Madison Monroe First, Anna May First Byus, Sylvia Marie Byus Armstrong and Dad, Robert S. Armstrong Jr.

Dad’s family went for a visit back home in IL. They stopped in Gallia County, OH to pick up Grandfather First on the way. Great-Great Grandfather First (to my generation) didn’t like all that sitting around talking. Instead he went outside and chopped wood.


David Crockett Byus
Born: 16 Dec. 1876 Point Pleasant, WV
Died: 10 Nov. 1946 Girard, IL
Son of Willam Buys and Catherine Morris

There is a published biographical sketch of David C. Byus in the History of Illinois, Vol. V, by George B. Smith, 1927. This article mentions that David C. Byus gave a new significance to the old phrase “militant Christianity,” when still an active minister of the Gospel, he became a candidate for and was elected sheriff of Cass County, Illinois, the office he still held in 1926. Apparently he felt that he was uniting enforcement of the law with upholding strict moral standards. He was the only ordained minister to be serving as sheriff in the US at that time. He was an old fashioned “fire and brimstone” Methodist preacher.

David Byus was educated at Point Pleasant, WV and worked in his father’s store at Beech Hill. After his marriage to Anna May First, he farmed on farm located near his father and brothers in Beech Hill. Anna May was born and raised in Galia County, Ohio, just across the Ohio River from Point Pleasant.

From his early youth he was interested in religion. His distant cousin, Bishop Thomas A. Morris, the early Methodist pioneer, was a hero to him. [David] was licensed to preach by the West Virginia Methodist Conference in 1910. In 1914 he was transferred to the Illinois Conference and spent the rest of his life in Central Illinois. According to his son Max Byus, the family made the log trip by buckboard wagon. His first pastorate was at Rock Bridge, Greene County, Illinois. In 1919 he moved to Cass County, serving the Chandlerville Church five years and then to the Virginia Illinois Church.

He was mayor of Chandlerville for two years using his office to enforce the law. In 1924 he was elected sheriff of Cass County on a platform of law and order. He was the second Republican ever elected sheriff of Cass County. During his first year as sheriff, he arrested and jailed more violators of the law than in any three years previously. He also arrested about 100 men who plead guilty and paid their fines. His administration confiscated a great number of stills, slot machines and punch boards. — Anna May Byus Boyd

Anna May First Byus
Born: 20 Nov. 1877, Addison Twp. Gallia County Ohio
Married: 2 Sept. 1896 Mason County, WV
Died: 20 Mar. 1960 Springfield, IL
Daughter of Madison Monroe First and Rena Fogel

Children of David C. and Anna May:
Sylvia Marie Byus b. 1897
Guy Byus b: 1901, served in the Navy during WWI
Morris Byus b: 1903
Thelma Byus b: 1906
Maxwell Brooks Byus b: 1908 (father of Anna May Byus Boyd who wrote the text above)
John Byus b: 1913
Paul b: Byus 1916
Georgia Roberta Byus b: 1918 (moved to NJ with Robert & Sylvia Armstrong. Married John Campbell)
Virginia Byus b: 1920

An early picture of David C. and Anna May Byus
Not one the Armstrong relatives have ever seen!
Photo provided by Anna M. Byus Boyd


One response to “Byus

  • Jackson Donley

    Hello: This would be my Great Great Grandfather. My mother was Aleta Joan Betty Donley. I remember Uncle Maxwell Byus. I am an attorney also in Springfield, IL

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