Thursday, October 6, 2016

Lebanon Baptist Church, 1853

From the February 7, 1930 issue of the Lebanon News:

Lebanon Baptist Church Erected In Year 1853

An old book handed us a few days ago by Charles C. Alderson, of Lebanon, contains the list of those contributing to the building of the Lebanon Baptist Church. The agreement and contributors names appear below:

"We, whose names are hereto annexed, do promise and bind ourselves to pay to Vincent Jessee, Elihu Kiser and Thos. C. M. Alderson the sums subscribed in order to erect a neat and capacious brick Baptist meeting house in the town of Lebanon. November 15, 1853:

Subscribers names:

Vincent Jessee $100.00
Jefferson Jessee 75.00
Archer Jessee 50.00
William Frickson 25.00
Leonard Shoemaker 25.00
Abram Childers 50.00
William E. Frick 15.00
Alderson & Kernan 50.00
Robert Boyd 25.00
Robert M. Fields 10.00
M. C. Logan 10.00
Wm. Fields (if built) 50.00
Aaron Hendricks 2.50
Thos. D. Boyd 5.00
Thos. Davis 2.50
H. S. Gibson 5.00
Sam W. Aston 20.00
Isaac Davis (in work) 5.00
T. C. Alderson 20.00
F. G. Catron (in work) 5.00
E. B. Price (in work) 10.00
J. F. Boyd (in work) 20.00
T. D. Kernan 5.00
Francis Lark 5.00
N. S. Brattin (in tailoring) 5.00
Charles D. Boyd 5.00
James A. Austin (in work) 5.00
Peter B. Henritze 5.00
Marcus Tunnell, 1 pr. shoes 2.50
J. F. McElhany 20.00
S. W. Aston 10.00

Subscribers toward dedication of church:

Mrs. N. B. Gray 2.00
Vicy Leece 1.00
Margaret Leece 1.00
Mrs. Henritze 1.00
Mrs. M. Lark 1.00

A few other names were written in the age old book but the time worn pages made it impossible to read, and a few other names had been gnawed away by rats.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

1846 Lebanon Letter

From the Lebanon News of April 7, 1939:

Letter Written In Lebanon In 1846 Turns Up

Our good friend, John W. Alderson, of Forrest City, Arkansas, one of the boys of other days, who played first base on the Lebanon ball team more than 40 years ago, and made good at that, as well as in the business world, has an old letter written by William B. Aston to Margaret Alderson, the daughter of Colonel George Alderson, July 8, 1846, which will be of interest to many of our readers. It is as follows:

Dearest Margaret:
Pursuant to my promise, I now write to you. I did not get home in time to write to you by last Tuesday's mail, and consequently this is the first opportunity. I arrived at Lewisburg the evening I left you and took quarters at Rev. John McElhaney's. I remained there until the next Thursday morning. I did not mingle much with the people of Lewisburg. I found it to me rather a dry, uninteresting place. I called on James Remley and found him and his family quite interesting.

Charles L. Creigh was from home. I did not see him. Frank and myself were at the old man Creigh's, but Charley nor Lewis being there, we didn't tarry long.

I visited the white Sulphur on Wednesday which I found a beautiful and pleasant place. We left for home Thursday morning and arrived here on Saturday evening. I reached home in very bad health, and have been so ever since, but, having gone through a course of medicine, I think I am about well now, except that I am very weak from the effects of the medicine. In a day or two more I am in hopes I will be fully restored.

I hope you are in good health and spirits, entirely cheerful and lively, having nothing on earth to disturb your quiet and repose.

Upon consulting with Thomas, we came to the conclusion that it was best to put off our marriage until the 18th day of August, as to set an earlier day would not give Thomas an opportunity to visit his friends or even stay a day at his Pa's, and by fixing on the 18th we will give him sufficient time after our court to visit all his friends and be ready to return with us to Russell. I hope this arrangement will meet with your approbation. Please inform your Pa of it.

Time drags somewhat heavily with me, but it is only a little more than a month now ere I see you again, by divine permission, when I hope we will meet not to be parted soon, except as the ordinary business of life shall require.

Permanent happiness on this earth we need not expect, but I think we can live together and enjoy our fair proportion of earthly happiness. It is true our path is not be be bestrewed all the way with roses; we need not expect that. There will, no doubt, be many thorns in our path. We have all the inconveniences and troubles that poverty bring to content with from the start, but if we try properly to cheer each other up and smooth each other's path through life, as we should do, we will find that those anticipated difficulties will vanish as we approach them.

I have no news of interest to give you, therefore will give you none.

Your friends here generally well. I have had many inquiries made MADE of me since my return about &c. &c., and some mistaken friends have wished me joy.

I expect Mack and Augustus and Doc't Kernan will probably come with me, though I have not yet said anything to them about it. I will expect by tomorrow week's mail to receive a letter from you and will answer it immediately, and, being this evening somewhat in a bad condition for writing, I hope you will excuse this dry, uninteresting epistle, and believe me to be, dearest, your devoted and affectionate friend.

Give me love to Sarah Martha. Write when you receive this.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

World War I Letters of Russell County, February 15, 1918

The following letter appeared in the February 15, 1918 issue of the Lebanon News. Shoemaker had won a sweater in a contest sponsored by the Mitchell-Smith Company, of Bristol.

"Somewhere in France.
January 12, 1918

Mitchell-Smith & Co.,
301 State Street,
Bristol, Va.,-Tenn:

Dear Sirs - Received sweater few days ago; was more than glad to get it, and if there is any place on the globe that sweaters are needed it is sure where I am at. We have and are having some awful cold weather, so therefore the sweater comes in mighty nice. It is to be hoped we won't have to spend another winter in France, but who knows what the future will bring?

Wish I could write you where we are and how things seem to be going, but that's impossible.

Again, I thank you for the sweater, or at least, thankful for the luck I have had.

With best of good luck to you all.

Yours truly,
First Co. 117th T. H. & M. P."

Monday, August 29, 2016

1871 Russell County Township Election Results

From the Abingdon Virginian, June 16, 1871.

Russell Correspondence. 
LEBANON, VA., June 12th, 1871

Editors Abingdon Virginian:

Believing that the result of the Township elections recently had in our county will be of interest to some of the numerous readers of your paper, I now proceed to give it:

Supervisors - Leonard Hargis, John W. Martin, Wm. J. Kindrick, R. B. Aston, A. A. Kiser and E. K. Jessee.

Assessors - John T. Ferguson, W. F. Helton, Harvey Honaker, J. H. Johnson, Elihu Kiser, and Wm. R. Harvey.

Clerks - John M. Price, H. S. Fickle, Oscar Johnson, S. J. Bundy, E. D. Kelly and Davis C. Alderson.

Collectors - Wilson E. Browning, Joseph Webb, J. W. Ball, A. S. Wyatt, Wm. L. Kiser, and E. S. Cunningham.

Road Commissoners - Wm. F. Campbell, B. H. Ferguson, Hanson Meade, Moses Dorton, Wm. Fields and Wm. F. Jessee.

Majistrates - Joel Fields, J. C. Ferguson, Isaac Fuller, Thomas Meade, J. H. Dickenson and N. E. Burdine.

Constables - C. W. Fogleman, Alex. McFarlane, E. F. Boyd, J. L. Patrick, C. C. Candler and Thomas Statzer.

Overseers Poor - Jos. Fields, John Grace, Jacob Cook, William Cooper, Alex. Sutherland and Abraham Buckles.

At the last regular Communication of Lebanon Lodge No. 215, the following persons were elected officers for the ensuing year:

G. S. Brace, Wor. Master; Henry Fry, Sr. Warden; W. A. Evans, Jr. Warden; T. C. M. Alderson, Sec'y; James J. Henritze, Treas.; Sam'l V. Scott, Sr. Deacon; Balford White, Jr. Deacon; H. Ashbrook, Steward and fifer.

We are now having remarkably fine weather, and very seasonable. Corn and Oats are looking finely, and our Wheat is almost ready for the harvest, and promises an abundant yield, although slightly touched with the rust, but not supposed so as to injure the grain. Excuse brevity. More in my next.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

James B. Horn, Soldier, Minister, Conman

James B. Horn, Soldier, Minister, Conman

James B. Horn (sometimes Horne) was born in December of 1840 in Russell County, Virginia, the son of James and Abigail Horn. Although there are several Horn families in Russell County on the 1850 Census, James and his parents do not seem to appear. However, there is a reasonable chance that James B. Horn's parents are listed in the Census as James A. Fraley and his wife Abigail B. Fraley. The Fraleys are in the census living next door to Pleasant and Huldah Horn, James Horn's grandparents.

When the Civil War begins, James enlists in Company C of the 37th Virginia Infantry, one of the first units recruited in Russell County. On the earliest muster roll remaining for that company, that of August 31, 1861 (covering July and August), Horn is listed as being sick at Monterey. He apparently re-joins the unit and on February 18, 1862, he re-enlists and is given a $50 bounty and a furlough home. He never returns to his unit. Subsequent muster rolls list him as a deserter.

Immediately after getting home on his furlough, he marries Eliza J. Porter, who lived near the Horns. On the 1870 census they are living in Castlewood, Russell County, and have four children, Morris, Florence, Elgar, and Mary. James owns $1,500 worth of real estate and has $175 of personal goods. Both amounts indicate James had significant financial resources (200 of the 317 families living in Castlewood at that time owned no real estate at all.)

Both his parents appear to have died before 1865, when his grandfather Pleasant Horn dies. At some point prior to 1868 Horn becomes a practicing minister, marrying a handful of couples in Russell County in 1868, 1869, 1876, and 1877. Later on in life, he claims to have been a Baptist minister in Virginia for 17 years.

By 1880 James and his growing family are living in the town of Grundy, in Buchanan County. In addition to the four children on the 1870 census, daughter Eliza A. H. E. P. and son James B. Jr. are born. James senior is working as a hotel keeper. His oldest daughter is listed as Nance B. Her name in the 1870 census appears as Morris.

Horn next appears in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1893, placing the following advertisement in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

On June 20, 1895, Horn creates a company called the Metropolitan Industrial Benevolent Association, providing insurance to low income workers in St. Louis. The board of directors of the company consists of Horn, his wife Adell (no record has been found of a divorce or the death of his previous wife, Eliza),  James B. Horn, junior, and Charles Maupin, of Fort Scott, Kansas, who is Horn's son-in-law. John I. Debelach, an umbrella mender living in St. Louis, is listed as the secretary of the association. Debelach was offered a 20% interest in this "concern", he paid Horn $200 and deeded two lots to cover his share of the Association costs. Debelach worked from November, 1895 to June of 1896 for the Association, without pay. Finally Debelach had enough and left the Association. Subsequent circulars issued by the Association listed James Brockhorn as a member of the board of directors, but Brockhorn was simply an alias for James B. Horn.

Debelach's rebellion and removal from the Association starts a landslide of attention and press scrutiny for the Association. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch of September 18, 1896 explained how the Association worked:

"By beginning to pay 5 cents a week for a child when it is 2 years old the poor mother is promised death insurance ranging from $17 to $115, or the payment of $50 to the child should it live to become 21 years of age."

Other payment plans and returns were also sold by the Association. However, Horn had a habit of refusing to pay out claims.

In September of 1896, after receiving complaints about the Association, the St. Louis Chief of Detectives ordered an investigation. Upon calling at the office of the Association, Detective Tracy was met by an agitated Horn:

"'I defy any one,' he said, 'to show where this association has refused to pay a just claim.' Mrs. Horn scattered a large number of receipts upon the center table to substantiate this assertion."

After questioning the Horns and discovering the names of the board of directors, Detective Tracy commented "Seems to be quite a family concern." Further investigations turned up several poor colored people who claimed to have been swindled by Horn. Finally, in late September, 1896, a warrant was issued for Horn and he was arrested.

Later reports in the Post-Dispatch indicate that Horn came to St. Louis in 1891 and refused to say where he was before that time. He married his present wife in St. Louis in 1892, although no marriage record can be found.

When he was arrested Horn stated "I can beat that case."

Horn apparently did "beat that case" because the Metropolitan Industrial Benevolent Association continued to operate in St. Louis and other places for several years. A few months after his arrest, Horn reorganized the Association and created a new board of directors. Unfortunately for Horn, his business practices soon forced his new board to resign en masse.

Newspaper accounts show the Association operating in Cape Girardeau, Missouri in 1897 and 1898. On April 22, 1898 the Post-Dispatch reports that one of Horn's agents, Alfred Jones of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri had absconded with Association funds. The swindler had been swindled.

Horn drops from the public eye around this time, only appearing in a local newspapers in 1904 with the following advertisement:

A tontine is a life insurance scheme where all members pay in a regular rate and the money goes to the surviving member(s) of the group at the end of a specified period.

Horn and family continue to live in St. Louis until his death in 1923.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Russell County Members of the Virginia House of Delegates, 1787-1900

October 15, 1787 - January 8, 1788

Andrew Cowan
Thomas Carter

June 23 - June 30, 1788; October 20, 1788 - December 19, 1788

Andrew Cowan
Thomas Carter

October 19 - December 19, 1789

Andrew Cowan
Thomas Carter

October 18 - December 29, 1790

Thomas Carter
David Ward

October 17 - December 20, 1791

Thomas Carter
Simon Cockrell

October 1 - December 28, 1792

Simon Cockrell
Richard Price

October 21 - December 12, 1793

Simon Cockrell
Richard Price

November 11 - December 27, 1794

Richard Price, Jr.
Richard Price, Sr.

November 10 - December 29, 1795

Richard Price, Jr.
Richard Price, Sr.

November 8 - December 27, 1796

Thomas Johnson
Richard Price

December 4, 1797 - January 25, 1798

John M. Estill
Thomas Johnson

December 3, 1798 - January 26, 1799

Simon Cockrell
Francis Browning

December 2, 1799 - January 28, 1800

Simon Cockrell
James McFarlane

December 1, 1800 - January 23, 1801

Richard Price
James McFarlane

December 7, 1801 - February 2, 1802

James McFarlane
John M. Estill

December 6, 1802 - January 29, 1803

James McFarlane
James Dickenson

December 5, 1803 - February 3, 1804

Nathan Ellington
James McFarlane

December 3, 1804 - February 1, 1805

Nathan Ellington
James McFarlane

December 2, 1805 - February 6, 1806

James McFarlane
John M. Estill

December 1, 1806 - January 22, 1807

Nathan Ellington
Zachariah Fugate

December 7, 1807 - February 10, 1808

Nathan Ellington
Zachariah Fugate

December 5, 1808 - February 18, 1809

James McFarlane
James Sargeant

December 4, 1809 - February 9, 1810

Zachariah Fugate
James McFarlane

December 3, 1810 - February 14, 1811

James McFarlane
Nathan Ellington

December 2, 1810 - February 21, 1812

James Sargeant
Zachariah Fugate

November 30, 1812 - February 23, 1813

James McFarlane
James Sargeant

May 17 - 21, 1813; December 6, 1813 - February 16, 1814

James Fullen
Colbert Fugate

October 10, 1814 - January 19, 1815

Archibald Jessee
James Fullen

December 4, 1815 - February 28, 1816

Andrew Caldwell
Archer Jessee

November 11, 1816 - February 22, 1817

Colbird Fugate
Andrew Caldwell

December 1, 1817 - February 26, 1818

Colbird Fugate
Archibald Jessee

December 7, 1818 - March 13, 1819

James McFarlane
Archer Jessee

December 6, 1819 - February 25, 1820

James Dickenson, Jr.
John Jesse

December 4, 1820 - March 5, 1821

James Dickenson, Jr.
John Jessee

December 3, 1821 - March 4, 1822

William Price
James Caldwell

December 2, 1822 - February 25, 1823

William Price
James Caldwell

December 1, 1823 - March 10, 1824

Andrew Caldwell
John Jessee

November 29, 1824 - February 18, 1825

Andrew Caldwell
James Dickenson

December 5, 1825 - March 9, 1826

George Cowan
Arthur Jesse

December 4, 1826 - March 9, 1827

George Cowan
James Dickenson

December 3, 1827 - March 1, 1828

David B. Alexander
Harvey Gray

December 1, 1828 - February 17, 1829

David B. Alexander
James M. McFarlane

December 7, 1829 - February 23, 1830

Harvey Gray
James M. McFarlane

December 6, 1830 - April 19, 1831

David B. Alexander

December 5, 1831 - March 21, 1832

Archer Jessee

December 3, 1832 - March 9, 1833

James M. McFarlane

December 2, 1833 - March 14, 1834

George W. Hopkins

December 1, 1834 - March 12, 1835

George W. Hopkins

December 7, 1835 - March 24, 1836

William Jessee

December 5, 1836 - March 31, 1837; June 12 - 24, 1837

William Jessee

January 1 - April 9, 1838

Harvey Gray

January 7 - April 10, 1839

Henry D. Smith

December 2, 1839 - March 19, 1840

Henry D. Smith

December 1, 1840 - March 22, 1841

George Cowan

December 6, 1841 - March 26, 1842

George Cowan

December 5, 1842 - March 28, 1843

George Cowan

December 4, 1843 - February 15, 1844

George Cowan

December 2, 1844 - February 22, 1845

George Cowan

December 1, 1845 - March 6, 1846

George Cowan

December 7, 1846 - March 23, 1847

John F. McElhenney

December 6, 1847 - April 5, 1848

John F. McElhenney

December 4, 1848 - March 19, 1849; May 28 - June 4, 1849; June 11 - August 17, 1849

William B. Aston

December 3, 1849 - March 22, 1850

Edward D. Kernan

December 2, 1850 - March 31, 1851

Edward D. Kernan

January 12 - June 7, 1852; November 22, 1852 - April 11, 1853

Henry D. Smith
Charles H. Gilmer

December 5, 1853 - March 4, 1854

Andrew C. Ferguson

December 3, 1855 - March 19, 1856

G. W. Candler
Joseph Kelly

December 7, 1857 - April 8, 1858

Dale Carter

December 5, 1859 - April 2, 1860; January 7, 1861 - April 4, 1861

William J. Dickenson (Russell, Wise, and Buchanan counties)

December 2, 1861 - March 31, 1862; April 1 - May 14, 1862; September 15 - October 3, 1862; January 7, 1863 - March 31, 1863

Isaac Vermillion

September 7 - November 2, 1863; December 7, 1863 - March 10, 1864; December 7, 1864 - March 15, 1865

William J. Kindrick (Russell, Wise, and Buchanan counties)

December 4, 1865 - March 3, 1866; December 3, 1866 - March 2, 1867; March 4 - April 29, 1867

W. J. Dickenson

October 5 - October 20, 1869; February 8 - July 11, 1870; October 1 - November 10, 1870; December 7, 1870 - March 31, 1871

J. H. A. Smith

December 6, 1871 - March 26, 1872; March 27 - April 5, 1872; December 4, 1872 - April 1, 1873

Jack Carter

January 1 - April 30, 1874; December 2, 1874 - March 31, 1875

Jack Carter

December 1, 1875 - March 29, 1876; December 6, 1876 - April 4, 1877

W. J. Kindrick

December 5, 1877 - March 14, 1878; December 4, 1878 - April 2, 1879

William J. Dickenson

December 3, 1879 - March 9, 1880

William J. Dickenson

December 7, 1881 - March 6, 1882; March 7 - April 22, 1882

William J. Dickenson

December 5, 1883 - March 19, 1884; August 13 - December 1, 1884

George C. Gose

December 2, 1885 - March 6, 1886; March 16 - May 24, 1887

Silas B. Hurt

December 8, 1887 - March 5, 1888

R. L. Smith

December 4, 1889 - March 6, 1890

J. G. Burk

December 2, 1891 - March 4, 1892

W. J. Combs

December 6, 1893 - March 8, 1894

L. M. Wilson

December 4, 1895 - March 5, 1896

Charles J. Gose

December 1, 1897 - March 4, 1898

W. D. Hanson

December 6, 1899 - March 7, 1900

Jacob C. Gent

Sunday, July 3, 2016

World War I Letters of Russell County, November 22, 1918

The following letter originally appeared in the November 22nd, 1918 issue of the Lebanon News.

"Somewhere in France, Sept. 11.

My dear Mother:

We have landed at last and are one tired bunch. I did not get sick while crossing until the last few days of our sailing. As long as the waters were calm I was alright but on the last they were wild. One of the sailors on board told me it was the roughest trip he had made and he had been across five times.

I spent so much of my time down in deck in my bunk reading, as I had a good ventilation right over me and preferred this to being out on deck so much. I never felt the least fear in crossing as there were a number of large transports in our convoy, and they stayed so close that I could talk to the boys on the boats at times. I enjoyed being on deck and watching the clouds, waves and flying fish.

Well after landing at the long talked of place "Over There" and resting a few days we were sent across France and am now at the foot hills of the Alps. I can look up and see the snow on Mt. Blanc, although we have been going in our shirt sleeves all day.

Tell Ethel that little did I think of ever seeing the Alps when she used to coach me on my declamation, "Beyond the Alps Lies Italy."

This is a wonderful country and the climate is great. I enjoyed rest on the coast of France when we landed so much. The buildings were so historical looking, and some of Napoleon's barracks made of stone were located where we camped. I was at a program one night while there, that was given by an American lady and a madomisselle. It was great, most all the songs they sang were in English. The French lady could play the piano beautifully and speak English slowly but brokenly.

We were three days and nights crossing France. We are located at a Base hospital and I have been working so very hard. For the first few days I worked equipping the hospital, mixing some medicines, etc. On the first three days I issued 4,500 blankets. If I have another equipment to make I'll know better how to do it. Since then I have been enlisting the patients that come in and take their condition. I like my work, have excellent eatables and I do not think of being "over here" as long as I'm right down to work in camp but I do when I get out, and I'm ready to come back when it's all over.

The big guns are playing one tune this morning, and you so often see search lights going over, but you must not worry about me as I am safe.

Has Claude, Homer and Charlie entered yet?

Tell Mary Lou I will bring her one of these cute little French babies when I come home.

How are they all down at aunt Mary's and is Jimmie still in Tenn., and having success practicing.

I suppose the children are in school by now, tell Lance and Leon not to lose any time.

Tell Ethel and Alda I will write them next and will write some of you every few days.

Please send me address of any of the boys whom I know. So many come into the hospital wounded. I have not seen any I know, but am on the lookout for some.

Send me some kodak pictures soon and write me often, for you have no idea how I'd like to have news from home, and letters that were old are new now.

Your son,