Thursday, January 5, 2017

Middle & East Tennessee Conferences - 1917

In 1917 the Middle Tennessee Conference covered most of Tennessee west of the Cumberland Plateau, including Nashville and Memphis. The East Tennessee Conference included Knoxville, Johnson City and technically Chattanooga.

There was no longer a West Tennessee Conference. Persistent violence had led to it being dissolved quietly several years earlier. The missionaries and the areas they covered were split up between the other surrounding conferences. There was also a Southwest Tennessee Conference but it too was dissolved/absorbed into the Middle Tennessee Conference. After the dissolution, missionaries from neighboring states would sometimes visit, Mississippi being the principle contributor due to the proximity of Memphis. With the formation of the Middle States mission in 1902 and the inclusion of Tennessee in that new mission, the pieces of west Tennessee were rolled into the already functioning Middle Tennessee Conference.

The East Tennessee conference included several counties in western North Carolina. Again it was the formation the Middle States mission that necessitated changing the conference boundaries, chaaging the East Tennessee Conference so that it just included east Tennessee. Accompanying those changes was the redefinition of the separation between Middle Tennessee and East Tennessee. Half a dozen counties, all on the Cumberland Plateau, we moved to the eastern conference. The final result is what you see above.

The two portions technically covered the entire state, but with one outlier: Chattanooga. In 1917 that city served as the mission headquarters. The office staff resided there nearly full time. The staff would proselyte as their other duties would permit. Sometimes they would accompany the president (Charles Callis in 1917) as he toured the mission. They would take the opportunity the preach, tract or street contact with the missionaries in the areas they visited. Other times they would stay in Chattanooga and proselyte there. How much did they proselyte? Well, in 1917, of the 5 baptisms in Hamilton county, only one was in Chattanooga. That was Josephine Callis, the 8 year old daughter of Charles and Grace Callis.

In all of 1917 I have identified 48 missionaries there were assigned to Tennessee, not counting the Mission President. From this I can tell pretty quickly that the Middle Tenn Conf had between 9 & 14 missionaries throughout the year. East Tenn had between 8 & 11, slightly smaller but still comparable. The mission office had far fewer, operation with as few as 3, being wholy different in purpose and function.
For a better view click on the image

Note that this chart only shows the time when the missionary was assigned to Tennessee. While many would spend their entire mission in one Conference, a few moved between conferences and in some cases only appear on this chart for a few weeks. One missionary, Nellie Rindlisbacher, moved from Middle Tennessee to East Tennessee during 1917, and so shows up on this chart twice.

So did I miss anyone? If so, raise your hand...

For the purposes of search-ability I'll include the missionaries' names in text below.

Missionary Conference
Henry Child Midd Tenn
Mabel Jane Pettit Midd Tenn
Nellie Rindlisbacher Midd Tenn
Harvey Dalton Midd Tenn
Thomas Wilson Midd Tenn
Murl Hunter Gibson Midd Tenn
George W Barrus Midd Tenn
Nels Ursel Anderson Midd Tenn
Francis VaNoy Smith Midd Tenn
Joseph Earl Burrup Midd Tenn
Silas Whitney Ward Midd Tenn
Melvin John Rudd Midd Tenn
Joseph F Ray Midd Tenn
James Albert Muir Midd Tenn
George Earl Baldwin Midd Tenn
Samuel L Smith Midd Tenn
Perry Walker Smith Midd Tenn
Erin Lafayette Tolman Midd Tenn
Estella Grace Tolman Midd Tenn
Judson L Tolman East Tenn
Hyrum Earnest Leavitt East Tenn
Walter Gordon Willis East Tenn
Newell Jensen Horsley East Tenn
Lewis George Winter East Tenn
Charles L Flake Jr East Tenn
Loran J Blain East Tenn
Ernest Frederick Zaugg East Tenn
Joseph Franklin Jensen East Tenn
Ernest Langston East Tenn
Susie May Porritt East Tenn
Nellie Rindlisbacher East Tenn
Thomas Charles Sutton East Tenn
Charles Rich Clark East Tenn
Edmund Lionel LeCheminant East Tenn
Miles Shirley Winder East Tenn
Ellen Lavina Maxwell East Tenn
Alonzo Harmon Price Chattanooga
Otto Marti Chattanooga
Brigham Roche Wheeler Chattanooga
Anna Elizabeth Forslund Chattanooga
Joseph Soelberg Chattanooga
Ray Temple Cutler Chattanooga
Odessa E Allred Chattanooga
William Enser Chattanooga
Alice Yancey Chattanooga
Sadie Irene Crouch Chattanooga
Charles Franklin Steele Chattanooga
William Dalby Anderson Chattanooga

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