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Obituaries (1880-81) in the 1882 Register
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Rev. Joseph Dexter Pierce, the youngest son of John and Mercy (Merrill) Pierce, was born in North Scituate, Mass., Nov. 15, 1815, and died of typhoid pneumonia, after a sickness of one week, in North Attleboro', Nov. 16, 1880. By the death of his father, Mr. Pierce was left in early youth to the care and guidance of his mother, a woman of great strength of character and an affectionate nature, from whom he had inherited an innate refinement which distinguished every act of his life. In later years pulpit utterances abundantly evidenced his appreciation of the mother's fidelity in the training of her son.
During his minority, Mr. Pierce's educational advantages were limited to the public schools. He was apprenticed to a carpenter at Hingham, and only after the expiration of his term of service was he able to obtain better instruction. Soon after his majority, he entered the Derby Academy in Hingham. He taught in the public schools, devoting his leisure to reading and study, and from his own exertions obtained a good academic education.
Mr. Pierce's character and inclinations led him naturally to the Christian ministry as a profession, and, after a few years spent in teaching, he began his preparatory studies with Hosea Ballou, 2d, in Medford. His first sermon was preached in East Boston, Nov. 10, 1839. He then supplied the pulpits in South Dedham and East Boston for a year, and was ordained in 1841. He was first settled at Hartland, Vt., where he also taught school, remaining until May 11, 1845, when he was called to North Attleboro'. After a pastorate here of one year, failing health induced him to abandon regular preaching and engage in teaching. He became Principal of the Attleboro' Academy, but continued to some extent his pastora1 work, and occasionally supplied at West Wrentham. In 1850, he accepted a call from the parish in Claremont, N.H., where he preached, teaching school also most of the time, for five years. By a unanimous invitation from the parish in North Att1eboro', he was again settled there in June, 1855, and continued its pastor, actively engaged in the work of the ministry, during the continuous term of more than twenty-five years, and until his death.
For more than thirty years of manhood he lived in North Attleboro'. His 1ong pastorate there indicates the appreciation of his ministration by his parishioners. He was a patient, loving, hard-working pastor, giving his best exertions for the people of his charge. His great modesty prevented him from sounding his works abroad, but here, as everywhere, they were abundantly fruitful. The two parishes in Attleboro' owe their best characteristics, if not their existence, to him. An untiring student, and logical in thought and method, he was an effective preacher. He felt, as he expressed it, that he had a natural gift for preaching, yet he never sought for oratorical display or for controversy, but to educate the people into ways of right thinking, that their opinions and faith might constantly influence them to right living. He chose rather to win men than their applause. Believing in conversion as a process, he attached great importance to the Sunday school as an adjunct to the church, and worked incessantly for its growth and improvement.
His convictions of duty would not permit him to confine his labors to those of his own parish or faith, or even to the Christian Church, and he early became interested in the education of the young. Besides the years devoted to teaching, wherever he went, he showed his regard for our common schools as a concomitant in the propagation of Christian civilization. He was a member of the school committee in Claremont during his residence there, and discharged the duties of his office with such marked ability and benefit to the schools, that, upon hearing of his proposed return to Attleboro', a deacon of the Baptist church said, "We cannot get along without him." For nearly twenty years he held a similar position in the board of North Attleboro', of which he was chairman at the time of his death. In his report for 1857, he says, "The specific object of the district school is the cultivation of the intellect; but it is also the duty of those who are entrusted with the public education of the. young, to watch the development of their moral natures, to guard them so far as may be practicable against the contagion of evil, to impress righteous principles upon their minds and hearts; in fine, to inspire them with reverence for God and good will to his children. It richly deserves the fostering care of the patriot, the generous support of the philanthropist, and the fervent prayer of the Christian."
Mr. Pierce was the representative of the town of Attleboro' in the Legislature of Mass. for 1868, and served his constituents with credit. His heart and hand were given to every good work. He was feeble in health and endured much physical suffering. He once said he had not known a waking hour free from pain for fifteen years; yet his unsubdued spirit sustained him through a life of unremitting toil for the advancement of the cause he loved, and he died in the full possession of the powers for which he was eminent, esteemed and lamented by an entire community.
On Nov. 30, 1858, Mr. Pierce married Miss Martha S. Price, of Attleboro'. She and their four daughters survive him.
Rev. Bushnel F. Hitchcock, the youngest child of Jesse and Marcy (Walker) Hitchcock, was born at Whitehall, N. Y., Oct. 5, 1813, and died of cancerous humor in the stomach, at Conneautville, Pa., Dec. 5, 1880.
Mr. Hitchcock studied with Rev. Mr. Davis of Akron, Ohio, preached his first sermon at Sharon, in August, 1840, was married to Aurelia M. Ball at Columbus, April 23, 1841, and moved to Greene, Pa., soon after. He received a letter of fellowship from the Lake Erie Association at Greene in June, 1841, and was ordained at Sparta, June 9, 1842. He began his ministry in the fall of 1841, at Greene and Millcreek, where he preached one year. In Dec., 1842, he moved to Conneautville, where he resided until his death, a living testimony to the faith he professed, and esteemed by all who knew him.
As a pastor and preacher, Mr. Hitchcock was successful; but after a pastorate of many years, the care of an invalid wife, with his own failing health, induced him to abandon a regular ministration at Conneautville and devote himself to preaching in neighboring towns, where he did all in his power to advance the cause of truth. This itinerancy gave him a large acquaintance, and his genial, kindly ways made friends of all.
During two-thirds of a century Mr. Hitchcock's health was never good; he was often prostrated by severe sickness, and for more than a year was confined to his house, conscious that his end was approaching, and hoping each succeeding day might be his last. His sufferings were constant and often extreme, but he maintained his cheerfulness to the end, and died in the full assurance of a better life beyond the grave, leaving a wife and one daughter to mourn his loss.
Rev. Moses Goodrich, the son of Moses Goodrich, was born in the City of New York, Oct. 24, 1817, and died at Anoka, Minn., Dec. 18, 1880.
Upon the death of his father, in 1825, his mother was left with eight children and without means, and Moses was taken in 1827 to Stockbridge, Mass., where he received the careful training of a New-England home in the family of his uncle, and a common school education. At the age of seventeen, he was sent to New York and was received into the family of his oldest brother, by whom he was employed for two years. In the Spring of 1836, through the aid of Cyrus W. Field, a Stockbridge schoolmate, he obtained a position in the store of A. T. Stewart, where he spent the next five years. He was a regular church-goer, sometimes with the Presbyterians, but more often with the Methodists, during the first year. He had never heard of Universalism until 1835, when he was induced by an acquaintance to attend a discussion in the church of the Second Society, Orchard Street, between the pastor, Rev. T. J. Sawyer, and a Limitarian preacher named Slocum. He perceived that Mr. Sawyer had the advantage in the argument, but his prejudices were too strong to admit his conclusions. After eighteen months, in which he heard the subject much discussed, he was brought to a personal examination of Scripture evidences, and after much diligent and prayerful study and reflection, he was convinced of his former error, and joyfully accepted the better faith. He became a member of the choir, the Sunday school, and the church in Orchard Street and thenceforth found his greatest pleasure in advancing the cause of God's universal and efficient grace.
At the end of his clerkship, while considering a project for going into business, he asked the advice of his pastor with whom he was intimate, and at the suggestion of Dr. Sawyer, abandoned his previous plans and determined to enter the ministry. After seventeen months preparatory study, he entered the New York University in Sept., 1842, upon a free scholarship, as sent by the Second Universalist Society. His books were presented by G. L. Demarest, D.D., then a member of the Orchard Street Church.
After graduating from college, in 1846, Dr. J. Smith Dodge, Sr., volunteered a loan of one hundred dollars a year, for three years, to Mr. Goodrich, and he began to study Divinity under the instruction of Dr. Sawyer, then Principal of the Clinton Liberal Institute, in the class with B. F. Bowles, G. H. Deere, C. H. Leonard, C. R. Moor, Bernard Peters, Nelson Snell and others.
After nearly three years at Clinton, Mr. Goodrich accepted a call to Concord, Mass., and was pastor of the church there until March, 1851, when failing health compelled him to resign his charge. His next settlement was at Eddington, Me., and while there he married Miss Nancy Downs, of Chelsea, Mass., in Sept., 1851. In June, 1854, he accepted a call of the society in Kenduskeag, where he remained two years. In 1855 he made an extended missionary tour through Aroostook Co., involving great labor and sacrifice, but yielding abundant fruits in that wilderness. He removed with his family, in 1856, to Minnesota, and in 1857 occupied a homestead in the Big-woods on Silver Creek, Wright Co., where by hard work he started a farm. In 1862, the Indian troubles necessitated the removal of his family to a place of greater safety, but he remained until 1863, when he sold his farm, and joining his family, moved to Richfield. In 1864, he bought a farm near Anoka, on which he lived three years, during the last preaching part of the time at Anoka. In 1867, he was invited to lead a movement to build a church, and removed to Anoka, where he resided until his death. As the result of his undertaking, a beautiful church edifice was erected there in 1872, and remains a fitting monument of his life and labors.
During the last ten years he was County Superintendent of Schools, and this work, added to his pastoral duties, required an excess of mental labor, which in 1874 induced a disease of the brain, attended by nervous prostration, from which he never fully recovered. The last months of his life were full of suffering, but he bore it without a murmur, preserving to the end the patient, trusting, genial spirit which through life endeared him to his friends. A widow and three children mourn the loss of a Christian gentleman, husband and father.
Rev. John Mather Austin, the son of Benjamin Austin, on the side of his mother, Jerusha (Mather) Austin, descended from the family celebrated in early colonial times, of which Cotton Mather is best known to history. He was born in Redfield, Oswego Co., N. Y., Sept. 26, 1805, and died in Rochester, Dec. 20, 1880.
The parents of Mr. Austin moved to Watertown while he was an infant, and there he spent his first fifteen years and obtained such learning only as is common to all in the public schools. At the age of fifteen, he began to learn the art of printing, and he spent many subsequent years working at his trade in Albany, Buffalo, Lewiston, and Troy. He joined the Universalist Society in Troy while he was engaged in the office of the Gospel Anchor in 1830. His strong religious tendencies being here stimulated to activity by his new associations, he studied for the ministry, preached his first sermon in Albany on Feb. 5, 1832, and was fellowshipped by the Hudson River Association, Sept. 12, 1832. His first pastorate was in Montpelier, Vt., and he was ordained by the Vermont Convention, Jan. 17, 1833. From Montpelier he went to Peabody (then South Danvers), Mass., and was installed pastor of the church there April 9, 1835. After a nine years' pastorate in Peabody, he accepted a call from the parish in Auburn, N. Y., and settled there in 1844. In 1851, he resigned his pastorate at Auburn to accept the editorship of the Christian Ambassador, then published at Auburn.
Soon after the Republican party obtained control of the government, in 1861, William H. Seward, Secretary of State during the administration of President Lincoln, and a fast friend of Mr. Austin, tendered him the Consulship of the West Indies, which was declined. Afterwards the Consulship of the Prince Edward Islands was tendered him and refused, and finally, in 1863, a commission was sent him, signed by Secretary of War Stanton, by which he was appointed Paymaster in the Army with the rank of Major. Mr. Austin was reluctant to relinquish his religious labors, but after much persuasion, accepted this appointment and entered upon the discharge of his duties, remaining in the service until 1866, when he was mustered out. After leaving the army, Mr. Austin resumed his labors in the ministry, preaching occasionally until 1875, when the disease began to develop which ultimately caused his death.
During a quarter of a century, Mr. Austin was perhaps the most prominent preacher in Central New York. He was well known through the country, and had at some time been heard in nearly every village from Auburn to Lake Erie. He was a profound theologian, and a preacher and debater of great power. One of the grandest successes of his life, was in a theological discussion at Genoa with Rev. Mr. Holmes, a Methodist preacher. It was so ably conducted on the part of Mr. Austin, that it was said many who heard him were converted to his views. He was a man of undaunted courage, with a cheerful disposition, faith and hope that never faltered, and a deep emotional nature; these qualities, combined with his logical arguments, made him very effective and often irresistible as a preacher.
Secretary Seward, at one time, began a life of John Quincy Adams, which was neglected, and finally abandoned for want of leisure, and, at the request of Mr. Seward, Mr. Austin undertook and finished the work. Besides this, he was the author of several books of merit; among them "Voice to the Young," "Austin on the Attributes," "Golden Steps for the Young" and "Voice to the Married."
He was of a social, affectionate nature which endeared him to a large circle of acquaintances, and, with his probity and honor, won the esteem of the entire community in which he dwelt. He was a kind husband and father, and leaves a wife, three daughters and one son.
Rev. Edwin Hubbell Chapin, D.D., LL.D., son of Alpheus and Beulah (Hubbell) Chapin, was born in Union Village, Washington Co., N.Y., Dec. 29, 1814, and died Dec. 26, 1880, in the City of New York. He descended from Deacon Samuel Chapin, a New England Puritan, and a leader among those who, in 1635, began at Springfield the first English settlement of Western Massachusetts. Samuel Chapin was the progenitor of several other men of note, among them John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Senator Solomon Foot, of Vermont, and Henry Ward Beecher.
At the age of six months, by the return of his parents to their native state, he became a resident of Vermont, where he spent his childhood and youth, receiving his academic course at the seminary in Bennington. His father, a rigid Calvinist, trained his son in the traditional theology of their ancestors; but the creed proved too narrow for such a heart and brain. As his intellect expanded he perceived more and more clearly a conflict between the tenets of Calvin, which he was taught to believe were scriptural, and the attributes of Deity revealed in Christ, and recognized by his disciples. This incongruity led him to inquire if the Bible were worthy of credence as the word of God. He examined with great care such theological works as fell in his way, but these, being of the Limitarian school, failed to help him, and only produced additional perplexity. In 1836, while with his father, who was an artist, on a professional visit to Utica, N.Y., he first had access to a collection of books teaching a more consistent interpretation of the Scriptures, which he read with avidity. He attended the church of our larger faith, and conversed with clergy and laymen concerning its teachings until order came out of chaos, through his full acceptance of the fundamental principles of Universalism, when he became a regular attendant of the church in Utica.
During his school-days his father had intended him for the bar, and while in Utica, he entered upon his preparation, but he soon abandoned the law and accepted the position of associate editor of the Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate. About this time, in a discussion of slavery at the meeting of a literary association connected with the church, Mr. Chapin gave a foretaste of that wonderful native eloquence which in his riper years delighted so many audiences. His church friends now urged him to enter the ministry, but though of a deeply religious nature and strongly inclined to the study of divinity, the image of the country parson of the olden time with his solemn face, clerical robes and sanctimonious manners, impressed upon his youthful mind, seemed so incompatible with his own buoyant spirit, from which wit and humor flowed as from a living spring, that for a time he doubted his fitness for the calling; after much reflection, however, he determined that this was the true field for his life-work, and at once began the preparation. His first sermon was delivered in a barn at Litchfield, and he continued preaching in the vicinity until his ordination in 1837. In May, 1838, he became pastor of the "Independent Christian Church" composed of Universalists and Unitarians, in Richmond, Va.
On his way to a meeting of the General Convention in 1839, Mr. Chapin attended the funeral of Rev. Thomas F. King at the church made vacant by his death in Charlestown, Mass., and, his growing fame having preceded him, was induced to preach there on the evening of the same day before a large assembly of the clergy and laity. The result was a surprise to all who heard him, and from this occasion he ranked among our best pulpit orators. He was at once engaged to preach three months in the Charlestown church and began his ministration there October 27, 1839. He accepted a call from the parish in Charlestown, and was installed pastor Dec. 23, 1840. He was next invited to become colleague of the venerable Hosea Ballou in the School Street church of Boston, and was installed there Nov. 28, 1845. Finally he became pastor of the Fourth New York Society, and remained so until his death. He first occupied the pulpit of the Murray Street church, in which he was installed May 2, 1848; but this proving too small, in 1852 they moved to All Souls Church in Broadway, where he built up the society to such proportions and strength that a new and costly edifice was erected at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Forty-fifth Street, and dedicated December 2, 1866, with a name emblematic of what he deemed the most precious characteristic of the God to be worshipped there, the "Church of the Divine Paternity." Here during the years of his matured strength he ministered to his people, while thousands of every name and creed came from near and far to listen to his words almost divine. Here on Palm Sunday, March 21, 1880, he preached the last time on earth. And here on December 30, was gathered the most august assembly that ever sought to honor the memory of an American clergyman, every Christian sect of the City being represented at the altar by its ablest divines, while hundreds of men and women of all denominations turned away unable to gain admittance to his obsequies.
In 1856 Harvard College conferred upon Mr. Chapin the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity, and Tufts College, that of Doctor of Laws, in 1878. On Oct. 15, 1838, he married Miss Hannah Neuland, of Utica, who survived him less than seven months, and leaves two sons, Frederick H. Chapin and Sidney H. Chapin, one daughter, Mrs. Marion G. Davison, and five grandchildren.
Of the life and character of Chapin, the pulpit has rung with praises since his death; and the press has done him no less honor. He was a power in our midst whose loss is deeply felt. From the time when he first attracted the public eye, his influence has been a growing force, first moving those who heard his words, and then spreading abroad through the avenues of the press, until it has reached every hamlet, almost every household in the land, and swayed the multitude of all classes. In the years of his vigorous health, his services upon the platform were perhaps more sought for than those of any other lecturer of the day. His advocacy of temperance was such as to place him at the head of those who sought, by appeals to the better elements in men, to turn them from the sin of selfish indulgence. Where he went he was sure of an audience such as no other secured. For many years, whenever he preached, the church was too small for his congregation. Several courses of Sunday evening lectures delivered in his own church were published in book form under the titles "A Token for the Sorrowing," "Characters in the Gospel," "Christianity the perfection of True Manliness," "Discourses on the Book of Proverbs," "Discourses on the Lord's Prayer," "Duties of Young Men," "Duties of Young Women," "Extemporaneous Discourses," "Hours of Communion," "Humanity in the City," "Lessons of Faith and Life," "Living Words," "Moral Aspects of City Life," "Providence and Life," "The Beatitudes," and "The Crown of Thorns." Some of these have a wide circulation.
The address of Chapin before the Peace Congress at Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1850, surpassing every other of the occasion in eloquence and power, made his name known through Europe, and placed him among the great orators of the world, while his unnumbered successes at home long since made him the first pulpit orator of America. For these he will be remembered by the masses; but to those who knew something of the man, something of his inner life and the heart that spoke in advocacy of every good cause, there remains a dearer subject of recollection in the simple unaffected nobility of his nature that knew neither malice, envy nor guile; from which no impurity ever issued, and which found its sweetest expression in the offices of son, husband, father and friend. Those who were with him in foreign lands know that his life was full of devotion. At home or abroad he daily sought communion with the Spirit of all Good from whence he drew that uplifting power by which, in his moments of most impassioned eloquence, standing on the sure foundation of Christ the divine, he raised his hearers out of their low estate and made them feel that they were nearer God.
Rev. Richard Thornton was born in Massachusetts, Nov. 30, 1811, and died in Anoka, Minn., Feb. 18, 1881. Soon after his birth his parents migrated to Western New York and settled in Cattaraugus Co., where he was reared and lived until about the age of twenty-three. He received his education in the public schools, and in his eighteenth year began to learn the art of printing, at which he worked, with intervals of school teaching, for the following five years. In the latter part of this period several articles from his pen appeared in the Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate.
Mr. Thornton was licensed June 2, 1836, and began preaching in Massachusetts. In 1838 he became an itinerant in Michigan. From 1839 to 1841 he was located at Yorkshire, N. Y., and in the latter year he married Miss Rebecca Cochran, of New York, who still survives. He was at Carroll in 1842, and on Aug. 23 of that year was ordained at Westfield. From Carroll he moved to Ann Arbor, Mich., where he was associated with Rev. James Billings in editing The Primitive Expounder. In 1845 he became chief, and in 1847 sole editor. He was both editor and proprietor in 1848, after which his connection with the paper ceased. About 1851 he went to Blissfield, and lived there in 1852, 1853 and 1854. He next removed to Lambertville, where he remained from 1855 to 1865, with the exception of 1864, when he was at Toledo, Ohio. He engaged in farming at Carthage, Mo., from 1867 to 1877; and after 1878 he resided at Anoka. For a few months preceding his death he was employed upon the Republican in Minneapolis. As a man and a preacher, he leaves an honorable record. His great endeavor was to help others to follow in the footsteps of the divine Master.
Rev. Seth Williston Remington was born in Bennington, Vt., Jan. 1, 1807, and died in Henderson, N.Y., April 18, 1881. His parents moved to Munroe Co., N.Y., while he was a child. He was brought up a Baptist, and fully accepted the tenets of that sect until, in mature years a passage in the Bible struck him with a new significance, and led him to reconsider the teachings of his youth. The result was his complete conversion to Universalism.
About 1835 he gave his attention to the study of divinity, and soon began preaching. He was ordained in the year 1839 while located at Smith's Mills. In 1840 he was settled in Boston, Erie Co., where he labored three years and established a prosperous society. He was pastor of the society in Churchville from 1844 to 1849, and from thence went to Geneva, where he was located from 1850 to 1852. During 1853 and 1854 he was at Binghamton. He was now invited to take up his residence at Canton. While here he undertook the raising of funds sufficient to secure the location of the Theological School, and having accomplished this was appointed a financial agent for procuring further funds, and obtained in all some $25,000. He remained in Canton until the death of his wife, about 1878, preaching meantime in Theresa, from 1862 to 1864, and at other places during other portions of his residence there. For several years he had ceased to preach regularly, but about two years before his decease he was settled at Henderson, and continued his pastorate there during the remainder of his life.
Mr. Remington was possessed of a logical mind, strong convictions and great general information. He was a preacher of considerable power, and his ministrations were acceptable to the last. He leaves two sons and two daughters.
Rev. O. Whiston was born in Boston, Mass., in 1804, and died in Washington, D. C., April 21, 1881. His parents were Baptists, but in early manhood he was converted to Universalism. He began preaching while a resident of New York, in 1830, and soon after removed to Oswego, where he was ordained in Dec., 1831. He first settled in Cortland Co., and from there, about 1885, went to Cooperstown, where he lived twelve years. In 1848 he was employed as a missionary by the New York Association, and resided at Nyack. This year closed his regular ministerial labors, and he only preached occasionally afterwards. He next went to Monticello, N.Y., and became editor of a newspaper, and after a residence there of some nine years, receiving an appointment in the Custom House, moved to New York.
On July 4, 1830, Mr. Whiston married Miss Susan L. Jones, who became a faithful worker in the church. She was a writer of books for Sunday schools inculcating our faith, some of which are still in use, and, it is believed, originated the first Sunday school in Central New York. She died in November, 1865, and thereafter her husband found a home in the family of his daughter, Mrs. S. E. Fuller.
As a preacher, he was far above mediocrity. He seldom preached a poor sermon, and never one objectionable either in matter or manner. When his faith was assailed he proved a keen controversialist, but was always calm and courteous, preserving good humor even when he found it necessary to be severe. He maintained to the last his interest in the cause to which he gave his best years.
Rev. Benjamin Whittemore, S.T.D., was born in Lancaster, Mass., May 30, 1801, and died in Mattapan, Boston, April 26, 1881. As a boy, he was intelligent beyond his years, and early exhibited those sterling qualities which characterized him in after life. He was educated at Lancaster Academy, and Lawrence Academy in Groton. In early youth he gave his thoughts to religion, and, mainly through reading the writings of Rev. Hosea Ballou, became a convert to Universalism. He at once felt a desire to proclaim the glad tidings which filled his own heart with light and joy, and determined to enter the ministry. His preparatory studies were under the direction of Father Ballou. He first settled in West Scituate, where he was ordained as pastor May 21, 1823, and remained six years. He was called to Troy, N.Y., about 1829, but after preaching there a short time he accepted an invitation from the society in South Boston and removed there in 1830. A new church was dedicated there April 10, 1838, and he was installed pastor.
In 1843 he took possession of the old homestead in Lancaster, where he remained ten years without pastoral charge, meantime devoting himself to building up the cause in neighboring towns. Many societies in the vicinity owe much to his exertions during these years. Among others he was instrumental in establishing the society in Fitchburg, where a church was erected in 1848. He began an eight years pastorate in Norwich, Conn., in 1854, and at the end of that period returned to Lancaster, where not long after he became blind. In spite of this he continued to preach occasionally, repeating his hymns and scripture lessons from memory. He removed from Lancaster to the house of his son in Mattapan, where he passed the last four years of his life.
