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Obituaries (1876-1877) in the 1878 Register
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Revet OBITUARIES OF MINISTERS DECEASED DURING THE YEAR. Note.--The following brief obituaries embrace materials gathered from so man; sources that it is scarcely possible to give due credit in each particular case, but we tender our hearty thanks, in this general way, to all those friends who have aided us in the preparation of these sketches.]
1. Rev. Abraham Adkinson, son of Joseph and Rebecca (Larue) Adkinson, was born in Westmoreland Co., Pa., Dec. 24, 1811 and died in Ripley Co., Ind., Aug. 22d, 1876, in his 65th year. In 1812 his parents removed to Ohio and in 1815 to Indiana, then a Territory and little more than an unbroken wilderness, where their children were inured to hardship and privation. The subject of this notice early developed great energy and decision of character, and withal was frequently reckless and wilful, but always generous. About 1833 he inaugurated the temperance movement in Switzerland Co., where he resided; was the first to sign a temperance pledge in that county, and with his accustomed boldness and energy procured a speaker and advertised that a temperance lecture would be delivered at a certain hour at a grocery in the neighborhood or at the nearest house thereto that could be procured. He not only maintained a bold and persistent warfare against intemperance, but he was the first in the county to speak and vote in favor of negro emancipation. In 1838 he united with the Freewill Baptist church and soon after was ordained as a preacher in that connection, in which he continued till 1870, when he joined the Metho- dists, but all the while growing into the faith of Universalism. In 1871 or 1872 he connected himself with us, and in 1873 was duly admitted to our ministry. He was pastor of the church in Stringtown, Ind., for some years and held that position at the time of his death. His disease was consumption. In Feb. 1876, he preached his last sermon. He was in many respects a remarkable man. In person he was over 6 feet in height, his eyes and hair jet black, his eyes very small, and his countenance when he was under excitement was very expressive and striking. He taught school almost continuously in the winter season, from the age of 28 up to the last year of his life. His ministerial labors were abundant in three or four counties in the State, and he will long be remembered by all who knew him. He was married in 1886 to Miss Jane Campbell, who, with six of their nine children, still lives.
II. Rev. Larkin Tarrant Brasher died at his home in Christian Co., Ky., Oct. 28th, 1876, aged 70 years. He was born in South Carolina, but his parents removed to Ky. in 1807, while he was an infant. About 1834 his mind was deeply impressed with religious things and he joined the Campbellite Baptists, and soon after entered the ministry of that sect. In a few years, however, he outgrew the narrow creed which he had embraced, nor could his benevolent spirit obtain rest until he found a broader, more rational and consistent faith. Especially did he come to revolt at the notion of Alexander Campbell, that water baptism by immersion was essential to Salvation. He was admitted to fellowship as a Universalist clergyman in 1840; but he distinctly wrote us in June, 18 73, that he was a preacher of our faith for many years before he was regularly licensed. His name frequently appeared in the old issues of the Register, mis-spelled Brazier. On the great theme of God's impartial grace and the final ingathering of all souls, he was accustomed to expatiate with ardor and eloquence; he was especially interesting and impressive on funeral occasions. He was possessed of great gifts and distinguished abilit}' as a preacher, and was a welcome and efficient advocate of Gospel Truth. But loss of health necessitated his retirement from the ministry several years ago, to the great loss of the cause he ably advocated. He was not ambitious of political office, but he consented to serve his fellow citizens as a Justice of the Peace, and for a time as sheriff of the county, and superintendent of the poor of the county, and acted also as an attorney at-law. In all stations he maintained an upright and Christian character and secured the confidence and esteem of the community in which he lived.
