History of Dunham Public Library: Moses Earl Dunham, D.D., Ph.D.

Moses Earl Dunham, D.D., Ph.D.

The Dunham family comes from an ancient England family lineage. and originally settled in the New England state of Connecticut. One ancestor, John Dunham, came from Lancashire, England to land with the Mayflower pilgrims in Massachusetts in 1620.

George Dunham’s father, Moses Earl, attended Hamilton College in Clinton and graduated in the class of 1847. He married Harriet Hughston in 1852. Their only child, George Earl, was born on April 5, 1859 and Harriet Hughston Dunham died that same year at age twenty-six.

He entered the Presbyterian ministry and became pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Whitesboro in 1864. His last pastorate was the Plymouth Church in Utica.

During his time in Whitesboro, Moses Earl purchased the current library property with the idea of building a home. The home was built sometime between 1864 and 1874, when it appears in the Atlas of Oneida County, New York (1874) – which the library has a copy of. Moses Dunham did not occupy the house until after 1881, when he accepted an appointment as the principal of the Whitestown Seminary, a position he would hold until 1884.

Moses Dunham would publish numerous articles and speeches in the local newspapers of the day. The library owns scrapbooks containing his articles. He also published a book: The Philosophy of Prayer: a Treatise on the Scientific Nature of Prayer

He died on December 17, 1898, having long survived his wife. Moses Dunham was a forceful writer, an eloquent orator, an analytical thinker and stood in the first rank of ministers in the community.