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:
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
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