III the preparation of this part of the History of Weymouth, the Historical Sketch of Weymouth by Gilbert Nash has been used as a basis.
Other material has been found in the address of Charles Francis Adams, Jr., at the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of the town, and also in his papers entitled "Thirty Years Liter," as published in the "Weymouth Gazette;" in many historical articles that have appeared from time to time in the "Weymouth Gazette;" in town and precinct records (particularly in abstracts from the town records prepared by the late Martin F. Hawes), and in various parish and church records, accounts of anniversary celebrations, and church manuals. Some information has been obtained from the "Bradford History of the Settlement of Plymouth," from Phineas Pratt's Narrative, from Prince's Annals, and from Miller's History of the New England SouthernConference."
The following persons have contributed specially written papers concerning their respective churches, and these have been incorporated in whole or in part in the text:
Mr. Charles F. Crane of the Union Church of Weymouth and Braintree. Miss Martha J. Hawes of the East Weymouth Congregational Church. Miss Nellie M. Holbrook of the Porter Methodist Episcopal Church. Mrs. Mary R. Flint of tile Unitarian Church. Mr. John 13, Hunt of the First Universalist Church. Mrs. Ellen M. Curtis of the Second Universalist Church. Mr. Russell H. Whiting of the Third Universalist Church. Rev. John B. Holland, Catholic. Rev. William Hvde of Trinity Episcopal Church. Mr. W. Carleto~ Barnes of the Church of the Holy Nativity. Mrs. George it. Loud of Faith Mission Church.
Valuable assistance has also been received in notes from records, or in loans of records and documents, from Miss Mercy M. Hunt, clerk of the First Congregational Church; Mrs. J. Gardner Alden, Clerk of Pilgrim Congregational Church; Mrs. Viola A. King and Mr. John H. Gutterson of the First Baptist Church; and Mr. Franklin N. Pratt of the First Methodist Church.
The endeavor has been made to present only matters of some importance or that have more than a strictly local interest.Because of the abundance of material, it seemed to be more Ito-
portant to present an array of facts for reference and study than to write an elaborate and finished story. To that end, the "blue pencil" has been freely used in the various papers so kindly collit ibuted.
The writer takes this opportunity to expre5ss deep appreciation to all who have so courteously and ably assisted in the work and without whose co-operation the result could not have been attained.
So many statements have been taken almost wholly from the writings of others that little claim can be made to originality in coloposition.
It is hoped that the general statement of the sources ot material ;is oracle above will suffice to take the place of an almost endless not to say useless, task of supplying footnotes and exact references oil almost every page.
The churches are grouped by denominations, and the denuminacions are arranged in the order of their first appearance in the town.
What appears to be a disproportionate space allowed the First arid Second Churches is due to the fact that for a hundred and ,eventy-five years these were the only churches in town. The histories of these two churches show more fully than the others the changes and developments in organization, methods and customs, from the simple forms of the early settlers to the more complicated and varied phases of church life at the present day. Only two other (-]lurches in the town have yet attained an age of one hundred years or more, - the Union Church of Weymouth and Braintree, and the First Methodist Church.
If these pages shall prove sufficiently interesting to lead others to it more thorough and exhaustive study of the subject, or to induce greater care and faithfulness in writing and preserving :-hurch records, or to arouse a truer sense of the worth and need If Churches arid church activities, the labor of preparation will ha~ e been amply justified.
The Pilgrim Compact, formed in the cabin of the "Mayflower," In-eills with the memorable words, "In the name of God. Amen."
That sentiment was not merely air evidence of the deeply religious i h.oacier of the Pilgrims, but was also an express recognition of the uninette relation existing between the reason-endowed human I-cillp, and the Infinite Reason - the dependence of the free creature up"ll tile goodness of the Creator for sustenance, guidance and o hit:\ ellicrit of prosperity.
it holds people together in an indissoluble bond of fellowship 111111 good-will that is fundamental to the continuance and advance ~Io ut (f free communities and free states. Oil almost every page,
In, hi,tory of the last two thousand years illustrates a remarkable I 'III lislo between evolution in society, industry, art, science, - 1 % thing that helps to constitute advance in civiii4ation, - arid
to be either stagnant or decadent. But where the Cross is uplifted, mankind is also drawn upward to a higher plane of life.
The history of Weymouth presents no exception to this reaching of general history, although it did not have the distinction of starting with so formal an instrument its the Pilgrim Compact.
The permanent settlement and dev,lopaient of the town has been closely associated with its religious life. Although Weymouth was not settled by people who were avowedly trying to get away front religious persecution, or who were desirous of propagating new and peculiar religious views, it is not to be assumed that thev were therefore irreligious or heretical. On the contrary, there is evidence that the early settlers of the town deemed it essential to maintain the public worship of God.
In those (lays, a settlement was not considered as fully and regularly organized, unless it had a religious leader, a preacher or an elder. As a consequence, every settlement that became a town or a precinct wits required to employ and support a minister of the gospel.
Thomas lVeston had no sympathy for the religious views of the Pilgrims of Plymouth whom he had substantially. aided in their adventure, its a business enterprise; for be was undoubtedly a firm adherent of the Church of England. But it is apparent that he made no adequate provision for religious influences in the settlement lie attempted at Wessagusset in 1622.
There may have been such services as the Episcopalian prayer book allowed laymen to conduct, but there is no record. Moreover, the members of his company were not all Episcopalians. Without the sanctions of religion, or with marked differences of faith and practice, the settlement was necessarily inharmonious, the sense of moral obligation was weak, and stability and thrift could not be made effective. Such a community is foredoomed to failure from the start.
Following close upon the dissolution of the Weston settlenient, Capt. Robert Gorges' Company came under very different auspices. In fact, one object of this company, in addition to its commercial plans, was to introduce and establish the control of the Church of England throughout this region. For this purpose Rev. NXilliani Morrell came with the company, holding a commission which authorized him to exercise supervision of all the (hutches there might be in the colony. With him came a young clergyman, William Blackstone, who was apparently to become his assistant in local and supervisory duties.
It does 110L appear that there was an organized body of church members at first, nor is there any evidence that a church was fully established by Mr. Morrell. Whatever records were kept were probably quite ineager and kept, by Mr. Morrell himself, and, if preserved, would be retained by him. Nevertheless, he had charge of the religious interests of the settlement while he remained.Mr- Morrell appearsloo have been a scholarly gentleman, better
suited to it ministry in a staid English parish than to the tough pioneer life of adventurers arniclst savages in it wilderness fortv miles from a civilized community, and that composed of nonconforinist Pilgrims. The prospect was no more pleasing to him than to Captain Gorges, and when the latter abandoned the enterprise, Mr. Morrell journeyed to Plymouth and lived there over it year, probably hoping some way would open whereby he might yet organize an Episcopal church and find opportunity to exercise his clerical authority.
But though the Pilgrims were tolerant enough to allow him to abide with them, they offered no encouragement for his church plans. Indeed, he did not deem it prudent to disclose his ecclesiastical authority until he departed for England.
Mr. Blackstone also appears to have left the settlement soon after, but instead of going to Plymouth, or returning to England, he became a recluse and settled first on the site of the future cityof Boston, arid afterward migrated to some place in or near Rhode Island.
Wessagusset was thus left without a religious leader, and as far as is certainly known, did not have another for eleven years. The statement that, in 1624, a company "of another sort" came from Weymouth, Eng., with a non-conformist minister, Rev. Mr. Barnard, who remained with them eleven years, until his death, is not well substantiated.
Prince's Annals, a most trustworthy account written more than a hundred years after the reputed coming of this company, states, with reference to Mr. Barnard (page 150), "nor do I anywhere find the least Hint of Him, but in the Manuscript Letters, taken from some of the oldest People at Weymouth." The entire absence of any other evidence of the sailing of such a company, or of its members or membership, or management; the failure of the Plymouth Colony to make any mention of a non-conformist movenient at Wessagusset; the neglect of the Bay Colony to defend their interest in such a settlement from the Episcopalian company of 1635; and the fact that in 1633, Wessagusset was described as " but a small village," -these facts indicate that the whole Barnard story is only art unsupported tradition arising from the confused memories of very old people.
After the departure of Captain Gorges and many of the people, who went in different directions, - some to England, some to Plymouth, some to Virginia, and some to other places, - the settlement was so reduced in numbers, that, although there were various additions of a few at a time during the years from 1624 to 1635, it seems highly improbable that there was any clergy-nan there, unless Mr. Blackstone visited them occasionally, or that any regular religious services were maintained.
The coming of Rev. Joseph Hull in 1635 with a company of about a hundred people caused at once a revival of religious activity, and during the next ten years there was excitement, turmoil and di\ ision in religious matters quite in keeping with the disturbances216 FCCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF WEYMOUTH
in England a( that period. A clearer understanding of what took place may be obtained by noting briefly the state of affairs in other communi ties.
Boston, Dorchester, Roxbury, Cambridge, Charlestown, Salem and some other places had become settled, and with Wessagusset were included in the charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, under Governor John Winthrop and a General Court that convened in Boston. Settlements were organized and churches maintained only by the consent of the government.
The Governor and most of the settlers were Puritan dissenters. Mr. Hull was a graduate of Oxford University and had some experience as a rector in England. As lie came in the interest of Episcopacy, he was not desired in Boston; but finding some followers at Wessagusset, he and his company were permitted to settle there. At the same time Wessagusset was established as a plantation with the name of Weymouth. Mr. Hull very soon found, however, that he was in the midst of many non-conformists even there, and that their number was being rapidly increased by removals from Dorchester, Boston and other places to Weymouth. He accommodated himself to the situation and became a moderate dissenter. He seems to have organized a church, and it may be was instrumental in having the first real meeting-house built, though it was not completed until 1645, or later.
The addition of his company to the population already there, the beginning and gradually developing local town government, and the incorporating of the town made it necessary to have a suitable building for town meetings. When it is reflected that the meeting-houses of those days were erected by towns to serve the purpose of town halls, as well as for houses of worship, it is easy to see that this was the appropriate time to build the first meeting-house. It is to be noted that in this way there was originated the double organization called "parish and church," or "church and society."
The town of Weymouth did not erect a building to be called the "town hall" for more than two hundred years. The first meeting-house stood on Burying Hill not far from the present Soldier's Motioment.
But Mr. Bull was not able to give entire satisfaction, and, though lie claimed to be their rightful minister and continued to exercise the office for several years and had a strong following, he found it convenient to remove to Hingham for a dwelling place.
This removal was hastened by the action of a strong party of dissatisfied dissenters in asking Mr. Thomas Jenner of Roxbury to become their minister, in June, 1636. This was only the beginning of troubles. The independence awakened by their separation from the Established Church was breeding all sorts of views among the Puritans. John Cotton was preaching in Boston, Richard Mather in Dorchester, John Eliot in Roxbury and to the Indians, and John Harvard had recently come to Cambridge.
But Roger Williams, with his views of baptism, and Anne Hutchinson in Boston and John Wheelwright in Wollaston, with theirAntinomianism, were too extreme robe tolerated. They all had sympathizers in Weymouth. Mr. Jenner had so many differences with his people, that it was found necessary to call a council of elders in January, 1637, to effect a reconciliation. But the difficulty grew and became more serious. Those who were opposed to Mr. Jenner started a movement to secure Rev. Robert Lenthal ~-s their minister.
He had recently come from England, where many of the Weymonth people had previously known him, some having been under his ministry. He was as eager to come to them again as they were to have him. It was soon discovered, however, that he was inclined to the teachings of Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams. His views were somewhat modified after a conference with Rev. John Cotton, but he was still considered so unsound by the magistrates that they deemed it necessary to stop his work and break up his following. They had him summoned to the next General Court, to be held in March. By consultation with some of the magistrates and ministers he became convinced of his errors and openly and freely retracted. Thereupon he was ordered to report at the next General Court and, in the meantime to retract publicly in Weymouth.
His followers were treated more rigorously. One was heavily fined, another was disfranchised, a third, not being able to pay a fine, was publicly whipped, and a fourth, "because of his novel disposition" was pointedly informed that the General Court "were weary of him, unless he reform."
Weymouth now had three ministers, but only one church. Mr. Hull still exercised the office occasionally and had a strong body of adherents; Mr. Jenner was sustained by the official recognition of the government; and Mr. Lenthal preached when circumstances permitted, and he had a large following. Of course a church could not long be maintained at public expense where there was so much division. Mr. Hull had a grant of land in Hingham as well as in Weymouth, and went there to live before he gave up the pastorate of the church. Rev. Peter Hobart of Hingham records that Mr. Hull "gave his farewell sermon May 15, 1639." With his departure, Episcopalian forms and authority ceased and did not reappear in the town for more than two hundred years.
According to the parish records, it appears that the first meetinghouse in this town stood on Watch House Hill, about a hundred and fifty iods north of the railroad depot in North Weymouth. 'I he hill is now called Burying Hill. There are still found the graves of the early settlers, some of the stones requiring the chisel of Old Mortality to brighten their inscriptions, to make them 218 E( CLEISIASTICAL HISTORY OF WEYMOUTH
legible. This is generally regarded to have been the first meetinghouse in Weymouth, though it is described as "small, and remaining unfinished in 1645 and for some years later." This fact and the record of the settlement of the first minister as early as 1623, seem to furnish strong grounds for believing that there was all earlier, though probably a much ruder structure standing oil the same hill, Which was used years before the building of this.
Rev. Mr. Hobart of Hirighani also wrote in his diary that "a church was gathered" at Weymouth Jan. 30, 1638-39, meaning, doubtless, a church of dissenters. This is the first record known of the organization of the church, and the history of the First Church in Weymouth, as a Puritan organization, very properly dates from that event. Rev. Thomas Jenner was then the pastor and recognized as such by the neighboring churches.
Mr. Lenthal was compelled to leave because his teachings were considered heretical by the colonial authorities, and he was no more to be tolerated than Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson and others. Yet he appears to have been devout and conscientious in his belieL But Boston was being purged of everything contrary to Puritan faith, and Weymouth must follow. In 1639 he journeyed to Rhode Island, as other "heretics" had done, and settled in Newport.
Mr. Jenner was plainly unable to unite the factions of the church acceptably and it was found necessary to seek some one who could. Rev. Samuel Newman, born in 1600 at Banbury, Eng., and graduated at Oxford in 1620, had recently come to Dorchester. He had been preaching in England, but being a dissenter he had be~n obliged to change from place to place seven times, and finally he fled to America. He seemed possessed of a peaceable nature and excellent reputation, and so he was invited to come in 1639. The next year Mr. Jenner withdrew and went to Saco, Me., leaving the church to Mr. Newman. He seems to have been fairly successful during a pastorate of about four years.
In 1642 a movement was started to form a company for the purpose of migrating and settling in a new place, as though Weymouth were becoming too thickly populated, or else it was thought there was a more desirable location in the region toward Narragansett Bay. A majority of the church were led to join in the movement. To Mr. Newman it was a serious question what to do, and he finally offered to abide by a vote of the parish. The majority desired him to go with them, and so he went with them in 1643, to settle the town which he appropriately named Rehoboth (broad place). There he continued as pastor until his death in 1663.
Mr. Newman was a remarkable man, and greatly beloved by his people. He was a hard student and worked evenings, by the light of pine knots instead of candles. In addition to his pastoral duties, he compiled what was probably the first concordance of the Lnglish Bible. It was published in London and passed through
three editions while he lived, and afterwards became the basis of Crudens' Concordance.
While in Weymouth he was granted tWenty-four acres of land on the West side of what is now North Street, between the North
oil to believe bCeeemnettheryloacnadtioPriearf]tSetrefiert.t pTarhsio~tiawgoeuld,Tthheerreeifsrree~asseem to have that he made the first record that has been preserved of the division of land among the settlers
The church was now without a pastor, and Was greatly reduced in numbers. Another pastor, however, was soon found. Thornas Thacher, born in Salisbury, Fog., in 1620, had come to this country When fifteen years old, and immediately started to study for the ministry under Rev. Charles Chauncy, who was later President of Harvard College. This he did rather than attend the universities in Fngland, because of the anti-Pti,itan feeling so prevalentthem.
He studied most of the books used in the English universities, and reviewed them every three or four years during his life.
Thus he became an eminent scholar. He is ai-f to have written a lexicon of the Hebrew language. He was also a skillful physician. The "hurch gave him a call and he was ordained and installed Jan. 2, 1644. He was the first minister ordained in Weymouth. (Jnder him the church becam, fully established . The troubles and vexations of the preceding years came to an end, and there was peaceanu prosperity for twenty years.
He probably purchased and lived in the parsonage left by Mr. Newman, in accordance with a custom followed for many years; that is, the town provided a parsonage and sold it to the minister with the condition that it was to be sold back to the town if th~ pastor left, or died without children. The town would then sell it to his successor, or provide some other house. The meeting-house, begun in 1635 or 1636, Was at last com-
pleted; but it boon needed repairs, and in 1652 the townsmen were directed "to do what was necessary to make it more comfortable and prevent further decay."
The minister's salary appears to have become the leading expense of the town, and the amount and the assessing, collecting and paying the same were the occasion of much deliberation and action in town meeting' At a meeting in 1657, a committee of twenty men was "directed and empowered by the Town to take care out Mr. Tha er's Mayntenance that it be payde both in time nd kind according to our agreement " at d "in case any shall neglect or refuse to discharge their cluty t~ crei n, to put forth their power to recover same according to law."
Mr. Thacher's wife died in 1664, and in a short time after he married again in Boston. This marriage was followed by his Ging in Boston so much that disaffection with him arose in Weymouth, and he soon resigned and was dismissed from the pastorate. In,)o F(VLFSL%ST1CAL HISTOR'i OF WEYMOUTH
1669 lie was installed as the first pastor of the Old South Church in Boston, which was organized that year.
The church did not have to wait for a successor. Capt. William Torrev, who came from England in 1640, brought his son Samuel, then eight, years of age. In due time Samuel was educated at Harvard College, but did not graduate, for while he was yet a student, the course of study was extended a year, and he and some others left without graduating. It is riot certain where lie obtained his theological pieparation, but probably from Mr. Thacher, with whom he seems to have been an ordained associate, or teacher, from 1656 to 1664. It is said that he preached at Hull for about three vears - perhaps while he was studying.
Rev. Samuel Torrey succeeded Mr. Thacher immediately and was duly installed Feb. 14, 1665. He continued as pastor until his death, April 21, 1707. He was thus the first pastor that was settled for life and kept the contract. For over fifty years his influence and teaching was exerted upon the town, and he died deeply lamented.
He was a man of unusual ability, for be was the trusted adviser of the magistrates and the intimate friend of all the leading divines. He possessed a remarkable fluency in prayer. It is related that on the occasion of a public fast in 1696, he prayed for two hours and so acceptably that the audience wished he had continued longer. lie was chosen three times by the General Court to preach the election sermon, in 1674, 1683 and 1695. !- 1684 he was chosen President of Harvard College, but he declined to accept. No other man has ever refused that honor and dignity. He evidently preferred his pastorate to any other or greater responsibility.
A committee was chosen to "debate and conclude" with Rev. Mr. Tbacher for the parsonage and land in order to dispose of it " to Mr. Samuel Torrey now minister of the Town, or otherwise as they shall think meet." Through them the town sold Mr. Torrey the parsonage and eight acres of land belonging to it, and also fifteen acres upon the east side of the highway, extending from Burying Hill to Neck Street, upon certain conditions.
Here Mr. Torrey lived twenty years or so and then desired a change. In 1685 a new arrangement was made by which Mr. Torrey gave up the parsonage and all rights on the west side of the highway, and received a clear title to the fifteen acres on the east side. He then purchased fifteen acres more of adjoining land and soon built on the south side of Burying Hill a house which for many years was called "the Mansion." This stood where the present parsonage now stands. Mr. Torrey's wife died in 1692, and in 1699 he married again. A few days after his second marriage he disposed of all his property in Weymouth to his nephew Micajah Torrey, though he continued to live in the same house. After his death the town sold its interest in the old first parsonage to Micajah Torrey.
During Mr. Torrey's pastorate, the question of salary underwent sonic important changes, leading to more regular and fixed pay-
merits. In November, 1669, the selectmen were directed to "see that the minister's Rates for mayntenance be made, gathered, and payd and satisfied to our present minister, Mr. Samuel Torrey, according to day, specie, and agreement once in each year."
In 1671 a committee of twenty was appointed "to negotiate with our Rev. Pastor to treat with him and to conclude," etc., which they did as follows: The stated salary was to be ESO per annum in specie- Five men - Lieutenant Holbrook, Sergeant Whitmarsh, John Pratt, Stephen French and Jacob Nash - promised to pay in 110 each in money, to assure the 150. The selectmen were to make a rate, or assessment, of four score pounds in current pay of New, England to reimburse these five men, each inhabitant to pay his share in suitable wood or clothing material, or in money, and each inhabitant that had a team to bring in a load of wood to Mr. Torrey, and all others to be "helpful in cutting the wood or otherwise procuring it." This was the first time a regular annual salary had been fixed.
In 1673 the town voted that E10 must be added to the assessment in order to secure sufficient wood for the ensuing year; that is, twenty cords. This year Stephen French , Jr., Sergeant White, Deacon Dyer, John Pratt and John Vining assumed the salary and took for their pay the E80 rate "in good pay " as assessed. "Good pay " meant wood, corn, pork, beef, lumber, znid other commodities. For the twenty cords of wood tkat were brought in, the town agreed to pay 7 shillings a cord in money, whereas the assessment was at the rate of 10 shillings a cord. This difference was doubtless due to the scarcity of actual money, and shows that a large part of business was conducted by exchange of commodities, or barter, without the use of currency. So it may be concluded that the difference between the E50 salary in cash and the E80 assessment in "good pay" was not as unfair as it looks.
The pastor's salary was henceforth an established and regular expense of the town, not to be decreased, buL liable to be increased if circumstances required- It was increased in 1696 to X86 in mon,ey, or X106 18s. in goods; and in 1698 an additional 912 in money was voted.
As the town grew in population and in public needs, changes had to be made in the meeting-house. In 1667 it was voted " that there be three sides of the meeting house galleryed with two seats next the wall as already begun also "that what expense be necessary for repairing the meeting house and hanging up a Bell is to be raysed and payd by a Town Rate." This must refer to the first church bell used in Weymouth.
In 1668 they began to pay a sexton, it being voted "that James Praene shall have 24 shillings for sweeping the meeting house, provided he sweep the galleries." In 1673 it was voted "that William Chard [the schoolmaster] shall ring the bell and sweep the ineeting house, for which he is to have 30 shillings for the year." This same year the selectmen contracted with Samuel White to clapboard222 F( UI ESIASIACAL 111S'F(RV OF \X'F.N N1011-ril
the north side of the meeting-house and other places "as shall be needful," and to lay a floor 1-1 with sound, sizable pine boards."
After "serious agitation- in 1682, a committee was chosen "to repair tile old or build a new meeting house at the town's charge." This committee examined the house, and, finding it rotten and weak in many places, and also too small to accommodate the people, decided that a new mecting-house should be built.
They planned a much more substantial and pretentious building. (L was to be forty-five feet long forty wide, and twenty feet high "between joints," with four gai)le ends of uniform height and a 11 platform oil top covered with lead." It was to be boarded and clapboarded outside and claphoarded or plastered inside, and the walls were to be filled with brick up to the plate.
There must be a suitable gallery and also convcai,.~, oeats. The house was located upon land purchased of Captain Holbrook, near the schoolhouse. This is the site of the present meeting-house. The building and its furnishing were to be paid for, one-third in money and two-thirds in "good pay" at current money prices. Agreement was made with Jacob Nash to build and finish the house for 1280 and the old house.
Three months after the death of Rev. Mr. Torrey, April 21, 1707, the church met and chose Peter Thacher of Boston to be their minister. He was the grandson of Rev. Thomas Thacher and was graduated from Harvard College in 1696. The next month a town meeting voted concurrence. This is the first record of the custom followed for over two hundred years since - the selection of a pastor by vote of the church, and the completion of a call by a vote of concurrence and offer of a stated salary on the part of the town or parish.
The offer to Mr. Thacher was E70 a year and a "convenient settlement." A settlement was a sum appropriated to defray the expense of removal and refitting or furnishing the parsonage, and sometimes equaled or exceeded a year's salary. The "convenient ~ettlernent " in this case seems to have been thought too indefinite, perhaps because Mr. Thacher was not yet married. At any rate, it was voted later "to add ten pounds to the seventy already voted and convenient firewood when be has a family of his own, or as soon thereafter as he shall call for the same."
This proved satisfactory and he was ordained Nov. 26, 1707. His "settlement" was completed in May, 1710, when it was voted that he should have the improvement ( ' rental?) of the house where he lived, together with the barn and forty acres of upland and salt meadow which the town had acquired from Zachary Bicknell for the purpose. This estate lay upon both sides of the old road now Norton Street, and included a part of the land on which Rev. Mr. Newman had dwelt (the old first parsonage).
His call was unanimous and the pastoral relation proved to be prosperous and happy until 1718. He was then invited to become a colleague with Rev. Mr. Webb at the North Church in Boston.
For (onsidering a call before be had been dismissed lie was severely I it i( ized, and so much ill feeling was aroused that lie felt obliged
to resign. lie went to Boston, but many of the people there were icatly displeased with him arid the manner of his leaving Wey-
nionth, and it was not until 1723 that lie became pastor of the New North Church in Boston. Evidently public sentiment in that day did not approve of calling a minister from a church where he was druady happily settled and beloved.
, rhat the church was prosperous under Mr. Thatcher is shown by tile vote of the town in 1716 to "allow those who wanted more oom to build another row of galleries above those already in use, at their own charge."
Oil Fell. 26, 1719, the church chose for their minister Mr- Thomas Paine of Barnstable, a graduate from Harvard College in 1717, and oil March 27 a general town meeting voted concurrence. It % a, % oted to pay him 20 shillings a week and his board and keep lot his horse, until he should be regularly settled.
Afterward he was offered a salary of 1:90 a year, and the town %ab to put the parsonage and land "in good tenable order" and the minister was to keep it so. He was ordained August 19, for which event the town appropriated X20.
His pastorate continued until 1734. and during the " rst years lie 1:, ed in the parsonage; but the last years of his service he found it comenient to reside much of the time in Boston. This seems to haN e been partly due to the decaying condition of the old parsonage, x% hich made it difficult and expensive to keep in repair, and it may ha%e been partly due to the difficulty the town, or rather the precinct, had to provide an adequate salary; for in 1723 the town was dix ided into the North and South Precincts, and the North Precinct had to support Mr. Paine. In 1724 the precinct voted to continue his salary at E90. But it proved to be a heavy burden to collect tile money and pay it over promptly, and Mr. Paine seems to have found it troublesome to live as he desired. Although a talented preacher, and beloved by the people, he deemed it prudent to re~ign in April, 1734, He removed to Boston and actively engaged in business the rest of his life. He was buried, however, in Weymonth, and so were some others of his family. In 1731 he had a '(11, horn probably in Boston, whom he named Robert Treat Paine. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
1 or a minister to succeed Mr. Paine, the church now turned to )dr. X\ illiam Smith of Charlestown, a graduate of Harvard College in 1725, and he accepted a call at a salary of X160, and X300 as a -Olvillent. He was ordained Dec. 4, 1734, and remained nearly 1(itN-nine years, until his death at the age of seventy-seven years. Ile soon became a favorite, especially with young people, and was 1119111N, ustvetrit!d and beloved throughout his long ministry.
it, March, 1735, the precinct voted that "the present minister ~hall receive possession of the parsonage according to the terms of224 E( ( LESIASTIC.U. HISTORY OF WEYMOUTII
the deed of the same." But apparently Mr. Smith did not care for it, Perhaps oil account of its bad condition, or more likely because the South Precinct were claiming a partial ownership of it.
In June of that year it was voted to sell it and divide the proceeds between the two parishes in proportion to the precinct tax of each; but it was not sold. Ili 1738 the town voted neither to take it down nor to repair it, and because of threats to demolish it, a vote was passed to prosecute any one who should do so. The next year, however, it was taken down, and the precinct was again without a parsonage.
Meanwhile, in 1737, Mr. Smith had purchased "the Mansion" that Rev. Samuel Torrey built, although he was not married until 1740. His wife was the daughter of Col. John Quincy of Wollaston (or Braintree), and they resided in "the mansion" while they lived.
They were blessed with three daughters, of whom Hon. Richard Cranch married the eldest, Mary, and Rev. John Shaw of Haverhill, a man of high standing, married Elizabeth, the youngest. The second daughter, Abigail, was wooed and won by John Adams, the son of a farmer, and at that time a young4awyer with a reputation to make. He was not at all encouraged by Mr. Smith. It is related that during the courtship the young man was not allowed to put his horse into the barn, and so he tied him to a tree by the roadside.
According to the records they were married Oct. 25, 1764. There is a tradition that after Mary was married, Mr. Smith preached from the text, "Mary hath chosen that good --,f " etc-, but that after Abigail was married, he preached front ihe text, "For John cattle neither eating nor drinking and they say he hath a devil." Nevertheless, John Adams became a great statesman and the second President of the United States, and Abigail Adams proved to be a most worthy consort, and their son, John Quincy Adams, was destined to be the sixth President.
In March, 1724-25, the precinct had voted to purchase a record book for the parish and also one for the church. The parish record appears to have begun at once, but the first item in the church record is dated Aug, 5, 1734. This was pivbaL.'y the time a call was extended to Mr. Smith, and most likely the record was entered by hill); for while the parish must have had a precinct clerk annually elected, the church did not begin to elect a clerk for many years, and it was customary for the pastor to keep all the church records that were made. Mr. Smith began the record of baptisms, marriages, and deaths, as well as church membership and such other matters as he saw fit. From this time on both church and parish records have been kept with considerable faithfulness, thus rendering the task of the historian much easier and more accurate. He recorded two hundred and thirty admissions to the church during his service.Under date of April 23, 1751, the following item appears:
and the other was in 1822, when it lairge number in the cast part of the parish separated from the church to form the First Methodist Chur(h in Fast Weymouth. One hundred and seventy-six new members, however, were received during this pastorate.
In 1795 Rev. Mr. Norton, Dea. Cotton Tufts and Brother Elisha Bates were appointed a committee to prepare regulations for the admission of persons to baptism am] the Lord's Supper. Thev prepared the first formal covenant for the church (afterwards called the crued), although a baptismal covenant is referred to in Mr. Smith's records in 1783; but that may have been the covenant of some other church. The new covenant was used for the next forty years without change.
Another important development of this pastorate was the organization of a Sabbath school in 1815. There were about a hundred pupils and ten teachers at the beginning, and the number soon increased. The first "instructor" or superintendent was Lemuel Humphrey, and he held the office for seventeen years.
lit August, 1824, Rev. Josiah Bent, Jr., of Milton was called to the pastorate at a salary of $600 and his firewood. He was ordained in October and continued in the position nine years. lie graduated from Harvard in 1822, and was a man of deep piety, was highly esteemed among his associates, and had a strong hold upon the affections of the people. During his service one hundred and thirty-four persons united with the church.
On Oct. 10, 1833, he was dismissed at his own request, and soon after became pastor of the Village Church in Amherst, Mass., where he died in 1839.
The meeting-house was again becoming old and much out of repair, and so it was decided in 1832 to take it down and build a new one close by the same site. On Aug. 19, 1833, the building committee reported as follows:
We have purchased a building lot of Fes. John Bates for Two hundred dollars and have caused a Meeting-house to be erectea trieteon of 68 ft. ii, leugth, 54 ft. in width, and 24 ft. (bet. joints).
Said Meeting-house contains seventy-six pews on the lower floor, and twelve Pews in the Gallery. We have also procured a new bell.
In less than five months after leaving the old house, the new one was finished and dedicated. All the pews were sold and the proceeds exceeded by $2,000 the whole cost, including the additional land, exchange of bells, and all the expenses of the building committee.
Mr. John C. Phillips of Boston supplied the pulpit during November after Mr. Bent's dismission, and was so well liked that church and parish united in extending a unanimous call at a salary of $700. He promptly accepted and was ordained Dec. 18, 1833. Mr. Phillips was a graduate of Harvard in 1826 and afterward of Andover Theological Seminary. He also pursued a full course of legal study with Hon. Samuel Hubbard, a judge of the Supreme
(,,ant (if Massachusetts. His scholarly hearing, deep thinking and I Icai reteolling, combined with rare social powers, made him .1 glca( favorite.
I'liere was widely expressed regret when, at the end of scarcely lour years, personal circumstances compelled him to ask to be released from further service. Ile was dismissed Nov. 13, 1837, thus dosing the shortest of nine pastorates that Covered almost two hundred years.
[it 1834 a longer "Confession of Faith" was prepared, and iL was used for the next fifty years in place of the "creed" adopted in 17(3.
A successor to Mr. Phillips was soon found in Rev. Joshua Emery, Jr., of Fitchburg. He was called Jan. 2, 1838, at a salary of $860,
and was installed before the end of the month. This was the first settlement without the ceremony of ordination since the coming (if Rev. Samuel Newman in 1639.
Mr. Emery prepared for the ministry at Andover Theological Seminary. He remained over thirty-five years, until April, 1873. when the weight of years and the increasing burden of the parish caused him to ask for his dismission. During his ministry he received one hundred and eighty-th-~ members into the church.
wits a valuable citizen as well as pastor and served many years its chairman of the school committee Of the town.
With the coming of Mr. Emery, the parish decided to build a new parsonage. "The Mansion" built by Rev. Samuel Torrey
over it hundred and fifIN years before, was taken away, the ell in x%hich Abigail Adiulls was born being removed to Bicknell Square in North We3inouth, and made part of a dwelling there. The present parsonage was then built upon the old site and was occupied by Mr. Finery.
In 1852 the church suffered another decrease in the withdrawal of fiftv-onc members to form the Pilgrim Church in North Wcymonth. For many years the church held its social gatherings in -ill unoccupied room of a schoolhouse opposite the meeting-house. In 1856 the need of better accommoclations led to the erection of it chapel at the rear of the meet ing-house and attached to it.
The same council that dismissed Mr. Emery Oct. 23, 1873, installed his successor, Rev. Franklin P. Chapin, who came from it former pastorate in Amherst, Mass. fie labored faithfully and won the respect and hotter of the people. After a service of nearly twelve years lie resigned, and was dismissed June 23, 1885.
A fund of $10,000 was established in 1875, by the will of Joseph Lotid, the income to be used "for the purpose of supporting and maintaining the present religious doctrines of said Parish."
On Dec. 1, 1885, Rev. Frank H. Palmer became the acting pastor, and the next year, in October, was fully installed as pastor. In 1887 the old "creed" was revived and made the test for membership, and afterward in 1911 it was made a part of the by-laws of the church. In consequence of the loss of his wife, a most efficient and devoted support, both in the home and in the church, Mr. Palmer was led to resign, and he was dismissed Oct. 1, 1891. The dismissing council also installed as successor Rev. Robert R. Kendall. After nine years of service he was dismissed in 1901.
The Ladies' Benevolent Society added a room to the chapel for their special use, about the year 1900.
Mr. Kendall was followed in September, 1901 h,, Rev. Ralph J. Haughton, who remained only until April, 1905, and then resigned. For the next year or more Rev. Edward Norton, pastor emeritus of Bethany Church, Quincy, served as acting pastor. Then Rev. Edward J. Yaeger was called. He began service in September, 1906, and was ordained December 5 of that year. He continued in the pas(orate with great acceptance until Dec. 23, 1920. when lie resigned. 1rom March to November, 1921, Rev. William B. Sharratt served its ternporary pastor, and Rev. Leland D. Smith served similarly from January to July, 1922. Rev. Stanley Marple was called to succeed and began'his labels No- 5, 1922.
for over twenty years the parsonage has not been occupied as such, the ministers not requiring it; but it has now been renovated and repaired and modern improvements added, and the present pastor and his family are living in it.
On J11lv 20, 1922, a bronze tablet was placed upon the parsonage 1)), the NXeyinotith Historical Society, to mark it its the birthplace of Abigail (Smith) Adams.Thechurch wasincoiporated as (he "First Church in Weymouth,"
Jan. 26, 1911, and the parish transferred its property and duties to the church Jan. 9, 1922, just one hundred and ninety-nine years ,Ifter the parish was established as the First Precinct.
The old-fashioned big stoves in the meeting-house and chapel have recently been replaced with a modern heating plant, and the Ladies' Benevolent Society have had a new kitchen and parlor finished off in their annex. The interior of the meeting-house is to be renovated at considerable expense, for which funds are already pledged.
In addition to the Joseph Loud Fund, the church has received a number of small funds from various donors, the income of most of which has by vote of the church been made available for the benefit of needy persons in the parish.
All the old records of the church and also of the parish have been placed in the care of Tufts Library.
Before the close of the seventeenth century settlers had established their homes here and there in the south part of the town. The long distances from the meeting-house, in some instances five and six miles, and the rough, ungraded ways, scarcely better than the aboriginal trails, made it a wearisome journey for those who attended church services, and well-nigh impossible for women and children. When Rev. Peter Thacher left the pastorate in 1718, amidst great disaffection, it seemed to these South Weymouth people that they were numerous enough and ought to withdraw and form a separate church that would be more accessible and more harmonious.
A year or two later some of the leading citizens agreed together to secure a central location and erect a meeting-house. The place sclected was at Great Plain, now called Columbian Square, on land of Jacob Turner. Here they erected the first meeting-house in South Weymouth.
During the years 1722 and 1723, it seems that preaching services were held in the new house with more or less regularity, according its arrangements could be made by the proprietors for preachers and for necessary expenses; but there was no regula; ~ganization that would have been legally sustained or recognized.
Io establish a church and be responsible for the support of a minister, i . t was necessary to secure a special act of the General Court. A petition was prepared by John Vining and thirty-eight others and brought before the May session of the General Court ill 1722, praying that a precinct might be set off with the line of division two miles nor(hwaid from their new meeting-house. This incurred the opposition of the north part of the town, where a (orrunittee was chosen to Use every proper means to prevent the diNision. The General Court sent a special committee to investigate the situation. This committee reported favorably at the234 VC( LESIASTICAL HISTOR'l OF WEYMOll'I'li
call to the ,11lini8terial office" at a salary of C76. One hundred and thirty pounds were allowed him for a settlement. ha Bill a I church had not yet been formed. The Second Precinct vl"g I Ow hccorne all established fact, the people remaining in
the First Church ceased their opposition and graciously assisted in forming the new Second Church. The pastor, Rev. Thomas Paine, prepared a church covenant that was acceptable and took the leading part in the work of organizing. This was on Sept. 18, 1723.
'I'licie were ten members besides Mr. Bayley, to whom they voted to extend a call as the precinct had already done. The ordination took place September 26, and a month later the first deacons were chosen, - Samuel Whitman and Jacob Turner.
Mr. Bayley must have provided his own parsonage, and several of his successors must have done likewise, for there is no record that the precinct, or parish, ever owned a parsonage or had any interest in one until 1851,
Mr. Bayley continued as pastor until his death in 1766, almost forty-three years. It was his privilege to receive two hundred and ,even persons into membership in the church, and at his death I here were ninety-four still remaining. In the year 1742 sixty,even joined the church on confession of faith, a record not equaled .,ince. He was greatly beloved by the people, but the question of 'alary was always a matter of worriment. The precinct insisted upon regulating it from year to year, partly because it was customary and partly because of the fluctuating values of money occasioned by the scarcity of "hard money," or coin, and the abundance of paper money, known as "old tenor" or "lawful money." Some Years the salary was voted as "hard money" and some years as .'old tenor," and in varying amounts.
In 1729 he was voted ~610 in wood, and at least twelve cords of wood were delivered at the parsonage annually after that. During the last nine years of his life, Mr. Bayley suffered much from failing health, and the pulpit was often supplied by others, so that the precinct felt obliged to modify his salary accordingly, paying him il I full only when he preached. He died Aug. 22, 1766, at the age of sixty-eight, years.
In 1738 the meeting-house was repaired and a new floor laid, but the ownership of the building remained with the original proprictors until 1741. That year the following record was entered in file precinct book:
0, tober 17, 1741. At a arreting of the Second Precinct in Weymouth legally ,%arned and convened, Doctor Nathaniel White was chosen Moderator.
Tire major part of the proprietors of the meeting house and land heing present at tire meeting consented to give up their rights of the meeting house and land 1ximoting to it to the Precinct.Entered by me, John Pool, Precinct Clerk.
This is all the known documentary evidence of the passing of the title of the greater part of what is to-day called Bayley Green, and the street about it.
The same year more extensive repairs were made at a cost of if og. Tile following winter it was voted "to sell places for pews."[,or these over X100 was received.In 1752 it was voLed to sell
"lore pla('e, for laws, to be paid for in lumber within six months, or after that, in nioncy. Twenty-two places were sol(I at auction ,it prices ranging front EM to X62. Thus private ownership of pews in the niceting-liouse was establishect.
To secure it successor to Mi. Bayley, ten or twelve different minister, were asked to supply the pulpit during the next two Nears, each for seNeral Sundays. Finally a call was given to Mr. Simeon Williams of Raynhani at a salary of ;C73, 6s., 8d., and a settlement of C133, os. 8d.
As lie seemed not to be quite satisfied with the call, he was invited it) an adjourned meeting of the precinct "to see what his request was." It was then voted to add twelve cords of wood year)), to his salary, "when he shall marry and have it family."Mr. Williams answered as follows:
GENILL~%IEN. -I ac(ela your invitation to the work of the ininistry aud ,Xpect a maintenance.
I le was ordained Oct. 26, 1768 * The expense of providing and entertaining a( the ordination was bid off at auction for E14, 13s. Od. by Capt. Williatur Holbrook. The ordination sermon was preached by Rev Mr. Smith of the First Church. Mr. Williams was born in Easton, and was graduated from New Jersey College it) 1765.
Thus began the longest pastorate yet recorded in the history of the town, and one of the most eventful. The troublous times of the Revolution and the years of adjustment to the new conditions that followed it brought difficulties, vexations, trials and solicitude to the church and its pastor, as well as spiritual blessings and growth in membership. The question of maintaining an adequate salary uas a frequent cause of unpleasant discussion and perplexity because of great and frequent fluctuations in money values and the inconstant ratio between coin and paper currency.
In 1777 Mr. Williams felt the need of an increase in salary, but did not get it. The next year he presented two or three different plans for adjusting the payment of his salary, so that he might receive the equivalent of the salary received at his settlement. A (orrunittee was chosen to investigate and recommend.
It was decided after long consideration, that X45 of the salary should be regulated by a comparison of the prices of labor in summer, of beef and pork in November, of cheese in August, of corn and rye the first of May, and of wool and flax the fifteenth of June, the vear he came, with (lie going prices year by year. A calculation reported in December, 1779, made the salary amount to X1,439, 18s., Id., "himful money" (paper). In December, 1780, it was E6,190, l9s., 4d. This arrangement proved so unsatisfactory that in March, 1781, it was decided to give up regulating the salary in
that way, and to have stand for the future as at his settlement, U73, 6s., 8d., "hard moncv," and this agreed to by Mr. Williams.
On account of "bodily infirmities," Mr. Williams asked in 1811 to be relieved of the work of the ministry, to be on half pay and to have a colleague. The parish, however, was not ready for that action, but directed that, in case of his failure to supply the pulpit, ;I meeting of the parish be called to take such action as should be thought proper, He kept on heroically, contending with increasing feebleness of body, arid persevered through the cares and troubles incident to the War of 1812 until 1818, and then he was provided with a colleague, but not very long. On May 31, 1819, the good man passed away. He had been pastor for nearly fifty-one years. Notwithstanding all the trials and adverse circumstances of that of a long term, a hundred and five members were received into the church.
Among the many events of interest during the pastorate of Mr. Williams, there should be noted the formation and development of the church choir. On Nov. 4, 1778, a committee was chosen to consider the seating of the singers together. The committee reported that they "thought the front gallery was the most suitable place." Thereupon it was voted that the singers should sit there for a month, "and if it makes no disturbance in the parish, then to continue." 111 1788 Dea. Samuel Blanchard, John White and Thomas Blanchard were chosen "to be choristers with the liberty of choosing as many more as the singers think proper."
It was decided in 1780 to have the constable warn parish meetings by "setting up notification at the meeting house," and in 1795 the fall meetings of the parish were ended and all business done in them referred to the annual meetings held in March or April.
For the purpose of procuring a bell for the meeting-house, $70 was voted Oct. 21, 1789, and Mr. John Tirrell, Col. Thomas Vinson and Capt. Eliphalet Loud were chosen to procure it. The bell was brought from London by Capt. Reuben Loud, who is said to have had $100 worth of silver cast in it. This was the noted silver-toned bell that was in use until 1865, when it became cracked while being tolled for the death of President Lincoln,
But the most important event in Mr. Williams' pastorate was the building of a new meeting-house in 1785. In March, 1783, a committee was chosen "to draw a plan of a meeting house and agree on some method they think most proper and lay it before the parish at an adjourned meeting." In April the committee reported, recommending to build a house eighty-eight feet long and fortyfour feet wide, and that a building committee of seven be chosen by written ballot to have full charge and be accountable to the parish for the whole cost. A sale of pews was to provide for the cost of the house.
The report with accompanying plans was accepted and a building committee chosen. The new house was to stand where the old one stood, but to extend back to the boundary line of the 1-t. Against23~ (:((Lk_S1A,TWAI. HISTORN' (1' WEVNMUTH
the prote~t of title (if tile leading citizens, it was voted to pull down the (ld house its soon its may be, and also to use the serviceable ruitterial in the lieu, one and to sell at auction whatever remained.
The licit hoo.~e was completed in 1785. The whole cost was C780. khLborate specifications that are on record show that the iew inceloig-house must have been quite a notable structure for hose linles , with its forty-four ticurclows of forty squares each of sc\cn-I,N-uiuv ghiss, and its outside doors with eight panels and
cased according to file Doric order of architecture. Pulpit anti pews were hired with leaning benches, and seats and doors were hung with iron hinges. Six turned pillars with capitals supported file galleiies. The building was used without material change until 1825.
About the year 1813 air ;mportant change took place in the method of ~upporting the ch rch. lip to that time the whole precinct had been subject to taxation for the support of the Second
endorsed by the church. There is evidence of coil-1, 1.11A. opposition to him during a large part of his ministry,
IvIer ik.,ked to be released, and after hearing his reasons, the ,,h I "led to comply.
U-111111, When (here was not a settled pastor it devolved upon the pm i'll to sce that the pulpit was supplied.
I'lle Parish committee at the time was composed of men of strong pol,mill views quite at variance with the prevailing ortliodo.~y,Hill they did riot hesitate to declare that if they had to supply the
ilo' 11IL-0ing-house and worshipped in Rogers' Hall. There they dopted the name of " Edwards Society" and hired preachers inde- It, wicutly of parish. Over a hundred and twenty, most of them
di,it otherwise the parish might secure the formation of another hill, It and so deprive those in the Edwards Society of their propIt N and rights. For this conduct the Edwards Society disciplined I lu-to as recreant to their church obligations, but afterward forgave
-1 1 111.11ON supply was provided for the pulpit. In April, 18,36, Rev. I luuiia~ C. Biscoe was hired for a year, and in February, 1837, he inN ited to become their minister. This was the action of the
ji.m,li only. The Parish committee were instructed to use all fair ~ml honorable means to secure Mr. Riscoe, and if it was found ,nit il% necessary to form a new church, then the church mellibers "ill e%(.r,hipping with them were to he requested to take proper lu".1,11les to bring it about.k,, ordingly on March 25, 183 7, four church members requested
islir tadel," and tile ne.Kt April (1838) Rev. Jonas Perkins, Rev. lylciu~ ANer, and Rev. Lyman Mattliews were chosen to he that colaillittee. Meanwhile over eighty men had rejoined the parish.
But nox% (licit, was another serious division. Those in the parish xN ho held liberal i iews m eye ito longer content or willing to listen to such stito orthodoxy, Within about a year after the reunion of church and parish, " hundred and forty-eight persons Withdrew from the parish, and most of them joined the Universalist society that had been formed.
The committee oil pulpit supply soon recommended Rev. Wales Le%% is, and he was invited to become pastor. He came from Maine where lie had been educated and ordained, and was settled Sept. 12, 1838. He was a man of firm convictions and was earnest in his work. He won the unshaken confidence of many, and also acquired the cordial dislike of others through his rigid insistence upon the observance of church duties and unswerving devotion to Calvinistic doctrine. So almost from the beginning of his nine-year pastorate there was criticism, opposition and serious division. Even his character was aspersed, and it became necessary to call a church council to investigate charges. Although h- council exonerated him, the stigma of accusation remained to the detriment of his influence and the injury of the church. The real source of trouble appears to have been the widespread spirit of controversy of that period, and the refusal of people who held to the right of freedom in belief to submit to the stultifying discipline imposed by a rigidly Orthodox church.
At length, in June, 1842, a number of men who felt particularly aggrieved, held a meeting it) Rogers' Hall and formed a religious society for the support of a new church. Then they sent a request to the Second Church to grant letters of transfer to certain members, in order that they might assist in forming a new church.
The Second Church refused to do this, believing that such a movement was irregular, not called for, and harmful. The new ,o(iety and the aggrieved church members then sought to call a mutual council to consider the situation; but the church protested vigorously and refused to join in such a council or to respect its findings. So an ex parle council was held and resulted in the formation of the Union Church of South Weymouth, Nov. 1, 1842. During (lie next two or three years a number of councils were held it) settle matters in controversy but the Second Church kept aloof as much as possible, and would neither accept the overtures of ex parte councils nor enter into any fellowship with the Union Church.
This trying condition continued for several years, until at length those consideted by the Second Church as deserving discipline wrote a joint letter of acknowledgment of their irregular conduct toward the Church, disclaiming any wrong intent and asking for forgiveness. This -was accepted by tile Second Church, and thereafter there was due recognition and fellowship, though it has always
I)eell felt to be unfortunate that two churches so nearly alike should 1~c ,( near each other as to offer a great opportunity and temptation 1(, jealousy, prejudice, disparaging criticism and petty competition. It gradually became evident that the interests of the church
l%ould be promoted by a change in the pastorate, and on Nov. 1, IS47, Mr. Lewis w~js formally dismissed. The parish thanked him 1,,r "the pungent and lucid manner in which he had uniformly dis(clused on the truths of the gospel," and "here willing testimony to his uprightness of character as a christiary and citizen."Notwithstanding the unfortunate conditions of his pastorate,
forty persons had joined the church. Mr. Lewis removed to Maine ix here lie served as a pastor for many years. For a few months, Rev. Joshua Leavitt was employed to supply
the pulpit, and in February, 1848, an attempt was made to give him a call, but it was defeated, and was followed by a great clepression regarding the future of the church. Soon, however, a better state of feeling appeared, for in the latter part of April thirtysix men joined the parish, and two weeks later the parish concurred unanimously with the church in gi,,;-,, -- call to Rev. James P. T-r,y. Evidently Mr. Terry'5 candidacy revived their hopes. He accepted and was installed July 6, 1848. He was graduated from Amherst College in 1834 and was ordained at Somers, Conn., in 1839. His genial manner, dignified bearing, tactful labors and I(Ond preaching won the good-will and support of all, and a new period of prosperity followed. To provide parsonage for Mr. Terry, nearly forty people asso-
ciated themselves, under the name of the South Weymouth Parsonage Company, in August, 1848, and subscribed cash and notes in 825 shares. With the proceeds a parsonage was built oil land of Dr. Appleton Howe, northwest of the treeting-house on Columbian Street. In April, 1851, this company donated their whole stock, including
the parsonage and land, to the parish, in the form of a parsonage fail((, stipulating that the income only was to be used in the support of a "sound orthodox ministry" of the type of Pres. Jonathan Fdwards, Dr. Samuel Hopkins, Dr. Bellamy and Dr. Nathaniel Vionions. If perverted to the support of other doctrines, then the %% hole fund should be forfeited and revert to the heirs of the donors, ol to a new society that should support the required doctrines. In connection with Mr. Terry's call it had been voted that lie
The meeting-house was again needing extenske repairs, and in April, 1853, a committee. was chosen to consider necessary repairs and also the expediency of building a new house. lit September it was voted unanimously to build a new house.
The year 1854 was nearly all occupied in taking down tile old house and building the new one. By invi(ation of the Union Society, the church worshipped in their house, holding tile Sabbath services at 9 o'clock in the morning and 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
The new house was located as far north and east of the old one as the lot would permit, and some additional land was bought. The building was set high enough to admit of a cellar under the whole structure, and also with a view to a more pleasing architectural effect. Furnaces in which to burn coal were placed it) the cellar. The roof was covered with state. Through the efforts of Mr. Terry in securing special contributions, and aided by gifts from people in other parishes, a clock was placed in the tower.
The new edifice had a seating capacity of five hundred. Throughout there is evident the finest proportion arid artistic detail, and it is still one of the noblest and most beautiful structures of its type. The total cost wd, about $15,500, of which over $12,400 was realized from the sale of pews, and $973 was contributed by the Ladies' Aid Society. The new house was occupied in 1955. The Union Society, now having occasion to repair their house of worship, was in turn invited to worship meanwhile in the new meeting-house.
In 1856 measures were taken to introduce congregational singing, and in 1858 all business relating to singing and to an organist was referred to the parish committee. The next year the parish coinmittee were instructed to hire an organ harmonium, and to pay all organist not ever 850. For the congregational singing, Nason's Congregational Hymn and Tune Book was selected. Ili August of that vear the tactics, under the leadership of Miss Florinda Grover, secured a Holbrook church organ and placed it in the gallery at an expenseofabout$(,500. The first organist was Miss Alzira Packard, and she served most faithfully and satisfactorily for many years.
The bell having become cracked at the time of President Lincoln's death, in 18(5, it was broken in pieces and incorporated Ili a new and larger bell, for which $500 was expended.
A committee was chosen in 1866 to confer with the Union Society with reference to uniting the two societies, but no practical resultwas accomplished. A similar committee in 1868 succeeded no better.
Up to this time, the annual parish expenses had been met for the most part bv taxation of property, and assessors had been chosen annually to levy the parish tax. This had been done ever since the Second Precinct was established. But now the ease with which citizens could withdraw from the parish and refuse to share its burdens made it more and more difficult to collect enough for the needs of the parish, and frequent arrears had to be met byvoluntary efforts,
xaluation. This, however, was soon found to be impracticable. and Ili 1868 a committee was chosen to solicit $1,250 by subscription, lod assessors were not chosen. This change proved to be much morc satisfactory and was continued for many years. [it the spring of 1868 Mr. Terry was taken ill and was granted a
them, under the ministration of Rev. Mr. Hayes, during the illuess 4 Nlr. Terry, was accepted. After Air. Terrv's resignation, a committee oil supply was chosen
And the church reitirned to worship in its own house. Re'v.Benjarmn Labaree, a retired clergyman, was engaged to supply the pulpit for About a Near. Meanwhile resolutions were adopted as to the expediency of a
union of the two ehurches, and a Committee was appointed to meet %lith a similar committee of the Union Church and report. on the matter. This brought about a number of meetings arid the formul.ition of acceptable plans, and a Union Would have been effected if a ill illinderstanding had not devefoped which prevented further action. l7p to tile end of Mr. Terry's pastorate there had been no regular lunch clerks. The church records, as far as any were kept, were
lil-talled Oct. 27, 1870. lie was a graduate of Amherst College and Kkneor Seminary, and had been pastor of a church in Gardner, Ile was most positive in his opinions, a clear, forcible and
I t ; k d v speaker, and a self-denying, faithful worker. His pastorate \lcuded through fifteen years, (hiring which much was accent10i,licd to de\elop and strengthen the interests of the church. One f1i'll-licd old tell became members of the. church.Ill ' fulle, 1872, it, was decided no build a vestry at the rear of the
In September, 1873, there was a notable observance of the one hundred and fifteenth anniversary of theorganization of the church, at which Mr. Stanton preached a historical sermon, and there were addresses by former pastors of this and of neighboring churches. A plan for making weekly payments of pledges for parish expenses was introduced in 1877.
The pa-~sh recommendt,,1 a criange of name in 1880 to Old South Congregational Society.
A row of horse sheds was built in 1882 along the northerly side of 'he meeting-house, and were used for nearly forty years.
About 1885 the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor was organized as a union society by the young people of both the Old South and the Union Churches. Their meetings were held in Clapp's Hall. After a few years it was deemed best to separate into two societies, one to be connected with each church.
In 1884 ladies began to be appointed upon the soliciting committee for parish expenses. This year also the hiring of a solo singer for the choir was begun. Miss Lydia A. Torrey was engaged at a salary of $150 a year, and served most acceptably for a numher of years.
Mr. Stanton resigned from the pastorate in October, 1885. fie removed to Boston and became a valued member of Park Street Church. A successor was not found until the following spring, when a call was extended to Rev. Henry C. Alvord, then pastor of the church in Montague, Mass. He began his labors in July and was duty installed Sept. 15, 1886. Mr. Alvord was a graduate of Hartford Seminary, and had been ordained in IN79. He was a man of singular devotion and quiet but strong personal influence. He made no enemies and won many friends, though staunch in his convictions and fearless and faithful in the performance of duty. His pastorate proved to be long and eventful.
In 1892 largely through his efforts, the church was incorporated as "The Old South Church of Weymouth." The next year there was a similar change in the name cif the parish.
Mr. Alvord, as chairman of a committee, carefully wrote out a revised constitution and by-laws for the church, which were published in a church manual in 1913. On the occasion of the twentieth, twenty-fifth and thirtieth anniversaries of his installation, he was honored with receptions by the church and his many friends.
Twice during his pastorate unsuccessful attempts were made to reunite the Old South and Union Churches, once in 1892 and again in 1902; but the movements were inauspicious and had a repellant effect, injurious to both churches for many years.
The one hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary of the organization of the church was observed in September, 1899, with historical services on the Sabbath, the fall meeting of Norfolk Conference on the following Tuesday, and a reunion gathering and reception on Wednesday.In 1903 a beautiful Hastings organ was presented to the church
dild s(cictv by Mrs. Josephine L. Dyer as a memorial of her late llu~band, ~Vifliain Dyer, who for inany years had been the faithIn I Icader of the choir, superintendent of the Sunday school, and a dcacon. The same year electric lights were installed in the meetinglvillse.
le 1904 a ~At marsh on the easterly side of Back River, that hill litell (wiled by the parish for many years, although there appears w be no record of its acquirement, was transferred to the United states government to become a part of the Magazine Station at Ifingliam.
Two bequests were received in 1905, - a fund of $2,000 from Mrs. Josephine L. Dyer, and from Mrs. Harriet 11. Matson a lot of land lying between the ineeting-house and the parsonage. Smaller bequests were received in 1908 from Miss Elizabeth Dyer and Mrs. Caroline T. Whitcomb, and in 1909 from Miss Florinda Grover.
In 1908 the pastor was bereft of his wife and the whole cominunitv mourned with him. He married again in 19tl, and from that time V;l1ed to live in the parsonage.
A., the house was getting old and not well adapted to more rividern needs and improvements without a large outlay, it seemed hc~t to sell it. This was done, and it was voted that the proceeds ,if the sale should be invested a-, a Parsonage Fund, "the same to lir left to accrue until such timeas the Society or its successors mav Note to build a new parsonage," and that the proceed,,;, together %%ith the earnings from investment, be used for that purpose and .fir that purpose only." This practically restored the original P.irsonage Fund of 1851.
The active membership of the society had now become very 'InAl through deaths and removals, and there had been no earnest t1fort to secure new members for many years. Because of this loildition and because the church was now duty incorporated, it %%a, (teemed best to transfer all property and vested interests from the society to the church.
The transfer was made May 1, 1912, and since that date no incvtings of the society have been held.
In August, 1917, the spire of the meeting-house was struck by livhtning and the little room containing the tower clock was set on inc. The clock was ruined and house would have been destroyed lint for the timely and strenuous efforts of the fire department. A nc%% clock was procured and extensive repairs were made to the hnilding, including a steel ceiling in the auditorium.kit fien the house was ready for the resumption of church services,
carrying i ,Ill- (;rcat War,
A ilhin iNas adopted and put in force in December. A few week, fMtr, the Universalist Church was also invited, and for tile next249 FCCIA, ST AST ICAL HISTORY OF WRYNIOU'r1i
three months the three churches worshiped together. In the spring the UniNersalist Church returned to its own edifice, but the other churches were led to consider a plan for permanent union. The combined service was continued through the summer and fall, and then a carefully developed plan of merger was unanimously adopted. It was practically a reorganization of the Union Congregational Society as a legal weasure, but to he known historically and otherwise as the Old South Union Church. Both pastors were to be continued, services were to be held in the Old South Meeting-house, and the Union edifice was to be removed and converted into a parish house as soon as practicable. The merger went into effect Nov. 30, 1918~
In January, 1919, Rev. Mr. Price, the pastor of the former Union Church, was rcleaEed from duty for a year in order totake up war work with the Y. M. C. A. in France. During his absence Mr. Alvord conducted the pastor's work alone, but only a few weeks. In themidstof a Sunday evening discourse, Feb. 9, 1919, hesuddenly dropped to the floor and passed away. He had been pastor nearly thirty-three years, and held the love and esteem of his people to the end. He had received two hundred and twenty into the niember9hip of the church, a number not equaled in any previous pastorate. A beautiful memorial window has been placed in the meeting-house, the gift of ?vies. Alvord.
Mr. Price was unable to return until June, and he then resumed his pastoral duties. He continued until the surnmer of 1921, and then resigned to accept a call to the church in Leominster, Mass.
In December, 1921, a unanimous call was extended to Rev. Francis A. Poole, Ph.D. of St. Johnsbury, Vt. He began his service Feb. 1, 1922, and was duly installed the following June.
As has already been stated in the history of the Second Church, a number of its members withdrew in 1842 and formed a new society. In response to a petition of seven men to a justice of the peace, a meeting was called and held in the hall of John G. Rogers on the 20tb of June. It was voted to take the name of South We% - mouth Union Society.
After vainly endeavoring to secure the transfer of certain members of the Second Church to the proposed new church. the disaffected members were led to ask for a, council of churches to consider their case and advise them. The council could not be made mutual, as the Second Church bitterly protested against the whole movement. The ex parte council, however, advised favorably, and accordingly, on the first of November of that y~ar, the Union Church was organized with fourteen member,,, and duly recognized. The new church eN1)rCss1y disclaimed any intention to injure the Second Church and society.The text July a unanimous call was gi% en to Rev. George Denham
In July a call was given to Rev. William M. Harding all( accepted. fie continued in the pastorate for nearly tell years received over seventv into the church. The state of his lie hecanie such in 18,56 that he was granted leave of absence until next vear, and then lie resigned. His resignation was aucepte( tk illajoritv of one vote.
In March, 1858, a call was given Rev. Stephen 11. Hayes. had licen a pastor for neariv fifteen years at Frankfort, Me.
was installed April 8 and remained in the pastorate until 1870, - twelve years.
In 1859 it was voted to rely on voluntary collections for the necessary expenses of the society, and in 1860 the pastor began to be allowed an annual vacation of four Sabbaths. About this time a small chapel, called the "vestry," was erected nearlv in the rear of the church, and was used for evening meetings, and social and other public gatherings. For several years the Mutual Library, so called, was kept in it, for two or three seasons lyceum mee(ings were held there, and for two years it was occupied by the South High School.
From 1866 to 1870 the question of reuniting with the Second Church was actively considered three times, and in 1870 it came near being accomplished, but was defeated through a misunderstanding, as already stated in the history of the Second Church.
Mr. Hayes presented his resignation in April, 1870, but it did not go into effect for many months. He seems to have been actuated by a desire to remove any hindrance his stay might be to the union of the churches. But at length he accepted a call to the Salem Street Church in Boston, and continued there a number of years, until advancing years caused him to retire from active pastoral duties. His pastorate here was the longest in the history of the church, and was notably successful. Nearly ninetv were added to the church. He was highly respected, also, as a public-spirited citizen, and bad great influence with young people.
In the year 1866 there was an extended season of revival, and this was followed by the formation of a Young Men's Christian Association, which developed much religious interest in both churches for the next two or three years. Afterward a lack in competent leadership caused the association to disappear.
From February to October, 1871, the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Henry E. Cooley, a young man who was well liked. The state of his health, however, made it inadvisable for him to accept the pastorate. He died within a year-
Rev. James McLean was called in December, 1871, and was settled the next February.
During 1871 and 1872 a new and commodious church edifice was erected on Columbian Street, nearly opposite the Old South Meeting-House, at an expense of over $30,000, largely through the efforts and gifts of John S. Fogg and Josiah Reed. Itwascledicated in 1872. A parsonage was also built close by the church.
Mr. McLean continued as pastor until May, 1876, and their resigned to accept a call north of Boston. He was followed by Rev. George N. Marden who came in February, 1877, and served as acting pastor until the summer of 1881. He then resigned to accept a professorship in Colorado College, where be labored with great success for many years.In September, 1881, Rev. William 11. Bolster of the church
At this time a legacy was received from the estate of Dea. John S. Cobb in the form of a fund chiefly invested in real estate in Boston, the income of which was to be "applied towards the maintenance of public worship," on condition that the society cease not "to exist or to maintain orthodox preaching of substantially the same theological sentiments as it has heretofore maintained."
In November, 1892, the society voted unanimously "that it is tile sense of the meeting that this society and the Old South Congregationall Society of Weymouth unite and form one common society and church," and a committee was appointed to co-operate to that end.
A plan of union was proposed, but the details and method proved to be unacceptable, and there the matter ended.
On Dec. 23, 1892, a call was extended to Rev. Judson Van Clancy. His installation took place Ma~ 23, 1993. fie remained only until Oct. 15, 1895, and then accepted a call to the church in Beverly, Mass.
Through the will of John S. Fogg, the society had now come into possession of a fund of $25,000, the income of which was to be used in keeping the church edifice in good repair and fully insured against fire, for the salary of an organist, and to beautify and adorn the grounds around the edifice. The church must rernain of the same denomination but if th( building be removed or destroyed and the society unit~s with another of the same denomination within the limits of Ward 5 ' the new society must adopt the name "Union Congregational Society of Weymouih" in order to retain the fund.
On May 29, 1996, a call was extended to Rev. Frank E. Butler to become acting pastor. His service began June 14 and continued
The question of uniting the two (!hutches was again actively considered in 1902. This led to a series of communications between the two churches which unfortunately awakened much personal feeling, misunderstanding and distrust. At length the church resorted to an ex Parte council, to consider the situation and recommend a course of action.
After thorough investigation and careful deliberation. the council iel)o.',cd about four months later, advising "to labor for the things that make for peace," and that "all present agitation of the subject of union be dropped." lit this the church acquiesced.
The next November a call was given Rev- Harry W. Kimball to wrve as acting pa'stor. He served acceptably until April, 1910, and then resigned, that tie might advocate the cause of savings bank life insurance.252 i~m.usms,rl('Al. HISTORV OF \%ENTAI017111
In 1907 the room over the vestry was fitted for a gymnasium, and for the next ten years was of great use to young people. A church manual was prepared and issued in 1909.
Oil Jan. 29, 1911, a call was accepted bv Rev. Albert V. House of Worcester, Mass., and he served as acting pastor until Oct. 1, 1914. He then accepted a call to DanNers, Mass.
In the winter of 1912, extensive repairs were made to the church edifice, and the furnaces were replaced with a stearn-heating plant.
A unanimous call was given in April, 1915, to Rev. Ora A. Price of West Gloucester, Mass., and fie was duly installed. In the sumnler of 1916 the church became incorporated as the Union Congregation Society of Weymouth, and all parish property was conveyed to it.
As already stated in the history of the Second Church, the course of events in 1917 and 1918 opened the way to more cordial relations with the Old South Church, and resulted in the unanimous decision of the two churches to come together as theOld South Union Church, through the reorganization of the Union Congregational Society.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Weymouth Landing and East Braintree were growing into some importance as villages, or rather as one village, though lying in two towns, BecaLt5e of this and the distance to the Weymouth and Braintree churches, the members of those churches who resided in this village were led to consider the advisability of withdrawing from their respective churches and forming a new church Hearer their home3. Finding that they could support a church, they soon took measures to bring about its formation. A society was organized March 13, 1810, and immediately undertook to provide a house of worship. In this they were favored with an exceptional opportunity. TIA2 Hollis Street Church in Boston was about to be taken down and replaced with a larger building. The new society secured the edifice at a low figure, had it taken apart with care, and transported the material bv water to a close by the Fore River, just over the Braintree line. Here they rebuilt the house with such alterations as were necessary. They soon had a notable edifice that was to accommodate them for nearly ninety years.
On Feb. 21, 1811, the society was incorporated and oil Aug. 14 a church was organized as the Union Church of Weymouth and Braintree.
A Call was extended to Mr. John Frost to become pastor, but he declined. Another call was given in NoNeniber to Mr. Daniel A. Clark, and lie responded faNorahly. Ile was ordained on the last (lay of the year. His stav, however, was brief, A few members of file church and of the congregation soon became disaffected, and this made it difficult (o raise his full salarN. He resigned and was dismissed Oct. 20, 1813.
Foi more than a year there was financial distress, and file- suppiv of the pulpit was from Sabbath to Sabbath. Bv January, 1815, a I)etter feeling began to prevail and the societv became SUfficientIv interested and united to engage Mr. Jonas Perkins, of Bridgewater D, preach for three months. Ile served so acceptably that fie was ~oon given a call, and lie was orclained oil the 14th of June. For Aniost foriv-six years lie ministered unto his people with devoted zeal and held their love and esteem. The church increased and becaniQ strong and influential in the vicinitv, It was his oillv pastorate. At the age of seventy )ears, in accordance with his (%Nn ~isllesl his resignation was accepted, and the long pastorate uas ended. This was in October, 1860. But his home had become esiabfi~hed here. and here he continued to live and to be actively interesited in the welfare of the church, until he passed awav, ]title 26, 1874.
After his resignation, air attempt NA as made to secure Rev. E. Porter liver of Hingham to succeed him, but this was not successful.
In December, 1860, a call was given Rev. Lysander Dickerman of Gloucester, and he was installed Jan. 17, 1861. This pastorate continued for about six and a half years and proved to be very unfortunate. A bitter difference of opinion arose between the pastor and nearly half of the congregation, and continued until (lie close of his official connection with them in July, 1867. For over a year the very existence of the church and society had been seriously threatened, and many withdrew their connection. Not until 1868 did it become practicable to invite a successor to the pastorate.
In April, 1868, Rev. Alfred A. Ellsworth of Milford was secured to supply the pulpit. This he did very acceptably for about three Nears. After that a better spirit prevailed and after extensive alienations had been made in the church edifice, a hearty call was vNiended to Rev. Lucien 11. Frary of Middleton. He was installed April 13, 1875. Under firm the people were gradually united into a strong and prosperous society, and the heavy debt incurred ill teniodeling the house of worship was happily discharged.
Durijig Ole summer of 1886 Mr. Frary's daughter became so i ritically ill that her physician could give no hope of her recoverv cmept by a removal to California, so Mr. Frary tendered his resigIrttion air(( was dismissed by Council in October of that year. Din-ing
g the eleven and a half years of his ministrv lie had, by tact ind faidiful service, Hot only won the respect and affection of hi~ M%11 people, but was highly esteemed by the whole community.
fn December, 1887, the Rev. Eddy T. Pitts of Plymouth w& ('11led to the pastorate, which he accepted with the proviso that lic seixe for a time as "Acting Pastor." He resigned in April INS'Q
()n June 1, 1890, Oliver fluckel, a graduate of Boston University \%.c, cnizaged to supply the pulpit for the ensuing vear. He wiu to Abe gospel ministry S)ept. 10, 1(10. In June, 1891, li \\.I, in'tallcd to the [kill pastorate. Greatly to the sorrow and r254 ECCIA;SIASTICAL HISTORY 01; %NFYM(IT"VYj
gret of his church and society, his decision to take up a course of stud), in Europe led to his resignation, to take effect Sept. 1, 1893.
In December, 1893, the Rev. W. H. Alexander was engaged as acting pastor for the succeeding year, and was Continued in service until the end of 1896. In April, 1897, the Rev. Henry S. Snyder was called to the pastorate and remained until April 1, 1901.
On the 1(th of June, 1897, the old meeting-house erected in 1810 was totally destroyed by fire which caught from sparks from a passing locomotive, thereby removing an old historic landruark, which was greatly regretted and missed by everybody. It was deemed wise not to rebuild on the old site, and a new lot of land was purchased on Commercial Street, where the present church edifice was erected and dedicated Dec. 13, 1898.
On Sept. 1, 1901, the Rev. Robert H. Cochrane became the pastor and remained until July, 1913. On Aug. 13, 1911, the church celebrated its one hundredth anniversary with appropriate exercises and a sermon by its former pastor, Dr. Oliver Hucke). On March 1, 1914, Rev. Albert P. Watson became the pastor and remained until Feb. 1, 1919. On Dec. 1, 1919, the Rev. J. Caleb justice became the acting pastor, and on Dec. 9, 1920, he was installed into the full pastorate by the council.
The early history of the Congregational Church is so closely linked with that of the Methodist Church that at the beginning the two seem to overlap each other.
111 1822, through the efforts of Urban Rice, a preaching service was established in the house of his father, David Rice. (This was the gambrel-roofed house still standing at the foot of the hill near the site of the old "White Church.") This service resulted in the formation of a Methodist Episcopal Church, the first Methodist organization in town.
Early in 1825 the society resolved to build a house of worship, and land was purchased by Alvah Raymond and William Rice for the society. This house was completed and dedicated in 1825, and cost $1,144.68. This structure was enlarged in 1828.
The society continued in its original form and place of worship until 1842, when, some dissatisfaction arising as to the form of church government, a meeting was called in Fetruary, 1843, for the purpose of forming another religious society. John Tirrell, Josiah E. Rice and Nathaniel T. Shaw were chosen as the standing co~limittee of the new society, George Bates, treasurer, Amos Tirrell, co lector, and Eben Tirrell, John Tirrell and Josiah E. Rice ministerial committee.
The society organized in 1843 ander the name of the First Evangelical Methodist Society. Rev. Stephen Lovell was the first minister. He received a salary of $500, and the provision was made that his house rent sl,ould not exceed $60.
shouldbernade. A new covenant and articles of faith were adopted. and the name of the organization changed to "The First Congregational Church of East Weymouth."
Under the new name and form of government the first officers were Nathan Canterbury, treasurer; George Bates, clerk; Albert Humphrey, Joseph Totman and John P. Lovell, standing cominittee. Although Congregational in name, the church sustained an independent relation to the other churches of that denomination until May, 1859, when it asked for admission to the Norfolk Conference of Churches, and in February, t860, became Congregational in all its affiliations.
In May, 1860, Mr. Pot- resigned and was followed by Rev, James P. Lane. In February, 1861, the first deacons, Alvah Ravniond, Jairus Sprague and David Burrell, were elected and consecrated to that service.
In 1864 it became necessary to alter and enlarge the church building. An organ was also purchased to take the place of the orchestra which had been the accompaniment of the choir- Mr. Lane resigned in 1865, leaving the church in a somewhat unsettled condition.
The coming of Rev. Daniel W. Waldron quickly dispelled all clouds and heated all differences. His zeal and enthusiasm resulted in increased activities, and five years of remarkable prosperity arid harmony prevailed. Mr. Waldron resigned in 1871 to become pastor of the Maverick Church of East Boston, and was later city missionary of Boston; but he continued to be the beloved friend of the church until his death.
Mr. Waldron was succeeded by Rev. Fibridge P. McElrov, who remained until 1875, and was followed by Rev. John A. Cruzan, who, after a single year's pastorate, resigned to accept a call to Portland, Ore. The pastorates of Rev. Henry W. Eldridge (187780), Rev. John W. Malcolm (1890-81), Rev. Frank J. MundN (1881-83), Rev, William A. Depew (1883-86) and Rev. Merriil Blanchard (1897-90) covered the period from 1877 to 1890,
In May, 1891, Rev. Daniel Evans, a young man just graduated from Andover Theological Seminary, was ordained and installed as pastor. A very happy pastorate of eight years followed. The church edifice was again renovated and beautified, and all departments of church life quickened and strengtheiled. Mr. Evans resigned to accept a call to Cambridge, Mass., and was followed bN Rev. Francis A, Poole. Although Mr. Poole's pastorate was not a long one on account of it( health, it wiq always be remembered I)v the strong bond of love and sympathy between pastor and people.
In July, 902, Rev. Emery L. Bradford was installed as pastor. The pastorate began under very auspicious conditions, and pastor and people looked forward with great expectations in the new relation. But on Sunday evening, Feb. 9, 1903, the church building was completelv destroyed bv fire, and the "White Church," so
linked to the life of it-, members with its Many associations, was but a fond memorv.
Stunned but not crushed by the loss, the society rallied imme, diatelv and plans for rebuilding were made at once. The location of the church building had for some time been considered unsatisfactorv, as the parish had grown up in other directions. Accordingiv the estate of Albert Humphrey, near Jackson Square, was purchased, the Unitarian Church building on Cottage Street being used for worship during the building of the new edifice.
The corner stone of the new church building was laid with appropriate s--rvices it. jurz, 1((4. The building was formally dedicated in May, 1905, with elaborate and impressive ceremonies.
Mr. Bradford remained with the church until 1911. Rev. Walter Cumulous' pastorate of two years followed. In 1914 the church called Rev. Edward Torrey Ford of Tacoma, Wash,, to become its pastor. Mr. Ford resigned in 1920 to accept a call to a church in Vermont.
The church chose for its next minister a young man justgraduated from the theological seminary, Rev. Karnek A. Handanian, who is now serving the church and community with all the ardor and enthusiasm of his young manhood.
The year 1850 found the old First Church outgrowing its acc0olmorlations, and the population of that part of the parish called Old Spain increasing in numbers and prosperity. Instead of enlarging the meeting-house, or building a new one in the old location, it seemed wiser to establish a new church in Old Spain. Accordingly an evclesiastk~al society was formed May 14, 1851, and began at once to secure plans and funds for a new meeting-house to be crected about a mile north of the First Meeting-House. Some of the women had already anticipated this by forming a
I adies' Sewing Circle about ten days before, to assist the en terprise. The frame of the new building began to rise the latter part of r1olgrist, and by Christmas the bell was hung and ready for use. Hie structure was valued at $7,000.
Fifty-one members of the First Church were granted letters to form a new church, and on March 11, 1852, a council of ministers , nd delegates from neighboring churches met and recognized the Vil~rirrt Church and dedicated their mecting-liouse. The venerable
Dr. R. S. Storrs of Braintree preached a masterly sermon oil the o(,C;lSion. T%e new church adopted the Confession an(] Covenant 4 the First Church.
Rcv. Calvin Terry was called to be the first pastor and was nist; , Ifed May 18, 1952. David Pratt, 3d, and James Torrey, were lm~,cn to be the first deacons,
mr. Terry remained until Dec. 25, 1856, and was then dismissed to(-( atl~c of great differences with the church. The next fall a call23 8 ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORN (F "ILYNIOUT11
was eNtended to Re- - Charles V. Reed of Taunton, but was net accepted, and it past )I, was not secured until the early part of 1858. Then Rex. Samuel L. Rockwood was called and he was installed March 12. He continued until July 31, 1871, and then resigned oil account of failing health. He was soon succeeded by Rev. Louis B. Voorhees, who was ordained December 6 the same year.
During tile pastorate of Mr. Voorhees there was an extensive religious revival, which resulted in eightv-one new members received into the church on confession of faith. But his work was interrupted in 1876 he a call to service elsewhere, and his resignation was accepted Jui) I
Rex. Amory H. Tyler became acting pastor scrAed notil the spring of 1884. 11, 1881 a commodious parsonige xvils built at the corner Of Curtis and Howild Streets, at im outlay of $4,000.
A%jj~ then called to a church in Lowell. tTnder his guidance the N oUlIg People's Society of Christian Endeaxor was formed.
The neNt pastor was Rev. Alan B. Hudson, who came in 1892 IT I( I served until 1896, when lie was called to the pastorate of the I irst Congregational Church of Brockton. During his pastmate TAIcIlsive improvements were made in the church edifice, by which lit-Ak and gri-t!y ~ieecled rooms were rrovided. The xalLIC Of tile pioperly was thus increased to about $12,000.
Mr. Hudson was followed in 1897 by Rev. Thomas H. Vincent, And lie remained nearly tell years, leilving in 1907 to accept a call in XNebster, Mass. He was greatly beloved and did much to ,tiengthen the church.
lit March, 1902, the church celebrated its fiftieth anniveisarv x\ith an elaborate program coNering three days, and including all hktorical sermon by the pastor, addresses and greetings from the other Congregational churches of the town, a grand reunion with ,in address bv Rev. Mr. Hudson of Brockton on "Out Debt to Pilgrim Sires," it roll call with messages from absent members, and the rendering of old-time music.
The vear after Mr. Vincent left, Rev. Frederick G. Merrill was ,(cured. After four vears of service, he resigned in 1912, and went to a pastorate in Amesbury, Mass. lie was succeeded fly Rev. ( harles Ckirk, who was pastor from 1912 to 1918. He resigned in Older to enter the war service of the V. N1. C. A. in France. In ifi( Rex. Thomas Bruce Bitter was called and is the present P.t~lor.
It\ tile will of Dea. James Torrey, the church received a legacv III S12,000, of which $1,000 is for the maintenance of tile Sunday -I hool.
Hie following organizations are connected with the church as HiNiliarics in its work: the Sunday school, the Pilgrim Circle, the I hilatlica Associates, the Service League (for missionary and Ile ok % olctit activitics), the Men's Fellowship Class, the Senior Christian I ndeaNor Societv, the junior Christian Endeavor Society, and the It.% Scouts.
Ouiiile,, the carly part of the nineteenth century Methodist lioni,leTs had occasional1v visited the tox%n, bit( without anN lesult. '~oillc of the people in the First Parish (Old North), hoxieNer,
c he(oilung restive under the Puritimic methods and severe Jx ni~t it preaching which they had to help support; and when, 1, x% \(,.trs after the formation of the Union Church at Weynioulli
to have a church nearer their homes, it was not strange that a different style of preaching and of church government appealed to them as desirable. In the autumn of 1822 Mr. Urban Rice, a young man, while visiting friends in Springfield, attended some Methodist meetings and became a concert. Upon his return he immediately began to work as an evangelist.
Methodist convert, announced at the close of a Sunday afternoon service in the old First Church that "God willing, there will be a religious meeting in the Back River schoolhouse this evening." This was the first Methodist service in the town, and led to others on succeeding Sunday evenings.
Soon regular preaching services were established by Rev- Aaron D. Sargent, prea rher-i n -charge of the Scituate Circuit, which ineluded the entire South Shore. These were held in Urban Rice's home, the house of his father, David Rice, which still stands on Pleasant Street, just at the foot of the little hill where the meetinghouse was afterward built. In 1823 a class of eleven members was organized with Joseph Dunbar as leader.
During the next two years, there were several different preachersIn 1825 a building lot was secured on the hill mentioned above and a plain chapel was erected and dedicated June 22, with a sermon by Rev. Isaac Bonney. Three years later the attendance had increased so much that it became necessary to enlarge the chapel.
Within ten years nearly a hundred members withdrew from the First Church and joined this Methodist Church. Nevertheless, many of them soon became weary of discipline and domination of presiding elders and bishops, and desired to be independent in the choice of their pastors. Some returned to the fellowship of the First Church within a few years, but the greater remained on account of the distance to the old meeting-house. At length, in 1942 feeling ran so high that a majority of the members voted to organize as the Evangelical Methodist Church in name, but with a Congregational form of government. They secured the church property, took down the chapel in 1843, and erected on the same site the house so widely known afterward as the "White Church." Eventually the name of the church was changed to East Weymouth Congregational Church.
But a sizable minority of the members remained steadfast to the Methodist polity, withdrew from the new movement, and renewed the original organization. Their meetings were held in the village schoolhouse until 1844. Meanwhile they secured a lot in the rear of the late Bela French's house oil Commercial Street, and a church edifice was erected there, with Mr. Cyrus Washburn as the builder.
It was dedicated Oct. 30, 1844, when Rev. Henry Mayo was the pastor. Rev. George Landon preached tile dedicatory sermon.
- Rev- Abet ~iderably enlarged and was rededicated Oct. 23, 1850 t Nvas C( I Stevens, D.D., preached the dedicatory sermon- But a little over ;I Near from that time it was destroyed by fire.
Another house was erected oil the same spot by the same builder, in the first year of the pastorate of Rev. Charles H. Titus, and was dedicated Oct. 12, 1852, with Rev. Daniel Wise, D.D., as the preacher. This house also was enlarged in 1864, while Rev. John Howson was pastor, It lvas reopened October 27 with a sermon hv Rev, J. A. M. Chapman, D.D.
Oil the afternoon of Feb. 23 ' 1870, a fire which started in au adjacent stable spread to tile church building and burned it to (lie ground. The loss was estimated at $12,000 and it was only loar6ally co%ered by insurance.
li 11as decided to rebuild at once and a new site was selected on li"Idd Street where the church now stands. Through the efforts I lbe pastor, Rev. William 1'. Morrison, during (lie last Nvecksecv)f ~itit-ifl(('i-s~i(~'e,kXi7zh)genic)receivssaar5,lsfotind,,v3igwoerreust-,Iiiesaedde.r iHnithesuwccoerssor,
fire. The most serious occasion was in 1879, when lightning wrecked the structure and partially demolished the steeple.
A new spite was built, atid other extensive alterations and repair, were made at various times up to 1909. While the church was being built, a fine large three-manual organ was acquired, which was originally constructed for the Hanover Street Church it) Boston. It was entirely rebuilt in 1909.
Of the various organizations connected with the church, the oldest is the Wesleyan Singing Society, now the choir of the church. It was organized in 1826 by Mr. Charles Bates, and he was chorister for many years. The Sunday school was organized in 1831 and Mr. Cotton pates was the first superintendent.
The Ladies' Social Circle was it) existence before 1848, and the Epworth League dates from 1889.
Seven different houses have served as parsonages, the present one having beett erected in 1915, in the pastorate of Rev. William M. Newton.
The fiftieth anniversary of the erection of the present church edifice was fittingly observed in 1920.
The history of this church has been marked fav revival seasons of great power. The pastorate of Rev. Henry ~1. Smith, 1848 to 1850, became memorable for an extensive revival, and that of Rev. Henry D. Robinson, 1865 to 1867, was similarly notable; hut the one of greatest interest occurred during the pastorate of Rev. William V. Morrison, 1867 to 1870, and the Congregational Church was equally involved in it~
In the list of ministers who have served this church as pastors in accordance with the practice of the denomination, there are fifty-nine names. In addition to those already mentioned, Rev. Walter Ela, Rev. Samuel L. Gracey, Rev. George C. King, Rev. Albert A. Kidder, Rev. William 1. Ward, Rev. George G. Scrivener, Rev. George A. Grant and Rev. Frank Kingdon are perhaps its well remembered as any, and are worthy of special mention. The present pastor is Rev. Earl E. Story.
1825. 1827. 1828. 1829. 1830. l813L 1932, IS33. 1 935~
I A5.5. 1857. 119,59. IM1. 1863. 1865. 1867. 1870. 1872, 1874. IX77. 188(t. ISM. 1884, 1 R85.
Air. Waldron bad recently begun his first pastorate at file Congregational Nurch in East Weymouth, tulle a mile or so distant. It was decided to continue services and organize as a mission for that purpose.
Mr. Waldron conducted the mission, preaching reguhirlV until he 11-ft East Weymouth in 1871~
In 1867 the ladies formed the Union Social Circle, which became the working and financial support of the mission; and associated V%ilh them for some time was an organization of voting men who made it their special work to secure the filling and furnishing (if file hall, and to assist the Social Circle.
Afletthe departureof Mr. Waldron, preacbersiveresentout from fie Congregational Bureau in Boston- This coatiflued for about Ifteen months, when it became evident that tile mission needed ti leader who could be among the people and do pastoral work.After due consideration, it was decided it) seek the advice of a
hurch of Lovell's Corner" was duly orgaHized in d lerognized I he churches represented in the councif aflerward presented (he nei hotch liuh a communion ~crvice, which ivas highly appreciate".Thvre iiere twenty members. fit November a (7,111 was exic"Ide
At this time Lovell's Corner was a prosperous, growing cona. munity, but soon there came changes in business interests, which made it more and more difficult for the young church to sustain the new burden of a pastor's salary. At length, in 1877, the pastor felt compelled to leave, and the church was verv soon in danger of dissolution. In their extremity they appealed to tire Methodist presiding elder.
Rev. Dr- NX. V. Morrison came and arranged to have the pulpit supplied by Rev. Henly, 1'. Hay)ett until April, 1879. Then the church was reorganized as the Porter Methodist Fpiscopal Church with Mr. Ilaylett as its first pastor. At first the church was inclotted in the New Bedford Conference, but in 1882 it was transferred to the New England Southern Conference of Methodist ('hutches.
The name "Porter" was given as a memorial to Miss Eunice Porter, who had bequeathed a legacy of about $600 "for the building of the first Methodist church in South Weymouth." This, together with a lot of land given fly Mr. Joseph Holbrool:, and liberal subscriptions front the residents about Lovell's Corner, enabled the church to erect a house of worship in t886 on the easterly side of Pleasant Street, a little way south of the Corner,
This was (luring the pastorate of Rev. Julian S. Wadsworth, and lie labored earnestly for the success of the enterprise. Sept. 16, 1886, was the (lay of dedication of the new edifice. It was the twentieth anniversary of the first sermon preached at the Corner be Rev. D. W. Waldron, and he was present to assist in the exercises. During the exercises Bishop John W. Hamilton, at that time pastor of a church in Boston, with consummate tact and eloquent appea(, induced people in the crowded auditorium to subscribe many hundreds of dollars to provide sufficient funds to complete the building and its furnishing without recourse to borrowing money. Thus with much rejoicing the house was dedicated free of all debt.
During the forty-four years of its existence as a Methodist Church it has received the ministrations of twenty-eight different pastors, in accordance with the practice of the denomination to make frequent changes. Nearly all of these have been young men who were still pursuing theological studies at Boston University. A number of them have become widely known and honored preachers, perhaps no one more so than Rev. Dallas Lore Sharp, who was pastor in the years 1896 to 1898, and who has since become a promilient professor at Boston University and a popular public lecturer and writer.
In July, 1920, Mrs- Ar(hur S. Emig, whose husband was then pastor of the church, was granted a license to preach. She was among tire first women in this Conference to receive such a license. She was thus able to suprilenient the labors of tier has!~--nd at ~, tittle when the state of his health forbade his rendering efficient service. The present pastor is Rev. A. E. Greenter.
miLtee conIraq made in 1833 A society was formed and a torn i ' sisfing of James Whittemore, Whitcomb Poi(er and Allies W. Stetson was authorized to enter into a written agreement with the Overseers of the Weymouth and Braintree Academy for tire use of the lower room of the Academy building at Weyounith Landing, except when needed bv the school then kept there. The rent was to be S75 a year.
The first meeting was field Jan. 19, 1833. In March the society ~uis incorporated as the First Unitarian Religious Society of Braintree and VVeymouth. Services were held on succeeding Sundays \\ith preaching by different clergymen. Aniong them were Rev. increase S. Smith, preceptor of Derby Academy, Hingliarn, Rev. (;eorge Whitney, son of Rev. Peter Whitney of QUificy, Rev. Dr. lienrv W. Bellows and Rev. Dr. Ezra S. Gannett.
Sufficient interest, however, to sustain the movement did not develop, and in July the room at the Academy was given up, and meetings were discontinued.
The next movement was not until about 1872 or 1873 when meetings. were begun at the home of Mrs. James LoNell oil Broad Street, Fast Weymouth, probably with the hope of establishing a ( niversalist organization.
The services were conducted by Rev. Ylmer Hewitt, Rev. B. F. ] -alon, Re%% Jacob Baker and others, most of them of the Universalist belief. These services were continued for several years, a 1,,; If land on Cottage Street was bought (where the Unitarian Church low stand,;), and a fund of $700 was accuirm(ated; and Own, for some reason not recorded, the enterprise was abandoned,
.\(out 1885 another societv was fortned in(] held tneetings in the Nlasonic Hall building oil Broad Street. To this society the fund o'd building lot or (;ie former society was given. Tire new society induced to take the name Unitarian by an agreenlent of thenitarian AssociaGon of Boston to provide'funds for the building
The society prospered for nearly twenty years, eventually paying for their edifice beside-, supporting all other experses. The older members, however, were passing away and settle were removing front town, and younger people (lid not come to take their places. At length it became necessary to give up regular services and, finally, to close the house of worship.
The Universalist Conference of Boston undertook negotiation S. with tire result that the propertv was sold to tile State Universalist Conference in 1909.
Ali attempt was made to hold Uriker~alist services, but there was go little encouragement that they were discontinued in Selltember, 1910. The church building has been unoccupied most of the time since,
To Fisher A. Kingsbury, Esquire, one of the justices of the Peace within and for the County of Norfolk: -
We the subscribers, members of the First Universalist Society in Weyniouth in said County of Norfolk respectfully request you to issue a warrant in due forni of law, for calling and notifying the first inceting thereof and organizing tile same; requiring the qualified voters of said society to Hitiet at the Hall of Asa B. Wales in said Wevniouth, on Thursdav, the twenty-first day of JUIX instant, at scven of the clock in the afternoon, for the following purPosr, viz.: --1. To organize said society agreeably to the Laws of this Conimonwealth.
5. To ad(pt a code of By-Laws for the gor, erninent of said society , calling and notifying all future ineetings of said societv, art(] to transact all other buRi- Hess thal may he legally brought before thein, ASA 13. WALIZS~
On july 21, 1836, this meeting was held and Jacob Allen was elected moderator. The committee appointed to Prepare by-laws read them and they were unanimously adopted. The preamble was as follows:
We the. subscribers, I'veling desirous to grow in grace and in the knowledge o( our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, (to hereby forin ourselves into a Society that we niiy lie helps to each other, and that by our Hnited energies we rria~ bettel serve the purpows of religions and truth, and we Oteerfully arlopt and suhscribu to the Constitution is the basis of our governnimt.
After adopting the constitution, Asa B. Wales was chosen treai,liter, air(] Asa B. Wales, Jonathan Until, and Enoch Lathrop were
chosen a standing committee. Addison Chessman was chosen collector. Henry B. (:owing was chosen clerk,
The standing commit tee were instructed to secure a preacher, and they made arrangement-, with Rev. Matthew Hale Smith to preach each fortnight.
At a meeting of the parish, held Oct. 17, 1836, if was voted to choose a committee to ascertain how Much money could be raised toward building a meet i rig-licnise, Jonathan Hunt and Hiram Cushing being chosen on this committee.
III tile fall of 1838 subscription of stock was started in Weymouth ,and Braintree, and a meeting of the stockholders was held at tile
Hall of the Hotel in Weymouth, Dec. 27, 1838. Maj. Joint W. Lend was chosen moderator and John A. Hobart clerk, and it waS voted on motion of Asa B. Wales, "That we procced to build it meeting lic-- for Religious Worship." The building committee chosen were Asa B. Wales, Ira Curtis, Adorarn Clapp, John W. Loud and John A. Hobart.
The committee were instructed to Select and purchase a site, and they purchased the lot where the church now stands oil Washington Street of Mr. Asa Webb. Stephen S. Fove xNas the coiltractor and John A. Hobart the draftsmaii.268 ECCLLSIASTWAL HISTORV OF XVF1'M0UrH
The committee reported the meering-house ready the next September. Including land, bell and furnishings, the cost was $6,400.
Friday, the thirteenth (lay of September, 1839, was appointed by the society to dedicate the house to the worship of the only living arid true Cori. It was a fine (lay and a large concourse of people attended. The following was the order of dedicatory service:
The sale of pews took place on the next day, arid Sunday, the. fifteenth day of September, 1839, was the first Sabbath that meetings were held in the new house, a thing long desired and highly prized by the true lovers of Zion. Rev. Calvin Gardner was the preacner on this and the three following Sabbaths.
On Nov. 25, 1839, a call was extended to Rev. John S. Barry for six months, and this call was renewed at the annual meeting in April, 1840.
Rev. John M. Spear was chosen as minister in April, 1841, remaining until April, 1845.
He was followed by Rev. Mr. Coffin until November of the same vent. At the annual meeting held in 1843 it was voted that the parish committee confer with a committee from South Weymouth in regard to preaching, but thereseents to have been no report from this committee.
The next permanent minister was Rev. Mr. Dermis, his pastorate beginning in 1846.
Rev. lohn S Barry aga:n extended a call in April, 1S47, and this wa.~'rcpeated in 1848, and he remained until Jan. 1, 1850. ]it April, 1850, Rev. Mr. Hemphill was chosen pastor and he remained until April, 1852. Then Rev. D. P. Livermore was called as minister and remained as pastor until April, 1854, at which time Rev. Mr. Davenport accepted a call and served as minister until he resigned at the annual parish meeting in March, 1855.
Rev. Mr. Mellen was called during the year 1855 and remained -is pastor until April 1, 1860.
In M~-y, 1860, Rev. D. F. Goddard was called as pastor, and he resigned Nov. 30, 1861.
From November, 1861, to April, 1864, supplies were employed to fill the pulpit, and their Rev. Miss Olympia P. Brown, the first wornan preacher, was called to be pastor. At last accounts Miss Brown was stilt alive and was one of the women prominent at the convention held shortly before woman suffrage was adopted, she being then ninety-three years old. Her pastorate continued until Sep(ember, 1869.
fit the fall of 1866 the vestry of the church was remodeled an dedicated as Lincoln Hall. During the year 1867 a new organ was purchased and installed in the church.
fit October, 1870, Rev. Benjamin H. Davis became pastor of the church and remained with the church until April 1, 1873. Rev. L. W. Crossley became pastor April 1, 1877, and closed his service in March, 1878. At the March meeting of 1879, a committee was appointed by the parish to take up the matter of having one minister for two parishes, this and tire Third Universalist Society at North %%evitiouth.
After hearing several candidates, Rev. An-on Titus became pastor of the two societies. This arrangement confirmed until April, 1921, when each society resumed having a minister bv itself.
Rev. Mr. Titus served in the double pastorate front i879 to April, 1883, when Rev. B. F. Eaton was chosen minister and began his service in December of that year. He was also acting minister of the church at West Scituate- He remained until April, 1893.
Rev. Ira Morrison was called as minister in August, 1893, and served the two churches for a year and a half. The following ministers served during the remainder of the arrangement with the Third Society:
The first preaching of the Universalist interpretation of the Bible in South Weymouth was heard some time in the year 1835.
This way of explaining the "Word" had occasioned much coin - ment, being comparatively new, and had also caused considerable argument among the families of this part of the town. The parish committee of the Second Parish, consisting of Benjamin Tirrell, Charles Pratt and Amos Merritt, all Universalists, had been authorized to suppiy we pulpit (there being a vacancy in the pastorate). They warned the society that they would get ministers of their own faith, but the warning was not heeded. Charles Pratt was selected to furnish the first supply. fie engaged the services of Rev. Sylvanus Cobb, and so it was brought about that "Father Cobb," as lie was known, preached the first Universalist sernion in South WevnionDfi.
For about six months this committee supplied ministers of their faith, and the services were held in the Second Church (Old South),therebeingatthattimenootherchurch it) thispartof thetown.
After the six months those who believed in the liberal faith withdrew from the society and held services in Rogers' Hall. From this time until the chapel was built services were held more or less regularly, as they could be arranged, in Rogers' Hall for some time, in John Reed's Hall, and in the schoolhouse standing at that time on Pond Street, then again in Rogers' Hall, arid finally in the chapel in the present location.
In the services in the chapel Father Cobb was the first to preach, Rev. Thomas Whittemore the second, and others heard were Rev. Otis A. Skinner, Rev. John G. Adams, Rev. Hosea Ballou, generally known as " Father Ballou," and Rev. A. A. Miner, D.D.; but those oftenest heard were Father Cobb and Rev. Thomas Whittemore.
Among the supplies before any one was called as pastor were Rev. Albert A. Folsom of Hingham, who used occasionally to Lcld a 5 o'clo-1- mee"ng, as ;,, then called, Rev. Columbus Lake,
Rev. Charles S. Gifford, Mr. Berea, Mr. Preston, J. S. Dennis, Abram Norton, Charles Crocker, C. 14. Canfield and Dr. Dodds. These occupied the time tip to about 1848, Mr. Crocker being here in 1841 and Mr. Canfield in 1847.
A conference was held here in 1841 or 1842, and among other notable speakers was Rev. Thomas Starr King, In speaking of this conference, a lady who was present recalled the circumstance that she for the first time heard a woman speak in public. Father Cobb's wife attended the conference, and, feeling desirous of adding her word, stepped out into the aisle and said her say, and at. the close started the hymn, "When I can read my title clear," and first the ministers joined in, and then tire people, till all were singing.
The seats in those earlier (lays were not especially comfortable, sometimes being cheap wooden clrair~, sometimes benches without back~, laitwhen the chapel was built they had arrived at ihedignitv of scttce~,
iuguLirlv, either in 1849 or 18,50, thus becorning the first settled pa"tol, and fie soon set about raising monev to build a Place of X% orshi p. Thez,(cie(v when first organized at about, this time, 1848 or 1850,
The worrien of the society had all along been efficient helpers, Out now took up, the work in a new direction by fortaing a Ladies' Circle.
Thev held their first fair some time in 1851, and (lie first May party in IP5z or 1853, and these have been annual events and are still continued.
The Sunday school was organized in 1849, and was held in Rogers' Hall, with David S ' Murray as superin(endent, which office lie held until 1859 or 1860. The number of scholars was between forty and fifty.
1" 1853 an entertainment was given, at 6at time called it -Sabbath .school exhibition. The printed program shows an arrangement of the exercises in two parts, with twenty-two numbers in each part, In 1854 another exhibition was given with a like arrangement of the program but with fewer numbers.Mr. Parker was succeeded in 1855 by Rev. Eliner Hewitt, whose
Mr. Hewitt stayed with the parish until the summer of 1868 tfien Rev. Jacob Baker preached as a candidate with others for .some months, and in January, 186( ' was engaged as pastor,
The Church of Christ connected with the society was "t-ginized by Mr. Raker in July, 1869, with a roll of fifti~-uine iucnibev~,f