30 April 2013

Death and Funeral of Mrs. Alfred Jessop (Tombstone Tuesday)

Photo by James Allen
I always like to note when someone's final resting place is different from their location at death. In this instance, the distance between the two isn't awful far, but still worthy of a highlight. There is also a slight discrepancy in the death date, given the dates of the newspaper articles, as well as the inscription on her ledger marker in Rose Hill Cemetery. Did Mrs. Jessop pass away Monday, November 24th, or Sunday, November 23rd? I'm leaning toward the latter.

Columbus Daily Enquirer (Georgia)
Tuesday, 25 November 1913, pg. 1

Funeral Held Monday at Noon and Body Was Carried to Macon for Interment.

Mrs. Alfred Jessop died early yesterday morning at her home, 1531 Fourth avenue. At the time of her death Mrs. Jessop was 61 years old and been suffering for some time with a complication of troubles. Although she had been able to be out a few days at a time, she had not been well for something over a year and [her death was ex?]pected.

The funeral services were conducted yesterday at noon from her former home and the body was carried to Macon for interment. Rev. S. A. Wragg conducted the services and the following acted as pallbearers: Messrs. H. E. Struppa, M. A. Coopk [sic], J. A. Beard, E. H. Waddell, W. L. Williams, and Prof. R. D. Daniels.

She is survived by her husband and three daughters, Mrs. A. D. Allen and the Misses Edith and Edna Jessop of this city.

Mrs. Jessop had a host of friends in this city who will mourn her untimely death.
Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
Tuesday, 25 November 1913, pg. 10


The funeral of Mrs. Alfred Jessop, a former Macon woman, who died at her late home in Columbus, Sunday, will be held this morning at 11 o'clock from Christ Episcopal church. Rev. John S. Bunting, the rector, officiating. Interment will follow at Rose Hill cemetery. The body of Mrs. Jessop was brought to Macon yesterday afternoon at 4:30 o'clock from Columbus.

At 11 o'clock this morning, from Christ Episcopal church, will occur the funeral of Mrs. Alfred Jessop, of Columbus, Ga. Mrs. Jessop was before her marriage Clarissa Augusta Benton, of this city, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Amos Benton, who were pioneer citizens of Macon and prominently connected with its early history. Mr. and Mrs. Jessop were married in 1880, and for some time made their home in Macon, later moving to Columbus. The deceased was at the time of her death 61 years old. Besides her husband, she leaves three daughters, Misses Edna and Edith Jessop and Mrs. Aubrey Allen, all of Columbus, and three sisters, Mrs. Robert Findlay, Mrs. Juliette DeVries and Mrs. L. E. Mallery, all of this city.

24 April 2013

He Is Slightly Better (but He Died a Few Days Later)

E. C. Granniss Family Plot
Rose Hill Cemetery, Macon, Georgia
Photo © 2009-2013 S. Lincecum
Ebenezer C. Granniss was born 21 February 1817 at East Haven, Connecticut. During his 73rd year, E. C. became gravely ill with influenza...

Judge Granniss Critically Ill But Thought to be Improving.

Judge E. C. Granniss is still quite low with influenza, but his physician, Dr. K. P. Moore, reported a slight change for the better in his condition last night.

His son, Dr. Horace M. Granniss, who now resides in Orlando, Fla., arrived in Macon on the East Tennessee road at 4:30 o'clock yesterday evening in response to a telegram sent the day before. He was almost ill himself with a chronic headache, which was by no means helped by the long night ride and the anxiety felt for his father's condition. Dr. Granniss has been absent from Macon for many years, although he has occasionally visited the city since making his home in Florida. He was much surprised at the great growth made by the city since he was here last.

Judge Granniss has been a citizen of Macon for forty-three years, during which time he has lived in the same comfortable home on Oak street which he now occupies. He has hosts of friends here who sincerely hope for his early recovery. [Macon Telegraph (Georgia), 22 February 1890, pg. 6]
...but he did not recover and died a few days later on 25 February 1890. He and his family rest in the Eglantine Square Section of Rose Hill Cemetery.

18 April 2013

Brave Confederate Peter Bracken Dead

From Wikimedia
Just a short seven months before the death of Anthony Murphy, the last known Confederate survivor of those involved in the Great Locomotive Chase of 1862, the grim reaper came calling for Peter Bracken. He rests in Rose Hill Cemetery, near the Oak Ridge section.

