Biography of Asa S. Fiske
Tompkins County, NY Biographies





Fiske, Asa Severance, got into this world March 2, 1833, at Strongsville, Ohio. His father was Deacon David, and his mother Laura Severance. They returning to Shelburne, Mass., he was brought up there, passed through the common schools, and prepared for college at the Ames Academy in that town. In 1851 he entered Amherst College, graduated in 1855 A. B., A. M. in 1857, tutor in 1857-8, licensed to preach in 1857 by the Franklin County Congregational Association, was ordained and settled as first pastor of the Plymouth Congregational Church, St. Paul, Minnesota in 1859, and was chaplain of the State Senate in 1859-60. In the fall of 1861 he became chaplain of the 4th Minn. Vol. Infantry, and in the winter went to the field with his regiment, served with it for a year and a half, and was then transferred by special order of Gen. Grant to service in the department of Freedmen and Refugees in the military district of Memphis. Thence was sent North by Gen. Grant to aid in organizing the Bureau of Freedmen's Affairs. In varied work in this interest at Washington and on the Mississippi river from Memphis to Natchez, he was occupied until the close of the war. In 1865 he was settled at Rockville, Conn., where he remained five years, the church nearly doubling its membership during his pastorate. From that church he was called to St. Peter's Presbyterian Church of Rochester, N. Y., where he remained for five years, paying off a debt of 830,000. In 1875 he was called to a pastorate in San Francisco, Cal., where he remained for nine years, and in 1884 was called to the Presbyterian Church in Ithaca, where he is still the pastor. He received the honorary title of D.D. from Hamilton College in 1891. In 1860 he married Elizabeth Worthington Hand, of Madison, Conn. His two daughters are Zone Worthington and Christabel Forsythe, and an infant son, Edward Severance, lies in the family lot in the cemetery at Shelburne Falls, Mass. The Ithaca church has grown during the nine and one half years of this pastorate from 380 to 660 members, and a subscription has been made of about $52,000 for the erection of a new church edifice. Of the present members of the church, 430 have united with it under the present pastorate.

From:
Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York
Including a History of Cornell University
Edited by: John H. Selkreg
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1894


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