07 September 2014

Me and the Mardasson Memorial

As this previous post suggests, I have been participating in my own personal scanfest of late. Since March of this year, I have uploaded 7.7 GB to my cloud drive. That's 4,430 images and 25 videos. (Some of the files came from my digital camera, to be fair.) If only I were close to being caught up!

I have been curious for years about one of the photos I scanned just this morning. It's a picture of me, on a rainy day, standing in front of some sort of monument / memorial. I think I was about 8 or so years old. All I knew for sure is we were in Europe. (I so stink at geography.)

I searched images online using characteristics seen in the photo: "American monument shaped like a star" (or something to that effect). I tried to place it in France first, but got close enough to find the truth with Germany, I think.

Anyway. I discovered I was standing (in my yellow slicker, no less!) in front of the Mardasson Memorial. Check me out:

The Mardasson Memorial, located in Luxembourg, was built in the shape of a pentagram and stands 39 feet tall. It was dedicated 16 July 1950 to honor the memory of the 76,890 American soldiers wounded or killed during the Battle of the Bulge. A memorial stone reads, in Latin:
This translates to:
"The Belgian people remember their American liberators – 4th July 1946."

[More at Wikipedia.]

02 September 2014

Combining the Front and Back of a Photo when Digitizing (an Off-Topic, Superimposing Post)

Did you get my feeble attempt at a double entendre? (Heh, Heh.)

Since a lot of genealogists and family archivists read this blog (big thanks!), I thought it might be worth passing along this little tip I stumbled upon this morning. While I have no doubt this trick has been done over and over by other quicker thinkers, it was a light bulb moment for me. :-)

I was digitizing a few photos that also contained captions on the back. (Grandpa Lincecum did a pretty good job remembering to do that on most occasions. That in itself is a rare find!) I wanted to combine the front and back so as to have the caption -- in his writing -- stay with the front image. I simply used the collage feature in Google's Picasa to do so with a couple of these, like this:

Well, one of the front-back collage attempts wasn't working the way I wanted. I guess it had something to do with the size of the photo. Anyway, I was playing with the collage settings, clicked on Multiple Exposure, and violĂ !

Pretty cool, huh? Don't forget to digitize the front by itself, so you still have that true image.

Got any more tips for digitizing family history artifacts?

Thanks for letting me interrupt the regularly scheduled programming. ;-)

28 August 2014

Is Man Different From Fish or Hogs? (a Spoon River Epitaph)

A sweet co-worker recently introduced me to Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a collection of free-form poems written as epitaphs for deceased residents of a small town. S graciously lent me a copy of the book, and I have since found an online edition. Though these epitaphs are fictional, I hope you'll permit me to share some of my favorites with you here.

Schroeder the Fisherman (pg 124)
I SAT ON the bank above Bernadotte
And dropped crumbs in the water,
Just to see the minnows bump each other,
Until the strongest got the prize.
Or I went to my little pasture,
Where the peaceful swine were asleep in the wallow,
Or nosing each other lovingly,
And emptied a basket of yellow corn,
And watched them push and squeal and bite,
And trample each other to get the corn.
And I saw how Christian Dallman's farm,
Of more than three thousand acres,
Swallowed the patch of Felix Schmidt,
As a bass will swallow a minnow.
And I say if there's anything in man --
Spirit, or conscience, or breath of God
That makes him different from fishes or hogs,
I'd like to see it work!

27 August 2014

Ignorantly Accidental Overdose (This Time It's Personal)

Leslie Lee Lancaster was my (half) 2nd great grand uncle. But he never made it to adulthood. You see, when Leslie Lee was a little over a year old, having a bit of a hard time while teething, someone gave him a tad too much morphine. Overdosed while teething. Ouch. I cannot imagine how his parents felt -- whether one or both were "the cause", or not.

Source:  Missouri Digital Heritage

The official cause of death was listed as "Ignorantly accidental (overdose morphine)". The secondary factor was "Teething."

Leslie Lee Lancaster was laid to rest in Hickory Grove Cemetery at Morley, Scott County, Missouri. I've submitted a photo request via FindAGrave. Fingers crossed for a marked (and labeled!) grave.

25 August 2014

Dr. Holtzclaw Suicides (This Time It's Personal)

When conducting any kind of historical research, coming across a suicide always gives me pause. Even though it's not always a conscious act, I know I'm taking a brief moment to mourn the loss. A loss I don't pretend to understand. With the recent passing of Robin Williams, I'm reminded that those who seem to "have it all" sometimes are wrestling with demons unseen.

© 2008 S. Lincecum
In 1922, two days after his 63rd birthday, Dr. Henry Macon Holtzclaw, Jr. took his own life. Why? Heaven only knows. Following from 22 January 1922 edition, Macon Daily Telegraph (Georgia) -- via GenealogyBank:

Prominent Physician Shoots Self in Head With Pistol.


Found in Bed Dying By Brother; Funeral Will Be Held Today.

PERRY, Ga., Jan. 21. -- Dr. Henry M. Holtzclaw, 63, prominent citizen of Houston county, died tonight at 8:30 o'clock from a bullet wound in the right temple, it being self inflicted between the hours of 9:30 o'clock this morning and noon. The motive for the suicide is unknown.

Dr. Holtzclaw, who had operated a drug store here for the last twenty-five years and was also a practicing physician, arrived at his home at 9:30 o'clock this morning, and announced to his daughter, Miss Clifford Holtzclaw, he would go to his room and take a nap. Miss Holtzclaw left shortly afterward for a few minutes.

John Holtzclaw, his brother, arrived at the home shortly before noon for lunch. He was informed that the doctor was in his room asleep. Mr. Holtzclaw went to the room and found Dr. Holtzclaw in a dying condition. He was unconscious until the end. A large calibre pistol was found under his body.

No Motive for Deed.
The family can advance no motive for the deed. It was stated by Miss Clifford Holtzclaw that her father came home in cheerful spirit, talked a few minutes before retiring to his room and showed no signs of being despondent.

It was stated that the bullet entered behind the right ear and penetrated the brain. Dr. W. J. Little, of Macon, and local physicians were summoned, but no hope was ever entertained for his recovery.

It was announced at the family residence that the funeral services will take place from the residence Sunday afternoon.

He was a brother of Maj. R. M. [sic] Holtzclaw, who passed away recently. He is survived by two brothers, John G. and B. C. Holtzclaw; two daughters, Misses Katherine and Clifford; a sister, Mrs. L. D. Roberson, of Marietta, and his mother, Mrs. M. C. Holtzclaw, of Marietta.
The brother lost prior to Henry was Robert, and he died only eighteen days earlier. Their mother, Mary Etta Clark Holtzlcaw, buried two sons in less than three weeks. All rest in Evergreen Cemetery at Perry, Houston County, Georgia. Henry lies next to his wife Kate.

What's my connection? A nephew of Henry Macon Holtzclaw, Jr. was Robert Clifford Holtzclaw. He married my 2nd cousin, 2x removed -- Claribel Peavy.

24 August 2014

Peasant Girl and Her Son (a Spoon River Epitaph)

A sweet co-worker recently introduced me to Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a collection of free-form poems written as epitaphs for deceased residents of a small town. S graciously lent me a copy of the book, and I have since found an online edition. Though these epitaphs are fictional, I hope you'll permit me to share some of my favorites with you here.

Elsa Wertman (pg. 79)
I WAS A peasant girl from Germany,
Blue-eyed, rosy, happy and strong.
And the first place I worked was at Thomas Greene's.
On a summer's day when she was away
He stole into the kitchen and took me
Right in his arms and kissed me on my throat,
I turning my head. Then neither of us
Seemed to know what happened.
And I cried for what would become of me.
And cried and cried as my secret began to show.
One day Mrs. Greene said she understood,
And would make no trouble for me,
And, being childless, would adopt it.
(He had given her a farm to be still.)
So she hid in the house and sent out rumors,
As if it were going to happen to her.
And all went well and the child was born -- They were so kind to me.
Later I married Gus Wertman, and years passed.
But -- at political rallies when sitters-by thought I was crying
At the eloquence of Hamilton Greene --
That was not it.
No! I wanted to say:
That's my son! That's my son.

19 August 2014

Life Without Meaning is Torture (a Spoon River Epitaph)

A sweet co-worker recently introduced me to Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a collection of free-form poems written as epitaphs for deceased residents of a small town. S graciously lent me a copy of the book, and I have since found an online edition. Though these epitaphs are fictional, I hope you'll permit me to share some of my favorites with you here.

Credit: Vintage Kin
George Gray (pg. 49)
I HAVE STUDIED many times
The marble which was chiseled for me --
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one's life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire --
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

17 August 2014

Irresistible Disgust, and Unspeakable Regret (a Spoon River Epitaph)

A sweet co-worker recently introduced me to Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a collection of free-form poems written as epitaphs for deceased residents of a small town. S graciously lent me a copy of the book, and I have since found an online edition. Though these epitaphs are fictional, I hope you'll permit me to share some of my favorites with you here.

Harold Arnett (pg. 37)
I LEANED AGAINST the mantel, sick, sick,
Thinking of my failure, looking into the abysm,
Weak from the noon-day heat.
A church bell sounded mournfully far away,
I heard the cry of a baby,
And the coughing of John Yarnell,
Bed-ridden, feverish, feverish, dying,
Then the violent voice of my wife:
"Watch out, the potatoes are burning!"
I smelled them...then there was irresistible disgust.
I pulled the trigger...blackness...light...
Unspeakable regret...fumbling for the world again.
Too late! Thus I came here,
With lungs for breathing...one cannot breathe here with lungs,
Though one must breathe...Of what use is it
To rid one's self of the world,
When no soul may ever escape the eternal destiny of life?

15 August 2014

Silence Poisons the Soul (a Spoon River Epitaph)

A sweet co-worker recently introduced me to Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a collection of free-form poems written as epitaphs for deceased residents of a small town. S graciously lent me a copy of the book, and I have since found an online edition. Though these epitaphs are fictional, I hope you'll permit me to share some of my favorites with you here.

Dorcas Gustine (pg. 35)
I WAS NOT beloved of the villagers,
But all because I spoke my mind,
And met those who transgressed against me
With plain remonstrance, hiding nor nurturing
Nor secret griefs nor grudges.
That act of the Spartan boy is greatly praised,
Who hid the wolf under his cloak,
Letting it devour him, uncomplainingly.
It is braver, I think, to snatch the wolf forth
And fight him openly, even in the street,
Amid dust and howls of pain.
The tongue may be an unruly member --
But silence poisons the soul.
Berate me who will -- I am content.

13 August 2014

War, Jail, and a Woman (Spoon River Epitaphs)

A sweet co-worker recently introduced me to Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a collection of free-form poems written as epitaphs for deceased residents of a small town. S graciously lent me a copy of the book, and I have since found an online edition. Though these epitaphs are fictional, I hope you'll permit me to share some of my favorites with you here.

Battle of Missionary Ridge McCormick HarvestingKnowlt Hoheimer (pg. 26)
I WAS THE first fruits of the battle of Missionary Ridge.
When I felt the bullet enter my heart
I wished I had staid at home and gone to jail
For stealing the hogs of Curl Trenary,
Instead of running away and joining the army.
Rather a thousand times the county jail
Than to lie under this marble figure with wings,
And this granite pedestal
Bearing the words, "Pro Patria."
What do they mean, anyway?
[Pro Patria is a Latin phrase that translates to 'for one's country.' Apparently, "Knowlt" had other reasons for joining the Army. But is the reason typed above, or below?]

Image via VintageKin.com .
Lydia Puckett (pg. 27)
KNOWLT HOHEIMER RAN away to the war
The day before Curl Trenary
Swore out a warrant through Justice Arnett
For stealing hogs.
But that's not the reason he turned a soldier.
He caught me running with Lucius Atherton.
We quarreled and I told him never again
To cross my path.
Then he stole the hogs and went to the war --
Back of every soldier is a woman.

11 August 2014

Poisoned Benefactions (a Spoon River Epitaph)

A sweet co-worker recently introduced me to Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a collection of free-form poems written as epitaphs for deceased residents of a small town. S graciously lent me a copy of the book, and I have since found an online edition. Though these epitaphs are fictional, I hope you'll permit me to share some of my favorites with you here.

Constance Hately (pg. 15)
YOU PRAISE MY self-sacrifice, Spoon River,
In rearing Irene and Mary,
Orphans of my older sister!
And you censure Irene and Mary
For their contempt for me!
But praise not my self-sacrifice,
And censure not their contempt;
I reared them, I cared for them, true enough! --
But I poisoned my benefactions
With constant reminders of their dependence.

09 August 2014

Proclamation From the Dust (a Spoon River Epitaph)

A sweet co-worker recently introduced me to Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a collection of free-form poems written as epitaphs for deceased residents of a small town. S graciously lent me a copy of the book, and I have since found an online edition. Though these epitaphs are fictional, I hope you'll permit me to share some of my favorites with you here.

Amanda Barker (pg. 15)
HENRY GOT ME with child,
Knowing that I could not bring forth life
Without losing my own.
In my youth therefore I entered the portals of dust.
Traveler, it is believed in the village where I lived
That Henry loved me with a husband's love,
But I proclaim from the dust
That he slew me to gratify his hatred.

07 August 2014

Graven By a Fool (a Spoon River Epitaph)

A sweet co-worker recently introduced me to Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology, a collection of free-form poems written as epitaphs for deceased residents of a small town. S graciously lent me a copy of the book, and I have since found out there is an online edition. Though these epitaphs are fictional, I hope you'll permit me to share some of my favorites with you here.

Cassius Hueffer (pg. 14)
THEY HAVE CHISELED on my stone the words:
"His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him
That nature might stand up and say to all the world,
This was a man."
Those who knew me smile
As they read this empty rhetoric.

My epitaph should have been:
"Life was not gentle to him,
And the elements so mixed in him
That he made warfare on life,
In the which he was slain."
While I lived I could not cope with slanderous tongues,
Now that I am dead I must submit to an epitaph
Graven by a fool!

25 July 2014

B. T. Bethune Swam the Chattahoochee River Horseback

Benjamin T. Bethune was born in Milledgeville, Georgia 12 March 1848. At the age of just sixteen years, he enlisted in the Confederate Army at Columbus. About a year after he enlisted, at the time of surrender in April 1864, Benjamin was separated from his company. His commander had sent him out on scout duty to watch the enemy's advance on the city. This information was gleaned from Benjamin's 1910 Confederate pension application.

As I continued reading the application, there was found a neat little tidbit about Benjamin T. Bethune. When asked why he was not with his company at surrender, B. T. supplied the information stated above and added that he was cut off by the enemy. He was then asked, "What effort did you make to return?" The reply was Swam Chattahoochee River Horseback. Wow.

More details were learned about Benjamin's life after the Civil War by reading his obituary. The following was posted in Milledgeville's Union Recorder 31 August 1920, pg. 1 (image of original may be viewed at Georgia Newspapers: Milledgeville) -

This Well Known Citizen Has Gone to His Reward at the Age of Seventy-two Years -- Served in the Confederate Army.

Mr. Benj. T. Bethune passed away at his home Friday evening, after an illness extending through several weeks.

The announcement of the death of Mr. Bethune was received with deep regret by the people of Milledgeville and Baldwin county, for he was held in the highest esteem and confidence as a man and citizen.

The funeral services were held at the residence Saturday afternoon, Dr. J. C. Wilkinson, pastor of the Baptist church, officiating. The remains were buried in the city cemetery, the pall bearers being Messrs. A. J. Carr, Geo D. Case, C. E. Green, G. C. McKinley, D. S. Sanford, R. B. Moore and J. D. Howard.

Benj. T. Bethune was born in Milledgeville March 12th, 1848. His boyhood days were spent in Columbus, Ga., and when a mere youth he enlisted in the Confederate Army, and served under Major Pendleton [sic]. He came to Baldwin county when quite a young man.

He became cashier of the Milledgeville Banking Co. soon after its organization and held that position a number of years, giving it up on account of office work not being conducive to his health. He was interested in farming with his brother-in-law, Mr. B. H. Jones.

Mr. Bethune was an honest man, true to his convictions and stood for those things which he believed to be right, his life being controlled by the highest principles. He was well informed, being a close reader and a clear and comprehensive thinker, and was interesting and entertaining in conversation. He was a loyal member of the Baptist Church, and his faith was steadfast and unwavering in the Christian religion.

He was secretary of Camp Doles, U. C. V., and was deeply interested in that organization.

In his death Baldwin county has lost one of its best citizens.

He is survived by Mrs. Bethune, who before her marriage was Miss Josephine Moore, a daughter of Dr. and Mrs. W. A. Moore; four daughters, Mrs. Julian Peacock, of Macon; Miss Julia Bethune and Mrs. J. S. Bone, of this city, and Mrs. Candler Brooks, of Macon; and one son, Mr. Benj. Bethune, Jr., of Macon; and one sister, Mrs. Lizzie B. Jones.

They have the sympathy of friends here and elsewhere throughout the state.
Benjamin T. Bethune rests at Milledgeville's Memory Hill Cemetery.

12 July 2014

Rest Up, Mr. J. J. Tinley (Soldier Saturday)

A few days ago, I received a nice email from Mr. Dennis Roland, providing an obituary for a Find-A-Grave memorial I created almost six years ago for Joshua J. Tinley. I posted it to the memorial, of course, and now here.

In Memory Of My Husband
Joshua J. Tinley
Dec 5, 1841
May 19, 1907
At Rest

Liberty United Methodist Church Cemetery
Bibb County, Georgia


Mr. Joshua J. Tinley died at his home in Rutland district Sunday morning at senven [sic] o'clock after an illness of only a few days.

He was one of Bib [sic] County's best known citizens and farmers and was a man of refined gentle manner. He was beloved by the entire community in which he lived. Mr. Tinley was a Confederate veteran and was a gallant soldier, having served throughout the Civil War with the exception of nine months, being a prisoner for that time at Lookout Point, Maryland, until the surrender of the Confederate army. He is survived by his wife and two children, Mrs. P. H. Comas and Mrs. Jno. C. Ellis.

The funeral will take place at his late residence, known as "Rest Up," deriving its name from his numerous friends who always sought his home for a pleasant recuperation, this afternoon at 3 o'clock. He will be buried with Masonic honors by the Rutland Lodge, F. A. M., being a Past Master of that lodge. Interment at Library [sic] Chapel Cemetery.

25 June 2014

James Madison Alden: a Possible Connection and Missed Opportunities

James Bowie was my 2nd cousin (7x removed). You know, the guy who designed the Bowie knife and fell at the Alamo. Well...I think so, anyway. I cannot yet personally prove the relationship, and there is conjecture among family historians of the Lincecum - Bowie connection. To put it plainly, it seems some of the Bowies don't want to claim the Lincecums. I don't know why, really. I guess a famous naturalist is not as cool as a "knife maker". (She said with tongue firmly in cheek.)

The real subject of this post, anyway, is James Madison Alden. He was first married to Charlotte Elizabeth Bowie. That (might!) make him the husband of my 3rd cousin, 6x removed. James led a neat life, at least in his early years. He joined the Navy and began work on the west coast of the United States in 1854, when just 20 years old, as an artist / cartographer for the U.S. Boundary Commission. He spent his days drawing the views before him. Here is one of my favorites, dated 1858:

Fraser's [sic] River Camp

James Madison Alden

Though I know what's "pretty" to me, I'm no art critic. So I'll let Katherine Church Holland of the California Historical Society* eloquently describe the work of James Madison Alden.
James Madison Alden's quick sketches convey the working methods of an artist recording cogent facts about a newly discovered landscape. His finished works attest to the powers of his sense of color, innate appreciation of form and skilled handling of the watercolor medium. Through his eyes, through his strokes, the landscape of the western edge of North America -- vistas of sea and land -- becomes a reality.
Slight enhancement of original by Loretta Castaldi at FindAGrave.
When recently revisiting the life of Mr. Alden, I wondered where was his final resting place. I expected it to be in Florida, since I knew that's where he died in 1922. But, I was wrong. Here's a notice I found in the 22 May 1922 Evening Star newspaper of Washington, DC (via GenealogyBank):
ALDEN, At Orlando, Fla., May 10, 1922, JAMES MADISON ALDEN, late lieutenant, U.S.N., in the 88th year of his age. Interment at Arlington.
Though I'm thrilled with the information, it also elicited a sigh. I've been to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia more than once. Had I known then, I sure would have liked to visit with Lieut. James Madison Alden.

[*The page on the California Historical Society website on which I found Ms. Holland's article, no longer exists. It was titled "Past Exhibitions: James Madison Alden, Watercolors & Drawings", and the address was http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/exhibits/past_exhibits/james_alden/index.html. You can view it using the Wayback Machine.]

17 June 2014

Julia's Cross (Tombstone Tuesday)

In Memory of
Julia Eveline
Wife of Dr. J. T. Dickinson,
of Albany, GA
Died Aug 6th, 1867
Aged 35 years

Greensboro City Cemetery
Greene County, Georgia

Photo © 2013 S. Lincecum

14 June 2014

Isaac Stocks, Revolutionary War (Soldier Saturday)

Isaac Stocks
Pvt GA Troops
Rev. War

Greensboro City Cemetery
Greene County, Georgia

According to a U.S. Headstone Application for Military Veterans, Isaac's grave site was not marked with the stone pictured above until 1939.

12 June 2014

The One Whose Death was Swallowed Up in Victory

Georgia Baptists was published just two years before the death of Thomas Stocks. A section of the book contains biographies, one of which is devoted to him. It should be called an autobiography, though, since Thomas wrote the piece himself. The bulk of the article is of course devoted to Thomas's connection with the Baptist faith. Here are a couple of snippets chronicling two event dates that made it to his tombstone:
I was born the 1st of February, 1786, in an Indian fort, near my present residence, in Greene county. The Oconee river was then the line between the whites and the Creek Indians, who were so troublesome as frequently to drive the whites into forts...The men worked in squads, a few days on each farm, and had to put out sentinels to protect them from surprise while at work. While most of the men were thus employed, the Indians frequently attacked the forts, but were invariably repulsed, a few prudent men and the women defending them successfully...This state of things continued until the lands lying between the Oconee and Apalachee rivers were ceded to the United States government...

...In 1826, I was convicted of sin, under Jack Lumpkin's preaching. My wife had been a member of the church several years. After passing through many and sore conflicts, it pleased God to reveal His son in me as my Saviour. No one who has never experienced that feeling can ever be made fully to understand it, but he that has felt it in his heart knows that it is God's work, and not man's...
Thomas Stocks died 6 October 1876. His tombstone in Greensboro City Cemetery glaringly reflects the life he had on earth: The open book (presumably the Bible) atop what could be a pulpit. The bundle of wheat and sickle could have a couple of meanings. One that is readily applicable to Thomas is the sign of a long and fruitful life. He was 90+ years old when he died. Another is a representation of the Christian harvest, when God separates the good from the bad. (Maybe a tad over-simplistic? Here's an explanation from Wikipedia.)

Thomas Stocks
Born Feb 1st, 1786
United with the Baptist Church 1828
Died Oct 6th, 1876

"He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of Faith." Acts 11:24

When Thomas died, a short (and pretty cool) blurb was printed on page 2 of the 11 October 1876 Augusta Chronicle (Georgia) newspaper [via GenealogyBank] --
Hon. THOMAS STOCKS, one of the oldest and most prominent citizens of Greene county, is dead. He was ninety-two years old at the time of his death, and had consequently lived during the entire Federal Administration of affairs -- from Washington down to Grant.

The back of Thomas's tombstone reads:

"When this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then will be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory."

11 June 2014

Annie Derry Jones (Wednesday's Child)

Annie Derry
Infant Daughter of E. D. & M. K. Jones
Born June 14, 1889
Died July 18, 1890

"The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

~ Greensboro City Cemetery in Greene County, Georgia

09 June 2014

Henry Burns, Rebuilt and Upright

Here rests all that is mortal of
Born Dec 22nd, 1844 in Chamber Co. Ala,
he died Nov 1st, 1873 in Atlanta, Ga.,
a brave soldier of the Confederate Army, a faithful member of the Baptist Church, a
consistent Mason, a patriotic Citizen & a true friend.

As the editor of the "Greensboro Herald" from 1868 to 1872 he advocated with great ability,
the doctrines of Jeffersonian Democracy and firmly opposed all departures there from.

In early youth, poor and unknown, by virtuous industry, in a few years he acquired a
competency and won an emiable name.

His noble example lives -- a stimulus to the _____ ambition of young manhood.

When I visited Greensboro City Cemetery (Greene County, Georgia) almost a year ago, this stone appeared to have recently been put (back) together and reset.  Indeed, a photo from about 2011 posted to FindAGrave shows this stone lying on the ground.  As can be easier seen from the back, the contraption you see in the photo is holding the stone together in place and upright.

08 June 2014

Henrietta's Precious Dust Reposes Here (Today's Epitaph)

In Memory of
Henrietta M. Dawson
Wife of Hon. William C. Dawson
And daughter of Dr. Thomas and Sidney Wingfield
Born in Washington, Georgia Oct 7th, 1801
Died in Washington City, D.C. April 7th, 1850
And here her precious dust reposes.

Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.

Greensboro City Cemetery
Greene County, Georgia
Photo © 2013 S. Lincecum
She was blessed with a strong intellect,
admirable judgement,
and peculiar gentleness
of disposition.
As a member of the Social Circle
and of
the Church of Christ,
she will be remembered
for her cheerfulness
and piety
harmonious and attractive.

Sister, Wife and Mother,
she was exemplary, pure and lovely
in all
the beautiful proprieties that adorned
her character;
have left,
for those who knew her, a hallowed
and precious fragrance
which can never be destroyed.

"We hear thy voice. It cometh oft
In sorrow's gush and memory's swell
When sigh we for its welcome soft
Or whisper of its sad farewell.
It comes with happy tone and blest,
And bids us to thine own sweet rest."

[Henrietta was the wife of William C. Dawson, also profiled on this blog.]

07 June 2014

Ann Thornton and Sweet Babe Sarah

© 2013 S. Lincecum


SACRED to the Memory of
Born May 11th, 1850
Died Jan'y 9th 1878

© 2013 S. Lincecum

It's easy to notice Mrs. Ann Foster Thornton died at a young age -- just 27 years.  Looking at the back of her ornate tombstone, I might have found a clue as to why.


Sleep on sweet babe,
and take thy rest.
God called thee home,
He thought it best.

© 2013 S. Lincecum

If Sarah Pierce Thornton is Ann's sweet babe, then one or both might have died due to complications of childbirth. They rest at Greensboro City Cemetery in Greene County, Georgia.

Shared at Cemetery Sunday.

28 May 2014

Alfred Cranford Murdered. Sam Hose Lynched.

**Caution: this post may not be for the faint of heart; possible controversial topic ahead.**

Alfred Cranford (1871-1899)
Photo by Sharon Kadlick via FindAGrave
The funeral of Alfred Cranford was held today. His wife stood by his grave, but showed no sign of emotion. It is feared that her mind has become unbalanced as a result of the terrible ordeal she has just passed through,... ["Palmetto Citizens In Arms", Augusta Chronicle (Georgia), 15 April 1899, pg. 1]

Alfred was buried at the Cranford Family Cemetery in Newnan, Coweta County, Georgia. His cause of death was murder by axe, and the act was perpetrated in front of his wife and children. Witnesses placed blame on Sam Hose, and the infamous manhunt resulting in a horrific lynching commenced.

Alfred Cranford, Murdered By Negro Brute and Wife Assaulted.


Both Crimes Committed in Presence of Four Small Children -- Brute Ran From House and Made His Escape -- Bloodhounds on His Trail -- Citizens of Newman
[sic] Join in Chase.

Palmetto, Ga., April 12 -- Alfred Cranford, a highly esteemed citizen of this county, residing three miles from Palmetto, was murdered and his wife assaulted by Sam Hose, a notorious negro of the community, at 7 o'clock last night.

The latter slipped up behind Cranford while the latter and family were seated at the table eating supper, and before the presence of the negro was known Cranford was felled to the floor by a terrible blow on the head with an axe. The powerful negro wielded the weapon with terrific force, the keen edge crushing through the skull and brain of the defenseless man and almost killing him instantly...

...If the negro is captured there will be a lynching on the spot, as the negro was clearly identified by Mrs. Cranford, and his guilt is fixed beyond a doubt. It is believed that he cannot evade the posse long, as the bloodhounds have traced him many miles through the woods and swamps,...

There has been great excitement in the community today, and a report of a lynching is minutely expected.

The negro is of a yellow color, five and one-half feet high, one or two front teeth out, and he carries his head a little to one side. He is 21 or 22 years old, and had on a brown spotted hat... [Augusta Chronicle (Georgia), 14 April 1899, pg. 1. Preceding are snippets. Entire article may be viewed online at GenealogyBank.]
Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
15 April 1899
Another headline from the Macon Telegraph: THE NEGRO MUST DIE: Three Hundred Armed Men After Him.

Sam Hose evaded capture for ten days. Then, once the mob finally caught up with him, he was burned alive and his body mutilated.



His Ears Were Cut Off Before He Was Executed and After the Burning There Was a Scramble For the Charred Bones of the Victim, Which Were Carried Away as Souvenirs.

Sam Holt, the negro murderer of Alfred Cranford and the assailant of Cranford's wife, was burned at the stake one mile and a quarter from Newnan, Ga., Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock...

...Such suffering has seldom been witnessed, and through it all the negro uttered hardly a cry...

