Milton’s Free-Will Baptist Ministers of 1843-50

By Muriel Bristol | February 8, 2019

According to Scale’s History of Strafford County, Milton’s Free-Will Baptist church organized itself at Theodore Lyman’s house in May 1843.

A Free-Will Baptist Church was organized at the house of Theodore Lyman, on the 11th day of May, 1843, with seventeen members, viz.: Hazen Duntley, Daniel M. Quimby, Luther Hayes, William Fernald, James O. Reynolds, Drusilla Jewett, Betsey Lyman, Mary H. Downs, Mrs. D.W. Wedgwood, William B. Lyman, Theodore Lyman, E.S. Edgerly, Dearborn Wedgwood, Phoebe Duntley, Sophia Quimby, Sally F. Downs, Mrs. A. Hubbard.

Luther Hayes was chosen clerk, and Theodore Lyman deacon. Rev. William H. Waldron was the first pastor, having charge of the church about one year, and was succeeded by Rev. Horace Stanton. Mr. Stanton’s health failing, he was soon obliged to resign the pastorate, and the Rev. Uriah Chase was called for a time.

This church, having no meeting house or suitable place for public worship, soon discontinued Sabbath meetings, but kept up prayer and conference meetings, until May 1, 1850, at which time the organization became extinct.

There were ten members added to the church after its organization. Although for the lack of pecuniary ability to build a meeting-house and support the regular preaching of the gospel, this little church was obliged, for the time being, to give up its organization, many of its members continued to feel a lively interest in the cause, and in 1859 succeeded in building the present very neat and tasty meeting-house, which was dedicated on the 25th day of December of that year (Scales, 1914).

Deacon Theodore Lyman (and his wife, Betsy (Bragdon) Lyman) and Church Clerk Luther Hayes were South Milton neighbors. (Benjamin Cook, the census taker of 1850, enumerated them one after the other). Lyman was a farmer and Hayes was a lumber dealer.

An 1858 Vermont paper undertook to define the various churches then prevalent in New England. As inherent in the name Baptist, the Free-Will Baptists would not have believed in infant baptism. They shared this belief with the Calvinistic Baptists and the Christian Baptists. Beyond that, they were said to have been particular in not being particular.

FREE-WILL BAPTISTS, are a sect who admit all possessing the Christian name to their communion, without particular regard to their particular doctrines (Aurora of the Valley (Newbury, VT), October 16, 1858).

Likely, a theologian could make finer distinctions.

William H. Waldron

William H. Waldron was born in Farmington, NH, July 16, 1817, son of Jeremiah and Mary (Scott) Waldron.

Waldron, Rev. W.H., son of Jeremiah and Mary (Scott) Waldron, born in Farmington, N.H., July 16, 1817. He was educated in Strafford Academy, New Hampshire, and Parsonfield Seminary, Maine, and studied in the Biblical School in connection with the latter. He was ordained Jan. 26, 1843, by E. Place and others. He held pastorates as follows: Farmington and Lake Village, N.H., Lynn, Mass., Springvale, Me., Hampton, N.H., Pascoag, R.I., Ames, Fabius, Fairport, Norwich, Lowville, N.Y., and Milton, N.H. In all these places he had revivals and baptized 175 persons. He has preached at the ordination of several ministers and at the dedication of several churches. He has been a delegate to several General Conferences. He was married 1846 to Miss Mary Green, and in 1856 to Miss Frances Payson (Burgess, et. al, 1889). 

Rev. William H. Waldron’s “about one year” in Milton would have been 1843-44. Horace Stanton succeeded him.

He married (1st) in Epsom, NH, November 6, 1846, Mary S. Green, he of Lynn, MA, and she of Epsom. She was born in 1821.

W.H. Waldron, a B. [Baptist] clergyman, aged thirty-three years (b. NH), headed a Dracut, MA, household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Mary S. Waldron, aged thirty years (b. NH), and Mary P. Waldron, aged two years (b. MA). W.H. Waldron had real estate valued at $1,000.

He married (2nd) in Hampton, NH, November 24, 1856, Frances A. Payson, both of Hampton. She was born in Waldoboro, ME, in 1835, daughter of Edward K. and Susan (Pitts) Payson.

William H. Waldron, a F.W.B. clergyman, aged forty-three years (b. NH), headed a Burrillville, RI, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Frances F. Waldron, aged twenty-five years (b. ME), and Mary F. Waldron, aged two years (b. RI). William H. Waldron had real estate valued at $200 and personal estate valued at $300.

William Waldron, preacher of the Gospel, aged fifty-three years (b. NH), headed a Fabius, NY, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Frances Waldron, aged thirty-five years (b. ME). He had real estate valued at $900 and personal estate valued at $300.

The Liquor Traffic in New York. The liquor traffic costs the state of New York more than $100,000,000 yearly, and we pay more for tobacco than we pay for bread. Men and women ot empire state, look at this! Your yearly property and money taxes and costs are, for state government, education and religion, $46,000,000 ; for general government and war debt $40,000,000; to spread poverty, disease, and crime, $170,000,000. And the result is, we have hundreds of thousands upon the down grade without a break, whose doom is inevitable, and whose future seems to be sure. A Pacific-coast stage-driver, as he lay dying, spasmodically moved his limbs up and down, and when inquired of as to the cause, he replied: “I am on the down grade and can not reach the brake.” So this vast army of drunkards and tipplers are on the down grade and many of them can not now reach the brake, though they may make spasmodic efforts to reach it. This is true of every old sot who has signed the pledge and can’t keep it and of every young drunkard who is a slave to his appetite and to his drink, who says: ” I have tried but can’t break off; have struggled with the tempter, only to be mastered; there is no hope for me.” Liquor drinking is a down grade, even though you drink but moderately. Gambling is a down grade; so is lying and dishonesty; so is Sabbath-breaking. Every temptation to evil is a down grade. The tempted imagine there will be no difficulty in checking their speed on this grade at any moment when they choose, though every one before them had the greatest difficulty, and many were wrecked. ‘”I’ll drink only once more, says the young man, who fears the consequences of his habits. “I’ll play only this one game more, and this shall be the last” says the one who is aware of his growing passion for games. “I’ll go only this time, mother,” says the confident and innocent daughter. Neither of them seems to be aware of the fact that the one more indulgence may so increase their momentum on the down grade that the brake will be beyond their reach, and useless. Take care, young man. It is dreadful to be upon this down grade with no brake, especially when everything is at stake for time and eternity. And the only safe course is to apply the brake at once. – Rev. W.H. Waldron (Vermont Chronicle, May 17, 1879).

W.H. Waldron, a clergyman, aged sixty-three years (b. NH), headed a Charlestown, RI, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included Frances E. Waldron, keeping house, aged forty-five years (b. ME).

Frances A. (Payson) Waldron died in Dover, NH, April 21, 1888.

He married (3rd) in Dover, NH, December 15, 1891, Sarah E. Clough. She was born in Farmington, in 1817, daughter of Rev. Philemon and Sally Clough..

Rev. William H. Waldron died in Farmington, NH, July 6, 1894. Sarah E. (Clough) Waldron died in 1922.

NECROLOGY. REV. WILLIAM H. WALDRON. Rev. William H. Waldron was born in Farmington, July 16, 1817, and died in that town July 6. As a highly respected clergyman of the Free Baptist denomination, he had filled pastorates in Rhode Island and New York and in Farmington and Milton. He had been retired from the active ministry for several years, Rev. Mr. Waldron was a descendant of Col. John Waldron of the revolution (Granite Monthly, 1894). 

Horace Stanton

Horace Stanton was born in Lebanon, ME, August 27, 1818, son of James and Sabra (Wentworth) Stanton.

Stanton, Rev. Horace, of Lebanon, Me., died Jan. 28, 1848 [1847], aged twenty-nine years. Converted in 1838, he was licensed to preach in 1844, and ordained two years later, in August, 1846. Pain could not quench his love for souls. He was a faithful and acceptable preacher and pastor. In the disposition of his property, he remembered the Foreign Mission, Home Mission, and Education Societies (Burgess, et al., 1889).

Horace Stanton succeeded Rev. William H. Waldron, in 1844, while still a preacher. Likely, he was still in Milton when ordained in August 1846. He resigned when his “health failed” and was succeeded by Rev. Uriah Chase.

