Ryder, William H., Reverend
- Existence: 1822-07-18 -- 1888-03-07 - 1888-03-07
Reverend William Henry Ryder (1822-1888) was a successful Universalist preacher and pastor, recognized for his involvement in interests at home and in foreign missions. He took charge of the church at Roxbury, Mass. where he remained ten years and in 1860 became pastor of St. Paul's Church, Chicago, holding the position until 1882 when he resigned. Reverend Ryder was a strong supporter of the Union cause during the Civil War. He traveled to Richmond as an agent of the Sanitary Commission at the end of the war to collect material for the upcoming Sanitary Commission Fair.
William Henry Ryder was born in Provincetown, Massachusetts July 18, 1822 of Universalist parents. His father was Captain Godfrey Ryder, a prominent Universalist on Cape Cod. William was trained at Pembroke, NH and his theological preparation for the ministry was at Clinton, NY. He was ordained at Concord, NH on October 11, 1843 where he continued as pastor. In 1846 he took charge of the parish at Nashua and on resigning his charge there made an extensive tour abroad visiting Palestine and spending seven months in Germany to study. On his return, he took charge of the church at Roxbury, Mass. where he remained ten years. In 1860 he became pastor of St. Paul's Church Chicago holding the position until 1882 when he resigned. Harvard College conferred on him the degree of AM in 1860 and Lombard University that of DD in 1863.
Reverend Ryder was a strong supporter of the Union cause during the Civil War. He agreed to travel to Richmond as an agent of the Sanitary Commission at the end of the war to collect material for the upcoming Sanitary Commission Fair, and while there discovered a famous letter used by the government in the Lincoln assassination trial.
Dr. Ryder was an eminently successful preacher and pastor, renown for his involvement in interests at home and in foreign missions. He was extremely shrewd in his financial investments, so that upon his death he was able to make generous bequests to the General Convention, Lombard University, St. Paul's Church Chicago, First Universalist Society Provincetown Mass., Illinois Universalist Convention, the Divinity Schools at St. Lawrence, Tufts, Lombard Buchtel College, and the Universalist Publishing House. He died in Chicago on March 7, 1888 in his 66th year.