Mitchell Book

Chapter Two - Ancestors


written in 1964 by Martha Mitchell Sherwood

Sarah was born in or near Buena Vista, Ind. On the 17th of Jan. 1855. I know very little about her childhood. Unfortunately when I was a child I didn’t encourage her to discuss her childhood and relatives. Only one thing, was that her father said that her great grandfather was the biggest nose pirate that ever came out of Scotland. This big nose carried over to my brothers and me, but got lost in my family. She also said that she went to the Old School Baptist Church.

Sarah Elizabeth Oliphant Mitchell with Stephen Mitchell in June 1938

Sarah and Levi were married on the 5th of Sept., 1875 in Monroe County, Indiana. She was a teacher at the time of their marriage. My father, Orestes and his sister Lulu Josephine were born while they still lived at Buena Vista. They then moved to western Kansas, probably homesteaded, because I remember hearing a discussion about how they lived in a dug out sod house and one day when the third child was a baby (Ida Isabel), Sarah noticed a rattlesnake crawling down the wall just over her bed. Orestes used to tell of riding with a neighbor to the closest town, for salt pork and after he became an adult never would eat pork if he could help it. From there they moved to St. Joseph, Missouri in 1881 where their last two children, Virgil Marvin and Bernice Oliphant were born. Levi had a good many different occupations, but I’m not sure what they were. He farmed until 1888, then went into real estate, at one time he sold insurance, but what else I don’t know. He had a difficult disposition, lost his temper easily, and would quit a job if he disagreed with his employer on politics. He was a Democrat. He died of a heart attack on the 9th of April, 1931. Sarah lived until the 23rd of Dec., 1940. Two years after her eldest son Orestes died. For the last 15 years of her life she had to take digitalis to live. She was a little tiny person as she got older. She had a limp, but I do not know what caused this. Whether she had always had it or not. She went blind before her death.

Levi & Sarah E. Oliphant Mitchell
Family Group Record


written in 1964 by Martha Mitchell Sherwood Josephine was born on the 4th of July, 1880, at Buena Vista. Ind. She spent most of her life in St. Joseph, Missouri. She was married to Virgil L. Saunders on the 7th of Oct., 1908. He worked in a Men’s department of a department store, most of their married life. They moved to a small town near Kansas City about 1946 when their two sons settle there. They had four children: Virginia Josephine, Sarah Lee, Joseph William, andRobert Cleaves. I do not know the occupation of the oldest son. Virginia married a boy named Daley in St. Joseph, Missouri and they lived in California for many years. They had six sons. Robert was an Osteopath and he and William took care of their parents during their last years. Sarah Lee married and had three children. At one time she lived in Washington. Virgil died during the spring of 1964.


written in 1964 by Martha Mitchell Sherwood

Isabel was born in Cherryville, Kansas on the 18th of June 1885. Not long after she was born they moved to St. Joseph, Missouri and she attended school there. When she was 23 she married Oscar Schmidt, 10 April, 1908. He was a civil engineer. I believe that his first job or right after they were married, they came to Sunnyside, Washington and worked on the dam that was built here. They were here for a year or two. Whether they immediately went back to St. Joseph I do not know, but they did shortly and lived the rest of their married life in Missouri. The family were Lutherans. They had three children: Richard Lee, Edwin, and Mertice Eleanor. Richard also went to the University of Missouri and got his engineering degree and went into business with his father. When he was in his early 40s he died of cancer of the eyes about 1950. They resided in Topeka, Kansas. He left one child. Edwin was an electrical engineer and has been many places in the U.S. but the last few years, has been settled in Tulsa, Oklahoma working in the oil industry. Mertice got her degree in Library Science from the University of Illinois, but for many years she worked in the Lutheran church as the Youth director. After her mother’s death on Feb. 1, 1962, she went back to Library work and worked in the reference department in Denver, Colorado. She never married.


written in 1964 by Martha Mitchell Sherwood

Marvin was born the 11th of April, 1890 in St. Joseph , Missouri. He was married when he was 21 to Bessie Spencer whose home was near St. Joseph. He worked as a telegrapherfor the Burlington Railroad and they moved to several towns. The place they lived the longest was Cheyenne, Wyoming. They had 8 children: Marvin, Robert Oliphant, Donald, Charles, Dorothy, Beverly, James,and Virginia Louise. Unfortunately I know very little about the children except that they all have acquired an ambition in life and all went to a church college (Christian college) in Oklahoma and on their own got degrees. Some of the older ones may have helped the younger. Marvin unfortunately inherited his father’s bad temper and did not make life very pleasant at home. The oldest son died when he was in his forties. Marvin when he was in his sixties just quit his job and took off. I’m not sure whether Bessie got a divorce or not. She went someplace else and went to work, doing what I don’t know. About 1960, Marvin had a heart attack and went back to Bessie and she is now taking care of him and they seem comparatively happy living their lives out together. (1964)


written in 1964 by Martha Mitchell Sherwood

Bernice born in 1894, in St. Joseph, was the youngest of the family and acquired the tremendous ambition of her older brother. After she finished high school he helped her to go to a musical college, Washington College in Topeka, Kansas. She became an outstanding pianist. All of her nieces and nephews became her pupils, but only Virginia amounted to anything on the piano. Bernice never married. She was a very high strung person. For the last 15-20 years of her parent’s lives she lived with them and probably took care of most of the bills. She was engaged a couple of times, but my mother said the Grandmother criticized the boys so she broke up. She taught piano and did very well. About 1945 it was noticed that she needed psychiatric help. A few years later, she was sent to the Missouri State Hospital and she will without doubt live out her days there. The hospital says that she could live with some relatives, but she does not want to. She has never played the piano since she went into the hospital and probably has never even mentioned it. She resided in the Nodaway County Nursing Home in Missouri.


written in 1964 by Martha Mitchell Sherwood

Cumberland George Samuel was born on the 22nd of May, 1842 in Hancock Co., Illinois. I know little about his childhood until he married my Grandmother Martha Angeline Collins. Apparently he was the snatch of the neighborhood and Martha’s step-mother was surprised when he came to call on her. My mother says that the only thing that she remembers about Cumberland’s mother, Mary, was that when she came to call, everything had to be in apple pie order. She was rather aristocratic.

Martha Angeline Collins was born in Adams County, Illinois. She was the fourth child of Alexander Collins and Jerusha Abbott. Some time soon after brother Alexander’s birth in 1850 and before her stepsister’s birth in 1854, her mother died. According to my mother, Grandmother was treated as the storybook stepchild. She periodically visited her older sisters when they got old enough and were married and they would buy her clothes. But, she was required to do menial chores around the house and given nothing. This colored her whole life. She was married when she was 19 to Cumberland. He was very good to her and a wonderful gentle man. But she was never satisfied. She had 5 children, my mother being the last which she told her years later that she was angry when she found she was pregnant with her. Naturally, Inez was the one who looked after her the last 40 years of her life!

When Inez was about 5 they sold the farm and moved to Brookfield, Missouri where my Grandfather bought houses with the money. They lived on the rents from these.

When Inez, the last one home was about 16 her father told her that if anything happened to him, she should look after her mother. Shortly after this he was shot. Some say it might have been suicide. He was collecting his rents, when he died. My Grandmother Samuel was a very difficult person to live with. When they moved to Brookfield, they bought a big house. Then she decided that this was too big, so they bought a smaller one and it was too small, so they started building on to it. Inez said that when she and her brothers and sisters were at home, if anything new was bought it was for mother first and then the children. (When Inez became a mother it worked backwards to that, she forgot about herself)

When Cumberland died, Martha sold everything and moved to St. Joseph where two of her sons lived. Inez finished high school there. One of her brothers brought Orestes Mitchell to visit and he kept coming and Mother married him on the 15th of April, 1902.

Cumberland George & Martha Collins Samuel
Family Group Record
Cumberland and Martha
Martha Collins Samuel


written in 1964 by Martha Mitchell Sherwood

Pearl (cousin - daughter of Harriet), Leve (sister), Junia (cousin - daughter of Harriet) and Mary

Mary was the first child of Martha and Cumberland. She was born on Feb. 7, 1869. She was married to Lincoln Downing when she was 17 in Nov., 1886. They lived with his parents near her home farm for awhile, then they moved to Pamona, California, where they lived for about 30 years. He owned a hardware store there. The last few years that they lived there Lincoln was ill. He had typhoid fever and it left him very weak. Their only child LeRoyce Edna had married Paul Morphy Bennett of Phoenix and moved there. They thought that the climate might be good for him, so they moved to Phoenix and he lived nearly 30 years more. For awhile after they moved to Phoenix, he worked in Paul’s storage garage. I lived with them when in Junior College for two years.

Mary was a very energetic person. All of her life she had been full of energy. While in Pamona she had been very socially minded. While Lincoln was ill she had taken over and supported them by sewing. She was an excellent seamstress and very fast. Soon after she got to Phoenix she fell and broke her arm. While that was healing she had a spiritual experience and after that completely changed. She started working for the church more than she already was. She started a group made-up of unchurched, underprivileged girls. They had four meetings a month: one religious, one personal care, one social, and one on how to take are of their homes. She gradually built these up until she had 80 girls at one time. She bamboozled the church members into bringing them up for meetings to the Cathedral (Trinity Episcopal). She had meals for them at the church on Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. She got people to donate the food. She had rummage sales all of the time which financed her work. She kept the clothes in her house, mending and cleaning them as needed. She also got people to donate their cars to take the girls to camp in the summer for two weeks. She did most of the cooking and the planning. She called the group the Christian Citizenship Club and she also taught the girls how to be good citizens. Near the last 10 years of her life she had to give up active work in this.

