Community should be proud of local Prayer Patriots

Published 9:12am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

As some of you may already know, I am a charter member of the Polk County Historical Association, having joined when the PCHA was organized in 1977. Since that time, I have worked to preserve local history, and one of my favorite stories from the past was handed to me by Mr. Amos Wilson, one of Polk County’s most beloved educators.

When I was a child, he was the principal at Green Creek High School, and later, Mill Springs School. Mr. Wilson knew that Sandy Plains (and my home in particular) was in a truly historic area, so he gave me copies of M.A. (Mort) Cornwell’s memoirs. Those memoirs turned out to be one of the best gifts that I have ever received. I have shared them with dozens of people, and have quoted Cornwell in articles and speeches.

Before gold mining had turned the Collinsville area into a hub-dub of activity, only a few families lived in Sandy Plains. In Mort Cornwell’s memoirs, (How Come a Church at Sandy Plains) he writes, “About the year 1820, a man by the name of Norton was riding along by the crossroad at Sandy Plains. He got down off his horse, cut him a switch, says to the man that was with (him,) “This certainly is a pretty place. I will call it Sandy Plains. Well, it was not long till old man John Abrams took a look at the place. He went to the speculator (office) and bought one hundred acres of land. (He) ran his line each way from (the) fork of (the) road.”

That 100 acres includes the one-acre that my home now sits on, and where I and my family have lived for 40 years. When we bought this house, Mr. Marshall Abrams, (then in his 80s) showed me where the first brush arbor (for worship services) had been located. He showed me graves of the early settlers, and where the first wooden Presbyterian church building was built. (Actually, it was located on the spot where my husband’s big metal building now stands). Mr. Abrams also showed me where the old church’s well was located, and told about things his father had told him about the first wooden church. Many years later, that Southern Presbyterian Church merged with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church at Hillcrest, and that Sandy Plains ARP Church is still going strong today. It is located less than half a mile from the original Presbyterian Church, at 350 Sandy Plains Road.

Happy birthday to Tressie Brady, John Edwards, Amber Stott, David Roddy, Preston Collins, Kenny Cochran, Benjamin Page, Doug Harmon, Ricky Pate, Linda Holbert and Melissa Metcalf.

Among those couples celebrating wedding anniversaries this month are Kenny and Kathy Cochran, Hunt and Janice Hardin and Marvin and Dora Arledge. Congratulations to all of you!

If you have news of this area, please call me at 863-2437.

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