31 May 2016

Chastain Memorial Cemetery: the Recently Departed are Important, Too (Tombstone Tuesday)

100_7662I have a confession to make.  I like my cemeteries old.  Well, I probably should be more specific.  For blogging purposes, I prefer older cemeteries.  Or at least ones with old sections.  That works, too.

Don't misunderstand me, please.  If I have an opportunity to stroll through a "new" cemetery, I'm going to take it.  And I'm just as likely to wander around, getting lost in the stories among the stones, no matter their age.  But when I'm traveling, or researching a place to study, it's usually the old I seek.

After attending the Memorial Day service at Veterans Memorial Park in Fannin County, Georgia, I knew I would visit a cemetery.  I wanted to do my part in remembering those that sacrificed their lives for my freedom.  Our freedom.


I had two choices, since there are two cemeteries –- an older one and a newer one -- within a stone's throw of the park.  I chose the new one.  Maybe it was because it's placement made it seem like an extension of the park.  Or maybe it was because I've only lived in this town a few months, and had not visited yet.  I don't know for sure why I chose it, but I'm glad I did.


I do know, on this glorious day, I was struck by the color.  Most of the time, in old and forgotten cemeteries, there is very little color.  I love to decipher the oft drab and scattered tombstones, but this was a scene I have seldom been in of late.  It was – dare I say when surrounded by death – uplifting.


And, let me tell you, I don't think I could walk six feet in any direction without being greeted by a marker bearing the name of a veteran.  World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm.  All were represented.  With all branches of service.  It was quite humbling.  There were so many names to speak aloud.  Loved ones I pray are never forgotten.




Jimmy's story is worth retelling.  Click here.


The last image I took was for Ensign Thomas A. Wall of the U.S. Naval Air Corps.  He was born 23 April 1922, and was lost 12 January 1945.  Member Squadron V.C. 84.  Ensign Wall was lost at sea with his plane from the U.S.S. Makin Island in the Battle of Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippine Islands.


Thank-you for your service, Ensign Wall.  Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

30 May 2016

Memorial Day Ceremony Along the Appalachian Highway

The Appalachian Highway runs right through Blue Ridge, Georgia – a town we moved to just a few short months ago.  I learned about the Memorial Day Ceremony happening at Veterans Memorial Park, just two turns off said highway, only yesterday, and was excited to attend.

I went a bit before it started, though, and visited the city park in downtown Blue Ridge.  I remembered a monument to the veterans of Fannin County was there, too, and I wanted to get an image for you.
In grateful recognition of the gallant service and supreme sacrifice of these soldiers of Fannin County in the World War, this monument is erected by the people of Fannin County.

The monument was originally dedicated 21 October 1937.  Later, soldiers from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam were also honored here.
In grateful tribute to the soldiers from Fannin County who gave their lives in World War II and Korean War.

"Who saves his country saves himself, saves all things, and all things saved do bless him.
Who lets his country die lets all things die, dies himself ignobly, and all things dying curse him."
After paying my respects to those inscribed here, I turned toward Veterans Memorial Park.  The keynote address was being given when I arrived.  After the address, a three volley salute was fired, and Taps was played.  The colors were removed, then a prayer.  It was a simple ceremony.  Yet powerful enough for my eyes to water.


The clouds were like cotton, and the sky was a beautiful blue.  More people than I expected were there, but even more should have been there.  Of that, I am sure.

By the way, do you know the significance of the three volley salute? I am a daughter and granddaughter of military veterans, so maybe I should have known.  But I did not.  According to VeteransUnited.com, the three volley salute "comes from traditional battle ceasefires where each side would clear the dead. The firing of three volleys indicated the dead were cleared and properly cared for."

The quality is not professional, but I captured the three volley salute and a portion of Taps on video.

Did you notice the cemetery behind the park? I went there after the ceremony. More on that tomorrow.

26 May 2016

Emma's Life was Craved (Today's Epitaph)


Emma Lenora
Wife of J. L. Burnett
Nov 29, 1898
Dec 3, 1922

In love she lived,
In peace she died.
Her life was craved,
But God denied.

