Index

From Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College


This entry, is from Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College October 1701 - May 1745, by Franklin Bowditch Dexter, page 507-509. It is interesting that it refers to Rev Ebenezer Dibblee as Ebenezer Dibble. Ebenezer added the final 'e', but this seems to have happened after he went to Yale, and Yale insisted on using the student version of his name. Or, of course, the writer just got the name wrong...


Class of 1734

...Ebenezer Dibble, A.M., S.T.D. Columb. 1793...


Ebenezer Dibble, son of Wakefield Dibble, of Danbury, Connecticut, and grandson of Ebenezer and Mary (Wakefield) Dibble, of Windsor, Connecticut, was born about 1715. His father died in the spring of his Senior year, and he was by that event thrown entirely on his own resources.

He studied theology, and was licensed to preach by the Fairfield East Association of Congregational Ministers, March 4, 1734-35. For the most of the next ten years he preached, as opportunity offered, in vacant Congregational Churches in Fairfield County, without (so far as appears) receiving a call to settle permanently. At length, in 1745, he declared for Episcopacy, and in October of that year began to be regularly employed as lay-reader to the Episcopal families in Stamford, which had been for some time his residence. After two years and a half of this service (for most of the time under the appointment of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, with an annual stipend of £20), he went to England in April, 1748, to obtain ordination, - his expenses being in part defrayed by the churchmen of Stamford and Greenwich, who asked the Venerable Society to appoint him to a mission among them.

Accordingly he was ordained in September, and returned immediately to this country, arriving at Stamford on the 25th of October, with a commission as missionary to that place and Greenwich, on a salary of £30 per annum. In this large parish he labored with fidelity for more than fifty years, only needing an assistant during the last few months of his life. For many years he abounded in labors also over a wide district beyond his own parish limits. His ministrations in Sharon, in Litchfield County, led to the erection of a house of worship there about 1755, and he officiated in 1763 at the opening of a new church in Danbury. His missionary tours extended also into the Province of New York.

He received repeated calls to other parishes with larger salaries (for example, to Newtown in 1752, and to Rye in 1760), but declined them all through loyalty to the feeble parish which had originally chosen him.

In the opening of the Revolution he was of course in sympathy with the British side; but there is no tradition that he suffered any indignities from the opposing party. The esteem in which he was generally held probably served to protect him. When the result became clear, he accepted the new government loyally, and was faithful to it.

He died in Stamford, May, 9, 1799, in his 84th year, of a cancer on the lip. The inventory of his estate amounted to $812, and included 75 volumes of books.

He was married, in 1736, to Joanna, daughter of Jonathan and Joanna (Selleck) Bates, of Stamford, who died a few years before him. Their youngest son, Frederick, also entered the ministry, in New Brunswick, and four daughters survived them. Two other sons had died after reaching mature years.

Dr. Dibble (the degree of D.D. was conferred by Columbia College in 1793) possessed the entire confidence and regard of his fellow citizens. The record on his monument is that "He became endeared to all by his unwavering devotion to their best interests, his holy life, and unremitted zeal in the name of Christ and his church."

Nothing from his pen is preserved in print, except a few extracts from letters.

AUTHORITIES.

Beardsley, Hist. of Episc. Church in Conn., i, 155, 211-12, 251, 300, 384, 418-19; ii, II, 17. Biogr. Sketch of Rev. Thomas Davies, 26. Bolton, Hist. of the Church in Westchester County, 550-55. Documentary Hist. of Episcopal Church in Conn., i. 234, 240, 249, 297. Documents relating to the Colonial Hist. of N. Y., vii, 398, 440. Huntington, Hist. of Stamford, 263, 316-21, 388-91; and Stamford Registration, 31. Sedgwick, Hist. of Sharon, 38.