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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED CLERGY AND LAYPEOPLE


Obituaries (1893-1894) in the 1895 Register

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NECROLOGY

The deaths of the following-named preachers, fourteen in all, have occurred since the publication of the Register for 1894.

George Proctor, born in Chelmsford, Mass., Sept. 5, 1815, died in Somerville, Mass., Nov. 23, 1898. lie studied for the min- istry with Rev. R. S. Pope, of EJyannis, and was ordained in 1840. His pastoral settlements were at Sterling, Billerica, Dover, Oxford, Ashland, Chatham, and Lanesville, Mass. For the last twenty- five years he suffered from a complication of physical troubles, which compelled him to retire from the ministry while in a suc- cessful pastorate at Lanesville, in 1885. Mr. Proctor was a man of solid attainments, and wan wholly consecrated to his work. Though a great sufferer for many years, he was always patient and uncomplaining. "His life was that of a practical Christian; upright, kindly, trustful, worthy, patient, faithful, sincere.

John Henry Stewart, born in Warren, Herkimer Co., N. Y., died in Bridgewater, N. T., Dec. 22, 1S93. Mr. Stewart entered the ministry iu 1842, and was ordained a year later. His half-cen- tury in the ministry began in Central, N. Y., extended in a few years to Watertown and vicinity, where it continued a long time, and closed near its place of beginning. He was fortunate in the days of preparation for his life-work, to have had, in the absence of training in theological schools, great help in his intimate com- panionship with Rev. Messrs. E. M. Woolley, S. R. Smith, A. B. Grosh. D. Skinner, and Pitt Morse, men who appreciated his abilities and admired his consistent Christian character. He was an instructive preacher, a minister of consolation to the sick and bereaved, and a grand example to all of the pure and upright life which the gospel enjoins. A man of intense convictions, of great and pronounced hatred of all shams, an ardent lover of his church and jealous for its good name, he was, withal, companionable, genial, and fraternal. His home was always the abode of love and peace, and its doors ever swung open to welcome his brethren who there found refreshment and encouragement for their work. The writer has many happy memories of its restfulness and com- forts.

Britton Conine, born in 1811, died at Camp Hill, Ala.,Dec. 30, 1893. A Methodist preacher for nearly 40 years, about 16 years ago he embraced the Universalist faith. A very devout man, "full of the Holy Spirit and of faith," he enjoyed the confidence and respect of people of all creeds. The pains of sickness and the infirmities of age made him long for the release which only death could bring.

John Jenkins Austin, born Nov. 22,1819, died at Riverside, CaL, Jan. 16, 1894, entered the ministry at an early age, receiving ordi- nation in 1845, About one-half of his fifty yeais ministry was spent with parishes in Western N. Y. Subsequent pastorates were had in Muncie,Ind., Morrison, Ill., and Waterloo. Iowa. "His record in the ministry is one of great usefulness and fidelity to our cause, and he leaves many friends in these places who will sincerely mourn his departure." With health impaired, he sought the Pacifio coast, and some six or eigbt years ago, settled down to rest under "his own vine and fig-tree" in Diamond Valley, near San Jacinto. His death, which he joyfully anticipated and for which he was amply prepared, took place at the residence of his daughter, at Riverside, Cal,

George Smith Guernsey, was born in Westminster, Vt., Dec. 30. 1818, and died at Rochester, Vt., March 19, 1884. Educated at Burr Seminary, Manchester, Vt., and at the Liberal Institute at Lebanon, N. H., in both of wuich he afterwards taught, as also in public and select schools, he entered the ministry in 1843, and was ordained at Rochester, Vt, March 6, 1844. Ue there began a pas- torate lasting 10 years. The whole fifty years of bis ministry were spent in his native State. "The Bible was his chart and compass. He made that book his study through all bis life. The old, old story was ever new to him. It filled his soul. He preached it with pow^r and telling effect." ''He died as he had lived, with those he loved, at peace with the world and with God."

Isaac Case Knowlton, D.D., born at Liberty, Me., Sept. fi, 1819, died at his home in West Acton, Mass., March 21, 1894. He learned the cooper's trade, and while at work at it he studied and fitted himself for the ministry, which he entered in June, 1842, and was ordained in 1845. His first pastorate was at Durham, Me. Subsequentsettlements at Auburn, Hampden, Oldtown,Me., Keene, N. H.; South Boston, New Bedford, Mass.; Calais, Me.; South and West Acton, Mass. Having closed fifty years of work as a clergyman, in June, 1892, he formally retired. In recognition of his abilities and industry as a student in many branches ol learn- ing. Tufts College conferred on him the honorary degreeof Doctor of Divinity, in 1889. Dr. Knowlton was a manol decidedly marked characteristics, original in thought aud utterance, sometimes very quaint in the latter. In everything he was profoundly sincere and his praise is in all the churches as a devout Christian, "a very able preacher, a strong magnetic speaker, an exceptionally able maker of sermons and a true pastor."

Gideon Seth Abbott, born in the State of N. Y., in 1816, died at San Jose, Cal., May 10,1894. He was ordained at Oxford, N.Y., in 1842, and had settlements at Oxford, Dexter, Cowlesville, Hop- kinton, N. Y.; So. Woodstock, Vt.; Willoughby and La Grange, Ohio. He virtually retired from the ministry in 1872, after whirh time he resided in Akron, Ohio, for four years, then in Aurora, the same State, seven years, when he returneil to Akron which con- tinued to be his home until his death, which occurred while on a visit to his daughter. His pastor records of him that, "He was a man of deep and fervent piety; and his old age was made very beautiful by his simple, child-like and absolute trust in the good- ness of God."