Trinity Church Cemetery
Gwinnett County, Georgia

24 May 2016

Cicero P. and Julia F. (Langley) Brannon -- Tombstone Tuesday

It's been more than four years since I visited Trinity Church Cemetery in Gwinnett County, Georgia.  But I remember the day well.  There was a crispness in the air that is usually present in early November and, even though the sky was clear, I discovered the cemetery surrounded by trees tall enough to block out the sun in several places.  While not the best lighting for picture taking, it was awesome weather for taking my time.  I was in no hurry.  When that happens, I usually have enough photos to "connect the dots" when I finally sit down to dig a little deeper into the silent city.


The photo above is of the tombstone placed for Julia F. and Cicero P. Brannon.  My "dot connecting" deals with Julia's side of the family, but let's start with Cicero.

100_1179Cicero P. Brannon was born 26 July 1847 in Forsyth County, Georgia to William R. and Mahala / Mahalya (Pool) Brannon.  C. P. served in the 2nd Georgia Cavalry of the Confederate States Army for about the last year of the Civil War.  After returning home, Cicero married Julia F. Langley 15 November 1877 in Gwinnett County.  By the year 1900, the couple had given birth to eight children.  Cicero supported his family by farming.

Julia F. (Langley) Brannon died 30 April 1922.  The tombstone she shares with her husband remembers her this way:  She was a loyal friend, a noble daughter and a devoted wife and mother.

Cicero P. Brannon left this world four years later.  I was a little shocked when first viewing his death certificate.  The cause of Cicero's death was noted as, "Infected traumatic lacerated left hand.  (Secondary) Toxemia, arterosclerosis, Senility, Ch. Myocarditis." The document also showed Mr. Brannon had three operations prior to his death, one in October and two in November.  Finally, the date of death given is 30 November 1926.  The death date on the Brannon tombstone is 14 November 1926.  One of those that creates just as many questions (or more) as answers.

Cicero was eulogized as a Kind father of love.

Within Julia's family is where I was able to connect a few dots.  In viewing her death certificate, I found her parents to be William and Malinda Langley.  This leads me to believe she was sister to J. W. Langley, the Civil War veteran recently profiled here, and buried in the same cemetery.

J. W. was married twice.  His second wife was Maggie Craft, whom he married about 1881.  For the 1900 U.S. Federal census of the Goodwin District of Gwinnett County, Georgia, there is a Margrett E. Langley listed as a boarder in Cicero P. Brannon's household.  This single lady is a dressmaker.  Putting the "single" part aside, could this be Julia's sister-in-law?


22 May 2016

J. W. Langley and the Steiner Cancer Clinic

James W. Langley, son of William and Malinda, was born 31 August 1846 in Georgia.  J. W. served as a private with Co. E, 8 GA Infantry during the Civil War.  He married his second wife, Maggie R. Craft, about 1881, and they had at least five children.  Maggie died in the year 1928.  In 1930, the widowed James was staying with his daughter Lemma and son-in-law on Bacon School Road in the Vickery Creek area (near Cumming) of Forsyth County, Georgia.  James died, while residing in the same area, 3 July 1933 at the age of 86 years.  He was laid to rest at Trinity Church Cemetery in Gwinnett County near Maggie.

Trinity United Methodist Church Cemetery

AUG 31, 1846
JULY 3, 1933

I located James W. Langley's death certificate at FamilySearch.org, and was heartbroken with what I found.  Though he might have lived a full life in number of years, reading the cause of death saddened me so.

Malignant Cancer of the Eyes and fase [sic] put out both Eyes.

James appears to have possibly suffered with this disease for at least two years.

There was another notation on the document that led to more history.  The question, "What test confirmed diagnosis?" was answered with "Stiner [sic] Clinic." From AtlantaGa.gov:

Funds from the estate of Albert Steiner allowed Grady Memorial Hospital to add this structure in 1922. The Steiner Clinic was dedicated to the research, study and special treatment of cancer and other allied diseases.

