30 March 2009

On This Date, March 30th

Bertha E. Vereen died on this date 31 years ago. She was born 11 January 1921. Bertha was buried in Magnolia Park Cemetery; Warner Robins, Houston County, Georgia.

27 March 2009

Springtime Cemetery Photo Essay

I originally posted these to my new Rose Hill Cemetery; Macon, Georgia blog (Rose Hill is where the photos were taken). I think the pictures are so pretty, I wanted my Southern Graves readers to see them, as well!

24 March 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Sassers at the Bonaire Cemetery

Here are some SASSER family gravestone photos and inscriptions from the Bonaire Cemetery in Houston County, Georgia. These are from the gated family plot.

Daughter of S. H. & J. M. Sasser
Born June 19, 1911
Died Feb 9, 1913
Budded on Earth to bloom in Heaven.

James Wilbur
Son of S. H. & J. M. Sasser
Born Mar 26, 1914
Died May 23, 1915

Son of S. H. & J. M. Sasser
June 24, 1906
March 23, 1907

Steven Henry Sasser
Oct 23, 1875
Apr 26, 1951

Johnnie Barker Sasser
July 15, 1876
Jan 24, 1952

Mamie Agnes
Daughter of S. H. & J. M. Sasser
Born Oct 2, 1900
Died Apr 23, 1901
Gone, but not forgotten.

Alton Barker Sasser
Pvt US Army
World War II
Apr 19, 1901 - Jun 20, 1977

Mary A. Sasser
April 15, 1852
Feb 27, 1942
[s/s Clayton Sasser]

Clayton Sasser
Sept 7, 1847
Feb 19, 1915
[s/s Mary A. Sasser]


23 March 2009

All Saints & All Hallows, Maryland

Maryland doesn't actually qualify as a "southern" state, but I thought I'd share some photos and inscriptions from a couple of cemeteries anyway.

"All Saints Episcopal Church

All Saints, one of the original parishes of Maryland, included all the land north of Hunting Creek in Calvert County. The present church was started in 1774 by exchange of tobacco under the rectorship of Reverand Thomas John Clagett, later the first bishop consecrated on American soil."

Here are a few BOWIEs in the cemetery:

Yates Kent Bowie
Feb 23, 1877
Dec 22, 1955

Catherine Bowie Belt
Jan 5, 1937
He leadeth me

In Loving Memory
My Beloved Son
William B. Bowie
June 5, 1873
Dec 17, 1916
In That Morn That Angel Face Will Smile
Which I Have Loved Long Since And Lost - Awhile

"All Hallows Church
All Hallows Parish, South River, one of the original thirty parishes created by law in 1692 when the Anglican Church was established in Maryland. The present early Georgian church was built c.1730. Several prominent London Town merchants are buried in the churchyard. Mason Locke Weems (Rector 1784-90), early biographer of George Washington, originated the legend of the Cherry Tree."

I found the following on an end of a low brick wall bordering the church:

In Memoriam
Oden Bowie Duckett
1871 - 1940

18 March 2009

Most Recent Road Trip: Charleston, South Carolina (#5 of 5)

During a recent visit with my aunt, I was reminded that I had not blogged about our most recent road trip. "I've been tuning in," she said. Sounds like a polite way of saying, "I'm waiting." So here we go to Charleston, South Carolina.

I actually have blogged about the trip to Charleston last year in a few snippets. I'll link to them throughout.

The first great thing about our most recent road trip was the hotel. We stayed at the Francis Marion Hotel. It's a historical hotel, first opening in 1924. The Francis Marion underwent a $12 million National Trust award-winning restoration. I loved it. The only drawback I noticed was the bathroom was small. Didn't bother me, though. The view was fantastic. You could see much of downtown Charleston and the harbor. In the picture below, the steeple in the distance is from St. Philip's Church (more about that later).

The Francis Marion has a nice restaurant called the Swamp Fox. They cooked one of the best hamburgers I've ever eaten.

Across from the hotel was a small park containing a remnant from a horn work dating back to the Siege of Charleston in 1780, toward the end of the American Revolution. Yep, I touched it.

Battery Park is a place we went to a couple of times. The park has a storied history; it was a place for artillery during the Civil War. This landmark is also noted for its antebellum homes. Here are a couple of pastel colored homes on a corner. I have seen this row of houses in magazines many times.

Of course, no trip to Charleston would be complete without a visit to Fort Sumter, where the opening shots of the Civil War were fired on 12 April 1861. We took a nice boatride to the fort one morning. The temperatures were high, so a morning ride was nice and breezy. The museums at the dock as well as the fort were well done and quite interesting. Unfortunately, I did not get any photos of Fort Sumter I deemed worthy enough for this post. The trip was fun and informative -- take my word for it. One of the "neatest" things we saw was the flag that flew over the fort during the 1861 bombardment.

The boatride itself was, as I mentioned, enjoyable. We had good seats going both ways. Here is a photo I took not long after leaving the dock. Once again, you can St. Philip's Church steeple.

A few other noted things we did included eating at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., visiting the Old Slave Mart Museum, and browsing at Market Street.

Onto the churches and cemeteries! Believe it or not, visiting a churchyard cemetery in downtown Charleston is not as easy as you might think. Many are only open for a few hours a day, and some are only open by appointment. Since I did not know this, we were not prepared for visiting these cemeteries. I did, however, ooh and ahh over many we passed by. One churchyard we were only able to get a glimpse of through the gates was St. Michael's.

This is a church and cemetery to which I must return. St. Michael's is the oldest church edifice in the city of Charleston. The cornerstone was laid in 1752. Except for the addition of the sacristy in 1883, the structure of the building has been changed little. President George Washington worshiped at St. Michael's in 1791, and General Robert E. Lee worshiped there about 70 years later. The pews made of native cedar are the same as they have always been. All of this I learned after our arrival in Charleston. Again, I was unprepared for a visit. I must do better research!

One churchyard we were able to visit was St. Philip's. It was established in 1680. This cemetery took my breath away. The stones and artwork were beautiful. I took many photos, as well as a short video. I hope you will follow the link to my page on Southern Graves dedicated to St. Philip's Church Cemetery. Edward Rutledge, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, is buried in the churchyard. Another notable figure, Major General Thomas Pinckney, is also buried there. I wrote about the Major in From the Life of General Thomas Pinckney.

There were several other churchyard cemeteries in downtown Charleston I will have to make a return trip to visit.

There was a couple of cemeteries I was prepared to visit. Bethany Cemetery and the famous Magnolia Cemetery. Bethany Cemetery is a 50+ acre cemetery owned by St. Matthew's Lutheran Church. It was founded in 1856. A large amount of the individuals interred are German. The landscape is picturesque and there are many beautiful stones. The photos and information gathered from Bethany were posted as contributions to FindAGrave.

Magnolia Cemetery's 128 acres on the banks of the Cooper River were once a 19th-century rice plantation. Buried here are around 35,000 people. Among them are 2,200 Civil War veterans (including crews of the Confederate submarine Hunley). Once again, I hope you'll follow a link to my Southern Graves page for Magnolia Cemetery. Included are several photos and transcriptions, as well as a couple of videos.

A final cemetery we visited briefly was St. Lawrence. I can't tell you much about this cemetery, but here are a couple of photos:

Something I barely mentioned early in this post is the high temperatures during our visit to Charleston, South Carolina. The heat was almost unbearable. Consequently, we did not do a thorough visit of Magnolia Cemetery, despite all the photos taken. I would love to return and spend even more time in this beautiful cemetery.

Now, for your amusement, let me add one thing... If you have read any of my road trip posts, you might remember my Aunt is quite the picture taker. I take them, as well, but mine are mostly of tombstones. :-) My Aunt prefers photos with family in them. (I know, what a novel idea!) Way back during our trip to Gatlinburg, I'm afraid a tradition was born. There now is at least one themed, or silly photo taken on each of our road trips. My Mom and I often have to wait for my Aunt to find a place to sit the camera, position us correctly, and set the timer. The final item for this post will be one such photo. I consider it appropriate since it was taken in Magnolia Cemetery under a "scary looking" tree.

Jene Delmar, Billboard Publishing Company

Jene Delmar
Sept 21, 1895 - Mar 31, 1961
Magnolia Park Cemetery
Warner Robins, Houston County, Georgia

I think I found Jene's World War II draft registration card. If so, Mr. Delmar was a Yankee that moved South!

This states Jene was born in Malone, New York. His place of residence was described as "Lives in a Trailer. Always on Road." Jene used his employer's mailing address as contact information - "Billboard Publishing Company, 2527 Opera Place, Cinnci., Ohio."

I wonder what drew Mr. Delmar to central Georgia.

17 March 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Ira & Myrtle (Swanner) Pegues

Ira Pegues
9-1-1894 ~ 12-7-1981
Myrtle (Swanner) Pegues
5-14-1903 ~ 2-8-1960
Her Home Was Her Career

Magnolia Park Cemetery
Warner Robins, Houston County, Georgia

Ira Pegues was born in Alabama to David King Pegues (1846-1935) and Jerusha Gullatt (1849-1934). Ira had 11 siblings. The following 1910 US Federal census entry does not show all the siblings, but still shows a large family:

(Jackson County, Alabama)
- Pegues, David K. (hoh) age 64 - m 41 yrs - b AL - father b SC - mother b NC - occ general farmer
- Pegues, Jerushia (wife) age 60 - m 41 yrs - 12 children, 9 living - b AL
- Pegues, John M. (son) age 39 - b AL - occ general farmer
- Pegues, David K. (son) age 22 - b AL - occ public school teacher
- Pegues, Maud (dau) age 20 - b AL
- Pegues, James C. (son) age 17 - b AL - occ home farm laborer
- Pegues, Ira (son) age 15 - b AL - occ home farm laborer
- Brown, Annie H. (dau) age 32 - wd - 4 children, 3 living - b AL
- Brown, Maud M. (g-dau) age 11 - b AL - father b TN
- Brown, Rosa L. (g-dau) age 9 - b AL - father b TN
- Brown, William W. (g-son) age 5 - b AL - father b TN
- Pegues, Elizabeth S. (sis) age 75 - b AL - father b SC - mother b NC

Ira married Myrtle Irene Swanner 26 December 1924 in Athens, Alabama. They had a son, Ira Jr., born 7 October 1925 in Stevenson, Jackson County, Alabama.

Ira and family is listed in the 1930 Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama US Federal census. Ira's occupation is tax commission auditor.

Georgia Deaths, 1919-98 states Ira died in Cobb County, Georgia, with a residence in Barrow County, Georgia. This is interesting since Ira and his wife are buried in Houston County, Georgia. Myrtle died 20 years before Ira. Were they living in Warner Robins at the time of her death?

Transcriptions from Ira's family Bible are online on a couple of message boards, including this one.

Ira's parents are buried in Hurt Cemetery; Jackson County, Alabama. Transcriptions are on FindAGrave.

10 March 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: 2nd Bliss Sister

Joseph Pearce Wheless
Jan 1, 1867
Aug 28, 1944
Beulah Bliss Wheless
Nov 4, 1866
Oct 11, 1945

Last week's Tombstone Tuesday was about Gertrude Bliss McMillan. This week, we are discussing Gertrude's sister, Beulah Bliss Wheless. As a reminder, Beulah (as well as Gertrude) was the daughter of James S. and Julia C. Bliss.

Beulah married Joseph Pearce Wheless, a railway store keeper, about 1892. They had at least four children: Bessie, Gertrude, Pearce, and Catherine.

Beulah and Joseph's tombstone is just behind and to the left of Gertrude Bliss McMillan's stone in Bonaventure Cemetery; Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia. Just farther to the left of Beulah and Joseph's is a tombstone for two of their children:

Pearce Wheless
Sept 21, 1892
May 24, 1895
Catherine Wheless
June 28, 1904
Oct 23, 1906

03 March 2009

Undertakers Must Be Idealists

Atlanta Constitution, Georgia

W. E. Platt Says That Funeral Directors Should Be Humanitarians.

W. E. Platt, of Augusta, declared in an address Wednesday to the funeral directors of the state at their opening session at the Piedmont hotel that undertakers as well as those who follow other professions must be idealists and that the funeral director should be a humanitarian and subordinate the desire to make money or reputation.

The convention opened at 10 o'clock in the assembly hall of the hotel and over a hundred delegates were present. Mayor Woodward welcomed the delegates and the response was given by James B. Hart, of Macon. Means of obtaining a most satisfactory state law regulating the shipping of human bodies in conformity with the regulations of the National Association of Funeral Directors was discussed.

The final session will be held this morning and will be as follows:

Called to order 9:00 a.m. by C. L. Stevenson, president.
Invocation - Rev. W. R. Hendrix, Wesley Memorial church.
Vocal Selections - Regina Lynch.
Address - "What Does Association Membership Stand For?" James F. Mackey, Greenville, NC.
Address, "Necessity for Autopsies," Claude A. Smith, MD, city bacteriologist.
General discussion on embalming and funeral directing and subjects in general.
Annual Address - C. L. Stevenson, president.
Report of secretary and treasurer.
Election of officers.
Selection of next meeting place.

Tombstone Tuesday: Gertrude Bliss McMillan

Gertrude A. Bliss
Wife of Thomas H. McMillan
Oct 5, 1864
Apr 14, 1903
Ever thoughtful of home and loved ones,
as wife and mother she was all that one could be.

Gertrude was born in Savannah to James S. and Julia C. Bliss. She seems to have been a member of a wealthy family. In the 1870 Chatham County federal census, Gertrude's father had an occupation of "Pilot," and there were three domestic servants listed in the household.

Gertrude married Thomas H. McMillan, a prominent Savannah businessman about 1882. They had four children: Daniel B., Thomas H. Jr., Alice B., and Raymond. According to the 1900 Chatham County federal census, Thomas Sr. was a turpentine manufacturer, born 1854 in North Carolina.

From A History of Savannah and South Georgia, Vol. II by William Hardin, published 1913 - "Mr. MacMillan married, in Savannah, Gertrude Bliss, who was born and educated in this city. Their union has been blessed by the birth of four children, namely: D. B. MacMillan, who has charge of the MacMillan interests in Pensacola; Thomas H. MacMillan, Jr., connected with the Savannah plant; Raymond H. MacMillan, representing South Atlantic Blow Pipe Company in Jacksonville; and Miss Alice MacMillan."

Gertrude's stone is also profiled in Douglas Keister's Forever Dixie: A Field Guide to Southern Cemeteries & Their Residents.

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