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    by Anya Laurence

Rev. George Beecher

Sarah Beecher's grave Pinesbridge Cemetery Beacon Falls,
New Haven County

   The third son of the Rev. Lyman Beecher, George was born in 1807 in Hartford, Connecticut, and was educated at Yale College, graduating in 1828, and at Yale Theological Seminary, finishing in 1832. He also spent a year in study at Lyman’s school, Lane Seminary in Cincinnati. This he did as an adult because his father felt he had lost too much by being absent from college because of poor health. In 1837 he married Sarah Sturges Buckingham, of Putnam, Ohio. They had two children... George Buckingham Beecher, who was born in 1841 at Evansville, Ohio, and lived until 1925, and Catherine Beecher, who was born in 1838 and lived for only 7 weeks.

   Like all of Lyman Beecher’s sons, he became a minister and his first pastorate was in Batavia, Ohio, where he served for a few years. He was installed as pastor of the Brick Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York, on June 28,1838, and remained there until October 6, 1840, when he left on doctor’s orders that Rochester was not a healthy place for Mrs. Beecher.

   During his short life he suffered the loss of an eye, 2 or 3 nervous breakdowns, had what he and the rest of the Beecher family called “the Dyspesy”, and tried constantly to improve his health by taking cold baths and abstaining from tea and coffee. His letters are pathetic to the modern reader, as they are full of descriptions of his various illnesses. In spite of his health, he became head of two singing schools, began prayer meetings for married women, and became a delegate to the General Assembly at Philadelphia. He also worked for temperance and organized a Juvenile Society for the betterment of children under 15 years.

   He finished his life as minister of the Presbyterian Church at Chillicothe, Ohio, where he took in an orphan boy, son of a deceased friend, and instructed him in the Christian doctrines, which he loved so much. His whole life was dedicated to preaching the love of Christ. George Beecher died one sunny summer afternoon in 1843 after discharging his rifle in the backyard of his home. The event was described as either an accident while trying to chase birds from his garden, or suicide. Sarah Beecher died at her son’s home on Wednesday, November 20,1901.

Presbyterian Church, Batavia, Ohio

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