Biography of John Freeman Hillyer

HILLYER, John Freeman, clergyman and educator, was born in Wilkes county, Ga., May 25, 1805; son of Shaler and Rebecca (Freeman) Hillyer. His father was a native of Granby, Conn. He was graduated at Franklin college, Athens, Ga., A.B., 1825, A.M., 1828, and at the Georgia Medical college in 1826. He became a Baptist minister in 1827. He was a professor at Mercer institute, Penfield, Ga. (raised in 1837 to a university), 1835-39; a preacher and teacher at Eatonton, Ga., 1839-47; pastor of the Galveston, Texas, Baptist church, 1847-48; founder of Gonzales college, 1852, and its president, 1852-56; and was professor of mathematics and natural philosophy in Baylor university, 1860-65. He was chaplain of the Texas house of representatives during two sessions; preached for over sixty years, and helped to organize the Georgia, the Southern, and the Texas Baptist conventions. He received the degree of LL.D. from Baylor university. He died at Belton, Texas, Dec. 12, 1893.

The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Volume X. Rossiter Johnson, ed., Boston: The Biographical Society, 1904.

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