ROBERT WILSON GLENN I
ROBERT WILSON GLENN II
The GLEN/GLENN Family: "At the close of the 13th century
there were three (unrelated) families bearing the surname of GLEN; two
in Scotland, the other in England. The English Glens (or Glynns), in
Leicestershire, came from Normandy and assumed the surname from Glen
Magna ("the great glen," a place in England) ... In Scotland, "The Glen,"
(a place) in Traquair, Peebles, gave its name to its ancient owners.
This estate comprises an extensive glen, in which stood the stronghold
of its lords, who were Celtic. In the time of King Edward I, "The
Glen" belonged to Duncan de le Glen, afterwards to his son Colban de
Glen. The second Scots family of GLEN (the one from which our ancestors
came) assumed their surname from the lordship of Glen, Renfrewshire, so
called from a vale in Lochwinnoc ... This lordship, comprising
Bar, Renfrewshire, Lynthills, Brigend, Gaytflat, and other lands near
Paisley and Glasgow, was held by Lord Richard de le Glen in the time
of King Edward I, and after Richard de le Glenn died in 1292, the lordship
passed to his son John de Glen. During the revolt of Wallace,
John de Glen commanded the troops of the Bishop of Glasgow against the
Prince of Wales and also fought at Bannockburn. He must have
distinguished himself at Bannockburn, for immediately afterwards, King
Robert Bruce granted him the forfeited lands of Balmato Fife in addition
to his other holdings.
It is said that this family of Glen was originally of Norman extraction.
The ancestor who accompanied Walter Fitz Allan from
Shropshire to Scotland bore the name of De Ness or LeStrange, from the place called
Ness or Ness Strange, near Shrewsbury ... Henry de Ness held the lordship
of Glen in the year 1180 under the Stewards (Stewart family, who were
stewards for the king). John de Ness, who married a Steward, was
the father of Lord Richard, who became known as Richard "de le Glen."
John de le Glen (mentioned above, who inherited the lordship in
1292), had a son named Robert de Glen. Robert de Glen married the Princess Margaret,
daughter of Robert "The Bruce," the great Scottish king of
the 12th century, so all of the Glens of this family are descendants of
Robert Bruce. A tradition traceable for four centuries
insists that Robert de Glen was one of those who accompanied the heart
of Bruce to the Holy Land. Moreover, the Glens of Bar possessed the
sword of Bruce, which a descendant carried in 1606 to Ireland, where it
was seen a few years since. The inscription on the blade leaves no
doubt as to its original ownership.
Robert de Glen, who married Margaret Bruce, also entered the
Church, becoming Rector of Liberton in Lanarkshire. His son William
de Glen inherited the lordship and rebuilt the castle of Bar. William's
son Robert Glen was a companion in arms of Sir Unfridi Cunynghame
(Cunningham) of Glengarnock, and was with him at Perth in 1494. Robert
Glen died in 1506 and was succeeded by James Glen I. James and his
kinsmen were at the battle of Flodden Field in 1513. In 1517 he was
captain of a company of 102 footmen in the service of the Crown. He was
appointed a Justice in 1543 but died in 1544 (having been killed,
supposedly, at the battle of Ancrum) and was succeeded by his son
James Glen II.
In 1564 a feud, long existant between the houses of Glen and Semple,
became serious, and upon the appointment of Robert, Lord Semple to
be Justiciary, James Glen (II) appealed to the Queen, who held a privy
council and wrote an official letter stating that,
"whereas Robert Lord
Semple has obtained the commission of Justiciary upon all the inhabitants
of the Barony and Sheriffdom of Renfrew, within which jurisdiction "the
said James (Glen) and his barnis (children) dwellis," there should not be,
nor should Lord Semple "haif ony commissioun or jurisdictioun upon the
said James, his brethir (brother John), barnis (children), freiendis
(friends), and servandis (servants) ... because it is
noutourlie Knawin (naturally known?) that the said Robert Lord Semple
beiris deidlie feid and inimytie aganis (bears deadly feud and enmity
against?) the said James, his barnis, brethir, kin, and freindis, and
hes usit greit crudilitie (has used great cruelty) and hostilitie upoun
tham ... in ony wyise, and specialie in caus criminall he may dispone
upoun thair lyffs (their lives)."
