March 11: William Dickson Baldwin (1915)

For 64 years, William D. Baldwin was an active and devoted member of Epiphany Parish. Upon his relocation to Washington at age 17, he immediately became associated with the church, where his cousin, the Rev. John W. French, was serving as rector. Within a decade, Baldwin was acting as secretary at annual meetings. In 1872, he was unanimously elected Junior Warden, serving for 34 years until he became Senior Warden, a position he held for the last nine years of his life. He was for many years the superintendent of the Sunday school, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Epiphany Church Home, and President of the Board of Trustees of the Lenthall Home. For nearly fifty consecutive years he represented the parish as one its lay delegates at diocesan conventions.

Professionally, William Baldwin was a patent attorney as evidenced by the accompanying advertisement for his law firm. Mr. Baldwin was one of the charter members of the Washington Patent Law Association, serving as its president for a time. Mr. Baldwin was connected with the litigation over the Bell telephone inventions and was after its termination, counsel for many other prominent inventors, such as Lord Kelvin, Sir Oliver Lodge, and Marconi, whose first patent in wireless telegraphy, he secured. Upon his death, Epiphany’s vestry resolved, “Mr. Baldwin’s whole life as citizen, lawyer, and churchman has exemplified in a remarkable degree the best type of the Christian gentleman, and has been an inspiration to his associates in and out of the church.”

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