“Scots – Irish Heritage and History Site – One of York County’s historic 4-B churches.”
130 Beersheba Road
City Directories and History: Beersheba is considered one of York County’s most important early religious sites, known as one of the “4B” churches approved by the Presbytery for early Scots-Irish settlers in the region.
James S. Adams
Mr. Adams was born on Sept. 12, 1772, and died on Aug. 18, 1843. He was twice
married: first to Eliza Smith, who died early; and second to Erixene McEwen, who was born in
1779 and died on Mar. 21, 1844. Issue:
i. Eliza Adams. Born 1802. Married the Rev. William Buford Davies.
ii. Jane E. Adams. Married S. Williamson.
iii. James McEwen Hall Adams.
iv. William Thomas S. Adams. Married J. C. (~ ).
V. Rufus J. E. Adams. Married twice.
vi. Samuel Leroy Adams. Bom Feb. 5, 1819. Married Mary Catherine Grier and
Margaret E. Hope.
vii. Erixene Susan Adams.
viii. Margaret Ewart Adams. Married on Apr. 11, 1839 to Ephraim Abell Crenshaw, M.D.,
who was born in Union Co., S.C., on Sept. 16, 1804, and died at Yorkville on Apr. 9,
ix. James W. Adams. Born in February, 1824, and died on Oct. 8, 1844.
In the early years of his ministry the Rev. James S. Adams labored in various capacities in the Low Country of South Carolina. He was one of the original members of the Congregational Association of South Carolina, serving as minister in charge of the Congregational Church of Dorchester and Beach Hill until Mar. 5, 1805, when, for health reasons, he relinquished his work there in order to return to the more salubrious air of York District, S.C., where he had been born.
Beersheba congregation, west of Yorkville, called Mr. Adams as their stated supply minister in 1805. He served as pastor at Beersheba and also at Olney, located across the North Carolina line. It was during his tenure as stated supply at Beersheba that Mr. Adams began ministering to the Presbyterians who had begun to call Yorkville their home. Regular Sunday services were inaugurated there, using the courtroom as the place of worship. It is certain that Mr. Adams was among the very first Presbyterian ministers in Yorkville and it is probable that he was the very first Gospel minister to officiate at Yorkville.
In 1811 Mr. Adams removed to his home church. Bethel, where he was pastor for the next twenty-nine years. So diligent was he in his labors that the membership of York County’s oldest congregation grew to be remarkably large for that day. A writer from that period said that Mr. Adams was “a man after the Master’s own heart, a good man and full of the Holy Ghost.” A favorite interest of Mr.Adams was the Bethel Academy, operated in conjunction with the church. His death came suddenly and unexpectedly while he was at home among his family. Seldom has any minister been as widely and deeply loved as Mr. Adams, and this in his own congregation and among his own people. What is the old saying about a prophet who is without honor in his own land? Mr. Adams’ experience seems to disprove these words. The inscription over his grave is the ultimate testimony to his faithfulness:
To the memory of the Rev. JAMES S. ADAMS
who with fidelity, purity, zeal and great success preached
the everlasting Gospel for the space of 48 years and 29
to Bethel Church. He was called to receive the Crown
of Righteousness on the 18th of August 18
The above genealogy information from: The Genesis of York, by Wm. B. White, Jr., Yorkville Historical Society, 2015 – Jostens Publishing Company
ROBERT BLACK, STONEMASON, CARVED BYERS TOMBSTONES By Thurlo V. Byers
(In the December 1993 issue of The Quarterly, pp. 5-6, we published an account of the remarkable Byers tombstones in Beersheba Cemetery as salt to us by Thurlo V. Byers. Mr. Byers has since written that he has discovered additional information on the stonecutter, Robert Black, a nephew of Capt. William Byers, who had the stones erected. Mr. Byers says that all of the information quoted and not included in brackets is exactly as etched on the stones.)
Capt. William Byers was living in York County, South Carolina on the main road leading to the present town of York when he visited the pastor of Beersheba Presbyterian Church7 and talked to the pastor about the salvation that he sought “The Pastor told me to put my faith in the Lord The Pastor told me I could leave a family record on a tombstone and that it would be placed in the cemetery for all to see. He said lie would pray to God to cause it to be found by someone in the future so I would believe in a hereafter. I took a stone from my field and had Robert Black [Capt. Byers* nephew] etch my family history on it. If someone finds it I will believe.
“The Pastor told me that God would have someone find the stone and find a family history on it I told him it would be a miracle if it occured in that manner. I told him it would be a miracle if it occurred in that manner. I put the stone beside the West fence near the gate of the cemetery and waited for someone to find it. After awhile I gave up and decided it was a waste of time and money.
“He was visiting the Pastor and told him about his decision to give up on the tombstone marker. The Pastor asked him to let it stay and see what would happen to it. The Pastor prayed that someone would find the stone and family record. After a long wait the Pastor told me to leave the son, that God had a plan for it in the future. The Pastor wanted us to leave the tombstones as a Testimony to God. He said that God would allow someone to find them and them made known. Many hours of time were spent in preparing them for publication. Amen.” [Thurlo V. and Helen L. Byers found Capt. William Byers’ tombstone on Labor Day, September 6, 1993 and spent over 300 hours recording the information. The following is drawn from a portion of the record8]: Robert Black, a stone mason, etched the record. He was the son of Robert Black, bom August 12, 1710 at Milltown in Cavan Shire, Ireland who married Agnes Byers, a sister of Capt William Byers, on May 7, 1729 at St. Paul’s Chapel at Milltown. Agnes was bom September 13, 1711 in Exeter, Devonshire, England and was the daughter of William Byers and Elizabeth Cox.
Robert and Agnes Black had children: Anne, born August 8, 1731, m. MacDowel and lived in Virginia; Agnes, born July 13, 1732 in Chester Co, Pennsylvania; Elisabeth, born May 21, 1734 in Chester Co, Pennsylvania; Martha, bom June 12, 1736, m. Poole and lived in Virginia; Peter, born 1738 and Louisa, born 1740, died as infants in a fire; George, born June 9, 1742; Robert [the stonecutter of the Byers’ tombstones in Beersheba], born April 14, 1744; Jacob, born July 3, 1746; and John, born September 2, 1748. The Black family moved from Chester Co. Pennsylvania to South Carolina and lived at the present town of Blacksburg.9 Robert died November 17, 1779 [and left a will in York County, S. C.] and Agnes died May 18,1784, and is buried in Blacksburg.
James Byers wed Mary Sykes and lived in Spartanburg Co., SC. Isabella Byers wed Tedford Sykes and lived in Chester Co, SC. [Children are known.]
(Information courtesy of and from: YCGHS – The Quarterly Magazine)
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DR. W. M. WALKER—EXPERIMENTAL FARMER The Yorkville Enquirer, January 17, 1900 Dr. William M. Walker, one of the oldest and best known citizens of Yorkville has passed away. After a long and tedious illness, occasioned principally by the general breaking down incident to old age, rather than by any organic trouble, he breathed his last on Monday afternoon at 3 o’clock. He was aged 75 years, 9 months and 6 days. Though a resident of York county since the spring of 1832, when his parents settled about five miles north of Yorkville, Dr. Walker was a native of Chester county. He was born on Sandy river, a few miles southwest of Chester courthouse, on March 9,1824. Dr. Walker’s father, the late John Walker, was a blacksmith. Not what is generally understood by that term at this day; but an all around workman—something more like a machinist,—capable of fashioning from iron almost any article that was in daily use in his generation. For instance, he had a great reputation as a manufacturer of what was then known as the squirrel rifle. Many rifles made by him were still prized for their superiority as late as 25 years ago. Indeed they held their reputation until they were superseded by the modern breech loading rifles, which have since become so common. The son had but few educational advantages; but under the bringing up of a father like this, of course, learned many practical lessons that are not taught in schools. After leaving his father he served a short apprenticeship under the late Wm. Youngblood, and then started into life for himself as a finished workman. He set up a blacksmith business in Yorkville in partnership with his brother, the late Frank M. Walker, in 1849, and they continued to operate an establishment here until 1857. The dissolution of the black smithing partnership referred to was due to the determination on the part of Dr. Walker to take up the study of dentistry. Comparatively speaking, this profession was very much in its infancy in those days, and the blacksmith’s attention was attracted to it by certain discoveries and improved methods that were being applied about that time. He went into the new venture with the same earnest enthusiasm that was characteristic of his life, and three years afterward he was graduated from the Baltimore Dental College. This was in 1860. He volunteered in the Confederate service soon afterward, served through the war, and began the regular practice of dentistry until 1885, the last few years in partnership with Dr. A. Y. Cartwright, who, on his retirement from active work, succeeded to his business. Though in no sense a politician, in 1886, Dr. Walker conceived the idea that he would like to represent his county in the general assembly. He offered as a candidate for the house and was elected by a handsome majority. But one term was enough for him. During its continuance, he learned that to make a good, effective legislator requires especial training that should be commenced in early life, and although his record was as creditable as many who had gone before and many who have gone since, he did not offer for re-election. It was probably as a farmer that Dr. Walker achieved his most material success in life. He first began to devote a considerable portion of his time to farming along about in 1872. His farm was located in the northwestern outskirts of Yorkville, and on it he made many notable experiments with new varieties of cotton and corn seed, composts and other fertilizers. Some of the experiments were failures; but others were highly successful, and the benefits derived from them were widespread. But the doctor’s most notable achievement in this line was one for which he deserves a monument. We refer to his connection with the practical development of the terrace system, which has so largely supplanted cruder methods of drainage where the farmers had to deal with rolling lands. As the result, the hillside ditch has almost entirely disappeared from the farm lands of York county, and terraces are as common now as were hillside ditches and great gullies then. And Dr. Walker was a Christian. He became a member of the Methodist Episcopal church in 1852 and was a steward for more than 40 years…. Dr. Walker was married in October 1850 to Miss Mary Ellen Hudson, who with two sons and two daughters survive him. The sons are Dr. Miles J. Walker, of Yorkville, and Dr. Geo. Walker of Baltimore. The daughters are Mrs. G. H. O’Leary and Mrs. H. C. Strauss, both of Yorkville. The funeral service took place in the Yorkville cemetery, yesterday morning at 11 o’clock. The body was not taken to the church. This was in deference to a request made by the deceased prior to his death. There was present a large concourse of people …. (Information courtesy of and from: YCGHS – The Quarterly Magazine, March 2000)
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