History of the Restoration Movement

Filo Bunyan Srygley

Life Of F. B. SRYGLEY 

F.B. SRYGLEY was born at Rock Creek, Colbert. County, Ala., September 10, 1859. His father, James H. Srygley, and mother, Sarah J. Srygley, are still living at Coal Hill, Ark., where they moved from Rock Creek, Ala., in 1887. Rock Creek is a country post office, twelve miles from the nearest point on any railroad, and six miles from the nearest country village, which, in the days of his boyhood, was a county seat of perhaps three hundred inhabitants. The county seat has since been removed and the village has been abandoned. It is now nothing but a country post office, without even a country store, where once was the capital of the county. Rock Creek is in a region of rough, mountain country noted especially for stringent economy and rural simplicity among the people and poor land, with no opportunities to make money or accumulate wealth in any occupation. His mother is the daughter of a Cumberland Presbyterian preacher who had considerable reputation years ago in the mountain region of North Alabama. He moved to Arkansas, where he died several years ago. The parents of F. B. Srygley were children large enough to remember when the Indians lived and hunted wild game in the hills of North Alabama. His father was born in Lawrence County, Ala. He married young, and, with his wife, who was even younger than himself, settled at Rock Creek soon after he married. He never moved from where he first settled after his marriage till his nine children were all 'grown and educated, when he went to Coal Hill, Ark., where he still lives, with all of his chil­dren near him, except two, who live near Nashville, Tenn. The following extract from " Seventy Year a in Dixie " gives facts and incidents in the early married life of the parents of F. B. Srygley which will indicate the hardships and disadvantages under which he was brought up: 

    "He [James H. Srygley] settled in the mountains of North Alabama, west of Huntsville, soon after the Indians were removed from that country. He was a poor man, and he had to seek employment in order to support his wife and two infant children till he could get his land cleared. Wealthy slave owners were then opening farms in the rich valley of the Tennessee River, and to them. he was compelled to go for employment. There was no one nearer than that who would pay him wages for work. It was twenty miles from his little log cabin in the mountains to the place in the river bottoms where he was engaged to split rails for fifty cents a hundred and board himself. He camped in the woods and did his own cooking from Monday morning till Saturday night. His regular task was to fell the trees and split fifteen hundred rails a week. This poor man would chop firewood around his cabin in the mountains all day Sunday, carry it on his shoulder and stack it by his cabin door for his wife and children to burn during the week, eat supper at his humble home Sunday night, and walk twenty miles through the woods to his camp in the river bottoms. By daylight Monday morning he would be at work in the bottoms, and till late Saturday night he would work unceasingly from early dawn till late at night, do his own cooking in his camp, arid sleep by a fire in the woods; and all that time his wife and two little children were in that lonely cabin in the mountains, twenty miles away, with but a few neighbors nearer than three miles. The wife worked as hard as the husband, with cards, wheel, and loom, making clothing for her little family. Every night wolves would howl and panthers would scream around her cabin in the woods, and often she would not see a soul in human shape, except her own helpless little children, for several days at a time. After supper at his camp in the river bottoms Saturday night, the husband would walk twenty miles to his home in the mountains to spend Sunday with his family, occupying the day mainly in chopping and carrying wood to last them another week."

    F. B. Srygley was born and brought up in that cabin in the mountains. The rails which the father and his sons split would make a fence around a large section of the, county, and the boards which they made would put a roof over it. The principles of industry, economy, and self-reliance were maintained in that home and enforced in that whole family of nine children to the last. The children were supplied with wholesome food and substantial raiment and given fair educational advantages by the labor of their own hands, and no debts were contracted. When they were all grown and educated, the little mountain home was sold for six hundred dollars. The man who bought it paid all it was worth, and it was worth as much then as at any time in its history, barring the financial stringency of the times. Industry, self-reliance, and promptness in meeting all financial obligations were cardinal principles, which James H. Srygley and his wife impressed, by precept and example, upon all their children. He knew and was known by nearly every man for miles around Rock Creek, and though everybody knew he was a "moneyless man," there was never any limit to his credit, except his own unwillingness to contract debts he was not sure of his ability to pay. Withal, he was not stingy, nor even thrifty, in the matter of saving& He lived fully up to his income, but always kept his expenditures in the limits of his receipts,. He was especially liberal in the matter of supporting preachers and schools, and active in his efforts to get others to support them. He was also noted for the frequency and liberality of his gifts from the products of his little farm to help the poor, and especially the widows and orphans of the community. He delighted to entertain company, and during protracted meetings and other public gatherings invited everybody home with him, and literally “skinned the place” to feed people and horses. F. B. Srygley was baptized in Rock Creek, in his father's field, by J. H. Holbrook, who now lives at Trenton, Fla., August 26, 1876. His educational advantages were limited to country schools during the winter and " after crops were laid by " in summer till January 1, 1880, when he entered Mars' Hill College, near Florence, Ala., under the presidency of T. B. Larimore. He remained there three years, leaving January 1, 1883. During vacation in the summer of 1880, he taught a country school at Thyatira, Miss., and preached some in the contiguous country. During vacation in the summer of 1881 be taught a country school at Thorn Hill, Marion County, Ala., and preached as be had opportunity at points near his school. During vacation in the summer of 1882, he devoted all his time to evangelistic work in North Alabama. He traveled through that mountain country on horseback, and held several successful meetings in Colbert, Franklin, Marion, Fayette, and Lawrence Counties. January 1, 1883, he went to Lebanon, Tenn., where he made his home during the next succeeding ten years. He devoted all his time to evangelistic work, confining his labors at first to the country immediately around Lebanon. He grew steadily in ability and reputation, and the field of his labors gradually widened. In a few years be traveled extensively and labored successfully as an evangelist in all parts of Tennessee, and to some extent in Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, and North Carolina.. In 1885 he conducted his first public oral debate with Harvey Rice, a Methodist preacher, at Gladeville, Tenn. He attracted attention as a debater at once, and since that time he has been frequently called upon to discuss religious questions in different parts of the country. He has, in all, held twenty-four debates, and in these discussions has met Missionary Baptists, Primitive Baptists, Separate Baptists, Presbyterians, Cumberland Presbyterians, Methodists, and Mormons. As a polemical speaker, be ranks high, especially in the clearness of his positions, the strength of his arguments, and the vigor of his oratory. In wit, humor, repartee, and anecdote, he is inexhaustible and unanswerable; and large audiences always attend his debates, if for no other reason, because they enjoy his speeches, whether they believe his propositions or not. September 28, 1892, he moved from Lebanon, Tenn., to Donelson, Tenn., six miles from Nashville, on the Lebanon turnpike and railroad, where he now lives in a cottage on a plat of five acres of ground. He was married to Miss Mary Hubbard, of Bellwood, Tenn., January 26, 1886. His evangelistic labors have been largely in rural districts and small towns, though he has conducted successful meetings in Nashville, Tenn., and Louisville, Ky., as well as in other cities of smaller proportions. He has baptized about two thousand people and established a number of churches.  –F. D. SRYGLEY.

-From Biographies And Sermons, F.D. Srygley, pages 63-69

The Stately Brother Srygley

Signature of F.B. Srygley
Courtesy of Terry J. Gardner, 04.2010

F.B. Srygley is buried in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Nashville Tennessee. The cemetery is located at 1101 Lebanon Pike, Southeast of downtown Nashville. Click over to Mt. Olivet for map and location of the grave in the cemetery. His remains rest in Section 14 - Lot #S1/2 of 211

GPS Coordinates
N36º 08' 46.6" x WO 86º 44' 01"
or D.d +36.14637,-86.73361333
Accuracy To Within 17'
Facing South

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