Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Old Union Meeting House Tragedy May of 1866

Union United Methodist Church  Photo credit Sharon Phillips McMurray

There are two accounts of a tragic event that occurred at the Union Meeting House in April of 1866.  The first account is from Mrs. Bean, wrote a letter to Richard Nye Price in 1910.  She was not a witness, but since she lived close to the church, she recalled what her neighbors told her.  The second article is from a newspaper article that was published soon after the event and later published in the Evening Telegraph (Philadelphia).

Old Letter from Mrs Bean to the Reverend Richard Nye Price dated 1910

Mrs Bean lived one mile away from the church and relates the following details:

Bn Hichey had an appointment to preach and it seemed like a very large crowd had formed

Theopholus "Theo "Schrivener and two of his sisters were among the congregation. Two boys named Ben and Clint Walters had been lured by a bad man named Frank Monday to prevent Mr Hichey from preaching. However, Mr Hichey had not arrived and the boys began to make trouble with Mr Shrivener.

The Walter's boys were armed and demanded that Me Schrivener come out.

At this point, Mr Eldridge Hord and William Shelton, both old men. took the ring leaders to the door and put them out roughly. He turned around and shot Mr Hord in the crowd.

Sam Smith, on the outside of the house, shot Mr Walters, then the other Walter brother shot Smith. Although hit, Smith fired and hit his assailant, severely, but not fatally.

The first boy lay in the yard dying and asking someone to pray for him. Ephriam Brown went out to pray for him.

The other wounded men recovered.

Not withstanding all ot his Ben Hichey came out at last and preached.

Mrs. B.L. Bean

The old log church and cemetery  
Photo credit: Sharon Phillips McMurray

Fatal Tragedy at a Funeral
The Bristol (Tenn.)

News reports the following particulars of a fatal tragedy which occurred last Sunday, at a church called Union, in the northeastern portion of Hawkins county, Tenn. The funeral of John Ellis, Jr., who had been a Confederate soldier, was to be preached by the Rev. R. M. Hickey, of the Holston Conference.

Two men by the name ot Walters, perhaps brothers, manifested a disposition to disturb the quiet of the
ssembly. Eldridge Hord, Esq., ot that community, remonstrated against their conduct, some angry words ensued, and Walters shot Hord, wounding him severely in the thigh.
Whereupon Samuel Smith, who bad been a Confederate soldier, fired twice upon Walters, killing:
him on tbe spot. The other Walters then shot Smith, wounding him slightly. Smith returned
the fire, wounding the second Walters mortally, and then made his escape.

(Source: Emory & Henry College Archives: Link

(Source: The evening telegraph. (Philadelphia [Pa.]), 25 April 1866. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>