Monday, August 1, 2016

Turkey Creek Branch in 1916

Readers of this blog have heard about Turkey Creek before. Back in 2009 I posted a short history of the branch. I won't rewrite it today, but I have revised a few details I got wrong the first time. You can read it here.

In the summer of 1916 there was a branch conference at Turkey Creek. President Henry Child continued his tour of the Middle Tennessee Conference.
"The following Sunday and Monday [July 30 & 31], Elders Dalton, Ward and Child met in branch conference with the saints of Turkey Creek. In all nine meetings were held. On Sunday three open-air meetings were held, at all of which large numbers were in attendance. Between meetings the members and friends served dinner [aka lunch] on the grounds."
The first 3 members were baptized in 1887, by the start of 1916 there were about 24 members. But even with so many members they were still meeting in borrowed buildings. In 1899 and in 1913 they were using a frame school house, and may have been using that building or another similar one in 1916. The 1913 conference was described as having too many attendees to fit into the school house. The following year in 1917 over 500 people attended the conference. By then it was moved to a "beautiful grove of pine trees" instead of the school house, no doubt to accommodate the crowd.

In the report of the branch conference in July 1916 there was no indication of the composition of the local leadership, but there were a couple of families that had been members for almost 20 years by 1916. There was continual growth, but it was never sustained since younger members moved away in search of work. It would not be until the 1920's however, that the size of the congregation would merit a chapel.  In time it became a dependent Sunday School as the congregations in larger nearby cities grew faster. They combined with members from Waverly to form a modern branch and more recently were rolled in with the Dixon Ward.

No comments: