Mormons of Harkers Island, Notes


Strengthened by the Storm: The Early Mormons of Harkers Island, NC, by Joel G. Hancock.

Notes

Chapter 1 By the Water’s Edge
David Stick, The Outer Banks of North Carolina 1584-1958, p. 188.
Ibid., p. 187.
Ibid., p. 187-188.
”The Banks Church,” Island Born and Bred, ed. Karen Willis Amspacher, p. 46.
Stick, The Outer Banks, p. 189.
This story is from a taped conversation of the author with Dorothy Willis Guthrie at her home on Harkers Island, N. C., January     3,    1987.

Charlie W. Hancock, Letter to Robert W. Hancock, pp. 2-3.
”The Banks Church,” p. 46.
Harrell Taylor, “Data on Hurricanes for Sea Level, North Carolina-Carteret County,” p. 1.
Lillian Lewis Davis, “Brief History of Shackleford Banks,” p. 8.
Stick, The Outer Banks, p. 193, concludes that as many as two thirds of Diamond City’s residents moved directly to Harkers Island.
Lillian Lewis Davis, “History of Harkers Island,” p. 2.
Ibid.
William Hobbs, of Preston, Idaho, visited the Island in June of 1903. He noted that sometimes he was unable to sleep as he “fought mosquitoes the whole night long.” See William R. Hobbs, Missionary Journal (August 25, 1902-September 22, 1904), p. 72.

Hobbs, Missionary Journal, p. 77.
James Godfrey, Missionary Journal (April 1899 to May 1901), p. 73.
History of Trinity United Methodist Church: Marshallberg, N. C. (1875-1975), p. 2, records that in the 1870’s a “Reverend Wilson” was assigned to share his time between Marshallberg and Harkers Island. According to “The Island Church,” Island Born and Bred, ed. Karen Willis Amspacher, pp. 46-51, the Southern Methodist congregation from Shackleford Banks later joined with several worshipers already on Harkers Island and by 1905 they had begun holding meetings separate from the Northern Methodist Church. By 1939, the two groups had begun a process that ultimately was to unify the two factions into one united Methodist denomination. Many members of the Northern Methodist congregation refused to accept the union and started what became the “Free Grace Prayer Band.”

William Hansen, Missionary Journal, August 1, 1897 to December 30, 1898, p. 65-66.
The author’s father, Charlie W. Hancock, was born at Harkers Island in 1909 but vividly recalls spending evenings with his father in such camps as a boy. A Latter-day Saint missionary, William A. Adams, who visited the area in 1901 found only “… a little flock of houses among the sand hills.” See William A. Adams, Missionary Journal October 1900-June 1902, 2:61.

Davis, “Brief History of Shackleford Banks,” p. 8 and Stick, The Outer Banks, pp. 193 & 194.

Chapter 2 Fishers of Men

This place may have been the present “Radford’s” Crossroads in Johnston County. It was consistently spelled “Redford’s” by William Hansen in his journal.

Unless otherwise noted, the information and quotations found in this chapter are from William Hansen, Missionary Journal, August 1, 1897 to December 30, 1898.

John Witt Telford, “Brief History of John Witt Telford,” p. 1.
Ibid.
John Witt Telford, Missionary Log, January 1896 to September 1898, 2 Volumes; and Wallace R. Draughon, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in North Carolina, pp. 42-47.

Elder Killpack’s prophecy was literally fulfilled before William Hansen’s mission was completed. Even Brother Todd himself was able to witness Elder Hansen’s growth and maturity. See below, Chapter 4, p. 99.

The surviving copy of Elder Hansen’s journal is a typed transcript of his handwritten notes made while on his mission. In the text of his journal he attributes these events to “Kinston” but describes it as “the county seat of Harnett County” an obvious mistake, as “Lillington” is Harnett’s seat of government. Each time “Kinston” is mentioned, it appears to have been typed over an earlier erasure. Other internal evidence further suggests that the events that follow occurred in Lillington (the presence of named friends, including the McNeal brothers, whom he earlier and later places in Lillington) rather than in Kinston. Kinston was assumed for the original edition of this work, but further analysis has led to the conclusion that Lillington is more probably correct.

