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Obituaries (1884-1885) in the 1886 Register


Thirteen of our Clergymen have died since the Register went to press in 1885. Brief obituaries are given, such as the Editor has been able to gather from the denominational press and the letters of friends. These would be more per- fect, if surviving friends would be particular as to dates and material facts.

Rotheus M. Byram was born Dec. 16, 1 .s 13, and died in Kennebunk, Me., Dec. 5, 1884. He was first settled in New Sharon, Me , and afterwards in Minot, Skowhegan, Waterville, Bridgton, (in which he settled twice with ten years interval,) Freeport New Gloucester, Sandy Point, Rumford Point and Oxford, Billerica Mass, Rumney, N. H., and East Montpelier, Vt. His last years were devoted to temperance work as the agent of the Mass. Total Abstinence Society. He was a faithful, conscientious man, of great moral worth. His re- mains were buried in Chelsea beside those of a former com- panion, leaving a widow, to whom he had been united about two years, also a son and daughter. His memory is precious, as one who spent his life in the service of God and humanity.

William Taylor was born in the city of Philadelphia, Penn., fifty 3'ears ago, and died in Tro}T, N. Y., Oct. 25. He studied for the medical profession and graduated from a medical institution in that city. He served as a surgeon in the Arm}' of the Potomac during the war of the rebellion, be- ing connected with the Pennsylvania volunteers. His last militar}' service was with the sixth Pennsylvania heavy ar- tillery, and at the close of the war he was surgeon at Fort Ethan Allen, in the defences of Washington. Self-sacrifice was a prominent characteristic of Dr. Taylor, and he was ever ready to inconvenience himself to add to the comfort of a sick or wounded soldier.

When the war ended Dr. Taylor decided to become a min- ister of the Gospel, and at once began the study of theology. His first charge was in his native oitv. Subsequently he was pastor of a church in Baltimore, Md., from which city he was called to the Universalis! Church at Towanda, Penn., where he remained until May 1, 1882, when he removed to Troy and took charge of the Universalist Church. During the last two years of his residence in Pennsylvania, Dr. Taylor was president of the Universalist Convention of that State, and at the time of his death he was secretary of the Universalist Convention of the State of New York. His death is a public loss, causing sorrow to the entire community. A devoted husband, a kind and indulgent father, a noble Christian citizen has been called home. He was an able speaker, and his sermons were the result of deep thought and were powerful arguments.

Selah Wheadon, died in Lewiston, Ill., Feb. 23, 1885, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. He was born in Mendon, Monroe Co., N. Y., Nov. 29, 1819, and removed to Illinois in June, 1835. He joined the Presbyterian Church in 1842, but having become a believer in the doctrine of Universal Salvation, he was expelled for heresy in 1851. He com- menced preaching his new faith in October, 1851, at Matan- zas, 111., and was ordained to the work of the ministry at the State Convention at Galesburg. in June, 1852. He preached in Havana, Lewiston, Table Grove, Lawrence, Salt Creek, Delevan, Macon City, and some other places, and organized a number of new societies, and held a namber of public dis- cussions with religious opponents. His last pulpit labor was in Table Grove, Illinois, during the years of 1883-4. He was a pioneer and missionary rather than a settled pastor. He had fine natural abilities, a good education, a love for literature and the work of the pen. He was engaged in journalism at the time of his death.

