Stephen Salisbury III, 1835 - 1905



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Biography

Stephen Salisbury III was born in Worcester, Massachusetts and was the only son of the wealthy businessman Stephen Salisbury II. The younger Stephen graduated from Harvard College in 1856 and spent several years travelling in Europe and Asia before returning to complete his law degree in 1861. Salisbury's interest in archaeology was sparked during his first visit to the Yucatan Peninsula in 1862. He wrote several essays on South American archaeology for the Proceedings, including 'Dr. LePlongeon in Yucatan,' (1877) and 'Terra Cotta Figure from Isla Mujeres,' (1878). At his father's insistence, Salisbury purchased a substitute during the Civil War and stayed home to help manage the family's extensive holdings of property and businesses in Worcester County. Like his father, Stephen Salisbury III served one term in the Massachussetts Senate, was president of the Worcester National Bank, and directed the Worcester & Nashua Railroad. He was a trustee of the Worcester City Hospital and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.Salisbury's greatest achievement was his establishment in 1896 of the Worcester Art Museum. His financial generosity, as well as gifts of paintings and objects from his personal collection, contributed to the museum's prominence among art institutions in the region.