All Around the Camp - The Dutch Creek Valley Clan

Compiled by Linda Hunt Hamlett. Personal use of this information is permitted. Absolutely no commercial use may be made of this information without the express permission of Linda Hunt Hamlett.

The Dutch Creek Valley Clan

I cherish the many times that my papa explained the family record to me. I never grew tired of hearing about all the different stories connected with this generation. My papa was the great-grandson of Bryant and Percy Herring. This family came from North Carolina to Tennesee and then to Arkansas and settled in Yell County near Danville in the Dutch Creek Valley. Very little is on record about this old pioneer family, but the familiar names of the past and present generations are easily recognizable. From this union several generations have developed.

The Herrings had several children that lived to be grown and married. Several settled near their parents' home, and the population grew. The ties between the families were very close; it has been said the "you could't talk about anyone in the valley without talking about your kinfolk." There were many families that homesteaded the land in this area. The first thing that the families did when homesteading was to clear ground for a garden, a truck patch, and a tobacco patch. When the time came for the family to build a home, the neighbors were never too busy to help with a log rolling. While the men were putting up the cabin or barn, the women cooked a feast for the men. Through hunting and fishing, the family was able to sustain itself.

Education and religion were important parts of these people's lives. The church and the school were usually in the same building and more often than not the preacher was also the teacher. They taught the "3-R's" -- reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic. However, the churches and the schools were few and far between, and children often had to be taught at home. They learned many things in addition to basics, many of which were useful later on in life.

The children of Bryant and Percy Herring that settled all around about the camp in Dutch Creek valley left many reminders of their time. Many generations are buried in the Moss Creek Cemetery. There is also a church wich still stands in the Moss Creek Community. It was named the Camellia Church for the daughter of the Herrings. The large bell that hung in the bellfry now sits in the yard of Mrs. Thessie Wilson of Danville. The Ball Bullfrog Pond is the name of a homestead in the community that was settled by Martha Herring Ball's son, John.

Bryant Herring was born some time around 1800, and his wife, Percy, was born in 1806. Their eight children were:

  1. Echobode was born in Tennesee in 1825. He was buried at Moss Creek Cemetery. He was killed after the Civil War sometime before 1877. He married Elimpa. She was born in 1831 in Alabama.
  2. Martha was born August 22, 1826. She was born in Tennesee, and married George Ball who was born in 1819 in Kentucky. They married July 9, 1848. She married Gabriel Cannon in 1863. She died January 10, 1910. She is buried in Moss Creek Cemetery.
  3. Camellia was born on September 22, 1828. She married Daniel Denton. She died November 9, 1913 and is buried in Moss Creek Cemetery.
  4. Betsy Ann Herring was the fourth eldest child. She married a Hunt, then George Willis. She is buried at the Moss Creek Cemetery.
  5. Mollie Herring was born in Tennesee in 1848. She married Joe Brown and moved to Texas. She married in 1860. She died in 1894 or 1904 and was buried in Vernon, Texas.
  6. John Herring was born in Dutch Creek on September 24, 1920. He married Hannah Spillers, Louisa Denton, Belle Huckabee and Ann White. He is buried in the Old Danville Cemetery.
  7. George Herring married Sylvia from New York. He committed suicide in California. He may have been buried in Oklahoma.
  8. Isabelle Herring was born in 1852. She was born at Dutch Creek. She died in December 1884. She married David Hunt who was born on November 15, 1851, and died October 28, 1906. She is buried in Moss Creek Cemetery.

Moss Creek Cemetery

Down in Moss Creek Valley,
There's a city dear to me.
Not a city of the living-
But a city of the dead.

Recently, I visited the city.
Time has really taken its toll.
There were many friends and loved ones.
There were many blessed souls.

As I walk through this city,
I remember many yesterdays.
How we worked and toiled together.
The many times we knelt and prayed.

There's Uncle George Denton in the pulpit.
From the Holy Book he read.
Finishing the scripture, he closed the Bible.
I remember many things he said.

Seems I hear a choir singing-
So many voices blended in.
The organ playing soft and sweetly.
I felt the joy so deep within.

John Ball: he preached the gospel
As a child, I was told.
Uncle Felix Powers, our superintendent;
Served til he was very old.

Isabell Rupe: she prayed to Jesus
You could feel his presence near.
Many others walked and talked with him.
That's when I learned that God was real.

Marie Bowerman Cherry worked in this city.
Serving those she loved so dear.
There could never be a more lovely person.
The city is richer since she's here.

Jesse Ball and many of his family.
They live in this city today.
The Herrings, Powers, Dentons, Bowermans, and Hunts.
So many others I can't say.

There's one person who I can't forget.
Sallie Powers, my mother's friend.
When someone was ill-they both went willing.
And they stayed until the end.

Those of us left are growing older,
But somehow we don't seem to mind.
For it's only just a season
We could dwell here anytime.

By Anna Mae Rupe Chism

Copyright © 2004: by Linda Hunt Hamlett
All materials, images, and data contained herein are not to be copied or downloaded for purposes of duplication, distribution, or publishing without the express written permission of the owner.


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Karen Groce /
Last updated 09 Apr 2010