Several months or maybe even a year ago, the location of Tucker Methodist Church, now long gone, was discussed on the Cabarrus County Genealogy Society Facebook page. Some source unknown to me locates the church near the northern end of Edgefield Road. As it turns out, that’s true. However, in question of this tradition, I’ve wondered if Tucker Methodist Church might be located on the east side of Rocky River on what was a larger share of George Tucker Senior’s lands?
Many years ago during a visit to the Stanly County library I came across and copied a file of ca. 1808-1817 Yearly Planning reports for the Methodist church. Alongside other area churches was listed “Tuckers Church” with an accounting of its size in terms of membership and tithing. However, and as time and luck has their due, I’ve lost those important copies. Prodded by the online discussion about Tuckers Methodist Church, I made several return trips to the Stanly County library only to learn that the records were no longer there. As a matter of fact, papers of other sorts also seemed to have disappeared…strange!
I’ve recently learned that most of the important records held in the county library have been moved to the newly formed Stanly County History Center. And, on a recent visit the manager, Paul Morrison, helped me find what I was looking for.
At the top of the page is a map I found within a folder of photocopied Methodist records housed at the Stanly County History Center. I don’t think the map is super old and its origin is unclear. It may have been created in the 1960’s by those who donated the records I’m writing about. However, on the map, Tucker’s Church is identified (in yellow) on the western side of Rocky River where tradition has always placed it. And, it’s the same location where today sits the only remnant known as the Tucker Cemetery. It’s there where prominent settlers like Andrew Carriker and Thomas J. Shinn are buried.
Looking at the map above you’ll also see “Love’s” which by location must be present day Love’s Chapel UMC built on the lands once belonging to Jonah Love. This is important because it dates the map to a time after the 1848 founding of Love’s Chapel.
Other records going further back mention “Tucker Methodist” by name. Also, listed is “Love’s Church” over 30 years before the founding of chapel. Before discussing records linked to these two churches, let’s take a look at the following 1820’s map that was used in a feasibility study seeking to convert the Rocky River into a canal. The goal was to increase revenue by diverting the flow of goods from west to east across the state rather than having them shipped out of state by way of the Pee Dee and Catawba rivers.
The map locates (James) “Love’s” near what we now know to be Reed Gold Mine. Also nearby would have been a church James Love founded known as Mount Moriah or Love’s Methodist Church. And, up the river and around the bend is Boger’s Mill. The old Tucker church was surely standing nearby on the south side of the river.
With locations now established, let’s look at some old church records
Of the two documents below, the first is the 1813 Yearly Plan for the Methodist churches within the Rocky River Circuit. You’ll see the names of churches in the circuit along with membership and tithing. Traywicks (now Fountain Hill) and Preslars are to the south of Rocky River and next is Love’s to the north. Beside Love’s is “Allen or Rogers” followed by Tuckers. It all falls into place though I’d like to know more about Allen’s church. Make sure to click on the images and then click on full size to see the documents up close:
The second document in the above is the 22 Feb 1817 minutes of a first quarterly meeting of the Rocky River Circuit. The meeting was attended by Daniel Asbury, presiding elder; Samuel Harrison, itinerant preacher; Henry Ledbetter, local elder; William Threadgill, L. D; George Shankle, L. D.; George Allen, class leader; George Tucker, class leader; Peter Randle, class leader; Benjamin Mabery, class leader; and Samuel Temple, steward. Who are these people?
Daniel Asbury, the presiding elder is prominent in North Carolina history. From NCpedia:
Daniel Asbury, pioneer Methodist preacher, was born in Fairfax County, Va., the son of Thomas and Pettie Jennings Asbury. At the age of sixteen he went to Kentucky, where he was captured by a band of Shawnee Indians while transporting provisions to a frontier army post. He was taken first to the West and then into Canada and finally became a prisoner of the British during the Revolutionary War. Upon release from a Detroit prison, he found his way back to his father’s home in Virginia. There he was converted, entered the traveling ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1786, and was appointed to serve the Amelia Circuit in Virginia.
…Some years after his marriage, Asbury temporarily left the traveling ministry, although he continued to serve as a local preacher. Then in 1803 he returned to the itinerant ranks, and in 1806 was appointed presiding elder of the Swanino (Swannanoa) district. He served a total of fourteen years as a presiding elder. In 1808 he was elected one of eleven representatives of the South Carolina Conference (which included the western half of North Carolina) to the first delegated General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Although Daniel Asbury was not related to Bishop Francis Asbury, they were close friends and collaborators, and the bishop visited Daniel’s home on numerous occasions.
And, as for the itinerant preacher Samuel Harrison, he too led an admirable life. From the History of Methodism in Kentucky:
Samuel Harrison …was born in Rockingham county, Virginia, October the 8th, 1782. His father emigrated from Virginia to Mecklenburg, North Carolina, when his son was only a youth. In 1803, he professed religion and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Before he entered the ministry he married; and believing that God had called him to the sacred office, he laid his family upon the altars of the Church, and became an itinerant.
In 1807, on the 26th of September, he was licensed to preach, and on the 28th of December following was admitted on trial in the South Carolina Conference. After traveling the Rocky River, Montgomery, and Union Circuits, he located. In 1815, he reentered the itinerant field in the same Conference, and remained an active and zealous member until the session of 1818, when he again located. He soon afterward removed to Kentucky, and settled in Mercer County, where for several years he preached as a local preacher.
Among the listing of class leaders is George Tucker. Who is he? It appears that class leaders represented their churches at quarterly circuit meetings. From online: “The class leader was a layman who was a mature disciple of Jesus Christ and whom the leaders of the Methodist society believed could be trusted with guiding others in the pursuit of holiness of heart and life.”
George Tucker, the patriarch in Cabarrus, lived and died along the east side of Rocky River just upstream from Grandsire Jimmy, the Love family patriarch. George Tucker had a son of same name who moved into now southern Stanly County where he too lived along the Rocky River. This George Tucker II is buried in a family cemetery on church grounds predating Kinza Memorial Baptist Church. And lastly, there is George Tucker III who married Esther Carriker who tradition says was the second and much younger wife of Grandsire Jimmy Love.
I don’t believe it! There was yet another James Love who married Mary Tucker and who after serving in the War of 1812 died ca. 1820. Knowing throuh DNA that Grandsire Jimmy Love had a son James who moved to Georgia, I believe that person had also entered land grants near George Tucker II in now southern Stanly County. It’s my belief that James Love who married Mary Tucker is the son of James Junior of Georgia, the son of Grandsire Jimmy. This is where the name James Allison Love comes into the family. I believe Mary Tucker was somehow related to George III and following the death of her husband James A. Love, Mary Tucker Love married second to David Brooks. At that time records show her children Nica, Darling, Pleasant, and Hartwell Spain Love were taken in by their Aunt Esther and Uncle George Tucker III until they came of age and removed to Arkansas in the 1830’s.
So, the question remains, just who was the person named in the 1817 Methodist circuit meeting minutes? George Tucker I was dead and George II was working land miles away in now southern Stanly County. So, it’s my belief that George Tucker III was called to the Methodist church where he and his wife Esther served during their lifetime. But …did George Tucker serve at Tucker Methodist Church or did he serve at Love’s? Could he have served both? To the last question the answer is yes and to the first, …I don’t know! However, George Tucker III and his wife Esther lay at rest at the Love’s or Mt. Moriah burial ground located near the river below the lands of John Reed and Grandsire Jimmy. Theirs are but two of the few proper and legible stones in the cemetery. And as stated earlier, George Tucker, the patriarch, had owned land upstream from the cemetery.
There’s little more to say but please realize that faith is somehow behind the naming of Tucker Methodist Church. Somehow that story was important to the family as none of this would have happened without them.
In closing I’d like to share a little more information about the records you’ve been looking at. Also, the tract of land surrounding or next to Tucker’s Cemetery adjoins Rocky near two mill dams about which an important 1800 petition arose in an effort to protect the fishery habitat. Let’s look first at the records.
The Stanly County History Center houses a broken photocopy series of early Methodist circuit minutes. They have all of the existing records pertaining to Stanly County though there is more pertaining to old Anson County. The collection originated in William Hatcher of early Hopewell Methodist in Anson County. William Hatcher passed the documents through his family to his great-granddaughter Viola Kiker. In April 1965 the minutes were taken to Duke Manuscript Library for permanent storage. It is there, at the David Rubenstein Manuscripts and Rare Books Library where I had the opportunity to see and photograph the originals used in this post.
The following two articles provide greater detail illuminating implications of this collection. Provided to me by Kelly Wooten, one of the staff at the Duke Manuscripts library, a link below the articles will redirect you to cloud based storage of digital images of the collection. Take advantage; the link may go down at some point so please download the records now if any of this is of interest.
