Afterword for Edgefield’s First Pastor: Rev. S. L. Morris

Samuel Leslie Morris

Transcript of Morris’s Obituary from the Atlanta Journal.

Samuel Leslie Morris, son of James Hervey Morris and the former Anne Elizabeth McCaslan, was born on Christmas Day 1854 at the home of his maternal grandparents Moses Oliver and Susannah Clark [née Foster] McCaslan. The family into which he was born were well connected Scot-Irish Presbyterians; who had helped organize and support many churches in the area around Abbeville County, South Carolina. Education and prayer were two endeavors at which young Samuel excelled. At the age of 14, Samuel joined Hopewell Presbyterian.

Like his father, Samuel attended and graduated from Erskine College in Due West, South Carolina. At 18, Samuel entered Columbia Theological Seminary in Columbia, SC. Two weeks later he was received into the South Carolina Presbytery as a candidate for the ministry. In 1875, the S.C. Presbytery formally licensed him, a full year before graduating from the seminary. Now Rev. Morris, his first pastorate was in Walhalla, South Carolina.

On October 23rd 1877, Rev. Morris married Miss Ella Martha Brice, daughter of Christopher and Margaret Brice of Douglass, South Carolina. From this union came four children:

Margaret Morris {m. Akers} (1883-1978)
Hattie Woodrow Morris {m. Gilbert} (1886-1979)
Marion Christine Morris {m. Wood}(1889-1982)
Samuel L Morris Jr., M.D. (1891-1970)
(see “updated information on children” below

Rev. Morris was later pastor of Vineville Presbyterian in Macon, Georgia in 1901; then he came to Morningside church in Atlanta in 1935.

At the time of his death on May 10th 1937, Rev. Samuel Leslie Morris was pastor emeritus of Morningside. He was survived by his wife, daughters, Margaret, Hattie, Marion and son, Dr. Samuel L. Morris. He was laid to rest in the family vault in the Mausoleum at Crestlawn Memorial Park Cemetery [Atlanta, Fulton County, GA].

S L Morris tombstone

Morris Tombstone

The Last installment

With this installment, I end my Blog posts on the History of Presbyterianism in Edgefield District, SC. I may revisit this topic in the future after more information comes into my possession.


Akers, Margaret (Margie) Annie née Morris. (1883-1978) Daughter of S. L. Morris and Martha Brice Morris. FindaGrave ID #127304853 accessed from

Morris, Anne Elizabeth née McCaslan. (1831-1922). Mother of Rev. S. L. Morris. FindaGrave ID #103800380. accessed from

Morris, James Harvey. (1829-1864). Father of Rev. S. L. Morris. Private Co. B, 5th Regiment, South Carolina Calvary, Hampton Legion. Findagrave ID #103823258. accessed from

Morris, Martha Ella née Brice. (1856-1949). Spouse of Rev. S. L. Morris. FindaGrave ID #127306863 accessed from

Morris, Samuel Leslie Rev. (1854–1937). FindaGrave ID #103995198 accessed from

Morris, Samuel Leslie, Jr., M.D. (1891-1970). Son of S. L. Morris and Martha Brice Morris. FindaGrave ID #127294350 accessed from

Tatnell Sq. Presbyterian Church. (2015). “Mercer opens renovated church as new arts center.” Accessed 16 July 2018 from

Updated Information on Morris Children:

(1) Margaret Anne, (Feb. 5, 1883), married R. P. Akers
(2) Hattie Woodrow, (Dec. 3, 1886,) married 1st S. T. Hughes (one child, Stephen);  married 2nd Hugh Gilbert, (one daughter, Leslie Morris)
(3) Marion Christine (Aug. 16, 1889), married Clyde M. Wood, (two children, Clyde M., Jr., and Martha Eleanor)
(4) Samuel Leslie, Jr., (May 8, 1891), — physician, Atlanta, GA.
(all from The Records of the Morris Family, By S. L. Morris, D.D., LL.D. p. 76)

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved

Pastoral Concern for Members of Edgefield Presbyterian Church

An Errant Member

I briefly introduced the situation of an errant member of Edgefield Presbyterian Church in my last post, Col. James H. Tillman (pictured below). I refer you to that post for the incidents in 1903. In the years intervening up to 1908, Jim Tillman’s life had gone down hill from his glory days as commander of The First SC Volunteer Infantry unit in the Spanish American War, 1898. After returning to the Palmetto State, he was elected Lt. Gov. in 1900. Near the end of his term, he shot and killed N. G. Gonzales, editor of the State newspaper (see “Tillman-Gonzales Murder Trial” link below).