Her daughter has started a fund for her, to be used for these girls. Through her efforts an Episcopal church was started in the area where most of the girls at that time lived. Later, the girls nolonger met at the church. She really worked all of the time that she had with her girls. Many of them came to see her after they were through school and married. She wrote down her spiritual experience and a relative of Paul’s had it published. Mary died when she was 87. From a Phoenix, Arizona newspaper clipping: This week’s Good Neighbor is Mrs. E.L. Downing of 822 N. First Ave. She has worked most of her life for youth, and during her lifetime she has been cited for her interests by the Phoenix Rotary Club Youth Service Committee.

At one time, she organized a Christian Citizen Club,a nonsectarian group of near-problem children.

St. Paul’s Mission is the result of the vision of this woman, a member of Trinity Auxiliary Guild. Mrs. Downing was one of the hardest workers in the Girls’ Friendly Society movement at the church. Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, she and her group distributed baskets among the underprivileged families.

It was through this work she became interested in the girls who had no church affiliation and no social life other than public dance places. She organized the Christian Citizen Club for girls of all religions. She wanted to give them social contact and training along lines of self betterment. Classes in cooking, serving, home management, dramatics, music and cosmetology were formed.

In 1937, 17 girls asked to be confirmed in the Episcopal Church and expressed a desire for a church on the east side of Phoenix. Later St. Paul’s Sunday School was started and then a woman’s auxiliary. Through funds raised by the auxiliary, a lot was purchased at 16th Street and Fillmore, and then the problem was how to get a building. Mrs. Downing purchased a cottage which was part of the original church.

Mrs. Downing is now an elderly woman but she still has a youthful spirit.


written in 1964 by Martha Mitchell Sherwood

Leva Samuel was born on the 4th of Mar., 1871. She married Frank Norton of Kansas City in 1894. He owned a men’s clothing store there. They had three children. Frank Jr., Alfred, and George Cumberland. Frank was sent to the University of Missouri, but he still wanted to be a farmer when he came out, so his father set him up on a farm near Kansas City. He had 6 children. Alfred stayed home until he was nearly 30, then he took off. He went to Cincinnati and got job with a greeting card company, and has been with them ever since. He married back there and had 2 children. George was the socialite of the family and married a girl whose whole family were interested in social activities. The last I heard, he was contracting to completely remodel old buildings and doing very well at it. Leva died in June 1919, from an overactive thyroid. When she died Inez decided that she would have another child if she could and my sister Maryle was the result.


written in 1964 by Martha Mitchell Sherwood

Andrew was born on the 25th of Mar., 1873. He married Eunice Cash, whose father was a minister of the Primitive Baptist Church. They had two girls: Delores and Louise. Andrew had a stroke when he was about 40 years of age. He had eaten a heavy meal on top of the excitement of a big business deal. He lost his mind and never came out of it before his death in 1935. Deloris had one child and Louise married and had 3. Her first husband died and I believe that she has remarried and lives in California.


written in 1964 by Martha Mitchell Sherwood

Alexander was born the 15th of Sept., 1875. He married a woman in St. Louis and they had one daughter. For some reason they were divorced and he went to California. I only saw him, once, when I was a very young child.

LeRoyce Bennett remembers that Alexander brought her pony out west to her when she had to leave it behind when they moved. She was so thrilled! She said that he used to come to the house and take her places like a show or a bazaar.

During his later years, he was involved with an evangelist in California. Whether he was one we don’t know. About 10 years before he died, he married a widow and she seems to have straightened him out.

This history is taken from the book, Ancestors And Descendants Of
Isaac And Phoebe Chambers Mitchell Of Monroe County, Indiana.  This is
a very interesting account but the serious Mitchell history researcher
would want to look for more verification to prove it to be true.  Even
so, I believe that this is a good place to start, as you pursue your
research plans.

ABRAHAM MITCHELL, born 23 August 1761, Pennsylvania, married 1782 in
North Carolina to Lucy Wilson, born 1762 in North Carolina.  Abraham
died 17 April 1856 in Lawrence County, Indiana.  This Abraham is a
proven Revolutionary War Soldier, having served and fought at the
Guilford County Court House battle of the supply train.  He was a
Baptist preacher.
1.  Isaac born 15 Aug. 1783 North Carolina, died 20 July ____  md.
Celia Hanna and 2nd Elizabeth “Betsy” Crum
2.  Robert W. born 24 April 1786 North Carolina, md. 15 Nov.
1808 to Fanny Harris in North Carolina.  Resided and homesteaded in
1825 Pleasant Run Township in Lawrence County, Indiana.
3.  Levi (father of Orestes Mitchell) born 18 Jan. 1788 in North
Carolina, died 30 June 1852
4.  Thomas born 1790 in North Carolina, died (?), md. to Donia Connally.
5.  Jennie (Jane) born 1792 in North Carolina, md Aaron Davis
6.  Josiah born 1794 in North Carolina, md Lucy Ann (?)
7.  Hannah born 1796 in North Carolina, died (?) md. Aaron Beasly
8.  Charles born 1798 in North Carolina, died (?) md. Rachel Bevins
9.  Abraham born 11 May 1800 in North Carolina, md. Jane Parker,
2nd ________Price
10. Lucinda born 1802

ABRAHAM MITCHELL, born about 1736, married 1  January 1757 Mary
Piffets at Burlington County, New Jersey according to County Marriage
records.  Nothing else has been found on this generation as far as
dates of death, burial places proven, however, family tradition says
that this Abraham was buried on the “Mitchell Farm” near the Guilford
County Court House in North Carolina.  This Court House was destroyed
by fire.
1.  Isaac born about 1757 or 58.  Nothing else known.
2.  Levi born 1759/60.  Was killed in the Revolution.
3.  Rebecca born 1760.  Nothing else known.
4.  Abraham born 23 August 1761 in Pennsylvania.  He married Lucy
Wilson in 1782.  He died 17 April 1856 and was buried at the Peerless,
Indiana Cemetery in Lawrence County.  Uncle Jim Mitchell and his son
Carl located the marker at Peerless leaning up against a tree.  The
cemetery was right in someone’s front yard.  Uncle Jim and Carl
brought the stone home to Bloomington but upon second thought decided
it should be returned to the Cemetery.  Some time after having
returned the stone they tried to relocate it and the stone had
disappeared.  Uncle Jim said he wished he had kept Abraham’s marker
and preserved it.
5.  James born 1767 (This may be the father of the John Mitchell who
owned land in Section 5, Clear Creek Township, Monroe County, Indiana
in 1856 and who has many descendants in the Monroe and Lawrence County
areas.)  Or is he the son of William of Kentucky?
6.  Samuel born 1770.
7.  Robert born 1775.
8.  Theopilus born (?) died in Revolution before 1782.
9.  Thomas
10. Alexander

Source of Information:  Mrs. Guyula M. Taylor, 4903 W. Washington
Street, Indianapolis, In 46241.  She credited Jessie Williams Thomas
of Bedford, Indiana, a descendant of Levi Mitchell and Charlotte
Verrell Jacobson of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a descendant of Abraham
Mitchell, Jr. as her sources of information.

ABRAHAM MITCHELL, born 1710 in Scotland, md 30 March 1734, to Sarah
Robins born 1711.  Sarah died 29 Jan. 1788 and Abraham died 13 Jan.
1788.  Abraham and Sarah Robins were married at the Arch Street
Philadelphia Meeting House (from Quaker Records), and resided in a
large house on Poplar Lane near Fourth Street, his summer residence,
which later became the “Robin Hood Inn”.  Sarah Robin’s father was
Samuel Robins and her mother was Ann Chandler.
1.  Abraham, born about 1736, md. 1 Jan. 1757 Mary Piffets at
Burlington County, New Jersey at the Dutch Reformed Church.  The
record is in the New Jersey Archives.
2.  Sarah (daughter and sister of Abraham)

THOMAS MITCHELL, born 7 July 1684 Scotland.  Came to America in 1690.
He married 10 Jan. 1708 at the Philadelphia Meeting House to Sarah
Densey who was born 29 June 1690.  Thomas died 4 Sep. 1747.  Sarah
died 18 March 1743 or 44.  Thomas Mitchell was dismissed from the
Quakers for “Disunity” in 1728 and so was Esther his daughter.  His
son Joshua was dismissed in 1766.
1.  Esther born (?) died March 16, 1743 and was buried with mother
2.  Joshua born (?) died (?)  Dismissed from the Quakers in 1766.
3.  Abraham born 1710 in Scotland, md. 30 March 1734 to Sarah Robbins
(Robins), died 13 Jan. 1788.

Source of Information:  Guyula Taylor and “Parrish Family”We do not
know that the last two generation’s information is accurate and it has
not been proven at this date.

From the book, Mitchell Kith and Kin:

“Mitchell is a large surname in Colonial America, in 1790 census,
there were over 700 families, some in every state.  They show early in
records all along the Eastern states.  They were early settlers in
Maine, Virginia and South Carolina. No early land grants to Mitchells
in N.C.  Mainly the N.C. Mitchells were from Virginia.
The Mitchells were patriotic Americans, they show in all the Colonial
wars as brave soldiers.  There were thousands of Mitchells in the
Revolutionary War.  Their records reveal men of honor, and integrity.
In private life, they appear a talented people, given to trades, found
in records, as carpenters, wagon makers, tanners, leather workers, and
iron foundry workers.  It seem that many were gifted in music.  In the
Revolutionary War, many of the drummers were Mitchells.
Mitchell is a founding name of Scotland.  They use the Inness Tartan.
The name in Scotland often appears Michael.  In England it maybe
written, Michel.”

Excerpts from “The Oliphant Family History”
edited by Nancy Hawlick Stein
Aunt Betty told me about this book maybe 15 years ago and I wrote to
Nancy and purchased it from her.  Sharlot has since inputted into the
computer the entire book plus it’s revised edition.  When she
finished, there totaled over 5,000 descendants of William and Betsey
Oliphant.  Anyone interested in pursuing the Oliphant family tree
would need to begin with this book and go from there so as not to
duplicate research efforts.


William born ca 1741.  Family stories indicate Scotland
His great granddaughter, Sarah E. Oliphant, wrote that he married a
lady by the name of McGlammery before leaving Scotland.
William & Elizabeth (Betsey) Oliphant along with Eunice and Moses
Gordy (his inlaws) were charter members of the Broad Creek Baptist
Church in Sussex Co., Delaware in 1781
He fought in the Revolutionary War.  He applied for and received a
pension later.
William first found in Guilford County, North Carolina in 1806
according to deed to son, William.
Children:  Elizabeth -- md Curtiss Weatherly 26 Jan, 1799, Guilford
                        Margaret -- md John Purdue Hale 17 Feb 1800,
Guilford County
                        William -- 2md Mary Wyrick 16 Feb 1825,
Guilford County
                         Thomas -- b 6 July 1787, Guilford Co., North
Carolina  md Nancy Lister 17 Sep 1804


The 1810 Census:  Surry Co, NC Household of Thomas Oliphant  2 boys
under 10 (Lawson, Justin); 1 man 16-26 (the father Thomas); one male
over 45 (probably William, the father of Thomas); girl under 10
(Elizabeth); woman 16-26, (Nancy Lister Oliphant)
1820 Census:  Morrians district, farmer, north side of Yadkin, Surry
Co., NC   p 43 -- one boy 10-16 (Lawson); 3 boys under 10 (Thomas,
William, Jesse); one male 26-45 (Thomas); one girl under 10
(Margaret); one girl 10-16 (Jane or Elizabeth); female 26-45 (Nancy
Lister Oliphant)  (One daughter missing)  one male over 45 (Who?
Lister? Oliphant?)
1830 Census:  Monroe Co., Indian Creek Twp., Ind. p 154  9:306 -- boy
under 5 (James Harvey); boy 5-10 (William); two boys 10-15 (Thomas
and ?); boy 15-20 (Jesse); girl 10-15 (Margaret); woman 50-60 (Nancy
Lister?  supposed to be 43); one woman 70-80 (Grandmother Lister or
In a deed on 1 Oct., 1827 Thomas described himself as of Surry Co.,
NC.  On the 10th of Oct., 1828 he described himself as of Monroe
County, Ind.
Numerous land transactions, deeds in Stokes and Surry Co., North
Carolina 1807-1817
“History of the Fisher’s River Primitive Baptist Association” by Jesse
A. Ashburn, p 161, lists Thomas Oliphant as an organizer of the
Primitive Baptist Churches in Surry, Stokes and Yadkin Counties, North
Carolina.  Also “Elder Oliphant was its first pastor and served for a
number of years and was succeeded by Elder John Jones.
Bear Story -- given by Mrs. Belinda Oliphant Brinton -- granddaughter
“Back in North Carolina, when grandmother Nancy Oliphant was young,
she took her two babies and went to the woods in the afternoon to help
grandfather Thomas Oliphant cook off syrup.  Grandfather brought up
wood while grandmother kept the fire going and watched the babies on
the pallet where they lay and cried or kicked up their heels.  One
afternoon grandfather decided that he should step over to a neighbor’s
for something.  Accordingly he got up a big pile of wood and made him
some good torches and started out.  At this point in the story I
invariably asked why he took torches in the day time, and they always
answered that bears and wolves are afraid of fire, and there were many
in those days.
Now it was said of grandfather that he was a great talker, and after
arriving at the neighbor’s he got to talking and forgot about where he
had left his wife and babies and was away in the night returning.
Grandmother said it must have been midnight when she saw the light of
grandfather’s torch on his return and grandmother said that was one of
the happiest moments of her life.  She and grandfather each took a
baby in one hand and a torch in the other and made it home safely.”
They came to Indiana prior to the second Saturday in August of 1828
since Thomas was appointed to preach on that day for the White River
Indiana Baptist Association.  The appointment was made in August, 1827
hence the Indiana Baptists knew he was coming then.
Excerpt from “The Autobiography of Elder J.H. Oliphant” of
Crawfordsville, Indiana  Printed by Messenger of Peace, St. Louis,
Mo., May 13, 1923
“My grandfather’s name was Thomas Oliphant.  He began preaching for
the Primitive Baptists when 19 years of age.  His son, my Uncle
Harvey, began preaching for the Primitive Baptists before grandfather
died, and preached five years after grandfather’s death and died.
Grandfather died in September before Lincoln’s first election in
1960.  My cousin, John T. Oliphant, began reaching before Uncle
Harvey’s death, and he is still preaching.  So grandfather Oliphant
and his sons have now been preaching for the Primitive Baptists over a
century, and holding the same doctrine and views generally.
I remember grandfather well, and of hearing him preach.  He wrote a
circular letter for the association which still exists, and which
shows his views.  He began preaching in the year 1800.  He and his son
and grandson have now in 1923 been preaching for the Primitive
Baptists for 123 years.
The White River Association was a large body.  There were over one
thousand members, as I remember.  About 1860 there came trouble into
the association, and it continued to grow worse, until in 1865
division came.  I was an observer and interested in all. Good people
went on both sides.  There were preachers who tired of the “old paths”
and doctrine, who believed in progression.  Protracted meetings were
held by them at which a hundred joined, and things looked discouraging
for those who loved the old ways.  Elder D. D. Thomas, of the Danville
Association, rendered good help, and all the sister associations
continued their correspondence with our tried people.
As time went by the house of Saul grew weaker and the house of David
grew stronger.  The Progressives seemed to think there was room
between us and the Missionaries to stand, but experience and time
demonstrated that there was not.  This has often been shown since.”
