Walker County GA and Other Neighboring Cemeteries

Walker County GA and Other Neighboring Cemeteries
Burials for Tipton family members

The following information was taken from the book, “History of Walker County, GA”, pages photocopied on our (Jo and Charles Tipton) visit to their historical archives in 2012.

Center Point Cemetery (laid out 1878, about 350 graves):
Thomas J. Tipton 1836-1892
Millie Tipton 1843-1907 (Thomas J’s wife)
Caswell C. Tipton 1830-1898
Milligent Tipton 1830-1900
Jennie Tipton 1848-1921 (wife of A.G. Dunn)

Additional information:
Thomas Jefferson Tipton, 2/22/1836-10/20/1892
spouse: Millie P. Leander Bird Tipton, 2/3/1843 Blount Co, TN-3/2/1907, Walker Co, GA
(both buried at Center Point Cemetery, Walker Co, GA)
Caswell C. Tipton (1830-1893)
spouse: Millicent Lowery 1830-1900 (different name Milligent vs. Millicent)
(both buried at Center Point Cemetery, Walker Co, GA)
daughter: Nancy Ellen Tipton (Roach) 1859-1924
(buried Chattanooga Baptist Church Cemetery)
her son: Andrew Hanes Tipton 4/15/1862-7/20/1924 buried Grayson County, TN
Thomas J. 2/13/1895-3/5/1970 and Flora 4/16/1902-2/19/1982, Lafayette Cemetery, Walker Co, GA
Reuben C. Tipton buried 3/18/1910 and wife, Louise M. 8/6/1928, Liberty Baptist, Gordon Co, GA
Stone Church, Walker County, GA

From “History of Walker County, GA”, Chapter 13:

Of all the documents reviewed for the writing of this book, the most impressive has been the organizational statement of the Chickamauga (Stone) Presbyterian Church. It was written over 135 years ago by a small group of Presbyterians from Tennessee who settled just east of the mountain when this area was deep woods and Indian country. These people had little except their families, their land, and their faith. The sincerity and depth and the circumstances under which it was written make it as beautiful a piece of prose as the county has ever produced. It reads as follows:

“We, whose names are here unto subscribed, being members of the Presbyterian Church, but having removed from our respective churches and settled in this vicinity where there is no organized church, desiring to enjoy the means of grace and the ordinances of the gospel as administered according to the Presbyterian form, do agree to associate ourselves together for the purpose of being regularly organized into a Presbyterian Church according to the principles and form laid down in the confession of faith.

And do further engage to pray for, and watch over each other for good and when necessary, admonish one another, and receive admonition in the spirit of the gospel, that our spiritual improvement may be promoted.

And finally, sensible of the importance to us and our families of the stated administration of the work, and ordinances of the gospel, and that we are only stewards of our property, we do still further agree to contribute of our substance for the regular support of the ministry among us.”

Robert Magill and Margaret Cain
James M. McSpadden and Maggie Cain
Robert C. Cain and Nancy Tipton
Alfred Black
Walker County Georgia
2 Sept., 1837

At the time the above was written, Walker County included Catoosa County.  The church was named Chickamauga Presbyterian Church. Rev. William Quillen was the first minister and, since a rural minister did not devote all his time to one church, he was designated as “stated supply”. The church came into existence one year before the Cherokee Indians were removed from this territory and one year before abandonment of the Brainerd Mission. Rev. Quillen was succeeded in 1839 by Rev. A.G. Taylor.

The first building was an old log schoolhouse located about a quarter of a mile south of the present Stone Church and set just about where the old Denman House stood. Shortly afterwards, a small frame house was built a few feet north of the present structure. Services were held there for a number of years.

Scarcely had the church been started when it lost two of its original members, Robert C. Cain and his wife, who withdrew to help organize the church at Peavine. New members continued to come in regularly and old ones moved away. On 11 August, 1839, Mrs. Margaret Norton, Mrs. Lucinde Varnell, Mrs. Maria Fagala, and Mrs. Sarah Pitner were added by certificates. On 23 May, 1843, the church received on examination James H. Magill, A. N. Magill, Nancy S. Magill, John M. Combs, Nathan Dougherty, Thomas S. McSpadden, William Martin, James A. Corry, Samuel F. Ramsey, Elizabeth C. Ramsey, and Joseph, a man of color.

