Minot Judson Savage was born on 10 June 1841 in Norridgewock, Maine. He grew up in conditions of poverty, frequent illness, and sporadic, poor schooling. His parents were attracted to the extreme emotionalism often found in revival settings, and at the age of thirteen Savage seems to have undergone a traumatic conversion experience. After finishing high school he taught in similar institutions for a few years before enrolling in Bangor Theological Seminary. Graduating in 1864, he was ordained into the Congregationalist ministry and sailed with his new bride to work as a home missionary in northern California. There he attracted public attention for his notably polished writings and urbane oratory. He returned east in 1867 to serve as pastor in Framingham, Massachusetts, and then in Hannibal, Missouri, where he quickly made the First Congregational Church the largest of that denomination in the state.
From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.