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Obituaries (1889-1890) in the 1891 Register
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The deaths of the following-named preachers, or former preachers in the Universalist Church, eighteen iu all, have occurred since the Register for 1890 went to press. We preface the list with a notice of one who died in 1888. Limited space necessitates only a brief mention of each.
Isaac M. Westfall, M.D., born in Miami Co., Ohio, March 18, 1821, died at Watertown, Dakota, Dec. 29, 1888. Early in life he gave some attention to the study of medicine, but becoming deeply interested in Uuiversalism, fitted himself for the ministry and was ordained at Franklin, Iowa, Aug. 3, 1845. His first settlement was at Iowa City, but he also spent much time in general missionary work in the territory. He was next at Macomb, Ill., afterwards at Lafayette, Ind., and then as missionary in Minnesota. Renewing his interest in the study of medicine, he settled again in Macomb, Ill., where he could enjoy the benefit of a medical school. Returning to Rochester, Minn., he practised medicine a few years, and again resumed missionary labors. About ten years ago he made his home at Watertown, Dak., where he was for a few years a city official. For a short time he was associated with Rev. Erasmus Manford in editing the "Western Universalist and Christian Teacher," published in Lafayette, Ind., 1844—9.
Harvey Boughton, born at Kelloggsville, N. Y., Feb. 19, 1815, died at Silver Springs, N. Y., Nov. 15, 1889. He was fortunate in his birth, having Universalist parents, and early in life he selected the ministry in the Universalist Church as his vocation. His theological training was under the direction of George W. Montgomery, D.D., and he was fellowshipped by the Cayuga Association in September 1835. In September, 1837, he was ordained at Scipio, N. Y. His pastorates were at Scipio (twice), Watertown, Farmer's Village, N. Y. ; Brooklyn, Penn., and Macedon, N. Y. Owing to paralysis of the vocal organs, he was compelled to relinquish public services in the winter of 1883. During the late Rebellion Mr. Boughton was in service a little more than a year, as chaplain of the 97th Regiment, colored troops, but resigned on the death of his oldest son, who was an officer in the same regiment. "As a clergyman he was always dignified and earnest. As a pastor he was a most successful peacemaker; harmony always prevailed in his parishes. As a preacher he was specially gifted in expression, always using the choicest language. His sermons were all of the class denominated spiritual. Those who listened to them regularly soon found it a duty to enter the Christian Church. As an organizer of churches he was very successful."
Henry Scott White, born in Boston, Mass., Feb. 14, 1801, died in Boston, Dec. 14, 1889). He was a student in Tufts Divinity School, and held a license to preach. He had supplied several pulpits while connected with the school, and had given indications of power for great influence ; but, before completing his course of study, he was stricken with what proved to be incurable disease, and after a year of severe illness, borne with great patience and fortitude, he passed on to the heavenly home. A true Christian man, he would have achieved great success and have honored the Christian ministry, had his life been prolonged on the earth.
Horatio Nelson Strong, born Sept. 1, 1805, died at Lancaster, Wis., Jan. 1, 1890. He was ordained in the Methodist Church in Ohio in 1825. In 1841 he joined the Swedenborgians, and preached in their connection until 1872, when he was fellowshipped by the Universalists. He had no pastoral settlement with us, but preached as opportunity served till about 1885, when growing infirmities put a stop to his public labors.
Benjamin Marshall Tillotson, born in Oxford, Me., March 20, 1819, died at White River Junction, Vt., Jan. 17, 1890. His early education was obtained in the district and town schools, at the academy in Plainfield, N. H., and the seminary at Newbury, Vt. Entering the employ of the late Eli Ballou, D.D., in the printing office of the "Christian Repository," the purpose he had already formed to fit himself for the ministry received fresh incitement. His first sermon was preached in his native town, in 1841, and he was ordained at Concord, Vt., in the summer of 1843. His first pastorate, begun at Manchester, N. H., in 1844, continued till the fall of 1859, when he became pastor of the Second Church in Philadelphia, and two years later took charge of the 2d Society in Manchester, N. H., until 1871. He then removed to St. Johnshury. Vt., where he was pastor twelve years. Then, after a pastorate of five years at Woodstock, Vt., he had charge of parishes at Pomfret, Enfield Centre and White River Junction, preaching his last sermon Dec. 15, 1889. A severe cold, taken two months before, developed into ulceration of the throat and stomach, rendering it impossible for him to receive nourishment. A man of commanding presence, unusual gifts of intellect, a sympathetic speaker, and possessing rare social qualities, he filled a large place, and is greatly missed in his home and in the Church at large.
William Knott, born in Oldham, Lancashire, Eng., died in Friendship, N. Y., Jan. 30, 1890. He was of Methodist parentage, and at one time meditated entering the ministry of that Church; but, on becoming acquainted with English Unitarianism, he cordially embraced its theology. His preparation for the ministry began at New College, Manchester, Eng. In 1866 he came to America, and finished his theological course in the Unitarian School at Meadville, Penn. His first settlement was at Smithville, Ontario, Can., and preaching a portion of the time at Port Dover. He was ordained in the Universalist fellowship at Orino [Orono ?], Ontario, June 16, 1869. He had two pastorates of three years each in Clarendon, N. Y., a three years' pastorate in Webster, and also labored as pastor in Scipio, Ridgeway, and Leroy, in the same State. He was well equipped for his work, and was industrious, sincere and effective as preacher and pastor. Rev. Dr. Livermore, president of the Meadville School, thus speaks of him: "No one that I have ever known seemed more fully steeped and possessed by the spirit of Christ than Mr. Knott. It shone in every look, and breathed in every tone of his voice. That such a man should do good in his ministry was as natural as breathing; and, had he enjoyed more vigorous health and strength, he would have filled up to the full the measure of usefulness to which he aspired."
Gustavus Vasa Maxham, born in Pomfret, Vt., June 29, 1829, died in Monson, Mass., March 10, 1890. He was a graduate of the Meadville Theological School (Unitarian), and was ordained in 1850. His pastorates were at Erie, Penn.; Medford, Mass.; New Haven and Stafford, Conn. In all these places he had charge, entirely or in part, of the public schools. He ceased to be active in the ministry about four years ago, although he preached occasionally until a short time before his death. "A great, peaceful, contented soul was his, loving actually all mankind, and leaving on record or in memory not one hasty or unloving word."
Alexander Hill, who died at West Paris, Me., March 18, 1890, aged eighty years, came into the Universalist fellowship from the Baptist ministry, in 1857. He was an exemplary Christian, and lived a long and useful life, making a record on which his kindred and friends dwell with great satisfaction.
James Chandler Partridge, born in Templeton, Mass., Sept. 1, 1822, died at Nyack, N. Y., May 16,1890. He was a licentiate of the New York Convention, his license bearing date 1874, and held by him until failing health some four years ago compelled its surrender. He was a man of good gifts and abilities, and leaves a precious remembrance of his work and his worth.
Judson Fisher, born at Walpole, N. H., Nov. 13, 1824, died at Alton, Ill., May 18, 1890. He was ordained at Hartland, Vt., Nov. 22, 1849. His subsequent pastorates were at Marlborough, N. H.; Shelburne Falls, Mass.; Alstead, Lebanon, N. H.; Janesville, Whitewater, Monroe, Wis.; Alton, Sheffield, Ill.; and Cincinnati, O.; the three last being Unitarian parishes. The cause of his death was chronic bronchitis. His intimate acquaintance and friend for many years, Rev. Dr. J. S. Lee, says: "Mr. Fisher was a conscientious, even-minded man. He ever sought the good of his fellow-men. During the latter half of his ministry of more than forty years he labored with the Unitarians, though I do not know that he ever severed his connection with the Universalist denomination, in which he was educated and ordained. Whatever his denominational relations, he could not be anything but a Universalist in sentiment."
John Stephen Fall, born in Chatham, N. B., June 25, 1828, died at Minneapolis, Minn., May 27, 1890. A Methodist in early life, he became a believer in Universalism a few years after establishing himself in mercantile business in Minnesota, in 1855; and, entering the Theological School at Canton, N. Y., graduated therefrom in 1870. He was ordained at Milwaukee, Wis., June 8, 1871, and had pastorates in the following order: Racine and Neenah - Menasha, Wis.; Dowagiac, Mich.; Lafayette, Ind.; a second settlement at Dowagiac, Mich.; and Wausau, Wis. While at Wausau his health became impaired, and he was compelled to retire from the active ministry in 1883, at which time he returned to Minneapolis to reside, and during the remainder of his days preached as lie found strength and opportunity, freely giving his services to advance the cause in Minnesota. His last illness was of brief duration, and his death was caused by congestion of the lungs. He was an earnest preacher, and a man of great persistence in fitting himself for usefulness, and patience in bearing life's ills and trials.
James Johnson Twiss, born Oct. 12, 1820, died at Whitman, Mass., July 14, 1890. He was ordained at Danvers, Mass., Jan. 25,1840, and had settlements at North Granby, Winstead, Stamford, Stafford, Conn.; Springfield, New Bedford, Lowell, Mass.: Norwich, Conn.; and Auburn, N. Y. In 1875 he took charge of the Unitarian Church at Chelmsford, Mass., and during the remainder of his life preached in the fellowship of that denomination. He was a man of fine attainments, pleasing address and excellent Christian character.
Adin Ballou, born in Cumberland, R. I., April 23, 1803, died at Hopedale, Mass., Aug. 5, 1890. After a religious experience in boyhood, whose influence on his life and character never ceased, he joined the so-called "Christian Connexion," at twelve years of age, preached his first sermon just after he had entered his nineteenth year, and was "soon after accepted as an approved minister" of that sect. At this time he believed that some of the race would be "finally impenitent," and that their doom would be annihilation. In a short time, by reading and attempting to controvert the doctrines defended in Elhanan Winchester's "Dialogues on Universal Restoration," Mr. Ballou found, as he says, "that I must amend my theological finalities and substitute Restorationism for Destructionism." He then entered the Universalist ministry, and had pastoral settlements in Milford, Mass., New York City, and again in Milford. In 1831 he was one of the leaders in what is known as the " Restorationist secession" from our Church; and, during the ten years which that organized movement lasted, he was intensely active in promoting its interests, not only with his voice but also with his pen as editor of its organ, "The Independent Messenger." From 1831 he had a pastorate at Mendon, Mass., eleven years, then in Hopedale from 1842 to 1880. Since that time until shortly before his death he preached at large, as health would permit. Active for many years in the "great leading reforms,—temperance, anti-slavery, woman's rights, the peace cause, and practical Christian socialism," — he was led by his interest in the latter to engage in the establishment at Hopedale of "a practical Christian community." In 1887 he wrote of his sixty-six years as a preacher: "During this long ministry I have delivered a vast number of sermons and lectures, have officiated at nearly 2,500 funerals, solemnized nearly 1,150 marriages, edited three several periodicals for terms amounting to about thirty years of time, executed as author three large octavo volumes, several smaller-sized ones, with pamphlets and tracts too numerous to mention, also several volumes stored away in manuscript for posterity." Although, as the above shows, Mr. Ballou was not for many years connected with our denominational organization, he was a firm believer in, and eloquent defender of, the doctrines set forth in the Winchester Profession of Faith, and was a man of consecrated life and of.unwearied and successful effort in doing good.
Nelson Alvin Saxton, born in Lewis County, N. Y., July 26, 1831, died at Marshall, Mich., Aug. 18, 1890. For several years of early manhood he was a school teacher, but, feeling called to the ministry, was ordained at Laporte, O., Aug. 26, 1860, and had pastoral settlements at Westfield, O., Lambertville, Mich., Blanchester, and Belleville, O., Manchester, Mich., Bluffton, Ind., and Marshall, Mich. For two years he was State missionary of Ohio, and preached in many localities; but his places of residence are named above. He was also a volunteer in the service of his country one year during the late war. His last ministerial service — a union temperance sermon — was rendered in the Presbyterian Church in Marshall, on the evening of the first Sunday in June. His last sickness was distressingly painful, and he felt assured from its beginning that it was a sickness unto death. Calmly making all needful arrangements, he waited patiently the coming of the hour of release. A brother minister who knew him well thus writes concerning him: "A faithful minister of the Lord "Jesus Christ, and an exemplary, God-fearing and Christ-loving brother, has been called home. The Church is richer for his life, and in his death he leaves us a legacy of a spotless life, a pure character and an untarnished ministry. He rests from his labors, and his works follow him."
