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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Original Trustees and Stewards (1910)

Representative Family Group ca 1910 ©2000 Denise Van Patten -  
Used with Permission
The fall of 1910 saw a group of people gathering on October and November to form a church in the northwest part of the city. Granted authority to plant a church in the October 1910 conference of the Oklahoma Methodist Episcopal Church, Bishop William Quayle presiding, the Rev. Frank Colwell set to work connecting with the community.

The organizational meeting was held Nov. 10, 1910 in the home of city lawyer A.H. (Albert H.) Tyler (58) at 1220 NW 29th Street.  His wife was Mary A. Tyler (48) and he had a, Marion (23) living in the home.

How many attended the meeting is unclear but a number can be inferred from the number of people who were elected to office as either a Trustee (those who had the official authority to buy and sell related to the church, make decisions concerning development and building, etc.) and Stewards (those who oversaw various ministries within the church and the community).

Trustees were listed in written documents and histories as : A.H. Tyler; R.E. Bradshaw; H.B. Turner; a Mr. Smith ; Edwin Stephenson ; and A.C. McCollough.  Stewards were : "Mrs. A.H. Tyler, Mrs. A.G. Paul, and Mrs. H.B. Turner."

For many decades the initials were the only thing known and the names of the women virtually lost. Now, through a survey of federal census records for 1910 in the City, first names have been identified.

The Bradshaw Family, lived at 1222 NW 29th (virtually next door to the Tyler's) and the family members were: Ralph E. Bradshaw (37), selling real estate; his wife Julia A. (37); and sons Lawrence (8) and Ralph E. Jr. (3).

The McCullough Family, lived at 1209 NW 29th and members were: Albert (53), he identified his employment as a census enumerator; Nettie (52); Hubert (22) and Clarence (18).

Edwin Stevenson, was real estate agent, resided in the 7th ward at 1314 NW 23rd, he was 51 and born in England ; his wife was Helen and his children were Clyde, Ettie, Dwight, Harry and Grace.  His neighbor was the pioneer M.E., North minister, H.A. Doty (another family with strong Wesley connections).

H.B. (H. Ben?) Turner (34) lived at 1225 NW 29th with his wife Dena or Trina (32) and son B. Norton Turner.

A.G. (Albert G. ) Paul (48) and his wife Anna A. are shown living in the downtown area of Oklahoma. Paul was a baggage handler for the railroad. Their children were: Ruth C., Clyde, and Sarah M.

Thus - A more precise list of the Trustees : Albert H. Tyler; Ralph E. Bradshaw; H.Ben Turner; a Mr. Smith ; Edwin Stephenson ; and Albert C. McCollough. 

Stewards were : "Mrs. Julia A (A.H.) Tyler, Mrs. Anna A. (Albert G.) Paul, and Mrs. Dena or Trina (H.B.) Turner."

Of further note is that the daughter of the PAUL family, Sarah Marie married Ruhl J. POTTS on 3 Sept. 1927 (Oklahoma County Marriage Records 1889-1951 Book 58, Pg. 450 (Microfilm)) and would be a leading family in their generation at Wesley.  There are several instances of families marrying into other church families, or married children also joining,  in the first five decades of the church.

Others attending that meeting and who became charter members were:
Dr. and Mrs. L.B. Boggs
L.W. Boggs
Mrs. F.A. Colwell and children Luke, Isa
Eva Doty
Hattie Doty
Laverne Doty
Mildred Doty
Raymond Doty
Clarence McCullough
Kate Murray
Edna Mabel Murray
Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Smith
Maude Shaw
Mary Elizabeth Thompson
Marie Tyler
Marguerite Tyler

By Dec. 22, 1910 Mr. and Mrs. Olin Doty had joined.  A year later on August 13, 1911 new members included Mrs. Lydia Wahl Rhodes, her sister Mrs. Pauline Wahl McBride and their father L.G. Wahl (There mother was Anna Classen Wahl) and a C.F. Crane.

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A special "Friends of Wesley" group is made of individuals, organizations, and businesses who wish to support the historic preservation of the century old and historically significant Wesley Methodist Church (Wesley United Methodist Church) founded in 1910.

The inspiring windows dating to 1928 honored people significant to local Oklahoma City history but also to the history of Oklahoma Methodism.

The church founding and development was guided by lay people who were leaders in Oklahoma City development in real estate, banking, business, and education.

It stands as a rare remaining example of Methodist Churches in the English Gothic style and as work by a significant early architectural firm.

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Wesley United Methodist Church
1401 NW 25th
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma