09 July 2011

John W. Kimbrew: Railroader and Saturday Soldier

I first wrote about the KIMBREW family plot with Emmitt Kimbrew: a Couple of Inaccuracies. As stated there, the plot is located at the bottom of a hill in Eglantine Square. There is a short brick wall on three sides, with concrete ledger markers filling the plot. If it wasn't for the military marker standing for John W. Kimbrew, the plot could be easily, very easily, overlooked.

The entrance to the plot, as well as a marker in the back brick wall, leads you to believe the plot was owned by John W. Kimbrew, but Rose Hill Cemetery records show the plot was purchased in July 1876 by E. S. Kimbrew. Edward S. Kimbrew was John William's father, per the 1880 Macon, Bibb County, GA Federal census. By that time Edward was married to his second wife, Lula Mosly. Edward married his first wife, Ella E. Lowe, 23 December 1869. There is one unidentified burial in the E. S. Kimbrew lot, and I suggest that interment is John's mother, Mrs. Ella Kimbrew.

The working life of John W. Kimbrew was dominated by the railroad and the military. He enlisted in the United States Army at Ft. Worth, Texas 15 September 1893 at the age of 22. His birthplace was given as Macon, GA as well as an occupation of Railroader. John was described as having light blue eyes and a fair complexion. Though he enlisted for five years, it appears he was discharged after three on 14 December 1896 with an excellent service record.

John next appears in Maloney's Macon Miscellaneous Directory for 1897. He was a flagman for the G. S. & F. Railway. He enlisted again with the U. S. Army 16 May 1898 at Macon, GA. And again he was described as having light blue eyes, brown hair, and a fair complexion. This entry in the U. S. Army Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 database online at Ancestry.com ascribes to John the duty of Cook, which is also found on his military tombstone. John was discharged 23 August 1899 with a very good service record.

The 1900 Macon, Bibb County, GA Federal census shows John with his new bride Ada. He is back on the railroad as a flagman. In 1910, John and Ada were still in Macon with three children. This time, John was a Railroad Conductor. John W. Kimbrew lived less than one month past the taking of that census in April. He died 16 May 1910 in Macon, GA.

From the 18 May 1910 edition, Macon Telegraph:

The burial services of J. W. Kimbrew who died at his residence on Oglethorpe street Monday morning took place yesterday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. from the residence and the interment was made in Rose Hill cemetery. The pallbearers were selected from the group of railway conductors and the burial was according to the rites of the Masonic order.


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