Shiloh Sketches

Written by Edna Liggin

James Edmunds; the Man and the Legend

Con. from last week

Thereafter, in the records of the Shiloh church history there was much of Jonathan Milner who was pastor from about 1867 to 1870, while his wife, Susan is only mentioned as a name on the list of members in 1866  and the next few years, telling the story of her role as the self-effacing wife of a great preacher.

Jonathan and Susan left Shiloh after 1870, going to Texas where he found a Baptist church in Comanche. Their descendants relate that Grandfather Jonathan was stern and sober, while his wife, Susan, did not with age lose her lively, fun-loving nature, so characteristic of the Edmunds girls.

If the Milners seem to gravitate ever westward, where did George and Mary live? In 1853 James Edmunds had bought land from James Sutton with David Sutton and Henry Hamilton witnesses. Besides James and David, a William Sutton also existed, selling land in 1858 to E. P. Bolton. However, the land James Edmunds granted to George and Mary was at the summit of a very steep hill to be known as Sutton Hill for a hundred years to come. Into the house at the top of the hill lived George and Mary for the short duration of their married life, its very shortness of which they were unaware. Three children were born to them, John Burl, Molly and James Elijah “Lige”.

The house they lived in still stands today, lived in by Mr. and Mrs. Pat Goodrum. It was put together with pegs, mortises, stout beams, and without nails. It has withstood much weathering of time, and outlived many who in the past called it home in its over a century of history. The well of water there has been as enduring as Jacob’s well said to have never failed in all the dry years. Where the highway begins the descent downhill once stood the barn of George Tabor with another well under where the highway is today. It was in this house Mary Tabor lived alone for awhile when George Tabor went off to war; a war from which he did not return alive. He was reported to have died of disease in Mississippi. Tradition says his father, Elijah, went after the body in a wagon and suffered an illness from which he did not recover. Possibly not, as George Tabor ends his record on the war rolls in 1863, while another record at the courthouse says Elijah Tabor died in 1865.

During the war the Southerner away from his family and home was often torn between two loyalties. To keep faith one way meant breaking it another. As Johnathan Milner, the Baptist Preacher went forth to fight, he came back between times. The record says he returned to the plantation of W. A. Milner for a while . There was sickness in the family and he was needed at home.

This plantation, according to old police jury records was on a road going from Shiloh  east, commencing at the Homer road. He is referred to as Dr. W. A. Milner, and adjoining his farm was that of Archie Harris; then the Hopkins farm and son on until Lowery’s ferry on Cornie

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