This building, located at 62 Butler Street (now Jesse Hill Jr. Drive), was designated historic in 1989.  On the Google Map image below, you can still see Albert Steiner's name.

GeorgiaEncyclopedia.org calls the Steiner Clinic, when it was established, "the world's first and largest comprehensive cancer center… It lasted for about twenty-five years and was a model for future cancer centers throughout the country."

23 Pairs of Chromosomes. One Unique You. Get your DNA story at 23andMe.com.

20 May 2016

The Corpse Gate

100_0085Most people 'round me call an entrance to a cemetery just that.  An entrance.  Entryway.  Gate or gateway.  Maybe archway, if that applies.  If trying to be more specific, the term lichgate might be used.  Also spelled lychgate, or even as two separate words (lych gate), the first part is an Old English word for corpse.

The humble gate, by itself, has Christian funerary typology.  Douglas Keister, in his book Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography, writes:

…gates represent the passage from one realm to the next.  In scenes of the Last Judgement, gates are always central in the picture.  Often Christ is seen breaking through these dividing barriers between the damned and the righteous.

John Firth [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsA "true" lichgate (example pictured at right) is defined as "a roofed gateway to a churchyard, formerly used during burials for sheltering a coffin until the clergyman's arrival." It also covered pall-bearers waiting on the bier.  A bier being "a movable frame on which a coffin or a corpse is placed before burial or cremation or on which it is carried to the grave." Dating back to the Middle Ages, when individuals were buried in little more than shrouds, the lichgate could also provide shelter over the bier itself before it was ready to be carried along the lych way (the path used to carry a corpse to burial).

According to Wikipedia, most lichgates were built from the 15th century forward, though some do date earlier.  The lichgate of St. George's churchyard in Beckenham, London is said to be the oldest in England, dating back to the 13th century.

Though I don't think these structures are all that common today in their "traditional" form, especially in the southern United States, marked entryways into cemeteries do still exist.  From the seemingly simple to a bit more elaborate.  Here are a few that are fairly local to me.





Now here is a Georgia lichgate that could possibly pass as being patterned in the old style.  Whether that was the intention or not, I don't know.



The dedication / memorial plaque near the structure calls the pathway through the gate a "prayer path." I say these could easily pass for a lichgate and lych way.

18 May 2016

Rondall Peevy (Wednesday's Child)

According to his death certificate at FamilySearch.org, Rondell Peevy lived 1 year, 1 month, and 4 days.  That calculation results from birth and death dates of 23 January 1929 and 27 February 1930.

This differs from the dates found on his lamb topped tombstone.  According to it, Rondall E. Peevy was born 31 January 1929, and died 28 February 1930.

This little Peevy was a son of Hubert and Nema (Roebuck) Peevy.  He died from "meningitis resulting from influenza." Rondall rests at Hopewell Church Cemetery in Gwinnett County, Georgia. From mother's arms to the arms of Jesus.


17 May 2016

When the Heart Stops: the Deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Ervin Crow

100_1159Ervin R. Crow was born 10 February 1851 in Georgia to William and Syntha (Hudgins) Crow.  For his work life, Ervin was a farmer.  He married about 1871, and went on to have ten children.  Only six were still living by the 1900 census.

Ervin died 19 June 1919 in Suwanee, Gwinnett County, Georgia.  Cause of death was Pericarditis with effusion.  Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium (the sac surrounding the heart).  A pericardial effusion is an abnormal amount of fluid between the heart and the pericardium.  It's worth noting a secondary factor listed on Ervin's death certificate:  nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys).

Ervin's epitaph reads, in part:

Farewell my wife and children all,
From you a father Christ doth call.

Ervin's wife lived almost ten years more after his death.  I must admit, her name is a bit confusing.  She seems to have been noted as Caroline most often, yet her tombstone proclaims her as Carlyone Parriett Crow.

According to her death certificate, Mrs. Parza Caroline Crow was born 25 January 1851 in Georgia to Roberson and Jane Young, both of North Carolina.

Mrs. Crow died at an early morning hour 14 December 1928.  Cause of death was Myocarditis.  This disease causes inflammation and damage to the heart muscle, with chronic heart failure being a long term major complication.  Since her death certificate suggests she was afflicted for 3 days, I wonder if Mrs. Crow had a heart attack resulting in this damage.

Mr. and Mrs. Crow rest at Hopewell Church Cemetery in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

Gone to a bright home, Where grief can not come.


16 May 2016

Hubert P. Peevy & Bona Allen, Inc.

100_1156Hubert Preston Peevy was born 5 March 1909 in Gwinnett County, Georgia to Grover C. and Mattie (Jones) Peevy.  A month before reaching his 26th birthday, Hubert died.  This last life event took place in the early morning of 11 February 1935 in the Sugar Hill area of Gwinnett County.  Less than two weeks prior to his death, Hubert had been at work.  He was employed by Bona Allen, Inc., and had been so for fifteen years.  If the source -- his death certificate via FamilySearch.org -- is accurate, Hubert began working for the company about the age of 21.

Since I had no idea this company existed (and I lived in Gwinnett County for about four years), it was interesting to discover Bona Allen, Inc. opened in 1873 in Buford, Georgia.  The company was owned by Bonaparte Allen, and was the largest tannery in the nation.  According to Wikipedia, "…the company made horse collars and saddles, postal bags, cowboy boots, shoes and more."  The small map below shows that Sugar Hill, where Hubert likely lived, is not far from Buford.

Turning back to his death certificate, we see Hubert's job at the company was Shoe Maker.  Bona Allen, Inc. had expanded into shoes and boots around 1918.  The Great Depression caused them to slow production, and the shoe and boot product line ceased in 1941 officially due to work force issues.  A contract with the U.S. military restarted production, but only for World War II.

Bona Allen Tanners and Manufacturers buildingOn the flip side, the Depression era was actually a boon for overall business at Bona Allen, Inc.:

The nation's farmers could no longer afford to operate their tractors, so they had to return to using horses. This, in turn, created a demand for saddles and collars, as well as all other horse related equipment.  [Wikipedia]

Thus, Hubert Peevy was working at Bona Allen, Inc. at a time in their history when they had the highest number of employees.

Jumping ahead in the story of Bona Allen, Inc., the company was sold in 1968.  It operated under the Bona Allen name until a fire too devastating to come back from closed the tannery for good in 1981.  The main tannery building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.  Unfortunately, another fire occurred just last year and the building was allowed to "burn itself out" because Gwinnett County officials were concerned about leftover chemicals.  For more information about this company's history, go to the Wikipedia article.

Hubert Peevy rests at Hopewell Church Cemetery in Gwinnett County.  Grover C. and Mattie J. Peevy are there, too.

Hopewell Church & Cemetery

13 May 2016

Sudderth Family: 3 Years, 3 Deaths, 1 Tombstone (Causes of Death Defined)

Mrs. Elizabeth (Strickland) Moore married William H. Sudderth 22 November 1866 in Gwinnett County, Georgia.  The first daughter the couple had together was born 26 February 1869.  Daughter Eunice never married, and stayed with her parents throughout her life.

whsudderthWilliam H. Sudderth, who spent his life farming, died 28 September 1920 at a hospital in Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia.  Just six months after he was recorded in the U.S. Federal census.  Mr. Sudderth's death certificate (image at right via FamilySearch.org; click to enlarge) shares he was born 13 November 1842 to George Sudderth and Elsie Vaughn.  William's cause of death was listed as Uremic comaThe free [medical] dictionary describes the condition as, "Loss of consciousness caused by the toxic effects of the nitrogen-containing wastes and inorganic acids that accumulate in the bloodstream of patients in renal failure. Coma in renal failure usually occurs after other uremic symptoms, such as loss of appetite, confusion, lethargy, or seizures." Some months prior to his death, Mr. Sudderth had a prostatectomy.

Eunice P. Sudderth passed away 21 August 1922, just 23 months after her father.  Her cause of death was sarcoma.  A disease she had suffered from for 15 years.  WebMD.com says this:

A sarcoma is a rare kind of cancer.  Sarcomas are different from the much more common carcinomas because they happen in a different kind of tissue. Sarcomas grow in connective tissue -- cells that connect or support other kinds of tissue in your body. These tumors are most common in the bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage, nerves, fat, and blood vessels of your arms and legs, but they can happen anywhere.

Elizabeth Sudderth's demise came fourteen months later, on the afternoon of 22 October 1923.  This 85 year old had been the daughter of Henry and Annie Strickland.  Cause of death was Valvular Insufficiency.  Dictionary.com says this is "Failure of the cardiac valves to close perfectly, thus allowing regurgitation of blood past the closed valve." I'm afraid Elizabeth's heart just gave out.  This is bolstered by the contributory factor on her death certificate being noted as Old age.

Mother, father, and daughter Sudderth were buried at Hopewell Church Cemetery in Suwanee, Gwinnett County, Georgia.  Here's a photo from my visit in the fall of 2011.


12 May 2016

Remember the Rohna. Remember Clinton Whitehead.

100_1149Clinton Webster Whitehead was born 8 February 1923 in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia to John M. and Alma Whitehead.  By about the age of 7 years, Clinton was living in Atlanta with his parents and siblings.  Ten years later in 1940, the family was still in Atlanta.  Clinton's father was a laborer for the Works Progress Administration Park Project.

At the age of 19, about six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Clinton registered for the draft.  Another six or seven months passed before Clinton officially enlisted in the United States Army on 7 January 1943 -- a month before his 20th birthday.  Ten more months would pass.  Then, just after Thanksgiving 1943, Clinton would be lost at sea.

Sinking of the Rohna

On November 26, 1943, during WWII, one thousand, one hundred and thirty eight men perished when a British troopship, the HMT Rohna, was attacked from the air and destroyed in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Algeria…

…it resulted in the greatest loss of troops (1,015) at sea in U.S. history. Combined with the loss of ship’s crew and officers, and three Red Cross workers, more lives were lost than on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor.  [RohnaSurvivors.org]

According to Jesse Greenspan, author of A Calamity at Sea, 70 Years Ago (published 2013),

[As the sun set on 26 November 1943] a remote-controlled glider bomb slammed into the HMT Rohna, a British transport with mostly Americans onboard, and blew gaping holes in both the port and starboard sides. Despite the presence of nearby rescue boats, 1,149 men went down with the Rohna, an incident the U.S. government largely kept secret for decades.

An estimated 300 men died in the blast…Within an hour or so, the Rohna disappeared below the surface, and all those who hadn’t yet jumped into the water were forced to do so. Many were sucked under the ship never to reappear; others found themselves covered in leaking oil. The cold, darkness, big swells and strong currents also took their toll, as did German strafing fire.

A memorial to those lives lost with the sinking of the Rohna was dedicated in 1996 at Fort Mitchell National Cemetery in Seale, Alabama by The Rohna Survivors Memorial Association.  This association also maintains a casualties list by name, rank, serial number, and unit.

Whitehead, Clinton W., T/5, 34682739 – CE

Clinton's unit was the 853rd Engineer Battalion, Aviation Corps of Engineers.

Wall of the Missing Image by Jeffrey A. LowdermilkThe World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas database at Ancestry, derived from original data that includes those lost or buried at sea, indicates Clinton W. Whitehead's last known status as Missing in Action.  Cpl. Whitehead is memorialized on a "Wall of the Missing" (image at right) at North Africa American Cemetery in Tunisia.  A search of the American Battle Monuments Commission website confirms with the following:

Clinton W. Whitehead
Service # 34682739
Rank Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army Air Forces
Unit 853rd Engineer Battalion, Aviation
Entered Service From Georgia
Date of Death November 27, 1943
Status Missing in Action
Memorialized Tablets of the Missing, North Africa American Cemetery

Clinton's mother Alma died in 1962.  His father died in 1969.  They rest at Hopewell Church Cemetery back in Gwinnett County, Georgia, where there also sits a cenotaph dedicated to their son (pictured at top).  Given the noted secrecy that surrounded this catastrophe for years, I wonder if Clinton's parents ever knew what truly befell him in 1943.

10 May 2016

'Twill Recompense the Woes of Earth (Tombstone Tuesday) & Reflections on Blogging from A to Z

Dora (1869-1942) and J. A. Moore rest at Hopewell Church Cemetery in Suwanee, Gwinnett County, Georgia.  Dora lived almost 24 years after her husband died in 1918.


I found a poem printed in 1852 that contains the phrase found as part of the epitaph on Dora's side of the headstone she shares with her husband.  Unfortunately, I didn't find the author.

Souls of such witchery and worth
Are never long to nature given;
'Twill recompense the woes of earth
To think we'll dwell with her in heaven !

Now for some reflections.  Last month, I participated in the Blogging from A-to-Z Challenge and really enjoyed it.  (You can see all my entries here.) I'll admit, using this blog as a theme, was kind of easy.  Kind of.  There definitely were some letters that gave me pause.

I learned – for sure – that should I join in the future, posting ahead will be a must.  I decided to join in at the last minute this year.  My goal was to get and stay a week ahead.  I got there, but wasn't able to stay there.  I finished my last post just a few days before the challenge ended.  That might not seem like a big deal, but I author several blogs.  The others suffered greatly while this challenge was ongoing.

My blog does not get a lot of comments.  It is a niche blog, and I guess not one that fosters conversation.  So getting comments throughout the month was very nice.  I did my best to reciprocate with other blogs and bloggers in the challenge.  Having said that, I do think categorizing the blogs would be beneficial.  It's not required, and I'm one who did not put myself in one of the categories listed.  But I found it difficult to find blogs early on that I wanted to follow.  That did come, and I have added a few to my feedly reader to continue to follow after the challenge ended, but it took some extra clicks and was frustrating at times.  I understand no one wants to be pigeon-holed, so maybe we could be allowed to put our blog into more than one category if desired – two, maybe three? I nominate the following categories:  history (I don't like lumping it in with mythology), genealogy, homemaking, homesteading, and gardening.

Bottom line, for me, is I do plan to join in next year.  In fact, I hope to have two blogs entered into the challenge.  I think it's an awesome exercise and worth doing even if no one were to notice.  But, thankfully, I don't think that would happen! :-)

06 May 2016

Jesse James Peavy and Bronchopneumonia (Cause of Death Defined)

100_1369Jesse James Peavy was born 22 March 1859 in Dooly County, Georgia to Michael S. Peavy and Mary Ann Hudson.  Jesse followed the farming vocation for about 60 of his 77 years on earth.  He started when but a child and retired about the age of 70.

Jesse married Mrs. Narcissa Caroline Herring 31 August 1887.  A justice of the peace of Dooly County did the honors.  Though I do find Jesse and Narcissa in the 1900 U.S. Federal census, I'm unsure whether or not they had any children.  And when trying to find Narcissa's maiden name, I came up with Peavy.  It'll take more time for me to sort that out!

Narcissie died August 1908 at just a little over 60 years of age.  She rests, gone but not forgotten, at Harmony - Smyrna Cemetery.


A relatively short time later, Jesse married again.  This time to a woman named Dora.  I know of at least one child they had together:  Jesse James Peavy, Jr.

Jesse Sr. died 23 February 1936.  His weather-worn tombstone (image at top) stands near that of his first wife.

Jesse's cause of death was primarily Influenza.  Another contributing factor was Bronchopneumonia.  This is a pretty easy one to define:

Bronchopneumonia is a type of pneumonia. Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs due to an infection caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. The infection causes inflammation in the alveoli in the lungs, causing the alveoli to fill with pus or fluid. The alveoli are tiny air sacs.

There are two types of pneumonia. Lobar pneumonia affects one or more sections, or lobes, of the lungs. Bronchopneumonia affects both lungs and the bronchi [main passageway into the lungs]. Bronchopneumonia can be mild or severe.  [healthline.com]

I decided to share this here simply because when Jesse's death certificate was filled out, this contributing factor was written as Broncho Pneumonia.  It took me a bit to decipher the first word as "broncho."


"Georgia Deaths, 1928-1940" at FamilySearch.org, citing Georgia Archives at Morrow.

04 May 2016

Cause of Death Defined: Bright's Disease

This may, or may not, turn into an oft written about topic (causes of death defined) here.  How would you feel about that?

100_1362Someone who is interested in tombstones and obituaries is naturally drawn to death certificates, right? Good.  Me, too.  It's also not a bad idea to learn one's medical history.  That knowledge might come in handy one day.

So! Charlie Homer Peavy, son of yesterday's Charlie Peavy, was born 24 October 1878 in Dooly County, Georgia.  He spent at least thirty years of his life in the agricultural industry, farming his last field about 1933.  This blue eyed young man married at least once, maybe twice, but was "single" at the time of his demise in 1936.  Charlie H. Peavy was buried at Harmony-Smyrna Cemetery.

Charlie's cause of death was listed as "chronic brights." [You can see his death certificate here at FamilySearch.  Sign-in required.]

Bright's Disease Defined
Per Wikipedia -

Bright's disease is a historical classification of kidney diseases that would be described in modern medicine as acute or chronic nephritis.  It is typically denoted by…blood plasma protein in the urine and is frequently accompanied by edema and hypertension.

Edema is "an abnormal accumulation of fluid…beneath the skin and in the cavities of the body which can cause severe pain."  And hypertension is high blood pressure.  The common symptoms of kidney disease were first described in 1827 by Dr. Richard Bright.  Since it is now known these symptoms are linked to various "morbid" kidney conditions, the term of Bright's Disease is "retained strictly for historical application."

An ancient word for edema is dropsy.  According to The History of Nephrology,

[Edema] can be caused by heart or liver or kidney disease, or by malnutrition.  In all of these it was a pretty bad sign in ancient medicine as it meant that the patient had advanced disease that was likely to kill them.  By the early 1800s it was realised that some patients with dropsy had albumin in their urine.

[Enter the "blood plasma protein" and Richard Bright.]

Although acute Bright's disease had some available treatments, there was nothing to be done for a chronic case, as was Charlie Homer Peavy's.

See also:
- Exotic Revival Mausoleum for W. A. Rawson
- Z is for Zilphy and Zollie

03 May 2016

Charlie Peavy and the Noblest Monument to His Memory (a Personal Tombstone Tuesday)

100_1360Charles "Charlie" Peavy was born 21 July 1844 in Georgia.  He was one of (at least) eight sons born to Bird Y. Peavy.  It appears Charlie lived his whole live in Dooly County, usually connected to the farming industry.

According to Ancestry's database of U. S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865, Charles Peavy of Dooly County, Georgia enlisted in the Confederate States Army at the age of sixteen years.  In May of 1862, he settled as a Private with Company C of the 55th GA Infantry Regiment.  He was mustered out 25 June 1863.

Charles and Ella Gurr were married 19 January 1878 in Dooly County by a Justice of the Peace.  They went on to have eight or nine children.

In 1900, Charlie Peavy was farming and living in the city of Unadilla.  He died 28 May 1902 and was buried at Harmony – Smyrna Cemetery in Dooly County.  His obelisk tombstone reads:

His many virtues form the noblest monument to his memory.




02 May 2016

Poem Turned Epitaph for Mrs. Clarra Williams

Born October 1866, Mrs. Clara / Clarra Williams was the wife of Mr. M. E. "Lige" Williams.  She died at the age of just 30 years at Pinehurst, Dooly County, Georgia the 14th of February, 1897.  She had been ill for about week with La Grippe.

Her obituary in the 18 February 1897 Vienna Progress (Georgia, pg. 5, col. 2) goes on to say:

Mrs. Williams was…a most estimable lady in every respect.  She was buried at Harmony Monday afternoon at 3 o'clock.  Her death leaves disconsolate her husband and children who have the deepest sympathy of a large circle of friends.

