Mention should also be made of the Rev. John McGrath, a man of most courtly bearing and of a gracious, benign personality, who endeared himself to Christ Church members while, for a short period, he assumed charge of the parish during an illness of Mr. Brooks.
There were great laymen whose last days were during Mr. Brooks' rectorship, men who had lived through the almost overwhelmingly discouraging days of church building; men who, as each signed the mortgage on the present edifice "knew that he became liable for the whole amount;" men, who under the leadership of public-spirited rectors had identified themselves with movements for Springfield's progress and achievements. It is unfortunate that, save in official lists, so few written words have come to light telling specifically what was the work of these faithful churchmen of a former generation. We find the name of Mr. George N. Parsons at the head of the list of those who pledged money to build the new church. Mr. Daniel P. Crocker gave the first contribution toward the building of the Parish House. Mr. John D. Brewer the "working member" of the building committee, with the added burden of uncertain funds, gave unreservedly of his time, of his labor, of his thought, until he had carried to completion his monumental task. Mr. Theodore Chapin Beebe is remembered as one of those, who, when business reverses came, led his family in acts of heroic self-sacrifice until he had "paid the uttermost farthing" of his pledge. Of Mr. John B. Stebbins a Boston periodical wrote in 1899:
"In the death of Mr. John B. Stebbins the venerable and beloved warden of Christ Church, Springfield, at the ripe age of eighty-two years, on Jan. 20, the church at large, and more particularly the Diocese of Massachusetts and the parish of which he was for so many years a warden and an officer, have suffered a peculiarly heavy loss and bereavement. His was a life which furnished the highest example of the pious and devoted laymen, drawing all his power and inspiration from his association with the church, and consecrating in return all his