Dotha Bushnell Hillyer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dotha Bushnell Hillyer (1843 – 1932) was an American philanthropist.

The youngest daughter of Reverend Horace Bushnell and Mary Apthorpe, Dotha Bushnell was born in Hartford.[1][2] In 1879, she married Appleton Robbins Hillyer.[1]

With her husband, she helped establish the West Hartford Science Museum, now The Children's Museum, and the Hillyer YMCA building, and later Hillyer College at the University of Hartford.[3]

She also built the Horace Bushnell Memorial Hall, and later The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, in honor of her father. She saw the hall as a gathering place for the community. Hillyer had opened an investment account with $800,000 to finance the project; the account grew to $2.5 million. She was fortunate enough to withdraw the money just before Wall Street Crash of 1929. The hall opened in January 1930.[1][2]

Hillyer was too ill to attend the opening of the Horace Bushnell Memorial Hall in 1930 and died two years later.[1]

In 2003, she was inducted into the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Dotha Bushnell Hillyer". Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame.
  2. ^ a b Mangan, Gregg (2015). On This Day in Connecticut History. p. 19. ISBN 978-1625851956.
  3. ^ "Horace Bushnell Memorial Hall". Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame.