|Wheeler & Wheeler Home||About Wheeler & Wheeler||Curtis Memorial Library Home|
|Previous Chapter||Table of Contents||Next Chapter|
PART II, CHAPTER 12.
|"JUDAH CHASE.||DAVID DUNNING.|
|ROBERT DUNNING.||ANDREW DUNNING.|
|WILLIAM STANWOOD||SAMUEL STANWOOD.|
|SAMUEL STANWOOD, JR.||JOHN DUNLAP.|
|SAMUEL STANWOOD, 3D.||WILLIAM STANWOOD, 2D|
|LEWIS SIMPSON.||WILLIAM SPEAR.|
|STEPHEN SKOLFIELD||SAMUEL DUNLAP.|
|WILLIAM WOODSIDE.||JOHN SWETT|
|DANIEL WOODSIDE, JR.||JAMES CARY|
|ANTHONY WOODSIDE.||JAMES ELLIOTT.|
|DAVID DUNNING, JR.||WILLIAM STANWOOD, 3D."|
[1762.] At a meeting of the church, held Monday, November 15, it was--
Voted, "That all such as desire admittance into full Communion with the Church, shall privately signify their desire to the minister, and [make a statement of their religious] views, after which the minister shall propound them to the Church at least a week before the Sacrament, that if any of the Communicants have anything to object, they may have time so to do before the Sacrament, which objection is to be made to the Deacons, who shall before Sacrament day acquaint the minister of it, that the minister may have time to inform the person, but if no objections appear, the, minister shall proceed to admit the person." Also, "That the sacrament of the Lord's Supper be administered once in two months in the winter, beginning the first Sabbath of December, and once in six weeks in the summer months."
[1763.] On May 12, the church voted, "That the contribution be continued at both ends of the town in order to purchase utensils for this church.
"To purchase four flagons, eight tankards, twelve cups, four dishes, two tablecloths, and two napkins for the use of this church.
"That Aaron Hinkley and Deacon Dunning take charge of the contribution, and see the articles purchased as soon as may be.
"That Deacon Clark and Deacon Samuel Stanwood take an account of the money collected at the west meeting-house, and Deacon Snow and Deacon Whitney take account of the money collected at the east meeting-house, before delivered into the hands of Deacon Dunning and Mr. Hinkley."
It is difficult to understand the necessity for this vote to purchase flagons, etc., because (if there is no mistake in the date inscribed upon them) two flagons, three plates, and four cups were presented to the church in 1737 by Benjamin Larrabee and John Minot. They are now in the possession of Professor A. S. Packard.
At this same meeting of the church, it was "voted to sing Tate and Brady's version with the hymns annexed thereto, composed by Isaac Watts, D. D." Mr. Aaron Hinkley declined serving as deacon, and was excused.
[1761.] This year an individual who desired baptism for his two children was obliged to make a public confession of his criminal intimacy with Ann Conner, who subsequently committed suicide.
[1765.] September 8, the church met and voted to have a covenant drawn up and signed by each member.
The following is found on the cover of one of the old records:-
"October 1765 The people in Brunswick began to quarrel with their minister, John Miller, headed by William Woodside Senior."
[1766.] On May 9, a church meeting was held to consider this "quarrel"; and at an adjourned meeting, held May 22, the church voted that Mr. Woodside should apologize to the pastor He refused to do so, and the church then voted that "Mr. Miller's Character stood fair in the eye of the church."
[1767.] May 13, William Woodside was suspended until he confessed his fault to the church and pastor.
[1768.] July 29. At a meeting of the church on this day objection was offered to the baptism of a child of Thomas Thompson, "on account of said Thomas standing up and reading the Psalm in the public worship of God." The child was, however, baptized. At a meeting on September 6, William Woodside, Senior, openly asked the forgiveness of the church and the pastor, as to his past misconduct, and was received again into the church. A number of the members were also reconciled to each other at this meeting, an uncommon spirit
of forgiveness prevailing, and the members appearing to be "of one heart and of one mind." At this meeting Mr. Miller openly declared himself to be the pastor of a church on the Congregational plan.
[1770.] In May, 1770, the church records show that the members had been led to consider the decline of religion; and accordingly a day of fasting and prayer was appointed "to implore pardon of God, and his aid and help." The day was seriously observed. After public services the church met, confessions were made, alienations and differences composed, and tokens appeared of a reviving spiritual influence among the Christian portion of the community.
[1771.] The question whether the church should be Congregational or Presbyterian in form came up this year. A meeting was held at the west meeting-house, which the members of the east end did not attend. Subsequently a meeting was held at the east end which was attended by both parties. The next day some of the members at the east end met at Captain Thompson's, without notifying the other members. To reconcile the difficulties a meeting was held on  June 16, and the following agreement was drawn up and signed:-
"In the first place we propose that this Church and the Discipline thereof be governed agreeable to the Congregational Constitution and platform of the churches in New England - excepting the adminis-tration of the ordinance of Baptism and the Lord's supper to be administered agreeable to the custom of the Presbyterian Churches, and to have only one preparation day before each sacrament.
"Consented to by me, "JOHN MILLER.DAVID DUNNING
"Voted and accepted in Church.
"N.B. It is to be understood by the Pastor and the Church that the above writing was drawn up and executed in consequence of all differences and uneasiness that did subsist between the Pastor and Church, and the same were adjusted and settled in an amicable manner."
[1774.] At a meeting of the church, on May 16, at the west meeting-house, the above vote having caused some uneasiness, and
some of the members at the east end of the town not being disposed to comply with it, it was voted that the sacrament might be adminis-tered at the west meeting-house from the long table, the communicants sitting around it or in the body-pews as they might see fit; and that it might be administered at the east meeting-house in the Congregational form. The ordinance of baptism to be administered in either form as persons might choose.
[1785.] At a meeting held on September 13, the church considered the matter of lay exhorters, who were becoming quite common in town. No action was taken, however, as some of the church evidently favored such persons.
[1786.] At a meeting held April 17, the subject of chosing ruling elders was brought forward, and it was voted not to choose any. The church then considered in regard to the new mode of singing adopted at the east end of the town, and it was voted that the psalms and hymns should be read by the deacons, i. e., line by line, until all had had time to furnish themselves with books. Charles Thomas was chosen chorister at the east end, and John Dunning at the west end of the town, with liberty to appoint their own assistants.
At a meeting held July 5, there was a pretty warm discussion in regard to the mode of singing. After a while the discussion turned upon the question whether the church was Congregational or Presbyterian. The meeting closed without settling the point.
[1790.] At a meeting held in March, there being no minister, Stanwood Dunning was chosen permanent moderator. Several persons being asked why they had absented themselves from church meetings, etc., one replied, "because there was no order in the church"; another, that he could not sit down to the Lord's table with a certain member; and others answered that "they had joined the Baptists."
[1793.] December 18 the church voted a call to Reverend Mr. Coffin, and that the twenty-third of January be set for his ordination.
[1794.] January 22, the council for the ordination met. It consisted of Daniel Little, Kennebunk; Paul Coffin, Buxton; Thomas Brown, Stroudwater; Alfred Johnston, Freeport; Samuel Eaton, Harpswell; Jonathan Ellis, Topsham; and the usual lay delegates. The ordaining services were performed the next day in the west meeting-house.
The minutes of only two church meetings are recorded during the whole of Mr. Coffin's pastorate. May 10 of this year it was voted that there should be four communions a year. June 26 it was voted
On July 21, 1808, the new meeting house, which had been built by subscription, was given to and accepted by the parish, the north gallery being reserved for the use of the students of Bowdoin College, that institution having contributed funds towards its erection. Afterward, in the present building, the south gallery was substituted in lieu of the north.
On February 8, 1810, the parish extended an invitation to Reverend John Bartlett to settle over them. The call was not, however, accepted. On the twenty-first of April, of this year, the parish voted to petition the Court of Common Pleas for a remission of the fine that had been imposed upon them "for not being supplied with preaching."
Since 1802 there had been no settled minister over them and a portion of the time no preaching, though during this time Presidents McKeen and Appleton often officiated.
On April 2, 1811, the parish voted "to appoint a suitable person to care for the meeting-house, sweep the same, and ring the bell." This is the first allusion to any bell in town and this bell was undoubtedly the one on the college chapel. In October, 1824, however, the parish authorized a bell to be put in the tower of the meeting-house, and it was done shortly after. This, the first parish bell, was bought by subscription, and cost about five hundred dollars.1 The college paid fifty dollars towards its purchase, on condition that the parish would give them the right to use both it and the meeting-house, for literary exercises on Commencement week and at other times for special purposes, upon ten days' notice being given.
In 1817 the question of heating the meeting-house came up. and on the eighteenth of January the parish voted to grant permission to have stoves put in. This was probably not done, though, at this time, for in 1824 the matter again came up and was referred to a committee, who reported it inexpedient to use stoves. In November, 1838, the parish authorized the assessors "to adopt the plan used in Reverend Mr. Ellingwood's church, in Bath."
In 1819, John Schwartkin, of Holland, was allowed to partake of the communion without a letter of recommendation, because he was a stranger in a foreign country.
In Reverend Mr. Mead's reply to a call of the church, in 18 2, he made it a condition of his acceptance that he should have the right to dissolve the connection with the church whenever the compensation he received failed to amount to seven hundred dollars a year.
His ordination services were held this year and were as follows introductory prayer, by Reverend Mr. Mittimore, of Falmouth; sermon, by Reverend Doctor Payson, of Portland; consecrating prayer, by Reverend Mr. Gillet, of Hallowell; charge, by Reverend Doctor Packard, of Wiscasset; right hand of fellowship, by Reverend Mr. Smith, of Portland; address to the people, by Reverend Mr. Ellingwood, of Bath; closing prayer, by Reverend Mr. Pomeroy, of Gorham.
