Monday, March 25, 2013

New collections available at the Butler Center

MSS.10.32 Caddo River Baptist Association Minute Book
The Caddo River Baptist Association was organized in 1853, and held its first meeting October 8-10 of that year. The first entry in the minute book records that organizational meeting. A moderator and a clerk were chosen, and committees were appointed to draft a constitution and the articles of faith. Both of these documents are included in the book, along with the detailed minutes.

Five churches were represented at the inaugural meeting, three in Montgomery County, and one each in Polk and Clark Counties. For each annual meeting, a chart is given showing statistics from the participating churches. The last chart included in this minute book, for 1898, lists twenty-two participating churches.

The Caddo River Baptist Association continues today as a cooperative group of Southern Baptist Churches in the Montgomery County area, with an office in Mt. Ida, Arkansas.

MSS.10.35 American Bible Society Records
In 1831, Guilford Pylant and James Buchanan, both early Presbyterian ministers in Northwest Arkansas, helped found the Washington County Bible Society, which was active in distributing Bibles up until the Civil War. Fontaine Richard Earle, also a Presbyterian minister, came to Boonsboro, Arkansas, in 1859 to serve as president of Cane Hill College. In the years following the Civil War, these three men continued to serve various Presbyterian churches in the area. In addition, they and their fellow ministers in Washington County served as colporteurs (agents for religious book distributors) for the Presbyterian Book Fund and the American Bible Society. While selling Bibles, they also identified destitute families and provided them with Bibles. This collection documents their efforts in the early months of 1877.

MSS.11.105 Whited Family Collection
Samuel H. Whited was born in New York, in 1808. At the beginning of the Civil War, he and his wife Sarah lived with their family in Joliet, Illinois, where Samuel and his sons worked as painters. Already in his early 50s at the outbreak of the war, Samuel lied about his age in order to enlist in the Mechanic Fusiliers. He later transferred to the 15th Illinois Cavalry, serving until January 1865. Samuel's sons, including Jesse, served in other Union units.

MSS.11.114 Civil War Letter from Quincy, Illinois
This letter, dated April 9, 1862, is signed by Mary, a woman living temporarily in Quincy, Illinois, and addressed to her unnamed brother. While the writer and the receiver cannot be identified, names referenced in the letter identify members of Companies E and H of the 4th Iowa Infantry. The letter describes the departure of one group for the theater of war, and also reports on the experience of three men from Company H at the Battle of Pea Ridge, including injuries sustained.

MSS.11.115 Thomas V. Huston Civil War Letter
Thomas V. Huston was born about 1835, in Franklin County, Indiana, to John and Ann DeWitt Huston. In 1859, he bought land in Ringgold County, Iowa, and was farming there at the beginning of the Civil War. He enlisted July 4, 1861, in Company G of the 4th Iowa Infantry, and was mustered in on August 15, 1861, at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri. After fighting at the Battle of Pea Ridge, his unit was stationed at Helena, Arkansas. While on furlough in the summer of 1862, he married Harriet A. Shaw, of Worth County, Missouri, August 17, 1862. In the first half of 1863, Huston was attached to a company serving at Youngs Point, Louisiana. During this time, he developed chronic diarrhea, and in September 1863, he was admitted to the hospital at Jefferson Barracks. His illness led to his discharge on November 3, 1863. Returning to Washington County, Indiana, he died November 24, 1863.


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