Rev. Howard John Kingdon
City of Troy

This biography is from Troy and Rensselaer County, New York, Volume III, by Rutherford Hayner, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., New York and Chicago, 1925. It was submitted by Debby Masterson.

REV. HOWARD JOHN KINGDON—The work of the church in Rensselaer county has progressed side by side with that of the professions and the industries since the early days of the pioneer settlements, when the colonists had such bitter need of the consolation of religion. In more recent years, the church has broadened the scope of its work and now much is being done of social and benevolent effort, and in this it is keeping close to the daily life of the people as a living influence for their encouragement and prosperity, as well as for their spiritual and moral growth. Rev. Howard J. Kingdon, who for the past two years has served as pastor of the Mills Memorial Baptist Church of Troy, is a representative figure in ecclesiastical circles of today and his activities are counting definitely for the general progress.

Rev. Kingdon is a son of John Melville and Fannie (Bennett) Kingdon, but his parents died in his early childhood, his mother passing away when he was only two years of age. At that time he was sent to an aunt, Mrs. Sylvester Carpenter, an estimable farmer's wife of eastern Rensselaer County, New York, and in the simple surroundings of this Christian farm home, he was reared and educated, the family becoming to him as his own. This Carpenter family is a very old one in Rensselaer County and one highly honored in every generation. William Carpenter owned a grist mill at Sand Lake in 1766. Philip Carpenter was living nearby in 1768, and in the same year John Carpenter was living in Hoosick Falls, then known as Hoosick Corners. Benjamin Carpenter lived in Stephentown in 1778, while Daniel Carpenter ran a ferry on the Hudson river in 1767. John Carpenter, Jr., was one of the charter members of the Rensselaer Agricultural Society in 1819, and Dr. F. A. Carpenter began practice as a physician in Stephentown in 1828.

Howard J. Kingdon was born in Fairfield, Iowa, April t, 1871, and in the traditions of such a family as the above grew to boyhood and youth. His first school attendance was in the little district schools near the farm home of the Carpenters, and he later attended the Bell School near Stephentown. His desire to become a minister of the gospel was encouraged by the good people who had reared him and he was then sent to Mount Whitney Seminary, following which he covered the usual theological courses in Crozer Seminary. During the course of his higher education, Rev. Kingdon acted as assistant pastor in several different communities, but took over the duties of his first regular pastorate following his graduation from the theological seminary at North Egremont, Massachusetts, where he served for three years. He then accepted a call to Delhi, Delaware County, New York, where he served for four years, at the close of which period he again removed to Beacon, New York. There he continued until 1921, when he was called to the Mills Memorial Baptist Church, of Troy, and in this connection he still serves. A forceful and persuasive speaker. Rev. Mr. Kingdon has won many new members to the congregation and to the communion of the church, and his work is felt to be broadly progressive, both as a spiritual leader and in the social and benevolent activities of the congregation. He is esteemed by his contemporaries of every shade of religious opinion and is doing much good in the city of Troy. He is a member of the NewYork State Pastors' Conference.

Rev. Kingdon married (first) on November 18, 1892, Nellie Rose Harrington, daughter of John A. and Mary (Rose) Harrington, of Stephentown, New York. Mrs. Kingdon died January 1, 1899, and Mr. Kingdon married (second) in Stephentown, on October 29, 1902, Amy Victoria Phelps, daughter of Nathan E. and Alice Eliza (Moffett) Phelps. Rev. and Mrs. Kingdon are the parents of two children: Philip Howard, educated in Beacon, New York, High School, and graduated from the Lansingburg High School, and now taking the teachers' course in the New York State University; and Alice Elvira, a student at Lansingburg HighSchool.

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