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Union Church Presbyterian Church

Union Church, Jefferson County, MS

Member Roll of Union Church Presbyterian Church

 

March 1849

 

Francis Adams

Archibald Baker

Sarah Baker

Sarah J. Beecham

Maria Blue

Mary Brown

Sealia Ann Brown

William Brown

Annabelle Buie

Catherine Buie

Catherine Buie

Catherine Buie

Daniel Buie

Dorothy Buie

Elizabeth Buie

Isaac N. Buie

Jane Buie

John Buie

Loveday Buie

Margaret Buie

Margaret Buie

Mary Ann Buie

Neill Buie

Neill Buie, Sr.

Rebecca Jane Buie

Mary E. Cameron

John Arch Catoe

Joseph William Catoe

Lewis Catoe

Mary Catoe

Mary Caroline Catoe

Rebecca Catoe

Sterling Catoe

Ann Cunningham

James Cupit

Angus Currie

Mary Ann Curry

 Robert Curry

John A. Galbreath

Laughlin Galbreath

Mary Galbreath

Dr. James M. Grafton

Mrs. Mary Jane Grafton

Flora Gupton

Nancy Hunter

Martha Jacobs

Jane Lee

Ruben Lee

Ann Mary McBride

Francina McCallum

Margaret McCallum

Mary E. McCallum

Angeline McCormick

Catherine McCormick

John McCormick

Barbara McCormick

Mary Ann McCulchie

Elisabeth McDuffie

Mary McDuffie

Emily Catherine McDonald

John M. McDonald

Catherine McDugald

Charles McDugald

John P. McDugald

Sarah McDugald

John McFatter

Rebecca Ann McFatter

Ann E. McLauren

Daniel McLauren

Daniel McLauren

Charles McLean

Jane P. McLean

Maria McLean

Sarah McMillan

Elizabeth McPherson

Joseph N. McPherson

Malcomb McPherson

John Michel

Sarah C. Middleton

Catherine Newman

Eliza Newman

Mary Newman

William R. Newman

John Orr

Catherine Patterson

Daniel G. Patterson

Daniel M. Patterson

Eliza Patterson

Elizabeth Patterson

Martha Patterson

Mary Patterson

Mary Patterson

Sarah Patterson

Elizabeth Ray

James Ray

John Ray

Sarah Ann Ray

Jane Robertson

Catherine Scott

John M. Sherliff

Orin Sherliff

Mary Jane Short

Rachael Smiley

Rebecca Smiley

Ann Smith

Anna Smith

Archibald Smith

Nancy Smith

Mary Ann Smylie

Sarah C. Smylie

William C. Smylie

Sary Ann Snider

Henry Stanton

Julia Thompson

Arch Torry

John Torry

Margaret Torry

Mary Torry

Rebecca Umphrey

J. J. Warren

Sarah J. Warren

John Watson

John Arch Watson

Mary Jane Watson

John J. Wheat

Catherine Wilkinson

Elizabeth Wilkinson

Elizabeth Jane Wilkinson

Hilda Wilkinson

John B. Wilkinson

Malcomb Wilkinson

Mary Wilkinson

Neill R. Wilkinson

Peter Wilkinson

 

Contributed by Linda Rudd

Servants Listed on the Membership Roll of March 1849

(Although the following servants were listed on the March 1849 membership list, the Union Church Session Records indicate that most of the following servants did not actually become members until 1853.)

Name Date Received Name of Owner
Peter October 07, 1850 ?
Henson ? ?
Sarah Ann and Roda October 09, 1853 Gilbert M. Buie
Hannah October 09, 1853 C. F. McLean
Jane April 17, 1853 Gilbert M. Buie
Flora May 23, 1853 Mrs. Batey
Violet November 20, 1853 ?
Selia Ann, Adam, John, and Perry November 20, 1853 Gilbert M. Buie
Eliza, William, Augusta, Ally, Synthia, Edny Catherine, Lilly, Caroline, and Candace November 20, 1853 J.J. Mitchell
George ? ?
Levi, Peter, Fanny, and Mary December 04, 1853 Mr. Marshall
Isom December 04, 1853 Mr. Brown

PAGES FROM AN OLD SCRAP BOOK

 BY Anabel Power

 

               A sketch of the old Scotch Settlement At Union Church.

by  C. W. Grafton

 

From the publications of the Mississippi Historical Society, 1906, Edited by Franklin L. Riley Secretary.  Courtesy, Dr. William D. McCain, Director, Department Archives and History.

 

"UNION CHURCH"

 

"This is the name given to a large section of country in the eastern end of Jefferson County, Mississippi.  It extends about twenty miles from West to East, running over into the present County of Lincoln for several miles.  It's average width is perhaps ten miles from north to south.  It embraces the two Presbyterian churches of Ebenezer and Union and at a later date two Methodist churches, Nebo and Galatia.  It has figured in civil and church council for nearly one hundred years.

    In 1805, just after the Louisiana Purchase, four men with their families came from North Carolina to Tennessee and remained there for one year.  Thence by way of the Mississippi River they came to Bruinsburg, in Claiborne County.  So far as can be found out these were the first settlers in the section known as the Scotch Settlement.  These four persons were George Torrey, his son Dougold Torrey,      Laughlin Currie and Robert Willis.  They made two crops in Claiborne county and in 1806 settled in Jefferson County, near the present site of Ebenezer Church.  They were soon followed by the Galbreaths, Gilchrists and Camerons.  A few years later all the country around Union Church, which is twelve miles east of Ebenezer, was filled with Scotch settlers who came mainly from North Carolina.  Some of them it is said, spoke the Gaelic language and to this day there is extant in one of our homes, a book of the Psalms and Westminster Shorter Catechism in that old dialect.  These Scotch people were nearly all Presbyterians and the history of the settlement is mainly a history of the two Presbyterian churches that were organized at the very beginning of the period.  These two churches were Ebenezer and Union Church.  Thirty years ago Ebenezer Church and the building were sold to our Methodist brethren.  This was caused by the constant removals from the neighborhood to cities and town.   The record of the old church are not accessible to the writer and therefore details must be emitted from this sketch.

  The church was organized 1891 by Reverend Jacob Rickhow.,  During all it's balmy days it's pastor was the Reverend William Montgomery.  It was a church of great wealth and influence.  One of it's members stated not long ago that in the days of it's prosperity it represented property worth  millions of dollars.  This is not difficult to believe when we recall the names of some of it's prominent families.  There were the Darden families, including Jessie Darden, Buckner Darden, Samuel Darden and George Darden.  There were two or three families each of Camerons, Curries Montgomerys and Torreys.  There were the families of Malcolm Gilchrist, Duncan McArn, J.J. Warren and quite a number of others.  Now, when we remember that the soil was in it's virgin state, that these men owned a great many slaves and that they were very valuable, we can readily credit the statement concerning the wealth of this part of the Scotch settlement.  This section of the county furnished it's full share of  representatives in the State and County government.  George Torrey was for a long time Sheriff of the county.  His son, W. D. Torrey and M. M. Currie were at different times members of the State Senate, while Daniel H. Cameron represented his county in the lower house of the legislature.

    The people of Ebenezer were refined and cultivated and to them the Civil War with it's result was exceedingly disastrous.  When their slave property was lost their lands became useless.  Their splendid carriages, wagons and teams rapidly disappeared.  The price of cotton was not remunerative, the old men gradually died and the young men left the farms, so that the glory of this part of the Scotch Settlement is mainly in the past.  Some of the old houses remain and there are good citizens in the community, but the Scotch element has passed away.

