Trip to Old Blount
Submitted by Robin Sterling
The Southern Democrat,
2 May 1912
Trip To Old Blount
By S.A. Ellis, Birmingham, Ala.
My three days outing in Blount will long be remembered for the many pleasant hand-shakes and greetings from my old school mates, school children and relatives. On Friday, May 17th, I attended the family reunion of the Crump family at the old homestead of the well-known and sweetly remembered Rev. Wm. N. Crump, who long ago passed over the river, leaving a large following of sons, whose sturdy manhood, strong intellects and high christian character are beautiful copies of their distinguished father. Three daughters also were left whose queenly lives bear aloft the standard of purity erected in the old christian home.
This reunion was a special one in honor of the Rev. W.G.H. Crump, whom we love to call "Gabe," as he is so well known by his old friends by that name. Gabe has just returned from Texas to which state he moved twenty years ago. This was Gabe's birthday which marked his 68th "milepost" on life's journey. Not all his family, brothers, sisters, brother-in-law (of whom I am pleased to be one) and sisters-in-law could attend. But a large number of the friends and relatives were there to add pleasure and to get pleasure out of the greeting and the eating. Don't ask me to describe the bountiful dinner, for I just can't. Just supply all the adjectives usually applied to a great feast and then let your imagination work, and you've got it—I mean you've got the description, but not the dinner.
The day was spent recounting the events of the past, some sad, some pleasant, other humorous. I must not fail to mention the presence, too, of Brother Reuben J. Wilson, who over thirty years ago served on the Murphree's Valley charge, and who is dearly beloved by the people of that famous old valley.
Among the sad things recounted was the recital of the drowning of my only dear brother, John W. Ellis, while seining in the river near this old home in June, 1881. The dear man sank in the presence of some forty witnesses, cramping to death before he could be reached. His widow, Mrs. Nannie Crump Ellis, still living there, reared a noble son and daughter who walk in the footsteps of their saintly ancestors. Hearts grew tender and tears welled up as this and more recent bereavements were recited. About four years ago Brother Gabe lost his dear companion, Lena Fendley Crump, in Texas, and only a few weeks ago his sister, Sallie, wife of Rev. Thomas B. Deaver, passed away at Chepultepec in a week after her husband's death. Here we had forcibly brought before us the sweet and bitter cups of life. So it is, and must be to the end, when the bitter will all pass away, thank God.
On Saturday morning we joined a large concourse of people making for Remlap to memorial services at the old Hanover church. You will note that the station called Remlap is the name Palmer spelled backward. It was named in honor of Uncle James Palmer, an honored citizen of this place and brother to Major Solomon Palmer, who was widely known throughout the South as an educator, and who fell in battle for the uplift of southern young ladies at the East Lake Athenaeum, which he founded after retiring from the office of State Superintendent. At this meeting were hundreds of descendants of the Palmers, Crumps, Hendricks, Cowdens, Murphrees and other original settlers of this valley, to pay respects to the departed loved ones by floral decorations.
Brother Gabe preached the memorial sermon, instead of Rev. Coger Little, a Presiding Elder from the Texas conference, who was scheduled to preach, but failed to reach there. Brother Little is also a product of Murphree's Valley society and a former pupil of brother Crump, who taught school at this place in his young manhood. Brother Crump handed us out a strong gospel sermon after the good old style, slight modifying his former position on the subject of 'total depravity of man." It was a great occasion, and a spiritual feast as well plainly manifested in the audience. Services closed, then the dinner. Oh! Hush! It was all there, so were we.
Then on to Oneonta, my old home, Saturday evening. Nothing out of the ordinary here but more good times with old friends. My family and I stopped with my niece, Mrs. Judge Davidson, and brother-in-law, W.F. Fendley. I attended Sunday school in the Methodist church Sunday morning where Brother Minet Self has a fine school well managed and well taught. He extended the courtesy of allowing me to address the school for a short while, which I gladly accepted. All in all, we had a good time.