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1815 Communion Set

Gift of Deacon Moses Greeley c1815

    Before the COVID-19 era Pastor Moa has, for special communion services,  blended the use of our historic silver communion set into the present day service.  This set was given to our church circa 1815 by Deacon Moses Greeley, with the understanding that when it was replaced, it should be returned to his family.   Here is what I know of Deacon Greeley, our church at that time in history, and the silver communion set. 
        Moses Greeley was born in Haverhill, Mass in 1764 and came to Hudson (then Nottingham West)  sometime before 1793.  In 1793 he built a home on what is now Old Derry Road and lived there until his death in 1858.  This home was later occupied by Jackson Greeley, one of his sons.  It it known to us today as the Lambert/Nadeau homestead at 98 Old Derry Road.  History tells us that Moses had been living nearby prior to 1793 but the location is not certain.  This section of town was annexed to Nottingham West from Londonderry in 1778. 
        Looking at church history, we were organized May 1, 1805 at the home of Deacon Thomas Senter.  Deacon Senter also resided on what is now Old Derry Road about 1/2 mile north of Moses Greeley.  When organized there were 65 members, men and women, on the church rolls, including Moses.  Prior to 1805 this church served as a branch or mission church of the Baptist Church of Londonderry, NH.  This branch congregation was in harmony with the mother church of Londonderry, The separation was a matter of geographical convenience.
          In December 1795 Moses Greeley and several others signed a petition detesting the payment of any part of the salary or money in support of the Congregational minister hired by the town of Nottingham West.  By 1810 town records stated that Baptists and their “accomplices” were exempt from the ministers tax by the town. 
           In 1811 the Baptist Society was  incorporated with the State of New Hampshire.  Soon thereafter the Baptists acquired the North Meeting House, located in Hudson Center just a short distance east of our present church location; it on the site of the present Wattannick Hall.  As we know, by 1842 the Baptists built the present meeting house at the corner of Windham Road and Greeley Street.  The North Meeting house was transferred to the town.
             In 1815 Moses Greeley became a church deacon  and about the same time  donated t a  silver communion set of a pitcher and four goblets  to the church.  History also tells us that he donated the first bell to be hung in town.  Not sure just where this bell was hung as the North Meeting House did not have a steeple, much less a chimney or stove for heat.  None the less, this bell became cracked and has since been replaced by our present bell.  Regarding the communion set, it remained with the church until a few years prior to our centennial celebration in 1905 when it was returned to the family Dr. David O. Smith, a descendent of  Moses Greeley.

         Deacon Moses was a blacksmith and farmer, and well to do for those days, being a large land owner and a man of great integrity.  He was married first to a cousin, Hannah Greeley.  They had two daughters, Harriet and Sophia.  Hannah passed in February 1793 and he later married s Mary Darby.  They were parents of 10 children, 5 boys and 5 girls.  Their eldest son, Reuben was born 1794 and married Joanna C. Merrill in 1817.  Joanna was the daughter of Rev. Daniel Merrill who at the time was the pastor of our church.  Rev, Merrill served in Hudson from 1814 to 1820.  
      Reuban and Joanna had 12 children.  One of their daughters, Mary Hannah Greeley, born October 1832, married  Dr. David O.  Smith in August 1855.  David O.  was a talented musician, educator, and medical doctor.  He donated our present Woodbury and Harris Organ in 1888. Dr. David lived near the church, just a few doors east of the Wattannick Hall.
          Dr. David and Mary had 5 children.  Their son Dr. Henry O. Smith was born December 1864.  Like his father Dr. H.O. was a dedicated educator and doctor; serving the Hudson area.  He also lived near the church, just a few doors down from his father.  
         When the communion set was returned to the family I am certain it was returned to either Dr. David or his son, Dr. H. O.  In any event it was passed to  Dr. Deering G. Smith, the only child of Dr. H. O.  Dr. Deering and his wife Mary Hamblett had twins, Robert and Elizabeth.    Robert Smith lived in Keene, NH and his family consisted of Wendy Ann, Steven Greeley, and Jeffrey Squires; all living at the present time.  I am in frequent contact with Wendy Ann Smith.  Elizabeth (Smith) Linke lived in Rangley, ME.  Both Robert and Elizabeth are now deceased. 
        My mom, Ruth E. Parker, made contact with Elizabeth Linke in 1985 seeking information about the communion set and its history.  In a letter to mom, Elizabeth confirmed it’s origin, and  recalled seeing the set in their home around 1935.  After the death of their parents in 1966, Robert and Elizabeth decided the set should be returned to the church permanently as it was a part of our church history. Which it was soon thereafter,  It has been safely kept since that time and is used on special occasions.  A framed photograph of the silver communion set against a blue background is displayed in the wall outside our church office.  Photo complements of Sue Misek and framed in 2005 by the bicentennial committee.

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