Monday, February 24, 2020

1929 Clipping: Dr. George Merriam Celebrates 25th Year at Bethany Baptist Church at Skowhegan, Maine

"Dr. George Merriam Celebrates 25th Year as Pastor; is Honored by Bethany Baptist Parishioners at Anniversary Supper".  Skowhegan, Maine.  Handwritten date: Oct. 23 1929

A transcription appears at the end of this post.

Found pasted in a scrapbook of items dealing mostly with the areas encompassing Dexter, Maine, and Skowhegan, Maine.

Dr. George Merriam (1856-1941) was born in China, Maine, on November 30, 1856, the son of Rev. Franklin Merriam and Eunice Clark (Ward) Merriam.  On 10 August 1882 at Newton, Massachusetts, Dr. Merriam married Eugenia W. Runnell (1864-1927), daughter of Thornton B. Rennell and Lydia (Wallace) Rennell.  Dr. Merriam and his wife had nine children:
  1. Rev. George Rennell Merriam (1883-1968)
  2. Franklin Edmund Merriam (1885-1975)
  3. Arthur Brobston Merriam (1887-1964)
  4. Ethel Eugenie Merriam (1890-1971); married Lester Frank Weeks
  5. Thornton Ward Merriam (1894-1987)
  6. Helen Eunice Merriam (1895-1986)
  7. Ralph Foster Merriam (1897-1984)
  8. Marguerite Abbie Merriam (1900-1918)
  9. Marion Alice Merriam (1902-2002); married Alton True Hooper

Dr. Merriam, wife Eugenia and several of their children are buried in the Southside Cemetery in Skowhegan, Maine.

If you have information on the Merriam, Ward, Rennell and/or Wallace families, or any of the people mentioned below, please leave a comment.


Is Honored by Bethany Baptist Parishioners at Anniversary Supper
Event Marks Completion of 25 Years as Pastor in Skowhegan - Dr. Merriam Considered Dean Among Baptist Ministers in State
[handwritten date: Oct. 23 1929]

An occasion of unusual interest was the silver anniversary supper held at the Bethany Baptist Church, last evening, in honor of the pastor, Dr. George Merriam, who on that date completed his 25th year as pastor in Skowhegan. This long pastorate forms an outstanding record and makes Dr. Merriam the dean among Baptist pastors in Maine. To this community his long residence has won him the respect and esteem not only of his own church, but of the whole town and country-side.

With the exception of the oldest son, George, all of the nine children of Dr. and Mrs. Merriam grew up in Skowhegan and attended the schools of this town. Two of his children were present at the anniversary exercises, George R. Merriam, Y.M.C.A. Secretary, of Providence, R.I., and Mrs. Lester Weeks of Waterville, who was accompanied by her husband, Prof. Weeks of Colby College.

The main speaker of the evening was Rev. George W. Hinckley of Good Will, who was followed by Prof. Herbert L. Newman of Colby College, Dr. Olin H. Tracy [Rev. Dr. Olin Hobbs Tracy (1857-1944) of Skowhegan and George R. Merriam [son] of Providence.  Dr. E. C. Whittemore [Rev. Edwin Carey Whittemore (1858-1932)] of Waterville, a college class-mate at Colby and a friend of more than 50 years standing, extended a fine tribute to Dr. Merriam in behalf of Maine Baptists, which was read by Walter Moore. During the anniversary exercises, which took place at the table, congratulatory letters from the following were read: Dr. E. F. Merriam [son], read by Miss Whitten; Pres. Franklin W. Johnson of Colby College, by Dr. Lord; Rev. Harold L. Hanson of Claremont, N.H.[son of the first minister at Bethany Baptist Church, Rev. Charles Veranus Hanson], by Mrs. Judkins; Mrs. W. H. Spencer [presumably the widow of former pastor William H. Spencer], by Mrs. Mitchell.

Musical numbers included organ processional, Mrs. Ames; piano solo, Mrs. Nye; singing, high school girls.

An anniversary gift of a gold watch and chain was presented to Dr. Merriam by Mrs. Fogg in the name of his many friends of the Bethany Baptist Church and congregation, after which Dr. Merriam responded feelingly. The pastor was also presented with a beautiful anniversary cake trimmed in silver, by Mrs. Schoon, chairman of the supper committee. The attendance was large and the occasion was one long to be remembered.

Dr. Merriam is pastor of the Federated Church at Hinckley, besides his pastorate at Skowhegan, and also preaches alternately with the other Protestant pastors of Skowhegan at the State Reformatory for Women at Skowhegan.

Besides these services, he is teacher of the Men's Class of the Bethany church. He continues to hold the regular mid-week prayer meeting Thursday evening each week, this being the only Protestant church in town holding mid-week services now.

Dr. Merriam is president of the Commission of Education of the United Baptist Convention of Maine, and is a representative of the North Kennebec Association of the State board of the United Baptist Convention of Maine. He is secretary of the board of trustees of Coburn Classical Institute, Waterville. He became Maine correspondent of the Watchman-Examiner, New York, in 1903.

Bethany Baptist Church was organized in 1887 and has had but two pastors before Dr. Merriam came: Dr. C. V. Hanson [Rev. Charles Veranus Hanson (1844-1889)] and Dr. William H. Spencer, the latter resigning in 1904. Mr. Merriam came here October 23rd of that year.

He was born in China, Maine, November 30, 1856, son of Rev. and Mrs. Franklin Merriam. Much of his boyhood was passed in New Hampshire, where his father held a pastorate. He was graduated from Colby College, Waterville, in 1879 with A. B. degree and in 1882 received an A.M. degree. He was graduated from Newton Theological Institution in 1882 and the following year was ordained to the ministry in Abilene, Kansas. His pastorates have been as follows: Abilene, 1882-1885; Solomon City, Kansas, 1885-88; Osage City, Kansas, 1888-1892; Freeport, Maine, 1892-1904; since 1904 in Skowhegan.

Dr. Merriam's wife was Miss Eugenia E. Rennell at the time of her marriage to him in 1882. Dr. and Mrs. Merriam were parents of nine children, of whom eight are living: George R, Y.M.C.A. Secretary, Melrose, Massachusetts; Frank E. Merriam, Danvers, Mass; Arthur R. Merriam, St. Louis, Mo.; Ralph F. Merriam, Cleveland, Ohio; Thornton W. Merriam, Cleveland, Ohio; Mrs. Lester Weeks, Waterville; Miss Helen E. Merriam, Springfield, Mass; Miss Marion Merriam, Skowhegan.

No comments:

Post a Comment