Chapter XXXIV - Religious Organizations

History of Hampshire County West Virginia From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present
By Hu Maxwell and H. L. Swisher
Morgantown, West Virginia; A. Brown Boughner Printer; 1897

PART 2 County History
CHAPTER XXXIV - RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
BY H. L. SWISHER
Pages 373-391

The pioneer settler had not spent many moons in his rude cabin before the pioneer minister visited his abode. It would be hard indeed to discover the name of the first minister who braved the dangers of the forest to point men to a higher and nobler life. Nor is it definitely known what denomination first built a church within the present limits of Hampshire county.

This chapter is compiled from such data as could be gathered from histories and from ministers and members of the different denominations. No particular order was observed in the treatment of the different churches, but this chapter progressed as information was received. If more space is given to the treatment of one church than another it is because more data was furnished the author by those interested in that particular church.

Protestant Episcopal Church. — The county of Hampshire was formed into a parish by this church in 1753, When Hardy county was cut off from Hampshire in 1785 a new parish was formed in that county. Sometime in 1771-72 the Reverend Messrs. Ogilvie, Manning and Kenner were ordained in England for the church work in Hampshire county. Of these three Mr. Manning only reached the county, and the success or failure of his work is not recorded. About 1812 the Reverend Mr. Reynolds had charge of the parish of Hampshire, and quite soon after that Bishop Moore of Virginia, ordained the Reverend Norman Nash for church work in Hampshire, and such was his zeal that unexpected success crowned his efforts. With his own skillful hands he helped to erect one if not two churches in this county. Zion, near North river mills, stands today as a monument to his skill and industry. After at least sixty years silence the voice of the Episcopal ministry was again heard at Zion a few years ago, when Bishop Peterkin and Reverend Gibbons held service at that place. Service is now held there quite frequently. It is probable also that Reverend Nash built a frame church at the town of Frankfort. Rev. Sylvester Nash, a nephew of the above-named gentleman, succeeded his uncle and often preached in the log churches he had erected. Through the untiring efforts of the last mentioned gentleman the old brick church in Romney was built. This church was partly destroyed by fire just previous to the Civil war. The remaining walls are now incorporated in the public school building which stands on the lot formerly owned by the church. Succeeding Mr. Nash came Rev. Mr. Hedges, and after him Rev. Mr. Irish. On October 12, 1878, Rev. J. Dudley Ferguson took charge of the work in Hampshire and remained until his successor, Rev. J. Tottenham Loftus, arrived in January, 1881. He, on the sixth of September of the same year, received injuries in a railroad accident from which he died in England in 1883. After an interregnum of nearly two and a-half years, Rev. Samuel H. Griffith took charge and remained one year. The Rev. G. A. Gibbons of Fairmont, W. Va., was then called and took charge of the work in Hampshire and adjoining counties July 2, 1885. The same year the brick church, St. Stephens, was built in Romney, chiefly through the efforts and liberality of the late J. C. Corell. This church was consecrated November 13, 1887, Bishop Pekerkin and the rector, Rev. G. A. Gibbons, officiating. St. Stephens has at present twenty communicants and a Sunday school of five teachers and twenty scholars, E. O. Wirgman, superintendent. In November, 1835, Rev. Gibbons and Bishop Peterkin visited the McGills and Russells, near Okonoko, this county. During this visit they for the first time conducted Episcopal service in the M. E. church, south, on the Levels, about a mile from Levels cross roads. This service was repeated from time to time until this mission grew to have twenty communicants. At length the beautiful Epiphany church was built, chiefly through the well-directed efforts of Miss Hester McGill and other faithful adherents, and by the kindness of Wm. L. Davis of Rochester, New York, who generously donated his work while building the church, epiphany has twenty communicants and a Sunday school of twenty scholars and live teachers, Henry McGill Russell, superintendent.

We gather, then, that this church formed the parish of Hampshire in 1753. It has been served by ten clergymen, Messrs. Manning, Reynolds, Nash, Nash, Hedges, Irish, Ferguson, Loftus, Griffith and Gibbons. There have been six churches, four of which, Zion, Frankfort, St. Stephen and Epiphany, are still standing. The old brick in Romney and a church on North river have been destroyed.