In 1845 a site for a brush arbor was selected about a mile south of the present church. The new structure consisted of a shed about 40 by 70 feet, with tents about it in a hollow square. The shed was built o strong hewn timbers and the ground under the benches was covered with straw. It was named Dogwood Camp Ground. The ground sloped enough so that the people in the rear could see the preacher in a high pulpit of the south end. Camp meetings were held there from 1845 until 1850. During summer it was used for regular services, with the frame house being used in winter. Rev. W.B. Brown began serving as pastor in 1845 and Rev. W. H. Johnston, Mrs. Susie B. McDaniel’s grandfather, began serving in 1846.

In May, 1848, the collection for domestic missions amounted to $4.60. In May, 1849, the collection for educational purposes was $8.25.

In the summer of 1850 the congregation began the erection of the Stone Church which is still standing. It was built of large blocks of stone taken from a quarry located behind the present Stubblefield farm and from the base of White Oak Mountain, near Calhoun’s Mill. It was completed in two years at a cost of $1,600. Rev. Johnston donated a years salary toward the cost of the building.

The records had to be constantly revised as people came and went.  Certificates of dismissal were granted to the following who wished to join a church to be organized in their neighborhood: Mr. and Mrs. John Wilson and servants, Levin, Abby, Ephraim, Lucy, Jack, Dinah, Patsy, Henry, Charlotte, Prince, Julius, Moses, Jim, Lizzie, Candaca, Betsy, and Pennah.

Rev. D. F. Smith supplied the church during part of the term of Rev. Johnston due to his ill health. Rev. W. P. Harrison began preaching there in 1857. On 15 January 1859, Rev. A. Y. Lockridge was elected pastor at a salary of $200 per year for preaching every other Sunday.

There is an entry in the records for 2 November, 1863, but no others appear until 28 May, 1865. During these years, the building was unfit for services due to the war. In November, 1863, it was located just behind the front lines during the “Battle of Ringgold”. From then until May, 1864, it was in the no-man’s land between the two armies at Ringgold and Dalton.  The church is traditionally thought to have been used as Yankee hospital. Since it was the most substantial structure in the area, it probably was used as a temporary Confederate hospital during the fighting at Ringgold and as a temporary Yankee hospital when Sherman started south toward Tunnel Hill and Dalton. Tradition also says there were so many dead horses and broken cannon in and around the church that it was unusable.  One Confederate officer died there and permission was granted by the Ramsey family to bury him in their family cemetery. His marker can be seen in the cemetery located just past the end of the Campbell’s Speedway.

On 21 April, 1865, a distinguished visitor offered the closing prayer. He was Rev. Dr. Axson, pastor of the church in Rome and father of the first Mrs. Woodrow Wilson. Rev. F. G. Lane was pastor in 1872 and Rev. John W. Baker in 1878.

On 7 November, 1880, a doctor member was summoned before a body of Presbyterians at Ringgold to answer the charge of being drunk, having been seen lying intoxicated under the counter of the store of B. F. Clark.  the charges were proven and the doctor was dismissed.  In 1885 he was reinstated.

On 6 December, 1885, the session opened with Rev. J.S. Hillhouse and Elders W. L. Whitman, Dr. J. S. Rhea, and I. L. Magill. Mrs. Margaret Morehouse was received from the First Presbyterian Church of Racine, Wisconsin, J. M. Combs from the Baptist Church, and John H. Stanford from the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. On presentation of faith, the church received Mary E. Whitman, Addie M. Whitman, Samuel H. Inman, Maggie G. Inman, Guy Calhoun, Minnie E. Fox, Hettie E. Anderson, Mary E. Anderson, Corine C. Matthews, and William C. Matthews.

In August, 1887, Rev. C. Fraser was called to the pastorate at a salary of $225 per year to preach every other Sunday.

The name of Reverend Mark A. Matthews, the Georgia minister who became famous as pastor of the largest Presbyterian church in the world in Seattle, appears on the records of the church for the first time on 30 March, 1890. He preached there regularly but was not called officially until 2 November, 1890, when he was engaged to come and preach half-time 1891. In 1892, the members raised his salary from $225 to $237 a year with a promise to pay more if it could be collected.

In 1893, another member got in bad with the church by being caught operating an illicit distillery. He was found guilty and his name was dropped from the church membership. In 1894, while Rev. C.Z. Berryhill was pastor, the church ordered the purchase of a parsonage. W. H. Odell was authorized to buy a house and lot belonging to Mrs. Lizzie Combs for $450.

Rev. B. R. Anderson preached in 1899, Rev. H. C. White in 1904, M.D. Smith in 1905, Kidder P. Simmons in 1905, and J. T. Wade in 1909. When a church was formed in Chickamauga, Georgia in 1912, the Presbytery changed the name of the church from Chickamauga Presbyterian Church to Stone Church.

As people began to move away to the towns the church’s membership dwindled. By 1916 the church was without a pastor and down to 23 members. In 1918 there were 18 members, led by Rev. J.D. Gillespie. Membership dropped to 12 in 1919 and 8 in 1920. On 4 July, 1920, Rev. H.C. White of Chattanooga preached to the congregation and Earl A.Story was baptized and received into the church. Earl was the last person to join the church which had its beginning 83 years previously. In 1920 the church disbanded and the remaining members transferred to the Ringgold church. The buildings and grounds were sold to the Methodists. After about 3 years the Methodists were unable to start a church so they put the property up for sale. The sale was postponed long enough for a small group of citizens to organize, pool their money and buy the property. DeWitt Story, Bob Bandy, and Bob Calhoun were the first representatives to speak for the group and this was later passed on to Pal Bandy and Dennis Dover.

The Church’s most faithful member was Isaac Leonidas Magill, an active member for 80 years. He became a baptized member on 7 June, 1840. He was admitted to full membership on 30 August, 1858, elected Elder 20 November, 1870, ordained as Elder 15 January, 1871, and elected Clerk of the Session 22 January, 1871.

From then until the dissolution of the Church almost every sessional record is in his handwriting. He held the offices of Elder and Clerk of the Session for more than 50 years.

Among the many names which are prominent to the Stone Church’s history are McSpadden, Ramsey, Whitman, Gamble, Combs, Fagala, Corry, Caruthers, Hall, McCally, Gordon, Wilson, Rhea, Whitsitt, Jobe, Cherry, Germany, Johnston, Adams, Cotter, Orr, Keneaster, Lea, Inman, Groves, Story, Satterfield, Roddy, Calhoun, Pierce, Morehouse, Blaylock, Mann, Beall, Robinson, and Odell.

J. Roy McGinty, editor emeritus of the Calhoun Times in his column, “Looking Backward”, gave an account of the first singing of the hymn, “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms”. He stated that a young minister from Calhoun and a music publisher named Showalter carried the hymn to the little pre-Civil War Stone Church below Ringgold where it was first sung. The preacher went on to Jackson, Tennessee, where McGinty heard him and then to the West where, on his death in 1940, he headed in Seattle the largest Presbyterian Congregation in the nation. The young preacher was Mark Matthews. He was born in Calhoun on 24 September, 1867 the author of “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms” is listed as the Rev. E.A. Hoffman and apparently A. J. Showalter, listed as owner of the copyright, wrote the music. Most of us have sung this old hymn for years without realizing its close association with our County’s history.

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About TFAA President

John Parrish served as president for many years and stepped down at the October 2018 meeting. We thank John for the fine work he has done and thank you all for the opportunity to serve as your TFAA president. I’m Kathryn (Kathy) Hoffmann, I was born in Savannah Ga and raised by my Tipton grandparents in North Florida and around my teenage years I moved to Naples and Fort Myers Florida where I raised my family and worked for the State of Florida Division of Forestry as their public information and education specialist until budget cuts and I was laid off, but God blessed me with a career at Fort Myers Police Department where I became a Crime Prevention Practitioner thru the Florida Attorney General’s office. During my career I’ve served on many boards: President of Southwest Florida fire prevention association, Fire Marshals association, Regional Director of Fire Prevention, SW Florida Crime Prevention Association, Crime Stoppers board member, State of Florida Crime Prevention Regional Director. I am looking forward to serving as your TFAA president/coordinator. Please feel free to call, text or email me. peachyrose56@gmail.com Let’s move forward! Tipton Teamwork