Purchase of Hearse

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Purchase of Hearse:

From the records of the Church Board meetings from the 1870s which were kept by George Manchester, Clerk.  At the Board Meeting on March 12, 1871:

“The board unanimously recommended that Br. John J. Brown purchase a hearse of Langley and Bennett at a cost of $162 provided the sum of $200 is raised.”

After researching the City Directory for Newport for 1871 we found this ad for the Langley and Bennett furniture company.  This company not only built furniture but also furnished “everything connected with the management of funerals.”

1871 Advertisement for Langley and Bennet

Christian Union Church Horse Drawn Hearse

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The Christian Union Church of Portsmouth, RI purchased this horse drawn hearse in 1871 and used it for many years.  It was made in Newport, RI by the furniture maker, Langley and Bennett.  When the church dissolved in the 1930s the hearse was moved to the Breakers Stables in Newport.  In 1970 there was a fire at the stables and in 1974 the Little Compton Historical Society provided storage for the hearse in the basement of their barn.  In 2009 the hearse was moved to the Portsmouth Historical Society which is at the Church’s original location.

1871 horse drawn hearse returns to the Union Church.