GRIER, Rev. Nathan, was the son of John and Agnes (Caldwell) Grier, who came to this country from the north of Ireland. He was born in Bucks Co., Pa., in September, 1760; pursued his preparatory studies under the direction of his brother, rev. James Grier; graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1783; was licensed by the Presbytery of Philadelphia, and became pastor of the church of "Forks of Brandywine," Chester County, as the successor of Rev. John Carmichael, in 1787. He possessed natural and acquired endowments which fitted him for great usefulness. He had a very commanding voice, and an earnestness and solemnity of manner which secured attention. He spoke as one who felt the weight of ministerial responsibility. He was a man of great firmness of purpose. What he regarded as duty must be done. In all his relations he always endeavored to know what was right, and to maintain it with vigor and independence. He was possessed of a social disposition, and in familiar intercourse with his friends he received and imparted much enjoyment. His reputation as an eloquent preacher and a learned divine brought under his care an unusual number of students for the ministry. There were at that time no theological seminaries, and young men were trained for the ministry under the direction of the older and more celebrated divines. He had under his care at different time twenty students in theology, seventeen of whom entered the ministry of the Presbyterian Church, one the Episcopal ministry, and two never applied for licensure. Among these students were David McConoughy, D.D., who because president of Washington College, Pennsylvania; Levi Bull, D.D., who became an eminent minister in the Episcopal Church; Robert White, Samuel Parke, and the preceptor's sons, Robert S. Grier and John N. C. Grier.
His wife was Susanna, daughter of Robert and Margaret Smith, by whom he had three daughters and three sons.. Two of his daughters became the wives of Rev. Robert White and Rev. Samuel Parke, who had pursued their theological studies under his care. His oldest son, Robert S. Grier, was pastor of churches in Carlisle Presbytery, and the youngest, John N. C. Grier, D.D., succeeded his father as pastor of Forks of Brandywine in 1814. Rev. Nathan Grier died March 30, 1814, in the vigor of life, and in the midst of usefulness. He was pastor of the Brandywine Church twenty-seven years.
Robert Smith Grier, the son of Rev. Nathan Susanna (Smith) Grier, was
born at Brandywine Manor, Chester, Co., May 11, 1790. His father was
pastor of the Presbyterian Church of the Forks of Brandywine. He was
prepared for college at the Brandywine Academy, and graduated at Dickinson
College, Sept. 27, 1809. He studied theology under the instruction of his
father, and was licensed to preach by New Castle Presbytery, September,
1912. He was installed pastor of churches near Emmettsburg, Md., in April
1814, and remained in the one charge until his death, Dec. 28, 1865. In
his preaching he was clear, energetic, and instructive and his
ministrations were characterized by punctuality, fidelity and ability. As
an illustration of his intrepid fidelity, it may be mentioned that years
before the system of slavery appeared to the eye of the nation as it now
appears, and although the resided in a State where the system was
legalized, he openly opposed it as a crime against God and man, and
vindicated all proper measures to deliver the slave from bondage. He lived
to see the system eradicated.