contributed by Sharon Ashcraft

By Robert J. Stevens, June 1990

“The Bulletin” Volume XIV - No. 1 Chester District Genealogical Society

Captain W.H. Edwards served as Clerk of the Chester County Baptist Association for over forty years after the Civil War and until just before his death in 1920. He had been born into the congregation of Hopewell Baptist Church in 1833, as had his father, John Joseph Edwards, in 1800. When Captain Edwards was six years old, his mother died and the next fifteen years of his life was spent occasionally living in the home of Daniel Green Stinson, the great histographer of Chester County, where his interest in area history flourished under Mr. Stinson.

When Mr. Stinson died in 1879, Captain Edwards began to record and write area history and there can be no doubt that much of his knowledge on the subject had come from Mr. Stinson, especially that concerning the early period of the county.

It is also an established fact that Captain Edwards spent much time with Mr. Stinson during the period of 1865-1879 in the form of friendly visits, but it is certain their main topic of conversation was Chester County history. Later, Captain Edwards became a well known historical writer and accepted authoritative historian of the area.

Captain Edwards, sometime after the Civil War, joined Harmony Baptist Church, as did his father. He left many records that are important to the history of that church and, until now, never before made public. It is my intention to present these records and letter to Betty Edwards Thomas, the present Historian of Harmony Baptist Church, for preservation. However, there were three lists that should be published due to their genealogical interest and are the motive for this article. Two of the lists are titled, but the third was a mystery until recently. Because of the first entry on the list, there can be no doubt it concerned Harmony, but the name of at least one person appears that was dead before the recorded formation date of the church, 1839.

In recent years, Miss Janie Rice published a history of the Chester Baptist Association and its churches, a well written and valuable history. Working from the records of Harmony Baptist Church, Miss Rice wrote that the church dated back to 1839 when a presbytery of ministers, including Reverends James M. Thomas, D. Duncan, and William Perry, met at Republican Meeting House and examined thirty-three members of Hopewell Baptist Church. The members of Harmony then met at Republican Meeting House for the next fourteen years until a church was built in 1853 on land gained from the Reeves estate. In a more recent history of the church, published last year [1989] under the guidance of Betty Edwards Thomas, the same basic facts are presented.

The mystery of the [third] list was solved by a writing of Captain Edwards. In writing of Reverend Samuel McCreary, the long-time Pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church, who died in 1834, Captain Edwards casually mentioned that Reverend McCreary was instrumental in forming Harmony Baptist Church! Thus, we have a record that dates Harmony much older than thought, loosely formed before 1834, unlocking the mystery of the [third] list, which seems to be contributors to a building fund. In a recent meeting with William Boyce White Jr., of Rock Hill, S.C., a very knowledgeable area historian, I passed the list to him with no introduction and asked his opinion. After only a few minutes of study, he titled it a list of contributors to a building fund!

I present the three lists here verbatim. … Bear in mind that these lists are verbatim, exactly as written by Captain Edwards, except for the identification.



Rev. William Perry

Mrs. Eliza Perry

John Pittman, Sr. First Deacon

D.H. Pittman

Abijah Pittman First Clerk

Joshua Swett

Joel Ashcraft

Mrs. Patsy Ashcraft

C.J. Key

Mrs. Matilda Key

W.P. Brock

Ignatius Hines

Thomas Orr, Sr.

Mrs. Julia Hyatt

Dr. Samuel Eccles McFadden

Moses Lemon

Mathew Lemon

Samuel Lemon

J.A. Lemon

Samuel Lemon

William Lemon

Josiah Davis

Augustus Bridges

Robert McFadden

A. H. Johnson

Medder White

Benjamin Lock

Edwin McLemon

Robert Lemon

James Hartgroves

Jerry Rowell

James White

John Hillingsworth Penolope Pittman

Lydia McCants

Ruth Pittman

Drucilla Walston

Mrs. Mary Brock

William Brock

Eliza Horn

Sarah Swett

Jane Pittman

Mary Lemon

Patsy White

Ellen Hamilton

Rhoda White

Ann Compton

Susanna Sims

Sarah Lemon

Laura Anderson

Elizabeth Roddey

Jane Heffley

Jane Riggins

Jane Burton

Minerva Ferguson

Greene Ferguson

Sarah White

Francis E. Lemon

Emily C. Fudge

Mary Garrick

Cynthia Duke

Jane Buchanan

Mary A. Campbell

R.C. Lemon

Mary A. Ashcraft

Martha M. White

Thomas Nichols, Sr.

Elizabeth Simpson

Mary Taylor

Rocinda Bridges

Melissa Horn

B.M. Roddy

Elizabeth Lemon

Lucinda J. Spray

James Simpson

Frederick Drury

W.G. Reid

Margaret Marion

W.C. Reid

Martha Allen

Nancy Sanders

John Thompson

Margaret S. Bradley

Margaret Benson

Daniel Drum

Isom Ferguson (1)

R.G. Mann

Julia Parish

Samuel Campbell, Sr.

Dorothy Allen

Mary Campbell

Margaret Lemon

Thomas J. Mann

Susana White

William Woods

Euginia Watters

Lafayette White

William A. Wren

Thomas Wren (2)

Joseph Swett (3)

Eliza Westbrook

Mary Ferguson

Tirzah Sexton

Alice Sexton

Susan White

Amanda Polk

Elizabeth J. McFadden

Milly Conrad

Amelia Horn

Josiah Ferguson

Mary L. Ferguson

J.J. Perkins

W.L. Sexton (4)

(1) Killed in battle, Aug. 30, 1862. (2) Died in prison at Elmira, N.Y., 1864.  (3) Killed in battle, Petersburg, Va., July 30, 1864.  
 (4) Killed in battle, Aug. 30, 1862.

For the benefit of those not familiar with the customs of slavery, all slaves entering the church were recorded with the surname of their master. The reader is asked to keep two things in mind. First, just because the slave was a member of a church, it did not mean the owner was also, although he generally was. This list then gives us an indication of the number of slaves a family of the area owned. Secondly, when a slave was sold, he took the surname of the new owner. There are two names on the list that reflect the practice, Jack White Oliver and Ben Wylie Johnson.



Talbert McFadden

Sam Pittman

Eliza Heffley

Aniston Rives

Julia Rives

Salina Rives

Albert Rives

Wilson Culp

Juliann Culp

George Culp

Rachel Culp

Mallie Lee

Patsy Wylie

Winnie Ferguson

Lem Rives

Jack White Oliver

Sam White

Charles Walker

Lewis McFadden

Eliza Hamilton

Rena McFadden

Sukey Morrison

Charles Rowell

Armstead Rives

Patience Rives

Syller Culp

Eliza Rowell

Matilda Rives

Charley Rives

Dave Pride

Harvey Rives

Ben Wylie Johnson

Dave Rives

Caroline Rowell

Cloe Culp

Maggie Rives

Mary Buchannan

Eliza Rives

Judy Rives

Lumpy Rives

Matilda Rowell

Sallie Rives

Harry Rives

Wilson Pride

Clarrissa Nunnery Jackson Spencer

Bell Rives

Isaac Walker

Allen Spencer

Delila Culp

Susan White

Lucy Wylie

Rose Perry

Viny Cherry

Turner McFadden

Elly Heffley

Susan Spencer

Lilly Perry

Lizzie Beckham

Elsey Sturges

Nellie Boyd

Philip Ellis

Elva Strait

Martha Miller

Mandy Wilson

Mingo Wherry

Hester Westbrook

Amelia Ann Smith

Peggy Sturges

Elizabeth Crain

The following is the list of building fund contributors. Many of the persons were not members of Harmony Baptist Church. Captain Edwards, in this list, grouped families together. Number and letters following a person’s name refer to Captain Edwards’ notes that follow the list. Mrs. Polly Rives gave the church lot.

William Allen

Mrs. Margaret Allen

Matilda Allen

Fudge Allen

Asa Bradley

Mrs. Nancy Bradley

Mrs. Susannah Bradley

Dr. Green Blake

Mrs. Mary Blake

Charles Brunson

Mrs. Harriett Brunson

Mrs. Ina Bell

Mrs. Mary Bruce

Nathan Bigham

Mrs. Mary Bigham

Mrs. Sarah Boyd

Mrs. M.M. Blanks

J.H. Culp, Sr.

Mrs. Caroline Culp

John Rives Culp (1)

Mrs. Sarah Culp

Miss Emily Culp

Maxey Culp

Lattie Culp

Jeannette Culp

Charley Culp

Irene Culp

Ernest Culp

Mrs. Mary Curry

Mrs. Fannie Curry

Mrs. Fannie Allen Curry

Mrs. Mary H. Culp

Martha J. Culp

Mary McCants Collins

Capt. E.H. Cherry

Mrs. Mary H. Cherry

Mrs. Mary M. Culp

Mrs. Jane Collins (H)

J.F. Chambers (O)

R.L. Crook (A,L,M,N,O,P)

Mrs. Ester Crook [A,L,M,N]

Mrs. Sarah Campbell

Mrs. Ellen Campbell

Ida Campbell

Miss Oma Cornwall

Mrs. Anna Crook (A,K,L,M)

John Dye

Mrs. Jane Dye

J.J. Edwards, Sr.

Mrs. Delilah Edwards

John L. Edwards

W.P. Ferguson (B)

Mrs. Lucy Wylie

Mrs. Sallie E. White

Mrs. Martha N. Ferguson

Elijah Ferguson

Mrs. Rebecca Ferguson

John B. Ferguson

James A. Ferguson

Turner Ferguson (C)

Ira Ferguson (D)

Mrs. Rhoda Ferguson

Mrs. Patience Ferguson (E)

Elizabeth H. Ferguson

Mrs. Mary E. Ferguson

James L. Ferguson

Mrs. E.C. Ford

Joseph Ferguson, Sr. (F)

Mrs. Holly Ferguson (F)

Mrs. Elijah Glasscock

Elizabeth Hunter

Mrs. Matilda Holcomb

Mrs. Charlotte Heath

Isaac M. Hyatt

Elizabeth Hayes

Mary Hamilton

Mrs. Mary Hudson

Mrs. Nancy Holcomb

Miss Laura Jordan

Mrs. Jane Jordan

Mrs. Martha A. Key

Mrs. Rhoda Kizer

William Kitchens (G)

Mrs. Dorothy Locke

Henry Lee

Josiah Locke (2)

Miss Bettie Locke

Sallie Lemon

Dr. A.P. McNeil

C.W. McFadden

Mrs. Melinda McFadden

Willie McFadden

Mrs. Katie McFadden

Hamilton Maxwell

Mrs. Betty Maxwell

C.T. Minors

Miss Minnie Minors

Mrs. Ross McFadden

Robert H. McFadden

R.M. McFadden

Hiram McCully

Thaddeus McFadden

Elizabeth M. McFadden

W.L. McCullough

Amos Nunnery

Mrs. Elizabeth Nunnery

Mrs. Rebecca White

Mrs. Sallie Workman (A,L)

Mrs. Dorothy Nunnery

Mrs. Sallie Nunnery

Miss Martha Nunnery

Miss Sarah Nunnery

W.A. Nunnery

Cheatham Nunnery

Mrs. Mary S. Nunnery

Mrs. Eliza Nichols

Mrs. Lexia Nelson

Mrs. Catherine Orr

Mrs. Priscilla Orr

William Orr

Mrs. Mattie Orr

James Parish

Hilliard Pittman, Sr.

Mrs. O.C. Pittman

Isaac A. Rowell (I)

Mrs. Spain Reid

Mrs. Polly Rowell (J)

Mrs. Sallie Robinson

Rebecca Reid

Mary Rawls

Mrs. Sophronia Sledge

C.R. Sibley

D.W. Steedman

Mrs. Aramintha Steedman

Robert Sexton

Mrs. Sarah E. Shack

Peggy Sexton

Mrs. Lizzie Gray Smith

Mrs. M.E. Turner

Capt. J.A. Thomas

Rev. C.C. Vaughn

Mrs. Bittie Vaughn

Sarah Vaughn (Q)

Miss Betsy Vaughn

W.E. Waters

Mrs. Elizabeth Waters

W.J. Waters

James H. White

David White

Robert White, Sr.

Miss Mary Ann White
Mrs. Betsy Wren (A,K)

Mrs. Helen Westbrook

Mrs. Mary White

Mrs. Holly Workman (A,M)

Mrs. Minnie Woods (N,P)

Captain Edwards’ Notes

[1] John Rives Culp, killed in battle in Virginia, 1864.

[2] Josiah H. Locke, killed in battle, July 17, 1864 Petersburg, Va.

Robert J. Stevens’ Notes

[A] Anna Crook, born 1791, wife of Joseph Crook, was a daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Martin) Ferguson, Joseph and Anna had: Martin, went to Miss.; Robert Leroy, an attorney, married Esther Ferguson; Wylie, married Narcissa; Martha Nancy, married William P. Ferguson; Betsy, married William Wren; Margaret, married an Agnew; and one daughter that married a Rodman and went west..

[B] William P. Ferguson married to Martha Nancy Crook (see note A).

[C] Turner Ferguson, born 8/2/1816, died 6/24/1842, a son of Henry and Sarah (Rives) Ferguson, and first husband of Rhoda Hyatt.

[D] James Ira Ferguson, born 1819, died 7/13/1854, a son of Joseph M. and Ruth (Woods) Ferguson, and second husband of Rhoda Hyatt.

[E] Patience Collins, wife of Pleasant William Ferguson, both of whom had come from Pennsylvania and were of no relation to the other Fergusons of Chester County.

