John Means Obituary 1856 (PEO.2)
1856 obituary of John Means honoring John’s contributions to the community and to the development of the First Baptist Church of Sedgwick. Transcription and copy of original.
From The Advocate, 1856
“‘The memory of the just is blessed”
Died. In Sedgwick, on the 12th inst– John Means, Esq., aged 78 years, 6 months and 3 days.
The subject of this notice was born in Sedgwick, ME., June 9th, 1778. In early life he was hopefully converted to God in his native town, where he resided until after he had passed the period of his minority. He came to Sedgwick in his 22nd year, and made choice of it for his future home. Here he married and by industry, frugality, perseverance and the blessing of God rose from poverty to affluence.
The first religious connection he formed was with the old Congregational Church which, prior to his coming here and for several years afterward, was the only Christian organization in the town. He was among the first to congratulate his pastor, the Reverend Daniel Merrill, on learning that his views had undergone a change respecting the mode of baptism and the character of the persons to whom it should be administered. He was prepared therefore to follow him in this ordinance and did so, May 13th, 1805, on which day Doctors Baldwin and Williams came to perform this sacred rite for his beloved pastor and all whose views on the subject named accorded with his. At the close of this service, which was a novel one to the multitude who witnessed it, a Baptist church was organized. In the composition of this spiritual temple our departed brother was well qualified to occupy the place of a pillar, and such he was acknowledged to be until the day of his death, during the long period of 51 years.
From the time he became a constituent member of the 1st Baptist church in this place until he was confined to his house by a stroke of paralysis, he manifested a lively interest in her temporal and spiritual welfare. He was a constant attendant at all the meetings of the church and contributed much toward making the conference room and the ___where prayer was—to be made, spiritual oasis to Zion pilgrims.
In spirit he was like the “beloved John”. There was nothing harsh or repulsive about him; on the contrary, he was uniformly courteous and kind to all with whom he came in contact. At his house the agents of our benevolent societies, and the pioneer mission—preaching everywhere the gospel always met with a welcome reception. To him more than any other man, living or dead, is the Baptist church in this place indebted for its past and present temporal prosperity. The parsonage in which our Pastor resides was presented by him several years since to the—-. To him we are accustomed to look for aid in every pecuniary emergency, and from him at such times relief has come to gladden our hearts. —contributions to send the missionary and the Bible abroad among the heathen have been greater than the contributions of any other man now a resident of Hancock County. Yea, greater perhaps than the contributions of any man who ever lived in it.
About three years since, a paralytic shock which he experienced, incapacitated him from the active duties of life. Knowing that the time of his departure was at hand, he at once set about making a final disposition of all worldly business claiming his attention. After having accomplished this work in a manner satisfactory to those most interested in it, he awaited the extent of his dissolution with Christian confidence and hope. He was therefore ready to obey the summons that called him away from his children whose happiness it had been his care to promote, and from the church whose true interests he had for more than half a century made it his business to advance.
It is gratifying to all the members of our Zion, and will be equally so, to the friends of several of our benevolent societies to know that our departed brother remembered them in his last will and testament. How much of his property he has left to be divided among the Christian organizations referred to, the writer of this notice is not prepared to state, but time will reveal the exact amount.
Sedgwick, Dec. 23, 1856”
1 Photo taken by David Anderson.