Sunday morning worship 10 AM
621 Abbott Avenue

See map on welcome page
for directions

First Congregational Church History

List of pastors

Detailed history

Brief History:
1836 – Territory of Wisconsin was established.

1838 – Washington County borders were established.

1843 – About 100 members of the Winnebago & Potawonomi Indian tribes settled around Pike Lake. These tribes had been in the area until 1833, but left and returned.

1845 – The first school was built on the corner of Main & Sumner Streets.

1847 – The First Congregational Church of Hartford was established by 6 men & 6 women. For the first 6 years, the church met in homes and the schoolhouse.

1853 – The Rossman brothers donated ½ acre of land to the church which built a 32’ x 50’ wood structure on it. It was estimated that the cost of the building was about $1,300 of which $1,004 was pledged, some of it from Congregational churches in the eastern states “for the purpose of erecting houses of worship in the ‘Wild West.’”

1874 – The crème city brick was added to the building at a cost of $2,418.92.

1898 – The building was expanded to its present size.

1904 – The church parsonage was secured and sold in 2008.

Rev. Norman Miller was the Church’s first Pastor who, on Sundays, rode horseback from Prairieville (Waukesha) through Indian country to Hartford.

Rev. Israel C. Holmes was the church’s first resident Pastor from 1852-1856 at a salary of $300/year – of which $200 was received from the American Missionary Society.

During the Depression years, the church struggled. In July, 1931, the church had $1.17 on hand and the Pastor, Rev. D. M. Sterling came to the rescue by canceling part of his salary. The church finished that year with $.64 in the treasury.

1939 – Mrs. Ferris, a well-known artist and wife of Pastor Harlo Ferris presented five beautiful paintings above the windows to the church – each containing an element of worship: singing and music, reading the Word, praying, preaching & prophecy.

2016 – After 163 years in the historic church building on 108 Branch Street, the church moved into the old VFW building on 621 Abbott Avenue, doubling the size of its building space, with plenty of parking, a field and wild space, and Woodlawn Park across the street.

Articles of Faith: 1847-1972. None in 1972. Reinstituted in 1991.