Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Rev. Samuel Dunham - 12th pastor of West Brookfield Congregational Church


From Google Books

 Samuel Dunham was born in Southington, Hartford, Connecticut on Feb. 8, 1835, son of Chauncey, and Sylvia (Langdon) Dunham.  He prepared for college at Lewis Academy in Southington, and graduated from Yale in the class of 1860.  After graduating from Yale, he attended Union Theological Seminary in New York for two years, and graduated from Andover, Massachusetts Theological Seminary in August 1863.  Samuel married Sarah Maria Clark in Harwinton, Litchfield, Connecticut on Oct. 6, 1863.
   Mr. Dunham began to preach in the West Brookfield Congregational Church (known previously as the First Church of Brookfield) in April 1863, a few months prior to his graduation from Andover Theological Seminary.  He was called to serve as the regular pastor in West Brookfield in March of 1864, and was ordained there on Oct. 4, 1864.  Rev. Dunham and his wife Sarah served the West Brookfield parish for more that seven years.  Their first two children were born in town.  Samuel Clark Dunham, born in 1866, and Clara Langdon Dunham, born 1869 and died 1870.   The church celebrated its150th anniversary with commemorative ceremonies, speeches and celebrations. On Oct. 12, 1870 Rev. Dunham was dismissed at his own request, citing "ill health," and moved to Norwalk, CT. 
  Rev. Dunham served for two years in Norwalk.  He and Sarah welcomed a son, Chauncey Wilson there in 1871.  The family moved to Binghamton, NY in 1873, when Samuel was appointed pastor of the West Presbyterian Church there. He served actively in that capacity until December 1901, when he retired and became the pastor emeritus.
During the years in Binghamton, sons Chauncey and Samuel had died, another son, Luther Langdon Dunham was born about 1875, and died in 1893, and sadly, Samuel's wife Sarah died in 1894.  Samuel married Robertha McLeod on Dec.. 10, 1901.  She was more than thirty years his junior.  Samuel died at home in Binghamton on Dec. 4, 1936, at the age of 101.  He was buried in Glenwood Cemetery.  Robertha died in 1944.

1. In loving memory of Mrs. Sarah M. (Clark) Dunham, wife of Rev. Samuel Dunham, pastor of the West Presbyterian Church, of Binghamton, N.Y., died April 9, 1894 (Archive.org)
2. Matrimony Notice for Mr. Samuel Dunham and Miss Sarah Maria Clark (Genealogybank.com)
3. Retrospect of a Happy Ministry: The Life Story of Half a Century, Including Personal Reminiscences, and a Complete History from Its First Inception of the West Presbyterian Church, Binghamton, N.Y. (Google eBook)
4. Samuel Dunham Dies in New York, 101(Genealogybank.com)
5. Vital Records of West Brookfield, MA 1841-1910 (Americanancestors.org)