Cemetery 24 Rider William Perspective Corrected.jpg


The Rev. William Henry Rider (1846-1923).

There is a famous Universalist clergyman — famous in Universalist circles, anyway — who was a son of Provincetown but made his mark in Chicago, where he offered an eloquent counterpoint to the illiberalism and intolerance of the evangelical movement spearheaded by the likes of Dwight L. Moody. He warranted an entire book, Biography of William Henry Ryder, D.D., by John Wesley Hanson, published in 1891.

This is not him. Our William Henry Rider — he spelled his family name the old-fashioned way — was the nephew of the famous William Henry Ryder, who is buried at Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago (in the company of Enrico Fermi and Ida B. Wells, among others). But our Rider is no less distinguished. He occupied the pulpit at the Universalist Unitarian Meeting House for more than a half-century, beginning in 1868, when he was 22 years old. He also donated the family homestead and adjacent lots to the Town of Provincetown as the site for the new Town Hall, which is of course bounded on the northeast by Ryder Street. Our Rider died in Essex, Mass., but came home and was buried in Lot 298, dominated by the monument to his grandfather Capt. Godfrey Rider (1797-1876).

¶ Last updated on 13 October 2017.

Provincetown’s Historic Cemeteries and Memorials, Key O-13, Page 5.

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