Evangelical Lutheran Church. — In the last quarter of the eighteenth century a congregation known as the "German Churches" was organized at a point about four miles from Capon Springs on Capon river. These "German Churches" were German Reformed or Lutheran congregations. The house in which these congregations worshiped for a full half century was built of hewn logs. It is still standing and is used as a sexton's house. The official records date back as far as 1786, and in 1836 interesting centennial exercises were held in Hebron, the name of the present Lutheran church at that place. For a number of years the two denominations had but one pastor, who was sometimes a German Reformed minister and sometimes a Lutheran.

The preachers in "those early days served this congregation in connection with churches in the valley of Virginia. Rev. A. Reck, a Lutheran minister residing in Winchester became pastor of the Capon church, as it was then called, and since that time only Lutheran ministers have served as pastors. The present church, Hebron, was erected in 1849, under the ministry of H. J. Richardson. A visit to the cemetery of this pioneer organization reveals the fact that the Swishers, Rudolphs, Klines, Brills, Sechrists and Baumgardners were the first worshipers, and their descendants to the third and fourth generation worship there today. Mrs. Maud L. Michael, the wife of the present pastor, is of the fourth generation, being a great-granddaughter of George Rudolph, Sr. There are but three of the pastors who served Hebron church now living. These are Reverends P. Miller, P. J. Wade and the present pastor, Rev. D. W. Michael. Rev. W. G. Keil, who was pastor at Hebron from 1822 to 1827, died at Senacaville, Ohio, in 1891, in his ninety-second year. In 1867 the membership of this church was the highest it has ever been, 106 being then enrolled.

St. James, formerly known as Laurel Chapel, was organized in 1866. There is also a congregation at Rio, on North river, known as North River Evangelical Lutheran church. It was founded by Rev. H. J. Richardson in 1849. The house of worship is owned jointly by Lutherans and Presbyterians.

Regular Primitive Baptist Church. — Three congregations of the Primitive of Regular Baptists were early formed in the limits of what was then Hampshire. The first of these was at North River and was established in 1787 by B. Stone, with twenty-six members. Crooked Run had forty-four members to start with and was founded by B. Stone, 1790. Paterson's Creek congregation was formed in 1808, by John Munroe, with sixteen members. All these belonged to the Ketocton association. Robert B. Semple, in his "History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia," published in 1810, speaking of the above-named organizations, says: "North River, Crooked Run and Patterson's Creek are new churches, concerning which nothing interesting is known, except that they are preached to by Elder John Munroe, a practitioner of physic. Doctor Munroe has long been engaged in the heavenly employment of dispensing the gospel, and was r when a resident of Fauquier, as well as since his removal to Hampshire, a very successful preacher of the gospel."

Crooked Run, one of these early congregations, is now known as Union church, and is situated hear the Northwestern grade, one and a half miles from Pleasant Dale, and one mile from Augusta. There are three other churches of this denomination in the county known as Little Capon, Mount Bethel or Branch Mountain and Grassy Lick. Elder B. W. Power is pastor of these congregations at the present time. The total membership is about sixty.

Messrs. John Arnold, John Munroe, Herbert Cool, Jesse Munroe, George Loy, Benjamin Cornwell, John Corder, and T. N. Alderton have all served in the capacity of elder for the Regular Primitive Baptist church in Hampshire county.

Presbyterian Church. — Very soon after the Revolutionary war ministers of the Presbyterian faith preached at different points in this county. Mount Bethel, at Three churches on Branch mountain, was Organized in 1792. The same year the Romney church was founded, but it was reorganized in 1833. Rev. John Lyle was the minister for the congregations of Frankfort, Romney and Springfield when the Winchester Presbytery was formed in 1794. This presbytery had five ministers and sixteen churches, viz: "Rev. Moses Hoge, pastor of Carmel (Shepherdstown) congregation; Rev. Nash Legrand, of Winchester, Opequon and Cedar creek; Rev. William Hill, of Charlestown and Hopewell (Smithfield); Rev. William Williamson, of South river (Front Royal) and Flint run; and Rev. John Lyle, of Frankfort, Romney and Springfield; with the following vacancies, viz: Middletown (Gerardstown) and Back creek, united, able to support a minister; Concrete (in Hardy county), able; and Powell's fort and Lost river, not able."

