10 October 2016

Mary Ellis on the Midnight Train to (Savannah) Georgia

…Unfortunately, she didn't arrive before the death of her husband.

William Lee Ellis was born 19 November 1840 in Barnwell, South Carolina.

Well, maybe.  My source for that vital record information is from a passport application dated June of 1881.  Census records put his birth year between 1840 and 1844.  And the inscription on the vault front at his gravesite provides the birthdate of 9 November 1842.

William's marriage date is a bit more clear.  He married Mary Gazaline Lamar 16 March 1864 in Bibb County, Georgia.  She was a daughter of Henry Graybill Lamar (1798-1861) and Mary Ann Davis (1807-1882).  The couple had no children.

Savannah, Georgia Vital Records, 1803-1966William was the first of the couple to pass away.  He died in Savannah late in the spring of 1902.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
27 May 1902 - pg. 5 [via GenealogyBank]


Was Suddenly Attacked While a Guest at Capt. Eberhardt's Last Night -- Messages Sent to Macon Alarming His Friends -- Elks Have Taken Charge of Remains -- He Was in Savannah Trying the Salt Air to Recover His Failing Health, and It Was Thought He Was Doing Well.

Public Works Commissioner William Lee Ellis of Macon died in Savannah last night of acute Bright's disease.

The news that he was in a dying condition was communicated to his friends here at about 10 o'clock, and Mrs. Ellis at once arranged to go to Savannah, leaving here on the midnight train.  She had been gone only a short time when The Telegraph received the following special from Savannah:

"SAVANNAH, Ga., May 26. -- Capt. W. L. Ellis of Macon died here at 12:15 o'clock this morning at the home of Capt. Gus Eberhardt, 39 Habersham street.  Capt. Ellis had been a guest of Capt. Eberhardt for the past week or ten days, and had made several trips on the pilot boat J. H. Estill.  He was taken suddenly very ill of acute Bright's disease at 5 o'clock this afternoon, and from that hour rapidly declined until the end came.  Several physicians were in attendance, but they could do nothing to save or even prolong his life.  From the first attack the end was certain.  Members of the local lodge of Elks, of which order Capt. Ellis was a member, were with him in his last hours, and have assumed charge of the remains.  They will care for the body until they receive instructions from the family."

Mr. Ellis left Macon several weeks ago to recuperate, and while at Indian Spring he met Capt. Eberhardt, who urged him to go to Savannah and spend some time yachting.  Mr. Ellis was quite fond of the sea, and he gladly accepted the invitation.  To his Macon friends he expressed confident hope that this would be the means of restoring him to his former good health and spirits.  To those who have known him for the past thirty or forty years of his residence in Macon it was difficult to understand how he could suffer from ill health, for it was always his boast that he was growing younger every day, and was the best man physically among all his companions.

It was believed while he was in Savannah that he was improving.

Mr. Ellis leaves no children, but his fondness for the children of his brothers was of a paternal nature, and he never tired of telling of their good traits and of their hopes and aspirations.  He was especially devoted to his nephew, Mr. Hayne Ellis, who is now in the United States navy.

His remains will probably be brought to Macon on the first train.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 015Mary Lamar Ellis lived twenty more years, before joining Mr. Ellis at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
28 June 1922 - pg. 9 [via Genealogybank]


Prominent Macon Woman Expires in Seventy-eighth Year.
Mrs. Gorzalene Lamar Ellis, widow of William Lee Ellis, died at her home, 208 College street, at 7:15 o'clock last night.  She was in her seventy-eighth year.

Mrs. Ellis was the daughter of the late Judge Henry Graybill Lamar and his wife, Mary Ann Davis.  The greater part of her life was spent in Macon.

Nearest surviving relatives are nephews and nieces, those in Macon being William Lee Ellis and Mrs. Giles Hardeman.

Capt. Hayne Ellis, naval aide to Secretary of the Navy Denby, was also a nephew.

Mrs. Ellis had long been a member of Christ Episcopal church and was prominent in charitable and patriotic work.  The funeral arrangements will be announced later.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 015

05 October 2016

Thomas Jenkins was Never Married and Left No Relatives

100_4450I hate to come across individuals such as this in the cemetery.  A stranger in a strange land, perhaps.  Though I can't offer much information about Mr. Jenkins, I want anyone who might read this post to know he is not forgotten.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
16 December 1897, pg. 8 [via GenealogyBank]


Mr. Thomas E. Jenkins Died Yesterday at Mr. Rice's.
Mr. Thomas Jenkins died yesterday at 1:30 at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Rice, on Rose avenue, Western Heights.  He was foreman of Schofield's boiler shops for about eight years, and has been in declining health during the past year.  He was a native of England, and had been in this country for about twenty years; was never married, and leaves no relatives here.  He was about 55 years old.  Mr. Jenkins was a man of noble impulses, and made warm and devoted friends, among whom are Mr. and Mrs. Rice.  He had lived with the Rice family for about eight years, and was very strongly attached to them.

The funeral will take place at 4 [sic] o'clock this morning from the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Rice.  The services will be conducted by Rev. S. L. Morris, of whose church deceased was a member.  Interment, Rose Hill cemetery.

Mr. Jenkins was laid to rest in the Honeysuckle Ridge section of Rose Hill Cemetery.  As you can see in the image, there are actually two stones at his gravesite, each providing slightly different information:


Thomas Jenkins
Born in Doucaster, Eng. 1844
Died Dec 15, 1898
Thos. Jenkins
Born in England
Died Dec 15, 1897
Age 56 Yrs
Erected By
Boiler Makers Lodge No. 12
Macon, GA

28 September 2016

Rose Hill Cemetery Landscape II (Wordless Wednesday)

25 September 2016

Wife's Name is Incorrect in the Obituary for John E. Jones

JonesobitsKeeping up with the Joneses is indeed a hard thing to do.  Especially genealogically speaking.  But the following obituaries for Mr. and Mrs. John E. Jones did go a long way in providing me some names and family connections – with one glaring mistake.

Col. John E. Jones was the first to pass away.  His wife would follow just a few months later.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
3 May 1891 -- pg. 3 [via GenealogyBank]



One of Macon's Oldest and Most Respected Residents Called to His Last Long Home -- A Short Sketch of His Life

At 10:30 o'clock last night Col. J. E. Jones, one of Macon's best and oldest citizens, breathed his last.

While his illness had not been of long duration, the end was not unexpected, as the doctors had given up all hope for several hours before.

John Edwin Jones, the deceased, was the son of John Jones and Sarah Wimberly -- was born in Houston county, Ga., and was in his 64th year at the time of his death.

Col. Jones married Miss Henrietta Dean, daughter of James Dean of Macon.

At about the age of 20 he entered into copartnership with his father in the cotton warehouse business in Macon and Savannah under the firm name of John Jones & Son.  He attended to the business of the firm in Savannah and resided there about two years.  On returning to Macon ne became the agent of the Bank of Savannah, and retained that position till the beginning of the Confederate war or thereabout.  He was not in the regular Confederate army, but saw service in what was known as Joe Brown's militia, and was present in the siege of Savannah.

After the war, about '68, he became the agent of the Macon cotton factory.  In 1869 he established the Central Georgia Bank in Macon, became its president and continued so till three years ago, when he resigned on account of declining health.

After the death of Gen. W. S. Holt, Col. Jones became the president of the Southwestern Railway Company, and retained that high position till his death.

Recently he became president of the Covington and Macon railroad, and so remained until the road went into the hands of a receiver.

He has been president of the bond commission of the city of Macon ever since the commission was established.

The deceased had five grown daughters, three married, of whom two of the married are yet living, one married daughter died, two died unmarried and one daughter, living, is single.

The married daughters now living are Mrs. Claude Estes and Mrs. W. R. Cox.

Mrs. Jones, wife of the deceased, is the sister of Mrs. L. Q. C. Lamar.

On Tuesday night, April 28, Mr. Jones was taken sick, but did not send for a physician till next day, April 29, when Drs. H. H. Mettauer and James Etheridge were called.  But this disease, intususception [sic] of the bowels, proved to be beyond their skill.

When I first read this obituary, I thought I had the wrong John E. Jones.  But, nope, this is the right guy.  Henrietta Dean, however, was NOT his wife's name.  The correct name is Miss Arabella Dean, a sister of Henrietta's.  The line toward the end, "Mrs. Jones, wife of the deceased, is the sister of Mrs. L. Q. C. Lamar," is correct.  Henrietta first married W. S. Holt, then L. Q. C. Lamar.

According to the Georgia Marriages, 1808-1967 database at FamilySearch.org, John E. Jones married "Annabella" O. Dean 28 November 1848 in Bibb County.  John and Arabella are memorialized on the same stone at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Original images by James Allen.  This mashup by S. Lincecum.

The part of Mr. Jones' obituary that describes his children is also a bit confusing.  The number given is "five daughters," but the paragraph further describes six.  Though it doesn't help with her maiden name, Mrs. Jones' obituary did help me with all the daughters.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
11 August 1891, pg. 6 [via GenealogyBank]


Passed Away at Her Home Early Yesterday Morning.
Mrs. John E. Jones, widow of the late Col. John E. Jones, died at her home on Georgia avenue yesterday morning at 4 o'clock.

She had been ill for about ten days with bilious fever, but a fatal termination was not expected until Sunday, when she began to sink rapidly.

Mrs. Jones was a native of Macon and was about 61 years of age.  She was a lady of gentle and lovable character.

She leaves three daughters:  Mrs. W. R. Cox, Mrs. Claud Estes and Miss Eva Jones.  The late Mrs. W. W. Collins was also her daughter.

The funeral will be held from the family residence on Georgia avenue at 10 o'clock this morning.

Using tombstones and obituaries, here are the daughters as I know them:

  • Laura Jones (d. 5 October 1855)
  • Florence Jones (1856-1884)
  • Eva Blanche Jones (1858-1933)
  • Nannie Jones Estes (1865-1935)
  • Mrs. W. R. Cox
  • Mrs. W. W. Collins (d. bef. 1891)

Good luck keeping up with the Joneses!

24 September 2016

The Flowers of Rhetoric are Ill-Suited to the Draperies of the Tomb: Death of Miss Florence Jones

FlorenceJonesobitFlorence was born 10 November 1856 to Col. John E. and Arabella O. Jones.  According to a death notice that appeared in the 26 March 1884 Macon Telegraph (Georgia),
In early life she was bright and cheerful, and the future looked brilliant with hope and happiness, but for many years she had been the child of affliction and suffering, which in their turn wrought in her the peaceable fruits of happiness.
Miss Florence died "On Sunday, March 23d, 1884, at a quarter before 10 o'clock a.m." Her beautifully written obituary follows:

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
25 March 1884 -- pg. 5 [via GenealogyBank]
Death of Miss Florence Jones.
After a lingering illness, Miss Florence Jones, daughter of Colonel John E. Jones, died at her home Saturday evening.  The simple announcement of the death of a loved one, the bare record of a fate that robs the family circle of a cherished ornament, is under any circumstances a dismal duty; but more peculiarly sad and touching does it become when the victim is one of such sweet character and gentle demeanor as was the young lady in this instance.  We know how vain it is to gild a grief with words.  The sorrow of the heart cannot be diminished or otherwise affected by either the elegance or eloquence of love's obituaries.  The flowers of rhetoric are ill-suited to the draperies of the tomb.  But in this instance the many friends of the young lady and the family unite in extending to the stricken ones all the sympathy at their command.  Her death will be regretted and her presence missed by a large circle of acquaintances who rejoiced to name her as a friend.

Her funeral took place yesterday afternoon from the residence of Colonel Jones, on the Hill…
Florence Jones (1856-1884). Original image by James Allen.

Patient in suffering and firm in faith,
she has entered into the peace of God,
which passeth understanding.

23 September 2016

Catherine Russell Left a Large Number of Descendants

100_4442Catherine Follendor was born 1824-1828 in Germany.  In the early 1840's, she married Jacob Russell in (likely) Bibb County, Georgia.  From what I can gather, the couple had nine children – seven daughters and two sons.

Catherine died 18 January 1895 in Macon.  Her obituary tells a bit about her journey from Germany to middle Georgia.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
20 January 1895, pg. 6 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]


A Good Woman and Old Citizen Passes Away.

The death of Mrs. Jacob Russell, which occurred at the home of Mrs. L. Vannucci, on Mulberry street, yesterday morning at 4 o'clock, will carry deep regret to the hearts of many people, as she was a woman loved by all who knew her, and her long residence in Macon had endeared her to the hearts of many people.

Mrs. Russell's last illness was of short duration.  She came to Macon from Florida, where she has been making her home for some time past, to attend the funeral of her daughter, Mrs. P. J. Duffy, several weeks ago, and although apparently in good health at the time, she soon became ill and gradually grew worse until death came.

Mrs. Russell was born at Strasburg, Germany in 1824 and came to America fifty-eight years ago.  She landed at Savannah and came to Macon by way of the Ocmulgee river on a boat under command of Capt. [Bone?].  When 18 years of age she was married to Jacob Russell of Macon, who was one of the city's most progressive citizens.  He started the first brewery known in the state of Georgia, and for many years ran the largest brewery in the South.  The old buildings still stand on the Vineville branch, in the northern part of the city.  Mr. Russell was also alderman for several years.

Mrs. Russell leaves a sister, Mrs. William Abel, six daughters, Mrs. J. H. Otto, Mrs. Peter Hertel, Mrs. Louis Vannucci, Mrs. Louis Nelson, Mrs. H. M. Taylor, Mrs. Charles Ball, and one son, Mr. Jacob Russell.  She also leaves twenty-eight grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

The funeral will take place at 2:30 from the Catholic church this afternoon.

A son not mentioned in the obituary was C. H. Russell.

And, by the way, Mrs. Russell had a bit of money when she passed away.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
23 January 1895, pg. 5 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]

MRS. RUSSELL'S WILL. -- Ordinary Wiley yesterday probated the will of Mrs. Catherine Russell, widow of Jacob Russell and mother-in-law of Mr. Louis Vanucci.  The amount of the will is about $18,000.

The statue atop the tombstone for Catharine Russell could be of the Virtue of Hope.  She is holding an anchor in her left hand.


22 September 2016

William Wylie Didn't Survive the Mardi Gras Trip

100_4441William Wylie was born in Houston County, Georgia 26 June 1845.  He served the Confederacy during the Civil War, and afterward became a police officer in Bibb County.  William married at least twice.  First, I believe, to a woman named Mary.  This union produced at least three children:  Ella, Laura, and Thomas.

On 22 November 1877 in Bibb County, Georgia, W. A. Wylie married again to Mrs. Jane E. Stephens.  She brought along two children, Edna and Jimmie, and the couple together had a son named Warren.  The former Mrs. Stephens was born Mary Ella Jane Ray, daughter of John H. and Sarah Ray.

At 8:15 on a mid-February 1890 morning, the not yet 45 year old William Wylie left Macon with his wife and stepson Jimmie.  They were on their way to New Orleans, Louisiana to participate in the Mardi Gras celebration.  Unfortunately, Mr. Wylie would not survive the trip.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
16 February 1890, pg. 2 [via GenealogyBank]


Stricken With Paralysis in New Orleans Yesterday, He Dies Suddenly.
Ex-Lieutenant Wm. A. Wylie is dead.

The news will come as a shock to the hundreds of friends of the ex-officer, who, with his rough address, but great big warm heart for the poor and needy made friends everywhere.

Thursday, Mr. Wylie accompanied by his wife and step son, left Macon to witness Mardi Gras and visit New Orleans.  Yesterday morning, while at his boarding house on St. Charles street, he was stricken with paralysis.  Physicians were called in, but he sank rapidly, becoming unconscious during the afternoon and dying at 7:30 o'clock last night.

The remains will leave New Orleans this morning and will reach the city tomorrow night, when the funeral arrangements will be completed.

Mr. Wylie was born in Houston county about 1845.  He went to the war and fought gallantly, returning with fifty men, the fragment of his regiment.  Years ago he went on the police force.  He rose, after hard and constant duty, to a lieutenancy, and in that position served the city several years, until with the new administration, in 1889, he was relieved.  He then went into the liquor business, and was a member of the firm of Wylie & Stembridge.  He leaves a wife and two children by a former wife and two step-children to mourn his death.  He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, Order of Tonti and other orders, and had an insurance of about $20,000 on his life, distributed among them.

His generous nature was more apparent to those whom he knew well.  To them he was all that a friend could be, and they will sincerely mourn his death.  All of the orders will attend the funeral.


Two days after his death, the remains of Mr. W. A. Wylie arrived by train in Macon, Georgia.  Several members of the community were at the depot to take charge of the body.  He was laid to rest in Rose Hill Cemetery the next day.

Ella Ray Wylie survived her husband by another 25 years.  Upon her death, 2 August 1915 in Montgomery, Alabama, Ella was finally laid to rest next to William.

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