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Churches and pastors of Nantucket, Mass. online

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14. Edward C. Gardner. Nov. 1, 1899-Nov. 30, 1900. 1 "

15. John W. Gill. Mar. 1, 1901-June 1, 1901. i "


Mr. Gardner, tliougli a faithful and devoted clergyman, and very
acceptable to the people of this parish, oAving to poor health, was
never more than a minister in charge. There is nothing in the
records to show that ]\Ir. Disl)rowe was ever invited to become rector.
From the removal of Mr. Disbrowe, in 1859, till the call of Mr.
Meade, in 1872, St. Paul was without a rector, being dependent
upon transient clergymen. During this period, about all the church
activities seem, practically, to have been abandoned.


Age of Church. 62 years.

Number of rectors. 15.

Years of rectorates. 46.

Years of vacancies. 1 6.

Average length of rectorates, 3 years.

The. Pastors of the First Baptist Church, from 1839 to


The First Baptist Church, whose house of worship is situated on
Summer street, was organized in 1839. The late Rev. Daniel
Round, Jr., was very actively and prominently interested in this
movement, and he became the first pastor. lie had two pastorates
over this church, Avith an aggregate term of nearly eight years. In
the course of pulpit service for this church, there has been an unusual
period of temporary supplies. Also, among those who have been
considered pastors, there are many short terms of service, sometimes
less than a year. The temporary sujiplies are not enrolled. But
those reported as pastors, though on the ground less than a year, are
given .

The Rev. James E. Crawford, aa'Iio officiated as pastor of this
church for about a year, Avas the pastor of the Pleasant street Colored
Baptist Church at the time of his service Avith this church.

Among those enrolled as pastors was one layman, Mr. George
HoAvell, the tenth on the roll, who served as pastor about tAA'o years.

1. Daniel Round, Jr.

2. James Barnaby.

3. George James Jounsgn.

4. Reuben Jaffrey.

5. Isaac Saavyer.

6. Thomas W. Clark.

June, 1839-Feb., 1844.

4^ years.

July, 1844-Oct. 4, 1845.

H "

Dec. 22, 1846-Aug. 1, 1847.

f "

1847-July 22, 1849.

2 "



May 25, 1851-1853.

2 «


7. Charles B. Smith.

8. Abner D. Gorham.

9. Abijah Hall.

10. George Howell.

11. Parker.

12. James E. Crawford.

13. Silas Ripley.

14. John J. Bronsox.

15. William I. Loomis.

16. E. D. Fish.

17. Alden B. Whipple.

18. Daniel Round, Jr.

19. G. J. Ganun.

20. Charles F. Nickolson.

21. William Dugdale.

22. James R. Patterson.

23. Edward A. Tuck.

24. Roland F. Alger.

June, 1854-Sept. 1, 1855. . 1

Nov., 1855-Sept., 1857. 2
April, lS58-Jii]y, 1858. J

April, 1859-June, 1861. 2
Oct., 1861-AprU, 1862. ^

April, 1862-Feb., 1863. 1

Jan., 1866-Jime, 1867. 1

Sept., 1868-AiDril, 1870. 2

Nov., 1873-May 1, 1874. ^

June, 1874-Nov., 1875. 1^

Nov. 14, 1875-Feb., 1879. 4

Aug., 1879-July, 1882. 3

Dec. 21, 1882-May, 1883. J
May 21, 1885-Nov, 20, 1885. J

Jan. 23, 1887- April, 1888. 1

March, 1889-Oct., 1896. 7J

Nov., 1896-Dec. 1, 1897. T

May 15, 1898-Nov., 1901. 3J


Age of church.
Years of vacancies.
Years of pastorates.
Number of pastors.
Average length of pastorate.

62 years.

1 year, 9 months.

The Roll of Priests in the Roman Catholic Church,
FROM 1849 to 1902.

There are no records of the early meetings of the Roman Catho-
lic communicants in Nantucket, but it is known that as early as
1849 mass was celebrated in the town hall, which stood near the
present location of the Soldier's Monument, corner of jNIain and
Milk streets. The celebrant was the Rev. Fatlier JMcXulty, of Xew
Bedford. The Roman Catholic population was then small, and
the services were not frequent. It is claimed that Mrs. Lucy Sulli-
van, a native of Nantucket who espoused the Roman Catholic faith,
was the leader in the movement to establish Roman Catholic religious
services on the Island.

From the commencement, there has been no priest permanently
resident on the Island. This church with all its affairs has been in
charge of priests living at Ncav Bedford, and at various points in


Barnstable County. The services from the time of their first observ-
ance in the town hall, were held in various other places, as the
Quaker school-house in the vicinity of the site of Trinity church on
Broad street, and in Pantheon Hall. Rev. Father McNulty con-
tinued to minister to the Island Roman Catholic people as long as
he lived in New Bedford. Following him was the Rev. Father
Hennis, held in kindly remembrance as priest of the New Bedford
Church, who made periodical visits, and conducted services till his
death, about 1858. It was during Father Hennis's incumbency
that Harmony Hall, on Federal street, standing on the site now
occupied by the Roman Catholic Chiu'ch, was bought and consecra-
ted to the religious use of those holding to that faith, as St. Mary's
Church. Following the Rev. Father Hennis was Father Tallon,
who began his ministrations in 1859. Tallon -was followed suc-
cessively by Fathers Foley and McMahon of New Bedford. From
the first establishment of Roman Catholic services to the close of
Father ]\Ic]Mahon's incumbency, St. Mary's Church was under the
spiritual guidance of the New Bedford priests. Following these
came Father O'Connor of Harwich, Father McCabe of Fall River,
Fathers Brady, McComb and Clinton of Sandwich, and lastly,
Father C. McSweeney of Wood's Hole, who has been in charge
since 1883. During the present incumbency, a new church has
been built on the old site enlarged by the purchase of an adjoining
lot. This building was erected in 1897.

It is not possible to give definite dates regarding the terms of ser-
vice of the various priests in charge of St. Mary.

This is a church which has maintained itself with a commendable
vigor and advanced with a stable growtli, although from the day of
its establishment, it has been in the charge of a non-resident clergy.

In the fifty-three years since the first beginning of its services,
the Roman Catholic Church has had eleven priests, the average term
of service being a little over four years and nine months. Father
McSweeney has been in charge nineteen years.

Roll of the Pastoks of the People's Baptist Church.

This church was the outcome of a secession from the First Bap-
tist Church. It was organized in 1897.^ Its first pastor was Rev.
Edward A Tuck, who withdrew from the First Baptist Church, and
took the leadership of this new enterprise.

Roll of Pastors.

1. Edward A. Tuck. Dec. 12, 1897-Juiie, 1899. IJ years.

2. Thomas S. Sayer. Dec, 1899- 2 "

Other Church Organizations.

For the greater pai-t, these were sporadic and short lived. They
generally sprang from dissensions in the existing churches. The
records concerning these churches are very meagre, and no rolls are

Among these churches were the following : —

The First Universalist Church was incorporated by Act
of the Legislature, approved by the Governor, Jan. 20, 1827.
There were twenty-two incorporators named in the act, among
whom were many locally prominent men of that day, such as Aaron
Mitchell, Samuel B. Tuck, Samuel H. Jenks, Gardner Coffin,
Elisha Starbuck, Robert F. Parker, Joseph T. Worth and John
R. Macy. The church was short lived, its age scarcely attaining
ten years. Its house of worship stood on the site now occupied by
the Atheneum Library Association. One of its foremost incorpo-
rators, Samuel H. Jenks, was a leader in the organization of the
Trinity Episcopal Church, in 1839.

The only person associated with this organization as preacher, of
whom there seems to be any record, is Frederick Swain, known as
" Parson Swain." Whether he was regularly placed in charge by
the authorities of the church, or only an occasional supply, there is
no information. The records of the Church or Proprietors are not
known to be extant.

The African Methodist Episcopal Church was incor-
porated by Act of the Legislature, approved by the Lieutenant
Governer, March 4, 1835. It was known also as the Zion M. E.
Church. Its house of worship was located on the south side of
West York street, not far from the corner of Pleasant and York
streets. The dwelling-house of Joseph Lewis, colored, now stands
on the site of this edifice. There does not seem to be any record
of the pastorates.

The Second Methodist ■ Episcopal Church was incorporated
by a special Act of the Legislature, approved by the Governor, Feb.


14, 1846. Among the incorporators were William Jenkins, Wil-
liam Hart, Samuel Dunham, James Macy and Henry S. Coffin.

They secured the building formerly occupied by the First Metho-
dist Church, at the corner of Fair and Lyon streets. This was
known as the "Teazer Meeting-house," from the flag of the sloop
"Teazer," raised over the church building early in its occupancy by
this new church society.

Of the preachers, the only names recalled by informants are the
Reverends Trakey, Blake and Dunbar. Rev. Mr. Dunbar was the
last preacher, his date being about 1856.

The Refoe3ied Methodist Episcopal Church was a move-
ment in revolt from the First jSIethodist Church, largely on the
question of local self-government. Its place of worship was located
at the foot of Silver, near Union street. Meetings were also held
at the Sailors' Bethel on Union street, in a building nearly opposite
Stone Alley.

The only event to fix the date and status of this organization is
a notice in a local paper, dated November, 1835, wherein Moses
H. Swift, the preacher of this church, a layman, whose occupation
was that of a ship carpenter, and who held his appointment by the
authority of the local Conference of the Reformed Methodist Episco-
pal Church, was dismissed by two of the trustees. No other person
is associated traditionally with this church as preacher, and there
are no known records.


This is a reproduction of a very rare cut, an illustration, enti-
tled " The Town of Sherburne in the Island of Nantucket." It is
a copperplate, and first appeared, January, 1811, opposite page 34
in " The Portfolio," a monthly periodical published in Philadelphia.
It is a view of the town taken from the south-east borders of the
lower harbor, between Abram's Point and the Asylum, in the
region of "the creeks," sometimes called "Low Beach." In the
left background appear the four windmills that used to stand on the
high land southwest of the town, andtliey have given the name of
" Mill Hills " to this spot. Only one of these mills survives. Next
them, on the right in the background, is seen the tower of the Old
North Church, now known as " The North Vestry." The present
church edifice w^as not erected till 1834. The old church buildinoj
was then moved back a few feet to make rooin for the new edifice,
and its tower was removed permanently. The next tower, further
to the right, is meant for that of the Unitarian Church, built in
1810. Its proportions are faulty. Between the windmills and the
headhouse of the rope walk, in the left middle ground, is a building
with a square tower having at the corners ornaments like truncated
pinnacles. Its location is in the vicinity of the corner of Fair and
Lyon streets. This suggests that it may be the first Methodist
Church, dedicated in 1800, and at a later date known as the "Teazer "
meeting house. The sheep about Abram's Point, in tha extreme
right foreground, suggest w^hat was, when this sketch was made, a
thriving and important Island industry.

This is a very interesting cut, and seems well worth reproduc-
tion. It accompanies a well- written vivacious article entitled " A
Description of Nantucket." Article and sketch ai*e by the same
hand — Joseph Sanson, Esquire, of Philadelphia, a gentleman of ex-
tensive experience as a traveller, and a popular delineator, with pen


and pencil, of the places he visited. The Island had been presented
to his mind as " a sandbank," chiefly useful as " a place for fishermen
to dry their nets on." But Mr. Sanson found a diversified land-
scape witli hill and dale, with a great variety of agricultural pro-
ducts and a surprising plant life. He was inclined to coincide with
a naturalist who had recently visited tlie Island " in search of non-
descripts," as he called the rare plants he was in quest of, and
found the Island so rich in the unusual that he pronounced it, in
raptures of discovery, " A Garden of Plants."



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Online LibraryMyron Samuel DudleyChurches and pastors of Nantucket, Mass. → online text (page 2 of 2)