New England Southern Conference
IN THREE VOLUMES
VOL. I. NEW BEDFORD DISTRICT
VOL. II. NORWICH DISTRICT
VOL. III. PROVIDENCE DISTRICT
VOL. I. NEW BEDFORD DISTRICT
COMPILED AND EDITED BY
REV. RENNETTS C. MILLER, S. T. B.
Pastor, Methodist Episcopal Church, Nantasket, Mass.
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CONFERENCE BY REV. M. J. TALHOT, D. D.
IT CONTAINS SPECIAL HISTORICAL SKETCHES
"OF THE DISTRICT, THE CAMPMEETING ASSOCIATIONS, THE DISTRICT EPWORTH
LEAGUE, THE. VARIOUS SOCIAL UNIONS, AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS; HIS-
TORICAL SKETCH OF EACH CHURCH, WITH OVER FOUR HUNDRED
ENGRAVINGS OF CHURCHES, PARSONAGES, PASTORS, PASTORS*
WIVES, SUNDAY-SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS, EPWORTH
LEAGUE PRESIDENTS, PROMINENT LAYMEN, ETC.
OVER THREE HUNDRED PAGES.
fICTURES AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THK SUPERAytfUA TES, ETC.
1897 PUBLISHED 1897
WITH CONFERENCE CONSENT AND APPROVAL, BY
REV. RENNETTS C.. MILLER,
REV. REXNETTS C. MILLUK.
I DEDICATE THIS VOLUME
Uo /IDs /iDotber,
AS AN HUMBLE TOKEN OF MY HEART-FELT GRATITUDE AND LOVE
TO HER FOR THOSE YEARS WHEN SHE TOILED AND
SACRIFICED AND SUFFERED THAT SHE MIGHT
OBTAIN FOR ME THE GREAT AMBITION
OF HER LIFE A COLLEGE
The Publisher, in distinction from the Editor, may be allowed a few
After much delay we now send forth Volume I. to the public. No one
in particular is to blame for the delay. A few delinquent churches are
largely responsible for this long waiting. Our determination to have each
church represented has been finally accomplished. Even with the delay
some pictures, etc., came too late, and we have had to put them in a miscel-
laneous group at the close of the volume.
The engravings of this work (except a few loaned us) were made by the
American Engraving Co. of Boston, whom we are glad to commend to our
people. Of course, all the pictures will not appear equally good. Many of
the photos were old and faded. In many cases the pictures had to be re-
touched by an artist before the engravers could use them.
Many extra features have been added to the original plan of the work
which have increased considerably the size, and consequently the cost of
the History. We trust the pastors and laymen will show their apprecia-
tion for these features by renewed efforts to increase the sale of the volume
in their respective churches.
The tardiness in the canvass of many of the churches made it imprac-
ticable to carry out our original plan to publish only the number of the ad-
vance orders. We have accordingly issued a reasonable-sized edition, antici-
pating the demand that there would be for the work. There will be no
second edition published. Volumes II. and III. we hope to have ready for
delivery in the latter part of January.
R. C. M.
* INDEX OF VOLUME I.
Acushnet 7 New Bedford Pleasant St 135
Barnstable 11 New Bedford Seamen's Bethel 125
Berkeley, (Mass) 23 New Bedford Portuguese 139
Bridgewater 13 North Dighton 141
Bourne 19 North Harwich 208
Bryantville 16 North Tisbury 146
Cataumet 25 North Truro 148
Centreville, (Mass) 156 Orleans 150
Chatham 29 Osterville 153
Chilmark 34 Plymouth 159
Cottage City 37 Plymouth Russell's Mills 163
Dighton 39 Pocasset 23
East Bridgewater 42 Provincetowii Center 170
East Falmouth 45 Provincetown Centenary 166
East Harwich 186 Sagamore 173
East Wareham 236 Sandwich 176
Eastham 47 Somerset 179
Edgartown 50 South Carver 182
Fairhaven 54 South Harwich 184
Falmouth 85 South Middleboro 189
Fall River Brayton 58 South Somerset 192
Fall River First 64 South Truro 198
Fall River North 68 South Yarmouth 202
Fall River St. Paul's 75 Taunton Central 207
Fall River Quarry St 71 Taunton First 213
Fall River Summerfleld 80 Taunton Grace 218
Little Compton 89 Taunton Tremont St 222
Long Plain 92 Truro 224
Marion 94 Vineyard Haven 228
Marshfield 97 Wareham '. 231
Marston's Mills 104 Wellfleet 2"8
Middleboro 107 West Dennis 243
Myricks 112 West Duxbury 101
Nantucket 114 West Falmouth 245
New Bedford Allen St 121 Westport Point 247
New Bedford County St 127 Whitman 250
New Bedford Cannonville 126 Woods Holl 254
New Bedford Fourth St 131
Conference Home Missions XXVII New Bedford District League 4
Conference Indorsement of this Sou- New Bedford Social Union 118
venir History 27?. Nutting, Rev. J. H. and His Work ...259
Cummings, S. S. and His Work 262 Poem of Rev. J. W. Willitt 33
East Greenwich Academy XXI Providence Deaconess Home XXXI
Editor's Introduction IX Publisher's Notes VI
Everett, Rev. T. J. Biog. sketch XLII Superannuates Biographical Sketches. 263
Evangelists 188 Supernumeraries Biographical sketches
Fall River Deaconess Home XXXV 263
Fall River Epworth League Union.... 57 Taunton Social Union 204
Hamlen, Pres. G. M. and His Work 169 Woman's Home Missionary Society
Historical Sketch of Conference XII XXIX
James, Rev. J. H. and His Work 261 Woman's Foreign Missionary Society
Martha's Vineyard Camp-meeting. .XVII 257
Martha's Vineyard Revival XXXIX Yarmouth Camp-meeting 1
* For a general index of the three volumes see close of Vol. III.
Bishops of M. E. Church II
Blakeslee, Principal P. D XXII
Cranberry Scene on Cape Cod 235
Cummings, S. S 262
Deceased members of our Conference,
XV, XVI. 92, 96, (F. Upham and Lewis
Bates) 270, 272
Deceased Presiding Elders XI
Dunbar, W. M i.204
East Greenwich Academy Faculty. XXIII
East Greenwich Academy Students
Everett, Rev. T. J. Presiding Elder
Everett, Mrs. T. J XXIX
Fall River Deaconesses XXXVII
Fall River Deaconess Home XXXV
Flint, Jno. D XXXVI
Gould, Rev. Jno. B XXXIX
Hamlen, Pres. G. M. and wife 169
James, Rev. J. H 261
James, Mrs. J. H 258
Jones, Rev. E. F 188
King. G. W. and wife 215
Lincoln, C. H 04
Local Preachers UO, 174, 263
Map of Our Conference I
Martha's Vineyard Camp-meeting 50
years ago XVIII, XIX, XX
Martha's Vineyard Camp-meeting Au-
Miscellaneous pictures 271
Montgomery, J. F 204
Morrison, Mrs. W. V 22
Nutting, Rev. J. H 260
Presiding Elders 273
Providence Deaconesses XXXII
Providence Deaconess Home XXXI
Raymond, R. F ...119
Sockanosset School for Boys 260
Superannuates and Supernumeraries
XI, XVII, XXVII, 53, 70, 145
Thompson, F. L 118
Tregaskis, Rev. Jas 188
Tregaskis, Mrs. Jas 258
Webster Home 98
Yarmouth Camp-meeting, Hanover
Yarmouth Camp-meeting, Tabernacle
Yarmouth Camp-meeting, Tabernacle,
Yarmouth Camp-meeting, Railroad
Park . ...217
DISTINGUISHED METHODIST MINISTERS FORMERLY MEMBERS OF OUR
Bates, L. B 96 McChesney, Ensign 96
Binney, Amos (deceased) 96 Nutter, C. S 46
Chapman, J. A. M 46 Payne, Ex. Pres. Chas. H 6
Canoll Angelo ''deceased) 272 ritblado, C. B %
Dorchester, Daniel 6 Reed. Pres. George E 6
Gallagher, Ex. -Pres. C. W 46 Stevens, Abel, (deceased) 165
Goodell, C. L 46 Taylor, E. M 46
Gracey, S. L ..96 Taylor, E. T., ("Father Taylor" de-
Hamilton, J. Benson 272 ceased) 96
Hatfield, R. M., (deceased) 96 * Townsend, Prof. L. T 6
Haynes, Emory J 43 Trafton, Mark 96
Hutchinson, Pres. B. W 6 Upham, Prof. S. F 6
Jordan, D. A 48 Whittaker, N. T 272
Kimball, H. D 46 worth, W. T 46
Macdonald, Wm 46
* Since the earlier pages of Vol. I were printed we have learned that Prof.
Townsend was never a member of our Conference. But has supplied some of our
leading pulpits while teaching in Boston University.
Believing that the story of the struggles and triumphs of the
churches in our Conference will send a new impulse of holy
zeal into thousands of lukewarm hearts, and inspire renewed loy-
alty to our church, I offer this History to the public. The discour-
aged people in many a church to-day can but gain new faith in God,
and take fresh courage in their heroic efforts as they read of the
wonderful way God has led many other churches out of bondage.
The skeptic will find not a few interesting questions arising in the
story of the churches that will be difficult for him to answer. The
believer in prayer, faith, and God's over-ruling providence will find
much to cheer and comfort him.
The grand possibilities of our village and country churches will
find many striking confirmations in these pages. Thus one village
church (North Dighton) alone has furnished five ministers, one of
whom is the distinguished Methodist educator and divine, Charles H.
Payne, D. D., LL. D.
This History calls attention anew (as many a pastor has found in
searching for historical data) to the very important Disciplinary ques-
tion, "Are the records properly kept?" Many cases have come under
my observation where great and important church projects have been
carried out, but not a line can be found in the church records concern-
ing them. Doubtless many a pastor will look in vain for some refer-
ence to a successful work done in a former charge simply because
the present pastor in preparing the historical sketch for this work
found nothing on the records to indicate such a work.
The pictures of "distinguished Methodist ministers formerly mem-
bers of our Conference" will be an interesting feature. More will ap-
pear in Volumes II. and III. We doubt if there is another such a
Conference in Methodism that has furnished other Conferences with
so many of their ablest ministers.
In this volume I have given also a part of the pictures of the
deceased members of our Conference. The pictures of as many others,
as can be secured, will be published in Volumes II. and III. I
ask for assistance from all our friends in securing the pictures of
all the deceased members of the Conference. As the countless friends
and spiritual children of these heroes of earlier days look upon their
faces in these pages, doubtless many tender and sacred memories will
be revived. If some lukewarm, an d, perhaps, back-slidden souls,
"Seeing shall take heart again,"
X SOUVENIR HISTORY.
I shall feel that I have not spent, i n vain, the many precious hours
upon this History.
The biographies of the veterans (pp. 264-70) are very interesting.
They deserve more recognition. After much correspondence for data
the sketches herein given were compiled.
The most of the historical sketches of the individual churches
have been written by the pastors, but in many cases the Editor has
made additions gathered from reliable sources.
The special articles are all well written, and will greatly add to
the value of the work. The story of the conversion of General U. S.
Grant at Cottage City camp-meeting in 1874 will be valuable histori-
cal data for the coming biographer of the great general.
It is not improbable that there may have been many great reviv-
als within the bounds of our Conference as noteworthy as that of
Martha's Vineyard in 1853. But the fame of this one has long echoed
in the Conference, and it seemed especially fitting to have Rev. Mr.
Gould himself relate it to us while still living that we may "tell it to
the generation following."
In the interesting article on the district Epworth League Mrs.
Douglas speaks of a very popular and widely-circulated booklet is-
sued by the District League. The author's modesty forbade her say-
ing that that booklet, "What Can We Do : A Handbook for Epworth
Leaguers," was prepared largely by herself.
Before closing these words I want to thank the many friends who
have helped, and in various ways encouraged me in this trying enter-
prise. Their kind words often came when greatly needed. I am pro-
foundly grateful to the pastors who have quite generally given me
their "hearty co-operation" in the preparation of the individual church
histories, and in encouraging the sale of the work among their people.
I am greatly indebted to many of the older ministers in the Confer-
ence for their thoughtful suggestions. Among these I especially
prize the wise counsels of my presiding elder, Dr. E. C. Bass. Rev.
W. I. Ward has rendered much valuable assistance in "proof-reading"
and editorial suggestions. Last of all, I want to acknowledge my
indebtedness to my faithful wife, whose good judgment and abun-
dant labors have contributed more, perha ( ps, than anything else
towards whatever success has attended the publication of this Sou-
Notwithstanding all our carefulness, many errors will likely ap-
pear. But if the public will only apply the Golden Rule in its criti-
cism I shall be satisfied.
RENNETTS C. MILLER.
Nantasket, Mass., Dec. 6, 1897.
> 9 r
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE CONFERENCE.
By Rev. M. J. Talbot, D. D.
By the action of the General Conference, held in 1840, the Provi-
dence Conference was constituted of those pastoral charges, and the
ministers stationed in them for the time being, which are situated
within the present boundaries of the
New England Southern Conference.
There were then, as there are now,
three Presiding Elders' Districts: the
Providence, New London and Sand-
wich. At the first session, held at
Providence in 1841, the Elders ap-
pointed to preside over these districts
were: Providence District, B. Other-
man; New London District, A. U.
Swinerton; Sandwich District, F. Up-
ham. Messrs. Otherman, Swinerton
and Upham had been Presiding Elders
in the New England Conference,
before the separation.
1842, the same, except that William
Livesey was appointed Presiding El-
der of New London District.
1843, the districts were called New Bedford, Sandwich and New
London, the name of Providence District having been discontinued
and the territory remaining as before defined: i. e., embracing the
eastern and northern portions of the present New Bedford District,
and all of Rhode Island. The Presiding Elders were: Sandwich
District, Frederick Upham; New Bedford District, B. Otheman; New
London District, Ralph W. Allen. The name of Providence District
again appears in 1848 with Thomas Ely Presiding Elder, the territory
remaining the same as under the previous designation. After this
term of service David Patten was appointed to the district. Before
his four years came to a close he had received and accepted a call to
a professorship in the Biblical Institute at Concord, N. H., where he
undertook and accomplished the task of raising funds sufficient to
endow the institution and secure its removal to Boston, where it
became the School of Theology of Boston University.
The form and dimensions of the district were practically un-
changed until 1869, the Presiding Elders during this interval being
Charles H. Titus, George M. Carpenter, Paul Townsend and Samuel
C. Brown. In the last named year, Bishop D. W. Clark presiding, the
REV. M. J. TALBOT, D. D.
SOUVENIR HISTORY. XIII
Conference was divided into five districts, named Providence, New
Bedford, Sandwich, Norwich and Danielsonville. Providence Dis-
trict was constituted of Rhode Island (except Washington County and
the towns on the northern border of the state) with a few adjacent
towns in Massachusetts. This plan was in existence but a single year,
at the close of which the number of districts w r as reduced to four,
Danielsonville being eliminated. After a few years the original num-
ber was restored, M. J. Talbot and George W. Brewster having
occupied the presiding eldership four years each till 1878, when D. A.
Whedon was appointed. At the Conference of 1879 Bishop Gilbert
Haven made the experiment of a new layout of the territory, forming
the Providence North District, comprising the parishes lying north
of the great railways running east and west through the Conference
from Massachusetts Bay to the Connecticut River, with exceptional
stations south of that line ; Providence District, composed of the parts
of Rhode Island and Connecticut south of the above named boundary,
with a portion of Massachusetts; and New Bedford District.
This arrangement continued three years, D. A. Whedon being
Presiding Elder of Providence District and M. J. Talbot of Provi-
dence North, the dividing line passing through the city of Providence.
Dr. Whedon's term having expired in 1882, the form of districts now
existing was adopted, and M. J. Talbot was again appointed to Provi-
dence District and continued in that relation until 1886, when he was
succeeded by D. A. Jordan for four years, and he by S. O. Benton,
the first who has filled the office, in this district, for the continuous
term of six years.
DISTRICTS AND PRESIDING ELDERS.
Bartholomew Otheman, '40, '41, '42.
New London District:
Asa W. Swinerton, '40, '41.
William Livesey, '42.
Frederick Upham, '40, '41, '42.
Nezv Bedford District:
Bartholomew Otheman, '43.
Frederick Upham, '44, '45, '46, '47.
New London District:
Ralph W. Allen, '43, '44, '45, '46.
Erastus Benton, '47.
Frederick Upham, '43.
XIV SOUVENIR HISTORY.
Bartholomew Otheman, '44, '45, '46, '47.
Thomas Ely, '48, '49, '50, '51.
David Patten, '52, '53, '54.
Charles H. Titus, '55, '56, '57, '58.
George M. Carpenter, '59, '60, '61, '62.
Paul Townsend, '63, '64, '65.
Samuel C. Brown, '66, '67, '68.
New London District:
Erastus Benton, '48, '49, '50.
Bartholomew Otheman, '51, '52, '53, '54.
Levi Daggett, Jr., '55, '56.
Anthony Palmer, '57, '58.
L. W. Blood, '59, '60.
Erastus Benton, '61, '62.
George M. Carpenter, '63, '64.
Pardon T. Kenney, '65, '66, '67, '68.
William T. Harlow, '48, '49, '50, '51.
Pardon T. Kenney, '52, '53, '54, '55.
Paul Townsend, '56, '57, '58, '59.
Nathan .P. Philbrook, '60, '61.
Pardon T. Kenney, '62, '63, '64.
Thomas Ely, '65, '66, '67, '68.
S. C. Brown.
Danielsonville District :
G. W. Brewster.
New Bedford District:
M. J. Talbot.
W. T. Harlow.
Micah J. Talbot, '70, '71, '72, '73.
George W. Brewster, '74, '75, '76, '77.
George W. Brewster, '70, '71, '72, '73.
William H. Stetson, '74, '75, '76.
James Mather, '77.
Pall River District:
Samuel C. Brown, '70, '71, '72, '73.
William V. Morrison, '74, '75, '76, '77.
New Bedford District:
William T. Harlow, '70. '71, '72.
James Mather, 73, '74, '75, '76.
William H. Stetson, '77.
D. A. Whedon.
Neiv Bedford District:
W. H. Stetson.
D. A. Whedon.
Providence North District:
M. J. Talbot.
New Bedford District:
J. W. Willett.
Micah J. Talbot, '82, '83, '84, '85.
Dwight A. Jordan, '86," '87, '88, '89.
Stephen O. Benton, '90, '91, '92, '93, '94, '95.
Edward C. Bass, '96, '97.
Henry D. Robinson, '82, '83, '84, '85.
Edward Edson, '86, '87, '88.
Eben Tirrell, '89, '90, '91, '92, '93, '94.
George H. Bates, '95, '96, '97.
New Bedford District:
John W. Willett, '82.
William V. Morrison, '83, '84, '85, '86
Charles W. Gallagher, '87, '88.
Walter Ela, '89, '90, '91, '92, '93, '94.
Thomas J. Everett, '95, '96, '97.
DECEASED MKMBF.RS OK OUR CONFERENCE.
N. GOODRICH. C. MORSE. I. WASHBURN.
i843-'gi i845-'85. i8i6-'64
I'lie dates indicate the years spent in the ministry.
B. A. CHASE.
u - -
f, 2 K - c
I * ~ * "
REV. W. V. MORRISON, D. D.
MARTHA'S VINEYARD CAMP-MEETING.
By. Rev. W. V. Morrison, D. D.
In August, 1835, a few Methodists
on the Island and neighboring main
held a camp-meeting in a beautiful
oak grove on Martha's Vineyard.
There were but nine rudely-con-
structed tents erected that season, and
only a few hundred people in attend-
ance at the meeting. There were,
however, no such disturbances from
outsiders as were experienced at simi-
lar meetings on the mainland in those
The climate of the Vineyard was
charming to these worshippers, as
the gentle breezes of summer reached
them from the surface of the salt
water. The white sails of numerous vessels cheered their vision
as they looked out on Vineyard Sound, which was then, as now,
the great roadway for commerce along the coast east and west, and
where it is said more vessels pass annually than in any other waters in
the world except in the English Channel. The preaching was a deal
and forcible presentation of the prominent doctrines of Scripture which
pertain to man's salvation. The Holy Spirit enforced the truth and
great good was accomplished. This was the forerunner of one of the
most remarkable series of camp-meetings ever held in America, and
which, with the exception of a single year 1845 has continued till
the present time. The first years of its history were characterized by
remarkable displays of Divine power among the people, resulting in
the quickening of believers and the conversion of many sinners. The
natural attractions of the place, however, early claimed attention. Many
began to go a week or two before the date fixed for the meeting, and
after the services closed others remained for rest and recreation. The
number visiting the place gradually increased from time to time till
20,000 or more have been seen there in recent years. Small family
tents sprung up around the large church tents, and furnished many
comforts hitherto unknown to the worshippers ; after a few years these
were replaced by beautiful cottages, in which the conveniences of home
life are enjoyed from two to four months each season. As the shade
of the old oaks began to disappear, a large canvas covering served to.
protect the congregations, and this in 1879 gave way after many years
of service to the great iron Tabernacle which now so admirably serves
as a place of worship. The adjacent grounds have been cleared up,
handsomely laid out and beautifully ornamented with shade trees, con-
crete walks, grass plots and flower beds. Around this old camp-
CAMP MEETING SCENES FIFTY YEARS AGO.
ground Cottage City has grown up, with superb transportation accom-
modations, fine residences, large hotels, numerous attractions and con-
veniences, furnishing one of the most desirable watering places on the
This history, however, would not be complete without brief refer-
ence to a few visits made by men eminent in the councils of the
nation. In 1862 Governor Andrew, the great war Governor of Massa-
chusetts, visited the meeting. His coming was the occasion of an im-
mense gathering at Cottage City. The audience assembled for the
afternoon was far beyond the seating capacity of the place. After an
able sermon by Rev. J. A. M. Chapman, His Excellency being previ-
ously invited, followed in an address of masterly eloquence occupying
an hour and a quarter. The historian of that occasion says: "He took a
broad view of the present state of the country, and the history of our
liberties. He spoke especially of slavery as the cause of our troubles,
which he believed it was the design of God to destroy before giving
us peace, and urged it as a religious duty to hasten to the rescue."
His address was enthusiastically received by the people, and his senti-
ments cheered again and again by Amens from the audience.
In 1874 President U. S. Grant and party, including his wife,
visited the meeting. Sunday was a great day; many thousands had
arrived from the cities on the main. General Grant and most of his
party were seated on the preacher's stand ; there were also present more
than one hundred ministers, and an immense audience vastly beyond
the seating capacity of the auditorium. The morning sermon was by
XX SOUl'ENIR HISTORY.
Bishop Gilbert Haven, D. D. ; text: Joel iii, 14: "Multitudes, multi-
tudes, in the valley of decision." It was one of the greatest sermons
of his life. The Holy Spirit enforced the truth as he uttered it, and
the thronging- thousands were profoundly stirred. The sermon was
CAMP MEETING SCENES FIFTY YEARS AGO.
followed by a prayer service; hundreds knelt in fervent supplication,
every heart in the vast multitude was moved by the power of God.
General Grant sat in the midst, in appearance solemn and thoughtful.
Being near him, I said to him: "General, you have commanded armies
and they obeyed you; there is One above us all who claims your ser-