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Barrett, Benjamin Fiske (1808-1892), pastor, writer, and publisher  

David B. Eller

Barrett, Benjamin Fiske (24 June 1808–06 August 1892), pastor, writer, and publisher, was born in Dresden, Maine, the son of Oliver Barrett, a carpenter, and Elizabeth Carlton. Young Benjamin was anxious to obtain an education and took delight in mastering his preparatory studies. Through his own labor he was able to attend Bowdoin College, graduating with a B.A. in 1832. Although not raised in any Christian denomination, Barrett became attracted to Unitarianism while in college. He subsequently attended Harvard Divinity School, graduating in 1838. He was ordained in the Unitarian church that same year and assigned to a parish at Syracuse, New York....


Brownson, Orestes Augustus (1803-1876), educator and philosopher  

David Hoeveler

Brownson, Orestes Augustus (16 September 1803–17 April 1876), educator and philosopher, was born in Stockbridge, Vermont, the son of Sylvester Augustus Brownson and Relief Metcalf, farmers. His father died when Brownson was two, and he was placed with a nearby family. The couple reared him in strict Calvinist Congregationalism. At fourteen he rejoined his mother and twin sister in Ballston Spa in upstate New York, where he studied briefly in an academy before going to work in a printer’s office. He had no more formal education. In 1827 he married Sally Healy of Elbridge, New York; they had eight children....


Carus, Paul (1852-1919), editor, author, and philosopher  

Charles S. Prebish

Carus, Paul (18 July 1852–11 February 1919), editor, author, and philosopher, was born in Ilsenburg, Germany, the son of Dr. Gustav Carus, the first superintendent-general of the Church of Eastern and Western Prussia, and Laura Krueger. As the son of a well-known theologian and state church official, Carus was afforded an appropriate Gymnasium education, which focused on mathematics and the classics. He studied at the Universities of Greifswald, Strasbourg, and Tübingen, eventually earning his Ph.D. degree from Tübingen in 1876. His first professional position was as an educator at the military academy in Dresden, an appointment he soon resigned because of conflicts over his liberal religious views. He then lived briefly in England (1881–1884) before traveling to the United States and settling in LaSalle, Illinois, where he lived for the remainder of his life....


Curry, Daniel (1809-1887), Methodist pastor, college president, and editor  

Gary Scott Smith

Curry, Daniel (26 November 1809–17 August 1887), Methodist pastor, college president, and editor, was born near Peekskill, New York; the names of his parents are not known. An industrious youth who received a good preparatory education, Curry graduated in 1837 from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. He spent the next two years as the principal of the Troy Conference Academy in West Poultney, Vermont. From 1839 to 1845 he labored in Georgia, first as a professor at Georgia Female College in Macon and then, after being received on probation as a Methodist minister in 1841, as the pastor of congregations in Athens, Lexington, Savannah, and Columbus....


Davis, Thurston Noble (1913-1986), Jesuit priest and editor of America  

Patrick W. Carey

Davis, Thurston Noble (12 October 1913–17 September 1986), Jesuit priest and editor of America, Jesuit priest and editor of America, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Noble T. Davis, a sales representative for the Saturday Evening Post, and Rose Mary Carey. As a child Davis moved from Kentucky to Georgia to Ohio as a result of his father’s occupation, finally settling in Bloomfield, New Jersey. At the age of fourteen Davis commuted from Bloomfield to the Jesuit military high school, Xavier, in lower Manhattan. After high school (1931) he entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), receiving a B.A. in philosophy from Georgetown University in 1937 and theological education at the Jesuits’ Woodstock College in Maryland between 1937 and 1942. He was ordained for the priesthood in 1942 and after two years of work in Jesuit educational institutions was sent to Harvard University where, studying under the classicist ...


Duffy, Francis Patrick (1871-1932), Catholic military chaplain, editor, and teacher  

Scott Appleby

Duffy, Francis Patrick (02 May 1871–26 June 1932), Catholic military chaplain, editor, and teacher, was born in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, the son of Irish immigrants Patrick Duffy and Mary Ready. The third of six children who lived to maturity, Duffy received his early Catholic education from the Sisters of St. Joseph but had to leave school at the age of thirteen to work in a mill. At fourteen, however, he was thought to be too frail to work, so he returned to school. Duffy earned a teacher’s certificate from the Cobourg Collegiate Institute in 1888. Feeling a call to the priesthood, he attended St. Michael’s College in Toronto, studying with the Basilian Fathers and graduating with a baccalaureate degree in 1893. In 1894 he accepted a position at St. Francis Xavier College in New York City, where he earned a master’s degree and applied for formal entry into the seminary. Archbishop ...


Franklin, Benjamin (1812-1878), editor and itinerant preacher  

Allen C. Guelzo

Franklin, Benjamin (01 February 1812–22 October 1878), editor and itinerant preacher, was born in Belmont County, Ohio, the son of Joseph Franklin and Isabella Devold, farmers and millers. Apprenticed as a carpenter, Franklin moved in 1832 to Henry County, Indiana, where he married Mary Personnett in 1833 and built and operated a sawmill. Although baptized and raised by his parents as a Methodist, Franklin had experienced no particular religious convictions until he came under the preaching of Samuel Rogers, the pioneer itinerant preacher of the Disciples of Christ in Indiana, and Elijah Martindale, another noted Disciples itinerant. Rogers later rebaptized Franklin by immersion in 1836....


