Benjamin H. Bailey

Benjamin H. Bailey

American Unitarian minister

Benjamin Holloway Bailey (1829–1919)[1] was an American Unitarian minister. At the time of his death, he was "one of [the Unitarian church's] best known and best loved as well as one of its oldest ministers."[2]

Quick Facts Born, Died ...
Gravestone of Rev. Benjamin H. Bailey

Personal life

Bailey was born in Bolton, Massachusetts on July 5, 1829, to Holloway and Lucy Sawyer Bailey.[2] He grew up in Northborough, Massachusetts on his father's farm before attending Bridgewater Normal College, Leicester Academy, and Harvard College, where he graduated in 1854.[2]

Then followed a few years of teaching at Chicopee High School and in Providence.[2] He studied law and then was graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 1860.[2] While living in Dedham he met his wife, Emily F. Sampson, and they married on June 1, 1864.[2][1][lower-alpha 1] They had five children, three of whom predeceased him.[2]

He spent the last six years of his life in retirement in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.[2] He is buried in Brookdale Cemetery.[1]


Bailey served at the First Church and Parish in Dedham from 1861 to 1867.[3][2] In Dedham, he presided over the funeral of his predecessor, Alvan Lamson[4] and led the service at the 250th anniversary of the church's gathering in 1888 where he delivered an historical discourse.[5]

In 1867, he was called to Portland, Maine where he remained for five years.[2] He then served in Marblehead, Massachusetts beginning in 1872.[2][6] A twelve years pastorate there was followed by a slightly longer one at Malden, Massachusetts from 1884 to 1897.[2] For six years, he served on the Malden School Committee.[2] He then ministered in Westford, Massachusetts.[7][2] While there, he was a member of The Grange.[2]

Beginning in Marblehead, he began teaching as well.[2] Boys would either lodge with his family and study under him, or be taught as day students.[2]


  1. Emily lived from 1840-1926.[1]


  1. Slugger O'Toole (September 6, 2019), File:Gravestone of Rev. Benjamin H. Bailey.jpg, Wikimedia Commons
  2. The Unitarian Register. American Unitarian association. 1919. p. 670. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  3. Smith 1936, p. 87.
  4. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. New England Historic-Genealogical Society. 1865. p. 91. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  5. First Parish, Dedham, Mass; First Congregational Church (Dedham, Mass.) (1888). Commemorative Services at the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Gathering of the First Church in Dedham, Mass: Observed November 18 and 19, 1888. Joint committee of the two churches. pp. 112–.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. "Marblehead, MA (1873)". Celebrate Boston. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
  7. "Westford's Civil War Monument". The Westford Historical Society & Museum. May 31, 2010. Retrieved September 7, 2019.

Works cited

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