Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Obituary of Leonard Withington, Class of 1814, in 1885 Yale College Obituary Record

The first obituary included in the June 1885 edition of the Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale College was that of Congregational minister Leonard Withington of the Class of 1814, Academical Department.  He spent many years as a minister at Newbury, Massachusetts.

The last few pages of this booklet are a Summary of the deceased graduates and an index, all pages of which appear at the end of this post.


Obituary Record 
Graduates of Yale College
Deceased during the Academical year ending in
June 1885
Including the record of a few who died previously, hereto unreported.
[Presented at the Meeting of the Alumni, June 23d, 1885]
[No. 5 of the Third Printed Series, and No. 44 of the whole Record.]

Academical Department
Leonard Withington, son of Joseph W. and Elizabeth (White) Withington, was born in Dorchester, Mass., Aug. 9, 1789, and died in Newbury, Mass., April 22, 1885, in his 96th year, being the last survivor of his class, and older than any other surviving graduate, as well as the oldest Congregational clergyman in the country.  He entered College as a Sophomore, having already served an apprenticeship as a printer, and having thus acquired an ambition for a literary life.

While in College he decided to enter the ministry, and accordingly upon graduation pursued such studies with President Dwight and with his own pastor, the Rev. Dr. Codman, and also for a few months at Andover.  On the 31st of October 1816, he was ordained as pastor of the First church in Newbury, Mass., and there spent his long life.  After forty-two years of active service, while his powers were still in full vigor, he retired on the anniversary of his ordination, with the title of senior pastor, and his declining years were passed in calm happiness in the midst of his grateful people.

He was a man of original thought and vigorous expression, and of extensive and accurate learning.  No one could meet him, even casually, without admiration of his unusual gifts.

He published in 1836, anonymously, two volumes of essays, entitled "The Puritan" (16⚬, pp. 248, 268); and also, in 1861, "Solomon's Song, translated and explained" (12, pp. 329), besides numerous sermons, addresses, and lectures.  Bowdoin College gave him in 1850 the degree of Doctor of Divinity.

He married, Jan. 17, 1817, Sophia, daughter of William Sherburne, Esq., of Boston, who died April 1, 1826.  On the 28th of May, 1827, he married Caroline, daughter of the Hon. Nathan Noyes, M.D. (Dartmouth Coll.), of Newburyport, who died Aug. 5, 1860.  By his first wife he had three sons, who are all dead, and by his second wife five sons and four daughters, of whom two sons and the daughters survive him.

From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]

Leonard Withington was born 9 August 1789 at Dorchester, Massachusetts, the son of Joseph Weeks Withington and Elizabeth (White) Withington.

With his first wife, Sophia (Sherburne) Withington, he had four children, two of whom died in infancy:
  • Child, born 11 January 1819 at Newbury, Massachusetts; died there on 13 January 1819
  • William Sherburne Withington, born 4 May 1821 at Newbury, Massachusetts; died 20 May 1841 at Cuba - perhaps he was a mariner
  • Leonard Withington, Jr., born 7 September 1823 at Newbury, Massachusetts; married Sophia Baldwin; died in Vermont
  • George Aspinwall Withington, born 30 January 1826 at Newbury, Massachusetts; and died there on 18 May 1826.  His mother Sophia died in April 1826, perhaps as a result of George's birth.
With Leonard Withington's second wife, Caroline (Noyes) Withington, he had the following children:
  • Nathan Noyes Withington, born 9 March 1828 at Newbury, Massachusetts; married Elizabeth Little; died at Newburyport, Massachusetts, on 8 March 1914
  • Sarah Elizabeth Withington, born 6 February 1830 at Newbury, Massachusetts; married James Chute Coleman
  • Lucy Withington, born 11 February 1832 at Newbury or Newburyport, Massachusetts; married John Thurston Jaques; died 12 August 1903
  • Joseph Withington, born 4 May 1834; died at Mattoon, Illinois in 1920
  • Harriet Sherburne Withington, born 18 March 1836 at Newbury, Massachusetts
  • Richard Withington, born 29 April 1838 at Newbury, Massachusetts; died 27 July 1866 at Harts Island, New York
  • Francis Withington, born 21 January 1840 at Newbury, Massachusetts; died 1 September 1843 at Newbury, Massachusetts
  • Mary Niles Withington, born 7 May 1842 at Newbury, Massachusetts; married Joseph Boardman; died 11 May 1903 at Craftsbury, Vermont
  • William Sherburne Withington, born 7 May 1842 at Newbury, Massachusetts; died 17 September 1842 at Newbury, Massachusetts
If you have corrections to the information above, please leave a comment or contact me directly.


