Compiled by Gerald Neath

The United Brethren Church had its origin in the Revival Movement that took place in America in the mid-Eighteenth Century. After Wisconsin became a territory in 1836 many families of that faith moved into the area that was to become the Township of Rutland. Without churches, they met for worship and prayer meetings in homes. The first such meeting in the Rutland was held at Father Johnson's home. (1][WCHS-1968), [4](HIST-1968), [19][WCHD/BLOCK-1971] This "Johnson" has not been identified.

1840 - A group of local residents met in the home of D. E. De Jean (name s/b Joseph Dominic De Jean/Ref. De Jean Genealogy/g.neath). There they organized the first United Brethren Class in Wisconsin. [1](WCHS-1968), [3][CP], [4][HIST-1968], [6](INVENTORY-1940), [7](BLAKE-1973), [19][WCHD/BLOCK-1971] NOTE: Blake makes the distinction between the first Class organized in Wisconsin at Rutland and the first Class organized by a minister in Wisconsin, at the Mr. & Mrs. Isaac Chamness home three miles west of Monroe.

1842 - Rev. James Davis (1809-1854) was a missionary of the United Brethren Church who came to Wisconsin in 1842 from the Wabash (Indiana) Conference of the Church. He was the first United Brethren in Christ Clergy to enter the State of Wisconsin and is considered the Father of the Wisconsin Conference. He established a Class in the Monroe area that later in 1842 becomes the first United Brethren Congregation in Wisconsin. When he heard that a Class had been formed in Rutland, he visited the area and along with a Rev. Corray and Rev. J. A. Mast ministered to their needs. Some sources mention that in 1847 services were conducted in the new school house, but it is unclear whether Monroe or Rutland is being referred to. Rutland's Class became part of the Monroe Circuit. [1](WCHS-1968), [3][CP-1958], [4][HIST-1968], [7](BLAKE-1973), [18][EUBC/CENN-1956], [19][WCHD/BLOCK-1971]

1844 - When Rev. Davis was appointed presiding elder for Wisconsin, Rev. J. A. Mast took over the responsibilities of the Monroe Circuit that included Rutland from 1844-1847. [2][OUTCALT-1958], [7](BLAKE-1973), [6](INVENTORY-1940), [9][PASTOR-LIST]

1851 - The Rutland Class was organized into a Congregation. There were about 65 members. John Hanan was the Class Leader at the time and the Rev. A. Bacher the pastor. They continued to be a part of the Monroe Circuit. The unidentified handwritten note on ministers listed the pastor's name as "Baker" and gave the dates of his pastorate as 1851-1852. [1](WCHS-1968), [4][HIST-1968], [9](PASTOR LIST)

1852, March 16 - Land was purchased by the congregation from David and Jane Anthony for a meeting house and burial ground. One and half acres for $10.00. The trustees representing the church were Joseph De Janes, (Robert) Taylor Valentine, and Alvah G. Newton. [1][WCHS-1968], [4][HIST-1968],[10][WARR/DEED-1852]

1852, May 24 - Incorporation papers were filed with the State of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Church Archives Inventory sites source as Dane County Office of Register of Deeds, Incorporation Index, Vol. 1, p. 11; however, personnel at the Register of Deeds could not find record or the index. The trustees of the church at this time were Joesph DeJanes, Taylor Valentine, and A. G. Newton. Other charter members included Mr. and Mrs. David Anthony, E. D. Shotz (Sholts?), Emma Graves, Burton's, Haskin's, The Prentices, and Dan Pond. [1](WCHS-1968), [2][OUTCALT-1958), [4][HIST-1968], [6](INVENTORY-1940)

1852-1853 - The building of the church. The Rev. W. T. Bunton was pastor at this time. Dedication of the church was in the fall of 1853. It was the first church building of the denomination of the State of Wisconsin. According to Frank Newton's newspaper article, some of the lumber for it was taken from the woods nearby and sawed at the mill of David Anthony while the rest was hauled by ox teams from Stoughton, because at the time that was the nearest railroad station.. However, Outcalt states that Wayne Anthony said that the lumber for the building was brought from Milwaukee by ox team. Descriptive notes about the building include the following---size of the building was 25 x 35; seating for 75-100; a center aisle and an aisle along each of the side walls; the pulpit front center; wooden pegs were used for nails; the foundation has air jets; the frame is of oak; three windows on each side, two front doors, old style heating stove; three bracket lamps; wooden structure painted white; and there was said to have been a front porch at one time. [1][WCHS-1968], [2][OUTCALT-1958], [4][HIST-1968], [8][NEWTON], [19][WCHD/BLOCK-1971] NOTE: Several sources have the church built in 1847; i.e., The Centennial Program, Wisconsin Church Inventory, Walker. The Outcalt history has 1847 recorded but crossed out and '52 penciled in. The Newton newspaper article has it as 1852. Block's Wisconsin Conference Historical Data has the 1852-53 dates. Considering that the property wasn't purchased until March of 1852, it is very unlikely that it was built at the earlier date.