[F] Joseph Ferguson, Sr., married Holly Ashcraft before they migrated to Arkansas*.

[G] William Kitchens, born 1830, a son of James and Jane (Bradford) Kitchens, was a member of Company A, 17th Regiment, S.C.V. He was wounded and captured at the Battle of Fort Steadman, Va., March 25, 1865, and died in a Washington, D.C., prison in April 1865. Captain Edwards wrote, “he was a brave soldier and a man of fine Christian character.”

[H] Mrs. Jane Collins was born 1844, died 1889, a daughter of Charles and Rachel (Klein) Fudge, who had married John D. Collins. Charles Fudge had been first married to Rhoda Nunnery, a daughter of J. Lemuel and Mary (Culp) Nunnery.

[I] Isaac A. Rowell was a son of Jeremiah and Mary Rowell.

[J] Mrs. Polly Rowell was the wife of Jeremiah Rowell, Jr. Jeremiah Rowell, Sr., was from Va. and a S.C. Revolutionary soldier.

[K] Mrs. Betsy Wren was married to William Wren. She was a daughter of Joseph and Anny (Ferguson) Crook.

[L] Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Workman, first wife of R.P. Workman, was a daughter of Robert Leroy and Esther (Ferguson) Crook.

[M] Mrs. Holly Frances Workman, second wife of R.P. Workman, was a daughter of Robert Leroy and Esther (Ferguson) Crook.

[N] Robert Leroy Crook, an attorney in Rock Hill, S.C., born 1826, died 1891, a son of Joseph and Anny (Ferguson) Crook, married Esther Ferguson, a daughter of Pleasant William Ferguson.

[O] J. Frank Chambers had married Margaret Rebecca Crook, a daughter of Robert Leroy and Esther (Ferguson) Crook.

[P] Mary “Minnie” Aurarillas Woods, a daughter of Robert Leroy and Esther (Ferguson) Crook, had married William C. Woods.

[Q] Sarah Vaughn was a daughter of Rev. C.C. Vaughn by his first wife.

* No evidence has been found to indicate Joseph and Holly (Ashcraft) Ferguson moved to Arkansas. Holly, born about 1802, was a daughter of John Ashcraft and his second wife, Rebecca. Holly’ siblings were Tilatha, Agnes, Joel, Jesse, and Esther. John Ashcraft had nine children by his first wife, Mary Brown. - Sharon Ashcraft, February 3, 2008

There was another list of more recent time by Captain Edwards that should be included in this article..............

A List of the Names of Contributors to the

Baptist Church Building at the Eureka Cotton Mill”


D.P. Crosby $20.00

Sam E. McFadden 20.00

Mrs. J.G. White 10.00

C.C. Edwards 10.00

Dr. J.G. Johnson 10.00

John C. McFadden 10.00

Mrs. V.T. Walker 10.00

W.L. Ferguson 5.00

Mrs. M.M. Stewart 5.00

John C. Stewart 5.00

H.C. Boney 2.00

Lindsey Mer. Co. 2.00

R.L. Morris 2.00

G.R. Ball 1.00

M.A. Carpenter 5.00

B.T. Byers 1.00

J.C. Moore 1.00

Dr. T.S. Lietner 2.00

T.W. Higgins 1.00

S.T. Proctor 1.00

W.F. Stricker 5.00

Miss Barbara Stahn 1.00

John H. McGee 5.00

E.L. Pressley 2.00

Collected by J.L.B. 11.00

John M. Wise 5.00

W.A. Corkle 5.00

R.L. Horne 1.00

C.S. Ford 2.00

T.M. Sanders 2.00

Dr. W.B. Cox 1.00

G.M. Shannon 5.00

W.A. Newbold 10.00

J.S. Snyder 5.00

S.M. Jones & Co. 5.00

W.F. McCullough 2.00

J.H. McDaniel 1.00

D.E. Colvin 5.00

G.W. Gage 5.00

J.T. Perkins 2.50

Jos. Wylie & Co. 10.00

W.D. Bewly 5.00

J.Y. Murphy 5.00

W.A. Cauble 1.00

A.C. Lynn 1.00

J.T. Collins 5.00

C.M. Whisonant 2.00

Hamilton Book Co. 2.00

(paid by J.L.B.)


Excerpt from a Southern Baptist Newspaper published in Charleston SC 1847-1860 issue dated July 25, 1855:

"Died, at her residence in Chester District, on the 21st of May last, Mrs. Mary Rives, the oldest member of the Harmony Baptist Church. This church has lost Ira Ferguson, Sister White, Joel Ashcraft and Hilliard Pittman."

Back to Chester County South Carolina Genealogy Trails