Tama County Iowa Biographies

Maxson Babcock

"The Sabbath Recorder", Vol 47, No 21, p 326, May 21, 1891.

Maxson Babcock was born in Clark county, Ohio, May 5, 1817, and died at his home near Garwin, Iowa, April 8, 1891, aged 73 years, 11 months, 3 days. Early in life he made a profession of faith in Christ, and united with the Jackson Centre Church, near which he was then living. September 1, 1835, he married Phiathata Davis and settled neat his old home, and was engaged for several years in farming. Some years after his marriage he was elected deacon of the church, which office he continued to hold for several years. In the spring of 1856 the church called him to ordination to the ministry, and on March 2d he was duly ordained, and soon began his work in the ministry by being installed pastor of the Stokes Church, in Ohio, which church he served faithfully for some years, after which he was located as pastor of the Jackson Centre Church, where he also rendered acceptable service.

In the fall of 1861 he, with his brother-in-law, John Knight, together with their families, emigrated to Iowa, driving through with horses and wagons, and settled in Tama county upon the land which now joins the town of Garwin, but at that time only five houses were in sight on the prairie which lay around his home. The fact that Eld. Babcock kept the Sabbath was something new to the few settlers who lived near him, for his coming among them was the first dawning of Sabbath truth that had ever shone over their rolling prairies.

During the fall of 1863, the Carlton Seventh-day Baptist Church was organized, Eld. Babcock figuring largely in effecting the organization, becoming one of the constituent members and continuing in its fellowship till he was called home. The church being organized, he was chosen pastor, and began his efficient labors in that capacity, in which he continued for many years, during which time he stood firmly by the church in all her trials and triumphs, preaching, visiting and contributing of his means. In those early days of the church's existence the meetings were held in private houses, and there Eld. Babcock preached Christ to the few pioneer Sabbath-keepers, encouraging them in faithfulness to the Master, counseling them, teaching and guiding them. Around his labors in those formative days of the church's life are clustered many tender memories by those still living, who shared in the joys and trials connected with the establishment of the Carlton church.

For many years he was called to officiate in the various duties of a minister of the gospel by all classes of people living over a wide territory, and wherever he went his voice was heard proclaiming the gospel of Christ as the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes. Everywhere he went he was known as a Seventh-day Baptist, and on many occasions was called upon to defend the Sabbath truth, which he so much loved, which he always did in a kind but positive manner.

He has served the Carlton church as pastor during quite a portion of the time since its organization, and when at times the church has had no pastor he has always assisted in whatever ways he was able, though of recent years old age and poor health have not permitted him to preach. Since the writer has been pastor of the church he has also been engaged, to some degree, and upon such occasions Eld. Babcock has kindly taken charge of Sabbath service and done all he could for the cause, and all he could to assist the present pastor and make it pleasant for him.

December 20, 1882, the companion of his youth was removed from him by death, after having shared his joys and sorrows for forty-seven years, and he was left alone to continue his work for God and lost men. November 13, 1884, he was married to Mrs. Isabell Tarpenting, of Shellsburg, Iowa, who still survives him.

He was the father of six children, four of whom died in infancy, two sons still living - G. S. Babcock, of Garwin, and B. C. Babcock, of Grand Junction, Iowa. He was the son of Rev. Simeon Babcock, of Ohio, and half-brother of Rev. S. H. Babcock, of Walworth, Wis. His funeral was largely attended, and the whole church mourns his loss. "I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." E. H. Socwell

Transcribed and submited by Jon

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