Monday, January 16, 2017

Tennessee Baptisms in 1917

Here we go again with a new year and new set of baptisms from 100 years ago. As before I'll be trying to tease out information about the people behind the names. As I find details I'll be sharing them on my blog or on Twitter. Feel free to follow me there by following the link on the left sidebar.

I have been able to identify 87 baptisms in Tennessee during 1917. Below is a map of them by county. On the left side of the map are the baptisms in the Middle Tennessee Conference, and on the right are the East Tennessee Conference. A few areas stand out.

There were five baptisms in Shelby county (left bottom) where we have the member-led Memphis Branch. There were 10 in Humphreys county (center left) where the Turkey Creek Branch meets. The branch is at the north end of the county so having 7 baptisms from neighboring Houston county doesn't surprise me. There were also 10 baptisms in Putnam county with a few in neighboring Smith (4) and Overton (5) counties too. There wasn't a branch in that area, as far as I can tell, at least not yet. Cocke county (on the right center. Pronounced like Coke) had 9, most from a single large family. Hamilton county (bottom right) had 5, but only one was in Chattanooga and that was the mission president's daughter. The other 4 were at Soddy at the other (north) end of the county where a branch was organized.

What doesn't stand out? Nashville had no baptisms. There weren't many members there in 1917, despite nearly constant efforts so there wasn't a branch at the time. Grundy County had a large branch at Hurricane, but no baptisms for the year. Knoxville had a branch, and 1 baptism. Sweetgum in Van Buren county had a branch and only 1 baptism. Maury county had a branch, and only 1 baptism. Robertson county had a branch and only 1 baptism.

Of the 87 baptisms 32 were under 18 years old. Of those, 14 were for 8 year old children. To use a modern standard they would be considered children of record baptisms, instead of convert baptisms. Many of the other minor aged baptisms would functionally fall into the same category since they may have not been baptized at age 8 because they had to wait until a missionary came around to perform the baptism.

As you might expect in a time when many baptisms were still held in the open air, almost none of them happened during the winter.

Heather Ora Featherston31-Mar-17
Clarence Monroe Stone2-Apr-17
Flora H Stone2-Apr-17
Tilly L Stone2-Apr-17
Jesse L Emby9-Apr-17
Ella Featherston22-Apr-17
Ruby R Mitchell24-Apr-17
Corda N Williamson24-Apr-17
Thomas Coggins29-Apr-17
Charles M Ellison29-Apr-17
Thomas L Frazier29-Apr-17
Dossie Priest30-Apr-17
Della Coggins30-Apr-17
Cordelia Coggins30-Apr-17
Ellen C Ellison30-Apr-17
Orva Woolbright14-May-17
Polley E Hughes20-May-17
Minnie Hughes20-May-17
Mary C Seiber22-May-17
James Wade Nichols24-May-17
Jane Arthy Bevenue26-May-17
Nash N Fuller2-Jun-17
Charlie E Abney3-Jun-17
Cara M Butler3-Jun-17
Charlie T Gilpatrick3-Jun-17
Flora L Gilpatrick3-Jun-17
Carl W Stone9-Jun-17
Josephine Thompson10-Jun-17
William R Conner11-Jun-17
Fred L Amonett11-Jun-17
Josephine Callis15-Jun-17
Alice Geoffy18-Jun-17
Isaac M Robinson29-Jun-17
Franklin Murray4-Jul-17
Effie O Booker8-Jul-17
Soffie I Booker8-Jul-17
Melvin L Booker8-Jul-17
Beatrice O Booker8-Jul-17
Luther H Clemons12-Jul-17
Bertha M Lindsey12-Jul-17
John I Lindsey12-Jul-17
Oscar Gorden Stone17-Jul-17
Harris Haager Carter23-Jul-17
Cleveland Bigham28-Jul-17
Richard Andrew Bigham28-Jul-17
Albert Harris Durham28-Jul-17
Eva Leaner Durham28-Jul-17
Mary Bell Barron29-Jul-17
John Clinton Smith29-Jul-17
John M Wilson1-Aug-17
Pernancy Catherine Dunn5-Aug-17
Lonnie Mae Heaton6-Aug-17
Hattie Jentry10-Aug-17
Lona A Parham10-Aug-17
Louis C Parham10-Aug-17
George S Starkey12-Aug-17
Mary Bryant Ausbrooks13-Aug-17
Claude Earl Stamper16-Aug-17
Jesse Lou Bigham19-Aug-17
Maggie A Bigham19-Aug-17
Carroll Sampson Busby21-Aug-17
Sophia Isabelle Busby21-Aug-17
Mallie Busby21-Aug-17
Elsie Erma Busby21-Aug-17
Daisy D Box22-Aug-17
Mary Jane Bigham23-Aug-17
Maggie Ida Hill29-Aug-17
Mandy Alice Holt31-Aug-17
Sarah L Hailey31-Aug-17
Lillie M Robinson2-Sep-17
Fleeder Willhelm2-Sep-17
Mattie Lousia Gray9-Sep-17
Maude Ethel Gray9-Sep-17
Paul A Ragan18-Sep-17
Eliza L James23-Sep-17
Nancy E Shannan23-Sep-17
Jady D Kirby Jr 23-Sep-17
Bernard Talley25-Sep-17
Callie N Talley25-Sep-17
Glen W Williams25-Sep-17
Nancy E Clemons5-Oct-17
Allie V Clemons5-Oct-17
William S Clemons5-Oct-17
Rachel Lee Gleason15-Oct-17
Anna Price Caur18-Nov-17
John Harrison Caur18-Nov-17
Nina M Ragan9-Dec-17

Monday, January 9, 2017

News from Tennessee Conferences 9 Jan 1917

A few notes about exact dates, or the lack thereof. Elder James Baron and Alma Pace were released on 8 Dec 1916, and both made it back to Salt Lake City by Decemebr 16th. Elder Flake was appointed President of the East Tennessee Conference on 11 Dec 1916.  The exact date Elders Willis and Horsley were temporarily directed to Chattanooga was not recorded, but such moves for the winter were not unusual especially considering Chattanooga was within the East Tennessee Conference area. Similar moves to the city were going on in Middle Tennessee.

The record of the two baptisms, Sister Stone and Sister Slaughter, are not available. It appears that they have been lost. Sister Stone was probably Mary Epaley Stone. Her husband was baptized in 1915 and several children were baptized in 1917. The Stone family lived in Humphreys county. Sister Slaughter has evaded all my efforts at detection. I am guess since she was baptized on the same day by the same missionary pair, that she lived near the same place. Although I don't have an exact date, based on other events in these reports, I would guess they were baptized in early December. That would mean that shortly after baptizing the two sisters, Wilson and Rudd were transfered from Humphreys county to Nashville.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Middle & East Tennessee Conferences - 1917

In 1917 the Middle Tennessee Conference covered most of Tennessee west of the Cumberland Plateau, including Nashville and Memphis. The East Tennessee Conference included Knoxville, Johnson City and technically Chattanooga.

There was no longer a West Tennessee Conference. Persistent violence had led to it being dissolved quietly several years earlier. The missionaries and the areas they covered were split up between the other surrounding conferences. There was also a Southwest Tennessee Conference but it too was dissolved/absorbed into the Middle Tennessee Conference. After the dissolution, missionaries from neighboring states would sometimes visit, Mississippi being the principle contributor due to the proximity of Memphis. With the formation of the Middle States mission in 1902 and the inclusion of Tennessee in that new mission, the pieces of west Tennessee were rolled into the already functioning Middle Tennessee Conference.

The East Tennessee conference included several counties in western North Carolina. Again it was the formation the Middle States mission that necessitated changing the conference boundaries, chaaging the East Tennessee Conference so that it just included east Tennessee. Accompanying those changes was the redefinition of the separation between Middle Tennessee and East Tennessee. Half a dozen counties, all on the Cumberland Plateau, we moved to the eastern conference. The final result is what you see above.

The two portions technically covered the entire state, but with one outlier: Chattanooga. In 1917 that city served as the mission headquarters. The office staff resided there nearly full time. The staff would proselyte as their other duties would permit. Sometimes they would accompany the president (Charles Callis in 1917) as he toured the mission. They would take the opportunity the preach, tract or street contact with the missionaries in the areas they visited. Other times they would stay in Chattanooga and proselyte there. How much did they proselyte? Well, in 1917, of the 5 baptisms in Hamilton county, only one was in Chattanooga. That was Josephine Callis, the 8 year old daughter of Charles and Grace Callis.

In all of 1917 I have identified 48 missionaries there were assigned to Tennessee, not counting the Mission President. From this I can tell pretty quickly that the Middle Tenn Conf had between 9 & 14 missionaries throughout the year. East Tenn had between 8 & 11, slightly smaller but still comparable. The mission office had far fewer, operation with as few as 3, being wholy different in purpose and function.
For a better view click on the image

Note that this chart only shows the time when the missionary was assigned to Tennessee. While many would spend their entire mission in one Conference, a few moved between conferences and in some cases only appear on this chart for a few weeks. One missionary, Nellie Rindlisbacher, moved from Middle Tennessee to East Tennessee during 1917, and so shows up on this chart twice.

So did I miss anyone? If so, raise your hand...

For the purposes of search-ability I'll include the missionaries' names in text below.

Missionary Conference
Henry Child Midd Tenn
Mabel Jane Pettit Midd Tenn
Nellie Rindlisbacher Midd Tenn
Harvey Dalton Midd Tenn
Thomas Wilson Midd Tenn
Murl Hunter Gibson Midd Tenn
George W Barrus Midd Tenn
Nels Ursel Anderson Midd Tenn
Francis VaNoy Smith Midd Tenn
Joseph Earl Burrup Midd Tenn
Silas Whitney Ward Midd Tenn
Melvin John Rudd Midd Tenn
Joseph F Ray Midd Tenn
James Albert Muir Midd Tenn
George Earl Baldwin Midd Tenn
Samuel L Smith Midd Tenn
Perry Walker Smith Midd Tenn
Erin Lafayette Tolman Midd Tenn
Estella Grace Tolman Midd Tenn
Judson L Tolman East Tenn
Hyrum Earnest Leavitt East Tenn
Walter Gordon Willis East Tenn
Newell Jensen Horsley East Tenn
Lewis George Winter East Tenn
Charles L Flake Jr East Tenn
Loran J Blain East Tenn
Ernest Frederick Zaugg East Tenn
Joseph Franklin Jensen East Tenn
Ernest Langston East Tenn
Susie May Porritt East Tenn
Nellie Rindlisbacher East Tenn
Thomas Charles Sutton East Tenn
Charles Rich Clark East Tenn
Edmund Lionel LeCheminant East Tenn
Miles Shirley Winder East Tenn
Ellen Lavina Maxwell East Tenn
Alonzo Harmon Price Chattanooga
Otto Marti Chattanooga
Brigham Roche Wheeler Chattanooga
Anna Elizabeth Forslund Chattanooga
Joseph Soelberg Chattanooga
Ray Temple Cutler Chattanooga
Odessa E Allred Chattanooga
William Enser Chattanooga
Alice Yancey Chattanooga
Sadie Irene Crouch Chattanooga
Charles Franklin Steele Chattanooga
William Dalby Anderson Chattanooga