Henry Jewell died on Sunday, January 11, 1885, at Merrimac, Mass. He was born in Litchfield, Me., July 18, 1812, where he obtained what education the common school afforded, supplemented by home studies, and such reading as fell in his way. Early inclined to religion, he first joined the Freewill Baptist Church. Leaving home at eighteen years of age, he went to Methuen, Mass., to learn the shoemaking business. While here he chanced to hear the late Thomas Whittemore, D.D., preach one of his powerful doctrinal discourses. Young Jewell received new light, and after much thought and careful reading of his Bible, he was con- vinced of the truth of the glad faith, and resolved to become a herald and defender of it. After a time spent in study, under the direction of the Rev. John A. Greeley, he com- uoenced preaching, at first as a missionary, in the vicinity of Methuen. In 1836 he was ordained to the ministry at Salem, N. H. His first pastorate was at South Reading, now Wakefield, Mass. Thence he went to the Second Society in Lynn, thence to Exeter in '43, and Great Falls, N. H., in '46. He was settled in Cincinnati from 1847 to 1851. He preached in Lawrence, Mass., a short time in the years '51-2; and then accepted a call to Sloneham, and thence in '55 to Lynn, the second time. He was called to Canton, Mass., in 1858, where he remained until 1866. Terre Haute, Ind., Manchester, Iowa, Rome, Bristol, Nunda, N. Y., filled up his time from I860 to 1875, when he settled in Hardwick, Mass., where be remained three years. He then took a rest for three years, residing for the time in Maiden; but in 1881, he resumed his ministerial and pastoral work, by accepting a call from Merrimac, where, after forty-nine years of active labor, he was called to his rest and his reward. He was a good and faithful man and minister, a warm friend, and sincerely devoted to the work of Christ. He was widely known and as widely lamented in his death.

Prof. S. Clark Smith of Fairfield Seminary, was shot dead by Dr. M. Richter of Middleville, N. Y., at that place, Feb. 28. Mr. Smith had received license as a lay preacher from the Committee of Fellowship, and was intending to study theology at Canton, and then enter the ministry. He was an excellent young man, twenty-seven years of age.

Otis H. Johnson of Jay, Me., died Tuesday morning, July 28th. He had been failing since last autumn, but until quite recently hopes of his recovery have been entertained. He was a great sufferer the last few weeks of his life and failed rapidly. He said it was all right, he was at peace, had no fear and found his faith and trust sufficient even in the near approach of the end. Mr. Johnson was a little more than seventy years of age, had been in the ministry over forty years, and for more than thirty years lived at Jay, preaching constantly in the adjacent towns, where he was greatly appreciated and beloved. He began his ministry in quite early manhood. He was ordained in 1839. He had been a well man up to the time of his last sickness, and there had been but very few Sundays that he did not preach dur- ing the forty years of his public ministry. He officiated at more funerals than any minister of our faith in the State, and I think more than any clergyman in the State of any denomination, having attended between three and four thou- sand. Mr. Johnson was a good preacher, a tender husband, and a kind and affectionate father.

Henry F. Miller died at Akron, Ohio, Jan. 15, 1885, at the age of 55 years and 6 months. From the pen of Rev. G. S. Weaver, D.D., a life-long friend and acquaintance, we learn that Mr. Miller was a graduate of the Ohio University, an accomplished scholar, and a man of rare excellences of character. He was ordained to the Christian ministry in (lie year 1S59, previous to which he devoted himself to teaching in the Western Liberal Institute, located at Marietta. He was a Universalist in faith, and after teaching a few years he entered upon the active work of the ministry, preaching with force and efficiency the faith he loved. But seeing the pressing need of education to sustain and broaden the Uni- versalist church, he gave his attention to the subject of education, and the establishment of a denominational school and college for the West. By the direction of the North- western Conference, he raised $100,000 for the endowment of Lombard University, at Galesburg, 111. He also raised a large sum to found a school in Indiana Still later, when the State of Ohio felt again the educational impulse, Mr. Miller was authorized to inquire into the condition of the old Institute property at Marietta, with reference to using it to a better purpose elsewhere. His investigations resulted in the rescue of the property at Marietta and the founding of Buchtel College at Akron. Afterwards he accepted the principalship at Lodi for a few terms, but failing health drove him from his loved and congenial vocation, and at the time of his death he was acting as a missionary for the Ohio Convention to raise a fund to establish a permanent place for the summer meeting of the Convention. He was a man of energy, of practical talent, rational piety, and dearly beloved by a wide circle of friends.