Herman Oliphant writing, 1 March, 1920 of a family trip to North
Carolina to research.  “I found a history of the Rock Church
Association of which Thomas Oliphant was one of the founders in
1820s.  He was one of the constituting elders of Mt. Ararat Church of
that Association, which church is located near his plantation as I
located it.  He was pastor of this church until he came to Indiana and
was succeeded by John Jones, who bought his plantation and who
continued pastor until 1876.  John Jones was followed by Gabriel
Dennis, the present pastor, whom we saw and talked to of the Rock
Church Association.  From the stories he had heard and told us about
Thomas, he was a great and grand preacher, famous throughout that part
of the country.”
While Thomas was admired by his fellow churchmen, in later years he
was the subject of a rather lengthy discussion by William Taylor
Stott, Ex President, Franklin College, Franklin, Indiana, in Indiana
Baptist History, p107.
“Among these Thomas Oliphant Sr., is evidently a leader if we may
infer so from his frequent election to the moderatorship and frequent
appointment to write the circular letter.  He was appointed to present
a letter at the White River Association (organized 1821 Lawrence
County) and it is so striking a deliverance that we may well make a
liberal extract for the insight they give of the convictions of the
times as to matter of mission...
He argues Baptists have always stood for the scriptures as the
infallible rule of our faith and practice and where is the authority
for such a mode of setting missionaries apart?  He confounds the
essential with the incidental; he might just as well have reasoned
that the White River Association is not mentioned in the scriptures,
therefore it ought never to have been organized.  Again as Paul
received no salary therefore ministers of today have no right to
receive salaries.  Then he tells with apparent satisfaction that as
Paul and Peter say nothing about  money in their account of their
missionary labors, there is no place for money in missions...this
letter runs 10 pages on seven by four and one-half inches...are taken
up with just such false reasoning.  It is plain to be seen that if the
utterances are indicative of the anti-mission spirit of the
association it is no wonder that there is a steady decline in interest
and power.  In 1856 the total membership of the White River
Association was 503, and today the association is extinct.”
While it is true that the Association did decline in power the fact
remains that during his lifetime, Elder Thomas was an influential and
respected man among the people of his faith.  Below is a story told
over one hundred years after preacher Oliphant left North Carolina.
When a listener was suspicious after a story was told, it was said in
the 1920s that disbelief was registered by piping out, “Dip him again,
North Carolina Story:  Mrs. Ada Oliphant Dingman writes: “My brother
went back to North Carolina and also to Scotland inquiring about
Oliphant history.  From North Carolina he brought this story.  He
said, that during his visit there, he several times heard this
expression -- “Dip him again, Tommie Oliphant, he lied.”  Brother
inquired into its origin.  They told him that one time our great-
grandfather Rev. Thomas Oliphant baptized a man in a tank where there
was ice.  Upon coming up out of the water, some old brother asked the
man, “Wasn’t it terribly cold?”  The man replied “No, it wasn’t,”
where upon some boy on the bank hollered out, “Dip him again, Tommie
Oliphant, he lied.”
In Indiana the saying was:  “To be an Oliphant was to be a Baptist.”
2nd marriage:   Meeky Parker 1 May 1834, Monroe Co., Indiana
3rd marriage:   Elizabeth Akins 14 Nov 1848, Greene Co., Indiana
“Thomas preached as long as he could stand and preached his last
sermon sitting.” From a letter found in the Samuel Grant Oliphant
papers, written by Sara Oliphant Stone in the 1890s.
Obituary of Thomas Oliphant, Sr. as written in the minutes of the
White River Association yearly meetings, 1860
“The subject of this memoir is Thomas Oliphant, Sr.  This
distinguished minister was born in North Carolina, Guilford County,
July 6, 1787 where he mostly resided until the fall of 1827 when he
removed to the state of Indiana where he resided until his death.  He
embraced religion in his seventeenth year and united with the regular
Baptist Church and soon after was licensed to preach, and was ordained
August 29, 1809 by the Little Yadkin Church to which he belonged.  On
moving to Indiana he united with the Hebron Church, Monroe County, was
chosen pastor for more than 30 years or until his death, had care
generally of four churches; spent much of his time traveling and
laboring for the cause of Christ, which was much blessed and while he
rests from his labors his works do follow him.  He aided in building
up and constituting many churches in White River Association; was a
Moderator eighteen years and present at twenty-two of her sessions.
He was a deep doctrinal preacher and for stability and sentiment and
correctness of discipline was not surpassed by any.  His death
sickness was lingering and long, which he bore with all patience and
fortitude of a Christian until death came to his relief, August 6, 1860.
He has left his field of labor and a large circle of acquaintances and
friends to mourn his absence and council, but all would say
“Victorious his fall, for he rose as he fell with Jesus, his Master in
glory to dwell; He has crossed O’r the Stream and reached the fair
coast For he fell like a martyr, he died at his post.
In token of the tender respect and high regard in which the
Association held him and in sympathy the foregoing is dedicated.”

Last will of Thomas Oliphant  Monroe County, Indiana   Will record 3,
page 157, 158, 159   Thomas lists his wife as Elizabeth and children
as: Lawson, Elizabeth, Thomas, Jane, William, Nancy, and James Harvey.

A letter from James Harvey Oliphant to Samuel Grant Oliphant  2 June
“Dear Kinsman,
My great grandfather’s name was William.  He was in the Revolutionary
war.  My information is that to him were born 3 sons, but I know
nothing of two of them.  Thomas was my grandfather; he moved to
Indiana in the twenties.
He was a true man with deep strong convictions of what was right, he
preached 50+ years for the Primitive Baptists.  He raised a family of
5 sons and 3 daughters.
Thomas Oliphant, my father, was an energetic farmer and I may say
without inpropriety he was an honest, conscientious, intelligent and
pious man, joined church early in life and lived a faithful life and
died cheerfully in August 1889.  He succeeded in life in his business,
raised 6 boys and 5 girls and all are yet living besides 2 boys and 1
girl who died in infancy.
My mother’s name was Carmichael; she was born in N.C., her grandfather
was a revolutionary soldier so that my great grandfather on both sides
were with George Washington and I am truly proud of this fact.
My wife and I joined the Old School Baptist in August 1809 and soon
after this I began to speak in public.  So far as I now remember I
have had an appointment to preach somewhere every Saturday and Sunday
for over 26 years.”
Excerpt from The Autobiography Of Elder J. H. Oliphant Of
Crawfordsville, Indiana, printed by Messenger of Peace, St. Louis Mo.,
May 13, 1923.
“My father’s name was Thomas.  He joined the church when a youth, and
lived a consistent life all the way.  He was a farmer and a hard
working man.  My mother’s maiden name was Carmichael.  Archibald
Carmichael, her grandfather, was a Primitive Baptist in North
Carolina, and was in the Revolutionary War.  Grandfather Carmichael’s
name was Richard, was born in North Carolina, and was neighbor there
of Grandfather Oliphant and they were members of the same church.
About 1820 they moved to Indiana and settled not far from
Harrodsburg.  Here they lived neighbors and were members of the same
church, which was old Hebron in Greene County and of which grandfather
was long the pastor and “Uncle Richard” Carmichael, as he was called,
was a zealous member.
My father and mother were married about 1839, and soon settled on a
farm near Hebron Church.  I was born four years before they went on
the farm referred to.  They lived on that farm until 1881, nearly
thirty-five years.  Then they spent one year in Nodaway County,
Missouri, after which they returned to Indiana where they ended their
days.  Mother died in April 1885 and father lived until August, 1889.
They were both members at Hebron Church, and were faithful and helpful
in every way to it.  To them were born fourteen children, three of
whom died in infancy, and eleven are yet living, except Richard, who
was killed by a runaway team near Ravensworth, Missouri in December,
1910.  Mother died willingly and cheerfully, in full possession of her
understanding.  Her last words were whispered, “you will all come
soon.”  Father died willingly and cheerfully.  His last words were
“When I am dead I want my sons to stand around my bed and sing,
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.”
He died about 1 o’clock p.m. and finished a life full of evidences
that he was a sincere and noble man, and we sang the hymn in cheerful,
solemn tones as he requested.  Mother was contented about the three
babes and said, “I feel less uneasiness about the dead than about the
living.”  Father was not a gifted man in public.  I never heard him
pray in the church, but he often returned thanks at the table.  They
were deeply interested in the church in every way...I wish to notice
the interest my parents took in my religious and moral training.  They
sought to fix in our minds a love for honesty, integrity, fair dealing
and justice among men.  They took us to church, and encouraged us to
go when we grew older.  Mother talked to us more than father and she
would often tell us her experience, of which I have a vivid
recollection yet.  She often told us that we needed a blessing that
she could not bestow on us.
Letter of Homer Lewis Oliphant, 30 Dec, 1900, Worthington, Indiana:
“Dicy (his wife) went to the meeting this morning and left the baby
(Waldo) at home.  It soon went to sleep, and I was thinking of a time
when my poor old mother plead with me to read the Bible.  It was the
psalms of David and the Acts of the Apostles, but I would not read
it.  She cried and said “Never mind, you will see the time some day
when you will read it.”  This morning was the time surely for I took
the book and turned to the psalms of David and read.  O, now I can see
why she wanted me to read it.”

by Nancy Lister Oliphant Acuff

Our old home stood beside the road, with clear brook running near,
And back of it an orchard grew, planted by hands so dear.

The towering hills and tall oak trees, all swaying in the wind,
Bedecked with snow, or flowers and leaves, a charm to home did lend.

The inmates of this dear, good home, were kind, and loving and true,
The happiest days of life were spent with Sarah, Lydia and Lou.

And Sister Eliza was also there, who stood by mother true,
And washed our clothes and combed our hair and helped with sewing too.

Our married brothers who were gone, came home with children dear,
With sparkling eyes and prattling tongues to give a double cheer.

Obituary of Mrs. Nancy Oliphant
Dear Bro. Goodson:  I wish you to publish a notice of the death of my
mother.  She died April 10 at 3:30 o’clock pm of lung fever.  She was
able to be at our last meeting which was attended by Elder J.T.
Oliphant.  She enjoyed the meeting very much, was taken sick soon
after the meeting and after a short illness died.
About the time she was first taken, she called her husband to her bed
and said she felt much in the dark, and felt that she had her last
sickness, but that she had a hope that all would be well with her when
the time came.  She spoke to him again in the same way during her
sickness.  She frequently said she was not afraid to die.  On
Wednesday before her death, she sent for her three daughters, Mrs.
Fossett, Mrs. Acuff and Mrs. Boyd, who came and waited on her till her
death.  Her sister Mrs. Eliza A. Oliphant, was with her almost all the
time of her sickness, and did all she could to relieve her in every
way possible.  She had the best medical aid and best nursing possible,
but her hour had come.  On Friday she seemed better and we all felt
hopeful of her recovery.  She also seemed to be hopeful, but on
Saturday morning although she said she felt better, we all dispaired
of her recovery.  About two hours before she died, she fell into a
sort of slumber and when she awoke, she asked to be raised up.  She
was almost gone; she said to me that unless she could get relief in
her lungs that she could not last long.
“But you will all soon follow me, “ she said. “You are all very
precious to me.”  I responded:  “Yes, mother, you are precious to all
of us.”  She called her little grandson Albert Oliphant to her and
said to him:  “Be a good boy.  I will talk more to you after awhile.”
She said near an hour before her death:  “What makes it so dark?  You
need not prepare any more for me to eat. and I’ll take no more
medicine.”  But she was not able to talk any more.  We all saw that
she must go.  She died easy, as if going to sleep.  Oh, how hard to
give her up.  I want little Albert, and all of her grandchildren to
remember her advice.
Her first name was Nancy Carmichael, a daughter of Richard
Carmichael.  She was born in Surry County, North Carolina, July 6,
1823 and moved to this neighborhood in 1826.
Children:  Proof from entries by father in leather notebook
William Lucian   b 16 Nov 1840   md Nancy Workman, Susan Bowen Sare
Richard Alexander   b 25 Dec 1842   md Mary Catherine Simpson
James Harvey   b 10 Mar 1846   md Barzilla Catherine Tague
Mary Jane   b 7 Sep 1847   d 7 Dec 1847
Peter Thomas   b 3 Dec 1848   md Emily Ann Sare (Sayre)
Francis Marion   b 8 Feb 1852   md Elizabeth Oliphant
Eliza Ann   b 7 Feb 1853   md John Faucett
Sarah Elizabeth   b 17 Feb 1855   md Levi Mitchell
Lydia Catharine   b 17 July 1857   md James King
Nancy Lister   b 10 Oct 1859   md James C. Acuff
Luella   b 17 June 1862   d 20 July 1862
Lucinda   b 17 June 1862   md Anson Leonard Boyd, Thomas Rice
John Voorhese   b 25 May 1864   d 10 Feb 1865
Homer Lewis   b 14 July 1867   md Olivia E. Sexson, Dicy Weaver
Copy of a letter from Thomas Oliphant, Jr. to the children of Jane
Oliphant Burch.  This letter was written after all his brothers and
sisters were dead or moved from Monroe County.
“Since I left there the death of Lawson and Jane has so changed my
relation there being all the brother and sister there, that I feel a
sort of lonesomeness when I look back in my mind there.  But my hope
is that both are better off than I (words torn out) can’t hope to
enjoy the things of life and have to suffer death as well as they, and
if I should be so happy as to meet them beyond sorrow and pain and
afflictions its all I can hope for and far more than I merit or
deserve.  I do hope that God will guide you now that you are without
father or mother and me my old age and declining life so that we may
finish our stay here on earth in a way honorable to us and that will
bring reproach to the...word missing...we profess to love.  Do write
one and all.  I’d love to see and be with you all at old Union
Church.  Give my love to all who live around you.
Nancy says give you her love, tell you she wants to write to you but
can’t write but for you to write.  If we were there we would visit you
I know.  Direct your letter to Gainer City, Nodaway County, Missouri.”
Thomas and Nancy Carmichael Oliphant moved back to Buena Vista,
Indiana.  It is said they got homesick.