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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 Selina (Watkins) Hillyer, the former born in Wilkes county, Ga., April 23, 1807, and the latter in Greene county, May 17, 1807. All four great-grandfathers of Doctor Hillyer were patriot soldiers in the war of the Revolution, namely: Dr. Asa Hillyer, Thomas Watkins, Joel Early and Capt. John Freeman. George Walton, a great-uncle of the doctor, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and Peter Early, governor of Georgia during the war of 1812, was also a great-uncle, as was Robert Watkins, one of the prime factors in formulating the state government of Georgia and in the writing of its first constitution. Junius Hillyer was a man of distinction in his day and generation and honored the state of Georgia by his life and service. He served on the bench of the superior court, was a member of Congress two terms and was solicitor of the United States treasury in Buchanan's Administration. He was a man of spotless integrity and gracious personality, retaining the respect and confidence of all with whom he came in contact. Dr. Eben Hillyer secured his preliminary or literary education in Athens and Penfield, Ga., and was graduated in the famous old Jefferson medical college, of Philadelphia, as a member of the class of 1854. When the Civil war was precipitated on a divided nation, Doctor Hillyer promptly entered the service of the Confederacy, becoming surgeon with the rank of Major. He was assigned to duty as surgeon of the Eighth and Thirty-second Mississippi regiments, Lowery's brigade, Cleburne's division, and was present at the battles of Resaca, Cass Station, New Hope Church, Dallas, the siege of Atlanta, the battles of July 21 and 22, 1864, at that point, and also the engagements at Jonesboro and Dalton, Ga.; Decatur and Selma, Ala., and Spring Hill and Franklin, Tenn. He was made president of the army medical board in the Tennessee campaign of the Western Army, and retired from the service only when the cause of the Confederacy was finally lost. He remained in service until after the last of the wounded from the battle of Selma, Ala., had received proper attention, and was thus on active duty until June, 1865. After the close of the war, Doctor Hillyer resumed the active practice of his profession in the city of Atlanta, where for a number of years he served as professor of institutes of medicine in the old Atlanta medical college. In 1867 he returned to Rome, where he engaged in the practice of his profession and also identified himself with agricultural interests, giving his attention to the same until 1875, when he was made president of the Rome railroad, which position he retained for thirteen years, in connection with which he was identified with the executive control of other railroad systems to which the Rome line was attached. For a number of years past he has lived retired from active professional and business associations. He is a stanch supporter of the cause of the Democratic party, but has never permitted his name to be used in connection with candidacy for political office of any description. He became a member of the Baptist church in June, 1855, and has ever since been zealous in its work
(Georgia E. Cooley Hillyer, d. 1913)
and support. On July 29, 1857, Doctor Hillyer was united in marriage to Miss Georgia E. Cooley, a great beauty and belle in her section, a most lovely and religious character, daughter of Hollis Cooley, of Rome, concerning whom individual mention is made in this publication. Doctor and Mrs. Hillyer have two daughters: Ethel is the widow of Col. Thomas W. H. Harris, son of James Watkins Harris. Mabel first married Warren Palmer Willcox, of Savannah, after whose death she married Col. William A. Hemphill. Dr. Hillyer's grand-children are: Catherine Maud, and Ethel Hillyer Harris, daughters of T. W. H. and Ethel Harris; and Ellenor Churchill Willcox, daughter of W. P. and Mabel Hillyer Willcox. Doctor Hillyer in his present home, The Hill City, is respected by all for his justice and probity. He is considered one of the greatest students in Rome, and is a noted geologist, Charles Dana, Weir Mitchell, Prof. Agassiz and men of such character being his constant friends and authority. Men often come to consult with him on points of scientific discussion. His evenings for years have been spent in his library among his books. His fad though is his Sunday school class and many are the happy hours spent in the study of the Bible, and though a man of scholarly attainments, his faith is as pure, strong and simple as that of a little child. He is a member of the Georgia Historical society, and of the Veterans of the Confederate war. When the reunion met in his town he threw wide the portals of his home and prepared for fifteen old soldiers. His home has always been open to the poor, the sick, the afflicted and all conventions, no matter whether Woman's club or preachers, regardless of denomination, find sup at his bounteous board. Perhaps after all has been summed up, the lovliest [sic] things to be said of him is that he never turned a tramp away hungry, and never refused to forgive an injury. As an example of his integrity, he has been made executor of four large estates. In conclusion, it must be said that Doctor Hillyer is a picturesque and magnetic character. Born of cavalier stick, and ante-bellum luxury, he went through a turgid period of blood and hardship, and came out a man, undaunted and true as did thousands of his day. His motto has always been to do his Duty -- That word he impresses on children and grand-children. Though 'He slay me yet will I trust in Him,' and 'I know that my Redeemer liveth,' have been his watchwords in sorrow. The public gets a man down right and in the beautiful little of Rome, Doctor Hillyer's word is as good as his bond. In all the relations and duties of life, Doctor Hillyer has been distinguished for unequivocal fidelity and integrity, and absolute devotion to truth and honor have been dominating forces in his makeup, so that he has ever commanded the trust and unqualified regard of his fellow men.
Hillyer, Rev. Shaler Granby, D.D., was one of the distinguished clergymen of the Baptist church in Georgia and was also prominent as an educator and writer, particularly in connection with religious topics. He was a man of exalted character and fine scholarship, leaving the impress of his strong and noble individuality upon all who came within the sphere of his influence. It is most suitable, in view of his life and achievements, as represented in his labors in Georgia that a tribute to his memory be perpetuated in this cyclopedia. He was born on his father's plantation in Wilkes county, Ga., June 20, 1809. His life span compassed only a decade less than an entire century, as his death occurred in Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 19, 1900. His father, Shaler Hillyer, was born in Granby, Conn., Aug. 2, 1776, and his mother, Rebecca (Freeman) Hillyer, was born in Wilkes county, Ga., July 12, 1786. She was a daughter of John Freeman, a soldier of the continental line, during the war of the Revolution, and served in the campaigns of South Carolina and Georgia. Asa Hillyer, paternal grandfather of the subject of this memoir, was likewise a loyal soldier in the War for Independence, having first served as a private in the ranks, and later as post surgeon. Dr. Shaler G. Hillyer was graduated in Franklin college, of which the University of Georgia is the direct outgrowth, as a member of the class of 1829. He joined the Baptist church June 12, 1831, and after due preparation in his divinity studies was ordained to the ministry on Aug. 6, 1835. After his ordination he continued in the work of the ministry until the autumn of 1892. His labors were thus protracted over a period of nearly sixty years and were attended with large and grateful fruitage. In the year 1845 he was elected to the chair of rhetoric in Mercer university, and in 1850 the degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him by that institution. In 1855 he accepted a call to the pastorate of the Baptist church at Rome, Ga., and remained there until 1859, when the professorship of theology in Mercer university was offered him. He retained this position until the summer of 1862. After the close of the Civil war he was, for several years, president of Monroe college. Doctor Hillyer made many valuable contributions to various religious periodicals, and in 1897, he published his book entitled "Bible Morality," a work of lofty tone, sincere in thought and forcible in style. The subject matter of one volume of his writings, "Reminiscences of Georgia Baptists," appeared first in a serial form in the Christian Index, and has been published in book form since his death. In his ministerial capacity Doctor Hillyer served many churches in the state, taking a prominent part in the various phases of church work at large, ever showing himself imbued with the faith that makes faithful. Three of his sons served as soldiers of the Confederacy in the Civil war, and his second son, Lieut. Francis Lorraine Hillyer, lost his life from a wound received on the field of the [second battle of Manassas. Doctor Hillyer was married three times. In December, 1836, he wedded Miss Elisabeth Thompson,] of Liberty county, Ga., and they became the parents of three children who were left to their father's care, at a very tender age, by the death of their
mother. Mary Elisabeth married Dr. John William Janes, Shaler Granby died Oct. 3, 1905, and the death of Francis Lorraine occurred July 23, 1863. The second marriage of Doctor Hillyer was to Miss Elisabeth Dagg and was solemnized on May 12, 1846. She was the daughter of John Leadly and Elisabeth (Thornton) Dagg. Her summons came to enter upon the life eternal in 1870. The following are the names of the children of this union: John Leadly Dagg Hillyer, Sarah Jane (Mrs. Jessie Campbell McDonald), Junius Freeman, Frances Rebecca (Mrs. Wm. Alden Towers), Katharine Carlton (Mrs. Thomas Lawrence Robinson), Emily Irene (Mrs. Robert Gregory Owen), and Llewellen Philo. In May, 1871, Doctor Hillyer married Mrs. Dorothea Lawton, daughter of Dr. Samuel Furman, of South Carolina.
And, finally, here's the entry for the man that most closely ties both Doctors Hillyer together.
Hillyer, Junius, a distinguished lawyer, jurist and politician of Georgia, was born in Wilkes county, April 23, 1807, and died in Decatur, Dekalb county, June 21, 1886. He was the second son of Shaler and Rebecca (Freeman) Hillyer and was descended in the seventh generation from John Hillyer, who lived at Windsor, Conn., in 1639, and who was the immigrant from whom all the Hillyers in the United States are descended. Both of Junius Hillyer's grandfathers were soldiers of the Revolution...His maternal grandfather, John Freeman, served as a soldier in the Continental troops of Georgia, the greater portion of the time under General Elijah Clarke. He was in the battles of King's Mountain, Cowpens, Ninety-six, Kettle Creek, Savannah and Charleston and served part of the time with the rank of captain. Shaler Hillyer, father of the subject of this memoir, died when the latter was fourteen years of age, and his widow soon afterward removed from her home in Wilkes county to Athens, Ga., for the purpose of educating her three sons -- John F., Junius and Shaler G. -- at Franklin college, where Junius was graduated in 1828. Having studied law during his senior year, he was admitted to the bar within a month after his graduation and at once began the practice of his chosen profession in Lawrenceville, Ga., where he remained one year. He then returned to Athens in 1829, opened a law office in that place, devoted himself with unremitting energy to his profession, in which he rose very rapidly, soon gaining a large practice, and occupying a place in the front rank of that brilliant and celebrated 'bar of the western circuit,' composed of such men as Howell and Thomas R. R. Cobb, Charles and William Dougherty, William Hope Hull, Nathaniel G. Foster, William C. Dawson, Alexander H. Stephens, Robert Toombs and Cincinnatus Peeples. In politics he was a Democrat, having joined that party upon its formation under the leadership of Andrew Jackson, and he occupied a prominent place in the councils of the party. He, at different times, held the positions of solicitor-general, judge of the western judicial circuit of Georgia, member of Congress and solicitor of the United States treasury, at Washington. Judge Hillyer took an active part in the development of the educational and industrial interests of the state. He was for many years a trustee of the University of Georgia and also of Mercer university. He was one of the original projectors and stockholders of the Georgia railroad, the first enterprise in railroad building ever undertaken in Georgia. He joined the Baptist church in 1826 and continued throughout his life a consistent member of that denomination. On Oct. 6, 1831, Judge Hillyer married Mrs. Jane (Watkins) Foster, daughter of George and Mary (Early) Watkins, of Greene county, Ga. She was a woman of remarkable strength of mind and loveliness of character and died in 1880, at Decatur, Ga., to which place the family had removed in 1871. This marriage was a singularly happy one and was blessed with eight children, namely: Dr. Eben Hillyer, of Rome, Ga.; Judge George Hillyer, of Atlanta, Ga.; Maj. Shaler Hillyer, of Selma, Ala.; Mrs. Mary H. Whitfield, of Decatur, Ga.; Carlton Hillyer, of Augusta, Ga., Henry Hillyer, of Atlanta, and Misses Kate R. and Eva W. Hillyer, of Decatur. All of the children are living (1906) except Maj. Shaler Hillyer, who died in 1868. Judge Hillyer's career as a judge, lawyer and member of Congress was brilliant and his ability was universally recognized. He was especially distinguished for his power before a jury as an advocate and for his success in the court room with the cases committed to his care, either on the civil or criminal side of the court. His moral character was of the highest, he possessed the confidence and admiration of the people of Georgia, and took rank among the distinguished men of the generation in which he lived.
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