William Thomas Hutchison

1798 - 1867

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

Rev. William T. Hutchison

Son of James and Sarah (Thomas) Hutchison

William T. (James, John Hutchison) was born 29 December 1798, [Bond County, Illinois, Union Grove Cemetery Records. William's birth and death dates, and his wife Mary's death date are from readings of their stones.] the first of James and Sarah's children born in Montgomery County, Tennessee. He was at a very impressionable age during the time his parents were involved in ensuring the success of the struggling Cumberland Presbyterian denomination in their frontier community, and became involved in the work of the church at an early age. His parents must have been very pleased when William announced he wanted to enter the ministry.

As a young minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian faith he served a circuit that included a part of the territory of Missouri and parts of western Kentucky. It was in serving this circuit, he met and married Mary Clay Dawson of Trigg County, their marriage taking place on 16 December 1825. Mary Clay was born at Roaring Springs, Trigg County, Kentucky, on 2 May 1805, the daughter of Thomas Dawson, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, and Mary Ann Clay, daughter of Dr. Henry Clay. [Not Henry Clay, the orator and politician. Mary Dawson's mother and the famous Henry Clay were the children of first cousins.] They remained in Trigg County, Kentucky for twenty-three years where in addition to his ministerial duties William operated a small farm.

His name appears with regularity in the minutes of the Cumberland Synod and as a member of the General Assembly. On 26 July 1847 he wrote the following letter, excerpted here, from his home near Roaring Springs, Kentucky, to Rev. Franceway R. Cossitt, the editor of The Banner of Peace about a current revival meeting they were holding.

Brother Cossitt - I hasten to give you an account of a meeting held south of us five miles and three miles West of Lafayette. It commenced on the 16th inst. Brothers Morris and Knight were in attendance. It continued up to last night, the 25th growing in interest all the time ... This meeting has been a precious meeting to me. My second son, 18 years of age, [He is speaking of James Barnet Hutchison, born in November 1828.] professed the precious Lord to know. We now have four of our children in the church. May they all get to the church above. Yours in gospel bond. W. T. Hutchinson.

In 1848 William and Mary moved their family of ten children to Bond County, Illinois. [Henry Clay Hutchison, William and Mary's oldest son did not accompany them.] William's cousin Mary Hutchison was married to one of the long-time ministers of the CP church in the county, Rev. John Barber. They were also acquainted with several other families from Montgomery County, Tennessee who had settled in Bond County. Over the next nineteen years William helped organize several Cumberland Presbyterian Churches in the county and ministered to their members. The Union Grove and Maple Grove CP Churches were organized by him under the superintending care of the Vandalia Presbytery, and he also served the Fairview Church which had been organized before his arrival in Illinois. [Perrin, William Henry, History of Bond and Montgomery Counties, Illinois, O.L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers, Chicago, 1882, pages 156-160.]

William was involved in quite a number of land transactions during their residence in the county. In June 1849, William and Mary deeded to the trustees of the Union Grove Congregation and Meeting House 3-1/4 acres of land for $5. The land was to be used for "...the equal use and benefit of the following Religious societies, to wit - The Cumberland Presbyterians, E. Methodist, Missionary Baptist, and the old school Presbyterians and for no other use or purpose...".

William and Mary became the parents of ten sons and two daughters. All, except their last son, were born in Trigg County, Kentucky. The Civil War period was especially hard on the family. All eight of their surviving sons were the right age for military service. Of them, five are documented to having served - four with the Union and one with the Confederacy. Three sons who served with the Union were given disability discharges midway through their enlistment terms, and the son who served with the Confederacy died just weeks after his enlistment. The couple's daughter Sarah Ann died in childbirth during this same Civil War period.

Mary Clay (Dawson) Hutchison died on 23 November 1863 and was buried at the Union Grove CP Church Cemetery. William died on the family farm near Greenville in Bond County, Illinois on 28 September 1867 having preached in the state for nearly twenty years. He was buried next to Mary at the Union Grove Cemetery. County records show he performed his last marriage in August, the month before he died. When mentioned by friends and colleagues in writings of the period, he was referred to as "Father" Hutchison. He was the ninth CP minister to die within the Vandalia Presbytery since its formation. When the Presbytery met at Bethalto, Madison County, Illinois in March 1868, it passed the following resolution proclaiming: [Logan, Rev. J. B., History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Illinois, published by Perrin & Smith, Alton, Illinois, 1878, page 62.]