Josiah Crosby Waldo, born in Portsmouth, N. H., Dec. 5, 1803, died at New London, Conn., Aug. 28, 1890. Educated at Chesterfield, N. H., Academy, he studied for the ministry under the direction of Rev. Hosea Ballou. His first settlement was at Cincinnati, O., where he was ordained in 1827. Afterwards he had pastorates at Lynn, West Cambridge, Mass.; Troy, N. Y.; New London, Conn. He retired from active ministerial service several years ago.
Abel Fletcher, born in Richmond, Va., Feb. 22, 1820, died at Massillon, O., August 13, 1890. He was ordained in 1842, and had settlements in Lynchburg, Va., and Weare, N. H. For several years he itinerated at Harper's Ferry, Shepherdstown, and other localities in Virginia. About 1850 he went into secular business in Massillon, O., and shortly after was, by accident, deprived of eyesight. Cheerful, hopeful, resigned in the midst of all his troubles, he maintained an unsullied reputation, and was ever a genial, sincere and Christian man.
Mary Thomas Clark, born in Sydd, Kent, Eng., Dec. 24, 1814, died in Richmond, Ind., Sept. 15, 1890. In early life an Episcopalian, she afterwards became a Baptist, and, outgrowing that creed, she found for several years a congenial home with the Progressive Friends, among whom she became a preacher. In 1851 she emigrated to America, and, while living in Dublin, Ind., twenty years later, her attention was drawn to Universalism, into the belief of which she soon grew " by Bible study and soul conviction," as she expressed it; and was fellowshipped by the Universalist Convention of Indiana in 1875, since which time she has been " a zealous and consistent advocate of the gospel of peace and reconciliation." Her pastorate for several years was in the churches of Mt. Carmel, Union, Ireland and Fairfield. During the last seven years she gave herself to missionary work, and, notwithstanding her increasing years and infirmities, travelled far and wide all over the State, proclaiming the Gospel she loved. She was a woman of great energy, and her zeal and usefulness bore precious fruit. She was widely known and greatly beloved.
Lemuel Hutchins Tabor, born at Topsham, Vt., Dec. 3, 1809, died at Bryant's Pond, Me., Sept. 27, 1890. He studied for the ministry under Rev. Kittredge Haven, was fellowshipped by the Champlain Association in June, 1837, and was ordained at Calais, Vt., in June, 1838. His pastorates were at Calais, Plainfield, St. Johnsbury, Lyndon, Burke, West Charleston, Derby Line, West Concord, Vt.; Korway, Me.; West Burke, Island Pond, Vt.; Bryant's Pond, Me. He represented West Concord in the Vermont Legislature in 1860, 1861 and 1862, and was Senator from Essex County, in 1864-65. "He had a long and successful ministry, and not a few are they who will affectionately recall the memory of him who has been with them in seasons of joy and grief."
Samuel William Eaton, born in Concord, Erie County, K.Y.,Nov. 7,1815, died at Rochester, Minn., Oct. 12, 1890. In his early life he was a Methodist, his parents being of that persuasion. He preached his first sermon in 1842, at which time he had become a believer in Universalism, "and thereafter, as the opportunity offered, supplying Univeraalist pulpits or speaking in school-houses where he could obtain a hearing for the faith ' everywhere spoken against.'" He was ordained at Princeton, Wis., Dec. 24, 1860. After that time he preached several years in towns adjacent to his own, and supplied frequently the church in Rochester, to whose interests he was always devoted, and in the upbuilding of which he lent valuable and untiring aid." At the breaking out of the War of the Rebellion he rendered service to his country as a journalist. He has also held various positions of trust and honor in the city and county where he made his home. "He commanded universal respect," says his pastor, the Rev. W. H. McGlauflin, "and those who disagreed with him never had occasion to suspect his uprightness, and never was the charge of unfaithfulness laid at his door."