Col James H Tillman

A Church’s Concern for Errant Member’s Spiritual State

Rather than writing about the events, I reproduce an extract from the church minutes.

1908 Minutes of the Session 

Feb. 7, 1909
The Session met at the church after Sunday School, and was opened with prayer. Present Rev. T. P. Burgess, and Elder W. L. Dunovant. The interests of the church were considered, and the following letter was addressed to Col. J. H. Tillman:

Edgefield, S.C. Feb. 7, 1909 Col. James H. Tillman: Edgefield, S.C.:
Dear Sir :
We have waited on you a long time, hoping and praying for some improvement in your religious life. It now becomes our duty to remind you that you very seldom have attended our church services, and that you have not communed in several years. Such being the case, we now request you to appear before the Session in person, or in writing, on Sunday March 7, 1909, at the church, immediately after the morning service, and show cause, if any, why your name should not be dropped from our roll. By order of Session, T. P. Burgess, Mod.

Mch 7, [1909]
The Session met after morning service, in the church, and was opened with prayer. Present Rev. T. P. Burgess, Mod., and Elder W. L. Dunovant. The following letter was received from Col. James H. Tillman :

“St. Mary’s Hospital and Sanatorium, Tucson, Arizonia, Feb. 24, 1909, Rev. T. P. Burgess, Edgefield, S.C.
Dear Sir :
Your letter dated 7th inst., posted March 13th, addressed to Palm Springs, California, reached me today. While I am in bed with fever, and quite weak from a recent hemorrhage, your communication demands a prompt reply which I frankly give.
What you say of the past is all too true and dearly has it cost me. With contrite heart, I am struggling, but Alas! My pleas may have [gone] too late. Faith and hope are my consolation, and mercy alone my salvation.
Very respectfully, James H. Tillman.”

St. Marys Hospital cir 1918_0001

Picture of St. Mary’s Hospital and Sanatorium, Tucson, Arizona circa 1918. The hospital was operated by The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. 

“Died April 1, 1911” [was added on the bottom of the page in a different ink.] 

James Tillman’s Latter End

Tillman had contracted tuberculosis. He lived for a number of years in a tent on the hill which is now occupied by Apple Square shopping center, Edgefield, SC. (From interview with W. W. Mims in the late 1990s.)

When the letter exchange took place, Tillman was residing in Arizona, which was considered to be a better climate for someone suffering with TB.

The Edgefield Advertiser, 5 April 1911 records—

“With only his physician and a young nephew with him at the end, Col. James H. Tillman, at one time lieutenant governor of South Carolina, died [in Asheville, NC] tonight at 9:45 o’clock [PM]. The end came very suddenly. He had been here for his health for the past six months, and of late had improved. A few days ago he became worse. Late this afternoon he became very weak and suffered a collapse, the end following almost immediately.” 

Col James Tillman Tombstone inscription

Tombstone for Col James Hammond Tillman, Clarks Hill, SC

This is a sad end for the one time Lt. Gov. of SC. The church was concerned about its native son’s spiritual condition. Their last communication with him states he was trusting—”Faith and hope are my consolation, and mercy alone my salvation.” 


St. Mary’s Hospital and TB Sanitarium. Accessed 3 October 2018 from

Tillman-Gonzales Murder Trial; Palmetto Special. (2018). Accessed 3 October 2018 from N.B. This is a reenactment of Tillman Trial and the Gonzales shooting.

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved

Rev. T. P. Burgess: a Pastor at Last!

Rev. Burgess’s First Edgefield Sermon

Late in 1902, the Presbyterian Church Group at Edgefield contemplated issuing a call to the Rev. Thomas Peterson Burgess. However, his first appearance in the pulpit was chilly, literally. 

It is greatly to be regretted that the inclement weather kept many from hearing the very able sermon delivered from the Presbyterian pulpit on Sunday morning last by Rev. T. P. Burgess. The Presbyterian flock contemplate calling this earnest and zealous man of God to be their permanent shepherd. We trust that his voice will be heard many times in Edgefield. (EA, 3 December 1902, issue) 

The inclement weather was a factor in church attendance since the Presbyterian Church did not have a central heating system at the time. Heat came from small heaters strategically placed around the sanctuary.

Edgefield Presbyterian Church, SC

Original Building of Edgefield Village Presbyterian Church, SC

One year later, the Presbyterian Church in the Village had installed a furnace!

Those who worshiped in the Presbyterian church on Sunday last noticed a very marked difference between the heating of the church by the newly installed furnace and the heaters that were formerly used. Although it was a very cold day the congregation was made very comfortable by the heat that was supplied by the furnace in the basement. (EA, 2 December 1903 issue)

The congregation had warmed to Rev. T. P. Burgess’s preaching!

Family and Early Life

Rev. T. P. Burgess was from Manning, SC. His father, Thomas Leslie Burgess was a medical doctor. His mother was Frances Anne Burgess née Mayes. Through his Mother’s line, his first cousin was Rev. George Gregg Mayes, Pastor/Stated Supply of Edgefield Group 1897-1899. 

Rev. Burgess received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Davidson College in 1883. He attended Columbia Theological Seminary 1883-1885. He transferred to Princeton Theological Seminary where he received the Bachelor of Divinity in 1886. 

He married Charlotte “Lottie” Matilda Henderson, 28 October 1890, in Walterborro, SC. 

He was ordained by Charleston Presbytery in 1886. He pastored various churches in the low country and then moved to Georgia where he pastored various multiple-church-charges in the Atlanta and Madison, GA areas.

He then moved back to the Palmetto State where he pastored Ninety-Six Presbyterian Church Group 1900-1903. This group included Coronaca Presbyterian Church (see “Coronaca Presbyterian Church” below). (Ninety Six is 8 miles from Coronaca.) In 1926 Coronaca PC had 13 communing members. This included one ruling elder but no deacons. The Church had a stated supply who preached once a month. So, before coming to Edgefield, he had experience with multi-Church-charge situations. (see “Ministerial Directory” below)

Call to Edgefield

Rev. T. P. Burgess came to Edgefield the Week of 4 March 1903. The family boarded temporarily with Mrs. Mattie Sue “Tweetie” Cantelou and her husband, Joseph H. Cantelou. The Cantelous had a son, Walter Hill Cantelou, age 3.

By the end of April, the tenants had moved from the manse near the railroad depot in preparation for the Burgesses to occupy it. They moved in, 13 May 1903, after repairs were made.

Sensational Happening involving Member of Presbyterian Church


Sen. B. R. “Pitchfork” Tillman, left; Col. James Hammond “Jim” Tillman, right.

Rev. T. P. Burgess was introduced to “Edgefield conflict” almost as soon as he arrived. On 15 January 1903, Col. James Hammond “Jim” Tillman shot Narciso G. Gonzales, Editor of the State Newspaper. The two had a past feud that involved Gonzales’s bad press concerning both Jim Tillman and his uncle, B. R. “Pitchfork” Tillman. During Jim Tillman’s run for Governor in 1902, Gonzales opposed him.

The State referred to [Jim] Tillman as “a proven liar, defaulter, gambler and drunkard.” Gonzales accused Tillman … of falsifying Senate records, disgraceful military conduct, and fiscal improprieties. When Tillman refused to invite President Theodore Roosevelt to visit South Carolina because Roosevelt had refused to invite his uncle [B. R. Tillman] to a state dinner, Gonzales castigated the lieutenant governor’s “boorishness.” (see “Tillman, James Hammond” below) 

Tillman blamed Gonzales press coverage for his loss of the governor’s race. 

The Tillman-Gonzales feud ended on January 15, 1903. As the two men passed each other on the sidewalk at the corner of Main and Gervais Streets in Columbia, Tillman pulled out a pistol and shot the unarmed Gonzales once through the abdomen. The editor staggered back to his office and then was taken to Columbia Hospital, where he died on January 19. (see Tillman below). 

Sen. B. R. Tillman had the trial moved from Richland County to Lexington County where his constituency was larger. The trial began 28 September and the jury returned a “not guilty” verdict 15 October 1903. The trial was castigated in the national press as a farce and a fraud.

The officers of the Presbyterian Church in Edgefield took a similar view, but was more concerned with Col. James Tillman’s lack of attendance at church and his having not received communion for a number of years.

More on this next time. 


Burgess, Thomas Peterson. FindaGrave ID# 33785434. Accessed 2 October 2018 from
Burgess, Charlotte “Lottie” Burgess (nèe Henderson). FindaGrave ID# 33785377. Accessed 2 October 2018 from

Coronaca Presbyterian Church. (1926). History of the Presbyterian Church in South Carolina since 1850, edited by F. D. Jones, D. D. and W. H. Mills, D. D.; published by the Synod of South Carolina, pp. 993-994. Accessed 3 October 2018 from;view=1up;seq=1009 N.B. This resource can be searched and read online. It can be downloaded one page at a time for reading off line.

Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church, U. S., 1861-1941. Compiled by Rev. E. C. Scott. Published by order of the General assembly. Austin, TX: Press of Von Boeckmann-Jones Co., 1942.

Tillman, James Hammond. (2015-16). Accessed 2 Ictober 2018 from

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved

Wallace and Fennel: Candidates in 1902

Mr. Wallace

The Edgefield Advertiser, 25 June 1902, reports—

The Rev. Mr. Wallace will preach in our Presbyterian church on Sunday morning next. Being the fifth Sunday there will be no other service in town and our people should attend en masse.

This is Mr. Isaac Emmons Wallace, a student who was nearing the end of his program at Columbia Theological Seminary, SC. He had received a BA from Kings College, Bristol, TN, in 1900. He attended Columbia Theological Seminary 1900-1902. He attended Princeton Theological Seminary and University 1902-1903. Kings College would honor him with a Doctor of Divinity in 1927.

Before supplying the pulpit in Edgefield, he had been licensed by South Carolina Presbytery 2 April 1902. He was either supplying the pulpit in Edgefield for one Sunday or was being vetted by the congregation to see if he would work out as Mr. Stewart had done recently (see “Wallace” below). In any case, he either did not consider a call or they church did not call him. 

At this point the church rented out the manse to help relieve the debt on it at the Savings and Loan. Various members over the years had paid the interest on it, but payments on the principal were beyond the church’s finances. The Edgefield Advertiser, 30 July 1902, announces—”Mr. H. E. Grim has removed to the Presbyterian parsonage (sic: manse).”

Mr. Wallace pastored various churches mainly in the Anderson/Seneca area of the Palmetto State. He reposes in Old Stone Cemetery, Clemson.

The Rev. Mr. Fennel

This is Hardy Curtis Fennel age 50 at the time he supplied the pulpit for Edgefield.He was an Erskine College graduate of 1876. He went from there to Columbia Theological Seminary, finishing in 1879.

The Edgefield Advertiser, 27 August 1902 issue, announces—

The Rev H. C. Fennel, of Lowndesville, S. C., will preach in our Presbyterian church on next Sunday morning, Trenton in the afternoon, and at Johnson in the evening. We trust that he will be greeted with large congregations.

From this announcement, we may infer he was a candidate for the church. The Advertiser wishes “large congregations” at the three location.

Rev. Fennel pastored a three-church charge in Abbeville-Anderson area of South Carolina. He either did not take a call offered or the church declined to call him. He remained pastor of Varennes Presbyterian Church in Anderson, SC, until 1927, the year of his death.

He reposes in Providence Cemetery, Lowndesville, SC.

Fennel Tombstone.jpg

It does seem that Edgefield cannot get a pastor to come. Or is one on the horizon? Next time.


Fennel, Hardy Curtis (1851-1927). FindaGrave ID #150122552 accessed 8 September 2018 from
Fennel, Minnie A. née Lindsay (1852-1933). FindaGrave ID #150122600 accessed 8 September 2018 from Both are interred at Providence Cemetery, Lowndesville, Abbeville County, SC

Wallace, Isaac Emmons “Icie” (1879-1955). FindaGrave ID #60179843 accessed 8 September 2018 from
Wallace, Sarah Phoebe née Sherard (1873-1965). FindaGrave ID #60179901 Accessed 8 September 2018 from
Both interred at Old Stone Church Cemetery, Clemson, Pickens County, SC.

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved

Dr. J. Walter Hill: Village Physician & Presbyterian Mainstay

Birth and Early Life

John Walter Hill, MD (1834-1902), was born in Edgefield County to Theoliphus and Susannah Richardson Hill. Susannah Richardson was a Christian lady of renown in the County. The Edgefield Advertiser, 2 March 1859 issue, records her death. She died 2 February 1859 at her residence in Richardsonville, SC (the “town” is no longer extant, but was at a crossroads near Gassaway Methodist Church, now in Saluda County).


Modern Gassaway United Methodist Church on Historic Site

Her grave is not marked, but her passing is noted in the County newspaper. She was the wife of Theophilus Hill and the mother of 10 children. 

