Sketch of a stone church, with bell tower, built in the 1800s.

“I have taken eight lives this year…” Rev. Ulysses Milburn

by Mike Roberts, Church Historian

Following is the continuation of the annual report for 1895 submitted by the Reverend Ulysses Milburn. The first half of the report was printed in the November issue of the Heirloom.

Upon nineteen occasions have I been called upon to speak some word of consolation to bereaved relations. But nine of these funerals have been in the city, the other ten causing me to travel 980 miles.

I have christened 11 children and baptized 7 adults. Best of all, I have admitted 24 persons into membership of this church. Of this number, four were admitted by letter from the Presbyterian Church, one from the Methodist Espiscopal. Three come without letters, it being denied them —one M.E., one Congregationalist and one Lutheran. The others were of our own household of faith. Seven of these were from the Sunday School, nine from the Y.P.C.U.

That which I am about to mention may startle you, but I vouch for the accuracy of the statement. I have taken eight lives this year which is the equivalent of eight murders. Still, I am not afraid of the gallows, and hope to have the opportunity of doing the same thing twice that number of times in 1896. For fear that some of you might not fully understand the above, I will simplify by saying that upon eight occasions two people stood before me and when I had said the magic word, the twain were made one. So, you see eight lives were taken. I have yet to decide which of the twain were absorbed. I have not included in that number, a wedding which was of special importance to me, because of the position I occupied in it, to me, a unique and pleasing position. (Ed. Milburn married Viola Smithers in August 1895.)

This concludes the part directly associated with my work. Some few books have been added to my workshop but not as many as I would like. Books!, Books! is the minister’s cry.

Picture: Sketch of the Essex Street building, encouraged and supported by Rev. Milburn.