Rev. Aretas G. & Elizabeth B. Loomis

written by Joel N. Fowler

Rev. Aretas G. Loomis, son of Rev. Aretas (1790-1857) & Sarah (Goodman) Loomis (1791-1858), was born Huntonville, Randolph, (West) Virginia 26 Oct 1820, and died Greenfield, Mass. 1 Aug 1893, age 72 yrs. and 9mos., of angina pectoris. He married in Bethlehem, Ct., 15 Jun 1853, Elizabeth Mason Bellamy, daughter of Rev. Joseph Hart & Sarah Griswold (Hillhouse) Bellamy, born Bethlehem, Ct. 5 Sep 1822, died at home, 34 Congress St, Greenfield, Mass., 8 Apr 1908, age 85, of old age. Both Aretas and Elizabeth are buried in Green River Cemetery, Greenfield, Mass.

Aretas G. Loomis’ father Aretas, son of Shem & Rhoda (Winter) Loomis, was a native of Southampton, Mass., graduated Williams College in 1815, was ordained at Belchertown, Mass. in 1818 and soon went to Western Virginia. He was given as of Randolph County, Virginia (now West Virginia), when his marriage intention was filed in Greenfield, Mass. on 20 Sep 1819, and remained in Randolph County six and a half years, being enumerated there in Beverly in 1820, apparently as a Presbyterian minister. Between 1826 and 1827 he preached in West Windsor and Castleton, Vt. The family lived in Greenfield, Mass. for about two years and then resided in Colrain, Mass. from 1828 to 1836, where the senior Loomis supplied the First Congregational church. On 27 May 1832, a daughter Martha Arms Loomis was baptized there. She later married Rev. Henry Johnson Patrick, a Congregational minister, and resided in Newton, Mass. The senior Rev. Loomis was at Bennington, Vt. from 1836 to 1850, went briefly to New Preston, Ct. and then to Hebron, NY.  Aretas G. Loomis’ mother Sarah was the daughter of Elihu (1753-1840) & Sarah (Smead) Goodman (1765-1823) and was a native of Greenfield, Mass.

Aretas G. Loomis was a freshman from Bennington, Vt. at Williams College in 1839 and graduated in 1844. He finished his theological training at East Windsor Hill, Ct. in 1847.  He then supplied at West Charlemont, Mass. for six months and at Colebrook, Ct. for six months. He was ordained at Bethlehem, Ct. on 30 Jan 1850, when his father preached the sermon. Aretas and his father were both on the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Aretas G. Loomis remained in Bethlehem, Ct. until 1862.  He had a younger brother, Elihu Loomis, who was also a Congregational minister at Bedford, Mass. The wife of Aretas G. Loomis, Elizabeth, had a sister Charlotte who was married to Rev. Nathan W. Monroe of Cambridge, Ct.

Aretas came to Greenfield, Mass. about 1862 and supplied at the First Congregational church for a year, and afterward preached only occasionally in neighboring towns. He joined the Franklin County (Mass.) Association of Congregational ministers on 11 Nov 1868. He was on the school committee in Greenfield 1872-73 and 1875-79. He was treasurer of the Franklin Association of Congregational ministers in 1882. The Greenfield history states that “for several years he received into his family five or six Chinese boys who were sent to this country by their government for their education.” The history also tells us that “he was a studious man, of fine sensibilities, modest and unassuming in his manner and the exemplar of a true Christian manhood.”


Packard, Theophilus, Jr.  A history of the churches and ministers, and of Franklin Association, in Franklin County, Mass. Boston: S K Whipple & Co, 1854

Thompson, Francis McGee. History of Greenfield, v. 2

Vital records of Greenfield, Mass to 1850

Massachusetts vital records, 1841-1910



2 Responses to “Rev. Aretas G. & Elizabeth B. Loomis”

  1. Cliff McCarthy Says:

    From the Greenfield Gazette & Courier, 1874-09-14:

    “The Chinese lads with Rev. Mr. Loomis have been photographed in a group by [H. J. ?] Davis, who has made a fine picture of the juvenile Celestials.”

    Does anyone have this photograph?

  2. Cliff McCarthy Says:

    From the Greenfield Gazette & Courier, 1874-05-11:

    “The Chinese lads who live with Rev. A. G. Loomis have excited the envy or admiration of all the small boys in their neighborhood by their wonderful kites. these are of genuine Chinese manufacture, and combine an amount of ingenuity and mechanism that put all Yankee productions of the kind far back into the shade. Some of the kites take the form of huge birds that hoot as they sail through the air.”

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