White Store Township-Schools and Churches

SCHOOLS:The first schools taught in White Store Township were private schools. The educational facilities in the old days were very meager as compared to modern public schools. Many of the wealthier classes of people employed private teachers for their own children, and others attended subscription schools. Often the itinerant preacher taught elementary subjects, using the Bible and Webster’s Blue Back Speller as textbooks. Many of the earliest settlers were unable to write, and we find many old wills and deeds signed by marks.

Mr. David Gulledge was one of the early teachers. His first school was near Mt. Olive Baptist Church. A meeting was held at this Church in 1845, at which the Brown Creek Association was organized. At this time a large schoolhouse stood on the other side of the road in front of the church and was called the Wilson Chambers School. Later Mr. Gulledge taught in a log house near the Berry Redfearn home. This school later became Red Hill.

Dr. William D. Redfearn, who afterward became the first County Superintendent of Anson County, taught a private school at White Store prior to 1860.

It was interesting to find in the cemetery at Long Pine Church a tombstone bearing the name of a girl, "Cornelia Lee," who was apparently named after Miss Cornelia Lee, another beloved teacher of those early days. This is mute evidence of the love and esteem which was held for her in the community. Miss Lee was the daughter of Dr. Lee, and her school was taught at her father’s home.

Schools were taught near Gordon’s Mountain by Mr. McAuley and also by Tommie Lytle. Mrs. Matilde Gaddy, mother of Mrs. M.E.Lowery, attended this school in 1845. Miss McDairmid, who married Adam Lockhart and later became Mrs. H.H. McLendon’s grandmother, was another of the early teachers prior to 1850.

Lone Pine Academy was established by Messrs. D.T. Redfearn, Tom Lowery, David Tillman, Allan Watson, Benny Tarlton, Tom Hendricks, and Frank Jackson. Among the principals of this school were Rev. John F. McKinnon of Laurinburg, James A. McLauchlin, son of Captain J.C. McLauchlin, Rev. R.H. Morrison, and L.M. Blue.

This school filled a long felt need in this section and flourished for many years. The first public schools were located at White Store and Red Hill.

CHURCHES: The oldest churches in this community were Deep Creek Baptist, Lanes Creek Baptist, Long Pine Methodist, and in later years, Mt. Olive Baptist Church and Meltonville Methodist Church.

Long Pine Methodist Church has the distinction of being the oldest church in Anson County. A deed for the lot on which the church was built was executed March 18, 1791, by Thomas Tarlton, and his wife Margaret Tarlton. The trustees were John Jackson, John Standfist, John Hill, Samuel Jackson, William Wisdom, Stephen Paw, and Williamson Plant. The requirements of this deed were that there should always be seven trustees and that these premises were given to those people known as Methodists "and no other, to have and enjoy these premises for the purposes aforesaid, provided that these people preach no other doctrine than is contained in the Reverend John Wesley’s notes on the New Testament and four volumes of sermons".

A large number of families, especially the Huntleys and Redfearns worshipped at Deep Creek, a Baptist church over in what is now called Gulledge Township. This church was moved from Deep Creek, in South Carolina, to its present location about the year 1800. The deed for the tract of land of four acres was given by Reverend Joel Gulledge, the pastor, to "Deep Creek Baptist Church" in June 1823. According to the old church records, the slaves as well as their masters and mistresses were required to attend the conference held on Saturday afternoon before the first Sunday, which was their regular preaching day. The roll was called and if any member missed three meetings he was suspended.

Mt. Olive Baptist Church was organized April 21, 1833, with 21 members. They were: David Myers, Darling Rushing, James Morgan, James Shaw, James Gordon, Jane Rushing, Matilda Rushing, Nancy Sinclair, Prudence Gordon, Sarah Rushing, Sarah Chambers, Levina Watts, Elizabeth Chapman, and Elizabeth Crowder, all of whom had been members of old Lanes Creek Church, which was located in what is now Union County.

Wilson Chambers was ordained a deacon; Darling Rushing was elected church clerk, and Reverend Jesse Lewellen called as pastor. Wilson Chambers and wife, Jemima, are buried about 200 yards back of the present Mt. Olive Church. Darling Rushing is buried in a very old graveyard known as the "Rushing Graveyard" across Brown Creek about two miles from the church. This cemetery is now owned by Mt. Olive Baptist Church and was the original burying ground of Mt. Olive Church.

Meltonville Methodist Church was located below Mt. Olive Church on a knoll in the forks of the road. The first members were of the Lockhart, Durant, and Crawford families. A deed for the land of this church was recorded June 15, 1846, given by John B. Cottrell. The trustees mentioned were Adam Lockhart, James Cason, and H.A. Crawford.

Union Church was located on the road leading from Deep Creek to White Store, and its members comprised the Littles, Tillmans, Gaddys, and some of the Redfearns.

Source: History of the Redfearn Family by Daniel Huntley Redfearn Miami, Florida 1954.

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