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Great-grandson of a preacher man. An appreciation of Reverend Charles Grandison Selleck

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

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 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 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 state 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 distinc-tion 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.

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