Milam County Historical Commission - Milam County, TX
Statue of Ben Milam at Milam County, TX Courthouse
Old Junior High School Building, Rockdale, TX
Milam County Courthouse - Cameron, TX
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Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas
Requests for Info
Received via Website

2016-07-25

Isaiah Tadlock
sixteenthtexascavalry@yahoo.com
Bellville, Texas

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
give.

Kindest Regards,
Isaiah Tadlock

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2016-07-25

Standard reply to Mr Tadlock...email forwarded to MCHC members and others interested in MC history.

*****

2016-07-25

Thank you very much, Sir.

Isaiah Tadlock

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2016-08-11

Hello, Mr. Tadlock,

Your inquiry has been quite challenging, even with what I would call very good historical references of this
general community.

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
E.

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,
Lisa

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!.

Respectfully,

Jack Brooks

Note; For readers of this post who would like to know more about CSA veteran John Runnels Briscoe:
http://objgenealogy.com/indii4420.html   





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2016-10-20

John Brooks
bjohnr2010@hotmail.com

2016-10-20

Mr Tadlock,
I accidentally found another article related to your earlier inquiry. Charles King, the Past Director of the Milam County Museum, used to write historical articles for the local newspapers. The references for these articles are filed in the museum. Later he compiled them into a 3 volume set that are for sale at the museum. The above article is from Volume III of Tales of the Museum. The book has no page numbers.

Again, this Church post-dates the Civil War. There are/ were other communities along the banks of Sandy Creek per Charles Hubert, a local historian. The historical documents that I've been able to uncover in the Sandy Creek Community/Big Lump (proper) make no mention of this earlier Church.

The Jose Leal Grant mentioned (attachment #2) is a large 6 League (approx. 26,570.4 acres) survey filed Oct. 26th, 1833. You will note that it is bounded by Cameron to the north, Rockdale to the west and Milano to the east. Sandy Creek would be located approximately 1/2 the distance to the east from Rockdale to Milano and in line with the International and Great Northern Railroad running east and west as seen. This photo is from a 1918 General Land Office map (GLO).

Would you be kind enough to share your reference source with me?. I would like to discuss this with Mr. Hubert and see where we might reference search along Sandy Creek.

Best regards,

Jack Brooks

Sandy Creek Cemetery, Milam County, TX
Cedar Log Church - Sand Creek, TX
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10/26/16
Isaiah Tadlock
sixteenthtexascavalry@yahoo.com

Hello Mr. Brooks,

The article from which I learned of the log Church was written by John Bodkin Link in the Texas Historical and Biographical Magazine. The article is from 1892, and is on Rev. John Runnels Briscoe, who served in a Confederate cavalry regiment which I am researching.
Here is the excerpt from the article:

"One of his [Briscoe's] appointments was in Col. Gideon Smith's house. The Colonel, his brother, Dr. J. C. Smith, and his brother-in-law, Allen Agnew, all extensive farmers for that day, had a set of blacksmith tools, and when Briscoe came to his monthly appointments he would remain over a week and do all the work they needed in that line. He organized a Church in their community and called it Sandy Creek; and as they had no house, he told the brethren that if they would have the cedar logs cut he would hew them, and they would build a Baptist church. The logs were cut, he hewed them, the house 40x28 was built, and for many years that was the strongest church in the Sister Grove Association. The house still stands, is as good as new, and a small church still worships there. The Sister Grove Association was organized on three churches, numbering ninety-two members, June, 1853, and Briscoe was their first missionary."

I hope the few details given here might help to narrow the search a little. If not, I will be glad to do what I can to help. Thank you so much for getting back to me.

Kindest Regards,

Isaiah Tadlock


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10/26/16

John Brooks

Mr. Tadlock,

What an excellent article, and I would certainly" take it to the bank" for accuracy.


If I may be the devil's advocate for a moment, do you have supporting documentation of this being in Milam County?  I believe that we're to assume that the community had no name and it was named Sandy Creek after the Church was organized?. How about the unnamed community already having a name, but calling the Church Sandy Creek?. One would think that if that was the case, he would have written "and called it the Sandy Creek Baptist Church".


I'm only questioning that we have the church geographically placed in the correct location so that we're researching that same general location. Obviously your research has been far more inclusive than mine and I need you to bring me up to speed so that I may help contribute to your effort.


I believe that the Lucy Hill Patterson Library in Rockdale has a book on early Milam County pioneers and I'd like to see if it places Col. Smith, Dr. Smith and Mr. Agnew in the same.

Best regards,

Jack Brooks

Note: I am cc'ing this to my dear friend Mr. Charles Hubert who quite possibly is the most knowledgeable person in Milam County regarding the Sandy Creek community and its history.


*****

Mr. Tadlock,


RE: Rev. John Runnels Briscoe, Col. Gideon Smith, Dr. J. C. Smith and Allen Agnew.


My favorite reference for 1860-1870 Milam County residents is;

Easy Search for Milam Ancestors, transcribed by Dorothy Brown Crawford.

976.42 88 EAS.

I was unable to place Dr. J. C. Smith or Allen Agnew in Milam County at that time by reference sources at hand. I did find a Gideon Smith, 9th Cav. Co. B. Capt.(not Col.)


I located your John Runnels Briscoe in the Confederate State Roster, Vol I pg. 58 and Vol II pg. 120.


Do you know if the Runnels, in John Runnels Briscoe somehow traced ancestry to Hardin R. Runnels, Gov. of Texas(1857-1859), in some convoluted way?. It just seems like a rather unusual name to be tossed around.


Jack Brooks

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