3rd Annual Crotts Family Reunion

Received notice today of the next Crotts Reunion sent to me by Tim Crotts (tcrotts001@carolina.rr.com).

October 24, 2015 at 12 noon
at St. Paul Baptist Church, 337 Hull Road, Casar, NC

Once again, our family will get together at St. Paul Baptist Church in Casar for our annual Crotts family reunion. This is where a number of Crotts’ who lived and farmed in the 1800’s and last century in Cleveland County attended church and are buried. In fact, this community encompasses the area just south of Casar located on Crooked Run Creek (about 2 miles away) where our ancestor Valentine Crotts settled in the late 1700’s, and the Crotts family cemetery remains today.

The date is Saturday, October 24th. The event will be in the Fellowship Hall and we plan to eat around noon. We are asking that each family bring a covered dish or two (pot luck) to share with everyone.Drinks, plates and silverware will be provided.

Any one that would like to come early to browse around the cemetery is welcome. Someone will have the fellowship hall open by 10:30 am. After the meal and a time of fellowship, anyone that would like to can go on a “field trip” to visit the Crotts Family Cemetery, which is located on a farm nearby. The property is owned by the Floyd Williams family, who most graciously watch over our family’s resting places. There are about 20 to 30 graves located at this site, which I feel confident includes Valentine Crotts, his wife and their descendants.

In addition, we will have a “memory table” and if you would like, please bring old photos and family heirlooms to share with other family members.

Everybody is welcome to attend the church service the next day at St. Paul, which starts at 11:00 a.m. There’s also a Sunday evening service at 6:00 pm. The Crotts family could sit together and be recognized at that time.

Look forward to seeing you!!! If you have questions, please feel free to contact Tim Crotts at 704-692-3201 or tcrotts001@carolina.rr.com

Published in: on September 27, 2015 at 1:49 am  Comments (1)  
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Big Hill Methodist Church Minutes 1881, Cleveland County, NC

Big Hill Methodist Church Minutes 1881

Editor’s Note:

Rev. John T. Hoyle’s life has been somewhat intriguing to me, since I was bitten by the genealogy bug back in 1997. My mother-in-law, Eleze Hoyle Sain, told me bits and pieces about her grandfather, John T. Hoyle. She told me he was a circuit rider preacher, but didn’t know what denomination.

We found his name on a list of preachers for at least one church, St. Paul Baptist, in Casar, NC. Up until that time, I was inclined to believe he was Methodist. While going through some old papers we found that his affiliation with the Methodists changed and he became affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church.

John obviously did not have paper on which to write. He used the backs of picture pages in bound books, such as, The United States Department of Agriculture book for the year 1901. He also used little blank sheets at the backs of these books to jot down how much he owed and to whom, and also when others borrowed from him, and how much. I believe he would have been a great journalist, if he were living today, because I have found so many of his notes.

Eleze always had a yearning to learn where her grandmother, Eliza Jane Swofford, wife of John T., was buried. One summer afternoon, Eleze brought two or three boxes of old antique books to my house that had been owned by John. Well, I could hardly wait to get into those books. I was hoping that he had written something somewhere that would give us that nugget of information! Laboriously, I thumbed through each and every page of each book. Some had little notes, but I finally came upon what I was looking for. He tells us that Eliza Jane died in 1891 in Clifton, SC, but does not give us the place of burial. He also gave us an idea of the torment he and Eliza had gone through by writing “Much trouble”. They had five children who died before the age of three. I have never found out the cause of their deaths. There was so much information on this one page, I just couldn’t believe it! I was rejoicing and crying at the same time. I took this book and a copy to Eleze so that she could rejoice with me. It was so wonderful to have someone to share this genealogy hobby with me. We have never found out exactly where Eliza was buried, but Eleze was convinced that wherever she may be, that her grave would be marked with a stone. All the children’s graves are marked with stones, and it is very unlikely that he would not have marked Eliza’s grave. Later, in this same book, I found about the same information on another page.

In the collection of books of John, there is one called “The Abbott’s Great Work”, copyright unknown as the first several pages are torn out.  In the back of this book were several blank pages. It was on these pages that John recorded the minutes of the South Mountain Mission, of which he was the secretary. I would appreciate it, if you claim any of these people as yours, some information on them, and if anyone knows anything about the Clifton, SC area, as to where Eliza may have been buried, I would appreciate the information.

Big Hill Methodist Church Minutes 1881

“Third quarterly conference for South Mountain Mission held at Big Hill August the 23, 1881. A.M. Long, P.C. in the chair opened with prair by Peter Hoyle, J.T. Hoyle elected Secretary. The roll was called. The following were present: A.M. Long, PC, W. M. Swofford, L.P, J.T. Hoyle, LP,Peter Hoyle, Exhorter.

Question first Are there any appeals? None.
2. Are there any complaints? None
3 Is there a written report from the preacher in charge of the number in state of Sunday School. _____Report A. Sunday Schools on this work have been doing good work during the past quarter there are 3 schools in operation in _______ union school. In these schools about ______ officers and scholars have been doing work for the church.
AM Long
4. Report B State of the general state of the church in tolerable good on this work at present though not what it should be 11 children have been baptized the past quarter. Some indications for good being done at some point, also a fair prospect for revival meetings before the close of the year. AM Long

6 What amount have been apportioned to this charge by the distribute stewards. One hundred dollars. PE38 Bishop $1

7 Amount raised $7.74 cents. Paid to P.C. $5.7 PE $2

10 Who is elected recording steward? J. T. Hoyle

13 No vacancies

15 No applications are for licenses to preach nor exhort.

17 Have the _____preached in __________in examination of charcter have there been at ___the __________.

22 Who is elcted superindendents of Sunday Schools. Big Hill N S Jonson, Massedonia Jeremiah Smith, Horse Mountain Gap John Denton. Missionary Ridge George Stacy, Rich Mountain, Wesley Smith, Scot’s Chapel L. M. Scot.

23. None

25. None _____the place for the next quarterly meeting, appointed at Pleasant Gap
A. M. Long. PC
J. T. Hoyle Secretary

Minister of 4th quarterly conference South Mountain Mission Shelby District NC Conference ME Church South. Held at Pleasant Gap Oct 15, 1881. Rev A. M. Long PC in the ______. The conference was open with prair by Marey Clark. Marey Clark was elected Secretary. Roll called the following were present
A M Long, PC
J P Denton
M L Clark
T C. Taylor
John Navy
John Chapman

Question 1st no appeals
2 no complaints
3 Report of Sundy Schools have done good work, this year. 2 of them is still operation
6 Report B 4 adults have been baptized
7. Children received into the church 4? Persons
10. John L Navy was licensed to exort
11 $7.65 paid to PC
23 No report
24 ………
25 ………
26 Pleasant Grove was appointed

Minutes of the first quarterly conference held at Massedonia Feb 25, 1882. South mt. Mission Shelby District, NC Conference ME Church South. Rev F. K._____ in the chair J. T. Hoyle elected Secretary. Roll called the following were present F K Kaylor? PC, W. M. Swofford LP J.T. Hoyle LP, Peter Hoyle, exorter, Jeremiah Smith, David Smith ____________
No appeals
No complaints
The assessment _______
14 The rules have not been read
19 Board of Steward, Missionary Ridge George Stacy, Jos. Bowman,
Pleasant Gap John Denton, Marene Clark, Rich Mountain Jessey Hudson, David Smith Massedonia George King, Antioch Riley York. Big Hill Eli Hoyle, John T. Hoyle
26 Missionary Ridge appointed
H K Kaylor PC
J. T. Hoyle Secretary

Memories of My Mother, Effie Mae Lail Cook

Dixon & Effie Lail CookI can remember as a little girl sitting on my mother’s lap watching her mouth moved as she talked. I can remember her smiles, but all the things we did together are so special. Mother did not “play” much for she had 8 children and life was very demanding of her.

Mother was always up early and fixed a big spread for our breakfast. The girls always helped her, as we were not allowed to put all the work on Mom. She made some chocolate pudding for breakfast, which I have never heard of anyone serving their family since. Guess she knew we needed that. She worked so hard trying to keep things clean in her kitchen. You see, the men folks were not allowed in her kitchen to touch anything, as she was very preoccupied with cleanliness. The girls helped her with meal preparations and if the men wanted or needed anything like a drink of water or a biscuit, it had to be done by the girls. She did not want them touching her towels and was afraid they would.

Dad was so protective of Mom. He loved her so much! He made sure his girls were at her beck and call. We loved them both.
Mom’s hobbies were her work. She had a lot of interests that probably were hidden that we never knew, but then there would have been no time to do them. It seems that everything she attempted to do, she did with all her might and was meticulous with it. For example, her quilting was done all freehand and her stitches were small and consistently spaced. The patterns were cut very precise and seamed together precisely. She taught us to sew, but could make us redo seams that varied any from the 5/8 inch seam allowance. She made all the girls clothes and worked so hard doing this.

We lived on a big farm and that is how our Mom and Dad provided for us. The boys would help dad to get those crops in the ground early as possible. We had a huge garden and it was absolutely beautiful. Canning everything she could get her hands on, mom worked so very hard in the summer. After work on Wednesday evenings when possible, we would go to choir practice at St. Paul Baptist Church.

Mom and dad enjoyed gospel singing and wanted their children to participate. Whenever a shaped note singing school was in the area, we tried to knock off a little early from work so we could go. We visited a lot of area churches this way. The last day of the singing school we would have a singing convention and you cannot imagine the sounds coming from there. So wonderful a memory! On the way home, we talked about how we wish we could play the piano like someone else or could sing like someone else. Dad and Mom encouraged us by taking us!

Everything that was done included our whole family! There were no favorites or singling one of us out for anything. Birthdays were only significant enough to mention that it was our birthday. No one got left out or came out better than the other.

We would sit under the china berry tree in our yard while breaking our green beans for canning. It was there under that old tree that we had conversations about God and about our family, who our ancestors were and where they were buried, what happened to them etc. I just wish I had written all this stuff down because that has been so long ago. I want to know all those things now, and they are not there to ask.

Mom could make some of the best berry “sonkers” you could eat. It seems no one called them “sonkers”, but us. Most people called them “cobblers”. We would gather wild strawberries and take them to her. It might take us all morning to get enough for a sonker, but she would make it and it was always enough and everyone enjoyed them so. Blackberry sonkers were my brother, Norris’ favorite.

She loved her little flower garden on the side of the house. She just had flowers that her friends had shared with her. I especially enjoyed the early crocus, jonquils, iris, baby’s breath bushes. She loved dahlias, mums and roses.

I have so many memories of things she did for me, and these memories are so special, but one memory that surely stands out was when my first child was sick at about 1 year old. Tim had ran a fever, vomiting and diarrhea for 5 days or so and we were taking him back and forth to the doctor and it seemed like he was never going to get better. On Friday, mom came to check on him, and I was sitting crying. My house was a wreck, because all I had done was sit and held Tim. Every time I tried laying him down he would cry like he was really hurting and aching. I felt so sorry for him. I tried to sit still and not move. Mom came in and assessed the situation. She told me that she would hold him for me while I did my housework until Gene got home and we could take him to the doctor once more. She told me that she had been in similar situations with her children that all she could do was pray that they would get better and asked me if I had done that. Needless to say, I did that ! That day they put Tim in the hospital for some fluids and the next morning, we were so happy to see him standing up in his crib, playing and talking. You can be reassured, I was so thankful for my Mother for reminding me of prayer! It is something I do everyday and many times a day.

Mom died in December 1990, just a few months after we buried our son, Donnie, whom Mom loved so much. No doubt his death was a heavy burden on her heart.

So many memories that I wanted to share this one with you all today.

Published in: on May 12, 2013 at 6:59 pm  Comments (1)  
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Review of “Deliver Us from This Cruel War”, by Jeffrey M Girvan

Last week while doing research on the Co. F, 55th North Carolina Infantry, I found information about this book “Deliver Us From the Cruel War” written by Jeffrey M. Girvan. Mr. Girvan used the letters that Cleveland County resident Lieutenant Joseph J. Hoyle wrote to his wife during his duty in the Civil War. I was so moved and excited, because I wanted to understand the life and times of my ancestor Aaron Cook Sr. who fought in this same Company. I purchased the Kindle version on Amazon and was captivated for the rest of the day! I would like to encourage those who had ancestors who fought in this company to read this book. There are many references to the soldiers in this company as Joseph would write Sarah Self Hoyle, his wife, about their family and friends, who were in that company. I was wanting to find out why my Aaron would be AWOL sometimes. Joseph did not tell that, but he mentioned that they would shoot those soldiers when they brought them back, and this was stressful for him. There were many who could not take the stress of the war.  The letters are dated and he tells us where he was stationed at each time of writing her. One can compare the Battles of the Civil War with his letters. He often asked about the neighbors at St. Peters.

After reading this book, I am more grateful to those who fought in the military then and those who are still giving their lives fighting for our freedom today.

Norman’s Grove Baptist Church History 1910-2003

Norman’s Grove History

This church has been an icon in the Belwood community of Cleveland County for more than 100 years.  The cover on the front of the history is what the church looks like today, except they have added an enclosed porch on the side to made it more accessible to the handicapped. With this addition, they added a few more rooms and a bathroom.  During my visit there this summer, I opened the old Sunday School Record Books, and saw that my great-grandfather John Francis Cook served as  Sunday School Superintendent for about 3 years from 1919 to 1921.  Also his daughter, Ethel Cook King served as a teacher that was recorded.  There were no names of members, just totals and amount of collections. They did mention who offered prayers during the meetings.

An Old Store at St. Peter’s

Old store at St. Peters

There is still standing  today an old dilapidated building just above the old Luther Wellmon house, which is adjacent to St. Peter’s Church in Cleveland County, NC.  I am not for sure who owned and ran the store, but it may have been the Wellmon’s.  Anyway, during the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918-1919 you could go to the store to purchase your staple items, but you could not get in the door.  My father, Dixon Cook, told his family about the owners letting a basket down from a little window from the top with your groceries in it.  The epidemic was so severe and so many died that they were not taking any chances of catching it.  It is noted that 3%-6% of the global population died from this type of influenza A.  This pandemic has been given the name “the greatest medical holocaust in history” and may have caused more deaths than “Black Death.”  The symptoms were so unusual in 1918 that initially flu was misdiagnosed as dengue, tuberculosis, cholera or typhoid.  Complications from this Spanish flu were hemorrhages from the mucous membranes, especially the nose, stomach and intestines.  Bleeding from the ears and skin also occurred. The majority of deaths were from bacterial pneumonia.  World War I was going on at that time also, and worked to spread the disease in the camps.  In October, 1918 there were 25 deaths in Cleveland County and in November there were 57 deaths in Rutherford County. All total there were 13,600 deaths from the Spanish influenza in North Carolina alone.