Mary Henthorn Sorrels

                               In Memoriam.                                  
Mary Henthorn was born in Missouri, Nov. 24, 1815; coming to Pike County,    
Ark., she was there married in 1834 to Jas. L. Sorrels. A few years later,   
with her husband she moved to Scott Co., Ark., where she resided till 1874,  
when her husband died - since which time she has been making her home among  
her children in the vicinity. Her death took place May 10, (1891) at the     
residence of her son-in-law, Mr. M.A. (Looper). Her life, though of a quiet  
and undemonstrative sort, was consistent and blameless. When quite a young   
woman she made a profession of religion and united with the M.E. Church,     
South, to which she continued a useful member till her translation to the    
Church of the "first born" in heaven. In all the varied relations of her     
long life she was a model woman - a true and faithful wife, a devoted and    
tender mother, a kind and helpful friend and neighbor. In the cause of       
religion and her Church she was in labors abundant. Her house was always the 
preacher's home and she and her family were for many years the principal     
support for the Church in that section of the country. She was the mother    
of eleven children, seven of whom still survive. In addition to these, she   
had much to do (in) the rearing of several others - the children of her      
husband by a former wife. The care and bringing up of such a large family,   
was in itself no small burden, but of this I am not aware that she ever      
complained. I doubt if Mother Sorrels ever thought much about the question   
of the burden of child-bearing and rearing, nor whether she had any vocation 
in that direction, but it is certain that she raised up more than a dozen    
sons and daughters and did her work well too. She lived to see them all      
married and settled in life and all of them members of the Church. A life    
extended to nearly four score years in this world, under the most favorable  
circumstances, could not be otherwise than one of many disappointments,      
sorrows and sufferings; so she found it - a life unavoidably laborious and   
full of care - sickness and death coming into the life again and again. Then 
came the infirmities of advancing years intensified and aggravated by a      
paralytic stroke a few years ago, rendering her well-nigh helpless. Still    
she bore all these things with the same patient and heroic spirit that had   
characterized all the actions of her life. When death came he came as a      
messenger of good, a surcease of suffering and sorrow here, and a home and   
happiness in the world of the redeemed. Who can doubt but that she at once   
entered into the fullness of joy in the house prepared for her in heaven?    
The death of this aged lady removes from the community a prominent actor in  
the early history of Methodism in this section of the State. By her death    
the last local link in the chain of events that binds the thrifty,           
prosperous condition of the M.E. Church, South, in this country at this      
time, with the toils and sacrifices of our fathers in the early planting of  
Methodism in this new and wilderness region more than a half century ago.    
Among those who labored for the building up of the cause of Methodism in the 
counties of Sebastian and Scott, dating back to its first settlement by the  
white man, none have done more to secure the prosperity of this day than the 
family of Sorrels, of which the deceased was a prominent member. Her         
father-in-law, Washington Sorrels, was among the pioneer settlers of this    
State. He reached the State in 1819; joined the Methodist Church in 1812;    
for a few years he was an itinerant preacher; he then became a local         
preacher, in which capacity he served the Church till his death, which       
occurred at Waldron, 1855. Jas. L. Sorrels was the eldest son; he became a   
citizen of Scott county about fifty years ago, where he continued to reside  
until his death, which occurred in 1874. Here he and his wife Mary           
faithfully served with their generation, "worked righteousness," and raised  
up a large family of five sons and ten daughters, who have in the main all   
of them, with their descendants, been found walking in the way their parents 
taught them - holding up the banners of God and Methodism. We estimate the   
goodness of a tree by the kind of fruit it bears. This rule upon the         
authority of the great Teacher, is applicable to human life. Judged by this  
standard, the value of our sainted sister's life (in which the husband's     
must also be included) will be a very high one. A long life of labor and     
cross-bearing, daily exemplifying the graces of Christian character; a       
large family of children reared in such a way in the "nurture and admonition 
of the Lord," that when they get old that they not only have not departed    
from the faithful examples and teachings of their parents, but they have in  
word and works transmitted it on to their children and grandchildren. I      
think it would be difficult now to find among the numerous descendants of    
this faithful pair one that had grown to maturity, that would not be a       
professor of religion and a Methodist. Many of them are conspicuous for      
their zeal and usefulness. Three sons survive, Samuel D. Sorrels, Dr. G.R.   
Sorrels and Dr. J.W. Sorrels, the last mentioned being the best known,       
having served the Masonic fraternity of the State last year in the capacity  
of Grand Master. There are some six or seven daughters still living, but I   
am unable to give the particulars concerning them. The righteous shall be    
in everlasting remembrance. What a precious heritage the bereaved family     
have in the finished life of the departed mother. May her death be           
sanctified to the good of all.                                               
                                 F.M. Moore                                  
The Arkansas Methodist, Devoted to the Interests of the Methodist Episcopal  
Church, South, in Arkansas. By Bennett & Thornburgh. "Speak Thou the Things  
that Become Sound Doctrine." Volume X. Little Rock, Arkansas, June 24, 1891. 
No. 7, page 6, columns 1-2.                                                  
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