Rev. Elias Wells Story (1807--1888) &
Ann Hill (1810-1851)
submitted by Mary M. Harper, Titusville, FL, spouse of direct descendent
Submitted by Sara Jane Overstreet
Rev. Elias Wells Story was born 15 April 1807 in Warren Co., GA. His parents were Thomas and Phoebe Ann (Brooks) Story. When Elias was three years old, according to History of Methodism in Alabama and West Florida by Marion Elias Lazenby, he moved with his father's family to Jackson, Missouri. It was there that young Elias was baptized by Jesse Walker, a pioneer Methodist preacher in the mid-west.
The Storys moved back to Fayette Co., Georgia where Elias married Ann Hill, the daughter of Elisha and Martha "Patsy" (Stubbs) Hill, on 5 August 1829. He joined the church in 1827 at McDonough Campground in Henry Co., GA, and joined the Georgia Conference in 1836 from the Zebulon Circuit, Columbia District. In January 1840 he transferred to the Alabama Conference. In 1841 he preached the first sermon ever heard at Girard, Alabama. In 1845 he excited criticism and opposition when he headed the first Negro circuit in East Alabama called Killabee Colored Mission in the Montgomery District
He was described as having quaint ways, a sharp wit, a clear common sense, a fiery temper, stubborn will, an intense zeal and untiring labors all working together and controlled by an Elijah-like faith and courage, presented in a bony, wizard-like man. He seemed the very embodiment of a religious hero. He could excite to laughter or move to tears, but listeners always went away with more vivid convictions of the righteousness and mercy of God, the sinfulness of sin, and the power of the Holy Ghost to save the soul.
Whenever "Bishop Story" was going to preach, there were few stragglers about he tent doors. Children took an unusual interest in him. With fine judgment he managed both slaves and masters, and laid down the principles which Methodism followed for the next twenty years. Scores of Negros were converted and lived and died in the faith.
Rev. Elias Story was associated with the Montgomery District of the Alabama Conference for about 45 years, however, for a number of years was in feeble health. He was generally able to make his appearance at the Feast of Tabernacles and to occupy the pulpit once at least.
Ann (Hill) Story was born on 26 March 1810 and died on 29 April 1851 of typhoid fever at the age of 41. She was buried at Fort Cemetery at Cotton Valley, Macon Co., AL, located nine miles south of Tuskegee on U.S. 29 at the intersection of County Road 45. She and Rev. Story had nine children.
Sister Ann Story, wife of Elias W. Story, died of typhoid fever. She was born March 26, 1810, was married August 5, 1829, and joined the M. E. Church, the same year. From the time of her professing religion, her heart seemed fixed in God. She consecrated herself to him and devoted her time to his service, and all around saw the light of her religion shining daily. She followed peace with all, comforted the sorrowful, and by her meekness stood a constant reproof to the proud. As a wife, and mother, and mistress, she was always faithful. Bro. Story traveled for sixteen years, in the regular itineracy, and says, she always encouraged him to go on in the work. She died April 29, in the 41st year of her life, resigned to the will of God, trusting in the merits of her Redeemer, and in full prospect of immortality in heaven. She leaves a fond husband and nine children; a loss which cannot be made good in this life. The regrets of attached friends follow her to the grave; while she yet lives in the light of a pure consistent example bequeathed to survivors.
(Southern Christian Advocate, May 30, 1851.)
Children of Rev. Elias Wells and Ann (Hill) Story
1. Calvin Story, M. D. b. 18 Jan 1831 Fayette Co., GA, d. 24 Oct. 1912, Cherokee Co., AL; m. 26 May 1853 in Paulding Co., GA, Patience Priscilla McGriff. She was b. 5 Nov 1835, d. Jan 1935 in Leesburg, Lake Co., FL. She was the daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Beazley) McGriff.
a. Sarah Ann Lucinda Story b. 23 Apr 1854, d. 23 Mar 1928; m. Barney Williams.
b. Martha Ann Elvira Story b. 15 Sep 1856, d. 20 Sep 1858.
c. Mary Jane Story b. 23 Feb 1859; m. William Mote.
d. Frances Elizabeth Story b. 25 Oct 1863, d. 28 June 1949; m. John Pinkney Mote.
e. Patience Priscilla Story b. 3 Mar 1866, m. 1) Pearson Franklin, 2) William Mote.
f. John Calvin Story b. 4 July 1870, d. 3 Apr 1950.
