It is my conclusion that the Atkinson Hotel was originally called the Misener Commercial Hotel, because:

  1. Chester Clay Atkinson died in December, 1956. According to his obituary from a Hamilton newspaper, the Atkinsons sold their hotel to First Baptist Church in August, 1955.
  2. The obituary says that the Atkinsons bought the “Hamilton Hotel” in 1925. The 1934 article said that they “built up an attractive and superior small hotel patronage” rather than saying that they erected the building in which the hotel was located.
  3. Edwin Ruthvin Misener moved to Dallas in 1922.
  4. When Edwin Ruthvin and Sarah E. Misener celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 1911–they lived on South Bell
  5. The shape of the roof, location of chimneys, second-floor railings, and 2nd floor windows and door are too similar for it not to be the same building.
    The Atkinson Hotel after it had been purchased by First Baptist Church in 1955.

    The Atkinson Hotel after it had been purchased by First Baptist Church in 1955.

    The Misener Commercial Hotel c. 1900-1922

    The Misener Commercial Hotel c. 1900-1922.

An historical marker will be unveiled and dedicated on Sunday, April 19, at 2 p.m. at the home built by Col. George R. Freeman on the corner of Main and College streets–immediately west of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Hamilton.

The marker will commemorate the builder of the house, Col. George R. Freeman (1830-1910), who was a Confederate officer during the Civil War.

The Texas Historical Commission places historical markers and designations as tools to be used to interpret, promote and protect historic and cultural resources that are worthy of preservation.

On June 11, 1865, in Austin, Col. Freeman interrupted the robbery of the Texas State Treasury preventing bankruptcy of Texas.

Blue Ridge Church with the Tabernacle to the left.

Blue Ridge Church with the Tabernacle to the left.

Annual Blue Ridge Homecoming & Blue Ridge Cemetery Association Meeting will be next Saturday, April 18, 2009. Business meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m and will be followed with a picnic lunch, visiting, and cemetery decorating. Any donations for upkeep would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in donating leave a comment and we will email more info to you.

Pictured are brothers Danny and Mikel Craig installing the steeple.

Pictured are brothers Danny and Mikel Craig installing the steeple.

This Sunday April 5th, Providence Baptist Church will dedicate their new steeple during the 11 am worship service. The church is also providing a fellowship lunch after the morning services. The steeple was installed in January. Funds for the steeple were provided by an anonymous donor.


Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church was the third church organized near Langford Cove/Evant. Rev. Noah Turner Byars organized this church on 12 April, 1877, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Washington Griggs  who lived in Hamilton County about six miles northeast of the present town of Evant. In addition to Bro. Noah Turner Byars and Mr. and Mrs. Griggs, other adults present were Mr. and Mrs. Dave W. White and Mr. and Mrs. Donahue.  In 1848 Byars was the first missionary appointed by the Texas Baptist Convention.

The Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church participated in the organization of the Hamilton County Baptist Association on 4 July, 1877, at the Cottonwood Springs SchoolNoah Turner Byars was an itinerant preacher who traveled from one settlement to another holding “protracted meetings” and organizing churches. As the congregation outgrew the Griggs’ log cabin home and a brush arbor, and then a church building were erected about three or four miles west of the Griggs’ home. The first pastor was likely Presley O’Keefe, who also taught school in Langford Cove.

In 1885 Sweet Home Baptist Church built the first church building in the town of Evant. Being paid for by subscription, the church was dedicated by Dr. R. C. Buckner on the second Sunday in May, 1892. Since services were held only once a month, the Baptist congregation shared their building with the Methodist congregation.

In 1913 the name of Sweet Home Baptist Church was changed to Evant Baptist Church.

llen Boone DeHart pastored this church from September 20, 1931, through August, 1935. Some of those who became members during his ministry were: Mrs. Josh Massingill, Mr. Charlie Massingill, Mrs. Monroe Smith, Miss Vollie Perkins, Mr. William McDonald, Miss Bernice Kinsey, Miss Jessie Massingill, Mildred DeHart, Doris Jean Sawyer, Iona Frasure, Van Dean Winters, Charles Curtis Longmire, Lawrence Lane, Mr. Putman Sawyer, Robert Norman Hamilton, Troy Massingill, Mrs. Mary Penson, Miss Fay Massingill, Mr. Charlie Huell, Mr. Happy Stewart, Mrs. Joe Griffis, and Mrs. John Henry.

P. W. Springfield was the first full-time pastor in 1943. His salary was ninety dollars a month plus rent and utilities. During his ministry an educational annex and baptistry were added. A second annex was added in 1948.

fbc_1In 1955 a new brick building was built with 7760 square feet. The first service in the new sanctuary which seated 300, was held on 2 October, 1955, when Billy Butts was pastor.


Early pastors of Sweet Home Baptist Church were:

  • Presley O’Keefe–1878-1879
  • D. I. Haralson–1881-1886, 1886
  • D. W. White–1887, 1890–1897
  • G. W. Herrington–1888
  • J. C. Combs–1889
  • W. N. White, 1898
  • Pinkney Hawkins, 1899

Early church clerks were:

  • W. B. Wright–1881
  • J. W. Brooks–1882–1883
  • S. C. Smith–1884, 1886
  • S. E. Smith–1885
  • J. R. Carter–1887–1891
  • P. H. Young, 1892–1894
  • James White, 1895
  • J. R. White, 1896–1897
  • R. S. Griggs, 1898
  • A. T. Stamp, 1899

Early messengers to the association were:

  • 1878–D. W. White, J. W. Howard, and W. N. White
  • 1879–D. W. White, J. W. Howard, and J. P. Murphree
  • 1881–D. W. White, and J. P. Murphy; Elder D. W. White and W. B. Wright
  • 1883–W. B. Wright and D. E. Eliott
  • 1884–D. W. White, W. B. Wright, and George Griggs
  • 1885–D. N. White and W. B. Wright
  • 1886–D. W. White
  • 1887–Elder D. W. White, A. J. Culpepper, and J. W. Maness
  • 1888 and 1889–D. W. White
  • 1890– D. W. White, S. E. Smith, A. J. Culpepper
  • 1891–D. W. White, T. W. Kirkland, J. R. Carter
  • 1892–D. W. White, P. H. Young
  • 1893–D. W. White, W. N. White, P. H. Young, J. R. White
  • 1895–D. W. White, W. N. White, Dr. R. L. Howell, P. H. Young
  • 1896–D. W. White, W. N. White, J. T. White, P. H. Young
  • 1897–Rev.’s D. W. White, W. N. White, W. M. Howell, Brethren G. H. Singleton, P. H. Howell
  • 1898–Rev. W. N. White, Brethren P. H. Young, J. A. Sheffield, R. S. Griggs, G. H. Singleton
  • 1899–A. T. Stamp, P. H. Young, E. B. White, and Rev. W. N. White.

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