Life on Mill Creek, part 2

This is a part 2 of an excerpt from “Bryant, Sullivan, Gossett Family History” written by Robert Bryant.

CHURCH

The Little Rock Church is located 2.1 miles from where Washer Road intersects with Highway 100, and is 1.2 miles south of Wrigley. The homes of W. S. Sullivan, Jim Gossett, Bud Sullivan and Clarence Bryant were within sight of the Church and the school. High on a hill just to the west and overlooking the beautiful scenery below stands the Little Rock Cemetery. Though not certain when it was started, there are Beasley’s buried there that died during the early and mid 1800’s. They would have been contemporaries of some of my ancestors, such as W.T. Allen, John Parham, Mary Gossett, Moses Thornton, James Lovell, Hezakiah Bryant, William Gossett, Meredith Gossett and others. During the 1980’s I did a lot of research on Hickman County, TN Cemeteries, including Little Rock, by visiting and photographing them. As a result of that research, I put together a four volume photo album, including a descripton of their locations and directions on how to get there. The album covers a large portion of cemeteries located in the county.

Mill Creek flowed gently thru the community from it’s northern beginning, all the way to the beautiful Piney River in Pinewood. From the Little Rock Church building back to the north and east, the creek was clear and clean. However, just behind the church building a polluted stream of water coming from the Wrigley plant emptied into and merged with those clean waters, polluting the creek from that point all the way to Piney River. The pollution stemmed from all the waste chemicals it carried from the plant. In the early 1960’s, when the plant ceased operations, the water became clear and clean along its entire length. Mill Creek Road begins north of the Rocky Valley Community and runs mostly parrallel to the creek passing west across Highway 100, past our old homeplace, thru the Little Rock Community, the Bells Branch Community, and ending where it intersects with Highway 48 near Pinewood.

On Sunday mornings nearly everyone in the community thought about nothing but going to church at Little Rock. Some of the families were Bryants, Gossetts, Sullivans, McCords, McFarlins, Dotsons, Victorys, Givens, Temples and Rices. On most Sundays Uncle Jim Gossett or Bud Sullivan led the singing, which was always beautiful with a lot of good bass, tenor and alto. My Daddy was a good bass singer, Sadie Gossett wife of Jim Gossett was a good alto singer, Cecil Hatley was a good tenor; and none of them held back anything when it came to singing. Occasionally, Deany or myself would lead singing. He and I were taught to read notes and music by Daddy and Mr. Claude Russell a well known song leader in the county. There were two amen corners in the building, one for the women and one for the men. Some Sundays there was preaching, while on others someone would read from the Bible. When the men led prayer, most of them knelt down on their knees. I remember so well that when Mr Percy Gossett led prayer, he would always include “we are not to be heard for long prayers and much speaking unto thee”. Sunday School Classes followed the Service, but not every Sunday.

Almost every summer there was at least one Gospel Meeting and Dinner on the Ground, and some years there were two. Crowds were always big with plenty of good food. Each night we made the trip down Mill Creek for the services. In 1950 at age thirteen, I was baptized by Brother Larimore Austin who was holding a meeting there. The baptism took place up the creek from the Church just below the “blue hole”.

Little Rock Church of Christ

Following is a summary of the Gospel Meetings at Little Rock Church of Christ during the first half of the 1900’s and the responses during those meetings. Many of those people lived on Mill Creek and a good number of them were relatives. But there were also many who came from neighboring communities.

July, 1907 – Will Hassell, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Mary Bradford None
Rosa Gossett Bryant (Mother of Clarence Bryant)
Connie Potts Gossett (Wife of Gentry Gossett)
William S. (B) Sullivan (Father of Mary D. Sullivan Bryant)
September, 1907 – Brotherford Buford, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Eva Allen None
Jasper Bates
Mrs Bozard
Jones Collins
Mrs Jones Collins
Gentry Gossett (Son of Claiborne & Mary P. Randolph Gossett)
Mrs Bet Hall
Ray Hamburg
Edith Lyell
Will Morton
Tossey Moss
John V. Thornton (Son of J. Francis Marion Thornton)
Nettie Thornton
Raymond Thornton
Susana Thornton
August, 1918 – L. B. Thompson, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Hester Bibbs Walker Thornton (Son of John V.)
Ercy Brewer
George England
Earl Lawson
Lee O. McCallister
Julia Smith
Jimmy Waddell
Walker Warren
August. 1920 – Sam Pittman, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Eunice Bradley Fosie Fitts
Ewell Coleman Jess Hooten Lida Haskins Mrs Jess Hooten
Idella Fitts Mort McGahey
Edd Gossett (Son of Claiborne Gossett) Mary Thompson
Emory Gossett Birdie Thornton
Vera Horner Ella Thornton (Dau of Lewis P.)
Dewey Keys Mollie Truett
Willie Lavender
Carter Thornton (Son of John V. Thornton)
Mattie Vaughn
September. 1920 – Sam Pittman, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Alene Beasley (Wife of Coy Houston) Roof Coleman
Sim Hudgins Clara Allen Gossett (Dau of W.T.)
Annie Lee Sullivan (Daughter of W. S. Sullivan)
July 1927 – L. C. Jones, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Chester Bass Slaydon Leathers
Mrs Will Bentley Ellis Randolph (Father of Norris)
A. B. Craft
Tisy Dotson
May Anna Dotson
Hubert England (Husband of Georgia Bryant England)
Katy England (Wife of Ellis McFarlin)
Thelma England
Mary D. Sullivan (Daughter of W. S. and Addie Gossett Sullivan)
Emma Jane Temple (Daughter of Charlie & Susanna Gossett Temple)
Eva Victory (Wife of Bad Eye Victory)

August, 1931 – Granville Tyler, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Harold Bell (Son of Bert Bell) None
Mrs Carter Bishop
Mildred Gossett (Daughter of Percy & Zippy Thornton Gossett)
Tommie Gossett (Daughter of Percy & Zippy Thornton Gossett)
Lucille Hatley (Daughter of Cecil & Maggie Harrington Hatley)
Junior Hudgins
J. T. Martin (Son of Jim Martin)
Mrs Murphy
Lula Randolph
Gertrude Stinson
J. B. Walls
Woodroe Walls
August, 1933 – Brother Totty, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Elizabeth Coleman Mattie Bradford
Frances Craft Georgia Victory Bryant (Wife of Russell B)
Opal Gossett (Dau of Less Gossett) Russell Bryant (Son of Hezekiah3)
Reppie Lankford Elbert Foster
Prince Lyle
Raymond Lyle
Alice Victory (Wife of Jack Gossett)
August, 1933 – Brother Bachman, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Alvin Dotson (Son of George Dotson) Edward Bass
Louise Givens Eddie Bryant (Dau of Hezekiah B.)
Douglas Gossett (Son of Jim & Sadie Gossett) Daisy Potts Givens
Oscar Mc Cord Pearl Givens
Clint Powell Lawson Williams
Mrs Odell Powell
Viola Powell
Marie Randolph (Daughter of Ellis Randolph)
Mrs Ruth Thompson
William Thompson (Son Of L. P. and Lona Thornton Thompson)
August, 1935 – Granville Tyler, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Mary Ollie Bass E. Bass
Bobby Boyd (Daughter of Robert Boyd) Edward Bass
Claude Bryant (Son of Jack & Ada Clark Bryant) Lorraine Bass
Arch Cochran Rachel Bentley
Raymond Christian Reed Cochran
Susie Marie England (Wife of Everett Gossett) Adell Epps
Louise Harvill Everett Gossett
Ed Lane Irene Neely
Mrs Maude Grady Smith
Scott Short Allene Street
Wilma Short John V. Thornton (Son of J.F. Marion)
Lucille Stinson
Bertha Temple (Dau of Harry and Stella) Pembroke Thornton (Son of J.F. Marion)
Dorris Thornton Birdie Tilley
Stella Tilley Thornton Warren
Ruby Warren Clyde Williams
Mrs Paul Winn
1938 – Frank Pack, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
May Baggett Daisy Dotson
Nancy Bates Mrs George Dotson
Johnnie Dotson Pearl Givens
Wayne Dotson Cecil Hatley (Son of Cecil)
Glen Givens Taylor Hatley (Son of Cecil)
Cecil Hatley, Jr (Son of Cecil) Gracey Jackson(Dau of Joe Bryant)
L. Landrum Amy Parker
James Landrum Walter Parker
Birdie Littleton Joe Sullivan (Son of Willey Sullivan)
Clay Nicks Hollis Thornton
Christine Parker Bernice Vaughn
Mildred Porter Lawson Williams
Bud Sullivan (Son of W. B. & Addie Gossett Sullivan)
Lizzie Sullivan
Pearlie Sullivan
Hilda Temple (Daughter of Cliff & Stella Parker Temple)
Edwin Tilley
Howard Vaughn
Valley Waters
July, 1939 – Frank Pack, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Bula Dotson (Daughter of George Dotson) John Harrington
Eula Dotson (Daughter of George Dotson) Mrs Arch Littleton
Myrtle England
Charley Givens
Dollie Ruth Givens
Morrell Gossett (Daughter of Jim & Sadie McAllister Gossett)
Dorothy Holt (Daughter of Clarence Holt)
Margie Hudgins
Irene Jackson (Daughter of Herschel & Gracey Bryant Jackson)
Geraldean Landrum
Lois Littleton (Daughter of Arch Littleton)
Louthell Lynn
Lois Sullivan (Daughter of W. S. & Addie Gossett Sullivan)
Ruth Warren
July, 193- – Brother Bachman, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
None Edward Bass
Herbert Craft
Annie May Dotson
(Son of George Dotson) R. C. Dotson
William McCord
Susana Thornton
August, 1939 – D. Ellis Walker, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
None Sewell Anderson
Daisy Potts Dotson
Mrs Will Martin
Lawson Williams
July, 1940 – Frank Pack, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Dilla May Bates Nannie Heathcoat
Marie Givens Monroe Potts
Lucille Givens Mrs Monroe Potts
Warner Holt Joe Sullivan(Bro of W.B.)
Rolland Landrum
Christine Lowe
Mrs Dewey Lowe
J. C. Lynn (Son of Calvin Lynn)
Mr Perigo
Floyd Potts
Walter Potts
Wesley Potts
Jack Temple (Son of Cliff & Stella Parker Temple)
Clifton Thornton
Edith Thornton
August,1941 – Leonard Tyler, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Ethel Divinny Dennis Bishop
Catherine Givens Nellie Bullion
Bernice Holt (Daughter of Clarence Holt) Mrs Louis England
Delbert Holt (Son of Clarence Holt) Johnnie Lee Gordon
Margie Holt Mort McGahey
Math Holt (Husband of Pearl Bryant) Bessie McGahey
Elton Johnson Dorris Sanders
Audrie Lynn Grady Smith
Laws Lynn Claggett Victory
Dorothy Sanders Mrs Claggett Victory
Annie Lou Vaughn Henry Vaughn
Laverne Waters
Eugenia Williams
August,1943 – Leonard Tyler, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Arthur Coates Joe Dotson
Alvin Herron Charley Givens
Mrs Monroe Luther Mrs Elbert Gossett
Frances Plunkett
Mrs Sam Stone
Mrs Joe Dotson Miss Victory
August,1946 – Jack McElroy, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Dotson None
Arnold Johnson (Son of Allene Johnson)
Mary Lou Johnson (Daughter of Allene Johnson)
Paul Litton (Son of Buford & Emma Jane Temple Litton)
Victory
September,1947 – B. B. James, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Richard Bridgette Wanda Bentley
Paty Bryant (Son of Eddie Bryant Agnes Gossett
Delpha Parker Douglas Gossett (Son of Jim)
Dorothy Randolph (Daughter of Norris & Mary Lee) Mary Littleton
Jesse Wright (Husband of Ava Jackson Wright) Vernon McGahey
Ollie B. Parker
Joe Sullivan
James Victory
Sutton Warren
August, 1950 – Larrymore Austin, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
David Bentley (Son of Buster Bentley) Dillie Mai Mallory
Robert Bryant (Son of Clarence & Mary D.) Joe Sullivan
June, 1952 – Bill Thurman, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
None None
September, 1953 – Glen Mayfield, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Deany Bryant (Son of Clarence & Mary D.) None
Martha Rice (Daughter of Walter & Nell Sullivan Rice)
Christine Victory (Daughter of Claggett Victory)
August, 1955 – Carmack Skelton, Preacher
Baptized Reclaimed
Jean Gordon (Daughter of Dude & Johnny Lee Gorgon) Shirley Gossett (Daughter of Jack & Alice Victory Gossett)
Homer Malugin
Robert Poor
Rosa Rice (Daughter of Walter & Nell Sullivan Rice)
Dorothy Victory (Daughter of Claggett Victory)
Although I have no record of his holding a meeting at Little Rock, it is known that William Nicks was one of the early preachers on Mill Creek.
Some of the Bryant Ancestor Famililes who attended Church at Little Rock were:

Hezekiah Bryant**
W. S. Sullivan**
Jim Gossett
Percy Gossett
Less Gossett
Edd Gossett
Joe Sullivan
Cecil Hatley
Stella Temple Family
One of the fondest memories of the late 1940’s was going with Daddy, Deany and Cecil Hatley to ALL NIGHT SINGINGS at the old Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The show started about seven or eight o’clock and continued most of the night. We usually left by two or three in the morning and drove home, sometimes stopping at the old Lampley’s Café in what is now the East Community, for something to eat. Performers at those singings included the Happy Goodman Family, The Rangers, The Statesman, The LeFevors, The Harmoneers and the Spear Family. Daddy enjoyed good gospel singing as much as anyone. In fact, back in those days we did some singing as a quartet ourselves, with most of it at churches that held singings on Sunday afternoons. I sang lead, Deany alto, Cecil Hatley tenor and Daddy bass.

Our home was located on a bluff overlooking Mill Creek, about a half mile down the creek from where it flows under the bridge on Highway 100. Just under the bluff and across Mill Creek stood the home of Harry and Stella Temple. My grandparents on both sides of the family lived relatively close to us; the Sullivans about a half mile further down Mill Creek, and the Bryants in Barlow Hollow about three or four miles away. Almost everyone on the Creek knew everyone else. All of the kids attended Little Rock Elementary School, and most of them and their parents attended the Little Rock Church of Christ. It seemed like everyone was a member of one big family.
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