Family Stories

Will of Grigsby Rush – Logan County

Good morning!  We are dealing with smoke and polluted air from Canadian wildfires.  It is not as bad where we live, 20 minutes from the Canadian border, but my daughter, who works on the Canadian side of the St. Mary’s River, with what is usually a beautiful view of the International Bridge, says it is hard to see the bridge this morning.  Fires have ramped up and winds are taking pollution further south.

While we were in Kentucky in April, we visited Kennerly Chapel Cemetery, a small Methodist Cemetery that was the beginning of that faith in Logan County.  Most stones are very old, some very difficult to read, some impossible to read.  Ritchey and I tried to visit this cemetery years ago when we visited the county, but there were such huge ruts in the road leading to it our car would not make it there – or back!  This time the road was in better shape and with the help of a lovely couple they opened the gates and showed us the way. 

Kennerly Chapel Cemetery isn’t large.  There is no longer a church on the property, but it is well kept.  There is a picnic area where reunions are held.  My express purpose for the visit was the grave of Lucy Crewdson Linton, wife of Benjamin Franklin Linton, son to my John Hancock Linton.  Lucy died much earlier than her husband – who was also a minister at the church.  But today we will talk about the Rush family.

Grigsby Rush was a Methodist preacher.  The following is an excerpt from Kennerly’s Chapel Methodist Church, Lewisburg, Kentucky by Mrs. Hueston E. Eakins:

‘Brother Grigsby Rush came to Logan County in 1812.  Dr. Redford speaks of him as Dr. Grigsby Rush.  It is not known if this is a Doctor of Medicine or a Doctor of Divinity, probably the latter, as conferred degrees were frequent in that day, and he was a licensed preacher.

‘Dr. Grigsby Rush was born in North Carolina, in 1784, where he grew to manhood and married.  In 1809, he emigrated to Maury County, Tennessee, and from there, in 1812, to Logan County, Kentucky, and settled in the neighborhood of Kennerly’s Chapel.  We have no information as to the time he professed religion and joined the Church, but he was licensed to preach in 1809, and in due time was ordained deacon and elder.’

‘On the 19th day of December 1845, at his home in Logan County, he passed away, bidding his family farewell, all of whom were converted.  He said, “Meet me in heaven, where, in a little while I shall join the companions of my youth in clapping glad hands around our Savior’s throne.”

‘He was buried in the Kennerly’s Chapel graveyard, where years before and since, many of his relatives are also buried.’  

Grigsby Rush, and his wife Priscilla Harris Rush, were both born in Montgomery County, North Carolina.  Grigsby was the son of William Rush and Abigail Terrell, born May 20, 1784.  Priscilla was born in 1781.  Two daughters were born to the couple in North Carolina.  Daughter Abigail was born in Maury County, Tennessee.  The remaining seven children – William Terrell Rush, Jane Rush, Sarah Rush, Martin Rush, Emeline Rush, Benjamin Franklin Rush and Maranda Catherine Rush were born in Logan County.

All the children were married in Logan County, except Benjamin Franklin Rush who died at the young age of 17 years.

Priscilla Harris Rush died June 28, 1842.  Grigsby married Sarah Jane Hopson August 25, 1843, and she just as quickly died – October 8, 1843.  Grigsby Rush married a third time, May 23, 1844, Nancy Harris.  She outlived him by 25 years.  In the 1870 census she is listed as one of those from Logan County who died within the year ending June 1, 1870.  ‘Nancy Rush, 75, female widow, born in Virginia, died in May, was a retired housekeeper, and died of a disease of the bowels.’

William Terrell Rush died the year before his father, in Johnson County, Missouri.  His children – William A., Benjamin A., Martin W., Joel G., Priscilla J., Abigail S., Sashel A. and Karen H. Rush were given a fifth of the balance of their grandfather’s estate after several bequests.

Martin Rush, as the only remaining son of Grigsby Rush, was given the largest share of his father’s estate.  His stepmother, Nancy Harris Rush, was to live with him until her death, ‘she will live with my son, Martin Rush, and to occupy the room that she now lives in.’  Nancy Rush outlived her stepson by nine years.  I can’t say that Martin allowed her to live in his household.  But there are extenuating circumstances.  Martin’s wife, Martha Jane Arnold, died January 5, 1850.  Six months later, when the census was taken, his was living with his sister and brother-in-law, Robert and Emeline Rush Harris.  His three children, Elizabeth, 8, Mary, 5 and William, 1, were also in the household.  Nancy Rush was not.  Ten years later in the 1860 census Martin Rush, 46, is head of household with second wife, Elvira, 36.  Daughter Elizabeth died June 2, 1857, aged 16 years.  Mary is 15, William 13.  Children from the new marriage were Ben, 8, Nancy, 6, Martha, 3, and Joel, 6/12.  Again, Nancy Rush did not live in the household – perhaps she preferred to live one her own.  Martin was well off.  His real estate was worth $11,130 and his personal estate was worth $10,000.

‘Martin Rush, farmer, died at the age of 43, of pneumonia, born Logan County, parents G. and P. Rush, both born North Carolina’.

William Terrel Rush was not the only child of Grigsby and Priscilla Rush to move from Logan County.  Abigail Rush and Henry France moved their family to Bates County, Missouri.  Elizabeth Rush and George Stubblefield Priest made their home in Pettis County, Missouri.  Emeline Rush and Robert Green Harris, and Maranda Rush and William B. Jagoe moved to McLean County in Kentucky.

Will of Gregory Rush

Logan County, Kentucky Will Book G, Pages 538-539

I, Grigsby Rush, of Logan County and State of Kentucky do hereby make this my last will and testament in manner and form, that is to say.

Fist I leave to my beloved wife, Nancy Rush, all the property that I got with her at our marriage and in addition to that one horse worth forty or fifty dollars to be her property and to dispose of as she pleases and I further loan her one Negro man named Butler and one Negro woman named Charity during her natural life and it is further my wish that she will live with my son , Martin Rush, and to occupy the room that she now lives in and at any time she will see proper to leave said place she is not to take said Negros Butler and Charity out of the counties of Logan, Todd and Simpson.  And at her death to return to my son Martin Rush.

Second.  I give to my son, Martha Rush, the tract of land that I now live on and bounded as follows:  Beginning at two beeches at the bridge, North 60 West 20 poles to a chinkapin oak, thence South 82 West 67 poles to a pin oak and white oak and ash South 50 West 260 poles to a large white oak, South 62 East 14 poles to a white oak and ash, South 37 East 60 poles to a black oak and walnut, North 66 East 84 poles to two gums, South 38 East 7 poles to a small white oak, South 33 West 26 to a white oak in a field, South 54 East 186 poles to a large white oak, North 34 East 200 poles to a Stake, South tr East 40 poles to two beeches, North 38 East 74 poles to a hickory, South 54 East 49 poles to a white oak, North 35 East 130 poles to three white oaks, North 55 West 264 poles to two white oaks Nort 23 West 58 to a honey locust on the bank of the creek to the mouth of the mill slough and up said mill slough to the mouth of the branch below the mill gates on said slough and from thence to the corner of R. G. Harris’s field on the bank of said creek, thence up said creek with its meanderings to the beginning.  I leave to my son Martin Rush all the land in the above boundary with all the buildings and mills and I also leave him my large cany wheel log chain and crowbars and all the tools belonging to the mills.

And I also leave my son Martin my Negro man Lorenson and all my black smith’s tools and I also leave him one fifth of my crop of every discipline and also one fifth of all my cattle, hogs and sheep that be on hand at my decease and I also leave him one fifth of all the cash notes and accounts that may be on hand that are due me in the name of G. Rush and Sons and I also leave him the sideboard, desk and book case as a compensation for a secretary that he gave to his sister Maranda, and I also give him one fifth of all my farming utensils, house hold and kitchen furniture.

Third.  I leave unto my daughter Emeline Harris the tract of land on which they live beginning, on the two beeches at the end of the bridge, North 60 West 36 poles to a chinkapin oak, South 82 West 69 poles to a chinkapin oak south 82 West 69 first oak and white oak, North 40 West 134 poles to two beeches and two white oaks, comes to Bodine on his line, North 32 West 45 poles to a white oak, corner to same, and area line of the same, South 36 West 48 poles to an elm on the bank of the Wolf Lick Creek comes to W A. Moore and on his line, North 25 East 130 poles to his corner a Beech stump and on a line of said Moore North 32 West 15 poles to two beeches, comes to Joseph Johnson and on his line North 25 East 84 poles to J. Stewart comes on said line and on Stewart’s line south 60 West 67poles to the junction of the Elk Lick and Wolf Lick Creek of Muddy River, then up the meanders of the Elk Lick Creek to two beeches to J. Rush, South 88 West 15 poles, North 26 East 10 poles, North 12 West 24 poles, North 69 East 7 poles, South 80 East 22 poles, North 74 East 4 poles, South 8 East 11 poles, South 59 East 14 poles, South 16 East 16 poles, South 24 poles, South 19 West 6 poles, South 4 West 26 poles to the bank of the Elk Lick Creek up the meanders of the same to the beginning.  The within described tract of land I give to my daughter Emeline Harris for her use and benefit.

Fourth.  I also a fund of five hundred dollars taken out of my estate so appropriated to be equally divided between my daughters Nancy Gilbert, Abigail France, Jane Gilbert, Emeline Harris and Maranda Jagoe, to make their Negroes equal to those given to Elizabeth Priest and Sarah Campbell.

