29 November 2015

Life Divides, Death Joins Together

I, probably like most amateur historians, gravitate toward the "old" tombstones when traipsing through cemeteries. I paused at Lucius Van "Rip" Peavy's newer granite ledger marker, though, because I'm related to many (most?) Peavys of middle and south Georgia. So I must always document those!

I was not only rewarded with some vital dates for cousin Rip Peavy, but also a quite interesting epitaph.

Lucius Van "Rip" Peavy, Sr.
Aug 29, 1905
Jan 1, 1994
No Longer Let Life Divide What Death Can Join Together

We often see death as dividing the living from those that have passed on, but this line tells it a bit differently. Here, death is joining Lucius together with those that have gone before.

The prophetic words are from a poem by Percy Shelley entitled Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats. They can be found in the 53rd of 55 stanzas:
Why linger, why turn back, why shrink, my Heart?
Thy hopes are gone before: from all things here
They have departed; thou shouldst now depart!
A light is pass'd from the revolving year,
And man, and woman; and what still is dear
Attracts to crush, repels to make thee wither.
The soft sky smiles, the low wind whispers near:
'Tis Adonais calls! oh, hasten thither,
No more let Life divide what Death can join together.
P.S. Lucius Van "Rip" Peavy was son of Lucius M. Peavy (1879-1964) and Mary E. Peavy (1881-1960). All rest in the Pinehurst City Cemetery of Dooly County, Georgia.

25 November 2015

Druggist Oscar Horne Shoots Self to Death

Oscar C. Horne graduated from the Maryland College of Pharmacy in May of 1899. About nine years later, it seems he found life too hard to handle.

Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)
7 January 1908, page 4

Found Dying Behind Counter With Bullet Through Heart.

Special to The Chronicle.
Savannah, Ga., Jan. 6 -- Oscar C. Horne, a druggist, was found dead this morning behind his counter in his drug store at Bull and Thirty-ninth streets. A revolver lay on the floor beside him, with one chamber empty, the bullet from which had gone through his heart.

Druggist John Schwaib made the discovery, having gone to the drug store on business. When no one responded to his rapping on the counter he investigated and found the body.

Horne's negro porter came in within a few minutes and said he had left Mr. Horne a short time before to go out on an errand, and that the druggist had then appeared thoroughly rational and cheerful.

A pencilled note lay on the counter addressed to J. R. Horne, Pinehurst, Ga., the father of the druggist.

Horne was tonight to have been installed as prelate of the Forest City Lodge Knights of Pythias, of which he was past chancellor.

He was a kind and loving son
and affectionate brother.

Though lost to sight to memory dear.
A link that binds us to Heaven.

Pinehurst City Cemetery
Dooly County, Georgia

P.S. If you're like me, and had no clue what a prelate was, here's a basic definition from Google: "a bishop or other high ecclesiastical dignitary." The word is considered to be formal and historical.

24 November 2015

Marsh B. Wood (Tombstone Tuesday)

I like his name!

Marsh was born 17 March 1883 to Henry D. and Martha L. Wood. When Marsh was 17 years old, the family was living in Dooly County, Georgia. About 1905 Marsh married Bessie, and by 1910 they were living in Montgomery, Alabama. Marsh was working as a street car conductor at the time. When Marsh registered for the draft in 1918, he and Bessie were in Lafayette County, Florida. A couple of years later (January 1920) would find Marsh and Bessie in Clinch County, Georgia, where Marsh was a sawyer in a shingle mill.

Five months after that, Marsh was dead.

God's hand touched him and he slept.

(Pinehurst City Cemetery, Dooly County, Georgia)

What the heck happened? Was there an accident at the mill? Did Marsh get sick? I sure would like to know. Anybody?

BTW - Marsh was brother (and brother-in-law) to Henry A. and Laura Hendley Wood.

23 November 2015

Henry and Laura Wood Were Faithful to Every Duty (Today's Epitaph)

Unless the phrase is simply "At Rest", I don't often see two individuals buried side-by-side with the same epitaph. (Though I suppose it's probably not that uncommon.) I found this to be true, however, with Henry Arthur Wood and his wife Laura E. Hendley. They rest at Pinehurst City Cemetery in Dooly County, Georgia.  And both were "faithful to every duty."

Henry Arthur Wood (1880-1935) and wife Laura E. Hendley Wood (1882-1970).
Faithful to Every Duty.

Photo © 2011-2015 S. Lincecum.