Augustus H. Abernethy, Class of 1864
Adolph Asher, Class of 1872
Robert M. Baker, Class of 1856
T. Jefferson Bassett, Class of 1853
Henry C. Beardslee, Class of 1826
Lewis S. Benedict, Class of 1834
Michael D. Benedict, Class of 1836
Theodore H. Benedict, Class of 1840
Frederick N. Bennett, Class of 1841
James Berdan, Class of 1824
George W. Blagden, Class of 1823
David Booth, Class of 1819
Marius Brandegee, Class of 1843
C. Lewis Brent, Class of 1849
Daniel Chadwick, Class of 1845
Henry Childs, Class of 1846
James H. Clendenin, Class of 1872
George H. Coffey, Class of 1859
Thomas Cowles, Class of 1829
S. Sherwood Day, Class of 1827
Sherman Day, Class of 1826
John DeForest, Class of 1826
James T. Dickinson, Class of 1826
Richard V. Dodge, Class of 1840
George B. Dusinberre, Class of 1855
Aaron R. Dutton, Class of 1837
Barnabas M. Fay, Class of 1833
George W. Fisher, Class of 1859
Samuel A. Fisk, Class of 1844
Samuel H. Fletcher, Class of 1824
Thomas E. Franklin, Class of 1828
William Frazier, Class of 1832
Theodore Gilbert, Class of 1825
George Goodyear, Class of 1824
John M. Gordon, Class of 1830
George M. Hanners, Class of 1823
Winthrop B. Hawks, Class of 1882
Thomas R. Hubbard, Class of 1829
William Hutchison, Class of 1854
Joseph H. Isham, Class of 1865
Thomas H. Jackson, Class of 1850
Barclay Johnson, Class of 1882
Ross Johnston, Class of 1870
Francis E. Kernochan, Class of 1861
Alfred Lambert, Class of 1843
Frank A. Langworthy, Class of 1872
Cortland L. Latimer, Class of 1832
Edward A. Lawrence, Class of 1884
James N. Lea, Class of 1834
Charles A. Lewis, Class of 1829
Allyn C. Loomis, Class of 1883
Oliver E. Lyman, Class of 1876
Darius Mead, Class of 1828
Timothy T. Merwin, Class of 1827
Charles L. Mills, Class of 1835
Hiram Moses, Class of 1825
George C. Murray, Class of 1845
William Norton, Class of 1829
John J. Orton, Class of 1842
Lewis R. Packard, Class of 1856
Francis H. Palmer, Class of 1847
David C. Perry, Class of 1833
Stephen T. Robinson, Class of 1827
Charles M. Runk, Class of 1845
William H. Russell, Class of 1833
Murray C. Shoemaker, Class of 1864
Benjamin Silliman, Class of 1837
Jonathan Silliman, Class of 1817
Elbert J. Smith, Class of 1847
Charles G. Southmayd, Class of 1856
John B. Staples, Class of 1827
Hezekiah Sturges, Class of 1841
Frank H. Taylor, Class of 1878
John L. Taylor, Class of 1835
Chauncey M. Thompson, Class of 1854
Albert Todd, Class of 1836
Charles Tracy, Class of 1832
Alexander C. Twining, Class of 1820
David A. Tyler, Class of 1844
Leonidas C. Vinal, Class of 1880
Jonathan Wales, Class of 1871
Jacob K. Warner, Class of 1850
D. Ellis Willes, Class of 1850
William L. Williamson, Class of 1853
Leonard Withington, Class of 1814
Dexter Witter, Class of 1824
J. Hampden Wood, Class of p1866
Robert W. Wright, Class of 1842
Edward Wurts, Class of 1832

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