I have seemed to come to a dead end in this wild goose chase. I happened to stumble across a book digitized on Archive.org entitled, “Minutes of the Louisiana Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church South, Held in Waterproof, Louisiana February 4, 1857”. On page 7 of the booklet is a report from a committee called Monuments For Deceased Ministers. They included a list of ministers in Louisiana who lie buried in unmarked graves. The lone north Louisiana entry stated:
_______ Tinder, at the mouth of Bartholomew, in Ouachita Parish.
It was resolved that monuments of white marble would be procured to place over their graves with all sorts of great info inscribed on it (normal DOB, DOD, but also dates of conversion, date of ordination, places of ministry, last text preached on, etc…). It would be two feet by four feet on a granite base. The local preachers were told to find out their exact burial spots and report them to the committee.
Ok, who is this Rev. Tinder? There is no such monument in Richland, Morehouse or Ouachita parishes. The only extra thing I found on him was that his first and middle initials were T.C. He had an obituary in the Nashville Christian Advocate on April 2, 1847. The info was abstracted online, but not the whole thing. He was the son of Ephraim and Martha B. Tinder, born June 2, 1820 in Virginia or Tennessee, reared in Hardin County, TN by his uncle and aunt the Lobells. He began his ministry in 1841 in the Memphis and Arkansas conferences, was married and died in Louisiana February 17, 1847. I found nothing else. Nada.
The Ouachita City Cemetery is nearby, but not exactly at the mouth of Bayou Bartholomew. There is a grave or two in there that date that far back, so he may be there. There is also Bartholomew cemetery, which is just south of the bayou which had the oldest graves in the parish. Then again, if he really was buried in a grave at the mouth of Bartholomew, the bayou and the river could have taken it long ago.
What would have killed a 26 year old preacher? Why isn’t he listed in local history books (he seemed to have been assigned to Monroe). Did he ever get a monument? Who was his wife and what happened to her? It is FRUSTRATING when you start “chasing rabbits” and the trail seems to vanish! Rest in peace Rev. T.C. Tinder, wherever you lie sleeping!