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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.


In the spring of 1861 Rev. J. C. Alexander was called at a

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

1892.
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.


Rev. George W. Oldham was called at a salary of $550 for

half of his time, and this continued until his resignation.


Rev. E. Frank Lee was called in 1913 at a salary of $975,

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


Rev. A. P. Dickson was called in 1924 for all his time at a

salary of $2,400.00 and the use of the manse.


RULING ELDERS


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.


[122]

Ruling Elders 123


George Kankin is another that Rev. J. C. Alexander gives

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.


William Gowdy was present in 1773. He had located on the

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.


The next minute on record in which the names of the elders

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


James Denny bought 640 acres just east of the church

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

church.
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.


Samuel Bell located on the Reedy Fork in 1762, coming here

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.


We have no records from 1779 to 1833. From other sources

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.


Thomas Donnell, Sr., was one of the wealthiest and most

influential members of the Nottingham Colony that located here


Ruling Elders 125


in 1753. He lived on the north side of North Buffalo Creek

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.


George Denny (1745-1816) was the son of ruling elder

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

elders here.
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

writer.
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

heirs.

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.


This brings us down to 1833, and from this date we have in

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.


Adam Scott (1772-1835) was the son of ruling elder William

Scott. He lived three miles north of the church. One son. Dr.


Rulmg Elders 127


William D. Scott, became a ruling elder, and one grandson,

Rev. Dr. William T. Hall, became a prominent Presbyterian

minister.
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.


Thomas Donnell (1777-1845) was the son of James Don-

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.


On April 14, 1833, two additional elders were ordained,

Joseph A. McLean and Dr. William D. Scott.


Joseph Addison McLean was the son of Col. Samuel, and

the grandson of Moses McLean. In 1847 he was dismissed to

Greensboro.
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.


Eli Denny (1804-1876) was the son of Thomas and Hannah

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


Washington C. Denny, was a ruling elder at High. Point and

later in the Westminster Church, Greensboro.


Samuel H. Denny (1800-1883) was the son of WiUiam and

Jane Gray Denny. He lived two miles northwest of McLeans-

ville. His son, Alexander Calvin Denny, was a ruling elder in

Bethel Presbyterian Church.


Emsley Donnell (1807-1860) was the only child of ruling

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

Counties.
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

Wharton.
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.


Samuel Hatrick (1803-1861) was the son of Robert and

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,


David B. Houston was the son of Levi and Anne Boyd Hous-

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.


David Wharton (1803-1902) was the son of ruling elder

Elisha Wharton of Bethel Church. He married first Elizabeth,

David Wharion, Ruliuo Elder ^4 )'ears

ISO 3- IW2


Ruling Elders 129


daughter of ruling elder Major John Donnell, and second

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.


On September 1, 1861, three more elders were ordained :

John C. Cannon, George A. Denny and Thomas B. Donnell.


John C. Cannon (1833-1908) was the son of Ibson and Mar-

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.


Thomas B. Donnell (1824-1905) was the son of William,

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.


Daniel D. Gillespie was ordained on October 16, 1881. He

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.


On December 21, 1890, three additional elders were ordained :

Daniel E. Albright, William Newton Sikes and William D.

Wharton.
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


College. One son, Lonnie G., is now a deacon. He married first

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

here.
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.


George W. Denny is the son of George A. Denny. His line

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.


On August 3, 1902, Howard L. Cannon, J. Alexander Ran-

kin and John W. Wharton were ordained to the eldership.




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