22 March 2010

Gardner Davis Died Suddenly on Cherry Street

A few days ago, I wrote about the marriage of James Benjamin Abel and Olive A. Domingos. This couple was eventually laid to rest in the William Abel lot of Eglantine Square. William was the father of James.

While continuing to research this family, I found evidence that a daughter of William -- Ethel Kate -- was married to a man named DAVIS. I happened upon a news article describing the death of this Mr. Davis just yesterday. This article states Gardner L. Davis was interred in Rose Hill Cemetery 17 December 1914.

I looked for Gardner in the database at RoseHillCemetery.org and found him with an unknown burial location. It just so happens that my survey of this section of the cemetery completed several years ago lists two unmarked slabs in the William Abel lot, and the RHC.org database does list one non-identified in this lot. I certainly cannot assume these two unmarked are Gardner and Ethel, but the idea is something to look into further.

Here is the article regarding the death and funeral of Gardner L. Davis. It is from the 17 December 1914 edition of the Macon Telegraph.

Gardner Davis Died Suddenly on Cherry Street Yesterday.


Veteran Officer Was in Apparent Good Health Half Hour Before Death -- Appeared as Witness in Recorder's Court Yesterday Morning -- Had Good Record.

While at his post of duty on Cherry, near Fifth street, yesterday at noon, Patrolman Gardner L. Davis sustained a stroke of apoplexy, which resulted in instant death. Bystanders rushed to him and the ambulance was summoned, but it was found that he had breathed his last.

One of the first persons to reach Patrolman Davis was his brother, Thomas F. Davis, of the Merritt Hardware company. Only twenty minutes before his death Patrolman Davis had made his report to the city hall through the call box at the rear of the hardware store and in passing spoke to his brother.

The sudden death of the officer was a distinct shock to his relatives and friends. He had been under treatment of a physician for several months, but was not thought to be in a serious condition.

Yesterday morning Patrolman Davis appeared in recorder's court to testify in a case against a negro charged with violating the license ordinance. He appeared to be in good health and went about his duties as usual.

At an inquest held over the body by Coroner T. E. Young the jury rendered a verdict to the effect that death resulted from apoplexy.

Twenty Years a Patrolman.

No man on the Macon police force was held in higher esteem than Gardner Davis. He had served about twenty years as a patrolman and was regarded as one of the most efficient and painstaking officers in the department. Those who knew him intimately said that his word was his bond.

Mr. Davis was born forty-seven years ago in the Warrior district of Bibb county and had resided in the county all of his life. He was a son of the late Abe J. Davis, one of the best known men of Bibb.

Besides his widow, who was Miss Ethel Abel, Patrolman Davis is survived by two small daughters, Martha Abel Davis and Mary Elizabeth Davis. He is survived by four brothers, William H. Davis, A. J. Davis, Jr., Thomas F. Davis and John A. Davis, another veteran member of the police department.

Among other surviving relatives are a first cousin, Sheriff J. R. Hicks, Jr., and three uncles, Heny C., S. A. and W. J. Parker, all of Bibb county,

Mr. Davis was a member of the Knights of Pythias and was a past chancellor commander of M. R. Rogers lodge, K. of P.

The funeral will be held this afternoon at 3 o'clock from his late residence, 401 Napier avenue. The services will be conducted by Elder W. W. Childs, of the Primitive Baptist church, of Yatesville, assisted by Rev. Loy Warwick, pastor of the Centenary Methodist church.

The active pallbearers will be four brothers and four brother-in-law of Mr. Davis, who are as follows: John A., Thomas F., William H. and A. J. Davis, Jr., James Abel, William Jones, Archie Smith and Clarence Jenkins. Interment will follow at Rose Hill cemetery.

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