Churches of Hearn Texas
Robertson County TX
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congregation that worships in the Methodist Church on the corner of
Magnolia Streets has reason to be grateful to those pioneers in the
blazed the trail for religious privileges under circumstances that
extremely trying to men's souls.
of the planting of Methodism dates back to the year 1870 when Horace
young Missionary Methodist preacher, was appointed to the Hearne and
charges from the Northwest Texas Conference meeting at Waxahachie. At that time this charge was in the Corsicana
extended to the South line of Robertson and Leon counties.
Horace Bishop arrived, Hearne was a new railroad town and Sutton was
not on the
map. There was no church building
of any kind, so young Bishop made arrangements to hold his first
service in Joe
Lambert's Saloon, using the upstairs of this building because the
would not allow anything to stop his business conducted on the ground
There was no Methodist membership in Hearne at this time but
there were a
few families here that had been Methodist in their former locations.
Mrs. Horatio Hearne, Mrs. Wash Hearne, Gideon Wilkerson and
Kilgore were the first Methodist that Mr. Bishop contacted upon his
Hearne and from this small group he started a Methodist Church in
were very trying days for the Missionary-minded young Methodist
preacher in a
young frontier town that was known to be wide open to gambling and a
place for many who had little or no regard for law and order.
holding services for three months in Joe Lambert's Saloon, a small
building was built and churches were allowed to hold services in this
A Sunday School was organized and with the help of a Dr.
Episcopalian), Mrs. Will Hearne (an Episcopalian), Mr. Will Hearne, A
Bottom planter and business man, Nathan Kilgore, and Gideon Wilkerson.
Kilgore was made Superintendent of the Sunday School and
teacher of the Bible Class. Miss
Sallie Powell was appointed teacher of a young ladies class and her
Fannie Powell, was given a class of children.
1885 the Methodist congregation built a church building of their own on
corner of Magnolia and First Streets. At
that time, Hearne and Calvert were on the same charge, and Seth Ward,
was elected Bishop, was sent to this station the year the church was
Old timers recall that before the church was a year old a storm
off its blocks and three feet south of its original location.
New pillars were put under the church and it was allowed to
remain on the
spot to which it had shifted.
the old records of the church for 1893 and 1894, appear names of
members of some
Hearne families whose decendaiits continue to carry on the church.
Prominent on the record is the name of W. A. "Uncle" Billy
Craig, who was elected Steward in 1893. Dr.
H. W. Cummings, a pioneer Hearne doctor, was also a board member for
Other familiar names on the church roster are the Craigs, the
the Waltmons, the Moseleys, the Shaws, the W. A. Scotts, the Kirkseys,
the J. E.
Cooks, the Welchs, the Rodells, Mrs. Mastyn Brack, the H. K. Davis
in order are those who have been known to Hearne since the first
Bishop, planted the seed that was to grow and prosper through the
Ward, C. M. Keith, A. J. Anderson, T. S. Williford, S. H. Morgan, W. W.
G. H. Phair, C. E. Farrington, T. S. Williford (second time), A. C.
Biggs, J. A.
Kenny, M. L. Lindsey, J. C. Carr, L. H. McGee,
Harry Hayes, R. S. Marshall, I. T. Andrews, A.
A. Wagnon, J. C. Cooper, E. W. Solomon, T. Walter
Moore, J. W. Goodwin, Leifeste, Hal Cunningham, T. Miller Smith, and H.
First Baptist Church has a long and stirring history which began in
the first congregation was organized, and was first known as Hearne
following is a copy of the minutes of the first meeting with charter
copied from the original church clerk's book:
ORGANIZATION OF THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH,
Hearne Station' Robertson County,
April 18, 1869,
Baptist Church, Sunday
18th day of April, 1869.
a sermon, preached by Elder J. N. May, a Presbytery was organized,
S. G. Thomas, T. S. Allen, D. P. Everett, J. N. May and W. G. Williams
organize a Baptist Church by calling Elder D. P. Everett as Sec. When
foregoing articles of faith and covenant were read and adopted, prayer
T. S. Allen charge by S. G. Thomas, on motion and second, the church
Hearne Station Baptist Church. Brother
Henry Vernon was appointed clerk pro tem. The
following members went into organization, viz: W. G. Williams, L. S.
