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Sidney Estee

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Sidney A. Estee (1808-1872), also sometimes written Sydney Estee or S.A. Estie, was a Baptist revivalist who figured in the crisis of 1857 in Shimer College history.

Estee conducted a revival at the Mount Carroll Seminary in late 1856 or early 1857, as part of a series of meetings held by the First Baptist Church.

Profiled inEdit

  • RootsWeb (Thomas Wright)
  • Cathcart's Baptist Encyclopaedia, 1881, volume 1, pp. 379-380:
    Estee, Rev. Sydney A., was born in Salem, Washington Co., N. Y., in 1808. At twenty years of age he united with the Baptist church of his native town, and, deciding to prepare for the ministry, studied at Cambridge Academy, and afterwards at Hamilton. His first settlement as pastor was at Westport, N. Y., subsequently at Ticonderoga, in the same county. After several other pastorates in that State he removed to Illinois, and was located at York, Belvidere, and Aurora, where he died Dec. 7, 1872. His ministry was marked by great usefulness.
  • The Standard, 1900-06-23, p. 29:
    ESTEE.—Mrs. Elizabeth Valentine Estee, sister of Hon. Daniel Valentine, who was one of the best known laymen in the Baptist denomination in northern Illinois, fell asleep in Jesus June 7, 1900, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. D. W. Simpson, at Aurora, Ill. Mother Estee, as she was affectionately called, was born in the town of Salem, N. Y., May 10, 1812. Converted at fourteen years of age, she united with the First Baptist Church at Shushan, N. Y. She was married to Rev. Sidney A. Estee in 1833, and moved soon afterward to Westport, N. Y. Pastorates at Ticonderoga, Batavia, Holly and York followed. Fifty-two years ago she came to Illinois with her husband and settled in Belvidere. After twenty years in the pastorate her husband entered the evangelistic field, where he was wonderfully blessed of the Lord.
    Through the long years of their married life Mother Estee proved an efficient helpmeet for her husband, and the Baptist history of Illinois could not be written without the labors of Mr. Estee and his sainted wife. Her mind was remarkably bright and clear for a person eighty-eight years of age. She took a deep interest in the religious events of the times and was a faithful reader of The Standard. Her Bible was her constant companion from which she gleaned the precious promises and hid them away in her heart. Though having a very humble opinion of her own Christian attainments she possessed the strongest faith in God and laid hold on the horns of his altar in prayer. To all who conversed with her she brought the brightness of heaven's glory and the fragrance of the holy city, on whose great white throne her eyes were ever fastened. In her scrap book, written and signed by her own hand, was found the following, which epitomizes her life: "I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing therefore that I can do, any word I can speak for Jesus, or any kindness I can show to any fellow-being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this wav again." During her last moments when her life was ebbing away, the one name that would rouse her from her stupor was the name of Jesus. She fell asleep
    "As sweetly as a child whom neither
    Thought disturbs nor care encumbers.
    Tired with long play, at close of summer's day,
    Lies down and slumbers."
    She "came to the grave in a full age like as a shock of corn Cometh in his season." Earth is poorer and heaven is richer now she is gone. The funeral was held at the residence of D. W. Simpson, Rev. Kittredge Wheeler, Rev. D. D. Odell and Rev. Geo. McGinnis participating. She was laid to rest in the beautiful West Aurora cemetery to await the resurrection morn.

MentionedEdit

  • in A genealogy of the descendants of John Thomson of Plymouth, Mass, as ninth child of Stephen Estee and Abigail Thompson
  • in Belvidere Illustrated, as 2nd pastor of Belvidere's First Baptist Church (successors included J.P. Philips)
  • in Stark County and its Pioneers, Eliza Shallenberger, 1876, p. 154:
    This church waxed rich and strong, and seemed to be favored by Heaven, above all her contemporaries... These were the palmy days of her life wherein she rejoiced, but storms were gathering, although the cloud at present seemed "no bigger than a man's hand." Thereafter her history was to be a sort of travesty on the "decline and fall of the Roman Empire." Abuses of power on the one hand, and fierce resistance on the other, charges, conflicts of opinion, expulsions for heresy, impeachment and excommunication of one leader, only to effect a change, not a redress of grievances, until after a bitter experience with a so-called revivalist, Elder S. A. Estee, February 1868, it was finally 'resolved, that whereas, the troubles and difficulties existing in the First Baptist Church of Toulon have reached so great a magnitude, that we can see no way of settling them so we can live in peace, and advance the cause of Christ, therefore, resolved, that all the members of this church who subscribe to this resolution, have the privilege of asking for letters of dismission, and that the same be granted by the church.
    [...]
    On July 8, 1868, a number of the few remaining members of the first church assembled, with S. A. Estee moderator and acting clerk. Seven resolutions, of a conciliatory character were adopted dealing with the case of Reverends Estee and Barker.

in Shimer documentsEdit

  • "Charges", Calvin Gray, c. 1857-03:
    Rev. Estie has been allowed to take liberties at the Sem. which wisdom would not dictate—he has been allowed to visit the ladies in their private rooms & has insulted them while there—he is a vile, base character himself (bearing this recommend from abroad) & has the teachers under his perfect control, hence we infer he has made use of his power to commit the basest crimes & insults as he has had opportunity. He has been in the room alone with different ladies at divers times. Miss Wood has been recognised by name as one of the teachers who has been very familiar with him.
    A short time since, he was seen to leave the pulpit, go & speak to Miss Wood & then both go out of the house unaccompanied by any one else & remaining ten or fifteen min. then returning through another door which act has been easily interpreted.
    One evening while a load of the ladies were returning to the Sem. from the Church, Rev. E. being in company remarked on the way, "I have hold of some sisters hand, I think I shall hang on"—this has been held up to the public to exhibit the dispositions of the man. It is said he has visited the Sem. nearly every day using authority very severe.
  • "A Letter from Mr. Shimer", by Henry Shimer, in A Review of the Discussion Relative to the Mount Carroll Seminary, 1857-05, p. 22:
    In one of his own newspaper articles, the Elder speaks of Rev. S.A. Estee as "one of the clearest headed out spoken and perhaps devoted of Baptists." This sentence, except in its grammatical construction, is very correct. It would be well for this community if all our divines were as clear headed and devoted as he. The infidel and the minister of the gospel would not embrace each other quite so cordially.


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