   Union Church was organized in 1817 by Reverend Joseph Bullen before the State was admitted  into the Union.  The earliest settlers came in 1808 and 1810.  They were mainly from Robeson County, North Carolina.  The pioneer missionaries sent out to the Synod of the Carolinas began preaching here in 1811.  After several years Reverend Joseph Bullen gathered the Presbyterian families that had collected from different parts of the country and organized them into a church which has ever since been known as Union Church.  In process of time a post office was established and a village grew up which took the name of Union Church and which at one time was incorporated with it's Mayor and other offices.  In 1880 the Union Church High School was organized under a liberal charter and has been maintained with more or less success for more than twenty years.

   The people in the early days were noted for the simplicity of their manners.  They were not wealthy as were their neighbors at Ebenezer.  They were plain, unpretentious, honest people.  Father Montgomery, who preached so long at Ebenezer, was likewise the pastor of Union Church.  He served in this position from 1820 to 1848 and was a most faithful minister.  In a marked manner he was punctual in his appointments for this long period of Twenty-eight years.  Owing to the sickness and death of his daughter he missed one Sabbath during this period.  He was an earnest self-denying man.  On one occasion he refused a large salary offered by the people of Pine Ridge, preferring to give his life to the Scotch people at Union Church.  He died in 1848, but his name lives in the memory of our oldest people who speak of him with the deepest veneration.

   At a later period in the history of the church, his son, the Reverend Sam Montgomery, filled the pulpit for seven or eight years.  He was a man of great talent, with unusual power as a public speaker.  The stories told of his eloquence are remarkable.  Thirty years ago the writer saw him in the pulpit, and though he was infirm in body and in declining years, no one could have helped being thrilled by the fascination of his address during this period.  In 1883, Reverend J. J. Wheat, Professor of Greek in the State University, asked the writer, who was on a visit to Oxford, what had become of Sam Montgomery.  The answer was, "the old man is living about among his friends."  Said he, "I once heard Sam Montgomery preach, and for power and impressiveness and command over an audience I have never seen him surpassed."  or words to that effect.  Father Montgomery lies buried in the neighborhood of Ebenezer.  His son went to the Yazoo Delta in 1884 and died soon after in the home of his grandson.

   Union Church was supplied several years ago by Reverend Angus McCullum, next by Reverend John Smiley, next by Reverend Thomas H. Cleland.  These three served the church for just a few  years each.  Father McCullum bought a piece of land near the village of Union Church and opened up a good, productive farm.  He was a man of fine judgment, and an excellent manager and was very thrifty in the conduct of his business.  He had a most excellent wife and they reared a family of ten sons and daughters, five of whom are living today.  This venerable brother died in 1885 and with his good wife lies in the graveyard at Union Church.

    Reverend John H. Smiley was from New England and was a man of great force of character.  He was a rigid Calvinist of the highest type and for many years after his death his strong presentation of doctrine remained fresh and green in the memory of the people.

   Reverend Thomas H. Cleland was a mild and gentle man.  He died not long since in Louisiana.

   Reverend C. W. Grafton became pastor of Union Church in 1873.  Thirty-two years have passed away and he still abides going out and coming in among the descendants of the ancient Scotchmen.

   The church has been blessed with a faithful body of Ruling Elders and Deacons.  During the hundred years now closing he following have served the people as Ruling Elders;

   Angus Patterson, Neil Buie, Jr., John Buie, Sr., Matthew Smylie, Charles McDougald, Murdock McDuffie, John Watson, Sr., John Buie, Jr., Archibald Baker, Reuben Lee, Malcolm McPherson, Lewis Cato, Daniel Grafton Buie, Daniel H. Cameron, William B. Alsworth, Samuel Davis McCallum, Allen Baxter Cato, N. R. C. Watson, David G. Gailbreath, John A Smylie, George S. Torrey, Peter Wilkinson, L. A. Cato.

     Here too, is a list of the Deacon's names;

    Gilbert M. Buie, Daniel N. McLaurin, Isaac N. Buie, Joseph Josling Warren, John A. Galbreath;  John L. Scott, S. D. McCallum, E. E. Smiley, Allen B. Cato, Dr. D. C. Warren, A. Schaefer, John Lee Scott.

   There have been in all, three buildings.  The last one was erected in 1852, has been repaired two or three times and stands today upon the old site surrounded with venerable oak trees and crowned with blessed memories.  During it's  existence many hundreds have been received into it's communion.  All it's friends will recognize these leading family names.  To begin with there are twenty-three sets of Mc's enrolled within it's sacred register of names;

   McArn, McArthur, McBride, McCall, McCallum, McClure, McClutchie, McCormick, McCorvey, McDonald, McDougald, McDuffie, McEachern, McFatter, McIntyre,  McLaurin, McLean, McMillen, McMurchie, McNair, McPherson, McQueen, and McRea.

   These Mc's would establish the claim to the title of "The Scotch Settlement" if nothing else did.

   There were six different sets of Buies whose sons in a few years married and formed a large number of Buie families.

   Alsworth, Baker, Barnes, Blue, Brown, Buckels, Cameron, Clark, Currie, Fairley, Galbreath, Gilchrist, Knapp, Knox, Lee, LeGette, Newman, Patterson, Ray, Scott, Smiley, Smylie, Smith, Torrey, Warren, and Wilkinson.

   The period between 1820 and 1830 may be called the romance period of the Scotch Settlement.  Everything was young, bright, fresh and full of life and vigor.  The country abounded in game and the streams in fish. The lowlands and sometimes the hills were covered with canebrakes.  Farming was an easy matter at that day.  Burn away the brakes, plant your corn and you  would be sure of a harvest.  Natchez was the market town for all the country and Union Church was a point on the highway between the eastern counties and Natchez, and in the fall of the year long trains of wagons pulled by trains of heavy oxen were strung out a hundred miles from the interior of the State to the Mississippi River.  It was a great occasion for a farmer to yoke his oxen and start to market with the whole week before him for going and returning.  Some of the Scotch were not averse to strong drink, and coming back with a jug of Scotch whisky their animal spirits would be stirred on the way and their homecoming would be loudly advertised.  But such an one would unfailingly be brought before his brethren in the church and he would be certain of a reprimand and would probably be excommunicated for awhile.  The old records of Union Church abound in illustrations of the faithful dealings of the elders with their brethren.  Let a man be overtaken in a fault, such as violating the Sabbath day, or taking God's name in vain, or becoming intoxicated and he was certain of discipline by the church and this faithful attitude of the Ruling Elders doubtless saved many an erring brother.

    This period was famous as the camp-meeting period.  On the slope of the hill where the church has stood so long, great rows of wooden sheds were built and in the fall of the year the people came together.   The best preachers of the old Presbytery of Mississippi assembled, and for many days at a time, morning, Mid-day, and evening, the voice of prayer and praise and preaching was heard.  No one can tell  the far-reaching influence of those sacred gatherings.  People would come to them from a distance of forty miles and more, would profess faith in Christ; they would go back home to spread the leaven of gospel and truth and grace.

   Surely in the coming day when the King takes the roll of his people, it will be said, "This and that man was born there."

   Father Montgomery, Zebulon Butler, Jacob Rickhow, Joseph Bullen, James Smylie and other Godly men who were faithful Heralds in the old Scotch Settlement passed away long ago but "they being dead still speak."  They live today in the monumental churches which they founded and fed in those early days.  Many men of very fine talents were born and reared in this old heart of the Scotch Settlement.

