History of Pike County

       

 Pike County Mississippi 1798-1876
Pioneer Families and Confederate Soldiers

Luke W. Conerly
1909

       Historical Reprint Edition 2008                  

"Virtually all of the early Pike County families are mentioned in this book, it truly is a treasure trove of information about early Pike County, as VP of the Amite County Historical Association, when the book became available through reprint, I suggested The Society purchase it immediately.  With the destruction of the Pike County Courthouse in the past, this book is one of the few sources for early Pike County History.  It is well worth the cost.  Many of us here in Amite County have ties to Pike County."
 
William G. Barron
VP Amite County Historical and Genealogical Society



"An Excellent book for those researching genealogy and soldiers who were involved in many battles during the Civil War.  Luke also includes the history of many families, along with local history and newsworthy stories from the time frame of the 1800's.  We had the original book, which was lost between families many years ago.  Lee did a wonderful deed in getting this reprinted.  For those interested in the history of Mississippi, or events during and after the Civil War,  this is a must have book."

Robert Jordan
Odessa, TX



*To view an index of names in the book click "Pike County book index" at the top of the page. 

Reprint Edition

The reprint edition is manufactured from a pristine 1909 edition and is hardbound with a maroon cloth cover and gold foil stamping like the original. There are 368 pages with photos and illustrations.  Archive quality and printed in the U.S.A.  by the authors great great grandson.  

To purchase the reprinted new edition send a check or money order for $35 to:

Lee Jackson
1241 Overland Park Dr
Braselton, GA  30517-1406

Free shipping through December 2014.

PURCHASE BY CREDIT CARD or PayPal: $35.00   
CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO PURCHASE THE BOOK
For multiple quantities email pikeconerly@hotmail.com
     


    

                         

 

                                                              

                                    The Daily Picayune
                        New Orleans, December 17 1905
 
               "
Writing a History of Pike County"
 "Luke W. Conerly is Preparing a Valuable Historical Work"



 The history of Pike County,  which I am preparing and will soon have ready for the publishers, will embrace, first, a compendium outline of the origin of Mississippi from the advent of Hernando De Soto in 1540 to its formation into a territorial government by act of Congress in 1798.
Here I begin the immigration from South Carolina and other States of men and women into that region subsequently designated by the boundaries of Marion County, from which territory the County of Pike was formed in 1815.

I am giving the names of those pioneer, both men and women, who their parents were, where they were from, how they came through the deep forest wilderness hundreds of miles afoot, on horseback or in cars drawn by an ox or cow, with her calf toddling by her side, pulling their little water millstones all the way with axles and shafts fastened to them, carlike, from South Carolina; where they settled on the different water
courses, who their children were and who they married, the industries established, the constitution of schools and churches and leading men of that period.  The makers of the carding machines, the reels, the spinning wheels and looms, household furniture and water mills; the hardy life on the farm, making them self-sustaining and fitting them for the future, which has been written with some of the best blood of their descendants.
I will give the territorial civil officers of Pike County, which are not on record at the State Capitol; the establishment of the county seat of justice, civil officers after admission in the Union in 1817 and on down legislative and judicial, to the war period, embodying interesting events, noted men, charming women, fandangos and spiritual revivals; good fiddlers and dancers, good preachers and Sunday school teachers; ‘possum hunts', deer drives and bear fights and negro slavery as it prevailed then.
Also a history of the original constitution of the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad from its first convention in New Orleans in 1847, why it took the route it did, and where it began in that city.

Also events connected with the coming struggle in 1800 and 1861, the organization of the military companies, the war period, including the names of the officers and men forming these military companies, the struggles of the people left at home for self-preservation, the results of the great conflict as concerned Pike County, her chivalric sons, her matchless women, her sacrifices in blood upholding the starry cross and the “Bonnie Blue Flag.”

