Skip to main content

Champion Pig Club Member is Dead

When I learned the topic of the newest edition of the Graveyard Rabbit Carnival [now defunct] is going to be "Obituaries," my first thought was "I can do that!" Soon after, however, I became somewhat overwhelmed. Sounds silly, maybe, but true. I have, at the very least, hundreds of tombstone photos to choose from. How do I pick one?

I recently visited the Byron City Cemetery in Peach County, GA for some other business and thought I'd choose a stone there. Nothing seemed to grab me, though. When I got home and loaded the pictures I did take into my computer, I started looking at photos from some of the other cemeteries I've visited. I don't quite know how it happened, but I fixated on William Wesley Middlebrooks.

As you can see, there is nothing special about Wesley's gravestone. It's a simple granite block with his name, birth year, and death year: William Wesley Middlebrooks, 1903 - 1917. Wesley is buried in Liberty Church Cemetery; Bibb County, Georgia. He is buried next to his father, William Green Middlebrooks (1872-1943), as well as (presumably) his mother, Fanny Huff Middlebrooks (1876-1957), and his sister, Ruth Virginia Middlebrooks (1896-1910). All of the Middlebrooks' stones are the same, and I think they were added some time after their deaths.

Wesley's obituary turned out to be somewhat easy to find, thanks to the Internet and the databases at GenealogyBank.

28 November 1917
Macon Weekly Telegraph
William Wesley Middlebrooks, Son of Farm Demonstrator, Expires After Battle With Pneumonia.
He Had Been Enthusiastic Farmer and Father Planned to Turn Over Farm to Him.

William Wesley Middlebrooks, aged 14 years, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Middlebrooks, died yesterday afternoon at the family residence near Walden, after an illness of only one week with pneumonia.

William was one of the brightest boys of the Rutland high school and was also a prominent member of the Boys' Pig Club, his pigs having won blue ribbons at the State fair. He was well liked by all who knew him and he numbered his friends by the score, all of whom will be grieved to learn of his death.

Successful Farmer

Young Middlebrooks was an enthusiastic young farmer and his father, the Bibb County farm demonstrator, was planning to turn over to him the management of the Middlebrooks farm on Jan. 1.

The funeral services will be held this (Wednesday) afternoon at 2:30 o'clock from the family residence near Walden. The services will be conducted by Dr. C. R. Jenkins, of Wesleyan College, and Dr. G. L. Yates, pastor of the First Baptist Church, and the interment will be in Liberty Chapel cemetery.

I like this obituary because it tells a good bit about young Wesley. It's often hard to find information about individuals that pass away at a such a young age.

Liberty Chapel is now known as Liberty United Methodist Church. The church and the cemetery are located on Liberty Church Road, where it meets Houston Road. The cemetery is a large one, and my visits are always pleasant. If you go at the right times, you can hear the beautiful sound of the church bells ring.


What an interesting post! I'm sure his parents were heartbroken to lose their young child whom they had such high hopes for. That obituary headline sure catches your eye! Thanks for sharing his story.
S. Lincecum said…
It caught my eye, too!...I'm sure you are right about the heartbroken parents. An interesting note is that a daughter of theirs passed away at age 14, as well.
Unknown said…
Just goes to show that everyone has something of interest that needs to be revealed! Thanks for finding his story. Nicely told!

Popular posts from this blog

Rocks, Rocks, and More Rocks

Why do people put rocks on grave stones? Some time ago, I learned that the rocks signified a visitor. That is true enough, but I decided to learn a little more about the custom and share my findings with you. Putting rocks on tombstones is most often described as a Jewish custom. There are many "Ask a Rabbi" columns out there, but I did not find one that knew for sure where the custom originated. They all agreed, however, that a rock symbolized a visitor and when put on a tombstone said, "I remember you." I also read that some people pick up a rock wherever they are when they think of a person that has passed. Then, the next time they visit the grave, they place the rock to say, "I wish you were here." Rabbi Shraga Simmons offers a deeper meaning: "We are taught that it is an act of ultimate kindness and respect to bury someone and place a marker at the site. After a person is buried, of course, we can no longer participate in burying them. H

Southern Cross of Honor

I'm late to this discussion, but it's one I'd like to join. :-) Terry Thornton at The Graveyard Rabbit of the Hill Country started with Grave Marker Symbols: The Southern Cross of Honor and UCV (link no longer available). Judith Shubert at The Graveyard Rabbit of the Covered Bridges continued with Hood County Texas: C.S.A. Veterans & Southern Cross of Honor Symbol . [UPDATE, 1 June 2009: Judith has moved this post to the blog, Cemeteries with Texas Ties . The link has been corrected to reflect this move. You may also link to her article via her nice comment on this post.] Wikipedia states: The Southern Cross of Honor was a military decoration meant to honor the officers, noncommissioned officers, and privates for their valor in the armed forces of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. It was formally approved by the Congress of the Confederate States on October 13, 1862, and was originally intended to be on par with the Union Arm

Thursday Link Love: EyeWitness To History

Yesterday, a link was added to the Genealogy Research Resources Group at Diigo. The link was to the website titled EyeWitness to History through the eyes of those who lived it . It's a great site, and I encourage all to visit it. Here are several items I found while snooping around. - Inside a Nazi Death Camp, 1944 : "Hitler established the first concentration camp soon after he came to power in 1933. The system grew to include about 100 camps divided into two types: concentration camps for slave labor in nearby factories and death camps for the systematic extermination of "undesirables" including Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally retarded and others." - Crash of the Hindenburg, 1937 : "Radio reporter Herbert Morrison, sent to cover the airship's arrival, watched in horror. His eye witness description of the disaster was the first coast-to-coast radio broadcast and has become a classic piece of audio history." [You ca

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)