From the North Texas United Methodist Reporter, October 1982. Second from left is Dollie Pearl Armstrong. Reverend Katy MacKenzie is on the far right. Courtesy Robert Cowser.
Latitude: 330931N . . . Longitude: 951911W
Old Saltillo United Methodist Churxh and cemetery today, about 2 miles south of Saltillo. The community that use to be here was called "Twin Groceries." It was located on the Jefferson Highway, a teamsters wagon trail that ran from Jefferson, Texas to Dallas. The community shifted to the present Saltillo (which was first called "Switch") when the railroad was built in 1887 and the post office was moved there in 1889.
Two more views of the Old Saltillo Methodist Church and cemetery that were taken in the late 40s or early 50s. Pictures Courtesy of John Agee, whose grandparents Scott and Mary Agee are by the car. John grew up in Mt. Pleasant, Texas. psalt2 and psalt1
Church lunch at the old Baptist church. ca. 1940. psalt14. Courtesy James Fletcher
Baptising at Greenwood circa 1920. Ike Davis, preacher at right end of line in water; Jno Clinton at the other end. This is 6 miles south of Saltillo, and the creek is Poor's Creek. Many citizens of Saltillo used to go to Greenwood for "all day singing and dinner on the ground" at the Baptist church by the creek, usually on July 4th. There was a great swimming hole near the church on Poor's Creek, and all the boys would make for it after they had stuffed themselves silly from all the food available. Candidates for public office would make this event and hand out their cards. From Gerald Post, Alive and Good to Know, 1988, p. 316
History of Old Saltillo Methodist Church
The first Methodist organization in the vicinity of Saltillo was organized at Stouts Creek Church about 1846. The Stouts Creek Church was about two and a half miles northwest of Old Saltillo. The Methodists used the Stouts Creek Church until the early sixties, and by then, there was quite a village at Saltillo where most of the members lived. So it was decided to relocate the church to Old Saltillo.
Services were held by the Methodists under an arbor until a combination church and schoolhouse was constructed about 200 yards south of east from the present site. The building was about 18 feet square and was built of rough lumber with studs and old-fashioned weather-boarding. The inch plank doors hung on wooden hinges and the windows were wooden shutte
s the art of ceiling was not known then, but sometimes lumber was laid on top of the joists.
The first preachers at the new location were Brother Harvey Hammill, and Lowe. The Methodists and Cumberland Presbyterians shared services. The church was almost lost due to a disturbance by some "toughs" who interrupted a church service with hunting horns and dogs. When they left to go get some whiskey, the church services were concluded. The annual conference was going to dispense with support to the church, but D.H. Agee pleaded for continuation of the church. It was granted and he was rewarded by the call of his son, Harvey, to preach the Gospel.
About 1870, it was decided to build a new church and schoolhouse, also to seek a new building site. Some wanted the church where it is now and others wanted to place it one-fourth mile north on the edge of the prairie. A Mr. Hackleman was willing to give the land at either place. A tie resulted after two petitions were circulated by D.H. Agee and a Mr. Lindsey. John Arthur was left to decide between the two and he chose the present location.
The ground for the cemetery was also chosen at this time. Tom Cavener's son was the first to be buried in the cemetery.
The second building was a two-story frame building, the second story being built by a lodge called the Friends of Temperance.
About 1894, it was decided to tear down this building and construct one that would be used as a Methodist Church only. It was at this time that it was discovered the property extended farther than was thought, as some doubted the desired building could be built on the property. In 1917, J. T. Arthur made the church a deed to one-and-a half acres of land on the condition should the church cease to exist, the property would be returned to his estate. But a ruling in the Methodist Church prohibited this. So he deeded the land without any provisions. Now, Old Saltillo has a beautiful, modern country church building and the cemetery contains over 400 graves. The church land and graveyard consist of six acres of land.
The following people reared in the church have been called to preach: H.K. Agee, Warren Wheeler, Cecil Condrly, George Conley, and Aubrey Dennis.
There have been over forty-five pastors of Old Saltillo Methodist Church from Harvey Hammill in 1846 to David L. Stewart in 1953.
Courtesy of Leon Dennis, Irving, Texas
Note: Wanda Corn, an Arthur descendant, with the help of others, has did an audit of the Old Saltillo Cemetery, and the results of the work appears elsewhere on this site and on Internet