1852-1853 - Rev. J. Dollarhide, pastor (9][PASTOR LIST]

1857, May 12 - The General Conference of the United Brethren Church, meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, authorized the formation of a Wisconsin Conference. [18][EUBC/CENN-1956]

1853-1858 - The Rutland church was part of the Union Circuit. [6](INVENTORY-1940]

1858, September 16 (18-20?) - The Rutland church was host to the meeting that organized the First United Brethren State Conference. The new conference consisted of one station (Rutland), three circuits (Sheboygan, Union, and Monore), and nine (or sixteen as per Drury] missions, with 131 preaching locations. The conference was divided into two districts, East and West, each supervised by a presiding elder. There were fifteen ministers, thirteen of whom were present at the Rutland meeting. State membership at that time was 609. Rev. Zuck who had been ordained in the Wabash Conference (Indiana) and transferred to Wisconsin, became the new pastor in Rutland. Rev. Zuck was later to become Presiding Elder (District Superintendent) and in 1874 was transferred back to the Wabash Indiana Conference. Outcalt in his history called Zuck the first pastor of Rutland---probably means he was the first resident minister? [1](WCHS-1968), [2](OUTCALT-1958], [3][CP-1958], [4][HIST-1968], [5][UB-WIS], [6](INVENTORY-1940), [13][DRURY-1931], [18][EUBC/CENN-1956], [19][WCHD/BLOCK-1971]

1860 - The Third United Brethren Conference was held at the Rutland Church. About this time a Rutland Circuit was formed. [1](WCHS-1968), [2][OUTCALT-1958], [3][CP-1958], [4][HIST-1968], [6](INVENTORY-1940), [19][WCHD/BLOCK-1971]

1862 - The Rutland Circuit was divided when the Monticello Circuit was established. [6](INVENTORY-1940)

1863 - The State United Brethren Conference was held in Rutland. [1](WCHS-1968) [4][HIST-1968] Outcalt gives the year as 1862 [2](OUTCALT-1958] and in the Inventory, the year 1862 is written in. [6][INVENTORY-1940), [19][WCHD/BLOCK-1971]

1867 - Rutland became a mission church. [6](INVENTORY-1940)

1871 - The 14th. Annual United Brethren State Conference was held at the Rutland Church. [1](WCHS-1968), [2][OUTCALT-1958], [3][CP-1958], [4][HIST-1968], [6][INVENTORY-1940], [19][WCHD/BLOCK-1971]

1882 - The 25th. Annual United Brethren State Conference was held at the Rutland Church. [1](WCHS-1968), [2][OUTCALT-1958], [3][CP-1958], [4][HIST-1968], [6][INVENTORY-1940]. [19][WCHD/BLOCK-1971]

1883 - Over the years many revival meetings were held at the Rutland Church, one of which was told of by Miss Beryl Whitney to H. A. Block in 1956 about the boy evangelist, George K. Little, from Harris burg, PA. It was said that more than 50 decisions were made for Christ. [1](WCHS-1968), [4][HIST-1968]

1883 - The first mention of a parsonage is that of a photo of the house which is in the archives of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist in Sun Prairie. On the back of the photo it indicated that it was located "south and across the road from the church." The people in the photo were identified as Rev. A. D. Whitney, his wife and daughter, Grace. (11][PARSONAGE/PHOTO-1883] The historian Outcalt in his history states it was the home of the pastor, Rev. J. Payne. [2](OUTCALT-1958) The 1968 history states that Rev. J. Payne built it. [4][HIST-1968]

1887 - The Thirtieth United Brethren Conference was held at the Rutland Church. [1](WCHS-1968), [2][OUTCALT-1858], [3][CP-1958], [4][HIST-1968] [6][INVENTORY-1940], [19][WCHD/BLOCK-1971]

1890, 19 September - Rev. E. S. Bunce died and was buried in the Rutland Cemetery. [1][WCHS-1968]

