The Episcopal Church and Its Vicar
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, a mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, stood at
3205 California. It was founded at the turn of the century and closed around 1938 or ‘39,
a victim of the Great Depression and of internal stresses. The Rev. Canon George St.
George Tyner was the Vicar. He was an evangelistic preacher and his congregation was
basically a conservative neighborhood group.
In response to a request for information about the church and it’s vicar, Mr. Arthur Tyner,
son of the Rev. Canon Tyner, now living in Beaver Falls, Wisconsin, wrote:
“The house at 3201 California Street was the vicarage for St. Paul’s. My parents lived
there from 1928 to 1948. I was on the scene from 1928 until 1942. I enjoyed meeting my
parents’ frequent dinner and houseguests. Father liked to bring people home for dinner.
Sometimes the guest was a member of St. Paul’s, sometimes a spiritual leader or a
neighboring clergyman. The spiritual leader might be an Indian Sadhu or a visiting
preacher. My mother dutifully set a place for the guest. She worked on a tight budget for
groceries stretched with the help of a neighboring grocer, Al Wohlner, who took a relaxed
view about bills and their payment. Wholesome meals and best china and silver were
“My mother, Ethel Katherine Holmquist, was born in Oakland, Nebraska in 1889, daughter
of James and Anna Holmquist. After high school in Oakland she attended Brownell Hall in
Omaha for a year and met my father at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.
“Father was a native Canadian who arrived in Omaha in 1914 as a YMCA employee. He
began his priestly career in York, Nebraska, and continued at Episcopal churches in
Western Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. He spent his final years in Omaha at St.
Pauls and then as Assistant Dean and later, Canon, at Trinity Cathedral in Omaha.
“He was an evangelistic preacher and a dramatic performer. He delivered thunder in his
sermons on Biblical subjects and, most memorably, on the evils of liquor. He liked also to
mimic politicians like FDR and Al Smith, or to recite lines of poetry from Tennyson.
“Mother played it straight, set a good table and supported my father in whatever he
wanted to do, be it a joke or a church project. Her final act of devotion was to bring up an
orange to his attic studio and find him collapsed on the floor (1952). She survived him
another 28 years (1980).”
Note: Arthur Tyner and family lived just west of Gifford Park on 35th Avenue before
moving to Connecticut. St. Paul’s church was razed and the site is vacant.
Tyner, Arthur, letter August 20, 1985
|Gifford Park Neighborhood Association
P.O. Box 31462, Omaha, NE 68131-0462