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VII. present religious Societies.

First Congregational Parish.—Continued from pages 116-120. Some items from the second volume of parish records are here presented.
1840. Former meeting-house taken down, and a new meeting-house built on the same site. The parish committee were empowered to let the vestry for holding meetings, to the citizens of the town. It was voted that the vestry be called and known by the name of Parish Hall.

1843, Dec. 7. Rev. William Ware invited to settle as minister. On Aug. 11, 1845, a communication was received from Mr. Ware resigning his office as pastor of the Society.

1848, Aug. 15. James Francis Brown received a call to settle over this parish as their gospel minister. On Nov. 1, 1848, he was ordained. He died at Springfield, Mass., June 14, 1853, aged 33, and in the fifth year of his ministry at West Cambridge. Funeral, June 15th, from the meeting-house in West Cambridge.1

1854, March 13. Samuel Abbot Smith invited as pastor. Ordained June 22, 1854. He died in West Cambridge, May 20, 1865, aged 36, and in the eleventh year of his ministry.

1856, Jan. 1. The Society lost their meeting-house by fire. A new meeting-house (the present edifice) was dedicated Jan. 1, 1857.

1865, Oct. 2. Charles C. Salter chosen minister. Ordained June 6, 1866. Resigned Jan. 31, 1869.

1869, Dec. 27. George W. Cutter chosen minister. Ordained Jan. 26, 1870. Resigned Jan. 31, 1877.

1871. The steeple of the edifice belonging to this Society was blown down by a gale. A new spire was erected similar to the one blown down, and of the same dimensions, in 1872.

1878, July 15. William J. Parrot chosen minister. Installed Oct. 17, 1878.

A Congregational Unitarian Society was established at Belmont, before that neighborhood was set off as a town, of which Amos Smith was minister, 1858-59. [175]

Baptist Society.—Meetings of persons friendly to sentiments of this denomination were held in this place as early as the year 1773.2 The earliest known records of the society are dated Sept. 4, 1780, when ‘a number of the Baptist Society in Cambridge met at Stephen Robbins's to have some discourse about sending a letter to the Association, to inform them of our circumstances and to desire their prayers for us.’ This letter was signed by Thomas Williams, John Williams and Stephen Robbins. A compact of six articles, drawn by a committee, of which Capt. Benjamin Locke was chairman, was agreed upon Dec. 15, 1780, by Thomas Williams and thirty-eight others, four of whom only were religious professors. The design was to unite those who were friends of the cause, understanding its merits, and actuated by worthy motives. The first parish meeting was held March 6, 1781, and measures were taken to provide a place of worship, which resulted in the purchase of ‘Capt. Locke's house for a hundred dollars silver.’ A meeting was held June 4, 1781, of persons desirous of forming a church. This was duly recognized July 5, following, by a council. In Sept. 1781, the church was received, with twenty-seven members, John Williams delegate, into the Warren Association, assembled at Brimfield. Mr. Thomas Green was appointed by the Association to ‘preach at Cambridge, the third Lord's day in November,’ and was engaged by the Society in July, 1782, to preach six weeks or two months on probation, but continued in that service over a year, when the Society at length concurred with the church in calling him as the regular pastor.

His ordination occurred Nov. 26, 1783. In 1790 an arrangement was made with Mr. Green to preach once a month in Woburn. The Woburn members of this Society in that year amounted to twenty-two.3

Soon after it was agreed, owing to increase of members there, that he should preach half the time in Woburn, and the name of the church [176] was altered to the ‘Cambridge and Woburn Baptist Church.’ The Woburn branch of the church gained more rapidly than the mother church; a new meeting-house was built in Woburn in 1794, and the organization became known solely as the ‘Woburn Baptist Church.’

In 1790 the society here had purchased ‘a spot five rods square’ of Ephraim Cooke, and erected a house of worship, now occupied as a dwelling-house, and situated at the east corner of Brattle Street. Here meetings were held more or less frequently as preaching could be obtained, and the parish organization was continued until greater encouragement offered. Stephen Cutter, by will dated March 4, 1816, left a legacy to the Society of $5,000, to be paid at the death of his wife Mary Cutter. She generously relinquished nearly one-half, eighteen years before the time, and by her will, dated Sept. 2, 1834, added in land and money, save a few small legacies, her whole estate, all amounting to $11,375.24, including the present commodious parsonage. An act of incorporation of the Society was obtained Dec. 14, 1816, and on Nov. 20, 1817, twenty-two persons, mostly connected with the existing church at Woburn, were by a council constituted the West Cambridge Baptist Church.4

On Sept. 9, 1828, a new meeting-house was dedicated in the present locality on land given by Mary Cutter. The Sabbath School was organized Oct. 21, 1828. A new and more commodious church edifice was dedicated March 31, 1853. The house is of the Gothic style of architecture, and was erected at the cost of $15,000, including an organ and other appurtenances. It was subjected to extensive repairs about 1871, at an expense of over $11,000.

The ministers of the Society have been:—Thomas Green, 1783-93; position of minister vacant, 1794-1818; Benjamin C. Grafton, 1818-23; John Ormsby, 1824-27; Ebenezer Nelson, 1828-34; Appleton Morse and Charles Miller, 1834-38;5 Timothy C. Tingley, 1838-45; George J. Carleton, 1845-51; Joseph Banvard, 1851-53; Samuel B. Swaim, 1854-62; John Duncan, 1863-64; Amos Harris, 1865-75; Charles H. Spaulding, 1876-79.

Universalist Society.—A Society of this denomination appears to have existed in the town as early as 1832, but without a regular established organization till Aug. 13, 1840, when it was voted to build a meeting-house, and a Society was organized under the name of the First Universalist Society in [177] West Cambridge.6 The meeting-house was accordingly built in 1840, and dedicated on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 1841. On Feb. 21, 1848, the Society voted to petition the General Court for an act of incorporation.

The first regular minister was the Rev. J. C. Waldo, whose term of service commenced on the first Sabbath after March 15, 1841. On April 12, following, the Society voted that he be installed. He remained as minister till 1847. On Sept. 20, of that year, the Rev. Willard Spaulding was invited as pastor; and he was followed by the Rev. George Hill, who was first engaged to supply the pulpit on Aug. 27, 1849, and invited to become the minister of the Society on Feb. 5, 1850. After a ten-years' pastorate his resignation was accepted Jan. 16, 1860. He was succeeded by the Rev. William E. Gibbs, who was invited to become pastor on May 28, 1860. Mr. Gibbs remained minister until Oct. 1, 1866, when his resignation took effect, and he was followed by Rev. J. W. Keyes, who was invited Dec. 7, 1866. On Aug. 30, 1869, the resignation of Mr. Keyes was accepted, to take effect Oct. 1, that year. Rev. William H. Ryder was invited March 20, 1871. He resigned May 20, 1873. The present minister is the Rev. William F. Potter, who began to preach to the Society on the first Sunday in July, 1876.7

Orthodox Congregational Society.—On the evening of June 8, 1842, several members of Orthodox churches, residing in West Cambridge and its vicinity, met at the residence of Miss Anna Bradshaw, for religious worship. Miss Bradshaw, the grand-daughter of the Rev. Samuel Cooke, the first minister of the Old Parish of the town (1739-1783), resided in the old parsonage of her grandfather on Pleasant Street, next the burying-ground. The Rev. Dr. Albro, of Cambridge, was present on the above evening, and addressed the meeting. A weekly meeting for conference and prayer was at this time established. July 10, following, a sermon was preached under a large tent, erected on the grounds of Miss A. Bradshaw, for the celebration of national independence. An appointment was made for [178] preaching on the ensuing Sabbath at Miss Bradshaw's house. Services were held in the meeting-house of the Baptist Society four Sabbath evenings, and a hall was afterward used as a place of worship. Nov. 20, 1842, a meeting was held at a private house to consider the expediency of forming a church, and it was unanimously voted expedient to organize an Orthodox Congregational Church in West Cambridge. A council for the purpose was held Dec. 14, 1842, and the public services of the organization were held in the Baptist Church. Nov. 29, 1844, the Society dedicated its meeting-house; the lot on which it stands being the generous gift of Miss Anna Bradshaw. The house, after being repaired and enlarged at an expense equalling its original cost, was re-opened for worship on Nov. 15 1857.8

The ministers of this Society have been:—

Francis Horton, installed May 17, 1843; dismissed March 29, 1854. Daniel R. Cady, installed Feb. 14, 1856; dismissed July 1, 1877.

J. Lewis Merrill, present minister, installed Jan. 3, 1878.

The deacons of the church previous to 1859, were—

Luke Wyman and Miles Gardner, elected 1842.

John Field9 and Joseph Burrage, elected 1857.


St. Malachy's Church (Roman Catholic).—The Catholics of Arlington formerly attended divine service in St. Peter's Church, Cambridge. In the year 1869 their increasing number induced the Rev. M. P. Dougherty, pastor of that Church, to organize an independent congregation and build a church edifice for Arlington. This building was used for the first time on Christmas day, 1870. It was not, however, formally dedicated until September, 1874, when it received the title of St. Malachy. Rev. Mr. Dougherty retained charge of the new parish until January 1st, 1873, when the Rev. J. M. Finotti was appointed to succeed him. Under his administration a parochial residence was purchased, and various improvements made in the church. He was assisted by Revs. J. B. Galvin and M. D. Murphy. Continued ill health obliged him in April, 1876, to resign his charge.10 The present pastor is Rev. M. Harkins, who is assisted by Rev. J. J. O'Brien.11

the Methodist Society.—About 1872, a Society of this denomination was formed, and has since held religious services in various halls in the town. Rev. J. W. Owens was their first minister. At present, most of the congregation attend worship at a church in West Medford.

