Wakefield, NH, Adventist Ministers

By Muriel Bristol | November 20, 2022

The following is not intended to be an exhaustive list but is occasioned by the appearance in Milton city directories of Elder or Rev. Joseph Spinney (1812-1899) of neighboring Wakefield, NH, as having being Milton’s Adventist minister.

Elder Spinney began as a Freewill Baptist, who was persuaded to Millerism (see References), in 1843, and to its successor or its continuation, Adventism, in 1843. Thirty congregants followed him when he left the Freewill Baptist Church established a fully Adventist church in 1854.

Calvin S. Shattuck (1834-1902) and Emery A. Goodwin (c1852-1915) appear as having been, respectively, Elder Spinney’s sometime associate and his successor.

Joseph Spinney – 1854-99 

Joseph Spinney was born in Wakefield, NH, March 11, 1812, son of David and Lydia (Paul) Spinney. (David and Lydia (Paul) Spinney moved from Kittery, ME, to Wakefield, NH, circa 1808-09).

At the foot of Berry Hill Rd, near Oak Hill Rd was the South Wakefield School (District #5). Next-door was the Spinney Meeting House, originally built in 1834 by the Baptist Society. Elder Joseph Spinney, who lived on Jug Hill Rd, was the pastor here for 63 years. Members of the congregation came from Acton, Maine and Milton Mills as well the South Wakefield area. The Church was the center of social as well as religious activity. The building is on the State Register of Historic Places and is owned by the Wakefield Heritage Commission (Wakefield Planning Commission, 2010).

Joseph Spinney married in Milton, May 10, 1840, Elizabeth Spinney, he of Wakefield, NH, and she of Milton. Rev. Theodore Stevens performed the ceremony. She was born in ME, March 8, 1811, daughter of Charles and Alice (Rice) Spinney.

In this [Wakefield, NH,] neighborhood was the early home of that venerable minister, who, for full fifty years, has been almost our Town Minister, so wide has been his circuit and influence, and I regret today that he is not present, as I hoped he would be, to speak of olden days. I refer to Elder Joseph Spinney, of winning ways, and the appearance of a patriarch. Each year, nearly, some were excused. But the town only could excuse. It held that right, as well as to tax. It may not be proper for us, at this time, to criticise too sharply this right. We do not meet today to say that the First church should have remained the only one. But to rejoice that the good Lord permitted a FIRST church to exist in Wakefield. A variety in religious, as in political views, may be expected, even among a small population. Each view may be of hearts loyal to God or to the nation. And this variety is shown in the history of our town, as the number excused grew larger (Thompson, 1886).

ADVENT CHURCH. Meetings were held by the followers of Wm. Miller in 1842, and later, and April 5, 1852, Elder Joseph Spinney, and twenty-two members, followed later by twelve others, withdrew from the Free Baptist Church and became a separate society. The first minister, Elder Spinney, continued as pastor of the church at South Wakefield, which had been erected by the Free Baptists and Adventists, for very many years until his death. Rev. Joseph Libby and other clergymen have supplied. The present Adventist supply is Rev. E.A. Goodwin (Mitchell-Cony, 1908).

Mother Lydia (Paul) Spinney died in Wakefield, NH, August 7, 1842.

Daughter Mary E. Spinney was born August 3, 1844. Daughter Eliza A. Spinney was born May 11, 1846. Daughter Martha A. Spinney was born October 17, 1847.

Father David Spinney died in Wakefield, NH, July 19, 1848.

Daughter Martha A. Spinney died of a throat abscess in Wakefield, NH, January 22, 1850; and daughter Mary E. Spinney died of a throat abscess in Wakefield, NH, February 11, 1850, aged five years.

Joseph Spinney, an F.W.B. clergyman, aged thirty-eight years (b. NH), headed a Wakefield, NH, household at the time of the Seventh (1850) Federal Census. His household included Elizabeth Spinney, aged thirty-eight years (b. ME). Joseph Spinney had real estate valued at $3,000.

Daughter Eliza A. Spinney died January 29, 1852.

SPINNEY MEETING HOUSE. In 1831, a small group of people in South Wakefield met and began a “Free Will Baptist Movement.” This group included Jacob Wiggin and Isaiah Wiggin. The land for this building was purchased for $8 and soon a church was built. The Rev. Joseph Spinney became pastor and served as Baptist minister from 1836 until 1854 when he became a zealous Adventist. Thirty members followed Elder Spinney into the new ministry, new by-laws were written and signers included Joseph and Luther Wiggin. Now Baptists and Adventists used the church alternately (Wakefield Heritage Commission, n.d.).

Second Adventism. — The first Advent meetings were held in Brookfield in 1840. Daniel Churchill and Elder William Thompson, of Wolfeborough, were the first to preach that doctrine. Mr. Churchill was born in Brookfield, but in early life went to Lowell, where he became acquainted with Elder William Miller when he held meetings in that city. Mr. Thompson was a lifelong resident of Wolfeborough, where he died a few years ago. Later [1854] Elder Joseph Spinney, a Freewill Baptist minister of Wakefield, adopted the Second Advent doctrine and preached in this town for nearly forty years. Owing to advanced age he seldom holds services except at his own church at South Wakefield. Within the last thirty years such men as Elder Miles Grant, H.L. Hastings, John Couch, A. Ross, L. Boutell, and a large number of the most prominent men in the Advent denomination have held conference and protracted meetings in the town hall, which have been attended by a larger number of people than those of any other religious society. At present Thomas L. Churchill and Charles Colman, both residents of Brookfield, hold religious services in the surrounding towns (Merrill, 1889).

Joseph Spinney, a clergyman (Advent), aged forty-eight years (b. NH), headed a Wakefield, NH, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Elizabeth Spinney, aged forty-nine years (b. ME). Joseph Spinney had real estate valued at $1,600 and personal estate valued at $300.

Father-in-law Charles Spinney died in Milton, April 7, 1862.

Joseph Spinney, a clergyman, aged fifty-eight years (b. NH), headed a Wakefield, NH, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Elizabeth Spinney, keeping house, aged fifty-nine years (b. NH [SIC]). Joseph Spinney had real estate valued at $1,500 and personal estate valued at $440.

NEW HAMPSHIRE. Friday of last week many people from Brookfield and vicinity, within a circuit of twelve miles, gathered at the late home of Joseph B. Buzzell, where his remains had been taken the evening before for interment, to witness the funeral ceremonies. Elder Joseph Spinney of Wakefield conducted the services. The remains were taken from the house by the bearers, followed by the mourners (his mother being quite infirm and somewhat deranged in her mind, did not follow). People to the number of four hundred formed a procession and marched to the grave. The text and hymns used on this occasion were selected by the deceased. The text was the same used at the funeral of Susan Hanson, by the same minister (Boston Post, July 17, 1879).

Joseph Spinney, a farmer, aged sixty-eight years (b. NH), headed a Wakefield, NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His house included his wife, Elizabeth Spinney, keeping house, aged sixty-nine years (b. ME).

Joseph Spinney appeared in the Milton business directories of 1881, 1882, 1884, 1887, 1889, as pastor of the Milton Mills [Wakefield] Adventist church. C.S. Shattuck appeared also in 1881, and 1882.

MARRIAGES. In Wakefield, Mar. 13, by Rev. Joseph Spinney, Mr. James E. Stevens and Miss Etta E. Everett, both of Farmington (Farmington News, March 26, 1886).

The Town of Wakefield, NH, paid Joseph Spinney $5.37 and James L. Wentworth $5.37, as their one-half proportions of the interest on the ministerial fund, due to the Advent society for the year ending March 1, 1887. James W. Garvin received $10.74 for the Episcopal society; Edwin Junkins received $5.37, and Satchell Weeks received $5.37, for the Congregational society; and Eliza Blake received $10.74 for the Methodist society. (Wakefield, NH, Town Report, 1887).

Joseph Spinney appeared in the Milton business directories of 1894, and 1898, as a Milton Mills Adventist clergyman.

Spinney, Elder Joseph and Elizabeth

DEDICATION AT SANBORNVILLE. Keys of New S20,000 Town Hall Presented the Selectmen by F.Z. Leavitt. SANBORNVILLE, N.H., Feb. 26 – The exercises of dedication of the new $20,000 Wakefield town hall took place here today. On arrival of the morning train from Boston a large contingent from that city and Portsmouth were met at the depot by the reception committee and escorted to the hall. The streets leading to the hall were crowded by townspeople and visitors, who soon filled the building to overflowing. At 1 o’clock Hon. John W. Sanborn, as chairman, called the assembly to order. After a selection by the Sanbornville band of 24 pieces, prayer was offered by Rev. Joseph Spinney, 84 years of age, and one of the oldest residents of the town. Frank J. Leavitt. chairman of the building committee, in a neat speech, presented the keys of the building. Hon. John W. Sanborn accepted the same, in behalf of the selectmen. Mr. Sanborn then delivered an interesting address on the history of the town. In his remarks he said that the first town meeting house was built on the shore of Lovell lake, by the original 30 proprietors of Wakefield, then called East Town. The second was built at the corner. This, like its predecessor, was also outgrown, and a larger one built at the same place. Short addresses were also made by Hon. Chas. B. Gaffney of Rochester, Hon. Joshua G. Hall of Dover, Hon. John B. Nash of Conway, Rev. A.B. Thompson of Raymond and others. The benediction closed the exercises. Dinner was served in the banquet and adjoining rooms. It is estimated that 800 people were fed. Arthur L. Foot, as chairman of the reception committee, with his corps of aids, left nothing undone to make the visitors’ stay pleasant. The building committee consisted of Frank J. Leavitt, Herbert G. Rodgers, William H. Willey, Joseph L. Johnson. This evening there will be a grand ball in the new hall, music being furnished by Blaisdell’s orchestra of Concord (Boston Globe, February 26, 1896).

Elizabeth (Spinney) Spinney died in Wakefield, NH, October 30, 1898.

Joseph Spinney died of general debility in Wakefield, NH, December 21, 1899, aged eighty-seven years, nine months, and ten days. He was a widowed clergyman.

ELDER JOSEPH SPINNEY. Joseph Spinney, one of the oldest and best-known preachers of the Advent faith in the state, died in Wakefield, December 21, 1899. Elder Spinney was born in Wakefield, March 11, 1812. He was educated at Limerick, Me., and Wakefield academies, and taught school winters from 1830 to 1850. He commenced preaching at twenty-one years of age, and was ordained to the ministry of the Free Baptist church, but in 1843 he associated himself with the Adventists with whom he continued up to the time of his death, preaching most of the time in Wakefield. He had united 225 couples in marriage, and officiated at between seven hundred and eight hundred funerals (Metcalf & McClintock, 1900). 

Calvin S. Shattuck – c1880-83

Calvin Styles Shattuck was born in Belvidere, VT, October 26, 1834, son of Daniel and Anna (Carpenter) Shattuck.

Calvin S. Shattuck of Massachusetts was a first-year student at Lane Theological Seminary, in Cincinnati, OH, in 1853.

Calvin S. Shattuck married in VT, circa 1859, Phila J. Gray. She was born in Montpelier, VT, December 13, 1840.

Calvin S. Shattuck, a Christian clergyman, aged twenty-five years (b. VT), headed a Starksboro, VT, household at the time of the Eighth (1860) Federal Census. His household included Phila Shattuck, aged nineteen years (b. VT).

