Tacoma Illustrated

Tacoma Illustrated
Her History, Growth & Resources
A Comprehensive Review of the 
City of Destiny
Chapter 6


By Holice, Pam, and Deb

Extra special thanks to Holice B. Young for transcribing this book.  The excellent work she does continues to help many researchers!  Thanks also, to Pam Rietsch, for sharing her books with genealogists!


 Page 25


The class of people that settled Tacoma, and has continued to pour in during these years of great growth, ha made churches and Sunday School strong and prosperous.

The first church to enter the field and make good per pioneer record was the Methodist Episcopal. The first church was organized December 11, 1875. The first sermon preached by a Methodist preacher on this town site was delivered in a tent where the First congregational Church now stands. The church on the corner of C and Seventh was built in 1878 under the leadership of Rev. Martin Judy. The old parsonage was built by Rev. J. F. DeVore in 1882. The church was greatly enlarged in June, 1889, during the pastorate of Rev. Geo. C. Wilding. In the spring of this same year, the new parsonage, corner of G and Eighth streets, was built and furnished at a cost of about $4,500; and the Epworth Church in Couulter's Addition was erected by the Young People's Methodist Alliance of the First Church at a cost of $3,000. The following pastors have served this church, viz.: Rev. C. H. Hoxie, two years; Rev. Martin Judy, two years; Rev. John Parsons, one year; Rev. E/ Dudley and Rev. Spaulding together, one year; Rev. J. Miller, one year; Rev. J. F. DeVore, three years; Rev. J. A. Ward, one year; Rev. T. J. Massey, two years; Rev. D. G. LeLourd, one year; and Rev. Geo. C. Wilding, the present pastor, took charge of the church in September, 1888. Present membership, about 450.


Was organized by Rev. J. F. DeVore, October 30, 1884. The present church was built in 1885. The following pastors have served this church: Rev. J. F. DeVore, two years; Rev. G. A. Landen, two years. Rev, R. H. Massey, the present pastor, took charge of the church September, 1888.

A mission Sunday school was started in 1882, which grew into the present Central M. E. Church. This church was built by Rev. J. F. DeVore, in 1884, and greatly enlarged by Rev. W. B. McMillin in 1889. The society was organized in 1887, and the first pastor was Rev. G. A. Landen, who was followed in 1888 by Rev. W. B. McMillin, the present pastor. The present membership is about 150.

A small society has been formed at Fern Hill, and in June, 1889, Rev. Geo. C. Wilding, dedicated a handsome little church that cost about $3,000.

Lots have been secured in East Tacoma, and a church will be constructed in a few weeks. Rev. B. F. Brooks is the pastor.


Was organized in April, 1883. A church and parsonage was built on D and Thirteenth Streets, and the property was sold and buildings erected on I and Twenty-eighth streets. The present membership is about 50. The following pastors have served the church: Rev. Fr. Bonn; Rev. Mr. Sinclair; Rev. J. Braner; Rev. Mr. Hansen, the present pastor, was appointed in the autumn of 1887.

Rev. C. J. Larsen was appointed to work among the Scandinavian people of Tacoma in 1884, and he organized a Methodist Church soon after his arrival. In 1883 they built the church on Tacoma Avenue near Sixteenth Street. They have a membership of 80. Rev. C. N. Hauge, the present pastor, took charge in September, 1887.


On Twenty-first and I Streets, to cost $65,000, is completed to the top of the first story, and will be completed in six months.


Has been organized quite a number of years, and is become quite strong, and prosperous. They are now enlarging their house of worship on St. Helen's Avenue, and when completed it will be one of the best church buildings in the city. They also have a church in East Tacoma, and will soon have one in North Tacoma. Rev. M. S. Hartwell has been pastor of the church for about one year. Rev. Thomas Sims is pastor of the churches of East Tacoma and North Tacoma.


Was organized, corner of Ninth and D. Streets, March 28, 1883. Its first pastor was Rev. J. Beaven, who served this church one-year; his successor was Rev. B. S. MacLafferty, who remained nearly four years. He was followed by Rev. A. B. Banks, the present pastor, on May 1, 1888. The church edifice was built in 1884, and dedicated on March 16. This church has been very prosperous, and has now a membership of 225. A mission church has been started in the East Addition and lots secured for future churches at Fern Hill and Junett's Addition. The church has been recently enlarged, and is now quite an attractive room. Rev. G. B. Douglass is in charge of a Second Baptist Church, which has purchased the old Presbyterian Church, building and located at the corner of Tenth and K Streets.


Was instituted the first Sabbath in February, 1884. The church building is located on the corner of E and Thirteenth Streets. It has had a season of prosperity, and now has an enrolled membership of 200. A peculiar feature of this society is that it is now entirely out of debt. The pastors have been Revs. Bruce Wolverton, Andrew Sweeney, H. K. Sicafoose, and the present pastor, Rev. M. F. Redlien.

On august 30, 1885, the First Unitarian Church was organized, with Rev. Geo. H. Greer, pastor. In January, 1888, the church edifice on Tacoma Avenue and Third Street was dedicated. In December, 1888, Rev. W. E. Copeland took the pastorate. There are now about 100 names on the church roll, and the Sunday School numbers about 75. A fine new parsonage has recently been built.


Corner of D and Eleventh Streets, was erected in 1883. Rev. P. F. Hylebos is rector. The congregation is large, and there is every indication of thrift and growth.

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Is making great progress in this city, and has quite a number of societies.

The First Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, of which the Rev. Ingebrigt Tollefson is pastor, though recently established, is moving forward encouragingly and is doing a good work. This church is located on I Street, between Twelfth and Thirteenth Streets.


Located at 1307 I Street, is one of the old and strong ecclesiastical organizations in the city. Rev. F. N. Wolf is the untiring pastor of this church. Nor content with the large field he cultivates in the body of the city, he has recently built a mission church in East Tacoma.

Rev. A. G. Anderson is the pastor of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church. The congregation was organized in July, 1882, by Rev. Carlson. In the summer of 1883 the first church was built on Tacoma Avenue. In the spring of 1884, the present and first pastor took charge of the church. The old church was sold, and their present commodious edifice erected in the spring of 1889, at a cost of $15,000. The membership is 150.


Is one of the strong and influential churches of the city. several years ago the society was organized, and a neat church building erected on the corner of C and Eleventh Streets. In the spring of 1889 the old church and site were sold for $50,000; lots were purchased on the corner of G and Tenth, and immediately was began the erection of a handsome church to cost some $40,000. In the meantime the congregation worshipped ina tabernacle on the corner of G and Eleventh. The membership of the church is almost 300. Rev. W. A. Mackey is and has been the pastor for a number of years.


Was organized in January, 1888. Rev. Thomas MacGuire took charge of the congregation in December, 1888. A corner has been secured at North J and Ninth, and a church will soon be built.


Was instituted Jan. 28, 1889. A neat church was soon built on the corner of A and Thirteenth Streets. The pastor is Rev. J. Osmond.


Among the churches that very early began their work in this city, is to be placed the Protestant Episcopal. It has become a strong, influential, and wealthy organization. Through the generous beneficence of Mr. C. B. Wright, of Philadelphia, the St. Luke's Memorial Church, corner of Sixth and C Streets, was built at a cost of some $30,000. Rev. Lemuel H. Wells, is the rector. In Old Tacoma is St. Peter's Church, with the "oldest church tower in the United States," being simply a great cedar tree beheaded. The Church of the Holy Communion is on E Street near Seventeenth, Rev. R. S. Carlin, Rector. Right Rev. John A. Paddock, D. D., Bishop of the Diocese of Washington, resides in Tacoma. Under the direction of this branch of the church is the Annie Wright Seminary for girls, and the Washington College for boys. They are doing a good work in the Fannie Paddock Hospital, the fine new building being almost ready for occupancy. We learn that a handsome church is to erected near the hospital.


Is located at the corner of G and Thirteenth Streets, and Rev. C. O. Torgerson is he pastor.


Have a church at the corner of K and Sixteenth Streets, with a small organization.


Holds occasional services, but has not as yet effected an organization. Geo. C. Wilding.




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