29 May 2013

William Felton had the Vigor of a Roman Athlete (but Little Else Physically)

His mind, however, was another matter. This is how he was described by Lucian Lamar Knight in Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials and Legends:

"Dr. William H. Felton...was a power upon the stump...Over six feet in height, awkward and angular, his tall figure bent by a stroke of paralysis, and his whole body tremulous by reason of disordered nerves, there was never a man who could surpass him in rocket flights of unpremeditated eloquence and especially in seething thunderbolts of denunciation. Though he leaned heavily upon his stick, he seemed to grow not only in strength but in statue and to acquire by degrees as he waxed more and more eloquent something of the vigor of a Roman athlete. His very infirmities seemed to impart an electrical energy to his withered frame and to suggest a dynamo hidden somewhere on his person...To quote Tom Watson: "No flag was ever dipped to the foe while he held it, nor did he ever once say to triumphant wrong -- 'I surrender'." Notwithstanding his great physical decrepitude, Dr. Felton maintained his vigor of intellect until his death at the age of eighty-seven."

In Memory Of
William Harrell Felton
1823 - 1909

His Wife
Rebecca Latimer Felton

Oak Hill Cemetery
Cartersville, Bartow County, Georgia
Photo © 2011-2013 S. Lincecum

Dr. Felton was a "Methodist preacher, a doctor of medicine, a school teacher, a farmer and a statesman." He represented the state of Georgia in Congress for six years, and afterwards in the General Assembly for several terms. Dr. William H. Felton was also the husband of Rebecca Latimer Felton, the first woman United States Senator.

28 May 2013

Reason for the Ryman, The Only Sam Jones is Dead (Tombstone Tuesday)

Sam P. Jones
Mentally heroic, magnetic to a degree which drew all men to him, physically and morally a man militant and unafraid, Sam P. Jones was known to thousands in all parts of this country. [1906]

But I had never heard of Rev. Jones before arriving at his draped obelisk at Oak Hill Cemetery in Cartersville, GA the spring of 2011. And still didn't think much of him until learning he was the reason Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium was built. Yes, the home of the Grand Ol' Opry. That Ryman Auditorium. A little factoid such as that will make this fan of country music dig a little deeper.

Photo © 2011-2013 S. Lincecum

The story goes that Samuel Porter Jones, born 16 October 1847, was quite the whiskey drinker. It ruined his law career and strained familial relationships. He even described himself as "the wickedest young man in Georgia," and further stated: "I was going to hell a mile a minute when I stopped and went the other way." That turnabout came on the deathbed of his father in 1872. Sam P. Jones never looked back, becoming one of the most well-known evangelists and revival preachers in the United States.

One of the things Rev. Jones was known for was his epigrams. Here are a few:

"The devil can run a mile while the church is putting on its boots."

"Deathbed repentance is the retreat of a coward and an insult to God."

"I hate theology and botany; I love religion and flowers."

"The tune of America is pitched to the dollar."

Ryman Auditorium
from Wikimedia Commons
Reason for the Ryman
On 10 May 1885 Thomas Ryman, owner of several saloons, hears Rev. Samuel P. Jones speak: "According to legend, Thomas Ryman was fed up with Sam Jones' preaching against drinking and gambling, so he and a few friends went to Jones' tent revival to raise a ruckus. But something in Jones' speech affected Ryman so deeply that he repented his sins and vowed to build Jones a great tabernacle so that he would never again have to preach under a tent again in Nashville. Ryman became wholly focused on the construction of the Union Gospel Tabernacle which would later be renamed the Ryman Auditorium in his honor." [Ryman.com]

Rev. Sam P. Jones died 15 October 1906, the day before his 59th birthday, near Little Rock, Arkansas. He had just completed a preaching stint at a revival in Oklahoma, and was on a train bound for his home in Cartersville, preparing to celebrate his birthday with a family reunion.

Prior to his funeral in Cartersville, Jones' body lay in state at the capitol rotunda in Atlanta. The day and atmosphere surrounding his funeral was described in the Biloxi Daily Herald (Mississippi), 20 October 1906:
"Living, the Rev. Sam P. Jones was loved with a tenderness that one sees but once in a life time. Wrapped in the cold arms of death, this love was given an expression which was confined to no class or condition, no age, color or sex.

Cartersville, where Sam Jones was best known, by reason of the fact that it was his home, seemed paralyzed by paroxysms of grief which followed one another in quick succession whenever the name of the dead evangelist was mentioned or when some familiar object reminiscent of his was seen.

Even nature was in accord with the grief of the city. The sky was overcast with banks of dull, threatening clouds, which seemed at any moment ready to turn loose the full flood of their sorrow. Cartersville had the silence of the sepulchre during the entire day...Religions for the once were as one...Knots of people congregated at each corner, and Caucasian and negro freely fraternized, their common grief being a bond which brought all together and for the time obliterated all barriers."
This is a long winded post, I know. But I must note that Rev. Sam P. Jones of course had his detractors. And the following article from the 17 October 1906 Jonesboro Evening Sun (Arkansas) seemed to sum "things" up nicely:

Rev. Sam P. Jones
Born Oct 16, 1847
Died Oct 15, 1906
"They that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the
stars for ever and ever." -- Daniel 12, 3.
The only Sam Jones is dead, and with his death one of the most unique characters in the later times passes from the stage of action. It is not difficult to estimate a character like Sam Jones. His work was so individual, and stands out in such well defined proportion that it may be viewed with definite entirety.

No sooner does a great man die than the world hastily takes account of its loss -- that perhaps, being the world's selfish way of showing its appreciation -- and in the death of Sam Jones the loss is large. The first thought of those who regret the material loss of his work might be that it is fortunate he lived so long.

There are those who did not admire Sam Jones and his methods. They were not exactly canonical. And the host of imitators who succeeded only in impressing the fact that they were imitators, is one of the results of Sam Jones' not edifying but for which he could not be held to account. But good resulted from his work and in generous proportion. His galling satire reached many a hardened sinner, who repented because he admired the manner in which he was called to account."

21 May 2013

Lucinda Lackey Lost Her Battle with Breast Cancer (A Personal Tombstone Tuesday)

While working on the collateral Zumwalt line, I found information on the death of Lucinda Zumwalt Lackey. Lucinda Jane was the daughter of Tom and Elsie Billings Zumwalt, and my 4th cousin. She married Green Lackey, and they had eight children. When the federal census taker visited Lucinda and Green for the last time, he found the empty nesters in Kerr County, Texas. By the time of her death in 1926, Lucinda had resided there for 55 years.

According to her death certificate, Lucinda died September 1926 after battling breast cancer for at least 18 months. She was laid to rest at Nichols Cemetery in Ingram, Kerr County, Texas. A few years later, Green joined her.

Mrs. L. J. Lackey
Beloved Wife of Green Lackey
Jan 1, 1847
Sept 25, 1926

14 May 2013

Thomas Charles Rauls (A Personal Tombstone Tuesday)

Thomas Charles Rauls
Apr 16, 1886 - Nov 30, 1937
Gone But Not Forgotten
Whitener Cemetery
Marquand, Madison Co, MO

Isn't he dashing?
Thomas Charles Rauls (my 1st cousin, 4x removed) was a son of Powhatan Rauls (1849-1922) and Hannah Yount (d. 1891), as well as the husband of Myrtle Alexander (1894-1960).  The final resting place for Thomas and his wife is Whitener Cemetery in Marquand, Madison County, Missouri.

Photos from original images by David & Judi Cloninger via FindAGrave. Enhanced images shown here by S. Lincecum, © 2010.

10 May 2013

Faithful is the Word (Today's Epitaph)

[Originally posted at the Rose Hill Cemetery blog.]

William G. White
Born Aug 12, 1841
Died Jan 22, 1885
One Word Tells The Story Of His Life
Husband. Father.

Husband of Annie Amos White (1842-1929), who is at rest beside him in Rose Hill Cemetery at Macon, Bibb County, Georgia.

08 May 2013

The Monument to Count Pulaski: a Tombstone or Not?

Yesterday, I shared with you a couple of photos and information regarding the monument to General Nathanael Greene in Savannah, Georgia. That monument, more than 70 years after it was originally raised, became a tombstone for General Greene and his son. Did the same thing happen with the monument to Count Pulaski?

Though originally planned for Chippewa Square, the cornerstone for the monument to Casimir Pulaski was relaid in Savannah's Monterey Square in 1853, with the finished product being dedicated a couple of years later.

From Lucian Lamar Knight's Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials, and Legends:

"...It is fifty feet in height; a column of solid marble resting on a base of granite and surmounted by a statue of the goddess of liberty, holding a wreath in her outstretched hand..."

The Goddess of Liberty atop the Pulaski Monument
Photo © 2010-2013 S. Lincecum

"...On each of the four corners of the base is chiseled an inverted cannon, emblematic of loss and mourning. The coats of arms of both Poland and Georgia, entwined with branches of laurel, ornament the cornices, while the bird of freedom rests upon both..."

Upside down cannons,
 and Georgia shield below eagle.
Photo © 2010-2013 S. Lincecum

"...Pulaski, on an elegant tablet of bronze, is portrayed in the act of falling, mortally wounded, from his horse, at the time of the famous siege; and the whole is a work of consummate art..."

Photo © 2010-2013 S. Lincecum

"...It was executed in Italy at a cost of $18,000 and was considered at the time one of the most elegant memorials in America. The inscription on the monument reads:"

Pulaski, the Heroic Pole, who fell mortally wounded, fighting for American
Liberty, at the siege of Savannah, October 9, 1779.
Photo © 2010-2013 S. Lincecum

But is this monument also a tombstone? Well, there's conjecture.  The Casimir Pulaski historical marker situated near the monument reads:  "Doubt and uncertainty exists as to where Pulaski died and as to his burial - place.  A contemporary Charlestown, S.C. newspaper item and others sources indicate that he died aboard a ship bound for that port.  It was generally believed that he was buried at sea.  A tradition persisted, however, that General Pulaski died at Greenwich plantation near Savannah and that he was buried there.  When the monument here was under erection the grave at Greenwich was opened.  The remains found there conformed, in the opinion of physicians, to a man of Pulaski's age and stature and were re-interred beneath this memorial in a metallic case in 1854."

Wikipedia has a bit more to say: "...Remains at Monterey Square alleged to be Pulaski's were exhumed in 1996 and examined in a forensic study. The eight-year examination, including DNA analysis, ended inconclusively, although the skeleton is consistent with Pulaski's age and occupation. The remains were reinterred with military honors in 2005."

So is this a mere memorial or a tombstone, too? I guess no one knows for sure.

07 May 2013

The Reinterment of the Remains of Major General Nathanael Greene (Tombstone Tuesday)

Photo © 2010-2013 S. Lincecum
A monument to Major General Nathanael Greene has been standing in Savannah's Johnson Square since before 1830. The "shaft of granite, fifty feet in height" has bore two tablets made of bronze since about 1885. One on the south side portrays the full figure of Greene, sword at his side. The other provides an inscription:

Major General Nathanael Greene
Born in Rhode Island 1742
Died in Georgia 1786
Soldier. Patriot. The Friend of Washington.
This Shaft has been reared by the people of
Savannah in honor of his great services to the
American Revolution.

Since 14 November 1902, this monument has also been General Greene's tombstone. After a long search and recovery, the remains of Nathanael Greene and his son George Washington Greene were placed here. Directly above where they were interred is a bronze wreath placed by the Savannah Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. It reads:
To Commemorate
The Reinterment of the
Remains of
Major General
Nathanael Greene
Beneath this Shaft on
November 14, 1902

05 May 2013

From the Rending Gloom to the Blaze of Day (Today's Epitaph)

In Memoriam
W. B. Marshall
Son of Stephen & E. Marshall
Born May 16, 1796
Died June 24, 1874

O happy stroke! that burst the bonds of clay,
Darts through the rending gloom the blaze of day.
And wings the soul with boundless flight to soar,
Where dangers threat and fears alarm no more.

For fifty five years a member of the
church which in him ever found
a generous supporter.
A kind husband, father, and friend.
Useful, laborious and public spirited.
Ever he lived to do good to others.
His excellent sense, sound judgement
and inflexible integrity gained for
him many positions of honor and trust,
yet he never lost his native modesty.
His warm and generous heart gained
for him many friends who will ever remember
him with gratitude and admiration.

Waverly Hall Cemetery
Waverly Hall, Harris County, Georgia

All photos © 2008-2013 S. Lincecum

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