Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center


First United Presbyterian Church
Fremont, Ohio





Agency History

Scope and Content




The First United Presbyterian Church of Fremont donated a portion of its records to the Hayes Presidential Center in 1968 (LH-160). Additional material was donated in 1999 and is listed as an addenda (LH-295). Selected records have been microfilmed and are available for viewing in the Hayes Presidential Centerís reading room.

A photocopy of the churchís records from 1833 to 1885 appears in the Hayes Presidential Centerís reading room under the title Records of the Presbyterian Church in Lower Sandusky, Volume I 1833 - 1885 (F499 F9F51 ORR). The volume includes an index of names of members whose baptisms, dismissals, transfers, and deaths appear in the records. This index has also been entered in a genealogy database at the Hayes Presidential Center and is also available online

Agency History

The First Presbyterian Church in Fremont, Ohio, was founded November 30, 1833 by 22 local settlers, some of whom traveled several miles on foot, desiring the presence of a Presbyterian church in the community. The first ministerial servant was the recently ordained Ellery Bascom. Unfortunately, Rev. Bascom left the position the next spring when the members were not able to pay his $200 annual salary and he faced creditors. For some time this new church met in the court house, the school building, and stores along Front Street. The church had its first permanent meeting place in a two-story frame building belonging to Isaac Prior which had been built for that purpose. The site of this building was on the south side of East State Street a few yards east of the bridge. In the spring of 1844 the congregation decided to build a more suitable building, chose the present location at the corner of Park and Garrison Streets, and formed a building committee. This 45' x 60' building complete with bell tower was dedicated January 10, 1847 with 125 members.

That first church was torn down in 1869 and the present building begun with the corner stone laid July 15. The following January the basement rooms were ready for the worshipers and the rest of the building completed and dedicated April 27, 1873. A Ladies Aid Society had formed to pay for the furnishings of the new church by means of socials, oyster suppers, mite-meetings, and strawberry parties. At this time there was a membership of 200 and it was decided, since the church was debt-free, to pursue a "free seat system" and welcome all people of Fremont and the vicinity.

There has been an active Sunday School and youth program, predating the organization of the church by two years. In 1870 George and Mary Fitch, who had attended the Sunday School as young children, left for missionary service in China. During their home furlough in 1880 the Ladies Foreign Missionary Society was organized. Other missionaries have received support over the years. The congregation was also active in missions around the Fremont area. The East Side Sabbath School was organized in November 1906 with 32 members. This group eventually grew into the present East Side Presbyterian Church. Other local mission work has included the Prairie Presbyterian Sunday School and the Ballville Heights Presbyterian Sunday School. Boy Scout troops have also been sponsored by the congregation.

Rev. J. R. Walter and his family moved to Fremont in 1927 beginning a pastorate that lasted for over 30 years. During this time programs for youth and adults were expanded and the practice of sending The First Church Messenger to each member household begun. The clock in the church tower was repaired and remained a local landmark until a storm in July 1977 destroyed most of the steeple. (Both were later rebuilt.) Membership grew to over 700 members.

Scope and Content

This collection contains numerous Session, Sunday School, and womenís organizations records for the First United Presbyterian Church. The Session records document the early years of the congregation and run from 1833 to 1960. There are yearbooks and program books, minutes books, treasurerís books for the Ladies Aid and Womenís Missionary societies from 1879 to 1945, and Sunday School records from 1887 through 1935. There are also numerous individual committee reports as well as annual reports, financial reports, and church histories from various milestones in the life of this congregation. Another important historical record is the collection of The First Church Messenger, a weekly newsletter sent to each member from 1922 through 1963, and the Sunday bulletins from 1964 to 1996.


Ac. 1859

7.5 linear ft.


Box 1

Folder  1 Session Records 1833-1848
            2 Session Records 1841-1923
            3 Session Records 1841-1869
            4 Session Records 1849-1901
            5 Session Records (with Membership Record) 1901-1914


Box 2

Folder  1 Session Records 1914-1924
            2 Session Records March 23, 1924 - April 6, 1936
            3 Session Records April 6, 1936 - April 16, 1947
            4 Session Records April 30, 1947 - Jan. 10, 1960


Box 3

Folder  1 Membership Record 1914-1921
            2 Membership Record 1921-1925
            3 Record Book, Ladies Aid Society 1910-1922
            4 Record Book, Ladies Aid Society 1922-1935
            5 Record Book, Ladies Aid society 1935-1941


Box 4

Folder  1Treasurerís Book, Presbyterian Sabbath School 1887-1914
            2 Sunday School Record Book Nov. 1917 - Dec. 1918
            3 Sunday School Record Book 1925-1934
            4 Sunday School Record Book 1926-?
            5 Sunday School Record Book 1935
            6 Sunday School Record Book 1883, 1905, 1906
            7 Sunday School Attendance Book n.d.-1909
            8 Sunday School Record Book 1909, 1910


Box 5

Folder  1 Revised membership Roll March 1902
            2 Financial Ledger 1925-1944
            3 Financial Ledger 1934-1945
            4 Attendance Record Book for an Unidentified Organization 1928
            5 Two Unidentified Ledgers 1964-1965


