Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church is located in central Washington County, Kentucky. As luck would have it, Ritchey and I both have connections to this church, mine far in the past, at the very beginnings of the church, and his, more modern, in the early 1960’s.
Captain John Linton, my 5th great-grandfather helped start Pleasant Grove in 1833. He gave land for the church and used lumber from his trees for part of the original pews. Although Captain John was buried in the Linton Family Cemetery when he died four years later, in 1836, many of his family members are buried here at Pleasant Grove, including his grandson and great-granddaughter – my great-great-grandparents. So that officially makes the captain my 4th and 5th great-grandfather. Edward Edwards Linton was descended from John’s son, William, and Catherine Elizabeth Taylor was descended from John’s daughter, Nancy, who married Edward Barber Edwards. Edward and Catherine Linton are buried here, as well as most of their children – four under twenty-one, and one daughter, Annie, and son, John Edgar, who lived to be an old maid and old bachelor. Only one daughter – my great-grandmother – Frances Barber Linton, married and had children. She and her husband, Robert E. Lee Montgomery, are buried in St. Dominic’s Cemetery in Springfield. Grandmother Frances became a Catholic after her marriage.
Now to the second half of the story. Ritchey’s father, Rex Edwin Brown, was minister at Pleasant Grove for three years during the early 60’s. Ritchey went to first through third grade at the elementary school in downtown Springfield while living in Washington County. Then his family was sent to Africa as missionaries. One year was spent in Belgium, learning French, then it was off to the Congo for three years. Ritchey and his siblings lived at a boarding school in the bush while his parents were stationed in another part of Africa. Perhaps every school boy’s dream to live such an exciting life, but as a mother a terrifying experience!
In the spring Ritchey and I spent a day taking photos of each and every stone at Pleasant Grove – slightly over 1,000. I am sharing three of those with you today. There are the two original stones and one new stone for John Thompson and his wife, Sarah Shipley. I would say these are two of the oldest people buried in the cemetery. I checked Washington County married records but found nothing. Evidently John and Sarah must have been married when they moved to the county.
As you can see, John’s stone has sunk and makes it impossible to see the date of death.
Sarah’s stone is in much better condition
The new stone is easily read:
John Thompson, born November 20, 1775, died March 8, 1850
Sarah S., wife of John Thompson, born December 31, 1778, died July 18, 1855