The Town of Big Glades
The town of Big Glades
was a straggling frontier town before the County of Wise was formed. It
drew the name of Big Glades from the fact that it is in and surrounded
by glades on all sides. Big Glades is located on the Great Cumberland Divide.
Here the waters of the Cumberland separate, part running westward into
the Pound River and the Pound River emptying into the Big Sandy, and part
running eastward into Guest River and Guest River emptying into the Clinch
River. There was a Post Office established at Big Glades, Russell Co.,
VA in 1850 and Daniel Ramey was appointed as Postmaster.
The town of Big
Glades was later called Gladeville but there was never a Post Office by
that name. When the County of Wise was formed, the name was changed to
Wise Courthouse and in later years the Courthouse was dropped from it and
it is called Wise to the present day. In the early days of Big Glades it
boasted two hotels. The first hotel at the Big Glades was built by
Daniel Ramey and it stood on the corner of the present Courthouse lawn.
The hotel that was standing then where the present Colonial Hotel is, was
called the Piedmont Hotel. The town of Big Glades was laid out in 1856,
and in 1857, Franklin Bond built a hotel called the Virginia House.
One was a two story
log building located on the present site of the Colonial Hotel and was
run by Andrew Jackson Dotson. The term of Court beginning October 27, 1856
was held at the home of Andrew
Jackson Dotson. In 1872 Creed F. Flanary
had a store in one room of the Dotson Hotel. The Dotson Hotel was destroyed
by fire and a joint company was established to raise money to build again.
each person paid into the Hotel was considered
his share of stock. Enough money was raised to build the present day Colonial
The other hotel
was owned by John A. Mann and was located on the west corner of the present
Courthouse Public Square. It was separated from the Dotson Hotel by an
alley. Charles F. Bond and Morgan T. Lipps were the first merchants of
the Big Glades. The first records of Wise County's Court were kept in the
back of one of Morgan T. Lipps' Store Account Books.
In 1859 Morgan T.
Lipps was selling cider at 5 cents per quart, beef at 3 cents, cotton at
$2.80 per bale and brooms at 10 cents each.
Wise was incorporated
in 1871. The elevation of the town of Wise is 2,454.096 feet. The first
murder committed in Big Glades was committed July 28, 1856, near the present
home of O. B. Gilley. Beverly Dickenson killed Alexander Carrico by striking
him on the head with a bottle.
On Route 23 leading
south from Wise is an old graveyard dating back before the Civil War. There
was a skirmish here during the Civil War and one or more of the men killed
in the skirmish was buried here. However, there are no markers to any of
the graves except that of a child, Alexander M. Dotson, born
November 10, 1856, died April 8, 1862. There
is about sixty graves in this cemetery and it is thought that most of the
victims died of disease. (This cemetery is on U. S. 23 about 25 feet above
said road, opposite old Unity
First School at Big Glades
The first school
that we have any record of at Big Glades was taught by William H. Dean,
near about where Mrs. George W. Kilgore's property is located. It was a
one room log cabin, covered with riven boards.
It is said that there was a hole in the roof
and when it rained the children would wade the puddle of water that came
through the roof and have quite a mud hole in the center of the school
room. The ground was the only floor in the building. It was near about
the year of 1855 when this school was taught. All the early schools in
Wise County and the early schools before the County was established were
subscription schools. The next school was taught at the Methodist Church
that stood at the present site of the Wise Cemetery. This school was taught
by Emmett Wolfe. In the early 1870s the Gladeville College was built. It
was a two room frame building on the present site of Wise High School.
There was also a two story, four room school building in front of the college
but it was blown away in a wind storm.
The Gladeville College
was incorporated in 1882. After finishing school at the Gladeville College
the graduates were given a teacher's certificate; however, many of the
graduates went to college, most of them going to Martha Washington
College at Abingdon, VA. This school continued until the building of the
recent Wise High School Building. Among some of the Gladeville College
teachers were: Jim, Emmett and Pete Wolfe, Ada Alderson, Professor Chapman,
Miss Lee Beaty and Professor Davis.
Primitive Baptist Church
Daniel Ramey deeded
a lot to this church in 1857:
Location: On old road leading south from Wise,
about 200 yards south of Court House on west side of road, near the Hale
Description: The Big Glades Church House was
a one room, hewn log house about 20 x 24 feet, clapboard roof, puncheon
floor with a stone chimney and fireplace at one end. Chinked and daubed
with clay mud. The benches were split puncheons with wooden pegs driven
into the underside for supports. The
house was burned in the year of 1856.
Historical Significance: The Big Glades Church
house was used as the first Court House of Wise County. Court was held
here at the July term 1856. The house burned and the following term of
Court was held at the home of Andrew J. Dotson, then Sheriff of Wise County.
School was taught here also before the
building burned. At the first term of Court,
the house being one room, offered no place for the Grand Jury, so it convened
on a large flat rock just south of church and the rock is yet known as
the "Jury Rock". After the burning of the house the church held its meetings
in the Court House after it was built, and sometimes
at the home of members. They had no house
of worship from 1856 until 1893 when the present house was built a few
yards south of the original site.
The Big Glades Church
was an "Arm" of the Three Forks Church. The first mention of establishing
a church at the Glades was made at the Three Forks Church in 1840, however
this order was not carried out for about seven years. Then in April 1847,
at the Three Forks Church, Elder John Tate and
Deacons, Thomas Wells, Jeremiah Wells, and
Isaac Willis were appointed at the request of the Toms Creek Church to
help organize a church at the Glades, the 1st, Monday in May, 1847.
The following is
the constitutional order of the Big Glades Church: Declaration of the faith
of the Baptist Church of Christ at the Big Glades, Russell County, Virginia.
It shall be known by the name of the Unity Baptist Church of the Big Glades,
constituted May the 1st, 1847.
NOTE: The Constitution
and Covenant is the same as that of
the Three Forks Church.
First Deacons of the Big Glades Church:
John Cooper, Andrew J. Dotson, James Jones.
was the First Pastor of this church.
March 2, 1861, Charles
Bond was chosen as Deacon.
April 6, 1861, Hiram
H. Kilgore was given license to preach.
April 6, 1861, the
Church then made an order to give the "Arm" of the Big Glades Church on
Indian Creek license to be constituted a
March 1, 1865, Morgan
T. Lipps was chosen Moderator.
Church considered building a church house, to be built 20 x 30 feet. NOTE:
This order was not carried out.
January, 1866, Dr.
William J. Bond asked to be relieved as Clerk and Harden Dale was elected
July, 1867, William
N. Wheatley was appointed Clerk.
appointed Daniel H. Riner, moderator.
April, 1883, appointed
William Robinett, Asst. Moderator.
Condition of Membership in 1885:
Henry W. Smith
Pentecost Gardner (dec'd)
James Addington (dec'd)
Linkhorn Blevins (excluded)
R. L. Skeen
G. H. Skeen
James Lipps (dismissed)
Ira Gilliam (excluded)
William W. Wheatley
Jackson Hamilton (dismissed)
John Huff (dismissed 1852)
William H. Gardner (dec'd)
James Brown (dec'd)
Penelope Roberts (dec'd)
Stella Gardner (dec'd)
Callie Collier (dismissed)
Mary L. Lipps (dismissed)
Nervie Lipps (dismissed)
Elizabeth R. Kilgore (dismissed)
Mary Hamilton (dismissed)
Nancy Wheatley (dec'd)
Jane Wheatley (dec'd)
Elizabeth Huff (wife of John)
Elizabeth Thacker (dec'd)
Laura Blevins (dec'd)
Annie Davis (dec'd)
Millie Kilgore (wife of Rafe)
Catherine Hopes (dec'd)
Elizabeth Ramsey (wife of J. W.)
Polly Smith (dec'd)
Ann Eliza Dotson
Elizabeth Smith (excluded)
Elizabeth Lipps (dismissed)
Rebecca Elam (excluded)
Jane Gardner (dec'd)
Elizabeth Wheatley (excluded)
Lucy Ann Wheatley (excluded)
Annie Hall (excluded)
Anna Dale (excluded)
Malinda Dean (excluded)
Eura S. Lipps
Mary J. Lipps
Sally Franklin (dec'd)
Sally Bond (dismissed)
Martha Perry (excluded)
Sarah Cooper (dismissed)
Lucinda Stallard (excluded)
Annie Roberts (dismissed)
Louisa Roberts (dismissed)
Jane Gilliam (excluded)
Nancy Addington (dismissed)
Rebecca Bond (wife of William J., dismissed)
Susannah Hamilton (dismissed)
Betsy Jones (dec'd)
Loucinda Jane Dotson
Belinda Stidham (wife of James)
Betsy Vanderpool (wife of Hazekiah)
Phoebe Dotson (wife of Simon)
Sarah M. Vanderpool
Abagail Dotson (wife of Thomas)
Minerva Dean (wife of Ellis)
Loucinda Gilliam (dismissed)
Elizabeth Cox (dismissed)
Oma Cavender (dismissed)
Agness Franklin (dismissed)
Simon Dotson (dec'd)
William Huff (dec'd)
Charles Huff (dec'd)
Robert Hamilton (dec'd)
William J. Bond (dec'd)
Henry W. Smith
Jacob Lipps (dismissed)
Jonas Lipps (dec'd 1865)
Henry Hall (dec'd)
N. J. Blevins (dec'd)
George Johnston (excluded)
Hiram C. Beverly (dec'd)
Stephen Bond (dismissed, son of Mrs. J.)
David Cooper (excluded)
Arthur Wheatley (dec'd)
Harrison Fooglie (excluded)
Ralph Kilgore (excluded)
John Bond (dec'd)
Galen Roberts (dismissed)
Alfred Holbrook (dec'd)
William Addington (dec'd)
William Roberts (dismissed)
Charles Bond (dec'd)
Harden Dale (excluded)
John W. Holbrook
William M. Wheatley
Stephen Skeen (dec'd)