Isaac Grier (1763-1814)

Isaac Grier was born in Franklin County, Pennsylvania in 1763 to Thomas and Martha Grier. For his preparatory education, Grier attended the classical school in Chambersburg and was taught by James Ross. From there, Grier went to Dickinson College to study theology under Charles Nisbet. He was among the founders of the Belles Lettres Literary Society, and graduated with the College's second class in 1788.

On December 21, 1791, Grier was licensed by the Presbytery in Carlisle. His following appointments led him to preach throughout mid- and northern-PA, even into parts of New York. Grier was ordained in Carlisle and installed as a pastor in April 1794. In 1802 he took charge of a classical school to supplement his income while continuing to preach. He moved to the united churches of Sunbury and Northumberland Pennsylvania in 1806, and again headed a classical school. He served here until his death from dyspepsia on August 23, 1814.

In June 1793 Grier married Elizabeth Cooper, the daughter of Rev. Dr. Robert Cooper. The most famous of their 11 children was the eldest, Robert Cooper Grier. Like his father, he attended Dickinson College, graduating in 1812. He taught for a few years at the Dickinson Grammar School, and then took charge of the academy in Northumberland following his father's death. He pursued law, being admitted to the bar in 1817. He rose through the legal ranks and ultimately served as a United States Supreme Court justice from 1833 to 1870.

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Dickinson College Archives
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