THE HILLSBORO MIRROR -Wednesday June 18, 1930
FEW HILL COUNTY CONFEDERATES ARE STILL LIVING
Confederate Old Settlers-Organizations so closely Allied they cannot be Separated-First Organization Formed in 1898
Only a few veterans are still living and those are dying rapidly- Expect to Maintain Organization as long as two remain.
The early history of the Confederate veterans, who met regularly in monthly meetings to this date is interlinked with that of The Old Settlers Association of which they were the major part in forming the organization in August 1898.
Quoting from the minutes of that date: “The Old Settlers of Hill County met in the city of Hillsboro and organized and Old Settlers Association by electing for it’s officers, T. B. SMITH of Clup, president; Dr. J. M. GRIFFIN of Vaughan, vice president; D. .C WORNEL of Union Bluff, secretary-treasurer.”
The second Tuesday in August 1899 was selected for the time and a point on Jack’s Branch near the site of Old Lexington the place for the next meeting.
Dr. B. KNOX, John P. COX and A. B. FANCHER were appointed a committee on by-laws. The following names were then enrolled:
D C Wornel, John P Cox, A H Fancher, Dr. J. M. Griffin, Mrs. Molie Griffin, A Y Kirkpatrick, G Y Tarver, T B Smith, Sam Dean, W B Johnson, W T Hunt, John T Porter, T R Johnson, Nancy Johnson, Mrs. S E Carmichael, Mrs. L J Hammer, D C Hammer, Wash Hamer, Dr. B. Knox, H W Carter, Mrs. E M Carter, G W Basey, Dave Pierce, A M Larrance, Mrs. S A Larrance, Mrs. Elvira Young, O H Young, W J Rochelle, D L Van Winkle, H C Ford, T J Ford, Gip Smith, J D Bookout, O F Dornblaser, R L Bookout, F M McNary, Tam Brooks, S C Fain, H D Peters, R T Frazier, Sarah E. Wornel, John M Wornel, Elisha Wm Wornel, Mrs. F L Varnell, P E Varnell, A H Jones, J E Pennington, James R DeArman, J M Blocker, J R Willoughby, J M Vinson, J J Riden, Krum Kirkpatrick, W L Booth, Chas Arnott, H C VanWinkle, J T Watson, C W Hicker, E M Cox, Payton Kusee, Doc Smith, Catherine Gilbreath, J P Williams J P Webb, Maggie Webb, Pine Webb, Addie Webb, F M Ince, J J Stockton, E T Thomas, P M Greenwade, J T Morrison, W M Paschall, W H Wood, W A Howard, H B McKinley, G W Gathings, Tom Ivy, C. Jennings, W J Boyd, Mrs. M A Ball, L B Daniels, Ben Harden, E A Smith, Mrs. Mary Winter, Judge Bennett Smith, E J Calfee, Mrs. M J Calfee, R C Frazier, W J Moore, J H Carmichall, H L Anderson, ?J Mock, W T Horn, James Posev? T A Mock, W J Calvery, John Wiech, J L Burgess, E E Burgess, W D Burgess, Perry Johnson, Mrs. Helen Cook, R T Brown, N D Walker, I N Crabtree, F M Weatherby, Thomas McBride, Henry Ward, James Crawford, C C Isbell,G W Benton, Geo. W. McNeese, D Derden, R A Gee, S H Anderson, O M Cato, C C Veale, F M Callen, W N Rutherford, J W Morrison, John R Lane, Mrs. C A Lane, T W McClure, T E Wilson, W A Scruggs, Mrs. C E McLauthlen, Thos Sloan, M E Stillman, W M Grigsby, J B farmer, J H Meyers, Mrs. Jane West, D. Rose, John R Rose, W R Woodall, F K McClure, Mrs. S ? McClure, Willie Brannan, Tom C Brannan, James Glass, Mrs. Katy Glass, W E Farquhar, S J Brawner, A S Brawner, Mrs. Lula Willoughby, J C Godfrey, Mrs. Callie Stanley, Mrs. Mattie Godfrey, Mrs. Kate Routh, Mrs. Mollie Bragg, Tom Bell, Mrs. Nancy Carmichall, J M Pogue, Mrs. J M Pogue, H M McClung, Mrs. J M Carlisle, Mrs. A M Vineyard, J T
Daniel, Dr. A M Douglas, Geo. L Porter, W A McMurray, Mrs. Fannie H Britton, F C McMillan, Wm Clark, R N Boyd, J B Copeland, Mrs. America Wornel, Robert Petty, Wm F Anderson, Mrs. S C Anderson, J Davis, L. Larry, S L Eagan, E A Curry, W J (Bud) Sweeney, A A Carter, H J Carmichall, J T Treadwell, F O Hooker, S O Hooker, F L Anderson, W A Loveless, J S Roberson, J W Smalley, and W Hamilton, making 202 on the list of veterans and Old Settlers scattered throughout the county.
The next meeting was held at Peoria, August 8, 1899, with T B Smith presiding, Union Bluff class furnishing the music, J Riley De Arman leading the prayer. The welcome address was delivered by Oscar Caldwell, O F Dornblaser giving the response. Committee on arrangements: J C Garison, J W Morrison, R L Bookout, C W Farmer, D L Webb, R J Gage, J T Daniels, Geo W McDaniel and W J Thompson.
