Shaw’s Creek AME Zion Church Cemetery (Logan Chapel)

The following information was compiled from primary source research using census reports, death certificates, grave information, birth certificates when available, and other primary source materials. Information was also obtained using newspaper articles and other documents written by the researcher, Jennie Jones Giles, that relied on interviews and family research by descendants.

About 2014, the AME Zion Church of America closed this small church and was prepared to sell the land. Descendants of the Logan family purchased the land and church, changing the name to Logan Chapel.

The following links connect to articles on the church written by Jennie Jones Giles and published in the Hendersonville Times-News: and

The early Methodists in the county held outdoor camp meetings for many years. Methodist slave owners allowed their slaves to attend these religious meetings either nearby or in the same location. After the Civil War, black Methodists were often granted land at or near the meeting site to build a church, as in the case of Shaw’s Creek Campground and Shaw’s Creek AME Zion Church.
Many field stones are scattered throughout the county that mark the grave sites of freed blacks and slaves. Their surviving family members, just as many of the early white pioneers, could not afford to pay someone to make a headstone, did not have the tools to engrave a lasting inscription, or, in many instances, could not write.
The graves of freed blacks are protected at several locations in Henderson County, including this cemetery in Horse Shoe.

There are approximately 60 unmarked or indecipherable field stones at this cemetery. In addition, there are four entire rows of unmarked or indecipherable field stones.

Hidden from view off Campground Road in Horse Shoe is a small, white church. A drive winds to the top of a hill, where the church is surrounded by tall trees and a cemetery with old headstones.
Inside the tiny church are 12 wooden pews, six on each side, leading to the altar. A large, handcrafted wooden cross dominates the back wall. The original, handmade wooden altar posts are still in place. There is a small table of intertwined laurel made by one of the earliest members.
This church is on the site of the first black church in Henderson County founded by newly freed slaves in 1865.

Early churches

The land on which this church stands was once owned by James Johnson, who sold it to Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Leverett, according to deed records.
In 1798, James Johnson, a Revolutionary War veteran, moved to the Shaw’s Creek area of what is now Henderson County with his wife, Ann. The Johnsons had nine children – Hugh, Sarah, Uranah, Malinda, Mary, Ann, Joseph, James and Noble.
Johnson’s brother, Noble, who also served in the Revolutionary War, followed his brother to the Horse Shoe area of present-day Henderson County. He and his wife had five children – Mary, James, John, Fanny and Waitstill.
The large extended Johnson family owned an extensive amount of property in the Rugby, Horse Shoe and Mills River areas of the county in the 1800s. They also owned many slaves.
The family established Shaw’s Creek Methodist Campground to hold worship services. In the early history of the region, Methodists would meet in campgrounds for a weekend of services or even a week of services as the circuit-riding preachers passed through the area.
The slaves worshiped in the same campground areas and churches. The slaves buried their loved ones in either the same cemetery or in an area adjacent to the “white” cemetery.

Freedom rings

In 1865, the newly freed blacks once owned by families in the Horse Shoe, Etowah and Rugby communities wanted a place to worship. The Leverett family offered the use of a section of their land as a campground area. The land was near the church and cemetery where many of their former owners worshiped and are buried.
The only shelter was a grove of trees.
“The first worship service was held on logs in a little clearing among the trees near the present sanctuary,” said Hannah Logan Edwards, who wrote a history of Shaw’s Creek AME Zion Church for the AME Zion Quarterly.
Brush arbors were built in cold weather to protect worshipers from the cold. As there was no preacher, services consisted of testimonies, prayers and songs, Edwards said.
Worshipers received permission from the Leverett family to build a church.
According to the church history, Frank Gash, John Wesley Logan and Alex Maxwell were chosen as trustees and supervised the construction.
“The men folk felled trees and hewed logs by day and grooved them by lantern light,” Edwards said.
Worshipers began saving money to buy the land from the Leverett family. By 1890, 25 years after the congregation began worship services on the property as free persons, they had saved $50 to pay for two and a half acres of land.
The property was deeded to all three trustees.
In 1910, the church was named Logan’s Chapel for John Wesley Logan, a pastor for many years at the church.
Later the church was renamed Shaw’s Creek, for the nearby stream.

