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Rev Abel Dunham

Rev Abel Dunham

Birth
Harrison County, Ohio, USA
Death 18 Aug 1899 (aged 80)
Pike County, Illinois, USA
Burial New Salem, Pike County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 35783416 · View Source
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REV. ABEL DUNHAM. This worthy resident of Pike County is spending his declining years quietly in the little town of Maysville, in Griggsville Township, surrounded by the comforts secured by unremitting industry in earlier life, and rejoicing in the respect of those about him. He has spent many years in ministerial labor in connection with the United Brethren Church and has reaped a due reward in seeing souls added to the church. He has ever taken an active part in all that is of interest to the township and would add to the material prosperity or intellectual and moral status of the people.
His history is of interest as indicating the results which may be obtained by persistent and well directed efforts, and the character which may be formed by a determination to do righteously.
For many years the Dunham family made their home in Maryland. They were of German origin. Lewis Dunham, the grandfather of our subject was a Revolutionary soldier who cheerfully underwent many hardships and privations to aid in securing American liberty. At one time he was so near starvation that he made a kind of tea out of the crisp pieces of his own boot soles in order to sustain his life. William Dunham, the father of our subject, was born and grew to manhood in the State that was the ancestral home. He married Miss Mary Chaney, a lady of Scotch ancestry, and some years later removed to Ohio, locating in the new region included in Harrison County. Mr. and Mrs. Dunham made a home from the unbroken wilderness and lived there until the members of their family were partly reared. In the spring of 1815 they removed to this State, settling in what is now Griggsville Township, Pike County, here spending the remainder of their natural lives.
William Dunham died in less than a year after his arrival, the date of his demise being September 15, 1895, and his age seventy five years. He belonged to the United Brethren Church and his house was a home for the preachers and often the scene of large gatherings when meetings were held therein. He was a personal friend of James McGaw, Sewell Briggs, Adam Hesley, Alexander Briddle, and many others who were prominent in the pioneer ministry in Ohio. His hospitality was unbounded, the latch string of his house was always out, and people came and went with perfect freedom, assured of a hearty welcome to a share in pioneer fare. He was looked upon as a prominent factor in the advancement of the church and had many friends wherever he lived.
The wife of William Dunham was a worthy companion, being a woman of kindly heart and active disposition, ever ready when her home duties were attended to for deeds of neighborly kindness and activity in religious matters. She frequently made loving appeals to large congregations for whose salvation she was desirous and her words were listened to with great respect. Her death took place November 2, 1852, when she was sixty-eight years old. and was universally regretted by the members of the church and the neighbors who had learned to love her. She was the mother of eleven children, six of whom reached manhood and womanhood, although our subject is the only one now living to tell the story of the family.
Abel Dunham first saw the light of day in Harrison County. Ohio, July 16,1819. He grew to manhood there and embraced the occupation of a farmer. While poor in worldly goods but rich in determination, firm principles and affection, he took a bride who was willing and anxious to labor by his side. The marriage ceremony was performed August 13, 1839, at the bride's home in Franklin Township. Harrison County. The lady who then became Mrs. Dunham bore the maiden name of Rachel Harden and was born in Jefferson County, Ohio, March 7, 1816. She was carefully reared and possessed the domestic skill and good judgment which made her an efficient counselor and helpmate for her husband. In 1840 she was united with the United Brethren Church and during the ensuing years was frequently called upon for exhortations. She was a fluent speaker her spirit being in the work, and she exerted a wonderful influence upon her hearers. For some years before her death she was an invalid, but her mind retained its perfect strength and a short time before she breathed her last she was at her best, giving advice to her friends and bidding them farewell. She died with a smile on her face on Sunday. February 28, 1886. A kind neighbor and a true Christian, she held a warm place in the hearts of those about her.
Ten children were born of this union, four of whom died in infancy. The living are: Amanda T, wife of Samuel Moore, a farmer in New Salem Township; Isabella J., wife of Samuel Wheeler, a farmer in the same township; Mary E., wife of Hiram Moore, a farmer in Griggsville Township; Frances A., wife of George W. Moore who is farming in New Salem 'Township; Joshua L.. who married Maria Hensel and operates a farm in Griggsville Township; Joseph M., who married Dora Kuntz and is farming is New Salem 'Township.
At the time of his marriage our subject had $1.01 in his pocket, he gave the dollar to the officiating clergyman and after the affair donated the cent to a little nephew. He was then ready with his bride to start out in life in a way more frequently seen at that time than at the present. He began farming in a small way in his native comity. remaining there until ISIS when he removed to this State to begin a new life in Pike County. He went to work in earnest and by his good judgment and economy, aided by the prudence and physical exertions of his wife, he accumulated over six hundred acres of good land in the county and other property which now furnishes him a fine income.
Mr. Dunham was recently married in Newburg Township, Pike County, to Mrs. Sarah Brown, nee Anderson. This estimable woman was horn near Hillsboro, Highland County. Ohio, August 23, 1840, and grew to maturity there where her parents lived and died. In her native county she was united in marriage to Henly Brown who subsequently removed to the West and died in Kansas in the prime of life. Mrs. Dunham was formerly a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. but is now identified with the United Brethren. She is active in the work of the society, even taking a part in exhortations to the members for greater faithfulness and to sinners for a change of life.
The Rev. Mr. Dunham was a prominent Abolitionist during the prevalence of slavery and afterward joined the Republican ranks; more recently, however, he has connected himself with the Prohibition party and intends to devote his remaining years to the cause of temperance. He is looked up to for precept and example by a large progeny, having over fifty grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

[Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois
Copyright 1894 Expired]

-provided by Roy Fredrick-


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  • Created by: WBRTHR
  • Added: 12 Apr 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 35783416
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rev Abel Dunham (16 Jul 1819–18 Aug 1899), Find A Grave Memorial no. 35783416, citing Swiggett Cemetery, New Salem, Pike County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by WBRTHR (contributor 47117511) .