Vincent Corley died Sept. 18, 1885. He was born in EdgeBeld District, S. C, July 24, 1800, making him at the time of his death 85 years of age. He spent a part of his life in teaching school, also practised medicine for a number of years. His entire life was that of a Christian gentleman. His doors were ever open to all people; and preachers of all denominations ever found a welcome at his home. He did not believe in fighting creeds, but ever waged war against sin. In 1866 he joined the Universalist church at Alford Chapel, and preached to that church as occasion would pre- sent. He lived a quiet, peaceful life, was much loved by all who knew him, and remained firm in his blessed faith to his death. The above facts are taken from the Notasulga "Universalist Herald."

Orson B. Clark died at his house in Jamestown, N. Y., Aug. 5, 1885, aged 74 years and 8 months. He was born in Hartwiek, Otsego Co.," N. Y., in 1810, Sept. 14. He was ordained to the ministry of the Universalist church in 1845, bearing the labors and burdens and wearing the honors of the ministry for forty years. After his ordination he preached at North Bloomfield and South Dansville; thence he moved to Phillips Creek, Alleghany Co., where he labored five years, building a church edifice for the society in that place. He then returned to Steuben Co., and preached in Branchport, Greenwood, Liberty, and other places for short periods of time. In 1865, or thereabouts, he located in Sinclaresviile; thence he removed to Busti, sind from there to Tionesta, Pa , from whieli place he entered the army as a chaplain of the Eighty-third Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers on the breaking out of the war. The brother who attended his funeral thus speaks of him:—"lie served with credit through the war, performing the duties of army chaplain in a way which gained him thousands of earnest friends. A part of the battles through which he passed are Antietam, Freder- icksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Rappahannock, Kelly's Ford, Mine Run, Preeble's Station, Quaker Run, Five Forks, Wilderness Farm, Laurel Hill, Old Church, Cold Harbor, and those before Petersburg, lie received a wound at Meade's Station. After being honorable discharged in the spring of 1865, he resumed his duties as pastor; his last charge being at Portageville, N. Y. He removed from this place to James- town thirteen years since, and has since resided here until the time of his death. Mr. Clark has been known by his unpretending charities, and many- an old soldier and his family have reason to bless 'Chaplain' Clark, as he was generally called, for the assistance he has extended where it was most needed. He was a man of extensive reading and fine education. By his death, Jamestown loses one of her oldest and most esteemed citizens."

Charles Prince West was born in Cato, N. Y., Aug. 9, 1805. His parents were poor; there was a large family, and he was early apprenticed to a neighbor to learn the black- smith's trade. He was of a studious turn of mind, and soon found an opportunity to attend school in Prattsburg, N. Y. His people were all Presbyterians, and here he was converted, and set his heart on the ministry. But he was not destined to preach that doctrine. Before he was ready to preach he removed to Castile, where he embraced the larger hope, and became a Universalist. Pursuing his studies, he taught school in Castile, Java, and vicinity. After his marriage to Clarinda Burlingham, March 7, 1833, he moved to Bucyrus, Ohio, where for some time he was editor of a paper. He moved to Michigan in 1840. and served as county clerk until he began to preach, in 1840, near Cold Water. He was settled at Otsego until 1847, when he moved to Illinois, preaching in Monmouth, Henderson, and many other points, doing the real missionary work of an evangelist. But the great work of his life, and the most enduring monument to his memory, is the prominent part he took in the establish- ment of the. Illinois Liberal Institute at Galesburg, which afterwards grew into Lombard University. He was the first to inaugurate the movement for a liberal school. He was zealous and active in its establishment. He served the institution in the various capacities of secretary, treasurer, and financial agent, for nearly twenty years. It is safe to say, that the institution owes more to Mr. West than to any one man, for its foundation and early growth. In 1870, Mr. West, being then too old to continue the active work of the ministry, removed to Anita, Iowa, where he spent the remain- der of his days with his children, passing to his reward Oct. 6, 1883, in the 78th year of his age. He leaves behind three children, and his wife, who shared with him over fifty years of home life. He took great interest in all moral reforms, especially in temperance, on which issue he was elceted mayor of the city of Galesburg.

