Mary Waterman

Mary Ann Waterman
Wife of Levi L. Waterman, Esq.
Who Departed This Life, March 14th, 1863, in the 63rd year of her Age

Mrs. Mary Ann Waterman, departed this life, March 14th, 1863, at her home-Clear Branch, Washington County, VA in the 63rd year of her age.

She was born in the State of Massachusetts, August 22nd, 1800. Her maiden name was Cutler. The family received a very strict religious education in the Congregational Church, of which her grandfather, Manassah Cutler, D. D. was a distinguished minister for many years. Her father, Maj. Jervis Cutler, was one of the early pioneers of the Northwestern territory, and claims to have felled the first tree in making a settlement at Marietta, Ohio.

She was united in marriage to Mr. L. L. Waterman in 1820. Soon after their marriage they settled in Virginia, and have made this state their home for more than 42 years. April 13th, 1818, she professed faith in Christ.

In a letter to Judge Ephraim Cutler, of Ohio, written in 1834, she gives a full account of her conversion. Rev. Mr. Robbins, a Congregational minister, was conducting a sacrament to which her cousins with herself went. One of them, a young lady from her side was led to the table and she was left. The fact of being left wrought keenly upon her feelings, and she wept much and bitterly. Returning home that night and finding company, she retired to a grove near the garden, and by the trunk of a fallen tree, bowed in humble praryer. There she remained till deliverance came, attended by a light so great that she opened her eyes to behold it. She records the light was within her according to the promise. "If thine eye be single thy whole body shall be full of light." Soon after she went to Athens, Ohio, to teach school and did not unite with the Church till April 4th, 1819, when she joined the Congregational Church, in which she had been raised. On leaving the school of Mr. Slocomb, at Marietta, she went to Warren and established a Sunday School, either in 1819 or 1820. That school, planted almost literally in the wilderness, has continued ever since. It soon became the nucleus of a Presbyterian Church, which becoming strong as the country filled up, became the parent school to others, and churches in due course, springing up from them. On coming to Washington County, Va., she presented her church letter to the Presbyterian Church in Abingdon, Va. Living ten miles in the country and enjoying such poor church privileges, she opened a Sunday School in her own house as early as 1833. On becoming acquainted with the Methodist ministers, she found them men of prayer, and asked them to preach at her house. In a letter to Judge Cutler, her uncle, and a distinguished member of the Presbyterian Church she wrote in 1834, as follows, "I became acquainted with the Methodist ministers, and found them men of prayer and men of God, and among the members, the excellent of the earth. I remembered, too, that a Methodist was the instrument in the hands of God, in awakening me to a sense of situation as a sinner in the sight of God, and by that man's preaching, was brought under conviction, and felt the necessity of an interest in the atoning blood of Jesus. I examined their doctrines, and found them doctrines of the Bible. I found, too, that their institutions and usages were greatly productive of piety and faithfulness-the best calculated of any Church to keep up the life of God in the soul. After four years deliberation, and halting between two opinions, I formed the resolution of joining that Church".

She united with the Methodist Church in June 1833. Her labors in the Sunday School were regular and faithful. There may have been some other school in Southwestern Virginia besides this one, but the writer of this sketch has no knowledge of any one so early. Her school was not dependent on the ministers of the Church. Nearly twenty years ago she wrote to her old teacher, "I commenced one in this place in my own house, and in years past, it has numbered from 40 to 50 scholars. A number have become Church members, but how much good will be the ultimate result, can only be known the light of eternity shall unfold it."

For very many years she had led religious exercises in her church in Prayer meeting and Class meeting. These labors have been long and continuous. It is not too much to say they were productive of great good. They were such as to deeply impress all intelligent and pious minds.

She was much accustomed to visit and give relief to the sick, and to many of the poor, was she a good physician no less to their souls than bodies. She was more than a mother in Israel. In her community she was a standard-bearer in the hosts of the Master! She lived to be useful-not great or splendid. In young womanhood she instructed the minds and hearts of youths - in her riper years she pointed both great and small to the cross. Ths day of affliction was long and severe, but she bore it peacefully and patiently. If she had labored through life as a Christian, she suffered till death as a saint.

The labor is passed-the pain is ended, and now in heaven the robe and crown are grasped.

[NB: The obituary was written by J. W. Dickey, h/o Susan Emeline (d/o Levi L. Waterman and Mary Ann Cutler).]

Clear Branch, Washington County VA; 15 Mar 1863

Contributed by: Sue Waterman

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