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RG4149.AM:  Cortland United Church (Cortland, Neb.)

Records:  1903-1983

Cortland, Gage County, Neb.:  

Size:  9 volumes and 5 items on 1 reel of microfilm


The Cortland United Church was formed in 1981 by a merger of the Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church of Cortland. The united congregation is affiliated with both denominations. The Pilgrim Congregational Church was organized in 1875 in the old Barkey schoolhouse, located five miles west and two and a half miles south of Cortland in Gage County. In the summer of 1884 the meetings were moved to White Hall in the town of Cortland. A year later the congregation purchased the Baptist Church building. A new facility was constructed on that site during 1919-1921.

Salem Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1875, in a schoolhouse located three miles north and three and a half miles east of Cortland on the Foster homestead. In 1885 a branch of this church was organized in Cortland; and services were held variously in the schoolhouse, the Baptist Church, and in the Congregational Church. In 1890 the original congregation purchased lots in Cortland and moved the church from the country to a site south of the schoolhouse in town. In 1917 the congregation transferred from the German Nebraska Methodist Conference to the English Nebraska Methodist Conference and changed its name to Epworth Methodist Episcopal Church. At that time it also began to construct a building which was completed in 1919.

A Methodist Church had been organized in Princeton, in southern Lancaster County, in 1903. Due to lack of members and funds, it merged with the Cortland Methodist Church in 1920. Beginning in 1975 formal talks began among representatives of the Cortland Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ concerning the possible joining of the two churches. In 1981 a vote establishing one church took place, and the name of Cortland United Church was chosen.


This collection of records of the Cortland United Church consists of 9 volumes and 5 items on 1 reel of microfilm arranged in four series: 1) Methodist Episcopal Church (Princeton, Neb.), 1903-1920; 2) Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ (Cortland, Neb.), 1904-1981; 3) United Methodist Church (Cortland, Neb.), 1907-1981; and 4) Cortland United Church (Cortland, Neb.), 1975-1983. The records consist of registers of members, baptisms, and marriages as well as minutes of four churches.

Series 1 contains one register of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Princeton, Neb.) from its founding in 1903 to its merger with the Cortland Church in 1921. Series 2 contains registers and minute books of the Pilgrim Congregational Church of Christ, the earliest beginning only in 1904. Included is a volume of minutes of the Executive and Finance Committee, 1919-1923, which concerns construction of a new church building. Series 3 contains records of the Cortland United Methodist Church under its various names. These records do not date from the organization of the congregation but begin in 1907. Series 4 contains the records of the Cortland United Church to 1983 and also include minutes and reports of various committees concerning the merger beginning in 1975.

These records were loaned for microfilming in June of 1983.


Series 1 – Methodist Episcopal Church (Princeton, Neb.), 1903-1920

Reel 1


  1. Register, 1903-1920

Series 2 – Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ (Cortland, Neb.), 1904-1981


  1. Record Book, 1904-1923

  2. Minutes of Executive and Finance Committee, 1919-1923

  3. Record Book, 1924-1955

  4. Record Book, 1955-1981 (Minutes, 1955-1967; Register, 1955-1981)

  5. Minutes, 1967-1981

Series 3 – United Methodist Church (Cortland, Neb.), 1907-1981


  1. Register, 1907-1916

  2. Register, 1919-1981

  3. Minutes, 1966-1981

Series 4 – Cortland United Church (Cortland, Neb.), 1975-1983


  1. Merger Planning/Study Committee, Minutes, 1975-1977

  2. Joint Buildings/Denominations Committee, Minutes, 1979-1981

  3. Joint Administrative Board, Minutes, 1977-1981

  4. Congregational Meetings, Minutes, 1981

  5. Register, 1981-1983



Congregational Church in Nebraska

Cortland United Church (Cortland, Neb.)

Cortland (Neb.) — Churches

Epworth Methodist Episcopal Church (Cortland, Neb.)

Gage County (Neb.) — Churches

German Methodist Church in Nebraska

Lancaster County (Neb.) — Churches

Methodist Church in Nebraska

Methodist Episcopal Church (Princeton, Neb.)

Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ (Cortland, Neb.)

Princeton (Neb.) — Churches

United Church of Christ in Nebraska

United Methodist Church (Cortland, Neb.)


Revised 09-30-2008   TMM