Press release:
For immediate release.
March 18, 2003
from Friends of Rutland Center Church and Cemetery

Contact: Jean Hanson

The Friends of the Rutland Center Church and Cemetery met on March 13, 2003 at the Oregon Senior Center to hear a report on the results of their meeting with the Rutland Town Board and to assign individuals to various subcommittees.

Assistant Chairperson Jean Hanson reported a positive response from her meeting with the Rutland Town Board on March 4th.  At that meeting, Hanson educated the board about the Friends, who could serve as an advisory group to the Town Board, investigate the church history, research available grants to pay for restoration, identify individual tradespeople, recruit and form a membership list, formulate an action plan, and maintain a website to communicate with other committee members, the town board and interested parties.  Additionally, the committee wants to explore purchase of the adjacent lot to the church and center, which is located in Rutland Township, on highway 14, two miles south of Oregon, in Dane County.

Committee members, after reviewing an extensive list of thirty plus items, volunteered to assume responsibility for tasks that interested them in the areas of history, cemetery, church restoration, grants and finance, public information and legal.

General discussion followed on how to meet the groups objectives.  Jerry Neath has visited the United Methodist Conference Archives in Sun Prairie and is organizing his notes into a timeline on the church history.  Joan Gefke and Jennifer Ehle are preparing a list of individuals buried in the cemetery.  Plans are underway to collect family histories and collateral data on the early church members.

The Rutland United Brethren was the first church group in the area.  In the early 1850šs, a congregation was organized and the church building was built.  The first session of Wisconsin Conference (U.B.) Evangelical Brethren Church was held there on Sept 18-20, 1858, with thirteen of the fifteen ministers in the state present.  The church and its congregation were very active until its discontinuance in 1912 when the members migrated the churches in Brooklyn and Oregon.

Programs will be scheduled in the future to educate interested individuals about the history of the church and cemetery and the restoration progress.  The Friends of the Rutland Center Church and Cemetery are hopeful that local citizens will come forward and share their knowledge with them.  Specifically, the committee desires early photographs of the church with the original front porch.

The next scheduled meeting of the Friends of the Rutland Church and Cemetery is Friday, April 25th at 3 PM at the Oregon Historical Society, 159 W. Lincoln, Oregon, WI.  Interested individuals are invited to attend the meeting and check the web page (

Written by:
Jennifer Ehle
stevee@inwave. com