Rev. Horace Stanton died January 28, 1847.

Uriah Chase

Rev. Uriah Chase was the son of Levi and Sarah (Page) Chase, and was born in Canterbury, September 28, 1820. Educated at the common schools and at Gilmanton Academy; licensed to preach by the New Durham Quarterly Meeting, May, 1843; preached as an evangelist, 1843-50; ordained as a Free Baptist at Parsonsfield, Me., March 14, 1850; pastor at Limington, Raymond, Buxton, Parsonsfield, and Cornish, Me.; also at Alton, Upper Gilmanton, East Andover, Wolfeborough, Nottingham, Strafford, Barrington, and Epsom, N.H., and at Shapleigh, Raymond, Brownfield, Madison, West Buxton, and Hollis, Me. He preached at East Andover from April, 1861, to April, 1863. He died at Waterboro, Me., August 1, 1888. Married, first, October 25, 1855, Harriet Ann, daughter of John and Susan (Weeks) Kimball of Northfield; married, second, February 17, 1863, Lizzie Guilford of Saco, Me. She was a teacher in the academy at East Andover, and was a sister to Rev. Elijah Guilford, who was in charge of the academy at East Andover for a time between 1857 and 1861 (Eastman, 1910).

Uriah Chase signed the Protests and Declaration of Sentiments of Free-Will Baptist Ministers Upon the Subject of Slavery, in March 1848 (The Liberator, March 24, 1848).

Daniel Gilkey, a farmer, aged sixty-three years (b. ME), headed a Limington, ME, household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Betsy Gilkey, aged fifty seven years (b. ME), Reuben Gilkey, a farmer, aged thirty-one years (b. ME), Sarah Gilkey, aged twenty-nine years (b. ME), and Elizabeth Gilkey, aged three years (b. ME); also Almira Edgecomb, aged nineteen years (b. ME), Benjamin F. Stevens, aged ten years (b. ME), and Uriah Chase, a F.W.B. clergyman, aged thirty years (b. ME). Daniel Gilkey had real estate valued at $1,000.

Uriah Chase married (1st), October 25, 1855, Harriet Ann Kimball. She was born in Northfield, NH, April 1, 1836, daughter of John and Susan (Weeks) Kimball.

Uriah Chase, a clergyman, aged thirty-nine years (b. NH), headed a Gilmanton, NH, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Harriet A. Chase, aged twenty-four years (b. NH), and John R. Chase, aged two years (b. NH). Uriah Chase had real estate valued at $200 and personal estate valued at $500.

Harriet A. (Kimball) Chase died in Gilmanton, NH, November 18, 1862.

Uriah Chase married (2nd) in East Canterbury, NH, February 17, 1863, Elizabeth Guilford. She was born in Saco, ME, daughter of William and Barbara Guilford.

Uriah Chase, a clergyman, aged forty-two years (b. NH), registered for the Class II military draft, in June 1863.

Uriah Chase, a minister, aged fifty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Madison, NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included Lizzie Chase, keeping house, aged forty-three years (b. ME), Mary N. Chase, at home, aged sixteen years (b. NH), and Charles L. Chase, at home, aged fourteen years (b. NH).

Rev. Uriah Chase died in Waterboro, ME, August 1, 1888, aged sixty-seven years. Elizabeth (Guilford) Chase died October 17, 1893.

Next in sequence: Milton’s Free-Will Baptist Ministers of 1860-81


Burgess, Gideon Albert, and Ward, John T. (1889). Free Baptist Cyclopaedia. Retrieved from

Eastman, John Robie. (1910). History of the Town of Andover, New Hampshire. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2010, March 8). Luther Hayes. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2013, August 15). Theodore Lyman. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2013, November 26). Rev. Uriah Chase. Retrieved from

Find a Grave. (2011, May 20). Rev. William Henry Waldron. Retrieved from

Granite Monthly Company. (1894). Granite Monthly: A New Hampshire Magazine. Retrieved from

Scales, John. (1914). History of Strafford County, New Hampshire, and Representative Citizens. Retrieved from

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

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