Taina Echols, Henry Vernon, Sister Virginia Echols, Sister Martha
Judy Echols, Sister Helena
Echols, Sister Josephine P. Vernon, and Sister Ellen H. Knight.
Time of meeting, 3rd Sabbath on Sat. before.
early struggles of this faithful band is a most interesting story. As to the progress made by the church for the
next two years
history does not record, but we find that on September 23, 1871,
F. Thiving preached from the text Matt. 18:20, "For where two or three
gathered together in My Name, there I am in the midst of them."
this time on the records show a steady increasing membership.
On September 19, 1877, we find the record of a revival meeting
in the new church under the able leadership of Reverend W. E. Penn.
A large increase in membership resulted from this revival, many
were faithful workers through the years. Of
this original group prominent members were Mr. and Mrs. Heny Lewis and
Parnell and others.
church was organized in what was then the Masonic Hall which was
located at the
intersection of Davis and Magnolia Streets but just opposite west of
church site. At one time the church
was located on the corner of Magnolia and First Streets just east of
Methodist Church building.
present church building was begun and completed under the leadership of
Hulen Carrol, pastor from 1905 to 1909 and Rev.
Isenhower who followed Reverend Carroll.
1918, Reverend C. E. Bullock was called as pastor and under his
church grew in numbers and interest. In
1933 the church erected the first Educational Building as the result of
Bullock's untiring efforts.
is a list of early pastors of the church; Rev.
Allen, Rev. Raines, Rev.
Twain, Rev. Bell, Rev.
Figh, Rev. Muse, Rev.
Joe Stephens, Rev. Lumpkin,
Rev. Hulen Carroll, Rev.
Isenhower, Rev. W. A. Bowen, Rev. Frazier,
and Rev. Bullock.
Later pastors were: Rev. 0. G. Barrow, Rev.
Tilson F. Maynard, Rev. A.
E. Riemann, Rev. R. L. Brown, and
Rev. Buford Harrel.
among the early church members were: Mrs. J. P. Ayres, Mr. and Mrs.
Williams, Mrs. Lelia Harding, Mrs. R. L. Green, John W. Green, Mrs. R.
Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Ely, Mr. and Mrs. R. M. McCarver, Mr. and Mrs. J. H.
Mr. and Mrs. John New Iudge and Mrs. A. G. Cobb, Mrs. Mary Welch, Mr.
H. A. Ely, Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Ely, Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Hoyt Sr., Mrs.
Brown, John Luke, judge J. Felton Lane, Mr. and Mrs. John H. Moss, Mr.
J. P. Oliver, Mrs. E. C. Vaughan, Mr. and Mrs. D. B. Carrington, and
Mrs. W. C. Allen.
MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH
in the 1870's the International & Great Northern Railroad Company
St. Theressa's Hospital in Hearne. This
hospital was erected on the top
of a high hill east of the H. & T. C. Railroad near the stone quary
what was then known as the Ward's home. Near
the hospital was a rough frame building which served as a church and a
for the Sisters of Charity who had charge of the hospital.
When these buildings were dedicated, a number of members of the
faith came by special train to Hearne, bringing a choir and organ to
Edward A. Pye was asked to take charge of the hospital and in the fall
he moved his family to Hearne. When
the terminus of the H. & T. C. Railroad moved to Groesbeck, the
Charity returned to Galveston and the building was sold to a Negro
for use as a chapel called "The Little Flock Church." This
building was located on the corner of Brenken and Live Oak Streets.
the Yellow Fever epidemic broke in Calvert in 1873, Dr. Pye went to
unfortunate people there, losing his own life when he contracted this
disease. Dr. Pye's wife was allowed
to go to his bedside when he was dying, although a strict quarantine
observed. Both died within a
railroad company donated a building lot to the church and on this lot a
was built and used for a while. This
building finally succumbed to the ravages of time and its use was
in 1893. During 1893 Father Thomas
Keany, residing at that time in Burlington, Milam County, Texas, was
by Bishop N. A. Gallager of Galveston to visit the Hearne Catholics
and Mass was celebrated in the William Crenan home.
the guidance of Father Keany, the Catholics of Hearne built a chapel. While the chapel was in course of erection,
Father Keany was
moved to the Gulf Coast area and his successor was Father P. Bienman
leadership the building was completed. In
1897, Father Gustav Wiese was appointed as resident priest.
For about four months he continued his work and was then
transferred to a
parish in the Tours Settlement.
December, 1897, Father J. B. Gleissner came to Hearne as priest.
In 1898 a neat rectory was built by his good people.
Missions attached to Hearne were Mexia, Calvert, Rockdale,
Milamo, and Franklin. Father Gleissner
continued his pastoral work until March 24,
1904 when he was placed in charge of St. Joseph's Church in Bryan.
Spinnweber, J. J. Gallager, and George Hynes were at Hearne following
Gleissner's removal to Bryan.
a few years during which the above named priests ministered in Hearne
Missions, the Bishop appointed Father Gleissner to again take care of
February 8, 1935, the church building located on the corner of East
San Antonio Streets was destroyed by a windstorm.
During the period from the time this church building was
the new church was built on the corner of Cypress and First Streets,
communicants of St. Mary's Catholic Church used the facilities of St.
of the earliest families of the Roman Catholic Church faith to move to
were: the Crenans, the Bradys, the Currys, the Martins, the Rileys, the
and the Teelings.
PHILIPS EPISCOPAL CHURCH
religion had its beginning in Hearne in a little Union Church Building
in 1870. This church building,
which was located on the corner of Barton and Post Oak Streets, was
used by the
churches of all faiths. It was in
this Union building that the first Episcopal service was held by The
W. Philips. From the Mother Church
at Matagorda, Texas had come the Wadsworth and Brashear families, and
these families for many years centered the Episcopal Church activities. Personal interest in these two church families
Matagorda lineage actuated Bishop Gregg in supplying this group with
services of Father J. Cooper Waddill of Matagorda to minister to the
the leadership of Father Waddill, the mission grew and in 1873 erected
occupied its own church building on a site donated by the New York gc
Company, and which site has been retained by the mission and on which
present church building stands. The
communicants of the Episcopal Church chose to name this mission St.
Episcopal Church, honoring the patron St. Philip and the church's first
The Rev. J. W. Philips.
Father Waddill in 1875 came Father Edwin Wickins, who carried forward
to 1880 leaving the mission on a firm footing.
Father Sherrod W. Kennerley, an aged clergyman, came then, and
work in 1882. Then followed
intermittent incumbencies of the following: the Reverend Messrs. F. N. Atkins, Harry Cassil, M.
Wilson DeHart, W. K. Lloyd, C. P. Dorsett, William Jeffreys, W. L. Smith, Edgar Sherrod, J. W. Davis and J. W.
Swann, all of whom
carried on the church work here, in connection with other neighboring
many years have been filled with many blessings and almost as many
The mission grew as the town developed, but the communicant list
years was largely transient. The
mission record reflected alternately a feast or famine as to
1912 a small legacy by a devoted churchwoman became the nucleus of a
fund, which was augmented by the heroic efforts of the women's
During the time that the Reverend W. W. Daup was in charge of
Church, the old church building was razed and the present churchly
unusual feature of this building was the completion and furnishing of
1914 to 1917 the Reverend J. H. Randolph Ray, then Rector of St.
of Bryan, and then later Rector of the Church of Transfiguration (The
Church Around The Corner) in New York, served this congregation. The succeeding eight years were served by the
Reverend Messrs. H. B. M. Jamison,
Sidney Dixon, Samuel Rainey, and H. R. Zeigler. The
Reverend Mr. Sidney Dixon was a resident, the others
supplying from Calvert or Bryan. In
1925, the Reverend J. Parker Love served St. Philips as well as
missions at Cameron and Rockdale. In
1934 and 1935 the Reverend Homer Neville Tinker served St. Philips and
Church at Calvert. Other priests
who have served St. Philips since then are: The Reverends Messrs.
