First Presbyterian Church

The Presbyterian Church of Bellevue was organized in 1855, in the Mission Building, by Rev. William Hamilton. The following year the church, which still is in use, was built. This building, which stands in an inclosure and is surrounded by a little thicket of its own, strikes the observer, as of the English style, and, in its solitariness, has gained, in a quarter of a century, the appearance due ten times the period in the mother country. Following Mr. Hamilton is a long line of pastors--Hughes, Little, Payson, Brown and Riale, who was the last to be the resident pastor. At the present time, services are performed by Rev. Alpha Wright, the synodical missionary. A Sabbath school was organized at the same time as the church, and has been conducted with fluctuating numbers each year since that date. Its Superintendent is Mr. Joseph C. Smith.
Andreas' History of the State of Nebraska


     Through the courtesy of the Nebraska Historical Society and its superintendent, Mr. Addison E. Sheldon, the Nebraska Genealogical Society is permitted to publish the records of one of the first Presbyterian churches to be established in Nebraska Territory. These records have been carefully copied from the Sessions Books of the Church by the Rev. A. B. Marshall, pastor of the Church at Bellevue, and the copy deposited in the Library of the Historical Society. They are printed entire and verbatim. © 1998, 1999, 2000 for NEGenWeb Project by Ted & Carole Miller


     At a meeting, held at the Otoe and Omaha Mission, on the evening of Dec. 26, 1850, the Rev. Edmund McKinney presiding, the following persons, known to be regular members in good standing in the Presbyterian church, associated themselves to-gether for the worship and service of Almighty God and for their own mutual edification and for the advancement of the Redeemer's glory, by the formation of a Christian church, agreeably to the Holy Scriptures, viz., Samuel Allis, Emeline Allis, Daniel E. Reed, Theresa McKinney, Martha J. Fullerton.      Whereupon, it was
1. Resolved, that this church be organized according to the Book of Discipline of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A.
2. Resolved, that Samuel Allis, having been ordained a Ruling Elder in the Pawnee Mission Church, be and hereby is elected a ruling elder in this church.
3. Resolved, that Mr. Allis be installed into the office of ruling elder in this church immediately after the sermon at public worship next Sabbath.
4. Resolved, that this church shall be known by the name of the Presbyterian church of Nebraska.
5. Resolved, that Rev. E. McKinney be requested to act as stated supply of this congregation until the election and installation of a pastor.
6. Resolved, that application be made to the Presbytery of Nebraska to receive this church under its care, at its next meeting. E. McKinney.
Dec. 29th, 1850. Mr. Samuel Allis having been elected a ruling elder of the church of Nebraska, was duly installed into that office, according to the Book of Discipline this day. E. McKinney.

Jan. 5th, 1851. The Sacrament of the Lord's supper was this day administered by the subscriber. E. McKinney.

April 20th, 1851. The Sacrament of the Lord's supper was this day administered. Teresa, the infant daughter of Edmund and Teresa McKinney, born Dec. 29th, 1850, was baptized, the subscriber administering. E. McKinney.

1853. Oct. 1. Rev. E. McKinney and his wife, Theresa McKinney left the mission, having received an honorable dismission from the Board of Missions, and thereby from this church. Attest, Wm. Hamilton.

1854. Jan. 29. The Sacrament of the Lord's supper was this day administered by Rev. Mr. Rice of Council Bluffs and the subscriber, at which time James C. Dellet, and David Jones, with his wife, Gwine Jones were received by certificate as members of this church. Attest, Wm. Hamilton.

1854. May 7. Christianna Ida, daughter of J. C. and Jeannette A. Dellet, born Jan. 14th, 1854, was this day baptized by the subscriber. Wm. Hamilton.

September 11th, 1854. The Sacrament of the Lord's supper, was this day administered by the undersigned, at which time, Mrs. Jeanette Dellet was admitted to the communion of the church, upon the profession of her faith in Christ. Wm. Hamilton.

Jan. 1855. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered by the undersigned, at which time Wm. McLaughlin was admitted to the communion of the church, on the profession of his faith. Wm. Hamilton.

Feb. 5th, 1855. George F. Turner, and Sophie Meyer were united in marriage by the undersigned, also in the same day, Jacob Skirven and Margaret Aveline Thellisen were united in the same relation.. Wm. Hamilton.

