29 June 2018

Susan Bullock & Her 2 Husbands, Plus a Brother & Daughter

The following marker is found in the Magnolia Ridge section (block 1, lot 44) of Rose Hill Cemetery. This family burial lot was purchased by the "estate of Susan Sims" November 1851.*


Here Lie the Remains of
Frederick Sims (1794-1848)
Mason, Legislator, Mayor of Macon, Postmaster
Susan Bullock, Wife of Frederick Sims (1800-1851)
Susan W. Sims, Daughter of Susan Bullock & Frederick Sims (c. 1840)
Charles Bullock, Brother of Susan
Nicholas Waters Wells, First Husband of Susan
Bullock and Wells owned a Tavern at Newtown, near Fort Hawkins, and later operated
the Mansion House, a hotel in early Macon.

About Frederick and Susan

Frederick Sims, born about 1794, appears to have been married three times. First was to Amelia Rogers 18 August 1819 in Jones County, Georgia. Second was to Catharine W. Welborn 25 June 1821, also in Jones County. Third was to Mrs. Susan Wells 4 October 1832 in Bibb County, Georgia.

I have not found any children attributed to Frederick and his first wife. He and Catharine had at least three children: Frederick William, Catharine M. (1824-1851), and Sarah A. E. (d. 1849). The elder Frederick and third wife Susan also had at least three children: Charles Combs (1834-1893), Mary B. (1837-1913), and Susan W.

Frederick Sims died in late August or early September of 1848. A railroad accident was the cause. Following is from a blurred / smudged article in the 5 September 1848 Macon Telegraph (Georgia):

Death of Frederick Sims Esq.
We are pained to announce the sudden death of Frederick Sims Esq., of this city. He was killed on Monday last a few miles above this city; on the [Macon?] & Western Rail Road. The particulars of [the death] as near as we can learn appear to be __?__. Mr. Sims, was acting as conductor of one of [the passenger] trains in the absence of the regular __?__, and while standing on the steps of the cars was struck from his position and killed by a [protruding?] post of fence running quite up to the track. He survived the accident but a few moments.

Mr. Sims was one of the oldest and most respectable [citizens] of Macon. He has left a wife and several children…

The Children, Including Daughter Susan

- Frederick William Sims was likely born in Jones County, Georgia. He first married Catharine M. Sullivan 12 September 1850 at Bibb County. This couple had at least four children: Willa (d. 1863), Mary (1855-1856), Kate Fay (d. 1859), and Freddy. Not a single child made it to adulthood, and all were buried at Rose Hill Cemetery. Frederick and Catharine went to Savannah, where she died 17 September 1858. Catharine was also returned to Macon and buried at Rose Hill.

Frederick then married Sarah Lois Munroe 10 December 1862 at Bibb County, and they had at least six children: Emily Hephsibah (1864-1922), Frederick William (d. 1869), Charlotte M. (1870-1871), Arthur V. (1872-1875), Sarah R. (1874-1875), and Elizabeth E.

Frederick William Sims, Sr. died about October 1875 at Chatham County, Georgia.

cstow- Catharine M. Sims was born 13 September 1824. Before she turned seventeen, Catharine married John B. Stow on 14 July 1841 at Bibb County. This couple had at least four children: Harriett S., Stephen Frank, John B., and William E. before Catharine died on her birth day in 1851. Burial was at Rose Hill Cemetery (image of tombstone at right).

- Sarah A. E. Sims was born about 1828. She married William Hoadley Bray 28 June 1848 at Bibb County. This couple had at least one child, Sarah Sims Bray (d. 1850), before mother Sarah died in May 1849. Both mother and daughter Sarah were buried at Rose Hill Cemetery.

- Charles Combs Sims was born 13 March 1834 in Georgia. He married Eleanor Harris 23 February 1860 at Bibb County, and they had at least three children: Roff, Nellie Caliborne (1862-1893), and Charles Combs Jr. (1863-1898). Charles Sr. died in 1893, and all members of this immediate family (excluding Roff) were buried at Rose Hill Cemetery.

- Mary B. Sims was born 29 August 1837 at Macon, Bibb County, Georgia. After the death of her half-sister Sarah, Mary too became the wife of William Hoadley Bray (1820-1898). Mary moved with him to Eufaula, Barbour County, Alabama and gave him at least four children. She died 22 June 1913.

