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Erastus R. Hascall

Rev. E.R. Hascall

Rev. E.R. Hascall died in the city of Detroit on the second of March, 1886, and his mortal remains were laid to rest by the side of his wife and daughter in the cemetery of Tecumseh.

Our departed Brother was born in Stafford, Genesee County, N.Y., August 7, 1818. His father died when he was less than a year old. There being four other children, the burden upon the poor mother was too heavy; the little property was disposed of, and the family dissolved. At the age of thirteen Erastus was thrown upon his own resources and obliged to support and care for himself.

His mother, though poor in this world’s goods, had that which was of vastly more value to her orphaned boy — a pure religious character and a deep religious experience. The fervent religious instruction which she gave him and the ardent and trustful prayers which she offered in his behalf were worth more to him than silver or gold. They took hold upon his heart and settled him in the conviction that the pardon of sins and a conscious peace with God is the imperative duty and the glorious privilege of every soul. In his life record he says:

“At the age of ten I felt my sins a burden to me. I sought and found forgiveness. But as soon as I felt myself saved I also felt that it would be my duty to preach the gospel to my fellowmen. To this my heart would not consent. Resistance to this conviction of duty cost me, during many years of my life, my religious hope and enjoyment. O! the miseries I experienced during these years of perverse rebellion! Sometimes my distress of mind was so great that I would promise the Lord that if he would restore to me the joys of his salvation I would gladly do His will. But after the divine love came back to my poor heart the burden seemed so fearfully great that I shrunk back from my vows and fell again into condemnation.”

This conflict did not cease until the crushing hand of affliction, in the death of a son and daughter and a severe personal sickness lasting about two years, and bringing him very near to death, made him feel the utter folly of contending with the Almighty.

He finally yielded to his convictions of duty, and entered the ministry in 1851. He was received on trial in the Michigan Conference in 1852. His appointments in the regular work were as follows : Oakville; Mason; South Lyon; Ridgeway; Blissfield; Dexter; Howell; Northville; Farmington; Tecumseh; Grass Lake; Hudson; Garland Street, Flint; and Ridgeway a second time. Here his health gave way, and in the fall of 1868 he was granted a supernumerary relation. He settled in Tecumseh, and at first entered into trade, but subsequently retired to the quiet of a farm near the village.

Brother Hascall always regretted his early aversion to enter the ministry. He often said : “I lost twelve of the best years of my life reading novels and trying to drive away the Good Spirit from my heart.” And yet his life was far from being a failure. His ministry was full an average success. It has been estimated that over two thousand souls were brought to Christ and into the Church through his instrumentality. This is certainly a good record — more enduring and glorious than earthly fame. “ They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.”

- Detroit Annual Conference minutes of 1886, pp. 45-46