   There was one old Buie family out of which came some wonderful men.  There was the Reverend Whitfield Buie, who took first honors at Oakland College.  He was a man of fine intellectual power.  He studied at Princeton College, but he had scarcely begun his earthly ministry when it was closed by death.   He had a brother, Dr. William E. Buie, who for intellectual ability and skill in the medical profession was easily the peer of any man in all the land.  He was a man of great gentleness and self denial, of chaste speech and behavior, and lived for the good of his fellow man.  He had calls to lucrative positions in distinguished medical institutions but he declined them all and gave his life to his humble friends of the Scotch Settlement.  He moved with his brother, Newton Buie, to Texas during the war, but returned like a pilgrim to the old spot that gave him birth, and died a man of stainless name and sleeps with his fathers in the sacred dust of our Scotland.

     Reverend William G. Millsaps was also a man of unusual power and influence.  He studied theology at Danville, became a Minister in the Methodist Church and for a long time served his people faithfully and effectively.  He was the brother of our friend Major R. W. Millsaps of Jackson.

    When the Civil War broke out the first  company that left Jefferson County for the seat of war was the "Charley Clark Rifles,"  from the Scotch Settlement around Union Church.  It was a sad and long-to-be-remembered day when those young men paraded in the shade  of the trees close to the old church and received from the hands of Miss Flora Buie a silken banner of the Southern Confederacy.  Dr. J. J. McLean was the first Captain of the company and Dr. Rufus Applewhite was his successor.  Of the 105 men who formed that first company there are now just twelve living.  Their names are worthy of at least a mention in this short sketch of the old community and I gladly put them here on record.  They are; Dr. Rufus Applewhite, Captain  B. L. Applewhite, C. C. Erwin, William Ferguson, Jake Garrett, Joe Garrett, Sam King, Winston King, F. Krauss, S. D. McCallum, Tom McNair, and Lewis Vaughn.  Their comrades lie all  the way from Sharpsburg in Maryland to the Rio Grande.

 

    The men of those former days were men of great faith and prayer.  A few old people now living tell many stories of the fervency and length of their prayers.  They were deeply devoted to the Calvinistic interpretation of the Bible and to the traditions and memories of the old church of the Covenant, the Presbyterian church, the church of their love and veneration.  Here is an instance;

Mary McDougals was received into the church in her young girlhood. Quite young, she married a Scotchman named McEachern and moved with him to Carroll County, where they formed a new home. She carried with her all her love for the church of her fathers.  She was earnestly solicited to join a church of another denomination which at that time held the field in her neighborhood,.  Said she; "No, I will help you all I can.  I will sing with you and pray with you, and give money to you, but I am a Presbyterian and can never be anything else, and when we have a chance we will organize one right here."  This good mother in Israel died in 1903, leaving behind her one hundred and twenty-one children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and nearly every one of whom that has reached mature years is now a member of the church in full communion.  She lived to see seven white Presbyterian churches organized and one colored,  all of which trace their origin directly to her influence.  The life of this good woman spans the whole century of the Scotch Settlement at Union Church.  

   Another noted good woman was Aunt Mary Wilkinson.  She was the daughter of Ruling Elder Matthew Smylie, the brother of Reverend James Smylie.  She married Daniel M. Wilkinson of fine Scotch parentage.  She was a true, outspoken member of the Presbyterian church, perfectly loyal to the last in her love for the old settlement at Union Church.  With her husband, she moved to Jackson in 1842.  She gave one of her daughters to Col. J. L. Power, another to John D. McArn, another J. B. Cadwallader and she, too, spanning nearly the whole century passed away two or three years since, wearing a crown of sweetness and joy, triumphant in the hope of gospel.  Her children and grandchildren and all her friends bless her memory.

    There are many others whose names are found upon our gravestones who had in them the stuff to make them stand in Senate halls or wear the crown of martyrs, but like "many a flower that wastes in sweetness  on the desert air,"  they rest sweetly in their quiet beds with no sculptured urn or monument to tell their story.

    Like Ebenezer, Union Church has suffered immensely by the loss of it's sons and daughters.  During the last thirty years more than seventy families have moved away from this community.  Memphis, Vicksburg, Port Gibson, Natchez, Jackson, Hazelhurst, Wesson, Brookhaven, different parts of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas claim the sons  and daughters  of our old Scotch settlement.  It seemed at one timed as if the entire settlement was destined to share the fate of it's twin sister, Ebenezer.  But the  school and the church are wonderful conservators of neighborhood life, and these two factors have worked hand in hand to keep alive this old community.  The school bell still rings and pupils and teachers meet in the school house.  Sabbath after Sabbath the congregations assemble at the old church and sing the old songs, - Arlington, Mear, Rockingham and Uxbridge.  The doctrines of grace still sound from the pulpit.  Girls and boys make love as of old, and evergreens and flowers adorn the marriage alter, while again and again people weep in the house of mourning.

    It might be asked how the neighborhood still lives if it's families move away and none move in.  The answer is, it grows from within.  The Scotch settlement is an endogen.  John D. McArn married Lizzie Wilkinson and he has twelve children, Peter Wilkinson married Mary Faris and he has ten living children.  J. E. Lamb married and had thirteen.  Clint Faris and Jim Currie have ten each.  Would not Queen Victoria, the model mother of Great Britain, have smiled on these descendants of the ancient Highlanders?  Would not the men who love large families feel at home at Union Church?  So the church still lives and has two hundred members on it's rolls.

   The settlement is twenty-five miles from Brookhaven on the east, and twenty-one miles from Fayette on the west.  Port Gibson is twenty-eight miles north and Meadville twenty miles south.  The scotch settlement, therefore, with Union Church as a nucleus, has been in the center of a wide influence for  one hundred years.

    They talk of building a railroad from Hattiesburg to Natchez a route has been surveyed through Union Church.  That road may be built and we may get more strength.  We may be opened up better to the commerce and methods of the world, but the history of Union Church for these one hundred years past is beyond the reach of change.  It is embalmed in precious memories that lie hidden away on old tombstones and in Bibles all over the land.

   With reverent hearts we bid adieu to the past and with courage born out of that past, we hope for the future.

----------------

Note;  Dr. Grafton, as all Southern Presbyterians knew, was one of the truly great leaders of the Presbyterian church.  Not only a great Theologian, but a man of broad  intellect, first honor graduate of the University of Mississippi.  He had calls to the Presidency of more than one great university or college, but he preferred to spend his days ministering to the people of the Old Scotch Settlement so dear to him and gave his life to the people of that little community.  His influence spread wherever his name was known - one of the consecrated, Godliest men the Presbyterian Church has ever known.

    The writer knew him from her childhood days.  Every foot of the old Union Church settlement has precious memories.  Her Maternal grandparents "pure Scotch,"  settled there from Amite County in the early "80's" and here our mother was born and spent the first eight years of her life, coming to Jackson with her parents, Daniel and Mary Campbell Smylie Wilkinson, in 1842.

   Our adored Aunt Dodie," our mother's younger sister Elizabeth Wilkinson, was the wife of John Duncan McArn of the old community and from the time we as children, were old enough to stay away from home, we spent our entire summers at the old McArn Plantation home.  The great rambling house was overflowing with children but there were plenty of servants, sons and daughters of former slaves that overran the place during slavery times.  On Sundays, the closed carriage, with it's silk curtained windows, and driver's seat in front, drawn by two mules or horses, and less pretentious vehicles, were loaded with men, women and children  for the eight mile drive to the old Presbyterian Church to hear Dr. Grafton preach.  The great occasion of every summer was the three-days "meeting," when people came from many miles distant.  After the morning sermon, dinner was served on long tables under the mountains of fried chicken, potato salads, buttered biscuits, pies cakes, and everything that those wonderful home makers knew best how to prepare, with the  aroma of steaming coffee blown by the wind to hungry people.  After dinner, and a rest period, a sermon in the afternoons, then home eight weary  miles through the summer dust and the glory of a setting sun.