Draughon, History, p. 82. Also see below, Chapter 4, p. 97.

Chapter 3 Casting the Net

Unless otherwise noted, the information and quotations found in this chapter are from William Hansen, Missionary Journal, August 1, 1897 to December 30, 1898. The original of this volume is on file at Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho.

The verse reads, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (bold type added). It is near the end of the last book of the Bible and is often taken to mean that there was to be no more scripture after the Bible. The verse in itself is primary evidence that John, the author, is referring only to this specific book of prophecy. In addition, most Biblical scholars agree that other books of the New Testament, including at least one by John himself, post date the Book of Revelation. John thus would have been calling down a curse upon himself, as well as others among the early Church fathers, if the verse were intended
as commonly interpreted. See F. Bertram Clogg, “Revelation,” The Abingdon Bible Commentary, p. 1398.

The “Spaulding story” is a reference to a charge frequently made in the early days of Mormonism that Joseph Smith had copied the Book of Mormon from a manuscript written by Solomon Spaulding and subsequently lost. The manuscript later was found and showed little or no similarity to the Book of Mormon narrative. “Blood Atonement” refers to a charge that early Mormon leaders advocated imposing a death penalty on members who left the Church or denied their testimonies. This charge is denied vehemently by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today as it has been from its inception. See Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 92 & 749.

See above, Chapter 1, p. 13.
Subsequent Mormon Elders would be equally as fascinated as were Elders Telford and Hansen with both the Lighthouse and the life-saving station. Every missionary from that period whose journal can be located devotes several pages to describing their visits to the Cape. See James Godfrey, Missionary Journal (April 1899 to May 1901), pp. 51, 61, & 121, William A. Adams, Missionary Journal (May 1900 to June 1902), 2:61-62, William R. Hobbs, Missionary Journal (August 25, 1902-September 22, 1904), pp. 72-80, Lewis Johnson, Missionary Journal (October 9, 1903 to October 21, 1905), pp. 11 & 38, and William Petty, Missionary Journal (July 1904 to July 1906), pp. 98-100.

Tracting is a term used by Latter-day Saints in reference to random calling and visiting in a neighborhood.
John Witt Telford, Missionary Log, Vol. 2, and Ibid., p. 63.
Gilda Willis, “History of Joe Wallace Willis and Margaret Meekins Willis,” pp. 1 & 2.
Many of the details regarding the healing of Bertha Willis are recorded in an account by her daughter Lillian Lewis Davis, “My Mother,” pp. 1 & 2.

Chapter 4 “Good, Humble, But Poor People”

Unless otherwise noted, the information and quotations found in this chapter are from William Hansen, Missionary Journal, August 1, 1897 to December 30, 1898. The original of this volume is on file at Ricks College, Rexburg, Idaho.

For the purposes of this study, the term “native” is used to identify those who lived at Harkers Island before the storms of 1896 and 1899 caused the mass migration to the Island from Shackleford Banks.

History of Trinity United Methodist Church: Marshallberg, N. C. (1875-1975), p. 2.
A later Mormon missionary, Elder James Godfrey, who visited the Scott family in the spring of 1900, suggests that Captain Scott also may have been a farmer or merchant. He noted that “Captain Scott had left home to go to Virginia with a load of sweet potatoes.” See James Godfrey, Missionary Journal (April 1899 to May 1901), p. 69.

John Telford, “Brief History of John Witt Telford,” p. 1.
Milton Hansen, Letter to Ira Telford, 11 May 1978, p. 1.
Ibid.
Moses Todd proved to be not so firm in the faith as the missionary he once censured. On October 11, 1901, Elder James Taylor recorded an encounter with the elderly member whom he described as “an apostate, a miserable man.” He added that Todd, as well as his two daughters and his son, had asked to be excommunicated. See James M. Taylor, Missionary Journal, (August 27, 1900 to June 13, 1902). p. 101.

Chapter 5 The Harvest Begins

Unless otherwise noted, the references and quotations found in this chapter are taken from James Godfrey, Missionary Journal (April 1899 to May 1901).

Junietta Wall, Letter to John Wall, February 28, 1899.
Biographical information on John Henry Wall is found in a letter to the author dated October 15, 1987 from Maurine Harker Smith, of Boise, Idaho. Mrs. Smith is a granddaughter of John H. Wall. Further information was obtained in telephone conversations of February 27, 1987, with his son, Don H. Wall, of Salem, Oregon and with his grand-daughter, Sylvia Wall Sabin, of Escondido, California.

Unless otherwise indicated, the baptismal dates and information contained herein are taken from research done at the Membership Services Division of the Church Historical Department by staff member Duffie F. Hurtado, and provided for the author in a letter of February 25, 1987.

The Jesse W. and Alice Richins Family in the Twentieth Century, ed. by Agnes Bice, p. 2.
Andrew L. Heggie, Letter to Joel G. Hancock, October 22, 1987.
Lena Taylor Respess, “Mary Lewis Willis.”
Lena Taylor Respess, “Henrietta Willis Salter.”
The Jesse W. and Alice Richins Family in the Twentieth Century, ed. by Agnes Bice, p. 2., and Godfrey, Missionary Journal, p. 71.
William R. Hobbs, Missionary Journal (August 25, 1902-September 22, 1904), p. 82.
References to such can be found in William Albert Adams, Missionary Journal (May 1900 to June 1902), 3:82, in Hobbs, Missionary Journal, pp. 69-82, and in William Petty, Missionary Journal (July 1904 to July 1906), pp. 100-108.

See Godfrey, Missionary Journal, p. 50, 53, & 62., Hobbs, Missionary Journal, p. 69, Lewis Johnson, Missionary Journal (October 9, 1903 to October 21, 1905), p. 11, and Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 103.

Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 108.

Chapter 6 A Season in the Sun

James Godfrey, Missionary Journal (April 1899 to May 1901), pp. 103-104, reported a short visit to Harkers Island by Elder Adams and his companion, Elder Burton J. Bean, in January of 1901.

James M. Taylor, Missionary Journal, (August 27, 1900 to June 13, 1902). p. 128, reported a special fast of all the Elders in the conference April 6, 1902, in behalf of Elder Adams “for the restoration of his hair.” Biographical information on William Albert Adams is from a letter to the author dated October 20, 1986, from his grandson, Golden V. Adams, of Provo, Utah.

Unless otherwise noted, the references and quotations found in this chapter are taken from William Albert Adams, Missionary Journal (May 1900 to June 1902), 2:55-64 and 3:79-86.

Godfrey, Missionary Journal, p. 71.
Taylor, Missionary Journal, p. 2, and Lucinda Young Anderson, Letter to Joel G. Hancock, October 23, 1987.
Taylor, Missionary Journal, p. 69.
Ibid.
For example, see Lewis Johnson, Missionary Journal (October 9, 1903 to October 21, 1905), pp. 6 & 59.
See also Godfrey, Missionary Journal, p. 50., William R. Hobbs, Missionary Journal (August 25, 1902-September 22, 1904), p. 68., and Taylor, Missionary Journal, p. 71.

Unique among modern Christian denominations is the Latter-day Saint practice of performing ordinances (baptism, etc.) for deceased relatives. The principle of vicarious work for the dead is detailed in modern revelations but also is suggested in Biblical passages including Malachi 4:5-6, I Peter 3:18-20 & 4:6, and I Corinthians 15:28-29.

Commenting on Paul’s reference to such practices in the latter Scripture, a modern scholar has observed that Paul “alludes to a practice of the Corinthian community as evidence for Christian faith in the resurrection of the dead. It seems that in Corinth some Christians would undergo baptism in the name of their deceased non-Christian relatives and friends, hoping that this vicarious baptism might assure them a share in the redemption of Christ. See Richard Kugelman, “The First Letter to the Corinthians,” in The Jerome Biblical Commentary, 2:273.

Hobbs, Missionary Journal, p.73, also tells of visiting a photographer on the Island, as the members wished to have a picture of him made that they might remember him.

Ibid., pp. 179-180.
Godfrey, Missionary Journal, p.74 & 121.
See above, chapter 4, p. 59.

Chapter 7 The Gathering Storm

Wallace R. Draughon, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in North Carolina, p. 48.
Ruby Ingram Guthrie, “My Grandmother,” p. 1.
Draughon, History, p. 32.
James Godfrey, Missionary Journal (April 1899 to May 1901), pp. 71, 72, 107, & 120.
Ibid., p. 123.
William R. Hobbs, Missionary Journal (August 25, 1902-September 22, 1904), p. 28.
Draughon, History, p. 48.
Ibid.
Hobbs, Missionary Journal, pp. 68-69, & 81.
Lewis Johnson, Missionary Journal (October 9, 1903 to October 21, 1905), p. 9.
Elders’ Journal, 3:228.
Ibid.
Ibid., 3:228-229.
Elder Alma A. Andrus of Spanish Fork, Utah, visited Harkers Island in the spring of 1905. In his journal he referred to the local meeting-house and pointedly noted that it was “built by President Lewis W. Johnson.” See Alma A. Andrus, Missionary Journal (April 2, 1905 to May 2, 1905), p. 15.

Johnson, Missionary Journal, pp. 8, 13, & 16.
Ibid., p. 15.
Lillian Lewis Davis, History of the Latter-day Saint Church on Harkers Island, p. 1.
Johnson, Missionary Journal, p. 15.
Godfrey, Missionary Journal, pp. 53, 60, & 73.
Elders’ Journal, 3:229.
Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 3:206-207.
Elders’ Journal, 3:229.
Johnson, Missionary Journal, p. 18.
Southern States Mission Manuscript History, March 6, 1904.
North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, February 15, 1905.
Johnson, Missionary Journal, p. 50.
North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, April 16, 1905.
Johnson, Missionary Journal, p. 15, tells of the death of a small son of John Nelson (John Nelson was Betty Nelson’s youngest son) January 27, 1904. It is likely that the Elders officiated at any memorial services that were conducted.

North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, July 31, 1905.
The author’s uncle, Louie Hancock, (b. 1892) was twelve years old when the Reverend Morgan arrived at the Island. He became quite adept at mimicking the Reverend’s trembling voice, such that until his death, in 1986, he still was called “Morgan” by some of his friends.

See above, Chapter 4, p. 71.
See Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., Essentials in Church History, pp. 509-511. See also the News and Observer, January-March, 1904.
Johnson, Missionary Journal, pp. 22-24.
Millennial Star, 68:383-384.
William Petty, Missionary Journal (July 1904 to July 1906), p. 97, tells of attending a service where Reverend Morgan was the speaker and of what the Reverend had to say about the Mormons.

”The Banks Church,” Island Born and Bred, ed. Karen Willis Amspacher, p. 50.
Elders’ Journal, 3:229.
Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 109.
Elders’ Journal, 3:229.
Johnson, Missionary Journal, p. 40.
North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, December 21, 1905, and Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 96-97.
Petty, Missionary Journal, pp. 98-99.
Ibid., p. 98.
Davis, “History of the Latter-day Saint Church on Harkers Island,” p. 2.6Lillian Lewis Davis, “My Mother,” p. 2.
Johnson, Missionary Journal, p. 74, tells of a similar school started by the missionaries at Hampstead, N. C. in March of 1905.
Lillian Lewis Davis, “History of Harkers Island,” p. 4.
Elders’ Journal, 3:184, and Petty, Missionary Journal, pp. 104-109.
Elders’ Journal, 3:226, and Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 110.
Elders’ Journal, 3:229.

Chapter 8 The Eye of the Tempest

Lillian Lewis Davis, “History of the Latter-day Saint Church on Harkers Island,” p. 2.
William Petty, Missionary Journal (July 1904 to July 1906), p. 110-111.
North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, January 16, 1906.
Elders’ Journal, 3:229.
Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 111.
Davis, History of the Latter-day Saint Church on Harkers Island, p. 2.
In a book published in 1952, William Hansen was interviewed about his years as a missionary in North Carolina. In it he told of a conversation of several years previous with Apostle Charles A. Callis. Elder Callis had been a Mission President in North Carolina a few years after the burning of the chapel in 1906. Elder Callis told William Hansen that “he [Elder Callis] was still in possession of the small piece of paper from [the] Bible.” See Dorothy South Hackworth, “Burning the Church on Harkers Island, North Carolina,” The Master’s Touch, pp.

