Hello, I am looking for a picture or more information on a cedarlog Church that was built in Sandy Creek
prior to the Civil War by Rev. John Runnels Briscoe. I would appreciate any information you might be able to
Standard reply to Mr Tadlock...email forwarded to MCHC members and others interested in MC history.
Thank you very much, Sir.
Hello, Mr. Tadlock,
Your inquiry has been quite challenging, even with what I would call very good historical references of this
My first thought was to place John in the community by tax rolls or census so that I would be able to get a
better idea of exactly where he resided in the community. This might help me better place the Church of which
you wrote. I came up empty handed in the Milam County 1860 and 70 censuses'. I then perused the Confederate
Roster and found him in Vol. I pg. 58 and Vol. II pg. 120 as Capt. in the 16th and 3rd Texas Calvary, Company
After further research, I learned that he gave his life for the Confederacy on 8 Nov. 1863 in Arkansas.
Rockdale's Lucy Hill Patterson Library Genealogical section has the following 2 excellent reference resources:
GEN 976.4288 HAIGEN 976.4288 HAI - Sandy Creek Cemetery: A photographic, census, death certificate and
newspaper report of the people and surroundings of the Sandy Creek area of Milam County, Texas - Hairston,
GEN 976.4288 MCGGEN 976.4288 MCG - Milano: Milano, Texas 1873 - 1965; McGregor, Basil
Under the Sandy Creek, Sipe Springs and Big Lump Community section of his writings, Mr. McGregor states the
following; "No one seems to remember the Baptist Minister, however, the Baptist Church was the first Church at
Sandy Creek. Mr. Sam Hamm gave three acres of land for the Church and cemetery. Rocks may now be seen in the
northeast corner of the cemetery marking the foundation of the Baptist Church".
Ms. Hairston's above reference (not in hand) stated that the first Church was built in 1869. Construction of
this period would have more than likely been log cabin or stone, although construction material was not
stated. Also you stated in your inquiry that Rev. Briscoe built the Church prior to the Civil War. Obviously
this information post dates that.
While pondering the above, I then remembered a Memoir that Charles King, Director of the Milam County
Historical Museum, and myself, discovered in his files while researching an unrelated inquiry. It was quite
some time ago when we found it, but it was memories of this general area of Milam County. It consisted of at
least 49 pages, many of which were missing, it was spottily dated and the pages identifying the writer were
missing. It still had treasured information. I imagine that it was originally hand written and possibly later
typed (see Attachment #1 ).
Since I was losing ground on answering your inquiry, I called a good friend of mine, a mature Charles Hubert,
whose heritage goes back generations in this vicinity of Milam County and who lives in Sandy Creek. He
clarified in the above attachment, that the Church on Sandy Creek in a school house that old man Sanders built
and is located on the Jenkins farm is not in what is considered the Sandy Creek community. It is a
considerable distance downstream from the same.
Also, If you'd like a little levity, I'll give you more than you asked for. The same Methodist minister
mentioned above, James L. Peeler (probably a circuit riding minister) is the same one stated in the next to
last paragraph in attachment #2 below. I suppose that he wanted to bring their souls into the fold no matter
where he found them. God bless him!.
I'm sorry that I was unable to answer your inquiry, but hopefully I'll get at least a "C+" for effort.
Take care and thank you for giving me a shot at this anyway!.
Note; For readers of this post who would like to know more about CSA veteran John Runnels Briscoe: