Samuel D. McCullough was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1803.
McCullough attended Transylvania College, graduating in 1824.
For fourteen years he conducted a female academy, the Lexington Female Academy and thereafter renamed Lafayette Female Academy, honoring the visit of the Marquis de Lafayette to the school on January 25, 1825. The academy had been founded by former Vermont Secretary of State Josiah Dunham (1769-1844), who had previously been the principal of the Windsor Female Seminary from 1816 to 1821.
McCullough also consulted with Thomas Barlow, who created a planetarium in Lexington. McCullough noted:
Upon one or two occasions that venerable gentleman came to me for some information regarding the times and the inclinations of the axes of the interior [inferior?] planets. I candidly expressed some doubts to him about his ability to make machinery exhibit the motions of Mercury and the moon; so tedious to calculate even by figures. After finishing his planetarium, which I had watched with much interest during its progress, he invited me to see it work. The difficulties I and others had suggested, his indomitable genius and skill had triumphantly surmounted; and I stood, astonished, marvelling at the man's amazing mechanical powers.
Thereafter, he engaged in the manufacture and sale of mustard, having inherited a recipe from a relative, Nathan Burrowes.
The Editor's Note to SAMUEL D. McCULLOUGH'S REMINISCENCES OF LEXINGTON notes:
The late Samuel D. McCullough was Principal of a female academy on Market Street which he continued for 14 years. He was graduated (A. B. degree) at Transylvania University in 1824 and a few years after received the degree of A. M. For many years he conducted the manufacture of Burrows' world renowed Lexington Mustard. He was devoted to local history and antiquities, but his particular forte was astronomy.
McCullough's Almanacs, Map of the Heavens and Text Book on Astronomy had more than a local reputation. He became a member of the Masonic fraternity in 1824, and continued to be one of its most ardent supporters to the day of his death . . .