Boston, Massachusetts. (Hyde Park). First Congregational Church of Hyde Park. Records, 1861-2003

Collection Information
Title:

Boston, MA. Hyde Park. First Congregational Church of Hyde Park, Records.

Creator(s):

First Congregational Church (Hyde Park, Boston, Mass.)

Dates:

1861-2003 (bulk 1863-1925)

Extent:

26 boxes, 37 bound volumes
22.5 linear feet

Collection ID #:

RG 4923

Conditions Governing Access:

None

Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the First Congregational Church of Hyde Park (Boston, Mass.) records, RG 4923, The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.

Language:

English

Processing information:

Collection processed by Jessica Steytler, September 2012

Abstract:

The collection follows First Congregational Church of Hyde Park, a borough of Boston, from its inception in 1863 to 2003. Most of the records are focused between 1863 and 1925. The church closed in 2009.

Acquisition Information:

Donated after the church closed in 2009.

Organizational History

For an in-depth history, see box 22 for William Lewis's work, which covers the years from the formation of the church in 1863 through 1948 and George Owen's resignation. The bulk of the collection is also for that timeframe.

 

Ministers

Hiram Carleton 1962-1864
R. Manning Chipman 1864-1866
Perley B. Davis 1867-1892
Andrew W. Archibald 1892-1897
Henry N. Hoyt 1898-1908
Lucius F. Reed 1908-1910
George W. Owen 1911-1948
R. Eugene Gilmore 1948-1953
Malcolm W. Garland 1954-1955
Allan R. McAllaster 1956-1960
Kenneth J. Sanford 1961-1967
K. S. Jordan 1967-1989
J. M. Smith 1990-2007

 

Timeline

1863 -  Ecclesiastical council met to establish Congregational church in Hyde Park
1865 - Incorporated
1868 - First church building erected
1880 - Second church (Clarendon) in Hyde Park established
1884 - Building expanded
1895 - Church incorporated
1910 - New church building started
1912 - First Church gets involved in Hyde Park Council of Churches, a multi-denominational group that focused on temperance, housing issues and improving the community.
1917 - Stained glass windows installed in church
1926 - Community School of Religious Education organized
1944 - Corrine Nordquest, future librarian at the Congregational Library, was hired as Executive Director of the Church School.
1947 - Sold the parsonage
1956 - Membership changed from Confession of Faith to Confirmation of Faith for children of members.
1961 - The church voted on the option to join the United Church of Christ (UCC). While there was a majority vote, it did not get the required two-thirds needed. The church remained unaffiliated, "Schedule II" until 1982.

 

Scope of Collection

The collection contains material from Hyde Park First Congregational Church, primarily from 1863-1920s. Records document the regular and annual meetings of the church, society, and corporation; vital statistics; planning and building a new church in 1910; minister files; church group meetings; published material and photographs.

The church originally used index books to store much of their records. Due to the high acidity, they were removed, however the original order that was in them was preserved as often as possible. Sheets of buffered paper have been used to indicate those internal box divisions. These index boxes often had a wide range of dates in them. In those circumstances, general dates were often employed.

 

Arrangement

Series 1 – Church and Society Records

This series is arranged first by topic and within that by chronological order. Topics include material pertaining to the regular and annual meetings, society and corporation meetings, executive committee, by-laws, correspondence, and financial information. Most material are in ledgers. There is also a separate section for financial, series 2, when they were independent ledgers or loose papers. The earlier ledgers include vital statistics: baptisms, membership, some marriages, and deaths/dismissals. For more information about membership, see series 3.

Series 2 – Financial Ledgers

These records are very sparse, 1870s-1890s: cash ledgers and pew rents, primarily. For more overall information about the financial status of the church, review the annual reports (1863-1958 available). They are arranged topically.

Series 3 – Vital Statistics/Membership

Records from this series are the most complete from the entire collection, from 1863-2002. Reference to vital statistics is also included in series, particularly in early ledgers. Records include lists of members, baptisms, marriages, deaths, letters of transfer (admission/dismission), and member biographies. Records are arranged topically.

Series 4 – Ministers and Ecclesiastical Councils

The majority of records in this series are from the search or supply committee and ecclesiastical councils. The Supply committees were tasked with finding a replacement minister. The George Owen ledger book is also helpful for those interested in the titles of the sermons he gave; the vital statistics he kept can be cross-referenced with the membership material in series 3. Letters from George Owen to members can also be found in Box 12, Letters, Biographies, and 1910s-1920s.

Series 5 – Building

The congregation spent years planning then building a new church in 1910. This series focuses on that event. The church group, New Church Building Society, later Church Building Society: its primary purpose was to raise money for this project. Those minutes can be found in Series 6, box 21.

Series 6 – Church Groups

This series includes Sunday school, youth groups, women’s groups, church aid society, and

Short-lived committees. Most of the groups kept their records in bound ledgers. The bulk dates are from the 1870s-1910s. The largest representation comes from the youth and women's groups.

Series 7 – Published Material and Photographs

Comprises programs from Sunday services and events, histories of the church, scrapbooks, and photographs. The Sunday bulletins are bound and arranged in chronological order, not in boxes.

 

Related Material

Davis, Perley B. Image. davisp01

 

Access Terms

Church records and registers - Massachusetts - Boston.

Hyde Park (Boston, Mass.)

Hyde Park (Boston, Mass.) -- Churches.

 

Detailed Description and Container List

Series 1 – Church and Society Records

The bulk of the records are between 1863 and the 1950s. The order of the series is driven by format: there are a lot of heavy, oversized ledgers, followed by foldered reports that correspond with the annual meetings. Prudential and Executive Committees' records are all bound ledgers.

There were several "index boxes" that were discarded for preservation purposes, but the contents of those A-Z subject files were kept in their original order and noted. Researchers may wish to set aside extra time to look at these folders.

Please note there is one membership book in box 1, as it's oversized.
Box 1
  Incorporation document 1895
  Church records, meeting minutes: confession of faith, rules, membership, baptisms 1861-1878
  Church records, meeting minutes 1878-1889
  Church records, meeting minutes 1890-1905
Box 2
  Church records, meeting minutes 1905-1954
  Corporation records, meeting minutes 1895-1913
  Society records, meeting minutes 1865-1879
Box 3
  Society Records, meeting minutes 1879-1895
Box 4
  By-Laws  
  Annual Reports, 1863-1958 (14 folders)  
    These have the actual reports that are referred to in the ledger book minutes at the beginning of this series.  
  Annual Financial Report 1893-1940
  Church Records (2 folders) 1908-1920
    Had been in a letter size index box. Includes annual report, committee reports, letters, and installations. Original order kept.  
Box 5
  Corporation Notes (2 folders) 1910s
    Had been in a letter size index box. Original order kept.  
  General Correspondence to the Church 1880-1913
  Committee Reports and Correspondence 1868-1913
  Bartlett, Amos. Removal from church 1899
  Correspondence from Church to Members 1888-1960
  Meeting Warrants and Notices 1880-1916
  Mortgages, Deeds, Legal  
Box 6
  Prudential Committee (Society) 1875-1890
  Prudential Committee (Society) 1890-1895
  Prudential (Corporation) 1895-1908
  Prudential files (2 files) 1910s-1920s
    From index box. Original order kept.  
  Executive Committee 1869-1886
  Executive Committee 1886-1896
Box 7
  Executive Committee 1896-1912
  Executive Committee 1912-1935
  Executive Committee 1935-1955
  Executive Committee 1955
return to series list
   

Series 2 – Financial Ledgers, 1873-1962 (bulk, 1873-1890s)

The bulk of the records are from the 1870s-1890s. For more information about the financial status of the church, please review the regular and annual meetings in series 1.
Box 8
  Treasurer – Accounts 1873-1895
  Treasurer – Cash 1873-1895
  Treasurer – Cash 1877-1895
  Treasurer 1890-1894
  Cash book of collection 1892-1896
  Cash book 1952-1962
  Pew Rents, Deeds 1876
  Pew Rents, Deeds 1882
  Pew Rents, Deeds 1884
Box 9
  Financial Reports and Correspondence 1880s-1890s
  Treasurer Records 1880s-1890s
  Annual Financial Report 1893-1940
  Financial Appeals 1900s-1910s
return to series list
   

Series 3 – Membership / Vital Statistics

Records from this series are the most complete from the entire collection, from 1863-2002. The later into the 20th century, the less material there is. The most valuable part of this series is the individual membership cards in boxes 13-16. The cards list: name, address, admission, birthday, place of birth, parents' names, marriage information, children's names, children's baptismal dates. Not every name will have complete information. Library will not give out address from anyone living. T-Z files are missing.

There are also biography files, which were the basis of the individual member cards.  The earliest files, 1910s-1920s, include correspondence from members, minister, and frequently have obituaries of members who had recently died. The original order of all those files has been kept: rough alphabetical order for a span of years.

The Admission and Dismission files contain letters requesting admission or transfer to another church. They are extensive and left in the order they were kept in, either chronologic or alphabetic. Researchers are recommended to review the membership index cards to narrow down their search if they have a specific person in mind. Significant time should be allotted for any of the files in box 11.
Box 10
  Marriages, Deaths 1948-1976
  Roll Book Ledger 1863-1896
  Roll Book Ledger 1896-1921
  Roll Book Ledger 1921-1935
  Roll Book Ledger 1936-2002
  Membership 1954-1987
    (Ledger in box 1: oversized)  
  Admissions and Dismissions 1935-2003
Box 11
  Admissions  
    1860-1900 1902 N-Z , 1863-1913  
    1894 1903 A-D, 1910-1940  
    1895 1904 E-K, 1910-1940  
    1896 1905 L-Q, 1910-1940  
    1897-1898 1906-1907 R-Z, 1910-1940  
    1899-1900 A-E,  1863-1913    
    1901 F-M, 1863-1913    
  Dismissions  
    1869-1871 1883-1884 D-H, 1870-1930  
    1872-1874 1885 I-O, 1870-1930  
    1875-1876 1886 P-U, 1870-1930  
    1877 1887 V-Z, 1870-1930  
    1878 1888 A-C, 1930-1970  
    1879 1889 D-G, 1930-1970  
    1880 1890-1891 H-J, 1930-1970  
    1881 1892 K-Q, 1930-1970  
    1882 A-C, 1870-1930 S-Z, 1930-1970  
Box 12
  Letters, Biographies – A-D 1910s-1920s
  Letters, Biographies – E-L 1910s-1920s
  Letters, Biographies – M-Z 1910s-1920s
  Letters, Biographies – A-C 1930s
  Letters, Biographies – D-H 1930s
  Letters, Biographies – I-O 1930s
  Letters, Biographies – P-S 1930s
  Letters, Biographies – T-Z 1930s
  Letters, Biographies – A-D 1950s
  Letters, Biographies – E-H 1950s
  Letters, Biographies – I-O 1950s
  Letters, Biographies – P-Z 1950s
  Letters, Biographies – A-F 1953-1959
  Letters, Biographies – G-M 1953-1959
  Letters, Biographies – N-Z 1953-1959
  Membership Applications 1978-1999
  Membership lists 1930s-1940s
  Membership lists 1950s-1990s
  Baptismal records, alpha list 1970s-2001
  Membership publicity  
  Membership secretary's records 1920s-1930s
  Manuals and Member Directories (2)  
  Correspondence 1911
  Correspondence, responses to circular letters, requests for dismissals 1880s-1890s
  List of servicemen (WW II?) 1889
  Vaughn, C.P. – discipline?  
  Funeral Certificates  
Boxes 13-16
  Membership cards  
    Box 13 Members, A-Z Past Members, A-C  
    Box 14 Past Members, D-H  
    Box 15 Past Members, I-O  
    Box 16 Past Members, P-S  
return to series list
       

Series 4 – Ministers and Ecclesiastical Councils

The majority of records in this series are from the search or supply committee and ecclesiastical councils. The Supply committees were tasked with finding a replacement minister. The George Owen ledger book is also helpful for those interested in the titles of the sermons he gave; the vital statistics he kept can be cross-referenced with the membership material in series 3. Letters from George Owen  to members can also be found in Box 12, Letters, Biographies, 1910s-1920s.
Box 17
  Supply Committee – Andrew Archibald 1892
  Supply Committee – Henry Hoyt (2 folders) 1897
  Supply Committee – Rev. Lucius Reed 1908
  Supply Committee – George Owen (3 folders) 1910
  Rev. Davis 25th Anniversary Committee 1892
  Owen, George W. – Programs, New Year letters to congregation 1911-1948
  Owen, George – Ledger Book of Sermons, Deaths, Baptisms, Marriages, Occasional Membership 1930-1946
  Installation Programs  
  Ministers, general information and correspondence  
    mostly general letters to congregation and about ministers' departure/arrival  
  Sermons  
  Ecclesiastical Council Invitations 1894-1907
  Ecclesiastical Council Correspondence, A-F 1880s-1930s
  Ecclesiastical Council Correspondence, G-O 1880s-1930s
  Ecclesiastical Council Correspondence, P-S 1880s-1930s
  Ecclesiastical Council Correspondence, T-Z 1880s-1930s
return to series list
   

