Mrs. Adkins letter to editor re: Church in Fayetteville
And from ThÂ« Peopft Historical Recollections To the Editor: I have just spent a week in Fayetteville. after two years of livid* elsewhere, and it brings back recollections of when our family first c a m e to this charming place, in 1902. There was my father, an older sister, m y s e l f , and seven young motherless stairsteps. We had long wanted to escape t h e rigors of Wisconsin winters, and our father came to Fayetteville on a homeseekers' excursion. On his return he said, "Girls, I've found the garden spot of the world." In a month we were moved. We came in on a midnight train, and the air was redolent with apples, which were shipped in large quantities in those days. The picturesque court house stood in the middle of t h e Square, with a dog-trot running through it. Old men wore long white beards, and spoke courteously courteously to all strangers, as was not customary in the north. My sister and I saw our first dogwood, dogwood, lining a ravine of East Mountain (Mt. Sequoyah) and it took my breath away, as it does still. We went to church at First Christian, where N. M. Ragland was pastor. Often in attendance was a young negro; an usher greeted him kindly and set a chair for him. I did not know until long afterward that he was Jacob Kenoly, who w a s doing carpentry in Fayetteville. Bentonville, and up in Missouri, trying to save the money to go to Liberia and teach the Gospel of Jesus. He did not know that financial help could have been s e c u r e d from missionary sources, but undertook a n d carried out the Utk aloot. He reached New York and worked his way to Liverpool. On shipboard all his possessions were stolen, including h i t clothes and his Bible. Again working his way. he reached Liberia, and somehow managed to open a school and win some converts, although the school lacked everything in equipment. equipment. After several years of hard labor and struggle, the Christian Women's Board of Missions heard of Kenoly's work and undertook to finance it, but soon afterward he was drowned when, with the help of some of his boys, he was attempting to dredge the river mouth and so improve the food fish supply. Someone connected with the C. W. B. M. wrote The Life Work of Jacob Kenoly. and it was published and used as a study text by chapters of the organization. I ran across a discarded copy at City Library. Someone told me that one of the houses he built was still standing if that is still true, it should be identified a n d marked. The book is long since out of print, but if a copy can be found, it should be preserved in the C o u n t y Historical Library. I shall place my own copy in the Central Christian Church library, and if possible, find another copy for the County Historical Library. The story of this heroic young man deserves to be known and cherished. Great changes have occurred in Fayetteville in the course of the years. Â· but it still retains vestiges of its old time charm. May it ever continue to do so. Grace Reese Adkins Springfield. 111.