An 1894 Sunday School Helper says, "Faithful to duty is one way of honoring him who gives you a duty to do." Henry and Laura honored God by doing the best they could with their lives.

I'm sure the lives of the Wood family were turned upside down with the passing of Henry. Here's an excerpt from his obituary printed in the 30 March 1935 Macon Telegraph (Georgia), page 4:
Mr. Wood succumbed to injuries suffered Sunday afternoon in an automobile accident near Perry. He was accompanied by Mrs. Wood, Mr. and Mrs. Walter V. Forehand of this place. A passing car crashed into Wood's automobile. Mr. Wood was one of the outstanding citizens of Dooly county.

20 November 2015

Mary Wright's Untimely Urn

Beneath this stone reposes all
that was mortal
~ of ~
Daughter of
Mary & Dr. Wm Savage
And wife of
Col. A. R. Wright,
Born Dec'r 28th, 1825
Married April 26th, 1843
Died June 23rd, 1854

A Christian Woman
is the highest best gift of God to earth
and here lies one of its
highest exemplifications! Christianity was with
her a sentiment deeply inwoven in all
her thoughts, feelings and affections.
Kind and benevolent, unexacting
and charitable, brilliant but
humble --- Vigorous in intellect,
sweet and lovely in person, meek and
gentle in disposition --- her life and
character have left their impress
indelibly fixed in the hearts of those whose
wise counsellor and devoted partner she was
throught all the vicissitudes of an eventful
though brief career.  Though married when
young, ardent and hopeful in the midday
splendor of youthful hopes and aspirations.
She entered upon her domestic duties
an energy and devotion which could feel
no decline:  and by the purity and vigor
of her own character she won from the
most slavish passions, him whose welfare
was her highest happiness, and
whose character was her own handiwork.
Her earthly missions
accomplished --- she laid down
her Cross, Took up her
Crown, and now
sweetly rests in the
bosom of her Savior.

If all the charities which life endear,
May claim affection, or demand a tear,
Then o'er Mary's untimely urn,
Domestic love may weep, and friendship mourn.

Revolutionary War Cemetery
Louisville, Jefferson County, Georgia

19 November 2015

William Walker: Georgia Revolutionary Soldier

William Walker (son of Joel Walker, Rev. Sol., and his wife Judith ---), b. Buckingham Co., Va., 1762; d. Jefferson Co., Ga., 1818. Private in Ga. Militia, under Major Gen. John Twiggs. Served as scout. Mar., Jefferson Co., Ga., Elizabeth Bostic (1770-1835) (dau. of Nathan Bostic (or Bostwick), b. Suffolk Co., Va., 1746; d. Jefferson Co., Ga., 1818; received bounty grant of land for service as private in Ga. Militia. Mar. Martha Gwinn, b. 1750). [Source: Ancestry.com. Roster of Revolutionary Soldiers in Georgia Vol. 1 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.]

The dates don't quite jive, but there is a Nathan Bostwick resting "two graves over" from William Walker, Sr.

18 November 2015

Children of Owen and Bdelia McDermott (Wednesday's Child x 13)

A single monument in the Revolutionary War Cemetery at Louisville, Jefferson County, Georgia stands for the memories of thirteen children born to Owen and Bdelia McDermott. Owen was born in County Sligo, Ireland 9 March 1806 and died 27 January 1877. Owen's wife Bdelia lived less than a decade more. Of those memorialized, and I probably have some of these dates wrong since they were difficult to read, it appears only a few made it to adulthood.

Born Novr 1827
Died Augt 1829

Mary Ann
Born May 1829
Died Sept 1832

Born Novr 4th 1830
Died Sept 1834

Born May 10th 1831
Died Sept 3rd 1839

Born Augt 4th 1833
Died Sept 4th 1839

Born Augt 1835
Died Novr 1839

Born May 9th 1837
Died Novr 1844

Born May 14th 1839
Died Novr 1855

Born July 1841
Died Jany 1844

Born May 9th 1843
Died Mch 14th 1873 [1878?]

Born Augt 20th 1845
Died Augt 22nd 1863 [1862?]

Louisa Martha
Born Feby 22nd 1847
Died July 28th 1868 [1862?]

Born Mch 25th 1849
Died Augt 7th 1862


17 November 2015

Joseph Mayrank Jones (Tombstone Tuesday)

Sacred to the memory of
son of Joseph Jones
of Liberty county, Georgia
who died on the 5th January 1831
near Louisville
on his way home
from the Legislature
in which body
he represented his native
county three years,
aged 26 years & 8 months.

This tribute
to departed worth as dedicated
by paternal affection
to one who by his amiable deportment
and many virtues
justly merited the warm affection
of his
numerous relatives and friends.

Farewell dear youth, a long & fond adieu
A father's tears, thy early tomb bedew.

14 November 2015

Brigadier General James Gunn and His Political Ruination

It came in the form of the Yazoo Land Act, but let's back up a bit.

I snap digital images of gravestones all the time, often having no clue who I'm photographing. And this was easily the case when I visited the Revolutionary War Cemetery at Louisville, Jefferson County, Georgia (also known as Old Capitol Cemetery, or Old City Cemetery). It was not a planned visit, and I was looking for no one in particular.

The simple ledger marker for James Gunn, however, piqued my interest. A Brigadier General? Well this might be someone I can research.

Here lies the Body of
Brigadier General
who died on the 30 of July 1801.
Aged 48 years, 4 months
and 17 days.

A death notice in the Western Star (Stockbridge, Massachusetts) from 7 September 1801 told me Gen. James Gunn was formerly a Georgia Senator. The American (Baltimore, Maryland) went into slightly more detail [20 August 1801, page 2]. (Don't forget the letter s was often written as an f.)
Died at Louifville, Georgia, on Thurfday the 30th inft. the honorable James Gunn, brigadier general of the firft brigade of the firft divifion of the militia of Georgia, and for many years paft a fenator in Congrefs from that ftate. On the following day the laft melancholy teftimony of refpect to his memory was fhewn by the refpectable citizens of Louifville, by whom his body was interred with military honors.
Then I found "The real story of James Gunn." This 2009 article by Farris Cadle describes Gunn as "one of the biggest scoundrels in American history" for his participation in the Yazoo Land Fraud:
In 1794 he [James Gunn] and a group of associates formed the Georgia Company. This and three other similar companies worked together through the early and mid part of 1794 to clandestinely bribe members of the state legislature to pass what in history became known as the Yazoo Act. Gunn waited until November 26, 1794, thirteen days after his reelection to the U.S. Senate, to formally submit the Georgia Company’s proposal to the legislature. The act, once passed, conveyed about 3/5ths of Georgia’s western territory to the four private companies for a pittance.
The New Georgia Encyclopedia says a bit more:
Georgia was too weak after the Revolution to defend its vast western land claims, called the "Yazoo lands" after the river that flowed through the westernmost part. Consequently, the legislature listened eagerly to proposals from speculators willing to pay for the right to form settlements there...

Pressure to act continued to build on legislators until, by mid-November 1794, a majority reportedly favored the sale of the western territory. On January 7, 1795, Georgia governor George Mathews signed the Yazoo Act, which transferred 35 million acres in present-day Alabama and Mississippi to four companies for $500,000. To achieve this successful sale, the leader of the Yazooists, Georgia's Federalist U.S. senator James Gunn, had arranged the distribution of money and Yazoo land to legislators, state officials, newspaper editors, and other influential Georgians. Cries of bribery and corruption accompanied the Yazoo Act as it made its way to final passage. Angry Georgians protested the sale in petitions and street demonstrations. Despite the swelling opposition, the Yazoo companies completed their purchases.
Finally, Lucian Lamar Knight wrote his take on James Gunn in Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials, and Legends (Pub. 1914, pgs 344-5.):
In what is called the old cemetery of the town [Louisville, GA] is the grave of a famous soldier and statesman, who, unhappily for his fame, became identified with the notorious Yazoo Act, of 1795, by which Georgia, for a mere pittance, agreed to cede her western lands...

...It may be said in justice the memory of General Gunn that some of the foremost public men of the day were concerned in the Yazoo land deals, among them Patrick Henry, of Virginia; Thomas Glascock, of Georgia; and other patriots of the Revolution. They regarded the transaction purely in the light of a business matter. There were no railroads in those days. It seemed hardly within the bounds of reason to expect any expansion of the State's populated area to a region so remote; and the lands for this reason were comparatively worthless.

...General Gunn's death, in 1801, was probably hastened by the unpleasant notoriety to which he was subjected.
Besides being on the wrong side of a hot-button political issue, there was another issue regarding the will of General James Gunn. Though it was believed he made one, said will was nowhere to be found after the general's death. An act was passed by the Georgia legislature (yes, I'm serious) addressing this unfortunate occurrence. [A Compilation of the Laws of the State of Georgia, Passed by the Legislature Since the Political Year 1800, to the Year 1810, Inclusive, pub. 1812. Pg. 53.]
To quiet the claim of James Gunn, to the estates, real and personal, of General James Gunn, deceased.

WHEREAS it has been represented to this Legislature, that Brigadier General James Gunn, died testate; and it appearing from the strongest presumptive testimony, that he left a will and testament, but that the same has been lost or destroyed, so that there is no probability of its being found; And whereas it also appears to have been the wish, desire and intention of the said General James Gunn, that his nephew, James Gunn, of the State of Virginia, should inherit, possess and enjoy, his estate, real and personal.
So goes the complex story of Brigadier General James Gunn, belied by a simple ledger marker in an old cemetery.

The Great Yazoo Lands Sale

06 November 2015

Metta Cubbedge: and Rose Hill Has Another Fair Sleeper Awaiting the End of All Things

[Sometimes I publish a post at the Rose Hill Cemetery blog I think Southern Graves readers will enjoy. This is one of those.]

Original photo by James Allen.
Slightly enhanced image above by Stephanie Lincecum.
Metta Cubbedge was born 26 April 1861 in Georgia to Richard W. and Anna M. Cubbedge. The beginning of 1877 saw Metta as a bright scholar of the junior class at Macon, Georgia's Wesleyan College. She was described, in reference to her role as a student, as "faithful to every duty, never by word or action, disobeying her preceptors."

Metta also had an active extracurricular life. She was President of a secret literary society (it was only allowed to maintain a member number of 30) at Wesleyan known as the Philomathean* Society. She also seemed to enjoy singing. Newspaper articles included her name when describing performances by Macon's Baptist Church choir, as well as Wesleyan's Philomathean Society. Miss Metta Cubbedge was often singled out as a soloist. She was described as having a "sweet modest voice." And her rendition of a song called "The Old Arm Chair" was noted as having a "tender pathos and sweet, sad music."

But before the summer of 1877 ended, Metta was dead. The young 16 year old was struck down by typhoid fever. An illness that lasted a mere 10 days.

Before I share a couple of articles about Metta's death and funeral, I'd like to pose a question: Was Metta's death forseshadowed? If I read an article about her funeral correctly (it's transcribed below), a "dying companion" told Metta she would either die young, die soon, or something of the sort. Please comment with any thoughts you might have on this, especially if you think I'm way off base.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
1 September 1877, pg. 4
Death of Miss Metta Cubbedge.
The sad intelligence of the death of this young lady reached the city yesterday and threw over her large circle of friends and acquaintances a profound feeling of sadness.

She is a daughter of Mr. R. W. Cubbedge, a prominent banker of this city, and had been spending the summer at Griffin, Georgia, with friends, where she had won by her gentle deportment a host of ardent admirers.

About ten days ago she was taken ill with fever, which rapidly developed into typhoid, and ended her young life yesterday at ten and a half o'clock.

A telegram Friday evening announcing that all the symptoms of the disease were better, deterred Mr. Cubbedge from going up with his family physician, Dr. Boone. Another yesterday morning brough[t] the sad intelligence that she was sinking, and in a few hours after she died.

The remains were brought down on the Central railroad yesterday evening and the funeral will take place from Mr. Cubbedge's residence, on College street, this morning.

All who knew Miss Metta Cubbedge loved her for her many traits of character. She was a member of the junior class at the Wesleyan College this past year and all her companions were devotedly attached to her. Her rendition of the "old arm chair" will never be forgotten by those who heard it for its tender pathos and sweet, sad music. She was just verging into womanhood, but the fair flower has been rudely broken by the hand of death. We tender our sincerest sympathies to the bereaved parents in this sad hour of their mysterious affliction.
Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
2 September 1877, pg. 4
Funeral of Miss Metta Cubbedge.
...The badges of the members of the Philomathean Society, of which she was President, were draped with mourning...

The services were conducted at the grave, and Rose Hill had another fair sleeper awaiting the end of all things. A strange presentiment has, it seems, taken possession of the young lady, that she would soon die in verification of a remark made by a dying companion some two years since, and, during her sickness, she spoke frequently of death and expected the coming of the grim messenger.
*It's also interesting to note another role Metta played in history. The Philomathean Society, founded at Wesleyan College in 1852, and of which Metta Cubbedge was President for a time, later changed its name to Phi Mu. The sorority is active today with more than 228 chapters and is considered to be the second oldest secret organization for women.
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