He Was a Locomotive Engineer and Took a Prominent Part in the Capture of the Famous "General" -- Born in Philadelphia and Came to Macon When a Young Man.

There died in Macon yesterday a quiet, unassuming man, who had played a prominent part in the closing days of the Confederacy.

This was Mr. Peter J. Bracken, one of Macon's oldest locomotive engineers, and a man always and universally respected by the people. He was an engineer on the old Macon & Western railroad between Macon and Atlanta, when Mr. W. A. Huff was the conductor of the train. Between the two men there has been always the strongest ties of friendship, and the news of his death will be read by Mr. Huff this morning with genuine sorrow.

Mr. Bracken took a prominent part in the capture of the famous "General," the old wood-burning locomotive that is still preserved because of the great raid that was one of the important events of the closing scenes of the war. As he was so closely connected with the raid a brief recital of the main facts will not be out of place in this announcement of his death.

On the morning of April 12, Capt. W. A. Fuller left Atlanta in charge of the passenger train on the Western and Atlantic railroad. When he reached Marietta a party of strangers, dressed in citizens' clothes, boarded the train and paid their fares to different points. They claimed to be refugees from the federal lines joining the Confederate army, but were disguised soldiers, volunteers from Sill's brigade, Mitchell's corps, U. S. A., commanded by James J. Andrews.

At Big Shanty [Kennesaw] the train stopped for breakfast, and most of the passengers and train crew left the train. The passengers had taken their seats at the table, Capt. Fuller facing the train. He saw through the window some strangers get on the engine in an excited manner and start off rapidly. He remarked to his engineer, Jeff Cain, and Anthony Murphy, then foreman of the Western and Atlantic shops, that "some one who has no right to do so has gone off with our train." All three arose and hurried out of the house, just as the engine passed out of sight.

Capt. Fuller, Murphy and Cain commenced pursuit on foot. They soon secured a hand car and, in spite of the obstructions placed on the track by the raiders, made rapid progress. At Etowah they found the engine "Yonah" and the pursuit then was at such a rapid pace that serious damage to the railroad by the raiders was impossible.

The "General" was abandoned by the raiders at a point about half way between Ringgold and Graysville, on account of lack of fuel and the close pursuit of Fuller and his party. When the fugitives abandoned the engine their leader said, "everyone take care of himself," and they left in squads. Four of them were run down in the fork of the Chickamauga river at Graysville, and one was forcibly persuaded to tell where they were. Later there was a trial by military court, and eight of the number were executed in Atlanta as spies, six were paroled at City Point, Va., and eight escaped from prison at Atlanta...

...Prominent among the pursuers were -- Smith, Steve Stokely, Peter Bracken, engineer; Fleming Cox, fireman; Alonzo Martin, wood-passer, and H. Haney.

The Southern Confederacy, published in Atlanta at the time, said: "Peter Bracken, the engineer on the freight train, ran his engine fifty and a half miles -- two of them backing the whole freight train up to Adairsville -- made twelve stops, coupled to two cars dropped by the fugitives, and switched them off on sidings in one hour and five minutes. Capt. Fuller fully corroborates the invaluable service rendered by the veteran Bracken."

...The survivors of the Andrews' Raiders have erected a monument to their fallen comrades, and it stands today in the National cemetery at Chattanooga...

Mr. Bracken was in his seventy-sixth year. He was born in Philadelphia and came to Macon when he was quite a young man. He is survived by three daughters and two sons: Mrs. F. C. Benson, Mrs. Charles B. Smith, Mrs. A. [G?] James, Desoto; W. P. Bracken, Arkansas, and J. W. Bracken, Lakeland, Fla.

The funeral will take place this afternoon at 5 o'clock, from the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Charles B. Smith, 208 High street. Revs. W. H. Rudd and T. W. Callaway will officiate. [Macon Telegraph (Georgia), 27 May 1909, pg. 7]
Peter James Bracken
Born Oct. 31, 1833 Philadelphia, PA.
Died May 26, 1909 Macon, GA.
Engineer of the Locomotive Texas During the
Great Locomotive Chase on the Western &
Atlantic Railroad April 12, 1862

Rose Hill Cemetery, Macon, Georgia
Photo © 2010-2013 S. Lincecum

According to AndrewsRaid.com, Bracken was originally buried in an unmarked grave. The granite marker above was erected and dedicated in 1971.