   I can see now, in the memory, the old spring at the foot of a gentle slope back of the church, and we drank it's cooling thirst quenching water from cups made of the old "cowcumber" leaves that grew in luxuriance on all sides.

   The ante-Bellum McArn home was destroyed by fire, with all it's priceless relics, at the turn of the century, but another took it's place, a big rambling two-story, twelve room house set in broad acres, and it is here that the children of the second, third, and fourth generations call "down home," and where they gather on all occasions, especially on Sundays, for the day.  The writer is one whose great pleasure is to join her cousins on these occasions.  On one Christmas day recently when she was with them, twenty-nine were seated in the dining room, the little children at smaller tables and fourteen adults at a table loaded with every delicacy that a successful plantation could yield.

   The name "Union Church" is precious to all who have ever lived there.  The old church stands on the original site and across the roadway is the well kept cemetery where lie the bodies of generations of the old Scotch Settlers and their descendants, many of the writer's own loved ones.

   The "Aunt Mary Wilkinson" of whom Mr. Grafton writes so beautifully is the writer's maternal grandmother, "Grandma", who lived to the rich old age of 92, and spent her last years in our home blessing every soul with whom she came in contact.


PART TWO


PAGES FROM AND OLD SCRAP BOOK


BY ANABEL POWER

"THE SMYLIE FAMILY IN AMERICA"

"1778.....1935"


BY:  KATE MARKHAM POWER

"IN MEMORY OF MY GRANDMOTHER

"MARY CAMPBELL SMYLIE WILKINSON"

1810.....1903"

   Mary Smylie married Matthew Bolls, "a man of substance.  He was likewise a man of brains and high social culture and possessed a keen sense of humor.  Their home was near Rodney.  In ante bellum days a section of great wealth and culture and very gracious living.  The Bolls were greatly interested in the building and support of Oakland College, about midway between Rodney and Port Gibson, in that day an institution of learning famed throughout the South, especially by the Presbyterians in the South.  In addition to generous money gifts to the building of Oakland College Matthew Bolls sent many of his slaves to make and burn the brick for the buildings.  That they did excellent work we are assured when we look upon the three stately buildings of Alcorn College, a State-owned and controlled institution for the education of the Negro youth of Mississippi.  How strange a quirk of fate it was that this beautiful establishment built as it was by slave holders, as a fitting place for the training of gentlemen's sons, should, after the wreckage of the War, come  to be a place for the training of the children of these former slaves.

    Mary Smylie's husband, Matthew Bolls, was a man of high ideals and great courage and he was one of the few who dared to express disapproval of any position taken by the acknowledged Chief of the Clan, his beloved friend and brother-in-law, the Reverend James Smylie.

   I have before me a letter from him to Reverend James, regarding a pamphlet which had just been issued;  "Brief History of the Trial of Dr. Scott." - by James Smylie.  The writer believed that the action of the General Assembly had not been sufficiently decisive or prompt in the matter of Dr. Scott's trial.  Dr. Scott was a pastor of a church in New Orleans, when in 1844, he and Dr. Lyon of Columbus, were passengers on a Mississippi River steamboat on which Henry Clay, then a candidate for the Presidency, was traveling.  Soon after the river trip was ended it began to be bruised about that the Presidential candidate had spent the Sabbath day gambling with friends.  Clay's supporters claimed to have traced the gossip to the Reverend.  Fellow passengers of Mr. Clay demanded a retraction.  Eventually Dr. Scott retracted - but not Dr. Lyon and the former's church desiring that he be cleared of the charge, if possible, demanded a trial of Dr. Scott.  This dragged it's unpleasant way up to the Assembly and it was because the rigid old disciplinarian James Smylie, felt that all had not been done that might have been done that he wrote the "brief history" referred to.  After having read it, Matthew Bolls wrote the Author, "You have what David said in his haste. viz: That ALL men are liars".  Further he said to the stern old man and  preacher, who did not know how to compromise. "With so many traits of an Ishmael, if you are permitted to dwell in peace among the brethren, it will be rather from fear than from love.  You certainly bear hard on many...You will have to account for tearing the scab from this old sore which was so nearly healed...your reasons, like Polk's War get beyond the defensive.  You are fairly across the Rio Grande and have fired your shot into the Capitol...Watch out for guerrillas!!"

   The letters of this gentleman of an ancient day are clever as well as informative chronicles of his day and this writer was greatly entertained to find him, now and then, resorting to slang and getting a kick from its use.

   The Bolls had four children, James Smylie, who died in his youth; Jane who married James Watson; and died at the birth of her first child;  Mary, who married a Scotchman, Andrew Allison, whose descendants are numerous and Emmaline, who was thrice married before she was twenty one.  (1) to a Mr. Shaw (2) to a Mr. Fisher  (3) to Benjamin Shaw.  Reverend Matthew Bolls Shaw of blessed memory, was her only child to reach maturity.  His wife was Jane McDermott, Arkansas and the mother of another, Reverend Theodore Smylie of St. Louis, Missouri.  Other children of the M. B. Shaws are living in the Mississippi delta and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana - the Kibbingers, in Baton Rouge, the James Shaws in Shelby, and the Charles Shaw's family in the delta.

   The Andrew Allisons (Mary Bolls) lived for a number of years in Louisiana and held high place in New Orleans and other cities in that state.  After her husband's death, Mary Bolls Allison made her home at Way, Mississippi, where she owned the valuable property now known as Allison's Wells, a popular health resort.  It was a great joy to my grandmother to have this favorite cousin - near her in their latter days and they were often together.  In fact, the Allison home was the only one left in this section in which the post war generation of young relatives could find gay hospitality, as most of the families had been completely wrecked by the war.  At many a happy house party did the youngest daughter, May play hostess then.

   The Allison children were; Matthew Bolls, who married Martin Griffin;  Alexander, who married Elizabeth Bartlett;  Andrew, who was twice married, (1) Mattie Perrin, (2) Hallie Watts;  Emma Jane, who married Edward Hunt of Chicago, and May, who married Dr. T. J. Ray and lives in Kentucky.  The next generation of Allisons counts two Presbyterian preachers among them;  Alexander's son, Andrew, a Missionary to China and May's son T. J. Jr., a P. G. student in Theology.  May's other son Dr. E. H. Ray, is rapidly achieving distinction as a physician.

   John Smylie, was born 17__ in North Carolina and died in Mississippi in 18__.  His first wife was Susan Sellers, and his second was a "widow Montgomery."  He was one of the Original Elders of Bethany Church, as was his father, James Smylie and his brother Nathaniel.  His brother James was Pastor of Bethany at the time.  John Smylie was a Godly man and rejoiced that in his father's house even unto the end, Family worship was always held and was conducted by his father in  his native  tongue, the Gaelic.  John Smylie's children were:  Reverend John A., who married Isadora Jackson.  She was a daughter of one of Andrew Jackson's gallant Captains, James, who died a bachelor and Ella, who married _____ Anderson.  The Andersons had no children.

   The son, Rev. John A. Smylie, was born in 1812 and lived until 1878, thus being privileged to share in the South's great era of change and to live during Andrew Jackson's campaign, through the War with Mexico and the War between the States, in all of which his kinsmen fought.  He knew, too, the tragedy of Reconstruction and died in Texas, September 26, 1878.  When his native state was crushed under the heavy hand of disease - yellow fever having then been epidemic and many of his relatives having died of it.

