Article from the Magnolia Gazette - 1902, by L.W.C.
Pike County History
About 1798 William Barnes constructed a dugout from a large cypress log over in the state of Georgia, and with his young wife and little daughter, Margaret, then four years old, embarked with all their goods and chattles on the Cumberland River for the Territory of Mississippi. His trusty rifle, his mechanical tools, their clothing, and some quilts, with a small quantity of provisions and primitive cooking utensils constituted their stock of belongings. With a brave heart, devoted love and faith in the strong arm of her husband, this young wife, with her little child, stepped into that canoe to take the chance on the turbulent waters and dangerous wilds and shoals of the Cumberland, the Ohio, and the Mississippi, in search of land and a permanent home in the far west where semi-civilized tribes of Indians had their homes, and the bear, the wolf, and the wild cat stalked at large.
Down the stream they floated day by day, landing to cook their meals and camping at night on the river bank beneath the trees, week by week, they slowly floated along catching fish now and then and killing wild game to supply their needs. One evening late they approached a rough section of the river known as Mussel Shoals, which required a knowledge of its channel to navigate it safely, even with a dugout. It so happened that an Indian was loitering there and he advised Barnes not to attempt the passage of the shoals with his wife and child in the dugout, but to let them come ashore and he would show them a path that led around through the woods to the river below, and proposed that he would pilot the canoe through the shoals which Barnes accepted. Night overtook them before they reached the intersection of the path to the river that Mrs. Barnes was expected to travel and when they reached the that point, she and her child were not to be found. The Indian explained that he forgot to tell them which fork of the path to take, so Mr. Barnes left the dugout with the Indian and went to look for his wife and little girl. He took the path back toward the upper end of the shoals, he reached the fork alluded to by the Indian, and after a long search and blowing of his horn, found his wife crouched beneath a tree with little Margaret hugged up in her arms, far back from the river. Returning to the boat, he found that the Indian who had piloted him safely over the shoals, had robbed his dugout of his most important valuables and disappeared. However, Barnes landed safely at Natchez and settled for a while in Amite County, Mississippi.
In Tennessee there lived a widow lady named Sartin who had a little son, John, afflicted with rheumatism and she wanted to come to Mississippi in the company of others, but she was detained for a while by her afflicted boy. She finally married a man named Lea, and they moved through the overland route in 1810, and also stopped in Amite County. Here John Sartin found Margaret Barnes, the little girl that had made the trek all the way from Georgia in a dugout.
William Barnes left Amite County and settled in Pike County on Union Creek in 1813, and constructed a carding machine to run by water power, that ginned the seed cotton and carded it into rolls ready for the spinning wheels. In the meantime, at the age of seventeen, little Margaret became the wife of John Sartin Jr., and they settled on Magees Creek below China Grove and became the parents of a large family of children, among them Major, William, Joseph, and Leander Lee, all old time natives, worthy and prominent citizens of Pike County. Major Sartin was born in 1812, just 90 years ago this November, on the place where his father first lived after his marriage and has resided on Magee's Creek to the present time. How many can say as much? How many who have lived 90 years within ten miles of the spot where they were born, fulfilling all the duties of Christian Citizenship? He is today a courageous figure in the biographical and church history of Pike County, ripe in years, with an unblemished character, full of honors as a man, a father, a neighbor, and life long member of the Methodist Church. He stands high up in the scale of the best of its young people, a shining light to be emulated by the youth of coming years. Major Sartin 's father with Joseph Newsom, James Reed, Joseph May, John May, and Owen Ellis were the beginners of Sartins Church situated on the head waters of Magee's Creek in 1813, first constructing a log cabin, which was also used as a school house, where Stephen Ellis, the father of the late Hon. E. John Ellis, Stephen F. Ellis, of Amite County, and Judge Thomas C.W. Ellis of New Orleans, taught day school and Sunday School and preached the gospel of Christ. The good men have left us a glorious heritage in Pike County.
Here too we find Magee's Creek Lodge A.F. Mason, No. 282 established in 1866 with John May, Master; Isaac Brumfield, Senior Warden; Leander Lee Sartin, Junior Warden; Joe Sartin, treasurer; William Mallard, Ross Ellzey, and Levi Magee, Charter members. This lodge is about completing a handsome new building, a Post Office and Blacksmith, Carriage, and Wagon repair shop, are other attachments to Sartinville as it is now called.
There is a long list of people, early pioneers, along here on the head waters of Magee's Creek. Besides those already mentioned, among them is Parish Thompson, James Craft, Zachariah Magraw, John Merchant, William Boone, and Jacob Smith, the father of Lee Sartin's wife, who came from South Carolina.
Indian Creek gets its name from its being the camping grounds for the Choctaw Indians and Ravencraft Creek derives its name from William Ravencraft who settled there about 1830 and built a grist mill and was a manufacturer of loom, shuttles, spinning wheels, rools, chairs, and other furniture, all made by hand.
Submitted by Pat Smith.
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