Mr. Mead was dismissed, at his own request, in July, 1829. On the fifth of that month he preached his farewell discourse. which was printed by request, and a copy of which is preserved in the library of the Maine Historical Society. During his ministry a creed and covenant were adopted by the church and a church library started, to which the books of the Brunswick Female Humane Society were added.
About this time the attention of the parish was directed to the question of the ownership and boundaries of the meeting-house lot. The fencing of this lot and the legal contest connected therewith is mentioned in another connection.
In November, 1829, Reverend George E. Adams was invited to become the pastor of this parish. Having already been ordained, although without a charge, he was installed Tuesday, December 29. The installation services were as follows:--
Introductory prayer, by Reverend Seneca White, of Bath; sermon, by Dr. Tyler. of Portland; installing prayer, by Dr. H. Packard, of Wiscasset; charge, by Reverend Asa Mead, of Gorham; right hand of fellowship, by Reverend Jacob C. Goss, of Topsham; address to the church and to the people, by Reverend Benjamin Tappan, of Augusta; concluding prayer, by Reverend William Mittimore, of Falmouth.
On November 27, 1834, Thanksgiving day, the meeting-house, having been repaired and somewhat altered, was dedicated anew.
In 1835 the parish voted to receive an organ, in trust, for the church. Two years later the debt due upon this organ was assumed by the parish. On May 16, 1840, a motion was made in parish meeting to pay the organist fifty dollars. This motion produced an animated discussion. One individual remarked, "I don't wish to wound the feelings of any one. I have felt very unpleasant ever since the
organ came into the meeting-house. It is not acceptable to God. It is very offensive. It begins to make a noise after the hymn is read,- before they begin to sing. It has a very immoral tendency. It keeps our minds from other things."No objection to the motion was made by any one else, and the amount was therefore voted.
In 1812 a new bell was put in the tower in place of the old one. which had been cracked in consequence of ringing a fire alarm on the seventeenth of December of the previous year. The cost of this new bell was about one hundred and fifty dollars, and the sum was raised by subscription.
On February 15, 1845, the parish voted to have a new meeting-house built, and to dispose of the old one. Work was at once commenced on it, and it was finished early the next year. Its cost was $13,101.68. It was dedicated on March 18, 1846. The public exercises were as follows: A voluntary on the organ; an anthem by the choir; reading of Scripture by Reverend Ray Palmer, of Bath; prayer, by Reverend Jonathan Clement, of Topsham; hymn, by Reverend John O. Fisk. of Bath; sermon, by the pastor, Reverend George E. Adams; prayer, by Reverend John W. Chickering, of Portland; hymn, by Reverend E. G. Parsons, of Freeport; benediction, by Reverend James Drummond, of Lewiston.
Doctor Adams closed his ministry in August, 1870. When he went to Brunswick he was called from the Professorship of Sacred Rhetoric, in the Bangor Theological Seminary, and by experience and culture seemed unusually well endowed for the work of the ministry, which, with uninterrupted unanimity, was continued forty-one years. "With perhaps as few trials as have fallen to the lot of any of his contemporaries, he was permitted to witness repeated special manifestations of the Divine favor, and a large increase of the church and of the society. Having come to it when it was comparatively weak, he closed his long service when it had become one of the strong societies of the State. When at last, after an unusually prolonged pastorate, at his own request, moved to it by an inviting call to Orange, New Jersey, he asked to be released from this ministry, he received a united and costly testimonial from his whole people of their affectionate and grateful esteem and affection."1
Notwithstanding Doctor Adams's resignation was accepted by the parish, his formal connection therewith was never severed by any act of council, and he died the legal pastor of the society.
In December, 1870, Reverend Ezra H. Byington (University of Vermont, 1852) was invited to supply the pulpit, and on January 10, 1871, he received a quite unanimous call to settle. He accepted and has remained to the present time, but no formal settlement has yet occurred.
To this history of the church and society we add a brief notice of their Sabbath school.
The following sketch of the origin and early history of the Sabbath school is obtained from the church manual. The particulars were obtained from a private journal of the late Deacon John Perry, for many years an active and efficient member and officer of the church:--
"In the winter of 1811-12 an account of a Sabbath school in England, in a newspaper, suggested to Mr. Perry the idea of attempting the same agency for good in this community. He consulted the minister, Reverend Mr. Bailey, and President Appleton, about the expediency of such a movement and the proper method of conducting it. They favored the project, but were not informed of the way in which such schools were managed. They, however, thought that nothing but reading of a religious character should be allowed. To the inquiry whether small children, abecedarians, should be admitted, after deliberation of some days, they decided in favor of it, on the ground that unless such children were taught to read, they could never read the Scriptures. Mr. Perry then, May, 1812, gathered some eighteen of his own and neighbors' children in the red school-house, School Street, during the hour before morning service. After the hour was spent, most of his school accompanied him to the church. The school was opened by Scripture reading and prayer; lessons were recited in the Bible and primer. Those that could read, read in the Bible at least once, and the portion read he explained as he best could. That first season, closing in October, passed without an assistant or a visitor; and so his service of love continued until in 1816, Mr. David Starret, a student in college (1819), was secured as an assistant, and more interest was taken in this humble work. President Appleton exhibited decided interest in the movement. At his suggestion, several of the church and parish met in 1817 to consider its claims, and the first formal organization of a Sabbath school, as an element in the work of the church, was made. A superintendent was chosen, teachers. were appointed, wider interest awakened, and the institution permanently established."
According to another account with which we have been favored.
"the first school of this kind was opened early in 1816, in the cloth-room of the factory, by Mr. Jacob Abbott, Mr Bourne, and Mr. Edwards, the credit of suggesting it belonging to the former gentleman. Deacon John Perry and several other gentlemen were invited to act as teachers. As the cold weather came on, the school was moved to the school-house near Miss Narcissa Stone's, and David Starrett and a Mr. Vance were the teachers. After a while it was moved to the red school-house." The writer of the above was connected with this school from its formation until 1826, and says that if one was formed earlier it certainly died out, as there was none in town when this school was formed, in 1816.
The following is a list of the settled pastors of the church, and of the deacons and members prior to the present century:-
Reverend Robert Dunlap, 1747-1760; Reverend John Miller, 1762--1788; Reverend Ebenezer Coffin, 1794-1802; Reverend Winthrop Bailey, 1811-1814; Reverend Asa Mead, 1822-1829; Reverend George Eliashib Adams, 1829-1870; Reverend Ezra Byington, 1871.
(This list of members is supposed to be quite imperfect, but it includes all the names which can be found in the records.)
LIST IN THE HANDWRITING OF REVEREND JOHN MILLER, WHO WAS ORDAINED NOVEMBER 3, 1762. - John Miller, pastor; John Orr, Mair Point; Samuel Stanwood, deacon; Ebenezer Stanwood, died July 18, 1772; Thomas Adams, recommended to the church in Scotland, July, 1765; William Ross; David Dunning, deacon; William Simpson; Samuel Clark, deacon; James Hewey; Robert Given; John Given; Thomas Skolfield; John Gatchell, Senior; Isaac Snow, deacon; Peter Coombs, died January, 1768; Peter Coombs, Junior; Aaron Hinkley; James Thompson, renounced the church; Alexander Thompson; James Curtis, received May, 1763; Samuel Whitney, deacon, dismissed to a church to be gathered at St. John's River, eastward; Reverend Robert Dunlap; Enoch Danforth, received May, 1763, from church in Arundel; Benjamin Stone; George Hayden, or Headon, or Haddean, received September, 1765; Joseph Snow, received September, 1765; William Wilson, received December, 1762;
The following names are found in a list of those admitted to the church during Mr. Miller's ministry, which are not found in the preceding one. This list is apparently also in Mr. Miller's handwriting.
Daniel Hunt, James Elliot, William Dunning, Ephraim Hunt, Samuel Dunlap, Joseph Morse, Joseph Haley, Janett Hunt, wife of Daniel, Ruth Elliot, wife of James: all received April 20, 1783.
A LIST OF MEMBERS WHO SIGNED A CHURCH DOCUMENT WHICH IS WITHOUT DATE, BUT IS AT LEAST AS LATE AS 1783, AS IT INCLUDES THREE NAMES ADMITTED IN 1783. -Judah Chase; Robert Dunning; William Stanwood; Samuel Stanwood, Junior; Samuel Stanwood, 3d; Lewis Simpson; Stephen Skolfield; William Woodside; Daniel Woodside, Junior; Anthony Woodside; David Dunning; David Dunning, Junior; Arthur Dunning; Samuel Stanwood; John Dunlap; William Stanwood, 2d; William Spear; Samuel Dunlap; John Swett; James Carey; William Stanwood, 3d.
In a list of church members during the ministry- of Reverend Ehenezer Coffin and subsequently, the following are not found in previous lists:--
William Owen; Patrick Kincaid, deacon, July, 1800; Tobias Still; James Curtis, deacon, removed to Lisbon; Mary Owen; Sarah Given; Martha Ross; Mrs. Eunice Harding: Mrs. Hannah Lunt, received August,1795; Jeremiah Minot, received August, 1796; Jane Dunlap, received August, 1796; Mrs. Goss, received May, 1801.
