Milwaukee County Wisconsin Genealogy
WELSH CALVINISTIC METHODIST CHURCH - 1847
(Source: History of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Western Historical
Company, Chicago; A.T. Andreas Proprietor, 1881, pg. 822-825)
Corner of Martin street and Broadway. Among those who early made Milwaukee their home were many Welsh families, and one of the peculiar characteristics of this nationality being the celerity with which organized religious bodies follow the attempts at settlement, it was not long before the trait made itself manifest in the young region. Probably early services of prayer may have been held in private houses, but the first public services were held in an old carpenter shop on Huron between Broadway and Milwaukee street, where the Seaman Block now stands. The first "Private Society," so it is called, and from which grew the present Church, was held in the Spring of 1847, at the residence of Wm. Edwards, on East Water street. The names of those present were:
William David, Sr
Mrs. Ann Robinson
John J. Thomas
The growth of the congregation was making necessary a larger and permanent place of worship, in the Fall of 1849 a small frame structure about 22x35 feet was commenced on the lake-shore at the east end of Huron street. It was finished the next year, at a cost of $650. The structure had been erected on piles over the water, and the gradual encroachments of the lake rendered the situation so dangerous that in October, 1851, ground was leased at the corner of Michigan and Jefferson streets and the building moved on to it. At the commencement of the religious services all denominations are united together, and as the majority of the congregation were Calvinistic Methodists the Church was by agreement organized under that name and incorporated as the "First Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church of Milwaukee," in the year 1851. ON January 26, 1852, the first trustees were elected, the board consisting of:
John Jones, three years
D.W. Davis, two years
Evan Williams, elected for one year
Mr. William David, Sr. deacon In 1855 the first pastor, the Rev. Robert Williams, was called, and remained until 1859. Additional room being necessary for the increasing congregation, in the year 1857 the church being sold to the Episcopal Church for $250. A lot 30x60 feet was purchased on the corner of Michigan and Van Buren streets, at a cost of $1,800. The Methodist church, on Jackson street, being then for sale was bought and moved to this lot, consisting, when finished ready for occupancy, about $500.
In 1871 the old church was sold for $1,500 and the edifice formerly occupied by the North Presbyterians, at the corner of Milwaukee and Martin streets was purchased. This acquisition placed the society in possession of an edifice sufficiently large for present or future wants, and although the debt assumed was somewhat large it has gradually been diminished until at present it is a nominal sum. The Church membership amounts to about 200, and the society is in a prosperous condition. Connected with the Church is a strong and flourishing Sunday School.
Pastors Robert Williams David Williams of Pittsburgh, PA 1860-1864 Rev. David Lewis, 1864-May 1866 No pastor, May 1866-1869 Thos. J. Rice, local preacher officiated during 1866-1869 H.P. Howell-November 1869- 1881 officers Pastor, H.P. Howell John James, Deacon John J. Thomas, Deacon John J. Thomas, Trustee John James, Trustee Robert J. Allen, Trustee John G. Owen, Trustee Mr. Morgan, Trustee Owen Pritchard, Trustee Wm. G. Davis, Trustee.