Early History of the Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Nebraska

The organization of the Presbyterian Congregation was effected January 30, 1870, as the result of a series of meetings which began in 1869.

The Presbytery of Missouri River, in session at Sioux City, Iowa, April 29, 1869, appointed Reverend Sheldon Jackson Superintendent of Missions for Nebraska and intermediate states.

In the summer of that year, monthly meetings were started in Columbus and later semi-monthly services were held at the residences of George W. Brown and Mrs. A. J. Arnold by Reverend J. M. Hutchinson and Reverend Sheldon Jackson.

At the January 30, 1870, meeting George W. Brown was installed as elder.

Others who served in that position were Marshall Smith and E. A. Gerrard. Trustees elected included George W. Brown, Leander Gerrard, and Peter Becker.

The original members were Mr. and Mrs. George W. Brown, Mrs. A. J. Arnold (Amanda Polly), Mrs. Josephine Compton, Mrs. Joseph Gerrard, Miss Avis, and Miss Emma Gerrard. The church building, now the American Legion Hall, was erected in 1878 by Marshall Smith. The contract was let for eighteen hundred and fifty dollars. In September 1884, the building was remodeled at the cost of fourteen hundred dollars. At that time, the church was enlarged and a bell tower built. Dedicatory services took place soon after the church was completed.

The Presbyterian Society of Columbus filed articles of incorporation at the Platte County Court House on June 22, 1874. Herein is a copy of the record as filed:

“At a meeting of the Presbyterian Church and congregation held May 17, 1874, the church was incorporated. The Reverend A. S. Foster was elected President and Marshall Smith was elected Vice President, S. J. Baker was elected Clerk, Doctor S. A. Pinkney, M. Whitmoyer, S. J. Baker, John M. Kelley, and Abner Turner were elected as Trustees.

The articles of incorporation were noted as filed. The papers were signed by: William Lewis, David A. Joseph, Robert Lewis, Clark Cooncey, and Robert Jones.”

On February 13, 1896, the following record was filed at the Platte County Court House:

Columbus, Nebraska

January 19, 1896.

“This is to certify that the following named persons were duly elected Trustees by the members of the Presbyterian Church of Columbus, Nebraska, on the above-named place and date: W. A. McAllister, A. M. Covert, C. J. Garlow, William Lockhart, W. H. VanAlstine, Moderator: N. G. Lacey, Clerk: H. B. Reed.”

Free PDF Book

This small free pdf book contains the following items. The early history of the Presbyterian Church of Columbus is given above.

  • Pastors of the Presbyterian Church, 1869-1914
  • Communicants of the Presbyterian Church, 1870-1910

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