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Rev. Jeremiah Reed Brittain, D. D.





REV. JEREMIAH REED BRITTAIN, D. D., late pastor of the United Presbyterian Church of Greenville, but now located in Englewood Ill., was born near Beaver Falls, Beaver Co., Penn., July 26, 1839, and is a son of Joseph and Belinda (Clark) Brittain, natives of the same county. The Brittains were originally from Maryland, and removed to Berwick, in Eastern Pennsylvania, whence, about. 1796, Jeremiah Brittain, grandfather of our subject, immigrated to Beaver County, where, during a long residence, he was widely known as one of the most prominent farmers and sheep growers of that section of the State. Both he and his wife died on the old homestead in Beaver County. They reared a family of seven sons and three daughters, Rev. Brittain's father, Joseph, being the ninth and youngest son. He inherited the old homestead, and reared a family of three sons and two daughters, all of whom are living. He now resides with his daughter, Mrs. W. C. Chamberlain, of East Palestine, Ohio, where his wife died August 5, 1886. Rev. Brittain was the oldest of the family, and his boyhood days were principally spent on his father’s farm. His first schooling was obtained in White’s school-house, which stood near his home and not far from the site of Geneva College. In his fourteenth year he attended one term at Darlington Academy, in Beaver County, and when seventeen again spent some time in the same institution, then under the charge of Joseph B. Kiddo, afterward a brigadier-general in the Union army. He taught one term of school when seventeen years of age, and from that time till attaining his majority worked on the farm. In September, 1850, Mr. Brittain entered Beaver Academy, then under Simon B. Mercer, and the next autumn cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln for President. He spent two years at Beaver Academy, and then entered Westminster College, New Wilmington, Lawrence County, then under the presidency of Dr. James Patterson, where he graduated with first honors in June, 1863, delivering the Greek salutatory on commencement day. Immediately after graduating he enlisted in a company of volunteers, made up chiefly of students, Dr. George C. Vincent, captain, but only experienced a brief service. In the fall of 1863 Mr. Brittain entered the United Presbyterian Theological Seminary of Allegheny City, where he spent three years studying for the ministry, but was licensed at the end of the second year. In March, 1866, Dr. Brittain received a call from the United Presbyterian congregation of Greenville, where be entered on his work July 1, and where he was ordained and installed pastor by the Lake Presbytery in September, 1866. The following year the present church building was erected, and under his pastorate the congregation increased from 100 to 300 members. Dr. Brittain has been a member of the board of trustees of Westminster College ten years, and in June, 1885, that institution conferred upon him the title of Doctor of Divinity. He has also been a director of the United Presbyterian Theological Seminary six years. Dr. Brittain was married August 30, 1864, to Miss Nannie D. King, of Illinois, who has borne him nine children, eight of whom are living, two sons and six daughters. During his pastorate in Greenville of nearly twenty-two years Dr. Brittain received several calls from other churches, but his popularity among his people was such as to deter his departure from the field wherein he had labored so long and faithfully, until his acceptance of the call from the United Presbyterian congregation of Englewood, Ill, in February, 1888. He is one of the ablest men of his church, and throughout his long residence in Greenville was recognized as a hard-working, successful minister, and an enterprising, influential citizen. 

History of Mercer County, 1888, pages 778-779



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