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The Mormon Faith in Wilcox County, AL

Two Mormon Missionaries visiting Wilcox County early 20th century.  Identity unknown.

 

In 1890 three Mormon missionaries showed up in Wilcox County.  They traveled by train to Greeneville, Al and then walked to Camden, a distance of around 50 miles.  These Mormon Elders were dedicated to their faith and quickly made converts.  Their stay would last for two years and then they would return to the State of Utah and be replaced with two more missionaries.  The Elders helped families with whatever work was at hand.  If it was cotton picking time, they would pick cotton.  The Elders were much loved by all and Millie D. Nettles McIntosh writes about her love and respect for them in her diary. Converts include members of the Nettles, Henderson, McIntosh families. Lillie Martin may was baptized  in 1897.  She may have been the first person baptized in the faith.  James Thomas (Uncle Tom) Henderson was Sunday School Superintendent. 

The first Sunday Sunday was called McIntosh Mill Sunday School and was held in homes in the area. 

Today more than 100 years later, there is an active Mormon Church in Camden with membership of around 100, many of which are descendants of these early converts.

 Below are letters received from Mormon Elders to his friends back in Wilcox County AL. 


Grantsville, UT
May 17, 1916

Mrs. Millie McIntosh
R.D. #3 Box 27
Camden, AL

Dear Sister and family:

Your letter came to hand a few days ago and was pleased to hear from you and that you were all well and enjoying life.
I’m feeling just fine now and am working every day farming and its beginning to seem quite the same as it did before I left.
I and my baby brother are still batching it. My Father and Mother are still at Washington, D.C. I left them over a month ago there, and they were going to come right home but they have forgotten us. I guess or think if they stayed away long enough that we might find a cook but there’s no chance for me getting farther away every day. Say did you people go to conference on the 6 and 7 this year? I know you were well paid for your time and trouble. I should like to have attended.
I did go to conference in Salt Lake City. It was sure fine. Heard many, many good things and I want to go again this fall. Can’t see where I can miss it.
Have you people still got March and Joe? That is, are they still with Julia. Tell them hello and ask Joe when he is coming out to live with me.
Well, I guess you are having warm weather and your crops all planted by now. I’m plowing on the dry farm but it isn’t very warm. Its frozen ice every night. Since I came up here it has snowed two different days but the crops look well. Some fruit has froze.
Give my kindest regard to all who inquire of me. Praying God to bless you all with health and long life. I remain as ever your friend and brother in Christ.

J. W. Clark

Glad you received the folder alright. The price is very large and its to remember Clark and come and see me.

Glad Julia likes the door yet. I’d like to happen in and have a good piece of cornbread.

I’m not where theres a post office so can’t just tell when this will be mailed.

J. W. Clark








 

Orangeville, Utah
March 4, 1927 (may be 1921)

Dear Sister Martin and all:

Tonight my heart is filled with fond memories of you good people. Most every time I think of you it makes a lump come in my throat.
I learned to love you folks and it is hard for me when I know that we are so far apart. I shall never forget the Sunday night after our meeting. We all sang “God be with you till we meet again”. It still rings in my ears.
I would give all I ever owned if I could spend two more years in Alabama and call on you folks again. They were the happiest days of my life and I shall always cherish them. When I think of how happy we all were when we were together, I feel like I would like to go back and live with you.
I am sorry Sister Martin that your health is not so good. Hope it will get better in the near future. How is dear old mother. “God bless her.”
Tell all the kiddies hello for me. Would that I had them on my knees. When is Collie and Minnie coming west? Tell them to come. I am still waiting for Earnestine to say she loves me.
I sure do miss the colored people out here. Haven’t saw one since I came home. Would that I could see Aunt Lucy and Sucky and Jerry Brown.
We have been having a lot of wet weather. It is raining tonight. Makes me lonesome. Our sheep are lambing and we sure have a job.
You asks about the girls. “Well” when I was in Salt Lake, *\I ___ Madge twice. I haven’t heard or seen of her since, and as for Ona, well! Things are quite interesting along that line. We, we, we are are engaged! I don’t know just when we’ll be married but hope it will be soon. Maybe a year. She is a baby doll. Oh boy.
I have gotten thin since I came home. I haven’t been getting any corn bread.
God bless you . Good night

Your Bro. Jesse  (Jesse Tuttle)

“Please send me a little can of snuff” to show the people.

Brother Jesse Tuttle
Mormon Elder and early Mormon Missionary






Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Southern States Mission
Box 852
Atlanta, Georgia

Jan. 15, 1927
Crangeville, Utah


Dear Mother McIntosh and all:

I suppose you think that I have about forgotten all about you good people. But not so, that can never be. There shall always be a warm spot in my heart for you folks. I guess you all had a nice xmas and have started out on a bright new year.
How is Br. _____ and family. I hope Elder Hinton and Sanderson baptized them. Say Mother, you don’t know how lonesome I am to see you. I wish I could be a missionary in Alabama all my life. I will all ways remember the good meetings I have held at little Salt Lake City and I hope you all do too. I don’t get to preach as much here as in Alabama. But I take every chance I get. They all like to hear me preach. Wednesday, I spoke in an old folks party.
Last night I was out to a party, but it wasn’t as good as the ones we had up to Collies. My mouth waters when I think of chicken fry we had and those oysters.
I am getting broke in to work. You should see me feeding the cows and sheep. I am sure it would amuse you.
I am a star player in a basket ball team now. We are playing with six different towns. A big reward for the winner. Tell Vera it is alright for men to play basketball but not girls.
I guess Collie is still sawing up the trees. Tell Neal and Barney hello for me. And all the kids. I would sure love to see them.
I am going to school next year. Elder Killpack is in school now.
I sure had a wonderful time down in Florida.
I thought it was swell down there. Have the Elders been with you lately?
Well, Mother, I must close. God bless you all. I am your Bro.

Jesse (Jesse Tuttle)



 



Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Southern States Mission
P.O. Box 852
Atlanta, GA



May 29, 1926

\
Mrs. Millie D. McIntosh
Camden, AL

Dear Sister McIntosh:

I am very sorry that your daughter Mrs Julia Martin was taken very ill three weeks ago. You want us to join with you in prayer and fasting Sunday the 13th for her recovery. It will not be possible dear Sister McIntosh for me to reach the Elders by that time, because all the mail went out Thursday. But we here will unit with you in prayer for the recovery of your dear daughter. And if any of the Elders are near, I will try to get them.
Elder Tuttle is in Birmingham and his address if 717 No. 18th St. With all good wishes, and praying the Lord to bless you and your dear daughter and recover her from her illness. I remain

Your brother in the Gospel,


Chas A. Callis