Series 5 – Building

The congregation spent years planning then building a new church in 1910. This series focuses on that event. The church group, New Church Building Society, later Church Building Society: its primary purpose was to raise money for this project. Those minutes can be found in Series 6, box 21.
Box 18
  New Church plans – was in index box, original order maintained (1 of 2) 1908
  New Church plans – was in index box, original order maintained (2 of 2) 1908
  New Church Records, Building Committee meeting minutes 1906-1909
  New Church Records – was in index box, original order maintained (1 of 2) 1906-1911
  New Church Records – was in index box, original order maintained (2 of 2) 1906-1911
  Building and Grounds Correspondence 1912
  Building and Room Dedications 1883-1911
return to series list
   

Series 6 – Church Groups

This series includes Sunday School, youth groups, women's groups, church aid society, and short-lived committees. Most of the groups kept their records in bound ledgers. The bulk dates are from the 1870s-1910s. The largest representation comes from the youth and women's groups.
Box 18 (cont.)
  Sunday School  
    Correspondence 1894-1900
    Programs 1880s-1920s,
1970s
    Rally Day 1880s-1920s
    Anniversaries 1871-1931
    Historical Sketch 1911
    Letters to teachers, meetings 1890s-1900s
Box 19
    Superintendent's Pocket Record Books 1887, 1888, 1889,
1890, 1891, 1898
    Class Registers 1889; 1890-1892
    Catalogue of the library 1868, 1879
  Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor – YPSCE  
    Record Book – Meeting Minutes 1884-1889
    Record Book – Meeting Minutes 1889-1898
    Record Book – Meeting Minutes 1898-1905
    Members 1891-1895
    Members 1895-1902
    Members 1902-1903
    Lookout Committee 1889-1891
    Lookout Committee 1891-1895
    Finance and Executive 1887-1898
    By-laws, constitution, programs (envelope)  
  Junior Society of Christian Endeavor  
    Meeting Minutes, Record Books 1892-1895
    Meeting Minutes, Record Books 1896-1899
    Meeting Minutes, Record Books 1900-1902
    Treasurer Book 1889-1897
Box 20
  Junior Auxiliary to the Woman's Board of Missions  
    Record Book 1894-1903
  Auxiliary to the Woman's Board of Missions  
    Record Book 1872-1882
    Record Book 1882-1888
    Record Book 1889-1895
    Record Book 1896-1902
    Record Book 1903-1918
    Sketch of the Hyde Park Auxiliary of Suffolk Branch of the Woman's Board of Missions by Mrs. Noyes 1913
  Woman's Home Missionionary Union  
    Meeting Minutes 1885-1893
    Meeting Minutes 1893-1911
    Meeting Minutes 1911-1918
    Annual Reports 1885-1896
    Annual Reports 1896-1917
  Church Aid Society 1920s
Box 21
  Heart and Hand Society 1877-1884
  Maternal Association 1889-1893
  Maternal Association 1893-1898
  Maternal Association 1898-1906
  New Church Aid Society 1905-1915
  New Church Aid Society 1916-1925
  Church Aid Society 1925-1930
  Social Committee 1900-1924
  Committee on Military Affairs 1917-1919
  Fairmont Circle 1951
return to series list
   

Series 7 – Published Material and Photographs

Comprises programs from Sunday services and events, histories of the church, scrapbooks, and photographs.  The Sunday bulletins are bound and arranged in chronological order, not in boxes.
Box 22
  Programs  
    Men's Groups, Women's Groups – Programs and Events  
    Sunday Service Programs (Special)  
    Union Services  
    Event Programs  
    Musical Concerts – Programs  
  History  
    History: Annals of the First Congregational Church by William W. Lewis 1860-1949
    Historical – About the Church  
    75th anniversary photograph album presented to George Owen 1938
    Loose photographs  
Box 23
  Photographs and scrapbooks  
  Scrapbook 1900-1911
  News clippings (VERY fragile) 1924-1927
Box 24
  Oversize, unbound scrapbook 1921-1926
Box 25
  Oversize, unbound scrapbook 1937-1943
Box 26
  Unbound Bulletins Pre-1915
(no boxes)
  Weekly Bulletins
  missing bound copies of 1956, 1957, 1974
1897-1900,
1915-1976
     
return to series list

 

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