100_1333The following is a poem by American editor and poet James Aldrich (1810-1856).  The apropos title is A Death-Bed, and the last two lines were added as part of the epitaph on the tombstone for Mrs. Clarra G. Williams.

A Death-Bed

Her suffering ended with the day,
Yet lived she at its close,
And breathed the long, long night away,
In statue-like repose.

But when the sun in all his state
Illumed the eastern skies,
She passed through Glory's morning gate
And walked in Paradise.

01 May 2016

John H. Mask: Agent on Farm Feared Not Death

Is it weird I like looking at old farm inventories?

John Mask was born on Christmas Day in the year 1837 to William and Louisa F. Mask.  According to the 1850 Sumter County, Georgia Federal census available at Ancestry, John's father was a farmer from North Carolina.  I don't know exactly how John's formative years were spent, but I'll bet some farm laboring was involved.

By the summer of 1860, John appears to have been out on his own.  And during the Civil War, Pvt. J. H. Mask served with Company B of the 11th Battalion, Georgia Artillery (also known as "Sumter Artillery").  Eights months after the surrender at Appomattox, and five days before his 28th birthday, John married "Lunny" Williams in Dooly County, Georgia.  Dooly County was a neighbor to Sumter.

By 1870, J. H. Mask was working a farm in Newton, Baker County, Georgia.  It's not clear to me if this farm was John's, or not.  His occupation for the 1870 Federal census was listed as "Agent on Farm," when all households surrounding his were listed as farmers or farm laborers.  Nonetheless, John H. Mask is listed on the 1870 Agricultural Census Schedule for Baker County under the column heading, "Name of Agent, Owner or Manager."

100_6217The farm for which John Mask was an agent totaled 1,750 acres.  950 of those acres were unimproved woodland.  For livestock, John had 2 horses, 9 mules and asses, 19 milch cows, 4 working oxen, 50 other cattle, and 17 swine all together valued at $1,000.  This farm appears to have grown just a couple cash crops.  2,000 bushels of Indian corn and 54 bales of cotton were inventoried.  According to a historical crop and livestock timeline at Growing a Nation [cool resource, btw], these two crops make perfect sense.  In the early 1800s – for certain by 1830 – cotton replaced tobacco as the "most important cash crop in the Old South." And while the growing of maize was "borrowed" from the Indians as early as the 17th century, the 1850s is when commercial crops of corn began to develop.

Another item of large quantity on the farm was molasses.  55 gallons of it.  I wonder if that means sugar cane or sweet sorghum was being grown there.

Here's how the finances were tabulated:

$3,300 = present [1870] cash value of farm
$400 = present cash value of farming implements and machinery
$3,056 = total wages paid
$1,000 = value of all livestock
$90 = value of animals slaughtered or sold to slaughter
$7,427 = estimated value of all farm production including betterments and addition to stock

100_1313At some point, John and his family returned to Dooly County, Georgia.  He died there 29 September 1899.

Death Near Pinehurst.

Mr. John H. Mask, of near Pinehurst, died the 29th ult., after an illness of two weeks.  He was 62 years old, and had been a consistent member of Harmony Baptist church for about six years.  He said he feared not death and was willing to go.  His remains were interred in the Harmony cemetery, Saturday afternoon at 3 o'clock, Rev. J. M. Kelley, of this city, his pastor, officiated.  The Progress sympathizes with the bereaved in their great loss.  [5 October 1899 Vienna Progress, Georgia, pg. 1, col. 2]

Since John had spent a bit of his younger life in Sumter County, the Americus Times-Recorder ran a death notice the next day (pg. 5, col. 3):

Death of John H. Mask.
Mr. John H. Mask died on Friday last at his home near Vienna, in Dooly county, after a short illness with fever.  The deceased formerly resided in Sumter county, and had numerous relatives and friends here.  A wife and three children survive him.

The three children were William M. (who was administrator of John's estate after he died without a will), Cora L., and James H.  Lourana, John's wife, was laid to rest beside him at Harmony Cemetery almost ten years later.


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