|The Rev. and
Mrs. Hunter served as ministers at Landover Baptist from l858-1902.
They came by covered wagon from Illinois, fleeing the Mormon takeover of
Navoo. At the time, TAB was 28 and his wife was 13; their eldest
child was 2, the youngest 1 month. It is safe to assume that they
were life-long Baptists because of the firmness of their faith and uncompromising
view of salvation. Many a time, Parthenia was heard to say,
"Salvation is a one way street; you are born, you become a Baptist, you
die. Why cain't these stupid pioneers understand that?"
Although Iowa was not a slave state, that did not prevent many of the
Landovarians from owning them. In fact, TAB and Parthenia were the last
slave owners in the USA! They never told their slaves about the Civil
War or that Mr. Lincoln had freed them....the slaves were freed following
the simultaneous deaths of the Hunters in 1902.
Fun loving Parthenia began the Landovarian custom of lashin' and lynchin'
parties which are still held today. Then, it was customary to beat
(lash) the colored that belonged to the one being chastised. And
of course, when it came to the lynchin', it was understood that one of
the slaves would be lynched. In preparation for the Christian Event,
Parthenia would make several gallons of lemonade and bake rock cakes for
the slaves. This old recipe included sand, gravel and water and the
cakes were force fed to the female slaves.
Thaddeus Alonzo Benjamin Hunter, although a distinguished and loud preacher,
is remembered among Landover members for starting the Backsliders Chastisement.
It involved a wooden slide 15 feet tall, lard, rope and those Landovarians
were backsliders according to other church members. The slide was placed
at the deep end of Landover Lake, right on top of Landover Dam. Backsliders
were stripped nekkid, hands and feet were bound securely, they were covered
in lard, and they sid backwards (back sliders) into the lake. If
they truly repented, it was thought they would be able to get free and
save their body. Few members survived the ordeal.