Monday, May 16, 2016

Historic Preservation

The other day a friend in Georgia posted a photo of an historic LDS church in his area that was really deteriorating. Honestly, I'm not sure I would be willing to walk inside. But it got me thinking about the condition of some of the historic LDS Churches in Tennessee.

Sadly most of them have been torn down. A few burned down. I was looking at a photo of one in Nashville that is now a multi million dollar home (photos of that one to come later). Probably the oldest still standing is in Northcutts Cove. Built in 1909, it was replaced by a stone church in the late 1940's. It too was replaced with a more modern structure in the early 80's that is still used today.

So this weekend I took a trip to Grundy County. It is only about an hour from my house. But it feels like it is so much further.
It was a gorgeous day. Perfect for photos. Also perfect for checking out the damage. You see, last year, there was a terrible ice storm in this part of Tennessee. And I heard that this chapel had sustained more damage than the owners were capable of repairing themselves. Efforts were made to raise money for repairs. I wanted to see how they went. Right away I didn't see anything. I compared it to to some photos I took on my last visit. It looked pretty good. There were big cracks in the steps, but those have been there for years.

I had heard that the owners keep it unlocked so people can visit and look around whenever they like. I guess it is easier than trying to run over there to open it up for every one who wants to stop by. So on this trip I went up to the from door and sure enough, it wasn't locked. Not that there is anything inside worth taking, but where I come from, everything is locked.

Immediately the ceiling lights jumped out at me. I can't help but think they are original. Others lights have been added along the side walls are obviously not original.
Stories are told about how the pews were hand made, so I had to take a picture of them too.
It is a simple building, with nothing more than the absolute essentials. A raised section at the far (east) end of the building. A podium, which looks newer than the rest, and a wood burning stove. It does get cold in Tennessee. Remember the ice storms?
I did find some holes in the wall, and in the ceiling. None of them appeared to go all the way through to the outside. It is an old building, so that doesn't surprise me. It does appear that someone has been doing enough work to keep the elements at bay. In 1979, thanks to efforts of the owners the building made it on the National Register of Historic places.

It is perhaps an example of preservation that is working. I know that the owners are descendants of the original converts who donated the land. Ownership reverted to them once the church replaced the church in the 40's. They should be commended for keeping it as it was. I can cite another church the was in a similar situation that did not survive. The owners tore it down to build a new home.  And another that is being used as a personal storage shed. But those are stories for another day.

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Missionary Report From East Tennessee - 1896

[Written from] Blount County
February 19th 1896

     Elder  Robert R. Judd, laboring in East Tennessee Conference, writes that "Elder J. B. Woodward of Wellsville, and myself have been laboring together in Polk County, Tennessee. We have been treated royally while traveling in this country, having the privilege of associating with the leading and wealthiest men of the county. We obtained access to any and all of the schoolhouses, and I think we have done much good in allaying prejudice.
     "There is one instance I will speak of to show that the hand of the Lord is not shortened that it cannot save, neither is His ear heavy that He cannot hear. We went to a place about sundown one night and asked if we could get entertainment for the night. The lady informed us that the gentleman was not at home, but that he never turned off anybody, and for us to come in, that he would be home soon. So being somewhat tired of our day's journey we accepted the invitation. A little after dark her husband came in. I told him our business and who we were, and that his good lady had partly promised us the privilege of staying all night. But he said: 'Gentlemen, I can't keep you, but you can stay down below about a quarter,' and as we could not talk him into the notion of keeping us we left and went to his good neighbor. Well when we got to this neighbor we were invited in and when we made known our business, and who we were, they commenced to throw up all of the old grudges that had ever been held against our church or people. With the help of the Lord we were able to answer their questions satisfactorily." The Elders stayed all night and spent the next day preaching the Gospel to the people, and stayed another night. "The next day we had a talk with the gentle  man who would not keep us, and he proffered to let us hold meeting in his house. So we accepted the proposition and gained many friends." Both families became friendly with the Elders, and manifested interest in the Gospel.
     "We have just closed this (Polk) County and we are on our way to Madison county, North Carolina, where we expect to open up a new field of labor."
     Elder J. R. Halliday, conference president, had been released on account of the illness of his mother. Elder J. H. Hart was appointed president in his place.

Robert R. Judd

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Name that Missionary.

Today I'm going the try a game.  The missionaries in the photo below have recently arrived in Chattanooga Tennessee to start their mission. The mission secretary sent this photo. It is dated July 31st 1895. But the labeling for the photo is somewhat lacking. There is a list of people in the photo, and the names are numbered, but no legend matching the names to the faces. I have added letters A-Q to the photo. The full names and areas of service were fleshed out using other sources.

If we are lucky, a relative has posted a photo online against which we can compare these images. But it is harder than it sounds. I've been working on the Tennessee ones and so far nothing conclusive although I do have a couple of ideas.
1. Shadrach Harris Jones of Provo Utah assigned to Mississippi
2. Chester Vinson Call of Chesterfield, Idaho assigned to South Carolina
3. Ernest Edward Brown of Salt Lake City, Utah assigned to Middle Tennessee
4. Daniel Jones Stewart of Adamsville, Utah assigned to Kentucky
5. William Douglas Dixon of Payson, Utah assigned to Virginia
6. Heber Ricks of Rexburg, Idaho assigned to North Alabama
7. Joseph Barnes Woodward of Wellsville, Utah assigned to East Tennessee
8. Levi Benjamin Pace of New Harmony, Utah assigned to Kentucky
12. Ezra Clark Robinson of Farmington, Utah assigned to North Carolina
13. John Cutcliff Bertoch of Pleasant Green, Utah assigned to East Tennessee
14. John Haigh Glenn of Salt Lake City, Utah assigned to South Carolina
15. George Barton Moore of Payson, Utah assigned to Mississippi
16. William Pardoe of Salt Lake City, Utah assigned to North Alabama
17. George Augustus Huntington of Center Ward, Utah assigned to Middle Tennessee

Also in the photo, but who had not newly arrived to the mission were...
9. George Henry Horne working in the mission office
10. Prest. Elias S. Kimball who is the mission president
11. David C. Hubbard working in the mission office

Missing from the photo, but who arrived with the other missionaries are...
18. Adam Yancey of Chesterfield, Idaho assigned to Texas
19. Lamoni Tolman of Chesterfield, Idaho assigned to Texas
Since both went to Texas, I am guessing they had to leave before the photograph was taken. Extra credit for anyone who can find a photo of each of them. Bonus points for anyone who can find a photo of these two together.

I'll fill in one to get us started. I know, I took the easy one.
B. - 4. Daniel Jones Stewart (ht Cameron)
C. -  1. Shadrach Harris Jones (ht Dustin)
E. - 6. Heber Ricks  (ht Cameron)
F. - 2. Chester Vinson Call (ht Cameron)
G. - 7. Joseph Barnes Woodward (thanks to the Woodward Family)
H. - 8. Levi Benjamin Pace (ht Cameron)
I. - 13. John Cutcliff Bertoch (ht Cameron)
J. - 9. George Henry Horne (ht Whizzbang)
K. - 14. John Haigh Glenn (ht Cameron)
L.  - 10. Elias S. Kimball
N. - 11. David C. Hubbard
O. - 16. William Pardoe
P. - 15. George Barton Moore (ht Shantel)
Q. - 17. George Augustus Huntington (thanks to the Huntington Family)