Parker County Today May 2016 - Page 61

our history: THE GALBREAITH-PICARD BUILDING The Treasure On North Elm A local funeral home’s chapel is a one-of-a-kind jewel with 122 years of history and relevance. STORY AND PHOTOS BY MEL W RHODES M When the Conference assigned W.D. Bradford as pastor, the church was unfinished and 110 members strong. Though workers finished construction during Bradford’s first year, a debt remained. Enter J.R. Couts — cattleman-banker and founder of Citizens National Bank on the Weatherford Square — and yet another name change. Couts paid off the debt and when his wife Martha (a devoted practitioner of Methodism and a member of Elm Street Methodist Church) died in 1894, the congregation renamed the church in her honor. Couts Memorial Methodist Church conducted services at the North Elm location until shortly before the 1953 sale of the late-Victorian edifice to the three gentlemen intent on opening PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY to attend First Methodist downtown and instead met in a home on Spring Street. The worshipers petitioned the Methodist Conference for a new church, a request granted in November 1891 at the annual conference in Corsicana. Spring Street Methodist came into being. The following year the church, in order to better serve its north-side congregation, moved to the corner of North Main and West First streets. The church became the North Main Street Methodist Church. In 1893, the congregation moved again, this time to North Elm Street. After an early 1894 tent revival on the corner of North Elm and East First streets, members voted to build their church at the North Elm location, recasting it the Elm Street Methodist Church. MAY 2016 onday, March 1, 1954, marked the beginning of a long-standing business in Weatherford, Texas, one whose doors remain open to this day. Over 2,000 people attended Galbreaith-Pickard Funeral Chapel’s grand opening. The owners — John and Robert Galbreaith and Lambert Pickard — bought the property and building located at 913 North Elm St. in June of 1953 and had the required remodeling completed in less than a year. For decades the building had been a house of worship, a church built in the waning years of the Victorian Age by Methodists desiring a church close to home. According to the Parker County History book, several families in the north and northeast sectors of the city hadn’t the transportation 59