Our History

Rev George Stewart who was the first priest at St. Paul’s. He helped design the church building.

Reverend George Stewart designed this English Gothic church, constructed in 1899.  Congregant Lena Crutchfield organized numerous pancake suppers, ice cream socials and offered generous donations to make this historic landmark a reality.  Margaret Daly, wife of the “copper king” and lumber baron Marcus Daly, was also a prominent financial contributor.  The wood-frame structure incorporated elements typical of British ecclesiastical architecture.  Its pointed-arch windows, decorative wooden tracery, steeply pitched rooflines, and square towers allude to the denomination’s English roots.  The interior ceiling is intended to remind worshippers of an inverted Noah’s ark. The towers, originally asymmetrical, were modified in later years.  The stained glass windows were more recently added.  In 1941, Mrs. Daly’s funeral, one of the largest ever held in the vicinity, took place in this building.  Many businesses closed to allow community members to attend.  Today, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church continues its long tradition of providing a source of Christian fellowship to the community of Hamilton.

In its earliest years, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church held services twice monthly. The Reverend George Stewart traveled from Missoula to officiate. By 1900, the diocesan bishop recognized the need for a resident priest. The Reverend John Fogerty was called to serve the congregations of Hamilton, Darby, and Victor. Under his guidance, the Hamilton church grew to fifty-six communicants. In 1901 the congregation raised approximately $1,200 to build a rectory for Fogerty. The one-and-one-half story, wood-frame residence, which supplied all the modern conveniences, originally sported a full-length front porch. The kitchen was placed under a separate one-story roof at the back of the house. This common, nineteenth-century building practice helped keep heat and soot away from the main house and minimized the damage in the event of a kitchen fire. Clergy families resided in this building until the late 1900s when it fell into disuse. In the 1980s, a group of ambitious parish men undertook the needed repairs, restoring the building, which became an adjunct to the church building.