Sue Cronkite's Articles About Holmes County -- Treasures From the Past In Church Records

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People searching for family members from long ago frequently browse through cemeteries and church records and files.

Recently Hazel Maringer of the New Hope Community in north Holmes County, two miles west of the Choctawhatchee River, came upon a little "Prize Winner Composition book" with notes made beginning on Jan 5, 1941.

Jotted in the composition book is attendance at New Hope Baptist Church Sunday school, who led music at the Bud Owen Memorial Sing held on the third Sunday in April and gatherings of local teens at the time.

Jennings Riddle and Leonard Owen had written their names on the first couple of pages, then followed Sunday school records showing number of teachers on roll (4), adults (10), intermediates (9), juniors (12), and beginners (9), for a total of 44.

Those attending were fewer, with 8 adults, 7 intermediates, 9 juniors and 5 beginners.

The same number were shown to have studied the lesson.  Visitors were listed also, with the teens usually having more than the adults or beginners.

Collections were small change:  adults 26 cents; intermediates 46 cents; juniors 3 cents, and beginner 2 cents.  I remember my mother giving a penny to turn when, when she had pennies to spare. On Jan 18, 1942, the grand total of the collection was $1.82.

The only adult usually not on time was my Aunt Ruth Riddle, who walked to church, and sometimes made it just as the congreation was about to go home.

Notations on those leading music at the memorial sing include J J (Jerome) Thomas, Tom Bell, David (Dave) Owen, Charlie Singletary, Alex Parker, Titus Hatcher, Ernest Barrentine, Tom Petty, Mr Retherford, Bro Bullington, Q L Vanlandingham, and Arthur Hathaway.  A quartet, including Mr and Mrs Petty, and Mr and Mrs McClanny, sang.

On another page, a roll was listed, with first names only.  Last names are listed where known:

    Huie Pierce, Jennings Riddle, Ruby Riddle, Leonard Owen, Ola Mae Dancy, Genia Owen, Virginia Howell, Marie Johnson, Cecil Motley, Maggie Berry, Laura Berry, Odell Gilman, J P Cowan, Evelyn Howell, Juanita Johnson, Edward Owen, Evelyn Thomas, Ruth Howell, Sarah Riddle, Emma Dancy, Glen Shy, Dock Owen, Hubert Summerlin, and Amon Miller.  Wilmer and John were listed as new members, with no last names.

Many of the people listed are no longer living; of those who are, many live in the area, and some far away.  A good number come home to New Hope Baptist Church on the third Sunday in April for homecoming.

On the back of the composition book Hazel (Pierce) Maringer considers a real treasure, is the multiplication tables, domestic and foreign currency, weights and measures.

Maringer, who can be reached at 850-952-2065 or 1907 Highway 2, Westville FL  32464, has the Holmes County Cemetery Census by Lon Everett for $35, and Hear and History of Holmes County by Anna Paget Wells for $45.  Add $5 postage and handling.

The sale of the books to go benefit the Holmes County Historical Society, located on Kansas St in Bonifay FL.  The Society will begin opening the first Saturday in each month, beginning April 6 for 4 hours with volunteers there to show off Holmes County historical artifacts.


(March 2002) 

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This page was last updated on:  17 June 2002 , 08:42 PM