Short talks followed from several then John P Cox introduced Willie Saunders of Forreston, Ellis County, 12 years old, who spoke on the subject: “The South, The Utopia of America”.
On December 7, 1901 there was a mass meeting of Hill County Confederate Veterans and Old Settlers held in the county court room in Hillsboro where a permanent organization was affected with John P Cox as commander and the following were elected trustees of the property purchased for reunion grounds until their successors were elected: John P. Cox, president; John F. James, vice president; A R Fancher, 2nd vice president; A R Fancher, 2nd vice president; D C Wornel, secretary; John W Morrison, treasurer; and John A Stevens, Chaplain.
O. Holland, surveyor, reported that he had surveyed the grounds known as the Chapman Grove and found that it contained 35 acres of land. F P Works was instructed to draw up the deed conveying the title from Mrs. M J West to the association. The amount of purchase was contributed by 179 names of varying denominations.
The first reunion was held at the new arbor, August 13, 14, 15, 1902, an immense crowd was called together with music provided by Professor W J Crabb and his orchestra of boys and girls consisting of Harry Dudley, Beatrice Tomlinson, Marion Maddux, Nannie Dudley, Myrtle Tomlinson, Donel Wood, Rupert Crabb, John Furman and Paul Turner.
Then follows minutes of interesting meeting from year to year, then began the list of deceased from time to time like Autumn leaves dropping away until few remain after thirty years of beloved association. However, it is worthy of notice that some of the offsprings remain true to the ideas of the organization, they together with the few remaining ones held tenaciously to the annual reunion and finally gave up with great reluctance, notably the Epting family.
During Governor Neff’s administration, an agitation was made to take over several tracts of land over the state and beautify them for state parks. With the provision in the deed that this be done and the park be called the Jefferson Davis State Park, the reunion grounds were deeded to the state by the association and veterans.
Many deplore the fact that the beautiful grove, with its once fine spring, in fact, one of Mother Nature’s beautiful settings, lending itself to a fine country club location, park, children’s recreation, should fall into decay.
At their meeting in March 1905, Mr. W H Dickson became adjutant, remaining in office until W L McKee succeeded him. Commander John P Cox was succeeded by Capt. J T Bobbitt, who held the place of honor until some years after he had gone to Austin to live, during which time First Lieut. Chas H Moore officiated. In 1927. W L McKee was elected commander with Mrs. Olin Cluberson (sp) being elected adjutant, who also had held the place of sponsor for years. On Mrs. Cluberson’s resignation, Mrs. J B Sims was elected adjutant, with Mrs. Rachael Alexander as sponsor, which remains officially at the present time.
Captain Bobbitt was named commander until his death in 1929.
The ritual services for deceased comrades has been given at their funerals by Commander W L McKee for several years, paying them the beautiful tribute of burying with them the small battle flag under which they fought.
The writer, speaking from experience and observation, after having attended many annual reunions, deeply regrets that this time honored custom must soon bow to the inevitable. Although the reunion has been the elixir of life to them, helping to round out seemingly charmed lives maintaining their old traditions and gallantry of the south.
A revised list of 1913 gave more than 200 in the county, very few of who remain now.
In their own local camp, No. 166, the following names are on the roll:
W L McKee, Co. C 18th Miss, Volunteer Inf; N D Walker, Co C Elliott’s Brigade, 2nd Artillery, S C; C H Moore Co B, Mabry’s Brigade, 6th Miss. Forrest Cav; W H Young, Co C 7th Ala Cav; R M C Brand, Co B, 34th Georgia; J T Liner, Co B 62nd Tenn Inf;
J W Rogers, Mooreland Brigade Inf Ala; G W Brown-record not obtainable;
T A DeHart, Co G 21st Miss Inf
At the reunions the Sons of Confederate Veterans are a mighty organization moving slow and guarded treil (sp) lest they leave an impression that they would pluck one honor from their sires, content to move in reflected glory until the last bugle call has died away for their soldier dead.
For many years our own sons and business men have given our veterans trips to the reunions with all expenses paid, sending escorts to look after their physical needs, providing liberally and cheerfully for every veteran who could go. Transportation and seats of honor are gladly furnished them for every occasion in which they are interested. Deserving special mention, who delight in serving the veterans are: Marshall and Marshall, donating their chapel, reception room, office and congeniality, aided by Mrs. Ford Marshall; Mr. and Mrs. A J Thompson and Mr. Guy West who are ever ready with transportation; the city’s club, who have responded beautifully with programs arranged by Miss Elsie Sawyer. Miss Sawyer also brings splendid talent from her school for programs. And like a sweet memory lingers the time the then little girls, but now young ladies, served in the capacity of “The Dixie Chorus”, delighting the veterans with their entertainment. But outstanding among all who have served the veterans in any and all capacities, ever looking to their interest and welfare, helping to commemorate deeds of valor, adding dignity and prestige to the organization, is their long time honorary member, Capt. W A Fields, who has made their interests his special care and gallantly champions their causes, be it local monthly meeting or annual reunions. In fact it was due to the efforts of Capt. Fields that the Hill County Camp of Confederate Veterans was organized.