by Barbara J. Wood
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FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH ... Joseph Polley and John  Sutherland also co-founded a church in Sutherland Springs Texas. The former had sponsored a Sunday school in Austin's Colony and at Whitehall. His preferred denomination is not clear, but his wife was a Presbyterian and he met the Hardinges at a revival sponsored by Southern Methodists, the most numerous denomination in Texas on the eve of the Civil War. On the other hand, Sutherland was a "zealous" Methodist who had served as the president of the Colorado County Bible Society when it organized at Egypt in 1839. The community had been served previously by Methodist circuit riders such as John S. McGee, but now Sutherland and Polley had the small rock schoolhouse. Together they co-sponsored the installation of the Sutherland Springs circuit within the Rio Grande (later West Texas) Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Alexander A. Smithwick of North Carolina became the first assigned pastor, arriving shortly before 1860. Smithwick died in September 1860 at the age of 29, but his place was quickly taken by John S. Gillett, who in 1861 ministered to 86 white and 21 black members of the Sutherland Springs circuit. (Courtesy by the Author of Sutherland Springs Texas: Saratoga on the Cibolo, Richard McClasin)

The 1910 census reported that an Apostolic minister, James W. Scott, lived in the new town, and the next year the First Street Presbyterian Church opened its doors in New Sutherland Springs. The older town still attracted summer religious encampments, but it apparently had no established church. (Courtesy by the Author of Sutherland Springs Texas: Saratoga on the Cibolo, Richard McClasin)

26 Aug 1911 Sutherland Springs Texas First Presbyterian Church was located in New Town that is across the Cibolo Creek high water bridge on FM 539. It is said that the bell that rang many years in the Sutherland Springs Methodist Church came from the Presbyterian Church which had a bell tower. The bell now is resting in the tower of the new First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. If these bells are the same, it is over a hundred years old.

A run of bad luck ravaged Sutherland Springs during the 1920s. Farm prices remained low in Texas and the United States throughout the decade. In 1927, the same year that Fitch's glowing review appeared, a fire from an exploding oil stove on the back porch of a home once owned by Jack Sutherland burned several blocks in the original community. Six homes and the Baptist church were destroyed, for a loss of $25,000 in property, while a dozen other structures were badly damaged, including the Presbyterian church. Hundreds of men fought the blaze with buckets because they had no fire-fighting equipment. (Courtesy by the Author of Sutherland Springs Texas: Saratoga on the Cibolo, Richard McClasin)

13 May 1932 The Sutherland Springs High School held their commencement in the Presbyterian Church.

First Presbyterian Church

Caddo, Texas

CADDO TEXAS ... There are huge gaps between the few known facts about this Caddo (one of four by that name in Texas). Its settlement occurred around the Civil War years and the next mention is the mid 1890s when their school had an enrollment of 64. No population figures are given, but there were enough people to support a gin and a church in the 1930s. After WWII both school and gin closed leaving the church, a cemetery and a few private residences.

CADDO, TX (WILSON COUNTY).Caddo is on Farm Road 3335 eighteen miles northeast of Floresville in eastern Wilson County. The community was first settled around the time of the Civil War. A school was in operation there by 1896, when it had an enrollment of sixty-four. In the mid-1930s Caddo had a school, a gin, a church, and a number of houses. After World War II the school and gin were closed, and in the early 1990s only the church and a few scattered houses remained.
Courtesy Texas State Historical Society

Caddo, Texas