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Rev James Buys, Jr
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Birth: 1802
Georgia, USA
Death: Oct. 26, 1862
Louisiana, USA

The following article about Dr. Buys was written by Richard Briley III, Editor of Briley's Cenla Guide at the request of Rev. Marvin Doolittle, who, at the time, was pastor of First Baptist Church, Montgomery, Louisiana. This informative article was found at the Mt. Lebanon Museum, Mt. Lebanon, La.

Doctor James Buys Jr. ex-United States Army Surgeon and Baptist preacher settled at Mt. Zion, four miles northeast of Montgomery Louisiana in 1840. According to local records, he ran a country store and farmed, preached and practiced medicine. In 1842, Dr. Buys held his first revival meeting under a brush arbor at this spot.

Dr. Buys built a log schoolhouse near the Mt. Zion Springs and during the Mexican War the Sixth United States Cavalry camped there. Dr. Buys, a vetern army doctor, preached to the soldiers. A young cavalry officer, Nathan Bedford Forrest, suggested that the church and community (which was un-named until that time) be called Mt. Zion, after the Biblical Mt. Zion, which was also the name of his mother's church back in Pulaski, Tenn. Little is known of the progress of the church there for the next few years, but early in 1850 Dr.Buys and Rev. H. I. Hicks, a Methodist circuit rider, erected a log church at the site to be used jointly by the Baptists and Methodists until the latter group could afford to build a church house of its own.

During the Civil War Dr. Buys also preached to Confederate Cavalrymen who found it handy to camp at Mt. Zion. At that time Gen. Thomas Woodward (sometimes spelled Woodard) a retired officer, who founded Montgomery in 1843 as a corporation, assisted Dr. Buys in entertaining the soldiers camped in the area. The good doctor and the old general sat in elevated seats in the old schoolhouse during the soldiers' ball and watched the army boys as they shuggled about to the tunes of "Arkansas Traveller, Cotton Eyed Joe and Sally Gooden!"

Dr. Buys was noted for his hard preaching, his hard riding to visit the sick and the hard work he did on his farm and at his store in the meantime. He visited all the sick, the poor as well as the rich, and it is said he never made any pretense at charging the poor and needy for his services as a medical doctor. He died October 26, 1862 and was buried right behind the Mt. Zion church which he helped to erect, leaving behind an enviable and most cherished reputation among his fellow citizens.
Dr. James Judson Buys, Jr. married Rachel McIver from Virginia on Dec. 7, 1824 and he graduated from medical college in 1836, in Macon,Georgia. While living in Georgia, Doctor Buys was a neighbor and friend of Joseph Ridge, Chief of the Choctaw Indian Tribe of Georgia. The doctor learned much about the use of herbs from the chief and taught some of his treatments to the Indians, thus they combined their knowledge to mutual advantage.

Doctor Buys was encouraged to come to Shreveport from Georgia by a Mrs. Cavett who was his relative. Mrs. Cavett owned the Cavett Carriage Company. Her bookkeeper, John Drago, was confidential clerk to the Major General in charge at Shreveport. I think Drago made the arrangements for the Buys' move to Shreveport. Drago married Izora Angeline Buys, daughter of Dr. Buys. She died in childbirth, also the baby died June 20, 1857. Drago later married another Buys daughter, Savannah Columbiana Buys, born in 1841 and died in 1881. Sometimes after this marriage, John Drago went to work at a large store in Monroe, La. The couple had 6 children.

Dr. James Buys Jr. moved his family to a farm a short distance north of Arcadia, Louisiana, within the perimeter of the town where he was very influential in helping found the town and in establishing the first school there. He also built a fine hotel which he later sold to Wm. A. Jones. His wife and daughters ran the boarding house or hotel. He would travel by horseback or buggy to nearby settlements or towns to treat the patients there. Dr. Buys would board at a certain home for about a week then return to his home and go to another town the next week. Much of the time he would preach every night and if the community had no church (most did not) he would organize one. Most of the time the church members would make an offering to him which he would give to the new church, accepting only the money for his medical practice. He made regular rounds in his practice, so he could continue to help as needed in the new churches.

In 1850 the records of the First Baptist Church of Minden, La. show that Dr. Buys was pastor of that church for one year. The records also state he was the church's second pastor and may have been serving as an interim pastor as the minutes say he was "presiding" at the time the church called another pastor.
Doctor Buys was a first cousin to Wiliam R King, United States Vice President under President Pierce. The Buys' had two sons and six daughers who lived to adulthood. One son, William Louie Buys was a surgeon in the Confederate Army - 14th Alabama Regiment, Wilson's Brigade, A.P. Hill's Corps. Army of Virginia. He died at Fredricksburg, Va. on the battlefield of wounds. Joseph Griffen Buys, 8th Louisiana, Hayes' Brigade, Jackson's Corps "one of the men who followed Old Robert E. Lee four long years" - quotes from James Buys Bible, was shot and badly wounded at Gettysburg and starved in a Federal Prison at Fort Look Out.

His daughter, Margaret Catherine, married Samuel Hezikiah Wilder in 1857, and Doctor Buys and his wife moved to Montgomery, Louisiana where Samuel and his brother, Jerry Wilder, had a flourishing business and had bought several hudnred acres of land. Doctor Buys continued his medical practice there and is known to have organized churches in that area. Mrs. Buys stayed with the Wilders (her daughter) while the doctor was on his medical trips to the sick. Some of the other Buys daughters also moved to Montgomery, La.

Sam Wilder died of yellow fever in October of 1858 leaving his nineteen year old wife and a 13 month old son, William Drago Wilder. Three years later young Mrs. Wilder married William H. Hale, a middle-aged widower with a large family of children and moved to his magnificent antibellum home with him in Sumterville, Ala.

This was in 1861 just before the Civil War began. After the beginning of the Civil War, hard times fell upon both the families in Alabama and Louisiana. The Hale mansion was burned down, farm and slaves, horses, cows and most all property was lost. About 1874 Mr. Hale died. Margaret Buys Wilder Hale moved back to Louisiana with very little wordly goods. Dr. Buys had died in 1862, and she never saw him again after her marriage to Mr. Hale. Buys' wife, Rachel McIver Buys, had moved to Arcadia, Louisiana , where she died and is buried in the Arcadia, Cemetery.
Family links: 
  Rachel McEver Buys (1807 - 1887)
  Izora Angeline Buys Drago (1835 - 1857)*
  Tallula Adelia Buys Brantly (1844 - 1912)*
*Calculated relationship
Mount Zion Cemetery
Winn Parish
Louisiana, USA
Created by: Wylie Blackwell
Record added: Mar 29, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 87537748
Rev James Buys, Jr
Added by: Wylie Blackwell
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In memory of Rev. James Buys from a descendant of Tallulah Adelia Buys Brantly.
- Ruth Smith
 Added: May. 8, 2015

- Annette O'Brien
 Added: Sep. 19, 2014

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