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History of  Watauga

History of Watauga County”

by John Preston Arthu

 Part 3

To navigate the history section please click on a section number
1   2   3   4   5  6   7   8)


Page 60

They Did Not Camp on the Yellow.-- Bright's Spring in North Carolina is a mile north of the gap between the Yellow and Roan. It is in a field that in 1780 contained a bald place of about 100 acres, through the Humps, lying near, have since been cleared and the bald place is now much larger than it was then. There is also another spring on the Tennessee side, near the gap, called also Bright's Spring. It is true the ground is said to have been covered with snow when they camped there, but that 1,040 men(1) and horses could have supplied themselves with water on the top of that mountain would have been an impossibility. Dr. Draper says in unmistakable language that they "passed on a couple of miles, descending the eastern slopeof the mountains into Elk Hollow--a slight depression between the Yellow and Roan Mountains, rather than a gap-- and here at a fine spring flowing into Roaring Creek they took up their camp for the night" (p. 178). Yet, the general impression is that these men camped on the Yellow Mountain that night!

Oliver Cromwell's Descendant.--Dr. Draper records the fact that Col. Benjamin Cleveland claimed direct descent from Oliver Cromwell, from a liaison with Elizabeth Cleveland, "a beauty of the time of Charles the First" (pp. 425, 426), but this story is doubted by the eminent historian. Cleveland was mistaken in acting as though cruelty was Cromwell's chief virtue.

Cleveland's Capture at Old Fields.--Dr. Draper says that this doughty warrior was captured at this place, which he is said to have owned, on the 22 day of April, 1781, while on a visit to his tenant, Jesse Duncan, at the lower end of the Old Fields--probably the very spot at which the late Nathan Waugh lived and died. Captain William Riddle was the laeader of the gang which captured him, they having stolen his horses from Duncan's barn the night before and led them up south fork of New River
Note: (1) The force which started from Sycamore Shoals consisted of : Colonel Campbell's men, 200; Colonel Shelby's, 240 men; Lieutenant-Colonel Sevier's 240 men, McDowell;s party, who had retreated from Cowen's Ford, 160 men; (Draper, p. 149); Arthur Campbell, with 200 men (Id. p. 175), making in all 1040 men.

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into a laurel thicket just above the house then occupied by Joseph and Timothy Perkins, about one mile distant. There were six or eight men with Riddle, and when they reached Benjamin Cutbirth's home the day before, four miles above Duncan's home, and failed to get any information from him, they abused him shamefully and left him under guard. Cleveland ran into the ambush prepared for him and was captured and taken into the Perkins house, which stood on the site of the house in which Nathan Waugh's son, Charles, now resides. The illustration shows the present house and apple tree in its front under which it is said Cleveland was sitting when captured. Into this house of the Perkinses, Zachariah Wells followed Cleveland and attempted to shoot him, but that brave (?) man seized Abigail Walters, who was present, and kept her between him and his would-be assassin (p.440). Cleveland was then taken up New River to the mouth of Elk Creek, and thence to "what has since been known as Riddle's Knob." 9See Illustration.) This is some fourteen miles from Old Fields and in Watauga County. Here they camped for the night (441). But they had been followed by young Daniel Cutbirth and a youth named Walters,(1) Jesse Cuncan, John Shirley, William Calloway, Samuel McQueen and Benjamin Greer, while Joseph Calloway mounted a horse and hastened to notify Captain Robert Cleveland, Ben's brother, on Lewis' Fork of the Yadkin. Five of these in advance of Robert's party fired on Riddle's gang at the Wolf's Den early the next morning, and Cleveland dropped behind the log on which he had been sitting slowly writing passes for the Tories, fearing that when he should finish doing so he would be killed. Only Wells was woulded, the rest escaping, including Riddle's wife. As it was thought that Wells would die from his would, he was left on the ground to meet his fate alone. But he survived. About 1857 Micajah Tugman found a curious knife in the Wolf's Den, supposed to have been Riddle's.

Greer's Hint.-- This "hint" is thus accounted for by Dr. Draper in a note at foot of page 442: "Greer was one of
Note:(1) These boys had planned to rescue Cleveland, but they thought better of it when Riddle's force came in sight.

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Cleveland's heroes. One of his fellow soldiers stole his tobacco from him, when he threatened he would whip him for it as soon as he should put his eyes on him. Cleveland expostulated with Greer, telling him his men ought to fight the enemy and not each other. 'I'll give him a hint of it, anyway," said Greer, and when he met the tobacco pilferer he knocked him down. Greer's hint was long a by-word in all that region.--Col. W. W. Lenoir." It is claimed that Greer killed Colonel Ferguson at King's Mountain. If so, Greer's hints were rather rough.

Greer Gets Another Kind of Hint.-- Just twenty years after the memorable capture and rescue of Cleveland by Greer, to wit: on the first Saturday of April, 1801, the Three Forks Baptist Church, of which he was a member, gave Cleveland's "hero" a "hint" to appear at the next meeting of that organization and answer to the charge--not of having looked upon the wine cup when it was red--but of having partaken of the applejuice after it had been distilled. Brother and Sister Wilcoxen were cited to appear as witnesses against him. But Ben did not take the hint, neither did he continue his membership with that church!

The Wolf's Den Tradition.-- There is still a tradition in the neighborhood of the Wolf's Den that Ben Greer killed or wounded Riddle at that place soon after Cleveland's rescue, one version saying that Riddle was only wounded and then taken to Wilkes and hanged. Indeed, the place in the gap between Pine Orchard and Huckleberry Knob, through which the wagon road from Todd to Riddle's Fork of Mear Camp Creek now runs, is still pointed out as that at which Greer and his men camped in the cold and wind, without fire or tent, till they saw the campfire on Riddle's knob flame up, after which they crept up to that lonely spot and either killed or wounded the redoubtable Tory. But Dr. Draper has an altogether different story to tell about Riddle's capture and execution.

Cleveland Hangs Riddle.-- Dr. Draper says (p.444) that soon after Cleveland's rescue Riddle and his men made a night raid into the Yadkin Valley, where, on King's Creek, they captured two of Cleveland's soldiers, David and John Witherspoon, and "spirited them away into the mountain region on the Watauga

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River in what is now Watauga County," where both were sentenced to be shot, when it was proposed that if they would take the oath of allegiance to the king, repair to their home and speedily return with the O'Neal mare--a noble animal--and join the Tory band, their lives would be spared. This the Witherspoons agreed to, and returned with not only the mare, but with Col. Ben Herndon and a party also, when they captured Riddle, Reeves and Goss, "killing and dispersing the others." These were taken to Wilkesboro, court-martialed and executed" on the hill adjoining the village, "on a stately oak, which is yet (1881) standing and pointed out to strangers at Wilkesboro." Wells, too, his wounds still unhealed, was captured and taken to Hughes' Bottom, one mile below Cleveland's Round About home-place, and hanged by plow lines from a tree on the river bank, without trial and in spite of the protestations of James Gwyn, a lad of thirteen, whose noble nature revolted at such barbarity. But Cleveland's cruelty was too well known to need further comment, for it is recorded of him that he once forced an alleged horse-thief to cut off his own ears with a dull case knife to escape death by hanging--all without trial or evidence of any kind whatever (p. 447). Cleveland moved to South Carolina at the close of the Revolutionary War, where he died while sitting at the breakfast table, in October, 1806, in the sixty-ninth year of his age. Cleveland County in this State was named in his honor. Dr. Draper says he was buried in the forks of the Tugalo and Chauga, Oconee County, SouthCarolina, but his grave with a stone marking it is in the churchyard of New Hope Baptist Church , near Staunton, Wilkes County, North Carolina, according to several recent statements of Col. J. H. Taylor, the father of Mrs. John Stansbury, of Boone. However, some claim that this is Robert Cleveland's grave-stone. So much for two versions of Riddle's death.

But there is still another, for Col. W. W. Presnell, for many years register of deeds for Watauga County and a brave one-armed Confederate soldier, still points out at the foot of a ridge north of James Blair's residence, on Brushy Fork Creek, two low rock cliffs, between which and the hollow just east hollow just east of them

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stood until recently a large white-thorn tree upon which W. H. Dugger and other reputable citizens of a past day said Cleveland had hanged Riddle and three of his companions. Certain it is, according to Dr. Draper (p. 445), that "Colonel Cleveland was active at this period in sending out strong scouting parties to scour the mountain regions, and, if possible, utterly break up the Tory bands still infesting the frontiers." Others say that two of these men were named Sneed and the third was named Warren.

The Killing of Charles Asher.-- Col. Joseph C. Shull has among his papers grant No. 841 to Charles Asher to 300 acres of land in the county of Washington, on both sides of the Watauga River, dated the 11th day of July, 1788. Charles Asher located this land at what was afterwards and still is known as Shull's Mills in Watauga County, North Carolina, after having married one of the daughters of Samuel Hix, the Tory who settled first at Valle Crucis and afterwards hid out at the Lybrook place near Banner's Elk. His son was surprised in his new log cabin in what is now colonel Shull's orchard, by Joseph White's men soon after the close of the Revolutionary War.(1) Asher ran, but was shot and killed, his body falling where it was buried, near Colonel Shull's cow barn in the meadow in front of his residence.

Benjamin Howard.-- This gentleman was the first transient boarder in the vicinity of Boone, for he built the cabin which stood in front of the Boy's Dormitory of the Appalachian Training School andon the site of which Col. W. L. Bryan had erected a substantial monument. Howard's home was near Elkville on the Yadkin, but as he herded cattle in the valley of New River, he built this hut for the accommodation of himself and his herder. When too hotly pressed by the Whigs or American Patriots, Howard sheltered himself in a cave at the base of a long, low cliff a quarter of a mile north of the knob above the
Note: (1) Joseph White was a major in Col. Joseph MccCowell's regiment after the Revolutionary War (Col. Rec., Vol. XXII, p. 460), and went on three tours with small detatchments on the north-west side of the Blue Ridge. (Id., p. 99.) In "North Carolina: A History," published by Edward Buncombe Chapter D.A. R., it is erroneously stated (p. 100) that White also was killed. White is mentioned by Doctor Draper, pp. 149-199 and 257, while on page 474 it is stated that White probably commanded a company at King's Mountain.

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town of Boone which has borne his name for years. His daughter, Sallie, when still a child, is said to have endured a servere switching rather than reveal his whereabouts when met in the road one day by a band of men in search of her parent. She married Jordan Councill the first. Her father took the oath of allegiance to the United States in 1778, however (Col. Rec. Vol. XXII, p. 172), and Miss Sallie soon afterwards became a staunch American herself.

Edward Moody, Patriot.-- Under a large white-oak tree, two feet in diameter, on a sunny ridge overlooking the site of his earthly home, is a rather small, white marble stone bearing the following meager inscription:


When one reflects that this memorial was erected by the government of the United States on the Fourth day of July, 1910, in the presence of the largest gathering of people that has ever taken place in Watauga County, and remembers that the stone is intended to mark the grave of one of the heroes of the American Revolution, one's heart does not swell with any great amount of pride or gratitude. Yet, that is all there is to mark the last resting place of a brave man who shed his blood that these United States might be free! That is all to tell comming generations that here lies the dust of a patriot and a gentleman. Even the dates of his birth and death have been forgotten. But while he lived no man stood higher in the love and respect of all who knew him. He was the husband of "the Widow Moody" to whom the Rev. Henry H. Prout paid a glowing tribute in the "Life of W. W. Skiles."

William Jonas Braswell, Hero.-- In a lonely field now owned by W. H. and Harstin Ollis, under two hickory trees, a third of a mile above the old Gen. Albertus Childs' place on Three Mile Creek, is another one of these "monuments" at the unveiling or dedication of which our great government occasionally invites

its citizens to be present. It contains an even more economical inscription than that of poor Edward Moody. It follows:

M. C. MIL.,

"That's the crap," as our farmers say in derision of a small offering. This was unveiled to the light of day and to the indignation of all right-think people in 1913, the crowd in attendance numbering nearly five hundred. That seems to be all this great and powerful government cold find out about this dead hero, now without a vote. But others remember something else of him, John Wise, born May 9, 1835, relating that Braswell lived on Lower Creek in Burke County, and hunted through the country lying between that locality and Black Mountain, in what is now Yancey. He had relatives in Pensacola, near Big Tom Wilson's old home, "under the Black." When a very old man, Braswell, his wife and a girl names Yarber started late one fall from Lower Creek to Pensacola to visit people named Mace, relatives of his wife, probably. They had to spend the night in camp under a rock on a high ridge leading up from Burke to the Linville country, then and now a much used highway for local travel, a wagon road now replacing the former trail. They could not procure fire, and cold-snap coming on, the old man "froze down," to us Captain Wis's forceful phrase. When the chil morning dawned his wife and the Yarber girl met Jacob and William Carpenter at the ford of Linville River, to which point they had hastened through the darkness, seeking aid. The women went onto Carpenter's house in the meadow in front of Captain Wise's present residence, while the two Carpenter men hastened on to the camp rock, where Braswell was found, very low, but still alive. Placing him on a horse, they mananged to keep him there by walking on each side of him and holding him in the saddle till they reached home. There he died after having revived for a short time, and was buried where the so-called "monument: now stands. His name was William

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Jonas Braswell, but to have spelled all that out on a tomb-stone would have required, at five cents a letter, at least fifty cents more: Hence, etc. The present wagon road does not pass very near the old camp rocks, but there are still remembered, while the high ridge on which they stand have preserved that part of a hero's name which a niggard nation consigned to oblivion, for it has been called ever since "Jonas' Ridge."

William Davis.--What?-- Hero: Patriot: Let us see. His grave is near the road in front of the Gen. ?Albertus Childs' house on Three Mile Creek, now owned and occupied by Robert Moseley. Two common"mountain rocks" mark the place of his burial. Two other graves beside his are similarly designated. No munificent government, proud of his record, has "sought his frailties: or his virtues "to disclose." Why? For he was a soldier of the Revolutionary War as well as those over whose ashes grave-stones have been erected. Who knows? Probably a bit of red-tape was missing somewhere. maybe his name does not appear on any roster or muster roll. Yet, in the congressional Library, at the nation's capital, is an allegorical painting called "History." It represents a grah-haired sire telling the story of the past to his son, and this son selling the same story with additions to hisson, and so on down the line till the printed page is reached. The name of that oral story is "Tradition." Well, tradition says that William Davis was not only a brave soldier, but a mighty hunter as well, when the wilderness was to be conquered and weaklings stayed at home and sneered at the illiterate and lowly. Davis came to America with William Wiseman and William Penley long before the Revolution. He settled first in Virginia and afterwards came to Ashe County, where he married Frances Carpenter, sister of the first Jacob Carpenter. Then he moved to what is still called Davis Mountain, near Crossnore, on the upper waters of Linville River. When the game was exhausted there, he moved to Three Mile Creek and built four log houses "all in a row," with communicating doors between and a chimney at each end. Standing before a blazing fire in one end of the house, with the three intervening doors open, one looks through four large, low-ceiled

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comfortable rooms to cherry-red flames leaping up the chimney at the father end--one of the "fairest pictures of calm content that mortal ever saw." The date of the building of this old structure i recorded on one of the inside logs, but it has been ceiled over and cannot now be seen. But it was made there many, many years ago. The present Jacob Carpenter, his grand-nephew, of Altamont, knows the date of his birth and death, but they would cost the United States some "good money" to have them carved on a 12 X 24 inch stone. Davis died Novemmber 18, 1841, when 114 years of age. Still, as he had no middle name, it soes seem that the Government, with a big G, might "sort of look after" uncle Billy, who fought his battles for him before Uncle Sam was born, he having been shot through the hips at King's Mountain. His wife, who sleeps beside him, was certainly a heroine, whether Uncle Billy was a hero or no, for on one occasion, in February, while in a sugar camp on Davis Mountain, he had to be away from her on a cold night. One of her cows found a calf that night, and Mrs. Davis brought it to camp with her and fought off the wolves with fire-brands till morning.

A Revolutionary Welshman.-- On the south fork of New River, on Harvey Phillip's farm at McGuire post office, is the grave of a soldier of the Revolutionary War. His name is Jones, but the given name has been lost. That he was a Welshman is implied by his name. Close by him sleeps Benjamin Blackburn, another Revolutionary soldier, from whom has descended a long line of useful and honored citizens.

Mose Yarber.-- The United States has also been equally generous to her dead and gone soldier of the War of 1812, for, in the same graveyard which holds the ashes of Edward Moody, our great government has erected another monument, which, at five cents a letter, iscluding apostrophes,must have cost at least thirty cents more than did Edward Moody's. But it mananged to spell out his full name, instead of contracting it as it did with the latter's given name, recording it as Edw'd, instead of Edward, thus saving at least five cents, assuming that the comma cost a nickle. As the enduring marle embalms his name and record, we have the following:

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S. C. MIL.
WAR 1812.

These abbreviations stand for whatever the reader may elect to attribute to them, the punctuation rendering the following story as intelligible as any: "Moses Yarber McNeai's County, saw cow Millie Warranted 1812.

Two of Yarber's daughters live within two miles of his grave, Jemimah and Catharine, the former having been born April 27, 1825, and the latter February 18, 1830. Moses was blessed with other children also--William, born February 23, 1810; Annie, born July 15, 1816; Mary Ann,, born June 9, 1818--but they have been dead a number of years. Moses himself died November 30, 1867. But just think what an unheard-of sum it would have cost our Government--again that bid G--to have s=recorded that fact--with every abbreviation possible, sixty-five cents! His daughters knew the dat of his death when, on the 4th day of July, 1910, this stone was erected. They knew also that Moses had married Elizabeth Edwards, a daughter of Henry Edwards, of Darlington District, South Carolina, and a soldier of the Revolutionary War. Thus, these two old ladies, in poverty and alone, have the proud consciousness that their father's full name will be preserves as long as that gravestone endures, if only posterity has the intelligence to guess that his name was Yarber and not McNeil, but what interpretation it will give to the balance of the inscription must always be problematical. Moses and his family moved to Flat Top, now Linville City, about 1838, and from there to their present home in 1855. They have note voted, these good women; if they had, it is likely that they would have also a pension apiece. Sic transit!

Two Old Tory Knobs.-- On Riddle's Fork of Meat Camp are two knobs or peaks which are known, one as Hangman's Knob and the other as Wiley's Knob, from the fact which tradition still mantains, that at their bases two Tories, hiding out during the Revolutionary War, made their headquarters. They were, doubtless, a part of Riddle's gang.

Old Battle in Watatga?-- In Robert Love's pension papers it is said that "he was in command of a party of Americans in 1780 against a party of Tories in July of that year." This band of Tories was composed of about 150 men, and they were routed up New River at the Big Glades, now (1833) in Ashe County, North Carolina, as they were on their way to join Cornwallis." Col. W. L. Bryan says that the Big Glades were on the south fork of New River, near Deep Gap.

Guarded Major Andre.-- Nathan Horton, whose grave-stone in three Forks churchyard records the fact that he was a soldier of the Revolutionary War, according to a tradition still preserved in his own family, guarded Major Andre when the latter was executed for treason, at which time he carried a shotgun loaded with one ball ald 3 buckshot. A fine old Grandfather clock of mahogany, with elaborate face and works, brought by Nathan Horton from New Jersey when he emigrated to Ashe soon after the Revolution, is now in the home of j. Crit. Horton, on New River, five miles from Boone.

Following are the names of other Revolutionary soldiers who lived and died in Watauga: Benjamin Bingham, great uncle of Hon. Thomas Bingham, who is said to have fired the last gun at Yorktown, Va.; John Adams, born in France and came over with Lafayette's soldiers as a drummer-boy of sixteen years, remaining, concealed in a flour barrel, at Philadelphia, when Lafayette returned to France; the brothers, George, Absalom and William Smith, were in the Virginia army and at Cornwallis's surrender at Yorktown.

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Yadkin Baptist Association. -- This association constituted the Three forks association in 1790. From it many other churches had been organized east of the Blue Ridge.{1}
{1} - William's History of the North Carolina Baptists.

In 1779 King's Creek Church, in Caldwell, and Beaver Creek, in Wilkes, were organized. A few years later Brier Creek, in Wilkes, was constituted. It had many "arms,"{2} and from it grew Lewis Fork, in Wilkes, and Old Fields Church, in Ashe County. Three Forks was constituted by the Yadkin Baptist Association. It became an association itself in 1840.
{2} - According to Rev. Henry Sheet's History, "arms" were church communities which had not been regularly organized into constituted churches.
"In 1790 Three Forks Church, the first in Watauga, was constituted. Part of the original members of this church came from the Jersey Settlement Church. Cove Creek was the second church in Watauga, being organized in 1799. At first these churches had only log houses in which to worship. The floors were rude, and large cracks were in the walls, so that they were often uncomfortable in winter. But the praises of God rang out from the lips and hearts of these old Baptist fathers. These churches first joined the Strawberry Association in Virginia, but in 1790 withdrew to organize the Yadkin Association. The first ministers of this body were George McNeil, John Cleveland, William Petty, William Hammond, Cleveland Coffee, Andrew Baker and John Stone . . . Later on the Mountain, Catawba and Brier Creek Associations were formed, and so the Yadkin Baptists continued steadily to grow."

Three Forks Baptist Church. -- This was the first church established west of the Blue Ridge, excepting only the one established at the Old Fields, which, according to Mr. Williams, was established "a few years after" --1779. It was organized

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November 6, 1790, according to the records now in the keeping of the clerk, Mr. John C. Brown, of New River. These records show that "the Baptist Church of Jesus Christ in Wilkes County, New River, Three Forks Settlement," was organized by James Tomkins, Richard Greene and Wife, Daniel Eggers and wife, William Miller, Elinor Greene and B. B. Eggers. This soon became the mother church, from which went out "arms" to the glove, to Ebeneezer and to South Fork and other places. Attendants came to Three Forks from all this section, many coming even from Tennessee. Among the first pastors of this mother church are: Richard Gentry, of Old Fields: John G. Bynum, who died in Georgia; Mr. Barlow, of Yadkin; Nathaniel Vannoy, George McNeil, of Wilkes; Joseph Harrison, of Three Forks; Jacob Greene, D. C. Harmon, Smith Ferguson, Brazilla McBride and Jacob Greene, of Cove Creek; Jackie Farthing, Reuben Farthing and A. C. Farthing, William Wilcox and Larkin Hodges. They earned their bread in the sweat of their faces and worked in the Master's vineyard without money and without price. They have all gone to their reward in heaven.

Membership from 1790 to 1800. --
James Thompkins,
Richard Green,
Daniel Eggers,
Ellender Green,
William Miller,
Mary Miller,
Phoebe Eggers,
Sarah Coleman,
Avis Eggers,
Elizabeth Tompkins,
Ben. Cutbirth,
Anna Wilcoxon,
Lidia Council,
Benj. Baylis,
Eliza. Cutbirth,
Sarah Baylis,
James Chambers,
Anna Champber,
John Faugerson,
Ebineezer Fairchild,
James Jackson,
Catharine Hull,
Joseph Sewel,
Ezekiel England,
Rugh Tompkins,
Christeana Reese,
Valentine Reese,
Samuel Ayers,
Elijah Chambers,
Moses Hull,
Joseph Ayers,
William Tompkins,
Benj. Green,
Sam'l Wilcoxon, Sr.,
Garsham Tompkins,
John Reese,
Hodges Counsel,
Mary Fairchild,
Sarah Green,
Sarah Reese,
Charity Ayers,
James Proffitt,
James Calloway,
Jeremiah Green,
Sarah Hull,
Joannah Eggers,
James Faugerson,
Elizabeth Hull,
Martha Champers,
Landrine Eggers,
Nathan Horton,
Mathew Counsel,
Nancy Chambers,
Rachel Champers,
Jesse Counsel,
Comfort Wade,
Edward Stocksdale,
Edieth Stocksdale,
Joseph Tompkins,
Susannah Brown,
Sam'l Wilcoxon, Jr.,
Thomas Wade,
Samuel Baker,
John Ayers,
Sam'l Castle,
Martha Castle,

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Jno. Parr,
Mary Parr,
Jonathan Allen,
Jas. McCaleb,
Mary McCaleb,
Anne Doneky,
Catharine Allen,
Wm. Davis,
Rebakah Fairchild,
Richard Orzgathorp,
Jn. Vanderpool,
Ellen Vanderpool,
Catherine Hull,
Sam'l Vanderpool,
Sam'l Pitman,
Winant Vanderpool, Jr.,
Anna Vanderpool,
Winant Vanderpool,
Naomi Vanderpool,
Keziah Pitman,
Abraham Vanderpool,
Sarah Davis,
Abraham Linvil,
Susannah Vanderpool,
Peter Regan,
Rebekah Regan,
Catharine Linvil,
Margaret Linvil,
Maryann Isaacs,
Mathias Harmon,
Mary Harmon,
Jno. Holesclaw,
Jane Vanderpool,
Jacob Reese,
Catherine Brown,
Hannah Phillips,
Jeremiah Buck,
Sarah Shearer,
Jno. Shearer,
Vanentine Reese, Jr.,
Mary Eggers,
Jonathan Buck,
John Brown,
Hannah Reese,
Elisha Chambers,
David Coleman,
James Jackson, Jr.,
Elizabeth Horton,
Henry Champers,
Rachel Brown,
Anna Reese,
Mary Reese,
Eliza Reese,
Isaac Reese,
Landrine Eggers' negro man by name, George,
Anthony Reese,
Asa Chambers,
Comfort Stocksdale,
Samuel Northern,
Susanna Fairchild,
Mary Owens,
William Owens,
Daniel Eggers, Jr.,
Henry Earnest,
Gracy Shearer,
Susannah Brown,
Debby Lewis,
Benja. Brown,
Mahala Eggers,
Elizabeth Morphew,
Margarete Chambers,
Robert Shearer,
Jane Triplet,
Richard Lewis,
John Ford,
Benja. Tompkins,
Lyons Wilcoxon,
Benja. Greer,
Barnet Owens,
Susanah Owens.

Of these there were received by experience: Three in 1790, three in 1791, twenty-nine in 1792, seven in 1793, none in 1794, two in 1795, none in 1796, one in 1797, one in 1798, sixty in 1799. Received by letter in 1790, one: in 1792, eight; in 1793, one; in 1795, four; in 1796, seven; in 1797, two; in 1798, six; in 1799, nine. The following were dismissed by letter: Jeremiah Gree, in 1793 Samuel Ayers, Benj. Bayless, Sarah Bayless, Joseph Sewel, Garsham Tompkins, Ruth Tompkins, Joseph Tompkins, Wm. Tompkins, in 1794; jesse Counsel, Lydia Counsel, Mathew counsel, in 1795; Elijah Chambers, Samuel Wilcoxon, Anna Wilcoxon, Sam'l Wilcoxon, Jr., in 1797; Jonathan Allen, Catharine allen, James McCaleb, Mary McCaleb, Thomas Wade, Comfort Wade, Mary Reese, in 1798. Elizabeth Tompkins died in 1796. The following were excommunicated:

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Sarah Hull, Exekiel England, Susannah Brown, Jesse Counsel, in 1794; James Callaway, Samuel Ayers, in 1795; William Miller, James Jackson, Landrine Eggers, Hodges counsel, in 1796; Mary Miller, in 1797; Samuel Wilcoxon, Jr., Moses hull, in 1798; Jno. Ayers, Daniel Eggers, Phoebe Eggers, Mahala Eggers, Martha Chambers, in 1799; William Owens, in 1801. It must not be concluded, however, that these had been guilty of very serious offences, for most, if not all, of them were restored to full membership by recantation.

