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Utoy Primitive Baptist Church

A New History

By T.J . White


Utoy Primitive Baptist Church

A New History

By T.J. White

Atlanta, Georgia: 2012


For lovers of the past, whoever and wherever they may be,
and for the children of the future age
who will inherit what we choose to leave behind:
may they too treasure our heritage, as we have cherished it.


Ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt?

--A popular mediaeval Latin quotation.

Hwer is Paris and Heleyne,
at weren so bryght and feyre on bleo
Amadas, Tristam and I deyne:
Yseude and alle eo?

Ector wi his scharpe meyne,
And Cesar riche of worldes feo?
Heo beo iglyden ut of e reyne,
So e schef is of e cleo.

--Thomas de Hales,
The Luv Ron [Love Song],
A mediaeval English love poem,
1240 C.E.

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme

--William Shakespeare
Sonnet 55

I feel that a Man may be happy in This World. And I know that This World I s a
World of I magination & Vision. I see Every thing I paint I n This World, but Every
body does not see alike. To the Eyes of a Miser a Guinea is far more beautiful than the
Sun, & a bag worn with the use of Money has more beautiful proportions than a Vine
filled with Grapes. The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the Eyes of others
only a Green thing which stands in the way. Some see Nature all Ridicule & Deformity,
& by these I shall not regulate my proportions; & some scarce see Nature at all. But to
the Eyes of the Man of I magination, Nature is Imagination itself. You certainly
Mistake, when you say that the Visions of Fancy are not to be found in This World. To
Me This World is all One continued Vision of Fancy or Imagination, & I feel Flatterd
when I am told so.

--William Blake
Letter to the Revd. Dr. Trusler,
August 23, 1799












(1833) 77





XIII A LIST OF MEMBERS, 1824-1889 98




















This history would not be possible without the tireless earlier efforts of several persons,
living and dead, among whom are the late S.C. Huff, the late Judge John D. Humphries,
the late Walter G. Cooper, the late Sarah T. Huff, the late Beatrice Speir Bryant, the late
Judge J. Everett Thrift, the late J. Frank Lee, and the late Franklin M. Garrett, the latter
four of whom personally encouraged and supported the author on many an occasion.
Those living persons without whose work and help this present history would not exist
include Jean Bieder, Malcolm McDuffie, Charles Strickland, Dr. Michael A. Ports (a
relative), and Lt. Col. Perry Bennett, U.S. Army historian (a former classmate of the
author, and whose specialty is the Battle of Utoy Creek). This work is indebted to Lt. Col.
Bennett, for introducing to this author the idea of writing a history of Utoy Church, and
for further stimulating the author to accomplishing the task of writing this book. His
knowledge of troop movements in this area in 1864, in particular, has proven invaluable.
This history is also greatly indebted to the selfless efforts and generous aid of Elder Joe
F. Hildreth, retired pastor of Utoy Church, and of his gracious wife Virginia Huffman
Hildreth, who both repeatedly went out of their way to help this writer in the preparation
of this book. This writer is honored to have the privilege of knowing them both.

The author is also indebted to wonderful persons such as his former Georgia History
schoolteacher and mentor, the late T. W. Ted Key, whose seemingly inexhaustible fund
of fascinating stories early awoke and instilled in the author a passionate interest in and
love of the lives of earlier generations.

The author was also profoundly influenced at a youthful age (fortunately before the
advent of computers and video games) by such excellent books as Call it Courage, My
Side of the Mountain, The Light in the Forest, A Separate Peace, A Wrinkle in Time, The
Lord of the Rings, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (et seq.), all of which (and
more) helped to validate his daily growing intuition that there was a much wider and far
greater world of imagination awaiting his discovery, than the mere parochial
confinements, the ruthlessly-enforced social, political, and religious conformity, of his
childhood years. May the God of Heaven and Earth richly bless teachers such as Ted
Key, and the writers of books such as these, and may He never cease to send them to us.
They are the salvation of many an intellectually- or emotionally-starved youth.



[To be written]


Prologue: Possible Origin of the Name Utoy

The Utoy Primitive Baptist Church and Cemetery exist near several branches of a creek
by the same name, Utoy Creek, which creek has borne that name for only God knows
how long. This place name, as the late Atlanta historian Franklin M. Garrett wisely
cautioned, may have been an Indian name, but we cannot know this for certain:

It is interesting to note that Utoy Creek was called by that name in 1823. The
name is doubtless considerably older, but how much older is not known. It may be
of Indian origin. However, in making this cautious assertion, the writer is aware
of a tendency to credit the Indians, often erroneously, with the origination of
names to which no other definite origin can be assigned.

It may well have been derived from the Muscogee (or Creek Indian) word Upatoi
possibly meaning furthest out, or on the fringe.
An Indian town of that name once
existed near Columbus, Georgia. To this day, it is still a small suburb of that city. A small
stream bearing that name still exists there also.
Again, however, we simply cannot
know this for certain.

South Utoy Creek as it looks now, from inside Cascade Springs Nature Preserve,
Atlanta. This is near the site where the old Willis Mill once stood. (Author photo)


The paradise that all of North Georgia once was, and which subsequent development
has mostly erased forever. Here, a flame azalea frames a view of a hidden woodland
pond in which a wild duck can be seen swimming. This is the Reynolds Memorial
Nature Preserve in Clayton County, Georgia. (Author photo)

Woodland scenes near the top of the second-highest hill in all of Clayton County,
Georgia, at the Reynolds Memorial Nature Preserve. Also observable is a small
footpath, of the type that the native peoples would have made and known. Such
Indian footpaths as this later became the routes which most of North Georgias early
roads followed. (Author photos)


The First I nhabitants

There is evidence to suggest that certain of the ancient native peoples known as the
Archaic Indians lived in the area that later became De Kalb and Fulton Counties as
early as circa 6000 BCE, specifically in the area now known as the East Palisades (now
part of the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area), as well as the more southerly
Soapstone Ridge area (somewhat later).
Over a period of many centuries, these early
Natives gradually evolved into what is now called the Woodland culture, and it was this
Woodland culture that inhabited this area at the much later time when a separate early
Hopewell (Mound Builder) culture moved in, building a temple mound opposite the
confluence of Peachtree Creek and the Chattahoochee River. Part of a transitional culture
that exhibited traits of both the earliest Hopewell and Mississippian cultures, the later
Hopewells controlled the flood plain of the Chattahoochee for miles in both directions,
including all of present-day De Kalb and Fulton Counties. The Muscogee or Creek
Indians, generally believed to be descended from the later Hopewell culture, were
known to inhabit a village called Standing Peachtree, near the ancient Hopewell temple
mound, in the years immediately prior to the American Revolution.

Springtime woodland view at what is now Reynolds Memorial Nature Preserve in
Clayton County, Georgia. I n the foreground can be observed several blossoms of the
shrub known variously as Sweet shrub or Carolina Allspice. (Author photo)


Peachtree Creek near its junction with the Chattahoochee River. The village of
Standing Peachtree would have been at the top of the knoll on the right in the lower
photo (on the left in the top photo). (Author photos)


(Above:) The famous Catlin sketch
of a Muscogee (Creek) family in
period costume, from the early
Nineteenth Century, about the time
these peoples first came into
permanent contact with Europeans.

(Left) An historical photograph of a
Seminole couple in period costume.
The Seminole are usually
considered to be a southern branch
of the Muscogee (or Creeks).


In the year 1813, during the midst of Americas War of 1812 with Great Britain, an
Indian trail running from Suwanee to Standing Peachtree was upgraded into a proper road
by local Georgians, who mostly resided in what would soon become Gwinnett County.
With this task completed, Lieutenant George Rockingham Gilmer left Fort Daniel at
Hog Mountain (now Norcross, in present-day Gwinnett County), traveled south on this
new Peachtree Road, and completed Fort Peachtree on a small promontory near the
previously-existing village, overlooking the Chattahoochee. This fort was later renamed
Fort Gilmer, in honor of its builder.
(Gilmer was later to become Georgias
governor.) It was the first construction of European origin in what is now Atlanta and
Fulton County. At the time the fort was built, this area was the western edge of America's
frontier, and was not yet even a part of the State of Georgia.

European civilization probably first appeared in this area in the form of explorers such as
Gilmer, or in the form of occasional settler families (squatters, really, since their presence
in this area was illegal). The State Government of Georgia and many early churches
(including Utoy) are in fact known to have regularly fulminated against such squatters.
(This was mainly due to the fact that Indian Territories often served as convenient
places of refuge for outlaws, criminals, and other undesirables considered immoral for
one reason or anotherpersons the State of Georgia could not easily apprehend.) Less
likely is the possibility that European civilization may have also appeared in this area in
the form of Christian missionaries to the Muscogee (or Creek) Nation, in the early
decades of the Nineteenth Century. We cannot say this for certain, however, due to a
lamentable lack of evidence. We do know, though, that hardy Baptist missionaries did
indeed establish missions to the Creek Indians, but in what is now Alabama:

Late in 1817, the Mississippi Society for Baptist Missions dispatched Thomas
Mercer and Benjamin Davis to the Creek Nation to determine what could be done
to introduce the gospel and establish schools among them. Arriving at
Tuckabatchee, the missionaries obtained the permission of Big Warrior, the head
chief of the Upper Creeks, to preach and to establish a school. Tuckabatchee was
a major Creek town located on the west bank of the Tallapoosa River south of
Tallassee in present Elmore County. The town was the site of the Creek annual
council where Tecumseh made his famous speech in September 1811 urging the
Creeks to take up arms against the whites. The missionaries then moved to a
settlement fifteen miles east where they preached to a mixed crowd of Creeks,
whites, and African Creeks. On November 12, 1817, they baptized seven African
Creeks who formed the first church in the Creek Nation.

This was during the time of a great revival in religion, known subsequently as the
Second Great Awakening, andburning with missionary zeal--there was a fervent
desire among Christian Americans to expand the Gospel to the frontier, much as they
would later do in Polynesia some fifty or so years on (completely and permanently
altering that once free-wheeling and innocent culture).


Magnificent vistas of whitewater rapids on Sweetwater Creek, in Douglas County in
North Georgia, near where the creek empties into the Chattahoochee River, exactly
opposite from where Utoy Creek also joins the Chattahoochee. (Author photos)

The nearest historically-documented Muscogee village (to Utoy Church) was called
Sandtown, and lay along a Creek Indian pathway, later to be called the Sandtown
Road, in what was then De Kalb County. Reflecting a growing trend, it has been
renamed in recent years as Cascade Road SW, in Atlanta.
Conformable to common
Muscogee practice in locating their settlements, their villages (including Sandtown)
usually lay in cleared river valleys, with plentiful nearby water sources, and good
bottomland farmlands. Also nearby was a good supply of fish, deer, turkey, and other
game for hunting. The native Muscogee people who initially lived here were ordinarily
peaceful, and primarily hunted, fished, and farmed to provide food for their families.

We may well ask what this new land (and life) was like for the first European-American
settlers who moved into this area we now know as Atlanta and Fulton County.

The Reverend William Jasper Cotter, who lived in this part of Georgia in the latter part of
the Nineteenth Century, has fortunately recorded for us what this area was once like,
when European-Americans first began to penetrate the literal wilderness this area once
was. His fascinating description is worth repeating here at some length, because that it is
such a rare and veritable window in time. Had we a hundred other similar accounts from
this difficult-to-document time and place, this writer would repeat them all here,

After the War of 1812, my father drifted to Georgia and embarked in trading with
the Indians with some success. He and his partner were neighbor boys; different
in almost every respect, except David and Jonathan were not better friends. My
father had great powers of endurance and complete control of his appetites. I
never saw him the least intoxicated. He could sleep anywhere and eat almost
anything. Smith was the opposite, dainty in his eating and particular about his
sleeping. At one time the fare was too bad for him. There was a place where the
prospect was better. He said: "Cotter, things look better at [ ]. Let us call for a
nice piece of meat and cabbage and a chicken. I intend to watch how it is
prepared." The meat and cabbage were nicely washed and put into the dinner pot;
and so was the chicken dressed, and all started off cooking nicely. He took his
partner out to tell him how well everything was going on and said he could hardly
wait for it to get done. Back he went; and the two women with a stick made hair
and dust fly from the dog's back, saying, "Skeener!" (their word for "Get out!")
and then stirred the cabbage with the stick. It nearly killed Smith. Again he said to
his friend: "Did you see that dirty thing hit the dog and stir the cabbage? I couldn't
eat a mouthful." He declined meat and cabbage, but did his duty to the chicken.
Though he was doing well, there was one back at home in his mind and heart. She
afterwards became his life partner. The time came when Smith and my father
separated. They shed tears then and remained dear friends as long as they lived,
and a hundred miles was a short distance to go to visit each other. Smith settled in
Middle Tennessee, was a captain in the war of Texas in 1836 and, I think, was a
prisoner in a dungeon in the City of Mexico when the war ended. The authorities
at Washington sent Gen. Waddie Thompson, of South Carolina, with papers of
authority to have the prisoners liberated. I heard him say that before going to a

hotel or looking after baggage he went at once and saw the iron bolts drawn and
the doors opened and grasped the hands of his dear countrymen, saying to them:
"I have passports for you to go home with me." He said it was the gladdest hour

Georgias storied Chattahoochee River in flood stage, near the town of
Franklin, in Heard County (about ten miles north of Grayson Bend), Spring,
2009. (photo courtesy of J ack Davis)

of his life, and it made every one glad to hear him tell it. I may allude to Captain
Smith again.

Cotter continued and extended the business. At that time there was a great trade
center at Grayson Bend, on the Chattahoochee River, fifteen miles above
LaGrange. From the mouth of Peachtree Creek, near where the city of Atlanta is,
he shipped in large canoes a cargo of goods. The canoes were worked by strong
negroes and Indians. The river was at flood tide, out of banks, which were
bordered with cane-brakes, a home for wild beasts. Great gangs of wild turkeys
flew over their heads, filling the air with the whir of their wings. The dangerous
voyage was safely made, but a great calamity came at the last moment. In turning
the canoes in the bend of the river to land, the whole cargo capsized, and

everything was lost. The crew escaped safely and, in the best way they could,
made their way back home, going pretty much over what is now the line of the
West Point Railroad [i.e., along present-day U.S. Highway 29].

Crystal-clear waters
in a North Georgia
woodland stream,
exactly as was
described by the
Reverend Cotter.
(Author photo)

Grayson's Bend had its name from Sam Grayson, the most widely known man in
all that part of the country up and down the Chattahoochee and then to the white
settlements in the eastern part of the State. Grayson's trails led out in every
direction and are still spoken of by the old people of Troup and other counties. I
don't know that Sam Grayson had Indian blood in him. I think not. But he had
great influence over them and over the whites also. He was a man of honor, most
hospitable, and kept an open and orderly house. My father had great respect for
Sam Grayson. After the country was settled, the place was known as the Colonel
Townes place, named for the father of George W. B. Townes, Georgia's
Chesterfieldian Governor.

I saw that interesting part of the State when all was newwaters in the creeks and
rivers as clear as crystal; rich valleys, hills, and mountains covered with a thick
forest; a land of beautiful flowerswhite, pink, yellow, and red honey-suckles,

redwood and dogwood blossoms, wild roses, and others. The ground was covered
with violets, sweet williams, and other beauties. There was plenty of wild game
deer, turkey, and other varieties. When first seen, all was in lovely, beautiful
spring, and I was nine years old.

This is how North Georgia would have appeared to the Rev. Cotter and other
early settlers who founded De Kalb and Fulton Countiesreplete with
dogwood, wild azalea, and other multicolored blossoms every Springtime. This
photo was taken at Clayton Countys Reynolds Memorial Nature Preserve.
(Author photo)

Many and varied were the troubles encountered with the wild animals, bears,
panthers, and wolves, and the smaller ones, wildcats, coons, and foxes. I never
saw a bear in the woods; but they were numerous, and many were killed. I saw a
panther three hundred yards from the house. The cattle in the lane scented it and
were excited. Panthers killed colts, springing from the limb of a tree. I have often
seen the prints of their claws on a colt's back and sometimes on grown horses.
Wolves howled in hearing on the mountain, but never did much mischief. The
smaller animals gave the trouble. Standing in the yard, we could hear the foxes
barking; and coons were nearly as bad as hogs in destroying corn. They began on
it before it was in roasting ear. The Indians had no dogs, but small curs, which
were of little account. There were no hounds. Colonel Carter's overseer brought

two from Milledgeville, and Mr. Black got some from Buncombe, North

A large dogwood tree at Utoy Churchyard. (Author photo)

We soon trained them to hunt together; and in the winter and spring we caught
twenty-seven foxes, four wildcats, and quite a number of coons. It was the gray
fox, and usually the chase was fun. If started by eight o'clock, it was caught by
twelve; if at four o'clock in the morning, it was caught a little after sunup. We
never saw a red fox there. Once in a while the dogs were out all night, and we did
not know what they were after. When they caught a fox they would lie down
around it for several hours, then one after another would leave. Old Buncombe
was the last to go in the afternoon. Walking around the fox, he would howl as
loud as he could and start for home with a look of disappointment. He was a large,
leopard-colored dog and was the leader of the pack. While the others stayed, he
was always nearest the dead fox. Only hunters know the meaning of "as cunning
as a fox," when, far ahead of the dogs, he runs back on logs, runs a little way up
trees and from log to log, then jumps as far as he can and often eludes his
pursuers. The chase was hard on horses. Wildcats can run up a tree and are
usually shot. Coon-hunting involves hard work as well as lots of fun. Late one
fall, while gathering corn about dark, a company of boys came for a coon hunt;
and, grabbing a handful of bread and meat, I went with them. Early in the night
we treed a coon up one of the largest poplars on the creek. It would never do to
give up. The tree had to come down. We sent home for help. White boys and
Negroes came with axes and supper. It was about daylight when the tree fell. We
held the dogs, that they might not be killed by the tree. The coon escaped, crossed

the creek, and ran up a small tree. We cut it down in twenty minutes and got the
coon. It was sunup then. An old coon can easily whip a young dog and is a full
match for an old dog.

On that spot I had a most fearful encounter with a large rattlesnake, alone with a
good dog that killed nearly every snake that he found. He seized them with his
teeth and shook them to death in a little time. It was a sand bar barren of weeds.
The rattler was coiled ready to strike. I saw his eyes and realized the expression,
"as mad as a rattlesnake." Had he not been in his coil, the dog would have seized
him, but he knew the snake could strike first and so held off. It would never do for
a boy to let such a snake live, and with a ten-foot fence rail the blow was struck
that turned the tide of battle.

A beautiful Springtime Photo of a small, quiet woodland pond at Clayton
Countys Reynolds Memorial Nature Preserve. All of North Georgia once
looked like this. (Author photo)

That year's hunting thinned out the wildcats, coons, foxes, minks, skunks,
opossums, and other varmints that troubled us. A traveler told us how to catch
wild turkeys. Next day we followed instructions. With an ax and a hoe we cut
down some little pines, dug a trench, and made a pen so that a turkey would come

up in the middle of the pen and have to look down in order to get out. This the
frightened bird would not do, but would hold his head high. I baited the trench
with corn and soon caught two large turkeys and proudly carried them home.
Squirrels and opossums were in great abundance. Great fat opossums were
dressed, put on the roof of the smokehouse during a frosty night, and the next day
cooked with potatoes, making a dish fit for a king or an American sovereign.

In the memorable year 1828, War-hero General Andrew Andy Jackson of Tennessee
(1767-1845) was elected President of the United States, reflecting a growing trend among
European-Americans of hostility, fear, and jealousy toward the native peoples
Popularly known as
an Indian Fighter,
Jackson wasted little
time in deciding to
remove forever the
troublesome Indians
(mainly from
Georgia, Alabama,
and Mississippi), to
make room for more
white settlers who
were moving to states
like Georgia,
Alabama, and
Tennessee, and who
were constantly
clamoring for new
land to establish
. This was a
disaster in many
for the hapless and
Muscogee and

The official White House portrait of General and President
Andrew J ackson. (This photo is in the public domain.)

Poor farming practices among the European-Americans, inherited from medieval Europe,
meant that previously cleared acreage was soon exhausted and unproductive for farming.
This necessitated the constant acquisition of new lands
. In blatant violation of every
previously existing treaty between the natives and the United States government,

President Jackson, following an idea first promulgated by Jefferson, ordered the United
States Army to forcibly remove the natives from their homes and ancestral lands, to
other, less desirable lands in the Kansas and Oklahoma territories, west of the Mississippi

The Muscogee more or less peacefully departed from this area after 1821, and were
mostly gone by 1825, when the last of their lands in Georgia were signed away at Indian
Springs by Chief William McIntosh, who was quickly assassinated for his troubles. The
Cherokee, however, who remained behind much longer, immediately protested, and filed
a formal complaint in the Georgia courts.
Notably, their action made it all the way to
the United States Supreme Court, which declined to rule on the merits, holding instead
thataccording to the intent of the Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution--the
Cherokee did not constitute a foreign power, but rather were in the position of ward to
guardian, vis--vis the United States Government. Thus it was that the hapless Cherokee,
the last of their brethren to live in Georgia, were forcibly rounded up and removed by the
U.S. Army, in what has since become known as the infamous 1838 Trail of Tears.

Some of these Natives, however,
escaped notice and managed to
remain behind, for at least a few
years after most of their brethren
had departed for the West: the
above-mentioned historian
Franklin M. Garrett quoted an
earlier story by Atlanta historian
Sarah T. Huff in his magnum
opus, Atlanta and Environs, to
the effect that even in the late
1820s, pioneer settler and early
Utoy Church member William
W. White would occasionally
spot a stray Indian or two
peeping from around the corner
of his (Whites) smokehouse.
Garrett further relates the
tradition that these same Indians
would often help themselves to
any tools or other farm
implements that happened to be
lying about Mr. Whites farm:

The pilfering Indians fretted him
very much when they came from
their quarters at Sandtown and were forever peeping around the smokehouse and
slyly picking up any useful articles lying around. His wife was afraid of them.


This should not be taken, however, to evince any sinister motives on the part of the Creek
Indians; the concept of private ownership of personal possessions probably had not yet
taken hold in their collective psyche or culture.

In addition, famed Georgia History schoolteacher T. W. Ted Key (twice Georgias
Teacher of the Year, an inductee of the Georgia Educator Hall of Fame, and an expert
on Creek Indian lore) has related a story told to him personally many years ago, when he
himself was a very young man: the story was told to him by a then-elderly Georgia lady.
According to Keys informant, back when she was a small girl (presumably back in the
1880s), elderly Creek Indian men would occasionally make the arduous trek from
Oklahoma back to Georgia, on foot, to die in the Grandfather Land (as they put it).
According to
Key, his
informant also
told him that even
as late as the
latter part of the
Century, white
farmers and
hunters would
stumble upon the
skeletons of these
deceased Creek
Indians, in
isolated spots of
the forest, where
they had simply
lain down in the
forests of Georgia
(their ancestral
homeland) to die.
Reports also exist
of some of these
same wandering
wraiths of elderly
Native Americans
startling a settler
family in Georgia,
by knocking on
their cabin doors,
late of an evening, to beg a scrap of food, to assuage their starvation. Their plight must
have been pitiful indeed. Most of the time (to their credit), the European-American

families would indeed feed these starving elderly Indians, and then send them on their

Reenactors Ray Muse (left) and the late Ted Key (right), in authentic early Nineteenth
Century Muscogee (Creek) costume, at the April 2010 Wild Azalea Festival at Clayton
Countys Reynolds Memorial Nature Preserve. (Author photo, with the gracious
permission of Messrs. Muse and Key.)

Starting in 1805, the State of Georgia held a series of what were called land lotteries to
distribute the lands stolen from the Native Americans. These lotteries lasted over a period
of several years, until the final one in 1833. Significantly, Georgia was the only state in
the Union ever to do such a thing. Former soldiers from the Revolutionary War and War
of 1812 were given double land lot grants in the territory taken from the Indians.
five counties initially formed out of the 1821 land lottery were Henry, Fayette, Monroe,
Houston, and Dooly Counties.
Gwinnett and Walton Counties had been created a few
years earlier, in 1818.
These counties were mostly named for U.S. Presidents or heroes
of the Revolution, men such as James Monroe, Patrick Henry, Button Gwinnett, George
Walton, or the Marquis de la Fayette.


1839 map of De Kalb County, Georgia. Observable are the towns of Utoy, Whitehall,
Sandtown, Standing Peachtree, Decatur, and Campbellton. What became Fulton
County in 1853 were districts 14, 17, and 6, of the western part of De Kalb.

Barely a year later, in December 1822, De Kalb County was carved out of the northern
portions of Henry and Fayette Counties, and also included a fringe of what had been the
large Gwinnett County to the northeast. A new town, Decatur, named for a naval hero of
the War of 1812, was established as the seat of the new county of De Kalb. This new
county had itself been named for the Baron Johann de Kalb who had so ably assisted the
Anglo-American colonies in their struggle for Independence.
This new county of De
Kalb included the area that later became Fulton County (in 1853), and of course included
the Utoy Settlement and Utoy Church. For many decades around this time, Utoy
settlement actually had its own post office, established in March 1836, and was thus a
functioning town in most respects.

One of the first acts of the new De Kalb County government was to build a more direct
route from the town of Decatur to what was now called Fort Gilmer and nearby
Montgomery's Ferry. Again enlarging upon existing Indian trails, two new roads were
constructed, including what was the first road to be built connecting lower De
Kalb/Fulton to Decatur, and to the Peachtree Road. This new road was called the

Sandtown Road (mentioned above), because it connected Decatur with the
aforementioned Creek Indian village of Sandtown.
Part of it is now called Cascade
Road SW, one of the oldest in the area.

This how all roads in Georgia once looked. This particular road is in what is now the
Reynolds Memorial Nature Preserve in Clayton County. (Author photo)

I t is difficult to tell it now, but this depression in the ground in the middle of the photo
is actually the remains of what was once a road connecting the old Sandtown Road
(now Cascade Road SW) with the old Herrings Mill (long since vanished), which mill
once stood on a branch of North Utoy Creek about a mile or so north of what is now
Cascade Road. This part of the old road sits on property that is now part of Atlantas
J ohn A. White Park. (Author photo)

About halfway between Decatur and the village at Sandtown, a small hamlet began to
form at the intersection of the Sandtown and Newnan Roads (now Cascade Road and Lee
Street). In 1835, an enterprising man named Charner Humphries (1795-1855) had arrived
from South Carolina, and built a two-storey, clapboard covered, whitewashed home with
a two-storey front porch, that served as a tavern, inn, and residence for his large family.
With the addition of a post office, "Whitehall" (as the hamlet was called, after the palace
in England) became large enough to have its own political designation as an election
district, and also served as the parade ground for the local militia company. It was later
re-named West End, again, after a location in England.


In 1931, Atlanta historian Franklin
Miller Garrett and artist and writer
Wilbur George Kurtz together paid a
prescient visit to J eremiah Silas Gilbert
(1839-1932) at his Atlanta home (see
right, and following page), and
fortunately recorded much of what the
aged Mr. Gilbert had to say about the
Whitehall Tavern, and about his
grandfather Charner Humphries.
Particularly worth quoting here are Mr.
Gilberts comments (as filtered through
Mr. Kurtzs florid pen) about daily life
at the Tavern and vicinity (in the 1840s
and 1850s):

Muster day [of the local militia] was the big event at the tavern. This was an
annual affair, where the yokelry of all the county districts were called together by
the major commanding the militia. The functionary who held the county muster at
Whitehall was Major Alexander Ratteree. The summons having been issued, the
able bodied male citizens came trooping in, with their flint lock fowling pieces,
and [were] usually primed for a frolic [i.e., slightly inebriated]. Many horses
decorated the rack in front of the big white tavern. Actual drill in the manual of
arms lasted about two hours, but this was only a beginning. Trials of
marksmanship were then held, with a prize of a yearling cow to the winner. The
cowwhoever won itwas then offered up as a sacrifice to the collective
appetites of the assemblage, for it was straightway slaughtered, cooked and
served, together with the accompanying comestibles [foods], all washed down by
copious potations [beverages], not so poetic but more potent than brown October
ale. Indeed the whiskey barrel was a common institution at such places. Charner
[Humphries] kept one on tap in the rear of the store, where cash customers were
entitled to drinks on the house, but it was considered good etiquette for
strangers or occasional visitors, to leave a nickel or dime on the barrel head after


(Previous page: the circa 1865 farmhouse of J eremiah Silas Gilbert. This rare
and priceless house is one of the last-surviving farmhouses still standing inside
the city limits of Atlanta, at its original location. Notice also the giant ancient
oak trees. Mr. Gilberts mother is buried in Utoy Churchyard. Author photos.)

Drilling, marksmanship and feasting were followed by more diverting
entertainment. Most districts had a bully, or one gifted with alleged fistic prowess,
and the day was counted lost if somebody didnt get well pounded and bruised up
in the ringwhich was literally a ring of cheering and betting spectators, and not
a squared circle of rope. Most everybody had a dog, and when all the pugilistic
entries were either victors or vanquished, the canine belligerents were cheered on
by the owners or partisans. That these dog battles were often extemporaneous
detracted not one whit from the enjoyment of the crowd. The militia officers did
not at all times retain the respect of the rural soldiery; Mr. Gilbert recalled that at
one of the musterings the assembled militiamen, having taken umbrage at
something said or done by Major Ratteree, ran him off the place.

On ordinary days the chief event was the arrival of the mail coach from
Lawrenceville or Newnan. The tavern was a famous stop on this route. The four-
horse team would dash up to the tavern; the driver would heave overboard the
mail bags, and descend from his high seat, and impart the latest news to the
foregathered denizens of the locality. Fresh horses were brought up from the
stable to replace the tired animals that knew where the watering trough was

In addition to the extended Gilbert Family from South Carolina, which apparently had
already resided in the area for several years,
a large group of families migrated en
masse from Franklin County, Georgia to what was then De Kalb County, arriving on
November 27th 1822. These families included the Baker, Barge, Cash, Fain, Ferguson,
Holbrook, Oliver, Peacock, Redwine, Smith, Stone, Suttles, and Willis families. Aged
Revolutionary War veteran William Suttles led the large group. The Suttles family
mostly settled in the area now known as the "Ben Hill" section of SW Atlanta, around the
area where Mt. Gilead Methodist Church would be established two short years later.
William Suttles himself, however, along with his wife, resided with his widowed
daughter Margaret Peggy Willis, near her youngest son Joseph Willis Jr., in the
neighborhood of Utoy Church and Willis Grist Mill.
Other families, such as the
Donehoo, Hendon, Hornsby, White, and Wilson families arrived shortly afterward.

As indicated above by the Reverend Cotter, this area was still a literal wilderness, and
remained so for many decades, even after the growing community of European-American
settlers had begun to carve farmsteads out of the vast and seemingly never-ending
hardwood forest. As mentioned, the first roads of these European-American settlers
consisted initially of what had previously been the trading paths of the Muscogee and
The State of Georgia quickly commissioned several new roads through the
new territory, including one all the way from Augusta on the Savannah River, over to the

Chattahoochee River, where sat the former Indian village of Sandtown.
local citizens, including several now buried at Utoy Churchyard, were commissioned as
Road Commissioners to supervise the construction of these new roads through what is
now De Kalb and Fulton Counties. William Willis, Henry M. White, and Joel Herring
were among the members of Utoy Church who served in this capacity.
We will
mention some of them later.

The first settlers of De Kalb County, including that portion which became Fulton in 1853,
were (as Garrett informs us) a plain people, primarily of English, Scotch and Irish

They came mostly from Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, particularly
the latter. Some of the older northeastern counties of Georgia sent fairly large
contingents of pioneers. Franklin County [see above] was quite prolific in this
respect, furnishing many of the first families to settle in southwestern De Kalb,
now southwestern Fulton County.

1840s-era Daguerreotype
of a nattily-dressed small
boy. The members of
Utoy Church in this
period would have been
familiar with this style of
clothing and type of


(left) An 1840s-period
daguerreotype of an elegantly-
dressed young lady, representing
an ideal to which all the young
women of Utoy Church would
have aspired.

For the most part, Garrett says,
continuing, the pioneers were
poor and meagerly educated, but
were generally industrious and
temperate, qualities needed in the
wilderness they sought to

Their original homes were usually
log cabins, owner built and
occupied. The unit of land
ownership was, primarily, one
land lot of 202 acres, although holdings of two to five land lots were not rare
and fractional holdings were numerous. The individual ownership of slaves was
small. Possession of a dozen or more was the exception rather than the rule and
the majority of the early citizens, down to the time of the Emancipation
Proclamation, owned none, or at the most, one or two house servants. Large
plantations, such as were known in the older East and Middle Georgia counties,
did not exist in early De Kalb.

The newly-arrived settlers, being a God-fearing people, quickly established several
churches in this area: Macedonia Primitive Baptist in De Kalb County, on July 30
Nancy Creek Primitive Baptist, Mt. Gilead Methodist, and Utoy Primitive Baptist in
1824, also in De Kalb County, though the latter two were in that portion which later
became Fulton; Hardman Primitive Baptist in Northeastern De Kalb, in 1825; Prospect
Methodist and Mt. Zion Methodist in what was then original De Kalb County, in 1828.
Many more soon followed.
Scions of the same Gilbert family that originally
worshipped at Utoy Baptist, later worshipped at Mt. Zion Methodist, and lie buried in the
churchyard there.

We may well enquire as to what ordinary life was like for these early settlers, since their
manner of living differed so greatly from our own. We must remind ourselves that radio,
television, computers, video games, professional sports, and all the other amenities and
entertainments we now take so much for granted, simply did not exist at all back then,

and that those people truly were responsible for inventing their own entertainment and
livelihoods. Garrett fortunately records for us some of this detail:

Articles used in everyday life, with the exceptions of coffee, salt and sugar, were
made at home. The early settlers wove and dyed the cloth from which they made
their clothes; they tanned leather and made their own shoes. For the most part
they made their own tools, wagons and harness, while itinerant hatters supplied
most of the headgear.

(This page and following page: the original 1839 log cabin kitchen from the Stately
Oaks Plantation originally built by Whitmell Phillips Allen in what was then Fayette
County. The antebellum house and kitchen are now located in historic J onesboro,
Georgia. Author photos.)


This would have been a familiar sight to many a Georgian in the period before
the Civil Warthe much loved plantation kitchen, from which many a welcome
aroma must have wafted!

Cooking was done in pots, ovens and skillets before large open fireplaces, wide
and high enough to receive large logs. The water supply came chiefly from
springs [see below], sometimes quite a distance from the house. The digging of
wells was rarely attempted until later years.

Light was made by
torch pine or from
homemade tallow
candles. There were no
friction matches and
people borrowed fire
from each other or
produced it by means
of flint, steel and

Travel, by foot,
horseback, or wagon,
was slow and laborious
over the trails that
served for roads.
Amusements were
confined mostly to
dancing, quiltings, log
rollings, shooting
matches, gander pulling
and horse racing.

Most of these forms of entertainment will be of at least some level of familiarity to most
modern readers, except for the gander pulling, and so perhaps a little explanation is in

A recently dispatched gander was suspended from a wooden bar, supported by two
upright wooden poles about eight or nine feet high. This gander would have had the
feathers plucked from his head and neck, which were then thoroughly greased. After
paying a small fee, each contestant, who was mounted on his horse, galloped at full speed
between the upright poles, and endeavored to grasp the gander's head and pluck it from
the body. Because of the rapid rate of travel, and the slick head of the animal, this was no
easy feat. The fortunate contestant had the gander for his reward. This writer understands
that the winner was usually expected to offer his prize to the assembled crowd, who
would then barbecue the gander, and so most everyone present would have at least a
small piece of the deliciously cooked bird.

In 1924, when he was a very old man, Francis Marion White (1827-1925) was fortunately
interviewed by a newspaper reporter with the Atlanta Journal regarding his (Whites)
early experiences in Atlanta as a young man. Francis M. White(below), a son of William
Wilson and Elizabeth Willis White (mentioned both above and afterward), and a
grandson and great-grandson of charter members of Utoy Church, described for the
newspaper reporter an instance of the gander pulling contest:

Atlanta was a lively little place
even under those other names,"
this old settler assures us. "Right
around where the big post office is
now was a great spring called
Walton Springs, and we used to
have barbecues there." "Yes," he
went on, in answer to a question,
"the big men came and frolicked
there with us youngsters--the
mayor and the governor too."

"Oh yes--besides the barbecues,
we used to have road tournaments
down Marietta Street. One of the
stunts was to hang a gander head-
down on a pole, with his neck and
head picked and greased. Then we
young men would line up on
horseback. Somebody stood near
the starting line and whacked each
horse good and hearty as it went
by, so by the time we reached the
gander, we were going 'lickety-split'! Then we reached out and grabbed for his
head." The narrator chuckled as he told of the ruse of the successful competitor.

"He just started, and said, 'I'll get him this time!'--and he did. He took an
underhand grip and broke the gander's neck, and the head came away." [emphasis

(Francis M. White was never to our knowledge a member of Utoy Church, although he is
buried in the churchyard. His wife Elizabeth Marchman White, though, was a member.)

(Following page: the 1839 Stately Oaks Plantation house, originally built along
what was then the old J onesboro Road in Fayette County, Georgia, by Whitmell
Phillips Allen. This home, probably grander than any known by members of Utoy
Church, has since been moved to historic J onesboro, Georgia, and carefully restored to
its antebellum condition. Author photos.)


This represents the simpler way of life probably experienced by most of Utoy Churchs
early members. This is another view of the 1839 log kitchen at Jonesboros Stately
Oaks Plantation. (Author photo)

The circa-1865 Huie Farmhouse in Clayton County, Georgia. This represents how
many of the members of Utoy Church would have actually livedmore modestly than
the grand plantations so often depicted in films. This type of farmhouse is known as
plantation plain style. (Author photo)

Still more people at Utoy will have lived in even more simple farmhouses such as this
one, still standing on old Fairburn Road SW in Atlanta (although it appears to be
abandoned). (Author photo) Below: a badly-damaged and partly retouched photo of
the Francis M. White family on the front porch of an early home, circa 1895. (l-r)
Robert M. White, his mother Elizabeth F. Marchman White, father Francis M. White,
brother Dr. J ohn W. White, sister Mary Etta Mollie White, and brother Charles Lee
Charlie White. This home is still standing today, albeit altered. (Author collection)

How farm life looked for most of the members of Utoy Baptist Church when it was
founded in 1824: this is the Smith Farm at the Atlanta History Center, as authentic a
recreation as one can find 200 years later, in the 21
Century. (Author photos)


Cane-bottomed chairs on the front porch of the 1820s-era Smith Farmhouse,
welcoming travelers today as they did nearly two hundred years ago. (Author photos)

Historic Utoy Primitive Baptist Church, 1949

This was before the well-intended (but disastrous) renovations of around 1958-1959.
This rare and priceless photograph, a copy of which exists at the Georgia Archives
(whence this copy is derived), illustrates how the church likely appeared during most of
its existence in the Nineteenth Century, when so much of its history occurred.
(Courtesy of the Georgia Archives)


The Formation of Utoy Baptist Church

The Baptist Church of Christ at Utoy Creek (as it was called for the first several years)
was first constituted by Elders John Landers and James Hale on August 15
, 1824, in a
log house without a floor, one and a half miles west from where it now standsalmost
certainly in the home of one of the early members, as was then common practice. There
was initially no Primitive in the churchs name; that development was to come in the
late Eighteen-Thirties (see later).

De Kalb Countys seat of Decatur in 1824 boasted a jail, an academy, and about fifty
homes and [some] stores. The total population of De Kalb did not yet exceed 3,569 free
whites (African slaves not being included in that count.). This included the section that
later became Fulton County.

Utoy Church is apparently the oldest church in present-day Fulton County, Georgia. The
Methodist Church of Mount Gilead, some six miles from Utoy Church, although its
members too claim the distinction of being Atlantas oldest church, nonetheless
celebrated its one hundredth anniversary in September 1924, one month after Utoys.

The confusion probably arose due to the account of John M. Baker, one of the grandsons
of the Reverend John Major Smith (the founder of Mt. Gilead Church), wherein Mr.
Baker informs us that Mt. Gilead Methodist Church was founded soon thereafter its
first sermon in April 1824:

Grandfather Smith in [his] diary gives an account of the meeting with Rev.
Parks at the little Decatur mission. On a later visit to the Decatur mission, Rev.
Parks consented to accompany Grandfather Smith to his home, and upon their
arrival the friends and neighbors were called together at the Smith house, which
was then and there dedicated to the worship of the living God. The first sermon
was preached April 23, 1824. It was an occasion of great rejoicing. Soon
thereafter, Rev. Parks, acting under orders from the conference (South Carolina),
organized in Grandfather Smiths home the Mount Gilead Methodist Society,
which later became Mount Gilead Church. [emphasis supplied]

It really should not matter which church is olderafter all, the aforementioned
Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church predates both churches by a full year, and it is
unquestionably that churchnot Utoy or Mt. Gileadwhich is therefore the oldest
church in what was originally De Kalb County (including that portion cut off to form
Fulton in 1853). Not only that, but the Suttles/Willis family was instrumental in founding
both churches (and this writer himself descends from both branches of that family).

In contrast to the clerks of Utoy Baptist Church, who kept meticulous records right from
the very start, Mt. Gileads minutes dont begin until 1848 (with a notation that the
records are incomplete).
There are really only two gaps in the records of Utoy Church.


Original photographs of Utoy Primitive Baptist Church prior to its modernization in
the late 1950s are as scarce as hens teeth. This means that to get an accurate idea of
how the church might look today, had it been left untouched, we must look toward
other similar church buildings elsewhere in Georgia. This one is Flat Shoals Primitive
Baptist Church in Henry County (still functioning, and never renovated, thank
God). Utoy Church would have looked very similar to this one. (Author photos)

The first such gap occurred during the months of February through April in 1863, due to
a terrifying smallpox epidemic that swept through the area. The situation, wrote local
historian and Utoy Church member Jean G. Bieder in her 1972 History of Utoy
Primitive Baptist Church,

had become so serious that the establishment of a hospital, in a remote section,
for the sufferers from the disease, was deemed mandatory. It was situated near
Grant Park. Atlantas mid-war Council also resolved on February sixth of that
year, that a red flag be hung at the places where smallpox existed. Utoys
members were wise in not meeting for public worship during these months.

The only other period for which no minutes exist was the eventful months from July 1864
to June 1865, when the battles of the Atlanta Campaign were raging all around Utoy
Church. This time period will be described more fully below.

Emanuel County, Georgia, circa 1904: members of the singing school at the Oak
Grove Primitive Baptist Church gather outside the church for this group photo. This
church was located one and a half miles north of the town of Stillmore. Utoy Church
was similarly unpainted for most of its existence. (Courtesy of the Georgia Archives)


How Decaturs academy probably appeared in the 1820s: this is the Presbyterian
Manse or boarding house/school in Lexington, Oglethorpe County, whence so many
of De Kalb and Fultons settlers originated. This very building is where Columbia
Theological Seminary was founded in 1828. That institution was the first such
seminary ever founded in Georgia. (Author photos)


Bethel Primitive Baptist Church, founded in 1896 from members of Utoy Church, now
within the city limits of East Point, Fulton County, Georgia. This priceless original
Nineteenth-Century frame church building, almost completely unaltered by either
man, or the defacing hand of Time, is an almost exact replica of how its mother church
(Utoy Baptist) once appeared (though it is slightly smaller). (Author photos)


Bethel Primitive Baptist Church (front view)
This congregation ceased to exist about the year 1980.
The irreplaceable historic building (alas) is now vacant
and vulnerable to vandals.


Bethel Primitive Baptist Church. This rare, original Nineteenth-Century building, so
closely modeled upon its mother church (Utoy Church), will serve as a useful model of
how to renovate Utoy Church in the future, in conformity with historical guidelines as
to how it should be renovated (should it ever become available for that purpose, and
should funding for that purpose ever be obtained). (Author photos)

Where was Utoy Church actually founded?

If one compares any good early map of the Utoy area (now known as Cascade Heights)
with a modern map, and if one knows which pioneer families settled the area and when
they arrived; and furthermore, if one measures the distance, on both maps, a mile and a
half due west, as the crow flies, from the modern location of Utoy Church, it soon
becomes clear and obvious that there were really only two possible homes in which the
church must have begun:

Utoy Baptist Church had to have been founded either in the log home of the Squire
Joseph Willis Jr. family, or in an early Gilbert family home nearby.


X marks the spot.
Utoy Church does
not appear on this
1864 map, but would
have been about
where the red X is
to the right.
Observable are the
Willis and Gilbert
residences, as well
as Willis Mill.

There really are no other logical possibilities. That Gilbert family whose infant sons are
known to be buried in Utoys churchyard must also be consideredif it can be shown
that those Gilberts actually lived near Willis around the year 1824. Dr. William Gilbert
indeed lived nearby as early as 1829, but was he there in 1824? And was another,
possibly related Gilbert family residing there at that early date? We simply do not know.
Whoever the father of those two infant Gilbert children buried at Utoy was, he was not
also the father of our Dr. William Gilbert, as Dr. Gilberts father Jeremiah Sr. clearly
stayed behind to manage his vast estates in South Carolina, and never came to Georgia.
The father of those two infant boys buried at Utoy could well have been an uncle of Drs.
William and Joshua Gilbert, as this would explain why they ended up residing in the

same area at the same time (and were involved with the same church). If, as is discussed
below, we accept the possibility that Utoys churchyard may have begun its existence as
a Gilbert family burying ground (to account for the presence of these infant burials which
predate the founding of the church by several years), then the idea that the church itself
could have been founded in a Gilbert home begins to make considerable sense. Due to the
disastrous 1842 De Kalb County courthouse fire, and other similar early record losses,
however, we unfortunately have no way of knowing for certain. Moreover, no really
thorough Gilbert family history is known to exist, which might shed light on these

This idea that Utoy Church could have been founded in the Willis home, by contrast,
makes sense when one considers that Joseph Willis Jr.s mother and grandmother
(Margaret Peggy Willis, and Margaret Peggy Suttles) had always been claimed by
their descendants to have been among the original eleven charter members of Utoy
Baptist Church. Neighboring Mt. Gilead Methodist Church, six miles to the southwest,
and like Utoy, also founded in the year 1824, had itself been founded originally in the
home of its first pastor, the Rev. John Major Smith (1798-1863), an uncle by marriage of
Joseph Willis Jr. It therefore makes enormous sense to believe, based on the evidence
shown, that Utoy Baptist Church first saw the light of day in another similar family home
(ironically, practically the same family).

Pleasant Union
Baptist Church
in Dawson Co.
Georgia, 1871.
This is surely
much like
the first Utoy
Church will
have looked.
(Ga. Archives)


Charter Members and Early History

The eleven charter members (whose names, alas, have not survived with exact certainty)
adopted the following Articles of Faith as a resolution, to wit:

We, whose names are hereunto annexed, having first given ourselves to God,
believe it our duty to give ourselves to one another in a gospel church order; and
being assembled together this third Sabbath in August, 1824, do mutually agree to
live in a Church capacity as the Lord may enable us, professing to believe in the
following particulars:

. We believe in one eternal God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

. We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word
of God, and receive them as the only rule of our faith and practice.

. We believe that man was made in uprightness, but is fallen and his heart
entirely depraved and corrupt by reason of sin, and has nothing in him that is good
and cannot make atonement for his sin, and is by nature a child of wrath, not
subject to the law of God, neither can be.

. We believe in the particular electing love of God the Father through Jesus
Christ unto eternal life, and the effectual calling of God by the Holy Ghost in the
final perseverance of the Saints by the grace of God.

. We believe in the resurrection of the bodies of the just and unjust, that the
joys of the righteous and the horrors of the wicked will be eternal.

. We believe in baptism by immersion and in the communion of the saints
in the breaking of bread, in the two ordinances of the Gospel; that the unbeliever
has no right to either of them.

. We think it our duty to attend the worship of God in public and private
and live in the discharge of our duties as we stand related to each other as
Christians, unitedly praying the Lord to enable us to do so for Jesus Christs sake.

From the roll of members appearing in the first record-book, says Judge Humphries,
which contains more than three hundred names, it is not clear just who were the eleven
persons who organized the church. The minute books record that five of the first eleven
persons named were in fact received into the fellowship of the Church soon after the
Churchs organization, and so cannot have been charter members at the Churchs
founding in 1824. A number, says Judge Humphries, were dismissed by letter and
received again. And, the names of some [members] who were [in fact] received do not
appear on this roll.
The first eleven names appearing in the records of the Church,

who do not appear, based on the minutes, to have been received after the Churchs
organization, are as follows:

Hosea Maner, Ervin Stricklin, Peggy Suttles, Peggy Willis, Elizabeth Waits, Mary
Dunlap, Robert Atkinson, J ames Dunlap, Orphy Tate, Mary Stricklin, and J ames
(This list will be shown somewhat altered, later.)

It is not known precisely when Utoy church was moved to its present location; however it
was shortly before July 12
, 1828, on which date William Wilson White, already
mentioned above, joined the church.
White joined Utoy Church by experience on the
above date, and was baptized the next day.
This means that he was accepted into church
membership based on a public confession of faith, followed by a baptism by immersion.
He lived in the church longer than any other one member, and died on November 17,
1895, making his fellowship with Utoy Church over sixty-seven years. Elizabeth Willis
White, his faithful spouse (and sister of Joseph Willis Jr.), lived longer in the church than
any other sister, her time of membership being over fifty-three years.

William W. Whites name is mentioned several times in the records of Utoy Church as
having been a true and faithful member. Franklin M. Garrett, moreover, quoting Atlanta
historian Sarah Huff, recounts that William W. White bore the name of a respected and
highly esteemed pioneer citizen of Atlanta.
It would seem probable, moreover, based
on the presence in the Utoy community of a highly-esteemed man named William
Wilson who had earlier resided in Franklin County, Georgia (whence this William
Wilson White had also come), that said White was most likely named after this De
Kalb County man William Wilson, or own namesake father, who had been a veteran of
the American Revolution. (The
younger William Wilsons
daughter Elizabeth was the wife
of Utoy charter member James
Donehoo. His youngest son was
Judge William A. Wilson, whose
fine antebellum home in Atlanta
still exists.)

Autograph signature of William W. White, from his
family bible. (Courtesy of Dan & Melanie White.)

William Wilson White (whatever the derivation of his name) had arrived in the area of
De Kalb County that later became Fulton, in the year 1824, probably in early Spring, so
as to begin the years plowing. He arrived riding a lank horse, with his plow-gear on the
animal, and a side of meat and his plowing utensils tied up in a sack behind him. He
originally settled in the area that later became John A. White Park, now in southwest
Atlanta, where he cleared enough land to plant a crop and to build a log house for his
family. Given the literal wilderness this area was back then, this would have been an
enormous task for just one man. He would have had to personally fell and split every

Photos of the 1839 log cabin
kitchen at Jonesboros
Stately Oaks Plantation,
showing detail of the original
hand-hewn log beams. The
axe-marks dating from 1839
can still be seen. Notice the
dried mud used to fill the
spaces between the logs.
Sometimes, wood planking
was used instead. Many such
kitchens were converted from
earlier residences, after the
more civilized frame main
house had been built to
replace the original crude
cabin. (Author photos)


single tree, large or small, plus pull up and burn away all the root systems of the felled
trees, in order to produce arable land from what had been virgin forest. Very probably,
though, he had some help in this task, because it is a known historical fact that his in-
laws, the members of the Willis and Suttles families, already had resided in this area for
some two years, and were probably on hand to help him in his task.

This is undoubtedly how William W. Whites first fields would have looked. This is a
newly-cleared and planted field of corn (maize), at the recreated 1840s Smith Farm, at
the Atlanta History Center in Atlanta. The makeshift gate here may have kept the
cattle out, but would have been of little use in keeping out the hogs and other small
varmits, who would have delighted in rooting up (and destroying) the carefully-
cultivated crops. Our settlers who worshipped at Utoy Church would have used sturdier
gates than this one, because their livestock are known to have been given free rein of
the entire land. The only thing that tied the animals to home was the promise of being
fed. Other than that, they were free to wander whithersoever they wished. (Author

He was in such a hurry to finish the job, however, (as we are informed by Historian Sarah
Huff)so anxious to be able to rush back to Franklin County to pick up his wife and
children, that he built the cabin too hastily, and failed to take the time to board up the
cracks between the logs. The result was that when his good wife finally arrived, and saw
the air blowing through the cracks in her new home, she utterly refused to sleep on the

side of the bed nearest the wall, for fear that wild animals such as bears, wolves, and
panthers, would poke their noses through the openings and bite her during the night.
William W. White (we may readily believe, to keep the peace) soon fixed the problem
with the cabin, and later built additions to accommodate his growing family. In 1828 he
exchanged the Carroll County lot he had drawn in the 1827 Land Lottery for a lot nearer
to his then-present home. This new lot was Land Lot 119, in the 14
or Blackhall
District of originally Henry, then De Kalb, and finally Fulton County, Georgia.

Interior of the 1850s Corn Crib at the Tullie Smith Farm. The cracks between the
logs in the wall allowed the breeze to blow through. I n the Summer, this feature would
have been highly desirable, as it would have helped to keep the building cool, but in the
Winter, the hardy farmers would have boarded up these cracks, or daubed them with
mud, to insulate the building against the freezing winds.

(Following page) The 1840s Smith Farm main house with its separate kitchen in the
foreground. After the first crude cabin had been built, and the fields cleared and
cultivated, the farmer was free to construct a more suitable dwelling such as this
house, and its outbuildings. Most such farm buildings in North Georgia were never
painted, however. (Author photos)

By July 12
, 1828, therefore, the church had certainly moved to its present location, and
had found a permanent home. Originally, only four acres were set aside for a church
building and cemetery. (These holdings were later expanded piecemeal to include a total

of forty-four acres.) This original four-acre lot was purchased outright in 1830. The deed
to the land where the church now stands was executed on August 5
1830, between John
Townsand and John Holley (the latter an elder of Utoy Church), of the first part, and the
Deacons of the Baptist Church at Utoy Creek of the second part. This deed (see below)
was originally recorded in Decatur, De Kalb County, Georgia, on December 20
by Daniel Stone, the Clerk of Court (later a member of Utoy Church). The same deed was
later re-recorded in Fulton County in 1881 (the name of the county having changed in the
meantime), by J. C. Huff, a deacon of Utoy Church.

An 1846 daguerreotype of a
stylishly-dressed young man from
New Hampshire named R. F.
J ameson. He was not yet twenty
years of age. Many members of
Utoy Church were simple dirt
farmers, and it is doubtful that
very many of them could have
afforded fine clothes like these, but
this would still have been a familiar
sight to them. (Photo credit needed)


1830 deed to the original four acres comprising the Baptist Church at Utoie Creek

Diagram prepared by Malcolm McDuffie, showing the original outlines of the property
owned by Utoy Baptist Church from 1830 onwards. The small, angular one acre tract
in Land Lot 168 was evidently (according to church deacon and historian S.C. Huff)
the one purchased in 1826 on behalf of the church (by William W. White) from a man
who was not friendly to Utoy Church. The deed to this one acre lot (which property
included a spring suitable for outdoor water baptisms), along with the other three-acre
lot containing the church proper, was evidently not officially recorded in open court
until 1830 (some four years later). This practice, however, was not at all unusual for
the time period. The deeds to the two separate lots seem to have been recorded together,
as one lot. (Courtesy of Malcolm McDuffie)

Another one-acre parcel of land was purchased by the Deacons of the Baptist Church at
Utoy on December the 28
, 1843, from a church member named Noah Hornsby
(mentioned below at pages 87 and 143), as the following deed will show. It is not yet
clear just where, in relation to existing church holdings, this new lot lay. A 1911 map (see
later) seems to indicate it was immediately north of existing church properties.

(courtesy of Charles Strickland)

The Church purchases a Spring for Immersion Baptisms

Given that Utoy was a Baptist church, and given that the churchs initial acreage did not
include any streams, creeks, or springs in which immersion baptisms could take place, an
adjoining parcel of land was purchased on behalf of the church by the above-mentioned
William W. White in 1826. This additional parcel of land had a natural spring within its
bounds suitable for outdoor water baptisms. The story of this spring purchase was
colorfully recounted in the Centennial History of the Church, written in 1924 by Elder
S.C. Huff:

Crystal-clear water bubbling up out of the ground to form a watercress-covered spring.
This particular spring is at the Reynolds Memorial Nature Preserve in Clayton County,
but is fully representative of how most natural springs used to look. The presence of
the bright green watercress indicates the purity of the water. (Author photo)

The land that was given to the church did not reach to the spring the use of which
the church very much desired. The man that owned the property on which the
spring was located was opposed to the church, although his wife was a member of
Utoy Church. They well knew that if any of the members went to see him about
getting water from the spring, he would get mad and not let them have any water

at all. Utoy Church and the Primitive Baptists cant live and thrive without water,
because they are not dry-cleaned or a dry-cleaner. The church sent Brother
William W. White to see the owner about buying the spring. He went and
conferred with the owner and asked for a price on a small angular tract including
the spring. The price asked was ten dollars, which was promptly paid by Brother
White, and a deed was requested and delivered to Brother White. At the next
meeting of the Utoy Church Brother White gave the deed to the church, which
refunded the ten dollars. This explains the history of the angular tract of ground
now owned by the church and includes the spring.

Rev. William Wright Roop (1841-1922) of Central Baptist Church in Carroll County,
Georgia, conducting an outdoor baptism ceremony in 1907.

Rev. Roops second wife was Malvin Palestine Marchman, widow of John Wilson Huff
and William H. Mallory, and whose sisters Marthena Marchman Bryant and Elizabeth
Marchman White lie buried in Utoy Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery.

(Courtesy of the Georgia Archives.)

A List of Pastors, and other statistics

Although Elder James Hale had co-officiated at the founding of the Church in August
1824 (he similarly officiated in the foundation of several other North Georgia churches),
there was in fact no name recorded as pastor from September 25
, 1824, to August 29
One assumes that if Utoy Church enjoyed any pastoral oversight at all during this
early period, then it must have been in the form of visiting, or supply preachers who
occasionally would travel through the area, and stop to preach to the local congregants,
usually in some members rude cabin (as appears to have been the case with Utoy). The
first regular pastor of Utoy Baptist Church after its initial founding was this same Elder
James Hale, who was persuaded to come back to Utoy Church on a permanent basis,
from his home in Gwinnett County. Brother William W. White again served Utoy Church
by traveling to Gwinnett County in 1826 by horse and wagon to pick up Utoys new
pastor and his family.
(As an aside, it should be mentioned that Mr. White showed a
remarkable devotion to Utoy Church, and this, a full two years before he was ever
officially a member of said church.)

The following Elders served Utoy Church as pastor: Radford Gunn (1825); James Hale,
one year (ca.1826-1827); Radford Gunn, three years (ca.1827-1831); Josiah Grisham,
fourteen years (1831-1845); Simon Edward, four years (ca.1845-1849); Isaac Hamby,
nine months (circa. 1850); Johnson Pate, twenty-one years (ca.1851-1872); Elijah Webb,
three years (ca.1873-1877); J. H. Cook, twelve years (ca.1878-1890); N. B. Hardy, three
years and nine months (ca.1890-1894); J. A. Jordan, two years (ca.1894-1896); S. H.
Whatley, four years (1896-1901); H. G. Mitchell, one year (1901-1903); W. T. Almond,
two years (1903-1905); J. M. Livsey, five months (1905); J. A. Jordan, two years (1905-
1907); W. H. Smith, ten years (1907-1917); W. J. Cheek, three years (1917-1920); J. W.
Dempsey, of Dalton, Georgia, one year (1920-1921); W. J. Cheek, (1921-1922); and
James J. Brown, said in 1924 to have been the seventeenth pastor, and who was the only
brother whom the church ordained as an Elder. He was ordained as such on August 4
1922, and served as pastor until 1926. Elder W. T. Hill, of Smyrna, Georgia, served the
church as pastor from 1926 until 1939. (For a photo of Elder Elijah Webb, see later.)

We are informed that the church almost died out completely during the early 1940s, the
membership having dwindled to only seven hardy souls by 1945.

Elder Alexander Hamilton Stephens Steve Speir of East Point, Georgia (d.1957),
however, initiated a brief (but unfortunately temporary) revival in the health of the
church, and was pastor for thirteen years (1939-1952). He was co-pastor with his son
Elder J. M. Speir of Forest Park, Georgia, from 1952 until 1956. This Elder J. M. Speir
was then co-pastor of the Church for two years (1956-1958) with one of his brothers,
Licentiate Robert L. Speir.

Elder Joe F. Hildreth of Atlanta served Utoy Church as pastor from 1958 until 1971.
During his pastorate (about 1959), the church membership decided to renovate the
exterior of the antebellum and historic church building by covering the unpainted
clapboards with a brick veneer, by adding a front porch and rear baptistry, and by

modernizing the churchs doors, roof, and windows. This decision, although made with
the best of possible intentions, unfortunately forever destroyed much of the churchs
historic character and status, and probably forever rendered impossible the chance of
placing the antebellum church building on the National Register of Historic Places (as
that group normally does not accept historic buildings which have been radically altered
over time).

Historic Utoy Primitive Baptist Church as it appears today (having been renovated and
bricked over, with the addition of a front porch and rear add-ons). The historic
Nineteenth-Century building has been owned by the Temple of Christ Pentecostal
congregation since about 1975. (Author photo)

Elder Langdon E. Huffman of Rome, Georgia, served Utoy Church as pastor from
September 1971 until April 1972, in which month and year he informed the church that
he felt very strongly that he must remain at the Rome Church, that he felt God was
leading him to continue at Rome. He had been preaching two Sundays a month at Utoy,
and two Sundays a month at Rome. Appointment preachers supplied the two Sundays per
month in which he did not preach at Utoy.


There was no permanent pastor of Utoy Church during the years 1971 and 1972. Elder
Wayne Peters of Ringgold, Georgia, served Utoy Church as pastor from 1973 to 1975.
From 1975 to 1978, there was again no regular, permanent pastor of Utoy Church. In
1978, Elder Jerry M. Hunt, Jr., of Jackson, Georgia, served as Utoys pastor, in which
capacity he served until 1979. From 1979 until 1980, there was yet again no permanent
pastor of Utoy Church.

In 1980, Utoy Primitive Baptist Churchs final pastor, Elder Daniel R. Hall of Riverdale,
Georgia, began his pastorate, in which capacity he served until the Churchs lamentable
dissolution in 1983.

About the time of the end of Elder Wayne Peters pastorate (circa 1975), the historic
church building on Venetian Drive (formerly Utoy Street) was sold to a different
congregation, known as Temple of Christ Pentecostal. This congregation continues to
own the historic Utoy Church property to this day (minus the three and a half-acre
cemetery). In the year 2009 they enlarged the historic antebellum church building by
adding a rear wing that includes a fellowship hall. In the process of creating this
enlargement, they completely obliterated the entire rear side of the original antebellum
building, a most regrettable outcome. They are a very active congregation, led (2010) by
their Bishop, Jerry Dargin. Historic Utoy Church at least continues to have weekly
Sunday worship services inside its walls (albeit of a slightly different character).

The reasons for the sale of Utoy Churchs historic original building were as follows: the
membership of Utoy Church had begun to feel unsafe in an Atlanta that had grown
catastrophically crime-ridden, and, moreover, the cemetery itself had been disastrously
vandalized about the year 1971, with many of the historic and irreplaceable gravestones
cracked into pieces, or toppled over. (The damage, which was severe, can still be seen to
this day.) The church thus abandoned their historic home church location, and moved to a
temporary home at a local YMCA on Campbellton Road.

There they continued to worship for some two years (circa 1975-1976), before
purchasing a small plot of land at 4280 Ben Hill Road SW, in Red Oak, Fulton County,
Georgia. They built a small but well-appointed chapel on this property, and worshipped
there for some seven years (circa 1976-1983). This writer paid his one and only visit to
Utoy Primitive Baptist Church (while it was still functioning) at this Red Oak location,
sometime in the year 1983, shortly before the church ceased to exist (though he did not
realize it at the time), and for one brief Sunday, worshipped the way his ancestors had
once worshipped. It was also at about this time that the church for some unknown reason
decided to change its name to Utoy Springs Baptist Church. The church retained
possession of the ancient cemetery at Venetian and Cahaba Drives, however.

During the year 1983 (as alluded to above), the remaining members of Utoy Church had
decided that the area of Red Oak itself had deteriorated so greatly that they no longer felt
safe worshipping there, and so the decision was made to completely disband the
membership (who by then resided in widely-scattered locations, in most cases many

miles away), and prorate the proceeds from the sale of the church and property to the
several other Primitive Baptist congregations to which the Utoy members then transferred
their membership. It was by this means that, after nearly 160 years of tenacious operation
and faithful worship, the Utoy Primitive Baptist Church, Atlantas oldest church, ceased
to exist.

Elder Alexander Hamilton
Stephens Steve Speir, Utoy
Churchs pastor from 1939 to
1952. He was the last pastor
to serve in the old antebellum
building before it was forever
altered by remodeling.
(Courtesy of Elder J oe F.

The following brethren were given license to preach from Utoy Church: William
Atkinson, Joel Herring and William Phillips. J. J. Brown was licensed December 6
1919, the Presbytery officiating being J. A. Jordan, J. W. Livsey and J. O. Moore.

About 1830 or 1831, Utoy Church had a pastor (evidently Radford Gunn, who left about
1830) who said he would give up the care of the church unless they paid him as much
money as he was offered by another church in Southeastern Georgia. He was told that if
money was what he wanted he could go, and so he went. This firm stand of the church
saved them much trouble later, when the fight against missions and salaried preachers
came in 1838 and 1839.


Utoy Baptist Church joined the Yellow River Association of Baptist Churches of North
Georgia very early in its history, in the year 1825, with thirty members. Utoy Church had
representation in that Association every year from 1824 to 1924, except during the
momentous year of 1864 when Shermans Union Army was passing through this area of
Georgia, and disrupted so many aspects of normal life.

Utoy Church transferred its membership from the Yellow River Association to the newly-
formed Friendship Association (of which group Utoy was a charter member) in the year
1929. The pastor at that time was Elder W. T. Hill, of Smyrna, Georgia.
Utoy Church
left the Friendship Association of Primitive Baptists in the year 1940, joining the
Towaliga Association, in which group it remained up until the time of the dissolution of
the church in 1983. The Towaliga Association of Primitive Baptists exists to this day.

Reminiscent of the Evangelists Seven Churches of Asia, there were seven Baptist
churches in the Yellow River Association when Utoy joined it in 1824, and
remarkably--they were all of them still in the Association one hundred years later, in
1924. Those churches were as follows: Harris Springs, located in Newton County near
Covington, which was founded June 19
, 1822; Sardis Church, in Walton County near
Monroe, which was founded June 9
, 1821; Shiloh Church, in Walton County near
Loganville, which was founded June 23
, 1823; Camp Creek Church, located in
Gwinnett County near Lilburn, which was founded May 23
, 1823; and Gum Creek
Church, also located in Walton County near Loganville, and which was founded July 3
1824. Sweet Water Church, in Gwinnett County near Duluth, joined the Association in
1825, and Nances Creek Church, in De Kalb County near Chamblee, joined it in 1824,
and was one hundred years old on July 3, 1924. The Yellow River Association itself
celebrated its one hundred year anniversary on September 18
, 1924.

Utoy Church hosted the Yellow River Association in Conferences in September 1835,
1855, 1872, and 1884, and the Union Meeting of the Fourth District of Baptist
Churches of North Georgia in the years 1829, 1840, 1848, 1866, 1880, 1889, 1893, 1901,
and 1918 (and very possibly after 1924, the last known year such records were kept).

The following churches were formed by members who left Utoy Church over the years,
whether as friends or otherwise: County Line Baptist Church, in De Kalb County,
Georgia, which was constituted about 1829, changed its name to Haws Spring Church
about 1849, and which was dissolved about June 17
, 1894; Enon Missionary Baptist
Church, in Campbell County, in 1839; Camp Creek Baptist Church, a few miles west of
East Point, Fulton County, which was constituted in 1844, and which was dissolved on
December 14
, 1867; Colhans Springs Baptist Church, near Adamsville in Fulton
County, which was constituted about 1850. East Atlanta Baptist Church, which was
constituted on December 5
, 1875; and Bethel Primitive Baptist Church, in Fulton
County, a few miles northwest of East Point, constituted on May 9
, 1896 (see above,
pages 50-52).
The same Hornsby family which was so instrumental in the life of Utoy
Church helped found this Bethel Primitive Baptist Church. Many of them lie buried in the
cemetery there to this day.


Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church in Tucker, De Kalb County, Georgia, around the
year 1910. Observable are the separate front entrances for male and female members,
and the side entrance for the reception of new members. (Courtesy of the Georgia

As of 1924, Utoy Church had seen five Elders ordained, who were members of the
church. They were Josiah Grisham, Richard M. Pate, J. H. Cook, W. J. Cheek, and J. J.

The church has had the following brethren ordained to the office of Deacon: Isaac N.
Johnson, James Donehoo, May 27
, 1826; Robert Orr, November 13
, 1830; Ambrose
M. Haley, August 10
, 1839; Joseph J. Martin, January 12
, 1845; Joel Herring,
September 8
, 1854; John Pope, March 1
, 1868; John Humphries, John Diggs, January
, 1872; J. C. Huff, August 30
, 1878; S. B. Lee, August 31
, 1907; H. B. Bartlett, June
, 1913.


Enon Missionary Baptist Church, formed in what was then Campbell County in 1839,
from former members of Utoy Church. The people who founded Enon Church left
Utoy because of the 1837 division over the question of missions, Sunday schools, and
salaried preachers (etc.). This church, too, has since been bricked over (alas). (Photo
credit: Garrett, Atlanta and Environs, Vol.1)

The following Elders constituted the Presbytery in ordaining the Deacons of the church:
James Hale, John Landers, Joseph Bankston, Radford Gunn, E. Moore, Aaron
Haguewood, Simeon Edwards, Johnson Pate and Nicholas Bacon, --------- Daniel, Robert
Daniel, Jacob Sikes, William W. Carroll, B. F. Moton, Richard Pate, W. H. Gulledge,
Elijah Webb, J. H. Cook, J. A. Jordan, J. M. Livsey, S. H. Whatley, W. D. Webb, W. H.
Smith and J. F. Lord.

The church has had the following brethren and sister for church clerks: Hosea Maner,
eleven months; Isaac N. Johnson, three years and six months; Joel Herring, forty-two

years; James Landrum, two years; Jackson Cagle, five years; James E. Lee, thirteen
years; S. C. Huff, twenty years and six months; Elbert Nelson Landrum, L. C. Cochran, J.
J. Brown, Dr. Seaborn Bartow Lee, and others were church clerks for very short times.
Beatrice Speir Bryant, daughter of the above-mentioned Elder A. H. Speir, was clerk of
the Church for eight years, and maintained records of Utoy Church during the period of
the 1950s and 1960s. (This writer met her in person once, back in the 1980s. She was
gracious and most helpful to his research on the Church.)

Closeup of the official Federal Army map of the Atlanta Campaign, prepared from
earlier captured maps drawn by Confederate civil engineers (dating from around
1864). Observable here are not only Utoy Baptist Church, but also several other
surrounding churches, hamlets, and mills; plus (and this is especially valuable for
genealogy) the many residences that are identified by surname. Among the latter are
several surnames associated with Utoy Churchs history, including the Childress,
Gilbert, Herring, Huff (here spelled Hough), Willis, and White families. (Photo
credit: Military Atlas of the Civil War)


Although only of a Baptist church, and not a Primitive Baptist one, this photo of circa
1905 at Middle River Baptist in Franklin County (whence many of the families of Utoy
church had originated), nonetheless gives a fair idea of what a similar picture made in
front of Utoy Church might have looked like. (Courtesy of the Georgia Archives)

There were at least one hundred and sixty family names represented among the
membership of Utoy Church. There were more members by the name of Hornsby than
any other name. (There were ten brethren and sixteen sisters by that name.) Historian
Bieder mentions that Marion A. Hornsby, who had been appointed Chief of Police in
Atlanta by Mayor William B. Hartsfield in 1937, came from this same Utoy family. As of
the writing of the 1924 Centennial History of the Church (by Elder S.C. Huff), there were
about four hundred and twenty persons that had been members of Utoy Primitive Baptist
Church. It is at present probably impossible to determine how many total members there
were in all the churchs history, prior to its eventual dissolution in the early 1980s.


The 1840s Main House at the recreated Tullie Smith Farm at the Atlanta History
Center, representing the plainer type of antebellum farmhouse most of Utoy Churchs
membership would have known. (Author photo)


An early Court Case involving Utoy Church (1833)

In the year 1833, there was unfortunately a court case in De Kalb County (in which
county Utoy Church then resided), between a certain Archibald Boggs and James M.
Holley (one of the founding members of Utoy Church). Given the disastrous courthouse
fire in De Kalb County in the year 1842, we are lucky to even have record at all of such a
case as this. It is a rare window of relative clarity back into a very murky period of time
in Utoys history.

It seems that a Robert Orr, one of the Trustees of Utoy Church, along with the remaining
Trustees, William Willis, Robert Wood, and Isaac Hughes, were served as garnishees of
Holley. The William Willis mentioned as one of the trustees in this 1833 case was a
brother of Joseph Willis Jr. and Elizabeth Willis White mentioned above. As alluded to
above, the Willis siblings were children of Margaret "Peggy" Suttles Willis (c.1785-
1870), according to tradition, one of the charter members of Utoy Church. Margaret
Suttles Willis was herself a daughter of William Suttles (1731-1839), one of the known
Revolutionary War soldiers buried at Utoy, and his wife Margaret "Peggy" Harbin
Suttles, another traditional charter member of Utoy Church.

It would appear from this 1833 court case that financial shenanigans unfortunately
dogged Utoy Church almost from the very start. Utoy Church would unfortunately see
more such troubles before its eventual dissolution in the 1980s (see later).

Here is the transcription of the 1833 court case; such as we now have it:

Archibald Boggs vs. James M. Holly [sic].

Garnishment in De Kalb Inferior Court, January Term, 1833.

The Garnishee, Robert Orr, in the above case appeared in open court and answers
as follows, that he is not indebted to James M. Holly [sic] any thing individually;
he further saith that he has in his hands, a subscription as one of the trustees of
Utoy's Church for certain monies, which were to be appropriated to building an
addition to said meeting house and making other repairs to the same. The work
was let out to the lowest bidder by the trustees, and John Holly [sic] was the
[lowest bidder and] undertaker, and the work was done by James M. Holly; on the
day on which the trustees met for the purpose of receiving the work, James M.
Holly was present, and the trustees refused to settle with him, because he was not
the undertaker [per the contract], and [instead] requested that John Holly [himself]
should be present to make the settlement. And James M. Holly stated that John
Holly [had] had nothing to do with it [the repair work on the church], for that he,
John Holly, had given it up to him, James M. Holly; when John Holly came, the
trustees made a certain proposition to him about the work, and John Holly asked
James, what he said to the proposition, and James said he would not do it, that he
would lose it all first.


Sworn to and subscribed in open court this 14th day of January 1833, Robert Orr.
E. B. Reynolds, Clk.

The other garnishees, William Willis, Robert Wood, Isaac Hughes, appear and
say on oath, that they are not indebted to James M. Holly any thing, nor have they
any effects of the said James M. in their hands; they further state, that they are
trustees of Utoy's Church, and that the facts stated in the answer of Robert Orr
with regard to the subscription are true.

Sworn to and subscribed in open court this 14th January 1833, Isaac Hughes,
Wm. Willis, Robert Wood.
E. B. Reynolds, Clk.

From the minute books of Utoy Church, it appears that the above-mentioned John Holley,
(he had been one of the two men who had sold the Church its property in 1830) was
dismissed by letter from the church on 7 September 1833; the above-mentioned James M.
Holley, however, was excommunicated from the Church on 7 December 1833 (probably
because of this court case). He appears, however, to have been received back into
membership at some later point, because he was later dismissed by letter, on 10
December 1837.

This would have been a familiar sight for most of Utoy Churchs existence: in this
photo, a group of women are dressed and on their way to Sunday church services in
Crosland, Colquitt County, Georgia, in 1918. (Georgia Archives)

To Wash, or Not to Wash: That is the Question

It is not certain, says Judge Humphries, that in those early years foot-washing was
mandatory. One of Utoys members raised the question of the necessity of foot-washing
at the meeting of March 7
, 1829, but no action was taken on the question immediately,
and the issue was put off for the next meeting, and then postponed again until the next
meeting after that. The members were admonished to keep the matter in mind until
then. Finally, on the date of June 13
, 1829, it was decided by the Church that each
member perform that duty at any time and place when he may think proper.
generations of Primitive Baptists may have felt differently on the matter; certainly they
perform the ceremony of foot washing with far greater frequency today than is apparent
from this record of the late 1820s.)

Barbecue dinner on the grounds on Footwashing Day at Tallapoosa Primitive Baptist
Church in Carroll County, Georgia, near Tyus. The date was around 1910 to 1917.
(Georgia Archives)


A Footwashing ceremony at Sharp Top Church, Pickens County, Georgia, circa 1935.
The occasion was Communion Day. (Courtesy of the Georgia Archives)


Utoy Baptist becomes Utoy Primitive Baptist

As mentioned above, until about 1837, there was no primitive in Utoy Baptist Churchs
name. About that time, there was a serious division within the Baptist denomination
across the entire nation, with those Baptists who supported missions and Sunday Schools
splitting off, and calling themselves Missionary Baptists (the forerunner of todays
Southern Baptists), and with those Baptists who felt that such things were
unscriptural renaming themselves Primitive Baptists, in accordance with their desire
to bring their doctrines and worship practices as close as possible to ancient or primitive
After about 1837, therefore, Utoy Baptist Church began calling itself
the Utoy Primitive Baptist Church.

On February 11
1837, Utoy Church adopted the following resolution of Lebanon
Church of Henry County, with the scriptural proofs attached thereto, relative to this
bitter contest within the Baptist faith, which resolution read in part:

We have this day unanimously before God and in the sight of man, declared a
non-fellowship with Bible, Tract, Missionary, and Temperance Societies,
Theological Seminaries and Sunday School Unions, and believing them to be the
invention of man and the fulfillment of those prophetic expressions found in First
Timothy 4
Chapter, verse[s] 1 [&] 2.

Resolved, That the institutions of the day, called benevolent, to-wit: Tract
Society, Temperance Society, Sunday School Union, Theological Seminary, and
all other institutions to the missionary plan now existing in the United States, are
unscriptural, and that we, as a church, will not correspond with any church that is
united with them, nor will we hold in union or fellowship any member that is
connected with them.

By adopting what many later Christians would probably think of as a harsh and
unbending resolution, Utoy Baptist Church firmly turned its face away from the
overwhelming future of mainstream Christianity in America, and (though they surely did
not intend it, nor even see it that way) practically retreated into a backwater of religious
history. So many of the above-named institutions, railed against by Lebanon and Utoy
Churches in their 1837 Resolutions, are now taken for granted as being normal and
expected aspects of the religious and cultural landscape of America. By adopting the
above resolution, moreover, Utoy Church alienated nearly half of its membership, who
later removed themselves, departing to found Enon Missionary Baptist Church about six
to eight miles southwest of Utoy Church.
To be fair to Utoy Primitive Baptist
Churchs members, however, we should point out that they would not have seen Utoys
1837 Resolution as being in any way harsh or unbending; they would have seen
themselves (as living Primitive Baptists still do) as holding fast to the strict traditions of
the ancient Apostles and teachers of original Christianity. They would furthermore see
most of the rest of modern Christianity as having backslid, or as having fallen away
from the original (and beautiful) traditions and doctrines of early Christianity.


A Neighboring Town is Founded (Atlanta)

About one mile to the east of the aforementioned village of Whitehall, another event
occurred in 1837 that would change the history of the area forever: a small and utterly
unremarkable shanty settlement about three or four miles to the northeast of Utoy Church
was founded.

Railroads first began building toward the De Kalb/Fulton area in the early part of 1837.
Western and Atlantic Railroad Chief Engineer Stephen A. Long approved the location of
the southern terminus of that line, on property then owned by a man named Hardy Ivy
(this terminus was located at present-day Courtland, near International). One of Long's
employees, with the approval of Mr. Ivy, placed a zero mile marker on Ivys property
to indicate the site where the Western & Atlantic Railroad and the Georgia Railroad
would soon meet. A man named John J. Thrasher [see later] soon purchased some land
near the zero-mile marker (indicating the location of the terminus), and built a grocery
store. Montgomery's Ferry, Walton's Ferry, and the towns of Decatur and Whitehall,
formed the constellation surrounding this new town formed by the terminus of the
oncoming railroads.

From the east, the Georgia Railroad pushed ahead, grading and laying track in a
continuous operation. Meanwhile, work began on the roadbed of the Western and
Atlantic. In 1838, the bridge over the Chattahoochee at Boltonville was completed. By
1840, grading had been completed through much of the corridor from Chattanooga to the
terminus in De Kalb County; when suddenly, Chief Engineer Long quit. For two years
thereafter, the line would remain stagnant, but not the town that would develop at the end
of the rail line.

Col. Lemuel P. Grant, a civil engineer for the Georgia Railroad, could not convince a
local citizen to sell the railroad a right-of-way through his property west of Decatur. Col.
Grant, who was twenty-four at the time, therefore purchased the land out-of-pocket, and
then gave the railroad the right-of-way. It was the first of many land purchases made by
Grant in the future city he soon called home. In spite of the presence of Grant, Ivy,
Thrasher and other respectable citizens, the new town, which was at first ingloriously
called Terminus, because it was initially where the first railroad simply dead-ended,
was a rowdy area, filled with railhands and prostitutes who lived in nearby shanties.

In 1842, the terminus of the Western & Atlantic Railroad moved east about a quarter
mile, to its present location at Underground Atlanta, on land donated to the city by
Samuel Mitchell. Additional land in this area was owned by Mitchell, Grant, and Grant's
father-in-law, Ami Williams. Thrasher, disgusted with the move, which deprived him of
much of his business, packed up his store and left. In December of 1842, the locomotive
Florida made the first run to Marietta from the town of Terminus, providing much
excitement for the local citizens, who flocked from miles around (in their horse- and
mule-drawn wagons and carts) to witness the arrival of the Industrial Revolution to this
part of Georgia.


The humble name Terminus did not strike many of its citizens as a good name for the
small group of buildings developing around the train depot. It wasnt long, therefore,

Whitehall Street in Atlanta, in 1864, shortly after the city was surrendered to Federal
troops under Sherman. This view is looking north toward Peachtree Street (straight
ahead, just past the railroad crossing). The bank at the center right of the photo was
burned by Shermans troops; left standing, however, was the saloon next door to the
bank. This entire area is now underground, having been covered over in 1929 by one
of the railroad viaducts that also created Underground Atlanta. (Courtesy of the
Georgia Archives)


before the new town of Terminus was given a more fitting name, after the daughter of a
former governor and railroad proponent, Wilson Lumpkin. Martha Atalanta Lumpkin
had the town named in her honor in 1843, and the town of Terminus thus became
Marthasville. The already-existing town of Whitehall, along the Sandtown Road,
became known as West End, a mere suburb of Marthasville, and both the Whitehall post
office and election district were moved a mile or so into the new town.

Starting in 1837, however, the nation began to suffer through one of the worst economic
distresses of its young history [discussed below], and by 1842, growth in the new city of
Marthasville had come to a standstill. Work on the Georgia Railroad continued west from
the Atlantic coast region, but the Western and Atlantic Railroad struggled to lay rails at
all. The year 1844 saw the arrival of Jonathan Norcross, a future mayor of Atlanta, and
for whom the City of Norcross in Gwinnett County is named. His sawmill and
lumberyard gave Marthasville/Atlanta one of its earliest non-railroad related businesses.
John E. Thomson, Chief Civil Engineer of the Georgia Railroad, soon proposed "Atlanta"
as a better name for the new town, and in 1845 the name was officially changed. Mr.
Thomson told varying stories over the years as to how he came up with the name; one
version is that it was supposedly the feminine form of Atlantic; another, more popular
story holds that he altered Martha Lumpkin's middle name Atalanta, to form the towns
new name. That same year, rail service finally came to the city.

It was a time of many firsts between 1845 and 1847. In addition to the first doctor, Dr.
Joshua Gilbert [see later], first newspaper and the first school, the new city added a third
railroad, the Macon and Western.

Finally, late in 1847, Atlanta was officially incorporated by state charter as a city, and
not just a town. The young city was defined as extending one mile [in each direction]
from the zero mile post at the railroad terminus.

Thus the now world-class city of Atlanta was bornas the once-humble end of a railroad
line, a rowdy town more notorious for its carousing nighttime drunks, gambling,
prostitution, and fighting, than for anything else. Atlanta would rapidly grow, however,
and outlive its early less-than-desirable reputation.


A wagon train supporting Federal troops on Atlantas Marietta Street, in September,
1864, shortly before Sherman evacuated the city to head for Savannah on his infamous
March to the Sea. (Photo credit needed)


Federal troops encamped in front of Atlantas City Hall (not in view in this
photograph), in September 1864. Observable here are the Trout House hotel and the
Masonic Hall. The building that was the city hall was torn down in the 1880s so that
the new State Capitol Building could be built on the site. Sadly, of the buildings seen
here, not one is now standing. (Photo credit needed)


An I nteresting 1839 Court Case in De Kalb County

A very strange court case is recorded in the Minutes of De Kalb County Superior Court,
for September Term, 1839.
Since it seems to relate to Utoy Church (or at least to
several of her members), it is surely worth mentioning here:

Stephen Terry } Libel &c
vs. }
} I confes Judgement
Henry M. White } to the Defendants for cost
Andrew White } of Suit with the liberty of
Augustus Sewell } appeal 17 Sept 1839
William W. White } C. Murphy & Cathey
David Winburn } & Anderson
Pleasant Sewell } Ptffs Atty
Stephen Herring }
Christopher Sewell }
Andrew Caldwell }
George Rainey }
Wright White }
Richardson Tuck }
Warren A. Belk }
Daniel P. White }
Robert Orr }
Henry H. Keller }
J ohn B. Smith }
Martin Crow }
Thomas J . Perkerson }
Giles H. Weaver }
J acob White }

Since none of the specifics of this court case have been preserved, we do not know what
this case was about, beyond what is stated above in the styling of the case itself. Libel,
of course, is maliciously defamatory speech in print, as opposed to slander, which is
verbal defamatory speech. Perhaps the defendants had jointly taken out some sort of
defamatory article or advertisement in one of the local newspapers of the day (for some
unknown reason). The Plaintiff Stephen Terry was a prominent man in early De Kalb
County, so he would surely have been an easy target. Moreover, his frequent work as a
surveyor for both the county and a prominent railroad company had probably caused him
to gain a few enemies (people dissatisfied with the boundaries he drew).

Most of the defendants (oddly, as it turns out) seem to have been connected in one way or
another with Utoy Primitive Baptist Church in De Kalb (later Fulton) County. Given that

Actual image from De Kalb County Superior Court Book A, 1836-1843 (page 179),
showing the Libel case between Stephen Terry and all those defendants.


the plaintiff was a staunch Methodist, however, it seems highly unlikely that he would
have been called out during a church service at Utoy (a Baptist Church). (Nor does that
conform to the legal definition of libel.) This writer suspects that the early (and now
probably non-existent) newspapers of De Kalb County may well have once contained the
answer to this mysterious case. Clearly, the Plaintiff had a sterling reputation (and social
and business standing) to protect, which is probably why he brought this suit forward.
This case is especially puzzling, though, in that several of the defendants also seem to
have been equally esteemed (and influential) in the community (and/or connected with
families which were). This case seemed to have been resolved in March Term, 1841, by
the jury finding for the Plaintiff in the sum of Five Dollars, with cost of suit. However, by
March Term, 1842, the court had declared that the previous ruling in this case had
proceeded illegally. The case, frustratingly, continued on. It has not yet been
discovered exactly how it eventually got resolved.

A few further discoverable facts, however, are also worth mentioning here, as a cautious
analysis thereof may shed some brief rays of light on this otherwise dimly-lit court case:

The Monroe Railroad

The Monroe Railroad, which was chartered in 1833, was, along with the Georgia
Railroad and the Western and Atlantic, one of Georgias earliest railroads. Like any
modern corporation, it too would have had its shareholders who expected returns on their
investments. It was initially constructed to link the city of Macon with the nearby town of
Forsyth, in Monroe County (whence the name of the railroad). Its directors and investors
soon realized its potential for linking up with other parts of Georgia (and even other
states), and so the line was soon extended far beyond its original destination, with the
eventual intention of linking up with the Western and Atlantic at the newly-formed
shanty-town of Terminus (later to be named Marthasville, and then Atlanta). The
first train ran between Macon and Forsyth in December, 1838, and by late 1839 the line
had reached the vicinity of Griffin. Due to the disastrous Panic of 1837 and its
aftermath (a Nineteenth-Century mini Great Depression, discussed below), however,
the rail line did not actually reach Griffin until 1842. It was too little, too late, however,
to save the company: insufficient capital and the economic depression resulting from the
above-mentioned panic eventually bankrupted the company, and it was sold in 1845 to
a Daniel Tyler, who promptly renamed it as the Macon and Western Railroad. Under
this new name, it would complete the line to Atlanta, and survive for some years.

During the fall of 1839, says our esteemed Historian Franklin M. Garrett once more,

the Monroe Railroad opened for bids, the construction of an embankment for
future use in carrying its track across the low ground between the present north
end of the Terminal Station [now demolished]and its proposed junction with the
W. & A. at what is now Foundry Street. Its main line was building toward
Terminus and was then in the neighborhood of Griffin. The successful bidder
for this piece of earthwork was a youth of twenty-one, John J. Thrasher, known

far and wide in later years as Cousin John. He was then a resident of Newton
County, having been born there in 1818. Thrasher and his partner Johnson
received $25,000 for grading the embankment,--Thrashers net share was
$10,000 after he paid all claims, debts, etc. The exact date upon which the
Monroe embankment was finished is not of record. Work probably continued
through 1840 and possibly into early 1841. It remains, however, the oldest
man-made construction in downtown Atlanta; it extends from the north end of the
Terminal Station in a northerly direction just east of the [now-vanished] gas
storage tanks, forms a junction with the W. & A. tracks at Foundry Street. The
embankment forms the western base of the downtown railroad triangle.

[emphasis added]

Garrett goes on to relate some interesting and colorful accounts from the pen of that same
John J. Thrasher, a man who also served as the town of Terminus (now Atlantas)
earliest grocer, but those stories need not concern us here. We will proceed to a brief
description of the above-mentioned Panic of 1837, and then some analysis of these
facts, relative to this 1839 De Kalb court case.

The Panic of 1837

The so-called panic of the year 1837 was a financial crisis or market correction in the
United States built on a speculative fever.

The end of the Second Bank of the United States had produced a period of
runaway inflation, but on May 10, 1837 in New York City, every bank began to
accept payment only in specie (gold and silver coinage), forcing a dramatic,
deflationary backlash. This was based on the assumption by former president,
Andrew Jackson, that the government was selling land for state bank notes of
questionable value. The Panic was followed by a five-year depression, with the
failure of banks and then-record-high unemployment levels.

What could all of this mean?

There are several possibilities as to how the above-described facts of history could relate
to the above-described 1839 De Kalb court case:

1. The defendants in that case could have been among the losing bidders for the
above-described 1839 Monroe Railroad embankment contract in what is now
Atlanta. If so, they could possibly have felt cheated by the company, and have
lashed out in particular (and in print) against that companys local representative
(and surveyor), Stephen Terry (who at that point still resided on his farm in the
Lakewood area);

2. Their lands may have lain along the surveyed railroad right-of-way, and they may
have felt that they were unfairly compensated, or that Terry had unfairly or
inaccurately drawn his survey lines through their properties, and thereby cheated
them out of monies they might otherwise have received. (Several of these
defendants, are, in fact, known to have owned lands which were bisected by that
railroad right-of-way, lending credence to this theory.)

Whatever the cause or causes of this 1839 court case might have been, though, the Panic
of 1837 and the resulting five-year economic depression certainly would have given
these men a financial motive to seek redress of wrongs, whether through the newspapers
or in the courts. The reader should not fail to note, moreover, that the Monroe
Embankment in what is now Atlanta was constructed starting in the Fall of 1839,
precisely the same time in which this court case was instituted in De Kalb County. Was it
merely a coincidence? Or was it in some way connected?

Lacking any other relevant information concerning this case or its outcome, then, we will
proceed with short biographies of the people involved, such as is presently available from
the historical record. It is one of the minor tragedies of history that we know so little
about this interesting court case, since the list of names therein reads like a Whos Who
of Atlantas elite society of the 1840s.

The People I nvolved

Maj. Stephen Terry (1788-1866): Influential, and highly-esteemed early settler of De
Kalb (later Fulton) County. A surveyor by trade, he arrived
in 1826 from Chester District, South Carolina, establishing a
farm where the Lakewood Fairgrounds (now Amphitheatre)
is, before relocating to the town of Marthasville (now
Atlanta) in 1843. He assisted in the construction of the
Monroe Railroad, became a Commissioner of Marthasville
in 1845, and then became Surveyor of De Kalb County in
1846. A prominent Methodist, Maj. Terry was a member of
the first board of trustees of Wesley Chapel Methodist
Church in Atlanta in 1848 (Atlantas first Methodist church),
and commanded the respect and esteem of all by his
straightforward and independent spirit and unbending
integrity, in an obituary quoted by Franklin M. Garrett.
Maj. Terry also laid a fair claim to having been the first
active real estate agent in Atlanta.

Warren A. Belk (1810-1890): Early settler of the 14
(or Blackhall) District of
originally De Kalb (later Fulton) County, Georgia, and a member of Utoy Primitive
Baptist Church, where he and his family lie buried.


J acob White (c.1772-post 1860): Soldier of the War of 1812 and the Creek War of 1817.
Born probably in Chatham County, NC, he resided variously in Pendleton District, SC
(from 1794), Franklin County, Georgia (from 1800), Pulaski County, Georgia (around
1814-1818). Jacob White arrived in the 14
(Blackhall) District of originally De Kalb
(later Fulton) County, Georgia about 1829. Originally buried on his property, he now lies
buried at Utoy Primitive Baptist Church in an unmarked grave. (Charner Humphries,
mentioned below, was also similarly relocated after his death, but to Westview

William Wilson White (1800-1895): Highly esteemed early settler of De Kalb
(according to Franklin M. Garrett), arriving in 1824, he was a member of Utoy Primitive
Baptist Church from 1828 to his death, and served on the De Kalb County Grand Jury in
1841. He lies buried with his wife and family at Utoy. He was a son of Jacob White.

Andrew White. Said to have been a soldier of the Mexican War (1846-1848). He is said
to have later died from a wound received in that conflict. He was a son of Jacob White.
[See Jane Stone White, below, page 108.]

Henry M. White (born 1814): another son of Jacob White. A prominent man in early
DeKalb County politics, Henry M. White served as a road commissioner, helping to
supervise and organize the countys road construction (in days when roads were few in
this area, and therefore new roads of great importance to commercial activity). Henry M.
White, along with several of his relatives, moved to Randolph County, Alabama, arriving
there about 1848. His son Jacob White (undoubtedly named after his grandfather) lived
there until at least 1930.

Daniel P. White(1814-circa 1863): husband of Arminda Emeline White (1822-1903), a
daughter of William Wilson White, early member of Utoy Church. Daniel P. White also
moved to Randolph County, Alabama, where he died. His widow then removed back to
her parents home in Fulton County, Georgia, where she died. Arminda (Amanda) E.
White lies buried at Utoy, along with several of her and Daniels descendants.

George W. Rainey (1806-1864): husband of Mary Ann Polly Ann White, a daughter of
Jacob White, and another early Utoy Church member. George W. Rainey also moved to
Randolph County, Alabama, although he died in Atlanta during the Civil War.

Wright White (1807-1893). Son of Jacob White, Wright Whites wife Margaret Peggy
Crow was also from a family connected with Utoy Primitive Baptist Church (the same
family as Martin Crow, below, who was her brother). Wright White served in the De
Kalb Georgia Guards, (infantry) under the command of Capt. James M. Calhoun, in the
Creek War of 1836, along with the below-mentioned Martin Crow (his brother-in-law)
and Matthew J. Orr. He would have enlisted on or about 9 June, 1836 (which is when
Crow enlisted), and the unit saw battle with the Creeks in Stewart County, Georgia, on 24
July, 1836, when the company was defeated and driven away by the Creeks. He would
have been discharged from said unit on or about 2 September, 1836 (which is when Crow
was discharged). Wright White was, however, also charged by the Grand Jury in De Kalb

County Superior Court, in September Term, 1839, with assault and battery.
Utoy Church minutes also relate a similar charge of fighting, with a man named Hiram H.
Embry, on 9 December, 1837 [see below].) In September Term, 1844, Wright White,
along with several of his Crow in-laws, once again found himself in the De Kalb Superior
Court, this time involved in a dispute over the estate of his late father-in-law Joshua
Crow. This latest suit was instigated by the guardians of Young Crow, apparently
Whites youngest brother-in-law. By March Term, 1845, Wright White had already
relocated to Randolph County, Alabama, and was no longer to be found to answer this
latest case. He and his wife and family later lived and died there. He and his wife, the
former Peggy Crow, lie buried in Paran Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery (near the
towns of Rock Mills, Alabama, and Texas, Heard County, Georgia), literally within
eyesight of the Georgia State Line. (It would seem possible that Wright White wanted to
be buried as close as possible to Georgia, but not in it.)

(William) Martin Crow (1817post 1872). A brother of Margaret Peggy Crow
(18191901), the wife of the above-mentioned Wright White, this Martin Crow served
in the De Kalb Georgia Guard, in the Creek War of 1836, along with the said Wright
White, and Matthew J. Orr, son of Utoy Church members Robert and Mary Orr (see
below). That unit had been commanded by Capt. James M. Calhoun, who would later
gain fame as the Atlanta mayor who was unlucky enough to be in office when it came
time to surrender the city to Sherman in September, 1864. Martin Crow received a
debilitating wound in his knee during that conflict.
His uncle by the same name,
Martin Crow (1777-1845), was a son of Stephen Crow Sr. and Margaret Peggy Stroud,
Martin Crow was a brother-in-law of Annis Browning Crow (1785-1835), an early
member of Utoy Primitive Baptist Church. Martin Crow was also the ancestor in the
female line of the noteworthy Judge John D. Humphries (born 1873), who fortunately
chronicled so much of De Kalb and Fultons early history (mainly for the Atlanta
Historical Bulletin).

Thomas J efferson Perkerson (1804-1878): Sheriff of De Kalb County from 1846 to
1848. His daughter Sarah Matilda Till Perkerson became the wife of Jeremiah Silas
Gilbert (1839-1932), son of Fulton Countys first physician, Dr. William Gilbert, in 1861.
(Both of these men are mentioned above.) Thomas J. Perkersons fine antebellum home,
which had miraculously survived even Gen. Shermans fiery blast in 1864, nonetheless
was demolished in 1968, in favor of a grocery store and parking lot (in an area now
thoroughly decayed and unfortunately part of Southwest Atlantas urban ghetto).
Perkersons lands included land lots 103 and 104 of the 14
(Blackhall) District of De
Kalb (now Fulton) County. Part of this land is now known as Perkerson Park (owned by
the City of Atlanta). Thomas J. Perkerson was one of the few people in this law suit not
obviously connected with Utoy Primitive Baptist Church.

Stephen Herring (born 7 January, 1768): founder of a prominent Atlanta family, and
father of Joel Herring (1801-1877), an early member of Utoy Primitive Baptist Church,
and for decades its primary church clerk. Stephen Herring was connected, via his son
Joel, with the Willis Family of Utoy Church and Willis Mill Road SW in Atlanta.
Stephen Herring was also the father of Keziah Herring (born 1807), the wife of David

Winburn [q.v.], and of William Herring (1799-1868), a prominent Atlanta haberdasher
and merchant, whose magnificent, columned mansion house once graced Atlantas
Peachtree Street, and whose daughter Rhoda Catherine Herring (born 1826) was the wife
of prominent Atlanta merchant Austin Leyden. The Austin Leyden House (formerly the
William Herring home) was once a celebrated Atlanta fixture, and figured prominently in
Atlantas participation in the events of the Civil War, having been used (no less) as the
headquarters of Union General George H. Thomas, during the disastrous destruction of
Atlanta in September, 1864. The Leyden House was well-known enough to have been
mentioned by name twice in Margaret Mitchells famous novel, Gone With the Wind.
Another daughter of Stephen Herring (Elizabeth Angeline) married (in 1843) to
prominent Atlanta physician, Dr. Nedom L. Angier. Dr. Angier was also elected as
Atlantas mayor during the Reconstruction presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes.

The Austin

David Winburn (1800-1879): son-in-law of the above Stephen Herring (being husband of
Herrings daughter Keziah). After the War, Winburn moved to Conyers, in Rockdale
County. David Winburn and his wife Keziah were also members of Utoy Primitive
Baptist Church. They were dismissed by letter from said church on 3 December, 1859.

Robert Orr (1789-1867): A Deacon and Trustee of Utoy Primitive Baptist Church in
January, 1833, when it was engaged in an unfortunate court case in De Kalb County
(Archibald Boggs vs. James M. Holley). In said case, Robert Orr was served as a
garnishee of said Holley, with regard to some work done on Utoy Church for which work
Holley claimed he had never been paid. A son of Robert Orr named Matthew J. Orr had
served in DeKalbs Cavalry Company in the Creek War of 1836, where he was killed. On
10 June, 1837, Robert Orr was released from the office of deacon at Utoy Church.
Robert and Mary Orr were dismissed by letter from Utoy Church on 7 September, 1844.
After the Civil War (apparently), they moved to Carroll County, Georgia.


Christopher Sewell (born 1785), father of Augustus Willis Sewell, and Pleasant Sewell,
whose wife Elizabeth Isabel White (1811-1866) was another daughter of Jacob White.
Christopher Sewells mother had been a Willisperhaps from the same family as the
Willises of Utoy Church (given that both the Sewells and Willises originated in Franklin
County, Georgia, prior to arriving in De Kalb). Christopher Sewell is listed in the Minute
Books of Utoy Primitive Baptist Church as a member.

Augustus Willis Sewell (1818-1892), son of Christopher Sewell. (Note the middle name
Willis.) Evidently, he had had enough of these shenanigans in De Kalb County, for he
soon relocated to Ellis County, Texas, where he died.

Pleasant Sewell (1811-1885), son of Christopher Sewell and son-in-law of Jacob White.
Also brother-in-law to William Wilson White and Wright White, both also defendants in
this case.

Richardson Tuck (born 1801, Halifax County, Virginia): Married on 28 September,
1825, in Clarke County, Georgia, to Martha M Embry. He was yet another member of
Utoy Primitive Baptist Church, but was (temporarily) excluded from that church on 12
September, 1840, along with Noah Hornsby. Richardson Tuck, his wife Martha, and an
Anney Tuck were all eventually dismissed by letter from said church on 19 January,

Giles H. Weaver: He may possibly be the same man by this name who resided in
Gwinnett County, Georgia in 1860, in Atlanta in 1889, and whose Indigent Pension
Application as a former Confederate Soldier is on file at the Georgia Archives. Said
Weaver was a resident of DeKalb County at the time of that application, and the year was
1898. If this later Confederate Veteran is not the same man mentioned in this 1839 court
case, then perhaps he is his son or some other relative.

J ohn B. Smith (1800-1850): He married in Jasper County, Georgia, on 22 August, 1830,
to Sarah F. Phelps. He was a member of Utoy Church, from 1837 to 1843. [See below,
page 119.]

Andrew Caldwell (possibly Culwell). This writer has not yet been able to discover any
facts concerning him. He may, however, have been related to the J.M. Caldwell and
R.H. Caldwell who were subscribing witnesses to the 1884 last will and testament of
Utoy Church member William Wilson White [q.v.], a party to this 1839 libel suit.
Because of the fact that they were handy to witness the signing of a will, these later
Caldwell men were probably neighbors to said White.

Henry H. Keller. This writer has not yet been able to discover any facts concerning him.

The following facts may or may not be relevant to the above-instanced case, but they are
worth mentioning here:


The above-mentioned Henry M. White was charged by the Grand Jury in De Kalb
County Superior Court, in September Term, 1842, with assault and battery.

The above-mentioned J acob White was charged by the Grand Jury in De Kalb County
Superior Court, also in September Term, 1842, with assault and battery.
We do not
know who the object of his wrath was. However, he was then at least seventy (70) years
old. What could possibly have caused a man of his age to commit such an act? Or was he
(and his sons Wright and Henry) merely reacting out of frustration at this other
interminable libel suit brought by Maj. Stephen Terry? This assault and battery case
continued until March Term, 1844, when both Jacob White and his son Henry M. White
withdrew their not guilty pleas, and substituted them with guilty pleas. They were
both then heavily fined: Henry M. White, $10.00, and his father Jacob White an
astounding $30.00 (a hefty sum of money back then!). In terms of the value of todays
dollar, that sum of $30.00 would be more like $300.00

Maj. Stephen Terry also brought suit in De Kalb Superior Court (September Term, 1839)
against none other than the above-mentioned Charner Humphries (1795-1855), also
originally from Chester District, South Carolina, and the celebrated proprietor of the
above-mentioned White Hall Tavern of West End, for which Atlantas Whitehall
Street SW was named.
It is worth noting here that the renowned Charner Humphries
himself did not escape a charge of assault in those unsettled, rowdy, frontier times
(March Term, 1842; guilty plea, March Term, 1844).
Assault and battery seems to
have been the standard meansshort of duelingby which most disagreements got
settled back then, in Atlantas early rough-and-ready, Wild West era.


Two rare and very interesting surviving examples of the currency issued by the short-
lived Monroe Railroad and Banking Company. I t should probably be pointed out
that although such bills of credit as these bank notes indeed circulated and were
traded hand-to-hand as if they were regular, government-issued legal tender currency,
in point of fact, they were really more akin to modern bank cheques or corporate


A List of Members, 1824-1889
Following is a listing of persons, from 1824 to 1889, who were accepted into membership
at Utoy Primitive Baptist Church, according to the year (and, in most cases, month and
day) in which they were received. There is considerable confusion as to just when several
of the earliest members were actually received, since a number of members who appear
(from the numerical membership list at the end of the minute book) to have been among
the charter members, were, in fact, received several months later (and thus were not
likely to have been charter members!). Additionally, we notice a number of persons who
clearly were mentioned throughout the earliest minutes as members; yet these were
persons for whom (as of yet) no record whatsoever can be found to indicate just when
they were actually received. These persons, then (especially if it can be shown that they
were among the very earliest members), may very likely have been among the eleven
charter members. Perhaps the most noteworthy of these persons is William Willis
(1803-1850), a son and grandson of known charter members, for whom we possess no
record of his ever having been received, and yet who was clearly among Utoy Churchs
Trustees in 1833 [q.v.].

One can easily see, from this list, just how severely Utoy Churchs firm and unyielding
stance (some would say harsh stance) against Sunday Schools, Temperance Societies,
and Missions (etc.) had affected the churchs formerly growing membership: after the
early 1830s, new members dwindled to barely a trickle each year (some years in the
1840s and 1850s not seeing the addition of so much as a single new member). Not only
did the Church fail to gain significant numbers of new members, but the churchs minute
books also reflect a serious, steady (and sad) decline in existing membership, as one
family after another continued to move away, for one reason or another. Contrast this
with the period of the late 1820s, when the Churchs membership grew by leaps and
bounds. Indeed, it may even be seriously asserted, that Utoy Churchs 1837 Resolution
against Sunday Schools, Missions, etc., whereby the Church became a Primitive
Baptist Church, may have even set in motion a chain of events, indirectly leading to the
Churchs eventual disbandment in the 1980s. Of course, it can also be reasonably argued
that the allure of inexpensive new lands to the West, in states such as Alabama,
Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas, as well as the gradually declining influx of new settlers
to the area around Utoy Church, contributed equally to this sad decline.

(Note: marked graves==(m); unmarked graves==(u).)

1824 15 August:
Founding members (apparently, for it is not certain just who the eleven charter
members were):
Elder J ames Hale } Presbytery
Elder J ohn Landers } at Formation of Church
Hosea Maner was the Church Clerk from the very beginning, but was not
officially received into membership until 26 February 1825.

Ervin (Irvin) Stricklin. (c.1780post 1850). He was re-received on 11 June,
1831, along with a Mary Stricklin. His wife, however, was Martha Patsey

Crow, whom he wed in Jackson County, Georgia on November 1
, 1807. She
was a member of the same Crow family from whence several of Utoy Churchs
early members were drawn. Ervin Stricklin was dismissed by letter on 10/12
November, 1842. This Stricklin family later ended up in Tishmingo County,
Mississipi (by 1850).
Margaret Peggy Harbin Suttles. Died 16 July 1839; buried in churchyard
(m). She was wife of Revolutionary War Veteran William Suttles, mother of
Utoy Church member Margaret Peggy Suttles Willis, and maternal grandmother
of Utoy members Elizabeth Betsy Willis White, William Willis, and Charlotty
Willis Herring [q.v.]
Margaret Peggy Suttles Willis. Died 29 July 1870; buried in churchyard (u).
She was the widow of Capt. Joseph Willis Sr. (died Franklin County, Georgia, in
the Spring of 1812), a daughter of Utoy Church member Margaret Peggy
Harbin Suttles, and mother of Utoy members Elizabeth Betsy Willis White,
William Willis, and Charlotty Willis Herring [q.v.]
William Willis. (13 February 1803-ca. December, 1850); Appointed a Trusteeof
Utoy Church, 17 March, 1832; possibly buried in churchyard (u). Son of Utoy
Church member Margaret Peggy Suttles Willis, grandson of Utoy member
Margaret Peggy Harbin Suttles, brother of Utoy members Elizabeth Betsy
Willis White and Charlotty Charity..Willis Herring, and brother-in-law of
Utoy member William Wilson White [q.v.]. William Willis was apparently an
educated man, and a prosperous attorney in De Kalb County, as the inventory and
sale bill of his estate in said county in April, 1851 (which ran to a total of four
pagesone of the largest in the county in that period), mentioned two law
books, in addition to Weems Life of Washington, the Life of Man, an Atlas, a
Directory, a Spelling Book and Grammar, a family Bible, and sundry other books,
altogether making an impressive library for that time and place (when most men
couldnt read or write at all).ci
Elizabeth Waits. Dismissed by letter 13 June 1829. Again dismissed on 7 May
James Dunlap. Dismissed by letter, along with his sister Esther, on 11 December,
Mary Dunlap. Dismissed by letter 9 September, 1839.
Robert Atkinson. Died in 1827, according to the membership list. Possibly
buried in the churchyard (u).
Orphy Tate. Dismissed by letter 25 November 1826.
James Donehoo. Ordained Deacon 27 May 1826. Dismissed by letter 13 June
1829, to help with the formation of daughter church County Line Baptist
Church. Re-received as a member of Utoy Church (with his wife Elizabeth) in
Elizabeth Wilson Donehoo. Dismissed by letter (with her husband) on 13 June
1829. Re-received as a member of Utoy Church (with her husband) in

Other members apparently received that same month were:
Nancy Dunlap. Dismissed by letter on 9 September 1839.

Benjamin Vines. Dismissed by letter 25 November 1826.
Nancy Vines. Dismissed by letter 25 November 1826.
Simon Stricklin. Dismissed by letter 21 October 1826.
Mary Stricklin. Dismissed by letter 21 October 1826.
Flora Ferguson Stone. (c.17711859). Dismissed by letter 11 May 1844. She
was the wife of Joseph Stone, the mother of Utoy Church member Daniel Stone
[q.v.], and the probable mother of Utoy Church member Jane Stone White [q.v.].
According to an unproven tradition, Flora Stone was born in Scotland.
Martha Patsy James. Cited 21 October 1826 and excluded 25 November
1826 for having an unlawful child and for refus[ing] to attend the call of the
church or to try to give satisfaction.

(All of the above-named persons show every evidence of having been received
into membership of the church prior to 25 September, 1824, which is the date
when the minutes actually begin recording the addition of new members.)

25 September:
Edward Wade. Dismissed by letter on [date unfortunately not recorded].
Nancy Blackstock. Died 15 July, 1836. Possibly buried in the churchyard (u).

27 November:
Jennett Wilson. Died 22 September, 1827. Possibly buried in the churchyard

25 December:
Asenith Dyson. Dismissed by letter 13 June 1829. Again mentioned as having
been dismissed to the formation of County Line Baptist Church on 7 May
and 7 August, 1830.
Ann Kingkannon. She was apparently received as a member on or about this
date, based on the placement of her name in the membership list. She was
dismissed by letter in 1840.

1825 26 February:
Reuben Couch. Dismissed by letter 25 November 1826.
Jane Couch. Dismissed by letter 25 November 1826.
Hosea Maner. (1800-September, 1887) On 7 December, 1833, Bryant Miles was
reported to the church on a charge of stealing wheatstones, and was cited to
appear at the next conference to answer the charge by Brothers Alford and
Hosea Maner, and Christopher Sewell. Dismissed by letter 23 February, 1850.

Sarah Mary Land Maner. (Born 1802, Pendleton District, South Carolina) Wife
of Hosea Maner. Dismissed by letter 23 February, 1850. Member of the same
extended Land family represented by other members of Utoy Church.
Susan(na) Attaway. Dismissed by letter 12 April 1828.
Amelia Higgins. Dismissed by letter 13 February 1830.


25 March:
John Dunlap. Dismissed by letter on 9 October, 1830.
Selah Maner. Dismissed by letter 11 November 1837; died in 1840. Possibly
buried in the churchyard (u). Related to Hosea and Alford Maner?

23 April:
Susan Russell. Dismissed by letter 8 June, 1844.

21 May:
Jennett Wooten. Dismissed by letter 11 May 1844.
Sarah Sally McDuffie. Dismissed by letter 26 May 1827.
Elizabeth Goddard. Dismissed by letter 15 December 1828.
Isom (Isham) Dyson. Apparently received sometime around this time, according
to his placement in the membership list. He was dismissed by letter on 13 June
1829. Again mentioned as having been dismissed to the formation of County
Line Baptist Church on 7 August, 1830.

1826 25 February:
Benjamin Couch. Dismissed by letter 21 October 1826.
Polly Couch. Dismissed by letter 21 October 1826.
Robert Orr (1789-1867): Received as a member on or near this date, according
to his placement in the membership list. He was ordained a Deacon on 9 October,
1830. As mentioned above, he was one of the Trustees of Utoy Church in 1833, at
the time of the court case involving the trustees and other members of the church.
(See pages 77-8 and 94, above.) (This issue involved the addition to the structure
of the church which was mentioned in the minutes around that time.) On 8
October, 1836, it was recorded that Bro. [Robert] Orr and [Isaac] Hughes [are]
to get four pans and six towels for feet washing. Robert Orr and Mary Orr (his
wife) were dismissed by letter on 7 September, 1844. After the Civil War
(apparently), they moved to Carroll County, Georgia.

27 May:
Linney Brown. Dismissed by letter 25 July 1827.
William Atkinson. Dismissed by letter 27 October 1827.

26 August:
Sarah Sally Jordan. Dismissed by letter 13 June 1829, and again on 7 May

25 November:
Susan Townsend. Dismissed by letter 7 March 1840.

1827 27 J anuary:
William Hornsby. Restored to fellowship on 11 December 1830, after having
been declared to have had a hard spirit that is unbecoming a Christian on the

previous November 13
. Finally dismissed on 7 December 1833, along with (his
likely family) Sally, Harriet, Fanny, and another Sally Hornsby.
Sarah Sally Hornsby. Apparent wife of William Hornsby. Dismissed by letter
on 7 December 1833.
Joseph Land. On 21 January, 1832, in company with Hiram H. Embry, he was
sent by the church to enquire as to the reason(s) for the long absence from church
of an as yet unidentified member named Julia Ann Woolf. He was dismissed
by letter on 13 February, 1841, in company with his apparent wife Elizabeth.
Probably related to the Herrings and Maners (both of whom either had Land
ancestry, or had intermarried with them).
Elizabeth Land.Dismissed by letter on 13 February, 1841, in company with her
apparent husband Joseph.
Harmon Cumming. Dismissed by letter on 7 March (May?) 1832.

24 March:
Thomas Petty. Dismissed by letter on 7 May 1830.
John Wilson Jr.. Dismissed by letter on 7 March 1840.
Elizabeth Dunlap. Dismissed by letter on 7 September 1839.
Nancy Dunlap. Dismissed by letter on 9 May 1835.
Catherine Cumming. Dismissed by letter on 7 March (May?) 1832 (Apparent
wife of Harmon Cumming.)
Isaac N. Johnson. He and his wife were apparently received as members on or
near this date, according to the placement of their names in the membership list.
He was ordained a Deacon 27 May 1826. Elected Church Clerk on the same date.
He was dismissed by letter on 13 February 1830. He later became the Sheriff of
De Kalb County (1830-1832), and in 1836 was elected to represent the people of
De Kalb in the state senate. (See pages 129-132, below.)
Judith J. Johnson. (his wife). Dismissed by letter 13 February 1830.
Jesse Childress Sr. (1 February 1768circa 1850). Appointed Church Treasurer
on 11 July 1829. A Bro. Childress (probably him) was one of five trustees for
Utoy Church appointed on 17 March, 1832. On June 8
, 1833, he brought before
the consideration of the church the matter of the disposition of his estate to his son
Jesse Jr. (born 1812). On 11 July, 1833, however, the church, apparently not
wishing to get involved in a private and potentially contentious matter such as
that, voted to drop the matter of Bro. Childress as we found it. Also on 11 July,
1833, Brother Isaac Hughes brought before the church a matter of controversy
between James V. White and Jesse Childress (Sr.): it seems that Childress had
given his word to White to bring a certain horse to court (in Decatur), but had
failed to make good on his word, and had left White holding the bag (being
obligated to the court for the value of the horse in question). Brother Childress,
upon being examined, and not making an adequate justification for himself, was
excommunicated from the church for this offense.

27 October:

John Patterson. Dismissed by letter 13 June 1829. Again mentioned as having
been dismissed for the formation of County Line Baptist Church on 7 May,
Sarah Sally Patterson. Dismissed by letter 13 June 1829. Again mentioned as
having been dismissed for the formation of County Line Baptist Church on 7
May, 1830. (Apparent wife of John Patterson.)

1828 23 February:
London Lun (a black brother belonging to Mrs. Howard). Dismissed by
letter, along with Winny (his wife?), on 13 December 1834. This Mrs. Howard
was perhaps related to the wife of Merrell Embry (Divine Howard Embry).
Winney (a black woman belonging to Mrs. Howard). Dismissed by letter,
along with Lun (her husband?), on 13 December 1834.
John Cole. Dismissed by letter 15 December 1828.
Sam Sr. (a black brother belonging to Bro. Isaac N. Johnson). Dismissed by letter
13 February 1830. He must have been re-received at some point, however,
because he was again dismissed by letter on 8 November 1834. (Perhaps he had
been sold, but to a new owner not far away, who had allowed him to continue his
membership at Utoy?)

8 March:
Lucy (a black sister belonging to Mrs. Weatherford). Dismissed by letter 7
February 1829.
Noah Hornsby. (9 April 177625 May 1863) (See page 134, below.)
Elizabeth Knighton Hornsby. (31 January 177720 December 1875).
Elder Radford Gunn (first appointed preacher of Utoy Church on this date). [See
pages 125-128, below.]

12 April:
Isabella (a black sister belonging to Bro. Noah Hornsby).

10 May:
Nancy Reid (Reed). Dismissed by letter 28 October 1828.

Joseph Stricklin. Dismissed by letter 15 December 1828.
Polly Stricklin. Dismissed by letter 15 December 1828.
Polly Sewell. Died 15 February, 1829. Possibly buried in the churchyard (u).
Eunice Nicey Land Grogan. (Born 1810, South Carolina.) Dismissed by letter
11 April 1829. Re-received as a member, on 7 August, 1830, along with her new
husband, Bartholomew Grogan. Dismissed again on 12 January, 1833 (with her
husband). Also re-received with her husband on 11 April, 1835. Almost certainly
related somehow to the other Lands who were.members of Utoy Church. Finally
dismissed with her husband on 4 April, 1851.

7 J une:
Dicey Scroggins. Dismissed by letter on 9 May 1835.

Hiram Howard Embry. (2 Nov. 180518 Nov 1877). Son of Utoy Church
members Merrell Embry and Divine Howard Embry [q.v.], brother of Utoy
member Abel O. Embry, and a son-in-law of Utoy member Jesse Childress
Sr. [q.v.], Embrys wife Susannah (born 10 Apr. 1809) being said Childress
daughter [q.v.].cii Hiram H. Embry married his wife Susannah Childress on 13
September 1827, probably in DeKalb County. On 21January, 1832, in company
with Joseph Land, Hiram H. Embry was sent by the church to enquire as to the
reason(s) for the long absence from church of an as yet unidentified member
named Julia Ann Woolf. On 9 December, 1837, he confessed to an affray [of
fighting] which had occurred between himself and Rite [Wright] White [see
above]. Hiram H. Embry was dismissed by letter on [date unreadable]. He later
was received into membership with Old Mount Zion Baptist Church in Fulton
County, Georgia (now known as Northside Park Baptist Church), which is
where he (and several members of his family?) lie buried.

8 J une (Sunday at the water):
James M. Holley. Dismissed by letter 7 February 1829. He and his wife,
however, immediately returned their letters. On 12 January, 1833, he and his wife
were again dismissed by letter. (Then intervened the court case mentioned above.)
And yet, despite that awful business, on 9 August, 1833, he and James V. White
were asked by the church to cite Bro. John Holley to answer a charge of
intocication [sic]. On 12 October, 1833, James M. Holley finally surrendered to
the church his letter of dismissal (he evidently having failed to relocate). And yet,
on 7 December of that same year, he was nonetheless excluded (probably
because of the above court case of January, 1833, involving the trustees of
Utoy Church, and the work on adding to the meeting house.) On 12 July 1834,
he re-applied for admission as a member, along with Noah Hornsby, but on
August the 8
, both of their applications were summarily dismissed. Finally, on
10 December, 1837, his application for restoration of membership was accepted,
and he was then quickly granted a letter of dismissal.
Sarah Sally Holley. Dismissed by letter 7 February 1829. On 12 January,
1833, she and her husband were again dismissed by letter.
Zachaeus Herren. Died in the fall of 1829. Possibly buried in the churchyard

12 J uly:
Malinda Milly Wood. Dismissed by letter 15 December 1828.
Amason May. Confessed to having been intoxicated on 13 November, 1830. He,
his wife and William May (a son?) were dismissed by letter on 11 December,
Sarah Herren.
Henry Hornsby. Dismissed by letter on 12 January 1833.
William Wilson White. (22 December 180017 November 1895). Longest-
lived male church member. Buried in churchyard (m). Almost certainly a
brother of Utoy Church members James V. White and Mary Ann Polly Ann
White Rainey, a brother-in-law of Utoy members Tandy Holman Green, Sr.,

Martha M. Weaver White, and Jane Stone White, and husband of Utoy member
Elizabeth Betsy Willis [q.v.]. On 7 January 1837, Bro. W
White made an
acknowledgment for drinking too much[,] which was received. [See above, and
Nancy Shain. Dismissed by letter 8 November 1828.
Ann Garrett. Died [date not recorded]. Possibly buried in the churchyard (u).
Peggy M. Hendon. Dismissed by letter on 12 January 1839. (Apparently the
second wife of Utoy member Isom [Isham] Hendon.)
Alford May. Dismissed by letter 12 September 1829.
Noah H. Hornsby. Dismissed by letter 11 May 1844.
Alford (Alfred) Maner. On 7 December, 1833, Bryant Miles was reported to the
church on a charge of stealing wheatstones, and was cited to appear at the next
conference to answer the charge by Brothers Alford and Hosea Maner, and
Christopher Sewell. Alford Maner was dismissed by letter on 11 January 1837,
along with his wife Rebecca Herren Maner.
Frederick (a black boy belonging to Bro. Noah Hornsby). On 14 July, 1832, it
was reported that he had run away from his master (and not for the first time). On
17 August, of that same year, he was excluded for this offense. [See below.]
Christopher Sewell. (See page 95, above.) On 7 December, 1833, Bryant Miles
was reported to the church on a charge of stealing wheatstones, and was cited to
appear at the next conference to answer the charge by Brothers Alford and Hosea
Maner, and Christopher Sewell. On 14 August, 1836, Christopher Sewell was
named one of seven delegates from Utoy Church, sent out to visit various sister
churches in the area.

13 July (Sunday at the water):
Merrell Embry. (Born 27 March 1782, probably in North Carolina.) Father of
Utoy Church members Hiram H. Embry and Abel Owen Embry. Dismissed by
letter on 7 December, 1833, along with daughter Elizabeth and his wife Divine
Howard Embry.

Sally Childress.
Isom [Isham] Hendon. Appointed assisting clerk on 9 October, 1830. On 10
September, 1831, a Bro. Hendon, probably him, denied a report that he had
gotten drunk. Isom Hendons wife Sally Murray Hendon is reported by tradition
to have been the first burial in Utoys Churchyard, in 1825. This date is probably
incorrect, however, because the 1830 Federal Census of De Kalb County indicates
that Isom and his wife had a few children born between the years 1825 and 1830.
His wife, therefore (who was NOT in that 1830 census, and NOT a Utoy Church
member), probably died closer to 1829. (Unless he had a second wife, married
circa 1826, who somehow did not get recorded in the census )
John Johnson. Dismissed by letter on 8 November, 1828.
William May. Dismissed by letter on 11 December 1830.
Charity Oliver. Dismissed by letter on 11 April 1829.

9 August:
Zadock Johnson. Dismissed by letter on 10 January, 1829.

Catherine Hornsby. Dismissed by letter [date unreadable] 1833.
Hall (a black brother belonging to Mrs. Lucretia Howard). Dismissed by letter on
10 February, 1838.

12 August:
Susan[nah] Pope. Probably the wife of the below John Pope who was received
as a member on 8 August, 1829. She died on 12 June, 1844. Possibly buried in the
churchyard (u).

1 September:
Nancy May. Dismissed by letter on 11 December 1830.
Harriet Hornsby. Dismissed on 7 December 1833, along with (her likely family)
William, Sally, Fanny, and another Sally Hornsby.

13 September:
Nancy Herren. Dismissed in 1836.
Abel Owen Embry. Born on 25 June 1807. Another son of Utoy Church
members Merrell Embry and Divine Howard Embry, and a brother of Utoy
member Hiram H. Embry. Dismissed by letter on 11 November, 1837, with his
unnamed wife [Nancy Chatham]. A probable son of Abel O. Embry was Radford
G. Embry (1831-1863), who died at Vicksburg during the Civil War, and who
was almost certainly named after Utoy pastor Elder Radford Gunn [q.v.]. Abel
and Nancy Embry became the guardians to Radford G. Embrys two minor
children after his (Radfords) early death. Abel O. Embry and Nancy Chatham
were married, probably in DeKalb County, on 8 September, 1830.

14 September (Sunday):
Polly Herren. Re-received on 11 July, 1829 (unless there were two different
persons by this name). Dismissed by letter [date crossed out and unreadable]. A
later entry with this name has the date 12 February 1848.

15 September (Monday at the water):
James V. White (1804-5 April 1892). Husband of Utoy Church member Martha
M. Weaver, and almost certainly a brother of Utoy Church members William
Wilson White and Mary Ann Polly Ann White Rainey, and brother-in-law of
Utoy members Tandy Holman Green, Sr., Jane Stone White and Elizabeth
Betsy Willis White [q.v.]. James V. White acknowledged giting into a vilent
pashion on 20 October, 1832, but give [gave] satisfaction, and was restored.
Also on 11 July, 1833, Brother Isaac Hughes brought before the church a matter
of controversy between James V. White and Jesse Childress (Sr.): it seems that
Childress had given his word to White to bring a certain horse to court (in
Decatur), but had failed to make good on his word, and had left White holding the
bag (being obligated to the court for the value of the horse in question). (Brother
Childress, upon being examined, and not making an adequate justification for
himself, was excommunicated from the church for this offense.) On 9 August,
1833, James V. White and James M. Holley were asked by the church to cite

Bro. John Holley to answer a charge of intocication [sic]. On 12 September,
1835, James V. White again acknowledged giting out of temper. On 14 August,
1836, he was named one of seven delegates from Utoy Church, sent out to visit
various sister churches in the area. James V. White and his wife were dismissed
by letter from Utoy Church 10 December, 1836, but were subsequently re-
received in 1842. James V. White and his wife and family later relocated (circa
1861-62) to Carroll and Haralson Counties, which is where he and his wife
probably died. According to family tradition, he and his wife are buried in Utoy
churchyard (u).
John Asbury DeJarnette Childress. Born on 29 December, 1805, probably in
South Carolina.
Son of Utoy member Jesse Childress Sr. [q.v.]. Cited on 13
February 1830 to explain his long absences from church. On 14 April, 1832, he
appeared and give satisfaction. However, that was not the end of his
troubles, for that same day it was recorded that Utoy Church had become
afflicted with [him] for having race paths at his house. He refused to give
satisfaction, and as a result, was finally excluded. (What that apparently
means, from similar instances mentioned elsewhere, is that he was running a
horse-racing gambling operation at his premises.) This John A. D.
Childress, it should be pointed out, is a different person than the man by that
name who lies buried in Utoys churchyard, since that later John A. D.
Childress wasnt even born until 1836. (He was a son of Jesse Childress, Jr.,
and thus a nephew of the earlier John A. D. Childress, for whom he was
named.) This earlier John A. D. Childress, however, may indeed also lie buried
in Utoys Churchyard (u).
John Hornsby. Dismissed on 8 February 1834, along with his apparent wife
Nelly. Since no record of her admission as a member by that name survives, she
may have been the person who was admitted a member as Nelly Maddox on
July 11
, 1829 [q.v.]. A man by this name was also excluded on 12 August,
Nathaniel Guest. On 9 August, 1833, a Bro. Guest denied a report against him
of drinking too much spirits. That person could be this man, or the later George
Guest. Nathaniel Guest and his (unnamed) wife were dismissed by letter on 11
January 1834.
Jane Childress. Dismissed by letter in 1835.
Susan(na) Childress. Dismissed by letter [date not recorded].
Rebecca Herren Maner. Wife of Utoy member Alford (Alfred) Maner.
Dismissed by letter on 11 November 1837.

11 October:
Israel Hendon was moderator pro tem on this date. (Was he perhaps a relative
of Utoy members Isom [Isham] Hendon and Peggy M. Hendon?) Bro.
Hendon had been a charter member and first church clerk of DeKalb
Countys Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church (founded 1823), according
to Franklin M. Garrett.cvi

8 November:

Jane [Stone] White (11 November 180717 October 1876). Wife of Andrew
Jackson White (b.1802), and almost certainly a sister of Utoy Church
member Daniel Stone, and sister-in-law of Utoy members William Wilson
White, Elizabeth Betsy Willis White, James V. White, Tandy Holman Green,
Sr., and Mary Ann Polly Ann White Rainey [q.v.]. Dismissed by letter on 9
March, 1839, Jane and her husband soon relocated to Cherokee County, Alabama
Chattooga County, Georgia (1840), and Attala County, Mississippi
(1860 and 1870), which is where they probably died and are buried. Her husband
Andrew apparently participated in the infamous Cherokee Removal of 1838 (the
Trail of Tears) as a private in Glasscocks Company of Norwoods
Battalion of Alabama Militia.
[See Andrew White, above.]
Martha M. Weaver White (1811before 1892). Dismissed by letter 7 February,
1829. Re-received by letter on Sunday, 25 March, 1831., and again in 1842. She
was the wife of Utoy Church member James V. White (b.1804), and almost
certainly a sister-in-law of Utoy members William Wilson White, Elizabeth
Betsy Willis White, Jane Stone White, Tandy Holman Green, Sr., and Mary
Ann Polly Ann White Rainey [q.v.]. Martha may have been related to the John
and Priscilla Weaver who were also members of Utoy Church [q.v.]
Thomas Hornsby. Dismissed by letter on 12 January 1833.
Britton Kilpatrick. Dismissed by letter on 9 March, 1833.
Ann(a) Roberts. Died in 1848. Possibly buried in the churchyard (u).
Sarah Bankston. Died on 15 January, 1848 (if this difficult to read date has been
interpreted correctly). Possibly buried in the churchyard (u).
Sam (a black brother belonging to Bro. Jesse Childress Sr.). Dismissed by letter
on 8 November, 1834.

9 November (Sunday at the water):
Ann Hornbuckle. She was found guilty of fornication on 10 March, 1832, and
summarily excluded.
Dorcas Hornbuckle. Dismissed by letter on 12 January, 1833.

25 November:
John Wilson Sr.. Dismissed by letter 7 February 1829.
(Patsy Wilson.)
Barnabas Stricklin was moderator pro tem on this date.

15 December:
William Johnson. Died in 1832. Possibly buried in the churchyard (u).
Martha Patsey Johnson. Dismissed by letter on 11 June, 1831.

1829 7 February:
Joel Herring (23 February 1801--20 January 1877). Appointed Church Clerk on
13 February 1830 in place of Isaac N. Johnson. (See below.)
Esther Chatham Herring (17 February 1791--10 July 1861). Sister of Elizabeth
Chatham Willis (17981848), the wife of Utoy Church member William Willis
q.v.]. Buried in the churchyard (m).

7 March:
Isaac Hughes. On 9 March, 1833, he was chosen to be Utoy Churchs new
Treasurer. On 11 July, 1833, he brought before the church a matter of
controversy between James V. White and Jesse Childress (Sr.): it seems that
Childress had given his word to White to bring a certain horse to court (in
Decatur), but had failed to make good on his word, and had left White holding the
bag (being obligated to the court for the value of the horse in question). Brother
Childress, upon being examined, and not making an adequate justification for
himself, was excommunicated from the church for this offense (see also Jesse
Childress). On 10 September, 1836, along with Moses Smith, he was a delegate
of Utoy Church to cite Bro. Joel Mason to the next conference (because Mason
had failed to take his seat at communion. On 8 October, 1836, it was recorded
that Bro. [Robert] Orr and Hughes [are] to get four pans and six towels for feet
washing. Isaac Hughes was dismissed by letter on 10 February 1838.
Elizabeth Hughes. Wife of Isaac Hughes. Dismissed by letter on 10 February

11 April:
Monday (a black boy belonging to James Cheatham/Chatham). Dismissed by
letter on 12 December 1829 as property of the heirs of William Chatham.

29 May:
Esther Dunlap. Sister of the above James Dunlap, she was dismissed by letter,
along with him, on 11 December, 1830.
Eliza Williamson. Dismissed by letter on 10 December 1831.
(Mary McClendon.) She is not listed in the minutes on this date, but is listed in
the membership roll with the other two women received on this date. She was,
however, dismissed by letter on 7 August 1830.

13 J une:
Aaron Roberts. Died 25 September, 1865. Possibly buried in the churchyard (u).
Catherine Dunlap. Died July, 1837. Possibly buried in the churchyard (u).

14 J une (Sunday Morning at the water):
Rachel (a black woman belonging to Mr. John Williamson). Dismissed by letter
on 9 April, 1831. A note in the membership list says that Rachel a black woman
Died 1854. That is probably this same person, even though she had earlier been
dismissed from the membership of the church. She may possibly be among the
burials in the churchyard. (u) (That would account for why her date of death got
recorded in the church minutes.)

11 J uly:
Lucy Savall. Died [date not recorded]. Possibly buried in the churchyard (u).
Rachel Walraven. Dismissed 10 December 1831 [date is crossed out, however].
Martha Todd. Dismissed by letter on 7 August, 1830.

Thomas Oliver. Dismissed by letter 10 July 1830, along with his wife and an
unnamed son (Jeremiah, below?).
Mary Oliver. Dismissed by letter 10 July 1830.
Margaret Kenady (Kennedy). Dismissed to the new constitution (County Line
Baptist Church) on 7 May 1830.
Elizabeth Betsy Willis White. (16 December 18013 April 1883) Longest-
lived female church member. Buried in churchyard (m). [See above.]
Nelly Maddox (Madden?). (Did she later become Nelly Hornsby, the wife of
John Hornsby? If so, she and he were both dismissed by letter on 8
February 1834.) (An entry with her name as Nelly Madden says she was
dismissed in 1833.)

12 July (at the water):
Jeremiah Waits. Dismissed by letter 7 May 1830.
George Guest. On 9 August, 1833, a Bro. Guest denied a report against him of
drinking too much spirits. That person could be this man, or the earlier
Nathaniel Guest.
John Wheeler. Excluded on 10 July, 1830 for moving into the Indian c[o]untry
and other miss conduct. [sic]

8 August:
John Pope. (30 December 1778after 16 June 1849), whose daughter-in-law
Emily E. Crow Pope was also a Utoy member (hence the interest of his lineal
descendant Judge John D. Humphries of Fulton County in the history of Utoy
Church). This John Popes wife Susannah was probably the Susan Pope who
was received (above) as a member on 12 August, 1828. John Pope is possibly
buried in the churchyard (u). On 8 November 1834, it was noted that Bro. Pope
has failed to attend. Brothers Robert Orr and William White were recruited to
cite him to the next conference, where, on 13 December (1834), he appeared and
give [gave] satisfaction. The membership list in the back of the Utoy Church
minute books indeed lists his year of death as 1849. Possibly buried in the
churchyard (u).
Polly Wheeler. (Was she the wife of the above John Wheeler, and did she also
move to the Indian Country about July, 1830?)
Mary Walraven. Dismissed by letter on 11 February 1843 (1848?).
Jeremiah Oliver. Dismissed by letter 10 July 1830?
Sharp (a black man belonging to Lewis Peacock). Excommunicated from the
church on 12 December 1829 for getting several times drunk and also being
guilty of profane language. He evidently was reinstated, however,
because on 16 June, 1832, he was again accused of drinking too much. He
evidently was by that point attending a church named Deep Creek Church,
because Utoy decided to write to that church regarding his behavior.
Lavinia Williams. Died in the fall of 1829. Possibly buried in the churchyard.

9 August:

William Bullard. Dismissed by letter (along with Mary Bullard, his likely wife)
on 8 February 1834.
(name not recorded) (a black boy belonging to Adam Poole).

30 August:
Leonard Hornsby. Dismissed by letter, along with his unidentified wife, on 14
April, 1832.

12 September:
Elizabeth Parr. Dismissed by letter on 12 March, 1831.
Jane Adams. Dismissed by letter on 13 April, 1833.
Permelia Martin. An Amelia Martin (same person?) was dismissed by letter
on 11 June, 1831, but later re-received on 9 August, 1834. This Amelia
Martin was again dismissed on 9 December, 1837.
Divine Howard Embry. (Born 20 September 1786, in North Carolina.) She
was the wife of Utoy Church member Merrell Embry [q.v.], and mother of
Utoy members Hiram H. and Abel O. Embry. She was dismissed by letter on 7
December, 1833, along with her husband Merrell Embry, and Elizabeth Embry (a
Mary Orr. Wife of Utoy Church member Robert Orr [q.v.].
William West. Dismissed by letter 13 February 1830.
Sally Hornsby. } both dismissed on 7 December 1833, along with (their likely
Fanny Hornsby.} family) William, Sarah, and Harriet Hornsby.
Easter (Esther) (a black woman belonging to William Paty [Patty]).
James Russell. He must have been dismissed at some point between late 1829
and early 1841, because he was re-received in 1841, but eventually dismissed by
letter on 12 September, 1844. He was possibly related to Edie and Margaret
Russell, who were received on 12 January, 1833.

12 December:
Nancy Chatham (Embry). Wife of Utoy member Abel O. Embry [q.v.]
Rebecca Dobbins. Dismissed by letter on 11 June, 1831.
Jane West. Dismissed by letter on 13 February 1830.
Mary Bullard. Dismissed by letter (along with William Bullard, her likely
husband) on 8 February 1834.
Treacy Pope.

1830 13 February:
Margaret Peggy Crow White. (30 March 181928 January 1901). Daughter
of Joshua Crow and his wife, Utoy Church member Annis Browning Crow, sister
of the above-mentioned (William) Martin Crow, and wife of Wright White [q.v.].
She was apparently dismissed at some point, and then re-received in 1841; she
was finally dismissed by letter on 9 December, 1843, which was probably shortly
before she and her husband relocated to Randolph County, Alabama. (Apparently
briefly re-received in 1862.) She and her husband Wright White lie buried in

Paran Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, Randolph County, Alabama, which
church and cemetery are literally within easy sight of the Georgia state line.
Bryant Miles. On 7 December, 1833, he was reported to the church on a charge
of stealing wheatstones, and was cited to appear at the next conference to
answer the charge by Brothers Alford and Hosea Maner, and Christopher Sewell.
On 11 January, 1834, he was excommunicated on the charge of stealing
Jincy (Jiney/Jennie?) Miles. Apparently the wife of Bryant Miles.

13 March:
Telitha Patterson.

10 April:
Mary Hornsby. Excluded on 7 August, 1830 for the somewhat mysterious
charge of meeting a yo[u]ng man out. This sounds like a romantic tryst, but we
cannot be too sure.
Henry Hornsby. Dismissed by letter on 12 January, 1833.

8 May:
Rachel Ann Ford. An inserted note says that she was among several members
who were dismissed to the foundation of a daughter church (County Line Baptist
Church) on 7 May 1830. However, this turns out to be one day before she
was officially received as a member at Utoy!

7 August:
Bartholomew (Bartlett) Grogan. (Born 1810, South Carolina; died after 1880,
Buckhead, Fulton County, Georgia.) Dismissed by letter on 12 January, 1833
(with his wife). He and his wife were then re-received on 11 April, 1835. Finally
dismissed with his wife on 4 April, 1851.
Annis Browning Crow (20 August 1785--1835); possibly buried in the
churchyard (u). Her daughter Margaret Crow (1819-1901) was a sister-in-law of
Utoy member William Wilson White [q.v.] (Margarets husband was Wright
White, 1807-1893, who was mentioned in the Utoy Church minutes as Rite
White, under date of 9 December, 1837, as having gotten into an affray of
fighting with Utoy member Hiram H. Embry.)
Tabitha Toby Dunlap. Dismissed by letter on 9 October, 1830.

9 October:
Susan Berry. Dismissed by letter on 19 May, 1832.

11 December:
John Holley. He acknowledged a charge of intoxication on 10 December,
1831. On 21 January, 1832, apparently feeling some remorse, he sent a letter to
the church requesting that they exclude him from membership. However, on 10
March, 1832, he appeared in church and give [gave] satisfaction. On 11 July,
1833, Brothers William White and James V. White were requested to cite John

Holley to the next conference to answer as to why he had not properly applied for
letters of dismissal (evidently having left the communion of the church). On 9
August, 1833, James M. Holley and James V. White were asked by the church to
again cite Bro. John Holley, this time to answer yet another charge of
intocication [sic]. On 7 September, 1833, John Holley appeared and give
[gave] satisfaction (i.e., made an adequate apology). Finally, on that same
September 7
, he and his wife were (properly) dismissed by letter from Utoy
Nancy Holley. Apparently the wife of John Holley. Dismissed by letter with her
apparent husband on 7 September, 1833.

1831 25 March (Sunday):
Charlotty Lotty Morgan. Dismissed by letter 8 June, 1844.

11 J une:
Mary Stricklin. Probably related to the Ervin and Barnabas Stricklins earlier
A Rachel Ann Calhoun was dismissed by letter on 11 June, 1831, but there is
no record of any person by this name having ever been received as a
member of Utoy Church. This would seem to indicate that perhaps
Calhoun was her married name Was she perhaps identical to the
Rachel Ann Ford listed above?
A Rachel Rutledge was also dismissed by letter on 11 June, 1831, and
similarly, no record of her admission as a member survives, either! Who was she,
and when did she join?

12 October:
Tandy Holman Green, Sr. (1795post 1870). Excluded on 17 August, 1832,
for drinking too much spirits. (He had been similarly cited on 10 March,
1832.) He married Obedience Biddy White (born 1799) in Franklin
County, Georgia, on 26 July, 1824. She was almost certainly an older sister of
Utoy members William Wilson White, James V. White, and Mary Ann Polly
Ann White Rainey [q.v.] Tandy Holman Green, Sr. was almost certainly also a
brother-in-law of Utoy members Jane Stone White, Martha M. Weaver White,
and Elizabeth Betsy Willis White [q.v.]. The Greens afterward relocated to
Randolph, Talladega, and Clay Counties, Alabama, where they in all likelihood
died and are buried.

1832 21 J anuary:
A Julia Ann Woolf is mentioned on this date, but there is apparently no
earlier record of her having been received as a member! On this date,
Brothers Hiram H. Embry and Joseph Land were sent to enquire as to the causes
of her long absence from church (indicating that she had been an expected
member there for some time). However, on 10 March, 1832, she appeared in
church and gave satisfaction. [Spelled properly, for once.]


22 J anuary (Sunday):
Crecy (a black girl, the property of William Scaif). Dismissed by letter on 12
January, 1833.

10 March:
Elder Josiah Grisham minister of the Gospel. He was elected as Utoy
Churchs new minister on 10 December, 1831, replacing Elder Radford Gunn.
[See below for a biography.]
Margaret Peggy Grisham, his wife. She and her husband were dismissed by
letter on 9 January, 1841.

17 March:
Benjamin Jowers. On 16 June, 1832, he was accused of drinking too much.
Again, on 17 August, 1832, he was cited for drinking too much, and for
letting his horse run through the race paths. (Horse-racing and the associated
gambling seem to have been just as popular then as now, if not more so.) On 12
January, 1833, it was reported to the church that he had absconded the
c[o]untry. This fact resulted in his exclusion from the church on the following 9

of February (1833). He apparently moved to Randolph County, Alabama, and
united with a Cedron Church there, because on 11 March, 1837, Utoy Church
received a letter from [that church] regarding the exclusion of Benjamin
Gowers [sic] [,] formerly a member of this church. On the next April the 8
the same year), Utoy Church recorded that the acknowledgment of Benjamin
Gowers [sic] [was] not satisfactory [and] agreed to rite [sic] a letter to him and
the church, by Brothers J[osiah] Grisham, H[enry] P. White, and J[oel] Herring.

Also on March 17
, 1832, the membership of Utoy Church voted to raise a
subscription for the purpose of building an addition to the meeting house of ten
feet. Brothers [Jesse?] Childress, Robert Orr, Isaac Hughes, William Willis,
and Robert Wood were appointed the Trustees to oversee this important task. This
is the cause which led to the development of the above-mentioned court case in
1833 (see above).

14 April:
Caroline (a black girl) (no owner listed). Dismissed by letter on 10 February,

Also on April 14
, a sister Sarah Reeves was dismissed by letter. Again, no
record can yet be found of her earlier admission as a member of Utoy Church!

15 September:
Mary Ann Polly Ann White Rainey (1813-post 1880). She was dismissed by
letter on 8 February 1834, but re-received on 10 June, 1837. On 10

February, 1838, however, Brother Robert Orr reported to the church that Mary
Ann Rainey was in disorder due to fornication. She was cited to appear at the
next months church conference, when (on 10 March, 1838) it was recorded that
the Brethr. appointed to cite her reported that she was undeniably guilty of the
sin of fornication, and upon this charge, she was excluded from this church. (Her
pregnancy was evidently already showing.) The unfortunate Mary Ann Polly
Ann White Rainey in fact had a child born in 1838 (the next nearest children
were born on 9 February 1837 and 5 October 1839 respectively), and this child
a sonwas named William W. Rainey, apparently after his uncle, William
Wilson White, also a Utoy member [q.v.]. (Another son, born about 1846,
was named after his uncle by marriage, Tandy Holman Green, Sr.) Mary Ann
Polly Ann White Rainey was apparently forgiven (1841) by Utoy Church (to
their great credit) even for the sin of fornication, for we find her again dismissed
by letter from said church on 12 December, 1846. She was the wife of George W.
Rainey (1806--1864), a sister of Utoy members William W. White and James V.
White, and sister-in-law of Utoy members Jane Stone White, Tandy Holman
Green, Sr., Martha M. Weaver White, and Elizabeth Betsy Willis White [q.v.].
Her husband died in Atlanta during the Civil War, but she and her children
quietly lived out the remainder of their lives in Randolph County, Alabama.
Martha Patsy Rainey. Probably a sister-in-law to the above Mary Ann Polly
Ann White Rainey, she was also dismissed by letter on 8 February, 1834,
but was re-received on 10 June, 1837 (the same dates on which Mary Ann Rainey
was dismissed and re-received).
Eliza J. (Peat?) [ unreadable ]. Died on 8 November, 1840. Possibly buried in
the churchyard. (u)

1833 12 J anuary:
Hawkins Howard. Died on 20 February, 1837. Possibly buried in the churchyard
(u). Perhaps a relative of the above-mentioned Utoy Church member Melvina
Divine Howard Embry [q.v.]
Mary Howard. Apparently his wife. Dismissed by letter on 13 January, 1844.
Edie Russell. Possible relative of the above James Russell? A note in the
membership list says that she died in 1838.
Margaret Russell. Possible relative of the above James Russell? Dismissed by
letter on 8 June, 1844.

9 February:
Elizabeth Embry. Dismissed by letter on 7 December, 1833, along with (her
parents) Merrill and Divine Embry.

7 September:
John Lee. (c.17924 January 1865) Founder of a large and influential family at
Utoy Church, involved with the church over several generations.
Susanna Lee. (179619 June 1853), wife of John Lee. She and her husband
were dismissed by letter on 8 June, 1844.


7 December:
Ambrose Miskell Haley. (12 February, 17928 August, 1886) On 14 August,
1836, he was named one of seven delegates from Utoy Church, sent out to visit
various sister churches in the area. On 8 October, 1836, he was appointed to
keep the meeting house this year[;] scower [sic] it once[,] sweep it every
month[;] to have $4.00 for his service. On 7 January, 1837, he and his wife were
dismissed by letter, and he returned the care and trust of the meeting house to the
church. He and his wife Lucinda were re-received into membership on 13 April,
1839, however. After his first wifes death in 1848, he remarried (6 November,
1850, DeKalb County, Georgia) to an Elizabeth Hendon (born 1817, daughter
of a William Hendon). Mr. Haley was finally dismissed for good on 11
February, 1854, and thereafter moved to Randolph County, Alabama (1860),
Heard County, Georgia (1870), and Cleburne County, Alabama (1880), which is
probably where he died and is buried.
Lucinda C. Riley Haley. (3 May, 1805---October, 1848) Wife of Ambrose M.
Haley, whom she wed on 24 July, 1824. Dismissed on 7 January, 1837, but re-
received on 13 April, 1839, along with her husband. She died in October, 1848,
according to the membership list, and may possibly be one of the many
unmarked burials in the churchyard. (u)

1834 11 J anuary:
Constantine Wood. On 13/14 August, 1836, he was named one of seven
delegates from Utoy Church, sent out to visit various sister churches in the area.
On 10 September 1836, Bro. and Sis. Wood were dismissed by letter.
Maiden Wood. Wife of Constantine Wood.

Also on this date, a Dorcas Darkey Patterson was dismissed by letter from
the church. Since there is no record of anyone by this name ever having been
admitted as a member, the possibility is good that she had been received under a
different name, and that Patterson was her married name.

8 February:
John P. Weaver. Possibly a relative of Utoy Church member Martha M. Weaver
White [q.v.]. Dismissed by letter on 7 March 1835.
Priscilla Weaver. Possibly a relative of Utoy Church member Martha M. Weaver
White [q.v.]. Dismissed by letter on 7 March 1835.
Nancy Dearing. Dismissed by letter on 8 October, 1842.

12 April:
W. W. Foster. Dismissed by letter on 10 May, 1834.

10 May:
Matilda Ayers. Dismissed by letter on 13 December 1834.
Martha Mason. Dismissed by letter on 11 February 1837.
Eliza Wall(s). Dismissed by letter on 8 November 1834.

7 J une:
Anna (Anny) Hughes.

12 J uly:
Fanny Sewell.
Charlotty Charity Willis Herring (12 April 1807--10 September 1890);
received by experience, 12 July; possibly buried in the churchyard (u). Sister of
Elizabeth Willis White, William Willis, daughter of Margaret Peggy Suttles
Willis, and granddaughter of Margaret Peggy Harbin Suttles [q.v.], all Utoy
Church members. Charity Willis was also the second wife of Utoy Church
member Joel Herring [q.v.], whom she wed on 9 March, 1862, in Fulton County,

10 September:
(Olive Ann) Herren. Dismissed by letter on 13 December, 1834.

8 November:
Elizabeth Walraven. Dismissed by letter on 9 July 1836.
Mark Wheeler. Excluded on 7 March, 1834.

13 December:
Moses H. Smith. Apparently the same person as the G. M. Smith who was one
of seven delegates from Utoy Church, sent out on 13/14 August, 1836, to
visit various sister churches in the area. On 10 September, 1836, along with Isaac
Hughes, he was a delegate of Utoy Church to cite Bro. Joel Mason to the next
conference (because Mason had failed to take his seat at communion. M. H.
Smith was cited to the next conference on 10 June, 1837, and on 12 May, 1838,
he and his unnamed wife were dismissed by letter from the church.

Sarah Smith. Evidently the wife of Moses Smith. Dismissed by letter on 12
May, 1838.

1835 12 J anuary:
John P. Lindsey. (Identical with the below-mentioned John L. Linsley?) This
man was nonetheless dismissed by letter on 9 April, 1836.

11 April:
Middleton W. Brown. Dismissed by letter on 13 January, 1838.

13 J une:
Rebecca Martin. Dismissed by letter on 9 December, 1854.

7 August:
Joel Mason. On 14 August, 1836, he was named one of seven delegates from
Utoy Church, sent out to visit various sister churches in the area. On 10

September, 1836, he failed to take his seat at communion, and was cited to the
next conference, where (on 8 October, 1836) he made a satisfactory
acknowledgment. (It was Moses Smith and Isaac Hughes who were sent to
cite him.) After undergoing further troubles at Utoy, he was finally
excluded on 8 August, 1840. No further record.

8 August (Sunday):
James Kelley. Excluded on 10 April, 1841.
Tilitha Kelley. Dismissed by letter on 11 April, 1840.
Moses Lansdale/Lansdel. Dismissed by letter on 9 July, 1836.

1836 13 February:
David Winburn. (4 January, 18002 June, 1879) Dismissed by letter on 3
December, 1859. [See page 94, above.]
Anna Keziah Herring Winburn. (17 September, 1807May, 1880) Dismissed
by letter on 3 December, 1859. Sister of Utoy Church member Joel
Herring [q.v.]

9 April:
On this date, a John L. Linsley was dismissed by letter. There does not appear
to be any record of his ever having been received as a member at Utoy Church,
however. On 12 May, 1837, Bro. Isaac Hughes stated to the church that this John
L. Linsley, who had received a letter of dismissal from Utoy Church, had
afterwards got into disorder, and had left the c[o]untry. (He evidently got into
some trouble, and had fled to avoid the issue.) The church agreed to appoint
Bro. M. H. Smith to write a letter to a Bro. Underwood of Philadelphia Church
of South Carolina, to enquire as to whether or not this John L. Linsley had joined
with any church in that place.

7 May:
Daniel Stone. See pages 61-62, above, and page 134, below.
Cinthy Shumate Stone. Wife of Daniel Stone.
Zilpha Wood. On 10 September 1836, Bro. and Sis. Wood were dismissed by
letter. That was definitely this couple, because the membership list has him being
dismissed on this date.
Susanna Wood, his wife, however, was apparently re-received at some later date,
because she was again dismissed, on 29 August, 1846. On 10 June, 1837, she had
been cited to appear at the next conference to answer some unspecified charge
(along with M.H. Smith). Also on that same date, Utoy Church agreed to write
a letter to Crossroad Church in Anderson District, South Carolina with regard to
Bro. Zilpha Wood and Sister Susanna Wood, and an unidentified Sabra Wood
(their daughter?). At the conference of 8 July, 1837, we see what it was that had
so provoked the good Baptists at Utoy with regard to Susanna Wood: on that date,
it was charged that Sis. Susanna Wood did take the love feast with the
Methodist[s] and she was sorrow [sic] for it and would do so no more.
(Ecumenicalism was evidently unheard of, at that early date.)

11 J une:
Nathaniel Guyton. Dismissed by letter on what looks to be Dec. 8
, 1838.

9 J uly:
Nancy Johnson. Dismissed by letter on 10 December, 1836.

13 August:
Rosey Johns[t]on. Dismissed by letter on 10 June, 1837.
Eady Morgan. Dismissed by letter on 13 July, 1839.
Henry P. White. Sometime between August 13
and November 13
(the minutes
unfortunately do not list the precise date) this Henry P. White and his wife
Polly united with Utoy Church. On 7 January, 1837, Bro. White began acting as
temporary church clerk, in which capacity he served for several months. The
membership list in the minutes is our only source for the fact that Bro. and Sister
White were actually members, and fortunately records for us Bro. Whites exact
date of death (August 14
, 1838), and the date on which his wife was
dismissed. He may or may not have been related to the other Whites who were
members at Utoy Church. Henry M. White (born 1814), who was a Justice of the
Peace in De Kalb County in the 1840s (before relocating to Randolph County,
Alabama) was one of the administrators of the estate of the late Henry P. White in
1849-1851, along with Henrys widow Polly. The wife of that Henry M. White
(Martha E. White, born December, 1813) is said to have been a White herself,
before marriage, and a sister to Utoy Church members William Wilson White,
Mary Ann Polly Ann White Rainey, et al. Daniel P. White(also born in 1814),
who was the husband of Arminda Emeline White (1822--1903), a daughter of
Utoy Church members William Wilson White and Elizabeth Betsy Willis
White, was the purchaser of the real estate of the late Henry P. White (Lot. No.
138, immediately adjacent to the lands of Utoy member William Wilson White)
at public auction on the courthouse steps in Decatur, on the first Tuesday in
October, 1850. The upshot of this information is that the late Henry P. White had
chosen to reside next-door to fellow Utoy member (and relative?) William Wilson
White. (Arminda Emeline White lies buried in Utoys churchyard, not far from
her parents.) [See page 92, above.]
Mary Polly White. Wife of the above Henry P. White. Dismissed by letter on
7 September, 1844, she nonetheless was still residing in DeKalb County, Georgia
in 1850, when she and some of her children were recorded in the census there. It
is presumed that, like so many of her relatives, she, too, eventually ended up in
Randolph County, Alabama.

13 November:
Charles Charley Martin. (From Hardamon Church.) Dismissed by letter on
11 May, 1839.
Lucy Martin. Probable wife of Charley Martin. Died 29 April, 1830. Possibly
buried in the churchyard (u).


Also on this date, it was moved and second[ed] that we shut our doors against all
Mishionary [sic] and new institutions of the day. This was followed, on 11
November, 1837, by a similar resolution that Utoy Church commune with
Baptists of our faith that is [sic] not a member of the institutions of the day.

Rebecca Lott, received around this time, was dismissed by letter on 7 September
1839 (written over what looks like 1838).

1837 11 February:
Sarah Thornton. Dismissed by letter on 11 May 1844.

Also on this date, a Mr. Randel Graham [sic] was appointed to have the care of
the meeting house. He was apparently not a member of Utoy Church at that time.

Also on this date, the church (as mentioned above, at page 81) adopted the
resolution of Lebenon [sic] Church of Henery County [sic], with the scripturall
[sic] proofs attached . It was this action which eventually resulted in the word
Primitive being added to the churchs name.

10 J une:
James Hughes. Dismissed by letter on 13 January, 1838.
John Bankston. Excluded on 9 March, 1839.
Cynthey Bankston. Excluded on 11 November, 1848.

27 August:
John B. Smith. Dismissed by letter 10 November, 1843. [See above, page 95.]
Eady Smith. Apparent daughter of John B. Smith? Dismissed by letter 10
November, 1843.

1839 7 September:
Jane Hornsby. Dismissed by letter on 11 May, 1844.
Amy Griffin. Dismissed by letter on 8 June, 1844.

12 October:
Sarah Johns. Excluded on 6 June, 1857.

9 November:
Harriett Hornsby. Dismissed by letter on 11 February, 1843.

1840 Rebecca Hughes, received around this time, was dismissed by letter on 23
August, 1851.
John Gasaway. Dismissed by letter on 7 October, 1843.
Amelia Gasaway. Dismissed by letter on 7 October, 1843. Apparent wife of John
Sarah Sewell. Dismissed by letter on 8 May, 1847.
Joseph J. Martin. Dismissed by letter on 9 December, 1854.

Abner Crow. Received around this time. Dismissed by letter 7 September, 1844.
He was a brother-in-law of Utoy Church member Annis Browning Crow [q.v.],
and a brother of the above-mentioned Martin Crow the Elder (see page 93,
Selee [sic] (Celia) Wilkins. Received around this time. Dismissed by letter on 10
November, 1842.
Mary Ann Hatcher. Received around this time. Dismissed by letter on 9
November, 1844.

1841 Edward Cason. Excluded on 17 February, 1849.
Permelia Cason. Died in 1864. Possibly buried in the churchyard. (u)
William Leach. Dismissed by letter on 11 May, 1844.
Dorcas Leach. Dismissed by letter on 11 May, 1844.
Elizabeth Leach. Dismissed by letter on 11 May, 1844.
Jain (Jane) Martin [sic]. Dismissed by letter on 9 December, 1854.
John Heart. Dismissed by letter on 7 October, 1843.
Jane Petty. Died on 12 September, 1847. Possibly buried in the churchyard (u).

1842 Rachel (_______).
Richardson Tuck. Dismissed by letter on 19 January, 1850. (See page 95,
Anney Tuck. (Daughter of Richardson Tuck?) Dismissed by letter on 19 January,

1846 Lettie Gillem. (Last-numbered person mentioned in the membership list,
indicating that the record ceased being kept about this time.)

1847 Pitt R. Edmon[d]s. Dismissed by letter on 24 January 1849, but re-received in
1854. He is in fact listed in the membership list, but for some unknown reason, is
listed before the above Lettie Gillem.
Sarah E. Martin.

1848 John R. Cain.

1854 M. C. Beasley.
Jeremiah Clayton Jerry Huff (4 March 1831--1 June 1907); possibly buried
in churchyard (u). He was re-received in 1866. He was the father of Atlanta
historian Sarah T. Huff (born 1856), who fortunately chronicled so much
irreplaceable local history of this area for the Atlanta Journal newspaper in 1936,
in an article entitled My 80 Years in Atlanta. [See below] Miss Huff was
quoted extensively by the late Franklin M. Garrett in his Atlanta and Its Environs.
Jerry Huff was also the father of Utoy Church deacon and historian Silas Clayton
S.C. Huff (born c.1860), without whose invaluable 1924 pamphlet history of
the church, this present labor would have been much more difficult to


1855 Sarah J. Roberts.
Mary Herring.
John Hewell Pope (13 September 18183 November 1902), son of the above
John Pope and Susan(nah) Pope who were received as members in 1828 and
1829, and husband of Emily E. Crow Pope who was received as a member in
1862. He was the maternal grandfather of the same Judge John D. Humphries
who wrote much historical information on Utoy Church for the Atlanta Historical
Bulletin in the early Twentieth Century.

1856 Kitty Webb.
Siphrony Webb.

1857 Amanda Herren.
James Landrum.
Mary Jane Landrum.
Mary Blackston.

1858 Cynthy Hornsby.
John W. Humphries.
Rhoda C. Humphries.

1859 Brother [Jackson?] Cagle. Re-received in 1873 (his second wife Susie in 1875).
Sister Cagle. (Apparently the first wife of Jackson Cagle.)

1862 John Diggs.
Rebecca Ellis.
Elizabeth Ellis.
Mary Sanders.
Margaret White. Probably the same Margaret Crow White noticed above, who
was the wife of Wright White [q.v.]. Wright White and his wife are indeed known
to have briefly moved back to Atlanta from Randolph County, Alabama about this
time, probably so that Wright could collect his share of his late father Jacob
Whites estate (he had died circa 1861).
Emily E. Crow Pope (13 March 1821April 1870). Of the same Crow family so
well represented among the membership of Utoy Church, Emily was the wife of
John Hewell Pope (above) who was accepted as a member in 1855. She was the
maternal grandmother of the Judge John D. Humphries who wrote much historical
information on Utoy Church for the Atlanta Historical Bulletin in the early
Twentieth Century.

1863 G. F. Wallis.

1865 Elizabeth Hornsby.
Poncy C. Hornsby.
John A. Lee.
Nancy F. Lee.

Margaret I. Trimble.

1866 T. Lewis.

1867 M.G. Trimble.
Eliza F. Diggs.

1868 Richard M. Pate.
Nancy Pate.

1871 Lucinda Hornsby.

1872 John Taylor J.T. Lee. (1846-1923). Son of Utoy member James Ellis Lee, and
brother of Utoy Church deacon Dr. Seaborn Bartow S.B. Lee.
James Ellis Lee. (8 October 182231 December 1902). Born in Chesterfield
County, South Carolina, and father of Utoy Church deacon Dr. Seaborn Bartow
S.B. Lee.
Jasper N. Smith. Dismissed on 4 December, 1875, to go into the constitution of
a church of our faith and order in the City of Atlanta. That church later
became known as East Atlanta Primitive Baptist Church, and an
offshoot thereof (Bethany Primitive Baptist) is still functioning today (2014).

1874 Walker Smith. Dismissed on 4 December, 1875, to go into the constitution of
a church of our faith and order in the City of Atlanta, as per above.

3 October:
Elizabeth Wallace.

1875 Susie R. Cagle.

15 J une:
William A. Phillips.

31 J uly:
Joel C. Armistead. Dismissed on 4 December, 1875, to go into the constitution
of a church of our faith and order in the City of Atlanta, as per above.

1876 Sarah Almarine White. (8 May 183219 December 1888); buried in the
churchyard (m). Daughter of Utoy members William Wilson White and
Elizabeth Betsy Willis White [q.v.]. She was an invalid most of her adult life.
John Landrum.
Sarah S. Phillips.

1878 Elizabeth Huff (died 26 November 1906).

1887 6 August:

William John Franklin Willis (27 August 1849--28 August 1909); received by
experience; buried in churchyard (m). Son of the below-mentioned Joseph Willis
Jr. (see pages 159-170, below), a nephew of Utoy Church member William Willis
[q.v.], a grandson and great-grandson of Utoy members Margaret Peggy Willis
and Margaret Peggy Suttles [q.v.].

1889 3 August:
Ezekiel Jesse Childress (16 December 1846--6 February 1902); received by
experience; buried in churchyard (m). Son of Jesse Childress Jr.
Nancy Ann Childress Willis (1 May 1851--19 December 1895); received by
experience; buried in churchyard (m). Wife of the above William John
Franklin Willis, and sister of the above Ezekiel Jesse Childress.

4 October:
Elizabeth Frances Marchman White (24 February 1835-- 9 August 1911);
received by experience, 4 October; She was the eldest child of Wiley George
Marchman and his wife Sarah Sally Moore, and was a daughter-in-law of Utoy
Church members William Wilson White and Elizabeth Betsy Willis White.
Elizabeth Marchman White lies buried in churchyard (m).
Two of her Atlanta
Constitution obituaries are shown below:


Judge Humphries, in composing his short history of Utoy Church in 1933, also comments
on this regrettable decline in Utoy Churchs membership after 1837, by saying that
[f]rom the church minutes it appears that prior to February 11, 1837, 214 [members]
were received into the church; one was received on that date; and between that time and
the close of the year 1877, [only] 87 [more members] were received.

(Left) An early
tintype photograph
of Utoy Church
member Mrs.
Elizabeth Frances
[Marchman] White
(circa 1871). She
lies buried in the
alongside her


Some Prominent Persons Associated with Utoy Church

Several politically or socially noteworthy men in De Kalb (and later Fulton) Countys
history worshipped at, or are associated with, Utoy Primitive Baptist Church, and some of
them lie buried in the cemetery (mostly in unmarked graves, alas). It may be worthwhile
to relate some of the known facts concerning a few of the more noteworthy among them.
The length of the description with each name listed below should not be taken to indicate
any preference or partiality on the part of the present writer: this merely reflects that
documented data that is actually available to be included here with each name.

Elder J ames Hale, already mentioned above, was a prominent early Baptist preacher in
North Georgia, the co-founder of Utoy Baptist Church, and its first regular pastor, from
1826 to 1827. In addition to co-founding Utoy Baptist Church, Elder Hale also founded
Camp Creek Primitive Baptist Church in 1823, and Sweetwater Primitive Baptist Church
in December 1824 (both in Gwinnett County, Georgia), and gained considerable fame as
a preacher. He was born in 1778 in Johnston County, North Carolina, and died in
Gwinnett County, Georgia in 1855. He was a soldier of the War of 1812.

Elder Radford Gunn (17971866), was a prominent enough North Georgia Baptist
preacher that he merited several pages of biography in Boykins influential History of the
Baptist Denomination in Georgia (in two volumes), as the following excerpt will show:

Rev. RADFORD GUNN was born in Virginia, May 13
, 1797. When he was
very young, his parents moved to Georgia, and settled in Oglethorpe county,
where he grew up irreligious, uneducated, and exceedingly self-willed. At the
age of sixteen, in 1813, he married his first wife, Miss Margaret Rhodes., who
bore him four children. In 1820, at the age of twenty-three, he was converted
while laboring in the field, and the happy change was to him bright, clear and
joyous, like a blaze of sunshine at midnight. With a heart overflowing with
joy, he left off work, and went around to the neighbors, telling them what great
things the Lord had done for him; and ever afterwards he said that was his
first preaching tour. Thus his ministry began almost simultaneously with
his new life. Not long afterwards he preached his first sermon at County Line
meeting-house, from Romans 1:15, and yet at that time he did not even know
his letters, and was subsequently taught to read by his wife. But he never be-
came a fluent reader, and most of his knowledge of Scripture was obtained
at second-hand. He much preferred hearing others read the Scriptures to doing
so himself, and, being blessed with a retentive memory, he acquired great famil-
iarity with Gods word.

He united with the County line church, at the call of which church he was
ordained in 1822. From that period his services were in considerable demand,
and his time was soon fully occupied with ministerial engagements. He grew
rapidly in usefulness, and the most prominent churches in his section were glad to
secure his services. During his ministerial career of forty years, he held many
pastorates in Oglethorpe, Taliaferro, Hancock, Warren, Lincoln, Columbia and

other counties, and with invariable success.

In 1840 he was united in matrimony to Miss Sophia Beck, his second wife, in
the choice of whom, for a companion, he was peculiarly fortunate; and from
that event was dated a new and brighter era in his career of usefulness. He is
represented as having been a very faithful and devoted pastor, not satisfied with
a mere perfunctory performance of duty, but watching over the welfare of his
flock tenderly, and giving to those whose spiritual interests were committed to his
care, his prayers, his sympathies, his affections and his most earnest and untiring
efforts. Nor did his flocks look to him in vain for the bread of life, for he was
not only an earnest but an effective preacher, always presenting the truth as it is
in Jesus, from an ardent and zealous heart. As a consequence, his preaching
was often followed by powerful effects;--Christians were made to rejoice in the
hope of glory, and sinners were made to weep over their sins and implore divine
mercy. Under God he was instrumental in leading hundreds of souls to Jesus,
as well as in strengthening and encouraging hundreds of Christians in the dis-
charge of their duties.

Naturally, he had a logical mind, and often arranged his arguments with
remarkable skill and sagacity; and had his uncommon talents been sustained by
a liberal education in youth, he would, no doubt, have been a leading man in the
denomination. Even as it was, he did a great and good work for his divine
Master. Few of our country pastors have ever baptized a larger number of con-
verts, and there are still living hundreds of devoted Christians who remember him
most affectionately as their spiritual father. Nor was his work confined to his
churches, for the influence of his example and opinions was felt in the commu-
nity at large. A leader among men, he was one of those who could inspire all
of his neighbors with something of his own energy, activity, love of right and
intolerance of wrong. With a ready and retentive memory, sound judgment
and logical mind, all the information he had obtained from any source whatever,
was stored away in such a manner as to be ready for use whenever needed. He
had very tender feelings, and was always ready to rejoice with those who rejoiced
and weep with those who wept. He was a wise and safe counsellor, seeming to
comprehend every case at a glance, and capable of administering just the coun-
sel, comfort, and encouragement each one needed.

While interesting as a public speaker, he was not gifted with the cultured
graces of oratory. His manner was that of a man deeply in earnest, thoroughly
convinced of the truth of that which he enunciates, and sincerely earnest in
his endeavor to produce conviction in the hearts of his hearers. His style was
didactic, rather than hortatory; intensely earnest, rather than profound; yet at
times he would warm up with his subject, and burst into an impassioned strain
of oratory, that would profoundly stir the feelings of his audience.

In personal appearance he was not prepossessing, being about six feet high,
rather lean and round-shouldered, with short grey hair, blue eyes, a classic fore-

head, well-shaped nose, and a mouth capable of expressing easily the several
traits of his character. In the avowal of his opinions on any subject, and under
every circumstance, he was rigidly honest and unflinchingly bold and firm, for
he was, naturally, a man of strong convictions; still, he was not obtrusive. He
had a very correct idea of propriety, and rarely, if ever, gave just grounds of
offence to any one. He was truly an humble Christian, with lowly views of his
own worth and ability. By some he was considered blunt, and at times severe,
even; but no one ever had a kinder heart, or a more tender consideration for
the rights of others. Always very cool and deliberate, when he assumed a posi-
tion he was, for that very reason, the more firm and decided. Decision was a
prominent feature in his character; and to that he added great energy and in-
domintable perseverance, a wonderful tendency to order and thorough system,
and a generous hospitality that almost amounted to a fault. Strictly honest, he
was entirely free from duplicity, never betraying confidence reposed in him. He
was very genial, and relished a joke, and was noted for his wit and good humor,
as well as for sarcasm and irony, when occasion demanded. No one could be
with him long without ascertaining that he was a thorough Baptist. In polemics
he was no mean antagonist, knowing well how to marshal his arguments into
order skilfully and sagaciously. On one occasion he astonished even those best
acquainted with him by the learning and logical acumen he displayed. At a
school-house about three miles from his residence, Mr. Shehane, a prominent
Universalist preacher, held a monthly appointment. He became very bold after
he had been preaching about six months, inflated by success and a growing pop-
ularity, and challenged any minister to a public debate. Just before this he had
held a public discussion with Dr. Lovick Pierce, in which, it is said, he obtained
the advantage. As soon as Elder Gunn heard of this challenge he accepted it,
and the necessary arrangements, as to time and place, were made for the discus-
sion, which was to continue two days, each speaker to make two speeches on
each day. Of course Mr. Gunn prepared himself thoroughly for the contest,
and in the morning of the first day manifestly got the best of the debate. Mr.
Shehanes disciples were very buoyant, however, under the impression that he
was reserving his strength for the afternoon contest, when they confidently ex-
pected him to literally annihilate his opponent. But the actual result greatly
surprised them. Mr. Gunn, in his reply, constructed his arguments with such
logical compactness, and hurled them at Mr. Shehane with such scathing satire
and such pungent wit, as completely to overwhelm him. Shehanes predica-
ment was not simply embarrassing, it was ridiculous, and towards the close
became exceedingly ludicrous. Having heard that his opponent was an illiterate
man, he had expected, by a display of Greek and Hebrew learning, to frighten
Mr. Gunn into silence; but his expectations were utterly at fault, for, to his sur-
prise, Mr. Gunn quoted Greek and Hebrew, too, with astonishing fluency and
critical familiarity.

The first days discussion ended to the great mortification and discomfiture of
both Mr. Shehane and his followers. The next day Shehane failed to appear,
and never again was known to visit that neighborhood.

Well, Brother Gunn, said a prominent Methodist minister, at the close of
the first days discussion, you have completely annihilated Shehane. You used
him up so badly that I really feel sorry for him; but you had to draw upon our
doctrines to gain your victory!

I deny that I owe anything to Methodism for any success I have had to-day,
replied Mr. Gunn, and I am ready, on any day you will name, to vindicate every
position I have taken to-day from any dependence on your peculiar doctrines.

No day was specified.

Mr. Gunn was very zealous in the cause of the South in the late war, and spent
a large part of 1862 and 1863 in the Virginia army, where, by his labors, he broke
down his health, and contracted the disease which ended his life. Being unable
to preach or do anything for his Master, except exercise the grace of patience
under sufferings, he would frequently exclaim: And now, Lord, what wait I
for? My hope is in thee! Lord, on thee do I wait all the day. Now lettest
thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.

His soul longed to escape from its crumbling, toppling tabernacle of clay. He
felt that his work on earth was done, and he was desirous to depart and be with
Christ, which to him was indeed far better than remaining here. When death
did come he welcomed it with manifest joy. He died at his residence in Warren
county, Georgia, June 15
, 1866. His death was a very easy one, for he passed
away gently, as into a sweet and peaceful sleep.

Elder Radford Gunn pastored Utoy Baptist Church from 1827 to 1831 (and there is
incontrovertible evidence in the minute books that he was paid for his services).

To the modern observer of Utoy Primitive Baptist Church, who knows that Utoys
present and Nineteenth-Century meeting houses were so very small and insignificant,
in comparison to other, more grandiose edifices in major cities of the time (such as, for
example, St. Phillips Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina), it may seem
strange that tiny Utoy Church could have succeeded in drawing the attention and service
of clergymen as famous and distinguished as Elder James Hale, Elder Radford Gunn, or
even Elder Josiah Grisham. We must remind ourselves, though, that although Utoy
Churchs meeting house indeed was always small, and although the area in which it sat
was, indeed, at the time, a literal wilderness, far from any of the usual beacons of
civilization, the stature and reputations of several of her earliest members was anything
but insignificant. (Remember, a man who was Clerk of the Superior Court of De Kalb
County worshipped there, as did another man whoas we will momentarily see--later
became De Kalb Countys Sheriff and State Legislator, and who corresponded on equal
terms with the Governor of the State himself.) So in actual fact, it was entirely
appropriateand hardly surprisingthat Utoy Church was able to attract such eminent
and renowned clergymen.

I saac N. J ohnson was an early clerk for Utoy Baptist Church, from 1826 to 1830; he was
also an early Sheriff of De Kalb County, from 1830 to 1832. Moreover, he represented De
Kalb County in the state senate, having been elected on 10 January 1836.

An early letter (1833) survives, written by Isaac N. Johnson, shortly after relinquishing
his duties as Sheriff of De Kalb County, and addressed to the Governor of Georgia,
Wilson Lumpkin, the father of the lady for whom Marthasville/Atlanta would one day be
Here is the cover of the letter; the letter proper will be shown on the
succeeding pages:


I saac N. J ohnson letter to Governor Wilson Lumpkin, 12 J anuary 1833 (page one)


I saac N. J ohnson letter to Governor Wilson Lumpkin, 12 J anuary 1833 (page two)


I saac N. J ohnson letter to Governor Wilson Lumpkin, 12 J anuary 1833 (portion of the
cover/envelope, showing that the letter, although written on 12 J anuary, was not posted
until 17 J anuary).

This document is a letter from Isaac N. Johnson to Wilson Lumpkin, Governor of
Georgia from 1831 to 1835. In this letter, Johnson writes to accept his appointment by the
Governor as an official in charge of renting land lots (or fractions of lots) in the Cherokee
Territory (lately taken over by the State of Georgia from the hapless Cherokee).


Elder J osiah Grisham (17921853), Utoy Primitive Baptist Churchs pastor from 1831
to 1845, lies buried in the Gresham-Weed Cemetery in De Kalb County, Georgia (near
Henderson Mill Road and Chamblee-Tucker Road), along with his wife Margaret. Their
inscriptions there read: In Memory of Eld. Josiah Grisham of the Primitive Faith &
Order Bornd [sic] Mar 28
1792 Died June 14
1853. At the foot of his box tomb is a
modern plaque which reads: Josiah Grisham Pvt. Manns Co Ga Militia War of 1812
Mar 28, 1792 June 14, 1853. (And Margarets:) In Memory of Peggy Grisham Wife of
Josiah Grisham Born Feb 14, 1795 Died Feb 14, 1887. Elder Josiah Grisham was, of
course, the pastor who was at Utoy in February, 1837, when the church took its famous
stand against the Missionary Baptists, and other new-fangled innovations of that
day and time (and from his gravestone, he was evidently proud of the fact, too).

Daniel Stone(1801-1856), also already mentioned above as the Clerk of Court who had
recorded the original deed for Utoy Church in 1830, had served De Kalb County as Clerk
of the Inferior Court since 1824, and as Clerk of the Superior Court since 1826. He and
his wife joined Utoy Church in 1836 (see above). On 10 June, 1837, he confessed to the
church that he had been drinking too much spirits, but gave satisfaction, and was
restored to fellowship. Daniel Stone and his wife were, in the event, both excluded
from membership at Utoy Church, he on 12 May, 1838, and she on 12 August, 1842. In
1839, Daniel Stone became postmaster of the new Utoy Post Office when it first opened
for business.
His wife Cynthia Shumate (born circa 1805) was a daughter of prominent
Decatur citizen Mason Shumate (1764-1849), who operated Decaturs first hotel, and is
one of the earliest burials in the old Decatur City Cemetery.
A probable sister of
Daniel Stone was Utoy Church member Jane Stone (1807-1876) the wife of Andrew
Jackson White (born 1802), a brother of Utoy Church member William Wilson White

J oel Herring (1801-1877) (mentioned above) was miller who operated the once well-
known Herrings Mill on North Utoy Creek. He was also an early road commissioner
for De Kalb County, in addition to his long years of duties as church clerk at Utoy.
Moreover, he was a frequently chosen guardian for orphaned children of De Kalb and
Fulton Counties.
On 8 February, 1834, Joel Herring was appointed to keep [the
meeting] house and spring, and scower the meeting house once, for a grand total of
$2.50. Herring, whose name was also frequently spelled Herren in the early records,
had two wives, by both of which he was closely allied to the Willis family of Franklin
County and Utoy Church: Herrings first wife had been Esther Chatham, whom he wed in
Franklin County on December 11
1823, whereas his second wife was Charlotta
Charity Willis (1807-1890) a sister of the above-mentioned William Willis, Joseph
Willis Jr., and Elizabeth Willis White. The relationships, however, did not end there:
Esther Chatham (1791-1861) had been an elder sister of Elizabeth Chatham, the wife of
William Willis (brother of Joseph et al.), whom he wed (apparently in Franklin County)
on December 22
The 1840 United States census of De Kalb County, Georgia
indicates that Herring was a neighbor of his brother-in-law William Willis (Trustee of
Utoy Church in 1832-1833).


Noah Hornsby (9 April, 177625 May, 1863), and his wife Elizabeth Knighton
Hornsby (31 January, 177720 December, 1875), Utoy Church members from March
, 1828, they were the founders of a prominent Atlanta family which later included
1940s-era Atlanta Police Chief Marion A. Hornsby. Utoy Church nonetheless found
sufficient cause on August the 7
, 1830 to exclude Mr. and Mrs. Hornsby for the
charge of abuse to their daughter (who was not named on that unfortunate occasion).
Mrs. Hornsby must have been restored to full fellowship, however, because on
September 15
, 1832, the church became afflicted with Sister Elizabeth Hornsby for not
taking her seat in order at communion. She gave a satisfactory apology, and was
restored. On 12 January, 1833, however, it was reported to the church that she had
declared a non-fellowship with certain unspecified members of Utoy Church, without
making it publicly known just who those members were. On 9 February, 1833, she
agreed to bear her burden [quietly, that is], and drop [the matter] to the satisfaction of
the church.

This Hornsby family, already mentioned as important in Utoys history, were discussed
in Bieders 1972 history of the Church:

A public road was opened from Standing Peachtree to Leonard Hornsbys place
in 1829, and in [the] 1833 [Gold Lottery,] Noah Hornsby was the winner of a lot
near what is now Dahlonega.

Noah Hornsby and his wife Elizabeth were the owners of a slave named Frederick (or
Fred) who had a habit of running away from his master (see page 110, above). Noah
Hornsby re-applied for admission to Utoy Church on 12 July, 1834, but his application
was rejected the following August 8
of the same year. However, on 9 May, 1835, he
was finally reinstated as a member of Utoy Church, in full faith and fellowship, and on
December 28
, 1843, Noah Hornsby sold the Baptist Church at Utoy an additional one
acre of land (now part of the cemetery), and all seems to have been forgiven (see page 64
above). Noah and Elizabeth Hornsby lie buried in their family graveyard on Washington
Road in East Point, Fulton County, Georgia. Peace to their eternal souls. (A note in the
membership list says that Noah Hornsby was excluded again on 12 September, 1840.)

William Wilson White (22 December, 180017 November, 1895). Garrett mentions that
Atlantas White Street SW was named in honor of this man.
Already mentioned
above, William Wilson White was thought of highly enough by the membership of Utoy
Primitive Baptist Church, that upon his passing in November of 1895, they memorialized
his memory by recording his obituary and a brief biography in the minute books of the
church. It must be emphasized that this was an extraordinary measure; this writer has yet
to discover a single other member of Utoy Church who was similarly memorialized in the
minute books! Here is the obituary which the church recorded (modern spelling and
punctuation added, for clarity):

In memory of our dearly beloved Bro. Wm. W. White, who was born in Franklin
Co., Ga., Dec. 22, 1800. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Willis Dec. 6, 1821.

She was born Dec. 16, 1801, in the same Co. There were born unto them two sons
and three daughters. Their oldest son and youngest daughter died before he did.
He joined the Primitive Baptist Church at Utoy July 12, 1828. He was a member
of that church 67 years, 4 months, and 5 days. And his wife joined the same
church July 11, 1829. She was a member of that church 53 years, 8 months, and
22 days. She died April 3, 1883. She was 81 years, 3 months, and 17 days old
when she died. He died Nov. 17, 1895, which made his stay on Earth 94 years, 10
months, and 25 days. Nov. 18
, the remains of Bro. White were carried to Utoy
Church by six of his grandsons, who were pallbearers. His funeral sermon was
preached by Eld. S. H. Whatley to a large congregation of people. Then his
remains were buried in the church yard, in his family lot, to await the Second
Coming of Christ, to awake his sleeping dust, and form it like His own glorious
body. Bro. White moved to Henry Co. Ga. [actually DeKalb at that point] in
1825, near Utoy Creek and near the Sandtown Road, 4 miles from [what is]
now Atlanta, Ga. In 1828, he moved to a house, and lived and died in ithe lived
in it about 66 years. His home was near the city limits of West End, of Atlanta,
Ga. He has lived in three counties [actually two], and has lived in the same house
all the time. It was first Henry [1821-1822], then DeKalb [1822-1853], and now
Fulton Co. Ga. [1853-present]. Bro. and Sis. White were true and faithful
members of Utoy Churchthey were never absent from their church meetings
unless Providence hindered them. If there was ever aught against them in Utoy, it
is not known. In July, 1826, Brother White, for the love and respect he had for
Utoy Church, he [sic] went to Gwinnett Co. Ga. after Eld. James Hail [sic], to
come and be the pastor of that church. He also about the same time bought a strip
of land the Spring was in, for the church. Bro. White lived to have great-great
grandchildren. In attempting to write this brief notice of the life and death of our
dear Bro. and Sis. White, I frankly confess my inability to speak of their true
worth to their family, to their church, and to the whole community. They were not
very rich in gold, but were vastly rich in the Faith of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ, which alone is the gift of God. Tribute to the memory of Bro. Wm. W. and
Sister Elizabeth White. Resolved, that Utoy Church express her sorrows, which
she has sustained by the death[s] of Bro. and Sister White; but while we mourn
our loss, we recognize the hand of an all-wise God; yet we mourn not for them as
those without hope: we bow with humble submission, knowing that God is too
wise, err [sic], and too good to be unjust. Knowing that all things work together
for good, to them who love God, to them who are called according to His
purpose, they have gone to their long rest, after a well-spent life in the cause of
their Master and Lord, leaving behind them memories, which, in warm and loving
hearts will be their best and most fitting monuments. May the sorrowing hearts of
those who loved them be comforted with the thought that death is swallowed up
of life, and the dear, aged Saints are gone to rest in the bosom of their God.
Resolved, that we extend to the bereaved family our heartfelt sympathies, and
commend them to that God whose grace is sufficient for them. Resolved, that a
copy of this obituary be sent to Zions Landmark, The Gospel Messenger,
and to the family, and that it shall be written in the church [minute] book. Done,

by order of Utoy Church, in conference, Nov. 30, 1895. Eld. S.H. Whatley, Mod.,
S.C. Huff, C. Clk.

Dr. William Gilbert (see photo at right), also mentioned above as Fulton (and De Kalb)
Countys earliest practicing physician (his brother Joshua being Atlantas first
physician), was born in South Carolina, either in Greenville or Laurens Districts, on
September 9
1807, and died on September 25
while fleeing Shermans
advance toward Fulton County, on the road to McDonough, in Henry County. Dr.
William Gilbert was the eldest child of Jeremiah Gilbert Sr. (1776-1852) and Leah
Westmoreland (1786-1855).
Gilbert Sr. built his final home in 1832 on his
1,500-acre farm, some seven miles east of
Simpsonville, Greenville County, South
Carolina. The home is reported to have still
been standing as recently as 1969, although it
was even then neglected and falling into
ruins. Jeremiah Gilbert Sr. owned some
7,000 acres of property in the 1850 census,
and undoubtedly a large number of African
slaves to work the estate. He was thus a
property owner of no mean significance. He
was evidently wealthy enough to finance the
education of no less than three of his sons to
become physicians. Leah Westmoreland
Gilbert, a daughter of Thomas Westmoreland
and his wife Hannah House, evidently sprang
from the same prominent upstate South
Carolina family of that name whose later
scions included the Westmoreland brothers
who also came to Atlanta in the mid-1840s as
physicians, as well as the Vietnam-era
General William Childs Westmoreland.
Original photo in Authors possession

Dr. William Gilbert arrived in De Kalb County very early, prior to 1829. We know this
because he had been a medical student at the old Medical College of Georgia at Augusta
in the late 1820s and early 1830s. At the Fourth Annual Session of the Board of
Physicians of Georgia at Milledgeville, in 1829, his doctoral thesis on Puerperal Fever,
was (alas) rejected, for reasons not recorded, though his place of residence was indeed
listed as De Kalb County. He was recorded as failed to appear for the following Fifth
Annual Session, in 1830, though his residence had not changed. Dr. Gilbert, however,
again attended the same College in the sessions from 1833 to 1834, though no record
apparently exists among the files of the College to indicate whether or not he ever
graduated or officially obtained his medical degree (or license). This may have been the
whole extent of his medical training.
No record survives to indicate otherwise.


Notwithstanding that De Kalb County was listed as Dr. Gilberts residence from 1829
through 1833, he nonetheless failed to be recorded in the 1830 census there. He evidently
was temporarily residing elsewhere, perhaps in conjunction with his medical studies. The
only man by that name in De Kalb County in 1830 was a much older William Gilbert,
born (according to the census) between 1760 and 1770, with a wife of the same age.

That William Gilbert has not successfully been traced, though he may have had some
connection to the infant Gilbert boys buried in Utoys churchyard. (He was probably too
old to have been their father; perhaps he was their grandfather.) He appears to have been
identical to a William Gilbert, Rev. Sol. residing in Edwards District, De Kalb
County, who was granted Lot Number 266 in the Sixteenth District, Second Section, of
Muscogee County, by Georgia Governor George M. Troup, on June 18
It does
not appear, however, that he ever took up residence there, as he was again recorded in the
1840 De Kalb County census.

This older William Gilbert was born between 1780 and 1790, according to this 1840
census data. Combining the data from both the 1830 and 1840 censuses, then, we can
only say that he could have been born as early as 1760, or as late as 1790. If he was
indeed the same man as the Revolutionary War soldier known to have resided in De Kalb
County at that time, then surely the older date makes more sense. A William Gilbert
possibly the same Revolutionary Soldier who resided in De Kalb County in 1827, had
been given a Certificate of Service, signed by Col. Elijah Clarke on January 25, 1785.
This certificate entitled him to a bounty land grant of two hundred and fifty acres in
Georgia. He does not appear to have chosen at that time to relocate to Georgia, as his
bounty (along with those of a James Gilbert, a Samuel Parsons, and a Henry Parsons) was
reissued to a man named John Clark Jr., on June 6

This older William Gilbert is mentioned here solely for the reason that, back during the
Nineteen-Sixties, the D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution), undoubtedly with
the noblest of intentions, placed expensive marble markers at Utoy Church on the
supposed graves of a supposed Revolutionary War veteran named William Gilbert
and his wife Sarahpersons who were supposedly buried in Utoy Churchyard. This
writer respectfully calls the D.A.R.s erstwhile decision into serious question, for the
simple reason that he has yet to see even a remote shred of real, substantive evidence that
persons by that name might actually be buried in said churchyard. He would be very glad
to see such evidence; but it just hasnt yet appeared (and not due to lack of diligent
searching on the part of this writer, either). This wasnt the only questionable claim on
the part of the D.A.R., however: for they also claimed that this supposed couple,
Revolutionary Veteran William Gilbert of De Kalb County (a man we know, per above,
to have actually existed), and his wife Sarah, were actually the parents of the doctor
brothers William and Joshua Gilbert. As this writer will be at considerable pains to show
and prove, that was simply not the case at all! The D.A.R. (whatever their source or
sources might have been) were just plain mistaken on that count. That fact must,
therefore, call into serious question their other claim concerning these supposed burials
in Utoy Churchyard.


The younger Dr. William Gilbert, in any event, was also recorded in the 1840 census in
De Kalb County, along with the older man by the same name just noticed (who could
have been an uncle, etc., though the exact relationship of the two William Gilberts has yet
to be satisfactorily demonstrated). Dr. Gilberts neighbors in 1840 included Robert
Wood, Jesse Childress, Daniel Stone, Pleasant Sewell, and Joseph Willis Jr., all names
clearly associated with Utoy Church.
The fact of their being his neighbors clearly
demonstrates that Dr. Gilbert was already by that date residing along the Sandtown Road
(now Cascade Road SW), since said Childress and Willis (at least) are known to have
resided in that vicinity.

By 1843, the younger Dr. William Gilbert distinguished himself by being elected, at the
age of thirty-six, as a representative to the Georgia state legislature from De Kalb County,
for the session beginning November 6
of that year. He appears to have only served one
term, however. It does not appear that he ever sought reelection.

There are several lawsuits and judgments mentioning a William Gilbert in the De Kalb
County Inferior Court records:

At least two lawsuits in 1828:

David Young vs. William Gilbert: Debt;
James Kirkpatrick vs. William Gilbert and Jesse Gilbert: Ca. Sa.;


At least three lawsuits in 1833:

Archibald Boggs vs. James M. Holly, John A. D. Childress, and William Gilbert:
Assumpsit (14 Jan. 1833);
William Gilbert vs. John Waits: Assumpsit & Judgment; and
Jesse F. Cleveland vs. John A. D. Childress, William Gilbert, Jesse Childress, &
Anderson D. Arnold: Judgment.

The William Gilbert mentioned in those lawsuits would seem, by association with names
clearly belonging to Utoy Church, to have been identical with our Dr. William Gilbert.
Moreover, the careful reader may have noticed that one of the above cases, besides
occurring on the exact same day, 14 January 1833, involved some of the very same
persons, as in the above-described case involving the Trustees of Utoy Church (cf. pages
71-72, infra). This clearly begs the question of whether or not (and in what manner) Dr.
William Gilbert may have been associated with Utoy Church, even though no apparent
record exists to prove he was ever an official member of said church. There is similarly
no record to prove that the above-mentioned William Willis was ever officially a member
of Utoy Church, yet the 1833 court case shown above clearly proves he was himself a
Trustee. Was Dr. William Gilbert perhaps yet another Trustee?


Dr. William Gilbert married the widowed Nancy Harriett Humphries Cornwell sometime
in late 1838, or early 1839, probably in De Kalb County, and probably at the Whitehall
This marriage record unfortunately has yet to be located. We know the
marriage had to have happened around this time, because Harrietts first husband Eli
Cornwell died in 1838,
and Harrietts eldest child by Dr. Gilbert was born on
Christmas Day in 1839. This was Jeremiah Silas Gilbert, whose simple, hand-built 1865-
era farmhouse in Southwest Atlanta stills stands (see photos, above), is owned by the City
of Atlanta, and has fortunately been restored as a cultural landmark. Harriett Humphries
Gilbert, who later married a George Key,
also lies buried in Utoys churchyard. She
has two gravestones to mark her resting place, one of which reads: A Southern Lady of
the Confederacy. She was a daughter of the celebrated Charner Humphries of the
Whitehall Tavern and of West End (already mentioned).

Dr. Gilbert and his growing family resided for many years along the old Jonesboro Road
(now Perkerson Road SW, in Atlanta), on property he purchased from his father-in-law
Charner Humphries. This land lot was adjacent to and south of that of Thomas Jefferson
Perkerson, De Kalb Countys second Sheriff, and father-in-law of Dr. Gilberts son
Jeremiah Silas Gilbert. That son Jeremiah (already mentioned, above) in turn purchased
this property from his father Dr. William Gilbert in 1861. Several of Dr. Gilberts
daughters who died as infants in the 1850s lie buried in the family plot at Utoy.

Dr. William Gilbert, whatever his medical training may have been, nonetheless bore the
name of a respected physician, and was indeed appointed as Assistant Surgeon of Staff
in the Confederate States Army on 26 May 1864, replacing Dr. J. G. Westmoreland
(ironically, a distant cousin to Dr. Gilbert), who had been unable to serve in that capacity,
as the following transcribed letter illustrates:

Hd. Qtrs. Fulton County Militia
Camp Georgia May 26

To The Major Gen.l Com.g
Georgia Militia,
Dr. J. G. Westmoreland who was
nominated by me as Assistant Surgeon on the
Staff of this Reg.t having signified to me his
inability of serving in that capacity, I beg
respectfully [to] nominate Dr. Wm. Gilbert to
fill that office.
By order of Col. J. M. C. Reid
Com.g Fulton Co. Militia
Tho. W. Chandler,


Dr. Gilbert himself only served in the role of Assistant Surgeon of Staff for a very short
time, for as Shermans Northern Armies approached Atlanta and Dr. Gilberts home in
July of that year, Dr. Gilbert packed up his family and refugeed southward, away from
Atlanta (unlike his neighbor Joseph Willis Jr., who remained behind).

According to family tradition, it was while on the road through Henry County from
Atlanta to McDonough, that Dr. Gilbert suffered an apparent heart attack (or possibly a
stroke), and fell behind the traveling group. When a family member rode back to find out
what had happened to their father, so the story goes, Dr. Gilbert was discovered lying
dead on the ground near his horse, his head resting on his saddlebags. Perhaps he had
died while taking a short nap, as this would account for the composed state in which he
was discovered. The family, in haste and dire circumstances, received permission from
the Chafin family on whose land Dr. Gilbert had died, to bury their husband and father in
the Chafin family cemetery (on Kelleytown Road), where he rests to this day. A
substantial monument (see previous page), placed by the family, marks his grave. (This
author has visited that gravesite on several occasions.)

Had not this unfortunate event occurred, Dr.
Gilbert would no doubt have eventually been
buried beside his wife and infant children in his
family plot in Utoys churchyard, where a space
still awaits reserved for him to this very day.
Despite the fact that he clearly owned a family
plot in Utoys churchyard, however, there is no
evidence to show that Dr. Gilbert, or any member
of his family, was ever a member of Utoy Church.
Perhaps the hypothesis that the churchyard was
originally a Gilbert family burial ground may
account for this strange fact. Lacking most of De
Kalb Countys early deeds, due to the above-
mentioned courthouse fire in 1842, we will
unfortunately probably never know for certain
whether or not one or more members of the
Gilbert family had at some point deeded some land
to Utoy Church for a burial ground (in addition to
the known 1830 deed from Holley and Townsand). Author photo

This author is in possession of an original, albumin-print carte-de-vista photograph of
Dr. William Gilbert (see above). This photograph came into the authors possession
around 1987 as a gift from the late Dr. C. Dixon Fowler (born 1907), at that time an
Atlanta physician, and a great-grandson of Nancy Gilbert Hunter (1826-1905), a younger
sister of the doctor brothers Gilbert of Atlanta. Dr. Fowlers Hunter relatives (of
Simpsonville, South Carolina) never forgot that they were related by blood to Atlantas
first physicians. The memory tradition in that family was a living and unbroken one,
maintained in the persons of Dr. Fowler and his cousins. This photograph of Dr. William
Gilbert (the Hunter family also had another identical copy) was passed down and

treasured in that family. The Hunter relatives of Dr. Gilbert always remembered who Dr.
Gilbert was, and how they were related to him. There can thus be no question as to the
real parentage of the brothers Gilbert, Atlanta and Fulton Countys first doctors.

Dr. Fowler was also in possession of an original childhood dress once worn by the
aforementioned Nancy Gilbert Hunter, probably in the early1830s. He showed it to this
author on one occasion, and allowed this author to gently handle it. This dress was made
of green silk, with a white embroidered lace collar and similar cuffs. It was worthy and
fully representative of an upstate antebellum South Carolina family of considerable
wealth and privilege. No average family could ever have afforded to clothe their children
in such finery as that.

Dr. J oshua Gilbert (see right), the Father of Atlanta
Medicine, already mentioned above as Atlantas first
practicing physician (and a brother of Dr. William
Gilbert), although apparently never an official member
of Utoy Church, nonetheless lies buried in its cemetery,
in a place of honor, in his family plot. He was born on
the 17
of September 1815, near Clemson, South
Carolina, to the above-mentioned Jeremiah and Leah
Westmoreland Gilbert.
After a lifetime of service to
his fellow man, Dr. Gilbert quietly passed into Eternity
at his home near the Adamsville section of Atlanta, on
the 18
of April 1889. His dying words, which are
recorded on his gravestone in Utoys churchyard, were:
I will soon be in Heaven, and it will be rest, rest, sweet
rest for me!
May we all anticipate our rewards with
such joyful assurance.

Dr. Joshua Gilbert is said to have read medicine as a young man for a short time, under
the tutelage of his brother William (who by then already resided in De Kalb County,
Georgia), and then to have attended the old Augusta Medical College (which institution is
now the medical department of the University of Georgia), where he graduated in 1845.

He settled in Atlanta to practice medicine the same year. [He] was the sole
physician for only six months. The next to arrive was Dr. Stephen T. Biggers, and
soon many others followed, to help start Atlanta toward becoming a medical

(No record of his attendance at the old Augusta Medical College has yet been located,

Dr. Joshua Gilbert was well known and popular in his part of Fulton County and Georgia,
and is reported (by those who knew him personally) to have been a good-looking, dark-
haired man of stocky build, with a usually kindly, genial, and humorous disposition:


For many years the name of Josh Gilbert was a by-word in this part of Georgia.
He was a typical example of the doctor of the old school, well versed in the
medical lore of the day, not learned in the science of medicine, but knowing a
great deal about the art of medicine, without which knowledge no modern doctor
of today can achieve the greatest success in practice.

During the early part of his professional career Dr. Gilbert was the leading
physician of Atlanta, certainly the most popular, so described by Dr. G. G. Smith
in Martins Atlanta and Its Builders.

Joshua Gilbert fulfilled the idea in those days of a natural born doctor, and was
loved and esteemed by all who knew him.

Sometime about the year 1841 (probably in Marthasville or at the Whitehall Tavern), he
wed Miss Elizabeth Humphries (1823-1847), a younger sister of Harriett Humphries
Gilbert, his brother Williams wife. Together, Josh and Elizabeth Gilbert would only
have two children, before her early and untimely death. Elizabeth Gilbert was one of the
very first burials in Atlantas brand-new Oakland Cemetery.

Dr. Joshua Gilbert built a spacious home in the 1840s for his growing family, near what
is now Five Points in downtown Atlanta:

A newspaper account of his death in 1889 (the same year that Henry Grady died)
says that Dr. Gilbert built a home on the ground where the old state capitol stood,
the present site of the Western Union building, Marietta and Forsyth streets. He
put up an office on Marietta Street, between Broad and Forsyth streets. He
practiced his profession until a few years before his death, but, after the civil war,
left Atlanta and moved eight miles into the country near the Campbellton

He rode either on horseback, or in a little one-seat cart, or sulky, carrying his
saddlebags with him, and compounding his own medicines as best he thought fit:

Dr. Joshuas [earliest] means of conveyance was a buggy, in which he made his
trips to and from Atlanta. Being the soul of generosity, he could pass no
pedestrians without offering a lift; this caused much overloading of the vehicle,
made more work for the horse, and resulted in delay, so the doctor disposed of his
buggy and got himself a giga one-seated cart or sulky; having no top, it could
not properly be dignified by the name of chaise.

Dr. William Leak Gilbert (1866-1947), grandson of the above-mentioned Dr. William
Gilbert, and himself a physician formerly practicing in Atlanta, and a member of the
Fulton County Commission, in 1931 recalled his fine-looking [grand] uncle, Dr. Joshua
Gilbert, and asserted that Uncle Josh could roll some of the biggest bluemass pills he
ever saw.
Uncle Josh carried a whistle with him on his rounds, and would stand on

the street corners and blow the said whistle, to let people know that the doctor was
nearby, and would probably not be that way again that day:

[Dr. Gilbert] picked up his practice on the village streets, where his haunts were
well known. On leaving town the doctor would halt his gig at street corners and
toot a whistle, much in the manner of the peregrinating knife grinders of today.
This notified all within hearing, who had aches and pains, that the doctor was
taking his homeward way, and if attention or pills were wanted, now was the
accepted time.

Dr. Joshua Gilbert, despite his popularity, and usual genial disposition toward everyone
he met, could on rare occasions be roused to a tempestuous fury. On one occasion, his
habit of blowing a whistle to attract customers backfired on him, as the following
amusing story retold by Wilbur Kurtz in 1931 illustrates:

On one occasion, several of the village cut-ups arranged, by clever bribes and an
appeal to cupidity, with the town boob or half-wit, to trail the good doctor and
toot a whistle on adjacent street corners, the fell purpose of which was to plague
Uncle Josh and confuse his patrons. This set not at all well with the irate Josh; he
descended precipitately from the gig and gave chase to the nit-wit with such
purposeful clat and sundry bootings, that the frightened jokester, now entirely
witless, not only was glad to flee the community, but did.

Another story illustrates still better Dr. Gilberts temperament when unreasonably

[On another occasion,] Uncle Josh while attending the dying Tom Terry,
murderously assaulted by the two Wilson [brothers, supposedly] felled with a
mighty blow on the jaw a third Wilson [brother] who sought to interfere with the
doctors ministrations. [Jeremiah Silas] Gilbert [nephew of Uncle Josh] said he
[had] never heard that story, but he could be positive [that] Uncle Josh struck the
blow with his left hand, for the doctor was left-handed.

In a day and age when a mans word [was] as good as his bond, and a handshake was
often sufficient to seal legally-binding agreements between gentlemen, Dr. Joshua Gilbert
(a gentleman of unquestioned integrity) kept no books, and is said on good authority to
have never presented a bill, and yet (we are assured) he appeared to prosper in worldly

After the untimely death in 1847 of his first wife, Dr. Joshua Gilbert remarried to a Miss
Martha L. Mattie Butler (1831-1917). This marriage was probably recorded in De Kalb
County, but no record of it has yet been located. Martha Butler Gilbert lies buried beside
her husband in Utoys Churchyard.

Prior to Dr. Gilberts 1845 arrival in Marthasville (we are told), local citizens had found
it necessary to travel a great distance to obtain medical treatmenteither to Decatur in

the east, or to Marietta in the north, yet by the year 1845, the steadily growing city of
Atlanta had begun to be a proper medical center, so many physicians had settled in the
town by then. No less than three separate medical institutions were established in that
year: the Atlanta Medical College, the Atlanta Medical and Surgical Journal, and the first
medical society, known as the Brotherhood of Physicians. The college and the society
were formed by Dr. J. G. Westmoreland, and the journal was started by J. G.
Westmoreland and his brother, Dr. W. F. Westmoreland, Sr. Both of these men,
ironically, happened to have been distant cousins of the Gilbert doctor brothers. Also in
1845, the first fee bill and Code of Ethics were published. This document, says Dr.
Frank K. Boland, in a similar article of 1933, was signed by fourteen physicians, who
might be called the Apostles of Atlanta Medicine. Those physicians were:

Noel DAlvigny, M. D. Hayden Coe, M. D.
James F. Alexander, M. D. J. G. Westmoreland, M. D.
H. A. Ramsay, M. D. W. T. Grant, M. D.
Josiah A. Flournoy, M. D. B. M. Smith, M. D.
T. C. H. Wilson, M. D. Thos. Denny, M. D.
Joshua Gilbert, M. D. H. Westmoreland, M. D.
N. L. Angier, M. D. J. M. Darnall, M. D.

Dr. Gilbert, says Dr. Boland again, was not connected with the medical college, but he
was a member of Atlantas first Board of Health, and was always looked upon as one of
the prominent doctors of the town.

Dr. Boland, whose valuable history of Atlantas doctors, and of Dr. Joshua Gilbert in
particular we now quote, provided a magnificent summation of the value and
contributions of Dr. Gilbert. This summation is worth repeating here in full:

Atlantas first doctor practiced medicine in 1845 almost as it had been done for
many hundreds of years before. It had been shown that quinine would cure
malaria, but nothing was known about the mosquito conveying the disease, a fact
which was not discovered until 1897. About the only equipment possessed by Dr.
Gilbert which was not in the armamentarium of the Father of Medicine,
Hippocrates, who lived 400 B. C., was the stethoscope, and it is doubtful if Joshua
Gilbert used it regularly. He did know that vaccination would prevent smallpox,
but there was no law requiring vaccination, and the disease killed many people in
Atlanta even in the [eighteen] eighties and nineties.

And what could the Father of Atlanta Medicine know about prophylaxis in the
scourge of child-bed fever? Antisepsis was not announced by Lord Lister until
1867, so there could be no safe surgery in 1845. Appendicitis was not described
by Fitz until 1886, but it must have existed in Atlanta in Gilberts early practice.
Of course it was not diagnosed as appendicitis, and if it had been, nobody would
have been able to treat it successfully. Altogether, medical science has added
thirty-five years to the span of human life since the war between the states, due to
the discoveries of the past ninety years [to 1933], and to the brilliant progress in

the treatment of the diseases of children, which saves so many babies in the first
years of life.

So, all the more honor to Joshua Gilbert and the magnetic type of old-time
practitioner he represented, for laboring so courageously under such handicaps! If
he was not acquainted with science, he had an almost equally valuable asset in his
knowledge of human nature. If he could not bring healing into the sickroom, he
could bring comfort and cheer, which too often is all we can [bring] today. He
held the confidence of his patients as much as the medical profession does in the
present generation, and sometimes perhaps to a greater degree.

Dr. Gilberts distinction as being the first physician to practice medicine in
Atlanta was commemorated by the Fulton County Medical Society, [on]
September 17, 1932, the 117
anniversary of his birth, by placing a wreath on his
grave in Utoy Church cemetery. At the same time a wreath was placed on his
wifes grave by the Womens Auxiliary of the Society.

There was originally a third Gilbert brother who was an early Atlanta doctor, although
there is no evidence to tie him to Utoy Baptist Church. He was Dr. Westmoreland Land
Gilbert. He was born in 1821 in Spartanburg District, South Carolina, and died in
September 1852, in that portion of De Kalb County that barely a year later became
Fulton. His estate was administered beginning October 5
, 1852, by one Andrew
Walraven. An appraisal of the estate was made and returned on October 29
, 1852, by J.
Gilbert and J. Tomlinson. (The first-named was probably his brother Dr. Joshua
It is not known exactly when Land Gilbert arrived in this area, nor is it
known exactly where he lived. He is reported to have been one of the very first burials in
Atlantas Oakland Cemetery, although the location of his grave is unknown, and the
cemetery itself has no record of his name or burial.
No record of his attendance at
Georgias Medical College at Augusta has been found, so he evidently read medicine
under one or more of his older brothers.

J ames Donehoo, already mentioned above as an early deacon of Utoy Church, was
discussed by Garrett in his Atlanta and Environs:

James Donehoo, a South Carolinian, came to De Kalb via Franklin County,
Georgia, where he had married, in 1817, Elizabeth, daughter of William Wilson.
He settled, as did his father-in-law, who preceded him, in the western part of De
Kalb, now Fulton near the present settlement known as Adamsville. Here he was
a successful planter and later a Justice of the Inferior Court of Fulton County. He
has rested from his labors since 1860 in a family cemetery on his homeplace. The
father of nine children, his descendants have included many good citizens. The
late Fulton County coroner, Paul Donehoo, was a great-grandson.


J esse Childress, whose relative John had married a Gilbert from the same South Carolina
Gilbert family associated with Utoy Church and Atlantas medical history, was born in
South Carolina on August 17
1812, and died in Fulton County, Georgia on November
1878. He settled early in De Kalb County, originally on land later owned by Charner
Humphries (where he built his celebrated Whitehall Tavern). Jesse Childress later lived
along what is now Childress Drive SW (which street was named in his honor). He joined
Utoy Church in 1826, and his second wife Jane did so the following year. Other family
members joined in later years. His numerous descendants were also related by several
intermarriages to the Willis and White families of Utoy and Fulton County.

William Suttles, mentioned above, although also apparently never an official member of
Utoy Baptist Church, nonetheless also lies buried in the Churchs ancient cemetery. His
wife Margaret Peggy Suttles and daughter Margaret Peggy Willis were already
mentioned as charter members of the Church. William Suttles, a veteran of Braddocks
Retreat during the French and Indian Wars, and of the War for American Independence,
was briefly mentioned in White's 1855 "Historical Collections of Georgia," first in a
section on De Kalb County:

The climate is healthy. Instances of longevity are numerous. JOHN BIFFLE died
at 106; D. GREENE, 90; WM. TERRELL, 90; Mr. BROOKS, 92; WM.
SUTTLES died in 1839, aged 108. He was possessed of great physical strength,
and had been a soldier of '76. At his death an estimate of his descendants was
made, and it amounted to 300 persons. His wife, MARGARET, 104 years old,
died in J une, 1839. For seventy years she had been a member of the Baptist
Church. CHARLES ISOM and JAMES BURNES, both 90, are now living. WM.
REEVES died at 87. [emphasis supplied]

The other tale related by Rev. White concerning William Suttles is as follows:
The following incident, related to the author by a reliable gentleman, is worthy of
a place in the Annals of Georgia:--
During one of the attacks of the Indians upon the inhabitants of this frontier
county, they succeeded in killing a number of persons. On one occasion they took
prisoner a small girl about twelve years of age. There was living in the county at
that time a man by the name of William Suttle, a gunsmith by trade, who, upon
hearing that the savages had gone off with the little girl, determined to pursue
them, rescue the captive or die in the attempt. Providing himself with an excellent
gun, he started on his generous mission; and after a short time, in the middle of
the night, came in sight of the party, who were seated around a fire, and noticed
the little girl sitting upon the lap of a brawny Indian, who appeared to be much
delighted with his prisoner. After a while, the Indian rose, and standing very erect,
appeared to be making gestures, when Suttle, who had been watching [for] a
favorable opportunity, fired his gun, and shot the Indian through the heart. In the
midst of the alarm consequent upon this sudden attack, the little girl made her

way in the direction where she supposed the gun was fired, was received by
Suttle, and carried behind him on horseback to her friends.

Apparently, Rev. White did not connect this William Suttle in Elbert County with the
William Suttles he had earlier mentioned (at page 422) as the man who lived to be 108,
and who had a widow named Margaret. Yet they were indeed one and the same person.

Bronze D.A.R. marker (this time apparently accurate), placed at the grave of
Revolutionary Veteran William Suttles, who was born in King George County,
Virginia, in 1731, and who died in what was then De Kalb County, Georgia, at the
remarkable age of 108, on the 23
of J anuary, 1839.

Garrett himself, in his magnum opus Atlanta and Environs, mentions this same William
The founder of one of the oldest families in the Atlanta area died January 23,
1839, at the remarkable age of 107. The "Southern Christian Advocate
Methodist," in its issue of February 22, 1839, informs us of another Revolutionary
Soldier fallen:

Departed this life on Wednesday, the 23rd ult., at the home of Rev. John M. Smith
in De Kalb [now Fulton] County, Georgia, William Suttles, in the 107th year of
his age. He was born (I think) in the State of Maryland, and early entered the list
of those who, under God, secured to us the freedom and happiness of out happy
country and whose names are endeared to the free citizens of favored America. As
to the general character of this aged veteran, there is nothing peculiarly striking,
more than [that] he sustained a good name as an honest citizen, and an industrious
mechanic. He was a famous gunsmith. His greatest peculiarity was his great age,
and seeing, perhaps, as numerous a progeny as any man of his day. His children,
grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren number about
300 persons. His aged companion still lives, being about 100 years of age, and
lives too in the bright prospect of meeting her departed husband, with whom she
has lived so long on earth, in a better and more happy country than favored
Covington, Georgia, February 5, 1839. Signed, P.P. Smith [Rev. Peyton P. Smith,
Mr. Smith was the first-born of William Suttle's youngest child [Nancy]. The old
pioneer is probably buried in Mt. Gilead Cemetery at Ben Hill, near which place
he died. However, his grave is unmarked, and he may be one of the sleepers at old
Utoy Cemetery. The Suttle family is represented in both cemeteries. Our present
[1930s] accommodating Fulton County tax collector, T. Earl Suttles, is one of the
numerous local descendants of this Revolutionary soldier.

William Suttles was in fact born in King George County, Virginia, whereas it was his
wife, Margaret "Peggy" Harbin, who was born in Maryland.
William Suttles and his
wife do indeed lie in the old Utoy Baptist Church Cemetery (and not at Mt. Gilead). At
the time Mr. Garrett wrote, their graves were undoubtedly unmarked. Today, however,
later descendants have (thankfully) rectified this situation, and beautiful markers may
now be seen on their graves at Utoy.
There was a persistent, widespread family tradition about William Suttles, to the effect
that during the American Revolutionary War, Suttles had been captured by Indians, but
that Suttles (being a gunsmith by trade) had managed to gain the confidence of his
captors by repairing their guns, and thereby was eventually allowed to go out hunting
alone. On one such occasion, so the story goes, he managed to escape, and made his way
on foot over the hills and valleys of the Alleghenies, back to his Virginia home.

The T. Earl Suttles mentioned (above) by Garrett, was a first cousin, once removed, of
Joseph P. Joe Suttles, now aged 84, a member of the Utoy Cemetery Association, and
one of its founding members in 1977. He is, to this writers knowledge, the last living
founding member of the association, and still faithfully attends each months business
meeting. He has more lore in his head about Fulton Countys history, than most historians
ever dream of acquiring, and when he passes, an entire library of valuable knowledge will
(unfortunately) pass with him.


Marble, D.A.R.-placed marker at the grave of Revolutionary Veteran William Suttles
(1731-1839). I t is not contemporary, but dates rather from 1964. This writer is among
the thousands of proud descendants of this hero. (Author photo)

General William B. Bate, C.S.A. On 10 August 1864, a week after the Battle of Utoy
Creek, General Bate was treated at Utoy Church, for wounds received at the Battle of
Utoy Creek. General Bate was soon evacuated to Barnesville, Georgia, however (safely
away from the danger zone), to recuperate. General Bate later became a United States
Senator from the State of Tennessee.

Colonel J ames S. Boynton, C.S.A. commanded the 30th Georgia Infantry Division, of
Brigadier-General H. R. Jacksons Georgia Brigade. During the Battle of Utoy Creek, he
was wounded, and was treated by Dr. Gilbert at Utoy Church. Col. Boynton later served
as President of the Georgia Senate, and on March 5
, 1883, upon the death of Governor
Alexander Hamilton Stephens, served briefly as Governor himself, until a special election
could be held.


I ndians buried at Utoy?

According to a tradition of long standing, there are also several Indians buried in Utoy
churchyard. This claim, while romantic, and even perhaps true, cannot, all the same, be
either substantiated or refuted at this late remove, due to lack of evidence one way or the

According to a tradition (which can now neither be substantiated nor disproven), this
coffin-shaped gravestone at Utoy is the monument of an I ndian grave. (Author photo)

Utoy Churchs early African-American Membership

In the early years of De Kalb County, says Garrett,

Indeed, until slavery was abolished, there were no Negro churches. Slaves were
often allowed to become members of white churches and in the larger town
churches provision was always made for the separate seating of slaves, usually in
galleries. It was a general custom of slave owners, who were members of the
church, to give their slaves religious instruction, the field workers in some one of
their cabins, and the house servants around the family altars of their masters.

There were almost always several African members of Utoy Church, right from the very
start. Says Judge Humphries:

The church minutes show that prior to 1837 fifteen Negroes were admitted to
membership. When joining on profession of faith they were referred to as a black
boy, or a black woman, the property of a named person. When joining or being
dismissed by letter they were referred to as a black brother or a black

One Negro named Fred, says our Judge Humphries, seems to have had a weakness for
running away. [And who can blame him?]

At one time he disabled his master and ran away. When cited before the church he
expressed regret and received forgiveness until August 17, 1832, when he was
excluded. Another named Sharp had a weakness for getting drunk and using
profanity. He was excused several times, but on December 12, 1829, was
excluded. However, on August 31, 1831, he made acknowledgements and was
restored to membership, and the members gave him the right hand of

It does not appear, Judge Humphries says, continuing, that Negro members were
excluded because of the change in their status after emancipation.

As late as February 1
1873, says Jean Bieder, again, the minutes show that Blacks
were still members long after their emancipation in 1863-1865:

The minutes for this date record that a colored sister came forward,
acknowledged that she had done wrong and was sorry for it, and would do so no
more, and begged forgiveness, and was forgiven.

(We shall speak more of the presence of African-Americans at Utoy below, and later, in
an appendix, which is unfortunately necessary because the information therein contained
was discovered after this books Index had been prepared, and to have included it here
would have entailed a considerable rewriting of the Index.)


The interior of a restored sharecropper cabin now situated at Historic Jonesboros
Stately Oaks Plantation, in Georgias Clayton County. This would have been a
familiar sight to most of Utoy Churchs African-American members. (Notice the
spittoon on the floor beside the rocker.) (Author photo)

Whitewashed interior of an original 1830s log cabin (now at the Atlanta History
Center), showing a way of life that would have been familiar to most of Utoy Churchs
African-American members. (Author photo)


Church Discipline

Acknowledgements of this kind, says Bieder, were common because the discipline the
church exercised over its members was quite strict in those days. Members were cited for
numerous faults, but an expression of regret was usually the only requirement for
Says Judge Humphries:

Members were cited for non-attendance, for failure to commune, for drunkenness,
fighting and other misconduct. Confession of guilt and expression of regret were
sufficient to receive forgiveness. One member was excluded for moving into the
Indian country [it was against State law, after all] and other misconduct; another
for running race paths; another for failing to attend the church conferences for
twelve months. [One] member, it seems, pleaded usury to an obligation, and when
cited before the church, confessed that he did not justify pleading usury with
intention to defraud. He was not excluded.

For those members who refused to come before the church and either answer the
charge(s) against them, or ask for forgiveness, the only recourse was almost always
exclusion from fellowship. Many were so excluded.

Exterior of an 1850s Corn Crib, now at the Atlanta History Center. (Author photo)

The Road to War

During the 1830s and 1840s, tensions between the largely industrial North, and the
largely agricultural South, slowly but surely grew and worsened. Northern merchants
found little demand for their finished goods in the South. Southerners much preferred to
export their cash crops overseas, and likewise purchase European cloth goods, more so
than those produced in northern textile mills. Eventually, this led to the proposal in the
Yankee North of a tariff on imported goods. This was intended to force Southerners to
buy American-made goods, rather than English and French products. As might be
expected, this proposed tariff immediately roused the wrath of Southerners.

Although the Compromise of 1850 relieved some pressure, the issues of Slavery and
sectional rivalries remained heated topics of the age. Indeed, with each passing year, the
controversy and heated rhetoric between North and South only grew worse. Our nation
had not yet learned how to become one nation, under God, indivisible.

By the 1860s, the repeated threats from various Northerners (especially the Abolitionists)
to radically and irrevocably alter the economy of the South through the abolition of
slavery, although they directly impacted only approximately ten percent of the population
of the South, continued to rouse the ire of Southerners, rich and poor alike, to a fever
pitch. The John Brown affair in Harpers Ferry, Virginia terrified most Southern
slaveholders, who greatly feared such slave uprisings. The fact that John Brown
(although hanged for his crimes) was generally worshipped as a hero in the North was, to
them, the final straw.

Like any chess game, where the doom of one opponent is clear and certain long before it
actually comes to fruition, the final result of this bitter sectional conflict in mid-
Nineteenth-Century America was as obvious and inevitable as the final scene of any
ancient Greek tragedy. The American Civil War, long foreseen, finally began in earnest
with Fort Sumters fateful bombardment in 1861. This tragic, wasteful and unnecessary
war was, of course, the defining event in American historymore so even than our
earlier War of Revolution. Though surely not to the satisfaction of many, this not so
civil Civil War nonetheless resolved the constitutional issues revolving around States
Rights, and settled once and for all the nagging question of slavery.

During the War, Atlanta became a natural logistics hub, since four major railroads
intersected at or near the city. The town of East Point became a secondary hub,
connecting Alabama and Mississippi, through the Atlanta and West Point Railroad, to


One of a string of fortifications surrounding Atlanta, designed by Col. Lemuel P.
Grant (for whom the park in Atlanta is namedthe one where the Zoo and Cyclorama
are). These forts were intended to protect the vital railroads supplying the city. They
performed their job admirably, until Sherman simply outflanked them (as he had done
repeatedly throughout North Georgia on his way to Atlanta). This photograph was
made around September 1864 by George Barnard, who was called to Atlanta from
Chattanooga by Sherman to record the city as the Confederates had left it. (Photo
credit needed)


This is what was marching through Georgia and attempting to take the city of
Atlantamostly mere boys or young men. This ones name happens to be known to
history: he was Pvt. Emory Eugene Kingin, of the 4th Michigan Infantry. We do not
know, however, whether or not he was ever in Atlanta.


The Battle of Utoy Creek and Utoy Church

Events of the year 1864 were to prove life changing for Utoy Church and most of its
members. Since Utoy Church and its members found itself literally in the thick of these
events, it is necessary to recount the movements of these armies in some detail, in order
to set the stage for Utoy Churchs role in the affair:

After the fall of Chattanooga in late 1863, and after General Shermans intentions on the
City of Atlanta became painfully clear, the city was hurriedly fortified with a ring of
earthen forts and strong points, designed by the above-mentioned Col. Lemuel P. Grant
(after whom Atlantas Grant Park is named), all protected by well-placed artillery.
(Some of these forts still survive to this day, after a fashion.) By the Summer of 1864, as
cannon were audible from nearby Kennesaw Mountain, where the battles were by then
raging, these fortifications had become vitally important.

After the exasperated Jefferson Davis had replaced Confederate General Joseph B.
Johnston with General John Bell Hood, in a last-ditch effort to save Atlanta from
Shermans intended destruction, the latter attacked Shermans United States troops three
times in rapid succession in July 1864: at Peachtree Creek, on 20 July; at
Atlanta/Decatur, on 22 July; and at Ezra Church, on 28 July. Hood was unable, however,
to dislodge the much larger force under Sherman.

On August 1, 1864, Sherman transferred Major
General John M. Schofield (at right) and his Army
of the Ohio from his (Shermans) left flank, to his
right flank, over toward Utoy Creek, to try to break
through the Confederate defenses protecting the
railroads at East Point. Shermans goal was to cut
the two railroad supply lines to the south of Atlanta,
upon which both the city and Hood depended.
Success in this goal would force Hood and the
Confederates to abandon Atlanta, and the Southern
city would then belong to Sherman and the

A weeklong operation then followed, involving some
thirty thousand Union troops, against approximately
eight thousand Confederate troops. A prolonged
argument between Schofield and Brigadier-General
John McAuley Palmer, resulted in a significant and M-G. J ohn M. Schofield
costly delay in moving Federal troops, and this delay
allowed the Confederates enough time to become firmly entrenched.

These Confederate troops were entrenched in an area starting near what is now the
intersection of Cascade Road and Gordon Street (now M.L.K. Drive), heading west
through the area of what is now John A. White Park, where several redoubts (or small

fortifications) had been erected, and farther westward almost to the area that is now the
Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, but on the east side of Willis Mill Road SW. From
thence, the line of Confederate fortifications ran southwards, across South Utoy Creek,
toward East Point, where the Confederate forces then encircled the town like the shape of
a fishhook.

William B. Bates Confederate Division had occupied the above-described defense line
with a battalion of artillery, and had established himself and his troops along a continuous
ridge south of Sandtown (now Cascade) Road, mostly along what is now Willis Mill
Road, and into what is now Adams Park. This grist mill was owned and

(Above) One of the actual surviving trenches constructed by Federal troops along the
top of a ridge above South Utoy Creek. This trench is now inside the Cascade Springs
Nature Preserve. I n 1864, of course, it would have been much deeper. (Author photo)

operated by the above-described Joseph Willis Jr., closely-associated with Utoy Church.
This area where Willis Mill lay would become subsequently known as the focal-point

(Above and below) Battery of Union guns at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield
Park, Marietta, Georgia. Because no such guns remain at any sites associated with the
more southerly Battle of Utoy Creek, we must depend upon this other site to inform us
as to how the emplacements once appeared at Utoy Creek. (Author photos)


site of the Civil War Battle of Utoy Creek, part of the broader Atlanta Campaign of
General Sherman.
We shall have recourse to describe the events that took place
during this particular phase of the battle in more detail, below.

The Federal troops faced Bates entrenched Confederate infantry, while stationed along a
similar ridge to the immediate west of the Confederate positions. A distance of less than
half a mile separated the opposing forces. Amazingly, this distance narrowed to within
only a few yards in some places, such as the small valley inside what is now Greenwood
Cemetery (on the west of the property, inside a small patch of woods).

The northerly, or left flank, of the Federal forces initiated an attack against the firmly
entrenched and immovable Confederates by crossing North Utoy Creek on August 3rd
1864. The Federal troops making this crossing of North Utoy Creek were met by
Brigadier General Armstrongs Confederate Dismounted Cavalry Brigade.

Federal Field
quickly realizing
that Schofield had
been unable to
dislodge the firmly
gathered forces for
an all-out effort to
support Federal
attacks against the
defenses along both
branches of Utoy
Creek, north and

As part of this all-
out attack on the
Jacob D. Coxs
Division, along
with several other
similar Federal
Divisions, began
moving toward
South Utoy Creek
(see right), in a
direct assault on

what was thought to be dismounted Confederate cavalry. This direct assault on the
entrenched Confederates received a withering rain of artillery fire from the Confederates,
and the Federal troops of Coxs Division were firmly repulsed by the Confederates of
Bates Division.

Finding no success, the Federal troops moved farther to their right flank (or South), closer
to Willis Mill, and instead of finding themselves in the enemys left flank (as they
expected), they found themselves, rather, in a trap, particularly planned by Bate, facing
an impenetrable line of abatis (log fortifications, much like giant sharpened toothpicks
sticking out of the ground), put in place by the Confederates.

Coxs Division unluckily found itself trapped below the abatis, along South Utoy Creek,
almost literally wading through the waters of the creek, and was only able to withdraw
after dark had fallen, and after a total loss of eight hundred killed or wounded men that

Sherman, meanwhile, had given orders to shell the city of Atlanta itself, notwithstanding
that Hoods troops were stationed a mile or more west of the city, in the area near Utoy
Church and Willis Mill. It wasnt long before the rate of bombardment of the city
intensified. Hood was incensed at this. Says historian Samuel Carter III in this regard:

The Ephraim G. Ponder House in ruins after the fall of Atlanta, 1864. (Courtesy of
the Georgia Archives)


John Bell Hood was outraged and indignant at the stepped-up bombing, and sent
several messages, under flags of truce, to General Sherman. His armed forces,
Hood pointed out, were entrenched a mile or more from the center of the city.
There were no military gains to justify the shelling of noncombatants, many of
them women and children, in that area. It violated all the rules of civilized

Sherman replied tersely that if there were women and children still in the city they
had no business being there; that he regarded Atlanta as a principal Southern
depot for the instruments of war; and that war itself, by definition, took no
account of innocent lives or property. His intention was, and would remain, to
make Atlanta (and all of the South, he indicated) unfit to live in and incapable of
waging war.

View of Union supply wagons near the Atlanta railroad depot, Fall of 1864, after the
Confederates had evacuated the city. Shortly after this photograph was made, the train
depot seen here was burned. A modern replica of this depot now stands at Georgias
Stone Mountain Park. The photo appears in duplicate because it was what was called a
stereographic imagethat is, with the use of a special viewing lens, the two
photographs, which had been taken a few inches apart from each other, would merge
to reproduce a 3D effect. (Courtesy of the Georgia Archives)


Several large granite boulders at the top of the embattled ridge above South Utoy
Creek, near where Gen. Jacob Coxs Federal Division was entrenched. These silent
rocks once witnessed heavy fighting in this area, which is (fortunately) little changed at
all since the momentous events of August, 1864. (Author photo)

The Locals prepare for War

Let us now re-trace our steps somewhat, to show how Joseph Willis Jr., proprietor of the
Willis Mill, and a member of a Utoy Church family, along with his neighbors and
relatives, had prepared for this conflict, considering that it was literally happening in their
front yards.

Sherman's troops were reported everywhere around the city, says Carter, and the
ubiquitous sound of guns and rifle fire up and down the Chattahoochee gave credence to
these alarms.

In anticipation of the city being shelled, which now seemed likely, citizens began
building bomb shelters in their yards, not unlike the hurricane cellars in the Plains
states. Called variously "bombproofs" and more derisively, "gopher holes," these
were generally excavations of from six to eight feet deep, and eight to twelve feet
square--but might be larger according to the size and collective muscle of the
family. Stout planks were laid over the subterranean chamber, covered with three
or four feet of earth. The entrance was always on the south side, the only direction
from which enemy missiles were not likely to arrive.

Between the Chattahoochee River and Atlanta many such shelters had already
been prepared. Southwest of the city an area pioneer, Joseph Willis, owned
extensive land and a grist mill on Utoy Creek. With Confederate troops now south
of the Chattahoochee, he saw the handwriting on the wall and constructed, with
the help of two neighbors, Laban Helms and William White [his brother-in-law],
a bombproof behind his home large enough to accommodate the twenty-six
members of their families.

It was an ambitious enterprise, for citizen Willis had no intention of quitting his
property whatever came. The room was sixteen feet square, excavated from a
hillside, with a roof of timbers covered with several feet of turf and overlaid with
evergreen boughs to keep the earth in place. Nonperishable foods and containers
of drinking water were stowed in the compartment to provide, if need be, for a
lengthy siege.

All twenty-six members of the Willis, White, and Helms families crawled into the
excavated bombproof behind Willis' mill, says Carter, not to see fresh air and freedom for
some weeks to come. Some seemed hardly fit for the ordeal of this entombment, says
Carter, continuing. One woman, probably Sarah A. White, daughter of William (and who
is known to have been bedridden for several years), had to be carried into the shelter.
One of the men, Francis M. White, son of William (already quoted above) was crippled
and walked only with the aid of crutches. Fully half of the occupants were old and feeble.
The remainder were small children, too young to join the war and fight. Their beds,
says Carter, were mattresses of straw; the only illumination came from precious candles;
there was little ventilation.


This was a cramped and most uncomfortable existence. Carter informs us that Willis and
his neighbors and relatives scarcely dared to open the doorway to their sixteen-foot
square subterranean chamber, other than to get some fresh air now and then:

Blackberries grew within a few feet of the entrance, and though they were well
supplied with water and nonperishable staples, these were the only fresh foods
they enjoyed throughout these early weeks of long confinement.

It was the aforementioned Brigadier-General Jacob Dolson Coxs
Division, which had taken a position (Aug. 5
) close to Utoy
Creek on the property of Joseph Willis, far to the right or south
end of the Federal line. General Cox did feel some sympathy for
the non-combatant civilians, such as Willis, Helms, and White,
who found themselves caught between the two warring armies.
After the War had been long past, Cox wrote with commiseration
of their sufferings and hardships, brought about in part by their
unwillingness to leave their much-loved homes and lands.

General Cox himself (see photo, at right) paid a visit in person on
one occasion to citizen Willis and his fellow-sufferers, peering
down into the entrance of what seemed to be a massive bombproof
in the hillside near Willis home. As he later wrote (Aug. 11
): B.-G. J acob D. Cox

In this bomb-proof four families are now living, and I never felt more pity
than when, day before yesterday [Aug. 9
], I looked down into the pit, and
saw there, in the gloom made visible by a candle burning while it was broad day
above, women sitting on the floor of loose boards, resting against each other,
haggard and wan, trying to sleep away the days of terror, while innocent-looking
children, four or five years old, clustered around the air-hole, looking up with pale
faces and great staring eyes as they heard the singing of the bullets that were
flying thick above their sheltering place.

Since there was a lull in the fighting at that section of the line, and since Joseph Willis
had come forth to ask for food, said Carter, the General ordered crude tables prepared
outside their shelter and summoned the earth dwellers from their temporary tomb to eat
their fill.

One by one all twenty-six emerged like woodchucks from their underground
home: women, children, white-haired men, blinking their eyes at the sudden glare
of sunlight, staring with disbelief at the war-shattered countryside they had not
seen for three weeks. They wolfed down army rations of hardtack, beef, and
Yankee coffee with the avid hunger of the starving, and then crawled back into
their burrow to wait in blind faith for the war to end or leave their part of


After a lifetime of toil and trouble, peaceful rest at last: the grave of J oseph Willis J r.
in Utoys historic churchyard. Atlantas Willis Mill Road is named for him. (Author

The Skirmish at Willis Mill

The temporary lull in the fighting at Willis Mill, however, which had allowed the tomb-
dwellers to emerge from their premature burial to eat, did not last long. Almost literally
on top of the starving non-combatants, the Confederates apparently made a counter-attack
(unless, that is, the Zouaves mentioned below were actually Federal troops). The story
of this counter-attack was related many years later by William Cornelius Green Cap
White (1858-1942), who had been one of the innocent-looking children, four or five
years old who were mentioned by Brigadier-General Cox, as residing in the
bombproof at the Joseph Willis home. Atlanta Journal staff writer Herbert Monroe, in
an article of around December 1938, quoted Mr. White regarding this story. Joseph Willis
Jr. was Mr. Whites great-uncle, being the younger brother of the aforementioned
Elizabeth Willis White (1801-1883), Mr. Whites paternal grandmother. As Mr. Monroe
put it in 1938:

When the Battle of Atlanta was fought in 1864, Cap was only 6 years old, but he
recalls many incidents of the war. He remembers the Federals threw up
breastworks just across the road from their house, and the captain warned his
father [Francis M. White], who was a cripple all his life, that the house would be
in the line of fire when the Confederates attacked. He advised them to move
away. In those days, Cap said, the cook house of the old southern home was
built a short distance from the big house. After the warning from the captain,
Pappy had a huge pit dug between the house and the kitchen. It had double doors
over it, like many flower pits of today. There was a dense pine thicket back of
the house, which was [on] the east side, and across a clearing from the Yankee
breastworks. It seemed impossible for anyone to run through the young trees,
which had grown up during the four years of war. But one day, the Federal
captain [probably the above-quoted Brigadier-General Jacob D. Cox] paid us a
visit, and while Pappy talked to him, we boys clung to his coattails. Suddenly,
like a clap of thunder, a company of Louisiana Zouaves in their brilliant uniforms
dashed from the thicket yelling like wild Indians. I remember seeing a drummer
[boy], beating his drum furiously, leap from the trees in the lead of his company.
He was crippled, one leg being shorter than the other, and as he ran over the
clearing which had been our garden, he swayed like an old gander. We just had
time to race to the pit before the rifle fire began, but I saw the drummer [boy]
double up and fall to the ground. The whole company was either shot or cut to
pieces almost in front of our eyes.

And this from the eyes of a six-year-old boy, one of the innocent victims of war.

In 1932, again just in the nick of time, the aforementioned Wilbur G. Kurtz interviewed
another of the survivors of this bombproof episode, and wrote about the conversation.
This then-living witness was the elderly Mrs. David Elbert Herren (ne Elizabeth Willis,
daughter of the above-mentioned Squire Joseph Willis Jr.). We say just in the nick of
time, because Mrs. Herren would die by September 11
of that same year, 1932. Mrs.

Herren would have been a first cousin, once removed, of the above-quoted Cap White.
Wrote Kurtz of the conversation:

Mrs. D.E. Herren says that her father [Joseph Willis Jr.] and some of the
neighbors decided that to refugee before the advance of military operations would
entail great hardshipscertainly a loss of property, and the question of where to
go and what to do when they got there, seemed unanswerable. Deciding to
weather the storm, they thought of the bombproof cellar, and built this shelter
some days before the fiery blasts began sweeping across the fields.

A much more immediate account of the Battle of Utoy Creek was provided by a
contemporary journal kept by a man named Johnny Green, of the famous Orphan
Brigade of Kentucky. Since this brigade was present at Utoy Creek, and since Johnny
Green fortunately recorded what he witnessed, we have yet another Window into Time
available for our perusal. Wrote Green:

July 29
we made a hurried march towar[d]s our left to intercept a raiding party
coming across by way of Fairburn & Fayetteville to strike the Macon road
[probably what is now U.S. 29, near the city of East Point]. We had a light
skirmish & captured a few stragglers. On the next day we withdrew again into the
trenches around Atlanta & took a position nearer our left, some other troops
having been placed in the trenches we had previously occupied. Cannonading &
light skirmishing until August 5
1864 when we were moved to the Sandtown
road [now Cascade Avenue SW] about two miles from our former position.

We were here posted near Utoy Creek to repel an attack expected to be made by a
flanking party reported to be moving in this direction. We were given entrenching
tools & set vigorously to work but the enemy was soon on us & we dropped the
pick & spade & did rapid work with our rifles. The yanks retired & as it was now
night we worked diligently & completed our trenches. At day light [August 6
the enemy began to feel us & skirmishing kept up until about one PM when they
made a savage assault but we repulsed them handsomely notwithstanding they
made three determined attacks upon us.

A portion of their forces effected a lodgement in some timber on a hill from
which they annoyed the line on our right. We were ordered to charge this position,
which we did, & drove away all except about thirty of them who fought
desperately. These we completely overpow[er]ed & captured. So gallant was this
fight that Genl Stephen D Lee issued a Genl Order complimenting our Division.
Genl Bate of Tennessee was at this time our Major Genl.

The enemy lost much more heavily in this days fighting than we did; his loss in
killed, wounded & captured was estimated to be about 800 men. The next day
[August 7
] we retired into the main line of entrenchments, manning the rifle pits.
Our line was so extended now that our men were one yard apart.


Gilbert A. Marbury, drummer,
Company H, 22d New York I nfantry;
posing with his drum before a
cannon. I t was just such a young and
innocent-looking drummer-boy who
was witnessed by the members of the
Willis and White families being shot
to death as he led his troops into
battle at the Willis Mill skirmish in
August, 1864. Perhaps one of the
cruelest aspects of war is that it takes
the lives of so many promising young
people such as this lad. His face
haunts ones memory. (Photo credit)

The last living witness and survivor of this
part of the Battle of Utoy Creek, according
to Garrett, was Cap Whites younger
brother, Dr. John W. White, who had been
an infant of one years age in August 1864
(and therefore too young to remember the
event). Dr. White passed away peacefully in
Atlanta in 1951, after a lifetime of practicing
medicine in Atlantas Oakland City
section, and lies buried beside his wife in
Atlantas Greenwood Cemetery, only a mile
or so from the location of the Willis home,
where the battle occurred.

(Right) Dr. J ohn W. White as a small boy,
circa 1871. Dr. White was the last living
witness of the Battle of Utoy Creek,
although he was only one year old when it
occurred. (Author collection)

The above-mentioned Francis M. White (father of Cap White and his brother Dr. John
W. White), was himself also quoted years later regarding the War and Sherman:

"Sherman?" The name started a new train of thought. "Hurt by him? Well, I guess
I was! I'd been married about six years, and had worked hard to get my little
house and the fifty acres around it. The war kept getting closer and closer, and our
men told me I'd be ruined [if I stayed where I was], so they moved me over to my
father's--where Atlanta Milling Company now stands. Then it got too hot there,

and we had to move again [this time to the Joseph Willis place]. Finally, I didn't
have enough left [with which] to load my two-mule wagon, and I started back to
my home, only to find it a ruin. And then they took my mules and wagon! He did
me up, Sherman did!"

As is by now well-known, the name Sherman continued to arouse the ire of Southerners
(particularly Georgians) until well into the Twentieth Century, so horrific were the effects
of his Atlanta Campaign and infamous March to the Sea.

There is more information also known to us from the history books about events on the
Yankee side of this conflict. We know something about the fate of at least two men:
Captain Joseph P. Fitzsimmons, who was commander of Company K, of the 104
regiment, and Lt. Col. George R. Elstner, who, in 1864, was the twenty-two year old
commander of the 50
Ohio Regiment. Both men were present at the Battle of Utoy
Creek, and both gave their lives there. They are described in some detail below:

(Left) Lt. Col. George R. Elstner, the 22-
year-old commander of the 50
Ohio. He
was instantly killed by a musket ball
through the head on August 8
, near Utoy
Creek. His comrade, 2
Lt. Thomas C.
Thoburn of Company E, described in his
own journal the sad events of Elstners
death: Col. Strickland, our brigade
commander, told him that he was to take the
across the creek and drive the enemy
from a wooded ridge beyond that, without
saying how he was to do it. While in the
timber on our side of the valley, Col.
Elstner moved us by the right flank up the
stream, perhaps half a mile and then crossed
under the cover of intervening trees
unmolested by the enemy. While making
this movement, Col. Strick galloped up and
said, Col. Elstner, are you a coward that
you are afraid to cross this valley as
directed? Col. Strickland, you have called
me that for the last time. Get down and take
your coat off, and we will settle that right
here! Old Strick wheeled his horse round
and plying his spurs galloped away. Elstner
was smarting under this taunt, which
perhaps made him a little reckless and he
exposed himself perhaps unwisely, with the
fatal result noted above.

(Left) Captain J oseph P. Fitzsimmons,
commander of Company K, of the 104

Illinois, was instantly killed by a
sharpshooter on August 7
, while in the act
of placing a wood rail on earthworks erected
by the regiment in front of the Confederates
at Utoy Creek. Described by fellow officers
as constitutionally fearless, he was the
senior captain in the 104
at the time of his
death, though he began the war as a bugler
in the 1
Illinois Cavalry. In 1837, when
Fitzsimmons was only two years old, his
father lost his life while attempting to rescue
a drowning man.


I nterior of the original 1850s kitchen of the Tullie Smith farm. (Author photo)

The site of the J oseph Willis Grist Mill, along Willis Mill Road SW, in Atlanta. The
actual mill probably sat to the right, on the flat area of ground beside the creek. The
millstone itself is said to still be in the middle of the creek (probably within view in this
photo). The dam holding back the millpond still exists to this dayWillis Mill Road
itself runs along the top of the dam. (Author photo)

The author is informed on authority from two different persons with knowledge of
local history, that this is the actual J oseph Willis home (on Willis Mill Road SW).
Although the home was modernized in the 1950s with a front porch and stucco
exterior, the original shape and outline of the antebellum home can still be made out.
This home saw much of the action of the Battle of Utoy Creek, and near this very
house was the bombproof pit in which the Willis, White, and Helms families endured
several weeks of a cramped underground existence. The Union lines were behind this
house by about a quarter mile, along the top of the adjacent ridge to the West. The
Confederate lines ran just behind this house, practically in the backyard. The house
was fully in the line of fire during the battle. I t is not yet clear or proven whether or not
this was the actual antebellum house, or one built shortly after the War. Tree ring
dating of timbers from which this house was built should answer that question, should
it be permitted by the present owners, and should funding be obtained to do so. (Author


Because the millpond at the site of the old Willis Mill no longer exists, we have to rely
on other similar locations to give us some idea of what it once looked like. Here is a
quiet woodland pond at the Reynolds Memorial Nature Preserve in Clayton County,
Georgia. (Author photos)


Utoy Church becomes a Field Hospital during the Battle

The Confederates established a field hospital for this area, during the above-mentioned
Battle of Utoy Creek, at the Utoy Primitive Baptist Church. The primary surgeon there
was Dr. Joshua Gilbert (earlier mentioned as Atlantas first doctor). Dr. Gilbert was
assisted by nurse Sally Hendon, with the addition of other volunteers from the area.
Doctor and Nurse treated both Confederate and captured Union soldiers, without regard
for loyalty of sides. Mt. Gilead Church, six miles to the southwest, also functioned as a
similar field hospital, treating wounded soldiers from both sides, as did Dr. Gilberts own
residence a half mile away, along the Sandtown Road (near what is now the Cascade
Springs Nature Preserve on Cascade Avenue SW), and Dr. Gilbert faithfully galloped
back and forth between the three locations, treating the wounded as he was required.

A Colonel James S. Boynton, commanding the Thirtieth Georgia Infantry Division, of
Brigadier-General H. R. Jacksons Georgia Brigade, was treated here at Utoy Church,
after having been wounded at the Battle of Utoy Creek. A week later, his division
commander, the aforementioned Major-General William B. Bate, was also treated at
Utoy Church, on 10 August 1864, from wounds received at the Battle of Utoy Creek.
General Bate was soon evacuated to Barnesville, Georgia, however (safely away from the
danger zone), to recuperate. (Col. Boynton later served as President of the Georgia
Senate, and in 1883, upon the death of Governor Alexander Hamilton Stephens, served
briefly as Governor himself, until a special election could be held.)

Along with several unknown Confederate casualties of the Battle of Utoy Creek,
numerous Federal casualties were also interred at Utoy churchyard, and remained there
until 1866, when they were removed by the U.S. Quartermasters Office at Atlanta, and
reinterred at the National Cemetery in Marietta, where they lie to this day. The thirty-
five casualties of Lieutenant-General Stephen D. Lees Corps of Bates Confederate
Division (plus a few men from Andersons Division), remain buried at Utoy Churchyard
to this day. Only one mans name is known for certainhe was Private Cannon Hankins,
from Tennessee. The United Daughters of the Confederacy honored all of them (known
and unknown) some years ago by placing simple marble markers on each of their graves.

The Battle of Utoy Creek was technically a victory for the Confederates (though a
Pyrrhic one), and a terrible loss to the Union Army under Sherman. Shermans plan,
poorly executed as it was by Schofield, forced the former into deadly and unwinnable
trench warfare against the Confederates. Total Federal losses at Utoy Creek alone,
between the two corps, were anywhere from three hundred to eight hundred and fifty
troops killed, with perhaps another one thousand wounded, or lost (experts estimates
differ widely on these figures, reflecting the fact that Federal casualties from the Battle of
Utoy Creek were purposely under-reported by Sherman, so as not to hamper Lincolns
reelection chances).
The Confederates losses at Utoy Creek were thirty to thirty-five
killed outright, and some two hundred wounded or captured.


The antebellum G.L. Warren House, built near J onesboro, Georgia in 1840 (when it
was still part of Fayette County). This house was used as a field hospital during the
Battle of J onesboro, August 31
and September 1
, 1864, and as headquarters of the
I llinois Regiment, U.S. Army. This was shortly after the Battle of Utoy Creek.

Utoy Churchs circa 1828 meeting house (as it was called back then) apparently was
burned to the ground by Federal Troops after their capture of Atlanta, as appears from the
following invaluable selection from the above-mentioned article My 80 Years in
Atlanta, by Sarah T. Huff [emphasis supplied]:

Utoy, of historic interest because it was the oldest church in Fulton County, was a
mound of ashes after the Battle of Utoy Creek. Organized in 1824, it was the only
one of the outlying churches rebuilt, and functions to this day. Few people
living today, except for tradition or knowledge of war history, know that such
places of worship ever existed. I was only 5 years old when war was declared
between the north and the south. Rivaling in vividness my war-time experiences
are scenes that come back to me of Utoy Church when I was a child. Seated
beside my mother on a high bench in the Amen Corner of the women's side of
the old meeting house, I kept still because I had to. In full view of both doors I
could but wonder why the men never went in by the women's door and the
women never entered through the men's doorway. At home everyone except the
slaves, came in or went out through any door they [could find]. Utterly
unacquainted with spiritual relationships, I couldn't understand why the members
called each other "brother" and "sister." Another thing that puzzled me was why
the people washed feet right there in the "meeting house." For some reason I was
sent to "black mammy," who sat against the wall behind. When her feet were to
be washed by another slave woman, I was sent back to mother. One of the most
surprising things was that the owners, while in the "meeting house" addressed
their own slaves as "brother" and "sister" just as if they had been white members.

(The Amen Corner was, as Miss Huff relates separately, a particular area of the
meeting house where as yet unenfranchised female worshippers were allowed to
publicly [and vocally] shout Amen! to whatever the preacher [or other men] happened
to say, and with which they agreed.)

This article is also priceless, for our present purposes, in that it presents an eyewitness
retelling of an antebellum worship service inside the original, 1828 Utoy meeting
house. From this selection, moreover, it will be apparent that the existing Utoy Church
building (even covered over by its 1950s-era brick veneer), will have actually been built
shortly after the Civil War, and not in 1828 or thereabouts.

Historian Huff relates an amusing incident at a similar nearby church:

Another episode was handed down by my mother. It was of a prayer that failed
to end on time. The congregation was being prayed for, on a bright Sunday
morning, by the Rev. Mr. Callahan. He wore a very long linen or gingham coat.
He happened to be a tall, very thin man, and as he knelt in prayer he unthinkingly
tied the tails of the soft material into a knot that he could not untie, and so
continued in prayer to hide his embarrassment. Bound and hobbled, he could
neither raise himself from the floor nor release his knees. The people became so
astonished at the length of the supplication, in which he had prayed for everything
under Heaven, that mother and the others arose. Then they saw the preacher's
predicament, and he was lifted up and the knot untied.


Some Twentieth-Century History

Much of the churchs history for the decades of the early Twentieth Century is now
lacking, save for what is in the minute books, and may never be properly filled.

It is known, however, that in her will, dated 7 December, 1908 (probated 4 October,
1909), Eliza Ann White, daughter of the above-mentioned William W. White and
Elizabeth Willis, and sister of Francis M. White (shown above), bequeathed the sum of
One Hundred Dollars (a huge sum back then) to Utoy Church to be used by my
Executors for repairs and painting said Church as they see proper. [emphasis supplied]
Eliza Ann White also requested (in her will) that her nephew, the aforementioned Dr.
John W. White, look after and care for my grave yard lot during his natural life. Eliza
Ann White, of course, lies buried next to her parents and sister Sarah in Utoys
Churchyard. (Alas, though, it does not seem that Utoy Church ever actually received said
coat of paint, for it was still clearly unpainted in the two 1949 photographs we possess of
the original, unremodelled church house. This is most strange.)

Eliza Ann White (1830-1909) (left),
and a close-up of her gravestone in Utoys
Churchyard (below)

An Atlanta Constitution newspaper article survives from July the 15
, 1916, showing that
there was a serious division within the membership of Utoy Primitive Baptist Church
about that timea division which was so acute that it resulted in court action:



The above-mentioned James J. Brown, it may be recalled, was licensed to preach in 1919,
but was not ordained an Elder in the church until 1922, some six years after this
unfortunate court battle. It would seem, therefore, that it was his faction which won the
court fight. Another fact lends credence to this belief: the fact that Elbert Nelson
Landrum, also from his same faction (and a grandson of the above-mentioned Squire
Joseph Willis Jr.) lies buried in the churchyard, also having served as church clerk for a
number of years. He surely could not have done so, or have been buried in the
churchyard, had he been excluded from membership. Other than these few clues, we do
not yet know how this nasty and unfortunate court fight got resolved. To say the least, it
is a real shame that those who called themselves Christians could have been guilty of
such Unchristian-like behavior.

On August 3
, 1924, the former division apparently having been put aside, the church
held its Centennial Meeting, which was attended by a large congregation of members and

Elder D. P. Smith, we are told, preached first, then the church held its communion and
foot-washing service, after which an adjournment was had for dinner. At the afternoon
service, a brother W. K. Wamack, from Elam Church, read a part of the 1924 Huff
history of the church. The constitution of the church, its rules of decorum, also a copy of
Non-fellowship Resolutions, adopted in 1837, were read. The afternoon sermon was
preached by Elder J. J. Brown.

Below is yet another interesting article from the Atlanta Constitution, this time dated 27
July, 1919, showing that desperate calls for volunteers to come clean up the cemetery are
hardly a new phenomenon:


(Above) Late Nineteenth- or early Twentieth-Century original, contemporary hand-
made wooden church pew, at Flat Shoals Primitive Baptist Church, Henry County,
Georgia. Although this pew now sits outside the church building proper (it and its
sister pews having been replaced with modern pews), it was once in use in the church
building itself, probably for many decades. This is undoubtedly much how Utoy
Churchs own early pews would have appeared. (Author photo)

(Below) An Atlanta Constitution article dated 17 November 1920, showing that on at
least one occasion, during Prohibition, humble Utoy Cemetery was used to store
bootlegged moonshine whiskey!


I nterior of Flat Shoals Primitive Baptist Church, Henry County, Georgia, showing the
unpainted (but varnished) wooden clapboard walls, and the white-painted tongue-in-
groove ceiling. This writer was informed on the occasion of this visit that the ceiling
was once higher than this, having been lowered for some reason. Utoy Churchs
interior probably looked much the same (minus the modern accoutrements). (Author
photo, with the kind permission of the membership and pastor of Flat Shoals Church)

There were unfortunately more legal troubles for the church in the later Nineteen-Forties.
Over the years since the church was deeded the original four-acre lot in 1830, the church
had gradually been deeded or given outright several additional, adjoining parcels of land.
We are not yet certain which parcels, since no records have yet been found which might
answer these questions. The result of these additional land acquisitions was that by
around 1949 (when the only known historical photographs of the church were taken), the
property owned by the church apparently amounted to a total of forty-four acres. Twenty-
six acres of this acreage was located on the north side of Utoy Street (now Venetian
Drive), whereas the remaining eighteen acres were located on the south side of the same
street, in a different land lot. This latter lot was the one containing the Spring, which the
church had used for immersion baptisms, ever since the lot was acquired for the church in
1826 by William W. White.


Above: Southside Sun Newcomers Section article, dated 18 March, 1971, on the
interesting history of Utoy Church and Cemetery. (Note, however, that the photo
labeled as being Dr. Joshua Gilbert is actually a retouchedand reversedphoto of
his brother, Dr. William Gilbert. Note also the interesting statement that the trusteeship
for the cemetery ended in 1942probably upon the death of E. Nelson Landrum, a
deacon and church clerk, who is known to have died on 8 October, 1942.) (Courtesy of
the late Beatrice Speir Bryant.)

What happened after 1949 is something of a mystery, though one thing is clear, based on
a few known facts: portions of this forty-four acres of land got sold off for housing
development, ostensibly to raise funds for the renovation of the church, and the upkeep of
the cemetery. That was the noble intention, at any rate. The reality, however, was
apparently somewhat different. Evidently some of the members of Utoy Church claimed
that these parcels of land had been sold without the permission of the entire church body,
and that moreover, those parcels had been deeded to the Church, under the stipulation

that, should the parcels ever be re-sold by the church, the proceeds of the sale were to
revert to the original grantees (who were also members of Utoy Church). Apparently, this
failed to happen, and by 1950, yet another court battle ensued involving the members of
Utoy Church, shamefully pitted against one another in a most unchristian-like manner.

Not all was gloom and doom during Utoys history, as the following article from the late,
lamented Atlanta Daily Intelligencer, under date of 14 January, 1871, shows. The
scanned image reproduced here is unfortunately blurry, but nonetheless describes a fox
hunt as having taken place in the woods near Utoy Church (and only seven short years
after the Civil War had ravaged this same area):

[The named participants in this fox
hunt were: Angus Perkerson, Dr.
J ohn S. Wilson, Messrs. Hardin,
Poole, Herring and others. The
man named Poole was probably
Dr. William Fletcher Poole, son-in-
law of the Dr. William Gilbert
mentioned above. Dr. Poole, who is
known to have lived in the area,
built a circa-1860 antebellum home
which fortunately still exists. The
above Dr. J ohn Stubbs Wilson was
yet another son-in-law of Dr.
William Gilbert. Angus Perkerson
was a son of Sheriff Thomas
J efferson Perkerson, also
mentioned above. All of these
gentlemen represented the cream of
southwest Atlanta society at that


In a corner of the cemetery property, there exists to this very day a trench that is said to
have been part of the Confederate fortifications that were the defense line around Atlanta,
the brainchild of the above-mentioned Col. Lemuel P. Grant, for whom Atlanta's Grant
Park was later named.

At the site of the cemetery is a Georgia Historical Commission Marker, erected in 1961.
(Marker Number 060-192, location: 33 42.94 N, 84 26.98 W in Southwest Atlanta,
Georgia, in Fulton County). It is at the intersection of Cahaba Drive and Bayberry Drive,
on the left when traveling north on Cahaba Drive. The street address of the cemetery
property on which the marker sits is: 1465 Cahaba Drive SW, Atlanta, GA 30311. The
cemetery property has been owned since 1984 by the Utoy Cemetery Association, Inc.,
(founded in 1977), a tax-exempt, volunteer organization of descendants of the families
buried in the cemetery, and is dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the

(Author photo)


An Alphabetical
Roster of All Known Marked Graves in Utoys Churchyard

An Alphabetical Roster of All Known Marked Graves in Utoys Churchyard



Above: an Atlanta Journal newspaper article, dated 1 February, 1978, concerning the
cleanup progress at Utoy Cemetery by the newly-formed Utoy Cemetery Association,
I nc. Pictured (l-r) are the founding president of the Association, Fulton County
Superior Court J udge (retired) J . Everett Thrift (1892-1982), and founding treasurer,
J . Frank Lee (1907-1999).


Above: part of a Southside Sun article on the cemetery cleanup, dated 6 December,

Above: part of another (undated) Southside Sun article about the cemetery restoration.



Right and previous page:
Atlanta Journal-Consti-
tution article about the
cemetery and recent re-
storation attempts, dated
15 J anuary, 2012.


An Alphabetical Roster of All Known Marked Graves in Utoys Churchyard

Here follows a listing of all known marked graves in Utoys churchyard, made by the
author as a seventeen-year-old in 1982 (with a few more recent additions/corrections):

A Alexander Mamie J. 13 Nov 1873 1 Mar 1953 1
Alexander William D. 12 Sep 1868 17 Jul 1914 2
Andrews Mrs. Fannie Bryant 11 Apr 1952 3

B Bartlett Mary Elizabeth (infant d/o Mr. & Mrs. Haywood B. Bartlett)
28 Oct 1910 9 Nov 1910 4
Bartlett Nadine V. Nannie Barrentine
(wife of Alonzo Jackson Bartlett)
26 Dec 1877 17 Aug 1915 5
Belk Amy 1818 1890 6
Belk Georgia M. 1871 1886 7
Belk Martha 1808 1858 8
Belk Mary Jane 1845 1929 9
Belk Warren A. 1810 1890 10
Belk Warren A. 1874 1964 11
Belk W. Floyd 1877 1959 12
Belk William W. 1837 1913 13
Blunt John circa 1805 23 Mar 1843 14
Bourne Edna Aline 11 Sep 1899 11 May 1900 15
Bryant Charles C. (s/o J.T.) 15 Feb 1871 10 Jun 1871 16
Bryant Clifford O. 25 Feb 1879 11 Jul 1951 17
Bryant Daisy S. 8 Nov 1907 16 Jan 1966 18
Bryant Elmer L. 11 Aug 1911 17 Oct 1957 19
Bryant Elna Beatrice Bea 27 Aug 1907 21 Oct 1996 20
Bryant Eugene 12 Mar 1906 16 Apr 1926 21
Bryant inf. s/o C.O. & Mary 31 Jul 1914 16 Oct 1914 22
Bryant John Thomas 11 Feb 1839 28 Dec 1911 23
Bryant Julia 28 Nov 1940 28 Feb 1968 24
Bryant Marthena Marchman 6 Nov 1840 22 May 1889 25
Bryant Mary Little 3 Jan 1876 8 Sep 1952 26
Bryant Pearl 27 Feb 1882 2 Sep 1903 27
Bryant Rebecca Chambless 27 Oct 1818 24 Sep 1896 28
Bryant Rufus Henry Bud 4 Apr 1905 22 Jul 1969 29
Bryant William 14 Sep 1810 16 May 1888 30
Bryant William Henry 26 Feb 1848 16 Apr 1897 31
Bullard Camilla 1854 1931 32
Burt Alice Beulah Landrum6 Nov 1879 5 May 1920 33
Burt Cortis Floyd 29 Aug 1858 16 Feb 1912 34

C Cagle Jackson 31 Jan 1839 9 Feb 1880 35

Carroll A. M. 14 Oct 1814 30 Oct 1896 36
Carroll Marion M. 2 Jun 1890 8 Mar 1897 37
Carroll Maud G. 5 Aug 1893 9 Feb 1897 38
Center Annie L. White 17 Feb 1883 11 Oct 1961 39
Center infant son 1902 1902 40
Center infant son 1903 1903 41
Center Major Milton 30 Jun 1913 18 Nov 1913 42
Center Zenus Barton 11 Apr 1875 31 Aug 1960 43
Chaffin E. E. Johnson 11 Jul 1864 27 Jun 1890 44
Chaffin John F. 20 Oct 1852 17 Aug 1925 45
Chambers inf. s/o S.E. & B.F. 30 Dec 1890 2 Jan 1891 46
Childress Ezekiel Jesse 16 Dec 1846 6 Feb 1902 47
Childress Georgia Willis 14 Aug 1841 17 Jun 1926 48
Childress Henrietta Reeve(s) 8 Dec 1813 circa 1841 49
Childress James E. 2 May 1874 1 Oct 1948 50
Childress Jane L. Reeve(s) 17 Aug 1826 1 Nov 1902 51
Childress Jesse 17 Aug 1812 25 Nov 1878 52
Childress Jesse J. 22 Oct 1869 1 Sep 1911 53
Childress John Asbury
DeJarrnette 16 Sep 1836 12 Apr 1905 54
Childress Sarah Antoinette Willis 25 Oct 1839 8 Feb 1897 55
Childress Sarah E. Bryant 1 Nov 1842 3 Sep 1872 56
Clower Joseph Franklin [F.C.] 1851 30 Aug 1893 57
Clower Mandy Velva White [M.V.C.] [1 Dec 1861/Jun-1932] 58
Cochran Exie Ellis 1879 1963 59
Cochran inf. s/o Mr.& Mrs.J.P. 10 Dec 1903 26 Jan 1904 60
Cochran James P. 1875 1932 61
Cornwell Camilla O. (d/o C.W.) 10 Apr 1859 31 Jul 1860 62
Cornwell Charner W. 19 Nov 1837 4 Feb 1860 63
Cunningham Mary 7 Jul 1883 13 Jun 1884 64
Cunningham Mary Ann 8 Jan 1833 1 Jun 1883 65
Cunningham Robert 27 May 1817 2 Dec 1882 66
Cunningham Sarah Ethel 17 May 1893 15 Oct 1899 67
D Davis Eliza no dates 68
Davis Jerry no dates 69

E Ellis John 1826 5 Aug 1904 70

G Gammon J. F. [Joshua] 29 Jun 1850 3 May 1897 71
Gilbert Ansel L. 31 Aug 1846 13 Feb 1906 72
Gilbert Dr. Joshua 17 Sep 1815 18 Apr 1889 73
Gilbert? [Marked only as E.D.G.] 74
Gilbert George W. 3 Oct 1818 12 May 1819 75
Gilbert Inf. d/o Wm & N.H. 30 May 1857 30 May 1857 76
Gilbert Joshua L. 31 Oct 1815 13 Sep 1816 77
Gilbert Julia A. 15 Feb 1850 15 Jun 1850 78

Gilbert Kate L. 13 Aug 1849 9 Apr 1889 79
Gilbert Lola M. 10 Oct 1859 21 Aug 1860 80
Gilbert Martha Butler 5 Jan 1831 15 Nov 1917 81
Gilbert Sarah [D.A.R. marker/no proof of burial] 82
Gilbert William [D.A.R. marker/no proof of burial] 83

H Hankins Cannon 1837 1864 84
Harbuck Corrine 16 Sep 1881 13 Jun 1883 85
Harbuck G. E. 16 Oct 1848 19 Jul 1903 86
Harbuck Lizzie 21 Nov 1855 24 Oct 1906 87
Hardwick Frederick 8 Nov 1832 24 Jan 1880 88
Head George Bethuel 23 Aug 1849 12 Jan 1910 89
Head John Felix 12 Jan 1854 11 Jun 1921 90
Head John Luke 20 Mar 1878 17 Nov 1930 91
Hendon Isham circa 1781 after 1850 92
(Incorrectly listed as a Revolutionary War soldier, 1760-1829)
Hendon Sarah ----- 14 Jul 1910 93
(Incorrectly listed as Heredon)
Hendon Sally Murry ----- 1825 94
(Incorrectly listed as Heredon, and as the first person buried in the cemetery)
Herndon G. W. 9 Dec 1837 7 Apr 1913 95
Herren Edmund R. 11 Jan 1822 17 Jan 1888 96
Herren William Wilson 17 Sep 1858 22 Nov 1935 97
Herring Esther Chatham 17 Feb 1791 10 Jul 1861 98
Hughey Camilla Gilbert 5 Jan 1842 7 Sep 1923 99
Hughey Henry Holcombe 4 Dec 1836 10 Feb 1906 100

J Jackson Mary 12 Jul 1872 14 Sep 1927 101
Jones James Daniel
Jimmie Sr. 22 Dec 1899 8 May 1939 102

K Key Nancy Harriet 10 Feb 1819 14 Aug 1871 103
Humphries Gilbert

L Landrum Avy Jane 10 Oct 1829 22 Mar 1919 104
Landrum Billie C. 13 Jan 1917 10 Oct 1988 105
Landrum Clarmon Alice
Thomason Willis 8 Nov 1855 14 Jun 1922 106
Landrum Elbert Nelson 21 Jan 1876 8 Oct 1942 107
Landrum Ella Elvira 24 Dec 1881 31 Jul 1937 108
Landrum Francis Christopher 9 Apr 1852 10 Jul 1935 109
Landrum Georgia G. 12 Feb 1882 ----- 110
Landrum James 10 Jan 1823 16 Mar 1908 111
Landrum James F. 22 Sep 1907 16 Dec 1972 112
Landrum Julia 22 Sep 1886 22 Sep 1886 113
Landrum Wilder J. 18 Sep 1877 18 Jul 1942 114

Lee Alice May (d/o J.R.) 4 Feb 1890 25 Apr 1896 115
Lee Bennie W. (s/o J.R.) 8 Sep 1887 28 Mar 1896 116
Lee Elizabeth Florence
White 15 Apr 1868 6 May 1933 117
Lee James Robert 9 Sep 1857 12 Jan 1938 118
Lee Jessie A. (s/o J.R.) 17 Sep 1891 29 Mar 1896 119
Lee John A. 12 Nov 1831 17 Dec 1906 120
Lee Olie B. (s/o J.R.) 4 Aug 1893 18 Apr 1896 121
Lee Seaborn Milard 21 Jun 1876 30 Oct 1903 122
Lee Susan E. (sp. John) 25 Nov 1831 3 Mar 1916 123

M McCool Pearl McDaniel 11 Jan 1894 23 Mar 1940 124
McCullough David 10 Mar 1872 13 Nov 1873 125
McCullough Mary 15 Mar 1870 18 Nov 1873 126
McDaniel Alice 24 Jul 1875 24 Jul 1875 127
McDaniel Annie 1847 1 Dec 1914 128
(mother of Laura, Alice, Ida, & Pearl McCool)
McDaniel Ida 24 Jul 1875 24 Jul 1875 129
McDaniel Laura 26 Jun 1875 12 Feb 1940 130
McDaniel Leila 1875 1956 131
Morgan Julia Maie (d/o W.H.) 3 Dec 1859 1 Sep 1900 132
Murray Claude 4 Oct 1877 8 Sep 1902 133
N Norris Laura Elizabeth Ellis 16 Oct 1862 11 May 1920 134
Norton Martha Aurelia Porter 7 Apr 1826 30 Sep 1889 135

P Pearson Robert S. 27 Jul 1852 8 Apr 1885 136

R Ratteree William Henry 1873 16 Dec 1935 137
(Co.D, 3rd U.S. Vols. Sp. Am. War)
Roberts Clementine 1856 1940 138
Ross Mamie Clara Clower 6 Jun 1888 7 Dec 1969 139
Rowe Maud (w/o J.W.) circa 1892 1 Feb 1929 140

S Sale Daniel William Jr. 12 Apr 1945 18 Jan 2011 141
Shuler Esther O. Duncan 25 Apr 1902 18 Dec 1928 142
Shuler Mary Emeline White 8 Apr 1879 4 Mar 1971 143
Shuler Samuel A. 23 Dec 1876 21 Aug 1899 144
Shuler Samuel A. Jr. 10 Dec 1928 15 Jan 1929 145
Smith Ann 146
Smith Francis 147
Smith Lou Anna 12 May 1869 3 Apr 1928 148
Smith Marion S. 2 Feb 1909 28 Mar 1914 149
Smith Martha 150
Smith Nancy 151
Smith Willie Thomas 9 Feb 1891 24 Feb 1911 152
Stowers Vera L. 11 Oct 1941 26 Nov 1942 153

Suttles Macajah (s/o Wm.) 1790 1850 154
Suttles Margaret Harbin 1748 16 Jul 1839 155
(Charter member of Utoy Primitive Baptist Church, 1824)
Suttles William (Rev. Sol.) 1731 23 Jan 1839 156

T Thrift Edna F. Head 2 Jul 1888 5 Feb 1973 157
Towner Bonnie Lee 12 Aug 1966 12 Aug 1966 158
Towner Milford R. 7 Aug 1912 4 Nov 1996 159
Towner Richard Steven 22 Jul 1942 6 May 1983 160
Towner Vinnie Mae Mann 21 Jan 1923 11 Nov 2006 161
W Warner Annie M. circa 1893 16 Jul 1895 162
(d/o W.W. & E.).
White Arminda Emeline 27 Oct 1822 3 Oct 1903 163
(Incorrectly listed as Amanda)
White Augustus Jacob 12 Apr 1890 12 Jun 1895 164
White Charlie Elbert 11 Feb 1875 11 Mar 1888 165
White Eliza Ann 8 Mar 1830 6 Aug 1909 166
White Elizabeth Frances 24 Feb 1835 9 Aug 1911 167
White Elizabeth Willis 16 Dec 1801 3 Apr 1883 168
(Longest-lived female church member)
White Francis Marion 1 Jan 1827 25 Dec 1925 169
White George Allison 9 Mar 1862 6 Sep 1912 170
White Georgia Ann Smith 4 Nov 1855 5 Mar 1929 171
White Irma (w/o Harry?) circa 1902 14 Nov 1971 172
White Jesse Franklin 17 Oct 1853 13 Dec 1858 173
White Joseph 13 Aug 1865 12 Aug 1872 174
White Lillian West 5 Aug 1901 ----- 175
White Marion 16 Jan 1899 12 Dec 1916 176
White Mary Douglas 19 Sep 1867 10 Jul 1952 177
White Mary Elizabeth Stephens 30 Aug 1856 25 Nov 1904 178
(w/o F. O. White; listed as Marry E. Stevens)
White Oscar Marion 7 Aug 1881 13 Sep 1942 179
White Sarah Almerine 8 May 1832 19 Dec 1888 180
White Sarah M. G. 7 Oct 1856 29 Nov 1858 181
White William Marion 28 Dec 1855 6 Dec 1925 182
White William Wilson 22 Dec 1800 17 Nov 1895 183
(Longest-lived male church member)
White Willie Walker 26 Jan 1881 26 Apr 1881 184
Williams Leomi 26 Jan 1893 18 Jul 1915 185
Willis Elizabeth S. Lesley 23 Mar 1814 22 Apr 1859 186
Willis Infant daughter 26 Nov 1869 26 Nov 1869 187
of J.D. & M. K.
Willis Joseph Jr. 3 Jun 1812 9 Jun 1875 188
Willis Joseph De Kalb 23 May 1843 8 Mar 1907 189

Willis Mary K. Childress 10 Jan 1849 2 Nov 1912 190
Willis Nancy Ann 1 May 1851 19 Dec 1895 191
Willis Sarah G. 28 Dec 1834 1 Dec 1895 192
Willis William John 27 Aug 1849 28 Aug 1909 193
Wills Pinckney W. ----- circa 1978 194

The following persons, while not consisting of marked burials, are nonetheless indicated
to lie buried in Utoys churchyard, based either on contemporary newspaper obituaries or
original death certificates [DC] which list Utoy Churchyard as their final resting place:

Bankston Oliver (aged 2) Obituary dated 29 May 1911 [AGA]*
(s/o Mr. & Mrs. O.E. Bankston)
Bannister Charles David 20 Dec 19141 Mar 1927 [AC]+
(s/o Austin Bannister & Mary Mae Hunter)
Bannister Infant Daughter 192315 Jun 1925 [AC]
(d/o Austin Bannister & Mary Mae Hunter)
Barker Hattie E. (aged 2) Obituary dated 26 Apr 1911 [AGA]
(d/o Mr. & Mrs. E.E. Barker of East Point)
Bartlett Miss Caroline Obituary dated 15 Jul 1911 [AGA]
Bartlett Missouri 18551915 [AC]
(wife of Robert E. Bartlett)
Bartlett Robert E. 1859--Apr 1917 [AC]
(Uncle of Haywood B. Bartlett [q.v.])
Betsill Eugene (aged 13) Obituary dated 28 Nov 1908 [AGA]
(s/o Mr. & Mrs. C.D. Betsill)
Bryant Mrs. Nannie Obituary dated 22 Feb 1910 [AGA]
Cobb Priscilla Morgan Funeral on 17 Jan. 1907 [AC]
(Married to Wm. R. Cobb in Gwinnett Co. Ga. 23 Jul 1845)
Cobb William R. (age 82) Died 21 Sep 1905 [b. Jan. 1825] [AC]
Cochran Donald (age 71) Obituary dated Aug 1913 [AC]
Cochran Fred (age 1) Died 12 Jul 1918 [AC]
(s/o Mr. & Mrs. J.L. Cochran)
Crow Martha M. White Obituary dated 10 Apr 1908 [AGA, AC]
(d/o Utoy members James V. White & Martha M. Weaver;
Married to Young S. Crow in DeKalb Co. Ga. 8 Jan. 1854)
Crow Young Stephen 17 Jun 18305 Dec 1902 [AC]
Cunningham Mary V. (age 2) Died 24 May 1911 [AC]
(d/o Mr. & Mrs. F.J. Cunningham)
Ellis Emily Caroline Hendon Died 27 Oct 1910 [AGA, AC]
(Wife of John Ellis, a marked burial at Utoy, and
grandmother of Mrs. J.P. Cochran, East Point, Ga.)
Gilbert Mrs. M.L. Obituary dated 4 Jan 1915 [AC]
Helms Laban A. (b.Oct 1850, NC); Obit. dated 13 Feb 1910 [AC]

Hines Matthew Obituary dated 7 May 1906 [AC]
Horton Infant (2 months old) Died 11 Dec 1912 [AC]
(child of Mr. & Mrs. D. H. Horton)
Hull Rabun Chester Obituary dated 1 Jun 1913 [AC]
(s/o Mr. & Mrs. Z.C. Hull)
Landrum Joseph Bennett 18 May 186226 Jul 1876 [AC]
(s/o James A. and Avy Jane Landrum)
Owensby Lucretia Cox 31 Jul 18391 Jan 1929 [DC]
(d/o Henry Cox & Em[e]line Pace)
Peek Mary Texas Richards Died 6 Oct 1924 (age 75) [DC]
w/o W.B. Peek; d/o Perry Richards & Nancy Camp)
Reynolds Mrs. Malinda 1845Oct 1918 [AC]
Shelton A.C. (age 55) Died 29 Jul 1908 [AC]
(left a wife and four children)
Shelton Mrs. E.E. Obituary dated 11 Sep 1915 [AC]
Sherman Jands O. [James?] Obituary dated 24 Jun 1917 [AC]
Smith Mrs. Bobbie Obituary dated 1 Oct 1908 [AC]
Smith Mrs. Arthur Obituary dated 1 Jun 1913 [AC]
Wallace Joseph 11 Mar 18005 Jan 1865
(Married Elizabeth H. Willis in Jasper Co. Ga. 15 Dec 1819)
White Mrs. Lula (age 45) Died 7 Oct 1906 (@ 65 Ella St.) [AC]
Williams Henry (aged 26) Obituary dated 09 Jul 1908 [AGA]
Wright Mrs. J.A. (age 50) Died Sep 1912 [AC]

*The Atlanta Georgian and News, Atlanta, Georgia.
+ The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia.

The following additional persons are claimed by unverified family tradition to lie buried
in Utoy Churchyard, in unmarked graves (alas):

White Jacob Jr. c.1772c.1861
White James V. 1804-4 Apr 1892
White Martha M. Weaver c.1812post 1880
White Sarah Williams c.1775c.1857

These additional names can serve as a valuable reminder of just how little we truly know
about the rich history this church and cemetery actually possesses, if only we could
somehow make the numerous silent rocks in the churchyard come alive to bear vocal


As shown above, and contrary to earlier statements from some, the earliest marked grave
in the cemetery (perhaps also the earliest burial) is dated 13 September 1816. The second
oldest marked grave is dated 12 May 1819. Both are apparently original, contemporary
tombstonesby far the oldest in all of Fulton County. Garrett did not notice them in his
1930 survey of the cemetery, and he was not alone in overlooking them. Lying in a
portion of the
churchyard often
covered by a dense
overgrowth of
vegetation, they have
been unfortunately easy
to miss. Sadly, though,
in recent years acid rain
has by now almost
completely and
permanently obliterated
the inscriptions both
gravestones bore as
recently as the early
1980s. Being made of
soft and erodable
marble, these
tombstones have sadly
shared in the fate of the
Parthenon, the noble
ruined Greek temple in
Athens, slowly and
inexorably being eaten
away by Greeces
similar acid rains.

(Left) Fulton Countys
two oldest contemporary
gravestones, dated 1816
and 1819. Author photo.

Both graves were infant sons of a family named Gilbert. Contrary to earlier speculation,
their exact parentage is at present unknown and unproven. There is no evidence
whatsoever to suggest that they were infant sons of an aged Revolutionary War veteran
named William Gilbert, although a Revolutionary veteran by this name did indeed
reside in De Kalb County in the years 1827-1840 (see afterward). This connection has
sometimes been claimed by some persons, but this writer has yet to see any shred of real,
hard evidence to support it, and wild speculation of this sort remains nothing more than
sheer hogwash. The two infant Gilbert children probably died during a local epidemic.
Smallpox, dysentery, typhus, yellow and typhoid fevers were all-too common back then,

and were greatly feared. Mortality ratesespecially among infants, children, and
pregnant women, were staggeringly high. Medicine (to say the least) was in its infancy.

Significantly, though, both of these infant burials predate the official founding of the
church (and therefore the cemetery) by almost eight years. The area in which the
cemetery now lies was not even officially a county of the State of Georgia until the
autumn of 1821, when Henry County was created, encompassing this area. It is therefore
a profound mystery how these two infant burials could have ended up in our cemetery,
five years before European-Americans were officially allowed to settle in this area, and
eight years before the church or cemetery even officially existed. It has been suggested
that these two infant boys may have been the children of a missionary couple who had
been sent into this area to proselytize the Creek or Muscogee Indians; this idea, too,
however attractive it may be, remains only an unproven hypothesis. Perhaps they died
elsewhere, on the dates indicated on their gravestones, and were simply brought here
later for reburial by their family, at some point after 1824.We have to admit that we may
well never know how and why these two infant Gilbert boys ended up in our cemetery, so
far in advance of its official founding.

Perhaps this Gilbert family whose infant sons lie buried in Utoy Churchyard were in fact
related to the Gilbert family whose scions later worshipped and are buried at Utoy
However likely this hypothesis may appear (even to this present writer) it
cannot yet conclusively be proven. As mentioned above, these later Gilberts included
Atlanta and Fulton Countys first two practicing physiciansbrothers William and
Joshua Gilbert. It would furthermore appear likely (though this too cannot now be
proven), that what is now Utoy Churchs cemetery may have begun its existence as a
Gilbert Family burying ground, by virtue of the apparent fact that two infant boys of a
Gilbert family were buried there in 1816 and 1819several years before the 1828 date
when Utoy Church is known to have moved to this location. Curiouser and curiouser.


Late Nineteenth Century burial scene in Georgias Carroll County. Here, mourners
have gathered at Little Vine Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery. The coffin can be seen
in the center of the photo, resting on two wooden chairs. Many a similar scene must
have occurred at Utoy Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery. (Courtesy of the Georgia

[Succeeding page: a rare photo of Elder Elijah Webb, who was pastor at Utoy Primitive
Baptist Church from around 1873 to 1877. Courtesy of Tony Sills.]


Exterior of the original 1830s log cabin now at the Atlanta History Center. Only the
power lines in the background remind us that this is the Twenty-First Century, and not
the Nineteenth. (Author photo)


(Below) Pools of crystal-clear water in a tributary stream of South Utoy Creek, near
where Gen. Bates Confederate troops repelled the Federal advance of August, 1864.
This stream is now in the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve. (Author photos)


Stand of giant tulip poplar trees at Cascade Springs Nature Preserve. These trees,
probably well over two hundred years old, were probably alive when General Bates
Confederate troops wandered through this area of Fulton County. (Author photo)


The Light in the Forest: Sunlight filtering down through a canopy of green leaves,
along the trunk of a mighty tulip poplar tree, at Atlantas Cascade Springs Nature
Preserve. Such old-growth forest as this would have been well-known to Fulton
Countys early settlers. Now, however, it is unfortunately very rare. (Author photo)

An unscaled map of the Utoy Church and Cemetery property as it existed in 1981
(made by the Author as an ambitious eighteen-year-old, with no knowledge whatsoever
of proper drafting techniques). Nonetheless, it appears to be reasonably accurate.


Portion of the 1911 Hudgens Map of Fulton County, Georgia, showing the Utoy
Church properties. (A close-up is shown on the following page.) The author is indebted
to Mr. Malcolm McDuffie for providing a copy of this map.


Close-up of the 1911 Hudgens Map of Fulton County, Georgia, showing the Utoy
Church properties. The small, one-acre lot immediately to the west of the church
appears to have been owned that year by a person named W. E. B. The one-acre lot
to the north of the church appears to have been part of the church graveyard (it seems
to have a small cross placed in the middle). That lot was probably the one deeded to the
church in 1843 by Noah Hornsby. Notice that the driveway giving access to the church
ran along what is essentially now Cahaba Drive SW, apparently giving the lie to the
idea (heretofore expressed by at least one individual) that the trench on the church
property (running roughly northwest to southeast) was originally an access road to the
church, instead of the Civil War-era fortification trench it has always been claimed to
have been. Note also that Utoy Street (now Venetian Drive SW) had not yet been
extended past the church property.


Portion of a 1991 map of Metro Atlanta, for comparison, showing the location of Utoy
Church and Cemetery (indicated with the arrow pointing to the star).


Primitive Baptist Practice and Belief

This book is a history of one particular Primitive Baptist Church, but is not any attempt
at a history of the denomination itself (still less of their theology, which has been more
than adequately discussed elsewhere). Since this history is about a Primitive Baptist
church, however, it may be well to briefly summarize the beliefs of that particular
denomination: to ask in what that denominations beliefs and worship practices consisted,
and where and how they differ from other, better-known Christian denominations. The
following section will attempt to address that question.

Each Primitive Baptist Church is founded on a set of beliefs summarized and codified in
what are called Articles of Faith. These can vary church to church, but all generally
contain several key elements in common, most of which are in fact also common to all
Christian denominations.

The first Article of Faith is almost always a belief in One True and Living God, and
furthermore, that Jesus was his only Son, and that the Holy Spirit was the Comforter who
was promised to come into the world after Jesus ascension.

The second general belief is usually that baptism should be by immersion. Most local
churches practice baptizing backward, although a few are known to baptize face first.

The third article is usually a belief that the Lord's Supper (the Eucharist) and Baptism
are ordinances or sacraments [this is a semantic issue which can cause some debate], and
that only those ministers and deacons who are properly ordained may administer these

Although it is not a universally accepted ordinance, a widely practiced ordinance
nonetheless (in Appalachia and Northern Georgia) is the washing of the feet of the saints.
This ordinance is not generally practiced in Northern Primitive Baptist Churches. Only
members of the church are allowed to participate in these ordinances.

Membership in a Primitive Baptist Church is obtained either by baptism, or by transfer
by letter from another church of the same faith. For example, a member of a Southern
Baptist Church could only join by a new baptism, not by transfer (notwithstanding that
both are nominally Baptist).

Most, but not all, Primitive Baptist Churches do not permit their members to belong to
secret societies, such as the Masonic Lodge, Odd Fellows, or any other closed group
which does not permit everyone to attend. This rule seems to have been developed just
after the American Civil War to prohibit membership in the Union League, and in the
Ku Klux Klan. In order to make the rule fair, moreover, it was extended to any institution
that didn't permit general membership. Most Primitive Baptist Churches in the pre-Civil
War era and for sometime after the War, permitted membership of black persons. In fact,
no church is presently known which prohibits black membership at the present time.
Despite this welcoming openness, however, most black persons chose to form their own
separate churches in the Reconstruction period of American history.


The key issue that makes the Primitive Baptist Church unique, at least in the current time,
is a very Calvinistic belief in Predestination. This is the idea that God, before the world
began, knew the fate of all of the entire human race, and that that fate cannot be changed
by anything the person does while he lives. This issue goes to the very core of the idea of
what God is. In Primitive Baptist theology, God is an all-powerful deity, knowing the end
from the beginning, and that by the weight of his foreknowledge, all things are set and
cannot be changed. This belief does not, however, relieve the person of responsibility for
sins that the person may commit while here on earth. Since God is God, and knows all
things, and since man is man, and cannot know all things, there is thus no certainty of
eternal life for mankind, but, rather, there exists what is referred to as a lively hope that
one day, such will be the case nonetheless. The relationship between God and man should
be as if Heaven would be the person's eternal home. There are in fact varying degrees of
belief among Primitive Baptists in this doctrine of Predestination, and the above
description is merely an attempt to point a middle ground, and does not necessarily
represent the view of any one church or any one person.

There are several church practices that might seem a bit odd to the outside observer, but
in many cases they are just as important to the church as the formal Articles of Faith.

Most noteworthy, perhaps, is the unusual style of singing, and the complete lack of
musical instruments in Primitive Baptist worship services. The majority of Christian
churches, as most people will know, contain pianos, organs, and nowadays, often even
electric guitars and drums, causing some churches services to resemble rock concerts
more than traditional worship services. Primitive Baptists, by contrast, exclude all
instruments for the simple reason that there are no references to musical instruments
being used in the early Christian Church in New Testament times, and church doctrine
being based on the New Testament and not the Old (unless specifically authorized by the
New), musical instruments are therefore omitted.

Singing is usually still done in a very archaic style, and this quaint style is the object of
some very serious scholarly study indeed. Apparently, this singing style is a direct
importation from Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Scotland, England and Wales,
with some Irish influences. Most hymnbooks in use in Appalachia are printed without
musical notes. This style of singing, sometimes known as "short metre," is also practiced
among some Old Regular Baptists, and also among some Presbyterians. Many
Presbyterians are known (among the Primitive Baptists at least) as "Primitive Baptists
who went to town." Most of the hymnbooks used in Northern Georgia are of the type
known as "shaped note," or "Sacred Harp," a very interesting and long-established
tradition in its own right.

In this same vein, such things as Sunday Schools, Tithing, and salaried ministers are also
not known. It is very unusual for any "collection" to be taken up at a Primitive Baptist
Church in Appalachia, though it is practiced in Northern Primitive Baptist Churches and
in some in Northern Georgia.

Since most Primitive Baptist Churches don't take up any monetary collection, the
question might well be asked, how do the churches take care of their normal operating

expenses? Since these meeting-houses are usually very simple, the only usual expense is
a light or heating/ac bill, and that is usually very low. When a major project is to be
undertaken, the membership gets together and contributes, financially or otherwise, and
gets it done. This is a difficult concept to explain to those who do not belong to these

Many Primitive Baptist Churches are organized in regional groups known as
Associations. These Associations meet annually and discuss theological or procedural
matters, and there is always considerable preaching at such annual meetings. These
meetings are usually well-attended, with people often coming from great distances to

Regular Church services (and this is also where Primitive Baptists differ from most other
Christians) are usually held only once a month in many areas, with church members
driving many miles to visit other churches, when their own church is not in session.

The Churchs Ministers are known as "Elder" (never "Reverend"), and often travel great
distances to serve small churches. Usually more than one Elder is present at any given
church service. All attending Elders are given an opportunity to preach, pray or express
their views, leading to some very lengthy services indeed! (Pity the poor children having
to endure these interminable services. This writer knows: his own denomination, while
not Primitive Baptist, nonetheless resembled them in this respect.)

These churches are congregational in polity, and since there is little if any direction from
above (from the Associations), this practice can lead to many divisions. Each individual
church has the right to issue a decision on questions of theology or practice that come
before it. This leads to divisions in the congregations, and therefore a quaint and curious
practice known as "multiplication by division." This term, too, will need some

Two or more Associations may cover the same geographic area, due to these divisions. In
addition, there may be several independent churches in the same area.

For example, in Southwestern Virginia there are: the Sandlick Association, three
Washington Associations, Three Forks of Powell's River Church, St. Clair's Bottom
Church, Mate's Creek Church, and the Union Association.

In Georgia, the Utoy Primitive Baptist Church originally belonged to the Yellow River
Association. Today, the successor to that group is the "Towaliga" Association. This
association still exists, although Utoy Church's membership does not.

Some of these Associations are "in fellowship" with the others, but none are "in
fellowship" with all of the others. Issues dividing these Associations include: Absolute
Predestination of All Things, the issue of what form Eternal Punishment will take, what
constitutes the Resurrection of the Body, what constitutes proper practice, and whether or
not an Elder should preach on radio or television.


Window of Flat Shoals Primitive Baptist Church, Henry County, Georgia, showing the
Nineteenth-Century style shutters in a closed position. (Author photo)


A Brief History of the Primitive Baptists
It is probably also worth noting here how the Primitive Baptist Church rose to
prominence in the early Nineteenth Century. Many immigrants to America in the
Eighteenth Century were from Northern Ireland and Scotland, and were therefore
members of Presbyterian congregations. In fact, many of the first churches formed on the
American frontier were Presbyterian. Presbyterians have had a practice of having their
ministers be seminary trained, even in the very earliest days (believing strongly in the
importance of education and learning as they always have).

There was usually, however, a severe shortage of educated ministers to go around in early
America, and the frontier was not usually an inviting or lucrative field in which to serve.
Baptists, by contrast, had and do not have such requirements. Theologically, in that early
time, the only significant difference between the Presbyterians and the early Baptists was
the issue of baptism by immersion, versus by sprinkling, and the Primitive Baptist
Church thus seemed to suit many of these churchless Presbyterians, who had migrated
into areas in which no trained Presbyterian minister was available for many years, but a
Baptist church lay near at hand. Prior to the American Revolution, the Baptists had in fact
been persecuted in Virginia. The Church of England (the Episcopal or Anglican
Church) had been the established church there for many decades, since the founding of
Jamestown. After the Revolution, therefore, most Baptist ministers felt a large burden
lifted, and preached when and wherever they could, and thus "evangelized" the American
frontier. Also in those early days, the Church of England itself was somewhat Calvinistic
in theology, and though it was a further stretch than many Presbyterians had to make,
many persons did also leave the Episcopal Church to join these early Baptist Churches. In
addition, many of the German sects were similar in theology to the Primitive Baptist
Church, and many of these persons also joined, again due to a lack of trained ministers on
the frontier. The Baptists, then, succeeded so well in these frontier areas (it would seem),
largely by defaultsimply because they were there, and the others so often were not.

As shown above, early churches multiplied in the De Kalb/Fulton area after 1824, mostly
of the Primitive Baptist, Methodist, or Presbyterian faiths. Very few Missionary Baptist
Churches predate the Civil War. Many of the Baptist churches known as the "Old
Regulars" are coexistent with the Primitive Baptists, and most are the result of schisms
within the Primitive Baptist Churches. The Episcopal Churches are for the most part
Twentieth-Century Churches, as are most examples of any other denomination in most
areas of the South. The multiplication through division principle has had a great
influence in many other denominations in Appalachia and the South in general, giving
rise to the multiplicity of churches in the region.

These issues may seem trivial to a non-member, but they are crucial to Primitive

By the time of the early Eighteen Hundreds, most Baptist churches in America had
adopted various doctrines and practices which differed significantly from former Baptist
standards. During these same times, there were many Baptist churches which continued
to hold to traditional views. The contention between these two groups ultimately became

so sharp that, by the time of the late Eighteen Twenties, new fractures began to develop
in the Baptist fellowship. This growing division was accelerated in 1832, when a group of
the more conservative Baptists met at Black Rock, Maryland to compose a general
address, in which they announced and explained their resolve to withdraw their
fellowship from the liberal doctrines and practices of the Baptist faith. The resulting
document, generally known as the Black Rock Address, had a widespread influence,
across the entire nation, and led church after church across the country to take similar
action. The conservative churches deriving from this unfortunate but necessary division
later became known as Primitive (or original) Baptists, whereas the more liberal
churches (ironically) later became grouped together as the Southern Baptist

A beautiful example of a complete raised, dry-fitted, stacked-rock mound tomb at Utoy Churchyard. I t
was partially restored by the Author, by comparison with extant complete Early-Nineteenth-Century
examples in other ancient Georgia cemeteries, during the late Winter and Early Spring, 2011. The
bottom three courses (nearest the ground level) are original. (The restoration, in conformity with
modern restoration guidelines, is reversible.) When this tomb was first made, the interior thereof would
have been filled with earth, and in this would have been planted one or more evergreen Holly bushes
(evergreens being symbols of Eternal Life). (Author photo)


Elder Joe F. Hildreth, Utoy Primitive Baptist Churchs pastor from 1958 to 1971.
Elder Hildreth is famous (and beloved) in the Primitive Baptist World as having served
as the publisher of their Old School Hymnal, and for having served as editor and
publisher of several other equally noteworthy Primitive Baptist publications. He is now
a valued member of, and adviser to, the Board of Directors of the Utoy Cemetery
Association, Inc.

Front cover of a circa 1968 publication by the Utoy Primitive Baptist Church.
(Both images are courtesy of Elder J oe F. Hildreth.)


Several preachers gathered at Utoy Primitive Baptist Church, circa 1960 or 1961:
from left to right, bottom to top, were:
Elders J . A. Monsees, Elzie D. Speir, Sr., Roy N. Mitchell,
J ohn Todd, Clarence Keaton, Rufus Brantley,
Elzie D. Speir, J r., J oe F. Hildreth, J erry M. Hunt, J r.

NOTE: At the present time (2014), this is the only known photograph of the interior of
historic Utoy Church before it, too, underwent remodeling. (This is the back or West
wall of the church buildinga wall which during the year 2009 was completely
obliterated by the present occupants, in the process of their expanding the back part of
the priceless and irreplaceable historic edifice. This photo thus records for posterity a
portion of the church building whichalasno longer exists.)

(Photo courtesy of Elder J oe F. Hildreth)


This page: J ane Louisa Pink Reeve(s) Childress (1826-1902), with her daughter Rosa Pink
Childress Abercrombie and her husband John Abercrombie, and their family, probably in the
early 1890s. Jane Reeve(s) Childress (the name is confusingly spelled both ways) was the
widow of J esse Childress J r. (1812-1878). Both were faithful members of Utoy Primitive
Baptist Church, and both lie buried in the churchyard. In the photo, Jane is seated on the
right, holding a book. (Source: Ancestry family trees)

(Due to the Index having already been created for this
book at the time when this priceless photograph was
discovered by this writer, it unfortunately could not be
neatly fitted into the book in chronological order, without
making necessary a significant re-write of the entire Index.
It is hoped that this unavoidable anachronism can be
forgiven by the reader.)



Additional information concerning Utoys known African-American involvement which
we unfortunately could not place in chronological order in the text without causing a
significant rewrite of the entire Index:

A marked grave exists at Utoy, inscribed Mary Jackson (see photo, this page). It was
long suspected that this grave was that of an African-American person, and, until quite
recently, we simply were unable to prove that belief. Recently-discovered evidence,
however, now leaves us in no doubt that Mary Jackson was, indeed, at least one of Utoys
suspected numerous African-American burials (if not church members):

Grave marker at Utoy for Mary Davis J ackson.

While attempting to research the above Mary Jackson, this writer discovered the below
death certificate, from Fulton County, Georgia, for a nearly identical Mary Jackson.
Since the death date (at least) is identical to the death date inscribed on the Utoy Mary
Jacksons grave marker, and since the name of the cemetery in which she was buried
looks suspiciously like Utoy, there can now be little doubt that she was the same person
who is buried at Utoy with an inscribed tombstone labeled Mary Jackson.

Notice that the name of the cemetery is here spelled phonetically (the way it sounded
when said aloud) by the (Caucasian) county registrar, as "Utah" Cemeteryapparently
reflecting the way in which he heard it pronounced. Surely only a very old-fashioned,
country African-American person would have been likely to have pronounced the name
Utoy in such a fashion that an uninformed Caucasian would have unthinkingly assumed
it referred instead to some place named Utah. This writer thinks that there can be no
doubt, however, that it was our very own "Utoy" Cemetery which was intended here. For
one thing, there is no such place, in all of Fulton County, Georgia, named "Utah"
cemetery. The reader will surely agree with this analysis.

As alluded to above, notice also that although the date of death on the certificate is
identical to that on her gravestone, the birth date differs completely. This writer simply
doesnt know how to reconcile this discrepancy.

This record also gives us the name of Mary's husband, Frank Jackson, as well as the
names of her parents (Burl Davis and Ellen), and their states of birth (Virginia).

It also gives us the name of the funeral director (R.C. Tompkins, Atlanta, Georgia), and
Mary Jackson's occupation (domestic) and cause of death (general paresis/contributed to
by probable cerebral hemorrhage).

All in all, a quite valuable find.

A huge, still-unanswered question is why Mary Jackson was buried at Utoy in the first
place. Was she somehow a church member there (even in the 1920s, and thus in the
middle of the infamous "Jim Crow" era of segregation and discrimination)? That would
be astounding, if true. Alternatively, was Utoy Cemetery perhaps used as a local burying
ground for the poor, as appears likely from the many other recorded (but unmarked)
burials we know of, and seconded by the known fact that Utoy Churchs Cemetery
Trustees sold burial lots in their churchyard throughout the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s,
apparently to all comers who could present money green enough for the purpose? This
latter reasoning, indeed, seems not only reasonable and plausible, but even likely
especially in view of Utoy Churchs then-perpetual financial distress and consequent
urgent and never-ending need for funds.

On the following page is the 1920 Federal Census image for Frank and Mary Jackson,
showing that they had a daughter named Bessie Jackson, who was born in Georgia circa
1896. We can also see that this family was residing on Matthew Street, which was
exactly where Mary was residing in 1927 when she died.

Since this writer couldnt seem to readily find very many other earlier records which
obviously pertain to this family, it therefore appears that they may have moved around a
good bit before locating in Fulton County, Georgia prior to 1920.


(Above) 1920 U.S. Federal Census for Fulton County, Georgia,
showing the family of Frank and Mary J ackson.

There was some additional information to be found regarding these people however:

The above Frank Jackson married Mary Davis in Fulton County, Georgia, on 22 January,
1891. ("Colored" Marriage Book D, Page 307.) This reference is found on page 123 of
Fulton County, Georgia Marriage Records, 1866-1902 ("Colored" Books A-G), by Ted
O. Brooke.

The same Frank Jackson (apparently) is listed in "Georgia Deaths, 1919-1998"
( as having been born circa 1880, and as having died in Fulton County,
Georgia on 11 May 1952. This reference, however, unfortunately does not list a burial
place. Frank Jackson, too, is probably buried at Utoy, in one of the several unmarked
graves next to his late wife.

This writer also found the widower Frank Jackson (husband of Mary) in the 1930 and
1940 censuses of Fulton County. Listed with him in both censuses were several family
members, which altogether enables the reconstruction of a tentative, though probable,
family tree, as follows:

Burl Davis ====== Ellen [ ? ]
b. Virginia | b. Virginia
c.1850? | c.1850?
Frank Jackson ======================= Mary Davis
c.1879--11 May 1952 | 1872-1927
married 22 Jan. 1891 |
Fulton Co. Ga. |
| | |
Bessie Jackson Florrie Jackson Otis Jackson
b.1896 GA b.1898 GA b.1906 GA
Wm. H. Perkins Sr.
b.1895 GA
| | |
Columbus Perkins Wm. H. Perkins Jr. Leroy Perkins
17 Dec. 1915- b.1919 b.1922
3 Feb. 1971

That oldest Perkins boy, Columbus, in turns out, enlisted as a private at Georgias famous
Ft. Benning on 17 April, 1943 (per "U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-
1946" at The extrapolated year of birth from this record (1915) is two
years older than his birth year of 1917 from the 1930 and 1940 censuses. He was also
listed as "single, with no dependents," and with "one year of high school."

"Georgia Deaths, 1919-1998" (also on lists Columbus Perkins as having
been born circa 1918, and as having died in Baldwin County [probably at the state mental
hospital in Milledgeville] on 3 February, 1971.

The "Social Security Death Index" ( also has him, but born on 17
December, 1915. In all other respects, this reference agrees with the "Georgia Deaths"

Those Perkins boys are listed as "nephews" of their apparent mother Florrie in the 1940
census. However, the 1930 census apparently lists them correctly as her children.

At the present time, this writer has not discovered any further information regarding this
family represented at Utoy. It is hoped, of course, that living descendants of this family
may one day come forward and claim their ancestors resting place at Utoy, and properly
care for and respect the same (which at present, alas, is sorely neglected).

Works Cited

1830 United States Federal Census, De Kalb County, Georgia. Georgia Department of
Archives and History, Morrow, Georgia.

1840 United States Federal Census, De Kalb County, Georgia. Georgia Department of
Archives and History, Morrow, Georgia.

Author unknown, When Whitehall was called Peters Street, The Atlanta Journal,
(quoting Francis M. White). Sunday morning, January 13, 1924.

Barnwell, Katherine, Atlantas First Physician Rolled His Own Pills, Atlanta
Journal/Constitution Magazine, March 30, 1958 (quoting Atlanta historian Dr. Levi

Bieder, Jean G., A History of the Utoy Primitive Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia:
1972. 20 pp. (A privately-printed, unpublished college research paper, a copy of which is
in the possession of the author of this work.)

Boland, Dr. Frank K., Atlantas First Physician Atlanta Historical Bulletin, May 1933,

Boykin, Samuel, History of the Baptist Denomination in Georgia (2 Volumes). Paris,
Arkansas: reprinted by The Baptist Standard Bearer, Inc., 2001 (The Baptist History
Series, Number 9).

Carter, Samuel III, The Siege of Atlanta, 1864, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1973.

Cooper, Walter Gerald, Official History of Fulton County. Atlanta, Georgia: Fulton
County Grand Jury History Commission, 1934 (Reprinted: Spartanburg, South Carolina:
The Reprint Company, Publishers, 1978.)

Cotter, William Jasper, A.M., My Autobiography, ed. Charles O. Jones, D.D., II, pp. 17-

Craven, Avery Odelle, Soil Exhaustion as a Factor in the Agricultural History of
Virginia and Maryland, 1606-1860, Columbia, South Carolina: The University of South
Carolina Press, 2006.

DEKALB COUNTY, GA MILITARY Indian Wars Pension Martin Crow (wid Sarah
J.) (Capt James M. Calhoun, Dekalb Georgia Guard) (, at


Garrett, Franklin M., Atlanta and Its Environs (Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia
Press, 1969)

Gast, Phil, Part 1 of Utoy Creek: Restored cemetery shares story of Confederate hospital
in Atlanta, The Civil War Picket, 28 March, 2011, and Utoy Creek: The Atlanta Civil
War battle of which youve never heard, ibid., 17 May, 2011. (Quoting Charlie
Crawford, president [2011], Georgia Battlefields Association, and Maj. L. Perry Bennett,
U.S. Army historian)

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Applicants, 1826-1881 (Georgia), Registry of Students Names (microfilm).

Georgia Department of Archives and History, DeKalb County, Georgia Deed Book H
(1842-1846), page 189

Georgia Department of Archives and History, De Kalb County, Georgia Inferior Court
Minutes, (microfilm) Morrow, Ga.

Georgia Department of Archives and History, DeKalb County, Georgia Inventories and
Appraisement, Annual Returns, Vouchers, and Bills of Sales, Vol. A (1842-1852)

Georgia Department of Archives and History , De Kalb County, Georgia Probate

Georgia Department of Archives and History, DeKalb County, Georgia Superior Court
Minutes, Book A

Georgia Department of Archives and History, DeKalb County, Georgia Superior Court
Minutes, Book B

Georgia Department of Archives and History, Department of the Surveyor-General,
Original Bounty Land Grants of Georgia.

Georgia Department of Archives and History, Franklin County, Georgia Marriages,
December 1805December 1850.

Georgia Department of Archives and History, Journal of the House of Representatives
(Georgia), pp.3-4

Georgia Department of Archives and History, Minute Books of Mount Gilead Methodist
Church. (on microfilm) Morrow, Ga.

Georgia Department of Archives and History, Minute Books of Utoy Primitive Baptist
Church. (on microfilm) Morrow, Ga.


Grayson County Virginia Heritage Foundation, Primitive Baptist Faith and Practices,
New River Notes, Since 1998: Historical and Genealogical Resources for the Upper New
River Valley of North Carolina and Virginia, , (and from other similar sites). The
present writer has edited and re-written these articles considerably, mostly for style and

Huff, S.C., Historical Sketch of Utoy Church, Atlanta, Georgia: Privately printed, 1924.
(Rare pamphlet at the Georgia Archives. BX 6480. U86 H83 Loc. 310/2).

Huff, Sarah T., My 80 Years in Atlanta, Atlanta Journal Magazine, August 9, 1936.

Humphries, [Judge] John D., Utoy Church Atlanta Historical Bulletin #7, June 1933.

Hunter, Florence, Unpublished, Untitled Manuscript Family History of the Hunter and
Gilbert families of Laurens and Greenville Counties, South Carolina,. circa 1970.
(Supported by additional documented research by this author. Copy in possession of this
author. )

Johnson , Isaac N. , Letter, Jan. 12, 1833; Decatur, Dekalb Co[unty], G[eorgi]a [to]
Wilson Lumpkin, Milledg[e]ville, G[eorgi]a. Repository: Hargrett Rare Book and
Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries, Telamon Cuyler Collection,
box 49A, folder 05, document 01 (four pages total). Accessed via GALILEO Digital
Library of Georgia: Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842 (Document

Kirwan, A.D. editor. Johnny Green of the Orphan Brigade: the Journal of a Confederate
Soldier (Lexington, Kentucky: The University of Kentucky Press, 1956; reprinted 2002).

Krakow, Kenneth K., Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins, Macon,
Georgia: Winship Press, 1975.

Kurtz, Wilbur George: Notebooks and Ledger, (Wilbur G. Kurtz, Sr. Papers, MSS 130,
Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center.) (Atlanta, Georgia.)

Kurtz, Wilbur G., Whitehall Tavern, Atlanta Historical Bulletin, April 1931.

Minutes of the Mississippi Baptist Association, 1817. Southern Baptist Historical
Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee; History of American Missions to the
Heathen from their Commencement to the Present Time, Page 379, Worcester,
Massachusetts, 1840 and Rev. J. S. Murrow, Beginnings of Baptist Indian Missions, The

Baptist Home Mission Monthly, Volume XIV, Number 1, January 1892. Southern
Baptist Historical Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee.; and American Baptist
Magazine and Missionary Intelligencer, Volume 1, Page 4. Published at Boston,
Massachusetts, 1817. Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, Nashville,
Tennessee. (cited in Ports, Michael A., Isaac Suttle, Frontier Baptist Preacher ).

Monroe, Herbert, Largest Local Railroad Family In Service Nearly 300 years The
Atlanta Journal, circa December 1938.

Price, Vivian, The History of DeKalb County, Georgia, 1822-1900, Fernandina Beach,
Florida: DeKalb Historical Society/Wolfe Publishing Company, 1997

Reese, Col. William Emmett, ed. Fannie Lou Camp Fisher, The Settle-Suttle Family,
Carrollton, Georgia: Thomasson Printing Company, 1974.

Shavin, Norman, and Bruce Galphin, Atlanta: Triumph of a People, Atlanta, Georgia:
Capricorn Corporation, 1982.

Smith, Gordon Burns, History of the Georgia Militia, 1783-1861 (4 volumes).

Storey, Steve, Monroe Railroad (1833), Georgias Railroad History and

Strayer, Larry M. & Richard A. Baumgartner, editors, Echoes of Battle: the Atlanta
Campaign (Huntington, West Virginia: Blue Acorn Press, 1991), pp. 286, 290.

Swanton, John R., Early History of the Creek Indians and their Neighbors (Smithsonian
Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 73) Washington, D.C.: Government
Printing Office, 1922.

White, Rev. George, M.A. Historical Collections of Georgia. New York: Pudney &
Russell, publishers, 1855 (1996 reprint with name index by Alpha Christian Dutton).

Wikipedia, Panic of 1837, Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.


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Black Rock Address, The,

Bloss, Kimberly S., and Michael Rose, Atlanta Scenes: Photojournalism in the Atlanta
History Center Collection, Atlanta: Atlanta History Center, 1998.

Burns, Rebecca, Atlanta: Yesterday and Today, Lincolnwood, Illinois: Westside
Publishing, 2010.

Calhoun, W. L., et al. (Pioneer Citizens Society of Atlanta), Pioneer Citizens History
of Atlanta, 1833-1902. Atlanta, Georgia: Byrd Printing Company, 1902 (Facsimile
Reprint, Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, Inc., 2000).

Corkran, David H., The Creek Frontier, 1540-1783, Norman, Oklahoma: University of
Oklahoma Press, 1967.

Davis, Robert Scott, Civil War Atlanta, Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press,

Debo, Angie, The Road to Disappearance: A History of the Creek Indians, Norman,
Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1979.

Foster, Gerald L. Following the Denomination Called Baptist, and the People from
Whom it Evolved, from Christ to 2005: Supporting the Successionist Theory, Enumclaw,
Washington: Pleasant Word, a Division of Winepress Publishing, 2006 (722 pp.)

Garrett, Franklin Miller, Yesterdays Atlanta (Seemanns Historic Cities Series No. 8),
Miami, Florida: E.A. Seemann Publishing, Inc., 1974

Gatins, Joseph F. M., We Were Dancing on a Volcano: Bloodlines and Fault Lines of a
Star-Crossed Atlanta Family, 1849-1989, Atlanta: The Glade Press: 2009.

Green, Michael D., The Politics of Indian Removal, Lincoln, Nebraska, and London:
University of Nebraska Press, 1982.

Hemperley, Marion R., Historic Indian Trails of Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia: The Garden
Club of Georgia, Inc., 1989.

Hornady, John R., Atlanta: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. American Cities Book
Company, 1922.

Kennett, Lee, Marching Through Georgia: The Story of Soldiers and Civilians During
Shermans Campaign, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1996.


Kuhn, Clifford M., Harlon E. Joye, and E. Bernard West, Living Atlanta: An Oral History
of the City, 1914-1948, Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 1990.

Martin, Thomas H., Atlanta and Its Builders, Vol.I. [Atlanta, Georgia]: 1902, Century
Memorial Publishing Company. [Google Books]

Peacock, James L. , and Ruel W. Tyson, Jr., Pilgrims of Paradox, Calvinism and
Experience among the Primitive Baptists of the Blue Ridge, Washington, D.C.: 1989,
Smithsonian Institution Press.

Pioneer Citizens Society of Atlanta, The, Pioneer Citizens History of Atlanta, 1833-
1902. Atlanta, Georgia: 1902, Byrd Printing Company. [Georgia State Archives]

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Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers, Syracuse, New York: D. Mason &
Co., Publishers, 1889.


I ndex

A Abercrombie, John 222
Abercrombie, Rosa Pink Childress 222
Adams, Jane 111
Afro-American Historical and
Genealogical Society 194
Alexander, Dr. James F. 145
Alexander, Mamie J. 195
Alexander, William D. 195
Allen, Whitmell Phillips 35, 38
Almond, Elder W. T. 67
Anderson, Mr. 87
Andersons Division, C.S.A. 178
Andrews, Mrs. Fannie Bryant 195
Angier, Elizabeth Angeline Herring 94
Angier, Dr. Nedom L. 94, 145
Armistead, Joel C. 123
Armstrong, Brig.-Gen., C.S.A. 162
Arnold, Anderson D. 139
Atkinson, Robert 99
Atkinson, William 70, 101
Atlanta Milling Company 171
Atlantic and West Point Railroad 19
Attaway, Susan(na) 100
Ayers, Matilda 116

B Bacon, Nicholas 73
Baker (family) 32
Baker, John M. 46
Bankston, Cynthey 120
Bankston, John 120
Bankston, Joseph 73
Bankston, Oliver 200
Bankston, Sarah 108
Bannister, Charles David 200
Bannister, infant daughter of A. & M. 200
Barge (family) 32
Barker, Hattie E. 200
Barnard, George 157
Bartlett, Alonzo Jackson 195
Bartlett, Miss Caroline 200
Bartlett, Haywood B. 72, 182
Bartlett, Mary Elizabeth, infant daughter of
Mr. & Mrs. H.B. 195

Bartlett, Missouri 200
Bartlett, Nadine V. Nannie 195
Bartlett, Robert E. 200
Bate, Gen. William B., C.S.A. 150, 162-163, 170, 178, 207-208
Beasley, M. C. 121
Belk, Amy 195
Belk, Georgia M. 195
Belk, Martha 195
Belk, Mary Jane 195
Belk, Warren A. (elder) 87, 91, 195
Belk. Warren A. (younger) 195
Belk, W. Floyd 195
Belk, William W. 195
Bennett, Lt. Col. L. Perry, Jr., U.S.A. 7, 193-194
Berry, Susan 112
Betsill, Eugene (son of Mr. & Mrs. C.D.) 200
Bieder, Jean G. 7, 48, 75, 135, 152, 155
Biffle, John 147
Big Warrior (Creek Chief) 15
Biggers, Dr. Stephen T. 142
Black, Mr. 20
Black Rock Address, The 219
Blackstock, Nancy 100
Blackston, Mary 122
Blunt, John 195
Board of Physicians of Georgia 137
Boggs, Archibald 77, 94, 139
Boland, Dr. Frank K. 145
Bourne, Edna Aline 195
Boykins History of the Baptist
Denomination in Georgia 126
Boynton, Col. James S., C.S.A. 150, 178
Braddock (s Retreat) 147, 149
Brantley, Elder Rufus 221
Brock, Gretchen 193
Brooke, Ted O. 226
Brooks, Mr. 147
Brotherhood of Physicians (Atlanta) 144
Brown, Elder James J. 67, 70, 72, 74, 182-183
Brown, John (Abolitionist) 156
Brown, Linney 101
Brown, Middleton W. 117
Brown, William Asa 182
Bryant, Charles C. 195
Bryant, Clifford O. 195
Bryant, Daisy S. 195

Bryant, Elmer L. 195
Bryant, Elna Beatrice Speir (Mrs. R. H.) 7, 74, 186
Bryant, Eugene 195
Bryant, infant son of C.O. & Mary 195
Bryant, John Thomas 195
Bryant, Julia 195
Bryant, Marthena Marchman 66, 195
Bryant, Mary Little 195
Bryant, Mrs. Nannie 200
Bryant, Pearl 195
Bryant, Rebecca Chambless 195
Bryant, Rufus Henry Bud 195
Bryant, William 195
Bryant, William Henry 195
Bullard, Camilla 195
Bullard, Mary 111
Bullard, William 110
Burt, Alice Beulah Landrum 195
Burt, Cortis [Curtis] Floyd 195
Burnes, James 147
Bynum, G. N. 182

C Cagle, Jackson 74, 122, 195
Cagle, Sister 122
Cagle, Susie R. 123
Cain, John R. 121
Caldwell, Andrew 87, 95
Caldwell, J. M. 95
Caldwell, R. H. 95
Calhoun, Capt. James M. (Mayor) 92-93,
Calhoun, Rachel Ann 113
Callahan, Rev. Mr. 180
Caroline, a black sister 113
Carroll, A. M. 195
Carroll, Marion M. 195
Carroll, Maud G. 195
Carroll, William W. 73
Carter, Col. 20
Carter, Samuel III (historian) 163, 166-167,
Cash (family) 32
Cason, Edward 121
Cason, Permelia 121
Cathey, Mr. 87
Catlin (George) 14
Center, Annie Louise White 196
Center, infant son (b&d 1902) 196

Center, infant son (b&d 1903) 196
Center, Major Milton 196
Center, Zenus Barton 196
Chafin (family) 141
Chaffin, E.E. Johnson 196
Chaffin, John F. 196
Chambers, infant son of S.E. & B.F. 196
Chandler, Adjutant Thomas W. 140
Chatham/Cheatham, James 109
Chatham, William (heirs of) 109
Cheek, Elder W. J. 67, 72
Cherokee Indians 23-24, 32, 133
Childress (family) 74, 186
Childress, Ezekiel Jesse 123, 196
Childress, Parthena Georgia Ann Willis 196
Childress, Henrietta Reeve(s) 196
Childress, James E. 196
Childress, Jane 107
Childress, Jane Louisa Pink Reeve(s) 146, 196, 222
Childress, Jesse Jr. 102, 124, 146, 196, 222
Childress, Jesse Sr. 102-103, 106, 109, 114, 138-139
Childress, Jesse J. 196
Childress, John 146
Childress, John A. D. (Elder) 107, 139
Childress, John Asbury DeJarnette 107, 196
Childress, (Sarah) Sally 105
Childress, Sarah Antoinette Willis 196
Childress, Sarah Elizabeth Bryant 196
Childress, Susan(na) 107
Clark, John Jr. 138
Clarke, Colonel Elijah 138
Cleveland, Jesse F. 139
Clower, Joseph Franklin 196
Clower, Mandy Velva White 196
Cobb, Priscilla Morgan 200
Cobb, William R. 200
Cochran, Donald 200
Cochran, Exie Ellis 196
Cochran, Fred (son of Mr. & Mrs. J.L.) 200
Cochran, infant son of Mr. & Mrs. J.P. 196
Cochran, James P. 196
Cochran, L. C. /C. L. 74, 182
Coe, Dr. Hayden 145
Cole, John 103
Confederacy, United Daughters of the 178, 186
Confederate States Army 140

Cook, Elder J. H. 67, 72-73
Cooper, Walter G. 7
Copeland, Carl B. 182
Cornwell, Camilla O. 196
Cornwell, Charner W. 196
Cornwell, Eli 139
Cotter, Mr. 17-23
Cotter, Rev. William Jasper 17-23, 32
Couch (family) 186
Couch, Benjamin 101
Couch, Jane 100
Couch, (Mary) Polly 101
Couch, Reuben 100
Cox, Brig.-Gen. Jacob D. 162-163, 165-167, 169
Crecy, a black sister 113
Crow (family) 93, 99
Crow, Abner 120
Crow, Annis Browning 93, 112, 121
Crow, Joshua 93
Crow, Margaret Peggy Stroud 93
Crow, Mrs. Martha White 200
Crow, Martin (the Elder) 93, 121
Crow, Stephen Sr. 93
Crow, William Martin 87, 92-93
Crow, Young Stephen 93, 200
Cumming, Catherine 102
Cumming, Harmon 102
Cunningham, Mary 196
Cunningham, Mary V. 200
Cunningham, Mary Ann 196
Cunningham, Robert 196
Cunningham, Sarah Ethel 196

D DAlvigny, Dr. Noel 145
Daniel [Brother] 73
Daniel, Robert 73
Dargin, Bishop Jerry 69
Darnall, Dr. J. M. 145
Daughters of the American Revolution 138, 148, 150
Davis, Benjamin 15
Davis, Burl 225, 227
Davis, Eliza 196
Davis, Ellen 225, 227
Davis, Jack 18
Davis, Jefferson (President, C.S.A.) 159
Davis, Jerry 196

Davis, Mrs. Milton 186
Dearing, Nancy 116
Decatur (Stephen) 27
DeKalb Georgia Guards (militia unit) 92-94
Demolay (Masonic Boys organization) 191
Dempsey, Elder J. W. 67
Denny, Dr. Thomas 145
Diggs, Eliza F. 123
Diggs, John 72, 122
Dobbins, Rebecca 111
Donehoo (family) 32, 186
Donehoo, Elizabeth Wilson 56, 99, 146
Donehoo, James 56, 72, 146
Donehoo, Paul 146
Dunlap, Catherine 109
Dunlap, Elizabeth 102
Dunlap, Esther 99, 109
Dunlap, James 56, 99
Dunlap, John 101
Dunlap, Mary 56, 99
Dunlap, Nancy 99, 102
Dunlap, Tabitha Toby 112
Dyson, Asenith 100
Dyson, Isom (Isham) 101

E Easter (Esther), a black sister 111
Edmon(d)s, Pitt R. 121
Edward, Elder Sim[e]on 67, 73,
Ellis, Elizabeth 122
Ellis, Mrs. Emily Caroline Hendon 200
Ellis, John 196
Ellis, Rebecca 122
Ellis, Judge W. D. 182
Elstner, Lt. Col. George R., U.S.A. 172
Embry, Abel Owen 104-06, 111
Embry, Elizabeth 105, 111, 115
Embry, Hiram Howard 93, 102, 104-06, 111-112
Embry, Divine Howard 104-06, 111
Embry, Merrell 104-06, 111
Embry, Nancy Chatham 106, 111
England, Church of (Anglicans) 218
Episcopal Church 218

F Fain (family) 32
Fayette, Marquis de la 26
Ferguson (family) 32

Fitz (Dr.) 145
Fitzsimmons, Capt. Joseph P., U.S.A. 172-173
Flournoy, Dr. Josiah A. 145
Ford, Rachel Ann 112-113
Foster, W. W. 116
Fowler, Dr. C. Dixon 141
Frederick, a black brother 105, 135, 152
Fulton County Medical Society 146
Fulton County Militia 140

G Gammon, J. F. 196
Garrett, Ann 105
Garrett, Franklin Miller 7, 9, 24, 30, 33-35, 56, 73, 89-92,
122, 146, 148-149, 152, 171, 193,
Gasaway, Amelia 120
Gasaway, John 120
Georgia Historical Commission 187
Georgia Militia 140
Georgia State Legislature 139
Gilbert (family) 32, 34, 53-54, 74, 146, 202-203
Gilbert, Ansel L. 196
Gilbert, Elizabeth Humphries 143
Gilbert, infant boys (buried at Utoy) 138, 202-203
Gilbert, George W. 196
Gilbert, infant daughter of Wm. & N.H. 196
Gilbert, James 138
Gilbert, Jeremiah Sr. 53, 137, 142
Gilbert, Jeremiah Silas 30-32, 93, 139-140, 144
Gilbert, Jesse 139
Gilbert, Dr. Joshua 53, 84, 137-138, 142-146, 150, 178,
186, 193, 196, 203
Gilbert, Joshua L. 196
Gilbert, Julia Amaltha 196
Gilbert, Kate Livingston 196
Gilbert, Leah Westmoreland 137, 142
Gilbert, Lola M. 196
Gilbert, Mrs. M. L. 200
Gilbert, Martha L. Mattie Butler 144, 196
Gilbert, Sarah 138, 196
Gilbert, Sarah Matilda Till Perkerson 93
Gilbert, Dr. Westmoreland Land 146
Gilbert, Dr. William 53, 93, 137-144, 186-187, 203
Gilbert, William (Rev. Sol.) 137-138, 197, 202
Gilbert, Dr. William Leak 143

Gilbert (?), E.D.G. 196
Gillem, Lettie 121
Gilmer, Lt. George Rockingham 15
Glasscocks Company (Alabama Militia) 108
Goddard, Elizabeth 101
Gospel Messenger, The 136
Grady, Henry W. 143
Graham, Mr. Randel 120
Grant, Col. Lemuel P. 82, 157, 159, 188
Grant, Dr. W. T. 145
Grayson, Sam 19
Green (family) 113
Green, Johnny 170
Green, Obedience Biddy White 113
Green, Tandy Holman Sr. 105-108, 113, 115
Greene, D. 147
Griffin, Amy 120
Grisham, Elder Josiah 67, 72, 114, 129, 134
Grisham, Margaret Peggy 114, 134
Grogan, Bartholomew (Bartlett) 104, 112
Grogan, EuniceNicey Land 104, 112
Guest, George 107, 110
Guest, Nathaniel 107, 110
Gulledge, W. H. 73
Gunn, Margaret Rhodes 126
Gunn, Elder Radford 67, 70, 73, 103, 114, 126-129
Gunn, Sophia Beck 127
Guyton, Nathaniel 118
Gwinnett, Button 26

H Haguewood, Aaron 73
Hale, Elder James 46, 67, 73, 98, 126, 129, 136, 186
Haley, Ambrose Miskell 72, 115-116
Haley, Elizabeth Hendon 116
Haley, Lucinda C. Riley 116
Hall, a black brother 106
Hall, Elder Daniel R. 69
Hamby, Elder Isaac 67
Hankins, Pvt. Cannon 178, 197
Harbuck, Corinne 197
Harbuck, G.E. 197
Harbuck, Lizzie 197
Hardin, Mr. 187
Hardwick, Frederick 197
Hardy, Elder N. B. 67
Hartsfield, Mayor William B. 75

Hatcher, Mary Ann 120
Hayes, President Rutherford Birchard 94
Head, George Bethuel Bryant 197
Head, John Felix 197
Head, John Luke 197
Heart, John 121
Helms (family) 166, 176
Helms, Laban A. 166-167, 200
Henderson, D. L. (genealogist) 194
Hendon (family) 32
Hendon, Capt. Isom (Isham) 105, 186, 192, 197
Hendon, Israel 107
Hendon, Peggy M. 105
Hendon, Sally (nurse) 178, 186, 197
Hendon, (Sarah) Sally Murray 105, 192, 197
Hendon, William 116
Herndon, G.W. 197
Herren (family) 186
Herren, Amanda 122
Herren, Edmund R. 197
Herren, Elizabeth Willis 169-170
Herren, David Elbert 169-170
Herren, (Mary) Polly 106
Herren, Nancy 106
Herren, Olive Ann 117
Herren, Sarah 104
Herren, William Wilson 197
Herren, Zachaeus 104
Herring (family) 74, 102
Herring, Charlotty Willis 99, 117, 134
Herring, Esther Chatham 108, 134, 197
Herring, Joel 33, 70, 72-73, 93, 108, 114, 117-118,
Herring, Mr. 187
Herring, Mary 121
Herring, Stephen 87, 93-94,
Herring, William 94,
Henry, Patrick 26
Higgins, Amelia 100
Hildreth, Elder Joe F. 7, 67, 70, 186, 220-221
Hildreth, Virginia Huffman 7
Hill, Lance (photographer) 191
Hill, Elder W. T. 67, 71
Hines, Matthew 200
Hippocrates (father of medicine) 145
Holbrook (family) 32

Holley (family) 186
Holley, James M. 77-78, 94, 104, 106, 112, 139
Holley, John 61-62, 77-78, 104, 106, 112, 141
Holley, Nancy 113
Holley, Sarah Sally 104
Hood, Gen. John Bell, C.S.A. 94, 159, 163-164
Hopewell Culture 12
Hornbuckle, Ann 108
Hornbuckle, Dorcas 108
Hornsby (family) 32, 71, 75, 135, 186
Hornsby, Catherine 106
Hornsby, Cynthy 122
Hornsby, Elizabeth 122
Hornsby, Elizabeth Knighton 103, 134-135
Hornsby, Fanny 102, 106, 111
Hornsby, Harriet 102, 106, 111, 120
Hornsby, Henry 104, 112
Hornsby, Jane 120
Hornsby, John 107, 110
Hornsby, Leonard 110, 135
Hornsby, Lucinda 122
Hornsby, Nelly 107, 110
Hornsby, Noah 64, 87, 95, 103-104, 134-135, 143,
Hornsby, Noah H. 105
Hornsby, Poncy C. 122
Hornsby, Sarah Sally (elder?) 102, 106, 111
Hornsby, Sarah Sally (younger?) 102, 106, 111
Hornsby, Marion A. 75, 135
Hornsby, Mary 112
Hornsby, Thomas 108
Hornsby, William 101-102, 106, 111
Horton, infant son of Mr. & Mrs. D.H. 201
Howard, Hawkins 115
Howard, Dianese 194
Howard, Mary 115
Howard, Mrs. (Lucretia) 103, 106
Huff (family) 74
Huff, Elizabeth 123
Huff, Jeremiah Clayton 61, 72, 121
Huff, John Wilson 66
Huff, Sarah T. 7, 24, 56, 58, 121-122, 179-180
Huff, Elder S. C. 7, 63, 65, 74-75, 136, 183
Huffman, Elder Langdon E. 68, 186
Hughes, Anna Anny 116
Hughes, Elizabeth 109

Hughes, Isaac 77-78, 101-102, 106, 108-109, 114,
Hughes, James 120
Hughes, Rebecca 120
Hughey, Camilla Gilbert 197
Hughey, Henry Holcombe 197
Hull, Rabun Chester 201
Humphries (family) 186
Humphries, Charner 29-30, 92, 96, 140, 146
Humphries, John 72
Humphries, Judge John D. 7, 55, 79, 93, 110, 122, 125, 152, 155
Humphries, John W. 122
Humphries, Rhoda C. 122
Hunt, Elder Jerry M., Jr. 69, 186, 221
Hunter (family) 141
Hunter, Nancy Gilbert 141-142

I Isabella, a black sister 103
Isom, Charles 147
Ivy, Hardy 82

J Jackson, Gen. Andrew 22-24, 90
Jackson, Brig.-Gen. H. R., C.S.A. 150, 178
Jackson, Bessie 225, 227
Jackson, Frank 225-7
Jackson, Mary Davis 197, 223-7
Jackson, Otis 227
James, Martha Patsy 100
Jameson, R. F. 61
Jefferson (Thomas) (President) 23
Johns, Sarah 120
Johnson, Isaac N. (Sheriff/Senator) 72-73, 102, 108, 130-133
Johnson, John 105
Johnson, Mr. 90
Johnson, Judith J. 102
Johnson, Nancy 118
Johnson, Zadock 105
Johnston, Gen. Joseph B. , C.S.A. 159
Johns(t)on, Rosey 119
Jones, James Daniel Jimmie Sr. 197
Jordan, Elder J. A. 67, 70, 73,
Jordan, Sarah Sally 101
Jowers, Benjamin 114

K Kalb, Baron Johann de 27
Keaton, Elder Clarence 221

Keller, Henry H. 87, 95
Kelley, James 118
Kelley, Tilitha 118
Kenady (Kennedy), Margaret 109
Key, George 140
Key, Nancy Harriet Humphries Gilbert 139, 143, 197
Key, T. W. Ted 7, 25-26
Kilpatrick, Britton 108
Kingin, Pvt. Emory Eugene 158
Kingkannon, Ann 100
Kirkpatrick, James 139
Kurtz, Wilbur George 30, 144, 169-170

L Land (family) 101, 104
Land, Elizabeth 102
Land, Joseph 102, 104, 113
Landers, Elder John 46, 73, 98, 186
Landrum, Avy Jane 197
Landrum, Billie C. 197
Landrum, Clarmon Alice Thomason Willis 197
Landrum, Elbert Nelson 74, 182-183, 186
Landrum, Ella Elvira 197
Landrum, Francis Christopher 197
Landrum, Georgia G. 197
Landrum, James 74, 122
Landrum, James F. 197
Landrum, John 123
Landrum, Joseph Bennett 201
Landrum, Julia 197
Landrum, Mary Jane 122
Landrum, Wilder J. 197
Lanier, W. E. 182
Lansdale/Lansdel, Moses 118
Leach, Dorcas 121
Leach, Elizabeth 121
Leach, William 121
Lee (family) 186
Lee, Alice May 197
Lee, Bennie W. 197
Lee, Elizabeth Florence White 197
Lee, J. Frank 7, 190
Lee, John Taylor J.T. 122
Lee, James Ellis 74, 123
Lee, James Robert 198
Lee, Jessie A. 198
Lee, John 115

Lee, John A. 122, 198
Lee, Nancy F. 122
Lee, Olie Burton 198
Lee, Dr. Seaborn Bartow 72, 74, 186
Lee, Seaborn Milard 198
Lee, Gen. Stephen D., C.S.A. 170, 178
Lee, Susan Elizabeth McGee 198
Lee, Susanna Ellis 115
Lewis, T. 122
Leyden, Austin 94
Leyden, Rhoda Catherine Herring 94
Lincoln, Abraham (U.S. President) 178
Lindsey, John P. 117
Linsley, John L. 118
Lister, Lord 145
Livsey (family) 186
Livsey, Elder J. M. 67, 70, 73,
Lloyd, Ernest T. (philanthropist) 192
London, a black brother 103
Long, Stephen A. 82
Lord, J. F. 73
Lott, Rebecca 120
Louisiana Zouaves 169
Lucy, a black sister 103
Lumpkin, Martha Atalanta (Compton) 84, 130
Lumpkin, Gov. Wilson 84, 130-133

M Madden, Nelly 110
Maddox, Nelly 107, 110
Mallory, William H. 66
Maner (family) 102
Maner, Alford (Alfred) 100-101, 105, 111
Maner, Hosea 56, 73, 98, 100-101, 105, 111
Maner, Rebecca Herren 105, 107
Maner, Sarah Mary Land 100
Maner, Selah 101
Manns Company (Georgia Militia) 134
Marbury, Gilbert A. 171
Marchman, Malvin Palestine 66
Marshall, Chief Justice John 24
Martin, Amelia 111
Martin, Charles Charley 119
Martin, Jain (Jane) 121
Martin, Joseph J. 72, 120
Martin, Lucy 119
Martin, Permelia 111

Martin, Rebecca 117
Martin, Sarah E. 121
Martins Atlanta and Its Builders 143
Mason, Joel 109, 117
Mason, Martha 116
Mates Creek Church 216
May, Alford 105
May, Amason 104
May. Nancy 106
May, William 105
McClendon, Mary 109
McCool, Pearl McDaniel 198
McCullough, David 198
McCullough, Mary 198
McDaniel, Alice 198
McDaniel, Annie 198
McDaniel, Ida 198
McDaniel, Laura 198
McDaniel, Leila 198
McDuffie (family) 186
McDuffie, Malcolm 7, 63, 193, 211
McDuffie, Sarah Sally 101
McIntosh, Chief William 24
Medical College of Georgia (Augusta) 137
Mercer, Thomas 15
Methodist (Episcopal) Church 218
Miles, Bryant 101, 105, 111
Miles, Jincy (Jiney?) 111
Missionary Baptists 218
Mississippian Culture 12
Mitchell, Elder H. G. 67
Mitchell, Margaret 94
Mitchell, Elder Roy N. 221
Mitchell, Samuel 82
Monday, a black brother 109
Monroe, Herbert 169
Monroe, James (President) 26
Monsees, Elder J. A. 221
Moore, E. 73
Moore, Elder J. O. 70
Morgan, Eady 119
Morgan, Charlotty Lotty 113
Morgan, Julia Maie 198
Moton, B. F. 73
Muscogee (Creek) Indians 9, 12, 14-15, 17, 23-26, 32, 186, 203
Murphy, C. 87

Murray, Claude 198
Muse, Ray 26

N [name not recorded] a black brother 110
Norcross, Jonathan 84
Norris, Laura Elizabeth Ellis 198
Norton, Martha Aurelia Porter 198
Norwoods Battalion (Alabama Militia) 108

O Ohio, Army of 159
Old Regular Baptists 215, 218
Old School Hymnal, The 220
Oliver (family) 32, 186
Oliver, Charity 105
Oliver, Jeremiah 110
Oliver, Mary 109
Oliver, Thomas 109
Orphan Brigade 170
Orr, Mary 93-94, 101, 111
Orr, Matthew J. 92-94
Orr, Robert 72, 77-78, 87, 93-94, 101, 109-111,
Owensby, Lucretia Cox 201

P Palmer, Brig.-Gen. John McAuley 159
Parks, Rev. 46
Parr, Elizabeth 111
Parsons, Henry 138
Parsons, Samuel 138
Pate, Elder Johnson 67, 73
Pate, Nancy 122
Pate, Richard M. 72-73, 122
Patterson, Dorcas Darkey 116
Patterson, John 103
Patterson, Sarah Sally 103
Patterson, Telitha 112
Paty, William 111
Peacock (family) 32
Peacock, Lewis 110
Pearson, Robert S. 198
Peat (?), Eliza J. 115
Peek, Mary Texas Richards 201
Perkerson, Angus 187
Perkerson, Thomas Jefferson (Sheriff) 87, 93, 140, 187
Perkins, Columbus 227
Perkins, Florrie Jackson 227

Perkins, Leroy 227
Perkins, William H., Jr. 227
Perkins, William H., Sr. 227
Peters, Elder Wayne 69
Petty, Jane 121
Petty, Thomas 102
Phillips, Sarah S. 123
Phillips, William 70
Phillips, William A. 123
Pierce, Dr. Lovick 128
Poole, Adam 111
Poole, Dr. William Fletcher 187
Pope, Emily E. Crow 110, 122
Pope, John 72, 106, 110, 122
Pope, John Hewell 121
Pope, Susan(nah) 106, 110, 122
Pope, Treacy 111
Ports, Dr. Michael A. 7
Presbyterians (denomination) 215, 218

R Rachel [surname not recorded] 121
Rachel, a black sister 109
Rainey, George W. 87, 92, 115
Rainey, Martha Patsy 115
Rainey, Mary Ann Polly Ann White 92, 104-108, 113-115, 119
Rainey, William W. 114
Rainey, Charner H. 114
Ramsay, Dr. H. A. 145
Ratteree, Maj. Alexander 30, 32
Ratteree, William Henry 198
Redwine (family) 32
Reeves, Sarah 114
Reeves, William 147
Reid, Colonel J. M. C. 140
Reid (Reed), Nancy 103
Reynolds, E. B. 78
Reynolds, Mrs. Malinda 201
Roberts, Aaron 109
Roberts, Ann(a) 108
Roberts, Clementine 198
Roberts, Sarah J. 121
Roop, Rev. William Wright 66
Ross, Mamie Clara Clower 198
Rowe, Maud 198
Russell, Edie 111, 115
Russell, James 111, 115

Russell, Margaret 111, 115
Russell, Susan 101
Rutledge, Rachel 113

S Sale, Daniel William Dan Jr. 198
Sam, a black brother 108
Sam Sr., a black brother 103
Sanders, Mary 122
Sandlick Association 216
Savall, Lucy 109
Scaif, William 113
Schofield, Maj.-Gen. John M. 159, 162, 178
Scroggins, Dicey 103
Seminole Indians 14
Sewell (family) 95
Sewell, Augustus Willis 87, 95,
Sewell, Christopher 87, 95, 100, 105, 112
Sewell, Elizabeth Isabel White 95,
Sewell, Fanny 116
Sewell (Jennie Willis) 95
Sewell, (Mary) Polly 103
Sewell, Pleasant 87, 95, 138
Sewell, Sarah 120
Shain, Nancy 105
Sharp, a black brother 110, 152
Shehane, Mr. (Universalist preacher) 128-129
Shelton, A. C. 201
Shelton, Mrs. E. E. 201
Sherman, Jands O. [James?] 201
Sherman, Gen. William Tecumseh 71, 83, 85, 93, 137, 140, 157, 159,
162-164, 171-172, 178
Shuler, Esther O. Duncan 198
Shuler, Mary Emeline Mamie White 198
Shuler, Samuel Abernathy Sam Sr. 198
Shuler, Samuel Abernathy Jr. [III] 198
Shumate, Mason 134
Sikes, Jacob 73
Sills, Tony 204
Smith, Capt. 17-18
Smith (family) 32
Smith, Ann 198
Smith, Mrs. Arthur 201
Smith, Mrs. Bobbie 201
Smith, Eady 120
Smith, Francis 198
Smith, Dr. B. M. 145

Smith, Elder D. P. 183
Smith, Dr. G. G. 143
Smith, G. M. 117
Smith, Jasper N. 123
Smith, John B. 87, 95, 120
Smith, Rev. John Major 46, 54, 148
Smith, Lou Anna 198
Smith, Marion S. 198
Smith, Martha 198
Smith, Moses H. 73, 109, 117-118
Smith, Nancy 198
Smith, Nancy Suttles 149
Smith, Rev. Peyton P. 149
Smith, Sarah 117
Smith, Sarah F. Phelps 95
Smith, Elder W. H. 67, 182
Smith, Walker 123
Smith, Willie Thomas 198
Southern Baptist Convention 219
Speir, Elder Alexander Hamilton Stephens 67, 70, 74, 186
Speir, Elder Elzie D., Jr. 221
Speir, Elder Elzie D., Sr. 221
Speir, Elder J. M. 67, 186
Speir, Robert L. 67
Speir, Elder Roy E. 186
St. Clairs Bottom Church 216
Stephens, Alexander Hamilton (Gov.) 150, 178
Stone (family) 32
Stone, Cynthia Shumate 117, 134
Stone, Daniel 61-62, 100, 107, 117, 134, 138
Stone, Joseph 100
Stone, Flora Ferguson 100
Stowers, Vera L. 198
Strickland, Charles 64
Strickland, Col., U.S.A. 172
Stricklin (family) 99
Stricklin, Barnabas 108, 113
Stricklin, Ervin 56, 98, 113
Stricklin, Joseph 103
Stricklin, Martha Patsy Crow 98-99,
Stricklin, Mary 56, 98, 100, 113
Stricklin, (Mary) Polly 103
Stricklin , Simon 100
Strong, C. H. 62, 64
Suttles (family) 32, 46, 58, 149, 186
Suttles, Joseph P. Joe 149

Suttles, Macajah 198
Suttles, Margaret Peggy Harbin 54, 56, 77, 99, 117, 124, 147-150,
Suttles, T. Earl 149
Suttles, Willliam (Rev. Sol.) 32, 77, 99, 147-150, 199

T Tanner, T. N. 182
Tate, Orphy 56, 99
Taylor, F. O. 184
Tecumseh (Shawnee Chief) 15
Terrell, William 147
Terry, Maj. Stephen 87-88, 90-91, 96,
Terry, Thomas Tom 144
Thoburn, 2
Lt. Thomas C., U.S.A. 172
Thomas, T. L., J.P. 64
Thompson, Gen. Waddie 17
Thomson, John E. 84
Thornton, Sarah 120
Thrasher, John J. 82, 89-90,
Three Forks of Powells River Church 216
Thrift, Edna F. Head 199
Thrift, Judge J. Everett 7, 189-190, 192
Todd, Elder John 221
Todd, Martha 109
Tomkins, R.C. 225
Tomlinson, J. 146
Towaliga Association 216
Towers, Lewis 62
Towner, Bonnie Lee 199
Towner, Milford R. 199
Towner, Richard Steven 199
Towner, Vinnie Mae Mann 199
Townes, Col. 19
Townes, Governor George W. B. 19
Townsand, John 61-62, 141
Townsend, Susan 101
Trimble, M. G. 123
Trimble, Margaret I. 122
Troup, George M. (Governor) 138
Tuck, Anney 95, 121
Tuck, Martha M. Embry 95
Tuck, Richardson 87, 95, 121
Tyler, Daniel 89

U Underwood (Brother) 118
Union Association 216

United States (government of) 23
United States Army 23-24
United States Supreme Court 24
[unnamed] colored sister 152
Utoy Cemetery Association, Inc. 188, 190, 192, 220

V Vines, Benjamin 100
Vines, Nancy 100
Virginia, Army of Northern 129

W Wade, Edward 100
Waits (family) 186
Waits, Elizabeth 56, 99
Waits, Jeremiah 110
Waits, John 139
Wall(s), Eliza 116
Wallace, Elizabeth 123
Wallace, Joseph 201
Wallis, G. F. 122
Walraven, Andrew 146
Walraven, Elizabeth 117
Walraven, Mary 110
Walraven, Rachel 109
Walton, George 26
Wamack, Elder W. K. 183
Warner, Annie M. 199
Washington Association 216
Weatherford, Mrs. 103
Weaver, Giles H. 87, 95,
Weaver, John P. 108, 116
Weaver, Priscilla 108, 116
Webb, Elder Elijah 67, 73, 204-205
Webb, Kitty 121
Webb, Siphrony 122
Webb, W. D. 73
Weems (author, Life of Washington) 99
West (family) 186
West, Jane 111
West, William 111
Westmoreland Brothers (Atlanta doctors) 137
Westmoreland, Dr. H. 145
Westmoreland, Hannah House 137
Westmoreland, Dr. J. G. 140, 144
Westmoreland, Thomas 137
Westmoreland, Dr. Willis F. 144
Westmoreland, General William Childs 137

Whatley, Elder S. H. 67, 73, 136
Wheeler, John 110
Wheeler, Mark 117
Wheeler, (Mary) Polly 110
White (family) 32, 74, 119, 146, 166, 171, 176, 186
White, Andrew (Jackson) 87, 92, 107-108, 134
White, Arminda Emeline White 92, 119, 199
White, Augustus Jacob 199
White, Charles Lee Charlie 42
White, Charlie Elbert 199
White, Daniel P. 87, 92, 119
White, Eliza Ann 180, 199
White, Elizabeth Betsy Willis 25, 38, 56-59, 77, 99, 105-109, 113,
115, 117, 119, 123-124, 134-136,
169, 180,186, 199
White, Elizabeth Frances Marchman 38, 42, 66, 124-125, 199
White, Francis Marion 38, 42, 166, 169, 171, 180, 199
White, Rev. George 147-148
White, George Allison 199
White, Georgia Ann Smith 199
White, Henry M. 33, 87, 92, 96, 119
White, Henry P. 114, 119
White, Irma 199
White, Jacob (son of Henry M.) 92
White, Jacob Jake Jr. 87, 92, 95-96, 201
White, Jesse Franklin 199
White, James V. 102-104, 106-109, 112-113, 115, 201
White, Jane Stone 100, 104, 106--108, 113, 115, 134
White, Dr. John W. 42, 171, 180
White, Joseph 199
White, Lillian West Johnson 199
White, Mrs. Lula 201
White, Margaret Peggy Crow 92-93, 111-112, 122
White, Marion 199
White, Martha E. 119
White, Martha M. Weaver 104, 106, 108, 113, 115-116, 201
White, Mary Elizabeth Stephens 199
White, Mary Etta Mollie 42
White, Mary Douglas Murray 199
White, Mary Polly 119
White, Oscar Marion Sr. 199
White, Robert Marion 42
White, Sarah Almarine 123, 166, 181, 199
White, Sarah M.G. 199
White, Sarah Williams 201
White, Terry 193

White, William Cornelius Green Cap 169-171
White, William Marion 199
White, William Wilson 24-25, 38, 56-59, 63, 65-67, 87, 92,
95, 99, 104-108, 110, 112-114, 119,
134-136, 166-167, 171, 180, 185-
186, 199
White, Willie Walker 199
White, Wright 87, 92-93, 95-96, 104, 112, 123-124
Wilkins, Selee (Celia) 121
Williams, Ami 82
Williams, Henry 201
Williams, Lavinia 110
Williams, Leomi 199
Williamson, Eliza 109
Williamson, John 110
Willis (family) 32, 46, 53-54, 58, 74, 93, 95, 134,
146, 166, 171, 176, 186
Willis, Elizabeth Chatham 108, 134
Willis, Elizabeth S. Lesley 199

Willis, infant daughter of J.D. & M.K. 199
Willis, Squire Joseph Jr. 32, 53-54, 56, 77, 124, 134, 138-140,
161, 166-170, 172, 176, 199
Willis, Capt. Joseph Sr. 99
Willis, Joseph Dekalb 199
Willis, Margaret Peggy Suttles 32, 54, 77, 99, 117, 124, 147
Willis, Mary K. Childress 199
Willis, Nancy Ann Childress 123, 199
Willis, Sarah G. Strickland 200
Willis, William 33, 77-78, 98-99, 108, 114, 117, 124,
134, 139
Willis, William John Franklin 123, 200
Wills, Pinckney W. 200
Wilson (brothers) 144
Wilson (family) 32
Wilson, Jennett 100
Wilson, John Jr. 102
Wilson, John Sr. 108
Wilson, John F. 64
Wilson, Dr. John Stubbs 187
Wilson, (Martha) Patsy 108
Wilson, Dr. T. C. H. 145
Wilson, William (Rev. Sol.) 56, 146
Wilson, Judge William A. 56,
Winburn, David 87, 93-94, 118
Winburn, Anna Keziah Herring 93-94, 118

Winney, a black sister 103
Wood, Constantine 116
Wood, Maiden 116
Wood, Malinda Milly 104
Wood, Robert 77-78, 114, 138
Wood, Sabra 119
Wood, Susanna 118
Wood, Zilpha 118
Woodland Culture 12
Woolf, Julia Ann 102, 104, 113
Wooten, Jennett 101
Wright, Mrs. J. A. 201

Y Yellow River Association 216
Young, David 139

Z Zions Landmark 136


Place-Name I ndex

A Adams Park (Atlanta) 160
Adamsville, Georgia (town of) 71, 142, 146
Alabama (State of) 15, 23, 98, 156
Alleghenies (Mountains) 149
Arkansas (State of) 98
Atlanta (City of) 17-18, 38, 42, 48, 56, 58, 69-70, 74,
81, 84-86, 89-96, 115, 135-137, 140-
146, 156-159, 162-164, 166, 169-
170-171, 175, 186-188, 191, 193-
194, 203, 213, 220, 225
Atlanta and West Point Railroad 156
Atlanta Board of Health 145
Atlanta City Hall 86
Atlanta Constitution (newspaper) 181, 183-184, 201
Atlanta Cyclorama 157
Atlanta Daily Intelligencer (newspaper) 187
Atlanta Georgian and News (newspaper) 201
Atlanta Historical Bulletin 93, 122
Atlanta History Center 43, 58, 76, 154-155, 193, 206
Atlanta Journal (newspaper) 121-122, 169, 190
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (newspaper) 194
Atlanta Medical and Surgical Journal 144
Atlanta Medical College 144
Atlantic (Ocean) 84
Attala County, Mississippi 108
Augusta, Georgia (City of) 32, 137
Austin Leyden House (Atlanta) 94

B Baldwin County, Georgia 227
Barnesville, Georgia (City of) 150
Battle of Utoy Creek 150,
Bayberry Drive SW (Atlanta) 187
Ben Hill (Atlanta) 32, 149
Ben Hill Road SW (Atlanta) 69
Bethel Primitive Baptist Church 50-52, 71
Blackhall District, DeKalb County 59, 91-93,
Black Rock, Maryland 219
Broad Street (Atlanta) 143
Boltonville, Georgia (town of) 82
Buckhead (town of) (Atlanta) 112
Buncombe, North Carolina 20

C Cahaba Drive SW (Atlanta) 69, 187, 212

Camp Creek Baptist Church (Fulton Co.) 71
Camp Creek Church (Gwinnett County) 71, 126
Campbell County, Georgia 71, 73
Campbellton (town) 27
Campbellton Road SW (Atlanta) 9, 69, 143
Carroll County, Georgia 59, 66, 79, 94, 101, 107, 204
Cascade Heights (Atlanta) 53
Cascade Road SW (Atlanta) 17, 28-29, 139, 159-160, 170, 178
Cascade Springs Nature Preserve (Atl.) 160, 178, 207-209
Cedron Church (Randolph Co. Ala.) 114
Central Baptist Church (Carroll Co. Ga.) 66
Chafin Family Cemetery (Henry Co. Ga.) 141
Chamblee-Tucker Road (DeKalb Co. Ga.) 134
Chatham County, North Carolina 92
Chattahoochee River 13, 15-16, 18-19, 33, 82, 166,
Chattanooga, Tennessee (City of) 82, 157, 159
Chattooga County, Georgia 108
Cherokee County, Alabama 108
Cherokee Territory (North Georgia) 133
Chester District, South Carolina 91, 96
Childress Drive SW (Atlanta) 146
Clarke County, Georgia 95
Clay County, Alabama 113
Clayton County, Georgia 10-12, 20, 22, 26, 28, 34, 38, 41, 65,
153, 177
Cleburne County, Alabama 116
Clemson, South Carolina (City of) 142
Colhans Spring Baptist Church (Fulton Co.) 71
College Park, Georgia 192
Colquitt County, Georgia 78
Columbia County, Georgia 126
Columbia Theological Seminary 49
Conyers, Georgia (City of) 94
County Line Baptist Church (DeKalb Co.) 71, 99-101, 103, 112
County Line Meeting House 126
Courtland Street (Atlanta) 81
Covington, Georgia (City of) 149
Crossland, Georgia (town of) 78
Crossroad Church (Anderson Dist. S.C.) 119

D Dahlonega, Georgia (town of) 135
Dawson County, Georgia 54
Decatur (City of) 27-28, 46, 49, 61, 82, 103, 106, 109,
119, 131, 144, 159
DeKalb County, Georgia 12, 17, 20, 27, 32-34, 46, 49, 54, 56,
59, 61-62, 64, 72, 77, 82, 87-96, 99,

102, 116, 119, 126, 130-131, 134,
136-142, 144, 146-148, 152, 186,
Deep Creek Church 110
Dooly County, Georgia 26
Douglas County, Georgia 16

E East Atlanta Primitive Baptist Church 71, 123
East Point (City of) 50, 71, 135, 156, 159-160, 170
Edwards District, DeKalb County, Ga. 138
Elam Primitive Baptist Church 183
Elbert County, Georgia 148
Ellis County, Texas 95
Elmore County, Alabama 15
Emanuel County, Georgia 48
England (Country of) 29, 215
Enon Missionary Baptist Church 71, 73, 81
Europe 23
Ezra Church (Fulton Co. Ga.) 159

F Fairburn (City of) 170
Fairburn Road SW (Atlanta) 42
Fayette County, Georgia 26-27, 34-35, 38, 178
Fayetteville (City of) 170
Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church 72
Flat Shoals Primitive Baptist Church 47, 184-185, 217
Florida (locomotive) 82
Forsyth, Georgia (City of) 89
Forsyth Street (Atlanta) 143
Fort Benning (Columbus, Georgia) 227
Fort Daniel 15
Fort Gilmer 15, 27
Fort McPherson 183, 192
Fort Peachtree 15
Fort Sumter (South Carolina) 156
Foundry Street (Atlanta) 89-90
Fourth District of Baptist Churches 71
Fox Theater (Atlanta) 193
Franklin (City of) 18
Franklin County, Georgia 32-33, 56, 58, 92, 95, 99, 113, 134-
135, 146
Free and Accepted Masons 214
Friendship Association 71
Fulton County, Georgia 12, 17, 20, 27, 33-34, 46, 49-50, 56,
59, 69, 71, 82, 87, 91-93, 110, 112,
117, 126, 134-137, 141-143, 147-

149, 180, 188, 202-203, 208-209,
212, 224-7

G Georgia, State Capitol Building 193
Georgia (State of) 15, 17, 19, 23-26, 32-33, 49, 71, 82,
89, 93, 126, 133, 138, 142, 186, 203,
Georgia (State of), Historic Preservation
Division 193
Georgia Railroad 82, 84, 89, 157-158,
Gilbert House (Atlanta) 31-32, 139-140
Gone With the Wind (novel) 94
Gordon Street SW (Atlanta) 159
Grant Park (Atlanta) 48, 157, 159, 188
Grayson Bend (Chattahoochee River) 18-19
Greenville District, South Carolina 137
Greenwood Cemetery (Atlanta) 162, 171
Gresham-Weed Cemetery (DeKalb Co. Ga.) 134
Griffin, Georgia (City of) 89
Gum Creek Church (Walton County) 71
Gwinnett County, Georgia 15, 26-27, 67, 84, 95, 126, 136

H Halifax County, Virginia 95
Hancock County, Georgia 126
Haralson County, Georgia 107
Hardamon Church 119
Harpers Ferry, (West) Virginia 156
Harris Springs Church (Newton County) 71
Haws Spring Church 71
Heard County, Georgia 18, 93, 116
Henderson Mill Road (DeKalb Co. Ga.) 134
Henry County, Georgia 26-27, 47, 59, 136-137, 140, 184-
186, 203, 217
Herrings Mill 29, 134
Hog Mountain (Gwinnett County) 15
Houston County, Georgia 26
Hudgens Map (1911) (Fulton County) 211-212
Huie Farmhouse (Clayton County) 41

I Illinois (State of) 172-173
Illinois, 52
Regiment, U.S.A. 179
Indian Springs, Georgia 24
International Boulevard (Atlanta) 81

J Jackson County, Georgia 99
Jamestown (Virginia) 218

Jasper County, Georgia 95
John A. White Park (Atlanta) 159
Johnston County, North Carolina 126
Jonesboro (City of) 35, 38, 57, 153, 178
Jonesboro Road (Atlanta) 140
Jonesboro Road (Fayette County) 38

K Kansas (State of) 24
Kelleytown Road (Henry Co. Ga.) 141
Kennesaw Mountain (Cobb Co. Ga.) 159
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield
Park (Cobb County, Georgia) 161
Kentucky (State of) 170
King George County, Virginia 148-149
Ku Klux Klan, The 214

L Lakewood Fairgrounds/Amphitheatre 91
Laurens District, South Carolina 137
Lawrenceville (City of) 32
Lebanon Church (Henry County, Ga.) 81, 120
Lee, Seaborn Elementary School 186
Lee Street SW (Atlanta) 29
Lexington (Oglethorpe County, Ga.) 49
Lincoln County, Georgia 126
Little Vine Primitive Baptist Church 204

M Macedonia Primitive Baptist Church 34, 46
Macon, Georgia (City of) 89
Macon and Western Railroad 84, 89
Macon Road (Fulton County, Georgia) 170
Marietta, Georgia (City of) 82, 144
Marietta National Cemetery 178
Marietta Street NW (Atlanta) 38, 85, 143
Marthasville, Georgia (town of) 84, 89, 91, 143-144
Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive SW (Atl.) 159
Maryland (State of) 148-149
Masonic Hall (Atlanta) 86
McDonough, Georgia (City of) 137, 140
Medical College of Georgia (Augusta) 142, 146
Mexican War 92
Mexico (City) 17
Michigan (State of) 158
Middle River Baptist Church (Franklin Co.) 75
Milledgeville, Georgia (City of) 20, 130, 137, 227
Mississippi Society for Baptist Missions 15
Mississippi (State of) 23, 98, 156

Mississippi River 24
Monroe County, Georgia 26, 89,
Monroe Embankment (Atlanta) 89-91
Monroe, Georgia (town of) 71
Monroe Railroad 89-91, 97
Montgomerys Ferry 27, 82
Mt. Gilead Methodist Church 32, 34, 46, 54, 149, 178, 186
Mt. Zion Methodist Church 34
Muscogee County, Georgia 138

N Nances Creek Church (DeKalb County) 71
Nancy Creek Primitive Baptist Church 34
National Register of Historic Places 193
New Hampshire 61
New York City, New York 90
Newnan (City of) 32
Newnan Road (now Lee Street SW) 29
Newton County, Georgia 90,
Norcross (City of) 15, 84
North Carolina (State of) 33
Northern Ireland (Country of) 218

O Oak Grove Primitive Baptist Church 48
Oakland Cemetery (Atlanta, Ga.) 143, 146
Oddfellows 214
Oglethorpe County, Georgia 126
Ohio (State of) 172
Oklahoma (State of) 24

P Panic of 1837 90-91,
Paran Missionary Baptist Church 93
Parthenon, The (Athens, Greece) 202
Peachtree Creek 13, 18, 159
Peachtree Road 15, 27
Peachtree Street NW (Atlanta) 83, 94,
Pendleton District, South Carolina 92, 101
Perkerson House (Atlanta) 93,
Perkerson Park (City of Atlanta) 93
Perkerson Road SW (Atlanta) 140
Philadelphia Church (South Carolina) 118
Philadelphia Presbyterian Church 34
Pickens County, Georgia 80
Pleasant Union Baptist Church 54
Ponder, Ephraim G. (House) 163
Presbyterian Manse (Lexington, Ga.) 49
Pulaski County, Georgia 92

R Randolph County, Alabama 92-93, 113-116, 119
Red Oak (town of) 69, 186
Reynolds Memorial Nature Preserve 10-12, 20, 22, 26, 28, 65, 177
Rockdale County, Georgia 94
Rock Mills, Alabama (town of) 93

S Sandtown (Creek Village) 17, 24, 27-29, 33
Sandtown Road (Atlanta) 17, 28-29, 84, 136, 139, 160, 170,
Sardis Church (Walton County) 71
Savannah, Georgia (City of) 85, 193
Savannah River 32
Scotland (Country of) 100, 215, 218
Sharp Top Church (Pickens County) 80
Shiloh Church (Walton County) 71
Simpsonville, South Carolina (town of) 137, 141
Smith (Tullie), farm 43-44, 58-60, 76, 174
South Carolina (State of) 17, 29, 32-33, 46, 104, 112, 137,
142, 146
Southern Christian Advocate , The 148
Southside Sun, The (newspaper) 186, 191-192
Spartanburg District, South Carolina 146
St. Phillips Episcopal Church
(Charleston, South Carolina) 129
Standing Peachtree (Creek Village) 12-13, 15, 27, 135
State Capitol Building (Georgia) 86
Stately Oaks Plantation 35-36, 38-40, 57, 153
Stillmore (City of) 48
Stone Mountain Park (Georgia) 164
Suwanee (City of) 15
Sweet Water Church (Gwinnett County) 71, 126
Sweetwater Creek 16

T Taliaferro County, Georgia 126
Talladega County, Alabama 113
Tallapoosa Primitive Baptist Church 79
Tallapoosa River (Alabama) 15
Tallassee (City of) 15
Temple of Christ Pentecostal Church 68-69
Tennessee (State of) 17, 23, 150
Terminal Station (Atlanta) 89-90
Terminus, Georgia (town of) 82-84, 89-90,
Texas (State of) 17, 98
Texas, Georgia (town of) 93
Tishomingo County, Mississippi 99

Towaliga Association (Primitive Baptists) 71
Trail of Tears (Cherokee Removal) 24, 108
Troup County, Georgia 19
Trout House hotel (Atlanta) 86
Tuckabatchee (Creek Village) 5
Tucker, Georgia (City of) 72
Tyus, Georgia (City of) 79

U Underground Atlanta 82-83
Union League, The 214
United States (of America) 90, 218
United States, Second Bank of 90
University of Georgia 142
Upatoi (Creek) 9
Utoy (Primitive) Baptist Church 163, 168, 179-181, 183-188, 193,
200, 203-204, 210-213, 216, 219-
221, 225
Utoy Creek 9, 16, 29, 134, 136, 159-163, 165-
166, 170-173, 186, 207
Utoy Springs Baptist Church 69
Utoy Street (Atlanta) 69
Utoy (town) 27, 134

V Venetian Drive SW (Atlanta) 69, 186, 212, 220
Venetian Hills Elementary School 194
Venetian Hills Neighborhood (Atlanta) 194
Virginia (State of) 33, 126, 149, 216, 218, 225, 227

W Wales (Country of) 215
Walton County, Georgia 26
Walton Springs 38
Waltons Ferry 82
Warren County, Georgia 126, 129
Warren House, G.L. (Jonesboro, Ga.) 179
Washington, D.C. 17
Washington Road (East Point, Ga.) 135
Wesley Chapel Methodist Church (Atlanta) 91
West End (Atlanta) 29, 84, 96, 136, 140, 186
Western and Atlantic Railroad 81-82, 84, 89-90,
Westridge-Sandtown Community
Organization 194
Westview Cemetery (Atlanta) 92
White, John A. (park) 29, 56
White Street SW (Atlanta) 135
Whitehall (town) 27-29, 82, 84,
Whitehall Street SW (Atlanta) 83, 96

Whitehall Tavern 29-30, 96, 114, 139-140, 143, 146
Willis (Grist) Mill 9, 32, 160-161, 163, 166, 169, 171,
Willis Mill Road SW (Atlanta) 93, 160, 168, 175-177

Y Yellow River Association 71
YMCA (Campbellton Rd., Atlanta) 69

Z Zoo Atlanta 157



Garrett, Franklin Miller, Atlanta and Its Environs (Athens, Ga., University of Georgia Press, 1969) I, p.30
Cooper, Walter Gerald, Official History of Fulton County, (Copyright, 1934) pp.1-17; Krakow, Kenneth
K., Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins, Macon, Georgia: Winship Press, 1975, pages 238-
Wikipedia, Upatoi Creek,
Wikipedia, Archaic period in North America,;, Chattahoochee
River National Recreation Area, ; Wikipedia,
Soapstone Ridge,
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Woodland Cultures,; Ibid., Hopewell Culture,;
Atlantas Upper West Side, Fort Peachtree,
Minutes of the Mississippi Baptist Association, 1817. Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives,
Nashville, Tennessee; History of American Missions to the Heathen from their Commencement to the
Present Time, Page 379, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1840 and Rev. J. S. Murrow, Beginnings of Baptist
Indian Missions, The Baptist Home Mission Monthly, Volume XIV, Number 1, January 1892. Southern
Baptist Historical Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee.; and American Baptist Magazine and
Missionary Intelligencer, Volume 1, Page 4. Published at Boston, Massachusetts, 1817. Southern Baptist
Historical Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee. (cited in Ports, Michael A., Isaac Suttle, Frontier
Baptist Preacher [an unpublished manuscript graciously made available to this author by Dr. Ports].)
Wikipedia, Second Great Awakening,
Wikipedia, Sandtown, Georgia, (History),,_Georgia.
Cooper, op. cit., pp. 16-17; Wikipedia, Muscogee People,; Swanton, John R., Early History of the Creek Indians and
their Neighbors (Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 73) Washington, D.C.:
Government Printing Office, 1922 (Pages 225-230).
Cotter, William Jasper, A.M., My Autobiography, ed. Charles O. Jones, D.D., II, pp. 17-22. Found at
Wikipedia, United States presidential election, 1828,,_1828.
Access Genealogy, Muskogee Indian Tribe, History,
Craven, Avery Odelle, Soil Exhaustion as a Factor in the Agricultural History of Virginia and
Maryland, 1606-1860, Columbia, South Carolina: The University of South Carolina Press, 2006.
AP U.S. History, Indian Removal,
Wikipedia, Cherokee Nation v. Georgia,
Garrett, Vol. I, pages 43-44 (quoting the Atlanta Journal Magazine, My 80 Years in Atlanta, by Sarah
T. Huff, August 9, 1936.)
Key, T. W. Ted, Personal interview with, January 2010
New Georgia Encyclopedia, Land Lottery System,
GeorgiaInfo, Georgia 1821 Land Lottery Map,
Georgia Secretary of State, Brian P. Kemp, 1820 Land Lotteries in Georgia,

Wikipedia, Gwinnett County, Georgia,,_Georgia.
(Only one example out of several possible.)
Wikipedia, DeKalb County, Georgia,,_Georgia.
Garrett, op. cit., page 139 (Vol.I).
Cooper, p.17; See also The New Georgia Encyclopedia, History and Archaeology, Indian Trails,
Atlanta Historical Bulletin, April 1931, Whitehall Tavern, by Wilbur G. Kurtz, pp.46-47
White, T. J., Roster of Marked Graves at Utoy Cemetery, unpublished manuscript (1982), listing the
two infant Gilbert children, whose death dates were 1816 and 1819some years beforethe official
founding of Utoy Baptist Church.
Reese, Col. William Emmett, ed. Fannie Lu Camp Fisher, The Settle-Suttle Family. Carrollton, Georgia:
Thomasson Printing Company, 1974, pp. 303, 308.
Garrett, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 38, 43-44, 54, 60, Vol. II, p. 950.
Cooper, op. cit., pp. 16-17.
See, for example: Hemperley, Marion R., Historic Indian Trails of Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia: The
Garden Club of Georgia, Inc., 1989, pp. 30-31. See also GeorgiaInfo,
Georgia Department of Archives and History, De Kalb County, Georgia Inferior Court Minutes,
(microfilm) Morrow, Ga., p.411.
Garrett, op. cit., p.31.
Garrett, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 39, 52, 68-69.
Garrett, op. cit., Vol. I, p.32
xxxix The Atlanta Journal, When Whitehall was called Peters Street, quoting Francis M. White. Sunday
morning, January 13, 1924
Atlanta Historical Society, Utoy Church, by [Judge] John D. Humphries. Bulletin #7, June 1933. p.5
Garrett, Vol. I, p.38
Huff, S.C., Historical Sketch of Utoy Church, 1924. Privately-printed rare pamphlet at the Georgia
Archives. BX 6480. U86 H83 Loc. 310/2
Cooper, p.12
Georgia Department of Archives and History, Minute Books of Mount Gilead Methodist Church. (on
microfilm) Morrow, Ga.
Bieder, Jean G., A History of the Utoy Primitive Baptist Church, 1972. 20 pp. A privately-printed,
unpublished college research paper, a copy of which is in the possession of the author of this work.
Atlanta Hist. Bull. #7 pp. 5-6
Ibid., p.6
Ibid., pp.6-7
Huff, p.1; Atlanta Hist. Bull., #7, p.7; Cooper, pp. 36-37
Georgia Department of Archives and History, Minute Books of Utoy Primitive Baptist Church. (on
microfilm) Morrow, Ga.
Huff, p.3; Atlanta Hist. Bull., #7, p.12; Cooper, pp.36-37
Garrett, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 43-44.; Sarah T. Huff, Atlanta Journal Magazine, My 80 Years in Atlanta.
Garrett, Vol. I, pp. 53-54.
Georgia Department of Archives and History, Fulton County Georgia Superior Court, Deeds and
Huff, S.C., pp. 3-4
Ibid., p.2
Georgia Department of Archives and History, Minutes of Utoy Primitive Baptist Church, Obituary of
William W. White, November, 1895.
Hildreth, Elder Joe F., Lecture to the Utoy Cemetery Association, Inc., Monday, March 1
, 2010.
Hildreth, Elder Joe, letter to the author, 10 March, 2010.

Huff, S.C., p.1; Atlanta Hist. Bull., ______
Elder Joe F. Hildreth, quoting the Utoy Primitive Baptist Church minute books.
Huff, S.C., pp. 2-3
The Atlanta Journal, Sunday, August 20, 1960, p.4, Onetime Slave Church Oldest Congregation Here,
by Sally Sanford
Georgia Department of Archives and History, De Kalb County, Georgia Inferior Court Minutes
(microfilm), p.111.
Georgia Department of Archives and History, Minutes of Utoy Primitive Baptist Church.
Atlanta Hist. Bull., pp._______
Atlanta Hist. Bull., pp.______
Bieder, pp._____
Price, Vivian, The History of DeKalb County, Georgia, 1822-1900, Fernandina Beach, Florida:
DeKalb Historical Society/Wolfe Publishing Company, 1997, pp. 273-274, 281, 284-285, 300-301.
Georgia Department of Archives and History, DeKalb County, Georgia Superior Court Minutes, Book
A, p.179, et seq.
Garrett, Vol. I, pp.165-167
Wikipedia, Panic of 1837.
Garrett, Vol. I, p.199
DEKALB COUNTY, GA MILITARY Indian Wars Pension Martin Crow (wid Sarah J.) (Capt James
M. Calhoun, Dekalb Georgia Guard) (, at
Ibid., p.377
Ibid., p. 362
Ibid., p. 129
Georgia Department of Archives and History, DeKalb County, Georgia Superior Court Minutes, Book
B, p.11
Georgia Department of Archives and History, DeKalb County, Georgia Inventories and Appraisement,
Annual Returns, Vouchers, and Bills of Sales, Vol. A (1842-1852), pp. 429-432.
Roots Webs WorldConnect Project: Deep Southern RootsCosby, Phillips, Mitcham, Owen, Embry,
Atkinson, Becker, Berry, Thomas, Hardaway, Ray. See also DeKalb County [Georgia] Sales and
Appraisements Book B (1852-1858), page 102: H.H. Embry, Admr de bonis non of Estate of Jesse
Childress, decd, in Account Current for the year 1852 and up to 5 Apr 1853. By cash paid W.B. Ruggles
and Alexander Johnson, Ordinary (vouchers 1 and 2).
Roots Webs WorldConnect Project: Deep Southern RootsCosby, Phillips, Mitcham, Owen, Embry,
Atkinson, Becker, Berry, Thomas, Hardaway, Ray

Merrell Embry Bible (Google)
Garrett, Vol. I, p.38
Georgia Department of Archives and History, DeKalb County, Georgia Deed Book H (1842-1846),
page 189
Smith, Gordon Burns, History of the Georgia Militia, 1783-1861, Vol.2, p.1514.
Atlanta Hist. Bull., pp._______
History of the Baptist Denomination in Georgia, by Samuel Boykin (Volume 2 of 2), pages 235-7;
reprinted by The Baptist Standard Bearer, Inc., Paris, Arkansas (U.S.A.). (The Baptist History Series,
Number 9) ISBN 1-57978-914-5
Bieder, p.12
Letter, 1833 Jan. 12, Decatur, Dekalb Co[unty], G[eorgi]a [to] Wilson Lumpkin, Milledg[e]ville,
G[eorgi]a / Isaac N. Johnson. Repository: Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of
Georgia Libraries, Telamon Cuyler Collection, box 49A, folder 05, document 01 (four pages total).
Accessed via GALILEO Digital Library of Georgia: Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842
(Document TCC542):
Garrett, Vo. I, pp. 38, 55; Bieder, p._____?
Garrett, Vol. I, p.44
Georgia Department of Archives and History, Franklin County, Georgia Marriages, December 1805
December 1850. pp.____
1840 United States Federal Census, De Kalb County, Georgia, 479
Bieder, p.____
Garrett, Vol. I, p.43
Transcript of his tombstone, made by the present author on _____. This grave is located in the Chafin
Family Cemetery, about one mile east of Georgia Highway 155, north of McDonough, in Henry County,
Unpublished, untitled manuscript family history of the Hunter and Gilbert families of Laurens and
Greenville Counties, South Carolina, by Florence Hunter, circa 1970 (Supported by additional documented
research by this author). Copy in possession of this author. In the past, the D.A.R. and others have claimed
that the parents of Drs. William and Joshua Gilbert were a couple named William and Sarah Gilbert,
supposedly buried in Utoys churchyard. Not only is this claim (unfortunately) false, as demonstrated by
the work cited in this footnoted reference, and by this authors own diligent years of research, but this
writer has yet to see any solid evidence even to verify that a couple named William and Sarah Gilbert are
actually buried in Utoy churchyard at all. Absent any evidence whatsoever, such claims are best relegated
(in this authors opinion) to the dustbin of idle, unprovable hypothetical speculation, where they belong.
Original research of the author.
Georgia Department of Archives and History, Board of Physicians Registry of Applicants, 1826-1881
(Georgia), Registry of Students Names (on microfilm), pp. 14, 18, et seq.
1830 United States Federal Census, De Kalb County, Georgia
Georgia Department of Archives and History, Department of the Surveyor-General, Original Bounty
Land Grants of Georgia.
1840 United States Federal Census, De Kalb County, Georgia, 479
Georgia Department of Archives and History, Journal of the House of Representatives (Georgia),
Georgia Department of Archives and History, De Kalb County, Georgia Inferior Court Minutes
(microfilm), pp. 62, 93, 108, 112, 378
Atlanta Historical Bulletin, April 1931, Whitehall Tavern, by Wilbur G. Kurtz, p.43.
Garrett, op.cit., Vol. I, p.132
Georgia Department of Archives and History, (microfilm) ________.
Cooper, p.49

Atlanta Historical Bulletin, April 1931, Whitehall Tavern, by Wilbur G. Kurtz, pp.47-49
Atlanta Journal/Constitution Magazine, March 30, 1958, Atlantas First Physician Rolled His Own
Pills, by Katherine Barnwell (quoting Atlanta historian Dr. Levi Willard), pp. 6-19
Atlanta Historical Bulletin, May 1933, Atlantas First Physician, by Dr. Frank K. Boland, pp.14-19
Georgia Department of Archives and History , De Kalb County, Georgia Probate Records.
Atlanta Historical Bulletin, April 1931, Whitehall Tavern, pp.42-47
Garrett, Vol. I, p.60
White, Rev. George, M.A. Historical Collections of Georgia. Published 1855 in New York by Pudney
& Russell, publishers. (1996 reprint with name index by Alpha Christian Dutton) Georgia Archives. Call #
F286. W56 1996., p. 422
Ibid., pp.440-441
Garrett, Vol. I, p.171
Reese, page 152.
Garrett, Vol. I, p.39
Atlanta Hist. Bull., pp._____
Bieder, pp.____
Atlanta Hist. Bull., pp.______
Carter, Samuel III, The Siege of Atlanta, 1864, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1973, pp.277-278
Ibid., p.44
Ibid., p.247
Ibid., pp.277-278
Ibid. Cox mistakenly referred to the Willis family as the Wilson family, an easy mistake, since
the Wilsons indeed lived nearby. The Judge William A. Wilson home, in fact, had served as headquarters

for one of the Federal Army Divisions during the Battle of Utoy Creek, so the name would have been in
Coxs mind.
The Atlanta Journal, article by staff writer Herbert Monroe, about December, 1938
Wilbur George Kurtz Notebooks and Ledger, Atlanta History Center, Atlanta, Ga.
A.D. Kirwan, editor. Johnny Green of the Orphan Brigade: the Journal of a Confederate Soldier
(Lexington, Kentucky: The University of Kentucky Press, 1956; reprinted 2002), p.151
Garrett, pp._______
The Atlanta Journal, When Whitehall was called Peters Street, op.cit.
Larry M. Strayer & Richard A. Baumgartner, editors, Echoes of Battle: the Atlanta Campaign
(Huntington, West Virginia: Blue Acorn Press, 1991), pp. 286, 290.
Crawford, Charlie, president (2011), Georgia Battlefields Association, and Bennett, Maj. L. Perry, U.S.
Army historian, quoted in The Picket, issue of May, 2011.
Bennett, Maj. L. Perry, U.S. Army historian, Letter to the author and other persons, dated
White, T. J., Roster.
Adapted mainly from the article at the website, and
from other similar sites. The present writer has edited and re-written these articles considerably, mostly for
style and grammar. For further information the reader may consult an excellent anthropological study,
Pilgrims of Paradox, Calvinism and Experience among the Primitive Baptists of the Blue Ridge by James
L. Peacock and Ruel W. Tyson, Jr., Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1989. Several libraries,
moreover, have excellent theological collections for further research; for example, Wake Forest University,
Winston-Salem, NC; Duke University, Durham, NC; The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill;
Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, The Southern Baptist Seminary, Louisville, KY; The University
of Richmond, Richmond, VA; The Virginia State Library, Richmond, VA; The Library of Congress,
Washington, DC., and The Pitts Theology Library, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. For the full text of
the Black Rock Address, see: