A SERIES OF LIFE-SKETCHES INDICATING THE GROWTH AND PROSPERITY OF THE BAPTIST CHURCHES AS REPRESENTED IN THE LIVES AND LABORS
BY J. C. MAPLE, A.M., D.D.AND R.P. RIDER, A.M.VOL. I.
This sketch is written upon the basis of facts furnished by J. C. and L. T. James, sons of the man whose character will be briefly portrayed.
Mr. James was born in Russellville, Kentucky, in 1823. When but four years of age he was left an orphan, and while yet a small boy, was placed upon a farm where he grew to manhood. When about 15 years of age he became a Christian and united with a Baptist church. The genuineness of his conversion, occurring at this early period of his life, was proved by a life-long devotion to the Savior to whom he gave his heart.
When he was 23 years of age he went on a visit to Virginia, and there met the lady, Miss Sarah Woodward, who became his wife. That this was the most fortunate event of his life, after having given himself to the Lord, he was ever ready to bear a most cheerful testimony. Theirs was a long life of mutual admiration, with multiplied responsibilities jointly met, and trials, struggles and sorrows borne, and as only true love and Christian graces can endure life's battles. After his marriage in Goochland County, Virginia, he returned to his native State and for several years engaged in teaching school. That he had acquired a good education is proved by the fact that he became a successful teacher.
His after-life showed that he was destined to be a man of business. In 1854 he came to Westport Landing. There was no Kansas City then. But he knew enough of the country to realize that at that place there must be a great center of business. He began his mercantile career, in what is now the great metropolis of the Missouri Valley, in the wholesale grocery and milling business. He continued his employment along these lines until 1862. The next year, in 1863, he established himself in the queensware and crockery business.
From the very beginning of their residence in Kansas City, which began its marvelous growth soon after their arrival, both Mr. James and his wife engaged earnestly in Christian work. There was no organized Baptist church there when it first became their home, but they cheerfully joined with others in planting religious institutions which would aid the people in living good lives.
When the First Baptist Church was organized, they were two of the seven that joined in its formation. And from that day until his translation, the Baptist cause had no truer friend in that city. He and his wife saw the beginning of a new town upon the hills and in the deep hollows upon the banks of the Missouri River grow into a great city, extending over into the State of Kansas, until there is now (1911) well nigh half a million people in the two cities and their suburbs.
In 1874 the city had grown so large, and its territory had become so extended, that there was a conviction that another Baptist church had become a necessity. A number of the members therefore withdrew from the First Church and organized the Calvary Baptist Church. The new church soon erected a house of worship upon a lot donated for the purpose by Deacon T. M. James. This lot, located on the corner of Eleventh Street and Grand Avenue, when the church had grown strong enough to need another and larger building and a more central location was desired, was sold for $75,000 and the proceeds used in the erection of the splendid building now owned and occupied by the Calvary Baptist Church. Thus the gift of the former lot made possible the erection of the greater house, where the enlarged membership still worships.
Having served for years as a deacon in the First Church, Mr. James was in every way an acknowledged leader in every forward movement. This was due to him, not because he sought control, but because he was "the servant of all." Our Lord had taught that service was the only way that any of His disciples could attain pre-eminence. And, as it must needs be, this service was always given because of the most sincere devotion to the Founder and Head of the church. Yet we must not fail to remember that but for the cheerful and cheering co-operation of Mrs. James, such constant exertion on the part of her husband would have had but little effect upon the community, whether among the membership, or upon those who had not identified themselves with the church. When he saw that the Calvary Church was well established and all parts of the varied purposes of a real Christian body were assured, his vision enlarged. He had for years believed that the Baptists in Kansas City and the entire State of Missouri had the ability to accomplish great good, if they could be awakened to a full sense of their mission. He had given large sums of money for his own local church, and now he was ready, while he would do no less at home, to aid all those who, in other localities, were seeking to enlarge the Kingdom of the Christ.
He became chairman of the City Mission Board, and, with his accustomed energy and consecration, threw himself into this work. He lived to see fourteen independent, self-supporting Baptist churches established in his home city. And it ought to be said that, while many who heartily joined in all these efforts deserve praise, yet to T. M. James much of the credit of these successful efforts is due. He toiled diligently, and was permitted to see some of the fruits of his labor.
We must not do him the injustice to think that he limited his labor and contributions to his own city. For years he was an active member of the Board of State Missions and Sunday Schools. From 1878 to 1886 the Board met quarterly at Mexico. At that time the members paid, out of their private funds, all their traveling expenses. If Mr. James ever failed to attend any meeting the writer has no recollection of his absence. There was much work to be done. The determined opposition to all efforts put forth by the Secretary and the Board, made the work difficult. He would often work and pray until a late hour at night. Then those members who lived west of Mexico would take the train, leaving at about 2:30 or 3 a.m., for their homes. But the hardships, the care and toil and loss of sleep never brought a complaint from this faithful old soldier of the Cross. At the meeting of the General Association at Carthage, in 1885, the decision was made to purchase a house of worship offered for sale, for a struggling Baptist church near the western border of the State. The estimated amount needed for the purchase was subscribed and then the whole business of completing the purchase, examination of title and securing a sufficient deed to the property, was placed in the hands of T. M. James. In order to make the whole transaction legal, it became necessary to add quite a sum to the amount of money considered sufficient at the first. But the purchase was made, the house secured to the little band, and no demand made for additional funds.
Nor must we leave the impression that his labors and benefactions were confined to the limits of his own State, or that of his own land. He appreciated the grandeur and glory of the world-wide mission of the churches of Christ. His heart was in full sympathy with the work on foreign fields, and his had was open to supply the means necessary. It has been truly said of him that "Both in business and in church work he was a path finder, and blazed the way for the greater business, the greater church and the greater Kansas City. Wherever he touched life it was the better for the touch."
There were born to Mr. and Mrs. James four sons. Two passed to the heavenly home in infancy; and two, together with their mother, survive the father.
There was no part of the great and varied work necessary to the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ that did not appeal to him. He knew that if the churches in the Central West would move forward with the demands of the age and keep abreast of the rapid development of the country, the ministry must be educated. He saw that the day was past when men without mental culture could lead to success the coming hosts that would soon populate this great country, so full of promise. The farmers were being well schooled and were fast becoming able to express their thoughts in good English. He saw how God was honoring our William Jewell College in giving that school more students for the ministry than to any other college in our whole land. He was thankful for this and was ready and willing to assist, as far as possible, in affording to these young men all needed help. He was a true friend to the college-- to all the faculty and the students. But let no one suppose from what is here said of education for the ministry that he ever thought of under-estimating the value of mental training for all the walks of life. He was himself a layman and desired that men in every calling should have the highest possible mental culture, that they might become citizens who would make our government not only permanent, but would make it impossible for ignorant and immoral men to obtain positions of responsibility in civil life.
He was himself an illustration of the fact that moral integrity and Christian activity are no hindrance to success in business life. He carried his religion with him in his every-day life. He was as truly pious when behind the counter waiting on a customer,. Or in the counting room arranging great business enterprises, as he was in the prayer-meeting, or teaching his class in the Bible School.
Mr James heard the call from the Great Master to come home to the Mansion prepared for him, on December 25, 1901, in the 79th year of his age. "The world was better for his living, and heaven is more beautiful for his coming."
"There comes a time in the life of every man, when it becomes necessary to demonstrate the genuineness of his faith, and to show the sincerity of his love.
"It comes to the patriot when his country is in danger and requires his services. It comes to the citizen when he must choose between good government and the success of his political party. It comes to the just man when the hand of oppression and violence is raised against the helpless. It comes to the philanthropist when he hears the cry of the poor and needy. It comes to the Christian when the cause of the Master requires his co-operation and service.
"It is a spurious patriotism that takes all it can get and gives as little as it can. The highest type of citizenship does not blindly follow the political party, right or wrong. It is a false philanthropy which says to the naked and hungry: 'Be ye clothed and fed,' and does not minister to their wants. And he is the lowest type of a Christian – if a Christian at all –who is content to be ministered unto without ministering unto others."
We make no apology for offering this quotation from one of Dr. Tutt's latest public addresses, because, as nearly as one short passage can do so, it enshrines the vital spirit of his whole life. The man will measure up to this utterance.
Benjamin George Tutt was born of Virginia-bred parentage. His parents were honored citizens, true patriots, zealous Christians and staunch Baptists. Gabriel Tutt, M. D., and Jane Garner Tutt., his wife, came to Missouri in their early middle life, while in the full enjoyment of their prime, and settled in Cooper County. In that county their son George was born February 11, 1839, and spent the years of his early life upon the farm, imbibing principles under the guidance of a fond and upright Christian father and a tender and conscientious Christian mother, which were to constitute his chart and compass in subsequent life. There he also laid the basis of future scholastic acquirement.
In 1854, during the presidency of Dr. R. S. Thomas, he entered William Jewell College. During this term he was converted in a meeting held in the Second Baptist Church of Liberty, Missouri, by Rev. E. S. Dulin and Elder B. T. F. Cake.
He early felt the imperative call to preach the gospel, and when he was nineteen years of age was licensed "to exercise his gifts as a preacher," by the Concord Baptist Church of which his father had been a deacon for many years.
He went to Westminister College, Fulton, Missouri, during the year 1859-60, and at the close of this scholastic year was elected pastor of Concord Church (frequently called Vine). This relation he sustained with great fidelity and efficiency for sixteen years.
In early manhood he married Miss Lucie Ellen Thornton, a typical Southern lady, and one who, when she became mistress of the difficult position of a pastor's wife in a community where she had been reared, manifested those Christian qualities of consecrated self-devotion to the higher good of the people, that, through all her subsequent life, marked her as a model for pastors' wives. The impatience frequently manifested in these later days to wear the preacher's paraphernalia-- title and all-- was not as prevalent in earlier days as now. Not until Mr. Tutt had served his church for nine years, and he himself was thirty year of age was ordained, 1869. In taking a backward look, this fact seems the more remarkable, because the records show that his level-headed wisdom carried the church, of which he was pastor, safely through the broublous period of the Civil War. All will be able to call to mind the consternation with which Christian preachers and teachers viewed the condition of affairs, when, in the Reconstruction Days, the State made the taking of the Test Oath, or oath of loyalty, the per-requisite for the performance of their sacred or professional duties. An extract of a letter written to the Bunceton Eagle at the time of Dr. Tutt's death, by a friend resident in Oklahoma, will put the attitude of Mr. Tutt toward the proscriptive at more clearly before our readers that we, not eyewitnesses, can do. The letter follows:
"Occasionally a warlike Peter would accuse Rev. B. G. Tutt of timidity, because he would not hurl anathemas at those who differed from him in matters of religion; because he was not fond of disputation and wrangling over church differences; but as one who heard that sermon in Concord Church, when, during the Civil War, an order was issued that all who preached without taking the Oath of Loyalty were liable to arrest, imprisonment, and punishment, Dr. Tutt announced that he would preach and would not take the oath.
"The church building was filled to overflowing. Just as he was ready to begin, a detachment of Federal soldiers filed into the church and took their seats.
"Dr. Tutt preached, and I can never forget a single incident of that occasion. Every word, every gesture, every look, denoted the highest type of both physical and Christian courage- the stuff from which the martyrs of old were fashioned. The men who came to arrest him were awed by the grandeur of the man, and made no attempt to lay hands on him. Afterwards I talked with on of these soldiers. He said that sermon was the grandest he had ever heard. On being questioned some years afterward (he never mentioned the subject voluntarily, even in his family) his simple statement was:
" ' I refused to take the Test Oath on the ground that the commission to preach the gospel came from a higher authority than the State. Moreover, if the State could claim the right to say who should preach, it would soon go one step further, and say what the men should preach- the union of State and Church. For some reason I was never arrested or brought to trial, nor was the indictment ever quashed. It is still pending in the Court of Boonville."
"History: Shortly after this time, January 14, 1867, Supreme Court of the United States rendered a decision that the act of the State of Missouri in requiring the taking of the Test Oath, was unconstitutional and bonds were loosened, prison doors were thrown open, and there rejoicing."
In 1876 Mr. Tutt was called to the pastorate of the Baptist Church, Marshall, Missouri. He ministered to this church for five years with great acceptance. During his pastorate the church grew in numbers and activity, but in the autumn of 1881, he resigned to accept the charge of the Second Baptist Church, Liberty, Missouri.
The peculiar setting of this church renders it at once the most important church in the State, and the one whose multi-form and far reaching interests are the most difficult to administer. The colleges located in Liberty create a demand for pulpit ministrations of an excellence beyond those demanded by a less critical community. Young people in great numbers in the congregation demand a somewhat less rigid style of sermon and an immense amount of tact in winning them from the lighter views of life to a consideration of those more weighty-- all this to be done in so alluring a manner as to make them glad to be led. Added to this, when one considers the exacting demands of the pastoral duties, ever increasing in a growing church, one will readily see that the shepherd of so large and varied a flock, presenting such divergent necessities, holds no sinecure position. But he accepted these varied responsibilities in the firm faith that He who had sustained him through troubles times and seasons of perplexing responsibility in the past would here give him the wisdom to meet the difficulties peculiar to this great field.
The first years of this pastorate were eventful ones, prosperous and seemingly disastrous events following in order, but those that seemed to be most disastrous proved beneficent, for they served to reveal the strength of the leader and develop the usefulness and self-sacrificing spirit of the followers. The greatest of these events was the loss of the old and much loved house of worship. This house fell a victim to one of the hurricane-like storms that sometimes visit the regions near the course of the Missouri River, a straight blow, approaching the speed of seventy-five miles an hour. The destruction of the old church building, the one in which the infant church had been cradled in years gone by, came as a crushing blow upon the congregation, and the first thought in the minds of all was, "We shall be obliged to erect a new one." The next thought was laden with doubt: "But how?" The leadership manifested by the pastor in this extremity showed his latent power as one capable to surmount appalling difficulties and to lead his flock out of apparent ruin to unexpected success.
It is often said that a minister that builds a new house of worship seldom remains to preach in it. This truth, if it be a truth, is presumably the result of unsuccessful effort to so control the conflicting elements that are always present in a large democratic body as to bring them through a period calling for unusual sacrifice in a state of harmony. It was not true as regards this wise and conservative pastor. For seven years after this period he ministered from the pulpit of the new building, relinquishing his charge only on the insistent demands of health. During this pastorate, which closed December 1, 1890, the church grew in numbers, in spirituality and in devotion to missionary interests.
In connection with William Jewell College he was active in promoting the interests of the Board of Ministerial Education of which, for several years, he was secretary. The College conferred the honorary title of Doctor of Divinity upon him, June, 1887.
Immediately after his resignation from the office of Pastor of the church in Liberty, he entered upon the work of Corresponding Secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions, to which he had been appointed by the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The public records show a healthy increase in the efficiency of the Department of Foreign Mission work in the State during his term of office. During his secretaryship he continued to reside in Liberty, among the people who loved him as a layman brother as they had when he was their chosen shepherd.
Here he was called upon to suffer the greatest loss of his life, in the death of the wife of his youth, the mother of his children, who had stood faithfully by his side for nearly thirty-seven years. The warm-hearted sympathy of loving friends, while soothing, could be only warm-hearted sympathy. The unrelieved sadness of desolate loneliness ruled in the heart which had ever throbbed in sympathy for the sorrowing, but no word of complaint passed through his lips. He again longed for the blessed and sacred duties of the pastor's life. He resigned the office of Secretary of Foreign Missions, which he had held for five or six years, and accepted the pastorate of the Baptist Church at Fulton, Missouri, but subsequently removed to Bunceton, Missouri, and here completed the circle of his pastoral work, having returned to the section of the State in which he had been born and where he had spent the years of his early manhood.
While living here in a state of semi-retirement with his second wife, Mrs. Gertrude A. Tutt, the daughter of our honored brother, Rev. B. T. Taylor, and the widow of the lamented Rev. M. L. Laws, he received the appointment of Chaplain in the Penitentiary at Jefferson City, Missouri. His sympathetic nature gave him unusual influence over the hearts of men and women incarcerated there. Some brethren who visited him and were present when, in the tender appealing tones of voice in which he was wont to relate the story of the Cross, he spoke to those apparently hardened characters, said that, while Dr. Tutt was preaching, the closest attention was given to his loving words, and frequently a rough hand, inured to crime, would be seen wiping the unwilling tear from the eye.
He held this position for two years, and then was called to his heavenly home, August 4, 1906, in the sixty-eight year of his life, the fiftieth year of his active public service in the cause of his Master, before his intellectual vigor had begun to abate, or the serious infirmities of age had begun to diminish his physical strength. He rests in Fairview Cemetery, Liberty, Missouri, with other members of his family gone before. He leaves a goodly family and friends innumerable to mourn his loss.
The subject of this sketch came from a scholarly family in the formation of which two lives of liberal culture had joined, thus giving the boy the increased benefit of united, but widely different, intellectual forces. To those who knew both parents well and knew the son, it will appear that in his more prominent characteristics he manifested the maternal influence.
He was born in Hamilton, Madison County, New York, December 11, 1834. His parents were Rev. George W. Eaton, D.D., LL. D. (president successively of Madison (now Colgate) University, and Hamilton Theological Seminary), and Eliza Boardman Eaton.
His lineage, as far as known, was Baptist, and the strength and consistency of the Baptist faith suffered no diminution in the creed of the son. He was converted at the age of twelve years.
The conditions of his youth insured him the best that the country had to offer in way of scholastic training. A father of marked ability as scholar and teacher; a mother scholarly and of sufficient to leave a permanent impress of her own character upon the growing boy's mind, and the superior advantages offered by one of the best institutions of learning in the land- these agencies united under the benign influences of a sweet, all-pervading Christianity were almost compelling in their potency. The boy would have to fight hard, who would become anything other than an upright, conscientious, scholarly man in the face of such auspicious conditions.
When he became of such an age that the choice of a vocation pressed upon him,. The didactic quality of his mind readily decreed that he should be a teacher, and , further, that, at a time when to specialize in branches of higher education was not so prevalent as now (1911), he should select the line of Natural Science, then in an almost embryonic state, as it appears from the superior work in this department of learning, he greatly aided in hastening the day when it should "come into its own."
He was graduated from Madison University with the Bachelor's Degree in 1856, and in 1858 received the Master's Degree from the same institution. In 1859 he became adjunct Professor of Mathematics and Natural Science in Union University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This position he held but one year, as, influenced by the offer of a higher position, a better salary and the opportunity to work in a Christian College of his own denomination, he accepted the appointment of Professor of Ancient Languages in Bethel College, Russellville, Kentucky. He occupied this chair until the opening of the Civil War. This was the only time when, as a teacher, his mind was wholly deviated from his chosen career as teacher and investigator in the realm of Natural Science.
During the Civil War, he held a position under the Federal Government as Superintendent of the Advertised Letter and Foreign Delivery Department of the United States Postal Service, New York City.
In 1866 he resumed the work of his profession and for three years occupied the Chair of Natural Science in the University of Louisville, Kentucky. This position he resigned to accept the Chair of Natural Science and Natural Theology in William Jewell College.
Prior to this time he had felt the call to preach in connection with his teaching; had been accepted by some presbytery of his denomination, and had been ordained. The circumstances of this call and ordination are unknown to the writer. But it is well known that later he placed not stress upon this office, and to few of his later acquaintances was it known that he had ever preached. However, he was always a zealous and efficient worker in the church.
The extra collegiate honors that he held were membership of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, which membership is in itself sufficient guarantee of superior rank as a scholar; the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, conferred by his Alma Mater in 1876, in recognition of the superior advanced work that he had done in the line of Natural Science, and an influential position as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
In 1872 he was married to Miss Martha E. Lewright of Liberty, Missouri, a noble Christian woman, and an efficient helpmate. They became the parents of five children, two of whom, a son and a daughter, with their mother, survive him.
He was a man of exceeding alertness of mind, quick to see a point, keen in discovering a weak place in an opponent's argument, or an inconsistency in the statements of one whose course he was investigation, and, withal, a rigid sense of justice that made him a strong advocate of what he thought right, in person or principle, as well as vigorous condemnation of what he thought wrong.
As a teacher he was an exact and exacting master. He allowed no room for the play of imagination in the matter of recitation. The vaporous talking about a subject would not suffice; the subject must be met fairly and squarely, or a failure to make grade was announced. So his students soon learned that they must know what they were talking about, a condition conducive to exact and thorough scholarship.
But, though exactness was a prominent characteristic of his work as a teacher, it was not so dominant as to smother the feeling of the tender regard that he felt for a student who he thought was making an honest effort to do the work assigned him. He was always ready and willing to aid a person that was anxious to do his best.
Another characteristic that gained him respect from all, was his reverence for the sacred majesty of law, in whatever realm considered. Right is right, not only because it is right, but because it is part of the law, in whatever realm considered. Right is right, not only because it is right, but because it is part of the inscrutable will of Him who is the Author of all things and can do now wrong.
The manifestation of these strict principles gave him, at times, the appearance of rigidity that might repel one if he did not go beyond the surface and find the true kindliness of heart that underlay it all.
In later life his health became impaired, and he thought that entire change of scene and climate might bring him renewed strength of body and added vigor of mind, and at the same time be so ordered that it would bring him increased mental equipment for the further prosecution of his work in the college. With these aims in view, he sought leave of absence for a period from his college work and started on a tour through the Eastern World and the Holy Land.
But, though he knew it not, his work was done, and in the early weeks of his tour he was taken to his eternal home. While pausing for a few days at Cairo, Egypt, he suddenly sickened and died. March 21, 1897, in the 63rd year of his age, and the 27th year of his professorship in William Jewell College, he passed from the scenes of a busy and useful life to the rest that is prepared for the children of God.
He left the record of a faithful and loving teacher for those who had been under his care, a good, just and earnest hearted man for all, and affectionate, consecrated husband and father as a legacy for the bereaved wife and children.
His body now rests in the Presbyterian Mission Cemetery in Cairo, Egypt.
I have been requested to prepare this sketch of my honored father. While I appreciate the opportunity thus kindly afforded to pay tribute to his memory, I have hesitated to do so lest my viewpoint might not be regarded as fair as that of one not linked to him by ties of affection. But I have determined to lay aside any feelings of delicacy and to obey an impulse and discharge a duty which I have felt from the hour of his death. I knew him more thoroughly than did any other, and, while conscious of my inability to do justice to the subject, I feel sure that I can present a truthful and dispassionate statement of many of the qualities of his character which marked for him a career the most remarkable I have ever known.
To tell of him is a labor of love. It is to relate the story of an unusually strenuous and successful life, a life that was full of object lessons and inspirations. It was a life of ideals and achievements, of toils and triumphs, of sacrifices and successes in the face of untold adversity. As much as any other I have ever known it illustrated the possibilities of the average man to fill the largest measure of human duty and ambition.
I was a career wrought here in Missouri in an environment familiar to us, who are Missourians, in the solution of problems that are common to all who live in this State and age. If any Missouri boy or man achieved more with the facilities at his command, and with the mental, and physical faculties with which he was endowed, if any made better use of his opportunities I have not known him.
While he filled no exalted place in official or social station, in either Church or State, will occupy no high niche in the hall of fame, he had the highest conception of life's mission, and he left an influence that will endure long after evanescent honors and emoluments shall have passed into oblivion.
To give his life to any elaborate extent would be to tell a story stranger than fiction. That a country boy, without the advantages of education or social prestige or commercial backing, should have won success in so many lines, financial, moral, social, educational, political, religious; should have had such enlarged visions of opportunity and duty, and then should have attained the realization of those visions, is an anomaly and a wonder which is rare indeed.
Here briefly is the story:
HIS LIFE IN BRIEF.
He was born in Garrard County, Kentucky, on November 17, 1815. He died in Columbia, Missouri, on August 19, 1902, in his 87th year. He came from Kentucky to Missouri with his parents in 1820 and settled upon a farm on the eastern borders of Boone County. He lived there until he was 21 years of age, when he determined to seek a wider environment and to enter the mercantile business. Farther on will be related more fully his career as a merchant and business man. It will be enough to make, at this point, the comprehensive statement of his life that, between 1836 and 1843, he was engaged in merchandising in Greensburg, Indiana, Mexico and Fulton, Missouri, and that from 1844 to 1859, he was a merchant in Columbia, Missouri, and that, after retiring from the mercantile business in that town, he there resided until his death. With the exception of a brief period he lived in Boone County, Missouri, 82 years.
No biography of my father is complete without a reverential tribute to his father, Elijah Stephens. He was a native of the North Carolina, having been born in Rockingham County of that State near the celebrated and beautiful Dan River. He was of Scotch-Irish descent and was the son of William Stephens who came to America about the close of the Revolutionary War. He had two brothers, Elder Thomas Peyton Stephens, an eminent Baptist minister, and John Leachman, both of whom removed to Boone County and lived and died near the home of my grandfather. He had a sister, Sallie, who married Dr. William Renfro, and was the grandmother of Dr. William Renfro Rothwell of William Jewell College, G. F. Rothwell of Moberly and Dr. T. P. Rothwell of Mexico, and numerous granddaughters and grandsons. All were Baptists and all of the older members of the family belonged to the Primitive or Regular or Anti-Missionary branch of the Baptist denomination. They were of vigorous intellects, sterling morality and deepseated religious conviction.
Elijah Stephens, my father's father, was a Bible scholar of rare attainments. He not only was familiar with the text of both the Old and New Testaments, but he understood its history and was profoundly versed in its doctrines. Alexander Campbell, the great founder of the denomination which bears his name, declared him to be the most thorough Bible scholar he had ever met. He was devotedly pious. He led a consecrated life, and my father was wont to declare that he believed that the success which had attended him in life had been due more to the prayers of his father than to any other cause. His knowledge of the Bible was wellknown and his views were sought by ministers and Bible students far and wide. He also had a considerable knowledge of astronomy, mechanics and surveying. Had he been afforded advantages he would have been a ripe scholar.
My father's mother's maiden name was Martha Renfro. She and my grandfather were married in North Carolina, on March 24, 1812, a hundred years ago. She possessed great force of character and gentleness of spirit. My father inherited his stately figure and his energetic and indomitable spirit largely from her. She was a typical mother of the olden times. In the midst of the privations of that pioneer period she reared a family of three sons and five daughters and discharged her duties as wife and mother with a fidelity and courage that marked her as one of the heroines of her race.
HIS EARLY AMBITION
Reared in this humble, pioneer home, with its atmosphere of piety and self-sacrifice, my father was imbued with those wholesome virtues which bore such rich fruitage in his subsequent life. His only education was the limited training he received in the primitive neighborhood school. But in the toil upon the farm, the self-denial of the simple and scanty home, the inspiration of a godly father and a practical and painstaking mother, he was receiving a discipline of far greater value than that which he could have gotten from books. His ambition was being fed for struggle with the opportunities and realities of the great world beyond. Fortunately he had ambition, that rare asset, and it was of the noblest order. He wanted to reach out beyond the simple environments of his childhood and youth and grapple with the verities of the larger sphere. His ambition led him to the town. He wanted to be a merchant, for, as his subsequent career proved, nature had splendidly marked him for that vocation. He went to Columbia and applied for a position as clerk in the largest store in the town. He was given the place on trial. Although he did the most menial work and for only five dollars a month, he was so crude and awkward that he was discharged, and he went back to his country home, feeling to his sorrow that his vaulting ambition had overleaped itself, that nature had not qualified him for the lofty place of a merchant, but for the more humble vocation of a farmer. He walked home, a distance of some twelve miles, passing over the site of the fine mansion he was seven years later to erect as his home in the eastern suburbs of Columbia, and by the large farm he was later to own and occupy with some hundred houses as an addition to that town.
His father's dwelling was in the woodland near Cedar Creek. Near by was the broad prairie then regarded of but little, if any, value for farming. But my father, with his usual broader vision than those about him, discerned the possibilities of the prairie, and set about to lay off upon the prairie a farm of great area and invest the same with Lombardy poplars, to erect a residence in the center and proceed to farming upon a large scale.
THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTED
Before he had fairly entered upon this farming scheme a merchant at Millersburg, a small village some eight miles south of his home, offered him a position as clerk in his store. He quickly seized this opportunity from an unexpected source to become a merchant. He at once demonstrated his fitness for the business. After a year or more spent in this place he removed to Greensburg, Indiana, where a relative was in business, and there, for some two years, engaged in merchandising, and with such profit that he returned and established a store at Mexico, Missouri. Here he did a general mercantile business, exchanging goods, not for money only, but for whatever a farmer had to sell, not excluding coonskins and hickory nuts. Prosperity following rapidly upon his venture at Mexico, he started another store at Fulton, and soon had an establishment in each town, doing a prosperous business. He drove trade with such energy and success that he excited the keen jealousy of his competitors, but his methods, while dangerous to competition, were fair, and were only illustrative of his splendid qualities as an energetic business man.
HIS PERSONALITY AND MARRIAGE
A pen photograph of him just at this time may not be amiss. He was but twenty-five years of age. His personal presence was tall and commanding. Six feet in height, straight as an Indian, courtly and dignified, he had a personality that was imposing. Of florid complexion, a full suite of black hair, a large and well poised head and a piercing eye, he was what would have been pronounced a handsome man in any community. In those days the long senatorial toga or cloak was worn, and the plug hat. It was ever his habit to dress in the fashion of the day, and thus arrayed he is said to have been a striking figure. He was always scrupulously neat in his dress, and orderly and systematic to the last degree. He rode a fine hose, kept him well groomed and caparisoned with the finest saddle and bridle.
It was something of a transition that of the country boy discharged for his crudeness, to that of the proprietor of two stores, thus imposingly appareled and equipped, all within five years. It is no wonder that he attracted the attention and admiration of some and the envy of others.
Amelia Hockaday, the daughter of Judge Irvine O. Hockaday, the first circuit clerk of Callaway County, and a man of high character and influence, was the most beautiful girl in Fulton. She attracted the attention and excited the admiration of the ambitious young merchant, whose motto was ever to aim high, and who had a keen eye for the beautiful. They met – and it was the old, old story. A singular and an amusing complication presented itself. Judge Hockaday was his would be son-in-law's chief rival in business, and the conflicts between them had been frequent and sharp. The judge was loth to surrender the hand of his daughter to one who had dealt him such severe and vital blows in trade. It was some time before he would be reconciled. But this business rivalry had at least taught one fact, that the young merchant was of real steel and not a bad article to have in the family. The consent was given. They were married February 6, 1844, a year after my father had established a third store, this time in Columbia, to which place he at once brought his bride. There they lived the remainder of their lives. My sister and myself were their only children.
My father always declared that his success in life had been due more to his marriage than to any other cause. He ever held my mother up to me as an evidence of his own wisdom, and as a model for me to follow when my time came to make a life-selection. She was all that a wife and mother could be. Gentle, sympathetic, loving, helpful, her home was the center of all her joys, and her husband and children the recipients of her heart's fullest devotion. Her love for me is my sweetest memory, and her life and character will be an inspiration to the end of time. The thought of her recalls the delightful home over which she presided with such grace, and which she made so happy by her loving sympathy and efficient ministry. For over a half century it was the abode of a most gracious hospitality, but while it was the focus of a friendship that knew no bounds, it was in the inner sanctuary of its home life that its chief joys were felt and its enduring influence were generated. These neither distance can dim nor time efface.
BECOMES A MULE TRADER
The confinement of the store having wrought upon his health to such an extent as to render continuance in the mercantile business perilous, he sold out and retired permanently from it. Of too restless energy to be idle, he engaged in the buying and selling of mules. In this occupation he displayed the same remarkable energy, originality and aggressiveness he had in merchandising, and he met with equal success. He bought and sold thousands of mules, practically monopolized the business in this section, and was in the midst of it when the Civil War broke out.
A CANDIDATE FOR STATE SENATOR
In 1860 he was nominated for the State Senate by the Democratic party. The district comprised Boone and Callaway Counties. His opponent was Charles H. Hardin, afterwards governor. They made a canvass of the district. My father was defeated, his party being in the minority, but he polled its full strength and, although opposed by an able man, a lawyer experienced in public speaking, he made a creditable campaign which was satisfactory to his friends.
In the year 1880 he was again nominated by his party to the office, and was elected and served for the full term of four years, the district being composed of Boone, Audrain and Callaway Counties.
A SOUTHERN SYMPATHIZER
After the Civil War he laid off his farm of one hundred and eighty acres adjoining Columbia into lots and made an addition to the town. He sold hundreds of lots and erected many private residences upon them. It was another signal evidence of his enterprise, and the addition will stand as long as does Columbia as a memorial to his progressive energy. In the history of the town there has been no achievement more illustrative of the genius of any one citizen.
My father's dominant characteristic was his public spirit. While he was diligent and capable in his private business, he did not believe in a man living to himself. He looked upon life as a stewardship, and he felt that his debt to the public was as clearly defined as his private obligation. No public enterprise of merit and practical value was inaugurated during his life time in his community that it did not receive his ardent co-operation and support. The State University, the railroads, the rock roads, the schools and colleges, the churches, the factories, in fact, every public utility and institution of his community, he aided, and in the movements to secure many of them he was the leader. He imparted enthusiasm and life to every movement with which he identified himself, and he left behind him innumerable memorials of his enterprise and public spirit.
The institution through which he will be longest remembered is the one which bears his name, Stephens College for Young Ladies, the State Baptist Female College of Missouri, located in Columbia. In order to secure its adoption by the Baptists of Missouri as their State college, he contributed, in 1870, the sum of $20,000, the largest mount which to that date had ever been donated by any person in the Mississippi Valley to an educational institution. Afterwards he gave this college between $5,000 and $10,000 additional to relieve it of debt. His name was conferred upon the college without his solicitation or knowledge, but was deemed by the Baptist General Association to have been richly merited by his contributions of money and service. He was no less liberal to the Baptist Church of which he was for over thirty years a member. The cause of Christianity ever received from him liberal support.
Of his private charities the world knew but little. But they were large and widespread. To his own family, his father and mother and brothers, sisters and other relatives, he gave many thousands of dollars. He nobly requited in reverence and attention and substantial donations his parents for their devotion to him. He gave to many outside of his family. He amassed money rapidly and he gave it away with equal facility. While he never could have been content to acquire property by the slow process of some men, he could not hold to it by the same methods. It came and went with equal ease. His life was a rippling stream, not a stagnant pool. It received and gave out. He might have died worth a million, but he often said he preferred to administer upon his own estate and to give back to the world while he lived that which the world had given to him.
A more consistently and strictly pious man I never knew. I have his diary, kept from the time he was a young man. It effervesces in expressions of gratitude to God for His goodness and mercy, and to whom he ascribed all his worldly prosperity and blessings. These same expressions I have heard fall from his lips thousands of times. Almost daily he was in the habit of giving expression to his gratitude to God for His goodness. When he was a young man conducting stores in Mexico and Fulton and Columbia, it was his habit to call his clerks together at night and engage in prayer with them. He did not unite with the church until he was 54 years of age, because he did not feel full assurance of his conversion, but his life had been as consecrated before he became a church member as it was afterwards. He united with the Baptist Church in Columbia in May, 1869, under Rev. H. M. Richardson, pastor. He, my mother and myself, joined and were baptized the same day.
HIS FAITH AND HIS IDEALS
My father had implicit faith in an overruling Providence, and he believed in the Bible as a divine revelation. He regarded himself as God's steward, as His trustee, from whom he had received all things and to whom he owed all things. He looked upon this life as but a probation, and as closely linked with the eternal life beyond. Hence he believed that what he did here had a direct relation with the world hereafter. He believed that the highest duty of every man was to honor God and serve his fellow men. This is what prompted him to such unusual liberality towards religion, education and all objects which were for the benefit of the race and the glory of the Creator. These convictions and ideals permeated his whole life, social, religious, domestic, political. They made him a model father and husband and friend, an honorable business man who met promptly every obligation, an upright and public spirited citizen and a devout and faithful Christian. They led him into the strictest fidelity to every relation and crowned his career with a glory and gave to his character a strength, which are a priceless heritage to his descendants.
HIS PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
He was the embodiment of sociability and optimism. He was a genial companion and his flow of conversation was incessant. I do not remember to have ever seen him depressed. The greater the burdens upon him the higher was his seeming exhilaration. He was optimistic and heroic to the last degree. He grappled with the most strenuous problems promptly, and usually solved them. If any man deserved to be denominated "Napoleonic," as the term is usually understood, he did. He had the rare and supreme faculty of wrestling victory from defeat, and in his lexicon there was nos such word as fail. He was a born philosopher. He had many favorite mottoes, all severely practical. He was not visionary, but was perpetually warning those about him not to "see apples of gold in pictures of silver." While he had much enthusiasm in his nature, rarely was he carried off his feet by any impracticable scheme in business. He was conservative and wise and discreet. He believed in foreseeing and avoiding trouble rather than in getting into and then out of it. He believed firmly in the Davy Crockett motto, and he lived by it. He was careful to be right, but once sure he was right he went ahead with an energy that brooked no opposition.
He was pure in word and thought, and was without vices. No profane or unclean word ever dropped from his lips, and no vice ever tarnished his life. I have never known one more spotless in personal virtues.
He was orderly and methodical to the last degree, in his dress, his neatness of person, his business, his pleasures, his benevolences, in all he did. He was never in a hurry, but he was never idle, and, taken altogether, I know of no life which, in one place and with the opportunities at its command, accomplished so much and has left such rich and splendid object lessons behind.
My father was the embodiment of physical and intellectual energy. I never knew any one who drove business with such incessant and almost resistless force. But he understood the philosophy of rest as well as work. For the last thirty years of his life he lived in retirement and grew old gracefully and beautifully. He regarded business as not the end but the means of happiness and usefulness, and, while he threw himself into it with all the ardor of his nature, he did not permit it to become a consuming passion. He came to the final hour with the peace and composure with which the sun, which erstwhile blazed in noonday strength, sinks to rest beyond the western hills. The setting of his career was a beautiful and fitting as its rise and meridian had been auspicious and fruitful.
As stated in the beginning of this sketch I have prepared it with diffidence and hesitation. Now that I have finished it I fear there may be those who, in reading it, may receive the impression that I have permitted my love and regard for my father to warp my judgment and to have led me into overstatement. But I am sure that a cold analysis of his life and character, from any one wholly disconnected with him by ties of blood or friendship, could not have reached different conclusions. I finish it as I began, with the statement that for a country boy without other inspiration than his own ambition and high ideals to have attained success and distinction in so many lines, is an achievement rarely paralleled. I am grateful to Almighty God that He gave me such a father, and that it is my privilege and honor to have inherited the legacy of his remarkable career and his splendid life.
All that is purposed here is to give a mere outline of the life of Dr. Yeaman. He was the son of Stephen Minor Yeaman and Lucretia Helm Yeaman, and was born on a farm a mile west of Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky, May 28, 1832. Before he had reached the age of 21 years he began the practice of law, and was married to Miss Elizabeth Shackleford. Having practiced law for a few years, in Elizabethtown, he moved to Calhoun in McLean County, Kentucky. Here he attained prominence in the legal profession and also became a leader in political campaigns. He was inferior to no man who entered the lists as a platform speaker. His ready command of language, his thorough knowledge of the issues that divided the people into political parties, and his unequaled oratory, drew immense crowds who listened with enraptured attention.
He was at this time a lay member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. A careful study of the New Testament made him a Baptist. He was baptized by Rev. J. S. Coleman, D. D., and at once licensed, or ordained, at the call of the Baptist church in Calhoun.
As soon as he could close out the legal business then entrusted to his care, he moved to Nicholasville, Kentucky, and entered the pastorate. He took the oversight of the Baptist church in Nicholasville and a country church a few miles distant from that small city. After a few years of most delightful pastoral work here, he was called by the First Church in Covington, Kentucky, and became pastor of the First Baptist Church in that city. Here he became known, not only in his native State, but all over our common country, as a pulpit orator of the first rank.
In 1868 he accepted the call of the Central Baptist Church, New York City, where he quickly became known as one of the ablest preachers in the greatest city in North America. He continued to reside in New York only about two years when he accepted a call of the Third Baptist Church of St. Louis.
Here, on the first Sunday in March, 1870, he began what proved to be the great work of his life. He was soon recognized throughout the State of Missouri as the leader the whole denomination had sought and had now obtained.
It was but a few months until he became part owner and co-editor with Dr. John Hill Luter, of the Central Baptist. Of the length of his pastorate of the Third Baptist Church, St. Louis, I cannot write in definite figures. But that the church grew rapidly in numbers and efficiency, is known by all who are familiar with its history.
Closing his work with that church he joined in the organization of the Garrison Avenue Church, now called, because of a change of location, the Delmar Avenue Church. For a few years he served this church and devoted a part of his time to holding evangelistic meetings. With the writer of this sketch, he preached for some three weeks in Mexico, Missouri, and a great revival resulted therefrom. The church was strengthened and many members added.
In 1878, at the meeting of the General Association in Mexico, the Board of State Missions was located in that city, and Dr. Yeaman, who had moved to Glasgow, Missouri, was chosen Corresponding Secretary and Superintendent of State Missions.
There had developed in many parts of the State a determined opposition to the work of this Board. Much of it, doubtless, grew out of personal ambition for leadership. The opposition concentrated its efforts upon the Secretary. He was accused of tyranny, and misappropriation of funds, while the Board was accused of doing all its work for the benefit of the Secretary to the neglect of all other interests. All these accusations were unfounded in fact but were believed by those under the influence of the leader of the opposition.
An effort was made to organize another State convention which should be under the control of those who were in sympathy with the enemies of the Secretary. This attempt soon failed, and the desire of the Baptists to evangelize the State of Missouri was aroused to an intense activity.
The enlargement of the "Spirit and Scope" of the State Missions was celebrated in the Jubilee of the General Association held in Marshall in October, 1884. The opposition had departed and was only thought of as one proof of the triumphant success of the Secretary and the Board who had faithfully supported him in his work.
In 1877, at Lexington, Dr. Yeaman was elected Moderator of the General Association. This office he filled for twenty consecutive years. He was acknowledged by all who had any knowledge of parliamentary law to be a very prince among presiding officers.
It was in 1886 that he surrendered the office of Secretary of State Missions. The preceding summer he had been active in his effort to gain the nomination as Democratic candidate for Congress. This fact had caused many good brethren to feel that he should not be continued in this important office as leader in State Missions. I will here write that which I have not put upon paper before.
Had the Baptists of Missouri known why Dr. Yeaman consented to the use of his name for political preferment, they would have wept for him rather than blamed him. He once said to my wife and myself in conversation about the preparation of a memorial volume, if I should survive him: "I cannot be a pastor. I have not the Scriptural qualifications for a bishop. I cannot control my own family." I knew that he had been invited to a pastorate in one of the largest Western cities and had been urged to accept.
The above statement was made as the reason for his refusal.
He had, in the meantime, purchased a farm of eighty acres near Columbia, and continued to reside there, where he made his home, until called to enter that " home not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
He continued to preach to the Walnut Grove Church two Sundays in each month, and for a short time also preached at Bethel, another church in Boone County.
Earnest solicitations were now presented to him to take the presidency of Grand River College, located in Gallatin. He was made to belief that the moneyed men of that part of the State would rally to the school, and that he could, in a short time, endow it with a sufficient sum to make a permanent institution, and place it upon such a basis that it would be a means of advancing the cause of Christianity. If this could be done it would be his best contribution to the Baptist cause of the State he loved, and would aid in advancing the kingdom of heaven in the northwest quarter of the State.
There came, however, about this time, a general financial panic all over the country, and after four years of hard work and much worry, he gave up the work there and again returned to his home near Columbia.
He now began industriously to prepare a history of the General Association. This work of inestimable value to the present and future laborers in Missouri, was published in 1899. It is a true compendium of the great work the Lord had done through the General Association of Missouri Baptists. After the publication of this book he prepared his treatise upon the "God-man," which is printed in his memoirs by the writer of this outline.
He was still called upon for sermons at the dedication of new Baptist meeting houses, for addresses at all the large convocations of his brethren and sisters who were seeking the advancement of Christ's kingdom, and was president of the Board of Trustees of Stephens College and of the Board of Regents of the State University.
Early in the morning of the 19th day of February, 1904, he suddenly expired form heart failure. His wife had died just three weeks before, after a wedded life of more than a half-century.
This mere outline of the life of this great and good man might be indefinitely prolonged by quotations from his many friends, in which they speak of his exalted talents and the usefulness of his life, but those who wish to know in what high esteem he was held, can find some of these estimates in his "Memoirs," written by the author of this mere epitome of what the book contains.
He was a man who believed in God. He was sure that the Bible is a revelation of the will of the Great Creator. He believed with all his heart and mind that Jesus of Nazareth was "God manifest in the flesh." From the first day he entered the ministry to the last day he ever preached, he presented, with fervent zeal and charming eloquence, all the great facts and principles of that One Book that was the delight of his life.
Charles Henry Hardin was born on a farm in Trimble County, Kentucky, on the 15th day of July, 1820. The father of the future Governor of Missouri was a native of Loudoun County, Virginia, and in 1801 became a resident of Kentucky. While the son, Charles Henry, was an infant less than a year old, the family moved to Missouri and resided for a time in Howard County, near the town of Old Franklin. A year afterwards the family made their home in Columbia, Boone County.
The name Hardin stands among the most honorable of the citizens of the State of Kentucky. Intermingled by marriage with the Wickliffes and the Helms, they were known as leading citizens, in high official positions and in the pulpits of that State. The mother of Governor Hardin was a sister of Dr. William Jewell, the founder of the college that bears his name. As the father died when the son was but years of age, the training of the boy devolved upon the mother. That she did her work well, the life of her noble son proves.
The father and mother, with seven others, united in organizing the Baptist church in Columbia, on the 22nd day of November, 1823. It was constituted as a Missionary Baptist church, and has stood firmly by its purpose until the present day. In the life of Mr. Hardin, written by his scholarly wife, Mary B. Hardin, high compliment is paid to the mother of this distinguished statesman. She writes: "Truly it may be said that she laid the foundation of her son's wonderful business ability. She lived to see him occupy high positions of trust and courageously meet them." Were it not that the great number of biographies to be prepared under the present arrangement necessitates brevity, it would be pleasant to mention the several members of Mr. Hardin's immediate family; but the writer must deny himself this pleasure.
The youthful Charles Henry was given the best school training Columbia afforded in that day. He desired, and his family encouraged that wish, a full classical course. He first went to Illinois State University at Bloomington. Here his progress was such that the head of the academic department wrote to his uncle, Dr. Jewell, and complimented the progress of his nephew, as surpassing the usual advancement of students.
From 1839 to 1841 Mr. Hardin attended Miami University at Oxford, Ohio, and in July, 1841, was graduated with the degree of A.B. He so earnestly continued his literary pursuits that, later, the same institution gave him the degree of A. M. And still later in life, because of his distinguished ability and high standing, both as a citizen and as a man of wide research, William Jewell College gave him the degree of L.L.D. All of which honors he deserved, both because of his high rank in learning and his prominence in the realm of statesmanship.
After the completion of his college studies he immediately began the study of law with Hon. John M. Gordon of Columbia, Missouri. After a thorough examination as to his knowledge of law, he was given a license by Judge William Scott of the Supreme Court of Missouri, in February, 1853. He began the practice of law as a partner of Hon. R. B. Reed in Fulton, Missouri. This partnership continued for five years.
On May 16, 1844, Mr. Hardin was married to Miss Mary B. Jenkins of Boone County, Missouri. This proved to be a most fortunate marriage. Mrs. Hardin, while yet a mere girl, had made a reputation for high attainments in learning. She made the most of her opportunities. Having a teacher who was a classical scholar, she gained a knowledge of the Greek language which she ever afterward used in her study of the New Testament. She was an active working Christian and, for many years, a pillar in the Baptist church of Mexico, Missouri. In all the work of her church she pursued the same modest, quiet persistence that was the characteristic of her whole life.
Mr. Hardin's first political office was that of Circuit Attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit of Missouri, which then embraced the Counties of Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Howard, Randolph and Macon. "During his four years of service in that office, no indictment prepared by him was ever quashed or held invalid by the courts, nor did he ever fail to attend the courts, although the terms were very numerous and the traveling then loborious."
This shows the great care with which he did all his work. He believed that anything that was worth doing at all, deserted to be done thoroughly. He was conscientious and painstaking in all his work,. And shunned no amount of labor that all might be done well. He was elected three times to represent the County of Callaway in the Lower House of the General Assembly. "In 1855, though a Whig, and the General Assembly was Democratic, he was elected one of three commissioners to revise and codify the statute laws of the State." When the work done by these commissioners was approved by the Lesgislature, he was selected "to index, annotate, and superintend the printing of the same."
In 1860 he was chose to represent the Counties of Boone and Callaway in the State Senate; and in 1872 he was elected to the same position by the Counties of Audrain, Boone and Callaway. All the time of his service as Senator he was chairman of the committees on Judiciary and Asylums. His thorough knowledge of law, and his large human sympathy, fitted him well for these positions.
Among the strange things that happened during the period of the Civil War, may be mentioned the fact that, though he was the only Senator that voted against the secession of the State, he was put under bond and subsequently disfranchised "because of alleged sympathy for the Southern Confederacy."
In 1874 Mr. Hardin was nominated by the Democratic State Convention as a candidate for Governor. He was elected by a very large majority. The words of United States Senator George G. Vest, found a response in the opinion of the most of our citizens, when he wrote, "No State in the Union has ever had a more faithful Chief Executive than did Missouri in the person of Governor Hardin." Before his election as Governor, he had built a house and began the improvement of a farm two miles north of Mexico. This was his home until the end of his life. Here he found rest and quiet that was to him a great delight.
He was president of the Southern Bank of Mexico, and, though he had given up the practice of law, he continued active in business.
It is not the purpose of this series of biographies to write eulogies, but truth demands that it should be said that C. H. Hardin was, in all walks of life, a man of unswerving integrity. He was of the highest type of true manliness. He was liberal in the use of his money that any good cause might be advanced and the needy helped. He had none of that maudlin sympathy that encouraged wrong doing, but was always a true friend to the unfortunate, and gave help as it was "more blessed to give than to receive." Among his neighbors his life was worthy of imitation by all.
It was not until he had retired from political life that he became a member of the Baptist Church in Mexico, Missouri. His views had always harmonized with the Baptists; his father, mother and uncle, Dr. Jewell, were active and prominent members of that denomination; his wife, too, was a most devoted Christian worker.
When the Baptists in Mexico built their first house of worship, Mrs. Hardin was one of the most liberal contributors, and the future Governor served as a member of the building committee. As I was pastor of the Baptist Church in Mexico at the time of Mr. Hardin's conversion, it will be in harmony with the design of this series of biographies to speak briefly of this great event in his life.
His health had been for some time not robust. I called upon him at his home, and we were soon engaged in conversation upon the need of vital union with the Christ. I asked him as to his hope for the future. His answer was, "I do not know that I have any." Mrs. Hardin was present and said, "But Mr. Hardin, you are seeking." His answer was, "Yes, and I am in e4arnest about it, too." Then I discovered that he was, as a child, sitting at the feet of his wife, and she was teaching him the way of life.
Shortly after this they went West where he hoped to regain his health. Before going Mrs. Hardin was very desirous that he should unite with the church. She said to me, " I told him he had all the evidences of regeneration." To this I answered, "He has all the evidences except his own consciousness of his acceptance with Christ, and that will come to him. His genuine sincerity is such that he will, in time, have the Holy Spirit bearing witness with his spirit that he is Christ's."
They left home the latter part of the winter and went far enough into the Southwest to avoid the changes of weather on the approach of spring. As the season advanced they moved northward. At Denver, when alone in their room at a hotel, the full consciousness that Jesus was his Savior took possession of him. "Not knowing, " as he said to me after his return, "whether I should live to get home, I acted promptly." That very evening they hunted up the Baptist church – it was prayer-meeting night—when he told his experience and asked for baptism. He was received and baptized, and, upon his return home, he brought his church letter and united with the church in Mexico. From that day forward until the end of his life there was not duty that he shirked. It was not duty to him, but a privilege, to help bear all the burdens of the church. He contributed liberally and largely to the support of his home church. His hand was open to help the needy. All the varied missionary enterprises of the Baptist denomination, at home and on the foreign field, were cheerfully aided.
Knowing that the time was near at hand when a new and larger house of worship would have to be built in Mexico, he left in his will a contribution for that purpose.
About the year of 1873 Governor Hardin decided to establish a college for the education of girls and young women, at Mexico, Missouri. He gave to the college for endowment and other purposes $75,000. After the organization of a Board of Trustees and a charter had been secured, he provided, in the deed to the property and money he gave, that forty per cent of the income should be annually added to the permanent funds until the endowment should reach the sum of $500,000. He also provided that a majority of the members of the Board of Trustees should always be "members in good standing in a Missionary Baptist Church."
By this wise provision of the founder the endowment is growing larger every year. In 1910 the report made to the Missouri Baptist General Association stated that at that time the endowment was $81,000. In every way the college has grown. The course of study has been advanced until, among the ladies' colleges of the Middle West, it stands in the front rank. Under the able control of President J. W. Million, A.M. L.L. D., the attendance has so increased that additional room is imperatively demanded.
Charles Henry Hardin will long be remembered for his high character and great attainments; for his official position and the honorable discharge of every duty placed upon him; but he will be honored and loved more because of the establishment of this great school than for any thing else he has done. Down through the coming centuries the many noble mothers who here receive their mental and moral training, will teach their sons and daughters to reverence the name of the good and great man who established the school that bears his name.
His distinguished services as statesman and business man were so well known throughout the State of Missouri that when he became a church member, prominence in Christian affairs was thrust upon him. He was chosen Assistant Moderator of the General Association, and for years presided at the meetings of the Audrain Baptist Association.
His activity in the work of his home church was never self-assertive but always that of the humble Christian gentleman who was willing to be "servant to all." He was also for several years President of the Board of State Missions and Sunday Schools.
While C. H. Hardin was Governor of Missouri, the western part of the State was overwhelmed by grasshoppers or the Rocky Mountain locusts. Wherever they came the crops were wholly destroyed. Dr. W. R. Rothwell, in writing of the plague, said: "Before them a beautiful field of young corn; behind them nothing but a clean black sod. Meadows were but the feast of a day." There was a threatened famine. The farmers were in despair.
At this perilous hour Governor Hardin issued a proclamation calling for a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer. The day was generally observed throughout the State. There were those who made sport of such a call. A few ridiculed the Governor for making such a request. There was also a request that offerings be taken to aid those who had lost their crops.
The writer was living in Cape Girardeau at the time, and, though that part of the State was not suffering from the pest, yet the Protestant churches met and prayed and gave of their money to help the needy.
In a day or two after these earnest prayers had reached the ear of the Father of all, the locusts picked themselves up and flew away. Not only Missouri but a large portion of the State of Kansas was saved from starvation. And with the contributions of money sent the farmers, they procured new seed corn, planted their fields again, and raised the largest crop of corn they had ever realized up to that date. I forbear to make comments upon these facts further than to say that the God whom Christians worship does hear and answer prayers.
When Governor Hardin died the whole State felt the shock. His spirit left the body at Mexico, Missouri, at 9:30 a.m., July 29, 1892. David R. Francis, then Governor, issued a proclamation calling the attention of the whole citizenship to the sad event. If I should here attempt to make selections from the tributes paid at the funeral services, or to mention the names of the writers who praised the man so worthy of the best that could be said of a good and great man, this brief sketch would become too long for the present purpose.
A few years later his noble and scholarly wife, whose name he always associated with his own in all the gifts he made to education, missions, or charity, passed on to join her husband and to be forever with the Lord.
The Biography which Mrs. Hardin prepared of her distinguished husband, is worthy of an honored place in Missouri literature, and will, in years to come, be more appreciated than it is at present.
J. L. Tichenor was born in Spencer County, Kentucky, March 27, 1830. He was the sixth son of James and Margaret Tichenor.
That the fact may not be omitted, let it here be stated that Dr. I. T. Tichenor, the "Home Mission Statesman" of the Southern Baptist Convention, was the fourth son in this family.
The parents of these noble sons became Christians in early life and lived in harmony with their profession all their days. The father lived beyond his 85th year. The mother died earlier.
From his earliest recollections James L. was the subject of deep religious impressions. In the 15th year of his age, while attending a protracted meeting in Bloomfield, Kentucky, where his parents were then members under the pastoral care of Rev. Dr. Wm. Vaughn, with Rev. A. D. Sears, of Louisville, assisting, he was pungently convicted of sin. He asked for the prayers of the church. He did not try to conceal his great desire for peace with God. The meetings ended and he was still in the dark as to his personal relations to the Divine Savior. These deep impressions gradually wore off, and for two years he lived as he had before.
About two years after this he attended a series of meetings in Taylorsville, in his home county, where he was again brought under conviction with even greater pungency than before. This time he made a full surrender of his heart and life and obtained an assurance of his acceptance with the Lord. He had now the testimony of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness with his spirit, that he was a child of God. He united with the Baptist church in Taylorsville and was baptized by Rev. Smith Thomas. This Brother Thomas was for many years an evangelist in Kentucky and for a limited time also in Missouri. He was a man of great power in the pulpit, and did a great and good work in both States.
When Mr. Tichenor had grown to mature manhood he moved to McClean County, Kentucky, where he filled the office of bailiff for a time. W. Pope Yeaman was at that time a leading lawyer in Calhoun, the county seat of McClean County. The duties of the bailiff and the lawyer brought them into frequent contact.
On one occasion Mr. Tichenor, in the discharge of his official duties, called at the office of the lawyer to pay over some money collected on fines or other legal affairs. After they had settled all the business transactions, the caller took up his saddle bags and started for the door. Before he had opened the door to depart the lawyer called out, "Luke," – how he ever acquired the "nick-name" of Luke I have never learned, for his name was James Lewis-- "you ought to lay aside that baggage, and engage in the work for which you have been endowed and to which you are called of God and begin preaching the gospel." He at once, paused and, looking earnestly upon his friend, came forward and confessed his strong convictions of duty to enter the ministry.
It was at about this time that Mr. Yeaman united with the Baptist church in Calhoun, and it is said they were both licensed to preach by that church the same day.
This was in 1858, and soon after Mr. Tichenor went to the home of Rev. J. S. Coleman at Beaver Dam and became a student of that man of great usefulness in the ministry throughout the whole State of Kentucky. For two years he made his home with Dr. Coleman; part of the time he taught school, but gave all the time possible to the study of theology and to preaching He preached in school houses, in tobacco barns, in private houses and often in the open air beneath the shade of forest trees, or underneath arbors erected for that purpose.
In 1860 he was ordained at Beaver Dam church in Ohio County, Kentucky. For two years he ministered to Uniontown and Highland churches. These churches were, I suppose, in Union County, Kentucky, though their location is not mentioned in any document to which access is possible at this time.
In 1863 he accepted a call to become pastor at Newport, Kentucky. Notwithstanding the fact that the war was now going on and the church was located on the border of the sections in conflict, his labors were blessed.
In December of that year he was married to Miss Roxie Cooper. She lived to bless and comfort his life for only two years.
When Mr. Tichenor was pastor at Newport Mr. Yeaman was pastor in Covington. The two towns are separated only by a small river that here empties into the Ohio. The are directly opposite Cincinnati, Ohio, so that the three cities are almost as one. It is scarcely necessary to say that these two old friends who had entered the ministry together were all the time fast friends and true yoke fellows.
Anxious to get away from the scenery of his great sorrow, he now left Newport and became pastor in Lancaster, Kentucky.
In 1866 he accepted the call of the Baptist church in Westport, Missouri, and spent all the remaining years of his life in this State.
While pastor at Westport he was united in marriage to Mrs. L. E. Melvin, of Boonville, Missouri.
For some years he was pastor at Dover in Lafayette County. He then moved to Saline County and purchased a small tract of land adjoining the town of Napton. This town was called Jonesburg for some years, but after the war the name was changed to Napton.
From the time he located in this county to the end of his life he preached to many of the best country churches in that richest county in the whole State.
The leading feature of his sermons was the presentation of the teaching of the New Testament upon the great fact that salvation comes to man through the sovereign grace of God.
There is at this date a cry raised in some quarters against beginning our teaching of the gospel with the Divine being and working our way down to man and his needs. But surely a theology that does not start with the Deity would better be called by some other name. There is not objection on the part of any well informed preacher of the gospel to as profound and thorough a knowledge of the human family as any mind can grasp; but anthropology is easily differentiated from theology.
There was too much reverence for the Great Creator in the brain and heart of J. L. Tichenor to try to shut Him out of our thoughts and banish Him from our worship. He was not afraid of any truth taught in the New Testament. He could accept the plain declarations of the Word and let it mean "what it wants to mean." He had no conception of a Christianity that had in it no place for faith in God. If there were great truths that he could not make plain to one who had no spiritual discernment, he could stand upon the rock, Christ Jesus, and exclaim, "Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out."
He was not troubled over the teaching of the New Testament concerning election or predestination. He saw these words there and though he made no claim of ability to form a complete philosophy of the infinite, he was satisfied to stand by and wait for God himself to make plain in the future what He had not given to man, the poser to fully comprehend.
When the pastors met for discussion and self-improvement, the deepest questions of theology were sure to be assigned to the one best able to grapple with them and not afraid to tell what he knew nor to acknowledge freely the limits of his own understanding. He was along some lines the best theologian among us all. Yet he pretended to have no attainments beyond what he found in the revealed Word of God. Had he been blessed with the same facility of speech and an equal power to charm by his manner of address as his brother Dr. I. T. Tichenor of Georgia, possessed, he would have been regarded as the ablest of all our preachers. There were times when he became eloquent.
In a series of meetings at Napton, his home church, where I assisted him for a number of days, his son, Charles, was converted and united with the church. When the father, as pastor, gave to his son the hand of church fellowship the address was equal to any short appeal I ever heard. His strong mind was thoroughly aroused and his heart filled with gratitude and for some ten minutes or more there flowed from his lips the expressions of love and hope that thrilled my own heart and melted many in the congregation to tears. It was full of pathos, permeated with the very breath of Christ's love for souls and at the same moment a prayer running through it all that the young life might be wholly given to the service of the Lord Jesus.
When he was called home he left his widowed wife and three sons to weep for the loss of as good a husband and father as the gracious God ever gave to any family. The little farm he left them has become a source of revenue because of a valuable deposit of good stone that is quarried there and shipped to Marshall. Those of us who have been in the ministry long enough to know J. L. Tichenor well feel that we are both wiser and better men by our association with him. We were never long in his company without finding ourselves richer in thought and better able to understand some portions of the gospel. He was modest and even retiring in his habits. He loved his home, his family and his Bible. His ambition was to serve his God faithfully and the church of the Lord Jesus in the spirit of Him "who loved the church and gave himself for it."
He died at his home in Napton, Missouri, August 17, 1897. His grave by the side of the meeting house of the Zoar church at Napton is marked by a neat monument erected by his widow, who has now (1911) joined him in the home above.
Alexander Trotter, Esq.
1829 – 1906
Religious Activity in Missouri 1856 – 1906 J. C. M.
There are men who become eminent in their own immediate neighborhood, who are wholly unknown beyond the narrow circle of their friends. Some of these confine their lives within these limits. They have no ambition for a wider or more extended field in which to be known. Absorbed in the duties that come to their hands, they think not of extending their operations beyond that to which they are devoting their energies.
The successful business man, whether upon his farm or in his factory, or in his store, finds ample room for the use of all his talents.
He may be selfish or narrow in the promptings of his heart or the great aims of his life, but the work in which he is engaged demands constant attention, and gives full scope to the purpose of his life. He deals fairly with all men, and yet has regard for his own profits, and obtains wealth and popularity.
Alexander Trotter of Carrollton, Missouri, was one of these men. He never sought prominence, nor asked for any political office. He was both a gentleman and a Christian in all business transactions and in his relations to his own family and his friends. That he gained and held the confidence and esteem of those with whom he came in contact will be abundantly shown in the quotations found in this brief sketch of his useful life.
Alexander Trotter was born in Trotter Township, Carroll County, Missouri, April 19, 1829. He was a son of John and Martha Trotter, and grew to manhood on the farm owned by his father.
In 1849, when but 20 years of age, he went, with many others, to California, and remained three or four years. Having returned to his former home, in December, 1853, he was united in marriage to Miss Martha F. Minnis. Four children came to bless their home, all of whom survived both their parents.
Just a few months before the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage, the wife was called to the home of the redeemed, and the tie that bound the family into one loving band was severed. The children were now, however, more than ever devoted to the living parent, and the one daughter, the wife of Rev. T. L. West, D. D., made the home of her father all that her loving heart and willing mind could accomplish.
Mr. Trotter for some years dealt extensively in land and lived in the localities that business required.
In 1880 he became a permanent resident of the city of Carrollton, and remained there to the end of his life.
"In 1870, he, with others, organized the Carroll Exchange Bank of this city, the growth of which institution has been a part of the life of our town. For thirty-six years he was a director, and nearly all of the time vice president of that institution. While he did not devote his whole time to the bank, yet it was his every care that it would be able to meet any emergency that might arise, and be of the greatest service to the community in which it was located."
Rev. G. W. Hatcher, who was for years pastor of the Baptist Church in Carrollton, and Mr. Trotter an honored Deacon, in the sermon preached at the funeral of this model officer in the church, said, that in three things, Deacon Trotter was truly a great man.
1. In natural endowments. Sometimes nature is very lavish with her gifts. It was so in this case. Physically he was great. He had a large, strong, muscular frame. His shoulders were broad, his head was large and his features striking. A man among men. His boast was that he never knew sickness until after he was forty years old. His mental powers were equal to his physical. He had a large brain and a wonderful mind. He was far-seeing, of sound judgment and keen discrimination. His common, hard sense was proverbial. His heart was in proportion to his head and frame. He was a man of noble impulses. While he detested sham and fraud, yet poverty and suffering appealed to him and found in him a helper. He loved his friends, and sought the good of all.
2. He was great in what he did for himself. He was self made, but was made and well made. He was not a dummy made into a man by a tailor, who advertised through him the texture and style of his goods. Neither was he made by a teacher, who poured into his ears, as a mould, the treasures of his own mind. The schools did but little for him. While he was well posted and eminently practical, he got nearly all his lessons from life. He used well and wisely the gifts bestowed upon him by birth. By his own indomitable and invincible will, guided by a sound judgment, he moulded circumstances, overcame difficulties, pushed on and up in the face of storms that assail every young aspiring life until he achieved success. His physical, mental and moral resources were made tributary to a worthy end.
But was this all? Can we say no more of him who lived among us so long? If there is no God and no future, this is enough. But if God is, and we are responsible to Him for our stewardship, and the destiny upon which we enter after death is determined and fixed by our life here, this is not enough. How flat this all falls upon the casket and how empty such words seem to those who believe in immortality. As the proud waves, set in motion by the mighty deep, strike the shore line and go up in mist, or fall back in fragments, so does a life, however honest and successful when it strikes the tombstone, if that is all that can be said in its favor. But our brother was—
3. Great in what grace did for him. He was a Christian. The greatest thing in his character was his simple, child-like faith in God as revealed in Jesus Christ and recorded in His word. His religion was of the old style. He knew nothing of salvation by character, but accepted Christ for salvation and character came as a result. He never substituted "doing good" for getting right and doing right. There is a form of philanthropy that is exceedingly popular nowadays. A man may be a liar and a drunkard, urged on by greed and graft, he may cover his loathsomeness by starting a library, endowing an institution of learning, opening an asylum, or contributing in some other way to the public good. But through this veneering the deviltry of the life shows and the fact is made plain that with some people to be right with men is religion, rather than being right with God.
In the religious vocabulary of our brother some words had a large place. He emphasized God, Sin, Savior, Blood, Salvation and Grace. His favorite text was: "The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin." He believed in salvation by grace, producing works of righteousness. More than half a century ago he responded to the claims of God upon him and accepting Christ as his personal Savior he entered upon the divine service. Some of us knew him better as a Christian than as a business man. He was at his best in the work of the Lord. How he loved the sanctuary and its worship. The last time I ever looked upon his form and face in life was the night before he died, in a prayer meeting. How fervently he prayed. He took right hold of God and wrestled with Him like Jacob of old. The loss of his hearing made it harder for him to enter into the spirit of the worship. A few months ago he came to church and asked the pastor to preach a little louder. But with the aid of his ear-trumpet he caught but little of the sermon. After the service he sat with his little company of sympathizing brethren and sisters around him and with tears rolling down his cheeks, he exclaimed: "Just to think, I'll never hear any more preaching." His religion was of the helping kind. So many people leaned hard upon him.
Yesterday a colored woman of this town told me her experience in this matter. There was a time when she was pressed for money. Her husband was discouraged. They knew not where to go for relief. She saw this man pass along and called to him. When her story was told, he put the needed amount in her hand. The Great Day alone will reveal the number, stimulated, encouraged and helped to success by his brotherly kindness. Your unworthy speaker was one of his beneficiaries. Thirty-six years ago I came to Missouri. My ambition went beyond the limits of my purse. With a widowed mother and her seven children to care for, I found it difficult to carry out my plans for preparing myself for my life's work. He knew me only as a young brother who wanted to preach. When I was financially pressed, I timidly went to him in my distress, and most gladly he gave me the amount needed and took my note without security. When the time came to pay the note he released me from my obligation and aided me to that amount in paying my way in college.
These are only a part of the good things his pastor said of him in the funeral discourse.
Rev. N. R. Pittman, who had been in the home of Mr. Trotter, and knew him, said, when writing of the loss that came to the churches of Christ in Missouri when he was called to the rest above:
"Ten years ago Alex Trotter, then a man of sixty-seven years, traveled throughout Europe, climbed mountains, wandered through famous cities, journeyed among the pagans of Asia, camped in the deserts of Egypt and won friends wherever he went on land and lakes and rivers and seas. He was a living interrogative. His ready wit could conquer a robber and his quenchless humor could dismay an assassin.
"A few weeks ago, in the middle of this winter, I spent a night in his mansion in Carrollton. The weather was not at all delightful. He was not entirely well; but he was in the prayer-meeting of the Baptist Church. I heard him pray there in the meeting. He prayed for complete and conscious submissiveness to God's righteous and holy will. While he prayed I felt the divine presence and I thought of L. B. Ely and W. S. Crouch, who had often prayed in that prayer-meeting room."
His business associates in the bank where he was so long an officer, wrote of him:
"After a long life, filled with earnest endeavor, good deeds and loving kindness, our dear friend and business associate, Alexander Trotter, has passed to his reward. He was one of Nature's noblemen. Large of frame, broad of mind, pure of heart, always loyal, ever fearless, tender and true. He was a man, take him all In all: We shall not look upon his like again.' We loved him for his virtues, cherished him for his ripe judgment, and while we lament the dispensation that has deprived us of his companionship, still, we try to say with child- like faith: Even so, Father, for so it has seemed good in thy sight.'"
The lifelong friend and intimate associate of Alexander Trotter was L. B. Ely, known and loved by Christian men and women and children all over the great State. He and Trotter were Deacons in the same church.
They often conferred together as to the best interests of the church they loved and delighted to serve. They were intimate, too, in many business affairs of their city.
Mr. Ely wrote of his friend, Alex Trotter, for the St. Louis Republic:
"The life of the West has been the lives of these men and is typified in them—pioneers who with no capital save the equipment of vigorous manhood, that of brawn, brains and character, achieved broad results for themselves and the country. The West is self-made, like these men; the product of their courage, energy and foresight. They were men of large heart and what may be called social responsibility; big men, community builders, great citizens and leaders of the march of civilization. Their passing must be noted with respect and an appreciation of what we owe to them."
Rev. John W. Lowe, Missionary of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, at Laichowfn, China, upon learning of the death of Mr. Trotter, wrote:
"I was greatly surprised and grieved to learn of the sudden death of my friend and benefactor, Alexander Trotter. On returning to my native land after seven years on my field in China, I was looking forward with great pleasure to seeing him and talking to him in his hospitable home in Carrollton, Mo. While I was yet in Oklahoma, however, before I had time to reach Missouri, the sad news of his death reached me. It is a source of deep regret to me that the message did not reach me in time for me to attend the funeral services. From the depth of my heart I want to give expression to my love and appreciation of my dear friend whom I shall not see again till we meet in 'the better land.'
"My mind goes back now to the time when I was a ministerial student at William Jewell College. Well do I recall the day. I was walking up the street with a wood-saw on my arm, when Dr. G. L. Black, treasurer of the Board of Ministerial Education, called to me and said, 'Lowe, come up to my study, I have some news for you.' As I went I was trembling from head to foot from fear that in some way I had given offense to the Board. But my fears were groundless. Dr. Black told me that he had just received a letter from one of his dear friends who wanted to help a poor boy through college. He then asked me if I would accept of the aid, to which I responded, 'I would if he thought me worthy.' Arrangements were there made, and from that date Brother Trotter became my friend and benefactor. He not only aided me through William Jewell, but through the Seminary at Louisville as well, showing me all the while multitudes of kindness of which I did not feel worthy. His coming into my life was a benediction, and I believe was in answer to prayer."
It has been necessary to abbreviate these testimonials that this sketch should not be too long.
At one time, in company with Dr. J. T. M. Johnston, Dr. T. L. West and others, he made a tour of Egypt, Palestine, and visited many of the old cities on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea.
Rev. Dr. Q. W. Hatcher, when asked about this tour of Mr. Trotter, said: "He got more out of it, and could tell more about it when he returned, than all of them put together."
He made a study of the countries he was about to visit, and knew what he wanted to see, and why he wanted to look upon those scenes.
His friends all speak of him as a most companionable friend. He was full of humor, and an admirable storyteller. In fact, was the life of any social group. Unusually quick in repartee, but never in any way obtrusive or offensive. He was a man of prayer, and ever found upon the side of that which was the highest type of morality, and ready to say things that were helpful to Christian living. A consistent Christian, he greatly desired that all those with whom he came in contact should be sharers in the blessed life that came from God and made men and women "new creatures" in Christ Jesus.
At the time of his death he was 76 years, 10 months and 12 days old. His death was almost without warning. The end came as he had often expressed the wish that it might. A stroke of apoplexy on the evening of the 1st day of March, 1906, carried him speedily away from earth to the home of the righteous.
But his life had for more than fifty years borne testimony to the fact that he was ready to heed the call and enter the mansion above.
This man, by the proper use of his money, is now preaching the gospel in China to the million of that great nation.
And those who have heard him, and will still hear the admirable sermons of Dr. G. W. Hatcher and his pleadings for the education of the young women of the Central West, that they serve better the Lord Jesus, may truly say, that here again we see the fruits of the wise investment made by the good Deacon of the Carrollton Baptist Church.
May many others be led to make like investments of their wealth.
Rev. W. W. Walden belonged to that class of Baptist ministers who formed the connecting link between the pioneers and the strong body of efficient workers who made the organized forces the great power for the advancement of the kingdom of Heaven that they are at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Dr. Yeaman said in the "foreword" to his history of the General Association: "A people without a history are out of the course of progress; neither benefited by the past nor benefiting the future." Missouri Baptists have a history, both of the pioneer period and of the great work of the twentieth century.
Though Mr. Walden was not associated in the real pioneer work with such men as Wilhite Fristoe and others, he knew them well in his younger days, and was a close friend and co-worker with A. F. Martin and others who had long labored with these men. He most heartily, in all the purposes of his mind and heart, joined in the unselfish efforts of these consecrated men of God.
W. W. Walden was a son of Austin Francis Walden and Sallie Woods Walden. His parents were married in Howard County, Missouri, January 13, 1819. The father of the subject of this sketch was a farmer and lived near Fayette, in Howard County.
Their son, William Woods, was born on the farm January 19, 1823.
The parents were consistent members of the Presbyterian Church, and sought to bring up their children in the "Nurture and admonition of the Lord." When the son had passed a little beyond his nineteenth birthday, he was converted under the ministry of Rev. Dr. A. P. Williams, and baptized by him into the fellowship of the Chariton Baptist Church, in Howard County. His conversion and baptism being under such a teacher, it need scarcely be written that he was well grounded in the "faith once for all delivered to the saints.''
The conviction now took strong hold upon the youth that he must preach the Gospel. There was no peace to his mind until he yielded to this call, which his future life proved was from God.
His first sermon was preached at Miami, Saline County, beneath the shade of a big elm tree.
This same year, 1843, he was married, in his native county, to Miss Sarah Ann Morrin.
The following year, 1844, he moved to Livingston County, and made a home for himself and family near Hale City.
In this county he resided to the end of his laborious and useful life.
In the cultivation of his farm or in some form of mercantile business he provided for the support of his family, and either as a Missionary or a pastor of rural churches, continued perseveringly to preach wherever he could find or make an opening.
He assisted in organizing the Fairland Baptist Church, located near Bedford, Livingston County. There were eleven constituent members; Mr. Walden and his wife were among the eleven.
At that time Rev. H. M. Henderson was chosen as pastor. At the end of the first quarter the church was constituted, the pastor moved to Trenton, and Rev. Kemp Scott became pastor.
It was by this Fairland Baptist Church that Mr. Walden was licensed to preach, and at the call of the same body was ordained by Elders Kemp Scott and J. M. Goodson.
He was soon called to the pastorate of that church, and continued that relation for ten years. During this time the church grew in numbers from the original eleven to eighty.
Mr. Walden now moved his family to Chillicothe, and here continued his residence until 1872, when he moved back to the vicinity of Hale.
The writer of this brief sketch of his life was his pastor for some months, and learned to love him. He was in every way helpful, and aided the pastor in every possible way in the upbuilding of the church.
During the war between the States, the membership of the Fairland Church was scattered, and the few who remained voted each other letters, and the church formally disbanded. But after the war was over, the church was reorganized, and in 1913 represented 62 members.
After the Civil War, Mr. Walden could not take the oath prescribed in the "Drake Constitution," and, therefore, could not preach the Gospel without being liable to arrest and imprisonment. He therefore did not open the Bible or take a text, but simply "made speeches" on some religious topic at the usual places where before he had preached the gospel.
He stood upon that provision of the Constitution of the United States that "Congress should pass no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech." And, as we all know now, the Supreme Court of the country declared that provision of this "Drake" Constitution was in violation of the supreme law of our free country.
Mr. Walden's life was one of unceasing effort to advance the kingdom of Heaven. A mere mention of the churches he served will show how incessant were his labors. He was pastor of the churches at Chillicothe, Utica, Chula, Hale, Bedford, Fairland, Hurricane, Linneus, Parson Creek, Big Creek, Meadville, Wheeling, Alpha, Trenton, Mount Olive, Mount Pleasant, Union, Browning, Bogard, Dawn, and perhaps others that are not here mentioned. Very few, if any, of these churches paid him any regular salary.
In fact, for a few years just following the Civil War, the people had very little means. The farms in many cases were laid waste, the houses, barns and fences were destroyed, and most of the live stock had been driven away or slaughtered by the armies marching through the country.
Truth demands that it should be said that much of the wanton destruction of property was by bands of guerrillas who belonged to neither army, and were sometimes composed of deserters of both armies, banded together for no other purpose than robbery.
The pastor accepted whatever the membership paid him for his services. There is no doubt but that they might often have been more liberal than they were, but the pastor was far more considerate of their needs than they were of his. If he could only increase their faith and persuade sinners to be reconciled to God through faith in the Lord Jesus, his joy was complete.
At the time the writer knew Mr. Walden, he resided in Chillicothe. He was then pastor of some four churches, preaching one Saturday and Sunday every month for each congregation. He was also clerking in a large dry goods and clothing store, and administrator of a number of estates.
This mere statement of facts is sufficient to show that he was a man of affairs and leading a strenuous life.
Rev. R. S. Duncan, in his History of Missouri Baptists, says of Mr. Walden: "He emphatically founded the Baptist Church at Chillicothe, and has given his life to the building up of Baptist interests in that section of Missouri. ''
In the fall of 1872 a movement was started in Missouri to organize Baptist Associations in every county where there were a sufficient number of churches to make such bodies strong enough in wealth and numbers to become efficient in supplying the destitute territories with the Gospel.
A call was made for a meeting in Chillicothe, to be held on the 25th day of October, to consider the propriety of organinzing (sic) a Livingston County Association. Only three churches responded by sending messengers. An adjournment was agreed upon, and a second meeting was held on the 6th day of December, when a constitution was adopted and a date agreed upon for the first meeting of the new Association.
My recollection is that Mr. Walden presided at both these preliminary meetings. The minutes of the Livingston County Association show that he was chosen to preside over this body in 1877, and was continuously elected to that office until 1885, with one exception, when he was unable to attend.
A friend of his in writing of him said: "He was a tireless worker, a sound Baptist, and a bold defender of the faith."
At a meeting of the North Grand River Baptist Association, held with a church in a country district, after the introductory sermon had been preached and an organization effected, some one who was a member of the church where the body had assembled, moved that the "Doctrinal Sermon" be dispensed with. No reason was given for this motion, and Rev. A. P. Martin, who had been appointed the year before, not being in the house at the time, the motion passed.
It was soon learned that the house of worship, being unfinished, some of the local membership did not want anything said or done that could offend those who were not Baptists, hoping thereby to obtain financial aid in completing their meeting house.
Mr. Walden and another brother, who had been selected to preach on Sunday in a grove near by the church house, learning of the purpose of this motion to dispense with the Doctrinal Sermon, at once decided that the people there should learn some of the reasons why Baptists maintain an existence separate from other denominations. And so he preached a sermon upon Baptism and the other brother followed with a sermon upon the design of baptism and the reasons for restricted communion.
Some weeks after this a prominent layman called at the store where Mr. Walden was at work, and said to him: "Those two sermons preached that Sunday morning were worth a thousand dollars to that community." But the thousand dollars was never paid in cash.
That no harm was done, but that much good was accomplished by the kind, Christian spirit in which the arguments were set forth, finds proof in the fact that the house of worship was soon completed and that this is one of the best and most prosperous churches in the county where it is located.
It has been truly said of Mr. Walden, that "he was a kind father and a devoted husband."
His last illness was lingering, but he retained his mental faculties, clear and bright, and his faith in God was unwavering.
Some three weeks before his death he sent a message to Rev. W. D. McPhetridge of Wheeling, Missouri, to visit him, and requested him to preach at his funeral upon the text, "By the grace of God I am what I am." When the visiting brother asked how he was feeling, he replied: "I am very feeble in body, but my faith is strong and unbroken. ''
On the tenth day of June, 1889, he heard the call of the Master to come home and rest.
The minister just above mentioned conducted the funeral services beneath the shade of a large oak tree that stands at the entrance of the Walden Cemetery. Beneath the shade of this old oak tree a multitude of his friends and relatives heard the words that were spoken by the minister, as he told of the more than forty years of ceaseless toil of this man of God, that others might enjoy the blessed hope that had been such a blessing in the life of their departed friend.
And here in this home of those we call dead, but who are really the living, and are sharing with the Christ His own glorious triumph over death, the body of our beloved brother awaits the dawn of the morning of the "first resurrection.''
Missouri Baptists owe a debt of gratitude to the laity too great to justify the omission of the names of these good men from our list of worthies.
W. M. Walker was always a quiet man in his home church. He was ever ready to serve upon committees where common sense and hard work were needed.
He seldom spoke upon public occasions unless in response to some work the church had placed in his hands. Then, with duties honestly discharged, reports were made and the membership knew his work was faithfully performed.
Many good people do not seem to appreciate the services of our silent workers. The kingdom of Heaven is advanced much more by work than by talk if the speaking is not combined with deeds that show a willing mind and a believing heart.
In many private heart to heart talks with Mr. Walker the writer learned that he had a comprehensive conception of Baptist doctrines.
He had thought profoundly over the whole field covered by the Articles of Belief as adopted by Baptist Churches, and knew well what these meant and why they were advocated.
The grandfather of W. M. Walker was Edward Walker, a native of Virginia, and a soldier in the War of the Revolution.
In the very decisive victory of the patriots at the battle of Cowpens, fought in South Carolina, he was an active participant.
Samuel Walker, a son of Edward, became a resident of Tennessee at an early day. Here he met and won as wife, Miss Agnes Bradford, whose father had also served as a Revolutionary soldier.
When their son, W. M. Walker, who was born in Smith County, Tennessee, on the 22d day of October, 1833, was three years old, they moved to Missouri and made their home in Moniteau County.
The family were farmers, and the subject of this sketch began life in the same honorable calling.
When 22 years of age, he was married to Mary Isbell Garrett. And here again we find the family allied to those who had won the independence of the original thirteen colonies. The grandfather of Miss Garrett had risked his life upon the fields of battle to overthrow English tyranny and establish the great American Republic.
The home of his wife being in Saline County, Missouri, they soon decided to make their home in "the best county" in this great Commonwealth.
In a few years Mr. Walker became proprietor of a very valuable farm near Orearville, which was in fertility, equal to the best.
He was industrious and enterprising, and was in comfortable circumstances. But as he once said to the writer of this brief sketch of his life, he could not say "No." He endorsed the paper of several unworthy and designing men, and having to pay debts for these undeserving men, lost all his property. It can be truly written that there was no act of dishonesty on his part. He became surety for a stranger and suffered the consequences, which he would have escaped had he heeded the advice of Solomon. Proverbs 11:15.
Mr. Walker served as Representative in the 33d General Assembly. In this service for Saline County, he proved worthy of the confidence his fellow citizens had bestowed upon him.
He was three times chosen Collector of Revenue for the wealthy county of his residence.
In all the positions of trust given him by the voters, he was true to the obligations thrust upon him.
In his later years, he, with his wife and two younger daughters, moved to Seattle, on the Pacific Coast.
Here, having passed his three-score and fifteen years of the early pilgrimage, he passed to the home above.
He was an active member of the Masonic fraternity. Had received all the degrees as far as that of Knight Templar, and loved and appreciated the whole of the beautiful ritual. He was far removed from placing his obligations to that fraternal order above the duties he owed to the Church of the Lord Jesus.
To him, the consecration of his youngest daughter, Nannie, to the Sunday School, the Young Peoples Meetings and all the services of the Baptist Church, and her intelligent comprehension of the principles of the Baptist Denomination, was a constant source of delight. He was fond of mentioning the fact that the consecration of his daughter had led him to higher appreciation of the duties and privileges of a Christian.
His remains were brought from Seattle and placed to rest in the cemetery at Marshall, after funeral services in the house of worship he had, to the full extent of his ability, aided in building.
As a matter of justice to the memory of Mr. Walker, mention should be made of his family. Mrs. Walker has always proven herself to be a genuine Christian, a good neighbor and ever ready to aid in any work where goodness of heart was needed. The four daughters, Mrs. Pemberton, Mrs. John W. Rose, Miss Olive and Miss Nannie, were ever the jewels of the heart-life of the father. Miss "Olie," as she was always called, was for ten or twelve years a teacher in the public schools in Marshall and was a favorite with both her pupils and their parents.
Miss Nannie, as stated above, was one of the most devoted of the younger members of the Baptist Church. She had rare gifts as an artist and had her worldly circumstances permitted might have won world wide fame among those gifted with the power to portray nature. Four daughters, three sons, and a number of grand children survive this honored citizen.
Baptist work in Missouri began in the southeast quarter of the state, but because of the fact that but few of the early preachers, or laymen, kept any record of their work, little can be written about the men of this section. This absence of material does not exist because of any lack of effort on the part of the authors of these historical sketches, but solely because no records can be found.
Rev. M. J. Whitaker was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee, September 18, 1832. His grandfather, Rev. John Whitaker, was a Baptist preacher. The occupation of his father was that of a farmer. While yet a mere youth, the boy heard an old negro servant praying for him and this prayer was God's chosen means of convicting the boy of his sin, and his need for a Savior. There are many instances recorded in the Southland where negro servants were the means of the conversion of their young masters.
Some years after his conversion M. J. Whitaker united with the disciples and was baptized.
In 1853 the family moved to Obion County, Tennessee, where the future Baptist preacher engaged in teaching. He had obtained large training in the English branches and was thoroughly competent to teach. For six years he devoted his life to the honorable calling of teaching school.
In 1881 the father died at his home in Obion County. In 1858, when about 26 years of age, M. J. Whitaker changed his place of residence to Dunklin County, Missouri. Here he united with Oak Grove Baptist Church. He was elected deacon of this church in 1870 and was ordained to that office. When the war between the States broke forth in our land, he followed his convictions and joined the Confederate Army, and spent three years in the service of the South. He was a brave soldier and when the war was over became a good citizen of the reunited country and sought in every way to allay all bitterness and to live in peace with all the people, no matter what may have been past differences.
Soon after Mr. Whitaker was "set apart" to the office of deacon the Oak Grove Church gave him a license to preach the Gospel. He now engaged with his pastor, Rev. M. V. Baird, in quite a number of protracted meetings and proved himself worthy of the confidence and esteem in which he was held by the church.
The question of his ordination to the full work of the ministry was now considered. He had been received as a member of the Church without baptism by the authority of a Baptist Church, and he himself, with his best friends, saw that it would greatly hinder his usefulness and cause a refusal of many good brethren to recognize his good standing as a Baptist minister if he thus entered into the fraternity of Baptist preachers. After careful study he became convinced that there was but one way to forever settle this question and he resolved to settle it so that there could be no further controversy. Believing it to be his duty, he asked for baptism and received the ordinance at the hands of his pastor, Rev. M. V. Baird.
It is mentioned by his pastor that when he entered the waters to receive the ordinance he did not remove his pocketbook and therefore was baptized "pocketbook and all." And those who knew his after life say that if the same results would follow in every case then let all men take their pocketbooks with them into the baptismal waters.
Mr. Whitaker owned a large and fertile farm. This was always cultivated with skill and diligence and his family was well cared for. And though he received some pay for his ministerial labors, he always gave to the Lord's work much more than his salary. His promptness in response and liberality in aiding all the work of the churches were so full and cheerful that his example and teachings were in harmony. Because of his diligence as a farmer he was able to give far more than he received from the churches where he served as pastor.
July 12, 1874, he was ordained at the call of the Oak Grove Church by a presbytery composed of Elders M. V. Baird as moderator; J. W. Pillow, clerk, and R. G. Cagle and Tilford Hogan.
At various times in the thirty-four years of his ministry he was pastor at Oak Grove, Shady Grove, Palestine, Holcomb, Little Vine, Friendship, Prairie Grove, Bible Grove, Four Mile and Varner River churches.
These churches are all in the southeast part of Missouri and most of them in Dunklin County.
His ministry was among the people who knew him well. His everyday life was before those to whom he preached. They knew that he lived the same Gospel that he proclaimed from the pulpit.
Mr. Whitaker was twice married. There were three children born of the first marriage and six by the second. One son of the second marriage, R. L. Whitaker, is an ordained minister.
On March 3, 1908, in the seventy-sixth year of his age, he came to the end of his long life and was called to '' enter the joy of the Lord.''
His second wife survives him.
That a man could continue among the same people, a ministry for thirty-four years, and for all these years hold the confidence and esteem of those with whom he lived and for whom he labored, proves not only an orderly Christian life, but intellectual gifts and faithful exposition of the word of the Living God.
In writing of him, one who knew well his record, said: "He was always first and foremost in supporting the pastor, in contributions to missions, schools and everything that was for the good of the Church and society."
The influence of such a man cannot die. His work proclaimed his worth. And eternity only can reveal the good he accomplished.
The great work in Missouri, and in other states as well, by farmer-preachers has never been fully appreciated. Many of these men were profound thinkers and thorough in their investigations. They searched the Scriptures and with all the movements of their vigorous minds and the deepest affections of their hearts grasped the meaning and in powerful and simple language gave the people the pure word of the Gospel of Christ. They did not deal out technical terms, but they did see the force of any form of speech that did or did not convey the truth.
While, either in person, or by others, cultivating the soil or marketing its products, they thought upon the great themes of the Gospel and their relation to human needs. They were not troubled as to the source of food and clothes for their families because they knew whence these would come.
In the best sense of the word they were eloquent in preaching. Behind the message was an honest and consistent life. In many cases, as in that of the subject of this sketch, all that was paid them for their services as pastors went back into the treasury of the Lord, with no small increase.
These men kept the country churches alive, and from among those, by them brought to the new life, come a large per cent of the most efficient ministers in all our city pulpits and many laymen who support the churches, both financially and spiritually, in all parts of our great country. Let us not forget the gratitude we owe these men and thank the Lord of the heavens that He gave them to His churches.
REV. CHARLES WHITING, D. D.
J. C. M.
I am now writing of the most peculiar man that lived and labored among us in this state some thirty years ago. He was a native of Massachusetts. In the peculiarities of his pronunciation of words and the tones of his voice one could imagine him to be a cross between a New Englander and a native of the Emerald Isle. In the use of elegant and select English words in all his addresses he was without an equal. It seemed that it was natural for him to speak in figurative language. He presented thought rather by visions than by the ordinary methods of us plodding mortals. I do not know that he wrote his sermons or addresses, but if he did not write he evidently composed the whole discourse in his mind, in a form so nearly complete that when he began to speak the pressure was on at full tide and the sentences flowed as water from some vast reservoir upon a mountain height. It must not be thought that there was nothing more than a cataract of words, for his mind was crammed with truths and figures of speech gathered from the varied fields of literature. He read history, fiction, theology, and many works upon all branches of science. He was for a time connected with the Methodists. A very intelligent Methodist minister told me that when he was at work in a Methodist Sunday school, Whiting could repeat almost verbatim the books used in the school. I have heard men of high standing say that they could not report the substance of his sermons to the newspapers. This difficulty is not hard to explain. His thoughts were not expressed as anybody else would put them into language and hence, unless one should be a most rapid shorthand reporter, he could not keep within sight of the lightning speed of those flashing meteors of radiant truth. It was my privilege to succeed Dr. Whiting as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri. Here his peculiarities of speech were by many highly prized; by others not so well appreciated. But by all who knew him he was regarded as a man of extraordinary ability in the pulpit. His final settlement as pastor was in Canton, Illinois. In this city of some two thousand, more or less, people, the Baptists have one of the strongest churches in that state. Dr. Whiting had always said it was the duty of a Gospel minister to "go into all the world" and that he did not like long pastorates. At this point, however, when he hinted at a change of pastors, the leading members would say to him "What do you want to go away for; we don't want you to go; we are satisfied and want you to stay with us." And as they would not open the way for his departure he continued as pastor there as long as he lived.
The week before his death, Rev. Terah Smith, an evangelist, who at that time was supplying a church on the T. P. & W. R. R, some distance west of Canton, proposed to Dr. Whiting that the next Wednesday night they would make an exchange and Smith would lead the prayer meeting at home and Whiting would go and lead the other called at Dr. Whiting's study to see if the engagement was still to hold good. As soon as he entered the pastor's study, Dr. Whiting, who was in a state of great animation, said, "Brother Smith, I was sitting here a few minutes ago, I saw into heaven.'' Brother Smith said, '' You mean you thought you did." Whiting sprang to his feet and began to walk rapidly back and forth and said, "No, I tell you I saw into heaven." "Well, what did you see?" said his friend. "Oh, I saw things that it is not lawful to utter, but I tell you I saw into heaven."
Time for the departure of the train was near at hand and Mr. Smith hurried away, filled with wonder at the strange words he had heard. When he returned home on Monday afternoon, he was greeted by his wife with the statement that Dr. Whiting was dangerously ill. He hurried to the home of his pastor to be informed that the doctors would not admit any one into the room of the dying minister. That night Dr. Whiting entered into heaven.
Does anyone ask me to explain this strange vision of that man of God? I simply say, I have no explanation and no disposition to seek for one. I have related the facts in the fewest words possible, as it was stated by Rev. Terah Smith in my own home. If anyone wishes to philosophize upon it, I have no objection. With one possessed of such unusual powers of expression, it is somewhat surprising and certainly greatly to the credit of Dr. Whiting's wisdom that he seldom, if ever, overstepped the boundaries of Evangelical Christianity, in order to say keen or bright things. We have had and have yet good men who would rather say smart things than to confine themselves strictly to acknowledged truths. These men cannot resist the temptation to send out some brilliant thrust when it comes in their way, even though it may wound the sacred truths of the word of the living God.
In a literary address before one of our state Normal schools, Dr. Whiting condemned in strong terms much of the trashy fiction circulated in the so-called Sunday school libraries. That he or any other good man should recommend Sir Walter Scoot and Charles Dickins as more worthy than many of the books found in Sunday school libraries, was only proof of his good sense. He could also strike hard blows at some of the Sunday school songs that were popular a quarter of a century ago, but if he were living today, he would find that they are now forgotten. When Dr. Whiting presented the Divine Savior as the Model Man and the only hope of a lost world, his peculiar way of talking in metaphors seemed just suited to such a theme. That he had been with Jeesus (sic) and learned of Him would then appear so evident that all who heard and believed would feel like falling upon their faces before Christ and exclaim, "My Lord and my God."
S. B. Whiting was born in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, January 26, 1836, and died at his home in Higginsville, Missouri, January 16, 1901.
He was the youngest son of Marcus and Eugenia Nickerson Whiting. His father was a direct descendant from one of the founders of the New Haven Colony, while the mother was similarly related to the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His father was a graduate of Yale and at one time president of the Handel and Hayden Musical Society of Boston. The elder Whiting was at one time wealthy but lost his property by having to pay the debts of one of his friends. His property was all gone except a small tract of land in Benton County, Missouri. He moved his family to this small farm in a region of country that was then almost a wilderness. It certainly must have seemed to the family accustomed to city life, and the society of educated people as the "Wild West" indeed.
The two sons, Charles and S. B. Whiting, who became Baptist ministers, owed much of their fondness for study to the father's early instructions.
S. B. Whiting always remembered with the most tender and grateful love how, on starry nights his father paced the dooryard with one arm around his boys' shoulders and with the other pointed out the bright constellations in the brilliant heavens above.
The father died in 1849. A few years later the only daughter married and one son, Marcus, was taken east to be educated. Charles, the oldest son, moved to Lafayette County and became a clerk in a store at Dover. He was such an expert as a salesman that in time he became proprietor. Here Charles married Miss Lucie Webb. Then the mother and her youngest son, Samuel B., moved to Dover and the younger of the two brothers became a clerk.
A few years passed when the two brothers were equal partners in a large mercantile establishment and enjoying an extensive trade with the planters who had grown wealthy from their successful farming.
The two brothers prospered in their business until the Civil War came, which ended their prosperity in this line. The store was sacked in 1861, some of the goods carried off and the remainder burned.
At the beginning of the Civil War Samuel entered the Confederate Army and was elected captain. He had not seen much service when he and his company were captured by General Lane, known by everybody as "Jim" Lane of Kansas. The entire company was released on parole except the captain and first lieutenant. At first they supposed they would be shot. But on the third morning General Lane said, "Well, Captain, when will you leave us?" "Whenever you say, General." "You are at liberty to go at once," was the reply. The young captain then returned home and soon afterward was married to Miss Virginia Webb, a sister of his brother's wife. Only three weeks after his marriage he was arrested and kept in prison three months. He was then released and remained at home with his wife and her mother, Mrs. Webb, who had four sons in the Southern Army.
He was converted in 1869 and united with the Baptist Church in his immediate neighborhood. His daughter, Mrs. J. H. Campbell, from whom I obtained the facts recorded in this paper, said of him, "Though not born a Baptist he was a born Baptist."
Beginning in 1867 he gave several years to the development of a farm inherited by his wife. He had from his conversion felt constant convictions that he ought to preach the Gospel.
For at least two years before leaving the farm he gave diligent study to a preparation for the ministry. With the family to support he would not go from home, but he did through a careful study of books gain such knowledge as made him a very acceptable and efficient pastor. Before entering fully into the ministry he sold the farm and moved to Dover.
When, where and by whom he was ordained is not known to the writer. He was the leading spirit in the organization of the Baptist Church in Higginsville and was the first pastor. While pastor of this church he continued to reside at Dover. He would never serve as pastor of a church where his family resided. The fact that church members have such a large gift for picking flaws in the conduct of the wife and children of the minister may have led him to pursue this course.
He was pastor at Higginsville, Sweet Springs, Buckner, Bethel and Arrow Rock in Saline County, and of many other churches, many of them in the country and some of them at quite a distance from railroads.
He once told me that for several years he preached to one church six or eight miles from the nearest railroad station. At the beginning of each year the names of the months were written upon slips of paper, and twelve farmers each drew a slip and obligated himself to meet the pastor on the proper date of that month and convey him to the neighborhood where he would preach on that Saturday and the following Sunday. Blessed with good health and energy he never disappointed his congregations. The people heard him gladly. He was a very pleasant and attractive speaker. His manner was unique. He had a perfect command of his language. The words flowed as if from a perennial spring.
It was easy and natural for him to say things in a way that was different from others. If this was done from any purpose not to follow in beaten paths, that purpose was not apparent. He was always just himself. It was S. B. Whiting's way and no one else could imitate him.
Sometimes his peculiar way of presenting well established truths caused some who followed the old forms of speech to imagine that he was proclaiming some new doctrine. But he was in his own way advocating and enforcing the same old Gospel.
There was always a sterling, manly independence in his character. One said of him, '' He could no more whine than fawn."
He always felt that his brother Charles was greatly superior in ability and was far more useful than it was possible for him ever to be. But there was the most sincere and abiding love each for the other. Their wives were sisters and they loved each as did Jonathan and David. Among the last words heard from his lips as he was dying was the name "Charlie."
For about thirty years he preached the Gospel. And many will call his name with reverence and love, when they meet him in heaven. They will there hail him as God's chosen instrument in leading them into the Kingdom of Heaven.
REV. WILLIAM RUSSELL WIGGINTON
1819 - 1908
Religious Activity in Missouri 1840-1908
J. C. M.
W. R. Wigginton was born in Prince William County, Virginia, May 7, 1819, and was a son of John W. and Catherine (Redd) Wigginton. He was a nephew and namesake of William I. Redd who located in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1820 and became widely known as a distinguished criminal lawyer, his practice extending out into this state to all towns along the Missouri River as far as Old Franklin and Fayette.
When the son, W. R. Wigginton, was six years of age the father moved with his family to western Tennessee, locating not far from Memphis in Fayette County where he improved two farms. Here the son, William, learned all about the raising and marketing of cotton, the staple crop of that section. His father had a number of negro slaves who did most of the heavier work of the plantation, but very wisely, the sons were expected to do their share.
In the year 1836, Mr. Wigginton again changed his residence, moving to Illinois where he settled upon a farm ten miles west of Jacksonville. After a few years the family moved to Missouri and, after spending a year in Pike County, they became permanent settlers in Boone County—the family home until the death of the parents being near Grand View in that county.
Both the parents were members of the Regular, or Old School Baptist Church, and remained in that fellowship through life. In the earlier days of the Baptist history in Missouri, many of the most noted men in the ministry and also among the laity belonged to that communion.
In 1838, William, the subject of this sketch, united with the Pisgah Baptist Church, in Scott County, Illinois, and was baptized in January, 1839. While a few months under twenty-one years of age, he was married to Miss Obedience Hickman Daniel of that state but formerly of Kentucky. Miss Daniel was a daughter of Captain James Daniel of Kentucky, and was a second cousin to the late Dr. John A. Broadus, president of the widely-known Baptist Seminary of Louisville, Kentucky. She also had one brother, Rev. John Daniel, who became a Missionary Baptist minister, and through a long life honored the Baptist name and accomplished great good in the Prairie State.
The young people were married on the second day of May, 1840, and the following autumn moved to Missouri, bought a tract of land in Boone County and began to make for themselves a home. Most of the property owned in Illinois had been sold on time, and the money panic of 1842 coming on, the Legislature passed a "stay-law" that made it impossible to collect debts for a period of time, and the property was lost. The loss fell heavily upon the family, but they resolutely faced the situation and continued to provide for the families, and soon began to reap the reward of their efficient activities.
About this time, Mount Tabor Church (Old School), voted him a license to preach. He worked as a licentiate until the year 1844, when by a presbytery consisting of Elders T. P. Stephens, Benjamin Wrenn, Franklin Jenkins and Peter Kemper, he was ordained to the full work of the ministry as a Regular or Old School Baptist minister. After ten years' service in the ministry with this denomination a church was organized in his neighborhood under the labors of Rev. William Thompson. This church was organized as a "United Baptist Church," and was pronounced in its devotion to the cause of missions. (Here I quote from a brief autobiography that is at hand.)
"Up to this time I had been identified with what was, and still is, called the Old School Baptist Church. They, no doubt, honestly believed and taught that the proclamation of the Gospel extended only to the elect, or to the sheep and lambs; and he who would call on sinners to repent and believe the Gospel, was an Armenian. On this account I felt to be much trammeled in my preaching, for my honest convictions were that if I were called to preach it was to sinners in warning them to flee from the wrath to come—leaving the result in the hands of God; and while ashamed of my poor efforts, I was never ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the 'power of God unto salvation to every one who believes.”
He now asked for membership in the newly organized church and was immediately called to become its pastor. He accepted this call and faithfully served this church as pastor for nineteen consecutive years. He began his ministerial work and continued it throughout his life solely because he believed he had been called of God to preach, and it was his delight to obey that call. Mr. Wigginton was what some people might term a severely conscientious man, in that he never would consent to preach for a fixed salary. By conducting his farm and sometimes teaching schools in his neighboring districts he managed to gain a sufficient competency for rearing and educating his family; and it must not be overlooked in these premises that the congregations he served in most all instances showed their appreciation by reciprocating financially and in other ways to the material welfare of the man who served them as their pastor. Another characteristic of the man was that he always spoke inspirationally, never using manuscript while preaching. Often had he been heard to remark that some of his most delightful experiences in the study of scriptural texts came to him while he was going about the duties of his farm upon week days—that by studying the scriptures during more convenient hours and meditating upon them while looking after his farm work he prepared his sermons, or arranged his line of thought to be expressed in the pulpit upon the succeeding Sabbath. Mr. Wigginton never claimed any merit for himself, but attributed all his manifold successes to the Lord working through him, an humble instrument.
His orthodoxy was of unquestioned soundness. He preached that salvation comes through faith in the Divine Redeemer; with all of his heart he believed in the sovereignty of God in the salvation of the human soul; that the beginning, the development in the heart and life of every believer, and the final and glorious completion of this work were through the unmerited favor of God, and yet such was the modesty of his personal claim that he scarcely dared to say with Paul—Second Tim. 4:8—Henceforth there is a crown, etc., but in his simple modesty, would have said, I hope there is a crown, etc.
While actively engaged in the ministry he served for varying periods of time the following churches: In Boone County, Mount Tabor, Pleasant Grove, Mount Horeb, Nashville, Bethel and Mount Moriah; in Calloway County, Millersburg, and Fulton; in Audrain County, Hopewell, New Hope, West Cuivre, Mount Zion, Farber, Bethlehem, Martinsburg and Mexico; in Monroe County, Long Branch; in Montgomery County, Wellsville. To each of these churches he preached one Saturday and one Sunday in each month. To Hopewell Church he continued these monthly ministrations for 22 years; at Mount Pleasant Church he gave like service for nineteen successive years. Never did he accept a call to the pastorate of any church unless that call was unanimous on the part of the membership. Rev. Wigginton was an eloquent and convincing speaker and gracious revivals came to many of these churches and large numbers were added to their respective memberships.
During the sixty years in which Rev. Wigginton was engaged in the ministry in Missouri he united in marriage something near one thousand couples. This estimate is based upon a partial record which he, for a long time kept. Perhaps the most notable marriage at which he ever officiated and the one for which he received the largest fee or gift, was that of Governor Leslie of Kentucky and Mrs. Kirkendorf of Columbia, Mo. The bride was a young widow and a daughter of Brother Maupin, a member of the church of which Rev. Wigginton was pastor. Governor Leslie paid the preach in a $20 gold piece and also paid his expenses of the occasion. In after years Governor Leslie was elected Governor of Montana. After this former governor of two states had become, like the minister who first married him, an octogenarian, he wrote Rev. Wigginton a beautiful letter from his home in Helena, Mont., that letter now being in possession of Mr. Wigginton's children.
The following little story in connection with Mr. Wigginton's life may be of interest to the public: Residing as he did in Boone County during the Civil War, and that county being at times a storm center of the war, Rev. Wigginton was never in the least molested during that entire unpleasantness, nor did he ever miss an appointment to preach. Being a minister he was exempt from military service, and being a man who kept his own counsel concerning the conflict he simply went about his ministerial work unmolested, other than that he would be occasionally halted by soldiers of either side and asked who he was and where he was going; when told who he was and the nature of his mission as a preacher of the gospel, the soldiers invariably let him pass on undisturbed. The following amusing incident which occurred at the Wigginton home during the war is in line with the foregoing story. Mr. Wigginton kept upon his place a colored boy named Dank. One day a company of soldiers who were passing the place called Dank out to the yard fence, and Mrs. Wigginton overheard them make inquiry of Dank as to his master's politics. "Don know," said Dank, '' but I blieve he's a Baptis'.'' The soldiers simply laughed and passed on.
In 1869 Mr. Wigginton purchased a farm four miles west of Mexico, Missouri, where he moved with his family and lived happily and prosperously until ten years later when the death of his wife occurred. The loss of the wife of his youth was the greatest sorrow that ever fell to his lot. Through the struggles of their young manhood and womanhood they had toiled together; together they had enjoyed the temporal and spiritual successes of life, and her departure left an almost unendurable void in his life. He sold the farm where they had dwelt together in love, and moved to Mexico, Missouri, where he purchased property and placed those of his children remaining at home in the public schools.
After some four years of loneliness he married a second wife, a niece of Rev. Jas. E. Welch, the early and efficient missionary who came to Missouri with Rev. J. M. Peck in 1817. He then changed his residence to Centralia, Mo., where they lived until the infirmities of old age compelled them to relinquish housekeeping and he went to his children in Linneus, Missouri, and at Rothville, where he was tenderly cared for by his children until he was called to enter the rest above. Concerning the passing of this Soldier of the Cross, The Bulletin, published at Linneus, Missouri, said:
"It was nearing the sunset of a beautiful Sabbath day, March 29, 1908, that Rev. "William R. Wigginton closed his eyes upon the scenes of earth, while for him dawned the glories of the Day Eternal. His passing seemed more like a translation than like a death. He had no sickness, and apparently, suffered no pain. With his children gathered around him at the home of his youngest daughter, Mrs. R. P. Watts in Rothville, he simply fell asleep 'like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him and lies down to pleasant dreams.'"
About one year after the passing of Rev. Wigginton his second wife passed to the better world from the home of her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Price, at Centralia, Missouri.
At the present writing Rev. Wiggington is survived by the following children: Mrs. Anna M. Conger of Chicago; Mrs. C. Josephine Barton of Kansas City; Mrs. Geo. W. Westgate of Linneus, Missouri; Mrs. R. P. Watts of Rothville, and Hickman J. Wigginton, editor The Bulletin, at Linneus, Missouri. Rev. R. Russell Watts, a Baptist minister of Hopkins, Missouri, is one of Rev. Wigginton's grandsons.
The late Howard A. Gass, then State Superintendent of Schools, and who in his younger days lived for a time in Rev. Wigginton's home and was converted under his ministry, upon Mr. Wigginton's death, wrote a letter to one of his children in which he said, "I verily believe that your father was a means of helpfulness and encouragement to more people than any other one man in my entire acquaintance."
The above brief and inadequate sketch of the life and labors of this honored servant of the Christ, will end with an Appreciation, written by Hon. Joseph Barton, a prominent lawyer of St. Louis, Missouri, who was once his neighbor.
"The Bulletin, Linneus, Missouri, of May 10, was to me a welcome visitor indeed, inasmuch as it contained the miniature of your aged father, my revered friend. If you will permit the suggestion, I will say that it was accompanied by too brief a notice of a life heroic in endeavor, and surpassingly rich in the fruitage of fourscore years and more. His life! His life!
"How in the presence of that stupendous array of good deeds, surrounding like a clustering bough a Godly personality, do I bow with uncovered head in the conscious comparison that my own life is as the scorching winds, the desert wastes and sand dunes of human existence.
"As I gazed upon the representation of those benevolent features, my memory took wings and I was a boy again, listening to a sermon under the whispering leaves of an arbor, wherein truth and Heaven's blessing were divinely commingled.
"I heard again those old songs, of memory blessed. I was again awe-stricken by the solemnity of the sacrament. I witnessed once more the triumphal baptismal services on the flower-clad banks of a neighboring stream. I caught the music of his benediction, as it floated in mellow notes above the heads of the congregation, and then I saw your father striding his way across the fields, a man loved by his people, supremely happy, superlatively blest.
"Have you an ideal? Be like him. His head is among the clouds, his life a living monument and a beatitude among men."
"He was a true man; true to his convictions; his impulses were ever toward the noble and the good. Human influence could not induce him to depart from anything that he thought the Bible taught. And so, firm as the native rock, yet staggering under conscious weakness—if the Christ were not with him—he held on to the way that shines more and more unto the perfect day.'"
Rev. J. T. Williams was born in Accomac County, Virginia, March 19, 1820. His father, William Parker Williams, was a physician and a farmer. The father was a member of the Episcopal Church and his mother, Mrs. Adah Laws Williams, a Baptist. When their son, John T., was ten years old they moved to Missouri and made their home in Marion County, near Hannibal. In 1844 Mr. Williams was converted and united with the Baptist Church in Hannibal. The name of the pastor by whom he was baptized is not known at this time. After acquiring such knowledge as the local schools could impart he entered Georgetown College in Kentucky and was graduated from that institution in 1852. While a student there he was licensed to preach the gospel by the Baptist Church in Georgetown. The fact that the name of J. M. Frost, as Moderator of the church is attached to the license is proof that this permission to "exercise his gifts as a minister," was the result of careful inquiry into his religious character and his native endowments. Soon after his graduation he returned to Missouri and became pastor of several churches in Marion County. He preached for the churches at Bethel, Providence, Union, Pleasant Hill and elsewhere. The church at Providence called for the ordination of Mr. Williams and selected the following ministers to consider the propriety of inducting him into the full work as a minister of the gospel: Rev. Nathan Ayers, Rev. J. S. Green, Rev. M. M. Modesett and Rev. D. L. Russell.
By a Presbytery composed of these brethren he was ordained on the fourth Saturday in October, 1853. After some years of labor on these fields he located in Louisiana, Missouri. Here he engaged in teaching. At first he established a private school and then, when success had attended his efforts a charter was obtained and McCune College was begun. While at the head of this school he was for a time pastor of the church in Louisiana. But when not engaged for all his time with the church in that city he served the churches at various times at Dover, North Creek, Sugar Creek and other country churches.
Mr. Williams served in all nineteen years as recording clerk of the General Association. On all occasions his records were accurate and the printed minutes show great care, not only in the preparation of the material but in the industry necessary to careful proofreading.
It may be said that the great work of Mr. Williams was as an educator. Yet, as we shall see, he was also a successful pastor and learned in the Scriptures. All his efforts in the pulpit were of a high order. He was both a faithful pastor and a skilled expositor of the Word. For five years Mr. Williams was president of the school for girls, now known as Stephens College. While holding this position he was either pastor of the Baptist Church in Columbia or of some country churches near by. He was president of Grand River College at Edinburg, Grundy County, Missouri, for some years. While at the head of this school he was also pastor of the church there. He also acted as stated supply for the church in Trenton for a time. He was pastor—I do not know how long—for the church in Chillicothe. As no dates have been furnished me I cannot state when, but he accepted the pastorate at Paris and continued there for five years. He accepted the position as general agent and field editor of the Central Baptist and enlarged the circulation of that paper and helped to place it upon a more secure financial basis.
That he held a large place in the confidence of Baptists everywhere is shown by the fact that he was for years a member of the Board of State Missions, a trustee of William Jewell College and of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary of Louisville, Kentucky. In all these positions of trust and honor he was faithful and efficient. He was not afraid of work. He knew that the mission of every Christian is to serve in all the walks of life, the Lord and His people. While he did not seek prominence he accepted the work assigned by his brethren, and heartily performed every duty.
As a preacher his sermons were filled with profound thought and those thoughts clearly expressed. His introductory sermon at the meeting of the General Association in Trenton in 1883, was fully up to the highest standard for such occasions.
His address on "The Origin and Progress of the Missouri Baptist General Association," as printed in the Semicentennial Volume is, in every way a very able discussion of the theme assigned him.
It is but just to say that in every position given him by his own people, who loved him and delighted to honor him, he proved himself worthy and honored the occasion and illustrated the wisdom of those who pushed him forward. There is not a blot upon the pages of his life history.
While on a mission to advance the Master's Kingdom he was stricken with a fatal disease in Keytesville, Missouri, and there ended his useful life on the 13th day of August, 1891.
By loving hands and with tearful sympathy from those who loved him, his body was placed in the beautiful cemetery at Chillicothe, Missouri.
That he was greatly loved and honored while he lived was shown by the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity conferred upon him by LaGrange College. He was worthy of this honor and yet his modesty kept him from making any display of this or any other titles he so well deserved.
MRS. LOCKEY McCAMMON BRANDOM
Her Son, Hon. S. W. Brandom
Lockey McCammon was born in Grundy County, Missouri, December 18, 1838. Her father, Elder William McCammon, was a native of Kentucky, and one of the pioneer Baptist preachers of Grundy County and northwest Missouri. At the age of twenty-three, Lockey McCammon married Charles P. Brandom, who later became the leading farmer and stock raiser of Grundy County, a member of the County Court, and for the last few years of his life, a prominent banker of Trenton, Missouri. Mrs. Brandom lived her entire life in Grundy County. Some years before her death the Republican Tribune of Trenton offered prizes to the oldest citizens of the county, among them being one for the oldest person who had been born in the county and lived continuously there. This prize was awarded to Mrs. Brandom. The Daily Republican Tribune, of Trenton, Missouri, date Tuesday evening, May 19, 1908, among other things referring to Mrs. Brandom, contained the following: "Another pioneer citizen of this county was added to the list of dead when, today at 12:45 o'clock, Mrs. Lockey Brandom passed away at her home at the west end of Chandler street. At the age of twenty-three Mrs. Brandom was married to Judge C. P. Brandom, a prominent farmer and banker, who, soon after their removal to Trenton in 1894, was actively connected with the financial interests of the city. Since his death, in 1897, Mrs. Brandom has lived with her two daughters at the suburban home on Chandler street.
Before moving to Trenton, Mrs. Brandom was a member of the Baptist Church, and at that time transferred her membership to the First Baptist Church of Trenton. Of her bountiful fortune she has always given liberally to religious and charitable enterprises, and she was one of the chief contributors to the building fund of the new church. She was a devoted Christian, an active religious worker, and one who never failed in a duty. In the church, as well as in the home, and again amongst an acquaintance that embraces many of the city's best people, her passing away will be a sad and significant occurrence. Mrs. Brandom leaves one son and three daughters to mourn for her; Hon. S. W. Brandom of Gallatin, Mrs. S. G. Witten, Mrs. A. R. Cannady, and Miss Ora Brandom of Trenton."
Mrs. Brandom died peacefully trusting her Savior. She was 69 years, 5 months and 1 day old. Her life is deserving of emulation.
[Her son, S. W. Brandom, is a graduate of Grand River College and of the Law Department of Washington and Lee University.
He is a practicing lawyer and a Baptist minister. His standing in both professions honors the name of his father and grandfathers. Added by the Editors.]
It is a source of regret that so few facts of the life work of this devoted Christian woman are now available.
The work of women in her day was not organized, as it now is, and she did all her work in quiet and with no other aid than that prompted by her own love for the Lord.
Mrs. Fairchild was the daughter of Timothy Brown and Sophia Wilson Brown. This godly couple were both members of the Presbyterian Church. After the birth of their first child, wishing to have a "thus saith the Lord" for every step in their lives, they began a careful and prayerful study of the New Testament, before taking any of their children to have them "baptized."
Having failed to find any support in the Word of God, for any other than believe in baptism, they both became Baptists. They now decided to move to the western frontier and made their first home at Aurora, Indiana. Here they became constituent members of a Baptist Church which was organized in their home.
In this new country their daughter, Adah, was carefully educated under the instruction of a private teacher, John Alden, "who was a graduate of Oxford, England, and other highly trained teachers."
The family were of that Puritan stock that prized above all other things the training of the mind and the development of the heart life, through the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In 1834 Miss Brown made her first visit to Missouri to visit her brother, Rev. Horace Brown, who was one of the pioneers of Methodism in Missouri.
That she saw the need of Christian effort on the western side of the Mississippi River is evident from the fact that she afterwards became such an efficient laborer in the great State of Missouri.
She was converted at the age of 18 and from the date of her new birth manifested great desire for the progress of the Kingdom of Heaven. She had an earnest desire to go to the foreign field that she might make known to those who were in darkness the light of the gospel. The way did not open to her to carry into action this purpose, but the way is always open to the earnest heart, to serve the Lord near the home. Her brilliancy of intellect and her real culture along all lines, made her approach to others a pleasure to them as well as to herself, and gave her an influence for good that had no appearance of parading her piety and not only did not give offense but made her very presence a blessing. Her society was sought by the refined and intellectual people wherever she lived.
In 1836 she was married to Oliver Hubbard Fairchild, and to this union six children were born, one of whom died in infancy. In their early married life Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild were the intimate friends of Rev. H. G. Weston, D.D., who was later for many years the distinguished president of Crozier Theological Seminary. The place of the family home at this period of their lives is not given.
The great love of Mrs. Fairchild for her pastor, at this time, was shown by the fact that her eldest son was named for this great scholar and eloquent preacher of the Gospel, Henry Weston Fairchild.
The Fairchilds moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1853, where their five children were afforded every advantage that the schools of that city could give them. And it is well known that the schools of that city are now and have been for many years among the very best our country possesses.
At one time, because of their residence, the family were members of the Fourth Baptist Church, but afterwards united with the Second Church. For how long the writer is not informed, Mrs. Fairchild resided at Ironton, Missouri. Here, by soliciting help from the prominent Baptists of St. Louis, she was the leading spirit in the establishment of a Baptist Church and the erection of a house of worship. She was also able to perform a similar service at DeSoto. She would not be happy unless she was "about her Father's business." Like her Divine Redeemer, it was her "meat and her drink" to do the Father's will."
Her children, who lived to the years of maturity, were Mrs. Emma F. Vail, who was a well known and honored member of the W. C. T. U. and Christian worker, and the highly esteemed wife of Judge James H. Vail; Henry Weston, prominent in business circles in New Orleans, as proprietor of cotton presses in that city; William G. and Charles O., both merchants in Ironton, Missouri; Mrs. Mary F. Gill, wife of Judge A. F. Gill of Huntsville, Missouri. The last named is the mother of Rev. Dr. Everett Gill, the honored missionary of the Southern Baptist Convention, now doing a great work in Italy, where he superintends many mission stations, with his principal residence in Rome.
It may be said of Mrs. Fairchild as the wiseman said of the true, good woman, "Her children rise up and call her blessed."
The friendship between Mrs. S. Y. Pitts and Mrs. Fairchild was long and of that nature that grew from the fact that they were kindred spirits. Their love, each for the other, was the outgrowth of their mutual love for the Redeemer, "whose they were and whom they served."
September 10, 1890, was the crowning day for Mrs. Fairchild. She had, for a time, lived near Huntsville, Missouri, where the influence of her consecrated life was felt by all who knew her. And here came the call to "rest above," where the crown of glory was made more beautiful by the many stars she had won. Not only had she led many to the Christ, but she had taught them the joy of working for Him.
She had passed into the 79th year of her age. The Lord whom she loved and served saw that she had finished the work He gave to her and then came the joy of the endless rest in the blessedness of the Divine presence. Hers was a consecrated life. "Her religious fervor and missionary spirit were ever active."
Though not permitted herself to go to the foreign field, she has a representative in the person of her grand son, Rev. Dr. Everett Gill, "who owes to her his earliest indication to give himself to the Lord's work beyond the seas."
We thus see how a good life continues in those influenced by the true disciple of Jesus, and that every such life is lived over again in ever enlarging circles.
MRS. MARGARET ANN JOHNSTON (NEE WATSON)
By Her Son, Hon. H. W. Johnson, Montgomery City, Mo.
An active man's life is only half told if the life of her who aided him in gaining his successes and sympathized with him in his trials, is left without record. The old decree that they who stay by the stuff shall share equally in the spoils taken by those in the active field, certainly hold good when it comes to meting out the honors due those who have labored in the holy co-partnership of husband and wife in the vineyard of the Lord.
Mrs. Margaret Ann Johnston was born in Christian County, Kentucky, October 29, 1817. Her parents, James Houston and Elizabeth Carr Watson, came from Kentucky to Missouri, and landed on Grassy Creek, Pike County, December 25, 1817, with their two daughters, Mary Houston and Margaret Ann, the latter being not quite two months old. The trip was made on horseback, Mary Houston riding behind her mother, and Margaret Ann in her lap. This incident will show the sturdy character of the stock from which Mrs. Johnston sprang, people who never shirked hardships that it seemed necessary to undergo.
Shortly afterward her father removed to the place that had been settled by his father who had preceded him to Missouri. This place was west of the Big Bridge over Noix Creek between Louisiana and Bowling Green. About two and a half years after they came to Missouri, Margaret Ann's mother died and a few days later her father passed away, leaving three little girls parentless. They were taken and reared by an aunt, a sister of their father, Mrs. Rowanna Garnsey, wife of David Garnsey who lived just north and adjacent to the Watson place.
Her education was acquired before the day of ladies' colleges in Missouri, and at a time when the local high school was not dreamed of, but the mothers of that day were often wonderfully well equipped for their life-work in the excellent local schools whose curriculum was not limited by any formal course of study, but to enterprising pupils that desired to advance beyond the realm included within the limits of the proverbial "three R's," ample opportunity was given to do good work that later ranked as collegiate in its character. Margaret Ann and her sisters attended the school kept in the old McQuie school house which stood near the present site of the Baptist Church at the junction of the Louisiana and Paris roads. The late venerable William McQuie, "Uncle Billy," as he is still remembered in the neighborhood, was their teacher.
Her ancestors on both sides, the Watsons and the Carrs, were excellent, enterprising, intelligent people, and the combined virtues of the two lines seemed to have been represented in the character of Mrs. Johnston. She was amiable, lovable and of great force of character. She was bright, intelligent and industrious.
She was married to the Rev. Thomas Thornton Johnston, June 15, 1836, at the home of David Garnsey, near the Watson-Igo place, and from this time her whole energy was devoted to the interests of her home. Rev. Johnston was necessarily absent from home much of the time, attending to his ministerial duties, and the burden of rearing the family rested mainly upon her, and well and nobly she performed this important duty. She had early espoused the Christian religion and united with the Baptist Church at Noix Creek, and her Christian life, her precept, and her example were such as to make her influence in the family for good irresistible. She was indeed queen in her home. She was totally unselfish. The interests of husband, children and home were always first and paramount with her. The confidence between mother, husband and children was delicate, tender, affectionate and unrestrained. It was her ambition to raise her boys up to be sober, intelligent, and useful men; and her girls to be good and true women. In this she succeeded most admirably. At the day of her death, her boys were all grown, sober, industrious and well to do men and her girls good, true and useful wives. This was a source of great satisfaction to her. She felt that her life-work had been accomplished, and when the summons came, though sudden and unexpected, her house was in order and she was ready to answer the call.
She died in the full consolations of the faith that had been her stay through life, and her remains now lie beside those of the husband who had preceded her several years before. Her death occurred October 6, 1884.
MRS. O. P. MOSS
1823 - 1904
R. P. R.
Mrs. Caroline Marjory Moss was born in Clay County, Missouri, July 2, 1823. She was the daughter of Colonel John Thornton, a distinguished pioneer of northwest Missouri, and his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Trigg Thornton. She was carefully reared and educated, having received the best scholastic training to be had west of the Mississippi River in those days, and being somewhat precocious in intellectual strength, she surpassed many that were her superior, in age in her attainments, and was, withal, so wise as to supplement her work in the school room by a well selected course of reading in the English classics. In her later life, after she had espoused the cause of Christ, without neglecting her general culture, she devoted much of this intellectual taste and ability to the study of Holy Writ and books of a devotional type.
She was married to Oliver Perry Moss December, 1837. He in his twenty-fifth year, she in her fifteenth—an early marriage, which, when happily made, as was in this case, always results in a lovely merging of two human interests into one. This harmony in union which seemed complete from the first, was, at the same time, cumulative, as their natures deepened, and eventually whole-heartedly espoused the same holy cause. When they were married the two noble characters united to do their simple duty as upright children of the world may do. Some years later, when the wife surrendered her human will to the Divine, a richness intensified by the spiritual element became evident in her influence in matters in which both were involved, but later still, when he, too, came under the transforming influence of the changed life, nothing human could be more nearly complete than their uninterrupted unity of purpose. To quote from a testimonial offered by Rev. J. B. Link, a once-time pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Liberty, of which Mr. and Mrs. Moss were active members:
"She stood by her noble husband in prayer, in sympathy, in toil, in high endeavor, and in the valley of discouragement, in all conditions, her devotion, her counsel, and her strength of purpose were an inspiration to his whole religious life."
This progress toward complete oneness in purpose and feeling, was marked by the sacred stages of seven years-marriage 1837; her conversion and union with the Second Baptist Church in 1844; his conversion and membership in the same church in 1851. This unity was not marred by surrender of individuality in thought and feeling, but was like the twining together of two silken cords of different color into one stronger cord, each strand maintaining its own hue but both contributing to the greater strength of the combined strands.
Mrs. Moss was converted under the preaching of Rev. A. P. Williams and was baptized into the fellowship of the Second Baptist Church, by him, July 7, 1844. After this her home became the halting place of messengers of the Cross, when they felt the need of congenial rest.
The following item from Mrs. Moss's diary was given me by her sister, Mrs. M. L. Lawson of St. Joseph, Missouri, and while it is of almost too sacred character for the public print, it serves so well to show the enthusiasm and spirituality of Mrs. Moss's nature, I will venture to give it entire:
"I was baptized in the morning, July 7, 1844. A large concourse of people were present at the Jordan to witness the baptismal scene. It was a blissful day to me, the happiest of my life—my marriage not excepted. I was led into the water, my precious mother— baptized the same day—held my hand.
"I remember seeing many persons as I went into the water. Brother A. P. Williams baptized me. I was unspeakably happy, indeed, until I had nearly reached the shore, I was unconscious of all surrounding objects.
"When I came near some of my sisters and brethren reached forth their hands in hearty welcome. My husband with tears streaming down his cheeks, embraced me. My precious father, weeping, kissed me.
"That scene is indelibly written on my heart. In heaven I may remember it. Blessed scene! The recollection of it fills my soul with holy joy. With the poet I could say: 'How happy are they who their Savior obey!'"
To quote again from Rev. J. B. Link's memorial:
"The prophet's chamber at Lindenwood, the name of their home near Liberty, Missouri, was always ready for any passing occupant. The generous, cheery, hearty welcome to all; the social life, whose atmosphere was made sweet and fragrant by the breath of heaven; the unfailing presence at the weekly prayer-meeting and the Sabbath school, where they were always to be found; then the touching sympathy in his work, and the words of cheer and comfort and encouragement to her pastor; the abounding, prompt, and ready help for the poor, comfort for the afflicted, and tears for the sorrowing, all sustained by the strength of a united life." These combined formed the happy condition of their life of consecration. No husband could have said more in praise of the woman God had given him, than did Captain Moss in the later years of his life, in a letter to his sister, written a few months before his death. He said:
"What sustains me is the Christian religion and the best wife in the world."
In another communication he says: "We have never spoken an unkind word to each other, and the knowledge that all the depths of my affection for my wife are fully reciprocated by her, has made my happiness, made sweet every care, lightened every burden, and soothed every sorrow."
Another friend writes:
"In all the activities growing out of her station and relationships in life; In the church, in society, in the neighborhood, she discharged her duties with enthusiastic, untiring energy. Her obligations to Christ shared the larger portion of her thought after her union with the church, and the result of her activity and care in regard to them have often been felt in movements of the Baptist denomination in Missouri; in its associations, Sunday-schools, missions and educational works."
In 1869 a Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, auxiliary to the Foreign Board of the Southern Baptist Convention was organized and Mrs. Moss was elected president thereof. While this society was a local institution, its definite alignment with the Southern Baptist Convention brought it into more than state-wide recognition, and the aggressive work done by the president in her intelligent effort and well-directed zeal caused its influence to reach the Baptist women of the state. In 1876, several of the Baptist women held an informal conference for the discussion of the feasibility of organizing the sisterhood into Missouri Baptist Woman's Foreign Missionary Society. Mrs. Moss, having been the most prominent woman in advocating this movement, was logically and very fortunately chosen president of this organization when it was effected and it held its first annual meeting during the session of the General Association at Lexington in October, 1877. At this meeting announcement was made that during the year just closed thirty-six local and auxiliary societies had been formed.
It will be appropriate at this point to present the objects of this society, which can not be done better than in the elegant and expressive language of one of its gifted officers, Mrs. G. W. Hyde of Lexington, Missouri:
"The object of this society is to enlist the active sympathy and co-operation of the entire sisterhood of the state in the work of foreign missions. To accomplish this we have adopted a system of life membership, and local or auxiliary woman's missionary societies in the churches. The leading feature in the local societies is the collection of an average of one cent a week from the entire membership of the churches."
Mrs. Moss held the presidency of the society from 1876 to 1886, though ably assisted by the noble sisters who were her co-workers, she, as its chief officer, bore the weight of its burdens. Through her untiring energy and efficient executive ability, she not only won herself an enviable name with the sisterhood, but with all the active workers in the General Association. Not till her declining health demanded her release from the arduous duties of the society, did the sisters permit her to lay the burden down. Then, it was taken from her shoulders, only, for till her death she bore the interests of the society on her heart. Can not the present magnificent Missouri Woman's Missionary Society, in which more than $20,000 annually are devoted to the cause of missions, be considered an eloquent monument to her wisdom and zeal, more expressive than the noble marble that marks her final resting place?
ADDENDA (Furnished by Mrs. Lawson)
In the autumn of 1886, Mrs. Moss was living with her sister, Mrs. John Doniphan in St. Joseph and consulted with Dr. B. S. Dulin about doing something for the poor of the city. The result was that she organized the Moss Mission Sunday School in September, 1886, and this led to the establishment of the Moss Memorial Church which was built and ready for work January 15, 1887 For 17 years Mrs. Moss toiled there among the poor until the very end of her life.
An appreciation of her work in this field was written by Mr. and Mrs. L. M. Lawson in New York, Mrs. Lawson being her youngest sister.
"Although she made an effort to shun public duties on account of failing health, her indefatigable spirit and boundless energy were not content with what seemed the triumph of life. In the rapidly growing city of St. Joseph a large and populous region was destitute of physical comforts and religious instruction; crime flourished and its concomitant evils abounded. The law seemed powerless to check the downward tendency. Into this scene she entered upon a peaceful crusade against confusion and riot, disorder and turbulence. She believed that wherever there were human habitations and human depravity she had a divine mission. She hoped, when others despaired; she fought when others fainted. She aspired to the physical and intellectual elevation of the people and the doing of practical benefits to the masses. The unlabored art of doing good was her ideal. She had that tender compassion which is the chief grace of womanhood and the true badge of nobility. She interested herself in the common life of the people and its humble necessity. She established agencies for the relief of their wants. Her helpful hands collected and dispensed more than 5,000 garments in periods of emergency and need. She founded Sunday-schools and missions in this desolate region of the thriving city, which grew to wide and beneficent influence. She lifted the people from degredation; she assured them of their own merit; she disclosed to them their own capacity; she made them believe in their own moral value, and she therefore became the object of their love and admiration."
Mrs. Moss died in St. Joseph, July 16, 1904, and was laid away beside her husband in the Thornton lot in Fairview Cemetery at Liberty, Mo.
MRS. JOSEPH B. THOMPSON
1844 - 1913
R. P. R.
The most beautiful tribute to Christian womanhood in the literature of the ages is, without doubt, found in the Second Epistle of John, paid to the Elect Lady in the following eloquent words: "The Elder to Elect Lady whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all that have known the truth, for the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us forever. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love."
There are many conditions which conspire to make the Christian woman the loveliest, the most exalted character of all God's creations. The unselfishness of her loving nature; her intense sensitiveness to the balance that should be maintained between the right and the wrong; her devotion to the truth; her willingness—yea, her anxiety—to suffer, if need be for the amelioration of pain and the assuagement of grief; her ready sympathy with the humble and the downcast and, finally, her power to give herself to the abatement of evil in all its hideous forms; all these strengthened, refined and sweetened by the exercise of a loving faith, place her on the summit of consecrated excellence.
Mrs. Joseph B. Thompson, an eminent embodiment of the virtues mentioned above, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, July 21, 1844. Her parents were George B. and Lucy A. Pritchard. She was reared and educated in the city of her birth, and was always under the spiritual influence that resulted in her surrendering her life to the Lord when a very young woman. In the year 1862 she openly confessed her faith in the Christ, and was baptized into the fellowship of the Second Baptist Church of St. Louis by the Rev. Dr. Galusha Anderson. Her activity in religious work, however, ante-dated her public profession by several years. From 1859 to 1864, she was a faithful and earnest teacher in the Jefferson Mission Sunday School. During the five years of her devoted labor in this mission, her gracious influence was felt in the wholesome impression she made upon the lives of many poor people with whom she came in contact. To the present time, the memory of her benign influence during these blessed days, is sweet with many of these lowly ones.
About the time of her marriage with Mr. Thompson, 1863, she entered upon her work in the primary department of the Sunday School of the Second Church. In this capacity, she served the Lord for thirty-five years, and for the remaining fourteen years of her life, was active in other departments of Sunday school work in the same church. A notable experience of forty-nine years in the same school. Had her Christian zeal found its satisfaction in this work alone, her life would have been one of unusual beneficence, but other Christian labors appealed to her, and for forty-two years, she was an active worker in the management of the Woman's Christian Home and the Woman's Christian Association, and was for many years the vice-president of each organization. She was, also, greatly interested in the Summer rest for Working Girls, and was for a time a member of its board of trustees. She was the moving spirit in the foundation of the Baptist Orphans' Home, and for twenty-six years was the treasurer of the institution. Her faith in the ultimate success of the home was such that no matter what unfavorable vicissitudes it encountered, with unswerving trust she would say: "We must pray more earnestly"; and her faith was rewarded in seeing the home resting on well established financial foundations and imbedded in the hearts of the Baptist fraternity throughout the state before her death. The Ladies' Mite Club, an organization, working in the interests of the home was established by her and in the seventeen years of its existence had, at the time of her death, turned over to the treasury of the home about $4,200 and still prospers.
In view of her great spiritual activity, we were not surprised to her one of her pastors say: "She was ever like a right hand to her pastor in the ready assistance she gladly rendered him any way that was open to her sympathetic efficiency. The brethren and sisters of the church always felt that in Sister Thompson they had a competent and willing co-worker."
We now say: "Sister Thompson is dead," but the good die not, but live in the precious memories that cluster around their beneficent lives, and their works truly follow them. They cease from their physical activity, and so are sadly missed by those they leave behind, but they still live on.
This beloved sister, this Elect Lady, was called to her heavenly home August 17, 1913. Her remains were laid to rest in the family lot in the beautiful Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri, after impressive services at the church where her entire Christian life had been spent. Tears and flowers bedecked the place of her interment; the one the symbol of the outpouring grief felt at her loss, the other, the effort to portray the fragrant beauty of her lovely earthly life.
Mary Matilda Silcox, eldest daughter of Daniel and Martha Silcox, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, July 9, 1845. Her father was an English Baptist and the large family of children was reared in a strict, religious atmosphere, but with plenty of scope for their fun-loving natures.
Matilda was converted at an early age and always took an active interest in the affairs of the First Church, Charleston, in which her father was a deacon. She was educated in Charleston and at Limestone Springs.
During the troubled years of the Civil War the Silcox family went as refugees to Anderson, South Carolina. There Matilda met and married David Gaillard, a young Confederate soldier whose father's home adjoined the Silcox place. It was while the soldier of nineteen years was home on furlough recovering from a wound that the marriage took place. The bride was not yet eighteen. Returning in two months to his regiment, the young husband was killed in the first battle which he entered and was buried in the trenches. When the war was over the young widow returned to Charleston with her father's family.
In 1868, Rev. Wm. H. Williams, of Richmond, Virginia, was called to the pastorate of the "Old First" and received a warm welcome in the family of Deacon Silcox. It soon became evident that the new minister's "pastoral" calls were not confined to the good deacon, and few were surprised when his engagement to Mrs. Gaillard became known. An amusing incident is told of this period. The organist was so accustomed to seeing the couple come into church together that she invariably began to play the Voluntary when Mrs. Gaillard's hat appeared beneath the gallery rail, knowing that the pastor would immediately enter the pulpit; but one morning Mrs. Gaillard came quite early and came alone. It was said that the organist played a full half hour before the minister appeared, and the whole congregation enjoyed the joke and Mrs. Gaillard's discomfiture. June 22, 1869, Mr. Williams and Mrs. Gaillard were married by Dr. E. T. Winkler and left in a few months for a new pastorate in Staunton, Virginia.
In subsequent pastorates in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Charlottesville, Virginia, Mrs. Williams was engaged in home rather than in church work. She used to say that her seven little ones were as much of an "Infant Class'' as she could manage, but she found time to drive around in the carriage drawn by the gentle old horse and filled with children and provisions, carrying cheer and comfort to many homes. These early experiences prepared her for the work that occupied much of her later life.
When Dr. Williams took charge of the Central Baptist in St. Louis, Missouri, they pleasantly said, Missouri is our adopted state, and so they always called it. He purchased this paper in October, 1882. Very soon thereafter, Mrs. Williams began to edit the "Family Department." Many stories that she had read or repeated to her own children found their way into this column, and delighted children all over the state. Later, the "Silent Hour" column comforted sad hearts and encouraged weary lives.
Mrs. Williams' name is well known throughout the state from her work on the paper, and her activities in the Women's Societies of the Third Baptist Church, St. Louis. Her chief occupation was that of being a good mother and home-maker. Her life stood pre-eminently for the Christian home, where Christ's presence was always felt and His law of love ruled. An old-fashioned hospitality greeted all guests who came to the Williams' home, and so happy were the seven children and later, the orphaned nephew and niece, whom she reared, that one does not wonder at Dr. Jeter's remark that he would like to be a little boy again and have Mrs. Williams for a mother.
After Dr. Williams' death in 1893, she spent several years in Liberty, Missouri, while her son and nephew were students in William Jewell College.
She died July, 1905, in Louisville, Kentucky, after a very brief illness.
The six children who survive her are all engaged in the making of Christian homes, and when time permits, in some form of religious work, either in the Sunday School or on the foreign field. Her son is following in his honored father's footsteps as a Gospel Minister—all exemplifying her life motto, "Train up a child in the way he should go." From the Report on Obituaries, St. Louis Association, 1905, we make the following notice of the death of Mrs. Williams: "We would make special mention of Mrs. W. H. Williams, whose life and character reminds us of the words of our Savior, 'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.' In fact, the power and influence shed forth from such a one is beyond compute, and is more like a divine breathing. The quiet, restful effect on those privileged to know her gave courage and higher aspirations. Her memory will always be as a sweet benediction, precious to the circles in which she moved."
MRS. SARAH LOGAN YANCEY
1847 - 1917
J. C. M.
The father of Mrs. Yancey, Judge John Viley, was a very early settler in what is now Randolph County. He served this county as Judge of the County Court for many years and was therefore always known as "Judge" Viley.
He was a man of action. His business became extensive. He owned land extending from Howard County to the Iowa line. At one time he owned not less than 20,000 acres and it was all carefully chosen and the richest in productiveness when put under cultivation of any of this fertile region.
He was a native of Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky, and had a number of negro slaves who cultivated the land and looked after the large herds of cattle and horses that fed upon the abundant pasturage of the summers and consumed the fruits of the well cultivated crops in the winter.
Mr. Viley's first wife having died he married her younger sister. They were both daughters of Mr. Harry Ely, who was also a Scott County Kentuckian. After the marriage of his second daughter to Mr. John Viley he also became a resident of Randolph County, Missouri.
He was a planter of large means and a man of devoted piety. He was an active and useful member of the Baptist Church, and lived his religion, showing all fidelity to the Master whom he loved, and encouraged his pastor by his constant presence at all the services in their sanctuary.
Mrs. Yancey was a daughter of the second marriage; and was born on the farm near where the town of Yates now is located, in 1847. When a mere child she had the very great misfortune to lose her mother by death.
Her oldest sister was then the wife of W. R. Burch. This sister, Martha Elizabeth took the younger to her home and she was here the idol of that home until her marriage, and gave all the love of her mother heart to her younger sister.
In this home of luxury, gaining and holding the love of both Mr. and Mrs. Burch, she grew to her young womanhood.
There lived in that part of the State of Missouri at this period Rev. B. T. Anderson, who was a graduate of Richmond College, Virginia, who taught school and preached the Gospel. He was a man of ripe scholarship and of varied talents. It was the good fortune of Miss Sarah Logan to be placed under the instruction of this man of thorough scholarship.
She gained a thorough knowledge of the English language. And in after years possessed unusual ability to speak and write her mother tongue. As a writer of friendly letters, the writer of this sketch can bear testimony that she possessed great ability both in thought and in elegance of expression.
For years Judge Viley had been what was called in those days a "Southern Trader." He had been a grower of hemp and a trader in horses and mules. And when the war between the States burst upon our country he had large interests in the Southland. Upon those he could realize nothing during the four years of bloody strife. It was the opportunity of those who coveted his lands. They forced sales by obtaining decrees of court that gave decisions in form of law, but did not always regard the real equity of the causes. His lands were, therefore, sold under the sheriff's hammer and brought much less than their real value. By this means the fortune of Judge Viley was swept away, but great riches were secured by others.
Before this time, Judge Viley in partnership with Mr. Dameron, carried on an extensive mercantile business in Glasgow. There was at this time a large trade in tobacco at Glasgow. Here large fortunes were accumulated. Some firms that became leading establishments in St. Louis laid the foundation of their fortunes. One of the partners was named Logan Dameron, and because of the high esteem in which Judge Viley held this man, he named his daughter Sarah Logan.
During the school days of this bright girl, there was upon a neighboring farm, a boy who attended the same school. The parents of this boy had both passed to the heavenly home. His father had presided as Circuit Judge of the district including Springfield, Mo., for many years. He was considered one of the legal lights in the great State of Missouri.
The sweet old story of youths and maidens was again repeated in the mutual love of this young man and the bright and charming young girl.
It was greatly to the credit of both Stephen Bedford Yancey and Sarah Logan Viley that they learned to love each other. It was destiny to them both. They could not help it and their hearts would not permit any effort to try to avoid such a result. And so on the 8th day of October, 1867, she became the wife of Mr. S. B. Yancey.
After their marriage they made their home upon a farm very near where Mr. and Mrs. Burch resided. Here began their united efforts to make a home. The admirable success that attended their mutual efforts, their large possessions abundantly testify.
Their trials and successes were mutually borne and appreciated. In 1873, at a series of meetings conducted by Rev. W. R. Painter, at Roanoke, she became a Christian and united with the Baptist Church. Her husband had been a Baptist for some years. This was the beginning of a real Christian life. She has always been undemonstrative in the discharge of her duties as a church member. In fact, there was little that to her seemed duty. It was always far more a privilege to serve the Divine Christ by acts of kindness to His own people, than to regard it as a discharge of any other obligation than that to which love prompts.
She was ever kind to the poor. The needy were not turned away empty. A single illustration of her thoughtfulness illustrates her concern for others. One cold winter day, with the ground covered deeply with snow, she saw that there was no smoke coming from the chimney top of the home of a neighbor. She called the attention of her husband to the fact that there was no evidence of any activity about that home. There lived there a single lady and her brother.
She urged her husband to go at once and learn if there was not need of help. Upon going to the home he found the young woman unable to leave her bed. The house was cold and no food prepared. It did not take long for there to be in that home a cheerful fire and an abundance of such nourishment as the sick one needed. And no one ever heard from her a boast that she had extended needed help to those in distress.
It was, however, in her own home, and it should be said, with the fullest sympathy of her husband, that the real spirit of Christian fellowship was always exhibited. Her pastor and any worthy minister of the Gospel was made to feel that here he was always a welcome guest.
There was no need that she should say to such, "you are welcome here," for in a real hospitable manner she made them feel the best this home affords is at your service while here.
The Lord gave to her and her husband four children. Charles Edwin Yancey of Liberty, Mo., a very successful farmer and a man of varied talents and wide culture, is the father of four children, bright and promising; the older ones are college graduates, and the younger ones are being trained for full courses of college education.
The second child a daughter, was taken to heaven in her infancy.
The second son, William Burch, was educated at William Jewell College, and after attaining manhood, at once became a leader in the business life of his community. Besides operating a large farm, he was assistant cashier of the Farmers' Bank of Armstrong, which institution owes its large and growing patronage to his executive and financial ability. Without his solicitation he was elected mayor of his home town, Armstrong. He was in every way a model young man; a member of the Baptist Church, but was in early life stricken with tuberculosis and passed on to receive the reward of a well-spent life, in Heaven.
The youngest child, now the wife of W. R. Evans, after her mother became an invalid, gave up her own home that she might better minister to her mother's needs, and lived with her. The daughter of Bettie and Roper Evans has been for all the years of her young life the bright jewel of this home.
Mr. Yancey always bears witness most gladly that whatever success has attended his efforts in life largely came from the cheerful encouragement and co-operation of his wife.
Her two living children, her daughter-in-law and her son-in-law, and her five grand-children are as devotedly attached to her as any human love can bind hearts in one. No family can be found in any country on earth more lovingly united than the children and grand-children of Stephen Bedford and Sarah Logan Yancey.
It is intimated above that Mrs. Yancey's love and sympathy was world wide. She was engaged in the work of the Red Cross when the final stroke fell that suddenly took her from earth to Heaven.
We often permit ourselves to be over-cautious in expressing our admiration of our best friends. Many a sad heart would be cheered in the battles of life if those who love them would express to them while living the high esteem in which they are held. A son once said to his dying mother, "Oh, mother, how can we live without you?" With feeble voice she said, "My son, why did you not say that long ago?" Yet now, in closing this inadequate sketch of the life of one who has been a very dear and a true friend for more than thirty-six years, though it be late so to do, my heart prompts me to write a few sentences of appreciation. It has been the great privilege of this writer to spend many weeks in the hospitable home of Mrs. Yancey. We lived close neighbors during the three years, when my wife was an invalid, lingering upon the very border of the better land. And all this time the presence of Mrs. Yancey brought to her moments of rest and cheer. The very presence of this dear friend quieted the trembling and aching nerves and soothed the disquieted spirit. And when the voice of the Redeemer called Mrs. Maple to the home on high, she was so ready to render aid, and to express her love that much of the gloom was for the moment dispersed. There was yet the light of life gleaming from a true heart, and this world was not all darkness.
Her home was always an ideal place for the heart of a Christian minister or any Christ-loving one to rest and regain strength to continue the battle for the good.
Blessed with a great abundance of this world's goods, she made her home beautiful and "adorned the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.'' There was no excess of neatness, yet every appointment seemed absolutely perfect. Her husband, her children, her friends and the "stranger that came within her gates," felt that here is a beautiful type of the home above, for here love abides.
In her disposition she was retiring and avoided all publicity. She was what we might call a "lady of the old school.'' But she did not live wholly in the past. She kept the best traditions of the "mothers in Israel," but her thoughts were busy with the present. She knew the world moves, and was well informed- as to the progress of the present age. Nothing however, disturbed her faith in the great truth that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” And so her faith in the unchanging God, and the ever-enduring principles of the Gospel was unshaken.
She lived a Christian life, and when death came she died in the arms of the Divine Christ.
After some three years of serious invalidism, suffering from a complication of diseases, Mrs. Yancey was suddenly stricken with paralysis, and passed on to her great reward the 29th of July, 1917.
As soon as the sad news of her death was known letters and telegrams of condolence came from many friends in various parts of the State.
The funeral services were conducted at the home by Dr. J. C. Maple, assisted by Dr. S. B. Cousings of Liberty, Mo., and Rev. J. M. Major of Armstrong. Her favorite hymns were sung by a quartette, and many testimonials were given as to her lovely Christian life.
Many were present from Boone, Fayette, Randolph, Clay and other counties.
The floral offerings exceeded anything ever before seen in all the vicinity in which she had lived.
Her body was then placed in the beautiful and carefully kept cemetery at Roanoke, where rest the remains of her loved ones who had gone before her to "the land of rest."