03 February 2016

John Simmons: Broken Before the Age of Two (Wednesday's Child)

Dooly County Cemeteries
John L.
Son of J. M. & M. E. Simmons
Born Aug 11, 1901
Died Dec 6, 1902
Mt. Olive Cemetery
Pinehurst, Dooly County, Georgia

02 February 2016

Item of Interest to Dicksons and Joiners (Tombstone Tuesday)

100_1096Little Lillian Dickson’s concrete ledger marker is not pretty to look at.  This daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Dickson (online family trees suggest the initials are for Jefferson Simpson) died the summer of 1909 at the age of just two years.

I’m sharing this tidbit from the local newspaper in case anyone is trying to connect dots from a Dickson to a Joiner.

Vienna News (Georgia) 3 August 1909, pg. 3 :

…Mrs. Leon Joiner of Montezuma, came down and attended the funeral of her little niece, Lillian Dickson at Mt. Olive cemetery Friday afternoon…  [Via South Georgia Historic Newspapers.]

01 February 2016

Mary Elmirah: Gone Before (Today's Epitaph)

Mary Elmirah rests at Mt. Olive Cemetery in Pinehurst, Dooly County, Georgia. She was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Wilson and wife of J. H. Wilkes. Mary died before her nineteenth birthday in the year 1907.

The back of her tombstone offers this recitation: There's a beautiful region above the skies, And I long to reach its shore. For I know I shall find my treasure there, The loved one gone before.

These words are from a poem by B. F. Taylor. I found it in The Speaker's Garland and Literary Bouquet. [P. Garrett & Co., 1876. Google book.]

There's a beautiful face in the silent air,
Which follows me ever and near;
With smiling eyes and amber hair,
With voiceless lips, yet with breath of prayer,
That I feel but cannot hear.

The dimpled hand and ringlet of gold
Lie low in a marble sleep:
I stretch my hand for a clasp of old,
But the empty air is strangely cold,
And my vigil alone I keep.

There's a sinless brow with a radiant crown,
And a cross laid down in the dust;
There's a smile where never a shade comes now,
And tears no more from those dear eyes flow,
So sweet in their innocent trust.

Ah, well! and summer is come again,
Singing her same old song;
But, oh! it sounds like a sob of pain,
As it floats in the sunshine and the rain,
O'er the hearts of the world's great throng.

There's a beautiful region above the skies,
And I long to reach its shore,
For I know I shall find my treasure there,
The laughing eyes and amber hair,
Of the loved on gone before.

27 January 2016

It's All About the Tree, Part 2 (Wordless Wednesday)

16 December 2015

Buford Calhoun, from Mother's Arms (Wednesday's Child)

Buford P. Calhoun
Born Mar 17, 1914
Died May 7, 1915

From mother's arms
to the arms of Jesus.

Pine Ridge Cemetery
Pinehurst, Dooly County, Georgia

15 December 2015

Martha Thombley in the Peaceful Grave's Embrace (Tombstone Tuesday)

Martha T. Thombley
Born Feb 2, 1832
Died Nov 24, 1900

Dearest loved one we must lay thee,
In the peaceful grave's embrace.
But thy memory will be cherished,
Till we see thy heavenly face.

Pine Ridge Cemetery
Pinehurst, Dooly County, Georgia

13 December 2015

Lillis Roundtree Doles Assassinated! Lynching Ensued.

Once in a while I come across a tombstone that sends a little shiver down my spine. That ever happen to you?

While visiting the Pine Ridge Cemetery in Pinehurst, Dooly County, Georgia (founded 1883), I came across a badly broken stone that seemed to tell of a dastardly deed done in 1885. Resulting in what was likely one of the earlier burials in the cemetery. The woman died young, married one year and dead the next, and the word assassinated was conveyed. (See what I mean? A little shiver, I tell ya.)

The following photos are from 2011. I've included what I *think* was the tombstone inscription underneath the second image.

Filling in the gaps with Lillis' FindAGrave memorial, this is what I got:

[Something with "Memory"]
[Li]llis C. Doles
Da[ugh]ter of Wm A. & M. [L.] Roundtree
Wife of [J]essey Doles
Was [B]orn April 21, 1868
Wa[s Ma]rried June 19, 1884
[Joine]d the Pr[imit]ive
Baptist Church Aug [1,] 1884
And Was [Ass]assinated
March 28, 1885
Blessed Are the Pure in Heart
for They Shall See God

Want to know what happened? I'll let an article from the 31 March 1885 Macon Telegraph (Georgia; pg. 4) fill in "the particulars." Caution: there is some nasty history ahead.

A Mob in Dooly County Take the Law in Their Own Hands.

MONTEZUMA, March 20 [sic] -- The full particulars of the Dooly county murder have just come in and prove it to have been one of the most revolting crimes committed lately.

Jesse Doles, a young farmer living seven miles from Vienna, the county seat of Dooly county, was on Saturday afternoon plowing in his field, not very far from his house. His wife was as usual attending to the domestic affairs. About 3 o'clock in the afternoon the aspect of weather was threatening, and Mr. Doles unhitched his mule and started home before the usual time. Reaching the house and entering he saw his wife stretched upon the bed, lifeless, her throat cut from ear to ear, her head stabbed and arms considerably bruised, and showing every evidence of having been most brutally assaulted. She had been raped. Wild with grief, Mr. Doles sought his neighbors and told the terrible tale.

The search began, and the next morning the murderer was caught near the place where the crime was committed. George Rouse was his name, an ex-convict, a coal black negro. He confessed his guilt to the arresting posse and requested to be guarded and not jailed. The arrest was made early Sunday morning.

Sunday night the guards were overpowered by a mob of cool but determined men, and after Rouse's body had been mutilated, he was stripped and was hung, and is now hanging in full view of passers-by from Montezuma to Vienna. Some of the prominent negroes of this county insisted on taking charge of the prisoner and burning him at the stake, but the whites would not yield him up.

When Rouse was caught, he was splotched with the lady's blood, and he had cut out the knee of his pantaloons to avoid detection.

This is one of the many cases in which the acts of these worthy Dooly county lynchers will be sustained.
While it might appear that justice was served, remember the history of the South and the practice of lynching. It's likely many victims of Judge Lynch were innocent. While I certainly mean no disrespect to the memory of Lillis Roundtree Doles, nor is it my intent to minimize her suffering, I challenge you to not assume George Rouse was guilty. May they both rest in peace.

BTW, this horrific murder and subsequent lynching has been added to my personal database found here on the Southern Graves site.

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