Recently I was speaking with a missionary, Elder Miller, who in May of 2011 was serving in Pikesville, Bledsoe County, Tennessee. Elder Miller spoke excitedly about his time there, in part because of what the people of Pikesville told him. According to the members he met there, sixty years earlier, a couple of LDS missionaries were chased out of Pikeville. Elder Miller and his companion were the first to return since.
I haven’t had any luck confirming Elder Miller’s story, but I find it somehow compelling. It is both real and not quite right at the same time. Real because it sounds like a story long time members would love to tell. I know, I've many. But it is unlikely that exactly sixty years have passed by. That and I find it hard to believe that no missionaries came through in sixty years. Like most of these stories I have come across, the details are usually wrong. The sense and feeling, however, were usually true.
Pikesville and the rest of Bledsoe County are part of the Crossville Ward. Both appear only occasionally in the historical record. In 1896, R. G Archibald and S.C. Barrell were proselytizing in Bledsoe, Sequatchie, Marion, and Grundy Counties. The two preached for five months, and baptized nine people, leaving only when the climate changed to winter. Elder Archibald wrote home a letter admitting that winter on the cumberland plateau was too harsh for missionary work. He moved on to Coffee County where he worked with Elder W. J. Sloan. His companion, Elder Barrell, went to Rutherford County where he worked with Elder Larson.
A few years later, Elder J. W. Berry, a son of William Berry, was serving in Bledsoe County. But I found nothing after that in my regular sources. Even the history of the Crossville Ward, at least the copy I have, does not desribe any events in Pikesville at all, let alone any that could be interpreted as a mobbing.
1 month ago