21 February 2012

"What are you doing, Mr. Fish?" (A Tombstone Tuesday Ghost Story)

"Nothing at all," he would reply.

Wm. Fish Family Vault prior to
2008 restoration.1
What makes this simple Q & A a little odd though, is Mr. Fish is dead, and the conversation is taking place on both sides of the walls of his burial vault. The (ghost) story goes, after his wife and child died of typhus and were entombed in the crypt, Mr. Fish went inside with his rocking chair and bricked himself in. Legend has it that children would knock on the door, and the short and sweet conversation would commence.

Unfortunately (or 'fortunately,' depending on one's perspective), there is no truth to this story. The biggest reason being Mr. William Fish died two years before his youngest son, and a dozen or so years before his wife:
Southern Recorder (Milledgeville, GA)
10 January 1843
DIED.
Departed this life at his residence in Washington county, on Sunday evening the 1st inst., Mr. WILLIAM FISH, in the 43d year of his age. Mr. Fish was a highly worthy and enterprizing citizen, an affectionate husband, a kind father, and a sincere and devoted friend. In this truly melancholly dispensation, his afflicted family, as well as the community at large, have indeed experienced a severe loss.2

Federal Union (Milledgeville, GA)
30 December 1845
Obituary.
DIED -- At Midway, on Friday evening, the 21st November, after a short illness, HORACE VIRGIL, youngest son of Mrs. Sarah Fish, aged about 5 years.3

Federal Union (Milledgeville, GA)
16 September 1856
DIED,
At Gordon Springs on the 6th inst., Mrs. Sarah Fish, relict of the late Wm. Fish, in the fifty-second year of her age.4
The Wm. Fish Family Vault is located in Memory Hill Cemetery at Milledgeville, Baldwin County, GA. The Friends of Baldwin County Cemeteries restored it in 2008. A blurb from the 5 November 2008 Union-Recorder (Milledgeville, GA): "...The Fish Family was recently re-interred after vault restoration by the Friends of Baldwin County Cemeteries. William Fish died Jan. 1, 1843, in his 43rd year, and Sarah Harvard Fish died Sept. 6, 1856, in her 52nd year. Four other family members were also re-interred."5

I've been to Memory Hill a few times, and absolutely love the cemetery. Last year was the first time I specifically visited the Fish Family Vault. For whatever it's worth, I had an uneasy feeling while at the vault, took one photo, and moved on.

© 2011 S. Lincecum


Footnotes:
1. Image likely taken by Hugh T. Harrington for Friends of Baldwin County Cemeteries, Inc.
2. "Died," Southern Recorder (Milledgeville, Georgia), 10 January 1843, pg. 3, col. 6; digital image, Digital Library of Georgia (http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/ : accessed 21 February 2012), Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive.
3. "Obituary," Federal Union (Milledgeville, Georgia), 30 December 1845, pg. 3, col. 4; digital image, Digital Library of Georgia (http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/ : accessed 21 February 2012), Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive.
4. "Died," Federal Union (Milledgeville, Georgia), 16 September 1856, pg. 3; digital image, Digital Library of Georgia (http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/ : accessed 21 February 2012), Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive.
5. The Union-Recorder, 5 November 2008, Web edition (http://unionrecorder.com/obituaries/x-155358331/William-Fish : accessed 21 February 2012).

02 February 2012

There Is No Death! for Julia Jordan

Col. Colquitt & Julia Jordan
Photo © 2011/2 S. Lincecum
Julia Flournoy Hurt Colquitt Jordan rests in Linwood Cemetery at Columbus, Muscogee County, Georgia. She is buried in a plot next to her father and first husband, Col. Peyton H. Colquitt, C.S.A (d. 1863). The front of Julia's elaborate tombstone is inscribed with the following:

Julia Flournoy Jordan
Only Child of Joel Early & Fannie Hurt
Born June 13, 1842
Died Dec 30, 1891

Beyond These Shadows There's Peace

The back of her monument contains a beautiful verse from a poem called "There Is No Death!" by J. L. McCreery:
The Birdlike Voice Whose Joyous Tones
Made Glad These Scenes Of Sin And Strife,
Sings Now An Everlasting Song
Around The Tree Of Life.
Julia's second husband was Leonidas A. Jordan, "one of Macon's most popular and highly esteemed citizens...a cultivated gentleman of great wealth,...known throughout the state as one of the largest planters and real estate owners in Georgia."1

Julia's death was sudden, the cause attributed to the grippe and pneumonia. Her obituary is here.


Footnote:

1. "The Marriage of Miss Ilah Dunlap to Colonel Lee Jordan at Macon," The Consitution (Atlanta, Georgia), 26 April 1894; digital image, GenealogyBank (http://www.genealogybank.com : accessed January 2012), Historical Newspapers.
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