Williamson County
Historical Commission

 

 

Hutto United Methodist Church
Historical Marker
Hutto, Texas

350 Ed Schmidt Blvd, Hutto, TX 78634

 
Marker Text
This church was formed from two earlier congregations that worshiped in this area. In the late 1870s an American Methodist fellowship began meeting in the Shiloh Schoolhouse (3 mi. SE). They later shared the building of the Hutto Cumberland Presbyterian Church until a separate sanctuary was constructed. Area Swedish Methodists began meeting in homes with visiting ministers before starting a church in 1892. A Hutto sanctuary served the members until a new structure was dedicated at this site in 1911. The two churches united as one congregation in November 1938.



 

 
  Hutto United Methodist Church
Historical Narrative

There is no record as to how and when the Methodists of Hutto first began their worship. A preacher was appointed to the Hutto congregation as early as 1878. At that time the Methodists worshipped in the Shiloh schoolhouse which was situated some three miles southeast of what is now Hutto. They continued to worship here until sometime in the 1880's when the Cumberland Presbyterians built a church in Hutto. The Methodists used the Presbyterian church until their first church was erected in 1895.

According to the records, the first official act towards building a Methodist Church in Hutto occurred December 22, 1889, at the First Quarterly Conference of the Round Rock Charge, held in Round Rock, Texas. Rev. Horace Bishop, the Presiding Elder, was in the chair, and Rev. C. S. Field was pastor. This Quarterly Conference named J. E. Tisdale, James Blanton, and M. C. Gray, a building committee to provide a church building at Hutto. No record was made of the labors of this committee, and no mention is made of a church in the records until June 22, 1894, at the Third Quarterly Conference of the Round Rock Charge, held at Robinson's Chapel. Rev. Samuel P. Wright was the Presiding Elder and J. M. Sherman was pastor. The following members were present at this conference: J. M. Sherman, P. C., A. W. Carpenter, D. S., John A. Harris, steward, Mart Norman, steward, Rev. W. E. McClellan, L. D. At this conference a new building committee to build a church at Hutto was appointed as follows: A. W. Carpenter, John A. Harris, Williamson Harrison, F. L. Gray, and James Blanton. This committee began work and purchased a lot and on the 22nd day of September two car loads of lumber were on the ground. Work on the church was begun the first of October, 1894, and the building was completed sometime during 1895. No record of completion or dedication is given.

The official roll for the Hutto Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at the time the first church building was begun is as follows: A. W. Carpenter, steward and trustee; John Harris, steward and, trustee; Dr. S. G. Harper, trustee and Sunday school superintendent; Smith Greer, trustee, and W. L. Harrison, trustee.

Pastors who served the Hutto congregation before a church building was erected are as follows: Samuel Morris, 1878-80; J. Sterlin Laine, 1880-81; W. T. Melugin, 1881-83; J. S. Tunnell, 1883-84; A. P. Taylor, 1884-85; Jerome Harolson, 1885-86; George W. Graves, 1886-87; C. S. Field, 1887-90; J. W. Dickinson, 1890-91; A. P. Smith, 1891-93; James W, Sherman, 1893-94.

When the church building was begun, the congregation consisted of 112 members who became charter members of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of Hutto, Texas, in the year 1895.

The official members for the new church were: Stewards, John A. Harris, William Harrison, and Smith Greer. Trustees, John A. Harris, Smith Greer, Dr. S. G. Harper, William L. Morrison, and James Blanton. Sunday school superintendent, Dr. S. G. Harper, and District Steward, A. W. Carpenter.

The following ministers have served the Hutto Methodist Episcopal Church, South:

James W. Sherman, 1894-97 J. T .Griswold, 1897-99; .J M. Armstrong, 1899-1900; S. j. Vaughn, 1900-02; J. D. Crockett, 1902-03; R. A. Walker, 1903-March 1904; J. P. Patterson, March 1904-November, 1904; John W. Pollard, 1904-08; C. G. Shutt, 1908-10; R. B. Young, 1910-May 22, 1911; J. Eugene Mattock, June 1, 1911-14; W. M. Bowden, 1914-15; A. E. Turney, .1915-19; C. P. Diltz, 1919-20; J. W. Pattison, 1920-22; G. R. Wright, 1922-24 Harold W. Bennett, 1924-25; A. G. Standlee, 1925-29 J. W. Walker, 1929-30; J. W. Leggett, 1930-32; 3. B. Edmiaston, 1932-33 Henry W. Francis, 1933-34; Robert W. Bergin, 1934-35; M. Howard Knox, 1935-38; E. W. Swearingen, 1938-39.