St. John's Church (Episcopal).—In 1875 religious services were first held in Arlington in conformity to the Liturgy of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. Efforts were soon made to erect a chapel, which has since been completed. A parish has been organized, and now awaits admission into union with the Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts. The Rev. D. G. Haskins, S. T. D., is the officiating Rector. [180]

1 James Francis Brown, ordained as the Christian minister of the First Congregational Parish in West Cambridge on Nov. 1, 1848, was born in Boston, Jan. 4, 1820. A stone was erected at his grave in Mount Pleasant Cemetery by the Sunday School and friends who were desirous thus to testify their grateful attachment to the memory of their deceased pastor. A sermon preached at West Cambridge on the Sabbath after the death of Mr. Brown, by Rev. Nathaniel Hall, of Dorchester, who officiated at his funeral, by vote of the parish was published. Text, John 17: 4. A work of 96 pages, entitled ‘The Children's Gift’ (Boston, 1854), printed expressly for the children of his Sunday School, in accordance with his wish, contains a number of his writings.

2 For this sketch we are indebted to a History of the Baptist Church in Arlington, mainly written by Dr. Swaim, and published in the Arlington Baptist Church Book. The writer of that sketch quotes Backus's History to the effect that a Baptist church existed in Cambridge as early as 1761.

3 See Sewall's History of Woburn, p. 484.

4 The names of the original members of the church, formed Nov. 20, 1817, were Daniel Brooks, Mary Cutter, Elizabeth Williams, Abigail Robbins, Deliverance Winship, Lydia Jones, Simeon Harrington, William Symmes, Nathan Russell, Jr., Seth Reed, Charles Mackintire, Martha Frost, Thomas H. Teel, Eliza Frost, Sally Putnam, Lucy Tufts, Leonard Cox, Susanna Crosby, Bathsheba Brooks, Rachel Dickson, Hannah Estabrook, Daniel Crouch. 22.

5 So given in the Arlington Baptist Church Book, but not recognized as such in the Massachusetts Registers of the time.

6 The ‘subscribers to a fund for building a Universalist meeting-house in the town of West Cambridge,’ who petitioned for a warrant for a parish meeting on Aug. 3, 1840, were Henry Frost, Jefferson Cutter, Joseph Locke, William L. Clark, Francis Russell, William Whittemore, Ammi C. Teel, Kimball Farmer, John Fowle, John Jarvis, Jesse P. Pattee, Josiah H. Russell, and Moses Bacon, clerk.

7 Thanks are extended to Mr. Arthur W. Peirce for assistance in preparing this sketch.

8 See Church Manual. The original members of the church were Rev. Thaddeus Fiske, D. D., Miles Gardner, Jonathan Teel, Thomas Teel, Edwin R. Walker, Luke Wyman, John Williams, Luke Wyman, Jr., James Wyman, Mrs. Lucy Fiske, Mrs. Lydia Teel, Mrs. Lydia T. Richardson, Mrs. Adeline W. Dodge, Miss Susan F. Teel, Miss Lydia T. Gardner, Miss Almira Gardner, Mrs. Lydia Gardner, Mrs. Mary Frost, Miss Anna Bradshaw, Mrs. Ellen Bartlett, Mrs. Rebecca Williams, Miss Lucy Davis, Mrs. E. C. Proctor, Miss Catherine H. Pollard [Mrs. Symmes], Mrs. Mary Brown, Mrs. Frances A. Thompson, Mrs. Mary Ann Wyman, Mrs. Rebecca A. Drury, Mrs. Amy Locke, Mrs. Eliza Osborn, Mrs. Electa B. Hill, Mrs. Ruthy Wyman, Mrs. H. M. Bemis. 33.

9 John Field went to Boston from Peterborough, N. H., in 1831, and engaged in the hide and leather business under the firm of Field & Converse, in which he was eminently successful. He died July 31, 1876, aged 66. See portrait and sketch in History of Peterborough, N. H. He was remarkable for his systematic generosity to benevolent objects. He quietly gave his name and his influence to every good word and work.

Rev. Daniel R. Cady, D. D., d. at Westboroa, May 17, 1879. He was born in Malta, Saratoga Co., N. Y., Oct. 8, 1813, and graduated at Williams College in 1838. After studying and practising law two years, he studied for the ministry, and graduated at Andover in 1846. He was ordained at Rutland, Mass., the same year, and preached there four years; was then settled in Westboro, and remained there from 1849 to 1866; then settled in Arlington till 1877, then returned and passed the remainder of his life in Westboroa. He was a man of sound judgment and lovely Christian spirit, careful in his statements, never speaking ill of people, and slow to believe aught against any. He was also a man of thorough culture and a good preacher.

10 Mr. Finotti, a native of Italy, was the author of a Bibliographic Catholica Americana, or a list of works written by Catholic Authors and published in the United States. See N. E. Hist. Gen. Register, XXVII. 438.

11 Obligation is expressed to Rev. Mr. Harkins, who kindly furnished this sketch.

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