by C. Phipps
[This pamphlet was originally published in 1922].
I HAVE KNOWN for some time that these Reminiscences were in preparation, and It is with real joy I have at length been permitted to read the manuscript. This, of course, is a family record. and as such will be read with swelhng heart by a very large number of the family whose early history is here recorded. By them it will be cherished, and treasured up, and by them handed down to future generations. But it is more than a family record; it is a contribution to real history. The pioneers, whose simple lives are here portrayed, were the mightiest factor in the building of our civilization. The historians who write of wars and statesmen must needs overlook such narratIves as are here preserved to posterity; but those who, like the writer of these unadorned but gripping pages, redeem from oblivion facts of family histories which would otherwise be lost, have, after all, written the history of a nation. Mr. Phipps, therefore, has performed a service for which he has won the gratitude both of the family directly interested and many more besides. I am sure no other living person could have done it so well. Though in his 79th year he has shown a remarkable memory, and has written in a style which for its directness and sincerity could not be surpassed.
May the Faith, in whose unfailing love he has trusted through a long life, fill his eventide with light!
July 8, 1922. FRENCH WAMPLER.
THESE REMINISCENCES are by one who has thought to leave on record some of the things that he has heard, some of the things that he has seen, Borne of the things that he has known, in order that those living after him may know and tell to others what has been known and done along a little valley at the foot of Buck Mountain.
From beneath the shadow of this mountain runs a creek sparkling with clear cool water, onee filled with speckled trout and other fish. shaded on the south by Saltpeter Cliff, on the west by Long Spur, headed by Freeze Knob on the north, from which it springs, a roaring little-stream that waters the valley below until it ends its crystal flow in New River.
Now this creek it seems, had been given no name by the red man whose feet with wild bear, wolf, deer, panther, catamount, coon, fox, opossum and other small animals left their prints along its bank; On the advent of the white man some little clearings and log houses were first built by a few men and their families from North Carolina. These first settlers got their living from the woods and meal and flour from below the Blue Ridge in North Carolina. These men with their families were -the first settlers that the writer has been told about though there may have been some other temporary settlers, The first permanent settlers were Burr Wright, his brother or companion Zed Wright, and one Joseph Fields. Mr. Fields established a home of note which stood by the side of the above mentioned creek. He had liere a large boundary of many acres of the best land in this valley. He built the firut frame house in the present boundary of Grayson County. It was a two story building. painted red and plastered inside; it had two very large rooms suitable for dancing and other amusements. This house was situated just across the road opposite my brother Stephen’s present home. He was a slave holder and had a number of negroes.
In that early day of settlement these pioneers could not make enough in one year to carry them through to the next, and Mr. Fields was once forced to Bell one of his negroes to help to buy supplies to help them to subsist. The growing season was short and the crops could not mature before the frost would come. Well does the writer remember in his boyhood days that the corn had to be carefully sorted to get enough good corn to keep for bread the following year. The greater portion of the crop had to be fed to the fattening hogs which was the only way to save the soft corn from spoiling. The hogs did not need so much feeding or grain because by fall they were already fat on the mast and could live in the mountains and flat woods the year round without much help from their owners. The owners of hogs, sheep and cattle had their stock marked in the ear with his own mark to distinguish them from others. By this time the writer began to have a little stock of his own. There were so many kind of marks in the ear that he had to adopt the so called “rogue’s mark” which was to cut each ear tip squarely off. All kinds of stock was free to go where they pleased. mostly to the mountains, where wild pea vine in abundance and other growths made them fat and sleek. The sheep were kept up in the winter to be sheared in the spring, then turned to the mountains until late rail. In the fall the farmers would get together. make a drive and bring in all the sheep that could be found to the nearest home or pen; then each one would look for his mark; all strays would be turned loose or held and owners called for.
