WILLIAM WOODRUFF ATWATER
November 4, 1824 ~ March 15, 1874
From the 25th Anniversary publication
of the Yale College Class of 1846
~ Published 1871 ~
William Woodruff Atwater was born in New Haven, Nov. 4, 1824, the son of Ira Atwater, a chief
architect and builder, and Roxanna Atwater. His grandfather, Amos Atwater, a native of Bethany and
a resident of Prospect, was descended from David Atwater, who was among the settlers of New Haven.
His mother was the daughter of Deacon Ebenezer Buckingham.
He fitted for college with Mr. Amos Smith, of New Haven, and entered with the class. After taking his
degree he spent a year in teaching at Goldsboro, N.C., and three years in studying theology; two years
at New Haven, and one at Andover, Maine; was licensed to preach August 7, 1849, by Middlesex
Association, Conn.; was ordained December 3, 1850; preached in Lima, Niles and Hudson, Michigan,
about two years each; at Elkhart in Indiana, three years; returned to Conn. in 1860; was installed pastor
in Prospect, October 31 of that year, where he remained six years. December 17, 1865, he began to
preach at Avon, West Parish. In 1869 he accepted an invitation to preach at South Killingly, where he
now labors (1871).
He expresses his hearty satisfaction with the work of the gospel ministry, and has been blessed with
several revivals of religion among the people of his charge. He has labored earnestly in the temperance
cause, and to improve the sacred music in his parish. He has occasionally contributed to the newspapers,
and prepared a church manual.
He married Mary Elizabeth Olmstead, September 27, 1847, at Bridgeport, Conn. They have had five
children, viz., William Olmstead, born Nov. 22, 1848 (class boy), married Jan., 1871; Frank E., born
Jan. 5, 1851; Lillian E., born June 9, 1856; Leonard E., born May 31, 1861; Edward L., born June 16,
1858, died Feb. 2, 1859.
From the 1910 DKE Catalogue
B.A., Yale College
Teacher, Goldsborough, North Carolina, 1846 - 47
Married May Elizabeth Olmstead, September 27, 1847, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Andover Theological Seminary, 1847 - 48
Yale College Department of Theology, 1848 - 50
Home Missionary, Lima, Michigan, 1850 - 52
Niles, Michigan, 1852 - 54,
Hudson, Michigan, 1854 - 56,
Elkhart, Indiana, 1856 - 59
Prospect, Connecticut, 1860 - 65
Avon, Connecticut, 1865 - 68
South Killingly, Connecticut, 1869 - 73
Librarian, Law Library, Yale College, 1872 - 74
Clergyman, New Haven, Connecticut
Deceased: March 15, 1874, New Haven, Connecticut