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Obituaries (1864-65) in the 1866 Register
Rev. Francis E. Hicks, died in Lowell, Mass., April 23, 1865, aged 34 years. We regret that we have been unable to gather many particulars of the life of this minister, whose great excellence of character, and whose devotion, from principle, to the sacred calling, entitle his memory to honorable mention. He came to Lowell, in July, from Potsdam, N. Y., and commenced the first Sunday of next month his labors as pastor of the Second Universalist Society. His brief pastorate in Lowell was successful in the essential matters of Christian work. He formed a wide circle of acquaintance, warmly attached himself to numerous personal friends, and secured the confidence and cooperation of the Society. The congregation gradually increased; the Sunday School improved, both in attendance and interest; and he organized a Bible Class, to which he gave his personal attention as a teacher. The funeral of Mr. Hicks was largely attended, the services being held in the Second Church. Besides the parish, many citizens showed, by their presence, that they felt that the city had lost a useful member of the community. The city clergy testified to their appreciation of the professional worth of our departed brother. A body of Masons were present, and joined in the throng of the mourners, bearing to their last resting-place his mortal remains. The church was draped in mourning, and impressive Scriptural mottoes, expressive of the sorrow of the people, were arranged upon the walls. In the death of this worthy man, a promising minister was stricken down in his early prime. The denomination has lost an earnest Christian teacher, and the country a noble and useful citizen.
Rev. William S. Ballou died, in Princeton, Ill., on the 30th of August, 1865, aged 56 years. Of the three brothers who have honored the Christian ministry-Hosea 2d, Levi, and William, all now deceased-William was the youngest; and all were the sons of Asahel Ballou, nephew of Hosea Ballou. We condense the particulars of William S. Ballou's history from an article contributed to the "Gospel Banner" by Rev. O. Perkins:-
He was settled six years, in the early part of his ministry, in Hartland, Vt., afterwards several years in West Brattleboro', Strafford, and Springfield, Vt., and in Cheshire, Mass. He was much interested in the educational enterprises of a few years, having been mainly instrumental in establishing Melrose Academy, in West Brattleboro', and, we think, after his removal to Illinois, he labored quite extensively for the interest of Lombard University. He was a very able preacher, and a very upright, honorable man, worthy of his relationship to his two brothers of the same profession. Whoever listened to his preaching had the privilege of hearing the discussion of important themes in reasoning concise and clear, and whoso was not instructed by his treatment of a subject was either very wise or greatly otherwise. He felt deep interest in the purity and the prosperity of the denomination to whose interests a large part of his life and labors were devoted, and desired that its foundations should be firmly laid on Christ, the Rock of ages, and always there abide. His health was far from being firm much of the time; and, after he went West, he became a large landowner, and was extensively engaged in agricultural pursuits, continuing to preach, however, some portion of the time. Like his two brothers, William was naturally modest and retiring. He valued the purity and reputation of the Universalist ministry, and nothing grieved him more than to learn of the defection of a brother minister from the principles which he revered and loved. He leaves no family, having never married; but, wherever he has been well known, are hosts of friends to rise up and call him blessed, and to deplore their loss in his decease.
Rev. Stillman Barden died, in Rockport, Mass., August 7 1865, at the age of 53 years. He was born in Stoddart, N.H. He commenced his ministry in 1839, and labored with but little cessation for twenty-six years. Most of his ministry was in Massachusetts. He was settled as a pastor in South Reading, Orleans, Beverly, Marblehead, and Rockport. In every community where he labored, he won friends by the earnestness of his zeal, the purity of his motives, the high moral aim of all his labors. He possessed a moral courage, a love of the truth, and a regard for the best interests of Universalism, which led him to rebuke error faithfully, yet, at the same time, in a way to convince and profit. His whole ministerial life-his whole domestic and social life-has been a life of Christian fidelity and zeal. Not preaching to large congregations of people, never receiving a large salary, he was nevertheless, truly successful in securing the best results of the ministry. There was no envy or jealousy mingled with his spirit. He sought and loved that close intimacy, that true and full confidence, that true and disinterested friendship, which only the true and the good can know and appreciate. He was sensitive; only, however, as he saw, or thought he saw, a lack in the true Christian spirit of love on the part of those who make the Christian profession. His Universalism was intensely practical. He was active in the cause of temperance, and did not consult his ease, or even his health, if any opportunity presented itself for suppressing the sale of intoxicating liquors, and the removing of temptation from the weak. He was the friend of the slave; the anti-slavery cause had not a well-wisher more ardent or more conscientious. He was very devotional in his spirit. He loved the Conference meeting, and was always ready with a. warm and suggestive word to give it effect. He was very denominational; but, yet, not a narrow sectarian.
During Mr. Barden's residence in Rockport, says a secular journal, he "took a very active part in public affairs, and in the welfare of the public schools he took a deep interest. In the science of mineralogy he was much interested, and had gathered quite a large and valuable cabinet of choice specimens." While in Marblehead, he became noted for his interest in natural science; if we mistake not, he occasionally lectured on some of its topics.
His last preaching was in the March before his death, his failing health rendering it necessary that he should give up preaching. His friends hoped that a temporary suspension from labor might prove beneficial, and he be enabled to resume his duties as a pastor; but his disease was too deeply seated, and he gradually failed until death came to his relief. He died triumphantly, bearing testimony to the power of the faith he had so earnestly preached, retaining full consciousness to the last, and making all the necessary arrangements for his funeral. His end, as had been his whole life, was peaceful and quiet. To the brethren of the ministry who called upon him a short time before his death, he said, "It will be sweet to die." In view of death and eternity, he said, "All is beautiful." On occasion of his funeral, the following beautiful hymn was sung, in accordance with the request made by Mr. Barden, previous to his death:-
We are waiting by the river,
Hon. Darwin J. Daniels died, in Manchester, N.H. August 12, 1865, at the age of 50 years. He had long occupied a high position among the laymen who have done much for Christian Universalism in New Hampshire. He was a religious man. He saw and felt the relations of all his life to God, and the practical duties these devolved upon him. In the infancy of Universalism in Manchester, he was its friend, and wag such to the day of his death. When a young man, of comparatively little means or influence, he bestowed upon it according to his possessions, and, as these increased, so did his contributions. Upon its altar he has liberally laid his labor, time, money, good counsel, a spotless life, and a. triumphant death. For the last thirty years he has been a resident of New Hampshire, and during all but seven of those years, of Manchester. He has been known in that city as school teacher, merchant, treasurer, and financial manager of extensive manufacturing corporations, treasurer of the Manchester and Lawrence Railroad, member of the Legislature, and Mayor of the city. To all of those positions he brought rare ability, fidelity, devotion, and in which he was eminently successful, proving himself both a wise and good man. He possessed a remarkably quick and clear perception of the facts and principles upon which success in business and office depends. But to this were added the affectionate heart, fine taste, and sensitive conscience, which made him an honest man,-honorable in all things; a Christian gentleman, a faithful friend, and devoted father and husband. And, withal, he was so modest and unpretending that places of honor and trust were never sought, but imposed upon him. So, while honored as the representative of these positions, he was most loved for himself. .
Rev. Shaler J. Hillyer died, in North Salem, Westchester County, New York, at the age of 68 years. His venerable years, his great fidelity as a Christian minister, and the esteem in which he was held by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance, have justly made the circumstances of his life and labors prominent in the columns of our denominational press. The Editor of the "New York Ambassador," who knew him intimately, gave at the time of his decease a sketch of his life and character, from which we extract the following:-
"Mr. Hillyer was a native of Connecticut, and was brought up in the orthodoxy of that State, as it existed half a century or more ago. We first made his acquaintance in Newark, N.J., in the winter of 1830-31. He was residing there, and engaged in teaching a private school. He had already become an earnest and intelligent believer in the doctrine of God's impartial grace, and the final salvation of the whole human family. In the spring of 1831, he removed to this city, and conducted a private school in connection with the Grand Street Universalist Society, afterwards so widely known as the Orchard Street Church. Here he became a Superintendent of our Sunday School, the first, or certainly the second, organized in the denomination in the State of New York. In the autumn of 1831, Mr. Hillyer began to preach the doctrine which he so much loved, and toward the ministry of which he had for a long time been directing his thoughts and his prayers. He was successful; and, after laboring as opportunity offered for some time in different places, and performing much missionary work through this part of the State and New Jersey, he received and accepted an invitation to become pastor of the North Salem and Long Ridge Societies, in 1834. And here for more than thirty years he continued to live and labor, surrounded, by friends, and loved and respected by all who knew him, till death terminated the relation.
"Mr. Hillyer maintained through life an unspotted reputation. If a breath of calumny, under the influence of religious prejudice, was ever breathed upon his moral character, it was instantly reflected without sullying his fair name. His conscience was enlightened and tender; we never knew a man more scrupulously honest and truthful, or more careful to do nothing that could injure anyone, or give just cause of offence. He adopted literally the exhortation of the apostle to 'avoid all appearance of evil.' Mr. Hillyer was a clear and logical thinker, and his reasonings often assumed much the character of mathematical demonstration. His talents were of the solid rather than of the superficial order, and his worth and influence partook largely of the same character. Long will he be remembered as 'a good minister of Jesus Christ.' Long will his many virtues be cherished by a large circle of attached friends; and long will his benign influence be felt wherever he was known."
Rev. Cyrus F. Wait, died at Woodstock, 0., September 2, 1865, aged 49 years.
He was born at Grand Isle, Vermont, 1816. Some three years subsequent to his birth, his parents emigrated with their family to Ohio, and settled in an almost unbroken wilderness, near where the village of Irwin, in Union County, is now located. Of necessity his early opportunities for learning were very limited, being confined to common schools; but possessed of a mind naturally keen and active, he surmounted every obstacle, changing them from stumbling-blocks, that would impede his progress, to stepping-stones to higher and still higher attainments. He was a self-made man. Becoming a convert to Universalism, he prepared himself for the ministry, and received a letter of fellowship as a clergyman from the Winchester Association of Universalists at Mechanicsburg, O., June 4, 1843. The following year, the solemn and impressive rite of ordination was conferred upon him by the same body. He preached his first sermon at Woodstock, where he continued to reside until the time of his decease, with the exception of one year spent at Fairfield, Indianapolis. He was a. zealous and industrious laborer in the vineyard of the Master. Woodstock, Irwin, Pleasant Valley, Newton, Pharisburg, Plattsburg, Miami City, Reynoldsburg, and New Madison, O. and Fairfield, the Bake and Miller settlement, Indianapolis, may be reckoned as places that have enjoyed his stated ministrations for a longer or shorter period, besides numerous others where he occasionally broke the bread of life to listening multitudes. He was very frequently sent for, far and near, to officiate on funeral occasions, and was distinguished for his marked ability to minister consolation to the afflicted.
He was by his own townsmen elevated to stations of honor and trust. He was a worthy member of the ancient and honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons. He was also a member of the I.O.O.F. and for several terms presided as Noble Grand, over the Lodge, at the place of his residence.
During his sickness-which was a complication of diseases, defying medical treatment-his mind was clear and buoyant, enabling him to bear his affliction with resignation and Christian fortitude. True, he desired, if such was the will of God, to remain for the sake of his dear wife and children, whom he was called to leave, yet he freely confessed that He doeth all things well. And with an unwavering faith in the glorious Gospel he had so fully preached to others, he passed from earth, happy in a Saviour's love. The funeral was attended on the second day after his decease; a large concourse of mourning friends were present to whom a discourse was delivered by the Rev. S. P. Carlton, whose history of Mr. Wait, published in the Star in the West, we have freely used in his biographical sketch. The funeral discourse was from the text, " But go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."
Rev. Levi Ballou died October 27, 1865, aged 59 years.
He was born in Halifax, Vt. He studied Theology with his brother William S. while the latter was settled in Hartland, Vt. He was settled in Orange, Mass. in 1843. He was twice married, first to Miss Chase of Guilford, Vt., a sister of the wives of Revs. Edwin Davis and William N. Barber, and second to Miss Goodale, of Orange, who survives him. He was a kind, devoted husband, an affectionate and faithful father, and in all of his relations a genuine Christian gentleman. His funeral was attended on Sunday October 29, at the church in North Orange, in which his voice had been so often heard,-where it is sad to think it will be heard no more.
"We were acquainted with him," says Rev. O. Perkins. in the Gospel Banner, "for the last fifteen years, and we never knew a more pure minded, upright man than he. He was possessed of a very kindly disposition and charitable spirit. One could not know him long and well without revering him for his manly, Christian qualities of mind and heart. Many of the better aspects of human nature were illustrated by his character and life. Ho cherished a very deep, affectionate regard for the flock with which he had been so long connected, and his prayers for their spiritual welfare were fervent and sincere. He served as Superintending School Committee in the town of Orange many years, in which capacity he exerted a most salutary influence in the intellectual and moral character of the rising generation. Several of his early years were passed in teaching, and he did not commence his labors in the ministry so early as did his brothers. It was we believe, his last public act to take part in the re-dedication of the Church in Orange, in which he had preached nineteen years of the best part of his life."
Rev. Moses McFarland, died at Montville, Maine, November 1, 1865, at the venerable age of 83 years.
We gather the following interesting facts in the life of this excellent man, from a communication, furnished by Rev. W. A.. Drew, for the Gospel Banner, which facts we give in the writer's own words:-
"Mr. McFarland was born in Bristol, Maine, in 1782. He was also married in that town. At the age of sixteen he experienced religion under the preaching of Elder Randall, the founder of the F.W. [Freewill] Baptist denomination in the same State. On attaining his maturity, he shouldered his pack, and directing his course by spotted trees, made his way into the interior region in what is now Montville, selected a lot, felled his trees, built a log house, returned home, married, took his chosen companion to their wilderness home, and commenced to make a farm. It was here that he was called to the ministry; but friends desiring him to be out on some public road where he could be more accessible, he sold that place and purchased land on the Kennebec and Belfast road, then just opened, at a place now known as McFarland's Comer, where there is a pleasant little village. This was some fifty years ago. There he built a house (the one in which he died), carried on his farming operations, and went forth to preach the gospel, wherever a door of utterance was opened to him in all that new country from Penobscot to Kennebec River. He never received a salary or a stated compensation. In 1826 his spiritual vision was enlarged, and he saw a fullness in Christ for the salvation of all mankind. At one of the F.W. Baptist Conferences he preached his sentiments plainly. A Committee was appointed to decide whether his doctrine was not Universalism. It was decided by a unanimous vote that it was; but the Conference took no ground against him on that account. They loved the man, knew him to be a Christian, and could not disfellowship him. Subsequently, he applied for membership in our Convention, and was admitted. This was forty years ago, save one, during all which time be has been a true and devoted friend to our cause, illustrating his profession by 'a well-ordered life and conversation.'
"He was a man of great meekness of temper and kindness of heart. He was mighty in the Scriptures, and, unlike some modem preachers, always had a 'thus saith the Lord' in proof of his doctrine. He went where the Scriptures led, but did not choose to be wise as to the future condition of human souls, beyond what God had seen fit to reveal in his holy Word. Well would it be for our cause if such an example could be followed.
"Perhaps what gave him such popularity amongst even the enemies of our faith, was his wonderful charity and good will to all who differed from him. He loved no one the less because he did not believe as he did. He never threw stones at any one. The law of retaliation was not in his heart. For cursing he returned blessing. When reviled he reviled not again. If a person struck him on one cheek, he turned the other also. If people said hard things of him or his doctrine, he forgave them. In all this he studiously adopted the rules of Christian discipleship laid down by the Master. I do not believe he had. an enemy on earth. I never heard any person speak reproachfully of him.
"In person, he was the most apostolical looking man I ever saw. Tall, erect, with silvery white long hair flowing over his shoulders or hanging by the side of a face remarkable for its mild, pleasant, loving gravity, he made a figure that might have been set advantageously in a picture with the beloved St. John in his old age at Jerusalem. But the good old man has gone. He wished to go, and his prayer was that he might have patience to wait God's time. That time came at last, and he passed away calmly, breathing his spirit into the hands of Him who gave it."
Rev. Lafayette Barstow died in Orono, Me., Nov. 10, 1865, at the age of 43 years. In the sudden decease of this devoted Christian minister, the community in which he had labored seven years, and the denomination of Universalists, suffered a loss which, under the circumstances, was realized in a peculiarly painful degree. The first we learn in the history of Mr. Barstow, is his youthful career in Chicopee, Mass. While young in years, he was mature in character. A Universalist by profession and also in his daily demeanor, he won the confidence and respect of the brethren in Chicopee, with whom he was united in the Church relationship.
In 1850 he went to Oregon, remaining in that far-off country several years. But absence from his youthful home did not weaken his attachment to the faith; for it was in Oregon that he felt the call to consecrate his life to the ministry which he honored in subsequent years. Returning from the West, he entered Tufts College. From the College he was called to the pastorship of the Universalist Society in Orono, Me.; and in this relation he labored with zeal, diligence, and success for eight years, closing his only pastorate with his life in the flesh. His praise was in all the churches of Orono, without distinction of sect; and on the day of his funeral, all the houses of worship-save the Universalist, in which the services were held-were closed. Ex Governor Washbnrn, for several years one of Mr. Barstow's parishioners, wrote, in regard to his death, and the loss to the Orono Society, and to the denomination, as follows:-
"We have always felt, but now feel more deeply than ever, how good a man our Br. Barstow was. The parish at Orono, our denomination at large, and the people of Orono, will realize that a true, earnest, devoted man has fallen. In the community where he lived his place will not be easily supplied. He had become, as it were, an integral part of the life of Orono. His well-known form will be missed upon the street, the light of his genial face, radiant with spiritual beauty, will be a joy in its homes no more, but his memory will be sweet and precious to all, of whatever religious name or party, who have known him intimately. Let him sleep in the cemetery of Orono, or at Mt. Hope, and among his people whom he loved so tenderly and served so faithfully; and where the turf which covers all of him that was mortal may be moistened with their tears; and let the people of his charge and his Sunday School unite in erecting a suitable monument over his ashes, in commemoration of one of the most faithful of pastors, devoted of superintendents, and sincere of men."
Hon. J. C. Churchill,-a pioneer of Universalism in Portland, Me., and ever one of its staunch supporters, died in that city, Nov. 20, 1865, at the ripe age of 78 years. We give the following particulars in the life of this Christian Universalist, in the words of the Rev. W. A. Drew, printed in the Gospel Banner.
Mr. Churchill was born in Newmarket, N.H., April 24, 1787. He commenced his career of manhood as a sea-captain; but e'er long resigned that severe profession, and engaged in mercantile pursuits in Portland, doing business chiefly by importations from the West Indies, where he owned and carried on sugar plantations. By this trade he became wealthy. In 1824-1826 he was elected a State Senator by the County of Cumberland, and was regarded as the guide of the Senate in all commercial matters. In 1828, he was chosen presidential elector (the Star in the East), and also in 1832. In 1843 he was run as the Whig candidate for Congress, but his party being in a minority at the time, he failed of an election. In 1844 he was chosen Mayor of Portland, which office he filled with great honor to himself and satisfaction to the people. Leaving the mayoralty office, he retired to private life, and engaged largely in Fire and Marine Insurance business; he was also for years the efficient President of the "Portland Company," the largest manufacturing concern in the city.
He was one of the five Committee who built the first Universalist Church, yet standing on Pearl St. This was in 1821. That, ever after, was his religious home, where he worshipped God as the Father and Saviour of all men. When the Society built and moved into its new house on Congress Square, the old Church was advertised and sold at auction. Capt. Churchill was present and bid it off for $8,500. Soon a new Society was organized to continue Universalist worship in it. He could not bear the thought that that house should pass into other than Universalist hands or be used for other purposes than Universalist worship. He lived long enough to see the Society well established, and a Pastor settled.
He lived a Christian life, and died the Christian death. As a citizen, in intercourse with his fellow men, the distinctive trait of his character was personal integrity. His word was as good as his bond. At one time, in his business life, his liabilities on the paper of other men involved him to the amount of over fifty thousand dollars. With a promptness of honor that few men would have evinced, he willingly sacrificed all he had, even to the selling of his gold watch, to redeem his liabilities, from which he happily recovered, because he was an honest man. Another incident illustrating his character for integrity was related by ex-Governor Washburn. It seems he had obliged a neighbor in business by indorsing a note for $3,000. This fell into the hands of Gen. S. Fessenden, for collection. The principal had failed, and owing to some oversight, Gen. F. had neglected to serve the timely notice on Capt. Churchill, which, in fact, released him from his legal liability. Gen. F. called on Capt. C., and stated to him the misfortune of his neglect, and assured him that he was no longer holden in law to pay it. "What!" said Capt. Churchill, "does Gen. Fessenden suppose I would take any advantage of his neglect? No sir; when I indorsed that note I meant to be responsible for my signature, and shall see that the note is fully cancelled." He advanced the $3,000 out of his own pocket, and hold Gen. F. harmless. Such integrity is quite uncommon in the world. Probably not one business man in a hundred but would have taken advantage of his legal release. Not so with this honest man. Well did the poet say:-
"An honest man's the noblest work of God."
Rev. Joseph Sargent, Chaplain 13th Regt. V.V.M., died of typhoid fever, at Camp Carusi, near Occoquan. Va., April 20, 1863, aged 46 years.
He was born in Warner, N.H. Nothing is known by us of his early life. He prepared for the ministry with Rev. S.A. Davis, and preached first in Sullivan or Cheshire County, in his native State. His first settlement in Vermont, his adopted State, was at Barnard where he preached two or three years. Thence he moved to Barre, where he was constantly employed eight years. By his untiring efforts, the Society was enabled to build the substantial church edifice in which it now worships, the erection of which in a favorable locality probably saved the Society from decay. While in Barre, Mr. Sargent took a leading part in many of the social enterprises of the place, laboring for the cause of education, being chiefly instrumental in forming a town Library Association, and twice representing the place in the lower branch of the State Legislature. He was next engaged as State Missionary, one year, in which capacity he was very successful. He then removed to Plainfield, and took charge of the Universalist Society in that town two years. Desiring better opportunities to educate his children. he moved to Williston, where, after two years service as Pastor of the Universalist Societies in Williston and Essex, he was chosen, in the autumn of 1862, Chaplain of the 18th Regt., V.V.M. Having a kind, sympathetic heart, and great facility in ministering to the sick, with an inexhaustible fund of mirth, he was very useful to the soldiers, who loved him with passionate fondness. He left a wife and four children,-one of whom, the oldest, a young lady of great worth, has since joined him in the better life. Devoted friends, wherever he was known, cherish his memory with deep affection.
Rev. Amos Hitchings, familiarly known in Maine and New Brunswick as "Father Hitchings," died very suddenly at his residence in Minot, Me. in June last. He was formerly a Methodist, but attaining to clearer views of the Divine goodness, and the universality of the atonement through Christ, he commenced preaching Universalism, in the British Provinces, where he then resided. His home was in St. David's, N.B., and his earnest labors were instrumental of much good in the vicinity. Some years ago he removed to Maine, and was successively settled in West Waterville, North Auburn, and West Minot, laboring with the Societies in those places, and doing, besides, much missionary work in neighboring towns. He was a man who worked with all his heart, there being but very few who excelled him in his desire to reach the hearts of his hearers, and make them devout and Godlike Christians. He will long be remembered by many who, through his instrumentality, attained to higher and clearer views of their relation to spiritual realities. His salary had always been small, and, during the last few months of his life he had devoted himself mainly to secular business, for the better support of his family, but not losing at all his interest in religious things. His age was about 55.
Dean Clapp, of Peru, Huron County, Ohio, departed this life Dec. 14, 1865. The deceased was born Jan. 10, 1805, in Barnard, Windsor Co., Vt.; came to Peru in 1830, and settled upon the farm which he owned and occupied at the time of his death. He was a life-long Universalist. It was the faith taught to him in his childhood, and from it he never swerved. He became a member of the First Universalist Church of Peru, at its organization in 1838, and remained in its fellowship while he lived, a worthy and active member. He always felt a warm interest in the prosperity of our cause; was several times in attendance at our General Convention, and was chosen Vice-President of that body at its session in New York in 1861.