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CHAPTER XVI.

THE METHODIST CHURCH

   Methodism came into Canaan with the early settlers, but there was only a trace of it; it was many years before it developed itself. Samuel Meachan, who built the Gould house, long since torn down, and lived on Town Hill, came into town with George Harris, Samuel Benedict and Lewis Joslin in the spring of 1768 from Lebanon, N. H. He was a settler in that town as early as 1764 and came from Lebanon, Conn. He was an unsmiling, sedate man, who had the appearance of being very thoughtful, although the world is not much wiser for his thoughts because they were unuttered. he was a Wesleyan from the beginning. He, with his family, brought his faith with him from Connecticut and kept it. He waited patiently for his brethren, who came afterwards, like the birds in summer, and made the whole atmosphere vocal with their songs and shouts of Glorias and Amens. He had six sons and five daughters: Jeremiah, Joshua, who lived on Town Hill beyond his father’s house; Joseph, who married Sarah Basford; Andrew, who married Abigail Eastman; Elam, who married Polly Williams; and Thomas; Polly, who married William Bradbury and was the mother of Deacon Benjamin; Sarah, who married Amos Worthen; Phcebe, who married Ezekiel Wells; Miriam, who married Asa Kimball and was in want all her life; Betty, who married Moses Worthen.

    Caleb Seabury was another good man who believed that way, and his wife with him. They lived here more than twenty years without reproach, honored in their lives, and departed peacefully to their great reward in some other land.

    Capt. Ezekiel Wells was another; not a very religious man, not much given to prayer; somewhat profane, in fact, upon occasion. But his wife was a daughter of Samuel Meacham, and like that good old man, a sincere Methodist. Her influence seemed to bring her husband into the same fold, and he conformed as far as he was able to her discipline, and was accepted for whatever he was because he was an influential man. These three men conferring together formed the first class in Canaan.

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