To add a bit of specificity to the article above, Peter Bracken joined the chase at Adairsville, GA as the engineer of the Texas locomotive. A map of the chase is here. The detailed engraving of Bracken's Texas engine is at the top of his tombstone.

Photo © 2010-2013 S. Lincecum

13 April 2013

The One Where I Hope Not to Burst Your Bubble

Over the past several days, I've been bringing you the story of Dr. George W. Marvin: he was president of the First National bank of Cordele, Georgia, died in 1892, and was kept in the parlor of his widow for many months. Dr. Marvin was eventually laid to rest in Macon's Rose Hill cemetery. (Here's part 1.)

The story unfolded with a lot of sensational details, some of them which might (here's the bursting bubble part) not be true. *Gasp!* I know, we have been hearing for some time about how old newspapers are a great resource for family historians. And that is absolutely correct. However, we must remember they are not perfect sources. The information provided must be followed up on, and more evidence must be gathered to prove or disprove whatever genealogical problem we are trying to solve.

It is in this vein that I have provided the following. If you are serious about researching the life of Dr. George W. Marvin (or Mrs. Theodora Trammell Marvin Bivins, or Mr. Joseph E. Bivins), here is some additional information and articles that I have culled in my hours (meaning, actually very little time in the scheme of things) of research. Some newspaper articles were transcribed and posted on my Southern Graves site.

- According to the U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 database, there was a George W. Marvin, physician and surgeon in Omaha, Nebraska in 1870.

- 1880 U.S. Census for Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia
Enumeration District #95, Pg 5, Dwelling 35, Family 45
#360 Whitehall Street
Marvin, George W. (head) age 45; Physician; b. England
Marvin, Georgia (wife) age 35; Keeping House; b. Georgia
Rogers, Synthia (mother-in-law) age 80; b. North Carolina

- According to the Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia database, buried there is a Mrs. George Marvin, d. 13 June 1888, aged 47. This might be the widow Pitts.

- The Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia)
13 June 1888
Last night about 12:30 Mrs. Marvin wife of Dr. George Marvin, died at her home, 365 Whitehall street.
Fits widow Pitts theory.

- The Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia)
13 March 1889
Last evening, at his residence, 365 Whitehall, Dr. George W. Marvin married Miss Theodora Trammell, a most charming lady, the ceremony occurring at 8 o'clock...Dr. Marvin is a prominent physician, well known in this city; his bride is a lady of many accomplishments...
Less than a year after the death of the widow Pitts. Late evening wedding, but not "after midnight."

- The Atlanta Constitution (Georgia)
21 April 1895, pg. 26
Proceedings Yesterday.

- Theodora Bivins et al. v. F. G. Marvin.
Argument concluded.
Fits theory that Theodora Trammell was the wife that went with Dr. Marvin to Cordele, as well as name of alleged son (Francis G. Marvin).

- Two Husbands article dated 12 October 1896: describes Theodora Trammell Marvin Bivins as an "old maid in Atlanta," and implies Dr. Marvin (of Omaha, Nebraska) made $1,000,000 with "some real estate speculations." Reiterates that Dr. Marvin was eventually buried in Rose Hill Cemetery. Article published not long after the death of Mrs. Bivins.

- Casket In The Parlor article dated 28 November 1896: States Mrs. Bivins died "a week or so ago," and that she had married Dr. Marvin in Atlanta "about ten years before." Reiterates the notion of Dr. Marvin having a gold cane and diamonds on his shirt front. States the widow Marvin married Joseph E. Bivins approximately 13 months after the death of Dr. Marvin. (It also provides this wonderful image at right.)

- Bivins Writes Of Marvin article dated 22 July 1897: Joseph E. Bivins "says the history of the doctor's life has been exaggerated." He states Marvin never served time in the penitentiary. He also disagrees with the characterization of the judgement / compromise that gave Francis G. Marvin, the "alleged son of Dr. Marvin," a piece of his estate. Last line of Bivins' letter: "The treatment accorded his [Dr. Marvin's] memory by his alleged son and certain others, does not meet my ideas of propriety."

- According to his tombstone photo at FindAGrave, Joseph E. Bivins was born 18 January 1866, and died 27 December 1898. Theodora is there, too, and her tombstone bears a marriage date for her and Joseph Bivins, as well as a death date. I cannot read either altogether. The death year does appear to be 1896. Both are buried in Sunnyside Cemetery at Cordele, Crisp County, Georgia. Joseph's brother J. W. (James William?), b. 1869, d. 1939 is also there.