1892 - The Rutland church heads a Curcuit again. [4][HIST-1968] [6](INVENTORY-1940)

1898, June 22 - A certificate of organization was filed with the Dane County Register of Deeds. The church was incorporated under the name of the Rutland United Brethren in Christ Church. Signing on behalf of the church were Finly B. Best, Chas. A. Emmes, and Ruben Heebner. [12](CERT/ORG-1898)

1903 - Church Activities as reported in the Oregon Observer:

12 February - Funds needed to pay the pastor? The congregation held what was called "an old fashioned donation" that raised $20.00 for the pastor. (Vol. XXII, 12 Feb., No. 23, p. 8 & 19 Feb, No. 24, p. 8)

22 February - Presiding Elder Richards preached at the church that Sunday evening. (Vol. XXII, 19 Feb., No. 24, p. 8)

April (first part of month) - It was reported that Mr. Cheeny, a crusader, was holding revival meetings at the church in association with Rev. Lewis, the U.B. pastor in Rutland. (issue: Vol. XXII., 2 Apr., No. 31, p. 8)

May-June: A Rev. Cook of Chicago held revival meetings during the first week in May and returned to continue them in June. The last meeting was held on Sunday, June 14th. when three persons; Mrs. H. E. Waterman, Mrs. Bonnell, and Miss Devine were baptized by immersion in Badfish Creek and united with the church. (Vol. XXII., 7 May, No. 36, p. 8; 11 June No. 41, p. 8; & 18 June No. 42, p. 8)

14 June - Children's Day was observed at the Church Service. (Vol. XXII., 18 June, No. 42, p. 8)

25 June - An ice cream social was held on the lawn of Chas. Sholts for the benefit of the pastor. (Issue: Vol. XXII., 18 Jun, No. 42, p. 8)

July (last week of) -- Another ice cream social brought in $15.00 for the pastor, J. D. Lewis. (Vol. XXII., 30 July, No. 47, p. 8)

16 August - It was noted that Quarterly Meeting Services will be held at the church, Sunday evening of August 16, with the Rev. Richards preaching. (Vol. XXII., 13 Aug., No. 49, p. 8)

28 August - The Annual Sunday School Picnic was held at Lake Harriet. (Vol. XXII., 27 Aug., No. 51, p.8)

17 September - Another ice cream social--it was held at the parsonage for the benefit of the church. Those attending were asked to bring either cake or crackers. Also needed were milk and eggs. (Vol. XXIII., 17 Sept., No. 2, p. 8)

27 September - Pastor, J. D. Lewis will deliver his farewell address on Sunday morning the 27th. at 11 a.m. On the September 28, Rev. Lewis, his wife and baby will start out for Muscoda and Boaz where they will visit with parents and friends one week before the United Brethren Annual Conference to be held at Richland Center, October 7-11. Finley Best will attend as the delegate from the Rutland Church. (Vol. XXIII., 17 Sept., No. 2, p. 8)

22 October - The Mite Society will give a series of coffees, the next to be held at the home of Mrs. Russell Thompson. (Vol. XXIII., 22 Oct., No. 7, p. 8) NOTE: According to the Oregon Observer newspaper article in 1910, this would have been the year that the Mite Society organized for the purpose of raising funds for the upkeep of the church and cemetery---SEE article quoted for that year.

25 October - Rev. Bender of Sparta, the new pastor, will preach for the first time. (Vol. XXIII., 22 Oct., No. 7, p.8)

4 November - Everyone was encouraged to attend a chicken pie social to be held at the parsonage, the proceeds which would be for the benefit of the pastor, Rev. H. Bender. (Vol. XXIII., 29 Oct., No.8, p.8)

4 December - Another chicken pie social will be held for the benefit of Rev. Bender. It was held at the home of Mr. & Mrs. S. Slater. (Vol. XXIII., 26 Nov., No. 12, p.8)

5 December -- The ladies of the Mite Society are holding a fair at the town hall Saturday afternoon and evening. A ten cent lunch will be served and there will be numerous articles for sale. The following week it was reported the event was well attended and that upwards of $40.00 was taken in toward pap ring and repairing the U. B. Church. (Vol. XXIII., 3 Dec., No. 13, p. 8 & 17 Dec., No. 15, p.8) (14)(OREGON OBSERVER)

1904 - The Rutland church is a mission church again. [6](INVENTORY-1940) Article from The Oregon Observer, Vol. XXIII., No. 35, dtd. 5 May 1904: "Upwards of forty met at Mrs. DeJean's last Thursday at the meeting of the Mite Society and had a very social time; there was a lot of business transacted for the Mites are painting and papering the interior of the Rutland U. B. church and have built a new chimney and made other much needed improvements about the church." [14][OREGON OBSERVER]

1908 - The Rutland church becomes a station. [6](INVENTORY-1940)

1908 - A call for funds from the Rutland Cemetery Association as quoted from The Oregon Observer, Vol. 27, 9 Apr. 1908, no. 31, p.8. "We the Rutland cemetery Association will invite and expect all who are interested, or have dead buried there, to contribute towards a fund for keeping up the grounds in good shape. Payments may be made to any of the following committee: C. F. Anthony, C. R. Johnson, D. T. Hanan. Signed, Rutland Cemetery Association." [14][OREGON OBSERVER]
NOTE: This committee, called the Rutland Cemetery Association, was the one formed at the request of The Mite Society---see the quoted newspaper articles for the year 1910.

1910 - From articles in The Oregon Observer, 6 Oct., Vol. XXX., No. 5, p.8, it would appear that The Mite Society was organized in 1903 to raise funds to care for the church property and cemetery and that they, in turn, appointed a committee to care for the cemetery in particular. It was from this committee that the Rutland Cemetery Association later came into existance. The following article is a summary of the activities of the Mite Society in regard to these activities.


"Seven years ago the Mite society was organized. At that time the Rutland U. B. Church was a pretty weather-beaten looking structure, having all it could do to pay its pastor without doing anything else. The Mites paid the pastor a hundred dollars a year toward his salary and painted the church outside and in, papered it and then turned their attention toward the cemetery, which was all overgrown with burdocks, thistles and weeds (excepting a few lots that the owners kept nice), till one could not get through along by the fences to find the graves there. For two years the Mites met there one day each year and did what they could toward cleaning the cemetery, but they found they could not accomplish much and so they decided to appoint a committee of three who would be instructed and work with the Mites to have the cemetery cleaned up and kept nice. They appointed Messrs. C. E. Anthony, David T. Hanan, and Chas. Johnson, who have taken care of it since and with the help of Arthur Phillips have worked and solicited aid from those who live here and who have moved away who have dear ones laid to rest in Rutland, until they have the cemetery all cleaned, mowed and trimmed. They have also taken down the old fence which was partly down (and pieces of which had been used for kindling) and have put up a good, substantial woven-wire fence on three sides and a nice iron fence across the front, till now the cemetery is the pride of the Mite society of Rutland."

The second article on the same page of the newspaper is titled Rutland Cemetery Association Report. The report is addressed to the Mite Society and all those who have contributed to the association. A listing of the contributors and the amounts contributed for the years 1907 through 1910 as well as the funds expended. It was noted at the end of the article, "There had been small amounts of money contributed and paid out for cemetery work of which there is no record, before the Mite society appointed this committee." President-- C. E. Anthony; Treasurer-D. T. Hanan; Secretary-Chas. Johnson.

1911, March - Mention of a Ladies Aid Society in The Oregon Observer (Dtd. 16 Mar. 1911, Vol. XXX., No. 28, p. 8) Quoted: "The Ladies Aid Scoiety of the Rutland U.B. Church will meet and also serve a dinner at the home of Mrs. Will DeJean, on Wednesday, March 22." [14][OREGON OBSERVER]

1911, March 27 - The Rutland Center Cemetery Association was formally organized. A group of some 47 area residents met at the church. The Rev. E. D. Upson, with Frank A. Newton acting as secretary, chaired the meeting. The papers for the association were drawn up and the following persons elected to the board of trustees: L. J. Morrison and W. J. Bossingham for one year terms; C. A. Hanan and Frank Newton for two year terms; and Henry Johnson, W. C. Waterman, and H. S. Smith for three year terms. [15][CEM/ORG DOC-1911], [20][CEM ASSOC/MINS-pp. 1-3]

1911, May 22 - A Warranty Deed of this date transferred the cemetery property to The Rutland Center Cemetery Association from The United Brethren Church in Christ for the sum of one dollar. The deed was filed with the Register of Deeds for Dane County on the following day. It would appear from the document that the last quarterly conference of the United Brethren Church had authorized the sale and that the trustees of the local church signed on behalf of the Rutland church, i.e., Ruben Heebner, Finly B. Best, and William Oscar. [16][WARR/DEED-1911]

