William Henry Beecher

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About William Henry Beecher

William Henry Beecher was a dyspeptic minister who was called "The Unlucky" because misfortune attended all his ventures.

William Beecher was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the eldest son of the Calvinist preacher Lyman Beecher and Roxana Foote. He was the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the 19th century abolitionist and writer most famous for her groundbreaking novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, Henry Ward Beecher, pastor of the Plymouth Congregational church, and Charles Beecher.

William Beecher married Katherine Edes on May 12, 1830 in New Haven Connecticut. Of his wedding he wrote:"Was married....No company, no cake, no cards-nothing pleasant about it." William and Katherine had 6 children: Agnes E. Beecher, Mary Ward Beecher, Lyman Beecher, Roxana Foote (Beecher) Prenzner, Robert E. Beecher, and Grace H. Beecher.

As a child William had a difficult time learning and was not a very good student. He apprenticed as a cabinet-maker and worked as a clerk in stores in Milford and Hartford, Connecticut, as well as New York. He studied theology at Andover but finished his studies under the directions of his father, before being licensed as a minister. He served as the minister of several churches, but each assignment was relatively short and typically ended with some type of discord over salary or a dislike from influential members of the congregation. William served at Middletown, Connecticut; Putnam, Ohio; Batavia, New York; Toledo and Euclid, Ohio; and North Brookfield, Massachusetts. He retired to Chicago, where he lived with his daughters until his death on June 23, 1889.

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William Henry Beecher's Timeline

January 15, 1802
Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
August 10, 1831
Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, United States
January 29, 1834
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States
May 1835
Putnam County, Ohio, United States
December 9, 1839
Ohio, United States
October 12, 1840
New York, United States
August 24, 1841
New York, United States
June 23, 1889
Age 87
Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States
Hartford, Connecticut, United States