May 3rd, 1855. Charles E. Butterfield and Isabella Stebbins were united in marriage by the undersigned. Wm. Hamilton.

May 13th, 1855. Claudia Jones, infant daughter of David and Gwine Jones, was baptized by the undersigned. Wm. Hamilton.

May 27th, 1855. Horrian Owens, and Ione Agnes Kellison were united in marriage by the undersigned. Wm. Hamilton.

Oct. 25th, 1855. George W. Lewis, and Rachel Soliny, of Douglas Co., were married by the undersigned. Wm. Hamilton.

Nov. 23rd, 1855. Stanislaus Schemonsky, and Charlotte Boegel of St. Mary's Iowa, were married by the undersigned. Wm. Hamilton.

Nov. 29th, 1855. David Allan Logan and Lovinia Melissa Anderson of Bellevue N. Ter. were married by the undersigned. Wm. Hamilton.

Jan. 1st, 1856. John Gregory and Henrietta Elizabeth Decker of Bellevue were married by the undersigned. Wm. Hamilton.

     At a meeting of person belonging to the Presbyterian Church, 0. S., at the Bellevue House, Bellevue, on the 29th of June, 1856, according to notice previously given, after sermon by the Rev. John Hancock:      The following are the names of those uniting in the organization of the above named church, who had been members in good and regular standing in the Presbyterian church in the several places whence they came.
James S. Allen,
Mrs. Jennie Allen
James F. Allen
Elizabeth Allen
Charles P. Storrs
G. M. Tunison
Mrs. Tunison
Julia Amy L. Hamilton
Anna Moris Hamilton
Margaret Ely Hamilton
On motion it was resolved that the Rev. Wm. Hamilton be requested to act as stated supply in this church, until such time as other arrangements can be made. Attest. Wm. Hamilton
Bellevue, June 29th, 1856.
Jan. 4th, 1857. The Sacrament of the Lord's supper was this day administered by the undersigned. Wm. Hamilton.
Nov. 10th, 1860. Lord's supper. Tabitha Clifton admitted on ex. Margaret Kinney baptized.
May 4th, 1862. The session met, etc. The following persons were received on examination and profession of faith.
G. B. Tunison Ex.
Mrs. Rebecca Bennet Ex.
Mrs. Cornelia Hageboom Ex.
Mrs. Elizabeth Walbridge, Ex.
Mrs. Elizabeth Watson Ex
June 8th, 1862. Baptisms.
Wm. Henry Clifton, Charles Thomas Clifton, Joseph Luther Clifton, Children of Daniel and Tabitha Clifton
June 29th, 1862. Baptism.
Henry Emmanuel Zurcher child of Lydia and Gideon Zurcher. Dec. 20th, 1862. Received on profession.
Whitfield T. Wood
Martha Jane Wood
Eliza Ann Wallace
Hester Denton
Samuel Allis
Emeline Allis

Dec. 28th, 1862. Infants baptized. Benjamin H. Pusey Julia Frances Robertson
May 3rd., 1863.
A. C. Wood
Martha Wood
Melinda D. Fisher March 1st, 1864.
Baptized last year. Adults--2 Infants--9.

On Examination.
   Mona Kimball
   Lucella M. Peters
   G. M. Wallace
   Miranda Feedler

   A. C. Wood
   Martha Wood
   Melinda D. Fisher    Jos. S. Betz
   Helen Betz

March 1st, 1865.
Com. on examinations .............................
3 Adults baptized ..................................... 1
Infants baptized .................................... 9
Cont. to For. Missions ............................ $41.40
" " Domestic Missions ...................... 15.00
" " Publication ............................... 18.00
" " Church extension ....................... 5.57
" " Ministers fund ........................... 3.00
" " Contingent ............................... 9.30
---------- $92.27

April 2nd, 1864. Elders elected.
May 11th, 1864. Communion 3 admitted. May 21st, 1864. Session met.
Oct. 23rd, 1864. Communion at Trader's Post. Harriet Allis admitted on ex.
Nov. 13th, 1864. Communion at Bellevue.

Admission to the church organization.
May 1st.
May 16th.

Oct. 2nd.

Oct. 2nd.

Oct. 10th.

Nov. 7th.

