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Ministers and Churches of River John

The early settlers of River John were of Swiss origin. Having undergone untold persecution in their native land, some of them left their native country and came to Halifax, N. S. From thence they proceeded to Lunenburg, where they endured the hardships of the first settlers. In 1772 twelve or thirteen families came to Tatamagouche and formed the first settlers of that place. In 1785 four families: George Patriquin, James Gratto, John Patriquin and George Langill, removed to River John, where they could obtain crown land. They became the first settlers there and had a noble ancestry. The first preaching received by River John's early settlers was by Dr. McGregor. Between Pictou and River John, at this time, there was an unbroken forest. Not a single dweller was to be found along the shore between these two places.

The first settled minister was Rev. John Mitchell, who began his labors in 1808, and gave 35 years of service to this congregation. The Rev. James Waddell, was settled over the people in 1844. He resigned in 1858. Mr. Waddell was succeeded by the Rev. H. B. McKay in 1861, who ministered to this people for 24 years. In 1887 the Rev. G. L. Gordon was inducted, and was minister for 21 years. The present pastor is Rev. C. D. McIntosh, settled there Dec. 9, 1909.

Two congregations existed for many years in River John, Salem and St. George's congregations. The latter belonged to the Kirk body and was organized by the Rev. Geo. M. Grant. Its first pastor was the Rev. Robt. McCunn, who was settled in 1863, and spent a long and faithful ministry there. Then followed the Rev. J. A. Crawford from 1898 to 1906. In 1896 the Rev. R. J. Grant was ordained. His ministry was a short one, and terminated in his tragic death at Montreal, in 1898. On the 4th of January 1911, the two charges in River John were happily united.

Additional Resources

Ministers Born And Brought Up In River John District

Pictonians at Home and Abroad, 1914


Pictou County

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