Calvin S. Shattuck, a clergyman, aged thirty-five years (b. VT), headed a Colebrook, NH, household at the time of the Ninth (1870) Federal Census. His household included Eliza [i.e., Phila,] J. Shattuck, keeping house, aged twenty-nine years (b. VT), Frank W. Shattuck, aged eight years (b. VT), Avis E. Shattuck, aged seven years (b. VT), Charles W. Shattuck, aged three years (b. NH), and Thomas W. Shattuck, a barrel maker, aged fifty-six years (b. VT). Calvin S. Shattuck had real estate valued at $2,000 and personal estate valued at $600. Thomas W. Shattuck has real estate valued at $900.

CAMP MEETINGS. Wednesday. At the same hour one person from Portsmouth, N.H., was baptised by Elder Calvin S. Shattuck of Beebe Plain, P.Q., in the lake near the railroad shops (Portland Daily Press (Portland, ME), August 29, 1878).

C.S. Shattuck appeared in the Milton business directories of 1880, 1881, and 1882, as a Milton Mills Adventist clergyman. (Joseph Spinney appeared as such also in 1881, and 1882).

Calvin S. Shattuck, a clergyman, aged forty-five years (b. VT), headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Phila J. Shattuck, keeping house, aged thirty-nine years (b. VT), and his children, Frank W. Shattuck, at house, aged eighteen years (b. VT), Avis E. Shattuck, at house, aged seventeen years (b. VT), and Charles W. Shattuck, at house, aged thirteen years (b. NH). Their household appeared in the enumeration between those of Moses H. Remick, a farmer, aged sixty years (b. NH), and Eli Wentworth, a farmer, aged fifty years (b. NH).

Hardwick. Rev. Calvin Shattuck of Pittsfield, N.H., preached the dedicatory sermon at the new Adventist church in this place on Sunday, December 14th, from First Kings ix:3. The church was filled to its utmost capacity at the afternoon service. Revs. A.F. Drown (Adventist) and W.C. Robinson (Methodist) assisted in the service with the utmost cordiality and good feeling (Vermont Watchman and State Journal (Montpelier, VT), December 24, 1884).

WATERVILLE. Daniel Shattuck still lingers. Calvin Shattuck has been in town, called home by the sickness of his mother (News & Citizen (Morrisville, VT), December 25, 1884).

Hardwick. Rev. Calvin Shattuck of Pittsfield, N.H., preached at the Advent church on Saturday and Sunday last (Vermont Watchman & State Journal (Montpelier, VT), February 25, 1885).

WATERVILLE. Rev. Calvin Shattuck, of New Hampshire, was in town recently to attend the funeral of his father, Daniel Shattuck, whose death occurred at the residence of his son-in law, W.J. Wheelock, on the 24th ult., caused by receiving a fall on the ice two weeks before. His age was 83 years (News & Citizen (Morrisville, VT), February 2, 1888).

Waterville. Rev. Calvin Shattuck is holding tent meetings each evening this week near W.J. Wheelock’s house (Cambridge Transcript (Cambridge, VT), July 22, 1892).

On December 23, 1893, Mr. [James Frank] Roberts married Mrs. Avis E. Shattuck Ferry, daughter of the Rev. Calvin S. Shattuck, an evangelist of the Second Adventist faith. Mr. Shattuck has resided in Pittsfield, N.H., for many years. He married Phillis Gray, who bore him four children, of whom three are living. These are: the Rev. Frank Shattuck of Rochester, N.H.; Avis E., who is now Mrs. Roberts; and the Rev. Charles W. Shattuck of Lakeport, N.H. (Biographical Review, 1897).

Calvin S. Shattuck died of stomach cancer on Green Street in Bridgton, ME, November 23, 1902. aged sixty-eight years, twenty-seven days.

EAST CHARLOTTE. G.W. James went to Sugar Hill, N.H., Wednesday last, where he was summoned to attend the funeral of Rev. Calvin Shattuck, an intimate friend, which was held on Thursday (Bridgport Sun (Bridgport, VT), December 4, 1902).

Phila J. (Gray) Shattuck died in Vernon, VT, February 23, 1928, aged eighty-four years.

