First Universalist Church
The Universalist congregation chose Milwaukee cream brick for their Greek Revival style church. The low-pitched gable roof still has a full pediment across the gable end, and the steeple is decorated with pilasters and an entablature. The exterior is decorated with shallow pilasters.
The Universalist congregation held their first services in Stoughton in a schoolhouse. This building cost $4,000 to erect. It was in use until the 1940s and 1950s. In 1962, the Stoughton Historical Society Museum was established here.
Architect Stephen V. Shipman (1805-1905) was a native of Pennsylvania, where he learned the builder’s trade from his father. After superintending the construction of a number of buildings, he moved to Chicago and in 1855 to Madison, where he opened an architectural office. Among his early commissions in Madison was the Central State Hospital for the Insane, begun in 1857. He remained in Madison until the early 1870s and then returned to Chicago, where he was involved in the reconstruction of the city after the great fire of 1871.