William Clitz Sexton

Luke Sexton, the father of William C. Sexton was an early settler of Vineland, locating on Park, near Valley Avenue, where he cultivated a small fruit farm. He traced his ancestry to two brothers of that name, who came from Scotland to this country in 1720, and settled in Stafford in the Colony of Connecticut.

Seth Sexton, the father of Luke removed to New York State in 1800. Luke married Leonora Clitz, whose lineage was of Prussian origin, January 12, 1832.

William Clitz, their first child was born December 26, 1832, at Plymouth, New York. He received his early education in the District School of his native town, attended the Oneida Seminary and the Oxford and Norwich Academies. He prepared for Yale College, which he entered, and from which he graduated in 1862. After graduation he continued his studies in the Divinity School, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Divinity in 1864, being one of the first four on whom this degree was conferred.

He supplied vacant pulpits in New Haven and elsewhere in Connecticut. He engaged in Missionary work in the West, and was ordained and preached in Lewis, Cass County, Iowa, until 1869. He served churches at Paterson, N. J., Guy's Mills, Townville, Mercer and Wilmington, Pa.; at Perry Center, Bangor, Ironville and Hammondville, N. Y., and at East Arlington and Wilminton, Vt.

He married Sept. 27, 1887, Miss Julia Augusta Beers, a marriage long delayed on account of ill health of the bride who continuing an invalid, he retired from active professional life in 1889. Mrs. Sexton died July 23, 1891. Two years later he purchased a farm near Geneseo, N. Y. He married at Vineland, N. J., December 2, 1896, Miss Delia Elizabeth Sweet, daughter of Lebbeus and Jerusha (Gray) Sweet, and after a brief residence at Geneseo, returned to and made his home in Vineland. He occasionally preached, supplying the pulpit of the Congregational Church, when it was without a pastor.

He died August 19, 1908, leaving a widow who is still a resident of Vineland. A life size crayon portrait of Mr. Sexton may be seen in the rooms of the Historical and Antiquarian Society. From an old Bible, published in New York in 1824, formerly in his possession we are able to give the family record of his mother's family.