Whately — First Universalist Society in Whately
Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.
The First Universalist Society in Whately was organized May 20, 1839, with Elihu Harvey, Clerk; Charles Bardwell, Treasurer; E. G. Crafts, Elihu Harvey, David D. Gardiner, Standing Committee; and Henry Smith, Collector.
The object of the society was stated as "being the promotion of truth and morality among its members, and also in the world at large; and as the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is calculated above all truth to inspire the heart with the emotions of benevolence and virtue, this society shall deem it one of the main objects to support the preaching of the Gospel according to the society's ability, and to aid in any other practicable way in spreading a knowledge of it among men."
The constitution was signed by Charles Bardwell, Elihu Harvey, Henry Smith, E. G. Crafts, Allen Belding, William Belding, Austin Crafts, Franklin Brown, Otis Moore, Joseph Belding, Josiah Jewett, Lathrop Smith, David Belding, Horace Sanderson, Moses Morton, James M. Crafts, Chester Brown, Otis Bardwell, Benjamin Dean, James Moore, Isaac S. Harvey, David D. Wells, Graves Crafts, and Thomas Crafts.
Meetings were held in school-houses, the old Baptist Church, and the town-hall, the ministers being the Revs. John Peirce, L. W. Mason, Earl Guilford, John H. Willis, William Wilcox, and others. When the Unitarian Society was formed most of the members attached themselves to that body, and the Universalist Society was allowed to go down.