All the newspapers of Pike County will come in- who where their founders and editors- from the first one  established in Holmesville in 1842 by Henry Smith Bonney, contemporaneous with the little Picayune, the Bee and Commercial Bulletin.
My object has been to preserve the names of the Confederate soldiers of Pike County and leave to posterity the names of the ancestry.  If such could be done by some one in each county of the State of Mississippi, it should be encouraged.
I expect to close the main features of my book with the close of the Tilden campaign in 1876.  Every man, woman and child whose ancestry belonged to the pioneer of Pike County, or who were citizens of the county prior to the Civil War, or who may be any way connected with more than 1,000 soldiers who served in the Confederate Armies, going out with the companies organized there, will have a personal, as well as friendly interest in this book.
From Valley Forge and Ticonderoga, from Yorktown and Kings Mountain, from the Cowpens and the Talapoosa, from Chalmette and Chepultepec, heroic blood came to Pike County, and from Buena Vista to Fort Gregg a halo of glory enshrines her people of the century that has passed and gone.

Some years after the close of the Civil War I conceived the idea of writing a history of Pike County and compiled some valuable records from the clerks offices at Holmesville and at Columbia in Marion County.  After  this the  records of Pike County were destroyed by fire at the burning of the recently built Courthouse in Magnolia.  Not a marriage license nor certificate was saved, but my book will tell thousands who their great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers were and whence they came.  From Scotland’s rugged crags and England’s foggy shores, from Ireland’s green fields and Switzerland’s romantic heights and the Kaiser’s realms, the chivalrous and the good came and planted their seed in the pine woods of Pike County along with those established there.    “If such a book should be appreciated by the living of today,  I shall feel that my work has not been in vain.“           

Luke W. Conerly
1905
       

 

                  

                Luke Ward Conerly

                        1841-1922

                 "Historian, Newspaper Editor, Attorney, Southern Patriot" 

                                  Compiled and Edited by Lee Jackson       

    

Luke Ward Conerly was born February 3rd 1841 on a cotton plantation, owned by his grand uncle after whom he took his name,  in the vicinity of China Grove, MS.  He was a son of Owen Conerly Jr and grandson of Owen Conerly Sr, one of the pioneers of Pike County from North Carolina, who settled in Pike County in 1823.  His mother was Ann Louisa Stephens of New Orleans, a daughter of Ann Lawn of England, and Robert James Stephens, of Irish nativity.  In his early childhood, his father attended a mill on Magees Creek erected in 1817 by Ralph Stovall and later known as Bishops' Mill.  He went to school at China Grove and in the early fifties his father moved to Holmesville, where he attended the schools taught by Samuel F. Gard, Edward Carruth and Thomas R. Stockdale.  In 1859 he was a clerk in the store of Dr. George Nicholson and later was with William M. and James Conerly in the town of Holmesville.  In 1860, he began the study of law under H.E. Weathersby, which was discontinued on account of the death of his father, necessitating his presence on the plantation with his mother to manage the slaves and the farm business.
                                            
                                      
 Luke W. Conerly c.1860's

                                  
                               
       

At age 20, Luke became a member of the Quitman Guards  Infantry of Mississippi, organized and tutored by Capt. Preston Brent.  Later that year the company was called out by the state after it had passed the ordinance of Secession and was mustered into the Confederate Army on May 27th 1861 as a 5th Sgt. The Quitman Guards became Company E of the 16th Mississippi Infantry, part of the Army of Northern Virginia.  He was wounded two times, in the hip at the Battle of Antietam near Sharpsburg, MD September 17th 1862 and in the leg at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, VA at Bloody Angle May 12th 1864.

Antietam was the Bloodiest one day battle in American history. 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or missing after twelve hours of combat.

Bloody Angle at the Battle of Spotsylvania was the longest sustained intense fight of the Civil War. For up to 20 hours men were engaged in a hand-to-hand and close in fight. A 22-inch oak tree was whittled in two by musket fire.

He was captured in the Shenandoah Valley near Strasburg, Virginia on June 27 1862 and held prisoner by the Union forces at the old Capital Prison in Washington, D.C. for 40 days before being released on August 5th 1862 at Aiken landing James River, Virginia in a prisoner swap.  He then returned to his unit.  He was again captured towards the end of the war on January 27th 1865 at Petersburg, VA. and was confined on March 14th 1865 at Knoxville, TN and sent to Chattanooga, TN.  Luke again took the Oath of Allegiance at Louisville, KY on March 18th 1865, after which he was paroled by the Federal Army to remain north of the Ohio River for the rest of the war.  Luke was again in the hands of the Federal Army at the time of the final surrender in 1865 of the Confederate Army.  He was released and returned home to Pike County walking most of the way on foot.  Company E of the 16th Infantry Regiment of Mississippi was also in the battles at Cross Key, Mechanicsville, Cold Harbor, Second Battle of Manassas, Harpers Ferry, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg , Bristoe Station, Mine Run, Shady Grove, Petersburg, Hatcher's Run, and Fort Gregg.

In 1866, within a year after the close of the War for Southern Independence, he was admitted to the bar at Monticello, in Lawrence County, in Judge C. McNain's Court.

In 1867 Luke married Emma Eoline Quin, daughter of Judge H. Murray Quin of Holmesville and they had 13 children.  Judge H. Murray Quin was grandson of Peter Quin Sr. (1750-1824) who was a Revolutionary Soldier and in the group of men who created the town of Holmesville.

He subsequently moved to Louisiana.  He always had a talent and fondness for writing and drifted out of law into the newspaper business.   He became the editor of the Amite City Democrat in Amite City, Tangipahoa Parish, La. And in 1875 was urged by his friends in Pike County to establish a partisan campaign paper at Magnolia, MS to aid in the defeat of the Republican regime. He bought an old newspaper outfit at Ponchatoula, La, and shipped it to Magnolia. September 17, 1875 the first issues of the Magnolia Herald were printed.    Luke continued as the editor until 1878 when he sold it to Henry C. Capell and Charlie Lee. 


In 1876 he took a leading part in the Tilden campaign in Pike County.  He was the correspondent for the New Orleans Delta during the lottery campaign in Louisiana and was Senate reporter for the Shreveport Caucasian during the Foster incumbency.

His wife Emma died March 19, 1901 during childbirth while living on the Conerly farm near Pride, LA.    After Emma's death he relocated to Gulfport, MS and began writing his book on the history of Pike County which was published in 1909.  That same year he married his second wife Ida Mae Farmer May 4th, 1909 and she died four years later on September 14, 1913.  She was the daughter of Zachary T Farmer and Mary J Byars.

While doing research for his book he discovered that an Unknown Soldier from the War of 1812 had been buried in Pike County.  In 1908 he corresponded with the War Department about the Unknown Soldier from Tennessee with General Carroll's Division that was buried about 11 miles east of Magnolia near the banks of Love's Creek on the Brumfield family property.  The family there had maintained the grave about 93 years marking it with a slab of yellow pine. The US government funded the remains to be exhumed and relocated to the Chalmette Cemetery.  Luke and Superintendent O'Shea of the Chalmette Cemetery were led to the grave by Henry S. Brumfield a grandson of the original owner of the Brumfield plantation.  The pine slab marking the soldiers grave had rotted and the inscription of the name could not be identified.  Two brass buttons were found with the remains and fragments of a blue uniform.  The remains were taken by train to the Chalmette Cemetery and buried with military honors.  Upon his tomb is engraved "Unknown Soldier U.S.A. War of 1812."

                                   
Luke W. Conerly 1907
                                       
                                       
                          

Luke practiced law on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and  on May 4th 1912 he founded the Society of Mississippi Choctaw whose chief council was located in Gulfport MS.  This was a historical society with a membership spread over Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.  He became a claims agent for  the Mississippi Choctaw Indians and in 1914 traveled to Washington DC to represent them before Congress.  He appeared before the committee of Indian affairs in support of the MS Choctaw's claim on the distribution of $3,500,000 to be given to the tribe.  The money was held up pending a decision by Congress as to the rights of the Mississippi Indians who claimed title to a share of the money under the treaty of 1830, awarding citizenship.  The Choctaws of Oklahoma opposed having the Mississippians placed on tribal rolls and the house rejected the proposal.

                 
         Society of Mississippi Choctaw pin circa 1912

Luke remarried a third time April 17th 1915 to Georgia E. McNair(1874-1951).  They had no children together but Georgia did have a son from a previous marriage who lived with them.

