04 July 2013

The Melancholy History of John and Mary Hodgkins

It's been many years since I began transcribing the stones in Rose Hill Cemetery. This was before I had a nice digital camera with a decent size memory card, so I literally was going stone by stone and writing down the inscriptions with any applicable notes. Anyone who has done this knows it's painstaking work.

What's more aggravating than not having a library of personal photos, is seeing a fairly recent photo of a stone that seems to bear less information than when I saw and transcribed it. Stones have since been broken, stones have sunk further into the ground, and stones are more overgrown now than before.

James Allen took photos of thousands of stones in Rose Hill Cemetery and uploaded them to the Bibb County, Georgia GenWeb project. He kindly sent me CDs containing these photos, as well. His photo of the stone of John C. Hodgkins is here:

John C. Hodgkins (1837-1874)

What can barely be seen at the bottom of the broken stone is the beginning of information for John's wife, Mary E. Artope. While I noted the stone was broken many years ago, I was able to then see her birth and death dates: May 11, 1838 ~ Nov 8, 1871. Discovering the following article detailing the death of John and the depth of love he had for his wife, really makes me wish I had a photo of their two names together on one stone.

"Death of Mr. John C. Hodgkins.
We regret to announce the death of Mr. John C. Hodgkins, which took place at five o'clock yesterday afternoon, at the residence of his father. He has not been in good health for some time, and he was taken suddenly ill Tuesday morning and he continued to grow rapidly worse until he expired as above stated.

About two years ago Mr. Hodgkins lost his wife, and he never recovered from the blow. He has been a different man ever since, giving little attention to affairs of any kind, and living almost the life of a recluse; and during the whole of that time his grief has been nurtured and kept warm by daily visits to the cemetery, where repose the remains of his beloved one, beside which his remains will be laid to-day. It is a bit of melancholy history, but very beautiful in its melancholy as illustrating the noblest quality of human nature.

Mr. Hodgkins was about thirty-nine years of age, and leaves a family of small children. His funeral will take place from Christ Church at 5 o'clock this afternoon." [Macon Weekly Telegraph (Georgia), 14 July 1874, pg. 4]

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