- Joseph E. Bivins Obituary dated 29 December 1898: Though the exact timing is ambiguous, (died "yesterday," but brother left him "doing well this morning") we do have death information. It also establishes siblings, specifically two brothers - F. J. and J. W. Bivins, who will later take control of the bank (that Joseph took control of after the death of Dr. Marvin).

- A Georgia Romance article dated 2 February 1899: States Mr. Pitts was presumed dead after not returning from the Civil War, not that he died while running around in Florida after his wife and Dr. Marvin. Also states Dr. Marvin (with initials of J. B., of St. Louis, who died in 1891) arrived in Atlanta in 1869 with a wife and young son. Describes Joseph Bivins as a "young man about 30 years of age" around the time of Dr. Marvin's death. Reiterates that the body of Dr. Marvin was "turned...over to an undertaker for burial" in Macon, Georgia. Gave the long lost son of Dr. Marvin the first name of Harry. Describes Joseph Bivins as the third husband of the widow Marvin. Published just a couple of months after his death.

- Receiver For Bank Of Cordele article dated 12 March 1899: Explains that the brothers (F. J. and J. W.) of Joseph Bivins are then running the First National bank of Cordele. States Dr. Marvin married Miss Trammell "after midnight." Also states Dr. Marvin died August 1892, his body was quietly buried in Macon, and Joseph Bivins died December 1898.

12 April 2013

The Past Becomes Present (Paging Dr. Marvin Finale)

(Part 1 is here.)

The Atlanta Constitution (Georgia)
19 July 1897, Page 5 [continued]
Wife No. 4 on the Scene.
Upon the death of Mrs. Pitts, Marvin located in Cordele. Before going there he married a young lady in Atlanta. In Cordele Marvin abandoned his profession, which he claimed to be medicine, and he organized a bank, using the estate of his last wife, Mrs. Pitts, as a nucleus.

The bank prospered. So did Marvin. Joseph Bivins was engaged as private secretary and the bank made money for its president and stockholders.

Marvin's past life had been an exciting one. He had lived at a fast and furious pace and his constitution, once strong and sturdy, failed. Gradually the strain began to tell and his death will be easily remembered. It occurred in Cordele not many months ago. His body was embalmed and placed in the parlor, where it was visited by his widow.

Mrs. Marvin found a balm for her grief and she became the happy bride of Secretary Bivins, whom she had known in her husband's bank and who had often called at the Marvin home, both socially and upon business connected with the institution of which Marvin was president. Courtship followed and ripened into wedlock.

The Past Becomes Present.
The wedding tour ended, Mr. and Mrs. Bivins returned home. The family was a happy one and the little home was furnished luxuriously with the fortune which had been inherited from Marvin and which he secured from Mrs. Pitts.

Mrs. Bivins died. Death came from a fatal malady and Bivins was left alone, but with his wife's estate.

Out of the west came a dashing young man one day, who called at Cordele. He asked many questions, then left. This youth was Francis G. Marvin, who called at the law offices of Judge Hopkins & Sons, in Atlanta, and claimed a one-half interest in the estate which had been left to Bivins.

Young Marvin claimed he was a legitimate hear [sic], being the son of Dr. Marvin as a result of his marriage with Miss Annie Blakely, in Springfield, Ill. The claim was filed in Dooly superior court and the tedious litigation began. There were all kinds of allegations filed and cross bills entered, but the case was gradually winning in favor of the boy.

A few days ago a compromise was made between Bivins and the plaintiff. Bivins gave him a deed to a large amount of Atlanta real estate, keeping for himself the remainder. The property is located on Whitehall and Smith streets and is worth a good fortune.

Marvin, the younger, has secured his title and last week returned to his home in Kansas. The legal contest was one of the most sensational which has ever been conducted in Dooly court and will be handed down to history as one of those peculiar cases without a parallel in the courts.

This story unfolded with a lot of sensational details, some of them which might not be true. *Gasp!* I know, we have been hearing for some time about how old newspapers are a great resource for family historians. And that is absolutely correct. However, we must remember they are not perfect sources. The information provided must be followed up on, and more evidence must be gathered to prove or disprove whatever genealogical problem we are trying to solve...so here's one more for the series >>> The One Where I Hope Not to Burst Your Bubble

11 April 2013

The Doctor Becomes a Criminal (Paging Dr. Marvin, Pt 4)

(Part 1 is here.)

The Atlanta Constitution (Georgia)
19 July 1897, Page 5 [continued]
The Doctor Becomes a Criminal.
From Springfield, Dr. Marvin was lost to his friends for a long time.

In the trial of the case which has recalled the story, it is said Marvin was engaged to perform a criminal operation in a town in Nebraska. The operation resulted in death and Marvin and the betrayer of his victim were convicted and sent to the penitentiary. It is not known what became of his companion in crime, but it seems that Marvin was pardoned after one year by the governor of Nebraska.

The victim of the criminal knife is reputed to have been a belle of an important little commercial town of that state. She was very popular and at one time it is said she was engaged to have been married to a candidate to the gubernatorial chair, who was defeated by the same man who won the race and afterwards pardoned Marvin. This is not in the records of the interesting case, but has developed in the trial.

From the convict camp Marvin is said to have extended his western trip and to have crossed the mountains and visited the Pacific coast. He is charged with having been an enthusiastic and successful gambler of the slope, and no doubt will be remembered by many of his old associates in California.

Marvin Comes to Atlanta.
It was Dr. Marvin when he reached Atlanta. He advertised as a specialist and is said to have been announced through the press and in glaring posters as a successful and highly reputed practitioner. He was regarded here as a quack, and but little legitimate practice is said to have ever reached his office.

Marvin was a dashing gallant and he was a favorite with women who were easily impressed. He was a great ladies' man, and gradually he secured patients whom he persuaded he could cure.

Among those who called at his office was a Mrs. Pitts, a member of a wealthy Atlanta family, and a handsome brunette. Whether Marvin was possessed of medical learning or whether his treatment was bused [sic] upon scientific lines, it is not known, but he and Mrs. Pitts became greatly infatuated and the two eloped. Their departure from Atlanta was at night and was in haste.

Mrs. Pitts's husband followed in hot pursuit. At Memphis he located the guilty pair and as he went up the front steps of the hotel with his loaded shotgun his wife and Marvin are said to have retreated, fleeing from the hotel by the rear steps and in much haste and considerable dishabille. Here the trail was lost, and after searching through the west, Pitts returned heartbroken.

Years passed by. Pitts had given up the chase as hopeless, until he was informed one day that Marvin and his wife were in Florida. Pitts took his pistol and shotgun from the shelf, rubbed off the dust and started again on the warpath.

Through Florida he searched. In every town and village he looked for the objects of his search. One day he became very ill. He went to a hotel and went to bed, dying shortly after with fever, which he contracted from the climate. In the death of Pitts the last barrier was removed and Marvin is said to have married Mrs. Pitts and then came into the possession of her fortune, which he secured in fee simple upon her death...
And the finale, Wife No. 4 on the Scene and The Past Becomes Present.

10 April 2013

It Is a Thrilling Story of Both Romance and Tragedy (Paging Dr. Marvin, Pt 3)

(Part 1 is here.)

The Atlanta Constitution (Georgia)
19 July 1897, Page 5

Unexpected Heir To Dead Doctor's Estate Appears on the Scene.


Set Up His Right to a Part in Dr. Marvin's Estate.


Compromise Has Been Reached and the Matter Will Go Out of the Courts. It Is a Thrilling Story of Both Romance and Tragedy.

Many years ago a handsome young man, with flashing black eyes and chestnut hair, worked industriously in a harness shop in a small, unfrequented street in a bustling city of Illinois. A few months ago he died in Cordele, Ga., the president of a bank.

This man, who stepped from poverty and labor to wealth and ease, was George W. Marvin, well known in Atlanta on account of his reckless daring and his brilliant schemes. Marvin was not an ordinary man. He was shrewd, scheming, daring, reckless and invincible. He had a multiplicity of wives, he served in the penitentiary, yet he moved in good society. He committed and was convicted of crime, yet he outlived his shame for many seasons and finally died, holding an important position in the commercial world, which it is said, he secured without earning one dollar from honest toil after he left the humble harness shop where he worked as a youth.

Even death did not wholly annihilate Marvin, for his young wife had his body embalmed, and for many weeks the body, cold in the rigor of death, remained in the casket, which stood on end in the parlor of his magnificent home. Daily the casket was visited by the young widow and the body was caressed and embraced at frequent intervals.

