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Shilo Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery
Message from Steve Elliot. Easter Sunday, 2002--God Bless You One and All!
Little did I know that I was kicking the tip of an iceberg instead of a pebble in the middle of a Henry County dirt road when I wrote the following post just a few days ago. I have been getting messages on my private e-mail address as well as through the Message Boards and I thank each an every person who has written me a post of support for such a project most sincerely. If such a project is to succeed from a group of historians from all parts of the country, then we know that the burden of the work is to be done by the "Home Team"--those people who live in Henry County are within a reasonable drive to Henry County to attend work days when they are needed IF the project is accepted by people that I know personally beginning with the land owner, the Honorable Holt Stokes, Henry County Commissioner who was just as shocked as was you and I when he realized that the Shilo Primitive Baptist Cemetery MIGHT BE in a portion of his plowed field, a portion that was cleared up for cultivation when Mr. Stokes had the land rented out to a neighbor. I have known Holt Stokes all of my life, his mother, Linnie Jane Stokes who wrote the book, "The Bend of the Abbie" that Homer T. Jones has suggested we all read, and I agree, Mr. Stokes' wife, children, mother-in-law, just the entire family have been friends of my Clan Elliott for generations. From all of the support that has been sent my way, I want to be realistic for a moment and see what we can do to actually see this happen. If these things are not met, then the project is a "no show."
1) I am collecting a list of persons who have said they will give their support to the project and have had time to contact some of them. To give support for this project, one must without hesitation or purpose of invasion, send a written post to my e-mail address pledging at the bare minimum $100.00 to the project to be asked for at a later date when the project has enough pledges to be successful. Money talks, BS walks!
2) Along with your pledge, send a paragraph or two on how you would like to see the end result. Is there a fence around the cemetery and what kind? Are the grave markers form a memorial company or of native stone? Do we put a granite marker with the names of the church members on it so all will know of our reason of remberance of this place? In other words, describe to me what you would like to see at the spot along with the historic marker that costs $1,000.00, then to fulfill the programs incidentals set up by the Historic Chattahoochee Historical Commission, we MUST have a dedication ceremony, an unveiling, programs for the event, promotion through media and all other avenues of getting out information.
3) If you are a "long distance supporter", will you heed the advice of the "Home Team" who knows the lay of the land, knows the land itself, knows the people of the Henry County of 2002 and will accept the decisions of the "Home Team" unless there is a glaring mistake you see being made which should be discussed.
4) Are you willing to have the patience it takes to make approximately $2,000 to $3,000 appear from thin air over the next few months to do the project the right way, leaving something of low maintenance and high visibility that will assure for the next many generations that the members of Old Shilo will be remembered tastefully, somberly, tactfully, grandiosely as is needed in Henry County, and an area that demands the respect of the people who stop there.
These are just a few of the questions that come from the top of my mind as we think about doing a RootsWeb physical project, which may be a one of a kind or first time event when the people of cyberspace create a material memorial on earth to memorialize the members of Shilo Primitive Baptist Church in this modern age over 100 years after it ceased to exist.
I have been in touch with the persons who would really be doing the "work" on the project and they are looking for "commitment" in financial support, aesthetic design, and through work days for those near enough to come and work on the actual site.
After you have re-read my original post, then I encourage each of you who are interested in planting your feet and dieing with you face toward the enemy to drop me a post and I will drop you a fact sheet in return. Then we will keep everyone abreast of the progress on the "resurrection" of Old Shilo as we begin our quest this Easter Sunday, 2002.
Very Henry Countily Yours, Steve Elliott
Many have been the paths I've traveled since my post in 1998 concerning the Armstrong's and their burials. I did not know at that time that the men are in the Old Union Cemetery and marked with a new simple granite stone in the cemetery. I was not aware of the Shilo Primitive Baptist Church at that time. Better said, I knew it was there, I didn't know or remember its name. As a boy growing up in Haleburg, Henry County, beginning at age 9 years old, the dominant man in my life was my grandfather, John Jason "Buck" Elliott (1892-1975). He too was reared largely by his grandfather, Davis Andrew Jackson "Jack" Elliott (1833-1913). We were both, my grandfather and I, orphaned by father's occupied full time in making a living for the family. So I had a very "old soul upbringing" with my days spent with "Daddy Buck." At age 11, out of 16 grandchildren, I became his driver and valet and manservant, a task that was then a labor of love and now a part of my life rich with memories of our trips around the southeast corner of Henry County. He was born in a double pen log house on the Old Columbia to Abbeville Road in the Camp Springs Community on the Elliott Place that was settled by his great-grandfather James "Jim" Elliott in 1855. Today  my cousins are now preparing the same land for the 147th crop on the Elliott Place.
Each Friday, barring very few, my Daddy Buck and I attended the livestock auction at the Henry County Livestock Auction Barn on the Dothan Road in Abbeville in the Summertime. Daddy Buck met a collection of his old friends there, all of them nearly 80 years old, if I had only sat there and listened more! On our trip to Abbeville, we could have gone directly to Abbeville on Alabama Highway 95 (The George H. Grimsley Highway) but in those days in the 1960s, the 18-wheeler log trucks were one right after the other! So we cut across and went to Abbeville on the Old Columbia to Abbeville Road build circa 1823 by the Jackson Brothers, Daniel and Matthew. At every bend of the road, every old home place, Daddy Buck had a story to tell and time to tell it for he did not want to go any faster than 30 miles an hour TOPS! As we would head north on Henry County Road 53, just north of the Abbie Creek and above the home of Henry County Commissioner Holt Stokes, Daddy Buck would point out where there was once a church when he was a boy. This was the old Shilo Primitive Baptist Church I have learned as an adult where Elder Martian Armstrong and son Moses were active. They used the Old Union Cemetery but I have learned in the past couple of weeks by a very reliable historian of Henry County that I shall not name, that there was a cemetery at old Shilo Primitive Baptist Church. When I inquired where it was, I was informed that it is being plowed over by Henry County Commissioner Holt Stokes and is in a wheat field now. Sure enough, on a trip last week I saw it with my own eyes. Two members of Shilo were Austin and Nancy Windsor. Their daughter, Nancy Windsor, married Wiley Glover and had two sons, John Pinkstun "Pink" Glover and Eli Frank Glover. J. P. Glover and his wife, Nancy Day, daughter of Henry and Bethany Day, were Daddy Buck's Grandparents on his mother's side. The couple had six girls and J. P. Glover's brother Eli Frank Glover had six boys! My great-grandmother, Daddy Buck's mother, was Elder Ada "Ella" Glover wife of John Elbert Elliott, II. This is why Daddy Buck remembered the church because his grandparents attended church there and are now being plowed over by the Honorable Holt Stokes a member of the Henry County Commission for nearly 20 years now. Since the Shilo Primitive Baptist Church had a large congregation until it finally closed in 1891, there are possibly many graves being plowed over. In fact, Martin and Moses Armstrong may be there since they were so hard to locate some three years ago. I am open to any positive protocol someone can offer as a suggestion to go visit with Commissioner Holt Stokes, now running for his umpteenth term in office, never to run again each time, to stop plowing over the cemetery and allow those of us who can use "diving rods" to discover graves and fence off the Shilo Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery and perhaps get a metal Historic Marker from the Historic Chattahoochee Commission. A concerned group would have to raise over $1,000.00 to buy the marker $974.00 (matched by the HCC) plus program printing and other incidentals for the day of the unveiling and dedication of the marker.
I have done this since November to place a marker on the old Franklin to Columbia Road (Old River Road) at the lost Henry County town of "Zornville" settled by my great-grandfather Confederate Capt. Dennis Harrison Zorn who had a large home, grist mill, cotton gin, mercantile, orchards, vineyards, bee hives in a long shed, cheese processing plant, row crops on 1,200 acres of land for grain crops, a landing on the Chattahoochee River at the Mouth of Zorn's Branch where he shipped his "cash cow" operating the only Federally monitored bonded and branded whiskey distillery on the banks of the Zorn's Branch as well as a post office (1883-1905). He shipped the whiskey in barrels on barges pushed by steamboats with as many as four barges. There is a great need for more markers in South Henry County that were not placed during the days of the now defunct Henry County Historical Society.
Back to the Shilo Cemetery, Mr. Stokes's mother, Mrs. Linnie Jane Herring Stokes, was a historian and wrote a book of her memories of life in "The Bend of the Abbie" as the area around "Graceville", "Little Rock", and "Doswell" all post offices in the area of Shilo Primitive Baptist Church, Old and New Union Grove Freewill Baptist Churches as well as Bodiford's Mill, the Mack Etheridge Store, and McDoogle's Bridge over the Abbie Creek at Little Rock.
A partial list of church members is: February 24, 1844: Arnett Arnold, Charles Messer, James Givens Martin Armstrong, Coraline Himby, Matilda Messer, Mary Arnold, Margaret Arnold, Winnifred Givens, and Elder John W. Pellum (Pelham) Pastor.
Members accepted in 1844: John A. Hood, Nancy Hood, Nathan Smith, Ferdon Miller, Julie Ann Miller, Salley Messer, Jese Messer, Irene Armstrong, Elizabeth Burnett, & Elizabeth Paulk. Martian Armstrong and A. Arnold were ordained deacons.
November 19, 1844: Elder P. H. Edwards as pastor and Moses Armstrong as Clerk. John Miller joined March 15, 1845 and V. M. Pellum and Nancy Pellum received by letter on May 17, 1845. More new members: Grace Burnett, Peter Messer, Susanna Messer, Mary Ball, Elder Ambrose Pelham, Nancy Pelham, Emilia Horn, Jane M. Paulk, Willis Lock, Nancy Lock, William Melton, Elizabeth Messer, Louisa Dunn, Jane Rico, Lucretia Smith, Morris Ronie (Roney).
In 1847: Elder U. M. Pellum, pastor
In 1848, new members: Abrigal Hughes, Ward Jackson, Mary Jackson, Thomas Osteen (Austin), Robert Smith, Joseph S. Lock, Robert Whitehead, H. H. Lock, I. W. Pelham, James Kirkland, Needham Smith, Nancy Whitehead, John Creamer, Matthew Whitehead, Hugh Ronie (Roney), Josiah Langley, James Smith, James Lock, Sally Smith, Rebcca Smith, Mary Whitehead, Susana Whitehead.
Skipping to after the War Between the States: Thomas Gray, E. Carter, and M. Armstrong all served as Moderator but Elisha Nordan was clerk. Bro. T. H. Medley called as Moderator and alternated with Elder L. W. Stuckey, Elder D. H. Pellum, and W. H. Bodiford. Members: J. Messer, J. Monk, M. T. Bell, J. H. Culpepper, A. M. Nance, Jefferson Clemmons, Davis Hutto, J. C. Culpepper, R. W. Montgomery (later early merchant in Halesburg and post master), and T. C. McClenny.
General list with no dates: Natilia Messer, Irwin Miller, Patience Miller, Sally Arnold, Mary Arnold, Nancy Hood, Austin Windsor, Mary Windsor, Martin Armstrong, Charley Stewart, Elizabeth Stewart, William McCoy, Elisha Nordan, Sarahann Nordan, Chesley B. Moore, Albenie Moore, Sarah Dykes, Madison Chancey, Arrina Clemmons, Jane Givens, A. Dyess, Nancy Wyatt, Jane Wolf, Mary Johnson, Nancy Ethridge, Jese Messer, Susan Messer, Margaret Messer, John J. Givens, Elizabeth Givens, William Arnold, Elizabeth Arnold, John A. Hood, Sarah Armstrong, Hew (Hugh) Ronie (Roney), Nancy Ronie (Roney) (Roneys settled west of Brown's Crossroads in 1835 from Edgefield District, South Carolina with the Spann Family), Jane Bodiford, Eliza Bodiford, Francis McCoy, Penelope McCoy, William P. Armstrong, Mary Givens, Lucinda Lock, Harrod Arnold, W. H. Bodiford, Margaret Southerlin, Thomas Southerlin, Sarah Whitehead, Penna Clemmons, Dewillea Clemmons (Clemmons may be for Clements), William Givens, Sarah Clemmons, Drucilla J. Messer, John E. Clemmons, Nancy H. Arnold, John M. Pellum, Martha H. Miller, Martha Ann Armstrong, Thomas Huston (Houston), Lanty Edwards, Tom Windsor, Maryann Chancey, A. M. Nowell, Elizabeth D. Nowell, Caroline E. L. Albritton, John H.Culpepper, Martha G. Summerford, Delilsha Ann Culpepper, G. Summerford, Nancy Etheridge, Carrie Gissendanneer, John A. Jones, Joseph Messer and wife, Jefferson Clemmons, J. C. Culpepper, John Ward, Sarah E. Whitehead, Elizabeth Carter, A. Sias, and Nancy Ronie (Roney).
|This Page was Created February 2008 | Last Modified Friday, 28-Oct-2011 23:15:00 EDT|
Sue Webb, County Coordinator