John McKee, Frederick McKinney, James Butler, Meade Brown,
Fairbrother, Jim McKeown, and Warren F. Merritt.
one goes into the church building, he sees the many memorials given in
memory of so many of Hearne's earlier citizens.
The Cross, candlesticks, missal, the beautiful silver chalice
and the Credence Shelf, the organ and Altar are all memorials given to
church in memory of some former communicant.
Hearne people will remember with fond affection Mrs. Sarah
Wilkerson, Mrs. Bertie Brashear was also one of the church pioneer
other old-timers include "Uncle Billy" and Mrs. Mattie Henson, Miss
Mollie Wadsworth, Mrs. Valesca Steffan Marshall, and J. W. Harlock.
Mr. Henry Schultz was one of the earliest church organists.
CHURCH OF CHRIST
Hearne Church of Christ was organized in May 1929 when a small group of
citizens of this faith met in a downtown building on Third Street. The group that composed the charter members
included: Mr. and
Mrs. Mike Yankie, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Blackmon, Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Cobb,
Melton McNair, Mrs. Harvey S. Spiller, Mrs. G. H. Blackmon, Mrs. D. R.
Mrs. J. T. White, Oxsheer Cobb, and John Henry Reagan.
Others who contributed to the early day organization of the
Hearne were: J. T. White, Melton McNair, D. R. Melton, Mr. and Mrs. J.
Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Mathews, Mr. and Mrs. W. W. McIlroy, Mr. and Mrs.
Reagan, and Mr. and Mrs. C. K. Oden.
the church was organized in the business building located on Third
Street in the
downtown section, services were held regularly at this location.
Later on the church was moved to the Hostrasser building on
Street and remained at this location until the first church building
constructed on the corner of East Evans and San Felipe Streets.
The first service in this new building was held November 5, 1939.
The church did not have a full time minister at the
time the building was completed, but later A. D. Martin assumed the
the first minister.
ministers who have served the Hearne Church of Christ are: F. B.
Raymond Whittington, John Haygood, M. L. T. Jackson, H. I. Taylor, Bill
Charles Garner, R. L. Nolen, Calvert H. Wylie, Lewis Case, Joe Burton,
1955, the congregation of the Hearne Church of Christ constructed a
church building on the corner of Live Oak and Barton Streets.
This building was completed during the time that Joe Burton was
and the first service was held in the new building November 6, 1955.
1874 Charles H. Raymond wrote an interesting letter about Harrison Owen
"Historical Church." Excerpts from the letter follow:
understand that you take an interest in the old soldiers of Texas. There is one veteran still living, in 1874,
who is engaged,
as I learn, in the noble enterprise of erecting a "Historical Church"
in Robertson County near Hearne, of whom I love to think and speak.
He is Harrison Owen. I once
settled in Robertson County. I took
up my lodging with Harrison Owen. He
supplied the table with wild turkey and venison.
His wife prepared it to the satisfaction of the most fastidious
taste. He always kept a good horse.
He had a splendid rifle, and was an unerring marksman.
Harrison Owen was among the foremost to respond to the call of
bleeding frontier, and to drive back our savage foes."
"Historical Church" is said to have been the repository of a complete
history of Texas from its colonization by the North Americans to its
to the United States. This church
was said to have been located near Hearne.
The dimensions of Anniversary Hall were 40 x 80 feet, 3200
with an additional apartment to be added and to be used as a library.
of record on this church were kept. The
ground had been donated by an old Confederate veteran, Colonel Harrison
for the temple.
foundation had been laid, and a part of the superstructure already
Colonel Owen, with the help of a few Confederate veterans and the
public. Colonel Owen sent out the
following notice; "We
earnestly appeal to our fellow citizens for assistance in completing
church. The Houston & Texas
Central Railroad Company and the International & Great Northern
Company came forward nobly to our assistance.
We appeal to the ladies of the entire community in behalf of the
Historical Church." This appeal was signed by the following: W. F.
Williams, Andrew McMillian, E. N. Eubanks, E. Q. Haley, J. H. Collard,
Crawford, Harrison Owen, and William L. Glass.
Used with permission of Norman
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