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Memories From The Past

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Preacher Cy

Kenny Stallard

     Preacher Cy was my great grandfather.  Cyrus Henderson Stallard, Jr.; son of Cyrus Henderson Stallard, Sr. and Margaret Addington.  Preacher Cy was born in Wise County, Virginia, January 17, 1860 and died June 6, 1942; when I was three years old, so I never had the opportunity to know him.  Cyrus married Lucy Lawson a daughter of Henry Lawson and Susannah Bond.  Lucy was born in the Snowflake area of Scott County, Virginia on September 7, 1857 and died August 12, 1940. 

     Cyrus and Lucy were married in Wise County on March 28, 1879.  They are buried in the Stallard-Trent Cemetery on Bull Hill at the site of the little frame church where Cyrus was pastor.  The church burned several years ago and a new church, Stallard Memorial Baptist Church, was erected at the foot of Bull Hill in the Virginia City Community.

     One story I recall, as my aunt, my father’s oldest sister told about Preacher Cy, related to his Pastoral duties and his penchance for mule trading.  The incidence occurred during a period when Preacher Cy was either preaching on circuit or preaching at a revival as a visiting preacher.

     Cy and Lucy lived in a cabin a short distance from the frame church and cemetery.  One day during Cy’s absence, a wagon pulled up on the road in front of the cabin.  Lucy stepped to the cabin door and look out.  A gentleman in typical farmer’s garb sat on the wagon seat. 

     He greeted her with “Mrs. Stallard, I’ve got Cy’s mules here.  Where do you want me to put them?”  Tied to the back of the wagon was a matching set of mules.

     Grandma Lucy, not being surprised by mules showing up replied, “just turn them loose in the barn lot.  They can be fed with everything else until Cy gets back.”

     The farmer dismounted from the wagon and led the mules around back and turned them loose in the barn lot.

     Returning to the house, he knocked on the door and when Grandma Lucy came out, he ask “Where’s the cook stove?”  It seems Grandpa Cyrus had traded Grandma Lucy’s cook stove for the set of mules.  The farmer loaded the stove and drove off.  No one knew if he took the fire in the stove with him.

     The other story I recall, also told by the same aunt, involved a visiting preacher to Grandpa Cyrus’s church.  It was decided that the visiting preacher would preach the Sunday morning service and after dinner-on-the- ground and a period of singing, visitation and rest, Grandpa Cyrus would preach the evening service.

     Now at this period in time, although electricity had come to Wise County, most structures were not wired for the lighting we are used to today.  The little frame church had one light in the building, a single socket with a pull string hanging over the center of the aisle by it's green and yellow cloth covered cord.

     The visiting preacher was relating to Grandpa Cyrus about how much enjoyment he had gotten from preaching the morning service and how he was moved by the singing and visitation to preach the evening service.

     Grandpa Cyrus was replying how he also had enjoyed the morning service and singing and felt just as moved to deliver the evening service, especially since this had been their agreement.

     An argument ensued, becoming quite agitated for two country preachers.  Finally to end the argument, Grandpa Cyrus reached up, unscrewed the light bulb from the socket in the church, placed it in his suit coat pocket and went home.

     Since this was the only light bulb in the church, the evening service was cancelled and no one preached that night.

 

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