Monday, May 20, 2013

The Wealthiest Man in Your Community - Elder Cullimore, Part 7

A continuation of Elder Cullimore's mission Recollections...

My companion, Elder Larsen, had been quite ill for a couple of weeks so we went to Nashville, our mission headquarters, so he could get medical care.  While there, the Conference President assigned me to labor with Elder J. S. Farrell.[1]  Our assignment was to visit saints in a number of the eastern counties of Tennessee before Elder Farrell was released to go home.

Our first stop was at George Gwyn's[2] at [Smyrna], Tennessee.  We found a direct fulfillment of a promise in the behalf of Brother Gwyn, made by B. H. Roberts while doing missionary work a few years earlier.  Elder B. H. Roberts had held a meeting in a school house in [Smyrna]; and after the meeting was over, everyone left and Elder Roberts was left alone.  A Mr. George Gwyn, a young man very poor and living in a one-room house, could not stand to see the preacher left alone; and he went back to ask him to go home with him.  He told Elder Roberts of his conditions at home and what he had, but said if he could put up with it he was welcome to come home with him.  Elder Roberts went with Mr. Gwyn. Mrs. Gwyn was rather put out at her husband's bringing the preacher home to their one room home.  They divided the bedding, putting part of it on the floor; then they invited Elder Roberts to take his choice of beds.  Mrs. Gwyn went outside while Elder Roberts went to bed; then she came in, blew out the lights and went to bed.

When they arose in the morning, Elder Roberts said to Mr. Gwyn, "You are now one of the poorest young men in [Smyrna].  I promise you that the Lord will bless you for what you have done, and I promise you in the Name of the Lord that you will live to be the wealthiest man in your community."

At our visit with him he surely was by far the wealthiest man in the community, and a good Latter-day Saint.

[1] Possibly James S. Ferrell of Alpine, Utah.

[2] George Washington Gwyn (1855-1917) was baptized on 19 April 1895 (His wife and several of his children were baptized in 1897) and in December of 1898 he and his wife Virginia "Jennie" Richardson Hager along with their youngest daughter (Fannie May Gwyn - age 7), made the trip to Utah  where they were family sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. George Gwyn was a farmer and, according to the 1900 census, the Gwyn family owned their farm free and clear, and had enough money to send (at least) his three youngest to school. (next week a letter from George Gwyn to the LDS Southern Star)

It is possible that this young man may have met B H Roberts in Wilson County, where Gwynn's family was from and where Roberts was actually preaching at the time Gwynn was a young man. Of course, this is Elder Cullimore's recollection and as such certainly isn't a primary source. Cullimore even misspelled Smyrna as Smyma. 


Michael and LeeAnn Taylor said...

Would you happen to know in what part of Smyrna his farm was located?

BruceCrow said...

Michael, good to hear from you again.

I'm not sure where in Smyrna he was. The journals are not specific. The Census may indicate a neighborhood, but I've never tried to track it down that way. There might be land records that would indicate where his property was.

Michael and LeeAnn Taylor said...

Since I live in Smyrna, I am going to have to do some investigating. This story has got me interested.

BruceCrow said...

Excellent. Let me know what you find. There is also a Farm Schedule with the census that might give you some clues too. Good luck.