Third Thursday: What Say You, Elder? The Life and Lore of Rev. Daniel Field
What Say You, Elder? The Life and Lore of Rev. Daniel Field, a Vermont Methodist Minister of the 19th Century
with Adam Boyce
Rev. Daniel “Elder” Field (1805-1883) was born in Springfield, Vermont. He was “called” to become an itinerant Methodist minister, serving various communities throughout Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York State. Rev. Field retired from the full-time ministry in 1863 to a small farm in Williamstown, Vermont, where he spent the remainder of his life, occasionally filling in at local churches as a “supply” minister. It was during this time that many stories about “Elder” Field, as he was known, began to accumulate, showing his droll, wise, and sometimes eccentric ways.
Adam Boyce, whose great-grandparents purchased the former “Elder” Field farm in 1896 (still in the Boyce family today), relates stories handed down from his family and other sources about the pithy parson.
Adam Boyce has been a life-long student of history. Besides taking an interest in “Elder” Field, he was actively involved for many years with the Williamstown Historical Society in his former hometown of Williamstown, Vermont, along with holding various elected positions in local town government, including town moderator. He learned to play the fiddle from longtime Chelsea fiddler, Harold Luce (1918-2014), and has been involved in nearly every aspect of traditional music and dance history for over 20 years, including the composition of over 100 tunes. Adam became a speaker and living history presenter through the Humanities in Vermont and New Hampshire, starting in 2001. Besides history, he is an avid collector of antique clocks, and succumbs to the annual Spring rite of passage in Vermont, known as maple sugaring time. Adam and his wife, Mary-Anne, live in West Windsor, Vermont.