Unpretending and retiring in her manners almost to a fault, her influence was not felt so much abroad as at home. Here in the domestic circle, among her children, servants, and friends, it was strong and abiding, and in the performance of the various and responsible duties of domestic life, she was truly a model of patient industry, prudence and economy. (EA, Obituary)

The household was listed as including the following persons—US Census, 1850 (all born in South Carolina) 

Theophilus Hill M age 60
Susan Hill F age 48
Lodowick Hill M age 29
Rhydon Hill M age 27
Elizabeth Hill F age 19
William Hill M age 18 
Walter Hill M age 16 
Susan Hill F age 15
Thomas Hill M age 11
Benjamin Hill M age 7 

Edgefield County Map 1850 crop

Edgefield County Map 1850 showing Richardsonville above Fruit Hill.

John Walter Hill’s education included the M.D. degree from The University of the City of New York Medical Department, NYC. The Advertiser records several announcements in the late 1850s of his setting up medical practice in Edgefield Village—




Francis Hugh Wardlaw’s Residence in Edgefield, Holmewood

Dr. Hill Married the daughter of Francis Hugh Wardlaw and Ann Gresham Wardlaw (née Lamar) on 4 October 1860. The early part of their married life was shortened by the events at the Secession Convention. Tradition attributes the principal authorship of that text to Hill’s father-in-law, Francis Hugh Wardlaw, Chancellor in State Equity Courts.

“The Late Unpleasantness” and “Medical Practice” Out of State

Dr. Hill was mustered into Confederate Service, 7 December 1861, in Capt. J. Abney’s Co., “Edgefield Reserves,” subsequently Co. A, 22nd SC Infantry. He passed Confederate Army Board of Medical Examination, Charleston, SC, administered by Surgeon R. A. Kinloch (see “Kinloch” below). 

Dr. Hill wrote a letter of resignation 6 June 1862 from 19th SC Infantry, stating: “having suffered for some time with chronic bronchitis, the state of my health will not permit me to discharge efficiently the duties of the office which I hold” (copy of letter on FindaGrave website for Dr. Hill).

The letter was accepted, but he was not sent home. He was reassigned to Camp Jackson, Jackson, MS, with medical service for the 6th Texas Cavalry. With this unit he remained as they retreated east to Alabama until the end of the war. (see “Hambrecht” below)

Return to Edgefield Practice

Dr. Hill picked up his practice in Edgefield after the War. One incident is remarkable in its relief of human suffering, and is no doubt but a sample of many he performed over the years. He authored an article in the 1871 issue of The American Journal of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women and Children in which he recounts a surgery performed on woman in labor for 56 hours prior to summoning him. The woman was a 32 year old African American, 5 feet tall and in good health. He preformed a successful Caesarean section and delivered a boy, Julius Caesar Gray. Both were still living in 1871. 

Although they had no children of their own, Dr. and Mrs. Hill took into their family two relatives of Dr. Hill’s. His nephew, Walter Pearce, and Niece, Sue Pearce, came to  live with them. They appear on the 1880 census in Wise Township in the Hill’s household. Sue was adopted by Dr. and Mrs. Hill. She married Joseph H. Cantelou. On Sue’s death certificate her father is listed as Walter Hill and her mother is Mattie Sue Hill (see “Cantelou” below).

Presbyterian Church

Dr. Hill was a person who was interested in the formation of a church, but did not immediately join. He signed the petition requesting South Carolina Presbytery to organize a Presbyterian Church at the County Seat in 1877. His wife, Martha Hill was the driving force behind the church and was enrolled as one of the four founding members. He later joined and was a supporter of the church. We know that he was a lay speaker. He made the report for the Village Church at the County Presbyterian Conference, July 30, 1893 (see EA).

There was a prayer meeting conducted by Dr. J. W. Hill, the subject assigned for the occasion being that of prayer. …The observations made were concise, comprehensive, and practical and given in such a manner that those present made an application of them to their own hearts.

Messrs. Jacobs, Tompkins, Lake, Cobb, and Hix made some very interesting responses. They hoped that the prayer meetings would in future would be better attended, and expressed themselves as having been greatly benefited and encouraged by the talk made by Dr. Hill. They were happy to see him, though a member and an honored one of another profession, glad to testify to the efficacy and necessity of prayer, and that often the encouragement of a layman was a greater aid to us than the eloquence of an ordained minister. (EA, 3 August 1893).

Dr. Hill also supported the YMCA in the county and spoke for Sunday School  conventions in the area. 

Evergreen Plantation

In 1879, Dr. Hill bought a farm south of Edgefield on Sweetwater Road. The house still stands but is not clearly visible through the trees. Many Edgefield County residents were born at this house since Dr. Hill took expectant nother’s into his house in their final stages of pregnancy. He had several farm hands who worked the plantation as he continued his medical practice in the Village.

Death of First Wife

Mrs. Martha Wardlaw Hill died 31 March 1895. Her loss was great to the church and to her family.

Obit Martha W Hill

Edgefield Advertiser Obituary, 1 April 1895.

Second Marriage & Death

Dr. Hill married again 4 November 1896. She was Susan Margaret Brunson, Edgefield Co., SC. He was 35 years her senior.

Dr. Hill died 13 March 1902 at age 68 years. He was a much loved and appreciated Edgefieldian. His obituary sums up the community’s sentiment—

Dr. Hill, in his social, commercial, religious and professional relations, stood foremost as a citizen and as a Christian. For many years in the past, he had been the chief physician in Edgefield County and distinguished in the medical fraternity throughout the State. For nearly a half century he had ministered to the physical distresses of thousands of people and his name was a comfort and a benediction wherever it was sounded.

It is interesting that Mrs. Susan B. Hill boarded with the Presbyterian pastor after Dr. Hill’s death according to the 1910 Census. 


Cantelou, Mattie Sue “Tweetie” née Hill (1873-1956). FindaGrave ID #89611045 accessed 7 September 2018 from
Cantelou, Joseph H. (1869-1932). FindaGrave ID # 89610993 accessed 7 September 2018 from
Both are interred at East View Cemetery, Edgefield, SC.

Hill, Dr. John Walter (1834-1902). FindaGrave ID #90115619 accessed 7 September 2018 from
Hill, Martha Eliza “Mattie” née Wardlaw (1842-1895). FindaGrave ID #90115706 accessed 7 September 2018 from
Both are interred Edgefield Village Cemetery, Edgefield, SC.
Hill, Susan Margaret née Brunson (1869-1943). FindaGrave ID #92412121 accessed 7 September 2018 from Interred Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery, Edgefield County, SC.

Hambrecht, F.T. & Koste, J.L. (2014) Biographical register of physicians who served the Confederacy in a medical capacity. Unpublished database. From FindaGrave website for R, J. W. Hill.

Kinloch, Dr. Robert Alexander (1826-1891). FindaGrave ID #27591680 accessed 7 September 2018 from N. B. An extensive biography of Kinloch is included on the FindaGrave website. It suffices to say, he was well-qualified as a graduate of University of Pennsylvania Medical Department, Philadelphia, PA and post-graduate work in Paris, London, and Edinburgh. 

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved

Mr. E. M. Stewart: Student Supply for Edgefield 1901-1902

Eugene Marcellus Stewart Student Supply (see “Ministerial Directory” below p. 684).


Edwards Presbyterian Church, Mississippi, where Mr. Stewart was born.

The Advertiser frequently refers to E. M. Stewart as “Pastor” of the Presbyterian Church and as “Rev.” Stewart. However, at this stage he was neither. It is obvious that he was popular. 

Student Supply: Official or Occasional?

Mr. Eugene Marcellus Stewart was a “Middler” in the Seminary in Columbia in 1900. He took off a semester to gain needed pastoral experience. Taking a year off between Middler and Senior years of Seminary became a standard practice later in the 20th Century as an “Internship.” 

There is no mention in the Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church, U. S., 1861-1941, of an official relationship being established between Mr. Stewart and Edgefield Church Group by SC Presbytery. This is not surprising since the Seminary would be responsible for supplying student preachers for rural churches. It would supervise the student’s activities closely since the Seminary’s reputation would be under scrutiny, too. 

First Sermon and Village Reaction

The Advertiser reports on his sermon—

An Excellent Sermon.
The Rev. E. M. Stewart preached in the Presbyterian church last Sabbath morning, as announced in last issue. Those of us who had not had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Stewart, were charmed with him. His discourse and manner, with his extreme affability, outside the pulpit, leave nothing to be desired. We predict that he will be very popular in Edgefield; indeed, he is already. He will preach in the same church again next Sabbath (The Edgefield Advertiser, 3 July issue 1901).

It is obvious from these effusive comments that the community warmed to Stewart, unlike to the previous two preachers. 

County Church Life among the Presbyterians

We do learn a few facts about church life in the county from the Newspaper. The Edgefield Advertiser, 3 July 1901 issue, gives us what a month of preaching looked like in those pre-automobile days. 

Presbyterian Church Directory.
E. M. STEWART, Pastor [sic] 
Preaching each month as follows:
EDGEFIELD—1st Sabbath at 11 a m and 8:30 p m. 3rd Sabbath 11 a m. Sunday school every Sabbath at 10 a m.
TRENTON—2nd Sabbath: 4:30 pm. 4th Sabbath 11 a m.
JOHNSTON—2nd Sabbath 11a m. 4th Sabbath 8:30 p m.
ROPERS—3rd Sabbath 8 p m

We learn that preaching at the Ropers Church was regular during this era. No schedule is provided for High View Church. These two churches are organized churches, but High View gradually falls into disuse since Senator Tillman relocated to Trenton and others on the Old Stage Road could travel to Ropers (5 1/2 miles distant from High View, by the shortest “road”).

Maybe it would be better to consider High View as a Tillman family-associated church. The Tillman Family Cemetery was next to the Church building on one side and the Tillman home place was on the other side. The Advertiser, 6 November 1901 issue, records the following marriage.

Dr. C. A. Teague, of Graniteville, was married yesterday to Miss Margaret Simpson, of Edgefield county at High View church, near Ropers. Miss Simpson is a niece of Senator B. R. Tillman (see “Teague” below).


From this map, we can see Ropers Crossroads (the church was next to the school) and High View Presbyterian Church mislabeled as “Fairview Ch.” Highway 34 is Sweetwater Road.

Return to Seminary, Marriage, Residence in Edgefield

The Edgefield Advertiser, September 25 1901 issue, reveals Mr. Stewart’s true status and future plans. 

A Popular Minister.
Rev. [sic] Eugene Stewart, of the Presbyterian church, will resume his studies at the Presbyterian Theological seminary in Columbia this month, this being his final year before completion of the course. He will, however, continue to serve as pastor of our Presbyterian church, preaching once a month. We are glad that Mr. Stewart will be able to give Edgefield even that much of his presence and service.

In February 1902, Mr. Stewart married Ada Florence Heise, in Columbia, SC. They moved into the Village as boarders with Mrs. Kate Lynch.

The last event recorded in the newspaper is the Easter sermon by Mr. Stewart.

An Eloquent Sermon.
“He is not here but is risen” Luke 25:6—was the theme of the eloquent, and being Easter morn, very appropriate discourse delivered by the Rev. [sic] E. M. Stewart in the Presbyterian church last Sunday. The sermon was delivered with earnestness and tenderness befitting the occasion. Mr. Stewart has an ease and grace of manner and fluency of speech which along with his rare dualities of mind and heart assure for him a bright and useful career in the ministry. Although the Rev. [sic] Eugene M. Stewart will not be here next Sunday morning, he will engage someone to fill his regular appointment in the Presbyterian church.

It is evident that the Editor of the Advertiser along with the town hoped Mr. Stewart would choose to take the pastorate of the Church. This was not to be (for unstated reasons). There is no report in the Newspaper on his last sermon in the Village Church.

Gone to Mississippi; but back to South Carolina for a Funeral

Mr. Stewart chose to return to his native region, the Deep South. He was licensed and ordained by the S. Alabama Presbytery in 1903. He pastored the Fayette Presbyterian Church, Fayette, MS, from 1903-1908.

Thomas Hinds Masonic Lodge Lafayette MS

Until 1917, the Fayette Presbyterian Church met in the lower floor of the Thomas Hinds Masonic Lodge, Fayette, MS. (see Lodge below)

Sadly, Mrs. Stewart died in 1904, age 29. Her remains were returned to the Palmetto State, where her funeral was held and burial was .

The State newspaper, Monday, 18 April 1904 issue, records—

STEWART—The relatives and friends of Rev. and Mrs. E. M. Stewart and Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Heise and family are invited to attend the funeral services of Mrs. E. M. Stewart THIS (Monday) AFTERNOON at 4 o’clock at First Presbyterian Church. Interment in Elmwood Cemetery. [from FindaGrave website]

Rev. Stewart remarried in 1906. 

Edgefield’s Seemingly Pitiable Situation

I guess it appeared Edgefield was unable to obtain a pastor. However, more candidates were to come in 1902, but that must wait for next time. 


Lodge, Thomas Hinds Masonic. Accessed 5 September 2018 from N.B. The church’s relationship with the Lodge was not always amicable. It ended in a  lawsuit with the church moving out to build its own facility in 1917.

Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church, U. S., 1861-1941. Compiled by Rev. E. C. Scott. Published by order of the General assembly. Austin, TX: Press of Von Boeckmann-Jones Co., 1942.

Stewart, Eugene Marcellus. FindaGrave ID #27300729 Accessed 4 September 2018 from Interred Crystal Springs Cemetery, Crystal Springs, Copiah County, MS.
Stewart, Ada Florence née Heise (1875-1904).  1st Wife. FindaGrave ID #97228534 Accessed 4 September 2018 from Interred Elmwood Cemetery, Coulmbia, SC.
Stewart, Sadie née Young (1881-1980). 2nd Wife. FindaGrave ID #51598247 Accessed 4 September 2018 from Interred Young Family Cemetery, Zachary, East Baton Rouge Parish, LA.

Teague, Charles Arthur (1863-1916) FindaGrave ID #91910653. Accessed 5 September 2018 from
Teague, Margaret Jones née Simpson (1876-1961). FindaGrave ID # Accessed 5 September 2018 from
Both interred Ebenezer Cemetery, Trenton, Edgefield County, SC

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved


Rev. E. C. Bailey and Rev. B. P. Reid: Candidates for Edgefield 1901

After Mr. Latimer left in December 1900, several candidates preached in 1901-1902 with a view to becoming pastor. 

Rev. Ephraim Clark Bailey (see “Ministerial Directory” below p. 684).

Rev. Bailey was born March 17, 1869, Edisto Island, SC. He was a graduate of Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC. He also graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary in 1895. He preached in Edgefield on the first Sunday of February 1901. 

Exterior and Interior pictures of Edisto Presbyterian Church

The Edgefield Advertiser, 13 February 1901 issue reports the sermon.

All who heard the Rev E. C. Bailey in our Presbyterian church recently were highly delighted, and it is hoped that this gentleman will be called to preach here the present year.

Yet, Rev. E. C. Bailey did not become the pastor, that is, not yet! He was called later and occupied the pulpit from 1912-1920 (see Ministerial Directory below, p, 26). 

Rev. Benjamin Palmer Reid (see “Ministerial Directory” below p. 601).

The Edgefield Advertiser, 20 March 1901 issue reports—”Rev Mr Reid of Spartanburg preached in our Presbyterian church on Sunday morning.” (see “Reid” below). Reid is identified as from Spartanburg since he moved around quite a bit as a stated supply. He was seeking a pastorate in 1901 since he was stated supply at Woodruff and Mountain Shoals churches at the time. 


Nazareth Presbyterian Church, Moore, SC

Reid was a graduate of Davidson College, BA in 1879. He attended Princeton Theological Seminary 1883-1884, but attended Columbia Theological Seminary 1884-1885. There is no record of his receiving a B.D. from either institution. He was also Stated Clerk of South Carolina from 1900-1901.

There is no report on the sermon in the paper. He may have been too much of an administrator for the rural area. If you remember preaching in the Opera House in the Village was entertainment for the community. For example, the “Drummer Evangelist” and Mr. “Fife,” the “sweet singer,” were popular earlier in the 1890s. This may explain why Edgefield did not call Reid as pastor. Rev. Mayes, the last pastor, was much involved in Presbytery and Synod activity since he was also Stated Clerk of SC Presbytery. 


Bailey, Ephraim Clark. FindaGrave ID #50448727. Accessed 4 September 2018 from
Bailey, Elizabeth “Bessie” née Hanna. FindaGrave ID #50449346 Accessed 4 September 2018 from
Both are interred at the Byrd Cemetery, Timmonsville, Florence County, SC.

Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church, U. S., 1861-1941. Compiled by Rev. E. C. Scott. Published by order of the General assembly. Austin, TX: Press of Von Boeckmann-Jones Co., 1942.

Reid, Benjamin Palmer (1860-1913). FindaGrave ID #20383014 Accessed 5 September 2018 from
Reid, Lelia Teasley (1878-1963). FindaGrave ID #20387813 Accessed 5 September 2018 from
Both are interred at Nazareth Presbyterian Church Cemetery; Moore, Spartanburg County, SC.
Reid, Robert Harden. FindaGrave ID #20382959 accessed 4 September 2018 from
He is interred at Nazareth Presbyterian Church Cemetery; Moore, Spartanburg County, SC. N.B. Father of Benjamin Palmer Reid; R. H. Reid was age 80 in 1901, and hardly a pulpit supply or a candidate for the pastorate. 

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved