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Vertitia Massey was an Earnest, Active, Wise Christian Worker

Today's obituary comes with a bit of a tip. Don't think your search will surely be fruitless if you scour newspapers for an obituary well after a death date. I always, always look for at least a full month after the death date, and here's an example of an obituary published almost five months after the fact. Her name was Vertitia Massey, and she was laid to rest in Memory Hill Cemetery at Milledgeville, Baldwin County, Georgia.

Union Recorder (Milledgeville, Georgia)
8 August 1899 - pg. 7 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]
MASSEY. -- Mrs. W. A. Massey, nee Miss Vertitia F. Harrell, was born August 8, 1856, in Milledgeville, Ga., joined the Methodist Church 1874, under the ministry of Rev. A. J. Jarrell; married W. A. Massey Nov. 24, 1880, and died triumphantly March 23, 1899. In many respects sister Massey was a remarkable woman. For twenty-five years she was not only a member of the church, but an earnest, active, wise, Christian worker, in the vineyard of the Lord…

Col. John M. Brown was a Warm Hearted Southern Man

On the day Col. John M. Brown died -- 26 July 1864 -- the following was published in Milledgeville, Georgia's Confederate Union:
Lieut. Col. John M. Brown of the State Troops, was wounded in the battle of Peachtree Creek whilst leading his regiment. He is brother to the Governor and is now at the Executive Mansion, and not expected to live.It's likely that several days passed before people farther from Milledgeville learned of the death of this brother of the Georgia governor.

Daily Constitutionalist (Augusta, Georgia)
Sunday, 7 August 1864 - pg. 1 [via GenealogyBank]
DEATH OF LT. COL. BROWN. -- In the battle near Atlanta on 22d ult., Lieut. Col. John M. Brown was severely wounded, and was brought to the Executive Mansion in this city, where he died on Monday. This is the second brother which the Governor of Georgia has lost in the present war.

We learn that Col. Brown was about twenty-five years of age, and was a gallant officer. He had been wounded at Resaca, and thoug…

Distressing Fatalities in the Family of Samuel Walker

Samuel Walker was born in Putnam County, Georgia on 4 September 1835. Nine days after his 61st birthday, Samuel had a "stroke of apoplexy," and doctors labeled him "critically ill." Two days later, Samuel was dead. He died in Milledgeville, GA on 15 September 1896 and was buried in Memory Hill Cemetery.

Another gravestone in the same lot stands as a reminder to what I am sure was a particularly bad year for Samuel. The year was 1873 and in the span of one week, Samuel lost a son, a wife, and a niece to sickness. The tragedy was noted in local newspapers.

Macon Weekly Telegraph (Georgia)
Tuesday, 11 February 1873 - pg. 4 [via GenealogyBank]
Note: this paper cited Milledgeville's Federal Union.
DISTRESSING FATALITY. -- We mentioned in our last issue that Joel Walker, son of Samuel Walker, died on Monday night of last week, of meningetis [sic] contracted at Mercer College. On Wednesday, Alice Dillard, a niece of Mrs. Walker, a lovely girl of about twelve years of ag…

Death of Capt. John Martin Edwards (1906)

Capt. Edwards was laid to rest in Memory Hill Cemetery at Milledgeville, Baldwin County, Georgia. His wife, at least two children, and at least one brother are in the same lot (East Side, Section E, Lot 12).

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
Thursday, 22 November 1906 - pg. 6 [via GenealogyBank]
Death of Capt. John M. Edwards.
ATLANTA, Ga., Nov. 21. -- Capt. John M. Edwards, of Milledgeville, one of the best known men in that section of the State died in a private sanitarium in Atlanta yesterday. He came to Atlanta four years ago to undergo an operation.

He was a veteran of the war and served throughout the conflict gallantly in the Confederate army and won distinction, fighting through the siege of Vicksburg.

He was especially prominent in Baldwin County politics and for years served in the county as treasurer. Captain Edwards was also prominent in secret order circles and was a member of the Masons, Knights Templar and Mystic Shrine.

Capt. Edwards was 67 years of age, and is survived by a wif…

Annie Ennis Tyler (1861-1887): from Sickness, to Death, to in Memoriam

Annie was born 9 September 1861 in Georgia to William R. and Harriett Ennis. She married William R. Tyler in Baldwin County, GA on 1 June 1881. Six years later, Annie became ill and died, just a few weeks before her twenty-sixth birthday. Burial was in Milledgeville's Memory Hill Cemetery.

The local newspaper chronicled Annie's demise -

Union Recorder (Milledgeville, GA)
16 August 1887 - pg. 7 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]

Personal Mention

...Mrs. Annie Tyler, daughter of Mr. Wm. R. Ennis, and wife of Capt. W. R. Tyler of the western part of this county, was very sick for some days during the past week and on Saturday last was reported to be extremely ill. Capt. Tyler who is mail agent on the Macon & Brunswick Railroad has been sent for to come home immediately...I hope he was able to make it in time. Annie died the next day.

Union Recorder (Milledgeville, GA)
23 August 1887 - pg. 7 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]
Death of Mrs. Annie Tyler.

'Death lo…

John Callaway Family at Memory Hill Cemetery

Our old citizens are passing away!

So said the death notice for John Callaway printed in the Milledgeville, Georgia Union & Recorder. He was born 4 December 1791 and died 5 June 1873 in Milledgeville. Upon death, John was buried in the city's Memory Hill Cemetery.

On 25 October 1818 in Baldwin County, GA, John married Margaret "Peggy" Turner. This couple had at least eleven children. Eight of them rest in Memory Hill, and tombstones for six(*) of them are in the image below.

- Augustus W. "Gus" Callaway* (3 March 1820 ~ 9 August 1866)
- Lucinda A. Callaway Trice* (5 October 1821 ~ 15 March 1889)
- John F. "Frank" Callaway
- Joshua M. Jasper Callaway
- Leonidas Newton Callaway* (19 February 1828 ~ 20 July 1898)
- Sarah Elizabeth Callaway Brake (1831 ~ 1907)
- Nancy C. Callaway (29 January 1832 ~ 3 February 1901)
- Martha M. Callaway Smith*
- E. William Callaway* (29 June 1834 ~ 30 November 1873)
- Mary Emeline Callaway King Green
- Richard Columbu…

John Sherrod Thomas, Veteran of War of 1812, Died at Age 102 in 1881

John S. Thomas died 9 January 1881 and was buried at Memory Hill Cemetery in Milledgeville, Baldwin County, Georgia. A death notice was published in the Augusta Chronicle, citing the Milledgeville Recorder, just a few days after his demise:
Death of Judge J. S. Thomas.

Judge John S. Thomas died at his residence, at Midway, Sunday night. He has for years been confined to his house. He was the oldest living male resident of the county at the time of his death. In his early life he was associated with many prominent positions under the State government. We are informed that Judge Thomas was born in May, 1779, and was nearly 102 years of age. He was, in his active life, a prominent citizen and a good one. Doubtless a more extended notice will be given of so remarkable a man.That last line proved prescient. A "more extended" obituary was published in the Milledgeville Union & Recorder on 18 January 1881.
John Sherrod Thomas.
Col. J. S. Thomas was born in 1779, on Rocky Creek, H…

Brother John Hubbard was a Quiet and Unassuming Christian

John W. Hubbard (1869-1898) was buried in Memory Hill Cemetery at Milledgeville, Baldwin County, Georgia.

Union Recorder (Milledgeville, Georgia)
10 January 1899 - pg. 2 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]
John Hubbard, son of W. H. and Mrs. Fannie Hubbard, was born in Quitman County, Ga., July 28, 1869, and died in Baldwin County, near Milledgeville, Ga., Nov. 4, 1898, aged 29 years, 3 months and 6 days.

Brother Hubbard had been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for thirteen years. He was a quiet and unassuming christian, but, as in other relations of life, was true and unswerving. He was one of that few against whom I never heard a word. His death, like his life, was a quiet and peaceful one. Just a short while before he passed into his happy reward he called for his mother to come to the bedside and told her that he was going to leave her, but that he was happy because he was going to heaven. He then asked her to kiss him good-bye, after pressing the lips of his d…

Capt. George Rogers was a Very Popular Man Among His Race

George A. Rogers (1861-1896) was buried in Myrtle Hill Cemetery at Rome, Floyd County, Georgia. He was a member of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, not to be confused with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. More on the organization after the obituary -

Savannah Tribune (Georgia)
Saturday, 8 February 1896 - pg. 3 [via GenealogyBank]
Funeral of Capt. Geo A. Rogers.
Capt. George A. Rogers, Grand Master of District Grand Lodge No. 18 of Georgia, G U O of O F, died on Friday of last week and his funeral was held at Rome, Ga., on Sunday last. It was one of the largest ever witnessed in that city.

Mr. Rogers leaves a wife, a mother and sister to mourn his loss and who have the sympathy of his great host of friends all over the state.

Capt. Rogers was a very popular man among his race; he was loved by all. He was captain of the Hill City Guards; Past Master of Kenesaw Lodge, A. F. and A. M., a member of the House Hold of Ruth, the Good Samaritans and the Sons and Daughters of Jacob, al…

Love Could Not Save May Hiles Knowles

Maggie May Hiles and husband William Addison Knowles rest in Myrtle Hill Cemetery at Rome, Floyd County, Georgia. An obituary for May follows.

Walker County Messenger (LaFayette, Georgia)
20 May 1897 - pg. 1 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]
Love Could Not Save.

Rome, Ga., May 16. -- Mrs. W. A. Knowles, wife of the proprietor of the Rome Tribune, died of consumption, about 7:30 o'clock this morning. She was born in Summerville, Ga., Jan. 30, 1871. She is the second daughter of Capt. Thompson Hiles, a large wholsale [sic] dry goods merchant of Rome, and one of North Georgia's most prominent citizens. Mrs. Knowles graduated from Wesleyan and Shorter colleges, and was married Feb. 5, 1890. She leaves three children. The funeral will occur tomorrow (Monday) afternoon from the First Methodist church at 4 o'clock. She was a devoted wife, a loving mother a model Christian woman. The people of Rome deeply sympathize with Mr. Knowles.William A. Knowles was born at Macon, GA, and died…

More About Eben Hillyer, M.D. and Rev. Shaler Granby Hillyer, D.D.

I knew these gentlemen were connected, but just now come across a source that ties them together nicely and decided to share here. I first mentioned Dr. Eben Hillyer here a couple of years ago. And less than two months have passed since I mentioned Dr. Shaler Granby Hillyer in this space. Dr. Eben Hillyer, buried in Myrtle Hill Cemetery at Rome, Floyd County, Georgia was the nephew of Dr. Shaler Granby Hillyer buried at Forsyth Cemetery in Monroe County, Georgia.

The following is from volume two of Georgia: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons Arranged in Cyclopedic Form edited by "ex-governor" Allen D. Candler and published 1906 by the State Historical Association in Atlanta.
Hillyer, Eben, M.D., a retired physician and honored citizen of Rome, is a representative of one of the old and influential families of Georgia, which state has ever been his home. He was born in Athens, Clarke county, Ga., Aug. 12, 1832, a son of Junius and Jane Sel…

Sarah A. Dick Lived to a Good Old Age

Sarah A. Peck (1820-1892) married Henry Jackson Dick (1814-1866) about 1837 in Tennessee. The couple had at least ten children, and two of them (along with Henry and Sarah) are memorialized on a large draped urn topped gravestone in Myrtle Hill Cemetery at Rome, Floyd County, Georgia. In addition to their parents, Benjamin A. Dick (1844-1868) and Hal B. Dick (1853-1894) are named on the monument.

An obituary for Sarah follows.

Marietta Journal (Georgia)
Thursday, 21 January 1892 - pg. 5 [via GenealogyBank]

-- Mrs. Sarah A. Dick died in this place on last Sunday evening about 7:30, aged 72 years. She had been sick with the grip, which developed into pneumonia, resulting in her death. When her symptoms became serious, her absent children were telegraphed for and were present at her death. She leaves seven living children, Mr. Samuel K. Dick, of Houston, Texas; Mr. Hal B. Dick, of Marietta; Mrs. S. W. Graves, of Knoxville, Tenn.; Mrs. John A. Smith, of Gainesville, …

A Baby's Grave: Little Mary Hardy (d. 1879)

She was a daughter of Samuel Graham and Kate Moore Hardy. Little Mary lived just thirteen months. A stone memorial placed for her in Myrtle Hill Cemetery at Rome, Floyd County, Georgia is a sculpture of a little one reaching up, waiting to be carried to Heaven.

Rome Tri-Weekly Courier (Georgia)
26 August 1879 -pg. 3 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]
Little Mary Hardy.

'We have gathered up her toys,
We have hid away each sad memento
That reminds us of our joys;
Not because we fain would banish
From our eyes the tears that swell,
But we would our hearts could whisper,
Heavenly Father, It is well.'

Only a baby's grave, and yet how a sight of the little mound will cause the hearts of the grief-stricken parents to swell afresh with the great sorrow that overshadows their lives. How lonely is their home without their treasure. None but He who reads our innermost thoughts can realize how they will miss their 'blue-eyed Daisey,' as she was wont to be called -- so like a swee…

James T. Prescott, Jr. Died at His Post of Duty

He Died At His Post Of Duty - Who wouldn't want to know more about that? Turns out he was a train conductor. Details of the accident were published in a local newspaper:

Houston Home Journal (Perry, Georgia)
22 September 1921 - pg. 2 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]

On Saturday, morning Sept. 3rd James T. Prescott, conductor on the Southern Road, was instantly killed by an engine at Cordele.

It appears that, while making up his train preparatory to making his usual run, he was taking the number of the cars, and as he stepped backward to get out of the way of his train, he stepped directly in the path of a revercing [sic] locomotive.

Mr. Prescott was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Prescott, deceased of Kathleen, Ga., and was reared in this county. Like his father, he was well known in Houston and was held in higest [sic] esteem by all who knew him.

He became connected with the G. S. & F. R. R. about fourteen years ago and had been conductor for…

Rev. Samuel Edward Axson Family at Myrtle Hill Cemetery

Rev. S. E. Axson, his wife Janie, and his children Ellen and Stockton, all rest at Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Rome, Floyd County, Georgia. Daughter Ellen was a wife of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. She held the title of First Lady for seventeen months before her untimely death in 1914. Excerpts from a newspaper article covering her funeral are here.

An obituary for the good reverend follows:

Savannah Morning News (Georgia)
Sunday, 1 June 1884 - pg. 9 [via GenealogyBank]
Death of Samuel Edward Axson.
The funeral of Rev. Samuel Edward Axson, son of Rev. Dr. I. S. K. Axson, the venerable pastor of the Independent Presbyterian Church, of this city, took place at Rome on Friday. He was pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Rome from 1866 till last fall, when he resigned his charge and came to Savannah to visit his father. While here his mind became affected, and the efforts of skilled physicians failed to reach his case. His sad death is a heavy affliction upon his family. During the seventeen …

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)