~ The pieces are all sewn together, stitched with love.........and a quilt tells a story and the story is our past ~

The Arrowood family immigrated from England to Maryland in the 1700's. They went south, eventually settling in the mountains of North Carolina. Later , some went further south, into the Piedmont of North Carolina, in search of work and a better way of life.

I am in search of my family.

I search for those that came before me, and lived their lives as best they could. I am in search of their stories, how they lived, and how they loved.

I shared this love of seeking the past with my Dad, sharing each new finding with him, the thrill in his heart intermingling with mine. I continue this search in his honor, and hope to know these people of ours when I join up with them all in heaven.

~ Steve Lewis Arrowood 1932-2008 ~

Come with me, back to a simpler time and place. A place far removed from the hectic pace of today. To a time when life was hard, but the rewards were great. When your quality of life was determined by your own sweat, your own toil, and your own ingenuity.

Would you like a glass of sweet tea? Let's sit out on the porch where we will catch the sweetly scented breeze of summertime. Maybe Grandma will fry up some of her wonderful chicken... Time slows here.


"We shape our lives not by what we carry with us, but what we leave behind."

~You live as long as you are remembered.~

"Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories. " Author: Unknown

"But those who came before us will teach you. They will teach you from the wisdom of former generations."


Arrowood Family

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Old St. Paul's Lutheran ~ Murder in the Pews

Hannah "Anna" Elizabeth Arndt, the daughter of Johann Gottfried Arendt “Arends”, married David Smith.

Hannah and David Smith were the parents of John Barnett Smith. David and Hannah Arends Smith are both buried in the Smith-Dellinger Cemetery located at Magnolia Grove. Magnolia Grove was old Heinrich’s homeplace, (brother to our John Philip Dellinger).

John Barnett Smith married Barbara Ann Dellinger, the great grand-daughter of Heinrich "Henry" Dellinger. This is the Smith family that built the house that today stands on the old Dellinger property of Magnolia Grove.

There is always a connection if you just look for it. I am convinced that our family is related to just about everybody. Not kidding on that one, folks. Just about everybody...grin.

Stay with me, this all ties together..I promise.

Johann Gottfried Arndt "Arends" was the first resident pastor of Daniel's Lutheran Church, the Old White Church, and St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Crouse, Lincoln County, NC. He also was the first Ordained Lutheran Minister in the State of North Carolina . He is buried in the Old White Church Cemetery in Lincolnton. This was the first burying ground in the town of Lincolnton, and is located in the second block south of the old court house in the middle of town. Right off the town square in Lincolnton.

Years ago, I wandered upon this interesting old cemetery and went through it completely. I read the memorial sign about Pastor Arends and wondered about the man. There are old, ancient looking cement cairns over several of the graves, surrounded by a sinister looking metal fence. Very gothic.

I never realized how this cemetery would figure into our tree, until now.

The strange thing is that this cemetery surrounds an old residence-like building, one that used to serve as the funeral home in town. The cemetery surrounds the foundation of this building as if the church once stood exactly where the large “house” stands now. But, according to records, the Old White Church once stood where the Lutheran church stands today, on the adjacent corner, so this is odd to me..

Are there old graves underneath the building, as well?? Seems odd that the graves would be placed up to the very foundation of this building and on two sides like that.. Certainly the cemetery predates the old funeral home.

Johann Arends was "buried under the pulpit of the Old White Church, also known as the Old Dutch Meeting House, in Lincolnton, NC. Later, in 1920, his grave and that of his wife were placed in a cemetery next to the church“.

Johann Arends was the first resident minister of Old St. Paul’s Reformed Lutheran Church.


"Old St. Paul's Church: Catawba County's Oldest By Far" By Anne Huffman

This is a Copy of article in "Hickory Daily Record," June 6, 1970 - Reprinted Sunday, March 26, 2006

The year 1702 is the earliest birth date on a grave marker in the Old St. Paul's Lutheran Church cemetery west of Newton. Born of sturdy German Palatinate stock, these early settlers founded the oldest church in what is now Catawba County. They had been persecuted in the old country by Catholic sovereigns, had traveled to the New World in search of religious freedom and land, had found the farming area filled in Pennsylvania, and finally had made the arduous trip by wagon down the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to the virgin wilderness of this Catawba frontier.

Having been peasants and small freeholders in Europe, they mistrusted settlements and choose to continue their farming customs in this fertile Catawba River Valley. These stolid pioneers brought with them their German Bibles and hymnals. Protestant Lutherans and German Reformed, they built their church and shared it on Sundays, even heard the same pastor on many occasions. Circuit rider ministers visited Old St. Paul's, and it was to become a rest stop for settlers on their way across the Blue Ridge into the West.

Love and Tragedy

Tied in with the faith of these simple people were all the love and tragedy common to the wilderness and the hardship which they faced made them even more religious. Their story is told in the Old St. Paul cemetery. Here are, the records on ministers dying serving their congregations, of wives and mothers who died in childbirth, of men worn away by the erosion of labor and of the children reaped by the Angel of Death before they had the opportunity to join the community as participating landholders.

Old St. Paul's was first called the Dutch Meeting House and was already established when George Washington was at Valley Forge and when Lord Cornwallis crossed North Carolina in his flight from the Southern colonies. Its parishioners fought the British and took part in the birth of a new free nation.

Crude Cabin

The earliest recollections of the church among the records of the church indicate that there was a crude, one story log cabin between two white pines that was used as a house of worship as early as 1733. This log cabin was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. A new building was erected in 1757. In 1808 this structure was taken down and rebuilt, using the same logs and home-made nails. This time the building was ceiled and weather boarded, and is the same structure that is still standing today.

Mrs. Doris Boaz, wife of a former minister of St. Paul's, relates this story:

It was about 1861 when a Colonel Hildebran became angered to the point of murder by the escape of one of his slaves, a big burly Negro. The colonel traced this runaway to the church, where he found him crouched between the pews and is said to have killed him on the spot.

The blood stains are still there, it is believed.

I took these 'inside the church' shots THRU the window glass..can you believe that?
The church will not open until April..so I will definitely go back..

Custom Followed

An old German custom was followed, with the men and women seated on different sides of the church. The slaves were in the balcony, and had to climb single file up the stairs. The minister climbed the high, narrow steps to the pulpit, which was originally in the center of the church. Over his head was an old sounding board, which it was believed, would fall on the minister if he spoke a lie.

War heroes of every major American war lie in Old St. Paul's cemetery, including the American Revolution and the War Between the States One epitaph reads:

"Twas thus when far, yea, far away
To camp disease he fell a prey,
No relative was by his bed,
No mother's hand to raise his head"

The land on which Old St.Paul's stands was deeded to the church in 1771. Eleven acres were given by Paul Anthony and his wife, Frony, to the two churches "Lutarin" (Lutheran) and the "Presbytarian" (Reformed), and to their heirs forever, to be used for religious purposes only and for no other purpose whatsoever. It was signed by Paul Anthony, and his wife, Frony, made her mark.

Among Ministers

It is known that a Swiss minister named Rev. James Martin, a member of the German Reformed church, preached at Old St. Paul's in 1757 to an established congregation. The first resident minister, Rev. John G. Arndt, (1772) was a Lutheran. Stipulated in the call to the ministers was the point that the preacher would have a sermon one Sunday every month in both German and English, and that he would conduct classes regularly in the old meeting house.
In the early 1900's members of the Reformed congregation moved to Startown. Old St. Paul's Lutheran congregation worshipped in the old building until 1952, when they moved into the modern building across the road. Old St. Paul's is now preserved as an historic landmark in Catawba County and as a symbol of Christian faith.


This is one of the oldest churches in Catawba County. The deed for their land was made May 20, 1771; however, there is reason to believe the church was started a few years before land was purchased, possibly about 1768. The property was jointly owned by Lutherans and German Reformed.

The first house of worship was a small log building, and stood where a part of the graveyard is now. The second building, which is the present one, was built about 1808. The walls of this building are of large hewn logs, weather boarded on the outside and ceiled inside. Some of the timbers of the old building were used in this one. Homemade nails were used in its structure. This building has a gallery, which originally was used by African Americans. The building is rectangular in shape, with a door in each end and on one side. There was, at first, a high goblet-shaped pulpit, which was later replaced by a more modern one.

The first services conducted here were by visiting ministers, or by one or more of their laymen. Johann G. Arends is generally regarded as the first pastor of this congregation. He first lived in Rowan County, but in 1785 moved to Lincoln County, and served all the Lutheran churches West of the Catawba River.

St. Paul's Church is located in Catawba County, about two miles west from Newton. It was at first called the "Dutch Meeting House," while Rev. Arends referred to it as the "South Fork Church."

Okay. Are you ready for this?

Hannah "Anna" Elizabeth Arndt was the daughter of Johann Gottfried Arendt “Arends” , like I mentioned before..BUT... Hannah’s mother was Sarah Hannah Rudisill.

Sarah Hannah Rudisill was the daughter of Johann Michael Rudisill and Eva Catherine Dellinger. Sure enough! Sarah Hannah Rudisill is the grand-daughter of my 6th Great Grandfather, Johannes Philipp Dellinger.

Eva Catherine Dellinger, (Hannah’s mom) was the daughter of Johannes Philipp (Pioneer) Dellinger, Sr. (b. August 24, 1706 in Germany). The senior Johannes Philipp Dellinger married three times. Eva Catherine was sister to John Philip Dellinger, our ancestor, as well as Heinrich Dellinger of Magnolia Grove and Catherina Margaretha that married Michael Hoyle.

Johannes Philipp (Pioneer) Dellinger, Sr. was married to Anna Maria Brandstatter, the mother of our ancestor, John Philip. They were married about 1730. He next married Catherina Zerb around November 26, 1748. He lastly married Mary Tankersley about 1751 in Lincoln County, North Carolina.

Old St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Cemetery

Is this the final resting place of John Philip Dellinger and his wife Barbara Weidner Dellinger? Our 5th Great grandparents?

This is the church where they were married, on June 19, 1778. Old St. Paul’s.

Do their old bones lie in this cemetery, unmarked?

John Gottried Arndt traveled west from the Lutheran settlements near Salisbury in August 1776 and gave first communions. It would not be until 1785 that he was made missionary full-time to the region west of the Catawba River. Not until Arndt arrived here did people get rid of a sad superstition of never marking gravestones with their names. For these pioneers wrongly held that the devil would harass them until Resurrection Day if he could identify their location. Immediately after Arndt’s pastorate began all graves were inscribed in German with names and personal data. Native German Arndt preached in that language and common speech among these folks remained that way until Arndt grew old and virtually blind. The assistant pastor called to accompany Arndt on his rounds of serving the eight to ten scattered flocks was young Phillip Henkel. He was born in New Market, Virginia where he grew up speaking English. The veteran circuit rider Arndt died in 1807. The immediate influence of Henkel is evidenced by the usage of the English language on the tombstones in 1808.

This cemetery is special to me. It holds the remains of my 5th great grandparents.

John Setzer and Catherine Barringer Setzer. And also the bones of my 6th great grands, John Setzer's parents, Jacob Adam Setzer and Mary Magdalene Bovey Setzer.
I could not find Jacob and Mary's markers, there are many, many rock markers here.
I wandered in and out of the rows, pondering which plain stone marked the place where they lie...

John Setzer was the oldest of the known children of Jacob Setzer and Magdalene Bovey/Povey. He was born in 1753 or early 1754 in what is now Catawba County, NC, likely within the current city limits of Newton, N.C. John received a dark bay mare branded on the rear side BK from his grand-father, Conrad Povey, and five pounds, 'to secure himself'.

In an article published in THE DEMOCRAT in September 1912, entitled "The Pioneer, John Setzer", Mr. G. M. Yoder states that he married Catherine Bushart Barringer. Catherine was born 06 Aug 1763. John married Catherine Barringer about 1778.

John was active in the cause of the Whig Militia during the Revolutionary War. A HISTORY OF CATAWBA COUNTY lists him as a participant in the Battle of Kings Mountain. OVER MOUNTAIN MEN: East Tennessee History, 1760 - 1795, by Pat Alderman, Overmountain Press, 1958, also lists John Setzer as a participant in that battle.

According to Lincoln County, NC, Court records, John was an active community member during his lifetime, serving as a member of numerous juries and as an ‘overseer’ of roads in the area where he resided.

Over his lifetime, John accumulated considerable wealth by the standards of his time. By 1810, he had acquired 878 acres of land and had disposed of 125 acres, leaving him a net of 753 acres composed of several tracts within the boundaries of Lincoln/Catawba County, NC. The real estate transactions are recorded in deed books of Lincoln County, NC.
John began divesting himself of some of his land and property in early 1810. He sold his son, John Jr., two tracts totaling 239 acres on 25 Jan 1810.

A grant dated 12 Feb 1810 states, “in consideration of that paternal love which I have and bear towards my daughter Sarah about eleven years of age and in consequence of that friendship which I bear to Conrad Tipz of said county & the confidence which I have in the same, I do by these presents do give and grant & hath hereby given & grant unto the said Conrad Tipz for and on account of my said daughter Sarah of in trust for her until she arrives at the age of twenty-one years or her marriage, a certain negro girl named Faney, about seven years of age - etc.”

On 24 Feb he sold to Henry Dellinger, his son-in-law, “a certain negro girl named Nance, about eight years of age”.

To his son, Mathias, he sold 161 acres that he had purchased in 1807. To Charles Ward, a son-in-law, he sold 34 acres in addition to “a mulato girl named Hannah, about 12-years-old”. He sold 152 acres to Jacob Deal on 16 Mar 1811. The foregoing transactions are recorded in Lincoln County, NC deed books numbers 24 and 25.

John married Catherine Bushart Barringer Abt. 1778. She was the daughter of Matthias Barringer and Margaret Bushart. Catherine was born 06 Aug 1763 in Rowan County, NC, USA.

John Setzer and Catherine Barringer were the parents of Katherine Setzer.

Katherine was the wife of Georg Henry Dellinger. George Henry that started the Grist Mill. George Henry was the oldest born to John Philip and Barbara Weidner “Whitener” Dellinger.

Our family ‘stream’ runs deep in the waters around here. Flowing eventually, upstream, to the mountains of North Carolina as well.

In the year of 1829, when our ancestor, David Dellinger was about 20 years old, his parents, George Henry Dellinger and Katherine Setzer Dellinger sold their lands in Lincoln County and moved to what is now Caldwell County, North Carolina. Apparently David Dellinger stayed behind in Lincoln.


John Setzer married Catherine Barringer, they had a daughter named Katherine. (Eight children in all)

Katherine married George Henry Dellinger and they had son, David, b. March 08, 1809.
Brother to Rueben Dellinger (that had the grist mill). They had quite a few children!

David married Martha Ann Elizabeth Jones. They are both buried in St. Johns Lutheran Cemetery, Catawba County, North Carolina.

David and Martha Ann had David Alphonso E. Dellinger. (Eight children in all)

David Alphonso had Virginia “Vergie Belzonie” Dellinger She married Eli Burton Hull and had Maude Hull. My precious grandma. (They had three daughters in all)

The historic building is opened to the public for Sunday afternoon tours during the months of April through October.

2035 Old Conover-Startown Road
Newton, N.C. 28658

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