The spot selected was an ideal one for such an affair and the stake was in full view of those who stood about and with unfeigning satisfaction saw the negro meet his death and saw him tortured before the flames killed him.

For sickening sights, harrowing details and bloodcurdling incidents, the burning of Holt is unsurpassed by any occurrence of a like kind ever heard of in the history of Georgia. [Emphasis mine.]

...Self-confessed and almost defiant, without a plea for mercy and no expectation of it, Holt went to the stake with as much courage as any one could possibly have possessed on such an occasion, and the only murmur that issued from his lips was when angry knives plunged into his flesh and his life's blood sizzled in the fire before his eyes.

Then he cried, "Oh, my God! Oh, Jesus!" [Savannah Tribune (Georgia), 29 April 1899, pg. 1. Preceding are snippets. Entire (graphic) article may be viewed online at GenealogyBank.]
Most of us will never understand evil, though we can likely recognize it. I do believe evil was present among the hundreds (thousands?) involved, from the murder of Alfred Cranford to the lynching of Samuel Hose.

22 May 2014

Ada Died of T.B.

Even after researching my family history for many, many years, I'm still saddened when I find out a relative, no matter the distance, died young. In this instance, the young age is 49. Ada Rhodes was born about September 1875 in Washington County, Georgia to T. P. and Fanny (Martin) Rhodes. Death came 23 May 1925 in Wheeler County, Georgia. The cause of death was simply indicated on her death certificate as T. B. Ada suffered with the disease of tuberculosis for at least five years.

From Georgia's Virtual Vault
(Permanent link)

Upon her death, Ada was buried in Erick Cemetery. Her husband, Lucien E. Avant, joined her some 32 years later.

FindAGrave Memorial #67116817
Photo by Craig & Tonya Banks

20 May 2014

Parted Only By Death (Tombstone Tuesday)

Reynolds City (aka Hillcrest) Cemetery
Taylor County, Georgia
Emanuel Aultman
b. Jan 27, 1830
d. May 29, 1915
Asleep in Jesus
Mary Aultman
Wife of E. Aultman
b. Nov 11, 1830
d. Jan 16, 1914
Asleep in Jesus

"Deaths and Funerals: MRS. EMANUEL AULTMAN
REYNOLDS, Jan. 17 -- Mrs. Emanuel Aultman, 83 years old, died at her home here this morning. When she was 18 years of age she was married to Captain Emanuel Aultman, who survives her. They have therefore lived together 65 years. Mrs. Aultman is the mother of Dr. Rhett Aultman, of Meigs, Ga., Judge Hollis Aultman, of Reynolds, and of Mrs. Mims, Mrs. Mathews, Mrs. Long and Miss Dovie Aultman, all of whom reside here."
[Macon Telegraph (Georgia), 18 January 1914, pg. 10. Via GenealogyBank.]

18 May 2014

Sad Story of Sophia's Burial at Sea

The old photo at right is of an obelisk standing to memorialize the life of Charles Hyatt Richardson. He was born in 1830 at Sumter, South Carolina, and died at Byron, Georgia in 1886. Dr. Richardson was buried at Byron City Cemetery. Since I have a (very) distant connection to him, I poked around a bit in Charles's life and discovered a sad story regarding the death of his mother.

Sophia Hyatt was born 27 March 1804, the daughter of Charles Hyatt. She married John Smythe Richardson 9 April 1827 in Providence, Rhode Island, and they moved down to South Carolina. Elizabeth Buford Richardson wrote about Sophia in her book A Genealogical Record of the Richardson and Buford Families (published 1906; digitized here):
She was delicate, but the change from the northern clime to this southern home agreed well with her; she took on flesh which made her even more beautiful. She was intelligent, cultured, and well read, and she kept up with the leading topics of her day. Although it was more than twenty-five years before the war between the sections culminated, yet at that remote period she was quick to discern the unfairness dealt by northern politicians to her adopted southland, whose cause she heartily endorsed. Could she then have looked through the vista of time she would have seen her own four noble boys, grown to warrior men, in battle array against the northern foe. But she was brave as well as true and just, and had she been with us in the hour of offended rights, her kiss of good-bye to her soldier boys would have been accompanied by the buckling on of their armor.

When twelve sunny years in her southern home had passed, and she had been the mother of eight children (five were living), a bronchial cough developed. Cuba was highly recommended as a health resort for such troubles. She was taken there in the winter of 1839-40. For awhile she seemed to improve, but suddenly grew worse and died on March 14, 1840. An effort was made to bring her remains home, but it became necessary to bury them at sea. She had been reared in the Episcopal Church, so the Episcopal service for the “Burial of the dead at sea” was used, and thus she was buried in the silent hour of night. Why in the night? Her first born was on that vessel. His young heart must not be further lacerated. The casket was taken from the box in which it was enclosed, the box again closed and left in place. Hearts were touched when at times on the following day, as hitherto, and so on to the close of the voyage, that dear boy, sad and lonely, was seen sitting by that empty box.
My heart breaks a bit every time I read that story.

A small notice appeared in the 25 July 1840 edition of South Carolina's Camden Journal (via GenealogyBank):
Departed this life, on the 11th of March last, at Matanzas, Cuba, Mrs. SOPHIA HYATT RICHARDSON, wife of John S. Richardson, Jr. Esq. of [Sumter] District, after a protracted illness of eight months.
Sophia's eldest son, another John Smythe Richardson, was 15 years old at the time of his mother's death and that heart-wrenching voyage. Charles Hyatt Richardson, the original subject of research, was just 10.

17 May 2014

Willard Ervin Abernathy's Standard Certificate of Death (This Time It's Personal)

No tombstone photo today. I would like to share with you a "this time it's personal" death certificate, instead.

I must tell you the information found on this document was of no surprise to me. However, I can only imagine what a researcher would think if they came across Willard's death certificate with no prior knowledge of the circumstances surrounding his untimely end.

Willard Ervin Abernathy was a son of Harry J. Abernathy and Gladys Marie Campbell. He was born 31 July 1935, and he died about 7 on the morning of 5 June 1948 in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. What was the cause of this twelve year old's death?
Shock & Hemorrhage, Due to being shot by a 12 gauge double barrel shot gun. The charge going into the right frontal bone.
Process that for a moment.

The document further states the death was considered an accident, and the "injury" occurred on "Roy Grindstaff farm."

Willard was buried the next day at Plainview Cemetery in Bollinger County, Missouri.

I knew the family story regarding Willard's death, and it was substantiated by an article I found in a local newspaper:

Sikeston Herald (Missouri)
Thursday, 10 June 1948
Cape County Youth Killed While Hunting
Last Saturday Willard Abernathy, 12-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Abernathy, who live near Whitewater in Cape Girardeau county, was fatally shot by his grandfather, George M. Campbell of Morley, who was visiting in the Abernathy home.

It is reported that the grandfather went squirrel hunting near the Abernathy home early Saturday morning and that a little later, without his knowledge, the lad also went hunting. In the dim light of the morning Campbell saw something moving in a clump of bushes and fired his gun at it. The object was his grandson.
What a tragedy.

Willard was my 1st cousin, 2x removed. You may view an image of the original death certificate here at Missouri Digital Heritage.

16 May 2014

Only Confederate Soldier Buried at Andersonville National Cemetery

Camp Sumter, more commonly known simply as Andersonville, was one of the largest Confederate military prisons of the Civil War. More than 45,000 Union soldiers were held there, of which about 13,000 perished. Those 13,000 graves were eventually provided headstones, largely due to the efforts of Clara Barton, and a national cemetery was established. Today, upwards of 20,000 veterans and family members rest at Andersonville.

S. B. Kitchens' military tombstone bears the Southern Cross of Honor
and a pointed top.
Yet one individual stands out as being the only Confederate veteran buried at the national historic site: Sampson Boze Kitchens.

He was a private in Company C of the 10th Georgia Regiment, enlisting in 1862 at the age of 17. Despite the (obvious) constant dangers of soldiering during a war (including at least two stints in the hospital), Boze survived and was present for the surrender of Confederate troops at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. [Information gleaned from Confederate service records at Fold3 and Confederate pension applications at Ancestry.]

Sampson Boze Kitchens lived til the ripe age of 90 years, leaving behind 9 children, 25 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren (according to a transcript of his obituary).

I don't know why it didn't occur to me before, as I've wondered why Pvt. Kitchens was buried at Andersonville. I found out recently his remains were actually moved there. He was originally buried at Kelly-Kitchens Cemetery near Oglethorpe, Georgia, where his grave remained unmarked for at least five months. Soon after, a headstone at that location was provided by the US military via Mrs. Chas. A. Greer, president of the Oglethorpe Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Ancestry.com. U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans,
[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com
Operations, Inc., 2012.  National Archives and Records
Administration cited.

According to this Macon County, Georgia message board post, Sampson B. Kitchens was "moved and re-buried with honor" at Andersonville National Cemetery 24 March 1995.

08 May 2014

Mary Alma Avant: A Discrepancy in Dates

Old photo of mine (2008).

Mary Alma Avant was buried at Liberty United Methodist Church Cemetery, known simply as Liberty church, at the time of her death. The "family burying ground" is a plot located behind, or maybe more beside, the church as it stands today.

What is a little confusing is the date of death on her tombstone is 10 April 1915. However, an obituary states her death took place on 1 April 1914 [Macon Daily Telegraph (Georgia), 2 April 1914, pg. 7. Via GenealogyBank.] --


Miss Alma Avant, 33 years of age, died yesterday morning at an early hour at the home of her father, J. R. Avant, near Walden. Besides her father she is survived by three sisters, Mrs. E. W. Lipford, Mrs. J. F. Hammock and Miss Jessie Avant; also one brother, George Avant.

Miss Avant had many friends in the Walden neighborhood and in Macon who are grieved over her death. The funeral will be held today at noon from Liberty church, Rev. M. W. Carmichael officiating. Interment will follow in the family burying ground...

This stone was clearly added some time after death.  Seems a mistake happened somewhere along the journey to provide Miss Alma with a marker for her grave.  I, for one, am glad she has one!

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