- Susan W. Sims, mentioned on marker pictured at top, was likely born between 1840 and 1842. While she was listed with her mother and siblings in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia for the 1850 federal census, she was alone in an institution for 1870, 1880, and 1900. For each of these decades, Sarah was confined to the Georgia Lunatic Asylum in Milledgeville (later called the State Lunatic Asylum, and then the Georgia State Sanitarium). For the 1870 and 1880 censuses, Susan was specifically noted as Idiot and Idiotic, respectively. I believe Susan died some time after 1900.

About Charles Bullock and Nicholas Wells

Charles Bullock was possibly some years older than his sister Susan. The one-sentence notice in the 19 September 1829 (Savannah) Georgian stated he was aged 45 at the time of his death nine days earlier.

I did find a newspaper source that stated Capt. Charles Bullock was married to a Mrs. Grantland the year before he died.

Less than two months after the death of her brother, Susan was dealt another tragic blow with the death of her first husband, Nicholas Waters Wells:

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
5 December 1829 - pg. 3 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]

DIED – In this place on Wednesday the 2d inst. after a lingering and protracted illness Nicholas W. Wells, formerly of the firm of Bullock & Wells.

Mr. Wells was one of the earliest settlers of this county and held from its first organization the office of clerk of the superior court, he was a man much esteemed in society and died deeply regretted by a numerous circle of friends and relations.

Following from 30 January 1830 Macon Telegraph:

Executrix's Sale.
ON Thursday the eleventh day of March next, will be sold at the Store room in the house lately occupied by Bullock & Wells as a Tavern, all the personal estate of the late Nicholas W. Wells deceased, except the Negroes, consisting of hogs, horses, a gig, household and kitchen furniture, and various other articles -- There will also be sold at the same time and place, such of the effects of the late firm of Bullock & Wells, as have come to the hands of the subscriber, consisting chiefly of the furniture used in the public parts of the Tavern, and a part of the kitchen furniture... SUSAN WELLS, Executrix of N. W. Wells deceased.

It's hard to imagine what it must've been like for Susan, a widowed woman in 1829 Georgia – in a pioneer town that was still in its early stages of formation. Here is how Charles and Nicholas contributed to those early days of Macon [From History of Macon: the First Hundred Years, 1823-1923 (History Club of Macon, 2007 reprint, Imedia Group)]:

Fort Hawkins (1938 reconstructed southeastern blockhouse). Public Domain image by Macondude via Wikipedia.[Pg. 18] ...The settlement was called Fort Hawkins until about 1821, when the name Newtown was adopted, but throughout Georgia at Washington City, the locality was ever called Fort Hawkins.

In 1820 a double log house was built a few hundred yards beyond the fort, and the first hotel in the limits of the section which was subsequently part of Bibb county. The hotel was kept by Messrs., Charles Bullock and Nicholas Wells, who were also engaged in merchandising and, in 1822, they issued the first change bills in this section of the country. Several of the bills were for many years kept in the hands of our oldest citizens as relics of primitive banking...

[Pg. 21] The first election for members of the General Assembly from Bibb county took place in October, 1823, resulting in the choice of Charles Bullock for the senate, and Dr. Stephen M. Ingersoll as a member of the House of Representatives.

The first effort to secure a bank for Macon was made on November 8, 1823, before Macon was even incorporated. On that date Senator Bullock introduced the following resolution:

"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Georgia, in General Assembly met, that it is recommended to the Board of Directors of the Bank of Darien to remove the branch of said bank from Marion (Twiggs County) to Macon, if they should deem it inexpedient to establish an additional branch at the town of Macon."

[Eventually, an amendment with "after two years" was added, so] ...The branch bank of Darien was not opened in Macon until October 30, 1825.

[Pg. 118] ...The place grew rapidly, and in 1818 its name was changed to Newtown, and it was so known and called locally, but was still known abroad  as Fort Hawkins.

About this time Charles Bulloch [sic] and Nicholas Wells erected a double log cabin which they ran under the name of Newtown Tavern. This was the first hotel in these parts. Its location is fixed near the junction of Clinton and Main Streets, East Macon...

*Note: Since Rose Hill Cemetery began selling lots in 1840, and the lot where the marker pictured at top is located was supposedly sold in 1851, it's up for conjecture whose remains are truly located there. It's not hard to fathom this being the original and/or final resting place for Frederick Sims (1794-1848). Charles Bullock and Nicholas Wells, on the other hand, died in 1829. Were their remains really moved from another location twenty or more years later?

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