Big Glades 

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. Whatever amount
each person paid into the Hotel was considered his share of stock. Enough money was raised to build the present day Colonial Hotel.
     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.

 Old Graveyard

     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
Baptist Church.)

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 Planing Mill.

Date: 1847

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:
     Schuyler Hamilton, John Cooper, Andrew J. Dotson, James Jones.
     Alexander Vance 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 Church.
     March 1, 1865, Morgan T. Lipps was chosen Moderator.
     December, 1865, 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 instead.
     July, 1867, William N. Wheatley was appointed Clerk.
     February, 1882, appointed Daniel H. Riner, moderator.
     April, 1883, appointed William Robinett, Asst. Moderator.

Condition of Membership in 1885:
Henry W. Smith
Pentecost Gardner (dec'd)
Charles Addington
James Addington (dec'd)
Arthur Wheatley
Linkhorn Blevins (excluded)
R. L. Skeen
G. H. Skeen
James Lipps (dismissed)
Ira Gilliam (excluded)
William W. Wheatley
Jackson Hamilton (dismissed)
Lewis Hamilton
John Huff (dismissed 1852)
William H. Gardner (dec'd)
James Brown (dec'd)
Andrew Day
Nelson Hamilton
Cary Huff
Penelope Roberts (dec'd)
Loucinda Hunsucker
Louisa Hill
Stella Gardner (dec'd)
Nancy Chisenhall
Callie Collier (dismissed)
Mary L. Lipps (dismissed)
Nervie Lipps (dismissed)
Elizabeth R. Kilgore (dismissed)
Martha Dean
Sarah Huff
Lovina Huff
Mary Hamilton (dismissed)
Sophronia Dotson
Nancy Kilgore
Nancy Wheatley (dec'd)
Laura Wheatley
Mary Jones
Jane Wheatley (dec'd)
Elizabeth Huff (wife of John)
Elizabeth Thacker (dec'd)
Laura Blevins (dec'd)
Elizabeth Dotson
Mary Dotson
Annie Davis (dec'd)
Millie Kilgore (wife of Rafe)
Elizabeth Addington
Catherine Hopes (dec'd)
Elizabeth Ramsey (wife of J. W.)
Sarah Hamilton
Selia Wheatley
Polly Smith (dec'd)
Sylvia Hamilton
Ann Eliza Dotson
Mary Dotson
Sarah Blevins
Elizabeth Smith (excluded)
Katherine Kilgore
Phoebe Beverly
Elizabeth Lipps (dismissed)
Rebecca Elam (excluded)
Elizabeth Huff
Jane Gardner (dec'd)
Sarah Wheatley
Elizabeth Wheatley (excluded)
Lucy Ann Wheatley (excluded)
Annie Hall (excluded)
Elizabeth Mullins
Sarah Buchanan
Nancy Kilgore
Elizabeth Sloan
Didamey Stidham
Anna Dale (excluded)
Lydia McFall
Malinda Dean (excluded)
Eura S. Lipps
Mary J. Lipps
Cassie Collier
Charity Cox
Catherine Wheatley
Nancy Wheatley
Sally Franklin (dec'd)
Sally Bond (dismissed)
Carrie Perry
Martha Perry (excluded)
Amy Cox
Sarah Cooper (dismissed)
Lucinda Stallard (excluded)
Jane Perky
Annie Roberts (dismissed)
Louisa Roberts (dismissed)
Jane Gilliam (excluded)
Nancy Addington (dismissed)
Sarah Hall
Sarah Church
Elizabeth Holbrook
Loucinda Hunsucker
Rebecca Bond (wife of William J., dismissed)
Susannah Hamilton (dismissed)
Susannah Cooper
Betsy Jones (dec'd)
Betsy Addington
Loucinda Jane Dotson
Belinda Stidham (wife of James)
Betsy Vanderpool (wife of Hazekiah)
Phoebe Dotson (wife of Simon)
Martha Gilliam
Melby Huff
Sarah M. Vanderpool
Millie Kilgore
Abagail Dotson (wife of Thomas)
Ruth Vanderpool
Mary Huff
Minerva Dean (wife of Ellis)
Emily Collins
Nancy Roberts
Loucinda Gilliam (dismissed)
Elizabeth Cox (dismissed)
Stacy Gardner
Annie Kilgore
Oma Cavender (dismissed)
Agness Franklin (dismissed)
Simon Dotson (dec'd)
John Gilliam
William Huff (dec'd)
Love Stanley
Jessee Flanary
Matthew Wright
John Stanley
Griffin Collins
William Beverly
William Gilliam
Charles Huff (dec'd)
Robert Hamilton (dec'd)
James McFall
William J. Bond (dec'd)
Henry W. Smith
Jacob Lipps (dismissed)
William Bond
Jonas Lipps (dec'd 1865)
Henry Hall (dec'd)
N. J. Blevins (dec'd)
Hopkins Skeen
George Johnston (excluded)
Hiram C. Beverly (dec'd)
Stephen Bond (dismissed, son of Mrs. J.)
David Cooper (excluded)
James Clevenger
Arthur Wheatley (dec'd)
James Vanderpool
Jacob Vanderpool
Tivis Hamilton
Harrison Fooglie (excluded)
James Addington
Byrd Franklin
Terrell Cox
George Perky
Ralph Kilgore (excluded)
John Bond (dec'd)
Ira Gilliam
John Hall
Galen Roberts (dismissed)
Alfred Holbrook (dec'd)
William Addington (dec'd)
William Roberts (dismissed)
Charles Bond (dec'd)
Harden Dale (excluded)
John W. Holbrook
Franklin Perky
Henry Perky
Robert Addington
William M. Wheatley
Stephen Skeen (dec'd)

Return to Wise
Return to Articles

Copyright Notice
All files on this site are copyrighted by their creator. They may not be reproduced on another site without specific permission from Vickie Sturgill Stevens . Although public information is not in and of itself copyrightable, the format in which they are presented, the notes and comments, etc., are.