He became ill and June 10, 1921 was moved into Beauvoir in Biloxi, MS.  Beauvior at the time was converted to house Confederate Veterans.  Barracks and other buildings on the property including a hospital were destroyed by several hurricanes with major damage during Hurricane Katrina. The main house survived and has been beautifully restored.  A Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and Museum is being constructed adjacent to Beauvior and is set to open August 2011.

Luke W. Conerly died at 4:45 a.m on Thursday March 9th 1922 at age 81 while living in the barracks at Beauvior Old Soldiers Home.   He is buried in Mississippi City Cemetery a few miles west of Beauvoir off Pass Rd and H Ave next to his 2nd wife Ida Mae Farmer at his request.  He was a member of the Masons and was buried with Masonic honor. The Sons of Confederate Veterans placed a new headstone at his grave August 2nd 2008 with a rifle and cannon salute.  Many of his descendants attended the ceremony including three granddaughters, four great grand-children, four great great grandchildren, and five great great great grandchildren and host of friends and family.

Luke, while living in the barracks of the old soldier's home next to Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis, placed a copy of his book "Pike County Mississippi" in the Jefferson Davis Library.  The book has remained there all these years. It survived hurricane Katrina and is in good shape,  even though the library was destroyed.  It will again be placed in the new Jefferson Davis Library at Beauvoir when it is completed.






Surnames in the book:
Surnames of the Confederate Soldiers may not be reflected below. Click on "Pike Co CSA Soldiers" at the top of the page to look for your Confederate ancestors also click on "Pike County book index" to view a complete index with first names.
 

Adams, Adonis, Aikin, Alcus, Alford, Allen, Alston, Anderson, Anding, Andrews, Applewhite, Arthur, Ast, Atkinson, Babbington,Bacot , Badon, Bagley, Bain, Baird, Ball, Balance, Ballard, Bancroft, Bankston, Banner, Bardwell, Barksdale, Barnes, Barnett, Barr, Barrett, Barron, Bass, Bateman, Batson, Baxter, Bearden, Beasley, Benjamin, Bee, Bickham, Bishop, Black, Blunt, Bonaparte, Bond, Bonner, Bonney, Booker, Boone, Booth, Boutwell, Bracey, Brandon, Branton, Breed, Breland, Brent, Bridges, Briley, Brock, Brown, Brumfield, Brunette, Bryant, Buckley, Buckner, Bullock, Burke, Burkhalter, Burns, Burris, Burton, Busby, Butler, Byars, Cage, Cain, Campbell, Cappell, Carmack, Carmon, Carr, Carroll, Curruth, Carter, Cassedy, Catchings, Cato, Causey, Claiborne, Clarke, Clayton, Clemens, Clendenon, Cleveland, Clowers, Coates, Coffee, Coker, Cole, Coleston, Collins, Colouhoun, Conerly, Coney, Conklinton, Connally, Conway, Cooper, Corker, Corley, Cothern, Cowart, Craft, Crawford, Crimson, Crockett, Crooker, Cropper, Curlette, Cutrer, Dahlgreen, Danahoe, Daughdrill, David, Davidson, Davies, Davis, Davy, Dawson, Day, Deer, Denman, DeTrobrand, Dick, Dickerson, Dickey, Dickson, Dillon, Dixon, Donahoe, Drake, Drew, Duffy, Duncan, Dunaway, Dunn, Elliott, Ellis, Ellzey, Eschelman, Estess, Evans, Fairchild, Farmer, Felder, Ferguson, Friedrich, Fields, Finch, Finny, Fisher, Fitzpatrick, Foil, Ford, Forest, Forshey, Forsyth, Fortenberry, Fournieque, Foxworth, Frances, Fry, Galloway, Gard, Gardner, Garland, Garner, Garrard, Gartman, Gates, Gatlin, Germany, Gibson, Gilchrist, Gill, Gillespie, Ginn, Gillis, Glass, Goff, Gooch, Googe, Gordon, Goslin, Gracey, Graham, Graves, Gray, Grouche, Grubbs, Guinea, Guinn, Gulledge, Guy, Hall, Hamilton, Hamlin, Hardley, Harris, Harrison, Hart, Hartwell, Harvey, Head, Herrington, Hewes, Hewson, Hickenbotton, Hilborn, Hiller, Hillier, Hines, Hogg, Holiday, Holloway, Holmes, Hoover, Howe, Hope, Houston, Hucabee, Huey, Huff, Huffman, Hurst, Iles, Impson, Irwin, Jackson, Jacobs, Jacobowsky, Jelks, Johnson, Jones, Jonte, Kaigler, Keegan, Keen, Kellogg, Kelly, Keena, Kenner, Kershaw, King, Kirby, Kirkland, Kline, Lamkin, Lampton, Laney, Lawrence, Lavison, Lazar, Lawn, Lea, Leake, Lee, Leggett, Leland, Lenoir, Leonard, Letman, Lewis, Lighenstein, Ligon, Lightfoot, Lilly, Lindsey, Lott, Lotterhos, Love, Lowry, Luckett, Luter, Lyles, Magee, Mahier, Mallett, Manning, Marshall, Martin, Matthews, Maxwell, May, McAlpin, McCarley, McClendon, McCusker, McDowell, McEnery, McClullough, McEwen, McGehee, McGill, McGowan, McGraw, McIntosh, McKitrick, McLain, McMillan, McMorris, McNabb, McNair, McNulty, McQueen, Melland, Mercer, Merchant, Meredith, Miller, Millerd, Millsaps, Minton, Miskell, Mitchell, Mixon, Moise, Montgomery, Moore, Morgan, Morris, Mosely, Mullens, Mulligan, Mundalow, Murphy, Murray, Muse, Nash, Nelson, Nails, Nall, Neal, Nelson, Newman, Newton, Netherland, Nickolson, Nixon, Noland, Norman, Norrell, Norwood, O’Brien, O’Callahan, O’Mara, Oppeiner, O’Quinn, Orr, O’Shea, Otkin, Owens, Packingham, Packwood, Page, Palmore, Parker, Payne, Peabody, Pearl, Pearson, Pendarvis, Penn, Perryman, Peyton, Pezant, Pigott, Poindexter, Porter, Pound, Powell, Preston, Prewitt, Purser, Quin,Quinn, Raborn, Ragland, Rainey, Randolph, Ratliff, Ravencraft, Reagan, Regan, Reddy, Redmond, Reed, Reeves, Reynolds, Rhodes, Richmond, Ritch, Roark, Robb, Roberts, Roland, Root, Rowan, Runnels, Rushing, Ryals, Rymes, Saddler, Sandell, Sandifer, Sargent, Sartin, Scarborough,  Schmidt, Schilling, Sessions, Sevier, Shirley, Shaffer, Shamwell, Shelby, Shontell, Sibley, Simmo, Simmons, Singletary, Smith, Snead, Soule, Sparkman, Spencer, Spinks, Sprink, Stallings, Stanford, Statham, Stephens, Stephenson, Stockdale, Stockstill, Stogner, Stovall, Stuart, Summers, Sumrall, Sutherland, Sykes, Tarbutton, Tarver, Tate, Taylor, Thigpen, Thomas, Thompson, Thornhill, Tillman, Tisdale,Townsend, Travis, Tucker, Turnage, Turnipseed, Tupple, Twist, Tyler, Tynes, Ulmer, Vannison, Varnado, Vaughn, Vaught, Vincent, Wadell, Wade, Wadsworth, Waggoner, Walker, Wallace, Ward, Watts, Ware, Warner, Warren, Weathersby, Welch, Wells, White, Whitehurst, Whitworth, Whitfield, Wicker, Wiggins, Wilkinson, Williams, Winborne, Whorton, Wilson, Wiltz, Winborne, Winston, Womack, Woodriffs, Woods, Weatherford, Wright, Yarborough, Young, Youngblood, Zachary, Zeigler



 

 

 
 

              
                            
                      Early Home Life
        
                                   
                             Pike County Mississippi 1798-1876
                           Pioneer Families and Confederate Soldiers
                                         by Luke W Conerly 1909
              
                                      pages 32-34
 
    Home life in Pike County in its early settlement and for a generation after was simple and natural.  As time grew apace young people grew up, formed attachments and married, then selected a suitable tract of land and, wit
h the help of neighbors and friends, constructed a humble pine-pole hut to begin life with.  A little patch was cleared for a garden; a few chickens that the old folks gave them, a pair of pigs, a heifer or cow or calf, and perhaps a pony, constituted the bulk of personal property.  The bedstead was of a home-made pattern, framed and held together by interlacing quarter-inch cotton cords, made by hand at the old home, which constituted the bed-spring, but more often it was framed to the walls in one corner of the cabin, and made of ordinary split timber.  A three-legged griddle to cook corn hoecakes on, a saucepan, a common frying pan and a small oven to bake, sufficed for the kitchen outfit.  A common wooden bench and a few three-legged stools would do to sit on until the head of the household could manage to do better.  The lands upon which they settled were public property, but the right thus secured must not be disturbed.  Wash basins, water buckets, milk piggins and well buckets were made by hand in the shops of those who manufactured the reels, spinning wheels and looms, which all who could must be provided with.  There were no allurements beyond the environments of these simple homes to distract the minds of the beginners of farm life, and their thoughts and energies were concentrated on the development and strengthening of the resources acquired.  Love in its primeval purity, strengthened by mutual confidence, with radiant hope and faith in the Divine Ruler, shone with resplendent beauty.  The young husband, with his axe and his rifle on his shoulder, his clear sounding horn swung to his side, with his ever attendant faithful dog, went about his duties with self-confidence and a buoyant heart.  The young wife, with rosy cheeks, a loving smile, a happy heart, made the little home an Eden of joy and gave strength to his soul in the battle of life.  They drank from the sweetest and most sparkling fountains the inspirations that cement the marriage bonds.  On Sunday, hand in hand, they could walk to church together to listen to the exhortations of a pious neighbor.
   The little pine-pole meeting-house was good enough for them.  It may, however, seem very simple to the reader of the present day, who has known only the comfort and luxuries which wealth brings, but the reader of today, be he rich or poor, whose ancestors belong to America's past history, sprang from just such people as these, living under just such conditions.
   The little boys that went 'possum hunting and were taught to swim and to ride a horse or ox and use the rifle and the shot gun were training for emergencies.
   In all ages of the world men have sprung from the simplest conditions of life when stirring events called them into action and reached the acme of renown.  The great schools might prepare some for high stations and scientific purposes, but there must be those, hardy and strong, who can clutch the steel with a fearless hand and dare death in any form when necessity calls.
   The 'possum and coon hunters, the bear trailers and trappers, the grapplers with the wolf and the tiger cat, who sprung from those hardy and brave men and women whose names adorn the pages of this work, are on the rolls, and they are there to tell the world, along down through the ages, who it was that gave to the pages of their country's history a golden glitter.
   From King's Mountain and Valley Forge, from Trenton and the Cowpens, from Bunker Hill and Ticonderoga, from Jamestown and the Talapoosa, the blood of patriotism was transmitted with the advancing years, and in the deep wilderness of the Territory of Mississippi it was made healthy and strong by the necessary activities and rustic life of its people.  The great body of the pioneers of Pike came from revolutionary sires, schooled in the science of Indian fighting and the hardships and exposures incident to camp life, the hunt for wild game, and the labor of their farms.  They had inherited the characteristics of their father and mothers, and they were properly qualified to undertake the mission of establishing new homes in these unbroken wilds and of laying the foundation of a great State government.
   The young men from North and South Carolina, Georgia and elsewhere, offspring of revolutionary patriots and colonial settlers, thought nothing of putting their young wives on horseback or taking it afoot with their few belongings, armed with combination flint and steel shotgun-rifles, and tramping it hundreds of miles through the wilderness to the Territory of Mississippi; and their heroic wives thought less of the dangers and hardships to be encountered.  It is this sort of material from which Mississippians sprung, and it is this sort of blood that has brought lustre to her name.  This book will tell you who some of them were, men and women, and where they settled in Pike County.
                                                                                                                                                                                 

            
                 
China Grove and Magees Creek

                                 Pike County Mississippi 1798-1876
                                                    Pages 58-59

   China Grove was first settled and owned by Ralph Stovall, in 1815.  He settled on land about one-quarter of a mile from where the China Grove schoolhouse and church have stood since established.  At the foot of a steep elevation there is a splendid freestone, cold water spring, east of the church, that formed an ever-flowing branch which bubbled on down westward and emptied into Magees Creek.  This spring and branch afforded ample water for domestic purposes and for stock.  At this period of the first settlement of the community under the Stovall regime, the church erected here belonged to the Baptist denomination.  There was a grove of China trees set out in the grounds around the schoolhouse, which was a little log building (the original church house), and the church yard, which gave it the name of China Grove.  Ralph Stovall employed John Barnes, the grandfather of Major Sartin, and constructed a set of mills over Magees Creek, about a mile south or southwest direction from the church, and his residence, run by water power.
   These mills consisted of an upright saw, a cotton gin and press, a rice pestle mill and fan, for cleaning, and a grist mill.  It was built across the stream at the foot of a bluff, which afforded a good embankment on the east side.  Drury and Henry Stovall, brothers of Ralph, settled a few miles north of China Grove at this same period.  Richard Ratliff in 1817, Benjamin Youngblood in 1816, Ben Jones in 1818 and Joseph Thornhill in 1812.
   In 1822 Owen Conerly and his brother, Rev. and Dr. Luke Conerly (the writers grand uncle) emigrated from North Carolina, Duplin County.  They were sons of Cullen Conerly and Letticia.  They married sisters.  Owen married Mary and Luke married Rebecca, daughters of William Wilkinson and Elizabeth.  The latter left no issue.  Owen and Mary were married January 14, 1808, in the town of Fayetteville, N.C., county of Cumberland.  When they came to Mississippi, Owen Conerly purchased all of Ralph Stovall's property at China Grove.  Rev. and Dr. Luke Conerly settled near by in Marion County, on the headwaters of the Pushepatapa, in the vicinity of Waterholes Church.  After this the church house property which had been used by the Baptists, being included in the act of the sale, was turned into a Methodist Church.  The children of Owen Conerly and Mary Wilkinson were Cullen, William W., John R., Eliza, Owen, Emily, Luke (died early), Rebecca (died early), Cathorine (died early), Mary Jane and James, Melissa and Susan (died early).
   Some of the early settlers of Magees Creek, more or less identified with China Grove, were Parish Thompson, James Craft, Zachariah McGraw, Owen Elliot, John Merchant, school teacher and preacher; James Reed, James May, William Reed, Noah Day, chairmaker; Jacob Smith, Joseph May, William Boon, Stephen Ellis and Joseph Newsome.
   In 1813 Sartin's Church was established by John Sartin, Joseph Newsome, James Reed, John May, Joseph May, Owen Elliot and Stephen Ellis.
   Stephen Ellis was a school teacher and minister of the gospel, and was one of the prime movers for the establishment of a church here, as well as being a pillar of strength to pioneer Methodism in this section.  The house constructed here was built of peeled pine logs and was used as a house of worship, a day school and a Sunday-school, with Stephen Ellis as the minister, teacher and superintendent.  This man took such a conspicuous part in the spiritual, intellectual and social upbuilding of Magees Creek that he and his brother, Ezekiel Parke Ellis, afterward district judge of the Florida Parishes, La., deserve more than a passing notice in these reminiscences.  They were the sons of John Ellis, born in Virginia, and connected with the Tucker and Randolph families, whose father was a man of great force of character, a planter and a Christian.  Their mother was Sarah Johnson, born in Virginia also, and connected with the Kershaw and Lowry families of that State.
   John and Sarah Ellis moved to Georgia and thence to Pike County, Mississippi, and afterwards to Louisiana, in the territorial period.  The Ellis families of Copiah and adjoining counties are of the same stock.  George, John, Reuben, Stephen and William Ellis were names of members of this branch.
  
                                                           
  
 
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                          email: pikeconerly@hotmail.com

                                                                            
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