Isaac Horler was baptised at Kilmersdon, Somerset, England on September 28, 1834 the son of William Horler and Ann Bryant who lived at Stratton. It is presumed that Isaac came to Single Hill, Somerset, England to work in the coal mines, his occupation in the 1871, 1881 and 1891 census returns.
It was here that he met Jane Swift, daughter of another miner, John Swift and his wife Grace. The couple were married on May 25, 1855 at Writhington, Somerset. In 1856 their first son Edward/Edwin was born. Alfred(1857), John(1859), Emily(1861). Sidney(1862) and Lucy(1867) followed.
The Single Hill Methodist Society had been founded in 1848 and the Chapel built between 1849 and 1850. Whilst no Horler’s or Swift’s appear to have been members of the founding class they certainly appear to have been active members of the church as we shall see.
In 1876 the Methodist Chapel at Single Hill acquired its first organ at a cost of £15/6/-. Prior to this date it appears that it had been the custom for the hymn tunes to be started up by one of the members pitching the tune. There is no record of who was the first organist we do know that prior to his death in 1886 Edward was the organist.
At about the same time that the Chapel was acquiring its first organ, Edward married (Charlotte) Louisa Goodenough daughter of James & Jane Goodenough. (James was the Society Steward for some 42 years from 1853 until his death in 1894). In 10 years of married life Edward & Louisa had 4 children, Hubert(1876), Minnie(1878), Ellen(1881) and Alice who appears to have been born after her fathers early death in 1887.
Sometime between 1881 and 1883 Jane died and Isaac married the widowed Hannah Swift in early 1884. Hannah was the widow of Thomas Swift, 1st cousin of Isaac’s first wife.
At the age of sixteen, Hubert, following in his fathers footsteps became the organist. At this time this may only have been as the reserve organist as we learn from the Societies Centenary Handbook published in 1949 that ‘For a few years the organ was presided over by Thomas Selway, but when he went to the north of England to live, Hubert Horler again took over the position of organist’.
On June 6th, 1893, the Single Hill Methodist Society passed a resolution to form a new Trust. Two of the nominees being Isaac and Hubert Horler. The nominations were received and sanctioned by the December Quarterly Meeting of the same year. Remember that at this time Hubert was still only 18 and below the age of majority.
Just before the First World War the members and trustees had decided to place a pipe organ in the Church, and an order was placed with a Bath firm of organ builders to supply one for the sum of £100. The outbreak of war delayed this, but the makers fulfilled their obligation in 1918 and the pipe organ was duly installed and Wilfred Horler, son of Hubert became the first organist with his father as assistant.
The Horler’s were still active in the Methodist Society in 1927 when the Ladies Guild was formed. Hubert, Wilfred and an as yet unidentified Mr. G. Horler were among the trustees. (A Mrs. G. Horler was Secretary of the Ladies Guild in 1949)