Early History of the Congregational Church of Columbus, Nebraska

In 1865 the Congregational Society was organized and at that time began its efforts to organize a church.

The first Congregational Church in Columbus was located at 960-22nd Ave. The building was dedicated Feb. 3, 1867, and was used for worship until the fall of 1879 when the second building was completed. The location of the second church was at 2506-15th St. Around 1890 many new business houses opened on 15th St. and at that time a third site was chosen for the church at the southeast corner of the intersection of 26th Ave. and 14th St. This last site served until the time when it federated with the Presbyterian Church.

In October 1866 the organization was perfected and completed by the Rev. Ruben Gaylord of Omaha and on Feb. 3, 1867, the church building, later used for a high school, was dedicated.

The lumber that went into the construction of the first church building was the first consignment of freight transported by the Union Pacific Railroad from Omaha to Columbus and because it was to be used for the erection of a church, the railroad donated the freight charges.

In 1865 the Congregational Society was organized and at that time began its efforts to organize a church. Its early members were W. C. Sutton, Loretta Sutton, Mrs. J. B. Wells, (Rosine C. Bauer Baker), Samuel C. and Clara A. Smith, Theda M. Coolidge (Mrs. H. P. Coolidge), Mary A. Elliott, A. Spiece, Michael Weaver, George W. Stevens, Vincent Kummer, Doctor C. B. Stillman, I. N. Taylor, and Julius A. Reed. Others mentioned in the incorporation records of the Society were Joseph A. Baker, Johanna Beaver, H. M. Barnes, Sara E. Taylor, and Eliza G. Plett. In 1922 only one of the charter members, Mrs. H. P. Coolidge, was living when the Federated Church was dedicated. She died that year.

“Five of the 1922 membership were identified with the first church located on Twenty-Second Avenue near Ninth Street: Mrs. Theda Coolidge, Mr. and Mrs. C. G. Hickock, Mrs. Anna McCray, and Mrs. Emma Whitmoyer.”

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