Sketches of holston preachers

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Price, William Humberson: Born Nov. 26, 1837, on the Middle Fork of Holston River, Washington County, Va. Son of John Wesley and Mary Miller Price. He was a brother of Rev. Richard N. Price. Educated at Emory and Henry College, of which his father was a trustee. He studied medicine at Jefferson Medical College at Philadelphia, Pa., and graduated in medicine at New Orleans School of Medicine in 1861. He served as a surgeon in the Confederate Army during the war. At the close of the war he took up the practice of medicine in Washington County, Va. Admitted 1872. With the exception of four years, from 1896 to 1900, when ill health forced him to take supernumerary relation, he was active until he was superannuated in 1904. His work, both as pastor and presiding elder, was marked by protracted revivals and church building. He had absolute faith in the Christian religion and universal love for men. Married twice: (1) Aug. 22, 1867, Miss Martha J. Crow. They had six children. (2) July 12, 1904, Miss Jennie P. Miller, Pulaski County, Va. They had one child. After twenty-two years as a superannuate he died July 24, 1926, in his home at Bristol, Va. Buried at Emory, Va.


Priddy, Thomas Morgan: Born Feb. 20, 1874, in Giles County, Va. Son of Frank N. and Melvira S. Priddy. His father was very active in the building of the Methodist Church at Narrows, Va. For several years he fought the call to preach; and promised his mother, on her deathbed, that he would enter the ministry of the Methodist Church. Educated in the local public schools and at Birmingham, Ala. Engaged in contracting business for a while. Admitted in 1901. He served on New River circuit and six stations between 1901 and 1922; and was general evangelist 1922-1930, then the Hillsville circuit for three years. Evangelism was the passion of his life; but he was a sympathetic and faithful pastor. His warm-heartedness won friends and his sincerity and affection held them. He married Miss Willie Ann Frizer, Narrows, Va. They had four daughters. Just after returning home from a revival at Elizabethton, Tenn., he became ill March 5, and died on March 18, 1932, in Martin Memorial Hospital, Mt. Airy, N. C. He was buried at Princeton, W. Va.


Proffit, George M.: Born in Yancy County, N. C. Admitted 1858. Served four years as pastor. Died June 5, 1864, at Live Oak, Fla.


Pyott, William W.: Born June, 1846, in Rhea County, Tenn. Son of Edward and Margaret McPherson Pyott. Educated in common school and in Sulpher Springs High School. Converted Feb. 6, 1865, and was appointed as a supply on Washington circuit. Admitted in 1865. From the beginning his preaching was eminently evangelistic. He rose rapidly as a preacher and man of affairs. While yet young he was appointed presiding elder and for many years was kept in that office. Both physically and mentally a very superior man. He was a leader in Holston Conference for many years. Married Feb. 2, 1872, Miss Mary Ellen Spring, a sister of Rev. James E. Spring. They had three sons. Although in failing health he steadfastly continued to work, until the end, and was serving Knoxville circuit, when death came while he was at the dinner table with his family, at Knoxville, on July 9, 1911. He was buried at Emory, Va.


Quinn, Isaac: Admitted 1806. In Holston two years: 1808, Clinch; 1816, Tazewell, Va.


Rader, John William: Born March 19, 1869, in Radford, Va. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Rader. Educated at Princeton Academy. Admitted 1893. Served country circuits, coal field missions, city and town stations. Presiding elder: Bluefield District, four years; Chattanooga District, two years. He was a successful Methodist preacher. Married Nov. 6, 1906, Miss Laurie Holloman, Knoxville, Tenn. They had one child. There was sore affliction in the family; and his stalwart form succumbed to fatal illness. He suffered much and long and was patient and kind. After two years on the Chattanooga District his health forced superannuation in 1922. He died Jan. 1, 1923, in Erlanger Hospital, Chattanooga. Buried at Emory, Va.


Ray, John: Born Jan. 27, 1768. Admitted 1790. In Holston two years, 1793-95. Located 1801. Died in 1837, Putnam County, Ind.


Reagan, Daniel B.: Born 1834. Admitted 1859. Died 1866, Merriwether County, Ga.


Reed, Jacob Franklin: Born Aug. 26, 1888, near Jonesboro, Tenn. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Reed. He was converted at eleven and licensed to preach at thirteen years of age. He received his education at Tennessee Wesleyan College. He was admitted in 1914. He chose rural rather than town or city pastorates. His outstanding work was as District Superintendent of Bristol District for six years. At Parrottsville, where he was pastor for twelve years, he spent $50,000 on church property. He married Dec. 25, 1911, Miss Georgie Peoples. They had three children. He died Aug. 6, 1942. He was buried at Mount Wesley Church, where he had begun his work as a boy preacher forty-one years before.


Reed, Patrick Henry: Born about 1829, in Hamblen County, Tenn. Both of his parents died when he was a small child and he was reared by his grandmother, Mrs. Landrum. Licensed to preach in 1851. Admitted in 1853 (South). He located in 1862 and united with Holston Conference (M. E.) in 1865. He served most faithfully until superannuation. He was twice married: (1) Miss Mary E. Chana. They had four children. (2) Miss Martha Howard. He was superannuated in 1891. He died May 6, 1904, at his home at Flat Gap, Jefferson County, Tenn. He was buried at Greeneville, Tenn.


Renfro, George W.: Born Aug. 15, 1823, in Cumberland County, Tenn. Admitted 1847. Married 1850. Superannuated 1853. Made effective 1856. Supernumerary 1857, but effective again 1858. Located 1859. Made chaplain in Confederate Army 1862 - served for two years. Readmitted 1872. Supernumerary again 1874 and still again in 1876. He never consented to get far away from the Cumberland Mountains; and in declining years situated himself at the foothills of this grand plateau. In all relations he was the same sober, sedate, prudent man. Died Oct. 14, 1889. Buried at Harriman, Tenn.


Reynolds, Frank M.: Born Oct. 22, 1875, at Andersonville, Tenn. Son of Loyd and Frances Reynolds. His father was an exhorter in the M. E. Church. He was educated in local schools of Anderson County. He taught school for several years and, in 1910, graduated from Hiwassee College. Admitted in Holston Conference, M. E. Church, in 1905; he transferred to M. E. Church, South, in 1910. Served as pastor and teacher until 1917; supernumerary one year, 1917; district evangelist 1918, 1919. Twice married: (1) Miss Arlena Wallace; they had seven children. (2) Miss Minnie Craig, in 1913; they had one child. Died April 12, 1920, in the home of his boyhood. Buried at Red Hill Baptist Church in Anderson County, Tenn.


Reynolds, John: Born June 4, 1797, in Rowan County, N. C. Admitted 1819 into South Carolina Conference. Located in 1826; readmitted in Holston Conference 1855, after which he was actively engaged in itinerant work for about twenty years. Married and had several children. Died April 11, 1876, at his home near where he had been converted sixty years before. Buried at Asheville, N. C.


Reynolds, Luther Speed: Born April 2, 1885, at Andersonville, Tenn. Son of Loyd and Fannie Keller Reynolds. Had two brothers who were members of Holston Conference, Rev. Frank M. Reynolds and Rev. Rufus G. Reynolds. Educated at Andersonville Institute, Old Tazewell College and Emory University. Admitted along with his twin brother, Rufus G., in 1911. Served five charges and in Y.M.C.A. Army service in ten years. In 1922 illness with tuberculosis made it necessary for him to superannuate. He was a young man of great charm and was deeply devoted to his work. People loved him because he loved people. Married Dec. 27, 1911, Miss Bertie May Webb, Greeneville, Tenn. They had two sons. His struggle for health was patient and heroic. During this period his home was at Newport, Tenn. He died in his home at Newport, April 6, 1928, and was buried there.


Reynolds, Rufus G.: Born April 2, 1885, at Andersonville, Tenn. Son of Loyd and Fannie Keller Reynolds. He was twin brother of Rev. Luther S. Reynolds and a brother of Rev. Frank M. Reynolds. Educated at Old Tazewell College and entered Emory University after having served a circuit four years. His health failed and he was forced to leave before the end of the year. Later, while serving Sevierville circuit, he took a course at the University of Tennessee. Admitted in 1911 along with his twin brother. He was active and successful and gave promise of large usefulness, but his health was not sufficient to support his efforts. He was forced to give up his work in 1926, but the next year was returned to Concord, where he had started, and where he had married, but at the end of two years again had to lay down his work. Again he took Philadelphia circuit for a year; and did valuable work at Hiwassee College, in charge of manual training. In 1932 he served Browder Memorial Church and was appointed to Lenoir City, where he threw all his strength into the work and appeared to be doing well, but it was the last flicker of the candle. On July 4, 1933, the end came suddenly. The heroic struggle was ended. He married, in 1918, Miss Irene Woods of Concord, Tenn. They had two daughters. He died July 4, 1933, and was buried at Concord, Tenn.


Rhoton, Josiah: Born about 1803 in North Carolina. Son of Jacob and Elizabeth Rhoton. Admitted 1822. Located 1827. Studied medicine and was a successful doctor. Continued to preach as long as he lived. Died July 10, 1860, near Morristown.


Rice, John: In Holston 1821.


Richards, Richard: Admitted 1808. Located in 1814. In Holston two years, 1810 and 1813.


Richardson, Ansel: In Holston 1820.


Richardson, Daniel: Born Sept. 11, 1832, near Jacksboro, Tenn. He was licensed to preach in 1856. Admitted in 1868. His appointment was Lebanon circuit, Russell County, Va. He was transferred to the Virginia Conference when it was organized. In 1873 he returned to Holston Conference by transfer. He served eleven circuits. Married twice: (1) May 10, 1845, Miss Martha Jane Phillips; (2) in 1890, Miss M. C. Heninger. As he neared the end of twenty-nine years of active work his health failed and he gave up his work and went to his home near Lone Mountain, Claiborne County, Tenn. He died June 30, 1897. He was buried in Claiborne County, Tenn.

Richardson, Frank: Born Feb. 14, 1831, in Jacksboro, Tenn. Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Richardson. His mother was a daughter of William McHenry and a niece of Rev. Barnabus McHenry. After finishing the courses of the common schools he entered Emory and Henry, lacking but one year of graduation there. He taught school for some time. A local preacher for seven years. Admitted in 1854. "He served the church as a minister for fifty-eight years: seven years on circuits, twenty-four on districts, seventeen on stations, one as teacher, about six as Editor of Holston Methodist." In the first part of his career he seemed to be somewhat wanting in ambition and self-confidence; but in his experience as an editor he appears to have discovered himself, and to have learned to give rein to his natural and hitherto undeveloped pugnacity. Certain it is that he was not lacking in those qualities in his later life. He became one of the most powerful debaters in Holston Conference and in the General Conference. He was married three times: (1) Miss Mary Peterson. They had two children. (2) Miss Betty Sharp. They had six children. (3) Mrs. Flora Oldis. On account of the death of his first wife, which occurred just at the time he was received into full connection, in 1856, he located so as to take care of the two small children. He remained in local ranks six years and was readmitted in 1863. In his seventy-seventh year he was appointed to Fountain City and was serving that charge when death came, April 4, 1912. Buried at LaFollette, Tenn.


Richardson, Jessee: Admitted 1788. One year in Holston, 1788-89. Died in Georgia Conference, 1837.


Roberson, J. D.: Admitted in 1875 in Holston Conference and was a member of Holston for fifteen years. Transferred to Blue Ridge Conference in 1880. Then transferred back to Holston in 1893. He served important charges and districts. He superannuated in 1916. He died Nov. 22, 1926. He was buried at Loudon, Tenn.


Robeson, John H.: Born in Buncombe County, N. C., Dec. 10, 1819. Son of Rev. Alexander Robeson, a local preacher. Admitted into North Georgia Conference 1870. Transferred to Holston in 1873. Superannuated 1876. Married a daughter of Rev. David B. Cumming. She died in 1874. He died July 18, 1885, in the home of his daughter, the wife of Rev. W. D. Akers, at Independence, Va. Buried in Buncombe County, N. C. A very gifted man, but his entry upon the ministry was at the age of forty years.


Robeson, William: Born June 28, 1822, in McMinn County, Tenn. Son of Rev. Alexander and Catherine Lynch Robeson. Had such literary training as was obtainable in the local schools of his day. He became a correct English scholar. Admitted in 1844, when Holston Conference met at Reems Creek, with Bishop Edmund Janes presiding. He was a member of Holston for fifty-nine years, thirty-five years was superannuate. Served ten circuits in sixteen years; three districts in six years; stationed one year; supernumerary one year. In the political prosecutions during the war he opposed the action against the union preachers. Married Miss Adaline Patton Easley. He died June 28, 1905. He had been as well as usual. About 1 p.m., he came into his room and complained of weariness, lay down on his bed and in a few minutes was dead. He was elected a delegate to the General Conference of 1858 and of 1862.


Robertson, Emory Bright: Born Aug. 15, 1855, in Habersham County, Ga. Admitted 1878. On account of feeble health was three times superannuated. Married Miss Georgia Bell of Dalton, Ga., in 1883. He was a good preacher, a fine pastor and was powerful in prayer. Died May 8, 1894, in Johnson City, Tenn. Buried at Dalton, Ga.


Robertson, John W.: Born Feb. 1, 1850, in Habersham County, Ga. Admitted 1873. Served fourteen charges in Holston. Went to the Northwest and served one charge at Senesee, Idaho. Married Miss Laura A. Smith, Roane County, Tenn.; two children. Long in feeble health. Superannuated in 1894. Died May 4, 1904. Buried at Jasper, Tenn.


Robertson, R. C.: Born Nov. 28, 1847. He was admitted into Holston Conference in 1879. He was a member of the Conference for thirty years. He married Nov. 6, 1822, Miss May Emert. He died Aug. 17, 1912. He was buried at Pigeon Forge, Tenn.


Robinette, James Jefferson: Born Feb. 16, 1853, at Benton, Polk County, Tenn. He was the son of John and Margaret Houston Robinette. Educated in public schools and in Tennessee Wesleyan University, Athens, Tenn. He was admitted on trial in Oct., 1878. He was given supernumerary relation in 1881, to attend school. Even before this time he had advanced rapidly in the Conference. After two years each at Greeneville and Morristown he was sent, in 1886, to Chattanooga District and to Knoxville District in 1890, and in 1895 to Athens District. He served several of the most important pastorates in Holston. He transferred to Indiana Conference in 1910 and served three charges; but in 1915 he returned to Holston Conference and continued in the pastorate until 1923, but supplied at Harriman in 1924. "He possessed splendid pulpit ability. His preaching was fearless, yet tender; searching, yet inspiring; deep, yet plain and practical." He was a princely soul. Twice elected to the General Conference, in 1904 and 1908, he became well known throughout the connection. He was married to Miss Annie Cook, Oct. 23, 1883. She, like her husband, was educated at Tennessee Wesleyan. They had three children of whom two died in infancy. She blessed her home and inspired the churches served by her husband. She was a great sufferer, but bore her suffering without complaint. He superannuated in 1923, but served as a supply in 1924. He died Dec. 7, 1926, at his home in Knoxville and was buried at Knoxville.


Rogers, William Hurd: Born March 22, 1818, in White County, Tenn. Son of Rev. Daswell Rogers. Admitted in 1832, when nineteen years old. He served in itinerant work fifty-nine years. He had the advantage of a school for only three months, but was a diligent student and constant reader, so that he became well informed. He served many charges and was Financial Agent for three or four colleges and was Sunday School Agent for some time. In 1848 he was Chaplain of the Fifth Regiment of Tennessee Volunteers in the War with Mexico. He was a charter member of Holston Conference (M.E.) when it was organized in 1865. He was elected a delegate to the General Conference of the M. E. Church, South, in 1850. He was twice married: (1) Miss Mary A. Douthit, Monroe County, Tenn., Aug. 17, 1850. They had three children. (2) Miss Martha E. Luttrell, Knox, County, Tenn., Aug. 16, 1862. They had eight children. He died March 17, 1891. He was buried at Cleveland, Tenn.


Romans, John M.: Born July 10, 1838, in Smythe County, Va. Served as a supply for several years. Admitted 1889. A fervent evangelist. Married Oct. 15, 1857, Miss Mary A. Roark. They had eight sons and three daughters. Died April 9, 1927. Buried at Marion, Va.


Ronninger, Lewis A.: Born April 17, 1847. He was admitted to the Blue Ridge Atlantic Conference in 1886. He transferred to Holston Conference in 1903 and served four charges. He superannuated in 1917. He married Dec. 23, 1865, Miss Drusilla Taylor. They had ten children. She died four weeks before her husband. He died Dec. 12, 1928, at Cleveland, Tenn. He was buried at Red Hill, Tenn.


Rose, Albert M.: Born Oct. 7, 1857, in Sevier County, Tenn. He was admitted in 1896 and was in active work for thirty years, which were spent in the rural sections where the pay was so small that it is difficult to see how he cared for his large family. He was married thrice: (1) Miss Margaret McPherson. They had four children. (2) Miss Emma Edgeworth. They had six children. (3) Miss Ida Jane Grubb. They had four children. He was a fine pastor and was powerful in prayer. Died May 8, 1894, in Johnson City, Tenn. Buried at Dalton, Ga.


Rowe, J. Fred: Born Feb. 10, 1878, in Unicoi County, Tenn. He was educated at Washington and Tusculum Colleges, at the University of Chattanooga and at Drew Seminary. He was admitted to Holston Conference in 1913. He served eight charges and one district. He married Sept. 17, 1920, Miss Myrtle Ernest. They had three children. He retired in 1940. He died May 2, 1942, at Telford, Tenn. He was buried at Mount Wesley Cemetery, one half mile from his boyhood home, Washington County, Tenn.


