Source: Frances B. Hays Collection, “Obituaries V”, page 66. Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, North Carolina
The following is a complete, unedited transcription from a handwritten manuscript appearing in the volume described above. The manuscript is undated, but it is presumed that it was written shortly after the death of James A. Crews, which occurred on August 10th, 1892. The handwriting was very difficult to decipher, and where I have been unable to puzzle a word, I have indicated it as (illegible). Where a specific word or phrase can be presumed, I have included it in parenthesis with a question mark (?) to indicate a guess.
Transcription provided by Constance Hall Jones, Raleigh, North Carolina. April 22, 2015.
Death of James A. Crews
From a transcript by John W. Hays.
Died at his house in Granville county on Wednesday the 10th of August, 1892, James A. Crews, in the 80th year of his age.
He was the oldest son of the late James Crews and Sallie (Earl) Crews of Granville County. His father, who died in 1875, at the advanced age of 90 years, belonged to a family who were the pioneers of Methodism in Granville, and was the principal founder of Salem Church on what is now the Oxford circuit. He left a large number of descendants reaching to the third and fourth generation, and nearly all have remained true to the teaching of their fathers.
James A. Crews was born May 15, 1813, and was married August 11, 1834, to Martha A. Hunt of (illegible) county. Of their marriage eleven children were born, nine of whom survive. His wife preceded him to the grave on the 6th of January, 1892.
Brother Crews had inherited a vigorous constitution and was remembered for his energy both of body and mind. He had a successful farm and by industry and economy had accumulated a good estate. For some years before his death his unusually robust health began to decline. He became a great sufferer from rheumatism, which emphasized with other disorders, terminated his life.
He was motivated to Christ and joined the Methodist church in early youth, and throughout his life was an earnest and (illegible) Christian. He was a man of decided convictions and of determined character. He loved the Truth and hated all that was false. He was a close student of the Bible and was deeply imbued with its teachings. He (illegible) (it?,if?) as an impregnable rock and the (illegible) of all excellence. He carried his religion with his daily life and made it his governing principle in all his business transactions. It comforted him in time of trouble, soothed his sorrow and was a constant source of sacred joy. It was the theme of much of his conversation and the joy that it offered to him he seemed ever anxious to impart to others. With an unfaltering faith in the efficacy of prayer and with a heart full of tender devotions, there was nothing that offered him so much happiness or awakened all his power to so full a (ae?, as?) living but to be at work in the service of a great religious revival. On such occasions he would often manifest a (spiritual?, penitential?) power in exhaustion and prayer that would reach the most callous heart. As approached the end of life he seemed to lose his hold upon all things earthly. He had arranged his business affairs with calmness and deliberation, and then placed them behind him, and was looking steadfastly forward to another life when he would meet the loved ones who had gone before and realize his brightest hopes in the presence of his Redeemer.
The land of Beulah and the (delectable?) mountains were constantly in view, and when he came to pass the work given his faith failed not. He whom he had trusted in health was still his (illegible) and support.
The grave has closed where his mortal remains. He leaves to his children his example of life without reproach; that of an honest man, a good citizen, a kind neighbor, a fearless and faithful soldier of Christ. His spirit has entered into that nest (rest?) prepared for the people of God.
His funeral was preached on the 11th inst. By his pastor, the Rev. John H. Hall, in the presence of a large (collection?, consensus?) of relatives and friends and his body laid to rest in the cemetery near his home.