Saturday, July 12, 2008

Elders Gibbs & Berry Together?

In a missionary diary of Elder Davis H Elton, I found some entries that intrigued me. Dated Thursday Nov 23, 1899
"Expect to accomplish our trip tomorrow. Going to Retro, Hamilton Co. Tenn. first where we expect to meet Elders Gibbs and Berry."

On this trip, Elder Elton, accompanied by his mission president Christo Hyldahl, meet them and then split up, President Hyldahl going with Elder Gibbs and Elder Elton going with Elder Berry. He later refers to them by their initials W. H. Gibbs and J. W. Berry. Both Elders Gibbs and Berry appear several more time in Elder Elton's diary include notes indicating they exchanged letters.
The Elder John H. Gibbs who was killed in Lewis county Tennessee had only one son. He was named John Henry Gibbs after his father. Furthermore, Elder Elton knew both Elder Berry and Elder Gibbs and yet only mentioned Elder Berry being related to the events of Lewis county. Had Elder Gibbs also been connected, other than having a chance same last name, Elder Elton would have noted it in the interview. I also entertained the idea that perhaps Elder W. H. Gibbs was a nephew of J. H. Gibbs, but I was unable to locate any of the J. H. Gibbs relatives with the initials W. H.
I can only conclude that the legend the local missionary told me was based on the companionship of this Elders Gibbs and Berry. And while Elder Berry was the son of W. S. Berry, Elder Gibbs was not related to Elder J.H. Gibbs. So while it is a good story, it isn't true.


Larson Loonie Byne said...

I have a photo with a note
To the memory of Elders W.S. Berry and H.H Gibbs
Who were slain at Condors' Fram, Tenn Aug 10,1881


BruceCrow said...

Is it this photograph?
I have no idea as to the value, but I imagine it is probably worth somewhere between $10-$25 since it sold so well initially. But it might be worth more, if they did not survive. I know BYU has one and the Church History Library has one. I'd like one, but I'd have to research the current market value first.

Larson Loonie Byne said...

Would you like mine if DUP already has one? I just posted a copy of mine on my blog. Interesting history, but it still doesn't answer why it's in a big red velvet photo album from my grandfather's home.
One of the photos has Marineer Merrill on a piece of paper next to it and another has "Daphane" on the back, that's my grand FATHER's name. I have no idea what 99% of the photos are, and I'm handing if off to DUP this Friday.

BruceCrow said...

Certainly. Send me an email directly at and we can work out the particulars.