III. Rev. Isaac Dowd Williamson, d. d., son of Ransom and Jerusha (Miller) Williamson, was born in Pomfret, Vt., April 4th, 1807, and died in Cincinnati, Ohio, Nov. 26, 1876, in his 70th year. In his death, the Universalist cause has lost one of its ablest advocates. He was one of those great and gifted men who achieve success and attain distinction by virtue of their native talents and energy, in spite of all obstacles and without opportunities for early education. It appears that he learned the clothier's trade and had no other schooling than that of the common district school; but his ardent thirst for knowledge, his force of character and enthusiasm made amends for lack of external aid. He preached his first sermon Oct. 1, 1827, in Springfield, Vt. After supplying the pulpit a short time in Langdon, N. H., he settled in the spring of 1828, in Jaffrey, N. H. He was admitted to fellowship, as a preacher, by the N. H. Association, at Sutton, May 26th, 1829, and was ordained by the Franklin Association, at Townsend, Vt., Sept. 10th, 1829. In June of the same year, he removed to Albany, N. Y., where he lived 7 years, and here he published his first book, "An Argument for Christianity." In 1837 he removed to Poughkeepsie, remaining there about a year and a half; from there, in 1839, to Baltimore, where he spent two years; thence to N. Y. city, where he lived about three years; thence to Mobile, Ala., for two winters, spending his summers at the North; thence to Memphis, Tenn., for a season or two; next to Lowell, Mass., in 1850, for a year; and from thence to Louisville, Ky., for about two years; thence to Cincinnati, Ohio, for three years; from there to Philadelphia where he spent three years, and which was his last regular pastorate, although he supplied in Cincinnati after his return from Philadelphia. He and Rev. C. F. Le Fevre began to publish the Gospel Anchor at Troy, N. Y., about 1830. This periodical was merged in the Religious Inquirer, published at Hartford, Conn., Mr. Williamson continuing to act as one of the editors of that paper. He was one of the editors of the Herald and Era, published at Louisville, Ky., and Madison, Ind., and at one time was one of the proprietors thereof, but in what years or for what length of time we cannot say; we know only that he was connected with the paper in 1852. He was for about ten years connected with the Star in the West, as joint proprietor and editor, though for several of his last years performing no editorial labor.
His published works, as far as we know, are the following: 1. "An Argument for Christianity, in a Series of Discourses." New York: 1836, 18mo. pp. 252. 2. "An Exposition and Defence of Unlversalism, delivered in the Universalist Church in Baltimore." New York: 1840. 18 mo. pp. 227. 3. "An Examination of the Doctrine of Endless Punishment." Cincinnati: 1847, 18mo., pp, 225. 4. "Sermons for the Times; and the People." New York, 1849, 18mo., pp. 252. 5. "The Universalist Church Companion." Boston: 1850, 18mo., pp. 216. 6. "The Crown of Life: A Series of Discourses." Boston: 1850, 12rao., pp. 407. 7. "The Vision of Faith: a Series of Sermons on the Decalogue and the Lord's Prayer." Madison, Ind.: 1852, 18mo., pp. 263. 8. "The Philosophy of Universalism, or Reasons for our Faith." Cincinnati: 1866, 12mo., pp. 96. 9. "Rudiments of Theological and Moral Science." Cincinnati: 1870, 12mo., pp. 377. He also published several (we know of 7) sermons and discourses in a pamphlet form, but we cannot give their titles.
Dr. Williamson was essentially a pioneer, traveling extensively and everywhere preaching "the grace of God that bringeth salvation to all men." We can hardly name the man in our ministry who has been located at so many and widely separated points; moving from Vt. to N. H., to N. Y., to Md., to Ala., to Tenn., to Ohio, to Pa., to Ky., acting as preacher, editor, publisher, missionary, and scattering the seed of Truth broadcast over the land. His labors were very fruitful. He was emphatically a self-made man, and, had his great natural gifts been improved by thorough scholastic training, he would have shone as one of the bright lights of the American pulpit. Afflicted ever after his 17th year with asthma in its severest form, he bore an nncommon amount of suffering, but he never shrank from work until compelled to do so by the terrible attacks of his disease and the burden of old age. He delivered nearly 4,000 sermons, published 9 volumes beside many pamphlets, and for 40 years was editorially connected with our periodicals. He once crossed the Atlantic and preached the Gospel of Impartial Grace in Great Britain. He took 7 voyages of 2000 miles coastwise by sea, on the same errand. He was a man of strong and positive convictions, of a very robust intellect, and bravely grappled with the deepest, darkest problems in metaphysics. The first article of his creed was, "Before all things, God, as the centre and soul of the universe ;" so that whatever force or factor comes into play in the course of ages and whatever secondary causes spring up in the working out of the plans of Deity, they all have their origin in the Divine idea and purpose. He thought with Archbishop Leighton,, that, in respect to God, "Knowing is decreeing." He agreed with John Foster in thinking that " He, who fixed the first great moving cause, appointed all their effects to the end of the world." This idea gives tone to his last published work, "The Rudiments of Theological and Moral Science,'' the metaphysics of which have attracted so much notice and elicited so much controversy.
He was a prominent and highly-respected member of the Society of Odd Fellows, lectured far and wide in exposition and defence of their principles, and crossed the Atlantic, 30 years ago, mainly in their service. He was for many years Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows of the United States, and the ritual now in use by the Order was largely from his pen. His piety was not showy, but deep, sincere, and solid. He counted all ostentation in religion, all pietistic emotion, as dross, unless accompanied and attested by practical charity and moral virtue. He was steadfast in his friendships, and having once taken a friend to his heart he clung to him to the last.
He had not only rare logical powers, but also a style of ■writing at once copious and compact, a lucid method of presenting a subject, the unmistakable but undefinable power of genius and a magnetic personal presence; and he has made bis mark broad and deep on the public mind of his time. He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from the Norwich (Vt.) University, in 1850. He -was married, Sept. 3, 1826, to Miss Acialine Eliza Guernsey of Mount Holly, Vt., who survives him with four children-- one son and three daughters--all of whom are married and settled in life. Two of them reside in Cincinnati, and two in Philadelphia. The second daughter is the wife of Rev. Dr. Cantwell.
IV. Rev. Thomas Dolloff, son of Phineas and Abigail (Smith) Dolloff, was born in New Hampton, N. H., March 28, 1786 and died in Bedford, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, Dec. 10, 1876, in his 91st year. At the age of 13 he joined the Freewill Baptist church in his native town. At 21 he emigrated to Mount Vernon, in the then District of Me., where in 1808, he married Miss Nancy Ladd. At the age of 30 he became a Universalist, without any other help than the Holy Scriptures and his own meditations. In the year 1823, the same year in which Walter Balfour's conversion to Universalism was announced, he began to preach, though with no literary preparation for the ministry. He had, however, a religious consecration to the work, and felt it his duty and esteemed it a privilege to proclaim the truth to his fellowmen. He never had a settlement in Me., but was simply an itinerant exhorter. He received the fellowship of the Old Eastern Association at Farmington, Maine, June 23, 1824, and was ordained by the same authority at Wayne, Me., July 7, 1825, and labored as a missionary in that State for about ten years. In Sept., 1884, he went to Ohio and settled on a farm in Orange, Cuyahoga Co., where he lived for 25 years, dividing his time between farming and preaching. He never wrote a sermon! Yet few preachers, it is said, were more careful and methodical in sermonizing than he. He was not a man of commanding eloquence, yet he secured the attention of his hearers by the simplicity and directness of his speech. He was a born logician, and, granting his premises, it was useless to dispute his conclusions. There was a manifest candor, kindness, and sincerity about him and his speech that won the respect of all men. He was afflicted with a palsy in his latter years that interfered with his pulpit labors. His memory was remarkably retentive to the last. He preached his last sermon on his 88th birthday to an assembly of his friends and neighbors, from Deut. xxxii, 4. He voted at the last State and Presidential elections previous to his death, and took a strong interest in national affairs, talking intelligently concerning them on the day before his death. At his funeral, a large concourse of people joined with his numerous descendants in bearing testimony to his Christian char- acter and worth. He leaves 8 children, 24 grandchildren, and 26 great-grandchildren.
V. Rev. Humphrey Bromley was born in North Wales, about 1796, and received his religious education in the Church of England, but joined the Wesleyan Methodists, and commenced preaching in that connection at the early age of 16 years. He continued to preach in their fellowship until after he was married and had three children, at which time he gave a challenge to a Unitarian minister to hold a discussion on endless punishment. In order to be better prepared to refute the doctrine and arguments of his adversary, he read several Unitarian books. The result was tha instead of proviug the doctrine of endless punishment to be true, he became convinced it was false, and announced this change of belief to his Methodist brethren. They desired him to remain with them, and were liberal enough to allow him to think as he pleased if he would only preach their doctrine. This he refused to do, whereupon they renounced him as a heretic, and even threw stones at him as he passed along the street. He united with tbe Unitarians and labored in their ministry until he came to America, in July, 1883. Here he united with the Universalists since he found them to be almost the same as the Unitarians of England. When he arrived in this country, he stayed a few months at Cleveland, Ohio, going from thence to Norwalk, and then to San- dusky City. In Oct., 1837, he removed to Republic, Ohio, where he spent the remainder of his days. His first regular preaching in this country was after his removal to Republic, and it is the impression of his daughter (Mrs. Hisey), that he was ordained there. He frequently preached in the Welsh language. His wife died March 7, 1876, and three weeks previously, the sixtieth anniversary of their marriage was celebrated by the Knight Templars, of which Order Mr. Bromley was a member. He died at Republic, Dec. 13, 1876, in the 8l8t year of his age, leaving six children,--8 sons and 3 daughters.
VI. Rev. Martin Jencks Steere, one of the 5 sons of Stephen and Sarah (Harris) Steere, was born in Smithfield, R. I., Oct. 15, 1814, and died of pneumonia in Athol, Mass., Jan. 18, 1877, in his 63d year. He early began to show a special interest in religious things, and as he grew older bent his energies to prepare himself for the ministry in the Freewill Baptist connection, in which he was brought up. In May, lo37, he was ordained by the R. I. Conference, and soon became a popular and prominent preacher among them. He was located at Georgiaville, Apponaug, North Scituate, Greenville, 11. I.; Waterford, Mass.; Great Falls, N. H., and Portland, Me.; then returned to Olneyville, R. I., where (after having labored for about 22 years as a Freewill Baptist), he renounced the doctrine of endless punishment, and severed his connection with that sect. While connected with it he was for a while assistant editor of the Morning Star (published at Dover, N. H.), the organ of the Freewill Baptists in New England; he was also editor of their Sunday School paper, and at the request of their General Con- ference, prepared and published a small volume, entitled "The Friend of Chastity."
In April, 1859, he took charge of the Universalist Society in Lawrence, Mass., where he organized a church; after two years he removed to West Haverhill, where he lived 4 years; and here he wrote "Footprints Heavenward," a book well and favorably known in our denomination, a 12mo., pp. 405, first published in 1861, and a 2d edition in 1868. From West Haverhill he went to Lewiston, Me., where he organized a church and labored about 6 years; then to Meriden, Conn., for 4 years, making large additions to the church organization, to which he always gave special attention in all his fields of labor. His last settlement was at Mechanic Falls, Me., but his health suffered from the severity of his labors and the harshness of the climate and he was compelled to desist. He removed in June, 1876, to Hardwick, Mass., where he purchased a small estate, and hoped to preach occasionally and do some writing; but on a Thanksgiving visit to his daughter in Athol, 17 miles distant, he was taken with a billious fever, ending with pneumonia, and died as above stated.
Mr. Steere was twice married. First, to Miss Abby W. Randall of North Providence, R. L, in April, 1838. She died In 1845, leaving one daughter. In Feb., 1847r he married Miss Harriet Mayo of Hardwick, Mass., by whom he also had one daughter. Mrs. Steere and both daughters survive him. Mr. Steere was a man of an excellent spirit, of great zeal, earnestness and enthusiasm in his work as a preacher, and left a good influence upon the people with whom he labored.
VII. Rev. Thomas Jefferson Whitcomb, son of Samuel and Lydia (Ramsdell) Whitcomb, was born in Hanover, Mass., June 4, 1801, and died in Canisteo, Steuben Co., N. Y., Feb. 9, 1877, in his 7Cthyear. He attended for a while the academy in the neighboring town of Hiugham, and studied for the ministry with Rev. Paul Dean in Boston. He was licensed as a preacher at Washington, N. H., in 1823, and ordained at the same place in June, 1827. In 1830 he was stationed at Hudson, Is. Y., and in that year organized a Sun- day School, one of the first Universalist Schools organized by our people in that State (that of Watertown only  l>eing of an earlier date). He was afterwards located as follows: at Schenectady, Victor, Cortland, Newport, Springville, Buffalo and Alexander, N. Y., and (in 1844-46) at Hightstown, N. J. Mr. Whitcomb was twice married. His first wife, Chloe Lincoln, died in Webster, Monroe Co., N. "Y., July 18, 1866. His second wife was widow Mary Wilson, to whom he was married at Dunkirk, N. Y., Oct. 10, 1868. After his second marriage he went to live in Cambridgeboro, Crawford Co., Pa., where he resided 4 years. He then removed to Canisteo, and remained there till his death. He was perfectly reconciled to his approaching end, and, as he was nearing the river of death, said, "It is finished and all is right." p Those who had known him from youth up speak in strong terms of his worth as a citizen, a minister, and pastor. Rev. Dr. Le Fevre, who knew him well, says, "Br. Whitcomb was not what is termed a sensational preacher, nor did he possess rhetorical powers, but he was a good preacher and left on his hearers the conviction of his earnestness and devotedness. As the disciple of the good Master he followed his direction, 'Go preach the Gospel.' That was the sum and substance of his message. In his pastoral relationship he was very efficient." Two children, five grandchildren and one great-grandchild, descendants of his first wife, survive him. He had another daughter, who died in Buffalo in 1857.
