Ohio History Journal

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Rev. L. B. Gurley, D. D.               21




Pioneer, Poet and Preacher.


BY N. B. C. LOVE, D. D.

Rev. L. B. Gurley was born in Norwich Conn. He lived

there seven and a half years, and learned his A B C's in the school

house where Lydia Sigourney, the poetess,

conned her earliest lessons.

His father was a silversmith and a Meth-

odist local preacher. He worked in his fath-

ear's shop and on the farm until he entered

the ministry. During this time he had the

advantages of winter schools, and a compre-

hensive library of books of the very best Eng-

lish literature, embracing history, biography,

travels, romance, poetry and theology. He

practiced a great deal in composition, both

in prose and verse. He was the author of the

first poem published in northwestern Ohio, in the fourth number

of the "Sandusky Clarion."

Dr. Gurley was a born poet. His talent evinced itself early.

We do not know what his early advantages were. It is not the

purpose of this article to narrate the incidents of his life. He

was born of Irish parents. They came from Wexford county,

Ireland, and were intelligent and possessed of considerable


Of Mr. Gurley, as a poet, I write. Before me is a collection

of his poems in manuscript, eighty in number. Only a few

have been published. These are found in the "Ladies' Reposi-

tory" of forty years ago, the "Western Christian Advocate,"

"Delaware Gazette" and other secular papers. They were writ-

ten beginning in his early youth and the last one when over

seventy years old.

Several of the poems are epics of considerable length. There

is continuity of thought in all his productions. His imagery is

so true to nature that one continually recognizes it as something