|Birth: ||Jun. 20, 1821|
New York, USA
|Death: ||May 23, 1902|
Rev. Samuel Sawyer, so well known to many people in this city, died at his residence, 325 North Alabama street [sic], about 3:30 yesterday afternoon after being confined to his house about three weeks. He was simply worn out.
Few men have had a more active and varied life. He was born in Middleton, N. Y. June 20, 1821. He was graduated from Princeton and subsequently from the Union Theological Seminary of New York. His first pastorate as a Presbyterian minister was in Trenton, N. J. He went to East Tennessee in 1850, where he had charge of a school. In 1855 he debated the slavery question with Parson Brownlow. Soon after he left Tennessee to accept the presidency of a Presbyterian school known as the College of Indiana. When the war broke out in 1861 the school had 485 students, eighty-five of whom went with him into the service. He became chaplain of the Forty-seventh Indiana, Col James R. Slack.
In the army he had a varied experience. When the Union forces captured Memphis it was determined to revive the Appeal, which had been abandoned by its publishers, and use it as an organ to arouse a Union sentiment in the locality. Chaplain Sawyer was selected for the responsible position of editor. The story of his experience would be full of interest. General Sherman, then in command at Memphis, had an idea that he could improve the character of the paper, so he wrote the chaplain a letter, which he (Sherman) deemed important enough to put into his memoirs. It is rather interesting reading. General Sherman was a frequent visitor of the newspaper office. The newspaper was a paying investment for the government. Chaplain Sawyer after editing the Appeal for a year was appointed commissioner to lease the abandoned plantations in Arkansas, Alabama, and Louisiana.
The war over, Mr. Sawyer became president of a school in East Tennessee. After a few years he went to Missouri and edited the Chillicothe Journal, which had a large circulation. In 1873 he became pastor of a Presbyterian church in East St. Louis, and subsequently he was over a church in New Jersey. He came to this city about twenty years ago to become the pastor of the Eleventh Presbyterian Church. During fifteen years or so he had been a missionary under the Presbyterian churches of this city.
Mr. Sawyer was a man of both physical and intellectual activity. Without display, he was a scholarly man and a much abler man as a preacher than he got the credit of being. As a pastor for those needing consolation he was most acceptable. Into the sick room he took light and cheerfulness; indeed, his religion was of the cheerful variety.
He was chaplain of the George H. Thomas Post for years, where he was generally beloved. Those who have attended the funerals of veterans where he has officiated have been touched by the spiritual quality of his prayers. "Brother Sawyer took us very near to God in that prayer," was the remark of a well-known veteran as he passed out from the service. While poverty seemed to be his lot and in his last years his environment seemed narrow and harsh, he was the most cheerful man one would meet in his walks. He never had a complaint to make and he never criticised [sic] his fellows.
The funeral will be held Sunday afternoon. His son, H. W. Sawyer, of Trenton, Mo., is here and his daughter, Mrs. L. P. Plank. (The Indianapolis Journal on May 24, 1902 on page 4.)
The Rev. Samuel Sawyer married to Susan R. Ingham, daughter of Jonathan Welding Ingham and Mary Runkle on 23 Dec 1847 at Warren County, New Jersey. They were the parents of 6 Children, Alice, Hugh, Margaret, Charles, Edwin and Laura.
Crown Hill Cemetery
Plot: Section 35, Lot 118
GPS (lat/lon): 39.82036, -86.16812
Created by: mariahswind
Record added: Oct 02, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 30267925