The Arrowood Family Crest
Mt. Olivet Methodist Church, Gastonia, North Carolina
I had the chance to go to a service at Mt. Olivet one bright day in May. The cars lined up along the road leading up to the tiny church. The sun shone bright against the dazzling white whitewash of the building. The doorway was small and narrow, inside were bare plank floors and you could smell the age of those boards. Not a bad smell, just a slightly musty, woody smell. I thought of the souls that had crossed that doorway a long time back..and I thought about the soles of the shoes that scuffed along those old worn boards. There was a spot empty beside the window, on the end of a pew and I found my seat. The window was large paned and held open by a chunk of wood. The smell of spring and honeysuckle coming through the open window is something I will not forget. Looking out that window, I could see the headstone of Welzia, my great grandpa. I looked at the pulpit and tried to imagine him standing there, delivering the sermon. Tall and dark haired, with a mustache.
There was an old upright piano before me to the right and on it a large vase of purple irises. My Dad's favorite. I let my heart be taken back to a simpler time and place.
Welzia was born February 28, 1860, in Yancey County, North Carolina. Born the son of Samuel Arrowood born about 1836, and Sarah Ellen Winters, born May of 1840, Carter County, Tennessee. Welzia was the firstborn son of six children.
On the 1880 census record of Harrell's Township, North Carolina, Isabell was living with her father David and her mother Nancy. Two houses down, in the home of James Garland, lived Welzia, working as a farm hand. One can only imagine how they met and fell in love. They were married that same year. Welzia was 19 and Isabell was 16.
Welzia worked in the Claire Mill as a dolfer and was also an ordained Methodist minister. From stories I have heard, he was a "circuit preacher" and would travel around when folks needed "preaching to".
They lost one baby in infancy, Samuel, from choking on a peach pit. Then she lost Fielden three years after losing Welzia.
Welzia died at the age of 55 years from pnuemonia. He is buried alongside of Isabell in the Mt. Olivet Methodist Church cemetery in Gastonia. Early on, Mt. Olivet was known as Ebeneezer Methodist Church. The Gaston Gazette newspaper ran an article about area old churches and published a picture of the church with Welzia's stone in the foreground. My Dad was so excited about that article.
Isabell was born to David and Nancy Harrington Correll. Her family and her were listed on the census of 1880 in Harrell's Township in Mitchell County, North Carolina. After Welzia's death she went to live with her daughter's family, Esther and George Long on the Modena Extension in Gastonia. Esther was a twin to my grandfather, Lewis William. Isabell fell while living there and broke her hip, she became partially bedridden and never really recovered. She developed pnuemonia and died. Isabell was 72 years, 8 months and 18 days old at the time of her death and she was buried alongside Welzia.