Digital images of all the Methodist circuit minutes donated in 1965 by Ms. Viola Kiker: https://duke.box.com/s/c41pcw8z42pk8buf92khapeo8q0ngz3y
The plat map below shows two grants of land with one of which taking in the Tucker Methodist Church site. Accuracy in platting is pretty good though it would be easy to be off enough to change this story. Ultimately I think both tracts passed through the hands of John Melcher, Daniel Boger and then John H. Bost on whose land Bost’s historic mill was built. It’s not directly related to Tucker Church though I can imagine standing there in the early 1800’s, seeing the view and taking in the neighborly dynamics.
(Red Tract) Grant # 3681, Mecklenburg NC, ent. 27 Jan 1786, sur 28 Apr 1787, iss26 Nov 1789. Issued to William Ross, being a large 622-acre tract, from the most southerly point and running the bounds northerly on the east side, the land adjoins George Tucker to the east, David Cagle to the northeast, John Hartsell to the north of the main body, and Douglass Winchester as the line approaches the south bank of Rocky River. Chainbearers: Henry Price, Joseph Howell.
Deed 2-38, Cabarrus NC, 19 Apr 1793. Daniel Bean to William Ross, Junior, both of Cabarrus. Being 662 acres, this was one of four tracts deeded in this conveyance. Wit: David McKinley, William Ross.
Deed 8-219, Cabarrus NC, 1 Nov 1793, rec. Jul 1813. William Ross, Junior to Daniel Boger. This tract again conveyed as one of four, being the same lands as in 2-38 above. Wit: Joseph Shinn, Tobias Klots jurat.
1800 – Petition of citizens to the General Assembly concerning John Melcher’s mill in hopes of granting “him to have his gates constantly shut, as he has removed his damm lower down in the river, and we can never derive any benifit from the fishery, very few [fishes]coming up that distance, and those few can go but about 6 miles higher up the river.
Deed 10-126, Cabarrus NC, 7 Jan 1801. John Melcher to Tobias Klutts, being 869 acres made up of four tracts “Whereon is built a grist and saw mill …as appears by a written instrument of agreement or conveyance from Daniel Boger to the said John Melcher bearing the date 1 Nov 1793. Wit: Daniel Little, Jno. Still.
Deed 12-88, Cabarrus NC, 15 Apr 1833, rec. Jul 1833. Martin Boger of Cabarrus and Peter and Elizabeth Pless in Montgomery County to John H. Bost. An undefined acreage being the lands whereof Daniel Boger died, seized, and possessed on the waters of Rocky River joining the lands of John Biggers heirs, Solomon Karraker, Joseph Howell and others; being the undivided interest of Martin Boger and Elizabeth Pless in the said lands which came to them by the death of their father John Boger. Wit: Jacob Williams, Robert A. Means.
Deed 12-154, Cabarrus NC, 27 Dec 1833, rec. Jan 1834. Tobias Klutts to John H. Bost, being “all of that one half of that tract” on both sides of Rocky River containing 100 acres “together with on half of everything thereunto belonging. Wit” Jacob Williams, Samson Bost.
(Yellow Tract) Grant # 3441, Mecklenburg NC, ent. 22 Oct 1779, sur. 8 Apr 1783, iss. 2 Nov 1784. Issued to DOUGLAS WINCHESTER, being 94 acres located on both sides of Rocky River including his own improvement. From a w. o. north 15 east chs. to b. o., north 38 east 12 chs. to pine, north 9 east 15 chs. (crossing the river along John Finny entry) to b. o., south 67 east 17 chs. (along John Ashly entry) to hic., south 10 chs. (crossing the wagon road and said river) to b. o., south 50 east 7 to w. o. (by James Fleman line), south 67 west 19 chs. ti stake, south 23 east 20 chs. to stake, (crossing the road) to begin. CC: Daniel Winchester, Charls Dorton.
Deed 1-66, Cabarrus NC, Douglas Winchester and wife Elizabeth to George Christman. This deed also includes a tract purchased by Winchester from John Ashley. Jurat: John Hagler.
Deed 4-72, Cabarrus NC, 3 Jun 1799, prv’d Jul 1801, George Christman to Elias Bost. Being the fifty acre portion of this tract lying on the north side of Rocky River. Wit: (in German), Michael Christman.