[By the request of friends of the deceased, the above obituary notice is published in this number of the Register. A brief mention of his death was made in the issue for 1884, but, in consideration of his eminent services, and marked worth as a man, it seems eminently proper that a more com- plete account of his life and labors should be given. -- Ed.]

Arthur D. Kimball, died Aug. 13, 1885, in Marlow, N. H., aged 22 years and 6 months. He was a graduate of Tufts Divinity School, in June, 1885, a licentiate of the Massachusetts State Convention, and had began preaching with much promise of future success. He possessed fine talents, and an amiable, pleasant disposition. His sudden «arly death just as he was taking his first serious outlook upon his chosen field of labor was not alone disappoint- ment to him, but to the ministry which stands so much in need of earnest, faithful young men. But God's ways are not our ways, and He had work for him in a higher and purer sphere than any this world affords. Young Kimball was much beloved by his college mates, the faculty, and by all who shared his acquaintance. He was a member of the Universalist Social Union, and (he first to be called from the joys of earth to the higher and purer joys of heaven. He leaves many true and devoted friends to mourn his early death.

W. S. Peterson was born November 9th, 1886, near Brookvillc, Ind., and died October 9th, 1885 in Reading, Pa. His life was one of varied activity of large usefulness and rare integrity'. Apprenticed to a printer at the age of fifteen, he soon aspired to something higher, and began his literary career by writing for various papers and magazines. From compositor he rose to the editorial chair, and was founder and editor of the "Dubuque Daily." Preceding and during the war his vote, pen and voice were for the loyal side. In 1855 he became interested in the faith and work of the Methodist Church. In 1861 he went to Galena as pastor of a Methodist Church, thence to the war a chaplain of an Illinois regiment. In 1868 he was editor of the "Temperance Platform" in Iowa. In 1870 he edited the *' Dayton Times." Later he accepted a call to the First Con- gregational Church of Findlay, Ohio; thence he went to the Mayflower Church in St. Louis, Mo.

After some other newspaper adventures of a successful character, he was called, in 1881, to Washington, D. C, by President Arthur, and made the custodian of the plates and seals of the bureau of engraving and printing. During his later years his faith had been changing to a more liberal cast, until, while in Washington, he became a Universalist, and attended that church under the ministry of Rev. A. Kent. After preaching a few months to an independent church in "Washington, he accepted the pastorate of the Universalist Church in Reading, Pa., in hopes that the pure air of the country would benefit his failing health. But in this he was doomed to disappointment. He continued to decline until he passed away on the 9th of October, much to the regret and sorrow of his parishioners. The society took action concerning his death, and passed very commendatory resolu- tions concerning his character and work. He was a man of talent and of umblemished character, retaining the confidence' of those with whom he differed. Still in the prime of man- hood, his early death is a loss to Liberal Christianity.

William J. Chaplin died at Walcottville Lagrange Co.T Ind., September 13th, 1885. He was ordained to the work of the ministry in 1848. He was for many years a very devoted missionary preacher in Indiana and Michigan. His life was very useful and positive lor good. Many call him blessed for bringing them to a knowledge of the truth and in making life for them full of the joy and hope of the Gospel in the complete triumph of good. In his life, sickness, and death, lie fully exemplified the all-sustaining faith he had preached to others. He was an honored member of the fra- ternities of Odd Fellows and Masons, and held high and responsible offices in those orders. He was somewhat past middle life, and his active work was nearly done, but with health he was capable of years of valiant service. He leaves a large and intelligent family, all occupying useful and hon- orable positions in society.

G. L. Demerest, D.D., the General Secretary', reports the death of James C. Kendrick, with no dates or account of his life. Nothing more as yet has been published. . . .

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