VIII. Rev. Charles Henry Webster was born in Georgetown, Mass., Dec. 5, 1817. His father, whose name was Kent, sprang from an old English family, the original owners of a large estate called "Kent's Island," situated not far from Newburyport, Mass. His mother's maiden name was Merrill. For good and sufficient reasons, the subject of this notice and an only sister, early in life, by leave of the Legislature, dropped their former name and took that of Webster. Charles Henry was from early life fond of books and study and determined if possible to obtain a liberal education. But at the age of 18, while attending school at Bradford (Mass.) Academy, he was accidently injured in onu of his eyes, and did not fully recover for some years. In 1837 he was married to Miss Mary Buckminster of Georgetown. At this time he had so far recovered from the inflam- mation in his eyes as to commence study at Clinton, N. Y., in preparation for the ministry. He was ordained June 24, 1843, and his first settlement was at Beverly, Mass., at an annual salary of $300! Me was afterwards stationed successively at E. Lexington, So. Dedharu, E. Boston, Chicopee, Mass., at Auburn and Lewiston, Maine; at Collinsville and Granb}-, Conn. At the last named place he lived 9 years, acting for some 2 years as State Missionary. In Dec, 1864, he was appointed chaplain of the 29th Me. Regiment, and served to the close of the war. In 1868, Mrs. Webster died, after a long and distressing illness. Five of their children were taken away in infancy, and an only son, a young man of much promise, died of wounds received in the war. One daughter alone survives. In 1869, Mr. "Webster was married to Mrs. M. C. Granniss, a lady long and favorably known to the denomination by her contributions to the Ladies' Repository and other periodicals. Upon his second marriage, Mr. Webster went into secular business as proprietor of a stationery and book store in Hartford, still, how- ever continuing to preach as opportunity offered. He died of pneumonia, after great suffering, March 8, 1877, in his 60th year. He belonged to that rapidly diminishing class of our clergy--the hardy, heroic sort of self-made men-- whose adoption of, and adherence to, our holy faith cost something. With Mr. Webster, as with so many others, it involved at first obloquy and contempt, repudiation by family and friends, and a continued struggle with opposition. But the battle is over, and so far as he is concerned, the victory is won, the soldier is at rest.
IX. Rev. Kitthedge Haven, son of Jotham and Martha (Belknap) Haven, one of a family of 9 sons and 2 daughters, was born in Framiugham, Mass., Feb. 24, 1793 and died in Shoreham, Vt., May 4, 1877, in his 85th year. His father removed in 1802 to Cambridge, and in 1810 to Boston, where he established himself in a crockery store. The subject of this notice was providentially drawn to attend on the ministry of Rev. Paul Dean, under whose preaching he was con- verted to Universalism, sang in his choir at his installation as colleague with John Murray, Aug. 19, 1813, studied for the ministry with Mr. Dean, and in his pulpit preached his first sermon in July, 1819, the same year and month that the old Universalist Magazine was started. In the Spring of 1820, Mr. Haven made a preaching tour into Maine, spending ■e Sabbath in each of the towns of Waterville, Brunswick, rinore, Winthrop and Turner, and in Portland three Sabbaths. After returning to Boston he received a letter from Turner offering him $6 per Sabbath to go and settle there; but the distance from New York and New Jersey was so great that Mrs. Haven, who was from Newark, N. J., thought it out of the world and he declined the call. Soon afterwards he took a trip into Vt., and in December 1820, settled in Bethel, on a salary of $5 per Sabbath, which was the customary pay of a young preacher in those days. Mr. Haven was ordained at Kingsbury, X. Y., Oct. 4,1821, by the Northern Association, so called, embracing Vermont, a part of Canada, and all that part of New York which bordered on Lake Champlain. Two ministers only, besides himself, were present on that occasion, Rev. S. C. Loveland and Rev. Robt. Bartlett, the latter still living in his 86th year. In 1829 Mr. Haven moved to Shoreham, and there he remained until death, preaching there regularly 37 years, and occasionally, every year, from Jan. 1, 1825 to Jan. 1, 1870; in all 45 years. He was not a man specially distinguished for learning or eloquence, but possessed excellent judgment, Bterling integrity, an amiable and Christian spirit and unostentatious piety. He won and secured the respect of all men by his kindness of heart, his gentlemanly manners, his noble Christian life. He was at once courteous and sincere, both economical and generous, and fulfilled the Apostolic precept, "give no offence, that the ministry be not blamed." He made Universalism respected wherever he was known. Congregational ministers, even, called him evangelical. No breath of slander was ever breathed upon him. He left an honored name to his children and to'the church which he had faithfully served for nearly 60 years. He was married March 25, 1818, to Miss Ruth Harrison who died Nov. 21, 1863. Three children are now living, two sons and an unmarried daughter, the latter having lived with, and kept house for, her father, for the 14 years after the death of her mother.
