Establishment of Hutto
In 1876, the town of Hutto was established when the International and Great Northern Railroad was built three miles north of Shiloh.
A small farming community, Shiloh was near the crossroads of FM 135 and FM 139 on the north side of Brushy Creek. The McCutcheon-Shiloh Cemetery is all that remains of the once-thriving town.
In 1848, the year of Williamson County’s founding, Nelson Morey and Josiah Taylor both opened stores in Shiloh. There was a school and a church. Residents included the well-known Juvenal, Kuykendall, Stearns, Smalley, Swindoll and Wilbarger families. A log house stood nearby, built by Adam Orgain, a black man born a slave in 1835.
While constructing the International and Great Northern Railroad, the railroad company also purchased five acres of land for a designated station stop. This created the town of Hutto, which was named after James Emory Hutto, who was born June 8, 1824, in Alabama. Hutto made his way to Texas in 1847 at the age of 23 and served in the Confederate Army for three years.
When the Hutto post office opened on June 27, 1877, officials appointed James E. Hutto postmaster. He became one of the most prosperous cattlemen in the county. He and his wife, Margaret Hughes, also from Alabama, raised eight children. In 1885 they moved to Waco, where James operated a very successful hardware business.
The eldest son of James E. and Margaret Hutto was John R. Hutto, who operated the Hutto gin and farmed. The second son, James E. Hutto, followed in his father’s footsteps and became a very successful cattleman and later, cotton farmer. Other sons – William T., Charles W., and Robert B. – were prosperous in both the cattle and cotton industries.
Churches in Hutto
Churches have historically been a major part of Hutto community life. The majority of the early families were from Sweden, followed by Danish and German immigrants. These were churchgoing families who wasted no time building houses of worship.
The Hutto Baptist Church congregation began holding services in 1882 and has continued to grow to serve the area residents.
The United Methodist Church formed when two groups of worshippers merged. The American Methodist congregation started meeting in the Shiloh schoolhouse in 1870. In 1892, the area’s Swedish families started a Methodist church. For a while, the two congregations shared a building. The Swedish Methodist built a new facility in 1911, and in 1938, both congregations joined to form the Hutto United Methodist Church.
Both the Hutto Baptist and United Methodist churches have Texas Historical Markers.
The beginnings of the Hutto Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at Church and Live Oak streets, can be traced to services conducted by ministers from Palm Valley Lutheran Church as early as 1890. The current, and third church building, was constructed in 1902.
Church services were conducted there in Swedish until 1940. The church also operates a large cemetery that was constructed in 1897. Both the church and cemetery have Texas Historical Markers.
James E. Hutto probably never could have imagined the town with a population of 17,00 residents, as it has today, but it is something with which Mayor Ken Love is all too familiar.
“This article is used with the permission of Community Impact Newspaper. All rights reserved.”