Saturday, October 11, 2008

This Week in Texas Methodist History October 12

Homer Thrall Dies in San Antonio October 12, 1894

The end of an era occurred with the death of Homer Thrall on October 12, 1894. Thrall had been one of the missionary recruits from the Ohio Valley who arrived in the Republic of Texas in 1842. Littleton Fowler had gone north to recruit missionaries who were needed for the expanding Texas population. Homer Thrall, a member of the Ohio Conference, was so eager to get to Texas that he left before the rest of the travelling party and arrived in Galveston in November, 1842. He received his first appointment at the annual conference that was held at Bastrop and thus began one of the longest and most distinguished ministerial careers in Texas Methodism.

His first appointment took him to the Brazos bottomlands near the coast where he met many of the participants in the Texas Revolution. He became fascinated with the history of Texas and eventually wrote secular and Methodist histories of the state. Thrall served in too many church positions to mention in this column. One can read more about his life in the New Handbook of Texas at

Or the brief biography by Hamilton G. Horton which appeared in the Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly at,M1

Two of the missionary recruits of 1842, William O’Conner and Daniel Poe, died soon after their arrival in Texas, but another two, Homer Thrall and John Wesley Devilbiss (died 1885) lived long, productive lives and became two of the most important figures in 19th century Texas Methodism.


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