Squat Church History

Squat Church was the first in the county, built perhaps as early as 1819 on land in the southeast part of section 36, Lake Creek Township. The neighborhood was known as Prairie Hill, so that first temple must have had a slightly location. It was built of logs, and its construction seemed crude even for the times, or the builders would not have given it the name.

A row of long rifles usually stood against the wall during services, for Indians and wolves were a menace. Among the men who were leaders in the early Methodist congregation were the brothers Oliver and David Davis, James Baker and his sons, William, Clark and Lewis Baker. The Hendrickson settlement on nearby Worthen trail furnished the resident preacher as well as his six strong sons for the congregation.

John Hendrickson (1782-1856) came to the county about 1850 from Tennessee, where he was well known as a local Methodist preacher as well as a soldier in the War of 1812. Mrs. Hendrickson, born Elizabeth Weaver, reached the great age of one hundred and two years and was reputed to be the oldest living Methodist when 3,000 celebrated her hundredth birthday in 1886 by gathering at her home in Lake Creek Township. Their son Horton K. Hendrickson was a founder of Union Grove church, which replaced old Squat as time passed.

After a few years, Rev. Mr. Hendrickson a ministry was aided by the coming of James M. Fowler, preacher and doctor. His home was west of Squat church, in the neighborhood marked by Fowler School. A marriage in 1874 between James M. Fowler Jr. and Sydney Hendrickson, son and granddaughter of the two preachers, cemented the family friendship.

Thomas Jefferson Sanders was one of the early members and founders of Squat church. He preempted land in section 36 including that where the church stood and in 1837 he made his land entry. His home was a landmark past which early roads were routed. The legislature in 1840 ordered that a state road be opened from Galatia past Thomas Sanders’ place and on to Marion. Dempsey Odum was representing Williamson County in Springfield at that time.

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(Extracted from Pioneer Folks and Places, Barbara Barr Hubbs, 1939 which is on sale at the Williamson County Museum)