|Rev. George Beckwith Hitchcock-Jan. 9,1812 to
The great, great, great grandfather of Rev. Hitchcock was
Matthias Hitchcock, who was born in England in 1606. Along with his wife,
Elizabeth Perry, and son, Eliakim, he came to America in 1635 on the bark
"Susan and Ellen."
David Hitchcock, Rev. Hitchcock's grandfather was born May
II, 1745, and was one of five children. He was an honest, industrious
shoemaker but a series of misfortunes reduced the family to the lowest state
of poverty. He
was determined that his eldest son, David Jr., should be educated, having
shown an early inclination to learn. When money and clothing permitted,
David Jr. attended school between his 5th and 12th year, at which age his
At the age 17, David Jr. was apprenticed to a shoemaker at
$1 a month plus board. At age 20, he moved to West Stockbridge,
Massachusetts to be employed as a shoemaker at $3.33 per month. He later
became a journeyman and at age 26 he married Sarah Swan. They had eleven
children of which George was the middle child. David Jr. authored three
religious books that are on microfilm at the New York Historical Library.
His last years were spent in Fairfield, Iowa, as a shoemaker and died there
The eldest of David Jr. children was Harvey Rexford
Hitchcock who became a missionary to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii). The
eldest daughter was a teacher and one of the youngest sons, Allen, graduated
from Yale Divinity School and organized and preached at a Congregational
Church in the Davenport area.
George Hitchcock's life seemed to be plagued by
illness. He was attending college at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Ill.
In 1835, at age 23, he was unable to continue due to illness, one of the
many recorded periods of incapacity.
He married Carolyn Grossman at Jacksonville in that same
year and began farming in Scott Co., Iowa. In 1841, he was pastor of a
church in Oskaloosa, Iowa, although his first commission from the Home
Missionary Society is dated Nov. 14, 1844. In 1847, he was a stone mason and
was preaching in both
Oskaloosa and Eddyville and while working in the quarry, a particle of stone
flew into one eye and destroyed his sight.