The One Great Moral Force. -- In the early days, when courts were few and far between and settlers scattered here and there, the only influence for good in pioneer communities was the church. this proved to be the case in this portion of Ashe County from 1790 to 1800. Nothing seemed to trivial for the correction of the church. What now appear very venial offences, were tried, frequently with the result of expulsion, but always with the assurance of restoration upon proper submission and repentance. Among the more serious offences thus punished were one case of adultery in 1794, one case of drinking to excess in 1795, one case of disposing of propeerty to defraud creditors in 1798, and in 1799 a man confessed to fornication. This is a fine record for ten years in this far-away community. Among the more trivial matters of which the church took notice in the first thirty years of its existence whre John Brown's confession of "being so overcome by passion as even to strike a man;" Comfort Wade was excommunicated for having told Phoebe Eggers that a certain piece of cloth was cross-barred and others that it was tow linen, but at the next meeting her husband obtained a new hearing, when she was acquitted (April, 1801). In January, 1853, Burton and Damarcus Hodges were cited to appear and answer to the charge of having joined the Sons of Temperance. In December, 1801, Prother Parr was tried and acquitted for letting his children "go naked," and at the same meeting Polly Owens was publicly excommunicated for allowing her daughter to request a certain young man to meet her, and accordingly he did, when they spent the whole time of public worship talking and laughing," but soon afterwards, the mother "having

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acknowledged her transgression," she was restored to full membership. In April, 1802, Benj. Brown was acquitted of having attended the races at Elizabethton, and in July, 1802, Brother John Brown was cited to answer the charge of having joined the Masons, and in August was excommunicated therefor."(3) At the same meeting an unnamed charge against Brother Hull was tried, and it found that he had done nothing "worthy of death or bonds." A second protest was also then entered against the subject of double marriages "as being against the word of God." "Cathern" Hull was excommunicated because her conduct at Cove Creek had not been agreeable to the gospel and not giving the church satisfaction. Sister Eggers had a grievence against Brother hull and Brother Reese "for refusing to talk with her about her distress, and for saying her daughter had a fambly and had not." (Sharon's note - "fambly"? Typo for family?) Hull was reproved for this. But in March, 1803, Brother Hull was excommunicated for not complying with his bargain, whatever that might have been. In April of the same year it was shown that the report was proven false that "Sary Reese had said that it took three persons to complete a sermon delivered by Brother McCaleb, to wit: Brother McCaleb, Brother Richard Green and the devil." Again, in May, 1807, James Proffitt was excommunicated for having joined the Masons, while in July, 1811, Henry Chambers was acquitted of the charge of not having paid a just debt. In the following month Jeremiah Green was cited to appear to answer to the charge of having allowed "his daughter to go with a married man," and a letter of dismission was refused him till he should debar her from his home. This daughter, however, was restored to full membership in June, 1812. As this was before Noah Webster had established a uniform system of spelling, each man spelt "according to the dictates of his own conscience," just as they worshipped, and so, in July, 1816, we fina a complaint that was "throad out of doors." In July, 1802, Brother

NOTES: (3) The Language of the minute shows the frequent use of "of," not now so common: "first, of joining of them (the Masons); second, of denying of it, and third, of refusing to obey the church." Again, in July, 1802, it is recorded that "we enter our solemn test against its (double marriage) being agreeable to the Word of God." Our modern expression is "protest against," which seems a contradiction in terms.

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Shearer's name is spelt Shirrow. In April, 1801, "a letter was received from Brother Wade, requesting a re-hearing of his wife's excommunication, and stating that :he stood with her except she got another." At the june meeting following she was acquitted. There are several instances of male members having been chosen to act as singing clerks, though it is probable that then, as now, the female members did most of the singing and made the best music.

Other Ancient happenings.-- The last Saturday in april, 1792, was set apart as a day of fasting and prayer, and at the same meeting James Chambers was "approbated to exercise his gift in preaching." In August, 1793, James Chambers, Ebenezer fairchild and Samuel Wilcoxon were sent as delegates to the assembly at Eaton's Meeting House, Dutchman's Creek, near Daniel Boone's old home, while in February, 1793, James Tompkins and Richard Green were sent to the association at Brier Creek to "seek for union." In January, 1795, a brother was suspended for "drinking to excess, using profane speeches, singing vain songs and dancing." In March 1800, the first "solemn protest was entered against double marriage," and in July following James Chambers, James McCaleb and Shadrack Brown were sent to the association at Fox Creek, Grayson County, Va. In November, 1800, John Brown and Elisha Chambers were elected singing clerks, and in August, 1802, Brother Boone laid an allegation against Brother Hartley for "ot giving good usage at his mill," and in February following and again at a called meeting during same month Hartley was admonished.

First Churches.-- There seems to be no record of the building of the first church which stood on the site of the present structure, though tradition says it was merely a log cabin, without chimney or windows. The first Robert Shearer in 1790, lived on the hill above the present site of Three Forks Church, and it was in his home that the church was constituted; Robert's grandfather is said to have lived just below the dam of the A.T. school on New River. Certain it is that within the memory

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of men now living, in the fall of 1856 and in 1857 services were held in the second or third log house which stood there, and that the worshippers had frequently to leave the church and warm themselves by a fire under the tall oaks which grow near by. There is a tradition that a heavy fall of snow crushed the roof of the building in about 1830, but it is certain that in October, 1805, James McCaleb and James Morphew were appointed trustees to "form a plan of a roof for out Meeting House, and divide three-fourths of the work between the male members, leaving one-fourth part for the Jenerosity of those that are not members . . ." In the following December four dollars in Brother Shearer's hands were spent for nails for the roof. There is a record, however, of the building of ther present structure, for on November 3, 1866, Robert Shearer, Eli Brown and Ransom Hayes were appointed commissioners to build a new church, which was completed in ther summer of 1867.

Revivals.--There was a protracted meeting in January and February, 1853, which continued for thirteen days, Larkin Hodges and John Cook being the ministers in charge. There were seventy-seven conversions and admissions by letter. There was another great revival in September, 1866, with joseph harrison and a. C. Farthing as ministers, at which there were forty-three conversions. But there were "lean seasons" also, for, though the church flourished from its foundation in 1790 till 1800 and afterwards, there was no business recorded from October, 1808, till March, 1809, nor in May and June and August and December of the later year. Again, in April and May, October and December, 1811, and in January, February, April, may, June, September, october and November, 1812, and from September, 1823, till July, 1824, there seems to have been no business. In February, 1807, the only instance on record, there was no meeting on account of the weather. The first pastor was Brother Chambers, elected in September, 1792.

Chapter VII.

Order of the Holy Cross.

A Graphic Picture.-- In 1840 a botanist from New Youk visited what is now Valle Crucis, and on his return interested Bishop L. Silliman Ives, then bishop of the Episcopal Church of North Carolina, in this locality. Following is a description of the country at that time:(1) "In 1840 the valley of the Watauga, in North Carolina, was a secluded region, isolated and forgotten, a mountain wilderness, showing only here and there the first rude touches of civilization. The narrow, winding trail or foot-path, the rough sled-road, often dangerous for wheels, here and there a log cabin, with a narrow, rouch clering about it, or at long intervals a rude saw-mill or grist mill, with perchance a small, unpainted fraame dwelling, or a blacksmith shop and a humble backwoods store, making the beginning of a hamlet, such were the only traces of human habitation to be found on the banks of the stream. But the highland valley was magnificent in natural beauty. It lay in the elevated country between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghanies, nearly three thousand feet above the sea while grand old mountains of successive ranges, broken into a hundred peaks, rose to nearly double the height on either hand, many so near that their distinctive features could be clearly seen, while others were only dimly outlined in the distance. These mountain ranges were peculiarly interesting, differing in some particulars from those of any other parts of the country. The vegetation was singularly rich and varied. The valley, entirely shut in by forest-clad mountains, was watered by three small, limpid streams, two of them leaping down the hillsides in foaming cascades; the principal stream, formed by the junction, after a short course of two miles, passing through a narrow gorge, threw itself into the Watauga."
Note: (1) From William West Skiles; "A sketch of Missionary Life at Valle Crucis, 1843-1862." Edited by Susan Fenimore Cooper, 1890, pp.5, 6.

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Valle Crucis.-- There is , perhaps, more interest in this place and its romantic history than in any other in Watauga County. It is called the Valley of the Cross because of the fancied resemblance to that symbol of our faith caused by two creeks, each flowing from an opposite direction into Dutch Creek--Clark's, which rises under the Grandfather and flows into the right bank of Dutch Creek, which has its sources in Hanging Rock, while nearly opposite the mouth of Clark's Creek, and coming in from the left, is Crab Orchard Creek, flowing from the neighborhood of Banner's Elk.(1) There is a dreamy spell which hangs over this little valley, lending its charm to the story of the spiritual doubts that once perplexed the soul of a good man in his struggles to see the true light of Christianity. He was not the first, nor will he be the last, to grope in semi-darkness, turning hither and thither in his bewilderment; loving and clinging to past ties, yet dreading to follow where they led; adventuring by fits and starts on ncertain paths, and, like a frightened child, returning again to the known ways of his childhood and earlier manhood, till, at last, the final step was taken beyond all recall.