X. Rev. Joel Curtis Sawyer, son of Uriah and Eunice (Curtis) Sawyer, was born in Broome Co., N. Y., July 29, 1818, and died in Danby, Ionia Co., Mich., May 11, 1877, in his 59th year. Of Mr. Sawyers early life, we have gathered no information. It appears that he began to preach at the age of 21, was ordained in Steuben Co., N. Y., July 19, 1849, and in 1857 went to Michigan, where he continued to reside until his death. He was twice married; first to Almira Kimball who separated from him more than 25 years ago, though for what cause we know not. In Jan. 1861 he was married to Miss Artalissa E. Mead of Lyons, Mich., who, with two children by the first marriage, still survives. During Mr. Sawyer's long and distressing illness, his faithful and patient wife did all that could be done to alleviate his sufferings and minister to his wants. The same may be said of many warm-hearted friends who had attended on his ministry and who vied with each other in efforts to add to his comfort and smooth his passage to the tomb. Just before his decease he gave utterance to his trust iu God and his resignation of spirit, saj'ing: "My God, I thank thee that my end draweth near; I have long prayed for this hour. My faith grows stronger and stronger."
XI. Rev. Charles Heman Duttonn, son of Augustus M. and Elmira Dutton, was born in Ogden, Genesee Co., N. T., Oct. 5, 1823, and died in Hamilton, Ohio, July 17, 1877, in his 54th year. His opportunities for education were limited to the common school of the neighborhood until the removal of the family to Rochester when he was 17 years old. He was however, for a time -- how long we cannot say -- a student in the Rochester Collegiate Institute, which stood very high as an academy, and of which the late Professor Chester Dewey, D. D., was Principal for many years. Whatever finish he received, before commencing his ministry, he received in this academy.* His thoughts had been at an early age turned to the ministry through the magnetic preaching of the late Rev. J. M. Cook, «ho exercised a great influence over him. His studies preparatory to the ministry were very meagre; a few months were spent with Rev. Mr. Hammond of Rochester and a few more with Rev. S. R. Smith, then of Buffalo. He was licensed as a preacher at an Association held in Sherman, N. Y., in 1843, when he was scarcely 20 years old. He was ordained in Aug. 1856. His labors were for some years confined to tbe vicinity of Rochester, where he was regarded as a very promising and more than ordinarily gifted young man. In 1850 he was married to Miss Frances L. Spencer of Springville Erie Co., N. Y., and removed to Essex, Mass., and successively to Canton,
• This institution must not be confounded with Rochester University, as it appears to hare been by some of those who have paid tribute to Mr. Dutton'* memory. It was impossible that he could have attended Rochester University at tbe age of 17, for that was ten years before the institution was established.
to Marblehead, to Lowell, in the same State. In 1860 he returned to the vicinity of Rochester, by reason of ill health, purchased a home, and devoted himself to outdoor pursuits; but still continuing to preach in the vicinity. In 1868 he removed to Leroy, N. Y., and in 1870 to Joliet, Ill., which place he was obliged by the state of his health to leave, going to Hamilton, then to Springfield, then to Marietta, in Ohio, and finally returning to Hamilton to finish his days. He was credited, in the various places of his residence, with a vigorous intellect, superior pulpit talents, gentlemanly manners, and the conscientious and faithful performance of his duties as a minister of the Gospel. lie leaves a wife and son, whose loving care did all that was possible to ease his sufferings which were severe and very unusual. For more than 15 years he had struggled against fearful obstacles, having been a great sufferer from bronchial and throat difficulties, and in later years from a nasal polypus, which occa- sioned excruciating distress, and finally, after several ineffectual surgical operations, caused his death. He was a man of extreme neatness and sensibility, which traits still clung to him in the hour of death. His faith in the Gospel of God's impartial grace grew stronger and stronger as the outward man failed. To a ministering brother, a few days before his death, he said: "Tell my brethren for me that Universalism comprehends everything that is necessary in this hour; that the faith I have preached I would preach again more earnestly were my restoration probable." Again he said: "If any one does not believe in the all-sustaining grace of Christ Jesus in the hour of trial and suffering, bring him to me, for I can testify to its power and truthfulness."
XII. Rev. Benjamin Franklin Strain, son of James and Katherine Strain, was born in York District, S. C, Jan. 22, 1823, and died of consumption at Forest Station, near Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 11, 1877, in his 55th year. His parents moved into Habersham Co., Ga., in April, 1831. Without having had as much as twelve months schooling in his life, Mr. Strain began to preach in 1853 and was ordained in Sept., 1854. He was married Oct. 27, 1844, to Miss Martha E. Jackson. He leaves five children and a little grand- daughter, whom he took home from Arkansas, her father and mother being dead. Mr. Strain was an active, zealous, devoted and faithful missionary of our faith. He traveled over a wide territory as a voluntary, self-sacrificing advocate of Universalism, preaching the gospel from simple love of the truth and with a very scanty remuneration. The extreme points of his circuit, where he regularly preached for a long time at stated intervals, were 120 miles apart. But his dependent family had claims upon hiin which he did not feel at liberty to disregard, and so he devoted his energies to a preparation for practising law, and at the Circuit Court of Meriwether Co., Ga., in Nov., 1876, he was duly examined and admitted to the liar. Owing to ill health, however, he never practised as an attorney. lie was a good and useful man, tree to his convictions, and faithful to his trust. The gospel which he had steadfastly preached sustained and cheered him and made it easy to die. lie repeatedly said: "I do not fear death; but my poor little children, what will become of them?" He will be greatly missed, not only in his home, but throughout the region where he was wont to dispense the word of life.
XIII. Mr. Eugene Becklard Cooper, second son of Isaac and Jane Cooper, was born in the town of Russell, N. Y., May 6, 1852, and died in Dexter, N. Y., Sept. 24, 1877, of diphtheria, aged 25 years. He was in early life a Methodist, and was licensed by the Black River Methodist Conference as an exhorter, but left that sect on embracing Universalism, entered the Theological School at Canton, Sept. 1873, and graduated in 1876. Soon after graduating, he took charge of the Universalist society in Mexico, Oswego Co., N. Y., where he labored successfully a year. He then accepted a call to Dexter, N. Y., and preached there one Sunday, when he was taken sick and suddenly passed away, to the great grief of all who had known him. He was industrious, modest, conscientious, amiable in disposition, and faithful in his work. He was true to his convictions, as shownby his leaving his former religious associates and refusing to accept a license to preach in their communion after his change of views, though urged to do so. His mind was well cultivated •and he was a very acceptable preacher. Among his last words were, "God is Love" and "I wish I could live to preach this truth." His end was peaceful and happy. His funeral was attended in the Baptist church in Russell, N.Y., where he had lived previous to entering the Theological School.
XIV. Rev. Johs Howard Willis, son of Lemuel and Fanny (Cobb) Willis, was born in Windham, Vt,, March 6, 1807, being five years younger than his brother. Rev. Lemuel "Willis of Warner, N. II. IBs father removed in 1813 to Westmoreland, N. II.. where the subject of this notice was brought up to manhood. He was, early in life, brought under an excellent religious influence through his good father, who was a decided Universalist and made so by hearing the preaching of the eloquent Elhanan Winchester more than a dozen years before the birtli of John. The father read the Bible much, took delight in speaking often of what he read, and was in heart and mind a thoroughly Christian man, so that his home was like a good Sabbath school to all his children. The mind of John was thus impressed with Christian principles in childhood and youth. At the age of eleven he became deeply interested in a Calvinistic Baptist revival,and was immersed in the Connecticut river in very cold weather, when the ice, a foot thick, had to be cut away for the purpose; and soon afterwards joined the Baptist church in Chesterfield. But by reading and reflection, without any effort of his father or brother, his mind yielded to the better influence and wiser instruction early received at home, and he became an intelligent and zealous Universalist. But the church (which has long since ceased to be) turned him out of its fellowship for his belief that Christ was to be the Saviour of the world. Mr. Willis was a good scholar and taught school successfully when 18 or 19 years old. Having no thought at that time of being a preacher, he chose the trade of a brick mason for a livelihood, and it was while he was at work in Troy, N. Y. and belonged to a debating club, that he found out that he had a capacity for ready and fluent speech and concluded to enter the ministry. Accordingly in 1830 he went to Salem, Mass., where his brother Lemuel was then settled, and alter studying a year under his direction he began to preach, speaking in several places in Worcester Co. to the acceptance of the people. His labors were confined mostly to Dana and its vicinity. He was ordained at Greenwich, Mass. Nov., 23, 1831; Father Ballon preaching the sermon, and his brother Lemuel giving the right hand of fellowship.