Fuller, Margaret (1810-1850), author and feminist  

Joel Athey

Fuller, Margaret (23 May 1810–19 July 1850), author and feminist, was born Sarah Margaret Fuller in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts, the daughter of Timothy Fuller, a lawyer, and Margaret Crane. Her father taught his oldest child reading at age three and Latin at age six, but Fuller’s education grew eclectic in later childhood when she was left largely to her own resources. “To excel in all things should be your constant aim; mediocrity is obscurity,” her father wrote to Margaret when she was ten. Under such pressures, Fuller suffered periodically throughout her life from depression and headaches. Timothy Fuller was often away, serving four terms in Congress (1817–1825). Margaret’s mother, a devout Unitarian, was subdued by sickly health. In Fuller’s fictional ...


Gillis, James Martin (1876-1957), evangelist and editor  

Richard Gribble

Gillis, James Martin (12 November 1876–14 March 1957), evangelist and editor, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of James Gillis, a machinist, and Catherine Roche. Raised in a working-class Irish-American family, Gillis attended St. John’s Seminary at Brighton for the archdiocese of Boston from 1896 to 1898 and achieved a baccalaureate. He later joined the Paulist Fathers at St. Thomas College in Washington, D.C., and was ordained in New York City on 21 December 1901. He immediately matriculated to the Catholic University of America, where he earned an S.T.L. in historical theology in 1903....


Graebner, Theodore Conrad (1876-1950), pastor, editor, and author  

Lawrence R. Rast

Graebner, Theodore Conrad (23 November 1876–14 November 1950), pastor, editor, and author, was born in Watertown, Wisconsin, the son of August L. Graebner, a professor at Northwestern College, and Anna Schaller. After prepatory training at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota, he graduated from Concordia College in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, in 1894. He studied for the Lutheran ministry at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, graduating in 1897. After teaching German and history at Walther College in St. Louis from 1897 to 1900, he accepted a position as instructor of biology and English at the Lutheran Ladies’ Seminary in Red Wing, Minnesota. He married Selma Brohm in 1900; they had five children. He taught at the seminary from 1900 to 1906 and was ordained there on 25 May 1902 in the Norwegian Lutheran church....


Harbaugh, Henry (1817-1867), clergyman, author, and publisher  

David M. Stowe

Harbaugh, Henry (28 October 1817–28 December 1867), clergyman, author, and publisher, was born near Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, the son of George Harbaugh and Anna Snyder, farmers. His early life in a rural mountain valley is reflected in his Pennsylvania Dutch poems, particularly “Das Alt Schulhaus an Der Krick” (The old schoolhouse on the creek). Confirmed at age nineteen, he wished to enter the ministry of the German Reformed church, but his father, who wanted him to continue farming, refused financial support. He trained instead as a carpenter and in 1836 went west to Ohio to earn money for his education in the thriving new towns there....


Henry, Caleb Sprague (1804-1884), educator, pastor, and author  

Steven L. Porter

Henry, Caleb Sprague (02 August 1804–09 March 1884), educator, pastor, and author, was born in Rutland, Massachusetts, the son of Silas Henry and Dorothy Pierce. Henry received his A.B. from Dartmouth in 1825 and later studied at Andover Theological Seminary. At twenty-four years of age, Henry was ordained a pastor in the Congregational denomination and served at churches in Greenfield, Mississippi (1829–1831), and in West Hartford, Connecticut (1833–1835). Henry was a proponent of the peace movement and in 1834 wrote the pamphlet ...


Hudson, Daniel Eldred (1849-1934), Roman Catholic priest and magazine editor  

James T. Connelly

Hudson, Daniel Eldred (18 December 1849–12 January 1934), Roman Catholic priest and magazine editor, was born at Nahant, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Henry Hudson, a fisherman, and Mary Hawkes, a domestic servant. The third of ten children, Hudson received his early education in public school. At fourteen he went to work at the Burnham Antique Boke Shop in Boston, a bookstore that stocked more than 500,000 books and pamphlets. The following year he found employment at the Boston publishing house of Lee and Shepherd, where he came into contact with several leading New England literary figures; ...


Loy, Matthias (1828-1915), Lutheran church leader and editor  

Mark Granquist

Loy, Matthias (17 March 1828–26 January 1915), Lutheran church leader and editor, was born in rural Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, the son of Matthias Loy, a farmer and shopkeeper, and Christina Reaver. An impoverished childhood prevented Loy from attending school regularly, and in 1847 he was apprenticed to a printing firm in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. While employed there, he learned to read and write German and English and attended the Harrisburg Academy. During his youth Loy was exposed to “American Lutheranism,” a movement within the Lutheran church that promoted revivalism and urged a revision of the sixteenth-century Lutheran confessions, and he was converted at a revival in a Lutheran church in Harrisburg in 1843. Although a local pastor urged him to enroll at Gettysburg Seminary and prepare for the ministry, Loy’s poor health and finances would not allow this, and instead in 1847 he left for Ohio. However, he was still interested in the ministry, and the Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio gave him a small scholarship to attend the seminary in Columbus, Ohio, where he studied from 1847 to 1849....


Mosessohn, David Nehemiah (1883-1930), dress industry arbitrator and editor  

David J. Goldberg

Mosessohn, David Nehemiah (01 January 1883–16 December 1930), dress industry arbitrator and editor, was born in Ekaterinoslav, Russia, the son of Nehemiah Mosessohn, a rabbi and publisher, and Theresa Nissenson. Mosessohn came from a long line of rabbis, and his grandfather had once been chief rabbi of Odessa. In 1888 the entire family emigrated to the United States, and David grew up in Portland, Oregon, where he graduated from high school in 1900. He attended the University of Oregon and received his law degree from that university in 1902. That same year his father also received his law degree, and they were the youngest and the oldest graduates in 1902. Between 1902 and 1918 Mosessohn engaged in a general law practice while a senior member of Mosessohn and Mosessohn. Between 1908 and 1910 he served as deputy district attorney of Multnomah County. Together with his brother Moses Dayann Mosessohn, Mosessohn also served as publisher of the weekly ...


Noll, John Francis (1875-1956), Catholic bishop, writer, and publisher  

Joseph M. White

Noll, John Francis (25 January 1875–31 July 1956), Catholic bishop, writer, and publisher, was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the son of John Noll, a businessman active in local politics, and Anna Ford. After preparatory seminary studies at St. Lawrence College, Mount Calvary, Wisconsin, he attended Mount Saint Mary’s of the West Seminary at Cincinnati and was ordained a diocesan priest at Fort Wayne in 1898....


Norelius, Eric (1833-1916), Lutheran pastor, editor, and church president  

Richard W. Solberg

Norelius, Eric (26 October 1833–15 March 1916), Lutheran pastor, editor, and church president, was born Erik Pehrson in Hassela, Hälsingland, Sweden, the son of Anders Pehrson and Elizabeth Jonsdotter, tenant farmers. Strongly influenced as a youth by the religious awakening in Sweden, he sought to become a pastor but lacked financial resources to pursue necessary basic studies. After two years of high school in Sweden, he emigrated to the United States at the age of seventeen, having chosen a new, Latinized name for himself. He was invited to enroll at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where he spent several years but did not graduate. Following preparatory and theological study at Capital (1851–1853 and 1854–1855), he was ordained by the Lutheran Synod of Northern Illinois in 1856. In 1855 he married Inga Charlotta Peterson; they had five children. Having visited Swedish settlements in Minnesota during the summer of 1854 while still a student, young Norelius welcomed the opportunity to return as a missionary pastor. He established his first congregations at Red Wing and Vasa (1856–1858). After a brief interlude in Attica, Indiana, he returned to Minnesota for the rest of his ministry, serving the parish in Vasa during three separate periods (1861–1881, 1884–1890, 1901–1905). He held a brief pastorate at Spring Garden (1882–1884) and maintained a continuous pastoral relationship with a small congregation in Goodhue, Minnesota, from 1869 to 1915....


Peabody, Oliver William Bourn (1799-1848), lawyer, editor, and Unitarian clergyman  

Guy R. Woodall

Peabody, Oliver William Bourn (09 July 1799–05 July 1848), lawyer, editor, and Unitarian clergyman, was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, the son of Oliver Peabody, a jurist, politician, and trustee of Phillips Exeter Academy, and Frances Bourn. Oliver had an identical twin brother, William Oliver Bourn Peabody, who achieved prominence as a Unitarian clergyman and miscellaneous author. The twins were nearly identical not only in their names but also in their handwriting, physical appearance, voice, and manner, and they remained in close contact throughout their lives....


Perry, Rufus Lewis (1834-1895), Baptist minister and editor  

Timothy E. Fulop

Perry, Rufus Lewis (11 March 1834–18 June 1895), Baptist minister and editor, was born a slave on the plantation of Archibald W. Overton in Smith County, Tennessee, the son of Lewis Perry and Maria (maiden name unknown). His father, an able mechanic and cabinetmaker, was able to hire his own time from his owner and move his family to Nashville, where Perry was ranked as a free child and allowed to attend a school for free blacks. But when his father fled to freedom in Canada in 1841, the family was deprived of their temporary freedom and forced to return to Overton’s plantation....


Poling, Daniel Alfred (1884-1968), Protestant clergyman, author, and editor  

David E. Kucharsky

Poling, Daniel Alfred (30 November 1884–07 February 1968), Protestant clergyman, author, and editor, was born in Portland, Oregon, the son of Charles Cupp Poling, a circuit rider, and Savilla Ann Kring, a gospel singer. As a boy Poling admired an elementary school teacher who made him proud of his country, he later recalled, “without making me blind to its unfinished work.” While attending Dallas College, a tiny school his father helped to establish, Poling became a part-time reporter for the ...