The writer was told by one of the old settlers here that there waa a log building near the spring at; the writer’s home, In this building were kept French brandy, rum and gin for sale. Later on there was built near the home of Joseph Fields a still house; its walls built of rock up to the height of the first story and finished with logs. Many years afterwards this house was turned into a blacksmith shop. It was blown dawn many years later. Also on the Fields place there was built the first frame store building in which were kept goods hauled from Lynchburg, Va., by wagon. Some time later there was a tan-yard plant near the creek and just back of the frame store house which was operated for a good many years. It had a large bark house with mill and many cords of bark, a shop for dressing leather, and a great many vats and pools to tan in.
The first tanner I remember as a boy was Gabriel Smoot. His wife was a good woman. Her name before marriage was Rena Burton. She had two sons Wiley and Creed. I think perhaps Mrs. Smoot died here.
Andy Anderson lived on the hill near the large red heart cherry tree still standing. The house—the same in which Smoot lived—was blown down. Anderson was a shoemaker and tanner. He had four sons. One son, Thomas, was killed on the side of the mountain near the head of the creek. He had made a crop of corn and built a log crib to put it in but for some reason the crib had no door in it. Going there on a Sunday morning he prized up the crib to make an entrance in; when climbing in between the logs his prop fell out and he was crushed to death. The oldest son, Jackson, cast the first vote in this community for the Abolition party, voting for Jno. C. Fremont for president in the year 1856. Anderson moved to the Jim Pbipps place which then belonged to Isom Cox. He was afflicted with some kind of a cancerous growth in his mouth from which he died. The next tanner that rented the tan-yard (from my father) were two brothers named Dixon frem North Carohna. They bought hides and tanned good leather, and made money for several years. The older of the two brothers hung himself early one morning and was found dead in his shop. The other brother became demented and was taken back to North Carolina. After this some few others tried to run the tan-yard, but did not succeed very well. After the Civil War the tan-yard was torn up and done away with.
A man named J. K. Ballard rented the frame store house and sold goods for a good many years. While engaged in this store selling goods there was an application made to have a postoffice which was granted and named Bridle Creek with Mr. Ballard as postmaster The creek with no name before was called Bridle Creek which has continued up to this date.
Now I shall mention some of the early settlers that lived up and down the said creek. Joshua Cox lived below the Fields place; his land joined Fields. He had a family of five noted sons and three daughters: Hardin, David, John, Samuel, and Isom; Jennie, his oldest daughter, married Charles Doughton; Hannah married Solomon Osborne: the other one (Ruth, I think was her name), married Ben Ward.
Joseph Bryant bought the farm that Fields gave to one of his sons and lived on that place all the remainder of his life. He reared a large and noted family of sons and daughters. Randolph Thomas. son of the writer’s great. grand-father, Jonathan Thomas, bought the home and land that Fields gave to another of his sons. Thomas sold his farm and moved to the mouth of Little Fox Creek. Joseph Bryant bought the Thomas place; gave it and his home place to his son, C. E. Bryant.
I now write of my great grand-father Benjamin Phipps, as told me. by Mr. Charles Doughton who lived in Alleghany county, N. C., and was, I think. 99 years old when he died. He said Benjamin Phipps and wife first settled near the mouth of Peach Bottom Creek when the county was still a part of Montgomery county; built a cabin and cleared a piece of land along New River; he said Phipps and wife ate their meals from boards. wiped them off, and put them up in the cracks of the cabin. I don’t know how long it was after they settled on the river until he moved to the old place where he made his home until his death. Benjamin Phipps was born in Guilford County, N. C., in. the year 1732; married about the year 1761 or ’62; had seven sons and two daughters: sons.–.William, Samuel. John, James, Thomas, Joseph and Benjamin; daugbters.-.Jane and Nellie Nellie became a famous midwife, having to her credit over 1400 children. My grandfather Joseph Phipps was born Jan. 1st, 1776; died July 23, 1848. He married Nancy McMillan; they had four sons, Larkin, Alexander, John Mack and Joseph; eight daughters, Rena, Peggy, Gincy, Emily, Mazy, Drucy, Jane and Nancy. No better women were ever reared in this county. The oldest son Larkin married, while intoxicated, a Miss Barton but did not live with her long; just stepped off one day! He was about 19 years old and was never seen here again. The Chicago Tribune some years ago printed an article, with a photograph, in which the subject, John M. Phipps, aged 93, living then on his farm near Farragut, Iowa, was said to bear a strong resemblance to John D. Rockefeller. On account. of this resemblance it was thought he must be the father of the famous millionaire. The Tribune sent a reporter to interview Phipps; he said he left Virginia when he was nineteen years old but would not tell anything about his life for the first twenty years. After that he told about his life very readily. I had some correspondence with him; he told me he was then 89 years old. He had my letters answered promptly at the start; but when I wrote the last letter, telling him how my uncle Larkin left here and whom he had married he gave no answer to it! The reporter that went to see him in his Iowa home said he was a well-to-do man with land and property.
My father, Alexander Phipps, wss born December 23, 1819; my mother, Liudema Thomas, was born November –, 1817. They welcome married the 10th day of October, 1839.
The first Benjamin Phipps, my great grand-father, was a Revolutionary soldier. His name is recorded in the Pension Bureau, Washington, D. C. in file No. 5539. While working on a farm in Montgomery County, Va., later Grayson County, Va., in 1779 or 1780 he was captured by the Tories and taken with the British army forces to South Carolina; he escaped in the summer of 1780 and.volunteered in Captain Anderson Thomas’ “Company of Horse.” A part of. the time be was under Colonel Washington. He served six months, when he returned to Grayson County and went under. Capt. James Cox on a tour against the Tories with whom they had a skirmish. He was allowed a petision on his application while living in Grayson County, Va.; died May 3, 1838. His. widow was given a pension from July 5, 1844, up to her death at the age of 79 years.
When he moved from the river and made hia home on Bridle Creek, I have been told by the old men that he was asked why he settled on that poor place. He replied that he was going to manure it! At that time he had only one “heifer down in Guilford County, N. C.! He cleared the land and became one of the wealthiest men in this county; had many slaves and other property. Some years after this Joseph Bryant and Sarah Kale, his wife, bought an adjoining farm; needed some money and went to Ben Phipps to borrow what he wanted; got the money, kept it until he waa able to return the amount; went over to pay him and said: “Now, Mr. Phipps, count the interest; I want to pay you interest and principal on my debt.” “La! it’s enough to get the principal back!’! said Phipps, and would take nothing but principal. He had by this time all the help he needed to do all his work in clearing his land. He told Mr. Bryant when he needed help to roll logs or any other work that took several men to manage that he–Phipps–would come with his force of able colored men and expect no help in return which be often did. Now that was helping and loving one’s neighbor in deed and truth! His oldest son William was settled near the mouth of Grassy Creek. From him sprang numerous descendants, who settled along and over a good portion of that famous creek and valley. His other sons were settled near him on the waters of Bridle and Saddle Creek. All reared large families except Thomas Phipps who owned much land and lived on the farm that now belongs to Alex. Bryant. He was disappointed in a love affair, and never married; had colored men and women to keep house and cultivate his farm. He was a kind and helpful neighbor, spent most all of hi life drinking brandy, and was found dead in his bed one morning.
Joseph and Benjamin were settled on adjoining farms in the best portion of Saddle Creek valley. Their children and grand children still own these farms. They both reared large families of sons and daughters.
Alexander Phipps, my father, son of Joseph Phipps, was given a portion of the Joseph Fields place, that part of the place which lies on the east side of Bridle Creek. All the land on the west side of the creek was sold to the highest bidder after the death of Joseph Phipps and was bought by the writer’s father for $1400.00. This farm is now owned by his. descendants.
Benjamin Phipps and his brother, Isaiah Phipps, the two first settlers of the Phipps name here, now have their posterity living on continuous and adjoining farms to the number of fourteen families on a stretch of four or five miles in length.
I shall now go back to the first record as given by the St. Louis Republic on October 21, 1905, ~f the members of the Phipps family that had settled in America. James and Mary Phipps founded and named the town of Phippsburg, Me., in the early part of the seventeenth century. Sturdy pioneers were they and twenty-six children attested their fear of race suicide, twenty-one sons and five daughters. One of these sons was Sir William Phipps, first Royal Governor of Msssachusetts. It is an historical incident that Mary Phipps was still in the flower of womanhood when her husband died and she became the wife of John White. They had eight children making in:all thirty-four offsprings for the mother of the Phippses. That started the family in New England; and then, when.William Penn came over to found Pennsylvania by peaceful ways he had with him Joseph Phipps, a member of the Society of Friends, who had been born in Reeding, England, in 1640. He had a numerous family. The record shows Samuel Phipps, the great grandson.was born in Philadelphia in: 1785 and died in Worthington township, Butler County, Ohio, Jan. 5, 1841. He had lived 105 years. He married Mary Marshall of a family famous in Pennsylvania, and she died at the age of 90 years.
There were many Phippses that descended from. these first settlers of Maine and Pennsylvania which would be of interest to know about; but will mention only a few individuals. John Phipps was born June 5, 1792. married Katrina Haney; twelve children were born to. them: their descendants number 1142. Henry Phipps lived in the city of Philadelphia; was counted to be a man of much wealth and gave much to chartiable causes. The trend of the Phippses from Pennsylvania was toward the west and south, those coming south first settled on the Potomac, thence into eastern Virginia. One Ben Phipps captured the noted Nat Turner, the negro who started the insurrection. (See History of Virginia.): From the settlement on the Potomac others came to Guilford County, N. C., where a goodly number still remain near old Salem, N.C. From Guilford, came the ancestors of the present Phipps families that descended from the two brothers Benjamin Phipps of whom I have already written and Isaiah Phipps here in Grayson County, Va., and Ashe and Alleghany Counties, N.C.
Isaiah Phipps came here, as a young man; stayed with his brother Ben Phipps until he took up land and marned.a Miss Howe. His home was established west of the Fields place. He was a great hunter of wild game. The writer was told he killed early one morning two turkey gobblers and a big buck before breakfast. Game of all kind was plentiful here in his day and for a long time afterwards. He reared a Jarge family of boys and girls. All of his sons and daughters moved away from the old homestead but two sons, Benjamin and David Phipps.
Benjamin Phipps married Ainey Long and was given the lower part of his father’s homestead. He built his home in the woods; he cleared the land and became one of the. best, farmers of that day. Because of the numerous Bens in the Phipps family, he was called “Preacher” Ben Phipps. Well did he carry out all of his life the title given him: he never preached in words, but lived the life which if many so-called preachers had emulated would have given them more influence for good, if they had walked and lived as did “Preacher” Ben. He had eight ehildren; four girls and three sons lived to be grown. Watson, his oldest son was called to preach. He was a very studious young man, and was being prepared to enter the work of the ministry. He attended the county school.; had natural ability; was a student one year at Emory and Henry College. He was making an excellent preparation to become a very successful minister. He was a co-student with W. W. Bays at the aforesaid college. A few years after these college days W. W. Bays. was sent here as pastor of the Grayson Circuit. Watson Phipps soon afterwards took typhoid fever and died at the age of twenty-three or four years. W. W. Bays was a young man having been married but a short time when he was sent here as pastor of this circuit. Well does the writer remember how he could preach and sing. He was rather a small nian in his young manhood. He was rather dark skinned, with raven hair and eyes black and piercing. The writer never will forget while he lives his preaching in the old meeting house near where the present school building now stands. I remember one special sermon he preached; after he came down out of the pulpit he knelt down before the congregation and made a most earnest appeal for sinners to come and seek Christ and forgiveness of sins. Lieut. Wiley Hackler, who lost his right arm in the Civil War, was a penitent and when he was converted he rose up, ran around, got in that old fashioned pulpit, jumped out in front of the congregation, went to Watson Phipps, and told him in my presence: “You are the man that put that notion in my head!” W. W. Bays was the most powerful preacher. that has ever been on this circuit, in my memory.
David Phipps inherited his father’s homestead and married Susan Anderson. He reared to manhood and womanhood five sons and two daughters. Two of his youngest sons, W. C. and H. L. Phipps, now live on his homestead. Both have reared good families.
Dr. Benham from Jonesville, N. C., lived for a short while on the Fields place. Afterwards he moved back to Jonesville and died there. His widow afterwards lived there some years. She had a son. Calvin Benham, who married Jennie Worth, sister or Thomas Worth. who married Ruth Cox, daughter of Isom Cox. They have four children, Walter, Joseph, Clyde and Jennie. They are all descendants of their great.great-grand- fathers, Jonathan Thomas and Benjamin Phipps, Sr. Jonathan Thomas married Patience Bourne, daughter of Wm. Bourne; her mother was Rosamond Jones, a relative of John Paul Jones, the famous sea fighter.
A man by the name of Riley lived on the Thomas place, now the site of a tenant house on the farm owned by my son, Edgar in a frame house near the spring. He was a shoe maker by trade. He had a son named Henry Clay. Mr. Riley had to have one of his legs amputated above the knee. The writer remembers how be groaned and screamed while the doctors were sawing off his leg. Of course the doctors had nothing to give him to deaden the pain. He got well and moved away.
After this a preacher named Charles Mitchell, pastor of the Grayson Circuit, used the same house as a parsonage. He had a son named Draten who is now on the superannuated list, who became a preacher after his father was sent from here to some other work. The writer remembers as a boy seeing Rev. Charles Mitchell standing on a rail fence, looking over a big crowd of men, perhaps one hundred, a good portion of them drunk, having a general fight. No rocks, knives or guns were used in that day; It was simply a knock down with fist. Henderson Hash knocked down Zebedee Hash; Kenly Nelson knocked down Abram Hash; many others had their coats-off claiming-to be the best-man- on the hill. Such fights were common here in that day. It all ended with bruised heads and skinned noses. This was on election day or muster day. Of course, there was plenty of whiskey- and other drinks to sell cheap.
There was a little red faced man named.”Coon” John Phipps, a hermit, who lived alone up in the big ridge. He had a face that looked.like a small round pumpkin. He died at the home of Joseph Standford.
John Cox married Nellie Ward They had seven sons and three.daughters, H. B (“Little Dock”) Cox now lives at the old home. and is the only one living. Harvey Hash married Ruth Ward. Joe Shaver now lives at the old home.- Aaron Phipps lived on the side of the creek; he had a corn mill and a still house. He made– whiskey; drank a little and sold the balance. Zachariah Ward lived near the mouth of Bridle Creek. His son, Silas Ward, was a drummer in the Confederate army. Samuel Cox, “Big Sam” as he was called, weighed 315 pounds at one time. He-married Elizabeth Thomas, daughter of Jonathan Thomas. She was a kind Christian woman; had four sons and five daughters; all have passed over on the other side but two, Emaline and Callie, who are both widows. M. B. Cox, his oldest son, was a captain in the Confederate army; was wounded at the, battle of. White Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier County, W.Va. A large minnie ball passed through both of his legs above the knees. He finally got well and lived a good many years afterwards. Lieut. F. M. Cox was wounded at Cloyd’s Farm; was shot in the foot.
Larkin Phipps, oldest son of Joseph Phipps, Sr., left one son here, Jackson Phipps. He was reared by his grand mother and was given a farm at Fox Creek church. He married Polly Osborne. His son Jackson Phipps lives on the same farm is a successful merchant and stock dealer. John Mc. Phippe married first Peggy Osborne; second, married Martha Rutherford; raised a large family of sons and daughters. Joseph Phipps, youngest son of Joseph Phipps, Sr., lived and died at his father’s homestead. All his children have died except one daughter, Della Miller. Renie Phipps, the oldest daughter, married Fielden Young. Peggy married David Pugh. Emily married Dr. Flem S. Thomas. Gincy married Isom Cox. Mazy married Stephen Bryant. Drucy married Lewis Bryant Jane married Stephen Dickey. Nancy, the youngest, married John M. Dickey. She is the only one that remains in this life at this date, 1922.
Benjamin Pnipps, youngest son of Benjamin Phipps Sr., (he was called “Little Ben”), married Nancy Richardson. She was a large woman and was kind and generous to all people. They have all died except Troy, the youi’gest. One other son named Ben, nick-named “Tuck”, when last heard from lived in Oregon or California I don’t know whether he still lives or not.
Several years after the Civil War “Little Ben” Phipps planned to have a general hunt for some big grey wolves that still roamed Buck Mountain. He set the day on which the drive was to be made; invited his neighbors and hunters from other neighborhood, with their guns and hounds. He had planned the drive Carefully and had the men placed all around the foot of the mountain for several miles. Some forty or fifty dogs were in the hunt. When all had time to get to their places in the hunt the dogs were let loose and the music began in a short time. The wolves were routed out in or about the headwaters of Saddle Creek. The writer and some others had just about time to get to their appointed stand on top of the meuntain near Saltpeter Cliff, to find. that the dogs were in full swing climbing towards the low gap a mile or more east of us. After listening to the music for an hour or more we heard the sound of an old time rifle in the hands of Enoch Ward; it cracked loud and clear. We made a rush for that point and found a big grey wolf stretched on the ground dead. He was running at such speed that although the bullet passed through him just behind the shoulder he yet went about one hundred yards before be fell dead. Major S. M. Dickey and others had succeeded in crippling one other of the three wolves in a laurel thicket, and with a portion of the dogs closed in on him. There was a skirmish with dogs, wolf, and the men that would have been the delight of that old bear hunter, Wilburn Waters to see. The other wolf escaped and was never seen here again. After some little time a horn was blown and the hunters all gathered at the low gap where the commander, Ben Phipps, had ready about a five gallon keg of good apple brandy and a great big basket of good things to eat. Then all the hunters, including dogs, were invited to the home of the commander where there was prepared a hot supper with hot brandy stews for all who would drink and eat. No man was better pleased with this hunt than “Little Ben” Phipps. He had the hides carefully dried and stuffed and when mounted looked as real as when alive. Some months afterwards he prepered his two horse wagon, covered with a good wagon sheet, mounted his animal show of wolves, foxes and squirrels on top of the wagon, with two or three men fiddlers in the wagon, and drove down to Independence on court day, through the street stopping along in front of the houses, playing some lively tunes near each home and everybody came out on the street to see the show.
Some years after the first store house was. built and goods being sold in it, there was, another store house built on the opposite side of the creek nearer to the Fields house. The first merchant to sell goods in that house was a man by the name of Weaver. After him came James Waugh and Creed Nuckolls. After them came Weldon Edwards who rented the store sold goods for several years, then moved to the east side of Pine Mountain. After Edwards, McLean and Hale sold goods up to the beginning of the Civil War. After the war was aver two young Confederate soldiers, Charley Evans, who before the war lived at Baltimore and Captain Blankenship from Fredericksburg, Va., drifted here. Neither could go back at that time on account of the Federal army. having posession of their homes. During the war Evans had his right arm and Capt. Blankenship his right leg. They drifted here and by some means got a small stock of goods and continued in the business a few years. Before them came W. J. Neikirk who sold goods and bought horses for the southern market. He married while here Miss Leutitia Ross. After a few years he moved up near Grassy Creek, N. C.
Captain M. B. Cox and his uncle, Isom Cox, formed a partnership and sold goods in the same house for several years. While here he married Miss Mattie Fulton: they had eleven children, all living at this time. His oldest. son, Joseph was born in the house on the east side of the creek, the old house still standing. After some years he built the Saddle Creek flour mill and a home in which he lived until his death His widow and children mourn the loss of a good husband and father.
C. Phipps, the writer. and then owner of the old frame store house then began to sell goods on a very limited capital which has continued with the aid of his two sons up to the present time.
Alexander Phipps, father of the writer, died with typhoid fever in the year 1860. Mother lived several years after the death of father. They had eight children. The oldest daughter, Rosamond, marrIed Matthew Dickey; Emily married Joseph P. Cox. C. Phipps, the oldest son, followed the example of Isaac and Rebecca of old, who sent her son Jacob to his uncle Laban’s to find his wife! He went to the home of Isom Cox who married Gincy Phipps, his aunt, and persuaded his cousin, Nancy Cox, to go with him to North Carolina and were married on Sunday, May 13, 1866. There were born to us six children who lived to manhood and womanhood. Leesbia, our oldest daughter, married John Bryant; Jennie married Jeff Lipscomb; Agnes married Glenn Cornett; Rosamond married French Wampler; Joseph A. Phippa married Corrie Clark; Edgar I. Phipps married Sallie McLean; all are living today (1922) but one, Mary Agnes, the idol of my heart. She is not; for God took her! Those of our loved ones who go on before seem to be the dearest!
The wife and mother who lived with me for fifty-three years three months and twenty-one days has gone up to be with Him who said, “Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Her children can surety say, she was a good mother to them find will rise up and call her blessed; for she looked well to the ways of her household, even denying herself for their comfort and happiness. Some sweet day we shall all see her again in that place where Jesus said he has gone to prepare a place for all who believed in Him, and said, “If it were not so I would have told you.” Now the father alone is left to care for the old home the best he can in memory of her who made it as it is to-day and left it in our care. We shall keep “the home fires burning” until the welcome day in which we shall leave the friends and loved ones that remain and join thase that have gone on before to be with Him who said, “Where lam, there shall ye be also.”
Stephen K. Phipps, youngest son of Alexander Phipps married Mattie McMillan; reared seven children, all living but one daughter, who died leaving several children and husband to mourn the loss of a good wife and mother.
Now there is and have been other names and families that lived along the little Bridle Creek whom the writer would like to mention; but will leave them to be mentioned by others, as the writer only intended to tell of the settlement by the Phipps generations that came here from North Carolina.
Now, the writer feels that it is his duty to mention some of the good old slaves that belonged to the Phipps families. They are worthy to be classed with the first settlers; for they helped to make this community what it is to-day. Here are the names of a few: Reuben, Adam, Peter, Charles. Enoch, Lewis, James, Moses, and Jeff Phipps. Adam and Alfred were bought by my father from the estate of Isom Cox and remained on father’s farm until they were freed from slavery. The mother slaves were named Charlotte, Kate, Sinda, Seal. Evaline and Rachel. Charlotte was the mother of Rev. Reed Cox who I believe has been instrumental in helping many persons, white and colored, to live a better life. He was one of the youngest slaves to come into freedom. I also want to mention Narnan Cox who belonged to Isom Cox. He died several years before his master’s death. Naman was a man very much respected by all who knew him. He and his master were friends in deed and truth. Edmund Cox, who belonged to Samuel Cox, was a sensible, high-minded Christian man. The writer visited him in his last sicknesss; found him fully submissive to the will of God, and thankful for every little kindness shown him. These good old faithful servants have passed over on the other side many years ago. Peace to their dust!
My great-grandfather, Benjamin Phipps, lived to the good old age of 106 years; his wife, Jennie Phippe, died at the age of 79 years; Joseph Phipps, Sr., my grandfather, lived 62 years, Nancy Phipps, wife of Joseph Phipps, died at a ripe old age; Alexander Phipps, the writer’s father, died at the age of 41 years; Leudema Phipps, my mother, died at the age of 46.
The years of life of the Phipps generation are growing shorter! The Creek is growing less as the years go by.
The writer concludes this sketch by saying that too much of this poorly written scribbling is worse than enough, but hopes that what is written will be of some interest to others. I am glad to say of the Phipps generation that so far as I know none of them have ever been in prison for stealing or other violations of the common law; but, as was the custom of our forefathers have stuck to the land inherited, made their living by the sweat of their face as Adam was commanded to do by our Creator. As to their church relation, the first Phipps families that settled and lived here, I believe, were Primitive Baptists; grandmother Phipps was, I know. Since then they have branched off to other churches mainly the Methodist.
With them I leave my blessings and earnest prayer that they may continue to till the soil, raise herds of cattle after the way of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, fear and love God and keep his commandments!