Friday, September 05, 2014

This Week in Texas Methodist History   September 7

Class List from Caney, September 8, 1834

In one of the most important footnotes in Homer Thrall’s History of Methodism in Texas,
 he says
The original class-paper, in Mr. Kinney’s handwriting, lies before us, dated September 8th,
and contains the following names:  John W. Kinney, Mariah L. Kinney, Lydia A. McHenry, 
John Rabb,
 James Walker, Catherine Walker, Wm. Medford, Elizabeth Medford, John Ingram, John
Amelia Stephenson, B. Babbitt, Dudley J. White, Henry Whitesides, Laura J. Whitesides,
 Rachel Dever, 
Eliza Alford, Elizabeth Scott, Malinda Bargely, Catherine Bargely, Demaris Stephenson,
 Priscilla Chandler,
 Mary Huff,  Thomas Bell, Abigail Day, Bethel White. 
The class had been formed as a result of the camp meeting that Henry Stephenson 
and John Kenney l
ed near Kenney’s residence in what is today northern Austin County (Caney Creek 
forms much of th
e boundary between Austin and Washington Counties.).  Thrall also claims that
 on the Sunday night 
of the meeting the sacrament of Holy Communion was performed for the first time 
in Austin’s Colony.  
The “class” has been explained in a previous post (see post for Aug. 24).   
The identities of the persons 
named is of great interest so this week’s and next week'
Benjamin Babbitt    Admitted OT in Missouri Conference, 1831, appointed to 
Missouri in St. Louis 
District. In 1832 remained OT and appointed to Lexington Circuit in Missouri District. 
Thrall describes 
as “who once travelled in Kentucky.”  Married Sally Allen, in Austin County, 
May 14, 1833 according to
 Austin County Marriage Records.  First land grant was ¼ league on present
 Waller/Grimes County line 
adjacent to Dudley White with whom he seems to have been associated. 
His marriage entitled him to 
another grant which was issued October 3, 1835 on north side of Mill Creek, 
west of Cummins Hacienda.
 (Encompasses western part of present-day Bellville, and would have placed
 him near Thomas and
 James Bell residence.  Supposedly died in Arkansas in 1837.  Cousin of Carlisle
 Babbitt of Kentucky
 Conference and named a son Carlisle.  Rabb letter to TWB October 5, 1850
 says he and Medford 
disgraced themselves eighteen months after camp meeting.  James Stephenson 
(husband of Amelia 
Bell Stephenson) bought Babbitt ¼ league in 1835.
Babbitt is particularly interesting because his two land grants give lie to the 
common assumption 
that Roman Catholicism was a necessary precondition for obtaining land 
grants in Mexican Texas
.  Babbitt received land grants while a member of the Missouri Conference.
Priscilla Chandler (born Christian County, KY, 1805)  Husband, Davis Chandler
, took oath 5 Jan. 1829. 
 His league granted 10 Mar 1831 is adjacent to Kenney’s.  Served in Mill Creek 
Volunteers and died at 
Bastrop c. 1845.  Previous residence Clark Co., Arkansas.  One child born in 
Arkansas March 1827 and the 
next child born in Texas 1831.  On  26 Oct 1835 they sold  300 acres to Lydia
 McHenry and Maria Kenney    
Davis and Prissa Chandler are in Austin’s Register of Families, 1830, arrived 
from AR in 1829, ages 30 and 23, 
one son, one daughter, farmer, White  Davis and Priscilla moved to Kenney’s 
Fort on Brushy Creek, 
Williamson County, founded by Thomas Kenney, brother of John Wesley 
Kenney. Davis and Priscilla
 chandler were in attendance at death of Mrs. Mary Jane Kenney on Dec. 12, 1841.
The land transactions and the close association with the Kenney family are 
particularly interesting 
and raise questions about whether the families knew each other in Kentucky.  
 The sale of 300 acres 
to the sisters, Maria and Lydia show that they were women of independent means,
 probably an i
nheritance from the estate of their parents, Barnabas and Sarah McHenry.
Peter Fullinwider (b. Shelbyville, Ky, 1897, died Huntsville, Tx,  1867)  Presbyterian
 preacher educated at 
Princeton 1827-30. Ordained by New Brunswick Presbytery 1830. Missionary tour in 
Texas 1831. Married 
Belinda McNair  (b, Aug. 9, 1819) in Mississippi on March 18, 1834.  Preached in both
 1834 and 1835 
Caney Creek meetings.  Late 1835 or early 1836 moved to Fort Houston (Palestine).
 Participated in 
Runaway Scrape. Lived in Mississippi 1838-1846 then back to Texas. Organized 
Bethel church at 
present-day Madisonville
John Ingram (b. Green Co., KY, 10 Mar. 1808 d. Fort Concho, TX 1893) To Texas in fall of 1821 from Arkansas (note extreme youth). Spent winter on Brazos then on to Colorado where he stayed until June. Then back to Arkansas and
 when his guardian refused permission, he ran away to Texas with William Rabb and James Gilleland. Lived with Rabb family.  Many, many Indian fights and then much action in Texas Revolution. After Revolution lived in Fayette Co, including some time in Rutersville. Moved to Blanco Co in 1869.  Ingram’s brother Elisha was killed in Surveyor’s Fight with E. M. Cox , father of J. Fred Cox, prominent Methodist preacher.  Married Elizabeth Price 9 Jan. 1838 Austin County Marriage Records 

Kenney, Mariah (b. Frederick, KY 22 March 1801 d. Travis, Austin Co. TX 22 Apr 1875)  Mrs. John W. Kenney, daughter of Barnabas McHenry, one of first circuit riders west of Appalachians.  All copies of her signature on land records and existing letter show that she signed her name “Maria,” not “Mariah,” as Thrall claims.

To be continued next week. 


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