Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Horace Talley's Baptism

[Last year at about this time I found an article about the first baptism from Cane Creek in 65 years. Below is the text of that article.]

First Convert Baptized in Cane Creek Since Massacre of Two Elders in 1884

By Elder Bruce E. Belnap
Nashville, Tenn.

On Sunday, August 10 1884, 65 years ago, at the home of Elder and Mrs. Conder of Cane Creek, Lewis County, Tenn. Sunday School services were just beginning under the direction of Elder Gibbs and Berry.

As the opening song was announced, a mob attacked from the front of the house and in a few minutes five persons lay dead including Elders Gibbs and Berry, Martin Conder, John Riley Hudson and the leader of the mob, Dave Hinson. Among those present were the Conders and their children, Rachel Ann, Visey Jane, Martin, and a half-brother John Riley Hudson.

UNTIL 1947 the missionary efforts of the church excluded Lewis County as a proselyting area though the church sent various men at times to visit the spot and to talk with the people. The house has since burned down but the little cemetery remains where a monument has been erected in honor of Martin Conder and John Riley Hudson.

During all these years there has been one friend living near the scene who has been willing to show visitors around and to relate the story. He is Horace Campbell Cooper Talley, son of Mrs. Talley who was present at the massacre. Horace Talley was not present but heard the shots from the Talley home. He remembers the day vividly although he is now 73 years old. He hasn’t heard a Latter-day Saint missionary preach since that time.

ABOUT A MONTH ago while visiting with the elders in Lawrenceburg, one of them suggested that we go and see Mr. Talley. I wasn’t much in favor at first, but all of a sudden I stood on my feet and was impressed to say “Let’s go!”

We arrived and found Mr. Talley and talked to him for about an hour. As we prepared to leave, he took me to one side and asked me when a conference would be held in the Hampshire Branch. He also wanted to know if a certain elder was still in Columbia. When I answered hi questions, he asked me if Elder Clifford, a spry 62 year-old missionary from Clearfield, Utah, could baptized him, I was pleasantly surprised, because our conversation had not been on the first principles of the Gospel.

So I told him “Yes” and we left knowing that this would be the first person from Cane Creek to ask for baptism since that fateful Sunday in 1884. It was also interesting that he should ask me for permission to be baptized because my grandfather, Hyrum Belnap, was a missionary in Cane Creek in 1880 and knew all these folk and baptized some of them.

All plans were and an Oct 2, Brother Talley was baptized by Elder Arch F Clifford and confirmed a member by me. Brother Talley wept for joy and we are sure that he has had a testimony of the Gospel for many years.

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