Homer S. Thrall sermons
Homer S. Thrall was born at Underhill, Vermont on December 19, 1819. In the 1830s he moved to Ohio and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church. Thrall entered the ministry in 1840, serving Ohio Conference pastoral charges Little Kanawha (1840) and Summerville (1841). Upon being ordained in 1842, he requested a transfer to the Texas Conference, where he served Brazoria (1842) and Egypt Circuit (1843-1844) as a deacon and these ministerial appointments as an elder: Rutersville Circuit and College (1845); Austin (1846-1847); Washington (1848); Galveston (1849-1850); Victoria and Lavaca (1851-1852); American Bible Society agent (1853); Rutersville District (presiding elder 1854); Galveston District (presiding elder 1855-1857); Austin District (presiding elder 1858); LaGrange and Colored Mission (1859); Columbus District (presiding elder 1860-1861); Victoria District (presiding elder 1862-1864); Columbus Station (1865); Indianola and Colored Charge (1866); Victoria and Lavaca (1867); Houston Circuit (1869); Navasota (1870); Brenham (1871-1872); Chappell Hill District (presiding elder 1873); Chappell Hill (1874); San Antonio (1875-1877); Corpus Christi (1878-1879); San Marcos (1880); Luling (1881); San Antonio District (presiding elder 1882-1885); Seguin (1886-1889); and Del Rio (1890). He retired from the ministry in 1891.
Thrall’s interests included education, journalism, and historical writing. He taught at Rutersville College and was a trustee of Soule University. Thrall was one of the founders of the Texas Wesleyan Banner newspaper in 1849. He also served as secretary of the Texas Conference from 1852 to 1857 and of the West Texas Conference from 1882 to 1890. Thrall’s published writings include History of Methodism in Texas (1872), A History of Texas (1876), A Pictorial History of Texas (1879), The People's Illustrated Almanac, Texas Handbook, and Immigrants' Guide (1880), and A Brief History of Methodism in Texas (1889). In retirement Thrall wrote historical articles for the San Antonio Daily Express.
Homer S. Thrall married Amanda J. Kerr on June 27, 1847. She died in July 1851 and he married Amelia Trueborn West of Port Lavaca one year later. After a long illness Rev. Thrall died at his home in San Antonio on October 12, 1894.
Horton, H. G. "Homer S. Thrall, A.M.," Texas Methodist Historical Quarterly1 (July 1909).
Phelan, Macum. A History of the Expansion of Methodism in Texas, 1867-1902; Being a Continuation of the History of Early Methodism in Texas. Dallas: Mathis, Van Nort and Co., 1937.
Spellmann, Norman W. "Thrall, Homer Spellman." Handbook of Texas Online, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fth35, accessed April 11, 2017.
Vernon, Walter N. et al. The Methodist Excitement in Texas. Dallas: The Texas United Methodist Historical Society, 1984.
The Homer S. Thrall sermons document the theology and homiletical approach of a prominent nineteenth-century Texas Methodist minister. None of the documents in this collection bear Thrall’s name of initials. However, the preaching points (locations both in Texas and in Vermont) and dates noted on the sermon texts match his career path and family connections convincingly.
The Duxbury, Texas, treasurer’s receipt found with the sermons is likely associated with Thrall. The essay on home economics and the role of women is a circa 1910 speech or editorial that includes references to statements made by “Miss Terrill” (Bertha M. Terrill, 1870-1968, the first female faculty member of the University of Vermont), and “Miss Richardson” (Bertha June Richardson Lucas, author of The Woman Who Spends, 1904). This last item post-dates Thrall but may have been associated with his extended family.
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[Item], Homer S. Thrall sermons, Box 579B, Bridwell Library Special Collections, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
Arranged and described by Timothy S. G. Binkley, 2017.
Encoded by Ada Negraru, 2017.
Detailed Description of the Collection