Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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CHIDLAW , BENJAMIN WILLIAM , ( 1811 - 1892 ).

Born at Bala , 14 July 1811 ; his parents were prominent members of the Independent chapel there. The family followed the father, in 1821 , to U.S.A. , settling at Delaware . Chidlaw 's education was completed by three years of study in Miami university . In April 1835 he was licensed to preach , and was ordained in 1836 as pastor of the Congregational church at Paddy's Run , Ohio . In 1844 he became pastor of the Presbyterian church at Cleves and district, but left in 1846 in order to become the first commissioned missionary of the American Sunday School Union . In 1861 he undertook missionary work in the Southern Ohio military camps of instruction established for Union volunteers, and a little later accepted the chaplaincy of the 39th Ohio Volunteer Infantry , but was unable to retain this position for more than a year owing to failing health.

The results of his indefatigable labours during fifty-six years of service for the American Sunday School Union can hardly be overestimated. He established Sunday schools in all parts of the Central West , and from 1855 onwards he was ‘the best-known Sunday-School advocate in the U.S.A. ’ He was an evangelist as well as a Sunday school missionary . During his visits to Wales , he found abundant time and opportunity for revival work; in 1839 in Llanuwchllyn , 250 persons were converted by one of his sermons. He was also a remarkable platform speaker .

He d. suddenly at Dolgelley , 14 July 1892 , on his eighty-first birthday. His remains were brought to his home in Cleves , Ohio , and laid to rest in the Berean cemetery nearby. He published The History of Paddy's Run , n.d., Yr America , Golwg ar Dalaith Ohio , Hanes Sefydliadau Cymraeg yr America , Cyfarwyddiadau i Ymfudwyr , in 1840 , two editions; also an interesting volume called The Story of My Life . In the year 1894 a memorial volume to him was published under the title Sunset and Evening Star .

Sources:

  • The Cambrian (Utica), xiii;
  • Yr America, yr hwn sydd yn cynnwys Nodau ar daith o Dyffryn Ohio i Gymru, Golwg ar dalaeth Ohio Hanes sefydliadau Cymreig yn America Cyfarwyddiadau i ymofynwyr cyn y daith, ar y daith, ac yn y wlad , Llanrwst, 1840 .

Author:

Robert (Bob) Owen, O.B.E., M.A., (1885-1962), Croesor

Published date: 1959