REPORTER, Wednesday, January 30, 1974
BY CHARLES SPRINGER
The ancestors of Jacob Smyser, the
man who is believed to have settled
Newburg, arrived in America from
Germany on board the Britannia on
Sept. 21, 1731.
They included Mrs. Barbara
Schmeisser and her children, George,
Jacob acquired his wealth," said
Dearing. "But we do know that the
Smysers were mostly rural people,
because his will leaves livestock, grain
and fruit to be divided among his
The will also mentioned that eight
Schmeisser had brought her children slaves owned by Smyser would
escape religious wars, distributed among his
to America to
such as the type that had claimed her Jacob died August 27, 1829.
One of his sons, John Wesley
husband Martin, and to be free of the
Smyser, was the village postmaster and
long hard European winters. They
was a friend of Alexander Campbell,
settled in York, Pa.
who founded the Christian Church in
America. Records in Dearing's
Shortly after arriving in America, possession indicate tha
often stayed with John's family when
the spelling of the family name was
shortened to Smyser, according to he was in Jefferson County.
John sold land in August 1837,
Donald Dearing, an Okolona
descendant who has compiled a family according to a deed at the Jefferson
County Courthouse, for the Newburg
who was the grandson of Christian Church which is still located
George, was caught up in the at S22S Poplar Level Road.
The deed says that "this ground
movement westward just before the
1800s and moved his family to should be used for services of
Jefferson County on a large tract of 'Disciples of Christ' but that in the
land just, west of Poplar Level and Old event of its not being in use at any
specified time that services could be
A small village then called Newburg held by 'any other denomination,' and
formed at the site. Translated in the consideration was one dollar for all
the described land."
German, it means "new town."
Dearing said that the original
"Not much is known about how
membership records of the church
contained names of many of the slaves
that belonged to various white
He theorizes that many of the
children of the slaves of the Newburg
landowners settled in an area just
north, which was called Petersburg,
after gaining their freedom. This could
account for the 'heavy black
population in the area today.
son, Jacob L. Smyser,
later became a charter member of the
Louisville Board of Trade and was its
first vice president. He joined Louis
and Otto Seelbach in 1903 and
directed the construction
He received a letter from President
Franklin D. Roosevelt on his 00th
birthday, March 5, 1934, in which he
was congratulated "on a long and
interesting life covering a period in
which so great a part of the whole
development of our nation has taken
place." He died two months later.
A family cemetery is located on
Poplar Level Road near Newburg
Courttiy, UCliia GfeithouM
OF Forest Baptist Church in Newburg moved their site of worship to the banks of Beargraai Creek during
baptism services. In those day a, becoming baptized involved receiving more than juit a few dropa of water on the head.
Notice the girls dressed in white who were to be baptized
Liza Tivis Became
A Legend In Herself
BY CHARLES SPRINGER
Department, drew up "all the papers
for her and held the estate in trust.
When Aunt Liza died in 1883, the
property went to Hunter Baird and his
Hunley contracted smallpox
during 1833, everybody else was afraid
of going near him. Everyone, that is,
except Liza Tivis. She cared for him
until he died.
Hunley was obviously grateful
because he gave her her freedom just
before he died. He also remembered
her in his will, leaving her a
log cabin, some furniture, a tidy sum
of $2,000 and a small farm which is
said to have been located across from
Newburg Elementary School on the
northwest corner of Indian Trail and
Some Newburg residents today
believe that Liza Tivis provided shelter
for runaway slaves during the years
prior to the Civil War.
One of the oldest churches in the
Newburg area is Forest Baptist
Church, located at 3622 Newburg
'Mother Of AIT
"Aunt Liza was a mother of all the
little Negro children of the place, and
her cabin was kept stocked with herbs
The history of the church dates
back to 1 867 when the black residents
gathered together using logs and rail
fences for pews. They worshiped at the
home of Liza Tivis, a black woman
who had once owned slaves, on Old
Baptist Road (now Petersburg Road).
according to the Herald-PoShe apparently owned slaves, too,
because it is reported that "she would
hire them out to neighboring
plantations and became very wealthy."
Mrs. Ioa Symnes Coates, a
Herald-Pothat "My mother used to
hire the children to do our work, and
whenever a child came recommended
According to Nelson Goodwin, a
Newburg historian, black residents had
previously walked all the way to
Preston and Liberty streets on
Sundays to worship at Green Street,
Goodwin's records indicate that
Forest Baptist was organized in 1867
by William King, L. Barlett and Butler
Goodwin. They purchased the ground
two years later and built a church
made up of logs.
Records indicate that a large bell
hung from a tree outside the church
from 1 874 to 1 899. The bell was used
to signal the beginning of all
James Guthrie, a lawyer who later
became Secretary of the Treasury
One of the legends in Newburg is
Liza Tivis, a black slave who worked
for John Hunley, a wealthy planter,
according to a description in an
account which appeared in the
Herald-Poon Feb. 16,
The Bible Snyo
The average motorist drives 12,000
miles a year, and let's see what the
difference is, between a car getting
13 M.P.G. and one getting 19 Miles
JULIAN R. SNELL
QUESTION What of disbelievers, those without faith in Cod, Christ
and the Bible?
ANSWER; The term infidel
the only begotten Son of God."
applies to those noted in the
question. While one may be
4) "He that believeth not the
repulsed by this term, it applies in
Son shall not see life; but the wrath
fact to the varying attitudes which
of God abidcth on him." (John
are anything short of unreserved
acceptance of the Bible as the
5) "For if ye believe not that I
revelation of the will of God.
am he, ye shall die in your sins."
1) Without faith we cannot
please God: "But without faith it is
impossible to please him: for he
By choice, the disbeliever rejects
that cometh to God must believe
the evidence divinely offered and
that he is, and that he is a re warder designed to produce faith, the
of them that diligently seek him." motivating power which will save
through obedience to God's will,
2) "He that believe th not shall
thus to seal his destiny without
be damned." (Mark 16:16)
God. Such do not please God, shall
3) "He that believeth not is be damned, are condemned already,
condemned already, because he shall not see life and shall die in
hath not believed in the name oT their sins.
At 13 m.p.g.
At 19 m.p.g.
Doesn't it make senso, with Savings like we
are offering, you can drive for many years
driving o small, uncomfortable compoct car
can't give you.
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