Churches & Cemeteries

THE OLD BRICK CHURCH

The Robert Braswell pastor – 1652

 

The Old Brick Church – or St. Luke’s – is the oldest existing church of English origin in America, and the nation’s only surviving original Gothic building.  It was built in 1632 under the supervision of Joseph Bridger.  It stands about five miles from Smithfield, Wight County, Virginia.  It is often described as the most precious building in America, and today is a national shrine.

The bricks bear the date 1632.  It was abandoned in 1836, and was restored about 1890. Here Tarleton’s British calvary camped in 1781.  The parish books were buried for safe keeping during Lord Cornwallis’ Virginia campaign.  The records did not survive but mouldered to dust.  The old church in spite of time and war, has been, in its more than three hundred years of existence, the scene of worship and ceremonies.  The rich and poor, the humble and great have passed it many times.  In the early days before the Revolution George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and many more of our early patriots, must have paused and knelt before the altar and asked God for guidance in forming our nation.

The beautiful windows are in memory of many loved and important people.  One is in memory of the Reverend Alexander Whitaker who baptized Pocahontas and married her to John Rolfe.  One to Captain John Smith and to Pocahontas the “First fruits of the church in Virginia”.  The silver flagons of 1663, the Chalice of about 1600, the famous Smith organ of about 1665, and the lovely Baptismal Font – hewn from oak log, and the sacred altar with the Cambridge Edition Bible, 1629, are all part of the lovely furnishings of the old church that today stands surrounded by rugged trees.

The Historic St. Luke’s Gift Shop, Route 1, Box 22, Smithfield, Virginia 23430 has information and booklets that can be purchased by mail.

Here, our Great Grandfather the Reverend Robert Braswell served as pastor in 1652.  There is a plaque honoring him.  It has been placed by grateful descendants.  In part it reads: “In honor of Reverend Robert Braswell 1613-1668.”  Happy and proud are all the Braswells today who can trace their lineage to this great good man of long ago who helped to shape our nation and give unto us a rich spiritual heritage.

                                                                                                            --Copied as written

BRACEWELL HALL

 

The manor house known as Bracewell Hall was a very large house built by order of the Tempest family.  It was used as their residence and was on the land holdings granted them by William, Duke of Normandy (William the Conquerer).  It is recorded that Bracewell Hall entertained many royal heads including King Henry VI, who was in hiding there after the Battle of Hexham in 1464, during the War of the Roses.  Prince Rupert stayed there, with his thousands of troops camped in the fields nearby, while on his way to the Battle of Marison Moor.

Richard Tempest gave orders for the partial pulling down and reconstruction of a much larger Hall in 1656.  After this reconstruction the Hall passed to several owners until 1845 when Robert Hopwood became Lord of the Manor.  Mr. Hopwood demolished the old Hall and erected a new Hall, made of brick, on the same site in 1869.  The Hall had turrets, buttresses, and gables.

Mr. James Bracewell of Midwest City, Oklahoma, who has supplied this history to us, was in the U. S. Air Force stationed in England during the World War II.  He visited the village of Bracewell when the Hall was being dismantled in 1952.  Apparantly the national taxes on the large house made it necessary to rebuild it as a smaller residence.  Mr. Bracewell reports on the old Hall “the building had some 35 rooms, and was three stories high plus a full basement.  The third floor was used for storage and a series of small maid’s rooms.  Every room in the complex had a coal fireplace.  A spiral staircase provided access to the floors above ground.  One room, in what I considered the East wing, was some 30 x 50 feet with an overhung balcony at the second floor which projected out 4 to 5 feet.  I can only guess that the balcony was used for delivery of religious services.  We were not able to determine when the Hall was vacated, but we did learn that it was used during World War II to house the British troops in training, and was later used by a local engineering firm.  When we saw it in 1952 it was about one fourth demolished.”

In 1987 Mr. Bracewell received a photo of the new Bracewell Manor taken by his kinsman, Dan Prettyman.  “The building is called Bracewell Manor.  It is now used as a retirement type complex, being divided into several apartments.  It is located very near where the old Bracewell Hall stood, only a few miles west of it.”

