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The Shiloh Methodist Church Ox Train

The ox train left Orangeburg, composed of members of the Shiloh Methodist Church. The destination of the train was Texas.

Along the way the train would stop for a few days at a good spring to hunt, fish, pick fruit, and in general resupply.

As the train passed about 15 miles below Pelahatchie, Mississippi (Rankin County), they found a good spring and made a supply stop. During the stop, an eleven-year old girl was playing on a grape vine, and fell and broke her neck, resulting in her death. The name of the little girl has now been lost to history.

The members decided to stay over longer so that they could give the little girl a Christian burial, which was watched at a distance by curious local Choctaw Indians.

During the stop and layover, some members of the wagon train looked around and decided that this was pretty nice land and would make a good spot to settle. Among those who decided to stay were the Myers, Kersh and Rhodes families. The rest of the train continued to Texas. The ones who stayed named their settlement Shiloh in honor of their church in Orangeburg.

The people who decided to stay formed a camp meeting ground where the train had stopped, and to this day, descendants still return to the old meeting ground for a month each year to vacation and hold religious services each day of the stay. The meeting ground has been preserved in an old-fashioned condition -- sawdust floors, no air conditioning. The people who come say that they would have it no other way.

In 1855, descendants of the people who first settled the Shiloh meeting ground moved on to Lavaca County, Texas, and made another settlement which they named Shiloh after the settlement in Mississippi.

The first to arrive was Mr. and Mrs. Jim Brown and their four sons: Membrance, Lawrence, James, and Robert, and their families. They were soon joined by others: Easterling, Allen, Chapman, Reeves, Rhodes, Griffith, Moore, etc.

A portion of the settlement was set aside as a cemetery and many of the old settlers are buried there.

Written by Jim Steinwinder


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