Guide to the Records of Troy Hill Presbyterian Church, 1904-1967

Digital Research Library, University Library System

Summary Information

Repository
Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center
Title
Records of Troy Hill Presbyterian Church
Creator
Troy Hill Presbyterian Church
Collection Number
MSS#336
Date [inclusive]
1904-1967
Extent
1.75 cubic feet (2 boxes and 2 shelf volumes)
Language of Materials
The material in this collection is in English.
Abstract
The people who began what became Troy Hill Presbyterian Church settled in an area known as Bohemian Hill. These settlers were Presbyterian Czechs. In 1901, Rev. William Brichita dedicated a small chapel that had been built at the stone quarry known as the Bethlehem Chapel. This replaced the tent that was previously used as a place of worship. Rev. Filipi held the first services in the Czech language. In February 1908 a larger building was constructed and named the First Bohemian Presbyterian Church. By the 1920s, English was incorporated into the services and the name was changed to the Troy Hill Presbyterian Church. This collection includes financial records, membership records, receipt books, ledgers, and other sundry items.
Sponsor Note
This finding aid has been encoded as a part of the Historic Pittsburgh project a joint effort of the University of Pittsburgh and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Funding for this portion of the project has been donated by the Hillman Foundation.

Preferred Citation

Records of the Troy Hill Presbyterian Church, 1904-1967, MSS# 336, Historical Society of western Pennsylvania.

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History of Troy Hill Presbyterian Church

The people who began what came to be called Troy Hill Presbyterian Church settled in an area known as Bohemian Hill. People who settled here, unlike the rest of the German Catholic population of Troy Hill, were of Czech ethnic origin and Presbyterian.

In 1901, Rev. William Brichita dedicated a small chapel built atop a stone quarry on the western-most point of Troy Hill as Bethlehem Chapel. This building was to replace the tent church members had been using as a place of worship. The name was taken from the church in Prague where 15th century Protestant reformer Jan Hus was a member. The first services were held in the members' native Czech language and conducted by Rev. Filipi.

In February 1908 a larger building was dedicated as the First Bohemian Presbyterian Church. Inside was an alter and twenty pews. The communion table has a Bohemian phrase burnt onto it, which translated means "This do in My remembrance". A parsonage was built next door ten years later. Gradually, English was incorporated into church services. The name Troy Hill Presbyterian Church was not adopted until the 1920s.

Several Ladies' Aid groups and at least one men's group began within the church. The ladies' groups were divided by age. These groups provided opportunities for socializing and working toward the betterment of the church community. These groups later disbanded as the congregational population decreased.

The church began to lose members as more and more people began to move into the suburbs following the 1960s. In 1999, the Pittsburgh Presbytery voted to dissolve the church. Final services were conducted on October 24, 1999 with a farewell from the church's pastor of 22 years, Rev. Harry R. Heinrich. All records of session minutes were sent to the Presbytery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The church has since reopened as the Hallelujah Community Church.

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Scope and Content Notes

This collection includes financial records, membership records, receipt books, ledgers and other sundry items. This collection strongly details the activities of the male and female support groups of the church. These records lack any theological content as well vital statistics such as birth, baptism, marriage, or death records. It is important to note that all records until about 1930 are in Czech.

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Arrangement

The Troy Hill Presbyterian Church Records are arranged in three series. Series have been created for Lodge Martha, John Hus Society and Miscellaneous Congregational Records.

The Troy Hill Presbyterian Church Records are housed in three archival boxes and 2 shelf volumes.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Digital Research Library, University Library System  Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, Winter, 2001-2002

Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
library@hswp.org

Revision Description

 Converted from EAD Version 1.0 to EAD Version 2002 July 1, 2006

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or publish, please contact the curator of the Archives.

Acquisition Information

These materials were received in one accession in 1999.

Acc. 1999.0205 Gift of Mr. A.J. Husak and Rev. Harry R. Heidrich acting on behalf of the Troy Hill Presbyterian Church.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kaitlin E. Ehrhardt in June 2001.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Doug macGregor on March 8, 2002.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Troy Hill Presbyterian Church (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • First Bohemian Presbyterian Church (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Geographic Name(s)

  • Troy Hill (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Subject(s)

  • Presbyterians -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Church buildings -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series I Lodge Martha  1905-1967 

Scope and Content Notes

The first series is housed in three archival boxes and arranged alphabetically by folder title. This series includes records and minutes from the ladies group called the Lodge Martha. This includes financial records in the form of dues books, books recording expenditures, receipt books, IOU forms used in the 1930s, and a miscellaneous file containing scraps of paper with names and dates. The expenditure books each contain a small address book at the beginning recording the names and addresses of members.

Membership records are in the form of an address and telephone book as well as a book providing member information. The miscellaneous files contain doctor excuses, an envelope in which the IOU's and several other papers were found, a list of names and dates without an obvious connection to other records, and a thank you note addressed to the Lodge Martha. Minutes include the record of meetings from 1909-1966. These seem to have been taken at every meeting, later signed and read aloud to the others by the elected secretary.

Financial Records 
Dues Books 
  boxfolder
 1925-1941 11
  folder
 1929-1939 2
  folder
 1942-1969 3
Expenditures 
  folder
 1924-1929 4
  folder
 1929-1933 5
  folder
 1934-1939 6
  folder
 1937-1953 7
  folder
 1949-1955 8
  boxfolder
IOU's  1932-1939 21
  folder
Miscellaneous  undated 2
Receipt Books 
  folder
 1905-1916 3
  folder
 1916-1923 4
  folder
 1927-1957 5
Membership Records 
  folder
Address and telephone book  undated 6
  folder
Member information book c.1905 7
Miscellaneous Records 
  folder
Doctor notes  1942-1951 8
  folder
Envelope  undated 9
  folder
Floral receipts  1944-1947 10
  folder
List of names and dates  c.1955 11
  folder
Thank You note  1952 12
Minutes 
  folder
 1909-1917 13
  folder
 1917-1922 14
  folder
 1922-1932 15
  boxfolder
 1933-1941 31
  folder
 1941-1950 2
  folder
 1951-1966 3

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Series II John Hus Society  1904-1933 

Scope and Content Notes

The second series is housed in one archival box and arranged alphabetically by folder title. This series contains the records of the men's group known as the John Hus Society. These include financial records in the form of a dues book, expenditure and receipt books, and letters. Other records include a doctor's note and other papers.

Financial Records 
Dues Books 
  folder
 1904-1908 4
Expenditure and Receipt Books 
  folder
 1908-1920 5
  folder
 1919-1930 6
  folder
Letters  1933 7
Miscellaneous Records 
  folder
Doctor Note  1936 8
  folder
Miscellaneous papers  1906 9

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Series III Congregational Records  1947-1961 

Scope and Content Notes

The third series is housed in one archival box and arranged alphabetically by folder title. This series contains miscellaneous records pertaining to the congregation as a whole. These include receipts, returned checks, a letter explaining a transfer of funds, and a bulletin from a service to dedicate the church's new stained glass windows.

  folder
Receipt (Floral)  1947 10
  folder
Returned Checks  1955-1956 11
  folder
Transfer of Funds  undated 12
  folder
Service of Dedication  1961 13

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