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The early settlers of Harpswell belonged, for the most part, either to the Congregational or to the Church of England denomination.1 There were, however, amongst them a few Quakers, who set up a monthly meeting about the year 1751. The inhabitants at first contributed to the support of preaching in the First Parish of North Yarmouth, as it appears from the records of that town that on April 16, 1744, the town excused the inhabitants of Merriconeag from paying the minister's rate for that year. In 1751 Merriconeag became a parish, styled the Second Parish in North Yarmouth, and from this time, if not before, voluntarily employed a minister of their own. The first was Reverend Richard Pateshall, a graduate of Harvard College. He preached for two or three years, but was not permanently settled. He was succeeded by Reverend Mr. Packard, who preached only for a short time.

[1753.] In 1753 a church was formed and Reverend Elisha Eaton was settled. The council that met to ordain him assembled at the house of Lieutenant Eaton, it being the only house in town, at that date, that had plastered rooms.2

[1758-9.] In 1758 and 1759 the meeting-house on Merriconeag Neck was built, though it was not entirely completed for many years. This building will be more particularly described in another chapter.

In 1758 the town voted that "the Selectmen should proportion the preaching on the Island according to the Rates they pay, and to loose an equal proportion of the time that is deficient." Also to pay four shillings for each Sabbath to the persons who conveyed Mr. Eaton to the Island.

On May 19, 1759, the town voted that Mr. Eaton should preach "in the meeting-house for the future, except foul weather prevents." The selectmen were authorized to hire persons to convey him to the Island.

1. Kellogg, MS. Lecture.
2. Ibid.

In 1760 the town voted that the people on the Island should be taxed in proportion to the amount of preaching they had. These votes show clearly that Mr. Eaton, thus early, was accustomed to preach on Sebascodigan Island, as well as on the Neck. But little is known concerning the affairs of this church during the ten or eleven years' pastorate of Mr. Eaton; no records have been found, and even our knowledge of its existence at that time, as an organized church, is traditional. What Mr. Eaton's salary was is not known with certainty. In 1758 the town raised for that purpose sixty-five pounds, in 1760 seventy pounds, and in 1762 seventy-five pounds.

[1764.] Reverend Elisha Eaton died on Sunday morning, April 22, 1764, aged sixty-two years. On May 22 a committee was chosen to supply the pulpit with a minister. The town also at this meeting voted 37 7s. to defray Mr. Eaton's funeral expenses, and "to give the widow of the Deceased Rev'd Mr. Eaton a Decent sute of mourning."

On July 3d of this year the town voted to pay William Modridge eight shillings, for making Mr. Eaton's coffin, and to pay a Mr. Babb five shillings for assisting in making the coffin and digging the grave.

On July 17th the town voted to give Reverend Samuel Eaton, the son of their former pastor, an invitation to settle with them, the vote having been unanimous on the part of the church and congregation. It was also voted to give him 120 as a settlement and to pay 40 a year until the settlement was paid. 66 13s. 4d. was also voted as his yearly salary. Benjamin Jaques and Nathaniel Purinton were chosen to represent the town in the committee chosen by the church to deliver the invitation.

At a meeting of the town, held August 27, it was voted that the "minister should go to the Island called Great Island, fifteen Sabbaths a year, yearly, allowing each day that is appointed by sd Minister to be one of sd fifteen days, and the Minister to go when he pleases till the fifteen days each year are completed."

The town, at this meeting, also voted to fix upon a place for a meeting-house on the Great Island.

For some reason the invitation voted to Mr. Eaton seems to have been unsatisfactory, and accordingly it was renewed by both the town and the church, at a meeting held on the nineteenth of September.

At this latter meeting a committee was chosen to make the arrangements for his ordination. He was ordained the following October.

[1765.] In May, 1765, the town voted an appropriation of

206 6s. 11d., old tenor, to defray the charges attendant upon this ordination.

No further action appears to have been taken by the town in regard to ecclesiastical matters for some years, and no parish or church records have been found of an earlier date than the year 1770.

The first church records of Harpswell that are to be found begin with a church meeting, held August 2, 1770, on Sebascodigan Island, at which Isaac Snow was chosen deacon.

At a subsequent church meeting, October 24, 1770, the following preamble and votes were passed:-

"We that thro' God's Goodness, have been combin'd, & are still continued a Chh. of his, having heretofore consented unto the Covenant of Grace, according to the gracious Terms whereof, we have made Choice of the Lord Jehovah, Father, Son & Spirit as our God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ as the glorious Mediator, upon whose Fullness of Merit & Power we rely, as well to be strengthened for the Duties, as to be invested with ye Blessings of that well ordered Covenant; being withall sensible yt our Justification by Faith in the Righteousness of him who is a Saviour and Surety for us, does very strongly oblidge us to close with all the Commands of God, as holy, just & good, and as those Rules, in Conformity to which alone, our Peace can be lengthened out yt its our Duty to walk circumspectly, not as Fools but as wise, redeeming the Time, because the Days are evil, and calling to Mind ye sinfull Miscarriages of some Professors, who are Spots in our Feasts of Charity, and our Duty to Watch over ym for their good; and considering further that the Doors of the Chh. do not by God's Appointment stand so wide open, yt all sorts of Persons good & bad may freely enter in at their pleasure; yt the Eunuch of Ethiopia was examin'd by Philip; yt the Angle of the Chh. of Ephesus is commended for trying such as said they were Apostles, and were not; and yt twelve Angles were set at ye Gates of ye Temple, lest such as were ceremonially unclean should enter thereinto, (2 Chron. 23, 19. Mat. 13, 25, & 22, 12. Acts 8, 37. Rev. 2, 2, & 21, 12,) Have accordingly conveined at a Chh. Meeting, at the Meeting House duly notified by the Pastor, this 24 Octo. 1770, and made the following Resolves:-

"The Rev. Samuel Eaton Moderator.

"1. Voted, that it is the Intention of this Chh. according to the best of their knowledge, to adhere closely to ye sacred Scripture for their Guide, and to the Rules therein contained for their mode of

Discipline, and to come into no Resolves, for which they have not a divine Warrant.

"2. Voted, yt it would be a great evil in us, if we should not accordg to ye best of our Capacity, attend & support ye Institutions of God in the Midst of us, & that Chh. Discipline whch he has commanded in his Word, that there may be Nothing wanting thereunto.

"3. Voted, yt it is the Opinion of this Chh. yt the receiving into Chh. Communion, or wt is called owning the Covenant, those persons who live prayerless in their Families, is a scandal to our holy Religion. Therefore,

"4. Voted, yt this Chh. will not for ye future receive into Chh. Communion, or what is called owning the Covenant, those persons who live prayerless in their Families.

"5, Voted, yt it is the Opinion of this Chh. yt maliciously to make, or injuriously to spread abroad any false Report, or Reports to ye Injury of the Innocent, is detestable in the sight of God, & ought to be so to us. Therefore,

"6. Voted, yt if any chh. Member or prsons in Covenant, shall maliciously make, or injuriously spread abroad any false Report, or Reports, to the Injury of the Innocent, he or she, upon Conviction by the Mouth of two or three witnesses, shall be lyable to ye censure of this Church, as those who sin, are to be rebuked before all.

"7. Voted, yt if any Chh. Member, absent him or herself from the Ordinance of the Lord's Supper, in its stated administration, he or she, shall be accounted in the eye of the Chh. as a disorderly Walker, & guilty of the Breach of his or her Covenant Obligations.

"8. Voted, yt it is the Opinion of this chh. that the Custom of young People, of both sexes, getting together in the Night, in those Companies for Mirth & Jollity, Fiddling and Dancing yt they call Frolicks, so spending the Time together till late in the Night, in their Jollity, to the neglect of family Prayer, and violating all Order, is a sin detestable in the sight of God, & ought to be so to us. Therefore,

"9. Voted, yt if any chh. Member, or Members, or prsons in Covenant, shall assemble at those places, where such things are, or allow of the same in their Houses shll come under the censure of this Chh. so far as to be debarr'd Chh. priviledges, til they give Scripture Satisfaction.

"10. Voted, yt it is the Opinion of this Chh. yt Churches ought to preserve Communion one wth another, because yy are all united unto Christ, not only as a mistical, but as a political Head: Therefore

"11. Voted, yt this Chh. will not hold Communion wth the Member of another regular Chh. who is undr the Censure or Suspension of yt Chh. til he or she gives that Satisfaction agreeble to Scripture, & as practiced by the Chhs in N. England.

"12. Voted, yt Messrs Edwd Cuningham, Benja Jaques, and Jacob Blake, be a Committee for the Neck, and John Snow & Nath' Purington for the Island called great Sebascodigin, to inspect ye walk of Professors, and enquire into Reports if any there may be, and accordingly make Report to the Pastor.

"13. Voted, yt it is the Opinion of this Chh. yt for Professors unnecessarily to frequent a Tavern on the Lords Day- there to spend some part of it needlessly drinking spirituous Liquor, is a sin detestable in the sight of God, and ought to be so to us, Therefore,

"14. Voted, yt if any Professor shall unnecessarily frequent any Tavern on the Lord's Day, or there repair with a view needlessly to drink spirituous Liquor, or shall at any Time be guilty of Drunkeness, or drinking to excess, he or she shall come undr the Censure of this Church.

"15. Voted, yt it is ye Opinion of this Chh. that some provision be made by them, for the Relief of such Chh. Members, (being well reported of) as are by the providence of God cast into indigent Circumstances. Therefore,

"16. Voted, yt Messrs. Edward Cuningham, Bena Jaques, and Jacob Blake, be a Committee for the Neck, and John Snow & Nathaniel Purington for the Island, yt if any Chh. Members, who conduct according to the Gosple, and are well reported of but by the providence of God are cast into those circumstances wch necessarily call for Releif, may apply to, and the Committee to make it known to the Pastor, and the Pastor to call the Brethren together that they may judge of their Case, and accords to their Liberality releive them.

"17. Voted, yt this Chh. will receive No Report unless proved by the Mouth of Two or Three Witnesses.

"18. Voted, yt these Resolves be entered upon the Chh. Records, and publicly read upon the Lords Day.

"A true Copy from the Minutes examined and attested,

"By SAML. EATON, Moderator.

"Consented to

"SAML EATON, Pastor."

[1777.] At a meeting held May 29, 1777, Joseph Ewing was chosen a deacon.

[1784.] At a church meeting held at the meeting-house, May 31, 1784, it was voted that those who desired church privileges should be examined before the church, and that those living holy lives might have their children baptized though they themselves were not church members. That the deacons should be a committee to inspect the walk of church members, and that the pastor had liberty, "provided he sees his way clear, to baptize by Immersion those who conscientiously desire it, provided they give Satisfaction to the Church of their Faith in Christ & live holy Lives."

At a meeting held August 31, 1786, the church unanimously voted to rescind the seventeenth vote, in regard to receiving reports against members, that was passed October 24, 1770.

[1787.] The previous unanimity in regard to religious affairs in this town began to be disturbed about this time. At a meeting of the town, held in March, 1787, it was voted that those persons who did not intend to pay the minister's tax should give in their names to the committee chosen for the purpose, and should give their reasons to this committee in writing. The committee were to report at a subsequent meeting, but no such report is in the records.

[1803.] At a church meeting, held on April 28, 1803, James Wilson was unanimously chosen a deacon.

[1806.] This year the town voted that Mr. Eaton need preach only in the west meeting-house, on account of the difficulty of a person of his age going to and from the Island.

[1813.] At the annual meeting of the town in 1813 it was agreed that Mr. Eaton should preach only in the west part of the town that year, and that the inhabitants of Great Island should be exempt from paying a tax for his support, "excepting the Ewings." The reason for thus excepting one family was undoubtedly because they lived so near, -just across the Narrows, -and could easily and were accustomed to attend the meetings on the Neck; and also because they were strong supporters of Mr. Eaton and were well-to-do people.

A special town meeting was held in September of this year, at which John Blake, Isaiah Snow, and Paul Raymond were chosen a committee "to go and converse with the Rev'd Samuel Eaton." The nature of the conversation is not recorded, but it may have been in regard to the taxing for his support of residents upon Sebascodigan Island, as following the record of the meeting is this entry:-

"HARPSWELL, Sept. 3d, 1813.

"I hereby Certify that I do from this Date for Ever Relinquish the Civil Contract between great Sebascodegin Island and my Self.





[1818.] At a special meeting of the town, held July 13, Marlboro Sylvester, Sylvester Stover, and Peleg Curtis were chosen to effect a settlement of accounts with Mr. Eaton. Their report was as follows:-

"We the subscribers chosen a Committee by the Town of Harpswell to settle with the Rev'd Sam'l Eaton in behalf of said Town, have attended the service of our appointment the 13th day of July 1818 and we find that since the last settlement, which was up to July 13th 1813, there is due to him from the Town, for five years past ser-vices, the sum of $1115. to this date, of which one third part was relinquished to Great Sebascodegin Island, which was $371.66, leaving a balance due to him from the westerly part of said town of $743.34.

SYLVESTER STOVER   }   Committee"

Following this report in the town records is this entry:-

"I do relinquish to the Town of Harpswell the whole of the above balance and acknowledge all accounts settled and balanced up to the above date of July 13th 1818.


The reason why Mr. Eaton chose to relinquish so large a sum which was justly his due requires some explanation. The attendance upon his services was at this time small. The Baptists had withdrawn, many citizens objected to being taxed for the support of a minister, and some had absolutely refused to pay their taxes. The parish officers did not like to urge payment, for fear of creating still further opposition, which would result in the further injury of the parish, and thus the unpaid taxes were allowed to accumulate. Mr. Eaton could have compelled the town to pay the amount, but he relinquished it for the sake of harmony.

Probably about this time, though the exact date is nowhere given, Reverend Mr. Samuel Eaton resigned his pastorate. From an examination of the church records, it appears that while Mr. Eaton had charge of this church, he baptized five hundred and eighty-four male

children, five hundred and thirty-five female children, nine adult males, seventeen adult females, and two children of whom the sex was not designated, making in all one thousand one hundred and forty--seven persons baptized by him.

In this connection, the following document, obtained from an account-book of Reverend Elisha Eaton, will prove entertaining. It is certainly in the handwriting of Reverend Samuel Eaton, and is probably a portion of some report of his to the Missionary Associ-ation. From the number of baptisms recorded, it must have been written -judging from the list of baptisms in the church records - about the year 1767.

"If I am not mistaken in my Calculatn I have preached 40 Sermns exclusive of Sabbath, & the No of Baptisms stands thus,-


"I now beg leave to make a few genl Remarks. The pple who were ye Objects of my mission, are, in ye main in a broken State as to Religion. So far as I am able to judge, I impute it to ye multiplicity of lay preachers, and ye paucity of those who are regular and learned. Yy are an open Prey to every Imposter. Missionaries (as many well inclined & who even tremble for ye Ark of G. observed to me) were never more needed yn at this Day. I have found some, I believe, who know genuine religion, who are clear & distinguishing in their notions, & are not carried about by every Wind of Doctrine. Others who appr to me to boil over wth Enthusiasm, others who are thotless of yt wth ought to be their chief Concern, and others who were enquiring wt yy should do to be saved. I feel for ye pple ; yy need Guides, yy need Instruction, yy need ye right sort of preachrs. May G. of his infinite Mercy prevent their perishing for lack of vision. In my Public Discourses, as well as private Convrsation, I endeavoured to distinguish between Truth & Error, an imaginary & true religion, & ye Operatn of both ---to reclaim ye Erroneous- To detect ye Hypocrite, to encourage & help ye inquiring, to warn ye hardened Sinnr, to comfort those who mourn in Zion, & to, establish ye true Xtian. Neither have I omitted ye Inculcation of morality, & ye necessity of encouraging human Literature &c.

"So far as I am acquainted ye pple are hospitable, have treated me wth great respect & kindness, & all Denominations have industriously attended my preachg on the Sabbh and Lectures.

"I pray G. to water ye seed wth, &c, & to have ym undr his keeping and guidance, to bless ym wth spiritul & tem[poral] Favours, & yt each membr of ye Society may be rewardd wth an hundd fold here, & hereafter wth an unfading Crown of Glory. I conclude only wth adding ye I have endeavoured to execute my Mission in a mannr most agreeable to ye Intentions of ye Society."

[1823.] The earliest records of the First Parish that have come to our hands commence August 23, 1823. At this meeting Jonathan Johnson was chosen moderator; Joseph Eaton, clerk; Samuel Skolfield, treasurer; Benjamin Dunning, collector; George Skolfield and Jonathan Johnson, assessors; Benjamin Dunning, Joseph Eaton. and Deacon James Wilson, a standing committee. This committee was to supply the pulpit until the middle of November, from the money that had already been subscribed.

The church this year, at a meeting held December 30, voted "to assent to the Cumberland Church Constitution."

[1826.] At a parish meeting held April 15, it was voted that the committee for supplying the pulpit be also a committee "to admit or reject the application of Strangers and others who may wish to hold meetings in the Meeting House."

[1828.] The parish at a meeting held July 14, 1828, voted, though not with unanimity, to give Reverend Ebenezer Halping an invitation to settle as their pastor. They also voted that the money for his support should be raised by subscription, and that James Orr, Sylvester Stover, and Joseph Eaton be a committee to wait upon Mr. Ilalping and see for what sum he would agree to settle with them. The parish also choose a committee of three to confer with a like committee of the Baptist Society, "to see if they concitute [conciliate?] Matters."

At a meeting held August 4, it was voted that "Captain James Orr be a committee to go and see Mr. Halping and state to him the means that we have to settle him and know if he would accept." It was also voted that Mr. Halping should have what he could obtain from the Cumberland Conference in addition to what the parish gave.

[1829.] On January 21 the church voted to have a copy of the covenant and articles of faith distributed to each family connected with the church.

[1830.] At a meeting of the parish on April 12, 1830, it was voted to supply the pulpit for that year by subscription, and it is therefore most likely that Mr. Halping did not accept the call, though he may have supplied the pulpit for a while. At a meeting held

December 20, the parish voted to hire Reverend Moses Welch for one year at a salary of four hundred dollars.

[1831.] On October 3 the parish and church united in extending an invitation to Reverend William Harlow, who had been preaching to them through the summer, to settle as their pastor, provided they could obtain the sum of two hundred dollars, and that he should obtain what sum he could from the Maine Missionary Society and the Cumberland County Conference. At a meeting held December 7. it was decided to have a stove in the meeting-house. Reverend Mr. Harlow accepted the invitation to settle, and at this meeting it was determined that the council for his installation should be entertained by individuals without expense to the parish.

[1832.] Mr. Harlow was ordained and installed January 25, 1832. The services were as follows:-

Prayer, by Reverend Mr. Adams; sermon, by Reverend Mr. Mittimore; installing prayer and charge, by Reverend Mr. Ellingwood; right hand of fellowship, by Reverend Mr. Adams; address to the people, by Reverend Mr. Hawes.

Following the above in the church records appears the following entry:-

"The Reverend Mr. Harlow took the liberty (without asking the consent of his people) to absent himself from them from the ninth of July to the thirteenth or fourteenth of August, 1832, therefore it may be considered that the civil contract expired the day he went away."

This was signed, not by the real, but by an acting clerk. This mistake of taking a vacation without the consent of his parishioners was, however, afterwards rectified.

[1833.] At a parish meeting held November 9, 1833, it was voted to allow him four Sabbaths a year in which to visit his friends. A vote was also passed at this meeting that the Maine Missionary Society should be asked to give Mr. Harlow fifty dollars that year. The same request was made for several years in succession.

[1834.] At a meeting of the church in April of this year at the house of Stephen Sinnett, it was voted "that the record relative to the Reverend William Harlow, on the foregoing page. was made without the knowledge or approbation of the said church."

[1837.] At a meeting of the church held in May, 1837, in compliance with the vote of a council that was held in September of the previous year, the acting clerk, who had been excommunicated on account of his entry in the records and his subsequent conduct, was restored to the fellowship of the church. At this meeting also,

Deacon Simeon Orr and Benjamin Dunning were chosen a committee "to request Mr. Harlow to ask a dismission, if he declined to invite a council."

[1838-1840.] Mr. Harlow probably resigned in the winter of 1838, perhaps earlier. From March, 1839, to March, 1840, the pulpit was supplied in turn by Reverends Clark, Cornish, Gillett, Kenderick, Purington, Merrill, Parsons, and Peasley.

The dismission of Mr. Harlow, or some other cause, seems to have produced considerable disaffection in the church, and during the year 1838 several members of the church were suspended or excommunicated.

Reverend Jotham Sewall, of Freeport, filled the pulpit for a while after Mr. Harlow left, and at a church meeting, held February 29, 1840, it was voted, "That the thanks of this church be presented to the church in Freeport for the faithful and interesting labors of their pastor with us of late."

[1843.] About this time a new meeting-house was built and a new society formed. Though the church and society of the First Parish probably continued to exist for some time after this event, yet no records were kept after the year 1844, and the preaching was probably only occasional in the old meeting-house. The church organization may have connected itself with the new society.


The first Baptist preaching in Harpswell was in the year 1783, by Reverend Isaac Case and Mr. Potter. The former preached twenty--five sermons to the people on Great Island in the course of a few months. There was some opposition, and Mr. Case said that he was treated "rather coolly" by Reverend Samuel Eaton. On the nineteenth of January, 1785, a church was organized on this island by Reverend Messrs. Case and J. Macomber. It consisted of thirty-one members, of whom only a portion belonged in Harpswell.

A short time after the organization of this church Mr. Potter was baptized and united with it, and on October 5, 1785, he was ordained as an evangelist by Messrs. Case and Macomber, Mr. Case preaching the sermon for the occasion. Elder Potter soon received an invitation and took the pastoral charge of this church. During his ministry about twenty were added to it. He resigned in 1788. In 1790, Elder Elisha Snow, of Thomaston, was ordained as his successor, and preached about two years. He was succeeded by Reverend Samuel Woodard, of Brunswick, who was ordained at his own house, October 11, 1792. Elder Woodard resigned his charge in the latter part of 1801, and was succeeded by Reverend Samuel Mariner, who

was ordained in January, 1802. Elder Mariner remained as pastor until his death in 1832. After the death of Elder Mariner, up to the year 1845, this church had no settled minister, though its pulpit was supplied the greater part of the time by Elders S. Owen, Henry Kendall, D. Pierce, William Johnson, J. Butler, and N. Hooper.

This church has had at different times several distinct names. At first it was called the Harpswell Church, then Harpswell and Brunswick, and later it went by the name of the East Brunswick Church. The whole number of members up to the year 1843 was about two hundred and fifty.1 Reference has been made to this church in the preceding chapter.


[1827.] This church was organized November 13, 1827. The records commence with the following:-

"We whose Names are hereunto affixed -Having a hope that God has Renewed our Hearts by his rich Grace, and has made it our duty to Glorify him on the Earth- We feel a desire to be embodied into a visible Predestinarian Baptist Church that we may More perfectly Glorify him and enjoy the ministration of his word and ordinances."

The above was signed by:-

John L. Lambert, Elizabeth Lambert, Hannah Thomas, Lozana Alexander, Jane Wilson, Robert B. Gardner, Lucy Ann Farr, James S. Wyer, Mary Alexander, Norton Stover, Joshua Bishop, Patience Bishop, Isabella Merryman, Perry Alexander, Rosanna Alexander, Margaret Wyer, David Wilson, 2d, James Wilson, Jr.

At a meeting held November 3, 1827, the following was sent to the Baptist churches in Topsham and Brunswick, and to the "Harpswell Church in Brunswick."

"Beloved Brethren: we wish you to send us your Elders and such brethren as you may think proper, to sit with us in Council for the purpose of organizing us into a Predestinarian Baptist Church, to meet with us at the Lower School House on the Neck, on Tuesday the 13th inst at 10 o'clock A. M."

In reply to this request the Topsham church sent Elder Henry Kendall, Ebenezer Whittemore, and James Cook; the Brunswick church sent Elder Benjamin Titcomb, David Given, Jr., and Samuel Given; the Harpswell church in Brunswick sent Elder Samuel Mariner,

1. The foregoing account is taken from a "History of the Baptists in Maine," by Reverend J. Millet, 1845.

Robert Jordan, and Henry Jordan. This council met November 13, and after choice of officers, they examined into the faith and order of the candidates, and voted to give them the right hand of fellowship. The services were as follows:-

Prayer, by Mr. Hall; sermon, by Reverend Henry Kendall; after which the members arose and received the right hand of fellowship as a sister church; prayer, by Elder Mariner.

[1828.] At a meeting held January 5, 1828, William Randall and John L. Lambert were confirmed as deacons.

[1831.] The first elder to preach to them seems to have been Elder Kendall in 1831.

[1846-1850.] Elder Pinkham preached to them in 1846, and at a church meeting held August 15. 1847, he was formally invited to settle as their pastor. He was dismissed at his own request on October 4, 1850.

[1853-54.] Elder L. Barrows began to preach to this church about May, 1853, and on November 5 formally united with them. In July, 1854, he was dismissed in order to unite with the Baptist Church in Kennebunk.

[1856.] Elder J. Hutchinson of the Maquoit church in Brunswick preached occasionally after the dismissal of Elder Barrows, and on August 25, 1856, having been dismissed by the Maquoit church, was received into the fellowship of this church.

[1860.] In 1859, Elder Nelson was preaching to them; and on August 5, 1860, Elder Evans was sent as a delegate to a meeting of the Baptist Association, so it is safe to infer that he was preaching to this church.

[1862.] April 5, 1862, Reverend H. Perkins was received as a member of this church. On December 3 he received a certificate to enable him to join the church at Mechanic Falls, where he was already settled.

[1865.] On February 4, 1865, Elder N. P. Everett was admitted to fellowship.

[1866.] On August 4, 1866, Elder Sargent was chosen a delegate to the association.

[1869.] On August, 1869, Elder R. Goud was settled as pastor; and on the following twenty-fifth of December, Elder Everett was dismissed.

[1874.] On July 4, 1874, Reverend William R. Millett and wife were received into the church by letter from the church in South Auburn. He died in August, 1875.

The last entry in the church records is dated December 5, 1874. At this meeting it was voted to discontinue the Sunday school, and to hold Sabbath prayer-meetings immediately after the morning service instead of the evening.


This society was organized on Great Island, April 17, 1817. The following are the names of the original members:-

Daniel Curtis, Stephen Purinton, Anthony Coombs, Arthur Hall, John Snow, Swanzey Wilson, Jane Dingley, Ruth Snow, Mary Purinton, Mary Rich, Desire Dingley, Sally Kemp, Mary Totinan, Mary Raymond, Polly Purington, Fanny Merritt,1 Martha Hall, Deborah Rich, Mary Linscott, Betsey Rich, Almira Purinton, Mary Purinton, Hannah Totman, Ruth Page, Joanna Curtis, Hannah Curtis, Sally Dingley, Priscilla Purinton, Eunice H. Purinton, and Hannah Dingley.

Reverend George Lamb, of Brunswick, was the settled minister from the organization of the society until his death, in 1835 or 1836. From that time until 1839 the pulpit was supplied by transient preachers. In 1839, Reverend O. W. Smith was settled over the church until 1842, and during this time sixty members were added to it. From 1843 to 1854, Reverend Levi Hersey was the pastor. From 1857 to 1860, Reverend David Libby Hind was settled, and during his pastorate thirty-five new members were added to the church. In 1866, Reverend L. C. Burr was settled for three years. Since then Reverend Messrs. D. Libby, A. Libby, Heath, and Prescott have supplied the pulpit.

The meeting-house of this society is the Free Union Baptist Meeting-House on Great Island. It was built by subscription in 1843.

This society is now feeble and the number of its members is small. They are also quite scattered through the town. Its present membership is but thirty-two.


This society was organized, in 1858, by Reverend J. Fuller. Its original members were:-

George W. Card, Reuben Dyer, John Black, Cummings Alexander, Sarah Dyer, Mary Green, Martha Sinnett, Adaline Orr, Henrietta Sinnett, Patience Orr, and Jane Alexander.

This society uses the Orr's Island Union Meeting-House, which was

1. The only one now living.

built about 1855, alternately with the other societies owning the building. The society is quite small, its present membership being but thirty. No facts have been obtained as to the ministers who have had charge of it.


[1838.] The first preaching of Universalist doctrines in Harpswell was in April, 1838. Reverend Seth Stetson visited Harpswell at this time, and preached two sermons to about thirty hearers in the Number Two School-House on the Neck.

[1839.] The next summer Reverend Mr. Stoddard preached there on two Sundays. In 1839 the Universalists raised about thirty dollars, and employed Reverend Mr. Stetson for six or seven Sabbaths.

[1840.] In 1840 a similar amount was raised, and preaching was had for about the same length of time.

[1841.] In 1841 the Universalists, together with some of a differ-ent faith, built a Union Meeting-House, which was dedicated by the Universalists on September 21. The sermon was by Reverend John T. Gilman, of Bath. There was a sermon in the afternoon by Reverend E. Wellington, and another in the evening by Reverend G. Bates.

[1842.] In 1842 they raised about fifty dollars, and employed Reverend L. P. Rand to preach one fourth of the time during that year.

[1844.] On April 20, 1844, a Universalist society was legally organized by the choice of Isaac Stover, moderator; Thomas Alexander, clerk; Samuel Dunning, treasurer; and Samuel Dunning, Joshua Stover, and Thomas Alexander, parish committee. The following constitution was adopted:-

"We the subscribers being desirous of forming ourselves into a society, for the purpose of supporting and enjoying the preached Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, do hereby unite and agree to walk together in harmony and love. And to guide ourselves understandingly we adopt the following rules:-

"1st. We take the name of the First Universalist Society of Harpswell.

"2d. We take the Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments, as the rule of our faith and practice.

"3d. We agree to meet together as often as convenient for the worship of the one living and true God, the Father of the spirits and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"4th. We agree to subscribe, so far as we are able, for the

support of the preached Gospel and the maintenance of Christian worship.

"5th. We agree to strive to live in a moral and virtuous manner that we may give no occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully, and that we may honor our God and Saviour by a well-ordered life and Christian conversation.

"6th. Any person of a sober, moral character may become a member of this society by subscribing his or her name to the foregoing rules.

"7th. Any member may withdraw from this society when they shall have paid their subscription and signified their desire so to do, to the clerk of this society."

The following names were affixed to this constitution:-

Isaac Stover, Thomas Alexander, Samuel Dunning, David Curtis, Joshua Stover, Paul R. Thomas, James Meryman, 2d, Alcot S. Pennell, Robert Pennell, Sylvester Stover, 2d, Jacob Blake, Alcot Stover, Harmon Pennell, Thomas Pennell, and Robert Dunning. In 1845 this society was received into the Kennebec Association of Universalists.

The entries in the records of this society are very brief, and contain little else than the lists of officers chosen annually.

At a meeting held April 14, 1849, it was voted to support a preacher that year by subscription, and not by taxation.

At a meeting held July 21, 1860, the treasurer in his report declared the society to be free from debt. The society, notwithstanding this fact, had only occasional preaching for nearly ten years.

[1870.] On January 29, 1870, the society was reorganized by the choice of Thomas Alexander as moderator; David Pennell, clerk; Alcot S. Pennell, Benjamin F. Randall, and Joshua Stover, standing committee; B. F. Randall and A. S. Pennell, collectors; and A. S. Pennell, treasurer. The last entry in the records is dated May 8, 1875. Between 1870 and 1875, Reverend William R. French, of Brunswick, preached a portion of the time in summer, in addition to his services at Brunswick. There is at present no settled minister, but the society is still in existence.


[1843.] This society or parish originated in 1843 by certain indi-viduals combining for the purpose of building a new meeting-house. It was formed, and the first meeting was held agreeably to the warrant for the same, on September 27. Daniel Randall was chosen

moderator, and William C. Eaton, clerk. The following constitution was adopted at this meeting:-

"We the undersigned having organized ourselves into a parish under the name of the Centre Congregational Parish, in Harpswell, for the promotion of good morals, for religious teaching and instruction, and for sustaining and propagating the truths of the Gospel as held by the Orthodox Congregational denomination in this State, do adopt the following constitution:-

"Article 1st. This parish shall consist of those whose names are affixed to the application for a warrant for organization. together with such other persons as they may from time to time elect, and who shall sign this constitution.

"Art. 2d. The officers of this parish shall be a clerk, two or more assessors, a treasurer, a collector, and a standing committee of three, who shall be elected at the annual meetings.

"Art. 3d. The annual meeting of this parish shall be held in the month of April in each year, on some day to be specified by the assessors.

"Art. 4th. In case the annual meeting shall not he held at the time specified, the officers of the preceding year shall retain their offices until others are chosen and qualified in their stead.

"Art. 5th. This parish agree in the settlement of a minister, and in the support of the ordinances of the Gospel, to proceed upon the established principles of the Orthodox Congregational denomination in this State and to act in concert with the church in Harpswell of like order and faith.

"Art. 6th. A majority of two thirds of all the legal voters in this parish shall be necessary to alter or amend this constitution."

The original subscribers to the above constitution were:-

Silvester Stover, Joseph Eaton, James Stover, Simeon Orr, Jacob Meryman, Benjamin Dunning, George S. Dunning, Arthur Orr, Thomas U. Eaton, Lemuel H. Stover, Shubal Merryman, William C. Eaton, Daniel Randall, Henry Barnes, Joseph Stover, James Meryman, James Dunning, Jeremiah Meryman, Angier H. Curtis, Albert Stover, Paul C. Randall, Dominicus Jordan, William Barnes, James Curtis, Joseph Curtis, John Durgin, H. C. Martin, Ralph Johnson, Joseph A. Stover, Elisha S. Stover, and Isaac Merryman.

It was also at this meeting voted to accept the meeting-house offered by the proprietors, and to assume all the liabilities and duties of the latter.

The next day the new meeting-house was dedicated with the following services:-

Reading of Scriptures, by Reverend Elijah Kellogg, then on a mis-sionary tour; prayer, by Reverend Daniel Sewall; sermon, by Reverend J. W. Chickering; address to the church, by Reverend George E. Adams; prayer, by Reverend Mr Parsons.

At a meeting of the church on November 12, it was voted:-

"That the Centre Congregational Church in Harpswell would tender their united thanks to the individuals in Bath, Freeport, Brunswick, and High Street Church, Portland, for their liberal donations to assist them in the erection of a house of worship; also to the Widow D. Dunlap, for the liberal present of a sofa; to the president and professors of Bowdoin College, for their services in supplying the pulpit; and to Professor Upham, for his unwearied exertions in our behalf."

[1844.] On April 25, 1844, the church voted, in concurrence with the parish, to extend an invitation to Reverend Elijah Kellogg to settle as their pastor for three hundred dollars per year, for four years. This invitation was accepted, and was subsequently renewed for an indefinite period.

[1847.] At a parish meeting, held November 1, this year, it was decided that Mr. Kellogg might go "to Orr's Island the coming win-ter, and preach three Sabbaths, if he see fit."

The church records are wanting entirely between the years 1844 and 1855, and from the latter date down to 1870 they contain only the admissions to church fellowship and lists of those baptized.

[1854.] In 1854, Mr. Kellogg gave up the immediate charge of the parish, in order to devote more time to literary pursuits, but his pastoral connection with the church has never been dissolved.

[1866.] At a meeting of the parish, held April 28 of this year, three hundred dollars was raised for repairing and painting the meeting-house.

[1870.] At a church meeting held on the twenty-eighth of August, it was voted that the thanks of the church "be hereby given to Honorable A. D. Lockwood, of Lewiston, for a highly valued, Beautiful communion service, generously presented by him for our use. And our prayer is that the Great Head of the church will accept the act as done to himself, and bountifully reward the giver." On September 24 a church meeting was held on Orr's Island, the first one mentioned in the records as being held on that island.

[1874.] At a meeting of the parish, held April 23, 1874, it was voted to allow the sewing circle "to enlarge the stove-rooms by tak-ing in the pews in front of each." The latest entry in these records is dated the sixth of the following September, at which time Paul C. Randall was chosen a deacon.

There has been no settled minister over this parish since Mr. Kellogg left, but the pulpit is supplied a good part of the time, and nearly every summer, by Mr. Kellogg himself, who makes Harpswell the place of his summer residence.


The introduction of Methodism into Harpswell dates back only to 1854, although as early as 1814 Fathers Lombard and Bennett, and perhaps others, had preached in town.

[1854.] In May, 1854, Reverend George C. Crawford, of Brunswick, was, at the solicitation of a number of people of West Harpswell, appointed to that field of labor. At that time there was not a member of the Methodist church on Harpswell Neck, with the exception of Sidney Bailey and wife. Mr. Crawford commenced his labors about the first of June, holding the meetings in the school-house near Mr. Simeon Webber's. On the third Sabbath of his ministry here, he read in public the "Doctrines, Discipline, and General Rules " of the Methodist Episcopal Church. A small "class " was then formed, consisting of Captain Norton Stover, Nathaniel Pinkham and wife, and Sidney Bailey and wife. A few weeks later Mr. William Gillam and wife, then of Orr's Island, joined. After two or three meetings it was decided to build a church at once. A suitable lot was secured in a central location. Captain Stover was chosen an agent to purchase lumber and other material; and W. W. Douglass, of Brunswick, was chosen to superintend the erection of the building.

[1855.] The work was hastened, and in less than one year from the time of the first meeting in the school-house, a beautiful and graceful chapel was dedicated. On the day of dedication people flocked to town from all directions, and Reverend William F. Farringdon, then of Portland, delivered the dedicatory address from the words, "Searching what, or what manner of time, the spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow." The sale of pews took place in the afternoon of the same day. The society is largely indebted to Captain Norton Stover and Nathaniel Pinkham, who assumed the entire financial responsibility in the erection of the church.

At the Conference of 1855 Reverend Heman Nickerson was appointed to succeed Mr. Crawford. He was succeeded by Reverend Mr. Russell. Then followed, in succession, Reverends N. Andrews, John Collins, H. B. Mitchell, Alpha Turner, George C. Crawford (a second time),

J. C. Perry, H. Briggs, Thomas Hillman, N. C. Clifford, D. Dudley, N. Andrews (a second time), and M. C. Baldwin. Under these preachers there were several revivals and a large number were added to the church. The society is now in a flourishing condition, and is composed in a large part of the wealth, intelligence, and refinement of that section of the town.

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