April 2nd.

April 4th.
May 10th.

May 4th.
Dec. 20th.

May 3rd.

Dec. 13th.


One at Iowa and Sac Missions by Rev. Win. Hamilton between 1840 and 1848.
One at Pawnee Mission on the Platte by Rev. Dunbar.
Mission Church at Bellebue, Neb. Dec. 26th, 1850 by Rev. E. McKinney, 5 members.
Pres. Church reorganized at Bellevue June 29th, 1856 by Rev. John Hancock, ten members, one elder, one deacon. Rev. Wm. Hamilton acted stated supply temporarily.
Presbytery of Nebraska, Synod of Missouri was organized December 1, 1849. The Presbyterian Church of Nebraska was under the care of this Presbytery.
On the 25th day of April A.D. 1858, after sermon by Rev. Wm. Hamilton, at the schoolhouse in the city of Bellevue, Sarpy Co., Nebraska Territory, by request, notice was given to the audience that a meeting would be held at that place on Saturday the 1st day of May Next, to those who had been members in connection with the Old School Presbyterian Church, to take into consideration the propriety of resuscitating the church organized in that place near two years ago, or organizing anew; and Friday the 30th day of April having been set apart as a day of fasting and prayer in reference to that object:--there were convened at the time and place appointed, the following named persons, who were known to have been members in regular standing of the Old School Presbyterian Church viz:--
D. E. Reed
Omaha Mission Bellevue
Wm. McLaughlin
Omaha Mission Bellevue
Robert Hamilton
Chathoms Run
Mary Ellen Hamilton
Jersey Shores
Anna Maria Hamilton
Margaret Ely Hamilton

     After mutual consultation in relation to the object before them it was deemed expedient, under the circumstances to organize anew, whereupon after sermon by Rev. Wm. Hamilton, the following resolutions were passed.
     1. Resolved, that a Presbyterian Church, O.S., be organized in this place.
     2. Resolved, that the minister present, be requested to organize said church, according to the mode prescribed by the form of government of the Presbyterian Church.
     3. Resolved, that a ruling elder be elected to represent this church in its organized capacity.
     Wm. McLaughlin, having been nominated to the office of ruling elder, and no other nomination being before the congregation, he was unanimously chosen to that office, and Rev. Wm. Hamilton was chosen to act as stated supply for the ensuing six months.
     Mr. McLaughlin having signified his willingness to accept the office of ruling elder, the ordination was appointed to take place on the following Sabbath, May 2nd.
     May 2nd, 1858, Sabbath.
     Owing to the inclemency of the weather, and consequent inability of most of the congregation to be present, the ordination of the ruling elder was postponed until the following Sabbath, May 9th, immediately after sermon.
May 9th, 1858.
     After sermon, Mr. McLaughlin, having answered the usual questions prescribed in such cases, and the congregation also having publicly accepted him as their ruling elder, he was solemnly set apart, and ordained to that office in the Presbyterian Church at Bellevue.
May 16th, 1858.
     The sacrament of the Lord's supper was this day administered by the undersigned at which time were received by certificates to membership, of this church, the following named persons, viz:
Mary Marks
Presbyterian Church, Lewiston, Pa.
Margaret A. Bieglow
Associate Reformed, P.C. Ill.
H. T. Clarke
Reformed Dutch Church, Washington Co., N. York.
John Marshall
Pres. Ch. Washington, Pa.
Julia A. Hamilton
Bellevue Neb. Ter.
Mrs. Adelheit Zurcher on profession of faith.
Win. Hamilton
July 13, 1858.
     John Marshall received a certificate of membership in full standing to unite with any church which in the providence of God his lot may be cast. By order of session.
Win. Hamilton, Moderator.
October 2, 1858.
     The sacrament of Baptism was administered to Harold Hamilton Longsdorf, infant son of Dr. W. H. and Lydia R. Longsdorf.
December 31, 1858.
     Miss Margaret Ann Bigelow received at her own request, a certificate of membership in full standing, to unite with any evangelical church in the bounds of which her lot, in the providence of God, may be cast. By order of session.
Win. Hamilton, Moderator.
Jan. 2, 1859.
     The sacrament of the Lord's supper was this day administered by the undersigned, at which time the following persons were received as regular members of the church, viz:
Joseph S. Betz     and   Helen Betz          from the church at Blackbird Hills.
Margaret Cooper, from church Big Sugar Creek.
Henry Zurcher, by profession of faith. By order of the session. 
     Wm. Hamilton, Moderator.