2. Martha Ann Story b. 25 July 1833; d. 2 June 1917; m. 6 Jan 1853 John Uriah Hoffman. (See below.)
3. Elias Wells Story, Jr. b. 8 Apr 1835; d. 17 June 1926; m. 8 Dec 1868 Betsy Jane (Hooks) Harris.
4. Lucinda Story b. 21 Sept 1837; d. 7 Nov 1861; m. 9 Aug 1859 Rev. Ethelbert B. Norton.
5. Sarah Jane Story b. 15 June 1839, Fayette Co., GA; d. 15 June 1929, Breckenridge, Shackelford Co., TX; m. 9 Aug 1859, Macon Co., AL, Wilbur Fisk Perry, the son of Rev. Dow and Tabitha T. T. (Hunt) Perry. He was born 1 Apr 1835 and died 8 Jan 1896 in Erath Co., TX.
6. George Chappell Story b. 13 Feb 1841; d. 1 Jul 1903; m. 14 Nov 1866 Josephine Elizabeth Noble.
7. James Osgood Story b. 20 Jan 1843; d. 23 Aug 1862 during Civil War in Mobile, AL.
8. John Wesley Story b. 25 Mar 1845; d. 14 June 1863 during Civil War in Petersburg, VA.
9. Frances Elizabeth Story b. 4 Mar 1849; d. aft. 1917; m. 28 Apr 1872 Seaborn T. Henderson
Rev. Story married Mary Emily Patterson, daughter of Archibald and Mary (Taylor) Patterson on 7 Oct 1852. She was born 12 July 1815 in Elizabethtown, Bladen Co., NC and died 13 Dec 1864 in Macon Co., Al.
Children of Rev. Elias Wells and Mary Emily (Patterson) Story
10. Mary Taylor Story b. 22 Oct 1853; d. 8 Aug 1926; m. 31 Aug 1875 Rev. John Otway Taylor.
11. Emily Catharine Story b. 10 Jan 1855; d. 13 Sept 1924; m. Jan 1885 Thomas Andrew Wall.
12. Julia Owen Story b. 20 Jan 1858; d. 7 Nov 1904; m. 20 Dec 1881 Robert Henry Noble.
After his wife, Mary Emily, died Rev. Story married a third time to Harriet Tennison on 15 Oct 1867. They had no children.
Rev. Story died 18 December 1888 in Macon Co., AL. He is buried in the Noble Cemetery which is north of Old Union Church and west of Tuskegee, AL. An Iron footstone reads “ E. W. Story”. The tombstone is a six-foot high obelisk surrounded by an iron fence. It reads:
Sacred to the memory of
Rev. Elias W. Story
a Minister of the M. E. Church South,
to which he was faithful and true. He was
born in Warren Co., GA April 15, 1807
Died in Macon Co., Ala Dec. 18, 1888
in sure and certain hope of eternal life.
Rev. Elias W. Story made his will on 28 August 1888, and it was probated in Macon Co., Alabama on 4 February 1889.
Will of Elias W. Story
Know all men by these presents that I Elias W. Story Sen. of said State and county being of sound mind and disposing memory and knowing the uncertainty of this life do make this my last will & testament revoking all others.
Item 1. I give and devise to my beloved wife Harriet all the land of which I shall die siezed and possessed in said Macon County, Ala to be hers fee simple except the land herein after devised to my daughter Emily Catherine now the wife of Thomas A. Wall. And I also give & bequeath to my said wife all my household & kitchen furniture.
Item 2. I give and bequeath to my said wife and my said daughter Emily Catherine my two mules they to select the one each is to have or otherwise divide as they choose.
