Hitchcock, Samuel Austin a philanthropic layman of the Congregational Church, was born at Brimfield, Massachusetts, January 9, 1794. On March 23, 1812, he left home in search of employment, which he found with a merchant of Dudley. In 1820 he went to Boston and entered a dry-goods firm, established for the sale of goods manufactured by the different cotton-mills the first in New England. In 1831 he went to Southbridge as agent of the Hamilton Woollen Company. He united with the Old South Church, in Boston, June 23, 1827, and was afterwards connected with the Church in Brimfield. In 1840 he gave $10,000 to Amherst College, and this was followed by other amounts until the aggregate reached $175,000. To Andover Theological Seminary his donations amounted to $120,000. To the town of Brimfield he gave $10,000, in 1855, to establish a free school, and subsequent donations increased this to $80,000, and it was called the Hitchcock Free High School. In 1871 he gave $50,000 to Illinois College. These are only samples of his munificence. His donations aggregated about $650,000. Mr. Hitchcock was withal a humble Christian, seeking no notoriety in the bestowal of his wealth. He died in Boston, November 23, 1873. See Cong. Quarterly, 1874, page 517.

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