John Grier Hibben was born on 19 April 1861 in Peoria, Illinois. His father Samuel was a Presbyterian minister, who volunteered for service in the Union Army during the Civil War and died of a fever in 1862. His mother, Elizabeth Grier, emphasized education in Hibben's childhood, and in 1882 he graduated with his BA from Princeton University as the class president and class valedictorian. Hibben then studied philosophy at the University of Berlin for one year, after which he returned to Princeton to earn the MA at the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1885. For six years he was an ordained Presbyterian minister in St. Louis and Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.