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his people that not a single household failed to partake, more or less, of spiritual interest and improvement; in some instances whole families were brought to rejoice in "the Savior's redeeming love." But, in the midst of this happy experience, his health became so impaired that he was obliged to suspend his public labors, and, at the close of the fifth year of his engagement, to dissolve his connection with the parish and retire to private life.
He removed to West Medway, and passed the next five years in endeavoring to recuperate his exhausted and diseased physical constitution. Happily he secured this object, and found himself able to resume the duties of his profession. He accordingly settled, in 1851, for the third time. It was in North Wrentham that he was now called to minister. His labors here were prolonged for five more years, with varied success, when he was dismissed at his own request, soon to bid adieu to all the public duties of his calling. He had an ardent working mind, but that mind dwelt in a frail body that sunk under the burden imposed upon it. Mr. Dwight remained a few years in North Wrentham, after he had left the ministry, and then removed to Cambridge, where he died of paralysis of the brain, Feb. 5, 1868.
He was buried in West Medway,—where he studied his profession, where he married his wife, and connected with which place were some of the most cheering remembrances of his life. His widow, with her youngest son, reside in Newton. (1876.)
THOMAS EDWIN WHITNEY was the next Shirley boy that presented his claims for the honors of a college course of instruction. He was the son of Thomas Whitney, Jr., and the great-grandson of Rev. Phinehas Whitney, the first minister of Shirley. He was born in the old parsonage where his reverend ancestor had lived for over fifty years, and which, for a long time, was the largest, best finished, and most genteel mansion within the town,—but which is now removed. Thomas Edwin was an only
child of doting parents, who sought, first of all, by a union of moral, mental and physical training, to lay a firm foundation of character in the child-life of their son. In this effort they were eminently successful.
He grew up a healthy, modest and intelligent boy, and won the approving attention of all by whom he was known.
He had a precocious mind, and often demanded instruction beyond what the ordinary instructors of the common-schools could impart. Yet he took no advantage of the position in which his quickness of intellect often placed him; but, with a modest diffidence of his ability, so commended himself to the esteem of his teachers as to gain their united respect and admiration. In all his social relations, during his childhood, he was regarded a model boy; and as he advanced in life was looked upon as a man of promise.
At a proper age he was sent to a Quaker school in Bolton, but completed his preparation for college in the Groton Academy. He was entered at Cambridge in 1841, and graduated in 1845. While in college he taught one term of a winter school, in his native town, and after his graduation was engaged in the charge of a select school, which he conducted with singular skill and success. By his mild manners and happy address he endeared himself to his pupils, and the proficiency which they made under his supervision showed that teaching was the profession in which he was made to excel.
It was, therefore, an evil hour when he was induced to leave the work of his choice, for the discharge of which he had been so richly prepared,—a work which accorded with his tact and taste, in which he had proved his excellence, and through which, in all probability, he might have secured usefulness and honor,—for occupations with which he was not acquainted, towards which he was naturally disinclined, and for the performance of which he had no preparation or ability, and the pursuit of which must result in poverty and a mortifying defeat of all his life hopes. For none of the business relations into which he was subsequently introduced was he in anywise
qualified; hence, failure followed every undertaking. His inherited property wasted away, until the hard-earned estates of four generations were sunken, past redemption, under the withering touch of his unpractised hands. His credit, which on account of his standing and relationship was dangerously large, (and through which several friends sustained serious losses,) eventually departed; and he gradually sunk, body and mind, under the burden of misfortune and dejection, from which he received no reprieve until death, the great subjugator of earthly woes, came to his relief. He died at the old Whitney estate, the last male member of that branch of the family. His remains were deposited beside the graves of his father and mother. The entire family rest together in the place of the dead.
JOHN MARSHALL EDGARTON was the next graduate in the order of time. He was a son of Joseph Edgarton, Esq., and a younger brother of the distinguished Sarah C. Edgarton, afterwards Mrs. Mayo. He was a young man of much personal activity, of great energy and decision of character. He graduated at Harvard University in the class of 1847, and upon leaving college resolved to devote himself to literary pursuits. He accordingly established a magazine, which he intended to issue monthly, and to sustain which he had secured help from some of the most able contributors in the Commonwealth ; but as the first number was on the eve of publication he was attacked by disease, which soon proved fatal. And thus his fond hopes, with those cherished by his friends, were suddenly disappointed.
The name of Rurus LONGLEY ought not to be wholly omitted in these notices, for, though he did not remain to graduate, he was for a season a member of Harvard University. He was a son of Joshua Longley, Esq., and was prepared for college at the academy in Groton. After leaving Cambridge he commenced the study of medicine in the office of Dr. Prescott, of Groton, and received his medical degree from Dartmouth College. In 1812 he