Rev. Albert Ethridge, formerly the beloved pastor of the Congregational church of Marseilles, LaSalle county, Illinois, now retired from active service, was born in Sandwich, New Hampshire, January' 19, 1829. His parents were Samuel and Lydia (Cook) Ethridge, both natives of the state of New Hampshire and of English ancestry. The grandfather, Stephen Ethridge, was a farmer, who married Jane McGaffee, and a son of Stephen Ethridge, a soldier of the Revolution. The family was founded in America in 1636. The maternal grandfather was Joel Cook, who married Betsy Maxfield, a native of Massachusetts.
Albert Ethridge lived on a farm during his earlier life and was a student in the public schools. He then entered the home seminary, and later became a student in the New Hampshire Conference Seminary, where he prepared for college. He then entered the Wesleyan University of Middletown, Connecticut, graduating with the degree of A. M. After leaving college he devoted several years to teaching in the high school of Sandwich and then came west, stopping in Henry county, Illinois, and then in LaSalle county. He took charge of the Congregational church at Deer Park, where he remained two years, and then went to Dover, Bureau county, this state, where he was in charge of the Dover Academy six years, - from 1859 to 1864. The following year he was elected principal of the public schools of Princeton, Bureau county, and two years later was appointed by the board of supervisors to fill the vacancy in the office of county superintendent of schools, caused by the death of the incumbent. He held this office until 1872, when, much to the regret of those associated with him, he resigned to accept a position in Chicago with Harper & Brothers, where he was in charge of the school-book department. He was with them until 1876, when he resigned and came to Marseilles to assume the pastorate of the Congregational church. His labors here were attended with the most flattering results, but were discontinued three years later that he might accept a charge at Normal, this state. He remained there until 1880, when he was recalled to Marseilles, but at the expiration of two years resigned. He then supplied the pulpit of the Decorah (Iowa) church for six months, when he moved to Des Moines and supplied the North Park Congregational church. In 1885 he took charge of the Congregational church at Streator, Illinois, and one year later was commissioned to act as evangelist under the direction of the Illinois Home Missionary Society. He was thus engaged two years, when he was called to Marseilles for a third time to fill the pulpit of the Congregational church. He was with the organization as pastor six years, and then tendered his resignation and retired from active ministerial duties. He now occasionally supplies the pulpit, performs weddings and pays the last tribute to the memory of the departed. He is a pleasant, sympathetic speaker, and has been an earnest worker in the cause of Christianity.
Rev. Mr. Ethridge was married in November, 1852, to Miss Marcia A. Forrest, of Northfield, New Hampshire, a daughter of John and Marcia (Eastman) Forrest and a distant relative of Daniel Webster. They had three daughters: Lenora, who married Dr. C. A. Weerick, now a prominent physician of Chicago; Marcia S. and Carrie E., all of whom are deceased; Mrs. Weerick died July 22, 1888, leaving two children. Mrs. Ethridge having died. Rev. Mr. Ethridge again contracted marriage, on June 16, 1875, this time with Miss Arzella M. Lovejoy, of Ottawa, Illinois, and by this marriage there is one son, Albert, a student in the Ottawa Business College.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 25-26.