LOUP COUNTY NEBRASKA
Churches

Religon in Loup County
According to a Mr. Hurlburt, the first Baptist church in Loup County was organized at Prime, eleven miles up the Calamus from Burwell, around 1893or earlier.  Hulburt said his father, S.D. Hurlbert was a Baptist minister in Antelope, Sheridan, Dawes and Box Butte Counties in addition to Loup.  One of the homesteaders of that locality was the Rev. Jesse E. Hartford, another pioneer minister of Loup County he noted.
Hulbert also said the second Baptist church in Loup County was the one located at Springs Creek, organized about 1894.  Hulburt further recalled a Methodist group at Long Valley.  If Hulburt's location of Prime [which was the post office] is correct, it would be located about midway between the Nunda and Valleyview neighborhoods.  Other believe that Prime was on the south side of the river.

Churches of Loup County
by Floy Fletcher
In the early part of 1940 a brief hisotry of Loup County came out in "Who's Who in Nebraska" compiled by Thurman A. Smith, then publisher of Taylor Clarion and a resident of the North Loup Valley since 1881: The division on the churches of Loup County reads as follows:
Benjamin J. Harvey was not only the first settler, but undoubtedly the first ordained minster of the Gospel.  He held religious services in the valley at least eight years before the first church was organized.

The Catholic Church never erected a building in Loup County, but in 1879 the Thomas Croughwell family and Mrs. Joseph Rusho were perhaps the only communicants of that organization in the terriotry that was then Loup Territory.  A priest from Broken Bow said mass, in the Croughwell cabin regularly.  In later years, a daughter, Mrs. Katherin Largy, opened her home for Catholic services.

The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Taylor was incorporatated March 1883.  Reverened C. B. Crippen was the first pastor.  Trustees and officers of the church were: James Wlker, David Scott, Benjamine Johnson, Saul Master, Nathan E. Fay, Jackson Evans and Andrew Burnfield.  Joseph Rusho sold the organization two lots at half price, on which to build a parsonage.  It was erected and arrangements made for a church building.  The church was never constructed and the organization was discontinued after a few years.

A Baptist Church was organized by W.T. Powers in 1897.  This was a rural church with its own building.  Rev. S. D. Hurlbert gave many years of his life to the work of this organization as well as to Sunday School work in the Sandhill regions.

A Free Methodist class was established at Taylor and held services regularly for many years.  Mrs. Eliza Rish ws one of the most active ministers of this sect, and often spoke to the Taylor class.  Other active members of the organization were: Mr. and Mrs. James D. Bowley, Mrs and Mrs. Oscar J. Bowley, Mrs. Alice Vinnedge, Mrs. Myrtle Henry, Mrs. Eva Moon, and Mrs. James O. Strohl.  The membership a few years later transferred to the Sargent organization and a few united with the Clavary Evangelical Church in Taylor.
Source; Loup County Centennial, 1883-1983


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