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Hill, Thomas

Born: 1818 AD
Died: 1891 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Administrators

1818 – Thomas Hill was born to Thomas Hill and his second wife, Henrietta (Barker) Hill on January 7th in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

1830 – A keen observer with a retentive memory, Hill was a constant and wide reader. He developed an early interest in botany, science, philosophy and mathematics. By the time he was twelve years old, Hill had read the works of Benjamin Franklin and Erasmus Darwin.

         – Hill served as an apprentice in a newspaper office.

1834 – He studied under his eldest brother at Lower Dublin Academy in Holmesburg, Pennsylvania.

1838 – Although he was interested in civil engineering, Hill became an apprentice to an apothecary, serving in this capacity.

         – Hill entered Harvard University.

1843 – He received his Bachelor of Arts degree. In college, Hill distinguished himself in mathematics and invented an instrument for calculating eclipses and occultations, for which he was awarded the Scott Medal from the Franklin Institute.

1845 – Hill received his divinity degree from the Harvard Divinity School and entered the ministry.

         – Hill served at the First Church of Waltham, Massachusetts.

1855 – Hill published "First Lessons in Geometry", a mathematical textbook.
1849 – He published "Geometry and Faith", a book describing the essence of Hill’s religious doctrine, and several papers on mathematics and astronomy for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
1857 – He wrote an article about astronomy for the new Appleton’s Encyclopedia.

1858 – A popular speaker, Hill gave the Phi Beta Kappa oration at Harvard University.

1859 – Presented a series of Lowell Institute lectures on The Mutual Relation of the Sciences. During his final years in Waltham, Hill served on the Waltham School Committee and was constantly encouraging and promoting new ideas and methods of instruction, including the introduction of phonetic spelling in the public schools.

         – Hill accepted the presidency of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Hill’s appointment was ill-timed, however, as the American Civil War forced the college to close.

1862-1868 – Thomas Hill was President of Harvard University. He was also a Unitarian minister, mathematician, scientist, educator, and Harvard University lecturer.

1869 – After the death of his wife Lucy, Hill spent a year resting and traveling.

1871 – He was elected to the Massachusetts state legislature from Waltham and served for one year.

1872 – Hill sailed with his friend Louis Agassiz on an expedition to South America.

1873 – Returning to the ministry, Hill accepted a position at the First Church in Portland, Maine. For the next eighteen years, Hill was happy spending his time preaching, writing, lecturing, and pursuing scientific and educational experiments.

1891 – Hill became ill, suffered for several months, and died in Waltham, Massachusetts.