Hanna's Methodist Church
Exhibit by Bonnie Amaon and Carol Reiss
Carol B. Reiss
For me it had always been there, or at least it seemed so. I marveled at it as a child when Jessie Tolan or Mrs. Buehler would sit on its bench, pump away and make lovely sounds to which we would sing. The congregation was large then as they were in all of Hanna's churches and sounds of Sunday would fill the air in our small but God loving community.
The Episcopal church across the street would ring its bell beckoning worshipers inside and the Methodists would fill the air with our electronic chimes doing the same thing. Inside people would mingle and visit until the sounds of the organ began. It was a beautiful thing to look at and in retrospect I marvel at how many women of Hanna sat down to play it. Sadie Lee played as did my aunt Margaret Boam.
One winter when I was a teen Carlisle Pomeroy pulled the vocalists together to form a one-time only choir to sing the Messiah. Jessie played the organ, and another woman played the piano. We practiced for months blending singers from each church in Hanna and the Game Warden's wife from Medicine Bow, she was our soprano soloist who was sure she couldn't get it right but did. Men and women stepped up to take on solo parts and when it was all put together the community came to hear a wonderful work by Handel accompanied by that organ.
When the organists got older the pumping got harder so Carl Erickson made some additions so the bellows could be filled electronically. A switch was flipped, and the sounds came floating out. Volume could be more easily controlled with the knees by not having to pump at the same time. Jessie was grateful.
The organ stayed in the church until the congregation withered to nothing. I'm pleased to see it restored to Hanna and placed in the Museum. It was a part of our history, our growing up, our faith, our song. (Carol B. Reiss, PhD)
Methodist Church in Hanna
The Methodist Church celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of Methodism in Hanna on September 29th. Rev. Hardesty, new District Superintendent from Casper, spoke at the morning worship service, at which time there was a roll call of all members and a birthday offering. A relic show was held in the Community Hall in the afternoon, followed by a covered-dish dinner. At 7:30 in the evening eleven nurses from Bethel Hospital in Colorado sang at the church, bringing to a close a very full day, with large attendances at all services. (UPCCEM, November 1940)