On account of the former connection of the First Parish with the town, an account is here inserted of the
The origin of the fund was this: The meeting-house, which was built in 1806, was built by individuals with the understanding that the pews should be sold at auction, and that all that was paid over the amount needed to reimburse the builders was to go to the parish as a ministerial fund, only the interest of which was to be available for parish purposes. This fund could be added to by donations and other-wise, but the principal was not to be used. In 1816 the overplus of the town Commons - one hundred and ninety-seven acres-was set off to the parish and was afterwards sold to Mr. John Given. The proceeds of the sale were added to this fund. This overplus of the Commons was the amount of land over the one thousand acres, which by the proprietor's deed of 1783 was to go to the First Parish. It was not the "ministerial lot" of one hundred acres laid out by the proprietors in 1741. What became of the proceeds of the sale of the latter, we do not know. It may have been expended in building the first two meeting-houses. It formed no part of the parish fund. This fund is said at one time to have amounted to $5,000 or more. At first it was loaned to individuals, and some of the loans were lost by the parties dying insolvent. Afterwards the trustees of the fund bought some thirty or more pews in the meeting-house, and loaned the balance of the funds to the parish. By bad management this fund has dwindled away, and nothing now remains but a small lot of land back of the church.
The first services in Brunswick by any preacher of the Baptist denomination were held in the year 1783. About this time Elders Case, Potter, and Lord preached here in some private houses, and though it is not known that they made any converts, the attention of
the people was thus drawn to their particular theological views. On October 21, 1783, Reverend Isaac Case arrived in town. The next afternoon he preached at the house of a Mr. Woodard, and on the afternoon of the following day, he preached at the house of Mr. Samuel Getchell.1
In 17892 or 1790,3 Samuel Woodard and others formed themselves into a Baptist Society and refused taxes to the First Parish. In May, 1790, Joseph Morse entered in the town records his protest against ever paying anything to any Congregational or Presbyterian preacher.
On June 20, 1794, Judah Chase, William Mariner, Aaron Snow, Samuel Mariner, John Getchell, John Mariner, Charles Cowan, Peter Jordan, Robert Jordan, Anthony Woodside, David Ferrin, John Ferrin, Robert Dunning, David Clark, Benjamin Getchell, Stephen Getchell, John Williams, George Williams, Philip Higgins, Reuben Higgins, Sylvanus Combs, Philip Higgins, Jr., Samuel Williams, William Thompson, Joseph O'Donehue, Joseph Morse, Richard Orr, William Stanwood, Samuel Dunlap, Daniel Brown, Philip Owens,4 Samuel Huey, Joseph Ross, John Mariner, Jr., Josiah Simpson, Michael Grows, Nathan Combs, George Winslow, Joseph Saint Combs, William Dunning, Samuel Woodward, Peter Woodward, William Gatchell, Jr., Ezekiel Spaulding, Ezekiel Spauldiug, Jr., John S. Gatchell, John Ridout, Samuel Gatchell, John Matthews, David Linscot, William Woodside, Jr., George Combs, and George Combs, Jr., were incorporated by the name of "THE BAPTIST RELIGIOUS SOCIETY IN BRUNSWICK, HARPSWELL, AND BATH."5 Previous to this time the society lead no legal existence.
In May, 1795, the town voted to pass by the fourth article in the warrant concerning allowing the Baptists to use the meeting-houses a part of the time.
The following is a list of the names of those who joined the Baptists in 1796:--
On March 4, David Whitney, Simeon Whitney, Samuel Bean, Joshua Purinton, Abraham Capelon, Lemuel Standish, Jonathan Osgood, Jr., Jonathan Osgood, Francis Winter, Benjamin Chefford, Charles Peterson, William Grace, John Grace, James Ward, Thomas Crawford, Thomas McKenny, Isaiah Crooker, Hannah Crooker, Elijah Williams, Thomas Williams, Jr.
2. Greenleaf's Ecclesiastical sketches.
3. Pejepscot Papers
4. Said to have been the first person ever baptized by immersion in Brunswick.
5. Massachusetts Special Laws, 1, p. 529.
On March 10, William Swanton, Jr., John Lowell, Otis Little, Patrick Murray.
On March 12, Joseph West, James Wakefield.
> On March 14, John Whitmore, James Mitchell, Eliphalet Lowell, William S. Crooker, Samuel Lumber, Joseph Lumber, Birduck Berry, Thomas Mitchell.
On March 16, John McFarlan, John Eneos, Patrick Williams, Thomas Williams, John Williams, Joshua Williams, John Campbell, John Lemont, Stephen Combes, Stephen Combes, Jr., Thomas Combes, John Holbrook, John Sprague, Simeon Higgins, Jacob Low, James Low, Zedoc Lincoln, William Marshall, William Marshall, Jr.
On March 17, William Jackson, Edward Oliver, Christopher Daley.
On March 18, Samuel Davis, James Davidson, Samuel Todd, Simeon Tumor, Charles Lincoln, Jonathan Ryon, Benjamin Brown, Jr., Eliphalet Brown, David Coultson, Patrick Grace, Nathaniel Springot, John Sinclair.1
In 1798 the town voted "to allow the Baptist Society their extraordinary expense in the lawsuit between them and the other society in this town," which was to be in full of all demands. The object of this suit is nowhere stated, but the record of the Court of Common Pleas shows that at the October term of Court in 1795, "Samuel Woodward of Brunswick in the County of Cumberland, Clerk and Teacher of Piety, Religion and Morality," brought a suit against the inhabitants of Brunswick, one of whom was Thomas Thompson, a deputy sheriff, in a plea of the case that the inhabitants were indebted to the said Woodward in the sum of £10 17s. 6d. The plaintiff failed to recover, and costs were awarded to the defendants for nineteen dollars and eighty-six cents. The plaintiff appealed to a higher court. This was probably the lawsuit referred to, though we cannot be certain about the matter, since the original papers cannot be found. It is probable that there was an assessment of taxes made by the town, which was also the First Parish, upon property of some kind, to sustain preaching, and the suit was instituted by this society to obtain its share of the amount collected.
In 1799, Philip Owen, William Dunning, Daniel Brown, Judah Chase, Samuel Dunlap, Josiah Simpson, Anthony Woodside. Michael Grows, and Joseph Ross withdrew from this society and formed one at Maquoit.
The meeting-house of the Brunswick, Harpswell, and Bath society was at New Meadows. The date of its erection, according to the inscription upon the present building, was about 1800. The records of this church are in existence, but we have not been able to procure the loan of them and are therefore unable to give any further account of it.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF BRUNSWICK.
[1799.] A small number of persons having been led to embrace "Believers' Baptism," thought it might conduce to the glory of God and their comfort to be embodied together in church order. They therefore applied to the church in North Yarmouth and the church in Harpswell, of the Baptist order, for their assistance. Agreeably with this request the elders and messengers from those churches, together with Elder Williams, met at the Baptist meeting-house at Maquoit, on the second week in September, 1799. Elder Woodward preached a sermon in the forenoon on the nature of church order.
The brethren and sisters who met to be embodied were examined with regard to their articles of faith and covenant, and it appearing that they had adopted the same which is embraced by the Bowdoinham Association, a summary of which is printed in their minutes, the council decided to give them the hand of fellowship as a distinct Baptist church. The names of those thus embodied were, Judah Chase, Samuel Dunlap, William Stanwood, Sarah Woodside, Philip Owen, Mrs. Ross, wife of William Ross, and J. Merrill.
Mr. Merrill was dismissed from the Bowdoin church and the others from the Harpswell church in order to form this new church in Brunswick.
William Woodside was baptized, and then the church made choice of Samuel Dunlap as deacon.
Elder Williams having for some time preached to the Baptist society in Brunswick and in Topsham, they mutually requested him to remove his residence among them and preach for the two societies alternately. The invitation was accepted, and he moved with his family to Brunswick, January 24, 1800, preaching half the time for the Baptist society in Brunswick, and half for the Baptist society in Topsham.
On the fifteenth of April, 1800, an arrangement was made by which Elder Williams should preach for the ensuing year for the societies of Brunswick and Topsham, each society paying one hundred dollars for his services.
In April, 1801, Elder Williams was engaged to preach for the Brunswick society alone at a salary of two hundred dollars, and in April, 1802, he was engaged to supply the pulpit for another year. In the spring of 1803 he removed to Beverly, Massachusetts, haying preached his farewell discourse on the twenty-fourth of April. "After Elder Williams left us, a Brother Kendall providentially fell in here and preached for us."1
On the twenty-second of February, 1803, Philip Owen, William Dunning, Daniel Brown, Judah Chase, Samuel Dunlap, Josiah Simpson, Anthony Woodside, Michael Grows, Joseph Ross, Samuel Stanwood, William Woodside, Andrew Blake, Abraham Toothaker, William Starbird, David Curtis, James Stanwood, Adam Woodside, David Dunning, William Ross, Frederic French, Nathaniel Chase, James Chase, William Swett, Shimuel Owen, Abner Melcher, William Low, Charles Ryan, Ephraim Hunt, William Lunt, Andrew Dunning, William Hunt, Anthony Chase, Gideon Toothaker, John Given, David Given, and Uriah Elliot were incorporated as the BAPTIST SOCIETY IN BRUNSWICK.
The following is a list of the members of the church in 1803 Deacon Samuel Dunlap, Judah Chase, Philip Owen, John Merrill, Esquire, Wm. Woodside, Mrs. Sarah Woodside, Mrs. Ross, wife of Wm. Ross, Abraham Toothaker and his wife, Betsey Owen, Molly Toothaker, Jane Curtiss, Molly Merryman, Mr. Browning and Mrs. Browning, Elisha Snow, Jean Dunning, Betsey Alexander, Martha Hunt, Jane Martin, Mrs. Snow, wife of Elisha Snow, Mrs. Brown, wife of Daniel Brown, Sarah Alexander, Mrs. Sparks, Hitty Hasey, Abner Melcher, Nabby Atherton, Katharine Willson, Andrew Blake, Heziah Blake, Peggy Stanwood, Ann Chase, and Shinuel Owen.
On September 8, 1804, Elder Titcomb, of Portland, at the request of the church and society, agreed "to minister to them in holy things." This invitation was formally extended by the society on August 29, 1805, and was accepted by him on the first of the following September.
On June 2, 1821, Elder Titcomb was dismissed at his own request, and received a letter of recommendation to other churches. The church was destitute of a settled pastor for some time, but had occasional preaching from Elder Titcomb and others.
On January 23, 1822, Benjamin Titcomb, Jr., was ordained, the churches in Topsham, Portland, North Yarmouth, Bath, Harpswell, and Freeport assisting. On November l1 of the same year a committee
consisting of David Given, John O'Brien, and Ephraim Brown was chosen "to provide a suitable place in the village and also another at Maquoit,1 to meet in the winter for worship, and to take into consideration our present difficult situation in regard to making a selection of a teacher for the present year."
On the eleventh of March, 1824, it was voted that Elder Benjamin Titcomb continue his labors in the church as usual.
On the ninth of August of that year Shimuel Owen, a member of this church, was ordained as an evangelist. In November, a committee was appointed to ascertain the minds of the individual church members as to whether they were satisfied with the labors of Elder Titcomb.
It appears from the records that the church had been somewhat divided, and on the sixth of April, 1825, it was voted that "this church views with abhorrence and detestation their present state as a church, and feeling desirous to walk together in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, we do hereby unitedly agree to bury forever in oblivion all hardness which we may have felt or do now feel in our minds against any of our brethren or sisters, and that we will, with the help of the Divine Spirit, freely and voluntarily forgive all that may have trespassed against us." Up to this time the whole membership of the church was about one hundred and fifty.2
On the tenth of April the following members requested to be dismissed to form themselves into a church, or to join some other church, and the request was granted:--
Aaron Dunning, Philip Owen, Catharine H. Putnam, Mary Humphreys, Sarah Owen, Margaret Donahue, Elizabeth Gould, Nancy Swift, Elizabeth Dunning, Mary Blake, Mary Chase, Betsey Petingill, and Sarah Stanwood.
At the same meeting the church refused to grant permission to two of its members to withdraw and join the church of the Second Society, and a committee was chosen to prepare a statement of facts relative to the conduct of the other church since its formation.
On the twenty-sixth of June. 1826, a petition was addressed to Peter O. Alden, Esquire, a justice of the peace, requesting him to issue his warrant to one of the subscribers, directing him to call a meeting of those persons who were desirous of being incorporated into a religious society, to be called the FIRST BAPTIST RELIGIOUS SOCIETY OF BRUNSWICK.
In accordance with this petition, Esquire Alden issued his warrant to Ephraim Brown, directing him to call a meeting of the petitioners on the eighth day of July. 1826. At this meeting the society was organized by the choice of the following officers:--
John Brown, moderator; Jonathan Snow, clerk; David Given, John Brown, and Captain John Given, Jr., assessors; David Given, collector and treasurer; John Brown, David Given, Ephraim Brown. and Samuel Given, standing committee; Ephraim Brown. William H. Morse, William James, wardens ; Nathaniel Melcher, sexton.
This organization was virtually the same as that incorporated in 1803 as the "Baptist Society in Brunswick." Many of its members had withdrawn and had established themselves as a society in the village, called the "Second Baptist Society." It is quite probable that the officers of the old society were among those who seceded, and being thus left without an organization, the remaining members applied to a justice of the peace under the laws of Maine, for authority to reorganize under a slightly different name.
In July the society voted to raise two hundred dollars for the ensuing year.
On September, 1826, the churches of the First and Second Societies met to discuss their differences. The church of the First Society claimed that the other church had no right to admit as members those who were excluded from the former, until they had been restored to fellowship and regularly dismissed by it. The church of the Second Society claimed that they had a right to admit such members, so long as the other church had nothing against the Christian character of these individuals. No agreement was reached between the two. In November, Adam Wilson was invited to preach one half the time.
On January 8, 1827, it was voted to join in fellowship with the Second Church, which had acknowledged some irregularities in receiving members who were excluded from the First Church.
On February 23, Elder Benjamin Titcomb asked permission to preach to those of the society who resided in the village, or to hold meetings in that part of the town, and it was voted "that it is the opinion of this church that Elder Titcomb is at liberty to preach anywhere in this town where he views it to be his duty." In April some of the members of the old society complained that many members absented themselves and attended Mr. Titcomb's meeting in the village instead of their own.
It had been the practice for some years to hold the meetings of the society in the village in the winter, and at the old meeting-house at
Maquoit in the summer. This year, on June 1, the village members requested that the meetings might continue in the village through the summer, but it was voted not to do so. A few days later thirteen members petitioned for liberty to attend meeting in the village, as it would be more convenient for them, but their request was not granted. In October, Elder Titcomb asked a dismissal, which was granted him, and also to Mary, his wife, and to Elizabeth Titcomb, Ephraim Brown, and Rebecca, his wife, Thomas Stanwood and wife, Thomas Noyes, Joanna Moore, and Mary R. Dunlap; and on the third of November, Joshua Bishop, David Wilson, William Randall. Mary Perkins, Patience Bishop, James Wilson, Isabelle Merryman, and Ruth Skolfield, of Harpswell, were dismissed to form a church in that town.
On January 4, 1828, a resolution was passed that Elder Titcomb, Ephraim Brown, John O'Brien, and others, "having asked dismission for the purpose of uniting with some other church, and having joined the First Church at Bath, and under their patronage have established a meeting in the village while there is already one church of this faith there, causes us grief, and we feel in duty bound to express disfellowship with such a procedure."
During the summer of this year, thirty-eight were added to the church.
In consequence of the action of the First Baptist Church in Bath in sustaining the new movement in Brunswick village, a council was held February 29, 1829, to settle the difficulties between that church and the First Baptist Church in Brunswick, but the action of the council is not recorded. On May 31, however, the Bath church sent a confession of their wrong-doing in having set up a branch church in Brunswick without consultation with the churches already existing there. This action of the Bath church evidently reconciled this church to the formation of the new one in the village, for on October 11, Jonathan Snow and Thomas Ward were chosen delegates to assist in organizing the branch of the Bath church, known as the Federal Street Church, in Brunswick, into an independent church.
The pulpit of the Maquoit or First Baptist Church had been supplied during the past three years by Elders Samuel Mariner, Adam Wilson, Shimuel Owen, and Henry Randall. 1
On May 22, 1830, it was agreed to try to raise money by subscription for the support of the gospel.
On the twentieth of August, 1831, it was voted that
Elder John Bailey, formerly of Wiscasset, take the pastoral care of the church. He resigned his pastorate in June, 1833.
Elder William Johnson became pastor of the church in 1836, and continued in that capacity until 1840. In July, 1836, Elder Noah Norton and wife were received by letter from the Baptist Church in Bowdoin. In 1838 the parish voted to raise by tax one hundred and fifty dollars for the ensuing year's expenses.
In April, 1840, it was voted to engage Elder Noah Norton, and to raise one hundred and fifty dollars by tax, and fifty dollars by subscription.
It was voted this year that all pew-owners should give up their pews, and that thereafter they should all be free.
On May 1, 1841, it was voted to build a new meeting-house, and that it should stand on the west side of the twelve-rod road, near the road leading to Harpswell; and Captain William Stanwood, Jonathan Snow, Jacob Skolfield, and William Stanwood, 2d, were chosen a building committee. Although there is nothing further upon the subject in the records, it is known that instead of building a new meeting-house, the one on Federal Street, belonging to the Universalists, was, about 1846, purchased and moved to a lot near the junction of the old Harpswell and Mair Point roads, and it was thereafter known as the "Forest Church."
From 1841 to 1845, Elder Norton was annually chosen preacher.
Elder Joseph Hutchinson was chosen pastor in 1848, and in 1852 was dismissed at his own request.
Meetings seem to have been held in the years 1853, 1858, and 1866, but there is no record of any settled pastor, or of any important transactions.
On May 19, 1867, Grenville M. Atkins was invited to become their pastor, and accepted the invitation. He was ordained June 13, 1867. He preached a few days over a year, resigning his charge on May 31, 1868. Since then there has been no settled pastor of this church.
The last entry in the records, is dated April 29, 1867, and is to the effect that the parish met on that day and reorganized, and voted "to raise all we can for the support of the gospel."
Connected with the history of this church is the following anecdote which is told of William Woodside. He became "converted" under the preaching of Elder Potter, and at one of the meetings related his "experience," and, as was the custom in those days, he had much to say derogatory of himself. He was in reality a very good man, but in his remarks he called himself a bad man, one who was wholly evil,
whose every act was wicked, and whose imaginations were all vain. When he sat down, a relative arose and with becoming gravity said that he could vouch for the truth of all William had said!
SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH AND SOCIETY.On Tuesday, May 5, 1825, a church was regularly constituted in this place, agreeably to the Baptist platform, by a council assembled for the purpose, under the title of the "Second Baptist Church in Brunswick." The council consisted of delegates from eight churches, who were unanimously agreed in giving the right hand of fellowship. The records of this church have not been found, and it is not positively known who were its members. It is probable, however, that Aaron Dunning, Philip Owen, Catharine H. Putnam, Mary Humphreys, Sarah Owen, Margaret Donahue, Elizabeth Gould, Nancy Swift, Elizabeth Dunning, Mary Blake, Mary Chase, Betsey Pettingill, Sarah Stanwood, Heman Pettingill, and Stanwood Dunning were among the first members. All of these persons were previously members of the First Baptist Church, and were dismissed from that church on the tenth of April of that year in order "to form themselves into a church, or to join some other church." The Second Baptist Society was not formed for a year later.
In 1826 a meeting-house was erected on School Street. Elder Shimuel Owen was pastor of this society from 1827 until it dissolved, in 1840. 1 The building was then sold to the Congregationalists, and has been used by them ever since as a vestry.
FEDERAL STREET BAPTIST SOCIETY.
In 1828, Elder Benjamin Titcomb, Ephraim Brown, John O'Brien, and a few other members of the First Baptist Society, asked and received dismission from that church and united with the First Baptist Church of Bath, under whose patronage they established meetings in the village of Brunswick. Notwithstanding there was at the same time another Baptist society in the village (the Second Baptist), and notwithstanding the opposition made toward this new movement by the First Baptist Society, it was successful, and in 1829 it was organized as a church. In April, work was begun upon a meeting-house. and the building was completed on the twelfth of the following September. It was situated on Federal Street, at the corner of what is now Franklin Street.2 This church, it is said, was under the pastoral
care of Elder Titcomb during the whole period of its existence. It was dropped from the association of Baptist churches in 1839. No records of the church having been found, we are unable to give a more complete and accurate sketch.
MAINE STREET BAPTIST CHURCH AND SOCIETY.
In the early part of 1840 a very extensive revival took place in Topsham and Brunswick. In October, twenty-four persons from the church in Topsham, who resided in Brunswick, were organized into a church. The society was formed in the same year, and a meeting-house, containing seventy-five pews, was erected on Maine Street, a few rods north of Lincoln Street.1 The Reverend Paul S. Adams, from South Berwick, was the first pastor, from January 3, 1841, to 1843. He was succeeded by Reverend Dudley C. Haynes, whose pastorate lasted between two and three years.
Reverend John Hubbard, Jr., was chosen pastor January, 1846, at a salary of two hundred dollars per annum. His pastorate ended October 4, 1851. Reverend J. W. Coburn was pastor from March 15, 1852, until June 2, 1853; and in November of the latter year he was succeeded by the Reverend Charles Ayer, who remained until September 1, 1856. Reverend E. Andrews, an evangelist, then supplied the pulpit for a few months, and was succeeded by the Reverend James D. Reid, in October, 1857. In 1859, Reverend Charles Ayer again supplied the pulpit.
In June, 1860, the Reverend George Knox was installed as pastor of the society. In June, 186l, Mr. Knox was granted a leave of absence to act as chaplain of a Maine regiment, and Reverend S. W. Taylor was engaged to supply the pulpit during his absence. The former was discharged from his pastorate, at his own request, November 17, 1.361. He was afterward killed by a fall from his horse.
In 1862, Reverend T. J. B. House was chosen pastor, and remained with the society three years. In 1865, Reverend C. M. Herring was chosen pastor. During his pastorate a vestry was built and the meeting-house was repaired and remodelled.
Mr. Herring resigned his pastorate July 26, 1868, and was succeeded, the next spring, by Reverend S. W. Emerson, who remained but one year.
Reverend B. F. Lawrence became pastor in June, 1870, and
remained for four years. Reverend E. S. Small, the present pastor, began his pastorate February 20, 1876.
The foregoing sketch of this parish is made from notes furnished by the parish clerk. It is not so full as could be wished, but is as complete as possible from the notes furnished.
SOCIETY OF FRIENDS.
There has never been any organized society of Friends in Brunswick, but about 1772 several Quakers moved into town and settled not far from the line between Brunswick and Durham. Some of them had previously been living in Harpswell.1 Others joined them, and there are now a number of excellent people in the west end of the town who belong to this denomination. Their meeting-house is in the town of Durham, and they belong to the society of that town.
FREE-WILL BAPTIST SOCIETIES.About 1793, Elder Pelatiah Tingley, of Waterboro', formerly of Sanford, began, with others, to hold religious meetings in Brunswick. These meetings were usually held at the house of William Alexander.2 About 1799 the FIRST FREE-WILL BAPTIST SOCIETY, or as it was sometimes called, the "CHRISTIAN CHURCH IN BRUNSWICK AND FREEPORT," was formed. The first church meeting was held at James Elliot's on October 23. The members were Obadiah Curtis, Adam Elliot, William Alexander, Anthony Morse, Joseph Ward, John Coombs, Susannah Morey, Hannah and Margaret Coombs.
In 1807 the records state that there was considerable contention in the church, but the cause thereof is not given. On August 27, of this year, the church numbered forty members. In 1809 there was a "considerable want of union and many backsliders."
In 1810 the church was more prosperous, and many converts were made. This year their meeting-house was built. It was a one-story building, and was situated near Noah Melcher's, on the old Freeport road. It was, it is said, the second meeting-house of this denomination in the State.
In 1813, on December 16th, Elder Adam Elliot, who had been settled about August, 1803, died, and the pulpit became vacant. In 1816, Elder George Lamb was settled. The whole number of members up to June 1, 1817, was one hundred and fifty.
On May 2, 1818, a division occurred in the church, on the question
of washing of feet after the manner of the early disciples, and a few members withdrew because the rite was not observed.
On February 22, 1823, owing to the small number of members and the low state of interest existing, the society was declared dissolved. On January 17, 1826, the church was reorganized by a committee from the Quarterly Meeting. The first meeting after the reorganization was held on the fourth of February. On November 14, 1827, the Union Meeting-House at "Growstown" was finished, and the future meetings of this society were held in it.
In 1831, June 25, the church voted to use a bass-viol with their singing. A resolve to use no ardent spirits, except as a medicine, was passed at this meeting. On February 22, 1834, it was voted to deal with all church members who had taken the pledge of temperance and had violated it. Elder Lamb resigned his pastorate on September 25, 1835. He died in Brunswick, December 14, 1836, having served as pastor nineteen years. August 12, 1837. Elder Andrew Rollins was received as pastor of the church. The whole number of members, between 1826 and 1839, was one hundred and ninety-three.
On May 16, 1840, it was voted to increase Elder Rollins's salary from three hundred to three hundred and fifty dollars. February 20, 1841, it was voted to recognize singing as a means of worship, and to make regulations in regard to the same. On July 22, 1842, Amos Lunt, Amos Lunt, Jr., Thomas Coombs, George Cobb, and Phineas Collins were dismissed, to organize the Freeport and Brunswick Church. On June 30, Elder Ezra Crowell was ordained.
June 8, 1844, Elder E. G. Eaton was elected as pastor. He was dismissed February 12, 1847. During the latter year Elder E. F. Page officiated. On February 12, 1848, Elder Almon Libby was settled. He was dismissed February 14, 1852, and in May of that year Elder Rollins was again settled. The whole number of members up to 1851 was three hundred and sixty-eight, of which two hundred and twenty-five were females.
February 12, 1853, the church repealed the old covenant and adopted the New Testament as a covenant. On September 20, 1856, Elder D. Waterman was settled. In 1859, Elder Chaney was settled over the church, but his pastorate was a short one, as he resigned in the October following. On February 16, 1860, Elder Hutchinson was settled.
The FREE BAPTIST SOCIETY OF BRUNSWICK VILLAGE was originally composed of members of the church at Topsham who resided in Brunswick, and who, on account of the distance, resolved to form a church of their own.
The first sermon was delivered in McLellan Hall, by Reverend Doctor Graham. No step had at that time been taken to form a society, though the matter had been somewhat discussed. On the evening of October 25, 1865, five men met at the house of Mr. Ezekiel Thompson to form a society. Church officers were appointed to serve six months, and on the next Sabbath Reverend A. H. Heath, then of Bates College Theological School, was invited to preach at the Good Templars' Hall. The Sunday school was organized at the second meeting of the society, November 5, 1865. Mr. Heath continued to preach until the spring of 1876, when he returned to his studies at the Theological School, and Reverend E. C. B. Hallam, a returned missionary, was engaged to preach in his stead.
On the afternoon of April 12, 1866, a council of ministers met at McLellan Hall, --- to which place the society had moved its meetings,---to formally organize the church. Forty persons, including five converts, composed the society at this time. The council approved the course that had been taken, accepted the letters of recommendation that were presented, and extended the right hand of fellowship to the new society. Mr. Hallam was then installed as pastor. On the third of June following, the first communion service was held. Mr. Hallam was requested by the Missionary Board to return to India, and in consequence of his acquiescence, he was obliged to preach his farewell sermon on Sunday eve, November 11.
In 1867, Reverend S. D. Church was called to the pulpit, and preached for two years. During his pastorate eleven persons were received into the church. Reverend W. F. Smith commenced to preach to this society on August 22, 1869. The church at that time had sixty-five members and a growing congregation. Upon the completion of Lemont Hall, in 1870, the majority of the society desired to occupy it, and it was accordingly engaged for the Sabbath services. This change of place met with earnest opposition, however, from a few members, who refused to enter the new hall and withdrew their support to the society. Consequently, upon the eighth of June, nine persons, including both deacons, were excluded from church membership. During Mr. Smith's pastorate forty-three persons were added to the church by baptism or by letter.
On November 30, 1872, the resignation of Reverend Mr. Smith was accepted. He was succeeded by Reverend H. P. Lamprey, who preached for one year, then by Doctor Heath, of Hallowell. The time of the latter was divided between two churches and the practice of medicine.
In the early part of 1875, Reverend B. M. Edwards, the present pastor, was settled. The society had for some time desired a house of worship, and in 1874 a lot of land upon O'Brien Street was purchased for the site of one. In the autumn of 1875 the building was commenced. The vestry on the lower floor was finished before the middle of the following summer, and on the ninth of July, 1876, the first sermon in the new house was preached by Mr. Edwards. It was owing largely to the efforts of the pastor that the building was erected.
This church in its first years was unfortunate in losing many of its leading members by death, among whom were Deacon Dresser, Mr. Ezekiel Thompson, and Mrs. Smiley. "Aunt Smiley," as she was called, had prayer-meetings at her house for more than thirty years, and when this society was formed, their weekly prayer-meetings were held there until after her death. Mr. Thompson was elected a deacon after Mr. Dresser died, and served faithfully up to the time of his own decease. Deacon Dresser was one of the most active members in forming the society and was always zealous in its support.
A good degree of religious interest has always been kept up in this society, and the church shared largely in the revival work of the past winter. There are now one hundred and twenty-nine members. The Sunday school has been well supported, and there are now connected with it nine teachers and one hundred and thirty scholars.1
UNIVERSALIST AND UNITARIAN SOCIETIES.The records of the UNIVERSALIST SOCIETY, previous to its uniting with the Unitarians in 1850, having been lost or destroyed, a perfectly accurate history of the society is impossible. It is believed, however, that the following sketch is substantially correct, and it is as complete as could be made from the material at our disposal.
The first movement toward sustaining Universalist preaching here was made in the year 1812. The nature of that movement is best shown by the following agreement, the original of which is now in the possession of Mr. Harvey Stetson, son of the Harvey Stetson who is named in the agreement:--
"Brunswick, January 20th, 1812."We, whose names are here under written, Do Profess to believe in the Doctrine of Universal Salvation by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: And feeling it our Duty as well as our privilege and
highest happiness to worship the one living and true God in Christ Jesus: Do hereby agree and enter into Solemn Covenant to assemble together as a Religious Society on the Sabbath as often as we can conveniently to worship the most high God: And that we will pay our proportion towards the expense of procuring a convenient place for convening together for publick and social Worship: and for the support of Publick Teachers of Piety, Religion and Christian Morality in Our Society:
|"LEMUEL SWIFT||DEAN SWIFT|
|JONATHAN EASTMAN||NATHL BADGER|
|JAMES MERRILL||HARVEY STETSON|
|JAMES CARY||EDWARD RAYMOND|
|JAMES JONES||JAMES MAXWELL|
|ROBERT EASTMAN||EDWARD WELCH|
|E. H. GOSS||PHINEAS TAYLOR|
|JAMES CARY JR.||IRA FULLER|
|ROGER MERRILL||JOSEPH KIMBALL|
|ELIJAH HALL||JOHN LEE|
|JOHN MARSTON||EDMUND PRADY|
|ABNER PRATT||SOLOMON GRAY|
|BENJ. STEPHENS||REED WELCH|
|JOHN GRAY||BURT TOWNSEND|
|ABNER A. KELLEY||ALLEN WING|
They were incorporated in October of that year as the FIRST UNIVERSAL CHRISTIAN SOCIETY IN BRUNSWICK. Mr. Dean Swift is probably the only one of the signers of the foregoing paper who is now living.
Soon after this agreement was made, arrangements were made with the Reverend Thomas Barnes, of Norway, to preach here once a month. The meetings were held in Washington Hall. Mr. Barnes came here on Saturday, on horseback, and returned on Monday. After the cotton-mill was built, in 1812-13, he received a good part of his pay in cotton yarn, which he carried home in his saddle-bags. He preached here for, probably, a year and a half. Mr. Barnes was called the "Father of Universalism in Maine." He came to Maine from Massachusetts in 1799 as an itinerant preacher. He was ordained over the united societies of Norway, New Gloucester, Falmouth, and Gray, January 6, 1802. He died in Poland in 1814.
Reverend Jacob Wood, of Saco, succeeded Mr. Barnes, preaching here occasionally, but for how long a time is uncertain. Probably
other itinerants visited the place from time to time. In 1826, Reverend Sylvanus Cobb1 preached here several Sabbaths.
On the twenty-seventh of January, 1827, Major Burt Townsend,2 Captain Roger Merrill,2 Captain Joseph McLellan,2 Thomas Taylor,2 Colonel Andrew Dennison,2 Joshua Lufkin,2 Harvey Stetson,2 James Derby,2 A. C. Raymond, Joseph Lunt, John L. Swift, and others whose names we cannot ascertain, formed a society under the name of THE UNIVERSALIST SOCIETY OF BRUNSWICK AND TOPSHAM.
Arrangements were at once made with Reverend Mr. Cobb to preach once in three or four weeks. The meetings were held in Washington Hall. This engagement continued until February, 1828 (about one year), when it terminated.
In April of that year Reverend Seth Stetson (Father Stetson, as he was called in later years) came East on a missionary tour. and preached here, for the first time, on Thursday evening, April 17, 1828. On the following Sunday, as he says in his diary, he "preached in a large hall to a good number of men." The next day he went to Topsham, where he was the guest of Major William Frost, and in the evening he preached in the court-house. From Topsham he went to Bowdoinham and other places in the vicinity, and soon after returned to Boston, where he then resided.
About the first of June following, he received an invitation to remove to Brunswick, and preach in the three towns of Brunswick, Bath, and Bowdoinham. alternately. He accepted the invitation, and on the twenty-second of June, 1828, he preached in Brunswick, and continued to preach there every third Sabbath until May 10, 1829, when his engagement closed.
A meeting-house for this parish was erected in 1829. It was situated on Federal Street. directly opposite the present high-school building. Reverend Mr. Stetson was invited to preach in the new meeting-House during the winter, for which he received eight dollars a Sabbath. After the twenty-first of February, 1830, he preached a few Sabbaths for what he could get, a collection being taken up each Sabbath. The amount collected being too small for his necessities, he gave up the field and went on a missionary tour, and in May following removed with his family to Buckfield.
From this time until 1835 the Universalists were without preaching, and their meeting-house was occupied by the
On the eleventh of December, 1829, a meeting of Unitarians was held, and it was decided to form a society for the establishment and maintenance of Unitarian preaching in Brunswick. The organization was effected on the third day of January, 1830, under the title of THE SECOND CONGREGATIONAL SOCIETY OF BRUNSWICK,1 and was composed of twenty-three members, all of whom were avowed Unitarians. No records having been kept, we are unable to give a complete list of the members. Among them, however, were the following: Benjamin Weld, Charles Weld, Governor Dunlap, Professor Henry W. Longfellow, Ebenezer Everett, John Coburn, John S. Cushing, Humphrey Purinton, and Major William Frost.
A subscription paper was soon after circulated to raise funds to support preaching. This list numbered fifty-five, and included some Universalists who sympathized with the Unitarians, and were willing to aid in support of Unitarian preaching.
The Universalists gave the use of their meeting-house, and in June, 1830, the first Unitarian sermon was preached in Brunswick. Reverend Andrew Bigelow was the preacher.
From June, 1830, to June, 1835, there was regular Unitarian preaching, but there was not any of this time a settled minister. Of those who supplied the pulpit, Mr. Wiswell remained the longest.2 He preached here from 1832 to 1834,--- a little more than two years.
The other ministers supplied for a longer or shorter time, varying from two to ten or twelve Sundays each. The meetings were well attended, the building being generally well filled, but seldom or never crowded. Professor Longfellow conducted a Bible class for several years, which was largely attended, and which is spoken of by members of the class as having been exceedingly interesting and instructive.
A part of the congregation was composed of Topsham people, and after a time the meetings alternated between Brunswick and Topsham to accommodate them. Finally it was agreed between the Universalists and Unitarians that the former should maintain preaching in Brunswick and the latter in Topsham. (See sketch of Unitarian society of Topsham.) In 1835 the
UNIVERSALISTSMade a third engagement with Reverend Seth Stetson to supply their pulpits. Accordingly he again removed to Brunswick with his family, and ever after resided here. His engagement began on the twenty-eighth of June, 1835, and ended on the twenty-eighth of February, 1836.
Early in June, 1836, Reverend Stephen A. Sneathen came here from Massachusetts, and preached occasionally during the months of June, July, and August. Reverend G. M. Quinby, then settled at Yarmouth, also preached here occasionally during the same period. On the tenth of August, in this year, Mr. Sneathen entered into an engagement to preach every other Sabbath, a part of the time in Topsham. This arrangement was continued during the remainder of the year. On the twenty-fifth of January, 1837, Mr. Sneathen was ordained, and became the first settled minister of the society. He was a young man, physically a cripple, but said to be a speaker of more than ordinary ability. His pastorate ended in the spring of 1838.
Mr. Sneathen was succeeded by Reverend Sidney Turner, whose pastorate commenced in June or July, 1838, and lasted until about the first of September, 1840. Father Stetson says of him in his diary, "He was a young Congregational minister who turned Universalist, but after a year or two he turned back again. He married a minister's widow in Bingham, where be was settled in 1849"
In October, 1840, "Father" Stetson began his fourth and last engagement, preaching every other Sunday until April, 1842.
He was succeeded by Reverend Giles Bailey,1 who began a supply of the pulpit in April, 1842. In July he removed here from Winthrop, the place of his first pastorate, and where he
was ordained. He preached regularly during the year, but was not formally installed until January 7, 1843. The installation sermon was preached by Reverend Mr. Gardiner, of Waterville. The pastorate of Mr. Bailey continued until September, 1848, when he resigned to enter upon the duties of the missionary agency of the Maine Universalist Convention. The society was, during the pastorate of Mr. Bailey, in its most flourishing condition. The officers of the society at that time were Colonel Andrew Dennison, and Anthony Raymond (or "Father" Raymond, as he was called), deacons; Isaac Center, clerk; Nathaniel Badger, collector and treasurer. During this pastorate the Mason Street Church was built. It was dedicated in December, 1846.
After the resignation of Mr. Bailey the church was without a pastor for several months. Early in the year 1849, Reverend W. C. George was called to the charge. He remained only a year, when the society was again without a pastor.
The Universalist Society of Brunswick and the Unitarian Society of Topsham were both at this time in a feeble condition, the result chiefly of deaths and removals. It was therefore proposed to unite the two societies in one organization, to be known as
THE MASON STREET RELIGIOUS SOCIETY.
The necessary arrangements were made, and went into effect on the first Sunday in November, 1850. Reverend Amos D. Wheeler, of Topsham, Unitarian, was the pastor.
There was a debt of one thousand dollars upon the house, six hundred dollars of which was procured by the pastor from prominent Unitarians in Boston, and the balance was paid by individual subscriptions in the society.
The engagement of Reverend Doctor Wheeler was for five years only, and the salary was to be raised in equal proportions by the members of the society from the two towns. Doctor Wheeler's engagement was renewed from time to time, so that his services were not discontinued until October 1, 1865, at which time he delivered his farewell discourse, having been appointed by the American Unitarian Association to act in a missionary capacity in the State of Maine.
During Doctor Wheeler's pastorate the ladies of this society formed an association, the object of which was:-
"First, the promotion of kind, social, Christian intercourse and
feeling among its members and generally throughout the society with which it is connected; and secondly, to aid in the accomplishment of any religious or benevolent purpose from its funds or otherwise as a majority of its members may determine."
Doctor Wheeler was succeeded by Reverend William Ellery Copeland, who was ordained on Thursday, July 26, 1866. The services were as follows:--
Introductory prayer, by Reverend Casneau Palfrey, D. D., of Belfast; reading of Scripture, by Reverend John Nichols, of Saco; anthem, by choir; sermon, by Reverend George Putnam, D. D., of Roxbury, Massachusetts; hymn; ordaining prayer, by Reverend A. D. Wheeler, D. D; charge, by Reverend Edward E. Hale, of Boston; right hand of fellowship, by Reverend Charles C Salter, of West Cambridge, Massachusetts; address to the people, by Reverend Charles C. Everett, of Bangor; hymn; benediction, by the pastor.
Mr. Copeland, like his predecessor, was a Unitarian in his views. The society, however, owing to the various causes which usually com-bine to weaken any religious association, became gradually feeble, and as it became so, the Universalist element preponderated. Mr. Copeland gave good satisfaction while pastor, though he laid himself open to the objection that was made, that he cared more for the temperance cause than he did for the success of this church. He resigned his charge in 1869, and in 1870 Reverend William R. French, a Universalist, was chosen to fill his place, and continued as pastor of the society until 1875, when he resigned. During his pastorate Mr. French labored faithfully and well for the interests of the society. Since his resignation no regular services have been held by either the Universalists or Unitarians.
THE UNITARIAN SOCIETY OF BRUNSWICK.
This society was legally organized on the fifth day of August, 1874. The incorporators numbered fifty-three. Stephen J. Young, W. B. Purinton, A. G. Poland, Emeline Weld, and Harriet Tebbets were elected a standing committee; Henry W. Wheeler, clerk; A. V. Metcalf, treasurer; Humphrey Purinton, collector; H. P. Thompson and Alonzo Day, assessors.
A code of by-laws was adopted and a committee chosen to present, at some future time, plans for a chapel suitable for the accommodation of the society, and to take measures to secure a suitable lot.
In March, 1875, a lot was purchased on the corner of Federal and Pearl Streets for $1,500, the amount having been subscribed by members of the society. The society has not yet erected a church edifice, but the organization is maintained.
METHODIST EPISCOPAL SOCIETY OF BRUNSWICK.
The first Methodist preaching in Brunswick, of which we have any account, was in the year 1821. At that time Melville B. Cox, while laboring on a circuit approaching within eight miles of this place, came here and, securing the use of the school-house near the colleges, commenced a course of Sunday-evening lectures. His devout appearance and the pathos of his words interested his hearers and soon drew a considerable congregation, among whom were many students. One family in the place kindly opened their doors for his entertainment. After he had continued his appointment for some time, he came one Sabbath evening, wearied with the labors of the day and a long ride, from his place of preaching during the day, and called at the house of his host. He saw no signs of any one in the house, and knocked at the door several times, when at length the man came to the door and said that he was very sorry to inform him that he must turn him away from his house or be turned away himself. The preacher repaired to the place of meeting without a supper, preached his last sermon in Brunswick, and then rode eight miles to find a lodging; such was the opposition at that time against the Methodists.
In the latter part of 1828, or early in 1829, Reverend William H. Norris, then stationed at Bath, preached a few times in this place, after which meetings were held occasionally by local preachers from Bath. At the Maine Annual Conference, held in July, 1829, Reverend Benjamin Bryant was appointed to the Bath circuit, including the upper part of Bath, New Meadows, and Brunswick. He spent a few Sabbaths in this village and formed a "class" of five members, namely, Mrs. Snowden, Miss Jane Blake, Miss Eunice McLellan, Miss Margaret Todd, and Miss Maria Walker. The last two are still living.
The encouragement was so small that the place was abandoned, and at the succeeding Conference the circuit was merged in the Bath station.
Soon after the above-mentioned class was formed, two Methodist students entered Bowdoin College (in 1828 and 1829). One of these, John Johnston (afterwards Professor of Natural Science
in Wesleyan University), manifested a firm attachment to Methodism and cordially identified himself with the humble society at Brunswick. The other, Charles Adams, was a licensed preacher, and preached in the neighborhood of Brunswick as occasion offered during his college course. Under his direction the small class increased in numbers, strengthened by occasional recruits from the college students.
In the fall of 1833 the class consisted of about fourteen persons, of whom five were students in college.
In the winter of 1834 an arrangement was made with a number of preachers in neighboring towns to supply preaching one half the time on the Sabbath, until the session of the Conference in the following July. The preaching was gratuitous, the society paying the travelling expenses of the minister.
At this Conference (1834) an application was made for a preacher to be supported in part by funds of the Missionary Society. But the condition of the funds would not allow such an appropriation. The services of Reverend James Warren, a very acceptable local preacher, were obtained one half of the time. The request for a preacher was renewed the next year, 1835, and Mr. Warren was appointed to Bowdoinham and Brunswick circuit. In consequence. of ill-health, Mr. Warren retired from the circuit in two or three months, and Asahel Moore, who had just graduated at Bowdoin College, and who had always been warmly interested in the society, was engaged to take charge of it and visit it once in two or three weeks, being then engaged in teaching school at Gardiner. Early in the spring of 1836 he closed his school and devoted his whole time to the society in Brunswick. At this time there were about forty members in the society, including seven college students.
These meetings were held on the Sabbath in the Congregational conference-room, or in the Universalist meeting-house, which was hired for this purpose.
On the sixteenth of April, 1836, Eliphalet S. Bryant, Daniel Smith, Charles Evans, Rufus Rich, Ebenezer Stockbridge, and Albert Merrill requested Moses E. Woodman, Esquire, a justice of the peace, to issue a warrant to one of the applicants, directing him to call a meeting of the applicants for the purpose of organizing a religious society or parish, by the name of the Methodist Episcopal Society, in Brunswick. The warrrant was issued, and on the twenty-fifth of April the applicants referred to met at the Baptist Meeting-House on Federal Street, and after appointing Asahel Moore,
Sandford K. Ballard, Stephen M. Vail, and Samuel G. Lane to be their associates, organized by the choice of Sanford K. Ballard, chairman, and Stephen M. Vail, clerk. A constitution was then adopted, and a board of trustees was elected, consisting of Honorable Allen F. Cobb, of Durham, John Wilkinson, of Bath, Ebenezer Moore, of Gardiner, John Moore, of Gardiner, Eliphalet Bryant, of Brunswick, Ephraim Sturdivant, of Cumberland, and Samuel G. Lane, of Brunswick.
In September following, the meeting-house on the east side of Federal Street, called the "Baptist Branch Meeting-house," previously occupied by the society of which Reverend Mr. Titcomb was pastor, was bought by the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Society for the sum of $1,900, and the lot upon which the building stood was purchased for fifty dollars additional. In payment the trustees gave notes payable at the expiration of one year. Something more than one half the amount was paid during the year, and new notes were given for the balance.
On the tenth of January, 1838, the house was paid for, and on the seventeenth of April following the society was entirely free from debt. The whole pecuniary responsibility in the purchase of the meeting-house was assumed by Mr. Sturdivant. Some help was received from abroad, but in order to relieve Mr. Sturdivant from his heavy burden the parsonage (which had been built mostly by the generosity of Thomas Knowlton) was deeded to him, and the debt due to him mostly paid.
At the annual Conference, held in August, 1836, the Reverend Mark Trafton was appointed to Brunswick. He remained with the society about three months, and left in the apprehension that he could not receive a support. The society was thus thrown into great discouragement. In this emergency the pulpit was supplied by Isaiah McMahon, a student in college.
In 1837, Reverend C. P. Bragdon took charge of the society. His labors were quite successful, and a considerable number were added to the church. From 1838 to 1840, Reverend C. C. Cone was the preacher in charge. His labors were quite successful, and the society was increased from seventy-five to one hundred and twenty-seven. He was succeeded by Reverend A. P. Hillman. During the two years' appointment of this preacher the society was reduced to ninety-three members. No cause for this diminution of membership is given in the society's records.
In the year 1841, Reverend Asahel Moore was appointed to
Brunswick. The society was laboring under great embarrassment from its feebleness, but was considerably improved under the labors of Mr. Moore, there being one hundred and fifteen members at the close of his two years' labor.
Reverend Cornelius Stone was the preacher in charge in 1844. A few conversions occurred during the year, but the number of deaths and removals was more than sufficient to offset the gain.
In 1845, Reverend Daniel Fuller was appointed to Brunswick. During the second year of his labors his health broke down and he did not long survive. His last sermon was preached in January, 1857, his subject being the Eternal World. He was a good preacher and a faithful pastor.
His successor, Reverend John W. True, was appointed at the Conference held in Saco the same year. The church at this time was much enfeebled by removals and in consequence of being deprived of their pastor most of the year. The pastor was considerably interrupted in his work by sickness and other embarrassments, and the society hardly held its own during these two years.
During the year 1849 the society was without a preacher.
In the spring of 1850 the society raised the sum of two hundred dollars and repaired the meeting-house. Reverend Ezekiel Robinson was the preacher in charge.
Reverend Charles Munger was pastor in 1851-2, and Reverend Joseph Hawkes in 1853.
Reverend J. C. Perry was appointed to Brunswick in 1854, and a considerable revival occurred during the year.
In 1855, Reverend Parker Jaques was the preacher.
In 1856-59, Reverend Charles W. Morse spent three years and ten months at Brunswick with varied success.
From 1845 till 1854 Brunswick was a missionary station. There was no appropriation subsequent to that time. Mr. Morse was retired from active duties, but, on account of the protracted sickness of his wife, he had charge for the fourth year at Brunswick.
In 1860 and 1861 no material change occurred in the condition of the society. Reverend John Cobb was pastor.
In 1862-3, Reverend Josiah H. Newhall was preacher in charge. During the second year there was considerable religious excitement in the village, caused by the labors of the revivalist, Reverend Mr. Hammond, and a considerable revival occurred in the Methodist Society. Mr. Newhall was a fine scholar, a native of Lynn, and a graduate of Wesleyan University. He died suddenly of paralysis in 1866.
In 1864, Reverend W. W. Baldwin, an energetic young man, was preacher in charge and had considerable success. The following year he went to Montana as a missionary.
Reverend John B. Lapham was appointed to Brunswick in 1865 and 1867. Under his labors there was considerable revival and accession to the strength of the society. In 1866 the old meeting-house was sold and the present one erected. In 1868 furniture for a parsonage was purchased. and a new communion service was bought.
Reverend Stephen Allen was preacher in charge for two years, 1867 to 1869. Under his pastorate there was a gratifying gain in membership, and he left his charge with good prospects for the future. Mr. Allen was a graduate of Bowdoin College, class of 1835. He is a fine scholar, an interesting preacher, and is one of the leading men in the denomination. He was succeeded by Reverend James McMillan, who had charge of the parish for three years, 1869 to 1872. There was an extensive revival during his second year, resulting in large additions to the church.
Reverend H. C. Sheldon, a graduate of Yale College and a ripe scholar, succeeded Mr. McMillan, remaining here two years, 1872 to 1874. He is now a professor in the Boston University. He was succeeded, in 1874, by Reverend C. W. Morse, who was also pastor here from 1856 to 1859, and who has won the sincere respect, not only of the members of his parish, but of the citizens of the town generally.
Reverend W. S. Jones is the present pastor.
ST. PAUL'S PARISH.
The first Episcopalian service ever held in Brunswick was held in the college chapel in 1842. The Reverend J. Cook Richmond, on his way from Gardiner to Portland, was obliged to stop over night at Brunswick. Wishing to improve the opportunity to present the services of the church to the people of the town and the students of the college, he asked the consent of the Congregational minister to such a service, which he failed to receive. He then appealed to the president of the college (Doctor Woods), who said to him, "There is one place in this town over which I have control, and you can hold a service in the college chapel." Timely notice was given, and at half past seven in the evening a large congregation was gathered to hear (many of them for the first time) the evening service of the Prayer-Book. Mr. Richmond then preached and held the attention of his hearers for nearly two hours.
This was the first step towards introducing the services of the
church here, and doubtless suggested and encouraged the idea of the permanent establishment of a parish. The next service of the church was held in the Congregational vestry on School Street, by the Right Reverend J. E. K. Henshaw, Bishop of Rhode Island and Provisional Bishop of Maine, on his first visitation to this State, in October, 1843. He was accompanied by the Reverend Messrs. James Pratt of Portland, and Thomas F. Fales of Rhode Island, and after evening prayer "preached to a respectable and attentive audience." Mr. Fales afterwards returned as a missionary, and on the fifth of November, 1843, being Sunday, he began regular services in what was then known as the Pleasant Street Seminary, nearly opposite the present Methodist Church, but which has since been removed to Maine Street, and is now used for business purposes.
Mr. Fales thus became the first rector of this parish. He was educated for the ministry at the General Theological Seminary in New York City ; was ordained deacon by Bishop Griswold in Rhode Island, July 22, 1810, and priest by the same bishop in 1841; and on the same day of the same month, July 21, he received the degree of B. A. from Bristol College, Pennsylvania, and M. A. from the University of New York.
Mr. Fales continued to hold meetings in the school-house from November, 1840, until the completion of the church in July, 1845. There was at first considerable opposition to the establishment of this church, but it soon passed away. This parish has from the first been a mission, supported mainly by the "General Board " and by the "Diocesan Board of Missions." Up to 1848 no contribution had been made by the parish towards the support of the, rector, and then it only amounted to a small sum. At the time Mr. Fales's labors began, the number of Episcopalians was very small. There were only three communicants, Daniel R. Goodwin, Mary R. Goodwin, and Isabella McDoagal.
The families of Professor Goodwin, of the college, and of Mr. Samuel Harris, of Topsham, were the only entire households which identified themselves with the church. Five or six of the students were Churchmen. The attendance on the services, however, increased, and on the eighth of January, 1844, a parish was duly organized according to the laws of the State. There were seven original members, namely, Professor D. R. Goodwin, Joseph Badger, Samuel Harris, George Earle, John 0. B. Dunning, Ebenezer M. Johnson, and Samuel Dunning.
The first officers elected were, for wardens, D. R. Goodwin and
Joseph W. Sargent; for vestrymen, Abner B. Thompson, Joseph Badger, George Earle, Samuel Dunning, John O. B. Dunning, Ebenezer M. Johnson, and Samuel Harris.
It was then voted that the parish assume the name of St. Paul's, and that the Reverend T. F. Fales be invited to settle as rector of the church. The invitation was accepted on the twelfth day of February, 1844.
From the very organization of the parish, the Ladies' Society has been most faithful and most efficient in raising and supplying all that was needed. Nothing except the improvements made by Mr. Taylor has been done without them. In fact, if it had not been for the self-sacrificing labors of the ladies of the parish, it might never have lived for thirty years. In 1845 they furnished the church with the reading-desk and pulpit, altar and chairs. In 1848, chiefly through their exertions, an organ was procured and placed in the gallery. Previously stringed instruments were used.
The communion set used from the first till now was presented by Mrs. Griswold of the "Eastern Diocese," as it was called. The stone font was given in 1861 by a number of persons, chiefly graduates of Bowdoin College. The organ was removed from the gallery to the east transept in 1867, and was replaced by a new one in September, 1873.
There have been six rectors. The Reverend Thomas F. Fales, the first, remained here just six years. He has since been rector of Christ Church, Waltham, Mass.
The Reverend Andrew Croswell was here three years and five months. He now resides in Cambridge, Mass.
The Reverend Professor D. R. Goodwin supplied services for six months, when there was a vacancy for ten months with only occasional lay-reading.
The Reverend William Stone Chadwell was the third rector, and remained here three years and eight months. He is now rector of Grace Church, Brooklyn, Long Island, New York.
The Reverend Edward Ballard immediately succeeded him, and was rector of the parish for twelve years and seven months (See Biographical Sketch.)
After a vacancy of six months. during which time there were occasional services, Reverend Joseph Pemberton Taylor entered on the charge of the parish, and remained here two years and four months. He was immediately succeeded by Reverend Frederick S. Sill, M. A., and is now residing in Camden, New Jersey.
Reverend Mr. Sill was succeeded by Reverend H. P. Nichols, who was ordained to the priesthood, May 27, 1877.
In this parish, since its formation, one hundred and thirty individuals have been baptized, eighty-three confirmed, sixty-three buried, and thirty married. The present number of communicants is about twenty-nine; of individuals, about seventy-five.
ROMAN CATHOLICS.The formation of a society of believers in the doctrines of the Church of Rome was begun in this town about 1860, or a short time previously. Services were at first performed by the priest stationed at Bath. The society, however, gradually increased in numbers, and in 1866 purchased their present church building on Federal Street, of the Methodist Society, and Father Powers was soon after sent to them. This society is now, numerically, by far the largest in town. About five sixths of the congregation are French Canadians. They number about eight hundred. The present priest, Father Noiseux, is a French Canadian.
STATISTICS OF CHURCH-GOERS, ETC., IN 1873.
In 1873, Mr. Charles Hill, agent of the Brunswick Bible Society, canvassed the town and collected statistics relative to the number of church-goers, etc. The following is a summary of his report, and shows the religious views of the citizens as well as such a canvass can, but it is not, probably, absolutely correct.
|Number attending church (nominally)||3,056|
|" not attending church||1,001|
|" children attending Sabbath school||794|
|" children not attending Sabbath schools||122|
|" Catholics (French 477; Irish 131; colored, 59)||667|
|" Congregationalists (Orthodox)||598|
|" Free Baptists||574|
|" For Union of Churches||39|
|Wheeler & Wheeler Home||About Wheeler & Wheeler||Curtis Memorial Library Home|
|Previous Chapter||Table of Contents||Next Chapter|