History of Indian Creek Church
The record of the first to settle in Comanche County was about 1850. The first town was named Troy. When the name was submitted as the official name, it was rejected as there was a Troy, Texas, already. The name was changed to Cora and it became the first county seat. Cora served as the county seat from 1856 to 1859. The county seat was moved to Comanche in 1858 to be a more geographical center of the county.
The first courthouse was built of logs and presently sits on the southwest corner of the courthouse square. The first school was taught in 1857 by G. C. Birdsong. The first post office was established in 1860 and the first postmaster was Elisha H. Barcroft. During this period of growth, there were many Indian raids. The first settler killed was a Mr. Johnson.
The first settlers of the county arrived using the old military road known as the Fort Phantom Hill Road. The road started at Fort Gates on the Leon River near present day Gatesville and Fort Hood. The road traversed Coryell, Hamilton, Comanche, Brown, and Coleman counties before branching at the Pecan Bayou in northern Coleman County. The north branch of the road continued to Fort Phantom Hill near Abilene and to Fort Griffin near Albany. The south branch went to Fort Chadbourne near San Angelo. The only evidence of western man in Comanche County, prior to the military road, was a cabin or campsite near Kisan Springs located about 1½ miles southwest of Pettit School. All supplies were brought to the settlers by ox drawn wagons, six yoke of ox per wagon and ten wagons to a train.
Among the first settlers in Comanche County between 1850 and 1854 in and around Indian Creek were: John A. McGuire and family with brothers James “Mart” Martin and Daniel W. “Dock”; M. O. Coker and family; Charles Isham and family; Leonard Coker and family; and Rouge Northcutt and family.
M. O. (Mansel C.) Coker came overland from Walker County, Georgia, in 1854. He first located in Bell County, Texas, where, in the spring of 1855, he was licensed to preach by Dr. Homer S. Thrall. In the fall of 1856, he permanently moved his family to Comanche County and there spent the rest of his life. Mr. Coker preached the first Methodist sermon and assisted in organizing the first two Methodist churches in Comanche County.
By 1855 there were 35 to 40 families in the county and among those were the Holmesley, Mercer, Tunnel, Tuggle, Northcutt, McGuire, Barcroft, Isham, Coker, and Nabors. Those families arriving later were Jones, Williams, Stewart, Pinkard, Bowman, Holcomb, Bruce, Wagner, Ross, Redwine, and Beam. Later arrivals to the community and Comanche County were Kearney, Huff, Hicks, Moore, and Atterbury.
The first Methodist church in Comanche County was organized at Cora in 1858. The first quarterly conference in the county was held in 1865 in the home of H. M. Childress, pastor in charge. J. M. Johnson was the presiding elder and Peter Gravis was the secretary. M. O. Coker and Elisha Trimble were the early preachers. They had no churches then and held their services in homes or brush arbors. Five circuit churches were later constructed with Indian Creek Methodist Church as one of the five. The first community Methodist Church was established at Salt Springs. A few years after being built, it was moved to the old “Double Pins”. It was a log cabin that served as a church, school and community center.
James Martin ‘Mart’ McGuire donated the land for the Indian Creek Church which was established in 1880. The church was located across the road from the cemetery. Some of the superintendents of the church were: Jerdan Bruce, Bill Stewart, Felix Williams, John Steele, John Mervyn Bowman, and Ed Burdette.
It could be said that more young men have become ministers from the Indian Creek Methodist Church than from any church in Comanche County. The families of Indian Creek Community have been well-known and respected.