Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Christmas 1882

The following is the annual Christmas message for 2000.

Former Family Members and Hardships Remembered

For most people, Christmas Day is a joyous occasion. However, for many it brings memories of family members that are no longer with us, and hardships that we may have experienced during the year. For the residents of Flat Rock Community, it must have been a sad time indeed on Christmas Day in 1882*, as that was the day that one of the community’s most respected residents passed away. Lewis Pleasant Reavis was 75 years old, having been born in 1804. Like many farmers who lived through the Civil War, he experienced financial setbacks. The Census of 1860 shows his personal estate valued at $19,800, while the Census of 1870 shows it to be only $1,000.

Hardships with their children (three boys and five girls) were also experienced during the war years. The two oldest sons, Thomas and Samuel, fought in the war, with Thomas having been wounded at Sharpsburg, and Samuel having been captured at Winchester. The oldest daughter, Martha, lost her first child at childbirth and died herself shortly after the war. The next oldest daughter, Lucy, lost her first husband, Alexander Wortham, shortly after the war. So the death of Lewis on Christmas Day in 1882* must have been one more experience that tested the family’s faith.

Most people that ride down Satterwhite Point Road today are not even aware of the Family Cemetery at the Reavis home place, built in 1789, where Lewis and his wife are buried. In fact, the graves do not even have tombstones. The graves are marked only by granite rocks that are typical of those found in the Greystone area of Vance County. However, the impact that this family has had on Vance County is everlasting. For in 1880, Flat Rock Methodist Church was founded. The youngest son, John Billie, and his wife Rebecca Baskett, were charter members. Additionally, the son Samuel married Sallie Baskett, whose family was instrumental in the founding of Spring Valley Methodist Church, and their grandchildren were active members of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. The daughter Lucy and granddaughter Pattie became active members of Brookston Presbyterian Church. The son Thomas married Bettie Best, and they became active members of Sulphur Springs Baptist Church. Then there were the twin girls, Ella and Della. Ella married John Jeremiah Pegram, with that family becoming active members of Cokesbury Methodist Church. Della married George Harris, and the youngest daughter, Mary, married John Vaughan. These families were active in churches in Middleburg. Numerous descendants of Lewis and Mary have become ministers of the Gospel.

So the next time you ride down Satterwhite Point Road, remember the granite rocks, Lewis Reavis who died on Christmas Day in 1882*, and his wife Mary. Many churches today are beneficiaries of the faith demonstrated by these two individuals and their children. However, we do not celebrate Christmas as the day Lewis died. Instead, we celebrate it as the birthday of the person who was the focus and rock of Lewis’s faith.

Merry Christmas 2000

David Reavis
Great-great grandson of Lewis and Mary Reavis

* Note: Lewis' date of death of 1879 as recorded in the "Reavis Family History" by Marie Hall is incorrect. Per estate papers viewed in 2012, year of death was 1882. He was listed as in the Census of 1880.

Return to Reavis Home Page