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Churches and places named in Rev. Parish' Diary
Normal monthly schedule of Rev. Parish:
First Saturday - Sister Scrogg's or Bear Creek
First Sunday - Oak Grove
Second Sunday - Trinity
Third Sunday - Pallestine and Haw Creek
Third Thursday - before July 1: Fish Creek
Third or fourth Friday - after July 1: Fish Creek
Fourth Saturday - Gray's Creek
Fourth Sunday - Hudson's Creek & New Hope
One of the churches served at what is today Pineville is called today the
First United Methodist Church of Pineville. Local histories state it may
have been established in 1837 and was served by Rev. Robert Parish in 1859
and from 1861 through 1863. (So far it appears it is either New Hope, or
Nugent's, or Pool's Creek or Trinity. Rev. McVay of Pallestine says he does
not believe Pallestine was at Haw Creek, but I wonder if Pineville Church
may have been there)
Located in or near the town of Ball at the northern edge of present
day Rapides Parish. Rev. Parish preached at Haw Creek and Pallestine Chapel
on the third Sunday of most every month during 1861.
In present day Grant Parish, not far from Pollack, La. Rev. Parish
visited Fish Creek on the third Thursday of every month for the first half
of 1861 and on the third or fourth Friday of every month during the last
According to Mrs. DeLloyd..........., the former ...... Nugent, the
community of Fish Creek was located about seven miles from Dry Prong.
Mrs. ......., who was born in 1905, recalled attending school and the
Methodist Church at Fish Creek. This Methodist Church was apparently the
same as the one visited by Rev. Parish. The entire town was taken over and
bought by the federal government for use as an army bombing range during
World War Two, said Mrs. ........All of the buildings of the former
town are no longer standing.
Grimes Bluff Plantation was located in along the Avoyelles-Rapides
Parish line in the northern section of those parishes. The plantation home
itself was located on the Avoyelles side.Rev. Parish mentions several times
in his diary of 1861 of preaching to the blacks at Mr. Grimes.
The old church at Grime's Bluff, possibly the same that Rev. Parish
preached in, was dismantled about 1905. Ironically, the wooden floors of
the church were purchased and floated down river to Barbin's Landing then
over land transported to Marksville where this author's paternal
grandfather, Alfred DeCuir, placed them in his home he constructed in 1905.
Therefore this author likes to think that both his maternal (Anglo-Saxon
Protestant) as well as his paternal (French Catholic) ancestors have walked
the floors of his grandfather's home, which still stands, in Marksville.
Also see the section on Mr. Grimes for more detail.
Today, we find Hudson Creek Community located on the north side of
Hwy 71 just inside Grant Parish at the Grant-Rapides Parish line. There is
a Baptist Church which is located next to the creek. Perhaps the church's
roots tie back to Rev. Parish's preaching days at Hudson Creek. Families
which still reside in the area who are apparent descendents of old settlers
who were named in Rev. Parish's diary of 1861 include the Brister family.
On Nov. 22, 1861, Rev. Parish stated he took up refuge in the Hudson Creek
Church from a hard rain storm. Thus we know that Hudson Creek contained
more than a preaching station, and had an actual church building.
Kemp's School House
Possibly named for Joshua Kemp, Sr., who in 1890 was noted as a
planter and stockraiser of Ward Three Grant Parish. His father was one of
the first settlers, a surveyor, of Rapides Parish, and his grandfather had
migrated from Scotland to Louisiana. Joshua Kemp, Sr. and his wife, Eliza
Parsons, both natives of Louiana, had at least eight children including
Joshua Kemp, Jr., born 1859, who served as sheriff and as a state
legislator of Grant Parish.
Church parish of the Nugent and Tison families. Matthew Nugent is buried in
the church cemetery. The grave of the young son of Rev. Parish who died in
Dec. 1861 probably lies at Liberty Chapel. Current day website:
Liberty Chapel Church and Cemetery
There is a New Hope community in northeast Rapides Parish located
north of Avoyelles to the southeast of Deville. New Hope is located on the
Big Island(?) Road about two miles east of Highway 115. There is a cemetery
and a Baptist Church at New Hope.
*There is a New Hopewell Church in Centerpoint in
Avoyelles located on the Bryant Road about one and a half miles north of
*There is a New Hope Cemetery in Grant Parish,
located south of Verda about three miles off Hwy. 1240.
located at Holloway's Prairie - probably same Holloway in northeast Rapides
Parish near Esler Field of today.
Nathaniel Paul, (joined March 9)
located at Effie, La., ward one in northern Avoyelles Parish. Oak Grove
Methodist Church is still a viable part of its community. Rev. Parish would
visit Oak Grove and conduct services here on the first Sunday of every
month, as documented in his diary of the year 1861. Rev. Parish also noted
that he preached a separate sermon to the Blacks at Oak Grove - also on the
same Sunday while he was there. We assume these Blacks were slaves from
area plantations. The cornerstone of the present church states it was
established May 13, 1859. The church building that stood at the time of
Rev. Parish was probably the first one, on land purchased from Zenon Aymond
in 1859. The deed stated the church was already located on this tract of
four acres - so the church's actual beginning date is previous to 1859. A
Mr. William Alexander signed the deed on behalf of the Board of Trustees of
Oak Grove to buy the property at Effie for the church in 1859. Perhaps he
is the same person as the Brother Alexander mentioned by Rev. Parish in
1861. The church was officially chartered or organized full time with a
pastor 127 years ago, about 1867, according to the current pastor. The
original church was located about in the middle of the present graveyard.
Mr. Calvin Hayes, Sr., born in 1900, recalled seeing the church as a small
child. Mr. Hayes said the present day church is the fourth building to
house the congregation in his lifetime.
The present church building was erected in 1958 at a cost of
$32,640. The steeple was added in memory of the DeLoach family and
dedicated at Homecoming Services on Nov. 6, 1994.
Congregation or names mentioned in 1861 at Oak Grove:
old Brother Snoddy
Rev. Parish preached at Pallestine and Haw Creek the third Sunday
of most every month in 1861.
Pallestine Church is located in Rapides Parish, near Haw Creek, off
of Highway 165 on Paradise Road, RFD Pineville. According to the Pastor,
Rev. McVay, who was interviewed on Nov. 4, 1994, Pallestine was
incorporated with a full time pastor about 1928. He was not knowledgable
that there was a church before that time - but felt the Pallestine of Rev.
Parish's diary was the same because it was close to Haw Creek. And in the
diary Haw Creek is near Pallestine. Rev. McVay said there has never been a
church, at least in recent years at Haw Creek, and that Haw Creek was
probably a preaching station for Rev. Parish.
There is an old cemetery at Pallestine Methodist Church, with
gravestones dating from the 1800s, including some from the Holloaway
family. (NEED TO CHECK RAPIDES CEM. LISTINGS)
Sister Scoggs place
Probably located in Avoyelles Parish. Rev. Parish preached here the
first Saturday of every month during 1861. Rev. Parish in a notation on
June 7, 1861, said he left for Point Maigre and staid all night with Sister
Scroggs. There is a Scroggs Road -
Second Sunday of every month. Apparently between Newel's Union and
Grimes and Alexandria.
Congregation at or near Trinity:
Mrs. Tiler (joined April 14)
This may be the same as Trinity, which is now part of
Jonesville, Louisiana. The town of Trinity was a thriving
community at the junction of three rivers: Old, Black and
Ouchita Rivers. There was a Methodist Church located where a
metal building is located today, just down the road from the
Kirby House, a home built in 1850, currently still standing
and used as a Bed and Breakfast. Certainly, Rev. Parish would
have known the people in this house, as it was so close to the
church. Photos can be linked of the Kirby House and Trinity
Church site in the Photos of Churches and Places on the main
menu of this diary site at:
OTHER CHURCH CIRCUITS SERVED BY REV. PARISH
Arcadia is the parish seat of Bienville Parish, and is located
along the route of Interstate 20 just to the east of Shreveport. This
assignment appears to the the farthest point to the northwest of all
locations of Rev. Parish's circuit work.
Centerville Circuit - had its own Parsonage, one of 18 in whole state, in
1860 (Pg.90, Harper). According to Bobby A. Brown of Jena, Centerville was
located about three or four miles north of Jena on the Olla Highway. Mr.
Brown said he stayed at the old Methodist Camp Ground at this location
about the 1940s. Mr. Brown said there is a metal shed near a filling
station that marks the site of this old Methodist area. Centerville later
became known as Summerville, according to Mr. Brown.
The Calcasieu Circuit was probably centered around what is today
Lake Charles, as we have evidence that Rev. Parish has a child buried at
Biblo Cemetery there. Calcasieu Parish was much larger in geographic size
than it is today, and included all of Allen as well as other parishes in
the time of Rev. Parish. The town of Mittie is located in the old Calcasieu
Circuit. Rev. Parish had a daughter named Mittie, born shortly after his
assignment in the Calcasieu Circuit.
Lake Charles was settled and laid out as a town about 1852. It was
incorporated about 1857 under the name Charleston. It had a population of
from three to five hundred souls, and about 1852 became the parish seat -
taking it from Marion, a town which no longer exists today. In 1867 the
name of the Charleston changed to Lake Charles. The first church in the
town of Lake Charles was a Methodist, and for some time its building was
used both as church and school house. Then came other denominations
including German Methodist and Methodist Episcopal.
(SOURCES: Southwest Louisiana; Biographical & Historical; published
1891. Cemetery listings of Lake Charles, La.. DAR?. 1860 and 1994 maps of
The town of Castor today is located in southwest Bienville Parish,
population about 200. On an 1860 map of Louisiana, a town named Castor
exists in a different location - in northwest Caldwell Parish about where
Vixon is today located. This early map may have Castor placed in the wrong
location. More research is needed to determine the exact location of
According to history of the Castor Methodist Church of Bienville
Parish, written in 1992 by the pastor, Rev. Steve Porter, Castor Church's
roots go back to 1853, and a new church was built as the town of Castor
moved because of a railroad that was built several miles away.
Centreville is located in Catahoula Parish.
Columbia is the parish seat of Caldwell Parish.
The town of Downsville is located in Union Parish
Farmerville is the parish seat of Union Parish
Indian Village Circuit
There are at least two towns known as Indian Village in Louisiana -
one located in Allen Parish in the old Calcasieu Circuit area - and one in
Ouchita Parish near the Jackson Parish line.
The town of Marion is located in northern Union Parish. (there was
a Marion near Lake Charles but this probably isn't same Marion - it was
Calcasieu Parish Seat until Lake Charles took over in about 1852.)
North Rapides Circuit
The North Rapides Circuit included the present day areas of
Avoyelles and Rapides Parishes that were north of the Red River, plus the
southern part of Grant Parish. Churches that still exist today from the
days of Rev. Parish are Liberty Chapel in Grant Parish, Oak Grove in
Avoyelles, and possibly Pallestine Chapel in Rapides Parish. Other
preaching stations or chapels of this circuit included: Hudson Creek
Chapel, Holloway Prairie Chapel, Grimes' Bluff, Newel's Union, New Hope,
Fish Creek, Haw Creek, Beaver Creek, Bear Creek, Mill Creek, Sister
Ouchita Parish is in northeast Louisiana, and is the parish where
Monroe is located.
Tulip located in Southeast Claiborne Parish - see Bio & Hist.
Memoirs of N.W.La., published in 1890.
Vernon was once a thriving town - the parish seat - center of
activity - but today has almost completely vanished.
The following description of the town of Vernon appeared in a book
about Jackson Parish published by the Jackson Chamber:
Vernon, The forgotten legacy
In 1860 the town was described by a New Orleans newspaper, The Crescent:
Vernon is a pleasant little burgh, of some three or four hundred
inhabitants.....It is located on a knobby, hilly piece of ground, and is a
rather picturesque settlement, with its courthouse occupying a hill in the
center - a capitoline mount; its churches, Methodist and baptist, its
residences on hill and in dale, with ground running back to adjoining
forest, or broadening into wide and beautiful fields.
Vernon was laid out by a survey in 1845 and in 1846 won the bid to
be the parish seat for the newly created Jackson Parish.
Just north of the town square was a level tract of perhaps ten
acres that was used for public service. This was a favored spot for outdoor
gatherings, etc. At about the center of this square stood the Methodist
Church, at the edge of an oak grove. A one-room school building was north
of the church. In 1860, the Vernon Female Seminary had an average
attendance of some forty-five pupils. There was a flourishing school for
boys also. A Presbyterian church stood on the southeast corner of the
square. The Baptist Church was some distance away on the south side of
town, and about two blocks from the courthouse. The other public buildings
were the courthouse and the jail. The first jail was a two-story building
with a trap-door on the second floor used for hanging. The second jail was
the only brick structure in the village, was still standing in 1945, but
has been town down since.
The town had several newspapers over the years, but following the
Civil War during Reconstruction, the population slowly started to dwindle.
The sawmill town of Jonesboro began to grow, and became a rival for the
parish seat of Jackson. Bills were introduced in legislature in 1884, 1904
and 1908 to remove the courthouse from Vernon, but were all defeated until
1910 when the Legislature approved the moving.
The loss of its status as parish seat was a death-blow to Vernon.
In the years that followed, more of its citizens moved away and slowly its
business and commercial life died. The town square, which had once been
surrounded by thriving businesses became an empty field; the school and all
but one small church disappeared. Where the streets had been and where
buildings once stood, there were now lonely pines and deserted plum
Rev. R. T. Parish's grave lies in cemetery deep in the woods of old
Vernon - probably not far from the very site of his church he served during
the last years of his life.
Other towns mentioned in Rev. Parish's diary:
(The following was written by J. W. Dorr, a gentleman who traveled
the state of Louisiana and wrote about its various towns in the New Orleans
Crescent newspaper. He traveled the state in the Spring and Summer of 1860,
just a few months before Rev. Parish spent the night there.)
Vienna, the only other settlement of note in the parish (of
Jackson), is sixteen miles north of Vernon. It is an incorporated town of a
couple hundred inhabitants, A. B. C. Winfree, Esq. Mayor, and is a rather
pleasant place, and its people good, sober folks, albeit there are one or
two more whiskey restaurants than seem necessary in the town. A fine large
church is being built, and a numerously attended school is every way
creditable to the settlement in its management and prosperity. The
merchants are Messrs. Spivey, and Coker, Wilder and Poole, and H. H.
Howard, as they do a good business.
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