Monday, March 5, 2012

Preacher, stonemason, and “vigorous man”

Rev. Henry George (d. 1821) is buried beneath a ledger stone at Chester Baptist Cemetery. The original inscription is still readable (although the epitaph is a challenge), but there is a bronze plaque at the foot of the grave that preserves and enriches the inscription.

Henry’s wife, Mary George (d. 1843) is memorialized here as well, although the plaque states that she is buried in Missouri.

the Memory
of the Rev.
Minister of the
He lived justly
for his piety and
died Justly
on the 1 Day of
Nov. 1821 in the
61 Year of his

Wife of the Rev.
died August
27, 1843
Aged 84 Years

Henry George is the subject of an interesting sketch in History of Morrow County and Ohio (1880):

This first demonination represented in the township was the Old-School Baptists. Henry George was a Welsh preacher, of that church, and was given a farm, on condition that four acres should be given for church purposes. Accordingly, in 1819, a hewed-log cabin was erected on his land... [Mr. George] was a vigorous man, of strong constitution, and very earnest in his ministerial labors. He was obliged to work at his trade, as stone and brick mason, for the support of his family, but all his spare time was devoted to missionary labor among the whites and Indians. Among the latter his power was quite remarkable, and his camp-meetings among them were the talk of the country round. His trade made him quite as powerful physically, and, it is said, he was able to defend himself in almost any encounter. On one occasion a noted bully, with a companion, met Mr. George with his son, on horseback, quietly riding home from Mount Vernon. The roughs stopped the horseman and demanded that they should decide which were the best men. After trying, in vain, to evade them, the Georges reluctantly dismounted and prepared for fight. The elder George was not long in demonstrating to the surprised bully that he had challenged the wrong man, and soon his antagonist at his his mercy. His son not succeeding so well, he turned in and gave him a helping hand, which turned the scale against the challengers.

Chester Baptist Cemetery, Morrow County, Ohio

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