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Showing posts from May, 2012

Buried the Wrong Boy!

Found this news item and had to share. Can you imagine what his parents went through? And, fast forward 116 years to today, what a genealogist might go through?
BURIED THE WRONG BOY.
A Son Returns Home Whose Parents Thought He Was Dead.

Louisville, Dec 24 -- Louis Rebhan, a young mechanic, arrived in Louisville today for the purpose of letting his parents know that they had buried the wrong boy when, about a year ago, they attended his funeral.

Rebhan disappeared and several weeks later a badly decomposed body was found in the canal. The parents identified the corpse and mourned their son as dead until his reappearance today. He says that he went to make his fortune and did not learn until the other day that he was supposed to be buried. [The Macon Telegraph, Georgia, 25 December 1895]

Is She Looking at Me? (Wordless Wednesday)

The Remains of a Good Man Laid to Rest (Tombstone Tuesday)

DEATH.
BOYNTON
-- Charles E. Boynton died at his residence, 216 Rawson street, on Monday afternoon, March 31st, 1890. [The Atlanta Constitution, Georgia, 1 April 1890]

MR. BOYNTON'S FUNERAL.
The Remains of a Good Man Laid to Rest Yesterday.

The funeral of Mr. Charles E. Boynton occurred at Trinity church at 10 o'clock yesterday morning.

There was not a man in Atlanta better beloved for his broad and liberal charity nor one who enjoyed greater respect for his energy and integrity in the walks of business life. As a consequence the funeral was largely attended by friends and acquaintances of the man whose life was so full of worth and work.

The services were conducted by Rev. Dr. J. W. Lee and General Clement A. Evans, and were beautifully and solemnly impressive.

General Evans, a life long friend of Mr. Boynton spoke most feelingly of his Christian life and character and how ever since boyhood he had ever proved true to the test.

After the services were over the pall bearers, M…

May's Long Day is Done (Today's Epitaph)

May Inman Gray rests beside her husband in a lot at Atlanta, Georgia's Oakland Cemetery containing a statue of the grieving Niobe of Greek Mythology.

May's epitaph reads, in part: "My Task Accomplished And The Long Day Done". This phrase is from the final stanza of a poem by W. E. Henley, "A Late Lark Twitters From the Quiet Skies."

So be my passing!
My task accomplished and the long day done,
My wages taken, and in my heart
Some late lark singing,
Let me be gathered to the quiet west,
The sundown splendid and serene,
Death.



James Richard Gray: An Upbuilder of the New South (Sunday's Obituary)

JAMES RICHARD GRAY
The name of James R. Gray will occupy a fairly permanent place in the history of the men who had quite a large hand in the upbuilding of the New South. The newspaper of which he was for quite a few years the active directing head has held a prominent place among the big and successful papers of the South. The [Atlanta] Journal has pretty largely reflected Mr. Gray's personality in its general bigness in a physical way and the calm and unruffled fashion in which it meets issues as they come up and goes on about its way day by day.

A man of few words, he saw things in a large way and had the strength and ability to go on with his plans and his ambitions to see the most of them brought into full fruition or to where their success was assured. He held a good many men to him by ties of personal friendship who were not with him in his policies and his determinations, which is after all one of the best tests of inherent character.

As an editor, or even as a great pu…

Niobe Personifies Grief

Niobe, a character from Greek Mythology, is the personification of grief. She was the mother of many children and boasted of this to the goddess Leto, the mother of only two -- Apollo and Artemis. In retaliation, Leto had Niobe's children killed. Devastated for all eternity, Niobe fled and wept unceasingly.

Works of art featuring Niobe are at home in a cemetery. The photos here were taken at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.


Photos © 2012 S. Lincecum

Exotic Revival Mausoleum of W. A. Rawson

The William A. Rawson mausoleum in Oakland Cemetery at Atlanta, Georgia was built in the exotic revival architectural style. Not only does it house the remains of Mr. Rawson, but also that of his son-in-law Charles Collier. Charles was at one time the mayor of Atlanta. Also resting in the mausoleum is William Rawson's granddaughter and her husband, Julia Collier and Julian Harris. Julian was the son of author Joel Chandler Harris.

To put it mildly, William Rawson was a wealthy man. His total estate value (real and personal) in 1870, per the Stewart County, Georgia census for that year, was $105,000. Upon his death in 1879, the estimated value of the estate left behind was about $250,000. Mr. Rawson, born in Vermont, was the senior partner of Atlanta booksellers Rawson & Hancock.

The Daily Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia)
Saturday, 13 September 1879
WM. A. RAWSON
His Death in Iowa Yesterday.

Mr. William A. Rawson, senior member of the firm of Rawson & Hancock, of this c…

Obituary: James V. Matson (This Time It's Personal)

Dallas Morning News (Texas)
16 June 1931
*Viewed online at GenealogyBank.
James V. Matson Dies At Waco Sanitarium
Special to The News.
WACO, Texas, June 15 -- James V. Matson of Hubbard, 72, died Monday night in a Waco sanitarium. He had been ill only a few days. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at Hubbard.

A native Texas, Mr. Matson was born near Independence, but for the last fifty-three years he had lived at Hubbard. He was a stockman and one of the largest shareholders in the cottonoil mill at Dawson and had other large interests, including a directorship of the First National Bank of Hubbard. Surviving him are his wife and two stepchildren.James was born February 1959, a son of James V. Matson and Mary Elizabeth Catherine Lincecum.

Simply a Cross Pattée, Maltese, or Not a Cross at All? (A Symbolic Tombstone Tuesday)

I wanted to post this a few days ago, but sometimes life gets in the way!

I didn't pay much attention to this symbolic design on the monument for William Rawson (1861-1902) while visiting at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia. It jumped out at me once I got home and was reviewing the photos I had taken. Since I didn't get a close-up shot at the cemetery, here's a cropped view from the original photo.


The image was familiar to me as a cross, yet I was unsure of what to call it. I conducted a bit of research, and think I got a bit of information overload. My first significant result was from Wikipedia describing the cross pattée as "a type of cross which has arms narrow at the centre, and broader at the perimeter." These were variants pictured:


William's cross resembles greatly the third from the left -- "With the ends of the arms convex and curved; sometimes called 'Alisee'". The cross pattée in its variant forms was sometimes used by …

William Clarke Rawson, President of the Gate City Coffin Company

"DEATHS.
WILLIAM C. RAWSON.

ATLANTA, Jan. 6 -- Councilman William C. Rawson died at his home, 126 Washington street, this morning about 8 o'clock. His death was the result of an attack of pneumonia. He had been ill only ten days. For the last two or three days his condition has been such as to give little hope of his recovery. The deceased was one of Atlanta's most popular and prominent young business men. He was the president of the Gate City Coffin Company and president of the Atlanta Gun Club. Had he lived through his illness he would have retired from council tonight on account of the expiration of his term...

The funeral will likely take place tomorrow and will be largely attended. The members of the new and retiring councils will attend in a body." [Macon Telegraph (Georgia), 7 January 1902]

William Clarke Rawson rests in Oakland Cemetery at Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. Another newspaper write-up provided a little bit of biographical information abou…

Sarah's Virtue of Hope

Atop Sarah Clara Glenn Redwine's tall monument in Atlanta, Georgia's Oakland Cemetery stands the Virtue of Hope. Most often seen with an anchor, with or without wings, this is the human form of the second of the three theological virtues -- faith, hope, and love (or charity).

Sarah Clara Glenn was born 6 December 1836. According to Georgia Marriages, 1851-1900 on Ancestry, she married Dr. Columbus L. Redwine 1 January 1856 in Coweta County, Georgia. Inscribed on Sarah's towering memorial are the words, She made home always happy. My first thought upon reading this was she had to be a mother. A check of the Newnan, Coweta County, Georgia 1860 federal census on Fold3 shows this to be true. At that time, Sarah was the mother of two boys, Robert G. (aged 3) and Lewis P. (aged 1). Sarah Clara Glenn Redwine died 19 October 1866, less than two months shy of her 30th birthday.



Photos © 2012 S. Lincecum

Say Not Goodnight (Today's Epitaph)

Ida's hopeful, longing epitaph is from the poem Life, by Anna Barbauld.

Atlanta's Namesake Dead

ATLANTA'S NAMESAKE DEAD

(Associated Press)

DECATUR, GA, Feb 13 -- Mrs. Martha Lumpkin Compton, after whom the city of Atlanta was twice named died at her home here tonight at the age of 90 years. In 1844 the village now called Atlanta, was named Marthasville in her honor. Four years later it was named Atlanta after the nickname of "Atalanta," which Mrs. Compton's father, Governor Wilson Lumpkin had given her. [Montgomery Advertiser (Alabama), 14 February 1917]

Meshack Williams's Crossed Rebel Flags

Not far inside the gates of Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery is the famed Jasper N. Smith mausoleum. Beside it is a small traditional tombstone standing for Meshack W. S. S. Williams. Meshack was a private in Company F of Alabama's 3rd Infantry, C. S. A. He wasn't a young pup when he enlisted in 1861, but rather was a nice middle age of about 43 years. Toward the end of the war, Meshack Williams was listed as a prisoner of war at Point Lookout, Maryland. He had been captured at Sutherland Station, Virginia in April 1865. A couple of months later, Pvt. Williams was released after swearing to the Oath of Allegiance. According to his Confederate Soldier File on Fold3, Meshack was described as having a fair complexion, greyish hair, and blue eyes.

An interesting feature of Meshack Williams's tombstone is the crossed pair of Confederate battle flags. The elements have worn the sculpture tremendously, but you can still see them upon close inspection.

Photos © 2012 S. Lincec…

Recent Cemetery Reads

Though I don't always make time for it, I really do enjoy reading for fun. Mom gave me a Kindle a couple of Christmases ago, and I've been trying to use it faithfully to get more reading done. My most recent book completions have been cemetery related. The first, Love Cemetery: Unburying the Secret History of Slaves by China Galland, is a bit of a documentary type read. It's about a woman (the author) who tries to bring attention to and save African American cemeteries, specifically the cemetery called Love in Harrison County, Texas. It's shameful to admit, but this book sat on my to-read list for about four years!

A line from an official blurb about the book sums it up nicely: "...Galland's subsequent effort to help restore just one of these cemeteries — Love Cemetery — unearths a quintessential American story of prejudice, land theft, and environmental destruction, uncovering racial wounds that are slow to heal..." The author recruits a group of …

Death and Burial Notices for Richard T. Matson (This Time It's Personal)

Richard T. Matson, born 21 September 1855, was my 3rd cousin, 5x removed. He was a son of James V. Matson and Mary Lincecum. I found it interesting that James and his son each honored their father in the naming of sons. James named a son after his father, and Richard named a son after his father. Of course it's possible the names might actually date back further.

I recently found death and burial notices for Richard at GenealogyBank. He died at the young age of 41, but I don't know the cause. Richard was laid to rest in Fairview Cemetery at Hubbard, Hill County, Texas. The photo included is from his memorial on FindAGrave.

Dallas Morning News (Texas)
10 June 1897
"MORTUARY
MATSON -- Hillsboro, Hill Co., Tex., June 9. R. T. Matson, a prominent farmer and stockman of this county, died at his residence three miles west of here, to-day. He was 45 years old."

Dallas Morning News (Texas)
13 June 1897
"MORTUARY
MATSON -- Hubbard City, Tex., June 11 -- Mr. R. T. M…

Mob Mistress Virginia Hill (Tombstone Tuesday)

Recently I watched a television show on the Biography Channel about Women of the Mob. One segment was all about Virginia Hill (1916-1966). I was intrigued from the start when I learned she was born in Alabama and moved to Marietta, Georgia at a young age.

Virginia was a beautiful Georgia peach who craved fame and fortune. Described as sharp-tongued and sassy, she left home and moved to Chicago to work as a dancer at the World's Fair. While there, she began to work for the Chicago Syndicate as a courier. Though she denied involvement, it is reported that she once bought a home for her family back in Marietta with $11,000 in cash.

Virginia eventually moved to Los Angeles and became entangled in a relationship with Bugsy Siegel. Some years later, about 1951, Virginia was subpoenaed to testify at the Kefauver Hearings. A few years after that ordeal, Virginia was accused of and indicted for tax evasion. She fled to Europe and remained there until her death at the young age of 49.…


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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)