Hardship and triumph

As more black families moved to town to find jobs, some former church members formed St. Paul’s AME Zion Church in the late 1800s in Hendersonville.
“Although many of the people had drifted away, the church doors at Shaw’s Creek remained open because of the faithful few who received the spiritual baton to pass on to others the message to preserve and safeguard the history of a humble beginning,” Edwards wrote in the church history.
On a Sunday in March 1991, one of the members arrived early to check the heat before the worship service and discovered the church and the cemetery had been vandalized.
Paint and satanic graffiti were found inside the church, with much damage to the interior furnishings.
Graves had been dug up and a skull removed.
News of the vandalism spread and donations began arriving from as far away as Boston. The church received about $30,000.
The church was repaired and renovated.
A vestibule, pastor’s study and fellowship hall were added, along with the first indoor bathrooms. Worshipers had been using an outdoor toilet.
A church in the county donated the pews and a family business in Etowah donated the carpeting.
The large wooden cross at the back of the church was made from the original hand-hewed beams discovered under the church floor during the renovations.
After Hurricanes Ivan and Frances moved through the area in autumn 2004, the steep, vertical bank separating the upper cemetery from the church became unstable.
Church members set up a fund to build a block wall to stabilize the bank.
The cemetery with old headstones and field stones noting the grave sites of many people who were born slaves was in danger of falling onto the wooden structure.
A retaining wall was completed at the site.
Businesses that helped in the preservation of the cemetery included: Cason Builders Supply, Southern Concrete, King Hardware, Lowe’s and Wal-Mart.

Of the three original church trustees, only one grave site was marked with a legible stone: Alex Maxwell.
The graves of Frank Gash and John Wesley Logan (b. about 1830) are most likely marked by one of the indecipherable or unmarked stones.

Research on the three original trustees of the church was conducted. The following information was documented.

Frank Gash

Frank Gash was born about 1835 in what is today Henderson County.
He first married Hannah, maiden name not known. The death certificate of one son states her name as Lonnie. The total number of children is not known as the 1870 census with his name could not be located. On the 1880 census, he and wife Hannah are listed with four children. His first wife must have died after 1888 (birth of a son) and prior to 1892 when he re-married. He married Anna Manerva Gibbs on March 17, 1892, in Henderson County. Based on census reports, she was born about 1867 and possibly died prior to the 1910 census. Frank Gash is not listed on any census reports after 1900. His last child was born in 1909. He most likely died about 1909.
His grave site is probably one of the unmarked or illegible field stones in this cemetery.
On the 1880 census the following children were listed with his first wife, Hannah:
1. Sarah “Sallie” Gash, born about 1850 in Henderson County during slavery. She married Perry “Deck” or “Dock” Smith, born about 1844. Based on census reports, she died prior to 1900. The couple had seven children: John Perry Smith (1864-1951) married Verena “Rena” McJunkins (1878-1930), three children, his grave site is at this cemetery based on death certificate; Hannah Josephine Smith (1869-1942) married George M. Hunt (1862-1927), six children, her grave site is at this cemetery based on death certificate; Hattie Smith (abt. 1874-abt. 1905) married Charles W. “Charley” Hemphill (1842-1917), six children, grave site not known; George Perry Smith (1877-1957) married first Katie, one daughter, married second Lottie Williams, one daughter, grave site at this cemetery based on death certificate; Mary M. Smith (1879-1969) married Charles Wesley Jones (1874-1954), four children, grave site at this cemetery; Bertha E. Smith (1882-1965) married Clingman Manuel Logan (1881-1972), 14 children, grave site at this cemetery; Susan L. “Susie” Smith, born about 1883, last documented on 1910 census living with father and stepmother; Ella M. or Ellen Smith, born about 1884, married James Cook on Jan. 26, 1908, in Transylvania County, last documented with husband on 1910 census in Hendersonville; Leander Charles “Lee” Smith (1892-1982) married Louise Clayton (1897-1968), four children, grave site at Oakdale Cemetery in Hendersonville.
2. Milas Gash, born about 1858 or 1962 in Henderson County, last record located was 1888 in Knoxville, Tenn., and marriage information is not known.
3. Julia Gash born about 1872, last documented on 1900 census in Hendersonville, single, sharing room or apartment with Rosa Simmons
4. John Henry Gash, (1884-1941) parents listed on death certificate as Frank Gash and Lonnie, married first Annie Price (abt. 1893-) on March 3, 1912, in Transylvania County, five children; married second Bertha Jenkins (abt. 1890-) on Oct. 13, 1928, no children; died in Buncombe County, death certificate states burial in Henderson County.
The following children of Frank Gash were listed with his second wife, Anna Manerva Gibbs. The younger children are living with their Gibbs uncle and their grandmother, Sarah “Sallie” Gibbs, on the 1910 census, suggesting that his second wife also died between 1909 and 1910.
1. Rose (abt. 1892) – last documented on 1900 census with parents
2. Ethel (abt. 1894) – last documented on 1900 census with parents
3. Samuel A. “Sam” Gash (1895-1957) married Loretta Mackey on Nov. 23, 1916, in Transylvania County, no children on 1920 census, died in Greenville, S.C., grave site at Resthaven Cemetery in Greenville, S.C.
4. Sallie Evon (Yvonne) or Sarah Gash (abt. 1898) last documented on 1910 living with uncle
5. Andrew Gash (abt. 1901-1963) died at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro, Wayne County, N.C. Death certificate states he was separated from wife, Mamie. The body was given for anatomical research.
6. “Rosefelt” Gash (abt. 1904) This name is most likely misspelled on the 1910 census when he is listed living with his uncle and grandmother. Several variations in spelling were used with no success.
7. William “Will” Gash (1904-1951) documented on 1910 census with uncle and grandmother, next documented when he married Rena Brown on Sept. 3, 1931, in Henderson County. Death was in Gastonia, Gaston County, N.C. Grave site at Fancy Hill Church Cemetery in High Shoals, Gaston County.
8. Howard Gash (abt. 1909) listed on 1910 census with uncle and grandmother. No other documentation with this name was located.
There is a son named James Gash who married Ola Gage (born abt. 1901) on July 30, 1928, in Henderson County. It could not be determined which of the above sons this may have been.

Alexander “Alex” Maxwell

Alexander Maxwell was born about 1836 in South Carolina as a slave. He died in 1920 in Henderson County. His death certificate states that he was born in Charleston, S.C., as were both of his parents. It states that he was buried at Shaw’s Creek A.M.E. Zion church. On census reports, birth dates range from 1836 to 1845, but all state born in South Carolina.
The 1870 census report for this family could not be located.
When he joined the military it states that he was born in Georgetown, S.C., about 1847.
His first wife was Sarah or Selina Bly. The 1880 census report lists her name as Sarah. It states that she was born about 1842 in North Carolina. A son’s death certificate states her name as Selena Bly.
Alexander Maxwell married Elizabeth Mills on Dec. 2, 1888, in Henderson County. Therefore, his first wife died sometime between 1880 and 1888. A marked grave stone for her has not been located, but her grave site is most likely at this cemetery. The grave site of Elizabeth Mills Maxwell (1856-1938) is at this cemetery.
According to his death certificate his father was Alexandra Maxwell, born Charleston, S.C., and mother’s name unknown. He was a farmer. He and his second wife had no children.
He was a Union veteran of the Civil War who served with the 40th U.S. Colored Infantry, Co. K. He filed for a Union (U.S.) pension application in 1890. His wife collected his pension after his death. He died March 30, 1920.
Please note: At sometime in the past someone placed an incorrect Confederate marker at the grave site of this Union veteran who served with the U.S. Colored Infantry. There were four men named Alexander Maxwell who served in the Civil War and who have grave sites in Henderson County. Three of those men were “white” and served with Confederate troops. The person whose military record noted on the incorrect marker that was located at this cemetery has a grave site at Edneyville United Methodist Church Cemetery. This error with the incorrect head stone placement is noted in the Henderson County Cemetery book and is documented with the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The incorrect Confederate headstone at the grave at this cemetery has been removed.
To have a correct Union stone erected for the Alexander Maxwell whose grave site is at this cemetery in Horse Shoe, a descendant must sign the form.
Based on census records, children ofAlexander Maxwell and Sarah or Selina Bly Maxwell are:
1. Jane Maxwell, born about 1858 to 1860, on 1880 census with parents, married name not known
2. George Maxwell, born about 1861, there were two black men by this name, one lived in Clear Creek and had different parents. This researcher was not successful in locating the George Maxwell, son of Alex Maxwell, after the 1880 census.
3. James Maxwell, born 1867, married Fannie Mitchum or Mitchell. In 1910, he was living in Indianapolis working as a coachman. By 1915 he moved to Asheville and worked as yardman with the railroad. He died 1944 in Asheville. One daughter was documented. Myrtle Ophelia Maxwell (1898-1991) married Oscar Jean Kendall (1898-1990) in Marion County, Ind., had five documented children and died in Indianapolis, Ind. The grave site of James Maxwell is at Sunset Cemetery in Buncombe County.
4. Elizabeth Maxwell, born about 1869, married name not known
5. Laura Maxwell, born about 1876, married name not known
6. Josephine Maxwell (1877-1950) married James Pinner (1870-1914). The couple lived in the Hooper’s Creek community, and she worked as servant for the Frederick Rutledge family. Her grave site is at St. John Baptist Church Cemetery in Fletcher. Six children were documented: Laura Ellen Pinner (1897-1959) married Youter Johnson (1900-1986) and had one son, William Roscoe Johnson; Thomas Benjamin “Bud” Pinner (1897-1958) married Isabella Allen (1908-2005) and had three children; Lawrence Pinner (1899-1950) is listed as single on all census reports and died in Detroit, Mich.; Rosa “Rosie” Pinner (1901-1923) never married; Christine Pinner (abt. 1907) married George William Fields (1897-1977) on May 9, 1936, in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, last documentation was the 1940 census; Joseph Pinner (1908-1969) married Pertella Ligon (1911-2001) possibly one child; James Pinner (1911-1937) never married.
7. Rachel “Callie” Maxwell (1878-1920) married George Hamilton, one son named Paul Hamilton (1896-1972) who lived in Asheville working as butler and servant and may have served in WWI. The death certificate of Rachel “Callie” Maxwell Hamilton states her grave site is at this cemetery in Horse Shoe.
Grandchildren listed on 1880 census:
There were three grandchildren listed on the 1880 census living with Alexander Maxwell and Sarah or Selena Bly Maxwell. It is not yet known which of the above daughters married a man with the surname of Mills or if they were children of a daughter who was deceased in 1880. These children are:
1. Georgeanna “Annie” Mills, born about 1874, who married Thomas Fletcher on May 22, 1900. It appears from the 1900 census report that she was his second wife, as he had a child from an earlier marriage.
2. Lou Mills born about 1877
3. “Carrih” Mills born about 1879

John Wesley Logan

John Wesley Logan (Sr.) and Ellen (maiden name not known) were both born in South Carolina. The couple is listed on census reports in Henderson County in 1870 and 1880. Ellen Logan (born abt. 1835) was listed on the 1900 census report. John Wesley Logan died sometime between 1890 and 1900. Ellen Logan died sometime between 1900 and 1910.
The name is listed as Wesley Logan on the 1870 and 1880 census reports.
Children of John Wesley Logan (Sr.) (abt. 1830-between 1890 and 1900) and Ellen (abt.1831-):
1. Jackson “Jack” H. Logan (abt. 1851-between 1900 and 1910) married Mollie Dickerson (abt. 1854-between 1890 and 1900). The couple had nine children: William Logan (1874-1941) married Anna (maiden name not known) died in Bremen, Cook County, Ill, burial in Worth, Cook County, Ill.; George Logan (1875) last record 1880 census in Henderson County; Erkwood Logan (1876-) married Pearl Sturdivent in 1904 in Philadelphia, last record was 1920 census in Philadelphia with wife; John E. (Elyard?) Logan (1879) last record as infant 1880 in Henderson County; Clingman Manuel Logan (1881-1972) married Bertha Emaline Smith (1882-1965, see above under Gash), 15 children, lived and died in Henderson County; Daniel Alfred Logan (1882-1946) married Minnie Titler on April 21, 1914, in Cook County, Ill., no children listed on censuses through 1940, died in Chicago, Cook County, Ill., burial in Worth, Cook County, Ill.; Mannie (Mamie) Logan (1883) married name not known, last residence 1910 in Hamilton County, Ohio; Hix Logan (1887-1958) married Daisy Gillette on July 3, 1929, in Marion County, Ind., last residence documented in 1942 in Cincinnati, Ohio; Cornelia “Nealie” Logan (abt. 1890) married Roy William Alexander prior to 1930, on 1930 and 1940 censuses in Chicago, Cook County, Ill.
2. Jerry Logan (abt. 1852) was last positively documented on 1870 census in Henderson County. There is a Jerry Logan who married M. Waters on Nov. 20, 1872, in Henderson County. No other documentation was located and it is not conclusive that this is the correct Jerry Logan.
3. John Wesley Logan Jr. (1853-1929) married Mary Angeline Miller (1858-1939). The family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, between 1910 and 1920. They both died in Cincinnati, Ohio. Their grave sites are at this church in the Horse Shoe community of Henderson County. The couple had 13 children. John Wesley Logan (1878-1951) married Josephine Summey in 1898 in Henderson County, moved to Ohio, grave site in Ohio, eight children; Lelia Cordelia Logan (1880-1955) married George W. Griffin, one daughter documented, died in Philadelphia, grave site in Salisbury, N.C.; Bessie Nora Logan (abt 1882-), second wife of Albert B. Summey, lived in Knox County, Tenn., one daughter documented; Arthur Edward Logan (1883-1948) married Lessie (maiden name not known), seven children, lived and died in Fayette County, W.Va., grave site in Cannelton, W.Va.; Juanita Logan (1884-1960) married John Littlejohn, one daughter, died in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ellen Hannah Logan (1889-1964) married James Alexander Taylor, one daughter documented, lived and died in Knoxville, Tenn.; Katie L. Logan (189-1965) married Robert Isaac McLindon in 1935 in Caldwell County, died in Hickory, N.C.; Mary Angeline Logan (1892-1942) married first Leonard Carson in 1910, married second Wallace Schuman Johns in Wilmington, Del., died in Fayette County, W.Va., grave site at this cemetery in Horse Shoe; Josephine Logan (abt. 1893-) last documented in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1926 when she was single, if she married the surname is not yet known; Ernest Logan (1895-1975), married Lela (maiden name not known), eight children, lived and died in Cincinnati, Ohio; Clarence Logan (1900-1963), documented on 1920 census in Cincinnati, Ohio, marriage and children not known, died in Cincinnati, Ohio, states divorced; Delos Logan (1904-1975) married Mildred (maiden name not known), two children, lived and died in Cincinnati, Ohio; Daniel or Donnell Logan (abt. 1907-) last documented in 1920 in Cincinnati, Ohio, possibly moved to New York City.
4. Augustus “Gus” Logan (1859-1950) married Mary Livingston (1858-1921). He had six children. He remained in Henderson County, but also lived and worked in Charleston, S.C. His grave site is at Oakland Cemetery in East Flat Rock. The following children are documented: Mary Logan (1883-1918) married Joseph G. Lance, one son documented, her gravesite is at Oakland Cemetery in East Flat Rock; Augustus James Logan (1886-1962) married Daisey (maiden name not located), died at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro, N.C., grave site at Oakland Cemetery in East Flat Rock; Carrie Bell Logan (1888-1969) married person with surname White, scant documentation located, grave site at Oakland Cemetery in East Flat Rock; Hattie Logan (1892-1975) married Johnie Jenkins, a daughter and son documented, later lived and worked in Mount Vernon, Westchester County, N.Y., grave site at Oakland Cemetery in East Flat Rock. There is a Jennie Logan, born about 1895 and an Elase Logan, born about 1899, on the 1910 census; There is a N.C. Delayed Birth Record for a Jane Logan, born 1901. As of this date, no documentation was obtained to clarify these children or other documentation.
5. Alfred Logan (abt. 1858) no record after 1880 in Henderson County
6. Ella or Ellia Logan (abt. 1866) married name not known
7. Hannah Logan (1868-1970) married Will M. Farnsworth on Dec. 24, 1888. Grave sites are at Shiloh AME Zion Church Cemetery in Buncombe County, according to both death certificates. Gus Logan signed the death certificate for his sister. Two children are located on the 1900 and 1910 census reports: Willie Farnsworth, born about 1889, and Mary or Marie Farnsworth, born about 1890.
8. Harriet Logan (abt 1869) married name not known