First Fifty Years of Cazenovia Seminary


Madison County

Sketches of Students of Third Decade

The following were some of the representative students during the third

Rev. John P. Newman, D.D
Hon. Milton H. Merwin
Eliphalet Remington
Hon. John J. Crouse
Rev. William Alvin Bartlett, D.D.
Hon. Daniel D. Dykeman
Rev. Orris Hubert Warren
Albert M. Prentiss
Hon. Abiah W. Palmer
Hon. Daniel Pratt Baldwin, LL.D.
Rev. Joseph F. Crawford
Hon. David L. Follett
Professor George F. Comfort, Ph.D. 

  REV. JOHN P. NEWMAN, D.D., was born in New York city, September 1,1826. His father was of German descent, his mother of French. Young Newman was converted and became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at the age of sixteen. He soon after entered the Seminary at Cazenovia, N. Y., where he pursued his studies preparatory to entering the Wesleyan University; but, acting on the advice of friends, he did not proceed to college, but engaged at once in the ministry. Dr. Newman entered upon the pastoral work in 1848 as a member of the Oneida Conference. During the first year of his ministry his salary was only one hundred dollars. At the close of the year, after paying all his expenses, he had five dollars remaining. Each succeeding year, with a single exception, he has saved some part of his salary, however small it might be. In 1855 he was transferred to the Troy Conference, and was soon after married to Miss Angeline Ensign, daughter of Rev. Datus Ensign, one of the early Methodist ministers in Northern New York. In 1857-58 Dr. Newman was stationed in the city of Albany, where his preaching first attracted attention outside his own denomination. He was soon after transferred to the New York Conference. and stationed in New York city. In the spring of 1860 he sailed for Europe. After an extensive tour on the Continent he visited the East, and for a year made a thorough study of Bible lands--Egypt, Arabia, and Palestine. As the result of his researches he wrote a book on the Holy Land,, entitled "From Dan to Beersheba." On returning from his travels, Dr. Newman was again stationed in New York city, where he remained two years. He was then sent by Bishop Ames to establish the Methodist Episcopal Church in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi, where it had had no existence since the great ecclesiastical secession of 1844. He began his mission in New Orleans, where he soon built a church worth fifty thousand dollars, and established a seminary and an orphan asylum, with ample buildings and endowments. Out of the mission which Dr. Newman then organized have grown four Annual Conferences, in which are three hundred and seven ministers, sixty-one thousand members, and church property to the amount of five hundred and fifteen thousand dollars. In 1869 Dr. Newman was called to Washington as pastor of the Metropolitan Methodist Episcopal Church, which he organized. He retired from the Metropolitan pulpit in the spring of 1872. It was the general wish that he should return as soon as it was admissible, and he accordingly resumed his pastorate in the spring of 1875.
  Dr. Newman has been three times elected chaplain of the United States Senate--twice by a unanimous vote. In the spring of 1873 he was appointed by President Grant inspector of United States consulates. In discharge of the duties of this position he crossed the Pacific, and traveled extensively in China, Japan, and other oriental countries with which we have diplomatic relations. He prosecuted his investigations with great industry and conscientious faithfulness. His habits of observation and ability to describe what he saw pre-eminently fitted him for the duties he was required to perform. His report to the State Department covered more than two hundred pages of manuscript, and contained observations and suggestions of great value to the Government. His expenses,  which were paid by the Government, amounted to only two thousand three hundred dollars, for a service of a year and a half. During the investigations which were rife in 1876 he was summoned before a congressional committee, in answer to whose interrogations he gave much important information relating to our diplomatic service. The committee were surprised at the value of services which had been represented in some of the news papers as a mere pleasure  tour. After his return Dr. Newman used his extensive notes in the preparation of a work entitled "Thrones and Palaces of Babylon and Nineveh." He was a member of the General Conference of 1868, and was elected to that body in 1876, at the head of his delegation. The University of Rochester, several years ago, honored him with the degree of doctor of divinity. In pastoral work Dr. Newman is as useful and successful as in the pulpit. Since his return he has felt the necessity of, and has sought, a more complete consecration to Christ, and a fuller anointing of the Holy Ghost, and on this he relies for the success of his ministry.

  HON. MILTON H. MERWIN came to Cazenovia and entered the Seminary when he was fourteen years old, modest and bashful, fresh from a farm in Leyden, N. Y. He was accompanied by his sister, now Mrs. George G. Saxe, of Brooklyn, N. Y. H e remained two years in the Seminary, and left in 1848 to enter Hamilton College. "He was not like other boys, but quiet, studious, and observing the utmost regularity in all his habits. He was a good scholar, and always stood high in every regard at college. He studied law with judge Mullin, in Watertown, N. Y., and became his partner until his election to the bench of the Supreme Court of New York. His friends, who knew his sound judgment and his broad and exact legal attainments, thrust him forward as a candidate, and procured his election without self-seeking effort on his part."
  Mr. Merwin held the office of county judge and surrogate for Jefferson County for a term or two. The judge, in speaking of the Seminary, says: "I remember but little of interest. Henry Bannister was principal, sound, solid, learned, and careful; Edward Bannister, nervous and bright; Professor Canfield, quiet and thorough; Professor Hyde, full of learning and wit, and just entering on his life-work. Miss Sessions, as preceptress, had just begun her duties, and we boys thought she was pretty near perfection. The terms and years passed quickly. The impressions I received were no doubt good, though now somewhat indistinct. The influences there were all on the right side." Mr. Merwin is an exemplary member of the Presbyterian Church.

  ELIPHALET REMINGTON was born in the town of Litchfield, N. Y., November 12, 1828. He became a student in Cazenovia Seminary in the year 1850, and attended two years. Subsequently he engaged in the business carried on by his father, and eventually became a partner in the firm of E. Remington & Sons. For some years he was actively engaged in business, but several years since his health so far failed that he was obliged to withdraw from active participation in the duties of the position he held. Nothing specially worthy of note occurred during his stay at the Seminary, unless it be this, that Rev. A. B. Hyde, then one of the professors in the institution, sought earnestly to persuade Mr. Remington to become a Christian. Some time after his return home he was converted, and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in Ilion. His withdrawal from general business left him free to turn his thoughts in other directions. What shape they took is shown by his subsequent history. He has large desires for the advancement of the cause of Christ, and through various channels has sought to do something to secure the best good of the world. It would not be proper, for a variety of reasons, to attempt a narrative in detail of the work he has sought to carry on, but some general statements may not be improper. Recognizing the work of education and that of church extension as of very high importance, he has sought to use such means as he could to help them both. In the work of the temperance reform he has long been known as an earnest, liberal, and devoted worker. Long ago he recognized the power of the press in the work of helping on every good cause. Some years since he became proprietor of the "Ilion Citizen," a paper published in the village where he resides. Mr. Remington was also instrumental in bringing the "New York Witness" into life, and has also largely supported one or more religious papers. From the office of the "Citizen" tens of thousands of tracts have been scattered in all directions, and that kind of seed-sowing has not been in vain. He is a gentleman of refined tastes; a Christian of deep and earnest piety.

  HON. JOHN J. CROUSE, son of John Crouse, of Canastota, New York. His father and himself were formerly extensive and successful wholesale grocery dealers in Canastota. He entered this school in 1850, and for three years prosecuted his studies with diligence and success. Thoroughness was one of his characteristics at this time, and this trait has distinguished him in all his business affairs. He enjoys the confidence of his fellow-citizens, as is manifested by the position to which he has been assigned by the suffrage of those who know him. He has twice been elected alderman, once school commissioner, and now he honorably fills the responsible position of mayor of the city of Syracuse. He is a man of great wealth, which enables him to be a liberal patron of all that pertains to the culture and welfare of the public. This, in fact, may be said to be characteristic of the whole distinguished family with which he is connected.

  REV. WILLIAM ALVIN BARTLETT, D.D. This distinguished Congregationalist clergyman was born in Binghamton, New York, December 4, 1832. He was a small and sickly child, but growing and gaining some strength. He attended the Binghamton Academy; had an early love for public speaking. With physical feebleness there was mental precocity, and he entered the freshman class in Hamilton College in 1848, at the age of sixteen. Was prize speaker the freshman year; left during the sophomore year, and went to Cazenovia Seminary.
  If the doctor were to assign the reason for this change from college to seminary he would, doubtless, use a liberty and a frankness which are here waived. It is sufficient to state here that the Seminary proved a corrective and a benediction to him, and he returned to college, and took the second honor at the Junior Exhibition, .and the first honor at graduation. He taught languages and elocution  at a collegiate institute near Stanton, Virginia, and studied law at the same time, and was ready for admission to the bar. But God had other designs concerning him. By the Holy Spirit he was led to Christ, and to unite with the Church, and through that channel to the Union Theological Seminary in New York city. Thence he went abroad to perfect his education. Studied at Berlin, was matriculated at the University of Halle, province of Saxony, Prussia, under the great and good Dr. Tholuck. Dr. J. F. Hurst, president of Drew Theological Seminary, at Madison, New Jersey, was his chum and fellow-student. On his return to the United States he was authorized and ordained to preach, and was settled over the Congregationalist Church at Owego, New York. This was in the fall of 1857. During the winter he lectured all through the State; kept up his pulpit labors, and received into Church membership on profession seventy-five. Among several calls in the spring and summer of 1858 was one to Elm Place Congregational Church, Brooklyn, New York. Here he began with an audience of fifty in a small chapel. Soon went to Polytechnic Institute, but the place was too strait for the multitudes that followed him, and he built the first Brooklyn Tabernacle, which held two thousand people, and this was overflowing. He next built a permanent stone church on Elm Place. Lectured extensively over northern and western States. During these years he contributed largely to denominational and periodical literature. Wrote for the "Independent" newspaper department. Wrote a serial story which ran for about eight months, entitled "The Lost Image." He had formed a strong compact with his people, and had an active Church: and while in the full tide of prosperity, and just after having built him a family residence, he accepted a call to Plymouth Church, Chicago, where he has successfully labored down to present date. His people with himself passed through the great fire, their church being spared by a street or two. He at once threw it open and organized a corps of friends to take care of the distressed: made victualing place and bed-room of the Church. He wrote passes to over three thousand persons who desired to leave the city by railroad, assuming that the railroad would accept a pass in the name of God, and for the sake of the poor. These passes were honored all over the Union. His wife, who had wrought with unwearying assiduity night and day for the sufferers, and who was indeed a helpmeet in every high and holy work connected with his ministry, accompanied him abroad in the summer of 1874, was suddenly stricken down by heart disease while they were in Switzerland, and died September 12, 1874. Her remains were brought home for burial. While he ceases not to deeply lament her loss, making, however, his sad loss and consequent experience the occasion of holding up the Saviour with unabated success. Plymouth Church after the fire was consolidated with the South Congregational Church, still, however, retaining the name of Plymouth. The church edifice has been enlarged and improved so as to make it the largest church auditorium in Chicago, with every modem convenience and appliance.

HON. DANIEL D. DYKEMAN, of Logansport, Indiana, a grandson of Dr. Daniel D. Pratt, of Fenner, New York, was born January 16, 1832. He attended the Seminary in 1850; studied law with Hon. D. D. Pratt; opened an office in Logansport in 1857; elected judge of the Court of Common Pleas in 1862, and in 1875 elected State senator from the Logansport District. In 1872 he was a State delegate at large to the National Democratic Convention. Judge Dykeman is a man of undoubted ability, and has a great local reputation as a lawyer and politician. He is practicing law and managing his large landed estate, and his history illustrates Solomon's proverb, "Men will praise thee when thou doest well for thyself."

