William James DAY

William James DAY

Male 1840 - Aft 1920

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    All

  • Name  William James DAY 
    Born  Feb 1840  Paspebiac, , Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Christened  27 Jul 1840  New Carlisle, Quebec, Canada, Anglican Church Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  Aft 1920 
    Person ID  I6443  Munro
    Last Modified  17 Aug 2004 

    Father  William N. DAY,   b. Abt 1814,   d. 15 Apr 1847, Paspebiac, , Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  Mary Charlotte MUNRO,   b. 23 Dec 1815, Caraquet, Gloucester Co., New Brunswick, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Jun 1880 
    Married  5 Oct 1837  Paspebiac, , Québec, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID  F2501  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • Rev. William J. Day was a Presbyterian Minister in Ashley, Pennsylvania.

      Ref: Clan Munro files - Munro, James Donald

      BIO:St Andrew Anglican Church Records, New Carlisle, Quebec. 1840 - BORN - (2) - Mary Angelique, daughter of William Day, farmer of Cox Township and Mary Charlotte, maiden name Munro; born --- and baptized July 27, 1840......AND James, infant son of above parents, born --- and baptized July 27, 1840. Sponsors: Thomas Munro, Parents. ---John Johntson, Minister.

      BIO:On 15 February, 1920 Rev. William James Day of the Bennet Presbyterian Church at Luzerne, Pennsylvanis, gave an autobiographical recount of his life which was subsequently privately published for the congregation. The following parts of that speach define his life:

      TBL: THE LIFE AND MINISTRY OF REV. WILLIAM J. DAY IN WYOMING VALLEY One cold, bleak winter night, in Paspebiac, District of Gaspi, Province of Quebec, Canada, where the snow in the winter months is piled up sometimes in drifts eight and ten feet on the level, there little William James Day saw the light of this world. His father, William Day, was of English and French blood and his mother, Mary Charlotte Munro, was full blooded Scotch. He was christened in the Episcopal Church - the church built on the plot of ground donated by his grandfather, James Day, and attended the parochial school in the schoolhouse, which was also a gift of his grandfather. His grandfather was a shipbuilder, coming originally from the Isle of Wight, England and who came to Canada as an employee of the Charles Robin Fish Company.
      William's father was sent to the Isle of Jersey, England, to be educated; and it was the desire of his father that he should become a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But, his father dying, he returned home, became a deputy sheriff, and the work of the ministry never became his choice.
      He also died in early manhood and when the estate was settled the widow and children were out in the cold, with a family of five children, the oldest twelve years of age and the next, William James, not yet ten years of age. Those who owed the widow managed to escape payment, but the law could lay claim upon her husband's property. After the sale of the property and the closing of the estate his mother with her fatherless children moved to New Carlisle nearby. The problem of how to care for her children became a burden on her heart.
      It was then that Dr. Munro of Montreal, her uncle, wrote to send little Willie to them. She came to Montreal with her boy and left him with Dr. Munro for a time, but as he and his wife were very old, and not in condition to raise and educate this boy, and a letter having come from her brother, George Munro, residing in New York City, saying "send Willie on to me," she made arrangements to do so. And so, with a mother's heart of anguish she kissed him good-bye and sent him - in care of some gentlemen going that way - to New York City.
      On the way to New York some pompous official came into the car and asked in a rough voice, "Where are you going ?" "I'm going to Montreal," the boy said, frightened and perplexed by his manner. "You're going in the wrong direction!" "No, sir, I am going to New York City." "Well, where is your baggage ?" "I don't know." "Well, get out and look for it." The boy got off the train; he looked around, saw nothing of his baggage, of course. The bell rang, the train moved off and left him there. As there was no through train until the next day, the depot agent directed the boy to a hotel on the hill where he could find lodging for the night. "Have you any money ?" "Yes, sir," he said, and went up to the hotel where he was kindly cared for, but has no recollection of paying for his lodging. In the morning, after breakfast, seeing some English walnuts in the store window oposite, he went in and invested ten cents for nuts. The lady gave him such good measure that he had not room enough in his pockets to hold them all, and so started out along the street, came to a hedge, sat down and was enjoying his nuts. While busy cracking nuts with a stone a gentleman rode up in a carriage in hot haste and called out, "Are you the boy that was left yesterday ?" "Yes, sir." "Well, jump in, you have just time enough to make your train." So off they went, a free ride to the depot, just in time to catch the through train.
      This time Willie stuck to the train until he crossed the ferry and came into New York City depot, down near the battery. His uncle, George Munro, had not received the letter notifying him that the boy had left Montreal, and so was not expecting or looking for him. So our young Canadian landed in New York City in June, 1850, with two fifty cent pieces in his pocket; as green as the grass in Ireland, and as innocent and ignorant of the world as a lamb out of the fold. All that day he was at the wharf and when evening came a kind hearted Irish drayman took him home with him, and tried to find his uncle. Failing in this he brought him back down to the wharf the next day without charging him for his supper, breakfast and lodging.
      The second day closed, no uncle came. Another friend with the heart of Jesus took the boy, who was crying as if his heart would break, down to Castle Garden where there was a bathing house called Rabineaux's Bath. Here he stayed, picking up towels after the bathers left their rooms and living and sleeping in the bath house. After a month some kind-hearted gentleman noticed the boy, advertised him in one of the New York journals, and the uncle came at last to claim his nephew.
      In all his money lasted out - he spent one fifty-cent piece for a jackknife; the other was still in his possession when his uncle claimed him. His uncle found his baggage safe at the depot. and wrote to the mother how he had found him, sending to her (which she kept all her life) the slip of paper cut from the New York newspaper showing where the boy was to be found. What joy when he was found - six weeks of a mother's anguish; sleepless nights and restless days. She could not eat, she could not sleep, she could not rest. Her only consolation through the long weeks in God's word. Did not God say to Isreal of old, "Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me."
      At his uncle's home in Duane Street he studied daily at home, as the uncle thought it unwise to send this little greenhorn to the public schools. The first thing Willie sought in New York City was the blessing of God. The following year George moved his family to Philadelphia, where he established a shop of his own. He was a last-maker by trade. In 1852, her mother's heart yearning to be with her boy, his mother left Canada and brought the whole family to Philadelphia so he left his uncle's house and went to live with his mother. He worked in Bunn, Raquel & Co. and Yard Gillmore & Co., wholesale dry goods stores, making $5. a week wages; not so much for his services we judge, as that they wanted to help out the widow. From the first he had a thirst for knowledge. He would borrow books from the members of the firm. His spending money went for books, and often he would read one book through, take it to a second-hand book stall along the streets and buy another, paying part money and the book traded off. His mother attended the North Tenth Street Presbyterian Church, the church of her parents, morning and evening - her children in the pew at her side, and the children Sunday school scholars.
      While in the employ of Bunn, Raquel & Co. at the age of 14 he felt called to the ministry. In May, 1855, he was examined for church membership with a view to entering the ministry. On Saturday, October 13th, he left the dry-goods store and made arrangements to enter the Presbyterian Institute with a view to preparing himself for college.
      The Board of Education allowed him $8.33 a month and later on $9. per month. This was not sufficient to help his mother, so he would go to school from 9 until 2 o'clock and then, eating his lunch along the street, walk up to Broad Street where he worked until evening in his cousin Archie Sherar's planing mill, turning out moldings. No one would have thought that the boy in his overall suit, amist dust and shavings, was a student of theology.
      In March 1856 he entered the employ of a kind-hearted member of his church, Mrs. Ellen Steel. He was employed to teach the English branches to the young girls who worked in her corset factory. His kind benefactress also found work for him to do on Saturdays in the factory.
      At this time his mother was making arrangements to find places for her children in order that she might return to Canada and forclose a mortgage that she still held against an estate there. It was at this critical time in her son's life that his pastor told him of Mr. D.J. Stewart of New York City being willing to assume the support of any worthy young man wishing to enter the ministery. And so in the marvelous Providence of God, before she left for Canada, she was enabled to see her son set off to Goshen, Orange County, New York, where Mr. Stewart resided in the summer, and where the Wells Acadamy was located; the place where her son was to go to prepare for college.
      Up to this time our young Theologian had to study along the streets and late at nights to 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning, and sometimes woke up with the morning breaking as he lifted up his weary head from the table. Now he could study at regular hopurs and build up his health as well as his knowledge.
      After preparing for college at Goshen he came home, was examined by the University of Pennsylvania for entrance into the Sophmore class, and was accepted with some conditions. He chose of his own accord to enter as a Freshman in order to lay a deeper foundation of knowledge for his future life of usefulness. While at college he lived with his mother and was able to help her - this is why he did not go to Princeton.
      In May 1863 he was a delagate of the Christian Commission under George H. Stuart of Philadelphia, going to field hospitals to nurse sick soldiers. He left Washington in June and came home and enlisted in the three months service Merchants' Regiment 44th PA Volunteers to drive Lee out of Pennsylvania. They were honorably discharged on their return to Philadelphia. In May 1864, the next vacation time, he went down to Washington and was appointed a delegate of the Sanitary Commission, going down to the front with other students and doing everything in their power to alleviate the sufferings and privations of the sick and wounded in the field hospitals. William J. Day was stricken down himself with fever and at last brought up to Washington on a cot August 15th. He had a close call, but rallied and was able to return to his studies. After graduating from Princeton in May 1865 he jorneyed to Barnegat where Dr. McGill had mentioned they wanted a young man and would pay $700. salary. William took the Southern New Jersey R.R. train, and disembarked to wait for a stage to the coast. While waiting in the deserted area he thought, "If a farmer wants to succeed he wants land, not rocks; and if a preacher wants to succeed he wants people, not a wilderness." He never saw Barnegat but took the train back to Philadelphia. There he received a letter from a classmate who offered him a share of the congregations needing care from Wiles-Barre to Shickshinny, PA.
      Rev. William Day began his ministry in Ashley, bringing with him his new bride from Philidelphia. Eventually the whole field from Ashley to Shickshinny was one Home Hission field under his care. In 1889 he moved on to Plymouth to the Plymouth Presbyterian Church where he stayed seven years. In 1896 he accepted the call to Bennet Presbyterian Church in Lucerne and there he celebrated his golden jubilee in the ministry in 1915. In February of 1920 he celebrated his eightieth birthday with this same congregation.

      Ref: Clan Munro files - Munro, Henry Dallas - GEDCOM file HMUNRO.GED dated 9
      Oct 1996

      Compiled and edited by Allen Alger, Genealogist, Clan Munro Association, USA