appears to have continued in operation until Dr. Caruthers re-
signed in 1846.
[ 120 ]
Salaries of Pastors 121
In January, 1847, Rev. Cyrus K. Caldwell was called at a
salary of $200 per year, to be paid semi-annually; Bethel now
being grouped with Buffalo. In 1856 the salary was increased
to $300, and this continued until his resignation in 1859.
salary of $400 per year. In 1863, during the War Between the
States, confederate money was cheap, and the congregation sup-
plemented the salary by giving their pastor two barrels of flour
and seventy-five bushels of corn. In 1864 they gave him an extra
purse of $137. At the annual congregational meeting, December,
1870, it was decided to pay the pastor's salary quarterly instead
of semi-annually. In December, 1879, the congregation asked
the pastor to reduce the salary to $350, and passed a resolution
deploring the fact that because of the financial depression they
were compelled to ask their beloved pastor for a reduction in
the promised salary. In two years time they were able to go
back to $400, and this continued until his death in 1886.
In the fall of 1887 Rev. R. W. Culbertson was called at a
salary of $375 for half of his time, Buffalo being still grouped
with Bethel. In 1890 the manse at Bessemer was built and the
salary reduced to $325. This continued until his resignation in
Rev. J. McL. Seabrook was called in 1892 at a salary of $350,
Buffalo being still grouped with Bethel and Midway. In 1898
the salary w^as increased to $375 on condition that Buffalo
should get preaching on the fifth Sabbaths, and this continued
until his resignation in 1904.
Rev. J. W. Goodman was called in 1905 at a salary of $425
for half his time, Buft'alo being grouped with Midway and Bes-
semer Avenue. In 1908 the salary was increased to $475, and
in 1910 to $575, and this continued until his resignation in 1911.
half of his time, and this continued until his resignation.
Buffalo being now grouped with Midway, and was to have three
Sabbaths per month. When Mr. Lee was called it was agreed
to pay the salary monthly instead of quarterly. In 1917 the
salary was increased to $1,100.00, in 1919 to $1,500, and in
1920 to $2,000.00
salary of $2,400.00 and the use of the manse.
There are no records in existence from the organization in
1756 to 1773. At a meeting of the session in 1773 John Ander-
son, John Chambers, William Gowdy and Alexander McKnight
were present. From information obtained from other sources
we add the names of Adam Mitchell, George Rankin and Robert
Rankin as having served before 1773.
Adam Mitchell settled here in 1753. He lived just west of
the church. Rev. J. C. Alexander wrote a short sketch of the
church and gave tradition as the authority that Adam Mitchell
was a ruling elder. There is additional evidence. When Rev.
Hugh McAden was sent out as a missionarj^ from Pennsylvania
in 1755, to visit the frontier, he stopped at Adam Mitchell's,
and preached at his home on the Sabbath, and again on the
following Tuesday. This would indicate that Adam Mitchell
was one of the most active religious leaders of the settlement.
Furthermore, the church was built on his land several years
before the deed was made for the church lot. When the church
was organized the next year after the visit of Mr. McAden it is
natural to suppose that Adam Mitchell would have been elected
one of the first elders. He died before the first sessional minute
of 1773. For many years his descendants were active workers
in the church, and some of them down to the seventh generation
are still with us.
Robert Rankin is another whom Rev. J. C. Alexander said
tradition listed as one of the first elders. He settled here in
1753, a mile or two north of the church. Rev. Hugh McAden
spent several days at the home of Robert Rankin while here in
1755, and when he started westward to Mecklenburg County
Mr. Rankin accompanied him part of the way. We infer from
this that Robert Rankin was an outstanding religious man of
the community, and he must have been elected one of the first
elders when the church was organized. He died before the first
date in the minute book. For a number of years his descend-
ants were active in this church ; but all of the name have now
moved to the west.
Ruling Elders 123
as one of the early ruling elders by the authority of tradition.
He was a son of ruling elder Robert Rankin, Sr. George Rankin
died in 1761, leaving two sons, John and Robert. Robert later
became a ruling elder in this church and John became a minister.
John Anderson was present in 1773 and was clerk of the
session. Dr. Caruthers refers to him at the time of the Guilford
Battle, 1781, as having long been a ruling elder in Buffalo
Church. He was a son of William Anderson, who settled here
in 1758, and his descendants were for many years active in the
church. John Anderson died in 1794 and the Anderson fami-
lies have all moved to the west.
Alexander McKnight was present in 1773. He was a brother
of John McKnight, one of the first trustees. He came to North
Carolina in 1759 and located on a farm his brother had secured
for him on the north side of Buffalo Creek, nine miles east of
the church. In 1765 he sold this place to John Rankin, and
located on the headwaters of North Buffalo, three miles west of
the church. He is supposed to have built the first grist mill
there. The site of the old dam may still be seen. He died in
1774, leaving two children, Robert and Jean.
John Chambers (1720-1806) was present in 1773. We do
not know just when he located here. In 1773 he bought a farm
two miles north of the church, where he located. He died in
1806, leaving two daughters, Agnes and Jane. A large number
of his descendants are still active in this church, among the
number are three of the present ruling elders.
Reedy Fork some years before this date, and was active and
influential in his church, and in county and state affairs. He
died in 1786, leaving seven children.
are given is in 1779. The members of the session at that time
were John Anderson, John Chambers, William Gowdy, James
Denny, Arthur Forbis, Robert Rankin, James Brown, Samuel
Bell and William Scott. The records of Anderson, Chambers
and Gowdy have already been given. We now take up the others
name by name.
124 History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People
in 1763 and located there. He died in 1790. His descendants
have been active in this church down to the present. One son,
George, three great-grandsons, Eli and George A. Denny and
William D. Wharton, and three great-great-grandsons, George
Washington Denny, John W. Wharton and Howard L. Cannon,
were ruling elders ; and one great-great-grandson, William Gil-
mer Wharton, and one great-great-great-grandson, William L.
Wharton, are now ruling elders.
Arthur Forbis married Lydia Rankin, widow of ruling elder
George, in 1764, and located on Hunting Creek. He died in
1789, leaving four daughters.
Robert Rankin was the son of ruling elder George Rankin,
a stepson of ruling elder Arthur Forbis, and a grandson of
ruling elder Robert Ranldn, Sr. He lived one mile west of the
James Brown was the son of Samuel, who located on the
Buffalo in 1759. James located on the Reedy Fork where the old
county line between Orange and Rowan crosses, in 1772. He
was a justice of the peace, and a useful citizen. He moved to
Tennessee after the Revolutionary War.
from Caswell County. He died in 1780, and his sons and daugh-
ters and their families moved to Tennessee in 1797.
William Scott was the son of Samuel, Sr. His father located
here in 1753, but later returned to Pennsylvania. William re-
turned to North Carolina in 1770 and located tAvo miles north
of the church on a farm given him by his father. One son,
Adam Scott ; one grandson. Dr. William D. Scott ; and one
great-grandson, John W. Wharton, were ruling elders in this
church ; and one great-great-grandson, William L. Wharton,
is now a ruling elder. William Scott died in 1801.
of information we fill in here the names of Thomas Donnell, Sr.,
William Donnell, George Denny, Major John Donnell, Latham
Donnell, John Cunningham, Samuel Rankin and George Rankin.
influential members of the Nottingham Colony that located here
Ruling Elders 125
some four miles east of the church. His grandson, William
Donnell (1796-1860), in writing a sketch of his grandfather
for his own family, says Thomas Donnell, Sr., was a ruling elder
in this church. That is good authority for entering his name
here. Two of his sons, Major John and Latham ; one grandson,
George Denny ; four of his great-grandsons, Eli and George A.
Denny, Thomas B. Donnell and William D. Wharton ; three
great-great-grandsons, John W. Wharton, George W. Denny,
Howard L. Cannon, were later ruling elders here ; and one great-
great-grandson, William Gilmer Wharton, and one great-great-
great-grandson, William L. Wharton, are now ruling elders. He
died in 1795. His descendants have been active in the church
right down to the present ; however, the name is no longer on the
church roll. Many of the Donnells moved west.
William Donnell was the oldest son of Robert, the second.
He married Mary, the daughter of ruling elder Samuel Bell, in
1773. He moved to Tennessee in 1797, and died in 1798. His
son, Robert, became a distinguished minister in the Cumberland
Presbyterian Church. The sketch of Rev. Robert states that
his father was a ruling elder in Buffalo Church.
James, Sr. He married Hannah, daughter of ruling elder
Thomas Donnell, Sr. Two of his grandsons, Eli and George A.
Denny, and a great-grandson, G. Wash. Denny, were ruling
Major John Donnell (1748-1822) was a son of ruling elder
Thomas Donnell, Sr. Dr. Caruthers in a letter to the pension
bureau in Washington, D. C, states that Major Donnell was a
ruling elder at Buffalo. He lived on the north side of North
Buffalo Creek at the Thomas Rankin place. Five of his descend-
ants have been ruling elders in this church, and dozens have been
ruling elders in other churches. At least seven of his descend-
ants have become Presbyterian ministers, one of whom is the
Latham Donnell was the son of ruling elder Thomas Donnell,
Sr. He married Mrs. Charlotte Mitchell Erwin, and lived some
three miles east of the church. He died in 1828, leaving no
126 History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People
John Cunningham (1765-1821) was the son of John Cun-
ningham, Sr., who settled on the Reedy Fork in 1753. He mar-
ried first Margaret, daughter of James Donnell, and second Mrs.
