Thursday, November 02, 2017

Free Will Baptists in Rusk County: Devan J. Dollar

Dollar, Devan Judson (1854-1931) was the son of John A. Dollar and Martha Ann Nutt, who married in St. Clair County, Alabama in 1845.[i] Devan was born in Alabama, but his family was in Arkansas by 1860. D. J. Dollar married Amanda Melvina Alford in the early-to-mid-1870s. He was active in Arkansas Free Will Baptist churches before coming to Texas. In 1899 he represented as a minister in the Greenbrier Quarterly Meeting.[ii] This Quarterly Meeting was part of the New Hope Association. The Minutes of the One-Hundredth Annual Session of Free Will Baptist of New Hope Association, 1980 lists D. J. Dollar among ministers who served in the New Hope Association, and specifically as a pastor of the Bethel/Gravel Hill Free Will Baptist Church (org. 1906) at Romance in west central White County, Arkansas (pp. 13, 16). He and his family were living in White County, Arkansas when the 1900 Census was taken. He was enumerated in the Rusk County, Texas census in 1910.[iii] If D. J. Dollar pastored the Bethel Free Will Baptist Church in Arkansas, and if it was not organized until 1906, Dollar must have moved to Texas between late 1906 and May of 1910 (when the census was taken). D. J. Dollar first settled in Brachfield, southeast of Henderson, but later moved to the west side of Henderson.[iv] He was probably a part of the Christian Chapel Church, west of Henderson on the old Tyler Highway.[v] After the death of A. M. Stewart, Dollar was elected moderator of the Texas Free Will Baptist Association in 1913. D. J. Dollar died in Rusk County in 1931 and is buried at the Mt. Hope Cemetery near Gaston/Joinerville.

Floyd and Minnie Dollar
Floyd was son of D. J. and a FWB deacon



[ii] Related by Winnie Yandell, Oklahoma Free Will Baptist researcher, on Find-A-Grave.
[iii] I found D. J. Dollar in these censuses: 1860, Union, White County, Arkansas (with parents and siblings); 1880, Kentucky County, White, Arkansas (with wife, 2 children, mother and sister); 1900, Kentucky, White County, Arkansas (with wife and 6 children); 1910, Justice Precinct 1, Rusk County, Texas (with wife, 2 children and a grandchild); 1920, Henderson, Rusk County, Texas (with wife). I did not find him in 1870 and 1930.
[iv] “Devan J. Dollar,” by Bonnie Jean Dollar Hardy, in Rusk County, Texas, History 1982, Rusk County Historical Commission, Henderson, TX: The Commission (printed by Taylor Publishing, Dallas), 1982, p. 179. Hardy says that Dollar came to Rusk County in 1896. Either that is in error by ten years, or else he came to Texas, went back to Arkansas for a time and then returned to Texas.
[v] I at least know that some of his children and grandchildren were part of this church. Floyd Washington Dollar, son of D. J. and Amanda, was a deacon in this church (Message from Linda Hardy Abbott).

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