Item 3. I give and bequeath to my said daughter Emily Catherine one hundred & ten acres of land being a portion of the land on which I now reside in said Macon County & to be taken from said tract as follows: the south boundary line of the tract of land that I heretofore devised to my daughter Julia Owen Noble is to be the north boundary line of the tract here devised to my daughter Emily Catherine. And a south boundary line is to be run far enough from the said north boundary line, and run by parallel thereto as practicable so as to include between said lines the one hundred & ten acres, but on no account is my said wife to be deprived of the homestead improvements.
I give and bequeath to my said wife all crops of any description on hand and also all such crops growing at my death, being all crops of every character whatever condition they may be at the time of my death, and also give & bequeath to her all other property of any kind and character not herein & otherwise disposed of, or whatever it may consist, but I will and devise that the expense of any burial & probating the will be paid from said crops and property mentioned in this item.
Item 4. I constitute and appoint my said wife Harriet Story my sole executrix of this will and I direct that no bond be required of her as such executrix and that she shall not be required to make any returns inventories or settlements of my estate in any of the courts of this state after the probating of said Will.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto put my hand & seal the 28th day of August 1888.
/s/ E. W. Story Sen.
Signed in the presence of:
R. F. Ligon
S. B. Paine
Martha Ann Story Hoffman (1833-1917)
Martha Ann Story was born 25 July 1833 in Macon Co., Alabama, the daughter of Elias Wells and Ann (Hill) Story. She was brought up in the Methodist faith of her father and she never left it.
She married John Uriah Hoffman, born 28 May 1824 the son of Jacob and Mary Ann (Giessendanner) Hoffman, on 6 June 1853 in Macon County, Alabama. John fought in the Civil War, after having enlisted in the 61st Regiment of Alabama Company H. He died of erysipelas at General Hospital #3 (Fergerson’s Factory) on 15 June 1864 in Lynchburg, Virginia, and is buried in Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg.
After her husband died Martha Ann Hoffman was left with a daughter to raise. She remained in Macon County and maintained a farm. However, in the early 1870’s she went to Fayette County, Georgia to visit her aunt, Nancy Murphy. She was persuaded to stay on for a few months and teach school until a regular teacher could be found. She and her daughter were living in Fayette County, Georgia when her daughter married Robert Franklin Harper on 25 September 1873. Martha Ann Hoffman lived with her daughter and son-in-law and helped raise their children. However, on 29 February 1884 her daughter, Martha Alice (Hoffman) Harper died. “Muddie”, as she was sometimes called, continued to live with the R. F. Harper family and raise her grandchildren. R. F. Harper married twice more and had fourteen more children, twenty-one in all. Someone said to a granddaughter that no two women alive could live under the same roof in harmony. The granddaughter answered, "They could if one were a saint like my grandmother."
“Muddie” died 2 June 1917 in Fife, Fayette County, Georgia. She is buried beside her daughter in the Bethany Methodist Church Cemetery in Fayette County.
Mrs. M. A. Hoffman
Fife, Ga., June 4 - (Special) - Mrs. M. A. Hoffman,
aged 84 years, died at the home of her son-in-law,
R. F. Harper, Saturday night, June 2. She is survived
by two sisters, Mrs. Sallie Perry of Texas and Mrs.
Fannie Henderson of Atlanta: seven grandchildren:
Mrs. Maud McCullers and Mrs. Mary Ellington of
Fayette Co., Ga; Mrs. Nannie Lester of Kennesaw,
GA; Mrs. Hattie Spence of Fife, GA; Mrs. Addie
Baker of Palmetto, GA; J. F. Harper of Lindale, TX;
J. E. Harper of Atlanta, GA , several great-grand-
children and one great-great-grandchild. Interment in
Children of John Uriah and Martha Ann (Story) Hoffman.
1. Mary Ann Hoffman b. 1 Oct 1853 in Macon Co., AL; d. 5 Nov 1855 in Macon Co., AL Buried Hoffman Cemetery, Macon Co., AL.
2. Martha Alice Hoffman b. 18 Nov 1854 in Macon Co., AL, d. 29 Feb 1884 in Fayette Co., GA; married Robert Franklin Harper on 25 Sep 1873 in Fayette Co., GA. They are both buried in Bethany Cemetery, Fayette Co., GA.
