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Cyrus sends notes on Clayton Miller Prays a Mighty Prayer

The following was taken from an old issue of the ADAIR COUNTY NEWS:
Adair County once had a somewhat eccentric but prominent Baptist layman by the name of Clayton Miller (1797-1874), whose prayers were the subject of wide attention, at times to the point of criticism by his peers. One day at the Old Zion Baptist Church he squelched the criticism with a prayer:
AN UNUSUAL PRAYER

"Lord, Thou knowest the embarrassment Thy servant labors under for here are Oliver Garnett Walkup, Allen DeGraffenreid Patterson and Chesley Jones Taylor. Though clever, Lord, they are sometimes inclined to make remarks about Thy servant's prayers. And now, Lord we beseech Thee to visit Old Zion, once more.

Zion, Lord, is a brick church located on the main road leading from Columbia, Kentucky, to Jamestown, five miles from the former. Commence, Lord, to pour out Thy blessings to Jamestown, for Lord, Thou knowest that they are sadly in need of it there...be with our armies in Mexico, whether right or wrong....We of the Democratic Party are sometimes accused of making war for conquest, but we believe it to be a war of defense.

But we would enter no elaborate argument on the subject before Thee, but for further particulars would refer Thee to President Polk's latest annual message, and Thine shall be the praise, both now and forever."


Cyrus adds notes on Clayton Miller

His eccentricities aside, Clayton Miller was widely known in Adair County. He held public office on at least one occasion, serving about two years as High Sheriff. A number of male children born in Adair County during the mid-19th century, including Clayton Miller Wheat, were named in his honor.

The reference to "our armies in Mexico" dates the prayer to the middle to later 1840s, while "President Polk's latest annual message" quite possibly refers to Polk's second annual message to Congress, delivered on December 8, 1846. Almost the entirety of that message dealt with the situation with Mexico and a report of the "...seven months after Mexico commenced hostilities..."

The US had formally declared war with Mexico in mid-May, 1846, but hostilities had been ongoing for several weeks prior to the declaration.

CYRUS
Diligent Adair CO, KY Historian now an expatriate in the frozen north, and,
ColumbiaMagazine.com Central Ohio Bureau Chief
The prayer above was submitted to the "Adair County Review" by historian Michael C. Watson, and it appeared in Vol. 1, Issue 1 (Spring, 1987) of that worthy publication. Subscriptions to The Review and memberships in the Adair County Historical Society can obtained at the Adair County Library or from most members. Michael C. Watson is the author of histories of Adair County. Most of his books can also be obtained at the Adair County Public Library.

Visit the an outstanding Genealogy Room
at The Adair County Public Libary
The Janice Holt Giles Memorial Library

Where Ernestine Bennett and Jewell Kimbler and the rest of the staff can guide you to other material on Old Zion Church and School, take your subscription to The Adair County Review, and show you the Michael C. Watson and other historical material for sale there.
307 Greensburg St.
Columbia, KY 42728
Phone 270-384-2472
Hours: M 8-6; T-F, 8:4:30; Sat. 8-12
Lee Ann Jessee, Director;
Jewell Kimbler, Assistant Director; Lisa Burton, Children's Librarian; Ernestine Bennett, Genealogy Director; and Bill Bailey, Bookmobile Librarian.
J.D. Zornes is chairman of the library board which also includes members Tammy Humphress, Bonnie Rodgers, Mary Knight, and Bobbie Coomer.

The board meets each second Monday at the library, at 12:05 noon.

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This story was posted on 2006-03-26 08:00:00
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