He was married Nov, 24, 1833, to Miss Charlotte A. Gleason of Dana. He had by her seven children, of whom four --two sons and two daughters--yet survive, all married and in good positions. He died Oct. 9, 1877, at the house of his daughter, Mrs. W. R. Shipman, at College Hill, Mass., aged 70 years and 7 months.
Mr. Willis was stationed as preacher, for varying periods, at Dana, Greenwich, Petersham, W. Boylston, Annisquam, Wakefield, Erving, Orange and Warwick in Mass., in Brattleboro', Cavendish, and Chester in Vt., and in .Stafford, Conn. He did a good deal of service by lecturing in behalf of Temperance. In 1850 he was elected a member of the Mass. Legislature, and was for sevferal years station agent at Erving on the Vt. & Mass. railroad. Yet amid his secular labors and cares he still preached on the Sabbath and lectured often, and thus lived a very active life. His deep personal interest in religion which was aroused in his eleventh year, followed him through life. His early consecration to the service of his Master was never lost sight of, and he was noted to the end of his days for his spiritual fervor and religious enthusiasm. He filled all the relations of life with conscientious fidelity. During the 46 years of his ministry he was ever engaged in the pastoral office while his health was sufficient for it. His mind was not inactive in the Master's work, though his hands could not labor in the vineyard. In his last days he was engaged in writing sermons, and left from 20 to 30 which were never delivered. His last sermon he began Aug. 1st, and wrote at the head of it, "My last sermon." The text was from Col. ii., 10: "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power."
XV. Rev. William Millins DeLon was born in Pittsfield, Otsego Co., N. Y., Sept. 2, 1815 and died in Binghamton, N. Y., Oct. 80, 1877, aged 62 years. He was the youngest of a family of 5 brothers and 9 sisters. When he was two years old the family moved to Warren, Herkimer Co., and three years later to Utica, where he was put to work in a cotton factory. When he was nine years old the family moved to Hastings, Oswego Co. His mother became entirely blind by an inflammation in her eyes, and byreason of afflictions, of hard times and many children to provide for, the family was reduced to abject poverty. The father died soon after moving to Hastings, and the family was broken and scattered. The mother moved to Clark's Mills, near Utica, where she died in 1830, when William was 15 years old. He lived a year in Sauqoit, with a friend of the family, and while there heard Revs. W. Bullard and Dolphus Skinner preach a few Universalist sermons, in which young DeLong became deeply interested, as well as in reading the Magazine and Advocate, and for this reason was dismissed from the machine shop at Unadilla Forks by its proprietor, a Mr. Abel Stillman ; who, however, reconsidered his unreasonable conduct and reinstated Mr. DeLong, who worked there long enough to acquire the money to pay for a year's tuition at Hartwick Seminary. After that he worked in a carriage shop in South Edmeston, the proceeds of his labor being used to pay his tuition at New Berlin Academy.
His faith in Universalism grew with his increased facilities for study, and the last Sunday in August, 1835, he preached bis first sermon. He was ordained July 20, 1837. He was stationed for various periods at Lebanon, Oran, and Binghamton, in N. Y. In 1841 he joined George Rogers in a missionary tour through Ohio and Indiana. For many years he itinerated over a large circuit in N. Y. and Pa. He was twice married. First to Mary Ann Ashcroft in April, 1836, by whom he had four children, of whom Rev. Henry C. DeLong of Medford, Mass., is the only one surviving; two having died young, and William, the third son, having been accidentally killed Dec. 10, 1869. Mrs. DeLong died in May, 1870, aged 55. In April, 1871 he married Mary Jane Swart, a lady of culture and a preacher of our faith, who survives him.
In 1873, Mr. DeLong began to suffer from a paralytic affection from which he could get no relief, and after long and severe suffering, patiently borne, he passed on to "his long home."
The following sentences, written and signed by him only a short time before he lost the power of guiding his pen, show the strength of his faith: "I know that God is, that my Redeemer liveth, and that we have a house not made with hands eternal in the heavens. This is the source of my consolation. God be praised for it." .