ALPHEUS HARDING 1780-1869
From Proceedings, Page 1873-229:
REV. ALPHEUS HARDING, NEW SALEM. Unitarian. 1817, 1818, 1819.
The following sketch of him has been kindly furnished by his son, Alpheus Harding, Esq., of Athol: —
Rev. Alpheus Harding was born on the 19th day of January, 1780, in the town of Barre, Worcester Co., Mass., and graduated at Dartmouth College in 1805. Was principal of the New Salem Academy for a few years, when he entered the ministry and was settled over the First Congregational Society in New Salem, whose pastor he remained for more than forty years. After his resignation, he still remained in New Salem, and devoted much of his time to the settling of estates as executor or administrator, always taking a very active part in all educational movements, and was to the day of his death, the President of the Board of Trustees of New Salem Academy. He was was for more than fifty years Chairman of the School Committee of the town. He was a Justice of the Peace for many years, and a Trial Justice; twice represented the town in the Legislature, and, in fact, was looked up to and relied upon by his fellow-citizens to take the lead in all useful and reformatory movements.
He was very active; of a strong and robust constitution; never foiling in an appointment on account of health, weather or travelling. In making an appointment at a place where he might have to drive his own team twenty or thirty miles, he never said, "if the weather and travelling will permit;" but he made the appointment sure, and everything else had to bend to it.
He lived to enter his 90th year; and after a sickness of less than three weeks passed away. His age was 90 years and 19 days. He died Feb. 7, 1869. He lived for others more than himself, and as I look back upon his life of constant activity and usefulness, I wonder how he was able to accomplish what he did.