    John Smylie was a man of great learning.  As a youth he was one of the most brilliant students at Oakland College, which he entered at 18, intending to study law.  Under the influence of Rev. Zebulon Butler, however, he changed his plan  of life and studied for the ministry in Oakland's Theological department and under his uncle, James Smylie, having been graduated in the class of 1834 with such men as J. W. Buell, S. M. Montgomery, Henry McDonald, David McNair, B. P. Magee, and Richmond McInnis.  During his busy life he preached at Bethany, Brandon, Madison and other points in Mississippi, taught in Louisiana and after the death of his wife, in 1866, he moved to Meridian, Mississippi, and opened a Classical School For Boys, where his own sons were students.

   In 1861, Reverend John Smylie, With Reverend Dr. B. M. Palmer, was delegated to attend the General Assembly at Augusta, Georgia, and their names appear upon the  list voting to form a separate organization of the Southern Presbyterian church upon that momentous occasion.  After the war he moved to Texas and  became a powerful influence for good in that State, organizing many of the churches which are today flourishing in Texas cities.  He and his wife, Isadora Jackson, had a large family and Reverend James A. Smylie had a privilege enjoyed by a few, that of receiving all of his children into church membership.  His children were; Mary Archibald, J. W., Louis H., Louisa P., Alice, Robert J., James, Calvin and Nathaniel.  Archibald died in Texas in 1882, leaving two daughters.  Mary married - Means and still lives in San Antonio, Texas;  Louis died in Fort Worth in 1930;  Louisa P. married Frank Wilson and has children living in Oregon, New Mexico, and Texas.  J. W. died in Texas and left children who live in Houston, Plainview, Salina and Silvertown.  Robert J. was killed at Buffalo Gap in 1879;  John Calvin died in Louisiana in 1898 and Reverend Nathaniel, the youngest, was for a long time a preacher and a teacher in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas;  residing now at Dermott, Arkansas.  His son, Theodore is the pastor of the new Central Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, Missouri.

   Any sketch of Reverend James Smylie's life must necessarily be something of a sketch of early Presbyterianism in Mississippi, so closely are they connected.  We shall strive, however, to gather his religious work under the subject, "Early Presbyterianism and the Smylies,"  which will follow this record of the Smylie family.

   Born in Richmond County, North Carolina, in 1780, James Smylie came first to the Mississippi Territory in 1800 and from the time of that first visit he never considered living anywhere else.  He died at his Myrtle Heath Plantation in Amite county, in 1853, honored by family, church and state.  James Smylie was an Accurate Greek and Latin scholar, a lover of the classics, a profound theologian, endowed with social graces a man of such remarkable foresight as to be credited by many with prophetic vision.  His youth was a busy one and he was thirty years old before he married.  His first wife was the young widow of Thomas Smith of Jefferson County, who died a few years after their marriage.  Mary (Polly) Cottonwood Smith married the gifted young preacher in 1810 and to them one child, Amelia Farrar (Montgomery) was born.,  When this child was five months old, the young mother, Polly, died.  On the tomb above her in the James Smylie graveyard near Liberty, are figures showing that she was born in 1792, married to James Smylie in 1810, died in 1812, aged 18 years, 8 months and 5 days.  In the brief span between her birth and death, the beloved Polly had been maiden, mother, widow and twice a wife.  Her daughter, Amelia Farrar was educated at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at The Young Ladies Seminary and in social circles in Philadelphia and in Princeton, where she often visited her father's friends, she was greatly admired because of her grace of manner and her warm southern beauty. In her young girlhood she enjoyed a brilliant social experience and when only seventeen came home to visit her relatives and promptly fell in love with Joseph Addison Montgomery, the handsome son of her father's dear friend, Reverend William Montgomery.  They were married January 28, 1829, by Reverend John Patterson at her father's plantation, Myrtle-Heath.  Eleven Children were born of this marriage, most of whom lived to adult age and whose baptismal records reads like a roster of the old Louisiana Presbytery, Reverends Palmer, Mallard. Chamberlain, Planck, Price, etc., having been the officiates.  Amelia Montgomery's life was rather a tragic one,.  She and her beloved husband had, by sacrificial care and love, reared their large family to early youth, and just before the War Between the States began, all financial problems seemed lifted when an uncle of Amelia's left her a handsome estate consisting of beautiful Belmont Plantation- 1500 acres, 200 (two hundred) slaves, money, stock, equipment and a "strong box" of treasures, a part of which consisted of $30,000 (thirty thousand dollars) in gold.  The uncle left instructions also for her to pay a certain young man kinsman, upon her coming of age.  Her lands were devastate, her houses burned, her Negroes freed, her treasures stolen, her horses and cattle driven away.  It was a time of bitter suffering for Joseph and Amelia Montgomery, and with their large family they were, at the close of the War, facing ????.  Their own children were old enough to be making homes for themselves;  the young kinswoman had attained her majority and her guardian demanded settlement according to the terms of the Cotton will and everything was swept away except responsibility, taxes and returning free Negroes who had been disillusioned about their new made friends and freedom and were coming "back home" in great numbers, begging for food and shelter where there was none.  Amelia Farrar Smylie Montgomery died at Belmont at sunset May 22, 1877, aged 65 years, 3 months and 9 days.  Her husband, Joseph Addison Montgomery died at the same place, December 6, 1888, aged 79 years, 1 month and 7 days.  Their children were; James Smylie, who married Olive Scott;  Anna Jane Victoria, who married William E. Hall;  Samuel Cotton, who married Jane Jeffries; Matthew Bolls (Fink), who married Elizabeth Gossitt of La grange, Tennessee;  Alexander Thomas, who married (1) a Natchez girl; (2) Linda Watson, now living in Cuba;  Walter Lowrie who died in 1926, Julia, Emma Abial Mills Bingham of New York.  Alice Cornelia, Eliza Amelia and Mary Emmaline Elizabeth, died in their youth.

   It is beautiful to read between the lines in the records of this family, their devotion to the old home and their devotion to their own people which brought so many of them back to have the baptismal water sprinkled on their children's brows by the same hands which had been laid in blessing on their parents at their marriage.  Particularly is this true of the children of Anna Hall who married "a Northern man" and whose children married wealth and position in the East and North.  Both she and her children "came home" at times of this importance that the little Halls and Schuylers and Duychenks, Steuecks, be baptized and the plantation at which these various Smylie-Montgomery children and grandchildren were married or born--Edge Hill, Argyll, Scroggy, Belmont, Myrtle-Heath, Bannoekburn and others.

     The children of Anna Jane Victoria Montgomery and William Hall were; Mary Amelia, Charles Montgomery, William Luther, Harry Merriam, Ellen Louisa, James Allen, Anna Jane and Alfred Moulton.  Of these Charles Montgomery died in childhood.  James Allen at the age of 29;  William Luther in 1902, aged 41;  Alice Ann in 1899.  Henry Merriam still lives, a bachelor, of Hermanville, in Claiborne County, Mississippi.  Anna Jane is the wife of Fred Nott of Byron, Illinois.  Alfred Moulton married Mary Clarke and died in Vicksburg, Mississippi leaving a son, Alfred Moulton, Jr., who married Roy Dualey Duyckinck and had a son, Roy Chamberlin Duyckinck; Rutsen Van Renssaelaer Schyuler.  Their daughter, Margaret Olive, married George Steedman;  Janet Smylie who married Alfred Semen.

   Ellen Louise Hall married John Randolph Stannic and left three children Margaret Ellen, Louise and John Randolph Stannic, Jr.  These and the younger generations live around the cities of New York and Chicago.

