||Lennox and Addington Historical Society
|Date of photo
||Detail. Methodist Episcopal General Conference, held at Napanee, August, 1874
Rev. Frederick B. Stratton was born in 1838, in Richmond township, just west of Napanee, Ontario. His father was a Baptist who came to Canada from the United States. The family was very poor, and Stratton was forced leave school at the age of ten to help with the farm. Six years later, he was able to return to the schoolhouse for six months and managed to pass the examinations to become a teacher, although nearly entirely self-taught. After four years of teaching, he had saved enough to enter Albert College where he completed two years.
In 1858, finding little opportunity for a Baptist in the Bay of Quinte area, he changed to the Methodist Episcopal church which he saw had a similar, evangelical flavour. In 1860, he was ordained. Rev. Stratton was very well-known in Lennox and Addington, serving during his ministry at various times at Morven, Odessa, Tamworth and Selby. His sermons were considered "original in thought" and he was described on several occasions as the "finest preacher in the conference". His success at reaching out to the common people made him in great demand as a revivalist. He rose to some prominence in Methodist circles and held many executive positions on the councils of the church.
Local memory holds that Rev. Stratton preached in the high, reedy, sing-song voice used by 18th century preachers of the American frontier, a tradition which most of his contemporaries had abandonned.
Rev. Stratton and his wife, Sophia Weaver, successfully raised six daughters but a son, Robert, died at age six while they were living in Ernestown township. One daughter, Ida, married the well-known photographer Eli Williamson of Lindsey in 1900.
Rev. Stratton preached his last sermon at Napanee, near where he was born and where he had spent his boyhood. He died in Kingston, Ontario on November 8th, 1906.
||Stratton, Frederick B., Rev. (1838-1906)