Robert Franklin Harper (b. 1850)
Robert Franklin Harper, the son of Benjamin Franklin and Mary Ann Elizabeth (Patton), was born 27 September 1850, in Pike County, Georgia. His father moved the family to Fayette County where he was raised when he was still a child.
On 25 September 1873 he married Martha Alice Hoffman in Fayette County at the residence of Rev. John Murphy who performed the ceremony. She was the daughter of John Uriah and Martha Ann (Story) Hoffman and was born 18 November 1854 in Macon Co., Alabama. Robert Franklin and Martha Alice made their home in the Bethany community, and began what was to become a large family for Robert Franklin Harper.
Martha Alice died on 29 February 1884, three months after giving birth to her seventh child in just ten years of marriage. She was buried in the Bethany Methodist Cemetery. Her mother, Martha Ann Hoffman, lived with the family. She remained after Martha Alice’s death to help take care of the children, and lived with her son-in-law until she died. He married twice more and had 21 children, total.
Children of Robert Franklin and Martha Alice (Hoffman) Harper.
1. Maud Uriah Harper
Maud Uriah Harper, the first child of Robert Franklin and Martha Alice (Hoffman) Harper was born 25 July 1874, and died 19 February 1961. She married 15 December 1892 William L. McCullars.
2. Mary Ann Harper
Mary Ann Harper, the second child of Robert Franklin and Martha Alice (Hoffman) Harper, was born 16 August 1875, and died 6 September 1961. She married 22 December 1895 Zachary Paul Ellington. He was born 18 February 1874, and died 12 August 1960. Both are buried in Bethany Cemetery.
3. John Franklin Harper
John Franklin Harper, the son of Robert Franklin and Martha Alice (Hoffman) Harper, was born 3 March 1877 in Fayette County, Georgia.
He grew up in Fayette County enjoying the company of his father’s large family and the families of other relatives and acquaintances in the area. The young people often attended picnics at Lee’s Lake and various church functions at Bethany Methodist Church. In those outings he encountered Jessie Estelle Walker and married her on 1 December 1900 at the home of her parents, John Thomas and Martha Frances (Orr) Walker.
They made their home in Fayette County until after their first child was born in 1901. When he was still a baby, at the urging of relatives already living in Texas, they packed up their belongings and moved to a farm outside of Lindale in Smith County, Texas. He farmed and taught his two sons farming.
In 1918, at the urging of family members in Georgia, John made a decision to sell his Texas farm and move back to Georgia. The family packed up their belongings again and boarded a train back to Fayette County, Georgia. Some of the family had put a down payment on some land in South Georgia for him, but after going down and looking at the land he backed out. He decided to stay in Fayette County.
He bought a car to get around in and rented a house and settled down. Soon his money was gone, and he never owned land again.
Jessie died 25 March 1958, and John died on 17 December 1961 in Fayette County, Georgia. They were buried in Bethany Cemetery.
Children of John Franklin and Jessie Estelle (Walker) Harper.
a. Robert Claud Harper, b. 16 Aug 1901, Fayette Co., GA, d. 28 Oct 1982 Fulton Co., GA; m. Jessie Grace Hardy on 14 Aug 1927.
b. Gilbert Hoffman Harper13 Nov 1903, Smith Co., TX; d. 24 June 1995, Fulton Co., GA. He married Evie Lynn Whitlock on 26 Nov 1927 in Fulton Co., GA.
c. Minnie Mae Harper b. 24 Sept 1906 in Smith Co., TX. She m. Glen Ralphous Smith on 9 Feb 1924. Glen was b. 2 Aug 1901, the son of William Oscar and Aldonie Erwin (Mann) Smith. He d. 22 Oct 1970 in Fulton Co., GA.
d. Mattie Estelle Harper was born 22 February 1909 in Smith County, Texas. She m. Howard Graham Smith on 4 Feb 1928. Howard was b. 13 Feb 1906, the son of William Oscar and Aldonie Erwin (Mann) Smith. He died 28 Mar 1948 in Fayette Co., GA.
e. Maudie Bina Harper was born 30 Aug 1911 in Smith Co., TX. She married Clyde Andrew White on 10 Nov 1929. Clyde was b. 24 June 1908 and d. 21 Aug 1987.
f. Mary Udell Harper was b. 11 Nov 1914 in Smith Co., TX. She married on 10 Nov 1934 Charles Marvin Stephens. He was born 1 July 1914, the son of Charles and Claudie (Phillips) Stephens.
g. Cora Lee Harper b. 12 June 1917 in Smith Co., TX. She married Spence Edward McHugh on 15 Oct 1941. Edward was born 19 Nov 1921.
4. Nancy Alice Harper
Nancy Alice Harper, the fourth child of Robert Franklin and Martha Alice (Hoffman) Harper, was born 25 September 1878, and died 22 October 1955. She married 8 December 1897 Dr. John Elbert Lester. They were buried in Mt. View Cemetery, Marietta, GA.
5. James Emanuel Harper
James Emanuel Harper, the fifth child of Robert Franklin and Martha Alice (Hoffman) Harper, was born 4 March 1880, and died 16 November 1946. He married Celestia Davis about 1906.
6. Hattie Elizabeth Harper
Hattie Elizabeth Harper, the sixth child of Robert Franklin and Martha Alice (Hoffman) Harper was born 5 October 1881, and died 23 December 1936. She married George Clark Spence. They had no children.
7. Martha Adeline Harper
Martha Adeline Harper, the seventh child of Robert Franklin and Martha Alice (Hoffman) Harper was born 1 December 1883, and died 1 January 1949. She married 23 December 1909 Virgil Drennen Baker. He was born 4 December 1878, and died 10 June 1955. They are buried in Bethany Cemetery.
Children of Gilbert Hoffman Harper and Evie Lynn Whitlock.
Johnny Carlton Harper (b. 1933)
Johnny Carlton Harper, the first child of Gilbert Hoffman and Evie Lynn (Whitlock) Harper was born 13 April 1933 in College Park, Fulton Co., Georgia. He was in the U. S. Air Force four years, and while stationed at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, Texas, he met Mary Elma Martin. They were married in the First Baptist Church on 21 September 1957. Mary who was born on 24 September 1932 is the child of Fred Perry and Nettie Verne (Turner) Martin of Polk County, Texas. Johnny is a graduate of the University of Houston and is retired from NASA at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
1. Jay Martin Harper b. 6 April 1964 in Clearwater, Pinellas Co., FL. He married Susan Dianne Haynes on 24 March 1990 in Orlando, Orange Co., FL. Susan was born 4 November 1969 in Pennington Gap, Lee Co., Virginia. Jay is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and is employed as a computer programmer at Florida Hospital in Orlando. They were divorced in 1997.
2. Kevin Scott Harper b. 10 May 1967 in Clearwater, Pinellas Co., FL. He married Christina Danette Manual on 2 April 1991 in Brevard Co., FL. They were divorced in 1993. Christina was born 20 September 1974 in Brevard Co., FL. Kevin is owner of a window cleaning business which operates throughout Brevard County.
a. Tabitha Lynn Harper b. 27 November 1991 in Brevard Co., FL.
Harriet Lynette Harper (b. 1938)
Harriet Lynette Harper, the second child of Gilbert Hoffman and Evie Lynn (Whitlock) Harper, was born 16 June 1938 in College Park, Georgia. She married (1) Kenneth Harris Arnold, the son of Giles Harris and Frances (Hansen) Arnold on 12 March 1960 in Fulton Co., Georgia. The marriage ended in divorce. She married (2) Bruce William Alberts on 25 March 1973. Bruce was born 12 March 1943. Bruce is a partner in Hair Pros, a chain of hair salons, and Harriet is part owner of The Dandelion Collection, a gift shop in Conyers, Georgia.
1. Jeffrey Douglas Arnold b. 28 Feb 1963 in Fulton Co., GA.
2. Keith Carlton Arnold b. 19 Apr 1965 in Fulton Co., GA.
ADDENDUM TO REPORT
submitted by S. J. Overstreet
Elias Story was listed as a trustee at Liberty Chapel in the 1832 deed. He was a local farmer and land owner who later became a full-time Methodist minister and moved from the Henry/Fayette County, Georgia area to Alabama under ministerial appointment.
Elias W. Story was born 4-15-1807 in Warren Co., GA, moved to Jackson, Mo. when he was 3, and was 15 when he again lived in Henry County, GA and was converted at the McDonough Campground (Lawrence, 1984). He was listed in an early Fayette County, GA tax digest as owning land in District 4, near Liberty Chapel and some of the other early church leaders (Ancestors Unlimited, 1988). He had several ministerial appointments in Georgia, then moved to Alabama, where he died 12-18-1888 in Tuskegee, Alabama.
He married first to Ann Hill (b. in SC), daughter of Elisha Hill and Martha Patsy Stubbs. Their marriage certificate is recorded in Fayette County Marriage Book B, Entry 351, as follows:
Georgia, Fayette County
To and Judge Justice of the Inferior Court Justice of the Peace or Minister of the Gospel
You are hereby authorized to join Elias Storey and Miss Ann Hill in the holy State of Matrimony according to the Constitution and Laws of this State and for so doing this Shall be your Sufficient License Given under my hand and Seal this 4th day of August 1829
Wm. McBride CCP?
Georgia Fayette County
I do certify that Elias Story and Ann Hill were duly joined in Matrimony by me 5th day of August 1829
Aaron ?Turner MA
Recorded August 31st 1848
An entry in the Southern Christian Advocate on May 30, 1851 indicates that "Sister Ann Story, wife of Elias Story, was born March 26, 1810, married Aug. 5, 1829, died Aug. 29  in the 41st year of her age..." (Holcomb, 1979, p. 234). Years later the same newspaper reported on one of the daughters of this union as "Mrs. Lucinda Norton, wife of Rev. Ethelbert B. Norton, of the Ala. Conf., and daughter of Rev. Elias W. and Ann Story, was born in Fayette Co., Ga., Sept. 21st, 1837, married Aug. 9th, 1859, and died Nov. 7th, 1861..." (Holcomb, 1980, p. 40). Apparently Elias had other children from this marriage who stayed in this area after he moved to Alabama, as referred to in the personal letter below.
Rev. Story married again to Mary Emily Patterson (b. 7-12-1815 in Elizabethtown, NC; d. 12-13-1864 in Macon Co., Alabama; dau. of Archibald & Mary Patterson) (see Lawrence, 1984). Her death notice from the Feb. 16, 1865 church newspaper reads "Mary Emily, wife of Rev. E. W. Story, of the Montgomery Conf., and daughter of Archibald and Mary Patterson, was born in Elizabethtown, N. C., July 12, 1815, and died in Macon Co., Ala., Dec. 13, 1864....left husband and three children" (Holcomb, 1980, p. 188).
Rev. Story's service with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South is listed as follows (Lawrence, 1988): License to Preach, Zebulon Circuit, Columbus District GA-----1836-37 Admitted on Trial-----1836-37 assigned to Newnan, Columbus District GA-----1838 Full Connection Deacon-----1838 assigned to Tazewell GA-----1839 assigned to Waynesboro, Augusta District GA-----1840 Elder-----1840-41 assigned Lafayette, Montgomery District, AL-----in 1841 preached first sermon delivered in Girard, AL-----1842-43 assigned Russell-----1844 assigned Tuskegee-----1845 assigned Killabee Col. Mis.;-----1846 superannuated-----1848 Like Creek, Montgomery District-----1850 assigned Macon AL-----1851, 1865, 1871 superannuated
A glimpse of Rev. Story's personal interests is available in a letter that he wrote to Rev. Mozee Harp in Inman. The original is in the possession of John McLucas, Sr. The letter has been typed from the original with updated punctuation and capitalization added by S. J. Overstreet and reads as follows:
Direct to La Place, Macon County, Ala
give my love to all inquiring friends good bye
La Place Ala, May 19th 1873
Mr. Moses Harp
I thought I would give you a few lines to let you know how the world was going. Times are very dull and hard in this country. No sale for land here. We have had a very unfavorable Spring. The most rain and storms I have ever seen in one season. Crops are very unpromising indeed we have almost got none. People have been planting over and are still planting. I have planted my crop the second time and have got but little now. There can't be a crop made in this country. This year if we will have suitable seasons from this out I think we will make a little to live on. God manages his own affairs independent to man. Let us trust God and hope for the better.
Well I was very much dissatisfied with my trip to your country. I went a long ways to see you all and it was only a see at last. I told you when I left you that night at brother Lunsford's that I would go to the graveyard next morning and the next evening return to your house but I could get no conveyance and no one to go with me so I concluded I would go to Jonesboro that morning and return but I was taken sick before I got there and was not able to return. I remained there until Saturday morning. Left and went to brother Murphy's. Spent the Sabbath there. Had an invitation to go to the church and preach but was not able. I got home Monday about five o'clock safe quite unable. I expected to spend several days with you all but was sadly disappointed. It appears like a dream. I expected to spend several days and get acquainted with all your children. When I arrived at brother Murphy's he was not at home and did not get to see him. I was very sorry for that for I was very anxious to have an interview with him. I tried to plough his heifer but she did not plough well. I asked her [Mrs. Murphy?] if Murphy was satisfied in the church where he was. She said she did not know. I asked her if she thought he would like to come back. She said she never had heard him name it. She remarked and said don't you know the Murphys well enough to know when they do anything they will never undo it. She seemed to think strange that he was not treated by the Southern Methodist like he always was and invited in their pulpits. I told her that I could not ask him to preach in my pulpit so I think he is joined to his idols as far as church is concerned.
Now I want to ask you forty and one questions. I have two children in your country and when they write they do not give me the information I want. Where is br. Murphy? What is he doing and what is his family doing? Where is your boys William and James? Are they with you? I wish they would come out and see me. I was in their company so little while I was there. I did not get acquainted with them. Tell them to come and see me. The string of the latch hangs outside. Where is William Hill's son and daughter and what are they doing? When did you see or hear from John Hill? Where is brother Lunsford's boys and what are they doing? But to get to what I want to say write to me about all the connection where they are what they are doing and how they are getting along and everybody else there that I knew. Tell Sanford Dorman and Elijah Glass I love them and have for many years but don't love their sinful ways. I want them to serve God and lets try and meet in Heaven. Well now I have said enough but not half as much as I could say if I could see you. Come out and see me. I will meet you at the Station at any time.
(What is Seaborn Henderson doing? Is he making anything or not? This is in confidence.)
Write soon and a long letter. Give my love to your wife and children and all the connection and accept a portion yourself.
Your brother in Christ
E. W. Story, Sr.
Typed from letter in possession of John McLucas, Sr., 1997
1--Mr. Moses Harp = (Rev.) Mozee Harp
2--Luncford = (Rev.) Thomas F. Luncford
3--The Hills mentioned here were sons of Elisha Hill. Rev. Story's first wife was Elisha Hill's daughter, Ann.
4--The Henderson family was another line of Elisha Hill's offspring.
5--Glass was from the family of Manson Glass--early settler at the time Story was in Henry/Fayette
6--Dorman was in the family of Rev. Hiram and Rev. Alfred Dorman
The History of Fayette County: 1821-1971, Fayette County Historical Soc., 1977.
Fayette County, Georgia Tax Digests For the Years 1823, 1824, 1827, 1829, 1831, 1832, 1833, 1834, by Ancestors Unlimited, Inc., Jonesboro, GA, 1988.
Methodist Preachers in Georgia 1783-1900, by Harold Lawrence, Boyd Publishing, 1984.
Marriage and Death Notices from the Southern Christian Advocate, by Brent H. Holcomb, Southern Historical Press. Vol. 1: 1837-1860, 1979. Vol. 2: 1861-1867, 1980.
various records available in Fayette County, GA
Compilation Copyright 2008 - Present by Linda Blum-Barton