Rt. Rev. L. Silliman Ives.-- Second bishop of North Carolina, from May, 1831, to December 22, 1852,(2) was born September 16, 1797, in Meriden, Conn., and in his youth was a Presbyterian. In his young manhood he became an Episcopalian, while in later years he made his submission to the Catholic Church of Rome. He is said to be the only bishop of the Prostant Episcopal Church of America who ever went over to the Roman Catholic Church. He became rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in New York City, married Rebecca Hobart, daughter of the Rt. Reb. John Henry Hobart, Episcopal bishop of New York State, to which union was born one child who did not live to maturity. While quite young he served a short time with the troops under General Pike in the War of 1812, after which he determined to study for the ministry of the Presbyterian Church, and fot that
Note: (1) According to De Rossett's Church History of North Carolina, Valle Crucis was named in honor of an old English abbey by that name. Its altitude is 2,726 feet.
(2) He published "The Trials of a Mind in Its Progress to Catholicism," 233 pages, Boston and New York, in 1854.

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purpose, in 1816, entered Hamilton College, New York, at Clinton, where he remained but a year, when, his health failing, he changed his faith and, in 1819, began to study for the Episcopal ministry. After his visit to Italy in 1852, he became professor of rhetoric in St. Joseph's Theological Seminary, New York, and lectured in the convents of the Sacred Heart and Sisters of Charity and in public. He established in New York City two charitable institutions for the protection of destitute Catholic children, of both of which he was president. He published many works. He died in Manhattanville, N. Y., October 13, 1867, and was buried in the Catholic Protectory, Westchester County, New York. His wife, who was born February 6, 1803, died August 3, 1863. Bishop Ives served the Catholic Church only as a layman, being barred from the priesthood on account of his marriage.

"A Feeble and Undignified Imitation."--From "The Bishops of North Carolina," from which most of the above was taken, we learn (p. 112) that by "1849 the Mission at Valle Crucis had begun to drift away from the teachings of the Church, and was fast becoming a feeble and undignified imitation of the monastic institutions of the Church of Rome," but, with the exception of this error, we are told in "Sketches of Church History in North Carolina" (p. 337) that "Whatever we may think of the strange ideas and practices which Bishop Ives engrafted on to the associate work which he established at Valle Crucis, his conception that this was the most practical and efficient way to reach the cattered populations of the mountains was fully justified in the results which remain to this day." On page 80 of the same work we read that there had been three ordinations, one priest and two deacons, at Valle Crucis, while at least eight young men had there prepared for the ministry. William R. Gries, William Passmore, George Patterson, Frederick Fitz Gerald, Joseph W. Murphey, Richard Wainwright Barber, Charles T. Bland, William West Skiles, Thomas F. Davis, Jr., and others were at one time or another coonnected with this mission. So concerned was the Church throughout the State by the rumors which came from the mountains as to this brotherhood,

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or "Order of the Holy Cross," that United States Senator George E. Badger issued a booklet on the Doctrines of Bishop Ives, and that this interest has not subsided is shown by the very interesting account of Valle Crucis which was published in the Messenger of Hope for February, 1909.

Cause of His Vacillation.-- In the spring of 1848 Bishop Ives had a severe attack of fever while in attendance uponthe general convention in New York City. From this, it is claimed, he never recovered his mental poise. It is also stated (p. 132) in the "Bishops of North Carolina" that his father died from a self-inflicted wound while temporarilly insane, while Bishop Ives' own brother wrote, February 25, 1853 (p. 133), that there was a tendency to insanity in the family. It is stated in the "Life of W. W. Skiles" (p. 91) that at the convention of the Church, held at Fayetteville in 1851, the committee of inquiry reported the bishop as being "in a high state of nervous excitement, arising either from bodily disease or constitutional infirmity, in which he admitted that he had been insensibly led to teaching and believing opinions on matters of doctrin, of the impropriety of which he was then fully satisfied. He mentioned having tolerated the Romish notion of the Invocation of Saints, Auricular Confession and Absolution, but had always abhorred the doctrine of Transubstantiation, while the spiritual presence of Christ in the Eucharist was the doctrine our church teaches," and he signed a paper to the above effect.

The Old Buildings.-- These were a saw mill, a log kitchen and dining room, a log dwelling containing four rooms and a frame building (60' X 20') with a room at each end for teachers, together with a large hall for school purposes in the center, all on the ground floor, while over the whole was a dormitory for boys. All of these were ready for use and occupancy in 1845. "The adobes used in the buildings were made of clay and straw as usual, and were considered to be a good quallity. But they soon began to crumble away, and in the course of the summer they were attacked by an unforseen enemy--the humble bees took possession of them, burrowing into the fresh clay to such an extent that the walls in many places looked like honey-combs,

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and were so much weakened that they gave way in places under the weight above them." From which it was concluded by the students that there could have been no humble bees in Egypt in the time of the Pharoahs (p. 37).

Easter Chapel.-- Less than a mile below the home of the Widow Moody, on the left bank of the Watauga River and two miles above Shull's Mills, is the site of this old chapel, now gone. A "man in affliction" had given Mr. Prout $300.00, out of which he built Ester Chapel on a large rock two hundred yards from the Watauga River, with a spring at its base. It was of logs, hewn by Levi Moody, the widow's son, "a good, guiltless man." It was fifteen feet wide by forty feet long, and had a little chancel at the east end, with oaken alter beneath a narrow window. The roof was steep, and each side wall contained a small window. The rafters showed from the inside, while rude benches afforded seats for those who came to worship. It was called Easter with especial reference to the doctrine of the resurrection and in connection with the devotion of the mountaineers in keeping that great festival. The Grndfther Mountain looms in the distance. But a limb from an overhanging tree crushed the roof of the chncel, and the balance of the building, after the Civil War, went rapiidly to decay. A wind-storm on the 4th of March, 1893, threw the walls to the ground, all except two of the sills, which still remain, slowly passing into dust and decay. The logs out of which these walls have been built were of poplar, and were three feed broad by four or five inches thick. Thus, three of them sufficed to make a wall nine feet high. If this be doubted, a small cabin now (1915) standing near will substantiate the fact of the possibility of such a thing, as one of its walls has but three long in it, each log being three feet broad. Rev. J. Norton Atkins now owns the house formerly built by Rev. Henry H. Prout which stands near,(1) though Mrs. J. F. Coffey owns the rock on which the chapel used to stand. The perennial spring, howeveer, spoken of in a note on page 96 of Skiles' Life, has disappeared, blasting for a new road, which was never built, having caused it to sink.
Note: (1) Rev. W. R. Savage purchased this track from Isabella Danner, or Dana, she having "heired" it from her father, Larkin Calloway. (Deed Book 6, p. 209.) Mr. Savage sold it to Mr. Norton.

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The Widow Moody.--Among those spoken of with affection by Mr. Prout was Mrs. Edward Moody. She was a sister of Col. John Carter, for whom Carter County, Tennessee, was named and in honor of whose wife Elizabethton, the capital of that county, was called. She and her husband came from Augusta County, Virginia, soon after the Revolutionary War, in which he had fought and where he was seriously wounded. Of her Mr. Prout said: "The house of the Widow Moody was long a sort of social center on the Upper Watauga. Here the missionary [himself] first learned, in 1842, that a log cabin may shelter happy eople. More generous, sweeter Christian hospitality, more glad, more cheerful kindness are seldom met with thn this worthy family showed me when a stranger and alone. There was a native refinement and a balance of judgment about the character of the mother of the family. I shall not soon forget her invariable reply to the inquiries of her friends when asking after her welfare--she was blind, with many infirmities, and yet the answer of Christian faith never failed: 'Thankd God, no reason to complain.' There was in that far-off settlement a simplicity of manner, a generous tone, not often excelled, a graceful modesty, an unassuming dignity, very rare, but in harmony with the grand and beautiful scenery of the region" (p. 87). This house was two stories high, with two shed-rooms, and contained six rooms in all. It stood in the old orchard between the Grave Yard Ridge, where Edward Moody is buried, and the former residence of Sheriff Calloway.

The lower Settlement.-- Rev. W. W. Skiles had most to do with the establishment of a school and church at this point, which is at Ward's store, several miles below Valle Crucis. The first service was held in a small log cabin. "Men and women came in, many on foot, some on horseback, the wife in sun-bonnet and straight, narrow gown, riding behind her husband. Here and there a woman was seen mounted n a steer, with a child or two in her arms, while the husband, walking beside them, goad in hand, guided the animal over the rough path. The women all wore sun-bonnets or handkerchiefs tied over their heads. Some were bare-footed. There were many more feet than shoes in

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the congeration. The Boys and girls, even when full grown, were often bre-footed. This was, no doubt, the first service of our church held in that region. And it was declared to be the first religious service of any kind held on the Watauga for seven years" (p. 13). This statement was confirmed by Rev. L. W. Farthing, who then lived on Beaver Dams, near by, but now lives within a few hundred yards of the site on which old St. John's Chapel first stood. Owing to the inaccessibility of the place and the fewness of preachers, no service had been held there during the time stated. (1) The log house soon became too small, and a larger one was obtained. "The pupils tried very hard to learn their lessons well. Occasionally some of the parents would come in and pore intently over the spelling book" (p. 14)

At the Store.--Mr. Skiles kept store at Valle Crucis for the Mission, s well as practical medicine and taught school. "Or a load of goods, brought with great toil over the mountain roads from Morganton or Lenoir, consisting of tea, coffee, sugar, mustard, pepper, salt, farm tools, nails, screws, etc., a few packages of the more common medicines . . . boots and shoes, school books, paper, pens, ink, with a very modest supply of general stationery; needless, pins, thread, tape, buttons, with perchance a few pieces of calico, flannels and shirting . . ." "Some few, very few, in fact, came in rude wagons, others on horseback, some on steers, many on foot. Most of them carried a gun, a backwoods custom very common in that region; frequently a hound or two followed. The sack of grain was carried on the shoulders by those on foot. The men were, many of them, clad in home-spun tow shirts and short trousers, without coat or shoes even in winter. They were rarely in a hurry, the movement of the country people of that region almost always being slow and deliberate. They were strong, healthy, quiet and composed, frequently ruddy from exposure. A number smoked
Note: (1) There was only a trail from Beaver Dams to the Hix Settlement. A chopped-out way, known as Daniel Boone's trail, let from Elizabethton up Watauga river, via Beech Creek and Windy Gap. It was by this trail that Rev. James Eden came to the Hix Settlement to preach the sermon of Andrew Harman when he was killed some six years before Mr. Prout came. Mr. Harman had been killed by a tree which fell on him. Page 85

corncob pipes; even women rode on steerss with children in their arms (p. 111). Seven deer within limits of Valle Crucis were killed in 1854" (p. 114).

