This writing is from R.F. Legrand and is titled

SHILOH, THE MOTHER OF PREACHERS.

It is dedicated to Aunt Hester Ann Wisecarver, oldest living member of Shiloh Church.

This is my grandmother on my dad's side of the family.

The Community settlement

It was on January 8th, 1841 that a small company of Tennesseans, composed of John Eudaley, Dudley Cox, Reed Cox, Elliot Cox, Nathan Davis, James Eudaley, James d. Franklin, Walton Summers, John Shell, John Wisecarver, John A. Walton and their families, launched their boats from the mouth of Beaver Creek, Jefferson County, Tennessee and moved towards the New Country West. At Louisville, Kentucky, they stopped and picked up Shields King and family, and moved on to Cairo, Illinois, where they planned to disembark, but being informed that they could not cross the swamps by land, the little company moved on to New Madrid where they disembarked on the first day of March, 1841. There they sold their boats and moved in wagons to Jackson, Missouri, where they rented land and made a crop.

On July 27th, Reed Cox, John A. Walton and John Eudaley, with wagon and team and one extra "Nag", started out in search of a desirable location for permanent settlement. They explored the country southward into Arkansas, crossing Current River at Indian Ford, and passing through Jackson, Arkansas, they followed the Old Fort Smith Road to the North Fork of White River. From here Reed Cox turned North into Missouri on horseback, following the Eleven Points River to the point where Thomasville is now located. Being favorably impressed with this location he rejoined his company, expecting later to return to this site for permanent settlement unless some more suitable place should be found. After touring on through Carrolton, Arkansas, and on through Taney County, Missouri, passing through Springfield, Bolivar, Boonville, Caledonia and Fredricktown, the trio returned to Jackson about the first of September, 1841.

Thrilled with the story of the fertile soil and cool spring water of the Eleven Points valley, as it was related by Reed Cox, the little colony immediately gathered and disposed of their crops and set out for the present site of Thomasville. But when they reached Logan Creek on hearing of the unsettled land in the Ten Mile and Cane Creek valleys, they hired a new pilot to show them this new site. And here I shall let John Eudaley, one of the company, tell the story in his own words. "When report came, we all decided to turn our course and come to Cane Creek, and on the 11th of December, 1841, we stretched camp on Cane Creek about eight miles above where I now live. That was on a Saturday night. On Sunday morning we left camp, came down Cane Creek; Monday looked at Ten Mile, (and) all decided to take Cane Creek. Tuesday (we) hitched up and made our way down through the brush, as at that time there was no road. Each man began to select his home, as there was no person then here to say yea or nay."

It was not at all strange that the first visitor to the newly established colony was a Methodist preacher. Since the days that Asbury rode back and forth across the Easter hills and valleys of this continent, the Methodist Church has been organized and ready for any forward march. Wherever a little group of pioneers pushed themselves across the wilderness to a new location, they found the Methodist preacher there by the time the first cabin was erected. It did seem to be a coincidence, however that the Methodist circuit rider of the Greenville Circuit, the Reverend John H. Headlee, lost his way in the wilderness, on the night of January 1, 1842, only a few days after the camp was set up, and half frozen, guided by the dim light of the camp to find a hearty welcome by a group of his own religious faith.

Was it just a coincidence that the two came together at this early date? To this little Methodist colony it was God's way of sending them a preacher. Certainly it was a happy meeting, not only for the physical comforts of the cold, hungry circuit rider, but also for spiritual hunger of this little company of men and women whom had become established in the Methodist faith in their old communities in Tennessee. One member of the group, Dudley Cox, was at that time a licensed exhorter in the Methodist Church, and at least one other, John Eudaley had been baptized and married by the Reverend Thomas Wilkerson, who had labored with and received appointments by Bishop Asbury in his younger days. Before leaving camp, the young minister preached and arranged for an appointment for his next round, which was in May of the same year.

It was at this preaching service in May 1842 that Brother Headlee organized a Methodist class and appointed John Eudaley as class leader. The charter members were:

Dudley Cox

Parenelitha Cox

John Eudaley

Orlena Eudaley

Reed Cox

Mary Cox

Jacob Cox

Dicy Cox

Nancy Eudaley

Washington Eudaley

Sarah Eudaley

Thomas Eudaley

James D. Franklin

Jane Franklin

Nathan Davis

William Johnson

Lydia Johnson

Elizabeth Johnson

John A. Walton

Parnelia Walton.

The Camp Meeting

So far as can be determined by the records, the regular services were held in homes of the members for several years, with a season of revival each year at some selected camp ground. The "Camp Meeting" was a great occasion for everyone. The people seemed to rely so exclusively upon the annual campmeeting for their spiritual stimulation and inspiration that Grandfather Eudaley (John Eudaley) in his brief history of his life, does not mention any other service save the camp meeting, for a number of years. This religious custom probably accounted for the fact that the class was organized for many years before a permanent house of worship was erected.

The Shiloh Camp Ground was equipped with necessary buildings to house and feed a very large group of families for several weeks. The cabins, made of logs were arranged in an "L" shaped fashion, so that each cabin would be facing the large community kitchen and storehouse, to which all had equal access. The development of the camp grounds in relation to the Shiloh Class is given by Grandfather Eudaley who helped plan and promote forty camp meetings during his lifetime. "In the Year 1843, the Scotts, Kearbeys, Ketrells, and others determined to start a camp ground on Ten Mile Creek at a place owned by Jesse Scott, now the Wilson place. Reed Cox, Dudley Cox and myself went over and built us a camp and occupied it. The next fall, 1844, on the 8th day of September, Reed Cox died. Dudley Cox and myself continued to move (and) occupy the camp for four years. 1846 was the last meeting (that) was held there as the land had changed hands in the fall 1847. If we had any more camp meetings we had to select a new site. A day was set to meet on Ten Mile Creek and consult and agree on some place. Cane Creek turned out with a force with very few others. The Cane Creek people found out that the principal part of the work would be done by the Cane Creek boys, so it was decided if we had to do the work we would build somewhere on Cane Creek, and the place where the Old Camp Ground was (was) agreed upon, and the work was begun with a rush. Here, me and Dudley singled out (and) each put him up a camp. I believe the meeting commenced the 6th of august, 1847, J.M. Kelly, presiding elder and J.M. Proctor, preacher in charge with myself, Dudley Cox, John A. Walton, Heardy Box, Elijah Mays and some others, about eight campers." " At the above named camp ground, meetings were held every year up to 1860, except 1865, this year we had two camp meetings. The war commenced in1861, (and) by the close of the war the camps were about all rotted down, though in the fall of 1865 there was held what was called a Brush Camp Meeting, at which time we had a good meeting." " In the fall of 1866 there were some very good camps still standing at Threesprings, near Black River. So it was decided to move back down there and have a camp meeting. Myself, William S. King and others, moved down there where several of our friends professed religion, from which we got two preachers, to – wit, R. Walton and Lafeyette Hull." " Now it was thought best under circumstances, if we had any nore camp meetings, we must select a new site. After looking around, it was hard to find a place (un) til I proposed to give the site, where the church now stands, (and) made a deed to (the) Methodist Episcopal Church, South two and one half acres which is recorded 1867, (and) the first camp meeting was held. (We) put up a frame for an arbor the next fall, 1868, (and) Green Copeland was hired to cover the arbor and paid $50.00."

John Eudaley was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia 17 November, 1810 and departed this life January 9, 1900. Says one of his admiring comrades, "In singing, we have never found his equal. He once told me that he had committed to memory 200 hymns, a book he never used in church."

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This story is told through the records kept in a diary.

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LOCATION OF THE AREA IN THIS DOCUMENT IS FOUND HERE

The Cane Creek area is about 18 miles northwest of Poplar Bluff. There are
a couple of ways to get to that area, one is to go north on Hiway 67 to
what use to be the Pine Cone Lodge, The other way is to go 7 1/2 miles wesy
from the Hiway 60-67 junction and turn right on Co. road #415 near the
Bethel Chapel Church. Travel #415 to #412 and turn right and follow #412 to
Co. Rd. #410. Follow #410 until you cross a low water bridge, just after
crossing the bridge, turn left into th Shiloh Cemetery. That area all along
road #410 is Cane Creek. My best recollection of the Ten Mile area is not
to ggod. The best I remember is that the old Halloran School District was
located on Ten Mile. It was about 7 miles west of the 60-67 junction and
then you went south off of Hiway 60. The Walton Chapel Cemetery is located
about three mile on up Co. Rd. 410. I know we used to go by the Shiloh
Cemetery on the way to the Walton Chapel Church and the cemetery is right
across the road.

Ken Wisecarver writes: I received this from one of
my relatives who had a copy. It details how the Cane Creek and Ten Mile
area was settled. Hopefully you can use this.

© KEN WISECARVER carver@lakecountry.net



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