Rowe, Nathaniel K.: Born May 3, 1868, in Unicoi County, Tenn. Son of L. D. and Rachel Rowe. He graduated form Lexington University. He was a teacher for fifteen years. He was admitted in 1911. He served seven charges all of which he served with success. The last four years of his ministry were greatly hindered by illness. He was sometimes unable to stand in the pulpit. He was twice married: (1) Miss Delia Price. They had three children. (2) Miss Mary McLaughlin. They had three children. On account of ill health he was forced to rest and took supernumerary relation in 1924. He died April 30, 1925, at his home in Chuckey, Tenn. He was buried in Unicoi County, Tenn.


Rowe, Thomas Dawson: Born Sept. 11, 1876, near Bakersville, N. C. The family moved to Milligan, Tenn. He graduated from Milligan College at eighteen. For about three years he taught school and preached as a local preacher. He was admitted to the Blue Ridge Conference in 1898. Later he came to Holston Conference. He graduated from the School of Theology at U. S. Grant University, serving as pastor while attending the University. He served as a pastor and was in his second year as Conference evangelist when he broke down. He married, April 23, 1898, Miss Jane Young of Mitchell County, N. C. They had five children. He died Feb., 1910, at the home of Rev. W. L. Oliver in Knoxville. He was buried at Roan Mountain, Tenn.


Ruble, James Arthur: Born Nov. 8, 1844, in Bradley County, Tenn. He was the son of Ephraim and Malinda Orr Ruble, both of whom died when he was very young. Was reared in the home of his uncle James A. Ruble, who lived near Campbell's Station, Knox County, Tenn., and who gave him every care which a father could have given. He became a Christian in his youth. He entered the Union Army, enlisting as a private. He was promoted to the chaplaincy and served until the end of the war. He was admitted to Holston Conference in 1866. He was one of the most successful pastor-evangelists that Holston Conference had produced. He was especially popular for weddings, funerals, dedications and Grand Army Convocations. He served many important charges and was presiding elder for four or five terms. In 1903 he was appointed Chaplain of the Mountain Branch of the National Soldier's Home and continued in that position until 1916. He began preaching at seventeen or eighteen years of age. He married Nov. 14, 1866, Miss Anna Eliza Parham in Knoxville in a double wedding when her sister, Mary Parham, was married to Rev. J. R. Russell, Rev. Thomas H. Pearne performing the ceremony. There were nine children. Miss Ruble died Jan. 14, 1900. He was twice elected to the General Conference. He spent the evening of his life in service to his old comrades in arms as Chaplain of the Mountain Branch of the Soldier's Home at Johnson City, from 1903 to 1916. He died Oct. 29, 1916. He was buried at Maryville, Tenn.


Rudder, Samuel: In Holston one year, 1794-95.


Rule, Matthew Andrew: Born April 4, 1844, in Knox County, Tenn. He was admitted in 1875 and served continuously for twenty-eight years as pastor and presiding elder. He was supernumerary 1903 to 1911. He was twice married: (1) Oct. 7, 1866, to Miss Hettie M. Trotter. They had nine children. She died March 12, 1904. (2) Miss Alethia Raney, May 20, 1909. He superannuated in 1911. He died in 1912. He was buried at Beaver Ridge, Tenn.


Rumburg, John Kirk: Born Aug. 14, 1853. Admitted to the Virginia Conference in 1878. He served successfully as pastor and district superintendent in Virginia. He was transferred to Holston in 1906 and was effective until 1915. He was twice married: (1) Miss Margaret L. E. Graham. They had eight children. (2) Miss Ella Perdue, in 1906. They had nine children. He was superannuated in 1915. He died Jan. 8, 1927. He was buried at Simpsons, Va.


Runyon, John C.: Born July 1, 1845, in Meigs County, Tenn. Admitted 1871. Was on effective list until 1907, except two years supernumerary (1885-87) and one year colporteur. Served circuits in middle section of East Tennessee. "True to his God, to his church, to his family and to his Conference." Married Cordelia L. Roberts, May 25, 1876. Superannuated 1907. Died May 2, 1908. Buried at Pleasant Grove.


Russell, Thomas B.: Born Nov. 22, 1854, at Greeneville, Tenn. Admitted in 1875. He was a member of the Conference for thirty-seven years, and served some of the best charges in the Conference, was a presiding elder and was for eleven years secretary of the Conference. He was married and there were ten children. In the summer of 1912 he was very ill and was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, but failed to get permanent relief. He died Oct. 11, 1912, in the parsonage at Morristown. He was buried at Johnson City, Tenn.


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