The 1889 Capital Campaign
Fourteen years after the congregation decided that they needed a new building, fundraising for it was still underway. In an effort to complete it, the Rev. Gleason issued a broad appeal for funds to support its construction.
In addition to making personal appeals to the 74 members of his own congregation, Rev. Gleason wrote letters to prominent Bostonians and gave speeches at churches throughout eastern Massachusetts.
He also made personal visits to individual residents of the town of Needham, asking them to contribute to the building fund on the grounds that they had an interest in seeing their town expand, even if they themselves were not church members.
The original letters Rev. Gleason received in response to this broad appeal are preserved in the archives. Although it is not feasible to transcribe them here, I can tell you where the money to build the new church building came from and how it was spent.
Where the Money Came From
Church Members: $6,338.93
Includes donations from:
|Peady R. Mills (Mrs. Matthias Mills)||
|Joanna E. Mills (Mrs. John Mills)||
|Dr. A. Dexter Kingsbury||
|Edgar H. Bowers||
|Mary E. Bowers (Mrs. Edgar H. Bowers)||
|John J. Morgan||
|Mrs. D. F. Mann||
Note: Although it was a common practice to rent pews to parishioners, it is not clear from the archives whether that pew rent was used to raise funds for the capital campaign or for the existing chapel.
Neighboring Churches: $2,921.18
|Central Congregational Church, Newtonville||
|Harvard Church, Congregational, Brookline||
|First Church in Newton, Newton Centre||
|Auburndale Congregational Church, Newton||
|Shawmut Church, Congregational, Boston||
|Second Church in Newton, West Newton||
|First Church in Dedham||
|Eliot Church, Congregational, Newton||
|Waltham Congregational Church||
|Brighton Congregational Church||
|Wellesley Congregational Church||
|Phillips Church, Watertown||
|Newton Highlands Congregational Church||
|Wellesley Hills Congregational Church||
|Berkeley Street Church, Boston||
|Allston Congregational Church||
Individuals Affiliated with Other Churches: $676.00
With the exception of William Carter, none of these donors actually lived in Needham.
Sale of Old Chapel: $1,905.00
Mortgage Loan from Newton Savings Bank: $5,000.00
Total Raised: $15,841.11
Where the Money Went
Land and Building: $14,580.64
|Purchase of 22,000 SF of land||
|Cellar hole and foundation||
|Building, including windows, lamps and furnace||
|Grading, lawn and sidewalk||
|Interest and insurance during construction||
|Pews (providing 280 seats)||
|Moving from old chapel||
Interest and insurance for occupancy period charged to building fund: $342.50
Total Charged to Building Fund: $15,841.11
Source: The History of the Evangelical Congregational Church of Needham, Massachusetts as compiled by Edmund W. Trowbridge, Church Historian, 1957.
- 1889: The Congregation Relocates to Linden Street (Once Upon a Time in Needham)
- 1888: The Old Bell (Once Upon a Time in Needham)