Mary Mitchell McMurray, widow of John, and daughter of
Adam Mitchell, Jr. He is listed by Rev. J. C. Alexander as a
ruling elder at Buffalo. He and a number of his descendants
are buried here in the church cemetery.
Samuel Rankin (1769-1818) was the son of John, who came
from Delaware in 1765 and located on the north bank of Buffalo
Creek, nine miles east of the church. Samuel married Mary,
daughter of ruling elder William Scott, in 1800, and located
two or three miles north of the church. Rev. J. C. Alexander
lists him as a ruling elder in this church, and at least a dozen of
his descendants have been ruling elders in other churches.
George Rankin was the son of ruling elder Robert Rankin,
Jr. He is put down as a ruling elder in this church by Rev.
J. C. Alexander. His first wife was Nancy, daughter of Col.
Daniel Gillespie, and his second wife was Anne, daughter of
James McMurray. In 1832 he sold his farm just west of the
church and moved to Pulaski County, Arkansas.
the records the names of all the elders. Those serving in 1833
were Daniel Donnell, Daniel Gillespie, Adam Scott, Robert Don-
nell, Thomas Donnell, Samuel Donnell and Joseph Denny. The
dates of their ordination are not given,
Daniel Donnell (1755-1835) was the son of Robert Donnell,
the second. He lived east of the church on the north side of
North Buffalo. Many of his descendants are still in the county,
and some are members of Buffalo. His grandson, Robert Don-
nell, went to ]\Iissouri and became very wealthy.
Daniel Gillespie (1766-1833) was the son of Col. John Gil-
lespie of Revolutionary fame. He lived at what was later known
as the John C. Cannon place, on the north side of North Buffalo,
four miles east of the church. The Neely families of Pleasant
Garden are his great-grandchildren, but most of his descend-
ants went to Tennessee.
Scott. He lived three miles north of the church. One son. Dr.
Rulmg Elders 127
Rev. Dr. William T. Hall, became a prominent Presbyterian
Major Robert Donnell (1766-1847) was the son of Robert
Donnell, the second. He was a brother of ruling elders William
and Daniel Donnell. He was an active and influential church
worker. Many of his descendants are in the county.
nell, Sr., who came here in 1760. He married Nancy, daughter
of John Rankin. One son. Harper, became a ruling elder.
Samuel Donnell (1783-1845) was a son of James Donnell,
Sr., and a brother of Thomas. He married Anne, daughter of
William Rankin, and one son, Emsley, became a ruling elder.
Joseph Denny, the son of Walter, was born in Ireland in
1757, came to North Carolina with his father in 1770, and located
between Reedy Fork and Haw River. When the Haw River
church went down he moved his membership to Butfalo. He
married Sarah, daughter of Alexander Gray, Sr., but left no
heirs. He died in 1837.
Joseph A. McLean and Dr. William D. Scott.
the grandson of Moses McLean. In 1847 he was dismissed to
Dr. William D. Scott (1797-1843) was the son of ruling
elder Adam, and grandson of ruling elder William Scott, Sr.
He married Margaret, daughter of ruling elder Samuel Rankin.
One son, J. W. Scott, became a ruling elder in the First Pres-
byterian Church of Greensboro.
On July 27, 1845, four more elders were ordained, Eli Denny,
Samuel H. Denny, Emsley Donnell and Robert H. Gillespie.
Rankin Denny, grandson of ruling elder George, and a great-
grandson of ruling elders James Denny, Sr., and Thomas Don-
nell, Sr. In 1847 he moved to High Point, and became a ruling
elder there when that church was organized in 1859. His son,
128 History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People
later in the Westminster Church, Greensboro.
Jane Gray Denny. He lived two miles northwest of McLeans-
ville. His son, Alexander Calvin Denny, was a ruling elder in
Bethel Presbyterian Church.
elder Samuel E. and Anne Rankin Donnell. He married Jane,
daughter of Major Robert Donnell. Some of his descendants
are living in Greensboro and others in Orange and Durham
Robert H. Gillespie was the son of Robert and Nancy Hanner
Gillespie, and the grandson of Col. Daniel Gillespie of Revo-
lutionary War fame. He married Eliza M., daughter of David
Gorrell. In 1850 he was dismissed to a Presbyterian Church in
McNairy County, Tennessee.
On July 2, 1848, four additional elders were ordained:
Harper Donnell, Samuel Hatrick, David B. Houston and David
Harper Donnell (1809-1871) was the son of ruling elder
Thomas and Nancy Rankin Donnell. He lived near the old
Bud Rankin mill on North Buffalo. Some of his descendants are
still with us. One grandson, James H. Donnell, is a ruling elder
in the Thomasville Presbyterian Church, and another, Walter
A. Aydelette, is a ruling elder in the Bessemer Church.
Rachel Denny Hatrick. He married first Lucinda, daughter of
Evans Wharton, and second Sarah, daughter of John School-
field. He lived on the hill near the old Robert Wilson mill on
South Buffalo. A grandson, Charles A. Scott, is an active offi-
cer in the Graham Presbyterian Church,
ton, who had moved their membership from Alamance to Buffalo
in 1833. He was engaged to be married when he was acci-
dentally killed at a saw mill in 1856.
Elisha Wharton of Bethel Church. He married first Elizabeth,
David Wharion, Ruliuo Elder ^4 )'ears
ISO 3- IW2
Ruling Elders 129
Rachel D., daughter of William Donnell. One son, William D.,
and two grandsons, W. Gilmer Wharton and Howard L. Can-
non, were ruling elders here, and another son, Capt. John E.,
was ruling elder in Sherman, Texas. Many of his descendants
are still with us.
John C. Cannon, George A. Denny and Thomas B. Donnell.
tha Rankin Cannon, of Cabarrus County. His grandparents
and great-grandparents on his mother's side were members of
this church. He was a great-great-grandson of John Chambers,
for whom he was named. He married Mary Ellen, daughter of
ruling elder David Wharton. One son, Howard L., was an elder
in this church.
George A. Denny (1824-1901) was the brother of ruling
elder Eli Denny. He married Asenith, daughter of Da\ad
Wiley, of Alamance Church, a sister of Dr. Calvin H. Wiley.
One son, George Washington Denny, was a ruling elder here.
grandson of Andrew, and great-grandson of ruling elder Thomas
Donnell, Sr. He married Martha, daughter of Andrew Wilson,
Jr., in 1857, and lived two miles northwest of McLeansville.
One of his daughters, ]\Irs. J. Al. Rankin, is now a member here.
He is the man who, when he built his new home, had a pocket
built in the wall near the fireplace for his Bible, so it would
always be at hand for family worship.
was a son of Robert and Nancy Hanner Gillespie, and a grand-
son of Col. Daniel Gillespie. He married Caroline, daughter of
Allen and Polly Woodburn, of Alamance Church. In 1887 he
was dismissed to Westminster Church, Greensboro. One son,
Rev. E. Eugene Gillespie, D.D., is a Presbyterian minister.
Daniel E. Albright, William Newton Sikes and William D.
Daniel E. Albright (1830-1917) was the son of Jacob and
grandson of Daniel Albright. He lived on the road to Guilford
130 History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People
Julia W., daughter of Joseph and Docie Kirkpatrick, in 1852,
and second Jennie Purvis, of Virginia, in 1870.
William Newton Sikes (1840-1891) was the son of Willis
Sikes, and was reared in the Bethel Church community. He
married Cornelia, daughter of AVilliam A. and Margaret Wiley
Paisley. He moved to the Buffalo community in 1883, locating
on the John Carson Kankin place, two miles east of the church.
One son, Rev. William Marion Sikes, D.D., is a Presbyterian
minister, and another son, Luther E. Sikes, is a ruling elder
William D. Wharton (1840-1907) was the son of ruling
elder David Wharton, and lived at his father's home place.
He married first Mary Eliza, daughter of Col. Newton and Ele-
nora McMurray Wharton, and second Jennie S., daughter of
James R. and Nancy Smith Gilmer. One of his sons, William
Gilmer, is a ruling elder here ; another son. Rev. Charles N., was
a Presbyterian minister, and another son, Dr. Lacy D., was a
ruling elder at Smithfield, N. C.
On December 5, 1897, two more elders were ordained : George
W. Denny and James M. Hendrix.
is given under that of his father. He married ]\Iargaret John-
son, of Reidsville, N. C. Li 1901 he was dismissed to the First
Church, Greensboro. He is now living in High Point, N. C,
and is serving as a ruling elder there.
James M. Hendrix is the son of John L., who was a deacon
here. He married Annie, daughter of James and Minerva Whar-
ton Paisley. In 1901 he was dismissed to the First Church,
Greensboro, and is serving as a ruling elder there.
kin and John W. Wharton were ordained to the eldership.