Monday, February 6, 2017

The Formation of the Totty's Bend Branch

On February 20th 1877, Elder Joseph Argyle was on his way to his first assignment in Tennessee to report at the town of Shady Grove. He had been paying for his own transportation and had run out of money just 16 miles short of his destination.
"... I started to walk and went about 11 miles and met Bro John W Sharp who I had to labour with at a vilige known as williams port 4 miles from Shady Grove we overtook two me which hast us if we were peddlers they seeing my velies and a bundle with some of my cloaths we told them that we were ministers and they hast us of what persuation we was we told them and they hast us if we did not preach the gift of the Holy Ghost we told them that we did and they said they would like to hear us and hast us if we would go and preach at a place called Tottys Bend ten miles from Shady Grove we told them we would go but told them that they would have to furnish us foode and a bed as we was preaching without purse or scrip they said they would do that and we made arangements with them to go there in two weeks we left them..." [original spelling and lack of punctuation has been retained]
Two weeks later, Elders Argyle and Sharp kept their appointment. The men from Totty's Bend were true to their word. One of them [Mr Fyfe] arranged for the School house in which to preach and the other one [Mr Young] opened his home for them to eat and sleep. They held three meetings over the course of three days, and spent the second night at the home Johnson & Susan Totty. Many people from the days meeting joined the missionaries at the Totty home where the two were kept up late answering questions about the gospel. Mr & Mrs Totty became the first converts at Totty's Bend on March 21st 1877.

In June two more converts were baptized followed by three more in July, another in August and three more in September. Elder Argyle doesn't say exactly when, but sometime that year he formally organized the Totty's Bend Branch, ordained Johnson Totty an Elder and set him apart as the branch president. The branch would continue until 1884 1880 when the Totty family moved to Colorado.


gscoulson said...

Love reading these first-hand accounts. So many things seem so different than now, but so many things are the same.

BruceCrow said...

Thanks, that is exactly how I feel too.