James Glen, his children, brother,
kin and friends were made answerable to the Queen's Majesty only, and
exempt from any other process of law. (The feud seems to have subsided,
for one of James Glen's granddaughters, Sibilla Glen, later
married James Semple).
James Glen II was kinsman to the Hamiltons, and he commanded troops
for Queen Mary at Langside ... his brother John (probable ancestor of our
Glenns) settled at Stirling after the battle of Langside. James Glen
II had his estates forfeited in 1568 on account of his adherence to the
fortunes of his kinswoman, Queen Mary, but they were restored by the
treaty of Perth, 1573. Over the entrance to Bar Castle (where the Glen
family of Bar lived), the motto, "For God and my Queen," rudely carved,
is legible. Later Bar Castle passed to the Hamiltons. James Glen II's
daughter Mary was, it is believed, one of the four Marys of the Queen
(Mary Queen of Scots preferred her four ladies-in-waiting to have the
name Mary, and whenever one of them married, died, or withdrew, they were replaced by others of the same name).
After James Glen II, his sons William and Alexander succeeded in
turn to the estates. Another son of James Glen II, Archibald Glen,
was Regent of the University of Glasgow and minister at Rutherglen.
Lindsay Glen, who was probably another son of James Glen II, took service
with a merchant of Rotterdam and married a Dutch woman. Alexander,
son of this Lindsay Glen, entered the service of the Dutch (the Dutch
West India Company), was stationed on the Delaware, and afterwards at
New Amsterdam. He founded Schenectady, New York. A descendant of this
Alexander Glen, Dr. Jacob Glen, mentions in his will around the middle
of the 18th century (in Maryland), a rosary and crucifix which had
belonged to Mary Queen of Scots, and which Dr. Glen wished his descendants
to retain as an heirloom, forever. One of his descendants became
Chief Justice of Maryland.
James Glen II's brother Alexander Glen removed to Linlithgow, Scotland
before 1544 (joining others who had moved there previously, as the
Glen name is found there as early as 1229), and entered the service of
the Hamiltons. The Glens in Bar and Linlithgow have the same Coat of
Arms, and their common ancestry can be proven. Three of this line,
James, George, and Andrew, represented Linlithgow in Parliament in 1625,
1641, and 1652-53. Others of this family in Linlithgow were Provosts
of the Burgh, another a Sergeant of law, and others burgesses and
land owners. James Glen, who was appointed Royal Governor of South
Carolina in 1739 (Captain General and Commander in Chief of South Carolina),
is also descended from this line. He returned to Scotland where he died
in 1777, but his cousin William Glen settled in South Carolina. Many
of the Glen family had earlier settled in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland,
Virginia, the Carolinas and other colonies, later spreading elsewhere;
it has been stated by one researcher that about 40 Glen or Glenn
immigrants arrived in America before the Revolution, and all but two of
these were kinsmen (from the Glens of Bar/Linlithgow/Ulster). Among
these were our Glenn ancestors, who settled in Virginia in the 1600's.
The cousin of Royal Governor James Glen, William Glen, who settled
in South Carolina before the Revolution, became a very prominent and
wealthy citizen but lost all of his fortune after the war since he was
a loyalist. He and his sons were East and West Indies Merchants,
planters, attorneys, doctors, etc. His son John Glen went to
Savannah, Georgia, where he was twice elected Chief Justice (1776-78),
Mayor of Savannah, and Judge of the Superior Court. His son James Glen
was one of the founders of the Georgia Medical Society. Also in Georgia
there was as early as 1740 an Archibald Glen, probably a brother of
THE IRISH GLENNS
One branch of the Glens, sons of David Glen of
Glenlora, adjoining Bar (he was another son of James Glen II of Bar)
had settled in Ireland with other "Scotch Irish" protestants in 1606
who came with the Hamiltons (several daughters of David Glen were married
The book Our Glenn Family in America, Immigrant to Astronaut
"The Scotch-Irish, as they are known in America, or
the Ulster Scots, as they are called in Britain, migrated to Northern
Ireland from the area known as Lowland Scotland. In general, this is
the region south of a line between Glasgow and Edinburgh. The people
there were intensely Presbyterian in religion, in contrast to the
Highland Scots, living north and west of the Glasgow-Edinburgh area, who
were either Roman Catholic or Church of Scotland adherents. At home in
Scotland, this difference in religious preference was marked but relatively
peaceful in nature. However, when many Lowland Scots were forcibly
"planted" in Ulster in the early 1600's by a vengeful English
government in order to break the spirit of the native Irish Catholics
and to take over their lands, a deeply divided population developed the
unreasoning hatred that is all too prevalent even today ... however, many
are urging a more Christian way of action." (The immigrant ancestor of
astronaut and senator John Glenn came from Ireland to Pennsylvania in
1768 -- distantly related to our GLENNS).
"Many of the Ulster Glens also removed to America in the 17th and
18th centuries, and almost all of these, as well as most of those who
went direct from Scotland, added an additional "n" to their surnames
after the first generation in America."
There is evidence indicating that our branch of the Glenn family in
America descends from a James Glenn (Sr.), who was born in 1636 in St.
Ninian's parish, Stirlingshire, Scotland. He was of the MacIntosh clan.
His wife was Elizabeth ("Lizzie") Mitchell, also of St. Ninian's parish,
and this couple emigrated to Virginia, where James Glenn died 15 Sep
1696 in Accomack County. His known children were
Lazarus Glenn (b. abt. 1661),
John Glenn (b. abt 1662),
Alexander Glenn (christened 10 May 1663),
James Glenn Jr. (b. 25 Sep 1664), and
Kathryn Glenn (b. 24 Dec 1665),
all of St. Ninian's, Stirlingshire, Scotland.
James Glenn Jr. married Mourning Winn on 4 Dec 1689 in Lunenburg Co.,
Virginia. This couple's children are said to include
Mourning Glenn (1702-1775), and
Tyree Glenn (abt. 1704-1767).
Jeremiah Glenn (1709-1774),
The above Glenn data is interesting, but the earliest Glenn ancestor
we have been able to absolutely prove is Jeremiah Glenn (1709-1774),
and the earliest proven date we have of our Glenn ancestors in America
is Sept. 2, 1730, when Jeremiah Glenn took out a grant from the English
government for 200 acres on both sides of the South Fork of Cub Creek,
which at that time was located in Hanover County, Virginia. (This
would make Jeremiah born not later than 1709, as he would have to be
at least 21 years old in 1730 in order to take out the land grant).
Cub Creek is a tributary of the South Anna River, and is now located in
Louisa County, Virginia. Louisa County was formed from the western part
of Hanover County in 1742.
One researcher, Mrs. Christopher, who wrote "Glenn and Kin",
believes that John Glen was probably the father or grandfather of Jeremiah
Glenn of Virginia. She wrote that on 15 Dec 1655, Dr. Giles Mode received
a patent for 1000 acres of land on the NE side of the Mattaponi River in
New Kent County, for the transportation of 20 persons to Virginia.
Among these twenty was a "JOHN GLAN." (New Kent County is about 50
miles downstream from Louisa County, on the same river). In 1666 John
Glen owned land near a branch of Warrani Swamp in New Kent County.
Also in the 1600's there was a "ROBERT GLAN" (who was actually the
earliest Glenn listed, and could have just as likely been the father or
grandfather of Jeremiah Glenn, and perhaps a brother of "JOHN GLAN").
He was one of 22 persons transported by Nathaniel Bacon who received
land in Isle of Wight County, 23 March 1652, which was also nearby the
other counties mentioned here (Isle of Wight County is on the south
side of the James River, about 40 miles southeast of New Kent County).
Mrs. Christopher wrote that the following Glenns appear to belong
to the second generation:
ROBERT GLENN, who in 1690 owned land in Middlesex County (about 20
miles northeast of New Kent County);
MARY GLENN, who on 18 Apr 1699, according to an old Blackwell Family
Bible, married James Blackwell (bapt. 1680) of York County,
Virginia (about 20 miles southeast of New Kent County);
JOSEPH GLEN, who in 1701 was headright on the patent of Anthony Winston
in St. Peter's Parish, New Kent County. Under the headright
system of Virginia, a person was granted 50 acres of land per
"head" for the people for whom he paid the fare to cross the
Atlantic; for example, if he paid the fare for himself, his wife,
and 5 children, he would receive 350 acres (this is a way to
determine how many children were in the family when they got the
grant). In order to receive more land, often men would pay the
fare for several unrelated persons who wanted to emigrate to America
but couldn't afford the passage. Many men traveled back and
forth several times from Virginia to England and recruited others
to emigrate, in order to receive more land. For this reason, the
date a headright was issued to a person isn't always when they
first came to America.)
JAMES GLEN, who in 1717-1719 owned land adjacent to the North Anna
River in St. Paul's Parish, New Kent County. He is listed in the
Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish from 1719-1724, in connection
with John Glenn. In 1725-1731 he owned land further upstream
along the same (North Anna) river, in Hanover County. He is
probably the same James of St. Martin's Parish, Hanover County,
who purchased land in 1739 on Great Guinea Creek, St. James Parish,
Goochland County (southeast of Hanover), an area that later became
Cumberland County. He left a will in 1762 in Hanover County
naming wife Hannah (maiden name probably Thompson) and children:
GEMIMA GLEN SYMES,
HANNAH GLEN AUSTIN,
MARY GLEN HOPKINS,
ELIZABETH GLEN BYARS,
KEZIAH GLEN HARRIS, and
SARAH GLENN DABNEY.
Also named were grandchildren Frances Harris, Judy Harris, Anna Glen
Harris, Molley Glen Harris, Peter Harris and Tyre Harris.
JOHN GLEN is mentioned as owning lands in 1714 on the north side of
South River, St. Paul's Parish, New Kent County, and in Hanover
County on South Anna River and Turkey Creek in 1721-1725. In the
Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish, Hanover County, there are many
refences to at least two men named John Glenn, beginning in 1708
and extending to 1771 (probably the second John was the son of
the first). John Glenn served as a surveyor of roads, was a land
processioner, and was elected to the Church Vestry in 1711.
"Bearing in mind the close proximity in time and place of the above
Glenns, John Glen (who immigrated to Virginia in 1655) is the probable
progenitor of the Glenn family herein described."
She also places
Jeremiah Glenn as probably a brother of the above Robert, Mary, James,
John, and Joseph; but since his land patent was taken out 15-30 years
later than theirs, it is more probable that Jeremiah was of the third
generation in America.
In the LDS ancestral file, James Glenn (above) and Jeremiah Glenn
are mistakenly identified as the same person, and James Glenn's children
(named in the will in 1762 in Hanover County, VA mentioned above)
are mistakenly placed as Jeremiah Glenn's children by a first wife,
while Jeremiah's actual children (named in his will in Louisa County,
VA in 1774) are placed as his children by another (second) wife. It
seems clear that this information is in error. Even though similar given
names are carried among their descendants (including the unusual
name Tyre or Tyree), James and Jeremiah Glenn were clearly two different
men, probably either brothers, or else uncle and nephew to one another.
As mentioned above, there was also an earlier Tyree Glenn in Virginia,
who was born about 1704-1715, and was almost certainly a brother of
our ancestor Jeremiah Glenn. This Tyree Glenn settled in Lunenberg
County, Virginia (about 70 miles southwest of Hanover and New Kent
Counties), and his children, born 1742-1752, were:
There is a probable connection between the Glenn family and the Tyree
family in early Virginia, since our Glenns passed down the name Tyree as
a first name. Alexander Tyree served as a juror with John Glenn in
New Kent Co. VA in the early 1650's.
England allowed her subjects to take out two types of land grants.
One was a patented grant, given to those who were financially able to
pay for their land, or who had proper credentials, etc. The other was
called a lease grant, whereby the land was more or less leased to them,
pending their ability to pay for it. Jeremiah Glenn's 1730 land grant
was a patented grant, so by this we know by that he was a man recognized
by the crown as being able to meet his obligations.
This was a period of American History, about 50 years before the
Revolutionary War, when Virginia was being colonized by England for the
purpose of building into profitable enterprises the vast natural
resources of Virginia, to help solve England's economic conditions at
home. Without a labor force the land was worthless, so the proprietors
were trying to encourage as many people as they could to settle there.
The records in this part of Virginia are not as complete as in other
sections of the state, for this was the scene of much plundering and
fighting during the Civil War. In 1865 the Court House in Richmond,
Virginia, the county seat of Hanover County, was burned, and the records
were destroyed. For this reason we do not have the name of Jeremiah
Glenn's wife; but we know that they had at least eight children:
LUCY GLENN BOBITT,
WORHAM (or WORTHEN/WORTHAM/WORSHAM) GLENN,
SARAH GLENN HARRIS,
ELIZABETH GLENN DOLLINS,
BEVERLY (male) GLENN, and
Jeremiah Glenn left a will in Louisa County, Virginia in 1774. From
other records, we know that Jeremiah's four sons and at least one daughter,
Susannah, left Virginia and went to North Carolina, near where other
relatives had settled.
Other Glenns who came to North Carolina around this time (relation
unknown) were a James Glenn, son of a John Glenn who was born abt. 1727
in Ireland, moved to Pennsylvania, and later to Virginia where he married
Jane Callahan. When his son James was about two years old (1762),
this John Glenn was killed by Indians while surveying for the government
in the mountains between Virginia and Kentucky. After his death
his widow Jane moved to Rockingham County, North Carolina, where she
later remarried; her son James Glenn was raised there. Another who
came to North Carolina (probably more closely related to our Glenns)
was a Dr. John Glen, who had come from Virginia to Orange County, North
Carolina; he practiced medicine and was also a clergyman. In 1761 his
sons were young men, but probably all of age, and resident in Orange
County, North Carolina;
Dr. JOHN (Jr.)
and his daughters
(names which also occur in our family of Glenns)
This John Glen was probably the
same as the one mentioned above who lived in New Kent and Hanover
Counties, VA; he was most likely a brother of James Glenn and Jeremiah
Robert Broadnax Glenn (1854-1920, Governor of North Carolina from 1905-1909), was the great-grandson of James Anderson Glenn of Scotland. James A. Glenn (1765-1812), a son of Archibald Glen, Lord Provost of the city of Glasgow, came to Halifax Co, Virginia, where in 1796 he married Isabella Wilson, daughter of (Col.) John Wilson and Mary Lumpkin of the "Dan's Hill" estate. Mary Lumpkin was the daughter of George & Mary Cody Lumpkin (see Lumpkin family page). A very interesting account of the Glenn family, featuring James A. & Isabella Wilson Glenn and their mansion estate, "Bloomsburg," may be seen at http://www.halifax.com/county/SouthoftheDanTour4.htm .
The Glenns, like many of the Scotch-Irish people, always seemed to
be among the first to move to new areas and explore the frontier. In
keeping with this characteristic, several members of the extended Glenn
family have been noted explorers. Hugh Glenn (1788-1833) originally of
Virginia, and a trader and businessman in Cincinnati, Ohio, together
with his partner Jacob Fowler, headed the first successful trading
expedition to Mexico. The "Glenn-Fowler Expedition" of 1821 started from
Fort Smith, Arkansas, went west along the Arkansas River past the future
site of Pueblo, Colorado and up to the headwaters in the Rocky Mountains,
then to Santa Fe. They traded with the Mexicans, and were granted
permission to trap in New Mexico and adjacent areas (the southern
Rocky Mountains). After the Zebulon Pike expedition, they were the first white men to pass through
the San Luis Valley (upper Rio Grande Valley) of southern Colorado, and
were the first Americans to trade with the new nation of Mexico, which
had just won its independence from Spain. News of their successful
expedition, with the publishing of Jacob Fowler's journal, helped to open
up the Santa Fe Trail, together with William Becknell's expedition with
wagons to Santa Fe that same year (1821).
The trapper/explorer/businessman Hugh Glenn may have influenced his
relative Robert Wilson Glenn I to go west to
Santa Fe, where he went into the freighting business on the Santa Fe Trail,
and also fought in
the Mexican-American war. The exact relationship, however, between this
Hugh Glenn and our ancestor Robert Wilson Glenn is not known, although
one of Robert Wilson Glenn's brothers, Uriah Glenn, also went by the name
Another noted Glenn explorer was Edwin Forbes Glenn, from North
Carolina, who in 1899 led the Glenn exploring expedition to Cook Inlet,
Alaska. He was a military officer, graduate of West Point, and also
wrote a book called "Glenn's International Law" in 1895.
There was also another Hugh Glenn, a doctor, whose birthplace and
relationship to our Glenns is unknown, who was said to be the largest
grower of wheat in California (and probably in the world), in the 1880's
in the Sacramento area. Another interesting and enterprising member of
the extended Glenn family was a W. Skelton Glenn from North Carolina,
who was a buffalo hunter on the frontier of West Texas in the 1870's, in partnership with Pat Garrett.
(Source books: "The Great Buffalo Hunt" and
"The Border and the Buffalo").
There were several Glenns who were ministers and educators.
The author of "Glenn and Kin" says that,
"Methodism changed the lives of
several young Glenn men (in North Carolina) in the period 1806-1809.
Brothers Thompson, Thomas D. and James E. Glenn (sons of James, who was
the son of Gideon Glenn listed in the will of James of Hanover County,
Virginia, above) ... not only became ministers but moved from North Carolina
to the South Carolina conference (where they were appointed). Already
there was John Bowles Glenn, who almost at the same time as his
cousins was ordained a Methodist minister ... In the 1830's their strong
fervor for Methodism prompted James E., Thompson, and their cousin John
Bowles Glenn to unite their efforts to establish a center of Methodist
learning in Alabama. This center, called GLENNVILLE, held several
academies in which James E. and John B. Glenn were active participants."
James Elizabeth Glenn ... was named for both his father and mother
because she died as a result of his birth. The Rev. A.M. Chreitzberg
in his book Early Methodism in the Carolinas, states that Rev. James E.
Glenn had a full-rounded face, a florid complexion, a voice like a
trumpet and "faculties naturelle of the highest order." The account in
"Glenn and Kin" says that,
"in 1807 as a newly-licensed Methodist preacher,
James E. Glenn was transferred to the South Carolina Conference ...
many of his Glenn cousins (were) then living in Union, Newberry, and
Chester counties, S.C. In 1809 he had been sent to the Santee-Cooper
River area of South Carolina as the first missionary ever appointed by
any denomination to minister to slaves. After serving as a circuit
preacher and missionary throughout South Carolina for many years,
around 1832 James E. Glenn moved to what is now Stewart Co., Georgia.
He settled on the Chattahoochee River and rented land from the Indians
on the Alabama side for farming. Probably the next year he moved his
family into the Indian town on Hatchechubbee Creek, near present
Pittsview in Russell Co., Alabama, where he purchased land from the Indians
to establish what was to become the first white settlement in the county.
In the winter of 1835-36 the Indians declared war on the white
settlers. After being warned by a friendly Indian, the Glenns boarded
the steamboat "Anna Calhoun" which was captained by James Glenn, son of
Thompson, and they crossed the Chattahoochee River ... The citizens of
Roanoke, GA were evacuated to Columbus with the aid of Capt. James
Glenn (who was the first steamboat captain on the Chattahoochee River),
and the following Sunday, Roanoke was destroyed by the Indians. When
the residents returned to their Alabama settlement, they had to rebuild
the church, and James E. Glenn rebuilt his log house ... In 1837 James E.
Glenn was joined in Alabama by his cousin, the Rev. John Bowles Glenn,
son of James Glenn II.
These two educator-ministers founded Glennville,
known in its golden years of the 1850's as the "Athens of the South,"
intended to be a cultural, religious and educational center.
Here was established the Glennville Female College for girls and the
Glennville Collegiate and Military Institute for boys. The Glennville
Methodist Church was the town's religious center ... The town had an inn
called "The Mansion House" and two stage lines. Many beautiful homes
were located there, some of which are still occupied and one of which
is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Civil War destroyed
Glennville, like it did most of the South, but Glennville had no
Reconstruction. In 1854 its citizens had opposed the routing of the
Mobile & Gerard Railroad through their town, and both schools were
destroyed by fire, the girls' school in 1865 and the boys' in the 1870's.
While the still existing homes keep the spirit of Glennville alive, we
are reminded that Glennville died with its founders in the span of a
After leaving Glennville, John Bowles Glenn went to Auburn, Alabama,
where he was instrumental in establishing the East Alabama Male
College, which grew into what is known today as Auburn University ...
Many Glenns have served in the ministry. Rev. James Washington Francis
Hodges Glenn, youngest child of James E. Glenn, was a minister in
Alabama from 1856 to 1899. He was also a guide for Gen. Winfield
Scott. Also noteworthy are two grandsons of the Rev. James E. Glenn ...
the Rev. Edgar M. Glenn was a founder and president of Birmingham College,
later president of Athens College ... the Rev. James McCOY Glenn, a
minister for over seventy years, had such notables in his congregations
as Apache Chief Geronimo and Army surgeon Walter Reed." The following
is extracted from a newspaper article entitled "Cleric Recalls Geronimo"
by Wayne Powell:
Union Springs -
"Apache Indian Chief Geronimo, one of the most
fierce of Western tribesmen, is remembered by a 90 year old retired
minister as "the friendliest Indian" he knew. Dr. James M. Glenn
recalled Geronimo as he told of his 72 years of preaching the gospel in
the Alabama / West Florida Methodist Conference. Glenn not only holds
the record for the longest tenure of service in the conference, but was
once the youngest and now the oldest member of the conference. Geronimo
was living with other Apache Indians at the Mount Vernon Military
post in 1889 where Glenn began his ministerial career. He remembers
the chief as a strong disciplinarian. Two white women teachers
instructing the Indian children never had any trouble with the students
when the old chief was around. Geronimo was a strong believer in education
and religion, Glenn said, and frequently rang the cow bell for
Sunday School services. Very few Indians refused to attend church,
the clergyman said, with this signal."
I have corresponded with Michael Glenn, brother of Debbie Glenn
who is married to Donny Osmond. Their Glenn family has an interesting
history also, and although no direct connection has been found between
their Glenns and ours, they seem to have similar characteristics and a
parallel history. Their ancestor James Glenn, a minister ordained in
Scotland, emigrated to Pennsylvania. He later moved to South Carolina
and did a lot of work there preaching against slavery and trying to
abolish it, also buying the freedom of as many slaves as he could. Some
of his children went to Illinois, and several were ministers also, one
of whom, "Old Reverend Glenn," was said to have influenced Abraham Lincoln
as a boy in matters of faith. The descendants of this branch of
the Glenn family later came west on the Oregon Trail, and Glenn's Ferry,
a town in Idaho, was named after one of them. They lived in Washington
State until Michael and Debbie's father was converted to the LDS Church
and moved to Utah.
by Karen Bray Keeley
by Sandra Shuler Bray