“Comparing this new photo to the ones I took of the original building I saw in 1952, we felt a good bit of the old materials had been reused, and the five chimneys sure ring a bell for me.  The new chimneys look like exact duplicates of the old Bracewell Hall chimneys to me, so it seems like some of the old Hall lives on.”

Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Markers  02-01-02

 

1.         Joseph Marion Bracewell                                           Jan. 13, 1834 – June 13, 1906

2.         Emiline                                                                        Apr. 4, 1843 - Nov. 18, 1925                         

3.         J.B. Bracewell                                                             July 27, 1863 - Dec. 30, 1941

4.         Mollie E. Wife of J.B. Bracewell                                Sep. 19, 1869 - July 11, 1913

5.         Hermine Rikard Bracewell                                         1885 - 1953

6.         John Bracewell                                                            Apr. 13, 1924 - Aug. 6, 1986

7.         Zara Lee Dau. of C.E. & R.E. Bracewell                   Apr. 16, 1922 - June 14, 1923

8.         Charles Emmett Bracewell                                         Feb. 26, 1890 - March 18, 1966

9.         Rebekah Earl                                                               Sept. 10, 1901 - July 18, 1980

10.       Infant Daughter of Sam-Druie Farris                         Oct 1926

11.       Emma Lorene Daughter of CP & SE McDonald       Sept. 2, 1908 - Feb. 19, 1909

12.       Guy E.             Son of CP & SE McDonald               Born 8 - Died May 14, 1907

13.       Loud Glyn                                                                  Nov. 16, 1936 - Sept. 5, 1979

14.       Linda Hale                                                                  Nov. 17, 1937 -

15.       Whinery Baby Sister                                                   Aug. 1939

16.       Ruby L Whinery                                                         Apr. 15, 1914 - Mar. 15, 1977

17.       JC Whinery                                                                 Apr. 18, 1914 - Nov. 18, 1991

18.       Matildac Henry                                                           Jan. 1, 1954 - Mar. 17, 1943

19.       Roy Beckham                                                             Oct. 21, 1891 - May 11, 1972

20.       Neaomi                                                                        Dec. 24, 1846 - Oct. 27, 1954

___________________________________ ROW 2 _____________________________

21.       Infant son of Byron & Winie Bracewell                     May 16, 1910 - May 16, 1910

22.       Lovie (Daughter of V.C. & A.M. Bracewell)             Aug. 6, 1910 – Aug. 18, 1910

23.       Marian A Crowson                                                     Sept. 5, 1906 - Oct. 29, 1906

24.       Clifford W. son of WW & ML Bracewell                  Sept. 12, 1906 - Oct. 30, 1906

25.       Infant son Bracewell                                                   June 27, 1917 - June 27, 1917

26.       Walter W. Bracewell                                                   Nov. 24, 1871 - Sept. 26, 1933          

27.       Mary L.                                                                       Sept. 25, 1883 - Sept. 7, 1962

28.       Beulah Bracewell wife of RF Nesmith                       May 9, 1895 - Dec. 30, 1924

29.       William J. Whinery                                                     Aug. 20, 1865 - Dec. 9, 1957

30.       Mary L.                                                                       Apr. 3, 1879 - Sept. 27, 1967

31.       Jones S. Whinery                                                        Oct. 27, 1899 - Jan. 19, 1975

32.       Glover C. Whinery                                                      Jan. 22, 1912 - Aug. 26, 1988

33.       Edna M.                                                                      Aug. 15, 1923 - June 14, 1996

___________________________________ ROW 3 _____________________________

34.       Daughter of WB and Arah Bracewell                                    Dec. 9, 1924 - Feb. 21, 1926

35.       Daughter of WB and Arah Bracewell                                    Sept. 28, 1922 - Sept. 28, 1922         

36.       Fannie Wife of WB Bracewell                                   Nov 7, 1859 - Nov. 19, 1907

37.       Willie E. Daughter of WB & Fannie Bracewell         May 15, 1893 – May 26, 1894

38.       Emma Pearl Daughter of WB & Fannie Bracewell    Sept. 4, 1896 - Apr. 28, 1898

39.       Eric Bruce

40.       Caroline Wife of D. Dooley                                       June 14, 1838 - Nov. 27, 1905

41.       Kylei Herbert Kyle son of

42.       Ross Dooley                                                                Aug. 5, 1910 - May 9, 1912

43.       David Dooley                                                             Nov. 29, 18??

44.       Emmett F. Bracewell  US Air Force                           Nov. 29, 1930 - June 16, 1999

45.       Infant son

___________________________________ ROW 4 _____________________________ 

46.       CPL JW Jernigan        CO G, 8 Tenn. Cav.    CSA    1832 - 1908

47.       Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. AE Tuck      Vernice            1911 - 1913    

48.       Infant son of

49.       Bruce son of AE Tuck                                                            May 5, 1905 - July 20, 1905

50.       Harold Earl Stone                                                       Dec. 5, 1910 - Oct. 13, 1913

51.       Henry G. Stone                                                           Feb 20, 1904 - Oct 22, 1916

52.       William E. Southern                                                    Sept. 2, 1924 - May 19, 1983

53.       Alma Blynn Bracewell                                                Mar. 13, 1926

___________________________________ ROW 5 _____________________________

54.       David Joseph Taylor                                                   Apr. 3, 1964 - March 26, 1981

55.       John

56.       David M

57.       Janell Stephens                                                            Oct 5, 1926 - Sept. 7, 1986

58.       ?

___________________________________ ROW 6 _____________________________

59.       Rev. Sam Farris                                                           Nov. 3, 1928 - Oct. 15, 1998

60.       Hazel Marie Green                                                      Nov. 12, 1927 -

61.       Infant Daughter of Nolan & Novis Corley                 Feb. 1936

62.       Calus B. Hadaway                                                      1867 - 1939

63.       Birta Launa                                                                 1875 - 1976

64.       Sam R. Farris                                                              Sept. 19, 1903 - Oct. 8, 1974

65.       Druie Bracewell                                                          Oct. 7, 1908 - Dec. 25, 1985

66.       George Stephens                                                         Aug 11, 1903 - Aug. 16, 1969

67.       Mona Stephens                                                           May 7, 1904 - Jan 30, 1988

68.       Elvin R. Stephens       PFC US Army                                    Aug. 1, 1932 - July 26, 1975

___________________________________ ROW 7 _____________________________

69.       Timothy E. McQueen                                                 Apr 30, 1958 - March 3, 1961

70.       E. Frank Bracewell                                                     1877 - 1962

71.       Mollie E.                                                                     1880 - 1953

72.       RB Beaure Harrison                                                    Nov. 12, 1861 - Apr. 27, 1943

73.       Sehoy Wilson Harrison                                               Oct. 27, 1869 - Oct. 29, 1948

74.       Unmarked stone marker grave (said to be a worker from a near by plantation)

75.       Mothy E 1959             Misplaced Funeral Home Markers Located on the back fence.

76.       JM Day                       Misplaced Funeral Home Markers Located on the back fence.

77.       Unknown                    Misplaced Funeral Home Markers Located on the back fence.

 

 

Subcategories

Bedias First Baptist Church Historical Marker

The Rev. Anderson Buffington (1806-91), A Baptist Missionary who fought at the battle of San Jacinto in 1836, organized this church in 1848. Services were held in a small schoolhouse until the 1850s. In 1859 the congregation built this structure, which also served as a school until about 1903. Members of this fellowship helped start several other Baptist Churches nearby. The congregation survived a split in 1913, but later dwindled because of population changes. The last regular service was held here in 1965. Restored in 1974, the building was deeded to the Bedias Cemetery Association.

Mount Pleasant Church was organized in the summer of 1885 by Bro. C. R. Guerrant at the Sand Hill school house (which was located on the North side of Fm 1696 about 1/4 mile West of the "Red Hill Road" turn off). Charter members were Joseph Marion Bracewell and wife Emiline (James) Bracewell, William Barto Bracewell and wife Fannie (Shanks) Bracewell, W. J. Long and wife Sallie Long, also Mrs. Ella Jones. A church building was erected in 1886, which stood until just a few months short of its 100th anniversary. It was demolished in December 1985.

GPS: N30.27979 W95.99862