Fifth.  And all the balance of my estate not otherwise appropriated to be equally divided in the following manner to wit – Elizabeth Priest, Nancy Gilbert, Abigail Trouce, Jane Gilbert, Sarah Campbell, Emeline Harris, Maranda Jagoe and the heirs of William Rush, deceased.

And lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint my friend George Richards and my son Martin Rush executors of this my last will and testament, herby revoking all other wills or testaments by me made, in witness hereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 16th day of December ?

Grigsby Martin


Robert Henry, Nicolas Christian, George Tanner.

Logan County

I, Marmaduke B. Morton, as clerk of the said Logan County Court do certify that at a county court held for said Logan County at the Courthouse in Russellville on the 22nd day of December 1845, the within last will and testament of Grigsby Rush, deceased, was produced in court and proven by the oaths of Robert Henry and Nicholas Christian, two of the subscribing witnesses thereto to be the act and deed and last will and testament of said Grigsby Rush, deceased, and ordered to be recorded whereupon the same, together with this certificate hath been duly admitted to  record in my office, given under my hand as clerk of said court the date above.

M. B. Morton, Clerk

Photographs taken at Kennerly Chapel Cemetery

In memory of Priscilla Rush, consort of the Rev’d Grigsby Rush, died in peace on the 28th day of June 1842, in the 62nd year of her age.

In memory of Mrs. Sarah Jane Rush, second consort of Grigsby Rush, departed this life October 8, 1843, in peace, in the 56th year of her age.

In memory of the Rev. Grigsby Rush, born May 26th, 1784, and departed this life in peace December 19, 1845.  Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.

In memory of Martha J. Rush, consort of martin Rush, born May 14th, 1822, and departed this life in the faith of the Gospel.  January 56th, 1850.

In memory of Elizabeth P. Rush, daughter of Martin and Martha J. Rush, born November 19, 1840, died June 2, 1857, aged 16 years, 6 months, 13 years.

Martin Rush, born October 25, 1816, died January 31, 1861.

Elvira A., wife of Martin Rush, born January 17, 1825, died November 29, 1881.

Children of Grigsby Rush and Priscilla Harris – 

  1. Elizabeth Rush, born February 12, 1804, Montgomery County, NC, died September 21, 1889, Pettis County, Missouri, married March 21, 1823, in Logan County, Kentucky, George Stubblefield Priest, born June 25, 1803, Bourbon County, Kentucky, died November 3, 1888, Pettis County, Missouri.  Both are buried Longwood Cemetery, Pettis County, Missouri.
  2. Nancy Rush, born August 24, 1805, Montgomery, North Carolina, died March 21, 1889, married December 29, 1822, Logan County, Kentucky, Samuel Gilbert.  She died in Tennessee.
  3. Abigail Rush, born February 6, 1807, Wilson County, Tennessee, died April 4, 1891, Bates County, Missouri, married November 26, 1823, Logan County, Kentucky, Henry France, born August 1, 1799, Patrick Virginia, died February 14, 1886, Bates County, Missouri.  Both buried in France Cemetery, Bates County, Missouri.
  4. William Terrell Rush, born March 14, 1809, Logan County, Kentucky, died July 25, 1844, Texas, married October 25, 1830, Logan County, Kentucky, Harriet Emeline Campbell, born November 14, 1814, Logan County, Kentucky, died November 9, 1898, Johnson County, Missouri.
  5. Jane Rush, born 1811, Logan County, Kentucky, married July 15, 1826, Logan County, Kentucky, James Gilbert.
  6. Sarah Rush, born April 10, 1814, Logan County, Kentucky, married October 5, 1832, Awben Campbell.
  7. Martin Rush, born October 25, 1816, Logan County, Kentucky, died January 31, 1861, Logan County, Kentucky, married October 28, 1839, Martha Jane Arnold, born May 14, 1822, died January 5, 1850, Logan County, Kentucky.  Second marriage to Elvira Ann Marrow, born January 17, 1825, died November 29, 1881, Logan County, Kentucky. 
  8. Emeline Rush, born September 18, 1818, Logan County, Kentucky, died January 12, 1893, McLean County, Kentucky, married August 3, 1836, Robert Green Harris, born December 12, 1812, Edgecombe County, North Carolina, died January 3, 1889, McClean County, Kentucky.  Both buried Sacramento United Methodist Church Cemetery, McLean County, Kentucky. 
  9. Benjamin Franklin Rush, born January 25, 1823, Logan County, Kentucky, died 1840, Logan County, Kentucky.
  10. Maranda Catherine Rush, born May 7, 1825, Logan County, Kentucky, died February 12, 1910, married July 29, 1844, Logan County, Kentucky, William B. Jagoe, born December 18, 1818, Hawkins County, Tennessee, died November 2, 1908, McLean County, Kentucky.  Both buried Sacramento United Methodist Church Cemetery.

1 reply »

  1. Grateful for your work. “Horton” should be “Morton” as Marmaduke Beckweth Morton was county clerk in Logan County Kentucky

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