   Among the sons of Samuel Cotton Montgomery and Jeannie Jefferson, were; Joseph Addison, Samuel Cotton and Owen.

   Matthew Bolls Montgomery (Fink) married Elizabeth Robinson Patti son and their only child, Jane Elizabeth Caldwell Montgomery, married Frank Fox of St. Louis, Missouri and Jackson.  They left two sons, Frank and Russell, both of whom live in Claiborne County;  The former is married and has one son;  the latter is a bachelor.

   Alexander Thomas Montgomery and Linda Watson had no children.  He died Several years ago and she is living on her properties in Cuba.  Linda Watson is an authority on her husband's family as well as her own.  Julia Montgomery Bingham had no children.  Smylie Montgomery, son of J. S. and Olive Scott Smylie Montgomery, died in Natchez in 1900.

  Reverend James Smylie's second wife was Sarah Ann BISLAND of Adams County.  One son, Alexander, the result of this union, lived to manhood and married Catherine Ann Smith, a Louisiana girl of wealth and social charm.  To them were born  numerous sons and daughters and their father "Alex"  had enough of this world's goods to start them out in life comfortable equipped.

   After the death of his first wife, Alex Smylie married again, a widow whose name I have not been able to learn.  This large family has some interesting history;  the children were;  Benjamin, who married Emma Anderson;  Philander Costly who married Ella Anderson;  Amanda , who married Rev. John Shaw;  Sarah who married Nolan Stewart Dickson and with him spent several years in Honduras;  Charles McDermott who married a widow;  Alex BISLAND died his senior year in college and there were several who died in early childhood.  A large number of the descendants of these children of Alex Smylie lived in Adams County and across the river on the Louisiana side.  Among these are the descendants of Patti Dickson who married Speaker; of Vivian Stewart, of William P., of Sarah Jeannette who married I. T. Anderson of Lafayette, of Kate who married Robert Stewart who married Florence Newman; of Maude Dickson HUD all; of Bettie Rogers who married (1) H. F. Hodge, (2) R. H. Daggers; of Lucy who married Dr. P. E. McGowan; of Benjamin D.

     Reverend James Smylie married a third time; his last wife was Mary Ann Harriet Batchelor of Amite County, who lived but a year, having one son, Thomas, born in 1830.  Thomas moved to Arkansas and married a Miss Montgomery;  three children were born to her.  James, who married Nattier Anderson, Gaines and "Scottie".  

    James Smylie became great not only as a minister of the Gospel, but as a man of business, upright and honest and rich beyond the average.  He was a man of exceptional social graces and a ruler of his kind, whether in high church courts, in the drawing room, in busy marts or among the scholarly men of church and state with whom he delighted to mingle.  His was a trenchant pen and it is a matter of great regret that his  writings were not more carefully preserved.  Quoting from one who married into this branch of the family, "the tribute to his wife which he wrote just after her early death was more beautiful I think, even than David's lament for his son."

   NATHANIEL SMILEY.  In the old graveyard near Bethany sleeps Nathaniel, youngest son of James and Jane Watson Smylie, with his beloved wife, Margaret Smith and several of their descendants.  Nearby, his parents sleep, and two of his sisters, Jeannette and Jane Smylie Watson.  He was born in North Carolina in 1784 and married Margaret Smith, who died September 3 1839, neither of them living to old age.  Their children were James Matthew, known to the clan as "the Judge", Catherine Jennet, Sarah Jane and Robert Patterson.  Judge Smylie was recognized as one of the greatest Jurists of his day.  He was for many years Chancellor in this State, but later moved to New Orleans.  This was during the progress of the famous MYRA CLARK GAINES case, he being counsel for Myra Clark Gaines.  Judge Smylie was twice married.  In 1841 he married the widowed daughter of Judge Lowry Carroll, who died of yellow fever probably in 1853.  When the fever developed in New Orleans - their home - Judge Smiley sent his wife, children and slaves to Pass Christian to their  summer home for safety.  But the poison was already in the veins of the wife and mother, and she died a few days after reaching the Pass.  She is buried there.  Her children were Nanny, who married Edward Capelin, Robert, whose widow, Ella Smylie (Smiley) still lives in McComb.   Edward Watt, who was thrice married (1) to Sarah Comely;  (2) to Mary Elizabeth Copes;  (3) to Celia Adelaide Copes.  All of the younger generations hold high places in their home states - Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

    James Smylie died a bachelor.  Nanny Capelin's children live in Texas.  Robert Smile's live in Mississippi, and Alabama.  The children of the Smiley-Comely marriage live in Texas and Louisiana;  those of the Copes sisters live in Shreveport, Abbeville and Ruston, La.  Catherine Jeannette married Moses Robinson.  She was the second of Nathaniel's children.  Their children were James M. Moses,, Sarah Jane, Mary E. and Kate, (Mary E.  and Kate coming first).  Of these Mary married C. C.  Germany;  Sarah Jane died unmarried;  James Malcolm Smiley was killed in the Battle of Shiloh.  Kate Robinson married Garden Wren.  And Moses married Lillian Wren.

   From this branch of the family many of Amite County's citizens have come.  Sarah Jane Smiley married Joseph Way Anderson and their children were Nathaniel Smiley, Sarah Eilzah and Joseph;  Nathaniel married Isadore Daniels and many of their descendants are living in that section and on the Gulf Coast.

   Musa married J. D. Rankin, Nathalie married D. R. Anderson, Smiley Shaw married Elizabeth Coumas, Annie Laurie married (1) T. L.  Shumwell, (2) Richard Whitaker of Centreville, Joseph married Annabele McDermott and there was a large family;  Joseph, Effie Bell, Hettie Jane, Benjamin Way, Smylie Scott, Charles Robert and James Gordon.  Hettie Jane married Henry Hughes and lives in Memphis, where her children are prominent citizens.  Dr. Smylie Scott is a physician at Hammond, Louisiana and married Lucille Maiwood Gohn.

     Charles Robert (Chum) married Annie Whittaker;  James Gordon married Mary McCrain;  Annabele married Walter Posey James.  All of these have fine families and have settled in the South.  Two of the girls in this family went to France in the World War with the American Red Cross and did fine work.

     Nathaniel Smiley's son Robert Patterson, married a very gracious lady, Eliza Alethea Wren who gave to her many descendants traditions of beauty and elegance.

    Eliza, Sarah Jane, Matthew Bolls, Mary Bolls and Robert, none of whom married and Margaret, and Margaret, who married  E. M. Carter but had no children;  Catherine-Jeannet who married the beloved Reverend McAllister and was a fitting helpmate  to a Godly man.  The children were Mary Smylie, who married Dr. E. W. Flowers, Robert William, who married Ellie Moore, and whose interesting family lives in Jackson.  One daughter Kate, died in her youth.  Helen Married A. S. Tombs of Louisiana and they have a fine family in that state.  Their son Dr. A. Tombs, married Mary B. Dinwaddie.  Three daughters, Margaret, Fannie and Sarah Annette.  Living just across the road from the old Smiley home in their beautiful place, Ariel.  They lead busy, useful lives, but find time always to dispense gracious hospitality in their ideal home.  James Wren Smylie married Julia Anderson and their daughter was Elizabeth (Bess) who married W. P. Field, and their son James ___ie Saix, married Clara Swearingen.  Malcolm lives in North Carolina where he married.  Nathaniel Frances Smiley married Martha Ann Anderson.  Their children were Martha, who married Albert C. Jackson, Robert Smiley who married Lillie Wilkinson, James Malcolm Smylie who married Wilma Jackson;  Joseph Johnston Smiley, who married  (1) Winnie West, (2) Louella Putnam, Edward Patterson Smiley, who married Bessie Myrtle Davis, Frances Wren Smiley who married Maggie Hazlewood and Reverend George McAllister Smylie who married Isabella Stevens.  Reverend George Smiley is pastor of the Durant, Presbyterian Church.

    A number of Nathaniel Smiley's descendants live in or near  Gloster, Vicksburg, Durant, Clarksdale, Opelousas, Louisiana, Lake Village, Arkansas, Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Chicago Illinois.  


(Editor's note;  Next Sunday, we will follow this history of the Smylie family with a short "Story of the Earliest Presbyterian Churches in the Mississippi Territory.  Bethel (1803);  Bayou Pieere, (1808)."  By the late Kate Markham Power, as a supplement to her History of the Smylie Family.)  

                                 A. P.

Contributed by: Andy Miller


HISTORY OF EARLY SCOTCH SETTLEMENT AT UNION CHURCH

 

(Editor's note - This is the second installment of the three parts of a paper which was presented to the NATCHEZ HISTORICAL SOCIETY on Jan. 20.  The paper which is of general interest was written by Mrs. Mary Barker.)

(Webmaster's note: The first installment is missing.  We are trying to find a copy of it!)


      On the old  church rolls at Union Church, kept prior to the War between the States, are the names of many colored members.  Once each month, the negroes all went to the Presbyterian Church, where the elders and the pastor, the Rev. William Montgomery, held a service for them.  These were always called "Servants," never "Slaves."  It is said that the singing on those occasions was so beautiful that the people always came out and sat on their porches to listen.  Miss Lottie Warren says that her mother, Mrs. Mary Inez Torrey Warren, taught the children of the slaves the catechism in her father's home.  In later years, one of the house girls from the John Clay Torrey home went as a missionary to Africa.  It is interesting to note that after the close of the Civil War, all the slaves of the Torrey families stayed with them.


     The first settlers in Union Church were Neill Buie and his wife, Dorothy Mercer Buie, and his son Gilbert Buie, and his brother Gilbert Buie.  In reading of the Buie families, you will find that the hereditary names of old Scotch seem to have been carefully preserved.  There were no less than three "Neill Buies" at Union Church at one time.  There were four "John Buies," one known as "John of Hurricane Creek," one as "Captain John" (who had served under General Jackson in the War of 1812);  one as "John the Shoemaker", and one as "John the Beloved."  Many of the Scotch families came to Jefferson County down the Mississippi River, but there is some evidence that the Buie family came by way of the Natchez Trace.  The name Buie" in the old Gaelic was "Buidhe", which meant "the Yellow haired one".  These Buie families cut their way through the cane brakes from the Natchez Trace and made their first camp at what is now the George S. Torrey Home, just a short distance from the village.  This is the oldest house now standing of the original settlement.


     The Buie Families were followed by many other Scottish families, a hundred families in  all, and it is in the second group that came the Pattersons, Newmans, Wilkinsons, Watsons, Smylies, Browns and Barnes.


     The first church building at Union Church was built on the property of Gilbert Buie, about two miles west of the village, and was built by Matthew Smylie.  It was made of hewed logs.  The first school house was also built on the lawn of one of the Buie families homes, where the John Torrey house now stands.  The first meeting was held in front of where this house stands, under the arbor.


     On the register of the Presbyterian Church at Union Church are twenty-three "Mc's".  This is from a recent publication in the Fayette Chronicles, and was taken from a sketch of the community written by Dr. C. W.  Grafton in the year 1905.  These are the "Mc's";  McArn, McArthur, McBride, McCall, McCallum, McClure, McClutchie, McDuffie, McEachern, McFatter, McIntyre, McLaurin, McLean, McMillan, McMurchie, McNair, McPherson, McQueen, and McRae.


     According to this article, there were six different sets of Buies, Sixteen families of Catos.  The names of others who came in later, But were prominent in church and school activities are;  Alsworth, Baker, Blue, Buckles, Clark, Fairly, Knapp, Knox, Lee, LeGette, Newman, Ray, Scott and Warren.


     During the early days at Union Church, farming was an easy matter.  They could burn away the cane brakes and plant a crop and be sure of a good harvest.  Natchez was the market town for all the country and Union Church was a point on the highway between eastern counties in Mississippi and Natchez.  In the fall of the year, long trains of wagons, pulled by teams of heavy oxen, were strung out for miles from the interior of the state, to the Mississippi River.  The story is still told among the old timers that there were many of these early settlers who were not averse to strong drink and coming back with a jug of Scotch Whiskey, their spirits would be stirred on the way and their home coming would be loudly advertised.  Such a one would be brought before his brethren in the church, and he would be reprimanded.  It is said that the old church records abound in illustrations of the faithful dealings of the elders with their brethren.


     It was during this same period that camp meetings became famous and popular over the country, and Union Church was noted for such meetings.  At the spot where the present Presbyterian Church now stands, rows of wooden sheds and benches were built, and in the fall of the year, the people came together for meetings.  The best preachers of the old Mississippi Presbytery assembled, and for many days at a time, the Voice of Song, praise and prayer was heard in the village.  It is said camp meetings from points as far as fifty miles distant, went to their own homes and spread the gospel teachings learned at these camp meetings.


     When the War between the States broke out, the first company that left Jefferson County was the "Charley Clark Rifles", from the Scotch Settlement at Union Church.  Miss Mary Inez Torrey presented the company with the silken flag of Confederacy under the old trees that now stand on the grounds of the old Presbyterian Church.  She was only a little girl then, about ten years old, and grew up to marry Dr. Daniel Cameron Warren in the year 1871.  They married in the church at Union Church, by the Rev. Samuel Montgomery, son of the Rev. William Montgomery.  Their two daughters,  Miss Lucie and Miss Lottie has helped more professional and amateur historians and genealogists than anybody I know.


     Many of the family records which have been compiled of Jefferson County families could never have been worked out without her help.  She has sent me much material for this paper, all of which I hope I have quoted correctly and accurately.


     The first "called Minister" of the churches at Ebenezer and Union Church was the Rev. William Montgomery, called "Theater Montgomery" by his flock at both churches.  He first came to Mississippi in the year 1800, as a missionary.  He stayed just a short time that trip, and returned home, where he married.  He came back to Mississippi in 1810 and in 1811 moved his family to Washington, Mississippi and became President of Jefferson College.  He resigned in a short while, to devote all of his time to the Ministry.  He was Pastor of the Pine Ridge Presbyterian Church for several years, in connection with his other fields of labor.


     It was while he was teaching at Jefferson College, that he was introduced to Mr. Dougald Torrey, of Ebenezer, and they became friends and remained friends throughout their lives.  It was through this friendship that Mr. Montgomery got the call to become pastor of the two churches at Ebenezer and Union Church.  He preached for them for the remainder of his life, and died in 1848, at the age of eighty-one years, having ridden for thirteen miles on horseback to a preaching engagement the previous Sunday.


     His salary for his ministry at Union Church was three hundred dollars a year.  Once, during this time, at the Pine Ridge Congregation offered him Seven Hundred dollars, to drop the people at Union Church and divide his time with Ebenezer and Pine Ridge.  But although he was not a wealthy man, he would not consider this, and promised the people of Union Church that he would never leave them, as long as they needed him.  He did stay with them until the end of this life and was one of the best loved of all of their ministers.  The older people in Union Church always gave to Mr. Montgomery the credit for what the two churches became in the great advancement of the Presbyterianism in this part of the state.


     At the time of his ministry there, many of his congregation had been born in the Highlands of Scotland, and were a rugged people, with a firm sense of duty to their church and to their pastor.  Mr. Montgomery felt a keen responsibility for them, and felt a duty to be present for his preaching engagements, regardless of weather conditions.  It is said that he never broke but two such engagements, during his entire ministry there - once when his wife died and again when his son died - and that on both occasions he sent a messenger to tell the congregation.  His idea was that if the flock all knew that the preacher would be there, somebody would be there to hear him.  No doubt this contributed much to the growth and development of the church itself, and its's position in the community.


     As to the church buildings in the Union Church settlement, there have been three in all.  The first building was a log house, and when it became too small, a frame building was erected to accommodate the growing church.  This too became too small after a while, and in the year 1850 another frame building was erected, completed in 1852, which is the present church at Union Church.  When I first attended services there, Dr. Cornelius W. Grafton was it's pastor, and had been there for over fifty years at the time.  He completed sixty three years as pastor of that church and died while their pastor serving both the church at Union Church and the church at Ben Salem over in Lincoln County.


     Many people of my generation have said that Dr. Grafton made Union Church.  Others from an older generation say that Union  Church made Dr. Grafton.  I like to think that the village and the Minister made a nice complement for each other.  The honest and deeply religious folk of Union Church would have been great and good anywhere.  Judge Jeff Truly of Fayette, now deceased, once said that he believed if all the Bibles in the world were destroyed, that Dr. Grafton could re-write it from memory.

 


 

(Editor's note;  This is the third and final installment of a paper which was presented to the Natchez Historical Society on January 20.  The paper which is of general interest was written by Mrs. Mary Barker.)

 

     Dr. Grafton was well known to the church people of Natchez during the time of his ministry at Union Church, and often spoke at the open-air service which used to be held down on the bluffs of the Mississippi River.  Among the many people who heard and admired Dr. Grafton was the late Mr. Gerard Brandon, who passed on in 1956.  He has said that the most powerful sermon he had ever heard delivered was given by Dr. Grafton on one of these occasions when he preached to the people of Natchez.


     Dr. Grafton was well known by Presbyterian people all over this section of the country and was generally loved by people of all faiths.  He never refused a request to go and preach to people, regardless of their church affiliations and visited the sick of his community, performed the marriages, and conducted the funerals of people of all faiths for the entire time of his pastor ship at Union Church.  He was known and loved by the many students who came from all parts of the State of Mississippi, including many from Natchez, and some parts of Louisiana, to attend the Jefferson County  Agricultural High School.  It was his custom to conduct the devotional exercises at the school on every Tuesday morning, and he knew each pupil by name. It was always a great occasion for the entire student body to have Dr. Grafton address them in his informal manner, and many are the lessons he taught us during this time.  The greatest lesson ever taught by Dr. Grafton was the lesson in living itself, which he taught every day by the life he himself lived, and the people who knew him as children themselves during their own school lives, carried into their homes.  Dr. Grafton will never be dead as long as the principles he taught and exemplified in his every day life are remembered by those who knew and loved him during his sixty-three years as pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Union Church.


     Dr. Grafton was the sixth pastor of this church and at Ben Salem, coming there in the year 1873.  The church of course was well organized when he came.  Some of he older citizens say that when he came, it was his intention to remain for just a short time.  During his early life there, he lost his wife and four of his seven children, all of whom are buried in the old cemetery there.  It is likely that this fact bound him to the community, and the community to him.  During the first years of this time there, he was the principal of the high school at Union Church.  As his church duties took more and more of his time, he had to give up his school work, but his teaching style is said to have been reflected in the person of Miss Jennie McCallum, one of his pupils who herself became the teacher of English and Latin there, and remained there for many years.  It was my privilege to have had Miss Jennie for the entire four years I was in high school, and I regard this as one of the greatest blessings of my life.  Miss Jennie was the granddaughter of the Rev. Angus McCallum, who had served as pastor of the church there, and her character and teaching ability certainly reflected her own ancestry, and her excellent training under Dr. Grafton.  I think Miss Jennie was, in addition to being an excellent teacher, a perfect disciplinarian.


     The most amazing thing about her classroom was the little lambs who sat quietly and respectfully, with never so much as a dropped book or pencil to disturb the quiet and the same little lambs who were little demons up and down the study halls, in some of the other classrooms, and on the campus.  She did it without a word, or so it seemed, and it was quite a topic of conversation and wonder among her pupils.  I once asked Dr. Grafton if he knew why it was that Miss Jennie could have such perfect order with never a letdown at any time, and his answer was that Miss Jennie had learned early in life, that quality of self-control, and that the rest was just a natural consequence.  Dr. Grafton said that it was a great truth, mentioned in the Bible and other great pieces of literary writings that, he that would govern others, must first learn to govern himself.


     An amusing story which was told to me when I first came under the influence of Miss Jennie McCallum, was that once a young boy who had never been compelled to do much of anything in his life, was given an order by Miss Jennie.  He asked, "Why?"  To which Miss Jennie replied, "Because I'm the biggest".  I understand that she never had to make that assertion again.  From then on, her pupils understood that she was the biggest, and to use a modern slang expression, Miss Jennie was "the most".


     In connection with the schools of Union Church, the first public school there  was established by Mr. Duncan McArn, ancestor of Mr. Duncan McArn, long time Sheriff and Peace Officer of Jefferson County.  He had previously built the school at Ebenezer.  The school of that period was vastly superior to many of our Junior Colleges of today.  Included in  the school curriculum was Latin, Greek, and the Sciences.  Some of the old text books are still in  the homes of the families living in Union Church today.  The first school was known as the "Union Academy", and it's graduates entered Oakland College, Zion Seminary, and a girl's Academy  in Madison County.  This was of course, prior to the War between the States.  After this the school there suffered somewhat the same fate as did other schools in many sections of the South.


     The first house that was ever built in the village of Union Church was built by John Watson and his wife Jane Smylie Watson, both born in Scotland and married in Scotland before coming to America.  This was a log house, and a part of it is built into the present home of Mrs. Mary Gillis Green.  It does not stand on it's original location, however, but was moved to it's present location when it was learned by Mrs. Green that it was about to be torn down to make way for another building.  John Watson was an elder in the first church and is buried in the old cemetery at Union Church.


     At the present time, the sunday school is composed mostly of sixth and seventh generation descendants of the first Scotch settlers of Ebenezer and Union Church.  The Superintendent is John Pritchard, whose mother was a Watson.  His grandfather and his uncle are also elders in the church.  Duncan McCormick is President of the Board of Deacons.  James Meter, of the Newman and McLaurin families attends.  The Cupid family, from the Buie line, the Wilkinsons, MCARN and Smylies all attend church and Sunday school at the old Presbyterian Church.  So does Mr. Paul Cato, he is from the family of Burn ell Cato, one of the first settlers.  The Galbreaths of Ebenezer's first families now attends Sunday school at Union Church.  As a matter of some interest the Galbreaths are descendants also of Elizabeth Crockett, David Crockett's sister.


     In conclusion, I would say that  if this paper has dwelt somewhat on the church and the schools of Union Church, it is because the history of the church and the history of the school, is also the history of the people and the history of the village.  It has been said that wherever you find the Scotch people come together and settle, you will find good homes, fine schools, and big churches.  This has certainly been true of the Scotch family settlement at Union Church.  

     It has been a great pleasure to work on this topic, and do indeed Thank the Natchez Historic Society for the opportunity you have given me to share my findings and thoughts with you.

 

Contributed by Andy Miller

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