"Resolved, 1st. That in the death of Brother Hutchison, this Presbytery has lost one of her oldest ministers, one who was a safe counselor and a useful preacher, an affectionate father and husband, and citizen -- beloved by all who knew him.

2nd. That we view, in this province of God, a loud warning to all the remaining members of this body, 'to be up and doing while it is day, for the time is at hand when no man can work longer.'

3rd. That Rev. J. M. Bone be requested to prepare a suitable obituary for publication, embodying the most prominent events connected with his life, and that his funeral be preached at the next regular session of the Presbytery, by some one appointed by the Moderator.

4th. That having been assured 'that his name is entered in the Lamb's book of life, and he has entered into the full enjoyment of fellowship of the saints in light,' that his name be discontinued on the roll."

Rev. Joel Knight preached William's funeral at the next session of the Presbytery. William and Mary had been good citizens of their community, working unceasingly for its betterment. Through his efforts several new congregations had formed, churches had been built, increasing the numbers of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He was also a Royal Arch Mason.

Three sons and a daughter predeceased William. Sylvanus and James were named to administer their father's estate on 3 October 1867. [Bond County, Illinois Probate Book O, page 135.] Their bond lists the following heirs still living at the time of their father's death - Henry C., James B., Sylvanus, Hector W., John, Milton S., Pattie B., Joseph B. and granddaughter Martha J. Wilson (only surviving child of Sarah Ann, deceased). His personal estate was valued at $3,500.

Rev. William T. and Mary Clay (Dawson) Hutchison's children:

*75. a. Henry Clay Hutchison (William T., James, John Hutchison), born 14 Mar 1827, Trigg Co., KY; died 20 Apr 1909, Stewart Co., TN.

*76. b. James Barnet Hutchison, born 8 Nov 1828, Trigg Co., KY; died 13 Feb 1920, Litchfield, Montgomery Co., IL.

*77. c. Sylvanus Clay Hutchison, born 20 Aug 1830, Trigg Co., KY; died 24 Apr 1912, Bond Co., IL.

78. d. Thomas Green Hutchison, born ca. 1832, Trigg Co., KY; died prior to 1867. He does appear with the family on the 1850 census, but not on the 1860. His little brother Benjamin died of typhoid in 1859, and it could be Thomas was also a victim of the disease.

*79. e. Sarah Ann Hutchison, born ca. 1834, Trigg Co., KY; died between 1860-1865.

*80. f. William Minter Hutchison, born ca. 1836, Trigg Co., KY; died late winter or early spring 1862, probably in Wharton Co., TX.

*81. g. Hector West Hutchison, born 26 Sep 1838, Trigg Co., KY; died 2 Aug 1917, Belt, Cascade Co., MT.

*82. h. John Hutchison, born 16 Nov 1840, Trigg Co., KY; died 11 Jul 1913, Ochelata, Washington Co., OK.

*83. i. Milton Star Hutchison, born 14 Nov 1842; Trigg Co., KY; died 16 Jul 1936, Wichita, Sedgwick Co., KS.

*84. j. Pattie B. Hutchison, born 30 Nov 1844, Trigg Co., KY; died 3 Dec 1933, Tyler, Smith Co., TX.

*85. k. Joseph Beasley Hutchison, born 15 Mar 1847, Trigg Co., KY; died 21 Nov 1902; Tyler, Smith Co., TX.

86. l. Benjamin Hutchison, born ca. 1849, Bond Co., IL; died Sep 1859 of typhoid fever in Bond Co., IL.


[Source: The Hutchison Chronicles, Some Stories of the Nine Generations of Descendants of John and Margaret Hutchison, Prince William and Shenandoah Counties, Virginia and Montgomery County, Tennessee. Compiled by Phyllis (Rasmusen) Winthurst. Tucson, Arizona: Printed & bound by AlphaGraphics Printshops of the Future, 1998.]

Family Information

Please Send Additions/Corrections to the Archives

Page Last Updated on October 1, 2003