Rev. John Lyle died in 1807 and was buried at Springfield. After him, Rev. James Black preached at Romney, Springfield and Moorefield as stated supply. Rev. William H. Foote took charge of the work in 1819, and continued many years. Previous to 1833 ail the churches in the county were included in the Mount Bethel congregation. In that year, October 19, we find the following entry upon the minute book: "Sufficient evidence appearing before the Presbytery that Mount Bethel church desires a division, therefore, Resolved, That the name of Mount Bethel church be changed to that of Romney, Mr. Foote continuing the pastor of the same; and that Mr. Foote have leave to form separate organizations at Springfield, Mount Bethel, North river and Patterson's creek."

Springfield was organized in 1833 at the time of the reorganization of Romney. Seven years before, in 1826, a church had been organized at Bloomery. North river church was organized in 1833. Stone Quarry, near French's Depot, is a flourishing congregation with a considerable membership: The last two churches of this faith, Westminster, at Capon bridge, and the one at Rio were organized in 1894, making eight churches of this denomination in the county. The combined membership at the present time is three hundred and sixty-nine; number of Sunday school teachers, eleven; scholars, two hundred and twelve.

The Presbyterian church has always been closely connected with the various educational movements in the county. Some of its ministers have been teachers of wonderful ability and wide reputation.

Methodist Episcopal Church, South. — The foundation of this church in the county is coteraporaneous with the foundation of the Methodist Episcopal church, for until recent years the two organizations were one. The history of the one is, therefore, the history of the other until comparatively recent years. It was in 1844 that a plan of separation was agreed upon by the churches, and in 1846 this separation took place. Conferences on the border were allowed to chose whether they would adhere to the north or south. Baltimore conference was one of these, and its decision was to remain with the northern branch of the church. So many of the members of the Methodist church in this county were southern in feeling that, though the Baltimore conference "was yet nominally in control, they desired the churches in which they worshiped to belong to the Methodist Episcopal church, south. There were many disputes as to which of the churches the property belonged, but in most cases these were decided in favor of the Southern church. The Baltimore conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, south, then took these congregations under its charge.

In 1845 Springfield was in Winchester district and John Smith was presiding elder. The annual conference, which met at Baltimore for that year, appointed Revs. C. Parkison and J. W. Hedges as ministers to Springfield circuit. Rev. James A. Duncan is thought to have been the first minister to this county after the churches were definitely and completely separated. Mr. Duncan came in 1846. Among those who early supported the Southern Methodist church in Hampshire county especial mention should be made of Geo. W. Washington, who lived on the South branch a few miles below Romney.

Moorefield district at the present time is presided ever by Rev. Geo. H. Zimmerman. There are six circuits of this district which touch Hampshire. Romney circuit, with Rev. C. Sydenstricker in charge, has the following churches: Romney, Fairview, Ebenezer, St. Luke's, Sulphur Springs, Duncan Memorial, Trinity and Marvin. There is also at present a congregation at Number Six, making nine congregations and eight churches on this circuit. Capon Bridge circuit has for its present pastor Rev. W. H. Ballengee. It is made up of the following churches: Capon, Bridge, North River Mills and Green Mound. There are also congregations at the following places: Augusta, Sedan, Park's Hollow, Sandy Ridge and Capon chapel. Rev. W. A. Sites is at present in charge of Slanesville circuit, which was cut off from Springfield circuit about five years ago. There are seven churches on this circuit, known as Mc Cool's Chapel, Bethel, Levels, Wesley Chapel, Branch Mountain, Salem and Forks of Capon. Since the cutting off of Slanesville circuit Springfield circuit has but one church in this county. This is located in the town of Springfield. There is also a congregation at Green Spring. Rev. J. W. Mitchell and Rev. W. J. Kight are the pastors in charge. Hardy circuit touches this county with but two churches. One of these is Mt. Zion, the other Hott's chapel, Rev. C. H. Cannon pastor in charge. Wardensville circuit has just one church in this county, Shiloh. There are, however, congregations at Capon Springs and Mt. Airy. This circuit is at present ministered to by Rev. C. L. Potter. The Methodist Episcopal church south has at present in the county twenty-two churches and thirty-one congregations. Besides a handsome district parsonage in Romney, there are circuit parsonages at Springfield, Capon Bridge and Romney. There are about one thousand three hundred and eighty-five members in the county. The latest minutes show twenty-four Sunday schools with over a thousand scholars. There are also six Epworth Leagues.

The following is a list of presiding elders who have served since 1866 in this district: South Branch district, John C. Dice, 1866-1870; Moorefield district, David Thomas, 1871-1875; P. H. Whisner, 1875-1878; Rumsey Smithson, 1878-1882; W. G. Hammond, 1882-1886; S. G. Ferguson, 1886-1890; Geo. T. Tyler, 1890-1894; Geo. H. Zimmerman, 1894-1898.

Evangelical Association. — Rev. Moses Bowers in company with Rev. Henniberger came to Hampshire and preached in the interest of the Evangelical Association as early as 1825. Rev. Mr. Bowers was a man of pure character and was commonly spoken of as the sainted Moses Bowers.

Rev. Jacob Shemp was the first preacher in the Grassy Lick region. He first held meetings just below where Bethel church now stands, on the creek which flows near the Shingleton property. The Grassy Lick Run church was built about the year 1855, by Rev. Elijah Beaty, who was then preacher in charge. He afterwards deeded, the property to conference, asking no return for his labor and expense. The Bethel Church property was purchased in 1842. It belonged at first to Abigail and Elisha Pownell, who conveyed it June 18, 1831, to Martha and William Shingleton. They in turn conveyed it to the trustees of the church. These were Jonathan Pownell, Joseph Haines and William Poling. This latter deed was recorded March 9, 1843. Rev. Daniel Long preached at Bethel in 1845 and continued for some time to preach at different points in the county. Another of these early preachers was Rev. William Poling, who served as early as 1847. He afterwards went to Minnesota as a missionary, He is at present living at Dayton, Ohio and is nearly seventy-five years old. Rev. Daniel Poling joined the conference in 1855, and afterwards became presiding elder. Succeeding Rev. Poling came Rev. John T. Boles, the great revivalist.

In later years the following named gentlemen have served in the capacity of pastors of this denomination within the limits of Hampshire: Reverends Reisinger, Treseith, Ellenberger, John Curry, Charles Floto, Dickey, John Mull, John Winger and Berkley. After the civil war Rev. S. M. Baumgardner then took charge and built up the church wonderfully. For four years previous to 1897 the church was without a pastor. At present Rev. Frank Van Gorder is in charge. Romney circuit, as this portion of the work is called, belongs to Somerset district of Pittsburg district. Rev. S. M. Baumgardner is presiding elder. There are at the present time two churches owned exclusively by the Evangelical association and they have an associate interest on two more. There are seven places where preaching is held. About fifty persons belong to the Association in this county.

Methodist Episcopal Church. — Among the first churches that planted their banners in America was the Methodist. Long before the Indians had departed to leave the white settler in peaceful and undisputed possession of the country, the missionaries of this church were at work spreading good news from a far country.

Virginia was early a scene of their labors. In 1771 Robert Williams, "the Apostle of Methodism in Virginia," was busy in the field, At the formation of the first American Methodist conference, which took place in Philadelphia in 1773, it was shown there were one hundred Methodists in Virginia. Likewise the work was early begun in this county. Who the first minister of this church in Hampshire was cannot be positively stated. The Rev. J. J. Jacob, who lived near where Green Spring, on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, now stands, was licensed to preach in 1789.

Bishop Asbury held a session of the Baltimore conference at Mr. Jacob's place in 1792. He is also said to have preached several times in the South branch valley about this time. It is said that the only minister of any denomination who remained in Romney all through the Civil war, was Rev. O. P. Wirgman, of the Methodist church. The Baltimore conference, to which the work in this county has always belonged, was established in 1784, on Christmas day. Methodist churches and congregations continued to increase in number and enlarge in influence to a wonderful degree. At the close of the late war the greater number of church organizations in the county adhered to the southern division of the church until at present there are but two Methodist Episcopal churches in the county.

One of these is the Romney church, with Rev. M. L. Beal as present pastor. This congregation belongs to Romney circuit, Frederick district of the Baltimore conference. A list of the pastors who have served on Romney circuit since 1875 includes the following gentlemen: Reverends D. B. Winstead, Ed. C. Young, H. P. West, F. G. Porter, H. C. MeDaniel, Pasco, William Harris, W. A. Carroll, Henry Man, John F. Dayton and J. I. Winger.

The other church of this denomination is located at Levels Cross Roads. Rev. Milson Thomas is pastor at present. This church belongs to Paw Paw circuit in Frederick district of Baltimore conference.

Disciples of Christ or Christians. — The Church of the Disciples was first organized in this county by G. W. Abell in 1853. This organization was at Sandy Ridge, on the Springfield grade, two miles east of North river mills. Prior to the organization of the church several ministers of this faith labored in the county. About the year 1820 Thomas Campbell, father of the illustrious Alexander Campbell, founder of Bethany college and the person to whom the Christian church largely owes its present power and success, preached in an old school house on Sandy ridge. This old school house is now in ruins. It stood near the present Sandy ridge church. Other preachers in these early times were Rev. Robert Ferguson and his eloquent son Jesse, who afterwards became an infidel. A Rev. Jackson and Rev. William Lane also belong to the pioneer period of the church's history.

Since the Civil war Reverends G. W. Abell, John Pirkey, Frederick Booth, J. A. Cowgill and. R. C. Cave of St. Louis, Missouri, have served, in the county.

About 1868 an organization was effected, at Pine Grove school house, which was afterwards removed to Zion church, two miles west of North river mills. Somewhat later a church was organized, at Barrettesville, now Augusta. In recent years the following-named, ministers have served, in this county: Revs. P. S. Rhodes, G. W. Ogden, W. E. Kincaid, Jacob Walters, J. A. Spencer, J. D. Dillard, J. D. Hamaker, W. S. Hoye, D. H. Rodes, J. P. Hawley, C. S. Lucas and J. J. Spencer. In 1896 a church was organized in Lupton's Hollow and a house of worship erected the same year at the junction of the Beck's Gap road with the Lupton's Hollow road.

The membership of the Disciples church in this county at the present time is three hundred. There is a Sunday school at each preaching place in the county. The ministers now serving the congregations are Revs. Alexander Khun and W. H. Patterson.

Quakers. — There was a congregation of Quakers in the county quite early in its history. This congregation "built a church at Quaker Hollow in Capon district, near where John Powell and George Slonaker now live.

It is very probable that this church was established more than a hundred years ago by Quaker emigrants from the Shenandoah valley, as these people were among the very early settlers of that region. Thomas Chaukley, a member of the church, wrote an official letter in 1738 to the "dear friends who inhabit Shenandoah and Opequon." Among other things he says: "I desire you to be very careful (being far and back inhabitants) to keep a friendly correspondence with the native Indians, giving them no occasion of offense; they being a cruel and merciless enemy where they think they are wronged or defrauded of their rights, as woful experience hath taught in Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, and especially in New England." Further on in the same letter he adds: "If you believe yourselves to be within the bounds of William Penn's patent from King Charles the Second, which will be hard for you to prove, you being far southward of his line; yet, if done, that will be no consideration with the Indians without a purchase from them, except you will go about to convince them by fire and sword, contrary to our principles; and if that were done they would ever be implacable enemies and the land could never be enjoyed in peace." It is quite probable that these people perfected one of the first church organizations in this county.

German Baptist Bretheren. — The word "Dunkard," which is commonly applied to this church, is not correct. The word was originally — "Tunker," from the German word "tunken," to dip. It was applied to the Brethren as a term of derision because they baptized by dipping", English corruption of the original gives us the present word "Dunkard." Properly speaking, however, there is no such church as the Dunkard or Tunker, for the incorporate name of this body of Christians is "German Baptist Bretheren."

The Beaver run congregation now in Mineral, but once in Hampshire, was the first organization of this church in the county. More than one hundred years ago three Arnold brothers moved here from Frederick county, Maryland. Two of these brothers, Samuel and Daniel, were ministers, and soon began active work in behalf of their church. Dwelling houses were the only meeting places for many years until the first Beaver Run church was built. This church was used for nearly fifty years as a place of worship, but in 1876 it was torn down and the present brick church was built. The second generation of ministers in this section included Joseph Arnold, Benjamin Arnold, Jacob Biser and many others. At the present time about fifty members of the Beaver run congregation live in Hampshire county.

The Pine Church congregation, partly in Hampshire and party in Hardy, dates its origin from mission work done by the Beaver run congregation. The Pine Church congregation was formerly Nicholas, organized about 1870 by Dr. Leatherman, who entered the ministry near that time. Pine Church is owned in partnership by several churches, but the Bretheren are the largest shareholders. A small portion of the Bean settlement congregation live in Hampshire and the others in Hardy. This church, which also owes its origin to the missionary labors of Beaver Run church, is near Inkerman. Its history extends over some thirty years.

The Tearcoat congregation is the only one wholly within the present limits of the county. Its origin dates back about forty-five years. Several families connected with the church early emigrated from the Valley of Virginia to Pleasant Dale and the Levels. Abraham Miller, Isaac Miller, William Roby and Abraham Detrick, who lived on the Levels, were ministers for years in that neighborhood, but finally moved to the west. The church now near Pleasant Dale was built after the Civil war. There are at present two hundred and forty members living in the county. There are also seven ministers, two of whom are elders. The Home Mission board of the First district of West Virginia is prosecuting work on the part of this church at various points in the county.

Mission Baptists. — Through the preaching of Whitfield in New England what was known as the New light-stir, was originated. Members of all churches, who felt the need of vital and experimental religion, separated from the established churches and formed themselves into a society which about the year 1744 was given the name of Separates. It is from this movement that the Mission Baptists have sprung. One of the early preachers of this church organization was Rev. Shubal Stearns, who began preaching" in 1745. He felt himself called to preach to the people in the "far west." Accordingly he set out from New England in 1754 together with a few of his members. They first halted at Opequon in Berkeley county. Here they found a Baptist church already established and under the care of S. Henton. Here, also, he fell in with Rev. Daniel Marshall, a Baptist minister who had just returned from a missionary visit to the Indians. These two then joined their companies and moved to Cacapon in Hampshire county about 1755, This was the first church organization in this county. Rev. Stearns and his companions did not stay long on Cacapon but moved to North Carolina.

There are at present four congregations of the Mission Baptist church in this county. They are named and located as follows: Bethel, on Grassy Lick; Zoar, near Mt. Zion; Salem, at Mechanicsburg; and Little Capon church, at Barnes' mills. Rev. Samuel Umstot is at present the pastor in charge.

United Brethren. — Parts of four circuits of this church are represented in the county, with a considerable membership. Preachers of this faith have been laboring in the county for many years and a fair degree of success has crowned their efforts.

Mormons. — There is no regular organized church of this denomination in the county, nor is there any established preaching place. From time to time itinerant elders of the Latter Day Saints or Mormons preach at different places in the county and have made some converts.

Roman Catholic Church. — In the neighborhood of Barnes' mills there are a number of members of this church. They are visited from time to time by priests of that faith and services are held at intervals. There is no church building or regular church organization.

The Christian Church. — This is a different organization from the Disciples church, though the two are sometimes confused. A church was built by this body about the year 1818, on Timber ridge, seven miles from Capon bridge. The lot was given by William Groves. The first person buried in the cemetery at this church was Mary Spaid. The beautiful brick church which now stands on the site of the former log structure was built in 1875. There is an especially large congregation at this point. Reverends Isaac N. Walter, Miller, and Enoch Harvey are among those who have been ministers of this church in the county.

As a closing to this chapter the following extract from the diary of Rev. William H. Foote, is appended as giving a clear idea of the work of a missionary in Hampshire at an early day. This extract comes under the date of November 16, 1819:

"I think I can never forget the events of this cool, chilly day. The morning was lowery, threatening rain, and the clouds riding low, gave to the Capon mountains back of Mr. S___'s a more sable hue. They had always a dreary appearance, but now looked melancholy, as if draped in mourning. I set out after breakfast to pass over them and wind amongst them to find N___ L___, to whom I had sent on an appointment. The wind whistled a November tone among the fallen and falling leaves, and now and then a lowering cloud let fall a few drops as I wound my solitary way over and amongst the Capon ridges of barren soil. Few houses were to be seen from the road, which is seldom passed by wagons. At the second house I was to inquire. The way measured a dreary length before I came to the second house. Then I was told to leave the road and take a horse path to N___ L___'s. I left notice for preaching, which I found was entirely news to the people, and turned in among the thick pines and followed the spine of a ridge. I had proceeded not far before I met an old man riding a small black horse, his gray hairs from his bent shoulders hanging near the saddle-bow.

"I had approached near before he saw me. His bridle and saddle were like his raiment, the relics of a past age. A hat in keeping with his costume crowned his head, which was bent near to his saddle. As I came near he raised himself a little, for it seemed he could not straighten himself, and gave a keen look from a bright black eye, which glistened amongst his long grey hair and beard. As he answered my inquiry, 'Is this the way to N___ L___'s?' 'I am N___ L___; what do you seek?' 'I am a missionary going there to preach.' 'A missionary!' said he, looking more intently. 'A missionary! who sent you;. who are you?' I told him my name and by whom sent. 'Sent by Wilson!' said he, holding out his hand. 'Welcome! It is now a long time since missionaries came here. They used to come. There were Hill, and Glass, and Lyle; but none has been here for years. Can you go home with me? I was going to a neighbor's. When do you want to preach? Have you no appointment?' 'None; I sent you one for tonight.' 'Well, I never heard of it, but I will send out now; it is not noon yet.' So he turned and led me along a narrow, winding path, questioning and talking, and expressing his satisfaction that a missionary had come from his own and his father's church.

"Then suddenly turning we were on the brow of a steep precipice of no ordinary height. At our feet lay a beautiful scene. The Capon, running with fine stream, was in full view, making a semicircular bend of more than a mile, the land within the bend, level, and in beautiful cultivation, little plots of plowed land, of grass, of orchards scattered over it, a few buildings, and near to us a little mill. The Capon almost surrounded the little spot in the shape of a horse shoe, and was itself hedged in by a higher precipice of similar form. At our feet the Capon, at our left a continuation of the precipice on which we stood, beyond the little plot of land a high ridge of rocky mountains, and as far as the eye could reach all round tops of ridges, wild and fierce, and dark as the clouds that lowered about them. 'That house is mine,' said he, pointing to one whose smoke seemed to come near us, almost overhung by the precipice, as it stood on the brink of the river. He led me along down a winding horse path. 'Are there any religious people here?' 'Yes, a few.' Fit retreat thought I, for persecuted religion; a residence becoming the Waldenses. Busy in gazing around I felt my horse stumbling; and by a fortunate fall up the precipice side felt thankful my fall had not been on the other side of my horse as it must have probably landed me in the stream below, so near were we to the edge of the shelving projecting rocks. I walked to the bottom, feeling more secure on my feet than on my pony's back. I could not keep my eyes from running to the immense precipice of rocks that surrounded me as I approached the house which stood near the horse shoe neck of land and which was above half surrounded by it. Says the old man as we entered the house: 'This is a missionary come to preach; put away your work, clear the room, get something to eat, and send out word to the neighbors.' The house was small, one room sufficed for eating and cooking and working. The spinning wheels were laid aside, and the cooking commenced. I took one seat in the corner of the ample chimney, near me were some cooking utensils. I observed in the other corner the remaining cooking furniture and various preparations of the family. The chimney had its supply of choice sticks of various timber taking the smoke, drying for use. 'Go, son,' said he to a stout young lad, 'go, son, and tell neighbor ____, and tell him to tell his neighbor there will be preaching here, and go by neighbor and tell him the same, and if you see any one tell him the same, and I will give notice at the mill.'

"Towards middle of the afternoon I looked out and saw persons coming in different directions down the mountains. I had seen so few places of residence I could not contrive whence they came. Looking to the old man, half in jest. 'Where do these people come from? from the rocks?' 'No, from their houses,' half angry at the question. But his frown soon passed away. I preached from the words, 'Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.' After the congregation had dispersed I found that the old man had fulfilled in part his duty as an elder in the church by assembling his neighbors and reading to them and praying with them, some few of whom are religious. 'My father and grandfather,' said he, 'were pious. My grandfather came here and chose this spot in preference to any of the Valley of Virginia, because he thought it more healthy. There he was driven away by the Indians — here he lived — here my father lived. They taught me my duty. They were French Protestants.'

"Something was said about his children. 'Some are in the western country, some are here at home, and one is dead. He was my best son;' here he paused, and I saw by the flashing light that tears were stealing down his cheeks. I never liked that war. I liked peace. But when a draft came they took my son. He came home and told me he was taken and must go to Norfolk. I never liked that war. I went out and prayed for him. He was a good boy; he never disobeyed me in his life. I came in and took down my best rifle — a true shot — "Here," said I, "my son, take this, be a good soldier; your grandfather fought the Indians, and you must go and fight the British; be a good boy; if you go to fight don't run." The first I heard of him after he got to camp at Norfolk was that he was dead.'"

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