1911, May - The management of the cemetery is taken over by the newly incorporated cemetery association. The following quote is from The Oregon Observer, Vol. XXX, No. 40, dtd. 8 June 1911: "The cemetery in Rutland Center is now under the management of a regular incorporated cemetery association known as the "Rutland Center Cemetery Association" and is in a position to grant deeds to any person or persons, their heirs or executors, any lot or lots now occupied, or given them by the trustees of the United Brethren Church prior to May 22nd., 1911, for the sum of (1) dollar and five (5) cents each." [14][OREGON OBSERVER]

1912 - The State U. B. conference discontinued sending ministers to the Rutland Church. There were fewer members of the church because of families moving out of the area and some others jointing a nearby group of Seven Day Adventists. Rev. O. F. Fogo was the last resident pastor. After he left ministers from Janesville would occassionally come to preach and look after the property. [1](WCHS-1968), [19][WCHD/BLOCK-1971]

1916 - The church is listed as "defunct." [6] (INVENTORY-1940) The Wisconsin Church Inventory also indicates that Seventh Day Adventists had used the building, but not dates were given. Outcalt in his history states that the Rev. O. F. Fogo was that last resident pastor in 1916. [2](OUTCALT-1958) ---his year is most probably wrong

1922 - The Rutland Center Cemetery Association purchases the church from the United Brethren Conference for the amount $100.00, the details of which are given in the Warranty Deed filed with the Dane County Register of Deeds, 3 January of 1922. The deed itself was drawn up in December of the previous year. The motion made at the association's annual meeting of 29 March 1921 is quoted as follows: "Motion made and seconded that the Association offer the United Brethren in Christ, One hundred ($100.00) Dollars for the church and property in Rutland. Motion carried." [20][CEM/ASSOC/MINS-pp. 24-25] At the trustees meeting of 14 October 1921 the following motion was carried: "Motion made and seconded that we buy The United Brethren Church for ($100.00) One hundred dollars as was offered the association by The United Brethren Church Trustees." [20][pp. 26], [17][WARR/DEED-1922] The following two comments in regard to this was taken from two histories:

From the Wisconsin Conference history: "A cemetery association was organized which bought the church and sold the parsonage for $100.00." [1](WCHS-1968) [4][HIST-1968]

From the Outcalt history: " The Conference Journal stated that the building then was valued at $800.00 and was sold to the Rutland Community for $100.00. It was then known as the "White Community Church." [2](OUTCALT-1958) Refer to the Newton newspaper article in regard to the contributors to the fund to purchase the church. (8][NEWTON]

1946 - The Church of the United Brethren in Christ domination united with the Evangelical Denomination. [1][WCHS-1968]

1958, September 14 - A Centennial Program for the Evangelical United Brethren Church (Sept. 16, 1858 - Sept. 14, 1858) was held at the Rutland Church. There were about 35 in attendance and included a group of E.U.B. ministers, descendants and friends of the Rutland Church, Dr. Howard Orions, the Conference Superintendent of Madison, Rev. Geo. McAhren, as former U. B. Conference Superintendent. The two speakers at the program were historians, Rev. L.L. Outcalt and H. A. Black. [1](WCHS-1968), [3](CP-1958),[4][HIST-1968], [19][WCHD/BLOCK-1971]

1968 (summer) - The E.U.B. Wisconsin Conference placed an historical marker in front of the Church. The marker reads as follows: [1][WCHS-1968] [4][HIST-1968], [19][WCHD/BLOCK-1971]

Site of the Rutland United Brethren Church
Erected in 1852
it was the first church building of the denominaton
in Wisconsin
Class meetings were first held in this vicinity in 1840.
The congregation was organized in 1851.
Services were discontinued in 1912

The First Session
Evangelical United Brethren Church
-Now United Methodist Church-
was held here September 18-20, 1858
with Bishop Lewis Davis as advisor.
Rev. G. G. Nickey was chairman.
Thirteen of the fifteen ministers were present.
Conference membership was 609.

Wisconsin Conference Historical Society

1974, May 11 - At a meeting of the Cemetery Association a motion was carried to dissolve the association effective 1 June 1974 and turn over all assets to the Township of Rutland along with the responsibility of maintaining the property. The last recorded meeting of the association was on 6 July 1974 at which time they had not heard from the town board as to the date that the township would be assuming the responsibilities. [20][CEM/ASSOC/MINS-pp. 127-129]

Sources for this article are available from the author.

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Updated: September 24, 2012