© 2017 by The Mather Homestead Foundation. 

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19 Stephen Mather Road, Darien, CT  06820

Mailing address:  PO Box 1054, Darien, CT  06820

info@matherhomestead.org, 203-202-7602

"He laid the foundation of the National Park Service, defining and establishing the policies under which its areas shall be

developed and conserved unimpaired for future generations. There will never come an end to the good that he has done."            

-Louis C. Cramton, referring to Stephen T. Mather (1867-1930)

Great-grandson of a Preacher Man...

     An Appreciation of Reverend Charles Grandison Selleck 

August 26th, 2019

     Moses Mather’s great-grandson and Deacon Joseph Mather’s grandson was Charles G. Selleck.  

 

     Deacon Joseph’s eldest child (the only one not born at the Homestead) was Hannah Mather (2 June 1778-20 May 1857). On her eighteenth birthday, 2 June 1796, Hannah married Charles Selleck (1766-1 Oct 1846). Their third child (of eleven) was Charles Grandison Selleck, born 26 February 1802.

 

     After graduating from Yale in 1827, Charles married Emily Crocker, 20 April 1830.   Emily was the daughter of Daniel Crocker and Rhoda Johnson. Daniel Crocker, Yale 1782, had been the pastor at the Congregational Church in Redding.

 

     Charles was ordained pastor of the church in Ridgefield CT on 10 May 1831.   His son, Charles Sylvester, was baptized on 3 July 1831.

 

     In 1837 Charles received the call to be the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Upper Alton Illinois.  In 1840 he removed to Waverly IL and Jacksonville IL in 1851. According to Presbyterian records, he “took charge of the Female Academy there, and preached at the same time in Naples and to Union church for two years. While here his only son, Sylvester, a young man of great promise and excellence was removed by death.”

 

     In 1857 Charles and Emily moved to Plaquemine Louisiana. The Yale Class of 1827 Notes states that he was “pastor of the Presbyterian Church there. He continued in the pleasant and successful discharge of his duties until the end of June 1861, when on account of his Union sympathies he was expelled from the town by local authorities.”  

 

     After a time back in Illinois, he moved to Volusia County Florida,  where he founded both the First Presbyterian Church in New Smyrna Beach in 1875 and the same year founded the first Congregational church in Florida.  This distinction was proclaimed by the Volusia County Council in 2015. (See below.)

 

     Emily Crocker Selleck died 19 November 1878.  Charles died 10 February 1884.

 

     From Moses to Charles, from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, we find an arc of ministry and commitment to beliefs that withstood attack and triumphed over consequences.   

Photos and Text by Donn Smith