Index by Last Name
+ index is incomplete
Back to Dictionary

+ Digitized Directories
+ 1846-1922 Unitarian
+ 1840-1920 Universalist

Obituaries (1895-1896) in the 1897Register

The text on this page may contain errors.
It was generated by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software.
To view original scanned images of these biographical sketches at the library: CLICK HERE


The deaths of the following named preachers, fifteen in all, have occurred since November, 1895:

James Eastwood, was born in Rotham, parish of La Colle, Canada, March 16, 1829, and died at Guilford, Vt., Dec. 11, 1895. Bis father was a woolen manufacturer and the son was trained for the same business, but having a strong desire for an education be fitted for college and entered Tufts in 1856 and graduated in 1860. He preached his first sermon in Hanson, Mass., in October, ]8o6, and continued to occupy pulpits in the vicinity of Boston through- out his college course. His first settlement was at Union Square, now Allston, Mass., and while pastor here he was ordained in 1862. In the early fall of 1864 he took charge of the Soldiers' Mission sustained by the Universalists of New England and was engaged in this work, with headquarters at City Point, Va., until the close of the war. The five following years he was pastor at Brattleboro, Vt., and gave much time in our Centenary Year, and with great success, in raising memorial funds in that State. During 1871 and 1872 he canvassed Wisconsin in the interests of Jefferson Liberal Institute and was successful in extinguishing its debt. In 1873 he returned to New England and took a pastorate at Foxboro, Mass., and later at Brockton in the same State. After making a somewhat extended trip in Europe in 1876, he again resumed pastoral work and had settlements at Clifton Springs, N. Y., New- port and Kingston, N. H., and Turner, Me. At the latter place be was disabled by paralysis in 1S91. Othershocks succeeded after his making his home in Guilford, the last and fatal one occurring the Sunday before his death. "He had marked literary ability, and dur- ing the last twenty-five years had written many articles for the de- nominational and other publications. His pulpit productions were marked by depth of thought and conviction. In his personal relations he was a beloved pastor, while his life was true in every respect to the profession of which he was an honored member."

William David Shipman, born in Gustavus, Trumbull County, Ohio, Oct. 25, 1852, died at Greene, Ohio, Dect 16,1895. His father was the venerable widely known preaoher in the Univerxalist Church, the Rev. Charles L. Shipman, under whose guidance his life was early grounded in faith and duty. He graduated from Buchtel College in 1877, and at once becoming a teacher in that institution, continued to serve it faithfully until within a few months of his death. He was licensed to preach in 1874, and was ordained at Brimfield, Ohio, Sept. 5, 1886. He was a wise coun- sellor and at the time of his death he was President of the Ohio Dniversalist Convention, and President of the Western Reserve Association. "By his death the church loses the counsel and help of an earnest, capable and consecrated minister, and the college a friend who had given the best of his life to its welfare."

Russell Arnold Ballou, born in Monroe, Mass., June 14, 1827, died in Newton, Mass , Deo. 29, 1895. Brought up a plain farmer boy, he subsequently received an education in the best academies of Massachusetts and Vermont, and continuing to work on the farm summers, taught school several winters. Having preached a few times before attaining his majority, he received the Fellowship of the Winchester Association at its session in his native town, in June, 1849. A year later he went to Medford, Mass., and for about two years was a student in theology with the late Rev. Dr. Hosea Ballou, 2d. His first pastoral settlement was in West Bridgewater, Mass., where he was ordained April 25,1852. In 1858 he was settled in Augusta, Me., but left this pastorate in 1862, to become the proprietor and editor of The Gotpel Banner. In 1864 he gold the paper and was for three years the General Agent of the Universalist Publishing House. From this he gave his attention to his own secular interests, continuing in the busi- ness world with varying success, many years. In 1894 he was fel- lowshipped anew, but had no subsequent pastoral charge. He loved the Universalist faith, its church and institutions, and hoped to have been able to contribute from bis material gains something tbat should contribute to its permanent success, A man of strong convictions, warm sympathies and Christian life.

Alfred Van Cleve was for several years a licentiate. We have no information concerning him except the following in a let- ter from Rev. James Billings: "I was quite well acquainted with Bro. A. Van Cleve; yet I know but very little of his life. He came to Texas from Kentucky as a licentiate. During his first years in Texas he did, considerable missionary work. He was very diffi- dent about speaking in public. He was one of the best of men; he was a strong man in fireside mission work and with his pen. He settled on a good farm in Comanche County, raised quite a fam- ily of children, who have grown to be worthy citizens and believers in Universalism. He was in poor health the last years of his life. He passed on to the higher life sometime last winter, the date I do not know, nor his age, but somewhere in the seventies."

Robert Blacker, born in Boston, Mass., Jan. 13, 1814, died in Bmgor, Me., Jan. 7, 1890. He began his ministry in South Read- ing, Mass., in 1838, and was subsequently settled in Columbia, New Sharon, Norridgewock, Sangerville, North Auburn, Livermore, Kenduskeag, Me., and Warren, Mass. About six years ago his health failed, and from that time until his death he made his home with his son, in Bangor, Me. Wherever he labored during his long ministry he was held in high esteem. Although in feeble health several years he passed away suddenly and unexpectedly to those who were in his home. He leaves an honored name and a precious remembrance.

Jacob Baker, born in Dudley, Mass., July 14, 1817, died in South Weymouth, Mass., April 26, 1896, He was educated at Nichols Academy, in his native town, an institution of learning originally established under the patronage of Universalists con- nected with the General Convention, in 1818. He fitted for the Christian Ministry with Rev. Thomas J. Greenwood, and was or- dained in 1829. His first pastorate was at South Shrewsbury, next at Prescott and Willimantic, Conn., and for a number of years he was at his native town and Oxford, Mass. In 1859 he be- came Home Missionary under the direction of the Massachusetts State Convention and the Union Missionary Association, continu- ing in the field seven years. He was instrumental in establishing churches at Webster, Gardner, Westminster, Palmer, Spencer and West Boy Is ton. In 1669 he took the pastorate of the Second Church of Weymouth, where he remained ten years. He was afterwards pastor of the churches at Scituate and Halifax. Dur- ing eight years he was a member of the Board of Selectmen and Assessors of the town of Weymouth. In 1862 he represented the towns of Dudley and Southbridge in the Legislature of Massachu- setts. Since the death of his only son, a few years ago, his health gradually declined, and in the last two years of his pilgrimage he experienced great feebleness. He was a good preacher and a faithful pastor.

George Hill, born in Meredith, N. H., July 8, 1825, died at Norwood, Mass., June 22, 1896. He fitted for the ministry under the direction oi Rev. Uriah Clark, when the latter was pastor of the first Universalist Church in Lowell, Mass., and was ordained at West Cambridge (now Arlington), where he had his first settle- ment, March 13, 1850. In 1860 he took charge of the church at Milford, and in 1865 he moved to South Dedham (now Norwood), where he was pastor seventeen years, and where he had his home during the remainder of his life. Although long out of a pastor- ate, his services were in great demand in supplying vacant pnlpits and in doing missionary work in now fields. For the last year or more he had been Chaplain of the Norfolk County Reformatory. For two years, 1885-86, he edited the Register. Mr. Hill was a vigorous thinker and clear in the expression of his thoughts. He was also ardent in advocacy of the reforms and advanced philan- thropies of the age, and his pen and voice were ever ready to aid a good cause. A good man and faithful in all things.

Lucius Robinson Paige, D.D.,born at Hardwick, Mass., March 8, 1802, died in Cambridge, Mass., Sept. 2, 1896. For many years he was the oldest minister in the Universalist Church, al- though he had not been in the active ministry for a long time. He was aided in preparing to preach by Rev. Hosea Ballou, and preached his first sermon in Charlestown, Mass., June 1,182.3. On the 12th of that month he received a Letter of Fellowship and was ordained at South Wilbraham, Mass., June 2, 1825. In the winter of 1823-24, he was a school teacher near Little Falls, N. Y., and often preached in that vicinity. His first pastorate was at Spring- field, Mass., and began about the time of his ordination and ter- minated in 1820, on account of growing poor health. In a short time, however, he settled at Sandy Bay, Gloucester, now the town of Kockport, and received great benefit from his residence on the sea-coast. For seven years, beginning in 1832, he was pastor at Cambridgeport. This was his last pastorate, although he con- tinued to preach as a supply several years longer.

During his last pastorate, he prepared and published a notable vol- ume entitled " Selections from Eminent Commentators." Its object was to show that learned advocates of the doctrine of endless pun- ishment had interpreted so-called proof-texts of that dogma as teaching a different doctrine. It was a book evincing careful study and research, and wa« of invaluable service to the Univer- salist cause. The first edition appeared in 1833. Two years later he began to publish in the columns of the Trumpet, a series of "Notes on the Scriptures," out of which grew, in 1844, the first volume of his " Commentary on the New Testament," which was completed in 1869. It is a worthy monument to his scholarship and industry.

Dr. Paige was a historian as well as an expounder of the gospel. His History of Hardwick, and his History of Cambridge are marked by great fulness and thoroughness. For many years he was the senior member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. For one who never was in robust health, he was a wonderfully busy man. Thirteen years in the onerous position of town and city clerk of Cambridge; sixteen years treasurer of the Cambridgeport Bank; seventy-two years an active and zealous member of the Masonic fraternity; sixteen years Secretary of the corporation of Tufts College, and from its existence one of its wisest counsellors; he crowded his long life with industry and with unquestioned Chris- tian excellence. In recognition of his varied scholarship, Harvard University gave him in 1850 the degree of A.M., and in 1801 Tufts College conferred on him the degree of D.D. He was also elected an honorary member of numerous Historical Societies. A Uni- versalist in doctrine, life and spirit, loyal to his church and miss- ing no opportunity to advance its interests, his memory is blessed.

Joy Bishop, born in Readsboro, Vt., Feb. 12, 1815, died in Del- phos, Kan., Sept. 24, 1896. He began to preach in 1840, although his name does not appear in the Rkoistbk until 1848, at which time he was residing in Readsboro, which continued to be his res- idence until 1850. That year he moved to Iowa, and for fifteen yean "his work was chiefly confined to that State. He organized churches in Valley Falls, Greeley, Strawberry Point and other places, and did the work of a genuine evangelist in all parts of the young State. At that time railroads were not; and the self-con- stituted missionary traversed the prairies with his faithful steed, held meetings in school-houses, private dwellings and wherever Providence opened a door for him to enter and deliver his message literally ' without money and without price.' He was never idle; he was never deaf to a call, however far from home; and few are the places where now wo have churches where any other preacher preceded him and there are scores of localities where his persua- sive voice is the only one that has ever been heard proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel." In 1871 he took up his residence at Delphos. Kan., where he spent the remainder of his days, and until within a few years he wag in the active ministry. "One who has known him well assures us that he was literally 'a man without guile'; a genuine Christian in grain, a devoted, consecrated saint, whose life was a living sermon. He loved to live, but ever looked for- ward to the Beyond with anticipation and desire."

William Ethan Manley, D.D., born near Norwalk, Conn., 1812, died in Denver, Col., Sept. 28, 1896. The Denver Bepublican, in noticing his decease, said of him: "As a boy he was considered to be the brightest member of a large family and his parents de- cided to educate him for the Presbyterian ministry. The young man had strong reasons why [he should oppose the Presbyterian faith with all its terrible views held in those early days, and he forthwith entered upon a close study of the Bible in order to evolve for himself a kindlier faith. After several years he blossomed out a Universalist, to the disgrace of his relatives and friends. An uncle of his, a Presbyterian minister, determined to win the erring young student back to the true faith, and for that purpose took up his residence with the young man for a whole year. That was a great year of religious debating, the young man pitted against his elder uncle, and both stubborn religious students. Young Manley won, and in so doing converted his Presbyterian uncle to the Universalist faith." He studied theology with Bev. Stephen R. Smith, at Clinton, N. Y., and was fellowshipped in 1S32. For the first ten years thereafter he preached in various places in Cen- tral and Western New York. Rev. Nathaniel Stacy who met Mr. Manley in 1934, in the extreme Western part of New York, found in him "a young man of uncommon talents and a scholar, ready to use all his influence and labors for establishing 'circuit preaching' in that section; and he did so with all the faithfulness and ardor of an inspired Apostle, until he broke down his health and manly constitution and was actually under the necessity of retiring from the field, and resting from his labors for a year or more, I believe, to recruit his health. It was truly astonishing to witness the zeal and to see the amount of labor performed by that excellent young man in so short a space of time." The young preacher had many incitements to his zealous efforts, and among them the fact that his own mother had been rendered insane by Presbyterian preaching on the sin against the Holy Ghost.

After preaching in various portions of the State of New York, he went to Illinois in 1812 in the hope of establishing a Universal- ist church in Galena, but stopping a short time in Chicago, was in- duced to make that his home, in 1843. Here he organized what is now known as St. Paul's Church, and remained its pastor between two and three years, when he engaged for a few years in teaching a select school, and in 1848, in company with Rev. J. M. Day, he started the publication of the New Covenant, now The Univer- salist. Leaving Chicago in 1850, he was for two years pastor at Richfield Springs, N. Y.; then two years in pastoral service at Tecumseh, Mich. In 1855 he removed to Chicago, where he re- sided,—devoting himself to work on his "Biblical Review" or Commentary on the Old Testament, the five volumes of which were published 1859—1874,—eleven years. In 1867 he went to Au- burn, N. Y., to reside with his adopted daughter, where he had his home until 1883, when he took up his abode with his daughter in Denver, Col.

Benton Smith, bom in May, 1822, died at Mattapoisett, Mass.. Oct. 16, 1896. He was ordained at Hardwick, Mass., where he had his first settlement, July 2, 1845. After five years' service there be was five years at Shirley, then five at South Reading, now Wakefield, six at Chatham and two at Waltham, all in Massachu- setts. From 1868 to 1873 he was Agent of the Universalist Pub- lishing House. After this he was for several years a supply for vacant pulpits in the vicinity of Boston, two years at South Mar- ket, X. H., two years pastor at Mattapoisett, three years pastor at Marion, although continuing to reside at Mattapoisett. Feeble health and shattered nerves have made his services intermittent in recent years and he has not been to any great extent before the people. He was a student of the Scriptures, having given such special attention to all relating to Abraham in the Old Testament and to St. Paul in the New, that he was an acknowledged author- ity among us with regard to the Father of the Faithful and to the great Apostle to the Gentiles. He was a man of pure life and made a high and honorable record in our Church.

Benjamin Franklin Foster, born at Cincinnati. Ohio, Jan. 28, 1820, died in Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 19,1896. He fitted for the ministry at Oxford, Ohio, with Rev. Henry Gifford, was ordained in 1S42, and bad his first settlement at Perryville, Ind., then at Terra Haute, and in 1845 at Madison. In 1846 he became editor of The Herald of Truth. In 1854, according to the Register, he be- came pastor at Indianapolis, from whence he went to Richmond, Ind., in 1861. In 1862 he returned to Indianapolis and was elected State Librarian in 1863, and reelected in 1865. After the expira- tion of his term of office, he preached in various places in the State, and settled in Dayton, Ohio, in 1869. A year later he returned to Indianapolis which continued to be his home during the remainder of his mortal career. He was a prominent member of the Inde- pendent Order of Odd Fellows, and was for many years the editor of its organ in Indiana. "His was a long and honorable career."

Benjamin Kimball Russ, born in Salem, N. H., Jan. 17, 1834, died in Gorham, N. H., Nov. 6, 1896. Mr. Russ was a member of the class of 1860, Tufts College, and began to preach some time in 1801, and was ordained in 1882. Rev. Dr. Leonard, Dean of Tufts Divinity School, who knew Mr. Russ all through his college days, says of him. "All through his college course he was interested in theological questions. He heard a greater number of preachers than any one I ever knew. They were his study and theological school.' His first pastorate was at Somerville, Mass., where he remained about twelve years. Not long after leaving Somerville he was stricken with paralysis and was an invalid several years. In 1889 he went to Gorham, N. H., where he soon had another shock, but had partially recovered from its effects and was a faith- •ful pastor and helpful preacher, serving the parish without a stip- ulated salary and taking only such pecuniary assistance as came as a free-will offering. He had a sensitive nature and was averse to putting himself forward for notice or praise. His work was faith- fully done and he bound those who waited on his ministering, both the aged and the young, by the strongest and most loving ties to himself. A great lover of children, he was devotedly loved by them. Death came to him in the way in which he had not long ago said be desired to have it come, when he was alone and unac- companied by a painful struggle. A born preacher and a faithful pastor he still lives in many hearts that loved him.

Henry De Lafayette Webster, born in the State of New York, August 29,1824, died at Chicago, 111., Nov. 4, 1896. He be- gan to preach in 1846, was ordained in 1848, and had his first set- tlement near Paris, N. Y., that year. Subsequently he was at va- rious points in Ohio, and Connecticut, and in Warren, Mass.

Going west he was pastor for a short time at Elkhorn, Wis. Leav- ing the ministry a few years and engaging in the practice of medi- cine, he returned to the work most congenial to him in 1863, since which time he had pastorates at Winona, Minn.; Ravenna, Ohio, Erie, Pa.; Springfield and Cleveland, Ohio; Neenah and Racine, Wis. "His last and most influential pastorate" was at Oak Park. 111. Later he spent several winters at Tarpon Springs, Fla., where he rendered effective service for our parish there, and his last work was of a missionary character at San Diego and other points in California. Suffering acutely from disease he returned some two months ago to his pleasant home in Chicago to die.

"Mr. Webster was a preacher of marked ability and resource, logical and convincing, always presenting his thought in a clear and systematic manner. He was a faithful pastor and attached many friends in all his pastorates. He loved music and the devo- tional services of the sanctuary, and was a faithful worker in the Sunday-school. His record in our ministry is one of untarnished honor. His pure life, fraternal spirit and helpful ministry will keep his memory green among his friends and contemporaries."

John Hilton, born in Ontario, Canada, April 7, 1848, died in Freeport, Illinois, Nov. 4, 1896. When about to graduate from the State Agricultural College, at Lansing. Mich., his attention was called to Universalism by an intimate acquaintance with the late Rev. J. B. Oilman, and responding to the earnest appeal of the latter, he entered the Theological School at Canton, N. T., in 1871, where he was prepared for the ministry. He was ordained at Hinsdale, N. H., Sept. 13, 1876. His first settlement was at Windsor, Vt., from whence he removed, in 1876, to Hinsdale, N. H., a wider and more promising field of labor. But here "bis hopes and aspirations as a minister of his mucb-loTed church were blasted by the development of a serious lung trouble that drove him from the pulpit and long-silenced his voice in all public speaking." He then fitted himself for the practice of dentistry and established himself at Ft. Atkinson, Wis., where, against medical advice, he consented to preach and did much for the es- tablishing of our cause in that locality. Since 1892 his residence has been in Freeport. 111. By his death a good man passes from the earth which he blessed by his life upon it.


Main Page  |  About the Project  |  Contact Us  |  Fair Use Policy

All material copyright Unitarian Universalist History & Heritage Society (UUHHS) 1999-2020
Links to third-party sites are provided solely as a convenience. DUUB does not endorse materials on other sites.

CREDIT LINE: From the biography of _______ written by ________ in
the Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography, an on-line resource of the Unitarian Universalist History & Heritage Society.