Early Ministers

1746  Johnston, William

1747-1755  temporary minister

John Harvey –wife was first person laid in old graveyard

1766.1772Morrison, John

Paid from town taxes

He was enough intemperate to point of scandal in town and asked to leave

1778.1792  Annon, David

Paid from town taxes

He was difficult to get along with and his behavior was “licentious”. Beat wife enough that she filed for divorce. Men in town tied him to a pole and dumped him in pond. Asked to leave.

1799.1827  Dunbar, Elijah

Born 1773, died 1850

Son of Elijah and Sarah Dunbar, Canton MA

Harvard University Degree in mathematics in 1794

Tutored in math at Williams College, 1794-1796

3 youngest boys blind at an early age, But wrote music and songs

Paid from town taxes until 1824, when Toleration Act ended tax support of the church

Progressed from Peterborough Presbyterian Church to the Congregational Church and he became its first minister

After much turmoil in the early 1820’s, the church turned to liberal religion, lead by Rev. Dunbar. The church became the Congregational Society, Unitarian

Wrote the ecclesiastical history of Peterborough during his ministry

Left for Milford in 1825

1827-1840 Abbot, Abiel

Born 1765, died 1859

Father founded Wilton

Attended Phillips Andover Academy

Harvard University Degree in 1787, Phi Beta Kappa

Married Elizabeth Abbot in 1796

Taught and principal at Dummer Academy 1811-1819

Started seven different libraries, two of which were a Ministerial Library and Juvenile library

Served as a Library director, Board of Education member

Started the first town Sunday School

Formed the Tree Society (reforestation) in 1840

Formed Horticultural Society

Conferred as a Doctor of Divinity in 1838

At the Peterborough 250th Anniversary in 1989, noted as Peterborough’s most influential citizen