Rev. Ovid Miner, a well-known retired Congregational minister, died at his home, 806 Willis ave., yesterday morning in the 88th year of his age. He had been in feeble health for the past two years, but was able to walk about and enjoy his garden during the past summer.
In Mr. Miner has passed away one of the prominent characters of anti-slavery days, he was born in Middletown, Vt., July 7, 1808. His father died when he was about 10 years old, and soon after Ovid was apprenticed to the proprietor of the Northern Spectator of East Poultney, Vt., to learn the printer's trade. It was in the same office in 1826 in which Horace Greeley also was apprenticed to learn the printer's trade. At the close of Miner's apprenticeship of seven years he went in business for himself and established a weekly paper at Castleton, Vt., which he successfully conducted until 1825, when he removed to Middlebury and conducted a paper there until 1829. In that year there was a revival of religion in that town under the leadership of Rev. Thomas Merrill. Ovid Miner was converted and he gave up the career of printer-editor for the ministry, and in 1830 entered the Theological seminary at Auburn, N.Y. In those early days he and Horace Greeley formed an acquaintance, which ripened into strong friendship, which was only broken by the death of Mr. Greeley in 1872.
After a four years' course at Auburn Mr. Miner graduated, and in the same year was united in marriage to Miss Eliza M. Moore of Champlain, N.Y. Soon after his marriage he received a call to take charge of a mission church at Peru, Essex county, in this State, where he remained until 1837, from whence he went to Penn Yan to take charge of the Presbyterian church in that town. About this time the anti-slavery discussion was beginning to agitate the public mind. Mr. Miner was a strong anti-slavery man, but his church was not a until upon the question. A split followed, and those who did not believe in slavery left the church and organized a Congregational society. Mr. Miner went with them and became the pastor of the new church. In 1845 he removed to Syracuse, and became the pastor of the old Congregational church, which was then located on East Genesee st., near the site of the Courier block.
The members of this society were devoted to the cause of anti-slavery. Mr. Miner officiated as pastor of the church for three years, when the Anti-Slavery society engaged him as one of its lecturers. For four years Mr. Miner was in the field, and did good work. In the year 1852 he supplied the pulpit of the State st. Congregational church at Rochester. But his strong anti-slavery nature led him back to the lecture field, and until 1856 he was in the employ of the Anti-slavery society as lecturer.
In 1855 Mr. Miner went to Washington county in southern Illinois with a number of young men, intending to form a colony upon temperance principles and to build a large institution of learning. He took up a large tract of land, a church was built and the building for the seminary or college was well under way when the war broke out. The breaking out of the war was a sad thing for the colony, for the young men left it to bear arms in the service of their county.
In 1864 Mr. Miner returned to the East, and for a couple of years was editor of the Watchword, a temperance paper published at Ilion. In 1870 Mr. Miner accepted the pastorate of the East Poultney (Vt.) Congregational church, which he resigned in 1873, and returned to Syracuse. Since then he has made his home in Syracuse, at intervals supplying the pulpits of Congregational churches at Philadelphia, Lebanon, Seneca Falls and Sand Bank. Last winter he preached his last sermon at the Methodist mission at Gere's Locks.
Rev. Mr. Miner was a ready writer on theological topics, and a few years ago a series of articles on "Future Probation" from his pen attracted wide attention. He leaves a widow and one child, a daughter--Harriet S. Miner. His son Lieut. B. N. Miner, died from diseases contracted while confined in Libby prison. Lieut. Miner enlisted as a private in the Thirty-fourth New York volunteers, and when his regiment reported for duty he was assigned to do duty in the signal corps. He was captured in 1862.
The funeral will be held in the Oakwood chapel on Wednesday morning at 11 o'clock.
Syracuse Daily Journal, December 21, 1891, page 4
Elisa Moore Miner