Mrs. Shattuck Dies at Vernon Home. Mrs. Phila Shattuck, 84, widow of Rev. Calvin Shattuck, died at the Vernon home Wednesday evening. She had lived at the Home only three months, her former home being at Alton Bay, N.H. She was a woman of beautiful Christian character and a lovable disposition. She leaves two sons, Rev. Frank Shattuck, whose home is in California, and Rev. Charles Shattuck, who is an evangelist in Newport, N.H., but whose home is in Lynn, Mass. The funeral was held Sunday afternoon at the Home. Rev. G.E. Tyler officiated. The body was entombed in Northfield until spring, when it will be taken to Sugar Hill, N.H., for burial (Brattleboro Reformer (Brattleboro, VT), March 1, 1928).

Emery A. Goodwin – c1901-1908

Emery Augustus Goodwin was born in Moultonboro, NH, circa 1852, son of Charles and Elizabeth (Nutter) Goodwin.

Emery Augustus Goodwin married in Northampton, MA, November 13, 1873, Helen J. Angell, he of Moultonboro, NH, and she of Huntington, MA. He was a farmer, aged twenty years, and she was a teacher, aged thirty years. Rev. Edwin T. Hiscon performed the ceremony. She was born in Huntington, MA, August 13, 1842, daughter of James and Martha Angell.

Helen J. Angell graduated from Mount Holyoke with its Class of 1871, and her husband, Emery A. Goodwin, had graduated from the same school with its Class of 1873.

1871. GRADUATES. Angell, Helen J., Northampton; m. Emery A. Goodwin, ’73; P.O. address, Lake View, N.H. (Mount Holyoke College, 1895). 

Emory A. Goodwin, a farmer, aged twenty-six years (b. NH), headed a Moultonborough, NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Helen J. [(Angell)] Goodwin, keeping house, aged thirty-seven years (b. MA), and his daughters, Mary E. Goodwin, aged five years (b. NH), and Alma M. Goodwin, aged one year (b. NH).

Helen J. Goodwin write the following poem for the Mount Holyoke College semicentennial in 1888.

MRS. EMERY A. GOODWIN, CENTER HARBOR, N.H. (Helen J. Angell, ’71).

Our mother calls her daughters home
To crown her year of jubilee;
From distant continents we come
And from the isles of every sea;
From mountain heights, from desert sands,
From city streets and lonely lands.

We come but some have come unseen,
So closely cling the little hands,
So frail the lives that on us lean,
So long the paths from foreign strands,
So large the work, so weak the frame;
But we in heart are here the same.

Our founder never knew how blest
Her name, her work, her life, should be,
Could she come back from her sweet rest
And sit with us beneath the tree
Whose germ she planted, she would cry,
“The Lord hath done this!
What am I?”

And gazing on her pictured face
Recall we all the blessed host
Whose home was once this hallowed place;
Our buried treasures – not our lost.
O that the stone for this one day

From every grave might roll away!

That both the living and the dead
At once might stand within these walls,

Where like the dew on Hermon’s head
The Spirit’s gentle presence falls;
Where souls are clothed with heavenly might
To win in every earthly fight.

Dear alma mater! in God’s hand
Thy future lies; for us a day
Of meeting, by no parting spanned,
Where God shall wipe our tears away;
For after night comes morning blest,
And after toil his perfect rest (Mount Holyoke College, 1888).

Emery A. Goodwin, a farmer, aged forty-six years (b. NH), headed a Moultonborough, NH, household at the time of the Twelfth (1900) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Helen J. [(Angell)] Goodwin, aged forty-seven years (b. MA), his children, Alice M. Goodwin, aged twenty-one years (b. NH), James E. Goodwin, at school, aged nineteen years (b. NH), Elmer C. Goodwin, at school, aged sixteen years (b. NH), and Robert H. Goodwin, at school, aged thirteen years (b. NH), and his father, Charles Goodwin, aged eighty-six years (b. ME). Emery A. Goodwin owned their farm, free-and-clear. Helen J. Goodwin was the mother of five children, of whom four were still living.

Emery A. Goodwin, a farmer, aged fifty-eight years (b. NH), headed a Moultonboro, NH, household at the time of the Thirteenth (1910) Federal Census. His household included his wife (of thirty-six years), Helen A. [(Angell)] Goodwin, aged sixty-eight years (b. MA), and his daughter, Alice M. Goodwin, a local primary teacher, aged thirty-one years (b. NH). Emery A. Goodwin owned their farm, free-and-clear. Helen J. Goodwin was the mother of six children, of whom four were still living.

Emery A. Goodwin died of valvular heart disease in Meredith, NH, March 19, 1915, aged sixty-one years, seven months, and twenty-six days.

Helen J. (Angell) Goodwin died in Meredith, NH, February 21, 1916.


Biographical Review. (1897). Biographical Review: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Strafford and Belknap Counties, New Hampshire. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=C2sjAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA274

Find a Grave. (2007, October 15). Emery Augustus Goodwin. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/22230061/emery-augustus-goodwin

Find a Grave. (2011, February 19). Elder Calvin Styles Shattuck. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/65865494/calvin-styles-shattuck

Find a Grave. (2013, July 27). Elder Joseph Spinney. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/114457951/joseph-spinney

Merrill, Georgia D. (1889). History of Carroll County, New Hampshire. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=xmMKyZxlU5MC&pg=PA504

Metcalf & McClintock. (1900). Granite Monthly: A New Hampshire Magazine Devoted to History, Biography, Literature, and State Progress. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=l344AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA124

Mitchell-Cony. (1908). Town Register: Farmington, Milton, Wakefield, Middleton, Brookfield, 1907-8. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=qXwUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA174

Mitchell-Cony. (1908). Town Register: Farmington, Milton, Wakefield, Middleton, Brookfield, 1907-8. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=qXwUAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA177

Mount Holyoke College. (1888). Semi-centennial Celebration of Mount Holyoke Seminary, South Hadley, Mass. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=tX47AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA46

Mount Holyoke College. (1895). Quinquennial Catalogue of Officers and Students of Mount Holyoke College. Retrieved from books.google.com/books?id=_38hAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA117

Thompson, Albert H. (1886). Memorial of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Organization of the First Church and Ordination of the First Settled Town Minister of Wakefield, N.H. Wolfeboro Junction, NH: George S. Dorr

Wakefield Heritage Commission. (n.d.). Wakefield Historic Buildings. Retrieved from www.historicwakefieldnh.com/buildings.html

Wakefield Planning Commission. (2010). Wakefield, New Hampshire
Master Plan 2010. Retrieved from www.wakefieldnh.com/sites/g/files/vyhlif1366/f/uploads/master_plan.pdf

Wikipedia. (2021, September 28). Great Disappointment. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Disappointment

Wikipedia. (2021, September 6). Millerism. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millerism

Author: Muriel Bristol

"Lady drinking tea"

One thought on “Wakefield, NH, Adventist Ministers”

  1. Hello, I am 85, a vet, a professor emeritus European history (University of Idaho), and a resident of Andover for the past decade. A historical marker at Proctor Academy’s the Stone Chapel sparked my interest in Mary Nettie Chase. Inquiry took me to learn more about her father, Uriah Chase. Your sketch about him, in The Milton Observer, “Milton’s Free-Will Baptist Ministers of 1843-50” February 8, 2019, caught my attention and gave me important information. For that I thank you most warmly.

    Your other sketches, as The Milton Observer, contain a wealth of information. One human interest question is this: Where did you acquire your research skills? A second question: When I have put my essay on Uriah Chase in readable form, would you be willing to critique it?

    In appreciation,

    Kent Hackmann

    Professor Hackman,

    Thank you very much. You overestimate me, as I am just a pseudonymous amateur. But “Praise from the praise-worthy is beyond all rewards.”

    I would certainly be interested in seeing your essay. And, since it has a Milton “hook,” you might even let us reprint it, assuming your publisher would allow it.


    Muriel Bristol


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