Preachers' who served the Swedish Church at Brushy visited the newly settled community at Hutto and would hold religious services in the homes of the Swedish Christians Interest in religious services increased and visits of the preachers became more regular and under the leadership of Rev. C. C. Charnquist during 1892 and 1893 services were held every Sunday afternoon in Gower schoolhouse north of Hutto. It soon became evident that a house of worship was needed and to make plans the following resolutions were passed:

Resolved
I. That a church shall be built according to plan and shall be 46 fee. long, 30 feet wide, and 14 feet high.
II. The church shall have steeple, balcony, and two entrances.
III. Ordinary chairs shall be used in the church.
IV. Carl A. Gustafson shall build the church and shall be paid at the rate of $2.00 per day.
V. The building shall be started the first Monday in June, 1892.

This meeting was held May 27, 1892, in the home of August Hammer with the following present: Rev. C. C. Charnquist, presiding, C. A. Gustafson, secretary; P. A. Olander, Au¬gust Hammer, Gustaf Johnson, Albert Johnson, J. G. Anderson, A. Anderson, Claus Johnson, Frank Anderson, Swen Anderson, and G. Gustafson.

A subscription list was passed around Hutto and sixty-seven persons pledged $501. When the church building was completed, it was paid for and the Bishop of this area dedicated it.
The stewards and trustees for the new congregation were: P. A. Olander, Claus Johnson, C. Johnson, and Frank Anderson.

In the fall of 1892 the Conference sent Rev. August Wallin to Hutto to take charge of the newly formed congregation. He served two years. In the fall of 1894 Rev. J. M. Ojerholm came from Swedonia to pastor the church and served one year. In 1895 Rev. C. C. Charnquist became pastor and served three years. During the first year of his pastorate a camp meeting was held in Juvenall's pasture and thirty persons were converted and united with church. While Rev. C. C. Charnquist was pastor the congregation grew from thirty persons to forty-six members, the church was remodeled inside, an organ and new benches were installed. In 1899 the church was served by Rev. F. A. Lundberg; 1900 by E Severin; 1901-02 by Rev. C. E. Dahl; 1903 by August Wahlberg; 1903-04 by C. E. Wohlander. In June, 1904, the Rev. C. E. Wohlander married Miss Bertha Hanstrom of Hutto, Texas, but died October 26, 1904. In 1905 the pastor was Rev. C. E. Dahl; in 1906-07 Rev. C. A. Nyman and G. A. Ekstrand, both students of Southwestern University of Georgetown, Texas. In 1908-09 Rev. Gustof Lindstrom and 1910 Rev. T. J. Westerberg.

As far back as 1901 plans were formed to build a new church. Two lots were bought from Mr. Ed Eklund for $300. On one of these lots the present parsonage was built in 1902 at a cost of $800. In 1908 the congregation purchased two adjoining lots from Mr. R. B. Hutto for $10.

In the spring of 1910 the congregation which consisted of about seventy members resolved to build a new church on the lots adjoining the parsonage, on Main street. Mr. 0. Anderson, architect of Austin, Texas, drew the plans for the new church, and Mr. Fred Lundell was contractor. The church was completed in November, but due to the fact that the new pews had not arrived, the church was not dedicated until May 28, 1911. The value of the new church property was $10,000.

The following pastors have served this church: Rev. T. J. •Westerberg„ 1910-16; Rev. J. J. Hamilton, 1916-19; Dr. 0. E. Olander, 1920, supply; Rev. Oscar E. Linstrum, 1920-25; Rev. Eric J. Anderson, 1925-26; Dr. F. A. Lundberg, 1926-27; Rev. R. R. Bloomquist, 1927-31; Rev. Julius Olson, 1931-32; Rev. Joseph Karlink, 1932-36; Rev. Edwin Sahlen, 1936-38; Rev. E. W. Swearingen, 1938-39.

For several years some of the members of both churches had discussed the possibility, as well as the probability, of uniting the two churches. This interest grew and became more favorable, and in 1938 the pastors of the two churches talked the matter over and began making plans. These plans were discussed with Rev. L. J. Rode, District Superintendent, of the Swedish Church, and Rev. John N. Rentfro, Presiding Elder of the American Church. As the plan met the approval of the two presiding officers of the district, the pas¬tors, Rev. M. Howard Knox of the American church, and Rev. Edwin Sahlen of the Swedish church agreed to put the plan before their church for approval or rejection.

A meeting of the members of the Swedish Church was called by Rev. Edwin Sahlen on Friday night, September 23, 1938, to discuss the future welfare of the church. It was unanimously decided to ask the American Methodists to join them in working out a federated plan for Hutto Methodism. A resolution was passed providing for one pastor and the uniting of the two churches in one place of worship for preaching services, Sunday school, Epworth League, and other services to be carried on as individual churches until the unification is fully accomplished. The resolution also suggested that if the American Methodists were interested in the plan it would be advisable to call, in the near future, a group meeting of representatives from the two churches to discuss certain details of arrangements and a program to follow, if such plan met the approval of District Superintendent, Rev. L. J. Rode, Presiding Elder, Rev. John N. Rentfro, and the Annual Conferences that were to meet in November. This resolution was signed by Ed Eklund, Chas. E. Johnson, and Elof Gustafson who were so authorized by the meeting, and was presented to the American Methodist Church.

Rev. M. Howard Knox called a church conference of the Hutto M. E. Church, South, and sent to the Swedish congregation the following communication:

Please be advised that on Sunday, October 9, 1938, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, met at Hutto, Texas, in a called session of Church Conferences to consider your proposal under date of September 23, 1938, relative to a merger of our Hutto churches on a federated basis until the Uniting Conference has made clear all details of the future organization of the Methodist Church.

After careful consideration and earnest prayer, we, as a body, unanimously adopted the terms of your proposal, and appointed H. E. Gainer, F. J. Young, H. W. Sands, Mrs. B. C. Hutto, and Mrs. Virgil Applin to act as a joint-committee with representatives of your church and under the direction of your District Superintendent and our Presiding Elder in working out definite plans for the future activities of the newly Federated Church pro¬viding, of course, that our respective Annual Conferences concur.

Signed: LOUISE HARKINS, Secretary HOWARD KNOX, Pastor in Charge.

The Swedish Methodist Church, in conference, selected the following: Paul Nelson, Chas. E. Johnson, Mrs. B. N. Downing, Mrs. Oscar Olander, and Mr. Ed Eklund a committee of five to work with the committee of five from the Hutto M. E. Church, South, in formulating plans and details for the Federated Church.

This joint committee of five from each church held its first meeting October 12, 1938. Mr. F. J. Young was elected chairman and Mrs. B. N. Downing secretary. The first question considered was what church should be used for the religious services. A motion was made and carried that the Swedish church be used as the place of worship. A second motion was made and passed that the M. E. Church, South, be used for social and recreational pur¬poses and be known as the Church Hall. The next matter decided was that the parsonage of the M. E. Church, South, be used for the pastor and that no action be taken con¬cerning the Swedish parsonage at that time.

A motion was passed that this joint committee become a permanent organization to care for the problems concerning unification of the two churches.

This meeting selected a committee of five to make plans and recommendations for the Sunday School. The committee consisted of Rev. M. Howard Knox, Rev. Edwin Sahlen, H. E. Gainer, Mrs. Oscar Olander, and Mrs. B. N. Downing. The pastors were appointed to notify the District Superintendent and the Presiding Elder of the action of this meeting.

On the night of October 26, 1938, the Unification Board met to discuss recommen¬dations made by the Sunday School Committee. The Sunday School was divided into departments, teachers and officers were selected and provision was made for opening exercises for the different dpartments. At this meeting pianists, choir director, ushers, collectors, treasurer, and janitor were selected for the church. This meeting also decided that the, first united service should be held the first Sunday in November, 1938.

The first sermon for the united church was preached Sunday morning of November 20, 1938, by Rev. E. W. Swearingen who was appointed pastor by the Central Texas Conference.
The Unification Board held a number of meetings making plans for the new church, but no changes were made in the general setup until August 14, 1939, when it was decided to make the Swedish parsonage the permanent residence for the pastor, and to rent the American parsonage. Plans were made to make some repairs on the Swedish parsonage. After repairs were made, the pastor and family moved into the newly designated parsonage in September, 1939.

For the year 1938-39 the church had to keep two separate budgets as it was presided over by a District Superintendent from the M. E. Church and a Presiding Elder from the M. E. Church, South. The pastor attended and made report to two Annual Conferences.

In November, 1939, when the three branches of Methodism united, the Annual Conference of the new Methodist Church appointed Rev. E. W. Swearingen to the Hutto Methodist Church and he is the present pastor of this newly formed church.
The first officials for the Hutto Methodist Church were as follows: Stewards: H. E. Gainer, Paul Nelson, Oscar Olander, F. J. Young, H. W. Sands, Carl Hanson, Elof Gustafson, Chas. E. Johnson, J. J. McCutcheon, and Robert Eulenfeld.
Trustees: H. E. Gainer, Oscar Humphrey, J. C. Ray, August Johnson, P. A. Olander, C. G. , Ahlberg, Paul Nelson, Emil Dahl, Carl Hanson, Andrew Franzen, and Carl Ahlgren.
Recording Steward: Mrs. J. W. McCormick.
District Steward: H. E. Gainer.
Golden Cross Director: Miss Louise Harkins.
Church Secretary: Mrs. B. N. Downing.
President of W. S. C. S.: Mrs. Oscar Olander.
Church School Superintendent: F. J. Young.
Church School Secretary-Treasurer: Harry Hanson.
Superintendent of Primary Department: Mrs. John Juvenal.
Superintendent of Young People's Dep't: Mrs. B. N. Downing. Superintendent of Adult Department: Mrs. B. C. Hutto.
Church School Pianist: Dorothy Ann Gustafson.
Pianist and Choir Director: Mrs. W. L. Bergstrom.
Ushers and Collectors: Anton Franzen, Harry Hanson, Monnie Anderson. Janitor: Brent Berkstrom.
 
 



Hutto United Methodist Church
Historical Narrative Myreta Matthews Box 127

Early records and forerunners. -
Supplemental Research - Shiloh Community

Shiloh, on the banks of Brushy Creek (11 miles south of Hutto) was settled early by Zara Stearns (1847) and Josiah Kuykendall (1844) and William McCutcheon settled near them in 1846. Nelson Morey had the first store, believed to have been the first in the county and within months Josiah Taylor also opened a small store at Shiloh. Church services were held in the log house Josiah Taylor built at least by 1848.There was also a small school. [1]

The Tenth Street United Methodist Church in Taylor has some close ties with the Hutto Swedish Methodist Church and seem to be significant in showing great cooperation and friendship. Some passages from that history seem to be important here.

Before the turn of the century, among those who came to this area to break the virgin prairie for the first time , were several Swedish families. In keeping with their tradition and background of religious worship, they asked Rev. C. Charnquist, then of the Hutto Charge of the Swedish Mission Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church North, to come to their homes from time to time to hold religious services. This was from 1896 to 1898.

Dr. F.A. Lundberg served Hutto and held meetings in Taylor homes in 1899. This church was organized in 1900. Rev. E. Severin served both Taylor and Hutto. The Taylor Tenth Street Church was purchased in 1900 from the Cumberland Presbyterian Church , who built the church in 1894 and disbanded.

In 1901, Rev. C.E. Dahl served both charges. Rev. C.E. Wohlander was named in charge in 1902 but did not arrive until June of 1903 after he finished seminary. He died in October 1904.

The Conference of 1904 moved Rev. C.E. Dahl back and he lived in Taylor. In 1905, Hutto and Taylor became full time stations and Rev. C.E. Dahl served until 1909. In that year, Taylor and Hutto were again combined and Rev. T.J. Westerberg served both charges. [2]

1. Williamson County Files (Historical Commission) HUTTO HISTORY,Scarbrough,Clara Application for Historical Marker, 1976
2. Williamson County Historical Commission Files, TENTH STREET UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, Ahlgreen, A.M., Application for Historical Marker, 1976


 
 
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