April 10, 1859.
     The sacrament of the Lord's Supper was this day administered by the undersigned, at which time Mrs. Sarah Burtch of Presbyterian Church, Cadiz, Ohio, was received by certificate as a regular member of this church.
By order of the session. 
     Wm. Hamilton, Moderator.
May 6, 1859.
     Mary Marks received certificate of good standing to unite with the Presbyterian Church at St. Joseph, Mo.
Members Received and Dismissed. May 9, 1858.
 1. D. E. Reed Deceased Oct. 16, 1859.
 2. Wm. McLaughlin
 3. Robert Hamilton
 4. Mary Ellen Hamilton
 5. Anna Maria Hamilton
 6. Margaret Ely Hamilton

May 16th, 1858
 7. Mary Marks.
By certificate.

May 6, 1859.
 8. Margaret A. Bigelow

" " Dec. 31, 1858.
 9. H. T. Clarks
" " 10. John Marshall

" " July 13, 1858.
11. Julia A. L. Hamilton
" " 12. Adelbert Zurcher. By examination.

Jan. 2, 1859
13. Joseph S. Betz By Certificate.
Omaha Mission.
14. Helen Betz
" " 15. Henry Zurcher. By examination.
16. Mrs. Margaret Cooper. United with former church.
April 10, 1859.

17. Mrs. Sarah Burtch. By certificate.

Nov. 7, 1859
18. Mrs. Laura Calkins. By certificate.

Feb. 4, 1864.
To Baptist Church.

April 2, 1860.
19. Mrs. Mary B. Lovejoy. Certificate. April 24, 1863. To Cong. Church of Omaha.
20. Mrs. Angeline A. Carlisle. Cert. to church of Denver.
21. Mr. Joseph A. Carlisle, Certificate
22. Mrs. Mary Pusey. Certificate.
23. Mrs. Amelia Osborn, Indian. Certificate.
24. Miss Harriet Hageboom. Examination.
25. Miss Ann Eliza Burtch.

" April 4, 1861.
26. Martha Ann Windiate. Examination.
Left country 1862.
27. Mary Elizabeth Hamilton. Examination.

April 11, 1861.
28. Mrs. Mary S. Kinney. Examination.

Nov. 11, 1861.
29. Mrs. Tabitha Clifton.

May 4, 1862.
30. Miss Rebecca Bennet. Examination.
31. Miss Elizabeth Walbridge.
" 32. Mrs. Elizabeth Watson.
" 33. Miss Cornelia Hageboom.
" 34. Mr. G. B. Tunison.

" Dec. 20, 1862.
35. Whitfield T. Wood. Examination. To California.
36. Martha Jane Wood.

" "    "      Traders Point.
37. Eliza Ann Wallace. Examination.
38. Mr. Samuel Allis. Certificate.
39. Mrs. Emeline Allis.
" 40. Miss Hesther Dunbar. Examination.

May 3, 1863.
41. Miss Lucella Mona Peters. Ex. and baptism.
42. Mrs. Maria Kimball. Ex. and baptism.
43. Mrs. A. C. Wood. Certificate. To California.
44. Martha Wood
" "     "     45. Melinda D. Fisher

" Dec. 13, 1863.
Sacrament of Lord's Supper administered.
46. Joseph S. Betz. Certificate.
47. Helen Betz.

" Jan. 16, 1864.
48. Geo. W. Wallace. Examination.
49. Miranda Feedler.

" Feb. 21, 1864. Traders Point.
50. Mrs. Peeree Examination.
51. Miss Alice Gansom
" 52. Miss Lucy Pusy
" 53. Miss Harriett Allis
" 54. Mrs. Esther H. Pogue. Certificate.
55. Mrs. Phebe Hageboom.
" 56. Miss Louise Wilhelmia Wolson. Examination.

Feb. 21, 1864.
Traders Point, Baptisms.
George Washington Wallace.
Mary Eliza Wallace.
Florence Wallace.
Win. Alvey Wallace.
Clara Wallace.
Alfred Fisher Wallace.

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