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John Morton Greene

John Morton Greene

John Morton Greene, Sophia Smith’s pastor, is generally regarded as the originator of the idea of founding Smith College as a college for women. Born in Hadley, Mass. on March 12, 1830, he was an 1853 graduate of Amherst College, which also granted him the A.M. in 1856 and D.D. in 1881. In 1857 he married Louisa Dickinson of North Amherst, an 1857 graduate of Mount Holyoke Seminary. In the same year, he was installed as the pastor at the Congregational church at Hatfield, where he remained for eleven years. In Hatfield he met Sophia Smith. In 1868 he was called to the pastorate at the Congregational Church at South Hadley, Mass. Two years later he went to the Eliot Congregational Church in Lowell, Mass., where he remained for thirty years. After retiring from regular pastoral duties in 1910, Greene assisted in the establishment of a mission in Maine. He died April 28, 1919.

John Morton Greene was a trustee of Smith College almost continuously from its founding in 1871 until his death in 1919. He served on the board of trustees of Mount Holyoke Seminary (now Mount Holyoke College), 1866-1875; and was president of the board of trustees at the French Protestant College in Springfield, 1885-1889. As advisor to Sophia Smith, he was also instrumental in the founding of Smith Academy in Hatfield, and acted in a similar capacity for Miss Rogers to found the Rogers Hall School in Lowell, where he acted as president of its board of trustees, 1892-1909. For over forty years he was one of the overseers of the charity fund at Amherst College.

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