Monday, December 7, 2015

A Simple Christmas Invitation

As Christmas draws near I will be sharing a few Christmas related events from Tennessee Mormons. Today's is a from a missionary letter and includes a brief description of how they spent their Christmas away from home in 1895.

"As Christmas was drawing nigh, my companion and I received a letter from Mr. G[eorge] K. Smith, who was investigating the Gospel, requesting that we come and spend Christmas holidays with himself and family. We accepted the invitation and on arriving found the folks anxious to see us. While there we had many satisfactory gospel conversations. Mr. Smith is a second cousin to Elder [William S.] Berry who was assassinated in Louis [Lewis] county in 1884."

Excerpt from a letter from Elder Francis Bent Rolfson written at Silver Hill, Rutherford County, Tennessee on April 14 1896.

George K Smith (1850-1930)
Born in Wilson county where Elder Berry's maternal cousins lived, George was living in Gallatin, Sumner county when he invited Elder Rolfson and his companion (Robert George Archibald) to join them for Christmas. At the time he was married to Johnetta Crenshaw (1853-1905), this being her second marriage. George and Johnetta had two children of their own; a boy named Oscar V. Smith (age 9) and a girl name Etta J. Smith (age 6). They attended the local Methodist Church. Despite their "anxiousness" to see the missionaries, there is no indication any of them joined the LDS Church.

Francis Bent Rolfson (1872-1941)
Born in American Fork, Utah, he spent most of his youth on on his father's farm but was able to go to school as well, spending three winters (1890-1893) at Brigham Young Academy. In 1894 he was called on a mission to the Southern States where he served in the Middle Tennessee Conference. After his mission he married Emily Caroline Phillips (1875-1973) and the two were called to settle in Alberta, Canada. They eventually made their home in the newly formed town of Raymond.

No comments: