Pioneer Hood County Baptist Minister
2 Kings 6:5 — AND THE AXE DID SWIM!
Henry Jefferson Sears was born in Wilkinson County, GA on January 26, 1817 and was the fourth son of Timothy and Jane White Sears. He grew to adulthood in Wilkinson County. On February 6, 1843, he was married in Walton County, GA to Rebecca Jane Freeman who had been born in Georgia on September 22, 1824.
Records reveal that he was very active in the Baptist faith and eventually became a clergyman. Henry J. Sears was instrumental in the organization of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Wilkinson County, GA during 1849.
The Henry J. Sears family was residing in Wilkinson County when the 1850 U. S. Census was enumerated. The family included Henry, Rebecca, and their two year old daughter Sarah. Henry J. Seas was listed as a clergyman.
Henry J. Sears moved his family to Randolph County, AL prior to 1853 and resided there until 1865. The 1860 U. S. Census enumerated the family as residents of the Northern Division of Randolph County. The occupation of Sears was listed as farmer and minister.
About 1865, the family migrated to Texas and stopped for a time in Navarro County with the Ingram family (former residents of Wilkinson County, GA) before settling in Hood County at Thorp Springs. The H. J. Sears was joined in this covered wagon journey (which took three months) by his nephew John Bryant Sears and family.
Sears preached at various places throughout Hood County. He often preached at the old log meeting house near the graveyard at Thorp Springs. Among his favorite scriptures was 2 Kings 6:5 — the sermon topic adapted from these scriptures was AND THE AXE DID SWIM!
The 1870 U. S. Census recorded the Henry J. Sears family as residents of the Thorp Springs area. The family surname was incorrectly spelled SIERS on this census.
Henry J. Sears also engaged in the milling business; his mill was located on the north bank of Stroud’s Creek above the lower ford. Pleasant Thorp had originally erected the mill and later sold it to Sears. The mill, only in operation a year or two, was damaged when its boiler exploded in 1872. One man was killed in the explosion.
Henry and Rebecca Sears had one son, David Crockett Sears, born at Thorp Springs in 1870. He was their only child born in Texas. About 1872, the family moved to Navarro County and settled.
Rebecca J. Sears died at age 65 on April 17, 1890. Henry J. Sears died at 80 on August 20, 1897. They are buried in the Pevehouse Cemetery near Frost, Navarro County, TX. They are mentioned in both the History of Navarro County and the History of Hood County. Henry and Rebecca Sears were the parents of nine children.
Descendants of Rev. Henry Jefferson Sears
1 Henry Jefferson Sears b: January 26, 1817 in Wilkinson County, Georgia d: August 20, 1897 in Navarro County, Texas Buried: Pevehouse cem. near Frost, Navarro Co, TX
.. +Rebecca Jane Freeman b: September 22, 1824 in Georgia m: February 6, 1843 in Walton County, Georgia d: April 17, 1890 in Navarro County, Texas Buried: Pevehouse cem. near Frost, Navarro Co, TX
………… 2 Sarah Sears b: 1848 in Georgia
+? Northcutt m: Bef. 1867 in AL
………… 2 Mary Sears b: 1850 in Georgia ………… 2 Timothy L. Sears b: 1853 in Alabama d: 1888 in Navarro County, Texas Buried: Pevehouse cem. near Frost, Navarro Co, TX
……………. +Adelaide M. Pevehouse b: December 7, 1854 m: March 4, 1874 in Navarro County, Texas d: February 25, 1930 Buried: Pevehouse cem. near Frost, Navarro Co, TX
………… 2 Martha A. Sears b: 1855 in Alabama ……………. +Edd R. G. Hollingsworth m: November 7, 1872 in Navarro County, Texas
………… 2 Susan Sears b: 1859 in Alabama ………… 2 John Jefferson Sears b: May 29, 1861 in Alabama d: February 6, 1907 in Texas
……………. +Emma Cordelia Logan b: December 12, 1861 m: September 19, 1886 in Navarro Co., Texas d: June 13, 1950
………… 2 Emma Sears b: 1864 in Alabama ………… 2 Jimmie H. Sears b: February 1866 in Alabama …………. +Susie C.
………… 2 David Crockett Sears b: February 24, 1870 in Hood County, Texas d: September 13, 1962
……………. +Nannie Lula Stewart b: December 18, 1871 in Navarro Co., TX m: September 10, 1891 in Navarro Co., Texas d: December 18, 1926
James Timothy (Tim) Sears
830 E. Briar Ridge Drive
Brookfield, WI 53045