Richard Peters Reyner, born at Tylersburg. Clarion Co., Pa., Feb. 21, 1826, died at La Plata, Ho., May 12, 1894. Although converted from Calvinism to Universal ism in early manhood by reading the "Magazine and Advocate," edited by the late Dof- pbus Skinner, D.D., Mr. Reyner did not enter the ministry until 1872, when be was licensed by the Missouri Convention. He was ordained, at Brookfield, Mo., Sept. 28, 1873. Although residing on his farm throughout his ministerial life, be did extensive mission- ary work in the vast region of north eastern Mo. "His work was done with great earnestness and consecration. His assistance in building the church in La Plata, Mo., closed his active work in the Master's vineyard. His death was calm and peaceful, a fitting end to his noble life."

William McNeal, born in Scotland, about 1813, died at hi* home in Randolph, Wis., August 1, 1894. When very young started for this country with bis parents, "but was left an orphan in mid-ocean." His early years were a struggle with poverty and many disadvantages. About 1847 he became a member of Rev. Dr. Sawyer's Theological Class, at Clinton Liberal Institute, where he remained until 1849, when he began to preach at Wolcott, N. T., where be was ordained in 1851. His subsequent pastorates were atChaumont. Alexander, Churchville, N. Y., Barton, Watertown, Osbkosh, Springvale, Markesau, Spriiigvale and Waupon, Wis. In 1879 he retired to his farm iu Randolph, Wis., and had no pastoral charge thereafter, although he continued to preach occasionally. He was a man of singularly marked peculiarities as a writer and preacher; honest and conscientious in all his intercourse with others.

William Hooper, born at Marblehead, Mass., Deo. 25,1809, died at West Acton, Mass., Aug. 16, 1884. In early life he followed the sea. His name is first borne in the Register in 1840, at which time he was unordained and residing in his native town. His ordination took place before the issue of the Year Book for 1841. His first settlement was at Amherst, N. H., afterwards at Weare, N. H., Tyngsboro, Mass.; Halifax, N. S.: Rockport, Provincetown, Osterville, North Orange, Chatham, Annisquam, Mass.; Marlow, N. H.; Windsor, Vt.; Waterloo, P. Q.,Can.; West Haverhill.Mass. Since 1887 he has made his home at West Acton. He was a pains- taking sermonizer, a faithful preacher, good pastor, and a man of irreproachable character. Death came to him suddenly, but he had long anticipated and desired it.

William L. Swan, a native of Toronto, Can., aeed 45 years, died at San Francisco, Aug.17,1894. "Tie was formerly a Methodist minister, but was received into Universalist fellowship last year. Mr. Swan had preached to good acceptance in San Francisco and Oakland, and was chosen as stated supply of the missionary move- ment in the former city, but was unablu to discharge his duties on account of feeble health. Good service was expected of him in our ministry had his health permitted."

Townsend Paoli Abell, died at Flovilla, Ga., Sept. 4, 1894, aged about 85 years. Mr. Abell was born in Middlebury, N. Y., and was educated in the Academy in that town. His ministry began in 1835, and he received the fellowship of theOenesee Asso- ciation, at its session at Pavilion, Aug 19, 1835. His first settle- ment was at Perry, N. Y., afterwards at Rochester, N.Y., Castine, Me., Haverhill, Mass., Middletown, Conn. After this he whs in secular business several years, but re-entered the ministry in 1875, and had settlements at London, Columbus, Ohio; Logansport, Ind.; Camp Hill, Ala. The infirmities of age have lor several years compelled his retirement from active life. In the genial climate of Georgia he found kind friends who made his last dayB comfortable. Mr. Abell was a preacher and writer of great intel- lectual force.

Aaron Smith died at Lehigh, Iowa, Oct. 7. 1894, in the 82nd year of his age. Of him we have no information except that he was ordained in 1804, and has long been feeble with age. We do not learn that he was ever settled as pastor. He was probably a self-supporting missionary, at large.

Charles Woodhouse, M.D. , born in Weathersfield, Conn., Nov U, 1812, died at his home in Rutland, Vt., Oct. 15, 1894. Dr. Woodhouse fitted for the ministry in the study of the late Rev. Dr. I. D. Williamson, while the latter was Fettled in Albany, K. Y. He was ordained at Lansingburgh, N. Y., Sept. 12, 1834, where lie had his first settlement. Afterwards be was at Brattle- boro, Vt.; Westmoreland, N. H.; Clarendon, Vt.; Fitchburg, Mass.; Louisville, Ky.; Johnsbury Centre, Vt.; Boonsboro, Iowa; Moline, Ill.; Muscatine, Iowa; Plainrield, Ill. He became a Doctor of Medicine in 1865, receiving his diploma at the Halineman, Homoeo- pathic Medical College in Chicago, in which institution he after- wards became the Professor of Medical Jurisprudence and Insanity. In his later years be devoted himself to the practice of Medicine in Rutland, Vt. He was also prominent in the In- dependent Order of Odd Fellows in that State. He was scholarly and eloquent, and always kept up his interest in and efforts for the spread of the doctrines of Universalism.

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