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HEATH CHAPEL AND CEMETERY
The original patriarch of the Heath family, Israel Heath (born 1773 Berkeley County, VA) and his wife Elizabeth Blue, were ardent members of the early Methodist Episcopal Church. They had nine children, and four became early Methodist Episcopal Church ministers in VA and later in early Missouri. The family migrated from Berkeley Co VA (now WV) into Cabell County, VA by 1809 where all nine children married and began families of their own. There, they were neighbors with the family of Moses McComas and his wife Lucy Napier. Five of the children of Moses McComas married sons or daughters of Israel Heath. One of the sons, Reverend Jonas Heath was actively preaching ‘to great congregations' in early Cabell County, VA.
In the year 1839 the now combined families of Heath and McComas, and many grandchildren moved into early Platte County, Missouri. Reverend David M. Heath was the youngest of the nine children born to Israel Heath and Elizabeth Blue. In 1851 at age 34, Rev. David M. Heath recorded the purchase of 159 acres in Township 53, Range 34, Sect 23 in Platte Co. MO. through the ‘500,000 Acre Grant'. This was adjacent to land owned by his brother Rev. Stephen Preston Heath. Two of his brothers were actively preaching in Platte County MO by 1840: Rev. John Wesley Heath and Rev. Stephen Preston Heath. Their brother Rev. Jonas Blue Heath was preaching over in early Benton County, Missouri near Warsaw. Rev. David M Heath moved his family from early Platte County to Benton Township, Daviess Co. MO. A Methodist Episcopal Church minister in Benton Township, he also listed himself as a farmer on the 1860 census for Daviess Co. MO. The war intervened and Rev. David M Heath and three of his sons served the Union. Two of them in the famous 23rd Missouri.
Rev. David M. Heath was in the same unit as his two eldest sons: Elisha Blackburn Heath and James Kemper Heath. All were in Company F, 11th Regiment, Missouri Cavalry. David was a 2nd Lt and Elisha was a Sergeant, James K. a 2nd Lt. David M Heath is also listed as a Union soldier, Private in the Missouri State Militia, company G ‘discharged for disability as a Sergeant on Aug 4 1862.' His sons (Rev) William Redmond Heath and James Kemper Heath served in Company E of the 23rd Missouri Volunteer Infantry (Union Army) and were in the ‘Battle of Shiloh' where the 23rd MO was forced to surrender and performed heroically holding off the Confederate Army so that other Union soldiers could try to escape back to the river as they were being overrun. Reverend William Redmond Heath (who later pastored the Heath Chapel), was wounded in the Battle of Shiloh. Following their service in the war, Reverend David M Heath and sons came back to Daviess County and got to work within the Methodist community.
In the History of Daviess Co. MO there is this statement: "The Methodist Episcopal Church of Civil Bend was organized early in 1865. The minister in charge at the time was Rev. David M. Heath. The number of original members was about fifteen. In 1868 a frame church 30 x 40 in size was built at a cost of about $1,500; it was dedicated in the fall of the same year by Rev Mr. Heath of St. Louis. A parsonage costing about $250 has also been erected. Since the building of the house of worship the church has continued to prosper, and the present membership is fifty-six."
A publication "Pattonsburg: 100-year Story 1877-1977 by Gilbert L. Hutchinson, Editor gives a little bit of background on the Heath Methodist Chapel in Benton Twp, Daviess Co. MO. The Heath cemetery sits beside it. It said: "The Heath Methodist Episcopal Church was started around 1880. Elizabeth Thomas gave the first land for a house of worship. More land was given in 1889 by A.L. and Mary J. Snell. In the 1880 census for Benton Twp, the families of Albert Lee Snell, the widow Elizabeth Thomas from Kentucky, (Rev) David M Heath and (Rev) William Redmond Heath were all neighbors. The original building facing the east stood until 1919. That year a new structure was built. The building was remodeled about 1928. A new floor was laid, the roof was changed, a choir room added onto the square of the building and the front door moved to the south. In 1954, a full basement was dug and the building moved onto the basement. The front door was changed back to the east. In 1962, extra Sunday School rooms were needed; two rooms and an entrance hall across the front were added. The basement was also extended. One of the first ministers was Reverend David M. Heath's son, William Redmond Heath. He was licensed to preach by the Pattonsburg Conference in 1880, continued serving the Heath Church until his death in 1910. Other pastors included: Draper, Snow, Cooper, Bloomfield, Werner, Pollock, Damon, Eveland, Campbell, Lyon, Hopkins, Davis and Peter J. Peterson. Some of the family names still attending are: Bayne, Brown, Cameron, Dejong, Dickerson, Frazier, Gardner, Hillyard, Hulett, Lowrey, McDaniel, Plymell, Rouner and Thompson."
The Heath Methodist Chapel in Benton Township is named in honor of Rev. David M. Heath who died 29 Dec 1900 and is buried beside the church in the adjacent cemetery. along with his 2nd wife Elizabeth Jane (Kerr) Heath. It was named after him to honor his early work for Daviess County on behalf of getting the church at Civil Bend as well as his work for the Methodist Episcopal Church community in general. In 1880 when it was first built, it was his son Rev. William Redmond Heath who took over the ministry for Benton Township until his death in 1910.
DIRECTIONS TO CHAPEL AND CEMETERY:
It is out in the country. Leave Kansas City, Missouri going North on Interstate 35 toward Des Moines. Take this to exit 78 which is the Pattonsburg exit or State route "C." Go left (west) on "C" to Highway 69. Turn right, (north), on Hwy 69 to State route "T". Turn left (west) on State route "T" and go 2 3/4 miles until 130th Street. Turn right (north) on 130th street for 1/2 mile. The church and cemetery are on the left(west) side of the road.
Heath Chapel and cemetery in the county of Daviess are located at latitude - longitude coordinates (also known as lat-long or GPS coordinates) of N 40.12861 and W -94.16051.
There are headstones in the cemetery which have fallen over. I hope if you have an ancestor buried here, you will take the time to add a PHOTOGRAPH to our website. If you have a correction or addition, I welcome it. I have done my best to fill in information on parents for these individuals.