A Guide to the Charles Willis Cassell Diary, 1896-1898 Cassell, Charles Willis, Diary 2000.2

A Guide to the Charles Willis Cassell Diary, 1896-1898

A Collection in
Special Collections, Kegley Library
Collection Number 2000.2


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Special Collections, Kegley Library, Wytheville Community College

Special Collections
Kegley Library
Wytheville Community College
Wytheville, Virginia 24382-3308
USA
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© 2011 By Wytheville Community College. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Cathy Carlson Reynolds

Repository
Special Collections, Kegley Library
Collection Number
2000.2
Title
Charles Willis Cassell Diary 1896-1898
Physical Characteristics
1 volume.
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Charles Willis Cassell Diary, Mss. Collection 2000.2, Kegley Library, Wytheville Community College, Wytheville, VA

Acquisition Information

Purchased for the Kegley Library in September 2000.


Biographical Information

Charles Willis Cassell, born 25 March 1871, was the son of Eliza Ann Repass (1830-1909) and Michael Cassell (1828-1898). The Cassell family lived in a house built from mountain timber by Eli Davis in the Black Lick section of Wythe County, Virginia. His siblings included George Stuart Cassell (1853-1862), Alice Victoria Cassell (1855-1862), Emory Hawkins Cassell (1858-1862), Ella Jane Cassell (1860-1864), Martin Michael Cassell (1863-1866), Mary Eva Cassell (1866-1943), and Steven Sidney Cassell (1868-1940).

Charles graduated from Roanoke College in 1893 and Philadelphia Seminary in 1896. He embarked upon his career as a Lutheran pastor by serving congregations around Ceres, Bland County, Virginia including Sharon, Red Oak, and Bethel. Sharon Lutheran Church was shared by Presbyterian and Methodist congregations and Red Oak, east of Ceres, was shared with Methodists.

From Bland County, Charles W. Cassell served the Wartburg congregation near Bluefield, Virginia (also called Graham) in Tazewell County, Virginia from October 1898 to 1905. He then was minister at Trinity Church, Stephen City in Frederick County, Virginia where he oversaw the construction and dedication of a new church building. From 1918 to 1922 he was pastor at Salem Church, Mt. Sidney in Augusta County, Virginia. From 1922 to 1931, he served as pastor to churches in Page County, Virginia including St. Marks, Luray, Bethlehem, east of Luray, and as a supply minister to Ebenezer and Browntown.

Cassell played a leading role in merger negotiations between the Southwest Virginia Synod, the Holston Synod, and the Lutheran Synod of Virginia, serving as secretary pro tem of the Joint Ways and Means Committee. Following the merger he constantly immersed himself in Synod administrative work and served on the Executive Council (1929-1930).

Cassell documented the early history of the Lutheran Church in Virginia and East Tennessee with his book History of the Lutheran Church in Virginia and East Tennessee which he edited with W. J. Finck and Elon O. Henkel.

Helton Parish, in the high country of Grayson County, Virginia, was the last parish pastored by Cassell. This included the Mountain Mission established at St. Matthews in Konnarock in conjunction with the training schools for boys and girls.

Cassell married Helen Roberta Buchanan (1875-1958), daughter of Hugh Alexander Buchanan and Helen Brown Buchanan, on 7 December 1899. They had the following children: Eliza Helen Cassell (1903-1906), Mary Brown Cassell (1908-1979), Rev. Joseph Buchanan Cassell (1901-1968), Anna C Catherine Cassell (1910-1912), Rebecca Cassell Preston (1912-1980), and John Brown Cassell (died as infant).

Charles Willis Cassell died on 14 April 1937 and is buried in Kimberlin Cemetery in Wythe County, Virginia.

Scope and Content

The diary contains 293 p. [p. 1-288, 289-293] and is written in ink. It is a bound volume with "Record" stamped in gold on the spine and a covering of red leather and black cloth.

Cassell records daily activities beginning with his last days as a student at Philadelphia Seminary (p. 1-25); his trip to New York and boat trip to Norfolk (p. 28-30); his reunion at Roanoke College in Salem (p. 31-34); his visits with family and friends in Rural Retreat and Wytheville (p. 35-42); his acceptance of a call to Sharon Church in Bland County and his subsequent activities as pastor (p. 43-271) - much of the entries in this section reflect his frustration with the influence of the Methodist church and charismatic practices upon his congregation; and his decision to accept a call to the Graham/Bluefield, Virginia parish of Wartburg in October 1898 (p. 272-293).

Related Material

Mary Brown Cassell, daughter of Charles Willis Cassell, also kept a diary dated 1928 to 1931; see Mss. Collection 2000.3, Kegley Library, Wytheville Community College.

Separated Material


Adjunct Descriptive Data

Bibliography

Boyatt, Vera Ross. Cassell connections: Nicholas Cassell of East Wytheville and Michael Cassell of Black Lick. Maryville, Tn.: Vera Ross Boyatt, 1992. Cameron, Joseph Rodney Sr. Early settlers of old Mount Airy, Wythe County, Virginia. Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, 1990. Cassell, Charles Willis, W. J. Finck, and Elon O. Henkel. History of the Lutheran Church in Virginia and East Tennessee. Strasburg, Va.: Shenandoah Publishing House, 1930. Eisenberg, William Edward. The Lutheran Church in Virginia, 1717-1962. Roanoke, Va.: Trustees of the Virginia Synod, Lutheran Church in America, 1967. Klutz, Roger S. Beside the still waters: the story of the German settlement and the Lutheran Church in Wythe County, Virginia. Blacksburg, Va.: Roger S. Klutz, 1998.

Bibliography

Boyatt, Vera Ross. Cassell connections: Nicholas Cassell of East Wytheville and Michael Cassell of Black Lick. Maryville, Tn.: Vera Ross Boyatt, 1992. Cameron, Joseph Rodney Sr. Early settlers of old Mount Airy, Wythe County, Virginia. Baltimore, Md.: Gateway Press, 1990. Cassell, Charles Willis, W. J. Finck, and Elon O. Henkel. History of the Lutheran Church in Virginia and East Tennessee. Strasburg, Va.: Shenandoah Publishing House, 1930. Eisenberg, William Edward. The Lutheran Church in Virginia, 1717-1962. Roanoke, Va.: Trustees of the Virginia Synod, Lutheran Church in America, 1967. Klutz, Roger S. Beside the still waters: the story of the German settlement and the Lutheran Church in Wythe County, Virginia. Blacksburg, Va.: Roger S. Klutz, 1998.

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Boyatt, Vera Ross.
  • Cameron, Joseph Rodney Sr.
  • Cassell, Charles Willis, W. J. Finck, and Elon O. Henkel.
  • Eisenberg, William Edward.
  • Klutz, Roger S.