As a preacher and pastor, Mr. Whittemore was eminently successful. He possessed a personal magnetism which secured for him at once the attention of his hearers and won their good will before their judgment was appealed to. Added to this was a brilliant and powerful intellect which gave him a ready comprehension of his subject, and his logical method and aptness of illustration enabled him to express his convictions with great force. As a scripture expositor he possessed eminent ability. He knew all the ways of doubt and skepticism, and was ever ready to maintain the truths of Christianity with a skill and courage that insured success. In 1867 Tufts College conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of .Sacred Theology.
At the beginning of his ministry he married Mandana, the third daughter of Father Ballou, and she for nearly sixty years shared his fortunes and now sorrows for his loss. During his last sickness he bore his sufferings without a murmur. His intellect remained unclouded, and his faith grew brighter until his spirit took its flight.
Rev. Hosea Faxon Ballou, the eldest son of Rev. Hosea and Ruth (Washburne) Ballou, was born in Dana, Mass., April 4, 1799, and died in Wilmington, Vt., May 20, 1881. In March, 1816, he went to live with his father's brother Benjamin in Monroe, where he married the daughter of his uncle Nathan Ballou, became a farmer, teaching school in winter, and lived seventeen years. At the age of thirty he wished to become a preacher, but hesitated from anxiety as to the support of his growing family. He began the study of theology, however, and in February, 1832, after a few months with Rev. Benjamin Whittemore, preached with success three times in the vicinity of Boston, and was called to Whitingham, Vt. He was fellowshipped in August, 1832, and ordained at Boston June 30,1833. In the spring of 1857, after a pastorate of nearly twenty-five years at Whitingham, he went to Wilmington, where he was pastor until, in 1872, the infirmities of age led him to abandon the pulpit after a ministry of forty years without the loss of a single Sunday.
In person, Mr. Ballou was tall, erect and strong, bearing a marked resemblance to his distinguished father in face and form as well as in mental characteristics. His voice was never strong, but his sermons showed a high order of intellect and cultivation. During the past fifty years no man in Southern Vermont exerted so wide an influence over religious opinions. While in Massachusetts, he was at one time captain of a militia company. He held the office of Town Clerk during the last seventeen years of his residence in Whitingham, and in Wilmington was twice elected to the Constitutional Convention, and once at least to the State Legislature. He was President of the Wilmington Savings Bank for seven years before his death, and occupied many other positions of honor and trust. He reared a large family of children, several of whom with their mother survive him.
Rev. George Wallace Whitney, son of Samuel and Lydia Whitney, was born in Nashua, N.H., March 27, 1843, and died of consumption in Waltham, Mass., May 26, 1881. He was educated in the public schools of Nashua, and received his religious training in the Congregational church until his eighteenth year, when he made the acquaintance of Rev. Joseph O. Skinner, then pastor. in Nashua, and became an attendant of his church. He soon embraced Universalism, and after leaving school began the study of divinity with Rev. Harrison Closson, pastor of the society in Cavendish, Vt. His first sermon was preached on the day of his majority, at West Windsor, Vt., where he preached part of the time in 1865. He was located at Westminster, Mass., in 1866, preaching a portion of the time also at West Boylston. On July 24, 1867, he was ordained at Beverly, Mass., and settled there until 1872. From Beverly he went to Quincy, where he was pastor until 1878, preaching also at North Weymouth from 1874 to 1877. In 1878 he assumed the pastorate of the parish in Augusta, Me., and remained there until the progress of his disease forced him to resign. He preached his last sermon Jan. 9, 1881.
If the quality of Mr. Whitney's ministry may be known by its fruits, it was abundantly successful. At Beverly, an organ was purchased and the parish largely increased in numbers. In Quincy, a parsonage was built, $2,500 were collected towards a building fund, and many were added to the church. At North Weymouth, a chapel was built and a church organized. At Augusta, a vestry was added to the church. He had inborn the elements of a preacher; he was logical and a ready and gifted speaker, but his great strength lay in his earnest, sympathetic nature which found out the best qualities in his hearers and roused them to action. When conscious that his life work was ended, he saw the approach of death with calmness; his sufferings seemed but to develop greater spirituality. In one of his last letters to a friend he says: "Never until these days of trial and sickness, has the spiritual and divine been so real or my faith in another life so strong." His parents, his wife, and several brothers, among them Rev. E.W. Whitney, survive.
Rev. James Wood Eldridge, son of Isaac K. Eldridge, was born in Preble County, Ohio, Dec. 30, 1829, and died at Shell Rock, Iowa, June 9, 1881. He was educated in the common schools, taught school awhile, and began to study law at the age of twenty-one in Delphi, Ind. He went into practice at Winamac and continued it, at intervals engaging in insurance or acting as railroad conductor, living meantime at Chicago, Cincinnati and Valparaiso, until June, 1866, when he moved to Logansport. Here the sermon of a. Baptist minister at the funeral of his mother, leaving the impression on his mind that she was irretrievably lost, roused him to religious reflections. He studied the Bible diligently until his fears were removed, and he found peace in believing in a God of love. He was received into the church then under the pastorate of Rev. N. S. Sage, and, by his influence, was led to enter the ministry, his first sermon being preached in Mr. Sage's church. He was licensed August 18, 1870. His first engagement was at Walton, where he preached in 1871, and was ordained August 15, 1872. From 1872 to 1875 he preached at Dayton, and a part of the time at Paw Paw and in other neighboring towns. In 1875 he was settled in Austin, Minn., where he was pastor four years and until forced to succumb to the disease which for years had afflicted him; and where he found a home until his death. During his last two years, although disabled, he never gave up the idea of preaching; it was the calling he loved above all others. After his death a sermon, the last production of his pen, was found in his pocket-book. It was full of the glorious emotions that inspired his latest years.
His labors as a pastor were crowned with success. He organized a church and raised funds to build a house of worship at Roann, and at other points created new interest. He married three times, and leaves a widow and three children.
Rev. De Witt Clinton Tomlinson was born in Gaines, Orleans County, N. Y., Aug. 24, 1824, and died at Wedron, Ill., July 27, 1881. He prepared for the ministry at Clinton under the supervision of Doctor Thomas J. Sawyer, and began to preach in 1846. Before his ordination he preached also in 1847 at Minden, and in 1848 at Richfield Springs. He was ordained and became pastor of the parish at Cooperstown in 1849. He was located at Newark from 1850 to 1852; at Perrinton in 1853; at Albion from 1854 to 1856; at Independence, Iowa, in 1857 and 1858; at Perry, N.Y., from 1859 to 1861; at Portageville in 1862 and 1863; at Ridgeway in 1864 and 1865; at Watertown from 1866 to 1869; at Fairport in 1870 and 1871; and at Akron, Ohio, from 1872 to 1879, preaching meantime at Springfield in 1875, and for the First Society of Cleveland in 1876. He was at Chicago, Ill., in 1880; and he maintained his residence there until his death.
As a preacher, Mr. Tomlinson was vigorous, strong and sound. With a physique that seemed to defy fatigue and disease, he was able to do a vast amount of pastoral and other work. He did our cause substantial service while pastor in Watertown and at various other points. He had a peculiar aptness for the financial work of the church. Men were won by his earnestness and zeal, and seldom refused to contribute for the object he espoused. He was employed in soliciting aid successively for the Canton Theological School, for the Murray Fund, and for Buchtel College, in Ohio; and his labors for each were crowned with success. His latest employment was as State Superintendent for Illinois, in which he was engaged nearly up to the time of his death. He had established himself in the favor of the people as a devoted, faithful missionary, had put the work in better condition than ever before, and was preparing a home for his family near Middleport, N.Y., when, on account of the ill-health of his wife, he found it necessary to resign. In the midst of his strength and usefulness, he was stricken with disease at a grove meeting on Sunday, July 24, where although slightly indisposed he preached what proved his last sermon. After this he grew worse rapidly, and breathed his last on Wednesday. He leaves a widow and several children.
Rev. John Gregory was born at Norwalk, Conn., Nov. 18, 1810, and died at Northfield, Vt., Sept. 25, 1881. He was fellowshipped by the Central Association of New York June 6, 1832, ordained at Salisbury, Herkimer Co., N.Y., July 8, 1833, and installed at Woburn, Mass., Jan. 27, 1836. He was settled at Montpelier, Vt., in 1837; at Macon, Ga., in 1838; at Quincy, Mass., from 1839 to 1842; at Fall River in 1843 and 1844; at Williston, Vt., from 1846 to 1848; and lived in Northfield from 1849 until his death. He had for many years of his residence in Northfield no regular settlement, and devoted much of his time to farming, and especially to sheep raising, in which he was greatly interested; but in the meantime at different periods he supplied the parishes at East Montpelier, Ludlow, Cavendish and several other places regularly.
As a preacher of the faith, he was loyal, sound and strong, and possessed eloquence and considerable dramatic power. He was a warm advocate of temperance, anti-slavery and other reforms. He was twice married, and leaves a widow and two children.
Rev. Henry Hackett Baker was born in Minot, Me., Nov. 24, 1811, and died of paralysis in Rochester, N.Y., Sept. 28, 1881. He was aided by friends in obtaining an education with the expectation that he would become a Methodist preacher, but, being converted to Universalism in his school days, he was unable to comply with their wishes, and desired to enter the ministry of his newly-adopted faith. Being restrained from this by the fear of alienating his friends, he determined to study medicine; but, after devoting a year to this, he yielded to his stronger impulse, and, by advice of Rev. D.T. Stevens, then of Lewiston Falls, Me., abandoned medicine and began the study of divinity. He was licensed to preach in 1840, and ordained in 1841.
Mr. Baker's first pastorate was over the societies of Windham and Gray, Me., to which he preached on alternate Sundays for two years. He was then settled over the parishes in Elliot and Kittery for a like period. In 1845 he moved to Essex, Mass., where he was pastor four years. From Essex he went to Georgetown, and remained there three years. In 1852 he removed to Ludlow, Vt., where he was settled as pastor for three years. From there he went to Hammond, N.Y., where he preached six years, doing considerable missionary work in the vicinity also. His next pastorate was at Fort Plain, where he was settled three years, and lived four years afterwards, preaching meantime in St. Johnsville, Fordsbush, Argusville, and other neighboring towns nearly all the time. In 1868 he returned to Massachusetts, and began a pastorate of one year in Orange. At the expiration of this engagement, he was settled in Middleport, N.Y., where he remained six years. After this he took up his residence at Rochester, and preached in Conesus. After this his health declined, and he preached only occasionally as his strength would permit.
He was a member of the Massachusetts Legislature from Georgetown, while he lived there in the winter of 1850-51. Nov. 28, 1841, he married Miss Lucy D. Hackett, of Minot, Me., who, with their three sons, survives.
Rev. John Briggs Gilman, whose parents were natives of New Hampshire, was born in Sherburne, Chenango County, N.Y., Dec. 17, 1822, and died in Manchester, Mich., Oct. 6, 1881. He received his academic course at the seminaries in Oxford and Binghamton, N.Y. About 1844 he was licensed, and began preaching at Brooklyn, Pa., where he remained six years. He was next settled three years in Columbus, N.Y. In 1854 he removed, to Michigan, where he preached eight years in Manchester and Tecumseh. In 1862 Governor Blair appointed him Military State Agent for Michigan, in which capacity he did excellent service for the State and nation until the close of the war, when he resumed his ministerial duties. He continued to reside in Manchester, preaching there part of the time, and also, at different periods, in Milan, Wolf Creek, Bradford, Fairfield, Liberty Mills, York and other places, and doing much missionary work at various points in the State until his death.
Besides his pastoral employment, he was for a long time actively engaged as Financial Agent of the North-western Conference, of Lombard University, and of Smithson College, and accomplished successful and satisfactory work for each. Few clergymen in the North-west have been more widely known or more highly esteemed. During the past year he has been preaching at Macomb, Ill. Although suffering for years past from a malady known to be incurable, he continued his labors with cheerfulness until his strength failed him, when he returned to his friends in Manchester, where they made his grave. Nature formed him for a Christian. He was genial, witty and companionable, and greatly enjoyed the intercourse of friends. He was especially fond of the young, over whom his exemplary life exerted a beneficent influence. He assisted several young men to an education, and helped to make them useful citizens. In brief, his life, like his teachings, was in imitation of his Master, who went about doing good.
Rev. Jonathan E. Forrester, D.D., was born in Orange, Mass., Dec. 8, 1826, and died of Bright's disease of the kidneys at Warwick, Mass., Nov. 19, 1881. In 1846 he began to study for the ministry with Rev. Samuel C. Loveland, of Weston, Vt., one of our ablest men, and perhaps the ripest scholar of his time among us. Unfortunately Mr. Forrester remained here but a short time, and lost an invaluable aid in his preparation. He preached occasionally during 1846, and in the spring of 1847 was settled as pastor of the church in Reading. In June, 1847, he married Miss Julia Baldwin, of Weston, an excellent and educated lady whoso aid and companionship were of great benefit to him in the early years of his ministry. He was ordained at Ludlow June 14, 1849, and remained at Reading until March, 1852, when he was called to East Randolph. His pastorate at Reading was successful, and he began his labors at East Randolph under favorable auspices; but he remained there less than two years, and left Vermont under charges. He next went to Pennsylvania, settled in Erie, and returned his letter of fellowship to Vermont. About 1862 he received fellowship in Pennsylvania. After about ten years in Erie he went to Aurora, Ill., where he remained until 1872. He was installed over the Second Society of. Chicago Jan. 5, 1873, and remained there until 1874, when he became pastor of the parish in Newark, N.J., and when his engagement here terminated in 1879, he formed an independent society.
Mr. Forrester's education in early life was very limited, and his attainments were never profound, but beginning his ministry at the early age of nineteen, and coming into contact with some of the best elements of our church during years of residence in or near our great centres of population and intelligence, he acquired a style of composition and delivery which commended him as an orator of no mean pretensions. While settled in Erie he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Springfield Academy, then existing at West Springfield, Pa.
Mr. Forrester's first wife died at Weston, Vt., while he was settled in Illinois, leaving one daughter. He leaves a widow and four small children.
Rev. Gerard Bushnell was a native of Norwich, Conn., and began to preach there in December, 1839. He received a letter of fellowship from the Union Association of Massachusetts at Stockbridge, May 20, 1840, was ordained in Dana on the tenth of the following October, and thereafter lived in Massachusetts. He remained in Dana until 1843, when he went to Philipston. The following year he moved to Templeton, where he was settled until about 1850, when he located at Prescott. About 1854, after which time he was not actively engaged in the ministry, he returned to Templeton, where he continued to reside until his death.
For many years he held the office of Town Clerk. He was highly esteemed by the community in which he lived, and was a man of unblemished life and character.