Rev. Reuben Dooley

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Reuben Dooley

Birthdate: (48)
Birthplace: Elk Creek, Bedford County, Virginia
Death: Died in Eaton, Preble County, Ohio, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Moses B. Dooley and Mary Dooley
Husband of Layenne Dooley and Rachel Dooley
Father of Moses Dooley; Elizabeth Thomas Harris; Carey A. Dooley; John Dooley; Mary Culbertson and 6 others
Brother of Abner L. Dooley; George Oliver Dooley; Rufus Thomas Dooley; Silas Dooley; Unknown 5th brother Dooley and 7 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. Reuben Dooley

Reuben Dooley (son of Moses Dooley, Sr. and Mary Boyd)1326 was born November 14, 1773 in Elk Creek, Bedford County, VA1327, and died April 22, 1822 in Eaton, Preble County, OH1328. He married Rachel L. Martin on September 9, 1811 in Cane Ridge, Bourbon County, KY1328, daughter of Samuel Martin and Mary Kasey.

Notes for Reuben Dooley:

Note from June Blanshan indicated Rueben was a Christian Church Minister. He is buried in Friendship Cemetery, Preble County, Ohio, alongside the body of his Son Carey A (son of Layenne Railsback) who preceeded him in death about a year earlier. They share the same gravemarker.

Notes from Dooleys in America:

Reuben and Rachel Martin Dooley's fifth and last child was born in 1821 in Indiana. She and all her full brothers and sister were minor children when their Father died in 1822. When their Mother died three or four years later, Samuel S. Martin was appointed as guardian of the Dooley-Martin minor children. This was done on May 18, 1826, according to the Preble County, Ohio, Common Pleas Records. Samuel Martin was the brother of Rachel Martin Dooley, and he married Sarah Dooley, the daughter of Abner and Nancy Douglas Dooley, the older brother of Reuben, Rachel's father. The marriage of Samuel S. Martin and Sarah Dooley took place October 13, 1828. In fourteen months both Samuel and Sarah were dead. Both are buried in Friendship Cemetery, Preble County, OH. We do not know at this time who took over raising Reuben and Rachel's children.

From Berniece Miller:

When Reuben Dooley died he left poor Rachel almost penniless, and Samuel Martin, Jr. and his wife Sarah Dooley Martin gave Rachel their land in Parke County, Indiana. But three members of the first family of Reuben also migrated to Parke County, Indiana. Moses R. Dooley, the first child of the first marriage of Reuben, Moses R. Dooley's first wife was Edisa Martin (yes, father and son were married to sisters). Some of Moses R. and Edisa's children were born in Preble County and some born in Parke County. Edisa Martin Dooley died in Parke County and Moses R. re-married in Parke County to Harriet Barnes. They had a couple of children born in Parke County. After their mother had died those young adults migrated to Platte County, Missouri, so the father and the new wife followed them, and Moses R. and Harriet continued to have children---in fact she was pregnant when Moses R. Dooley and his son Samuel Martin Dooley both died in the 1850 and 1851 cholera epidemic. Both are buried in the Judy Cemetery in Buchanan County, Missouri. The Judy Cemetery is not the Buchanan County side of the road; it was in their neighborhood, but they died in one county and are buried in another [adjacent] county.

From Berniece Miller, June 2001:

John Dooley and Mary B. Dooley were the twins born in 1803 to Reuben Dooley and his first wife Leanne Railsback; their mother died in 1807. In 1811 Reuben took these children and moved to Preble County; so the twins would have been seven. I do not know whether Rachel took care of these two younger children or not; I know that some of the older ones went to live with other relatives in Preble County. Moses R. would have been big enough to have done some work so he may have lived in his father's house. Elizabeth T. lived with her Uncle Silas. Carie was the middle child. He died at age 19, and there just is no information about him. His name appears on the same tombstone as his father Reuben. Moses Dooley and Mary Boyd Dooley, Reuben Dooley and his son Carrie are all buried in Friendship Cemetery as are Silas and other Dooleys. I have photostats of pictures of both the old church and the school in Preble if you are interested.

Of the first family of Reuben Dooley three of them came to Platte County, Missouri, and the area is still full of their descendants.

History and Family Record of the Dooley Family, 1755-1933, by Sarah Dooley Emerick:

In 1781 the family moved to Kentucky. The early settlers built a school house, and there Reuben received the greater part of his education. When 19 years old he learned the trade of wheelwright, at which he worked until he was 25, when he was married to Leah Railsback. He became very religious and felt a call to preach, but was refused a place in the Presbyterian ministry because of an inadequate eduation. He then lost his religious zeal, became a disbeliever and somewhat dissipated, and was evidently on the broad road.

About the beginning of the 19th century he heard a sermon by Samuel Findlay, a noted Presbyterian minister, on 'The Prodigal Son.' Then Reuben swung into line again with more interest and zeal than ever, and all the rules and regulatoins of the Presbyterian Church could not keep him from preaching. He had a peculiar and forceful gift of exhortation which was a decided success among the early settlers and Indians. When he found himself he knew his ability and his peculiar fitness for certain work, and no obstacles, theological or otherwise, even his own inherited church, could keep him from doing what he deemed his work--his way. It was truly a missionary spirit that sent him on horseback, without money, over the states of North and South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, and as far west as Missouri, preaching to white settlers and Indians.

His wife died in 1807 and he took his five children (Moses, John, Carey, Mary, Elizabeth) to Preble County, Ohio, where his father lived. He continued missionary work but soon his responsibility to his children became a first priority. He then married Rachel Martin of Cane Ridge, Kentucky, in September 1811; she was an attentive and affectionate mother to his children. They returned to Ohio to farm, and in his spare time he continued his missionary work. To this union were born five children.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF REUBEN DOOLY from Chapter V, Biography of Elder David Purviance, by Levi Purviance, l848, pp. 259-270:

Reuben Dooly was born in Bedford County, Virginia, on the l4th day of November, 1773. His Father's name was Moses Dooly. He was an Elder in the Presbyterian church before his son Reuben was born. Moses Dooly emigrated, with his family, in the year 1781, and settled in Madison County, Kentucky. At this time, the savage barbarities of the Indians compelled the settlers to live in forts strongly garrisoned, to guard against the cruel depredations of the savages. They felt that the white men were intruding on their rights, and they fought to desperation, to save their hunting ground. In the years 1782 and 3, many of the white people became discouraged, and were well nigh leaving the country to the Indians. The bloody defeat at the Blue Licks and several other cruel massacres took place in these years, which disheartened the settlers very much. But the fertility of the soil, and the scenery of the country tempted then to risk their lives to gain what they thought to be almost the Eden of the world. Moses Dooly became very tired of being cooped in a fortress, where the associations were calculated to corrupt the morals of his children, and concluded, at all hazards, to move to his farm. Several others followed his example, and made a small settlement in the midst of the cane. They erected a school house, and endeavored to educate their children. It is difficult to imagine the feelings of those parents when their children started for school. They felt it to be very uncertain whether they would ever see them again or not. In the settling of Kentucky, many children were carried off by the Indians, never to be seen by their parents again. At this school, Dooly received the greater part of his education. His Father had a large family, and being settled in a new country, he neccessiated [sic] to keep his sons closely at work, which pre- vented a further education. At the age of nineteen, with the consent of his Father, he went to a trade. In about two years, he became master of his business. He then returned home to his Father's. He then lived in Barren County, Kentucky, and there Reuben followed his trade for about two years, and then married Leah Railsback. His Father was still a ruling Elder in the Presbyterian church; and his children were raised to believe the doctrines contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith. The doctrine of unconditional election and reprobation, had a powerful influence on Reuben's mind, and finally, he came to the conclusion that he was one of those God had eternally reprobated; and under these impressions, he gave loose reins to his appetites and passions, and became somewhat dissipated. Doctor Rice was their pastor; but in the great revival at the commencement of the nineteenth century, a very talented and devoted Presbyterian preacher, by the name of Samuel Findly, paid them a visit, and delivered a sermon on the parable of the prodigal son, Luke, chapter 15. His discourse was energetic and powerful, and the truth found its way to Reuben's heart. He saw clearly that it was not the Father's will that he should perish. He determined to arise and go to his Father:

"He said and hastened to his home, To seek his Father's love;

The Father saw the Rebel come, And all his bowels move.

Take off his clothes of shame and sin, The Father gave command;

Dress him in garments white and clean, With rings adorn his hands.

A day of feasting, I ordain, Let mirth and joy abound;

My Son was dead and lives again, Was lost, but now is found."

This change was so manifest that all his acquaintances were constrained to acknowledge that he had been with Jesus. "His feet were taken out of the mire and clay, and placed upon a rock, and a new song was put into his mouth, even praise to God." His daily deportment proved him to be a changed man. But in a very short time, he had a severe trial to pass through. The missionary fire soon began to burn in his heart, and he felt it to be his duty to preach the gospel to others. But in the Presbyterian church, none are permitted to preach who do not possess a liberal education and understand the principles of theology, according to the creed of their church. In these particulars, he knew he was deficient. Yet these words seemed to follow him wherever he went, "Go preach my gospel." The impressions were so great, that they often overcame his physical powers, and he would fall prostrate on the ground, and lie almost in a lifeless condition for sometime. When he recovered from this state, he would frequently burst forth into an energetic and powerful exhortation, generally directed to the unconverted, which had a very salutary influence; many through his instrumentality, were converted to God. After struggling on in this way for sometime, he yielded to the holy spirit of God and determined to resist no longer, and stepped boldly out on the word of the Lord, and went from place to place, holding prayer meetings, and exhorting, and most fervently pleading with sinners to be reconciled to God. He very soon saw the pleasure of the Lord to prosper in his hands. The missionary fire continued to burn in his heart, until it led him to preach to the Cherokee Indian. He went three successive times among them. He was very successful, and has often been heard to say, that he never enjoyed happier meetings in his life than he did among these poor neglected creatures. When parting with them, they always strongly solicited him to return and preach to them again. In returning home, the last time he visited them his money became exhausted, and he was necessiated to give his hymn book to pay his passage over a river. After this, he prevailed on his friend and brother, David Haggard, to visit them and preach to them.

Brother Dooly resided at this time in Barren County, Kentucky. In the year 1801, he attended the great camp meeting at Cambridge. Soon after the separation in the Presbyterian church, he became acquainted with David Purviance, and received the doctrines taught by these men, and united with them, and was in a short time set forward to the work of the ministry. From this time forward, he labored extensively in the gospel field and was very successful in turning many to righteousness. In the summer of 1807, he made arrangements to move with his family to Ohio. His brother, David Dooly, went from his Father's in Ohio, to assist him. Soon after David arrived, he was taken sick and died. Reuben's wife also died four days after her brother-in-law. In this dispensation of God's Providence, brother Reuben Dooly was left alone, with five small children. He was thus compelled to abandon the idea of moving at that time. His brother-in-law, Mr. Huffman, took him and his children into his family, and Brother Dooly was necessiated to work at his trade, and was measurably confined with his children that winter. The following summer, he made arrangements a second time to move, and in the fall of 1808, he emigrated to his Father's in Preble County, Ohio. His children were then taken by his friends and sent to school, and he again gave himself up wholly to the work of the ministry, and traveled and preached day and night. He was very successful in both Ohio and Kentucky. The Shakers took great pains to ensnare him and proselyte him to the Shaker faith. They very well knew that his influence was great and if they could succeed in leading him into their faith, that he would be a valuable prize. John Dunlavy followed him from place to place, and seemed determined not to give up the chase. Finally brother Dooly became impatient with his different intrusions, and said to him in the language of Paul to Elymas, the sorcerer. Acts 13:10. "O full of all subtlety, and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord. After this, he was no more perplexed with the Shakers.

Elder Dooly took one preaching tour that led him through Kentucky, Virginia, North and South Carolina. He met with some strong opposition from the different sects. But he never became discouraged -- he trusted in the powerful arm of the Christian's God.

In Norfolk, Virginia, he became acquainted with Rice Haggard, a very talented man of good character. He had once been a Presiding Elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church, but becoming somewhat disaffected with some of the doctrines and the discipline of that church, he had withdrawn. Dooly and he formed an intimacy that lasted during life.

In about the year 1810, Elders Dooly and Stone commenced traveling together in Ohio. They were both widowers at this time. They commenced operations at Eaton, Preble County. The following extract from brother Stone's Journal will be interesting: "We preached and baptized daily in Eaton for many days. No house could contain the people that flocked to hear. We had to preach in the open streets to the anxious multitude. At night, after service, the cries and prayers of the distressed in many houses around were truly solemn. Almost the whole town and neighborhood were baptized and added to the Lord. We left this place and preached and baptized in many other places. We were poorly clad and had no money to buy clothes. Going on at a certain time through the barrens, a limb tore brother Dooly's striped linen pantaloons very much. He had no other, nor had I another pair to lend him. We consoled ourselves, that we were on the Lord's work and he would provide. He tied his handkerchief over the rent, and we went on and preached to the people. That night we lodged with brother Samuel Wilson, whose wife presented brother Dooly a pair of homespun linen pantaloons." Stone's Biography, page 73.

Not far from this time, brother Dooly was on his way to some of his appointments, and the waters were high and difficult to cross. In company with his brother-in-law, he attempted to pass over seven mile creek in a canoe; the stream was so strong and ran so rapidly, that it carried them over a mill-dam and precipitated them into the flood beneath. Brother Dooly felt that the prospect was very fair for drowning. But he was not afraid to trust that God who had been his help in days past. The force of the current carried them to shallow water, and they made their escape, but Brother Dooly lost his hat. He pushed on towards his appointments; an elderly lady gave him an old low crowned wool hat; he received it with thankfulness and went on to preach. At one of his appointments he met a good brother that gave him a good hat and took his old one. No man was more resolute than he was. "Whatsoever his hand found to do, he did it with his might." His heroic mind soared above discouragements.

In the year 1811, Brothers Dooly and Stone traveled to Tennessee in company. On their way the circum- stances of their families came up in conversation. Brother Stone remarked, that they were commanded to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And under existing circumstances, it was difficult to do it; for their children were measurably under the tuition of others, and further observed, that it was his opinion, that if they could obtain suitable companions, that it would be their duty to marry and situate themselves so that they could pay some particular attention to their children. This led brother Dooly to reflect on the situation of his children; they were scattered and moved from place to place.

Finally he addressed a letter to Miss Rachel Martin, daughter of Samuel and Mary Martin, all members of the Cane Ridge church, and made a proposition of marriage; he succeeded and they were married in September, 1811. In her he obtained a pleasant, agreeable and intelligent companion, and a kind, affectionate and attentive mother to his children. He now settled on a new farm in Preble County, Ohio. He was not able to hire his work done; and consequently had to labor with his own hands, to support his family. He was one among the most industrious men, and when at home worked excessively hard, and as soon as he could spare the time from his family, he would be out in the Gospel-field proclaiming salvation to a dying world.

In one of his preaching excursions in Miami County, Ohio, he was afflicted with the milk sickness, (a disease very fatal in the first settling of this country) from this he partially recovered, but never enjoyed uninterrupted health afterwards.

Late in the fall of 1817, he went to Missouri, to preach, and continued during the winter, mostly in the neighborhood of Boons-lick; his labors were much blessed. The following April he left for home; his way led through unbroken forests, and uncultivated prairies. The weather was unpleasant, and the waters high, and the accommodations poor. His health was much exposed and on his way he became very sick and feeble, and often while alone in the wilderness he was compelled to stop and lie down to rest. His horse was also sick and he felt that it was doubtful whether he would ever meet with his loving family and kind friends on earth again or not, but after a tedious and laborious struggle he arrived at home, and remained there-until he recovered his usual health. He then commenced traveling again; former diffi- culties could never deter him from what he believed to be duty. In the year 1821, he paid a second visit to Virginia, in company with his father. He continued for some time preaching principally in Bedford county, late in the fall he returned home. The following winter, through the strong solicitations of the brethren in Kentucky, he went and spent part of the winter with them.

In February 1822 on his return home the news met him that his father was sick and likely to die. He traveled day and night, if possible to get to see him alive; but in this he failed; before he arrived, the spirit had fled from the house of clay to that "rest prepared for the people of God." He saw the body cold and lifeless, "but sorrowed not as those who have no hope." His health was poor at this time, and he appeared to have an impression that his race was almost run, and that "the time of his departure was at hand. He procured the assistance of Elder David Purviance to hold a protracted meeting in his own neighborhood, at Point meeting house. The word of God "was quick and powerful" at this meeting and "much good was done in the name of the holy child, Jesus." Elder Dooly spoke but little during the meeting, until the last day of the meeting he spoke on the resurrection, he appeared to be perfectly carried away in the spirit of his subject. In view of that great tremendous day, he seemed to entirely forget his own weakness, and his soul was over- whelmed with the glorious prospect of eternal life, his bodily strength was somewhat exhausted, when he closed. The congregation were in a flood of tears, and great solemnity rested on the people. The meeting soon came to a close. As soon as he left the house, his wife said to him, "Reuben, I am afraid you have killed yourself." He answered, if I had been sure that I would have been carried out of the house a corpse, I wouId have said just what I did say." This proved to be his last sermon; he was taken sick in a short time afterwards and was measurably confined to his room, until the 22nd day of April, 1822; he left all his toils, labors, and afflictions, in view of immortality and eternal life. He bore his last affliction with Christian fortitude and resignation, and died without a murmur. Elder Reuben Dooly, as a teacher, was zealous, persevering, industrious, and devoted.

His inclination and talent were better calculated to render him useful as an evangelist or traveling preacher, than a settled pastor of a church. He had a peculiar gift of exhortation; but could not be esteemed a very systematic preacher: he was what is generally esteemed a reformation preacher. He presented truth in a very ingenious and forcible manner, his voice was strong and melodious, and his manner impressive, and when fully in the spirit of the gospel, the truth flowed from his mouth in a flood of living water, calculated to refresh, comfort, and strengthen the believer, and convince and convert the sinner and reconcile him to God. We can truly say that he was the means in the hands of God, of turning many to righteousness. He was esteemed by many to be somewhat enthusiastic; but none (we think) that were well acquainted with him, doubted his honesty, but his uncommon zeal, and great fortitude; and that conscientious observance of what he believed to be duty, led some to think that he was on extremes; but there is no doubt but many, yes! very many preachers at this time are on the other extreme, that is, they have too little zeal, fervor, and conscientiousness, we have never heard a preacher on a death-bed complain that he had done too much in the cause of his master.

In the domestic circles of life, where men's real character is best known, he showed himself to be a good man, though, from a sense of duty he was often from home, yet he felt this to be a great privation, for he delighted much in the company of his family; as a husband, he was faithful, tender, and obliging; as a father, he was affectionate and indulgent, but positive and unyielding in his principles of government, what he believed to be right had to be observed, he had no compromise with sin, he was kind and benevolent to both friends and strangers, he was careful to govern himself and to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts, he has been often heard to say that his two greatest abasements were Sectarianism, and the Love of Money. While preaching once in the State of Kentucky, in company with Elder James Hughs, at the close of a protracted meeting, about thirty dollars were lifted by a collection, and divided between him and brother Hughes, after reflecting for a few moments brother Dooly handed his fifteen dollars to brother Hughs, and said, "Here take this, you need it more then I do."

More About Reuben Dooley:

Burial: Unknown, Friendship Cemetery, Preble County, OH.1329

More About Reuben Dooley and Rachel L. Martin:

Marriage: September 9, 1811, Cane Ridge, Bourbon County, KY.1330

Children of Reuben Dooley and Rachel L. Martin are:

+Rachel L. Dooley, b. July 23, 1821, Preble County, OH1331, 1332, d. June 20, 18961332.

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Rev. Reuben Dooley's Timeline

November 14, 1773
Elk Creek, Bedford County, Virginia
December 11, 1796
Age 23
Kentucky, USA
January 15, 1799
Age 25
Age 27
Kentucky, United States
Age 29
Age 29
Kentucky, USA
February 6, 1814
Age 40
Preble County, Ohio, United States
July 23, 1821
Age 47
Preble County, Ohio, USA