After the Civil War.--From the death of Mr. Skiles, there was no minister in this section representing the Episcopal Church till Rev. George H. Bell was ordained in 1883. At his instance St. John's was moved from its beautiful situation near Ward's Store, on Lower Watauga, six miles below Valle Crucis, to its present location on the right bank of Watauga River, two miles higher up the stream. Its location is fine, but the change was made not so much for a better site as for the purpose of serving both the upper and lower communities, there then being no mission or chapel above that point. Now, however, that there is a chapel at the Mission School at Valle Crucis, it would be better if St. John's were on its former site. Rev. Milnor Jones succeeded Mr. Bell, coming in 1895, and workwas resumed that year under Bishop Cheshire. Then, in September, 1902, Rev. Wm. Rutherford Savage came and has been in this section even since. He is located at Blowing Rock. Serving with him were Rev. Hugh A. Dobbin, who was ordained August 6, 1909, and Rev. John Norton Atkins, who was ordained December 22, 1907. In 1914 Mr. Dobbin left Valle Crucis to take charge of the Patterson School for Boys on the Yadkin, after which time Rev. Floyd W. Tomkins, son of the distinguished Rev. Dr. Tomkins, of Philadelphia, took charge of Valle Crucis, St. John's and Dutch Creek Mission. mr. Savage has charge of Blowing Rock. The chapel at Todd was built in 1910, and is in charge of Mr. Atkins, with Boone, Easter Chapel and others chapels in Ashe County. Rt. Rev. Junius M. Horner was consecrated bishop of the Missionary Sistrict of Asheville December 28, 1898. The house now used as the rectory was built by Mr. Jones, and was then called the Mission House. The log house just across the Banner Elk road was built by Bishop Ives, and is the only one of the old Ives buildings now remaining. Bishop Horner brought back the upper part of the Valle Crusis properly from E. F. Lovill, Esq., adminstrator

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of James P. Taylor, who had obtained it from his father, Henry Taylor, June 2, 1893. The deed is dated December 4, 1903 and the consideration is $3,500.00 for the 525 acres conveyed. (Book I, p. 592.)

Rev. William West Skiles.-- This good man was born in 1797, came to Watauga County soon after the school was started at Valle Crucis, studied theology and medicine, and made himself generally useful and helpful to all with whom he came into contact. He died at the home of Col. John B. Palmer, on Linville River, December 8, 1862, and his remains were buried first in the graveyard of the first St. John's, but moved in 1889 to their present resting place in the graveyard of the present church of that name a few miles below Valle Crucis. He taught school, kept store and practiced medicine among the poor people of this county for many years. He never married. He is still remembered by many of the older people of Watauga and vicinity. His life was full of good deeds.

"The Angelus."-- Although a bugle was used to summon the little Valle Crucis family to work and to worship, there is, nevertheless, something about the story of the old institution, combined with the name of the valley and its atmosphere and surroundings, which recall the lines of Bret Hart's famous poem. "The Angelus:"

"Bells of the past, whose long forgotten music
Still fills the wide expanse,

Tingering the sober twilight of the present
With color of romance;

I hear your call, and see the sun descending
O'er rock and hill and sand,

As, down the coast, the mission voices blending,
Girdle the sunny land."

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Chapter VIII. Ebenezer Fairchild.

First Light on the Jersey Settlement.--(1) From a sketch of the Greene Family of Watauga, by the late Rev. G. W. Greene, Baptist missionary to China, we learn that "about the middle of the eighteenth century a colony moved from New Jersey and settled in Rowan County, North Carolina. This "Jersey Settlement: is now a part of Davidson County, and lies near the Yadkin River, opposite Salisbury . . . H. E. McCullough, of England, had secured grants to large tracts in North Carolina, track No. 9 containing 12,500 acres, including much of the land of the Jersey Settlement. Jeremiah Greene bought 541 acres of this tract. This land is described as lying "on the waters of Atkin or Pee Dee," on Pott's Creek. This creek passes near the village of Linwood, within a mile of the Jersey church, and empties nto the Yadkin, not far away. This land was bought in 1762. Some years later, when this tract of land was divided between his two sons, Richard and Isaac, the new deeds were not registered, but the names of the new owners were written on the margin of the page were the old deed was registered. The Yadkin becomes the PeeDee in South Carolina. In his "Rhymes of Southern Rivers" M. V. Moore says that Yadkin is not an Indian name, but a corruption of Atkin or Adkin. If Atkin's initials were P. D., then P. D. Atkin might very easily have become P. D. Yatkin, just as "don't you know" becomes "doncher know." Henry Eustace McCulloh was doubtless the "H. E. McCullough, of England." referred to by Mr. Greene, as he was the agent of the province of North Carolina in December, 1771, and was commended for good conduct (Col. Rec.,
Note: (1) Rev. Henry Sheets, author of "A History of Liberty Baptist Association." the successor of the Jersey Settlement Church, says that the McKoys, Merrills, McGuires, Smiths, Moores, Ellises, Marches, Haydens, Wisemans and Trauthams are the names of some of the leaders of the Jersey Settlement, but that letters to prominent men in New Jersey failed to secure any information as to this colony. Governor Ellis's ancestors were among these settlers, and many residents of Ashe, Watauga and Alleghany claim the same distinction.

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Vol. IX, p. 206), and he surrendered land in Mecklenberg, claimed by John Campbell, Esq;, of England, without authority, as Campbell claimed, although there was a direction in the minutes of the council journals that the attorney-general directing McCulloh was to surrender it.(1) (Id. p.. 790.) It seems that land in large tracts had been granted to certain persons of influence on condition that they be settled within certain dates, for G. A. Selwyn, of England, appointed H. E. McCulloh to surrender any part of three tracts of 100,000 acres each, which had been granted to him upon the above conditions. (Id. Vol. VI, pp. 996-7.) This was in November, 1763, only a year after Jeremiah Greene bought his 541 acres from H. E. McCullough. This would seem to account for the reference by Bishop Spangenberg to the 400 families from the North which had just arrived in 1752, and for the fact that most of the land east of Rowan County had been already taken up at that time. (Id. Vol. IV, p. 1312.)

Meager Facts Concerning.(2)-- This settlement consisted of about ten square miles of the best wheat land in the South, and was located in Davidson County, near Linwood. It was composed of many people from New Jersey who had set an agent there to locate and enter the best land still open to settlement. According to Rev. C. B. Williams in his "History of the Baptists in North Carolina" (p. 16), "The exact year in which the Jersey Settlement was made on the Yadkin is not known. It is probable that this settlement left New Jersey and arrived on the Yadkin between 1747 and 1755. Benjamin Miller preached there as early as 1775, and the facts indicate that there were already Baptists on the Yadkin when Benjamin Miller visited the settlement. The Philadelphia Association has in its records of 1755 the following reference: "Appointed that one minister from the Jerseys and one from Pennsylvania visit North Carolina." But Miller appears to have gone to the Jersey Settlement still earlier than 1755 . . . (p. 17). Another preacher
Note: (1) See, also, Col. Rec. Vol. V. p. xxxii.
(2) The first mention of the settlement is probably by Bishop Spangenberg (Col. Rec., Vol. IV, p. 1311 to 1314). In which he spoke of 400 families with horses and wagons and cattle having emigrated from the North to North Carolina.

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who visited the Jersey Settlement was John Gano. He had been converted just before this time, and was directed by Benjamin Miller, pastor of Scotch Plains Church, New Jersey, to take the New Testament as his guide on baptism. He bacame a Baptist, and, learning of Carolina from Miller, decided to visit the Jersey Settlement on his way to South Carolina. This he seems to have done in 1756. During his stay at the settlement he tells us in his autobiography that "a Baptist Church was constituted and additions made in it." He left the colony early in the year 1759, and so the church must have been organized between 1756 and 1758, and so the church. There is a tradition that while there Gano married a Bryan or a Morgan, one of the antecedents of the Bryan family of Boone.

John Gano.-- It appears from Rev. Henry Sheets' History of the Liberty Baptist Association (Raleigh, 1907), that the Rev. John Gano had been a Presbyterian, but met Rev. John Gano had been a Presbyterian, but met Rev. Benjamin Miller, the pastor of the Scotch Plains Baptist Church in New Jersey, who induced him to take the new Testament on the mode and subjects of baptism. In a short time he joined the Baptists and bacame a minister. On his way to South Carolina, Mr. Gano visited the Jersey Settlement on the Yadkin, and soon after his return home was induced to make a second trip, when he was strongly solicited to move among them. It was on this second journey that he was accompained by Ebenezer Fairchild, and, by traveling about eight hundred miles, arrived after a journey of five weeks. We have most of Ebenezer Fairchild's diary of their trip to and from the Yadkin, though the first few pages are missing. Fairchild was in a wagon, while Gano and his wife and hcild were in a chair or chaise, which turned over on one occasion, though no one was hurt.

Ebenezer's Diary.-- It begins October 21, 1757, at some unnamed place along the road, where he got up and wrote a letter to his wife, Mr. Gano preaching on the 23d, after which they drove to a Mr. Winchester's, where they remained thll Tuesday morning on account of the rain. It was on the day following that Mr. Gano upset the chair, "but they wasn't hurt." Mr. Gano preached that night on "What will ye that I should

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do unto you?" after which Fairchild smoked a pipe and went to bed. The next day they crossed Menoe Crosse Creek and came to Frederick Town, stopping at Arthur Charleston's, "where they did a little business." They soon forded the "Potomoc," and put up all night at Mr. Nolens. The next day "we see a wench that said she was a negroe to Mr. [undecipherable] son." They then crossed "Goos" Creek and turned out of the Bell Haven Road to a tree marked with a B, where they slept in the woods tht night. all the next day they drove in the rain and crossed Bull's Run, and, going on seven "milds furder," came to "one powel ordnari, or powel town." This was Saturday night, and they found forty-five travelers already there, but they remained all night. Having a house to themselves, did not, hawever, prevent their being kept awake till after ten o'clock by the fiddling and dancing of seven men. The next day Ebenezer was so upset by the want of rest the night before that he could "hardly get any ease lying in the wagon" till he remembered the cause of his restlessness. On the Sabbath John Gano preached from Galations--chapter and verse undecipherable. "They behaved quite od--talked in meeting and did not sing with us, except two or three of them." The next day they crossed Seder [Cedar?] Creek and came to a "taverne," but passed on to the "Rapahannock and crost it." As it was then night, they went to James Alieson, "but he would not let us stay there, so we drove on agin about half a mild and campd in the woods." There Mrs. Gano was quite unwell, but they got her some sage tea and got her to bed also. The next day was November 1st, and they drove ten miles before taking breakfast, going nine miles further on to the south branch of the Rappahannock "and foarded it and ate supper at John Bannon's" where Mrs. Gno spent the night, Fairchild and her husband camping out. There they bought half a bushel of apples for a shilling. Later on they reached Porter's tavern, where they "drank a dram." and then went on again, Mr. Gano buying a turkey on the way, which they dressed and ate at camp that night. The following day they killed a deer by the way and had steaks for supper that night. At a tavern kept by someone unknown to Ebenezer, he got a

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quart of cider, and ate his dinner alone. Mr. Gano left him at the next tavern, and Fairchild "lay alone that night." But "as they were a bought (about) sixteen Irishmen or there abought, there was noise all rownd." The next day he got up early and crossed a prong of the James River at Tucker Woodles'. On Saturday they reached Jacob Micaux's, on the south side of the James River, where Fairchild went hunting, but got nothing. At night he and Micaux's family sang psalms, hymns and said poetry till bed time, when he "went to his duty." That is, he had to go outand stay with the wagon, near which several "Irishmen" were camping, who usually "made a noise." The next morning he went early to what seems to be "Guglin" Court House to meet Mr. Gano, who prached from I Peter, 9th chapter, verse 18, "If the righteous scarcely be saved," etc. On the fifth they bought two hens and "made broth, ate supper and went to bed." The next day Ebenezer killed a pilot (snake), and they "past by a smigh's shop and a taverne." Then they "crossed Allen's Creek and went two mild furder and campt." On Friday, November 11th, they reached "ronoak and fared over," meaning probably that they ferried over. They bought corn at David Michels, where Gano again left Ebenezer and "he shifted for himself." The 13th was the Sabbath, when Fairchild salted the horses. Gano overtook Fairchild after crossing the Tar or the Haw River, the word being uncertain, bringing with him John Shurman, but Shurman went on to his own home that night. They proceded on to Orange, but how do you suppose he spelt it? "Orring!" The next day Uriah Carl and another, whose name cnnot be deciphered, "being weary of traveling so slo, set out for themselves at high speed, but Tuesday we overtook them, but thes set out again." Mr. Gano bought two more hens a short time afterwards, which Fairchild is careful to state that they "cooked." As it rained, Mrs. Gano got into the wagon "and rid till we came to Little Creek, where she got out and maid tea." They came at length to John Hunt's and then drove two miles to Colonel Smith's, where they took out the teams, "unloaded the waggin, and maid it out home." Subsequent disclosures show that they made Colonel Smith's

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their home--not the "waggin"--where they remained till three days after Christmas, when they set out for their New Jersey home again; not, however, before Fairchild had recorded the fact that "John Stits Gano this day walked half acrost the room all alone--a bat came inot the room tonight." While at Colonel Smith's, also, it seems that Fairchild was converted by Mr. Gano's sermon of November 26th, for he writes: "Blessed be God, it was a good day for my sole." While out hunting there they saw "a man on horseback with a woman behind him a straddle." During their stay there Fairchild went to visit Ephriam Coxe, where a woman told him she had lived there six years and had been but to three houses in that neighborhood. On Christmas Day Mr. Gano preached a sermon at Colonel Smith's house, but spent the night at John Hunt's, taking breakfast with Isaac Thomas. There Fairchild "tuned my fiddel, and maid ready to start homeward the next day." But that night he records the fact that he hopes things will grow bettter; that "men and women do try to preach. Some men do preach with the Bibel wrong end up: sometimes two or three are preaying at once, two or three exhorting at same time." Mr. Marshall McLean, Mr. Breed, Mr. Stain, McMulkey, Mr. Bentin, and how many more separately ministered there I do not know. John Hunt and Benjamin Marvel separately, but preaching; but I believe they are three good men. Mr. McDaniel ------------(name undecipherable), Mr. Swetend, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Minten --- these all separately ministered, besides Mr. Marshall. These "are from round about --all but nineteen within fifty mild of Mr. Gano at the Jersey Settlement." They had intended to start back on the 27th, but the weather being bad, they went instead to look at a piece of land. He did not like this as well as land on Muddy Run, with a "sand spring" near the door. To this spring after dinner he took Mrs. Gano, who liked it. He adds forebodingly: "How it will sute my wife I don't know, but I hope well, and my wife tocome and see for herself." "After we rid about awhile we went to John Hunt's there staid till dark, then came home." On the 28th of December they set off on horseback or New Jersey, and reched there on the fifteenth or sixteenth of January, 1758, after crossing the "sus ka

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hannar" on Friday, the 13th. This was a quick trip, compared with their journey down. The most notable thing that occurred on their return journey was a receipt for a sore backed horse: A pint of salt and a quart of wheat flour, mixed with water in a stout bag or sack. This is then placed on "a clean place in the fire, where it is backed to a hard or firm lump." Then it is gritted up into a powder and poured on the sore place on the horse's back. It was prescribed by "John poepper, hoarse doctor, Mary Land."

Mr. Gano Constitutes a Church.-- In Mr. Sheet's history (p. 75) Mr. Gano said that before he left the Yadkin a Baptist Church was constituted and many additions made to it. but he left it in 1758 because of war with the Cherokee Indians. A second son was born to him November 11, 1758. And the new church did not survive his departure very long (p. 76). In a note (p. 76) Mr. Sheets thinks they never had another pastor, and that the records were destroyed or carried off, and the church finally scattered and became extinct. The settlement was on the Yadkin River in what is now Davidson County, and mainly on the south side of what is now the Southern Railway track, near what has always been known as the Indian Trading Ford.

A Colonial Document.


Captain-General and Commander;in Chief of the Province of Nova Caesarea, or New Jersey, and territories thereon depending in America, CHANCELLOR and VICE-ADMIRAL in the same, etc.:

To Ebenezer Fairchild, Esq:

Reposing especial trust and confidence inhim, he was "under the broad seal of Grerat Britain" appointed "insigne of that company whereof John Brookfield is captain. You are, therefore, to take the said company to your charge and care as insigne. Done at Elizabethton in New Jersey the 14th day of July in the 31st year of His Majesty's reign, Anoque Domini, 1757.
J. Belcher."

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Lincoln a Plagiarist?-- On a blank discharge from Sir Henry Clinton, K. B., General and Commander-in-Chief of all His Majesty's forces within the colonies, lying on the Atlantic Ocean, etc., is written:

Cyrus Fairchild, his hand and pen;
He will be good, but God known when.

As this is attributed to Abraham Lincoln by some of thi biographers as an example of precocious lierary ability, it may surprise them to learn that it was current in Watauga County before Lincoln was born.

An Ancient Document.-- Among the papers of the late Ebenezer Fairchild is an agreement dated Mar 23, 1761, by which John Stevens and Alexander Rutherford, for themselves and the devisees of Mary Alexander, undertake to convey to Ebenezer Fairchild, of Newtown, in the county of Sussex, eighty acres of "Rights for unappropriated land in the Eastern Division of New Jersey, except Romopok, upon the payment of sixty pounds Proclamation Money of New Jersey."

Carpenter and Yeoman.-- There is also a deed from Peter Dukerson, carpenter, of Morristown, province of East New Jersey, to Ebenezer Fairchild, yeoman, of the same place, for fifty acres in Morristown, for seventy-two pounds, dated May 16, 1754, and in the 27th year of His Majesty King George the Second of Great Britain.

On Bound Meadows Run.-- There is a warrant for the survey of fifty-three and three-tenths acres of land in the county of Sussex on the head of a southwest branch of Wall Kill, called the Bound Meadows Run, for the devisees of Mary Alexander at the request of Ebenezer Fairchild, by virtur of a warrant to her and Robert Hunter Morris for 1,600 acres of land to be taken up in any part unappropriated in the Eastern Division of New Jersey. It is dated December 9, 1757, and recorded in Book W4, page 14, by virtue of her last will and testament, which is recorded in Book A5, page 9. All recorded in the Public Records of the Proprietors of New Jersey, in the Surveyor General's office at Perth Amboy, in Book S, page 389. John Smyth, Jr., Surveyor General.

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Morris Town, August 23, 1771.

The Church of Jesus Christ in this place holding believers Baptism Laying on of Hands Eternal Election & Final Perseverance of the Saints in Grace &c

To the Church of Christ in Roan County in North Carolina of the same Fatih, or to any one of the sister churches to whom These Presents may Come, Greeting:

Whereas our Brother Ebenezer Fairchild has Been Baptized in a Regular Way and Received by Us in Full Communion who for some time gave Good Satisfaction to this Church, But after faling into some Sensorious Errors was Laid under Suspension, and is now Removed from us without a Regular Dispensation has Sent us a Letter Dated September 28, 1770 wherein he seems to make very humble Confession of his Sins and Grievance to the Church and Desires Forgivness for it which, as he Confessed, was Drinking too hard, Loose Living, and also not keeping his Place in the Church which he Acknowledges and Begs our Prayers to God for him that he may be Enabled to Live up to the Profession he has made, which may the Lord help him to do.

Wherefore as his Life and Conversation is now better Known to you than to us, Although by what we Hear from him we do hope he is a Humble Penitent, Therefore, if you do Receive him, he is Dismissed from us, and the God of all Grace Bless you all. ..............................................Amen.
Brother Ebenezer Fairchild ...........................................James Globe
we rejoice to hear from you ..........................................Daniel Walling
such agreeable News may the .......................................John Brookfield
Lord Grant you Grace and live ......................................Ezekiel Goble
Agreeable to the profession ..........................................Sam'l Parkhurst.
you have made.......................................................................Pray for us.
Signed by us at our Meeting
Part for All.

The Fairchild Ladies.-- These ladies, whose names were Rachel and Clara, lived in Watauga County during the first quarter of the nineteenth century on Howard's Creek, where

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William Hardin now lives. Rachel Fairchild had married a man named Smith, but he died soon afterwards, and she and her sister were generally known as Fairchilds. They were the daughters of Cyrus Fairchild, son of Ebenezer Fairchild. They reared Wyatt Hayes, and after his marriage deeded to him their land, he having agreed to support them the raminder of their lives. In Deed Book F, page 497, is record of a deed from "Cirous" Fairchild to Rachel and Clary Fairchild, showing that Rachel did not continue to be known by her late husband's name at that time. The consideration named is "for diver good and caused and considerations for the service of my daughters, Rachel and Clary Fairchild, for the last fifteen years and longer." The land was the 200 acres which Ebenezer Fairchild had entered on howard's Creek when he first came to this country. The deed is dated April 26, 1843. It is probable that their father died soon afterwards, for when Wyatt hayes was four years old his mother died, and he was taken to the home of the Misses Fairchild in 1846, where he remained till they died, excepting the time when he was in the Civil War, where he had part of one of his feet shot off at Mechanicsville in the first of the Seven Days Fight around Richmond in 1862.

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Various Churches.

True Democrats.-- According to Kephart (p. 268), "the mountaineer is intensely, universally Protestant, and, as John Fox says, 'he is the only man in the world who the Catholic Church has made little or no effort to proselite.' Dislike of Episcopalianism is still strong among the people who do not know, or pretend not to know, what the word means. The first settlers among the Appalachians were, mainly, Presbyterians, as became Scotch-Irishmen, but they fell away from that faith, partly because the wilderness was too poor to support a regular ministry and partly because it was too democratic for Calvinism, with its supreme authority of the clergy . . . This much of the seventeenth century Calvinism the mountaineer retains: a passion for hair-splitting argument over points of doctrine and the cocksure intolerance of John Knox; but the ancestral creed itself has been forgotten. The circuit rider, whether Methodist or Baptist, found here a field ripe for his harvest. Being himself self-supporting and unassuming, he won easily the confidence of the people. He preached a highly emotional religion that worked his audience into an ecstacy that all primitive people love. And he introduced a mighty agent of evangelization among outdoor folk when he started the camp-meeting."

Our Morals.--"As for the morals of our highlanders," continues Kephart (p.274), "they are precisely what any well-read person would expect, after taking their belatedness into consideration. In speech and conduct, when at ease among themselves, they are frank, old-fashioned Englishmen and Scots, such as Fielding and Smollet and Peppys and Burns have shown us to the life . . . I have seen the worst as well as the best of Appalachia . . . but I know that between the two extremes the great mass of the mountain people are very like persons of similar station elsewhere, just human, with human frailties, only

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a little more honest, I think, in owning them . . . The worst have not been driven into a war against society, and still have good traits, strong characters, omething responsive to good treatment. They are kind-hearted, loyal to their friends, quick to help anyone in distress."

Pioneer Baptists.-- Roosevelt says (Vol. III, pp. 101, 102): "Presbyterianism was not, however, destined even here[in the Watauga Settlement] to remain the leading popular creed. Other sects, still more democrtic, still more in keeping with backwoods life and thought, largely supplanted it. Methodism did not become a power until after the close of the Revolution, but the Baptists followed close on the heels of the Presbyterians. They, too, soon built log meeting-houses here and there, while their preachers cleared the forests and hunted elk and buffalo, like other pioneer settlers. To all the churhes the preachers To all the churches the preachers and congregation, alike, went armed, the latter leaning their rifles in their pews(1) or near their seats, while the pastor let his stand beside the pulpit." True to the above account, the Baptists were the first to penetrate to what is now Watauga County. Three Forks Church was started in November, 1790, but, while it was the first in what is now Watauga County, it had been preceded in the territory west of the Blue Ridge by the Beaver Creek and Old Fields churches. From Rev. Charles B. Williams' "History of the Baptists in North Carolina" (p. 121) we learn that Three Forks Baptist Church became an association by that name in 1840, and that "like the Yadkin and Catawba associations, The Three Forks had a sharp struggle with antimissionism. But its churches are now taking their stand in the regular lines of the convention's advanced work. It numbers thirty-three churches, with a membership fo 2,728, and contribued in 1900 to all objects $1,457.00." Col. Thomas Bingham, for several terms a member of the State legislature and clerk of he Superior Court of Watauga County, was born 1845 two Missionary Baptists appeared at the Cove Creek Baptist Church, near which his father then lived, but were not made welcome in the church.
Note: (1) These "pews" were simply split logs, with pegs for legs or support, and without backs of any kind.

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However, they preached in the grove that night, and moved their subsequent meetings to the house of his father, G. M. Bingham's, where they held protracted meetings, one that simmer and another the following winter. But a few years later Three Forks itself became a Missionary Baptist association, as did also Cove Creek.

Farthing Family.-- The coming of the Farthing family to Beaver Dams gve a fresh impetus to the cause of the Baptist Church in this section. They arrived in the fall of 1826, having come from Orange, close to the Wake County line, two brothers, William W. and John, having been first here. But William soon died, and John, having lost his wife, returned to Wake, where, having married again, he reappeared in Beaver Dams settlement in 1831 and settled where Zionville now flourishes. They organized Bethel Church, on Bever Dams, July 4, 1851, getting their constitution from the Cove Creek Church, and having a membership of ten. Three other churches were constituted from Bethel, viz: Beaver Dams, in September, 1874; Forest Grove, about 1889, and Timbered Ridge in 1906.

A Family of Preachers.-- The first Dudley Farthing, father of Rev. William W. Farthing, who came to Bever Dams in October, 1826, was a public speaker of note in his home county, but he always said that as he could blow onla a ram's horn and not a silver trumpet, he would not be a preacher. But his son, William, was a preacher of force and fame, and, although his health was such after his removal to this county that he did not preach often, he left four sons, upon whose shoulders his mantel fell and with whom it bided. They were Reuben P., John A., Stephen and Abner C. Farthing, who for years were the captain jewels in the Baptist carcanet. And their descendants still wear the armor they laid aside, and are still battling in the vanguard of the army of the Lord as preachers and leaders, while still others, feeling that in the pulpit they would be as helpless as David would have been in the armor of Saul, in their own way and in God's good time are striking mighty blows in the sacred cause of righteousness. No family in Watauga County have done more for the general uplift than that of the Farthings.

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