11 August 2017

Burial of Gardner Lemuel Davis: Rose Hill or Riverside?

(Part of the Descendants of Henry Abel series.)

I communicated yesterday about the possibility of an obituary confusing two cemeteries that are located within less than a mile of each other in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia – Rose Hill Cemetery and Riverside Cemetery.  I saw an example of this in the news article about the 1914 death of Gardner Lemuel Davis…or so I thought.

First, a little background.  Gardner Davis was born 6 August 1868 in Bibb County, Georgia to Abraham Josephus and Mary Jane Elizabeth Parker Davis.  On 30 April 1907, Gardner married Ethel Kate Abel, who was eighteen years his junior.  She was a daughter of William and Martha Jane Jones Abel, and a granddaughter of Henry Abel.

Rose Hill Cemetery Gate 2011. Image by Stephanie Lincecum.Gardner and Ethel had at least two daughters:  Martha Abel Davis Harp (1908-1982) and Lemuel Anne Elizabeth Davis Dawsey (1914-1991).  Lemuel Annie was only 10 months old when her father suddenly died on a street in downtown Macon.  Following from 17 December 1914 edition of the Macon Telegraph (via GenealogyBank) --


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.  His 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, Henry 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 brothers-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.

So.  Gardner was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery the day after his death.  Case closed, right?

I thought so, too, until further search into this family revealed Ethel Abel Davis (upon her death in 1971) was buried in Riverside Cemetery.  Her granite ledger marker is in the Dahlia Section, Row C18, Lot 4.  And to Ethel's right is her husband Gardner.  Cemetery records show Gardner was interred there 19 May 1915, five months after his death.

The Davis – Dawsey lot also holds the remains of daughter Lemuel Davis and her husband James Richard Dawsey.


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