Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana Archives

Rev. Eugene Charles Pattison

Eugene Charles Pattison was born in New Rochelle, New York, on 25 January 1831, the son of Thomas and Lydia Ann (Mead) Pattison. He went to seminary at Nashotah House in Wisconsin, the first of Trinity's rectors to do so. Nashotah was a monastic-like seminary in the Wisconsin woods founded on Anglo-Catholic principles with daily confession and reverence for saints' days. It would play an influential role on the history of the the Episcopal Church in northern Indiana, because of the High Church theological views of its graduates.

Pattison married Mary Esther Camp in New York City on 1 November 1855. Trinity would be his first assignment as a rector upon graduation from Nashotah, and he came to Fort Wayne with high recommendations from Bishop George Upfold after having served for a time as a curate in Indianapolis. He was ordained to the priesthood by Upfold in Richmond on 4 June 1856, after which he immediately took up his assignment in Fort Wayne.

Pattison's rectorate of two years was largely uneventful. The parish grew steadily from 54 to 69 communicants, but because of the so-called Panic of 1857, a nationwide economic Depression, the parish faced a severe shortage of funds. With the continuing debt of the parsonage, the congregation struggled to pay the rector, and the Ladies Sewing Society organized a fair to help raise additional funds. Pattison had a delicate constitution, and his health suffered greatly during his time in Fort Wayne. In the spring of 1858, he announced his resignation and returned to Wisconsin, accepting a post at St. John's Church in Portage where he hoped his health would improve. Later, in 1860, he left Portage for Dutchess County, New York, and later to Bethel, Connecticut, where he spent his remaining time as rector, dying there on 10 April 1881 at the age of only 51.


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