Biography of Rev. Austin Hazen

By Rev. William S. Hazen, of Northfield

Austin Hazen, son of Asa Hazen, was born in Hartford, June, 1786, about 2 miles from Hanover, N. H. His mother’s name before marriage was Susanna Tracy. The Hazen family, which was large, was noted for its piety and general intelligence, and as being among the first settlers of the town. Mr. Hazen was graduated at Dartmouth College in 1807, and spent the next year in Binghampton, Pennsylvania, teaching; in 1808, went to Washington, Connecticut, commenced the study of theology with Dr. E. Peters — date of his license to preach not known; was preaching in the neighborhood of Washington in Dec. 1809; preached in St. Albans several months. He was first settled over the church in the center of his native town, being ordained and installed in May, 1812; dismissed in 1828; Jan. 1829, installed pastor in the north part of the town; dismissed in 1837, and soon after removed to Berlin. He was installed here Oct. 1837, and pastor till his death, Dec. 25, 1854. He was a diligent student of the Bible, his preaching eminently biblical. He presented the great central truths, the deep things of God, with great simplicity and godly sincerity. Though his speech and preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, he always knew his people as it is not common for a pastor to know them, and tried to lead them in the “green pastures and beside the still waters” of godly living and doing, while they were hardly conscious how much they were indebted to him. During the 7 years of his labors in N. Hartford the admissions to the church were 95, and when he left, the parish was believed to be without a parallel in the State for the large number of professing Christians it contained in proportion to its population.

The more public religious enterprises also received from him a most hearty support. He was a delegate to the general convention of Vermont in 1813, and it is said that not more than one minister in the State attended so many meetings of that body during the next 41 years. No one was more thoroughly acquainted with the religious history of the State during that period.

For many years previous to his death he was one of the directors of the Domestic Missionary, Bible and Colonization Societies, and in all places to which duty called him, he was always promptly in his place, and ready at all times to perform his own part with intelligence and propriety. But the beauty of his Christian character shone most in his own family and within the circle of his more intimate friends. He rarely spoke to his children on the subject of religion, yet his life taught them unmistakably their duty, and the excellency of the religion which he was anxious they should experience in their own hearts. His exercises at family worship commanded attention, and produced impressions, breathing forth the earnest desire of the heart that his might be a household of faith. Mr. Hazen was twice married. His first wife, Frances Mary, daughter of Hon. Israel P. Dana, of Danville, left two children:

  1. Sophia Dana, who was educated at Ipswich, Massachusetts, and the Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary, where she was many years a teacher, in 1851, became connected with the Nestorian Mission of the A. B. C. F. M. as the wife of the lamented Missionary Stoddard; is now (1881) the wife of Dea. William H. Stoddard, of Northampton, Massachusetts.
  2. Allen, who was graduated at Dartmouth College in 1842, at Andover Theological Seminary in 1845, and has been connected with the Marathi Mission of the A. B. C. F. M. in Western India since 1846.

His second marriage was with Lucia, daughter of Rev. Azel Washburn, of Royalton. She had 7 children.

  1. Austin, who was graduated at the Vermont University in 1855, and at Andover Theological Seminary in 1859, is now (1881) pastor of the Congregational church at Jericho Center.
  2. William Skinner Hazen, who was graduated at the Vermont University in 1858; Andover Theological Seminary in 1863; now (1881) pastor of the Congregational church in Northfield.
  3. Lucia Washburn Hazen, who died in 1854, in the 16th year of her age.
  4. Azel Washburn Hazen, who was graduated at Dartmouth College in 1863, at Andover Theological Seminary 1868; now (1881) pastor of the first Congregational church in Middletown, Connecticut.
  5. Frances Mary Hazen, who was graduated at the Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary in 1863, and is one of the teachers in that institution.
  6. Lucius Randolph Hazen, who was graduated at Dartmouth College in 1870, now (1881) in business in Middletown, Connecticut.
  7. Susan Hazen, who died in infancy, 1873.

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