NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY MANUSCRIPT FINDING AID
RG3077.AM: First Congregational Church (Hartington, Neb.)
Hartington, Cedar County, Neb.: Congregational church
Size: 8 volumes on 1 reel of microfilm
The First Congregational Church of Hartington, Nebraska, was established in September of 1917, by a federation of the Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and Episcopalian Churches. The Baptists and Episcopalians did not have ministers, and the other two churches were struggling to survive. The Congregational Church was chosen as a compromise since no one denomination would unite themselves with another. According to the church historian, Nettie M. Fletcher, this church was the only Congregational church in the state that did not have a single Congregationalist member at the time of its organization.
The first services of the new church were held on September 24, 1917, when 52 members were accepted. Rev. Guy Munsell was the first minister. The Church Constitution was adopted on October 15, 1918, and Articles of Incorporation were filed in January of 1925.
During 1921 the church was involved in litigation with the Nebraska Conference of the Methodist Church. This case involved rights to the building and property of the old Methodist Church which had been purchased by the Congregational Church. The Nebraska Conference contended that the trustees of the Methodist Church had no authority to sell the property since it was in the custody of the Conference. The District Court of Cedar County ruled in favor of the Nebraska Conference of Methodist Churches, and an appeal to the State Supreme Court was dismissed. Somewhat surprisingly, the Nebraska Conference of Methodist Churches then sold the deed to the property to the Congregational Church in 1922 at a price of $2,500.
The First Congregational Church of Hartington was remodeled in 1934, and numerous other physical improvements were continued throughout the years. In 1959 the Constitution was rewritten, and the 40 year church history was compiled. Following a successful fund raising campaign, plans were begun for a new church building, which was subsequently completed in 1963. Formal dedication occurred on September 23, 1963. The First Congregational Church of Hartington celebrated its 50th anniversary in September of 1967.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
This collection consists of eight volumes of records of the First Congregational Church of Hartington, Nebraska, on one reel of microfilm. The records relate to the activities of the First Congregational Church, 1917-1967, and include registers of members, ministers, officers, baptisms, and marriages. Also included are minutes of annual and special meetings, although these are not complete for all the years 1917-1967. Two volumes of minutes relate specifically to the activities of the Congregational Ladies Circle, 1930-1941. One volume contains minutes of the board of the old Methodist Church of Hartington, 1905-1911, prior to the federation forming the Congregational Church.
The records were loaned for microfilming in March of 1969.
- Minutes of Board and Church Meetings, 1917-1928
Obituary of Rev. S.A. Willard
Constitution and Articles of Incorporation
- Minutes of Board and Church Meetings, 1929-1953
Treasurers' Reports, 1948-1951
- Register of Ministers, 1919-1952
Register of Officers, 1931
Register of Baptisms, 1917-1942
- Register of Ministers, 1919-1952
Register of Officers, 1952-1958
Register of Members, 1917-1955
Register of Children Born & Dedicated, 1943-1956
Register of Marriages, 1947-1956
Register of Funerals, 1952-1960
- Register of Members, 1917-1953
Register of Baptisms, 1943-1952
Register of Marriages, 1947-1951
- Register of Members, Congregational Ladies Circle, 1930-1934
Minutes of Meetings, Congregational Ladies Circle, 1930-1934
Treasurers' Reports, Congregational Ladies Circle
- Register of Members, Congregational Ladies Circle, 1934
Minutes of Meetings, Congregational Ladies Circle, 1934-1941
- Minutes of the Board, Methodist Church of Hartington, 1905-1911
Dedication Program, First Congregational Church of Hartington, September 22, 1963
50th Anniversary Booklet, History of the First Congregational Church of Hartington, 1967
Cedar County (Neb.) -- Churches
Congregational Church in Nebraska
First Congregational Church (Hartington, Neb.)
Hartington (Neb.) -- Churches
Revised 08-14-2008 TMM