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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Lunn

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 717-719 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The Lunn family of Schenectady, New York, are of English ancestry. Through maternal lines they are connected with the great writer, Thomas Carlysle, and in America with the Alden family of "Mayflower" and Massachusetts fame. Thomas Lunn, a native of Lancaster, England, was a soldier in the English army, served under the Duke of Wellington and was engaged at the battle of Waterloo, witnessing and aiding in the downfall of the great Napoleon.

(I) Richard Lunn, son of Thomas Lunn, and the founder of the American branch under consideration, was born in Lincolnshire, England, and when a young man came to the United States, settling in Cleveland, Ohio, later removing to the state of Iowa. He married Martha Aldrich.

(II) Martin, son of Richard and Martha (Aldrich) Lunn, was born in Wyoming, Iowa, September, 1849. He was well educated and became a journalist. He is now (1908) living a retired life in Denver, Colorado. He married Martha, born 1853, daughter of John Bratton. Children: William, George Richard, Thomas, Pearl, Lillian, Harrison.

(III) George Richard, son of Martin and Martha (Bratton) Lunn, was born in Lenox, Iowa, June 23, 1873. He was educated in the public schools and entered Bellevue College at Bellevue, Nebraska, one of the educational institutions of the Presbyterian church in that state. He was graduated with the degree of Master of Arts from that college, class of 1897. He entered the University of New York and received from that institution in 1900 the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He entered Princeton Theological Seminary, where after a year's study he abandoned his work and enlisted in the Third Nebraska Regiment for service in the Spanish-American war. This was in 1898. The Third Nebraska Regiment was a part of the Seventh Army Corps under General Fitz Hugh Lee, stationed at Jacksonville, Florida. Though retaining his place among the enlisted men he consented at the colonel's request to act as assistant chaplain and improve the opportunity for Christian work among the thousands of young men in camp. After leaving the army he returned to his studies at Princeton, but a severe illness, the result of his soldier experience, necessitated his giving up theological study for a time. During the following year he filled the pulpit of the Bedford Presbyterian Church at Omaha, Nebraska. He then took a special course of study, covering two years' work at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, from which he was graduated in May, 1901. He had in the meantime married, and after graduation, with his wife, he travelled for four months through the countries of southern Europe. On his return to the United States he became assistant pastor of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, New York. The pastor at that time was Dr. Gregg, with whom he labored most successfully for about three years. In 1904 he accepted a call from the First Dutch Reformed Church of Schenectady, New York, the oldest church organization in that city, and the fifth church of that denomination established in the United States. The oldest records of the church bear date of 1680, but the congregation organized previous to that date. He was pastor of this church until his resignation, January 1, 1910. After his resignation he established the People's Church, and is holding (1910) services in the Mohawk Theatre in answer to a demand of a petition signed by fifteen hundred representative men. In 1905 Union College of Schenectady conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity, "in recognition of inspiring leadership, of ability already proved, and rich in promise of large service to humanity."

Dr. Lunn is an easy, graceful and forceful speaker, and his sermons are prepared with a scholarly care which a cultured audience readily and thoroughly approves. He is a lecturer of high repute and in demand for lectures upon his favorite themes, "Socialism and the Church," and "Religion." Dr. Lunn is thoroughly in sympathy with and an earnest advocate on the platform and through the press of the newer theological thought as advocated by Union Theological Seminary of New York, "Christian Socialism." He contends that "Christianity must not only concern itself with cleansing human hearts, but must also cleanse human environment." That "The transformation of the individual and the simultaneous transformation of environment is the only program worthy of a full and vital Christianity." He is a close student of economics and has contributed many able articles that have appeared in the Homiletic Review, The Christian Intelligencer, The Christian Socialist, and the New York daily press. He is a deep thinker and, has the uncommon faculty of seeing both sides of a vital question. He is a believer in "organized labor," and while believing that strikes are "terrible under any circumstances," yet contends that "At times there is nothing left for workers to do, however undesirable they may be," believes that "Accidents should be charged to the industry in which they occur," and "accident insurance maintained and charged to operating cost of a given plant," that "The human machine is worthy and entitled to the same protection as the machine of iron or steel." His early training and environments all tended to carry him into the Republican party and make him a believer in the doctrine of "Protection for American industries." The change of conditions, he now asserts, makes protection unnecessary and robbery. "If the workingman is to be protected let there be a duty on emigration." His solution of the labor problem is "Industrial Democracy, when the users of the tools of production shall be the owners thereof." In 1906 Dr. Lunn published his book, Thoughts to Inspire Life of Every Day. His "The Church and Socialism" appeared in the Homiletic Review in February, 1909, and carried much favorable comment. We quote: "Socialism is simply another form of that great revival of the religious life which had its beginning in the eighteenth century and which taught that all men had value and dignity before God." His address, "Religion," delivered before the New York State Conference of Religion, concludes thus: "Too much of our religion has been sending men up to Heaven for post-mortem bliss, rather than inspiring these men to consecrate their every effort to bring that holy city, the New Jerusalem, down to earth here, to exert its beneficent influences for all that means human inspiration and betterment." He lectures a great deal before Chautauqua and church associations on subjects mentioned under the titles of "Socialism, a Menace or a Promise, Which?" "The Evolution of Industry," "Democracy or Despotism; Which?" "Two Sides of Christianity." In addition to his pulpit, platform and literary engagements, Dr. Lunn is secretary of the City Mission Society of Schenectady and of the Historical Society; trustee of the Chamber of Commerce, and member of the Sagamore Sociological Conference and of the Christian Socialist Fellowship.

He married, May 17, 1901, in Brooklyn, New York, Mabel, daughter of Frank and Mabel Carrington (Raymond) Healy. Mr. Healy is a director of the United States Leather Company, and connected with several banking and industrial corporations of New York. Children:

  1. George Richard (2), born 1901.
  2. Mabel Carrington, 1902.
  3. Elizabeth Healy, 1904.
  4. Raymond Healy, 1907.

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