This is the sixth of six blog posts about Universalist ministers who are buried in Bradford County.
James Dean Herrick (1875-1945)
James D. Herrick was born in 1875 in Cicero, N. Y. (near Syracuse). His parents owned a hotel in Cicero, which his mother continued to operate after James’ father died in 1878.
There was a Universalist church in Cicero during Herrick’s youth; the meeting house was built in 1832. The “Herrick” family is noted in a county history book as having been active in that church. (When the meeting house torn down 1960, a “Lester Herrick” preserved the bell.) It is likely that James Herrick was raised a Universalist.
Herrick graduated from the Universalist theological school at Canton, N. Y. (now St. Lawrence University) in 1898. His diploma is in UUCAS’s Athens meeting house.
Herrick’s first ministry was in Susquehanna county, Pa., where he served congregations in Hop Bottom, Nicholson, and Gibson for two years. He married Floy Green of Hop Bottom in 1899.
He had a pastorate in Madison, N. Y., from 1900 to 1903, then served the congregation until 1914, when he moved to Towanda.
Herrick was installed as the minister of the Church of the Messiah in Towanda on Apr 1, 1914. By 1925 he was also serving the Athens congregation. He also preached regularly at Sheshequin and Standing Stone.
In 1939, at a service commemorating his 25th anniversary, Herrick noted in his sermon that the membership of the Towanda church had almost doubled – from 119 to 239 – during his tenure.
In August, 1944, Herrick retired due to poor health. He died on May 1, 1945, and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Towanda.
He and his wife Floy had one daughter, Genevieve, who graduated from the music conservatory in Ithaca, N. Y. (which later became Ithaca College). She taught music in public schools in Homer, N. Y.