Box 6

Folders 10 First Church Messenger 1922-1952
            11 First Church Messenger 1955-1963
            12 Secretaryís Book, Womenís Home Missionary Society 1887-Sept. 1893
            13 Year Program, Womenís Missionary Society 1914, 1919-1945
            14 Yearbooks for Womenís Association 1955-1960
            15 Treasurerís Reports, Womenís Home Missionary Society 1879-1921
            16 Treasurerís Book, Ladies Home Missionary Society 1900-1910


Box 7

Folder  1 Minutes, Home and Foreign Missionary Societies April 1907 - July 1921
            2 Minutes (and scrapbook), Womenís Missionary Society 1911-1938
            3 Minutes, Womenís Home Missionary Society April 1922 - April 1928
            4 Minutes, Womenís Missionary Society April 1928 - March 1935
            5 Minutes, Womenís Missionary Society April 1935 - Jan. 1941
            6 Minutes, Womenís Missionary Society Feb. 1941 - Nov. 1945
            7 Treasurerís Book, Womenís Home Missionary Society 1911-1915
            8 Womenís Society Financial Records, undated
            9 Womenís Society Financial Records 1919-1921
            10 Womenís Society Financial Records 1922-1923
            11 Womenís Society Financial Records 1924-1946
            12 Womenís Society Financial Records (Receipts, Check Stubs, Ledger) 1917-1926
            13 Secretaryís Book, Ladies Aid Society 1884-1940
            14 Record Book, Foreign Missionary Society 1902-1922
            15 Minute Book, Junior Society of Christian Endeavor 1894-1903
            16 Minutes, Westminster Bible Class 1917-1919
            17 Minute Book, Young Peopleís Fellowship 1931-1936
            18 Minute Book, Board of Trustees March 1925 - May 1943
            19 Record Book of Rev. J. R. Walter Jan. 1922 - June 1939
            20 Yellow Fever Relief Committee - Second Ward (empty book)
            21 Index of Subscribers 1930-1938
            22 List of Subscribers 1938-1944


Box 8

Folder  1Correspondence (Miscellaneous)
            2 Calling of Rev. John F. Troupe
            3 Scattered Treasurerís Reports 1838-1858
            4 Annual Reports
            5 Treasurerís Report
            6 Report of the Sunday School
            7 Proposed Budget
            8 Miscellaneous Financial Papers
            9 Trustees Report
            10 Annual Congregational Meetings
            11 Session, Meeting & Annual Report
            12 The Church Project Committee
            13 Every Member Canvas
            14 Directories
            15 Bulletins
            16 History of the First Presbyterian Church
            17 History of the Church by Mrs. Marshall Bixler
            18 50th Anniversary of the Church
            19 Centenary History 1833-1933
            20 Anniversary Booklets
            21 Sesqui-centennial 1953
            22 125th Anniversary Booklet, Nov. 30, 1958
            23 100th Anniversary of the Laying of the Cornerstone 1969
            24 Correspondence of Ellery Bascom
            25 Book of Subscriptions for Building a Parsonage 1890
            26 Pledge List, undated
            27 Pledge Book June 1937 - June 1940
            28 Miscellaneous Church Records 1924-1936
            29 Miscellaneous Church Records 1924-193630 Report of the Christian Endeavor
            31 Flower Committee, Reports
            32 Report of the Choir Fund
            33 Report of the Deaconís Fund
            34 Report of the Fidelis Circle
            35 Report of the Menís Club
            36 Womenís Bible Class
            37 Menís Bible Class
            38 Foreign Missionary Society
            39 Womenís Home Missionary Society
            40 Home Mission society Bank Statements
            41 Ladiesí Aid Society
            42 Annie M. Bartz Chapter
            43 Fleur-De-Lis Chapter
            44 Westminster Bible Class
            45 Westminster Club Miscellaneous
            46 Y.P.S.C.E. (Young Peopleís Society for Christian Endeavor?)
            47 Miscellaneous Booklets
            48 Newspaper Clippings
            49 Miscellaneous Ballots, Counts
            50 Miscellaneous Papers
            51 Miscellaneous Programs/Bulletins for Church Services
            52 Programs for Various Church Meetings and Organizations
            53 Rough Drafts of Sermons and Memorials
            54 Quarterly Newsletter of the Ohio Synodical Society 1925-1927
            55 Thanksgiving-Union Service Newspaper Clipping, n.d.



1 Charles Goddard, executor of the will of Mary Duncan, 1860
2 Contract (for the church property), 20 June 1843
3 Expenses: January - December 1838
4 Church account with e. Bushnell, 1859
5 Subscription list, n. d. (ca. 1873 ?)
6 Church building subscription list, 1869
7 Bound volume: German bible, dtd. 1747



LH - 295


Ac. 5471

3 linear ft

Box 1

Folders 1-12 First Church Messenger/Sunday Bulletins 1960-1985


Box 2

Folders 1-9 Sunday Bulletins 1985-1996
10 Index to Subscriberís List 1944-1945 - 1949
11 Treasurerís Book of the Sandusky County Ministerial Association
12 The Parish Register June 1966

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