Saturday, July 30, 2011

Preachers- Part 1

Sitting in the dark movie theater, but back in a fictional post Civil War West- Cowboys and Aliens, my mind raced with ideas. I craved more back story. I could see a prequel and sequel or a really interesting novel. The preacher portrayed needed more story. I demanded more information.
I thought of James Satterfield- Clergyman Satterfield, who planted most of the Presbyterian churches in this area of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. I want to write about him some day. There is recorded history of him because of his role in the church. I'm still looking for my notes, which I will find(from 11 years ago.) Why am I interested in him? He was the brother of my 7th great grandma on Hazel's Thompson side, Margaret who married Edward Campbell. They came to Hickory Township in 1800. James came too to start churches.
The Satterfields are first recorded in Queen Anne's County in Maryland, on the upper peninsula. This is around the 1740's. He was too young to serve in the Revolutionary War, I remember. He found "religion" when he was 14. That is the way the old history books talked about as we say now, born again or is that too Christianese? James made that decision to follow Jesus and went to seminary when he was old enough. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe he was working on a river boat. So sorry, I have to find my notes!
The family in that time moved to Washington County in southwestern PA. Edward came to Mercer County to buy and sell Donation land that was intended for Revolutionary War veterans, but not too many wanted to venture to the frontier. In the late 1700's,early 1800's, one's life insurance policy was canceled if one moved west of the Allegheny Mountains.
James felt led to this area. He started the Moorefield Presbyterian Church, which was a log cabin where Moorefield Cemetery is now. He is buried there, fairly close to the main drive into the graveyard. This is in Hermitage by the Shenango Valley Freeway and on old 18, we used to call it, or Maple Drive.
Most of the Presbyterian church histories in this area mention James Satterfield. My reporter, historian friend, who passed away a few years ago, Mairy Jayne Woge, told me, James wore a long braid down his back and he was called Clergy or Clergyman Satterfield.
His second wife was the daughter of General Mead of Meadville, just up the road. They had a son, Mede, who pastored in Harrisville, PA.
James's house is torn down or fallen down now. It was on the Shenango River just south of Wheatland. One lady at the historical society remembered the house, since she had grown up near it.
James preached up till he was ninety, riding on horseback to the churches. In November and I'm sorry I can't remember the year, but it was in the 1840's, he got caught in the rain. Yes, every good nurse knows pneumonia comes from bacteria or virus, but he caught pneumonia and suffered with it for two weeks in bed at I believe a daughter's home. Just before he died, it is recorded that he declared his "wick was trimmed and ready," like the in the parable of the ten virgins. He was ready to meet his Lord.
In my "movie" of David and Mary Thompson, James's niece and her husband, I see James Cromwell(from Babe) playing James Satterfield. Take note, Mary Ellen. Of course by that time, who knows where James Cromwell will be...
Post a Comment