Monday, December 7, 2009

May 25th-26th 1883 West Tennessee Conference

On May 25th the West Tennessee Conference was to have been held at Beech Creek, Wayne County, Tenn., arrangements having been made to hold the meeting in a mill shed belonging to Mr. Harold. On the night of May 24th some parties burned a school house where it was understood the Conference would be held. Mr. Harold fearing that his mill property would meet with a similar fate requested that the meeting be held elsewhere; therefore the Conference was postponed until May 26th, when it was held in a grove on the property of Mr. Grimes.

An effort was made by Parson Bennett, of the Baptist faith, to raise a mob to drive the Elders from the county; he boasted that 100 men had promised to assist him; he, with about twenty followers attended the meeting on the morning of the 26th, but no disturbance was made. There were nineteen Elders present from Utah; the Word of God was made plain, a large number of people being present at the meetings. The Conference was the means of making many friends. During this month some persecution was reported from different parts of the Mission; threats were made, but no violence was resorted to.

[Latter Day Saints southern star, Volume 1, page 138]


Bessie said...

This is interesting. I checked to see if John Morgan recorded these events in his journal. Through all of May 1883, his journal doesn't shine any light on this account. He is in Salt Lake from May 23-29, 1883. I'll keep a lookout for anything further.

BruceCrow said...

This was one of the first conferences when B. H. Roberts was filling in for John Morgan. Roberts had arrived in early May 1883.

Ardis Parshall said...

You have to wonder about the judgment of men who would burn a schoolhouse -- presumably built at local taxpayer expense, presumably inconveniencing children more than anyone else -- just to deprive a few Mormons of (what they thought was) their meeting hall.

Thanks for another glimpse into the past.

BruceCrow said...

I'm sure these people knew it was not really the Mormon meeting house. They just didn't care who they hurt.