123-124.
Davis, History of the Latter-day Saint Church on Harkers Island, p. 2.
Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 112.
Ibid., p. 113.
Ibid., p. 117.
Elders’ Journal, 3:184.
Ibid., 3:229, and Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 116-117.
Davis, History of the Latter-day Saint Church on Harkers Island, p. 2.
Petty, Missionary Journal, pp. 113-118. The continued necessity of having armed guards to protect homes and meeting places is noted again in a letter from the Saints received by Elder Petty on March 6, 1906. See Ibid., p. 129.

Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 126.
Elders’ Journal, 3:184-185.
Ibid., 3:205.
See above, Chapter 3, pp. 49-52.
Elders’ Journal, 3:205.
Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 118.
Ibid., p. 119.
Hugh Talmage Lefler and Albert Ray Newsome, The History of a Southern State: North Carolina, pp. 565-571.
Elders’ Journal, 3:225-226.
Ibid., 3:225.
Millennial Star, June 14, 1906, p. 384.
North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, March 11, 1906.
Millennial Star, June 14, 1906, p. 384.
Elders’ Journal, 3:229.
Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 128.
North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, March 15, 1906.
Ibid., May 6, 1906.
Ibid., June 15, 1906.
Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 128.
Elders’ Journal, 3:443.
Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 158.
Ibid., 159-160.
Elders’ Journal, 3:443, and Ibid., p. 160-161.
Elders’ Journal, 3:443, and Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 161.
Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 161.
Ibid., p. 161-162.
Ibid., p. 162.
Elders’ Journal, 3:443.
Ibid., and Petty, Missionary Journal, p. 163-164.
There remains among some on Harkers Island even until today a tendency to use the “w” sound rather than the “v” sound whenever the latter is at the beginning of a word.

Davis, History of the Latter-day Saint Church on Harkers Island, p. 2.
Much of this story is found in a taped conversation of the author with Chauncey Guthrie and Dorothy Willis Guthrie at their home on Harkers Island, N. C., January 3, 1987.

Elder’s Journal, 3:443, and North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, July 5, 1906 and August 31, 1906.
Elders’ Journal, 3:444.
North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, July 29, 1906.

Chapter 9 The Rainbow and Beyond

North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, August 31, 1906.
North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, October 31, 1906.
By 1913, two of the original members, William Salter and John Salter, had asked to be excommunicated from the
Church.
William Petty, Missionary Journal (July 1904 to July 1906), p. 102, tells of an incident in late 1905, when one of the members had been disabled by an accident. At that time a special “subscription” was called for and $8.00 was raised in his behalf.

Southern States Mission Manuscript History, April 18, 1909.
Ibid.
Lillian Lewis Davis, History of the Latter-day Saint Church on Harkers Island, p. 3.
Ibid.
Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, 4:380-381.
Liahona, The Elders’ Journal, 6:1192.
Ibid.
Ibid.
Ibid., October 21, 1909.
This story is found in a taped conversation of the author with Carl Willis at the latter’s home on Harkers Island, N. C., January 4, 1987.

Lillian Lewis Davis, “How My Life Was Saved,” p. 2.
This story is found in a taped conversation of the author with Dorothy Willis Guthrie at the latter’s home on Harkers Island, N. C., January 3, 1987.

Southern States Mission Manuscript History, May 6, 1911.
Ibid., October 1, 1911.
Ibid., April 20, 1913.
Harkers Island Branch Manuscript History, April 26, 1913.
North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, January 31, 1923.
North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, October 31, 1924.
North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, February 22, 1925.
The Banks Church,” Island Born and Bred, ed. Karen Willis Amspacher, p. 51.
North Carolina Conference Manuscript History, January 31, 1920.
Almeta Willis Gaskill, “Alford Willis,” pp. 3-4

Go to Mormons of Harkers Island, Appendix 1.

Summary
Article Name
Mormons of Harkers Island, Chapter Notes
Author
Description
A history of the Mormons of Harkers Island, NC
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