1857 - "The Flux Year"

Submitted by Nancy S. Bell

The year 1857 was a memorable one in the history of Bethany ARP Church. During
August and September of this year, 20 church members died of flux (dysentery). 1857 was known as “The Flux Year”. In a Sept. 2, 1857 congregational report to the Presbytery, it was written:

“As a congregation, and as a community, our God, in his inscrutable wisdom, has seen fit to cause us to pass through the furnace of affliction. For more than two months past, dysentery, or flux, as it is usually denominated, has prevailed to a most alarming and fatal extent – the angel of death has been sweeping over us, hurrying from our society and our sight in rapid succession, many of our friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, consigning them to that narrow house appointed for all the living.”

REV. YOUNG sent the following obituary to the “Due West Telescope”:

October 16, 1857

“Rev. and Dear Brother: I perform a painful service, in forwarding you the following brief notices. These persons have died in my congregation during the prevalence of a distressing disease this summer, yours &c JAMES L. YOUNG:

Departed this life in ltawamba Co, Miss., July 19th, 1857, LETITIA JANE, infant daughter of DAVID and MARTHA J. LEMON, aged one year and four months.

On the morning of the 30th July, MARY ANN, the daughter of DAVID and MARTHA J. LEMON, aged six years and nearly five months.

Departed this life in ltawamba Co, Miss. on the 30th July, SAMUEL LAFAYETTE, son of SAMUEL and JANE BRYSON, aged ten years and five months.

On the 30th of July, MRS. JANE BRYSON, wife of SAMUEL BRYSON and daughter of the late JOHN MILAN of Laurens District, S.C…. had for more than twenty years been a consistent member of the A. R. Church…. She was about forty-five years of age.

On the 6th of August, MISS SARAH ELIZABETH, oldest daughter of SAMUEL and JANE BRYSON, aged about eighteen years.

On the 10th of August, ELIZA GREEN, infant daughter of SAMUEL and JANE BRYSON, aged about six years.

Departed this life, Tishmingo Co., Miss, August 21st, IDA YOUNG, infant daughter of ALFRED and MARGARET O’SHIELDS, aged one year and five months.

On the 22nd of August, MARY E. D., daughter of ALFRED and MARGARET O’SHIELDS, aged about two months.

In Tippah Co., Miss on the 7th of August, MRS. MARTHA BRYSON, wife of THOMAS BRYSON and daughter of the late JOHN MILAN of Laurens District, S. C. ...[became member] of Providence, Laurens District, more than twenty years ago. ... was about fifty years of age, and has left a husband and five children.

Departed this life in Pontotoc Co., Miss. on the 14th of August, WM. MILLEN, second son of A. M. and the late MRS. NANCY GALLOWAY in the seventeen year of his age.

On September 3rd, ELIZA SAVANNAH, infant daughter of A. M. and MARTHA E. GALLOWAY, aged five months and 24 days.

On the 3lst of August, THOMAS WILEY, oldest son of A. M. and the late NANCY GALLOWAY, aged about eighteen years.

On the 17th September, ROBERT SPENCE, son of A. M. and MARTHA E. GALLOWAY, aged two years, two months and 5 days.

Departed this life on the—of August. WM. CALDWELL, eldest son of F. A. and ELVIRA YOUNG, In the twenty first year of his age...[member of] church at Bethany.

Departed this life m Tippah Co., Miss. on the 16th of August, EUPHEMIA CAROLINE, daughter of JAMES and NANCY TURNER, aged six years and nearly three months.

On the 19th of August, HARRIET AMANDA, youngest daughter of JAMES and NANCY C. TURNER, aged about four years.

On the first of September, MISS NANCY ELEANOR, second daughter of JAMES and NANCY C. TURNER in the 19th year of her age. ...[member of] A. R. Church at Bethany.

On the 10th of September, EBENEZER ERSKINE, youngest son of JAMES and NANCY C. TURNER, aged one year, two months and two days.

Departed this life in Tishommgo Co., Miss. on the 12th of September, MRS. RACHEL CROCKET, wife of JOHN F. CROCKET, aged sixty-five years. She had for many years been a member of the A. R. Church.

The disease which terminated the earthly existence of all of the above was dysentery or flux in a very malignant form: many of them did not survive a week after they were attacked.

Departed this life in Tippah Co., Miss. on the 15th of September, MR. ELI CROCKET in the thirty ninth year of his age, leaving a wife and seven children to mourn their loss. The disease which terminated his life was bowel affection.”


The following persons died during July-September 1857 and are buried at Old Bethany Cemetery:

WILLIAM C. YOUNG (son of F.A. and E. YOUNG; b. 1836)

Children of A.M. and M.E. GALLOWAY:
ROBERT S. GALLOWAY (2 yrs.)
W. MILLEN GALLOWAY (16 yrs.)
THOMAS WILLEY GALLOWAY (18 yrs)
E. SAVANAH GALLOWAY (5 mths.)

Children of J. and N.C. TURNER:
NANCY E. TURNER (b. 1839)
EBENEZER E. TURNER (b. 1856)

CHARLES ANDERSON (b. 1786) and MARTHA ANDERSON (b. 1793), husband and wife

MARTHA BRYSON (b. 1807, wife of THOMAS BRYSON, sister of JANE BRYSON)

MRS. JANE BRYSON (b. 1812, wife of SAMUEL BRYSON, sister of MARTHA BRYSON)

MARTHA J. BRYSON (b. 1851)

ELIZA G. BRYSON (b. 1857)

SAMUEL J. BRYSON (b. 1847)

SARAH E. BRYSON (b. 1839)

ELY CROCKETT (b. 1819, husband of MARGARET)


According to an article on the Bryson family in "The Northeast Mississippi Historical and Genealogy Society Volume 13-14 1992-1994, MRS. JANE BRYSON, wife of THOMAS BRYSON, and four of her children died from flux in 1857.

Sources:

“Historical Sketch of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church of Bethany, Lee County, Miss” by the Pastor, Rev. Samuel A. Agnew; Louisville, KY: Brewers’ Printing House, 1881; pp. 18-19.

"The Northeast Mississippi Historical and Genealogy Society Volume 13-14 1992-1994

“Lee County Cemetery Records – 1820-1979” published by the Northeast Mississippi Historical and Genealogy Society, 1981.

“Associate Reformed Presbyterian Death & Marriage Notices from THE CHRISTIAN MAGAZINE OF THE SOUTH, THE ERSKINE MISCELLANY, and THE DUE WEST TELESCOPE, 1843-1863”, compiled by Lowry Ware, SCMAR, Columbia, SC, 1993, pp. 68-69.