Samuel Garvin, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Kansas City, Kan., was born on a farm near Mercer, Pa., April 12, 1868, and s the son of James Garvin, a farmer born in Armagh, County Armagh, Ireland, March, 1827, a son of William and Jane Garvin. Originally the Garvin family lived in France. From France a member of the family removed to Scotland and settled at Dumbarton, where descendants of the family rank among the leading people there today. The family became members of the established church of their adopted country, that of the Presbyterian. From Scotland some members of the family immigrated to County Armagh, Ireland, where the family rose to great prominence and possessed a coat of arms, and from there the paternal grandparents of Mr. Garvin came to America with their family in 1840, and settled at Salem, Pa. In 1851 James Garvin married Sarah Jamison, who was born at Bush Mills, Ireland, May 6, 1828, and came to the United States with her parents, William and Jennie (McKay) Jamison, who settled at Stoneboro, Pa. James Garver, father of Samuel, died at Fredonia, Pa., in 1901, and the mother, Sarah (Jamison) Garvin, survived until May 5, 1903, when she, too, passed away at Washington, Pa.
Rev. Samuel Garvin was reared on the farm on which he was born in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, and during his boyhood attended a country school. At the age of seventeen he entered Grove City Academy, Mercer county, Pennsylvania, and after two years' attendance became a teacher, and taught one year in Mercer county and one year in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania. He then attended Waynesburg College at Waynesburg, Pa., for a short time, then entered Lincoln University, of Lincoln, Ill., which is now the academic college of the James Miliken University at that place. He graduated as a Bachelor of Arts in 1893, and at the same commencement the degree of Master of Arts was conferred on him for extra work he had done. Having studied theology in the meantime, he was licensed to preach at the age of twenty-two and throughout his course at Lincoln University filled the pulpit of a Presbyterian church at Beason, Ill., a town near Lincoln. He spent the year 1893-4 as a theological student in the San Francisco Seminary of the Presbyterian church at San Anselano, Cal., and in 1894 was ordained at the Cumberland Presbyterian church at Stanford, Ill. He began his ministerial work at Midland City, Ill., and was pastor of the church one year, during which time he was also principal of the high school. For the following four years he served as pastor of the Cumberland Presbyterian church at Gibson City, Ill., and during the first two years was also principal of the high school, while the last two years, aside from his ministerial duties, were spent in the further study of theology at McCormick Seminary, Chicago, Ill. He finished his divinity course in the theological department of Chicago University in 1898, his work in that university having been principally post-graduate work. From 1898 until 1903 he was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Nebraska City, Neb., and from 1903 until 1906 he was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Warrensburg, Mo. His selection as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Kansas City, Kan., in 1906, was regarded by the members of that church as wise and felicitous, and his continuous service there since then has but confirmed their belief. He is a man of marked individuality, of clear intellect, and the influence which he wields over his congregation is that of a noble, cultured, Christian gentleman. Reverend Garvin is one of the trustees of Missouri Valley College, located at Marshall, Mo., and is also a trustee of Westminster Hall, of the University of Kansas. The degree of Master of Letters was conferred on Mr. Garvin by Lincoln University in 1898 for work done, and the degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on him by Hastings College in 1908.
In St. Helena, Cal., Feb. 12, 1902, was solemnized the marriage of Reverend Garvin and Miss May Eva Davis, of that place. Three children have been born to them: Neil Davis, born May 6, 1904; Samuel, Jr., born July 3, 1906; and Sarah Frances, born April 10, 1909.Pages 407-408 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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