REV. ORRIS HUBERT WARREN was born at Stockbridge, New York, January 3, 1835. His father was a farmer, and Orris remained at home laboring on the farm and receiving his education at the district school until the fall of 1851, when he entered the Seminary and remained two terms. His father having, through the solicitation of some of his congregational friends, purchased a scholarship in Oberlin College, Ohio, the son went to Oberlin, where he completed his preparatory course, and also spent two years in the college. The long vacation, which at that institution then occurred in the winter season, was occupied by him in teaching. The incessant application to study and labor, continued through successive years, resulted in a serious failure of health, which compelled him to abandon his studies, and forbade the hope of his re-engaging in hard mental labor. His course for several subsequent years was largely determined by the condition of his health. One year was spent in Minnesota. Returning to his native State, another year was spent in teaching. He then engaged in business until the spring of 1862, when he joined the Oneida Conference, and was successively appointed to Waterville, Utica, Cazenovia, Ithaca, and Baldwinsville, where, in consequence of his wife's severe illness, he took a supernumerary relation to his Conference and engaged in private literary work, during which period he wrote and published a small work entitled the "American Episcopal Church." He then entered the office of the "Northern Christian Advocate," at Syracuse, as assistant editor. Upon the death of the editor, Dr. D. D. Lore, June, 1875, he was engaged to take the editorial supervision of the paper till the meeting of the General Conference in May, 1876, at which Conference he was unanimously elected editor for the following quadrennium.
  Mr. Warren was converted at the age of sixteen, and united with the Methodist Episcopal Church. During his residence at Oberlin he identified himself with the Congregational Church, there being no Methodist Church in the place at the time. He was married November 1, 1857, to Miss Mattie A. Moses, daughter of Charles Moses, of Euclid, Ohio. He has a metaphysical cast of mind; is a clear thinker, and writer of more than ordinary ability; more profound than versatile; acute, logical, and exhaustive, rather than sparkling and moving. The paper suffered nothing in its literary character when it passed from its former to its present editorial charge.

  ALBERT M. PRENTISS, M.S., professor of botany and horticulture in Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, was a student in the Seminary during the fall and winter terms of 1851-52. He was born in Cazenovia in 1836. Previous to his entering the Seminary he learned the printer's trade in the office of W. H. Phillips, then publisher of the "Madison County Whig." In consequence of impaired health he left the Seminary after two terms' study, and resided for nearly two years in New England, principally at Norwich, Connecticut. In 1856 he removed with his friends to Dundee, Illinois. In 1858 he entered the State Agricultural College at Lansing, Michigan, from which institution he was graduated in 1851. In common with all the members of his class he entered the army immediately after his graduation, being attached to a corps of engineers organized at Battle Creek, Michigan, and assigned to special signal service duty with the Army of the West. After four months' service, principally in the field in the interior of Missouri, his corps was disbanded in consequence of changes in the organization of the army which followed the removal of the commanding general, John C. Fremont. On returning from the army Mr. Prentiss resumed his studies at Olivet College, Olivet, Michigan.
  In the fall of 1862 he accepted the associate principalship of the Kalamazoo (Michigan) High School, which position he resigned during the following year to accept the instructorship of botany and horticulture in the State Agricultural College at Lansing. After two years' service he was promoted to a full professorship. In 1868 he resigned this position to accept the chair in Cornell University, which he now fills. Besides his studies at home, Professor Prentiss has given some time to the study of botany in foreign countries. He devoted the summer of 1870 to the study of the tropical flora of the valley of the Amazon, and afterward spent some time in Rio de Janeiro, and other parts of Brazil. He has traveled somewhat extensively in Europe, studying botany both in the Royal Botanic gardens at Kew, London, and at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. Professor Prentiss has as yet written but little. One of his papers on "The Natural Mode of the Distribution of Plants " was awarded a first prize in 1871 by the Boston Society of Natural History. He is now embodying some of the results of his botanical studies in a work which will probably be published at no distant day.

  HON. ABIAH W. PALMER. This gentleman's name appears on the records of the Seminary in the years 1852-55. In 1855, when nineteen, he entered the sophomore class in Union College, but in 1856 he was compelled to relinquish his studies on account of ill health, when he repaired to Clifton Springs Sanitarium, under the care of Mr. Foster. In 1857 he went abroad, visiting Great Britain and the Continent, and availing himself of opportunities for acquiring a knowledge of modern languages. In 1859 he returned, and resumed the management of his estate in Amenia, Dutchess County, New York. In the fall of that year he was elected a member of the Assembly by the Republican party, being at the time but a little over twenty-four years old, yet he was mature in judgment, and firm in his convictions. The following year he was unanimously nominated for the Assembly, but in consequence of ill health he was compelled to decline. Health improving, in 1865 he was again elected to the Assembly by the largest majority ever given by his district. He was appointed a member of the Committee of Ways and Means. While serving on this committee his attention was called to the necessity of making provision for the better accommodation for the insane. He secured the enactment of a law providing for the appointment, by the governor, of commissioners to select a site for anew asylum for them. He was appointed chairman of the board. After much canvassing the city of Poughkeepsie offered the most liberal and desirable inducements, and the commissioners decided to establish the asylum at that place. A splendid farm of two hundred acres, costing eighty-five thousand dollars, was purchased for the purpose. In 1866 the commissioners reported to the Legislature, and the site was accepted, and the " Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane" was authorized, and an appropriation of one hundred thousand dollars was made for the beginning of the work. Under this act he was appointed one of the State managers, and subsequently elected president of the board. In 1867 he was elected as the Republican candidate for the State Senate by a most flattering majority; virtually there was no opposition to his second election to the Senate. He is a gentleman of purest character and blameless record. He commands the respect of political adversaries as well as of friends.

  HON. DANIEL PRATT BALDWIN, LL.D. This distinguished gentleman and jurist is a native of Madison Co., N. Y. He was born in Lenox, March 22,1837. Graduated at Cazenovia in 1852, at Madison University in 1856, and at the Columbia College Law School in 1860. The same year he went to Logansport, Ind.; entered into law partnership with Senator D. D. Pratt, and after ten years of hard work at the bar was appointed judge of the district where he resided. In 1863 married Miss Julia Smith, of Logansport. Judge Baldwin's eminent attainments demonstrated his fitness for the bench and gave him honor among men. In 1872, when he was thirty-five years of age, he received upon two successive days, and from two distant institutions, the degree of LL.D., one from the east, (Madison University,) and one from the west, (Wabash College); but the judge has been heard to say that "the honor was premature, as he had but just begun his work." There is a maxim that "God never calls a man until he is forty years old," but this case must be taken as an exception, if God has the patronage of college honors. He has been talked of for Congress. How much that would add to the honors already won may be a question the answer to which is not self-evident. Perhaps the result (if result is ever reached) of pending "investigations" in Congress would help to determine. As a key to the judge's character we introduce an extract from a free and familiar letter written sometime since. He says: "Of late years I have read nothing but the very best books, and these are Shakespeare, Webster, Tennyson, Emerson, and the dear old Bible. These have been constantly in my hand and mind. They are dearer to me than the fortune I have accumulated; dearer, in fact, than every thing else I have, except the hope that 'the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin.' I hope I am a Christian. My own judgment upon myself is that I am a second-rate man, and appointed to do, not the high, but the useful work of life, and I mean to do it faithfully and to the best of my ability. I calculate upon thirty useful years yet to come." Judge Baldwin was selected as one of the speakers for the semi-centennial celebration at Cazenovia, but sickness in his family and the death of a child kept him at home. His address will appear in the second part of this work. The judge has published "A Lawyer's Reading of the Evidences of Christianity; " also, "The Trouble with the Republic."

  REV. JOSEPH F. CRAWFORD was born in Canada, July 13, 1831. His father died when he was fifteen years old. He entered Cazenovia Seminary in 1852, and graduated in 1856. He immediately joined the Oneida Conference, and continued in the regular itinerant work until 1869. In 1870 the first great Methodist State Convention was held in Syracuse. Among other important subjects and discussions which occupied that convention, that of establishing a first-class University in the city of Syracuse without delay awakened the liveliest interest. The resolutions relating to that subject were before the convention, and able addresses from eminent men had been listened to, and great thoughts were swelling in many minds, when Mr. Crawford arose, and, addressing the Chair, launched the financial idea and proposition which startled the vast assembly by its boldness, its nobleness, and its enthusiasm. It was an inspiration to the assembly. It was the offer of a valuable site, free of incumbrance, within the corporate limits of Syracuse for the location of a college. Further, he proposed to consecrate a business for which he had been offered twenty thousand dollars, to the building and endowing of a college, until it should have a property worth five hundred thousand dollars. His proposition thrilled the audience with enthusiasm and one hundred and eighty-one thousand dollars were pledged on the spot. It were worth the ambition of a life time to have given momentum to such a magnificent movement. In 1873 he represented Madison County in the State Assembly where he exhibited in the discharge of his duties great executive ability and sterling integrity. The temperance cause found in him an unswerving advocate and friend. His principles were not in the market, and he came out of the Legislature no richer than he went in. He was assigned to the chairmanship of the Committee on Charitable and Religious Societies. In his work on his pastoral charge he was remarkably successful, preaching with great power, and laboring for and securing results. Though not now engaged in the regular pastoral and itinerant work, yet he preaches much. He is managing a large establishment for the manufacture of mowing machines and other agricultural implements. His inventive genius has found expression in numerous patents connected with his mowing machine, which is known in agricultural circles as "The Crawford Improved Mower."

  HON. DAVID L. FOLLETT, justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, was a student at the Seminary at Cazenovia in 1853-55. He was born in Sherburne, N. Y., July 17, 1836. By careful devotion to his profession, correct moral deportment, urbanity, and continued residence in his native county, he has earned his present honorable position on the supreme bench of the State. He was admitted to the bar of the State in Binghamton, June 5, 1858, and admitted as an attorney and counselor of the Supreme Court of the United States, January 13, 1862. From March, 1869, to May, 1873, he was assessor of internal revenue for the Nineteenth United States Congressional District. At the general election in November, 1874, the friends of Judge Follett put him forward as a candidate for the supreme justiceship, and he was honorably elected for fourteen years. His address is Norwich, N.Y.

  PROFESSOR GEORGE F. COMFORT, PH.D., was born in Berkshire, New York, September 20, 1833. He entered the Seminary in 1849, and graduated in the five years' course in 1854, when he entered Wesleyan University, from which he graduated in 1857. In 1865 he taught drawing and painting in Wyoming Seminary; 1857-58 he taught natural science in Amenia Seminary; 1858-60 natural science and drawing and painting in Fort Plain Seminary; 1861 sailed for Europe; traveled through Europe and the Orient five years studying general history, history of fine arts, modern languages, and philosophy, especially in Italy, France, and Germany.  During his sojourn in Italy he was appointed United States Consul at Trieste.
  He was three years professor of modern languages and aesthetics in Allegheny College. In 1866 he was elected (only American) corresponding member of the Institute Archeologico de Roma, Berlino and Parisi. From 1868 to 1872 he wrote German textbooks, which have been widely introduced into colleges and schools. He filled a temporary vacancy in the chair of modern languages in Princeton College from 1869 to 1870. In 1871 he was elected professor of modern languages and aesthetics in Syracuse University. In 1873 he was elected dean of the college of fine arts in same university. In 1871 he married Miss Anna A. Manning, M.D., of Connecticut.

pp. 155-168

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