But the casket and the body have been removed from the parlor. In fact, the remains were brought through Atlanta, it is said, on the same train upon which the widow and her newly found husband passed through on their wedding trip. Mrs. Marvin, who was wife number four, married Joseph E. Bivins, of Cordele, who was the private secretary of the bank to which her late husband had been president. Mrs. Bivins soon died, and her estate, which had been inherited from Marvin, was left to Bivins.

Not many weeks ago a young man came from Kansas to Cordele, and he filed claim to one-half of the vast estate. He said he was the son of Marvin and was entitled to his portion of the property. The claim was stubbornly fought in the courts and a few days ago a compromise was effected between the young heir and Joseph Bivins, the aged widower.

It is the story of this suit and the compromise which has resurrected the history of Marvin and brought to light his checkered career.

Marvin's Early History.
Dating back more than thirty years ago Marvin was found at work in his harness shop.

When yet a young man, he married Miss Lucinda Tyler, a lady of excellent family, but without any means. Marvin ceased his labors at the harness bench and he blossomed forth as a specialist, but it is claimed he had never studied medicine, and began business without any knowledge of the diseases which he claimed he could cure.

The quack physician did not prosper, and he was compelled to do other things than were in the line of his profession. He is said to have been interested in a variety show and that later on his young wife secured a divorce upon the grounds that he wished her to sign a contract for an immoral purpose.

Marvin then drifted through the west after the separation. He traveled about under assumed names, it is said, without any special object in view, doing but little toward earning a livelihood, becoming shiftless and indolent, finally drifting into Springfield, Ill., where he became infatuated with a beautiful woman of that town. This woman was Miss Annie M. Blakely, and a marriage followed.

In less than a year Marvin deserted his bride, going into the west. She afterwards procured a divorce and it is said to be now living with her parents at her former home...
Next up: The Doctor Becomes a Criminal and Marvin Comes to Atlanta.

09 April 2013

He Came Out of the West (Paging Dr. Marvin, Pt 2)

Some new (to me) information has come to light about the late Dr. George W. Marvin, who passed away in the summer of 1892. To get a somewhat quick overview of the beginnings of this strange story, you may wish to read the post that started it all. Anyway, it seems Dr. Marvin's "unrest" lived on even after he was finally buried. Take a gander at these headlines from an article in the 26 April 1894 edition of Atlanta, Georgia's Constitution. This was only a few months after his early morning burial in Rose Hill cemetery, mind you.


Mrs. Bivens Repudiates a Man Who Would Call Her Mamma.


He Claims That Dr. Marvin Was His Father and Wants a Share of His Large and Valuable Estate.

The first paragraph lays it all out:
A rare sensation was sprung on Cordele this morning. Mrs. James Bivens, who was the celebrated widow of Dr. George W. Marvin until recently, when she was wedded to Mr. Bivens, has been sued by Francis G. Marvin for a child's part of the estate of Dr. Marvin. Mr. Marvin, the plaintiff in the suit, alleges that he is the son of Dr. Marvin by a former wife. He sets out that Dr. Marvin was divorced from his mother in 1872, and that she had been legally married to him some years before that event. He says that he is a farmer in Nebraska, and is twenty-seven years old. He heard of Dr. Marvin's death sometime ago but has not had the money until recently with which to make the trip to Georgia...
Response from the Bivens camp: "There is no living child of Dr. Marvin. This is only a continuation of the efforts which have heretofore been made to get a part of the estate...Other parties threatened to produce a will, but the threat was never executed. It will do no one any good to make the attempts as we will fight them every time..."

It took a few years, but a judgement would be reached. Along with it came a resurrection of Dr. Marvin's history and his "checkered career." Stay tuned for the whole sordid saga.

>>> It Is a Thrilling Story of Both Romance and Tragedy (Paging Dr. Marvin, Pt 3)

08 April 2013

Paging Dr. Marvin

Truth be told, I don't know where to start on this one. I first stumbled upon this odd story many years ago, and just recently found some more information that made it even more tantalizing.

Dr. George W. Marvin, who according to census records was born about 1835 in England, was a well known individual in the communities in which he lived. For this post, we are speaking of the Georgia cities of Atlanta and Cordele. The good doctor had money, and apparently loved to let his neighbors know it. A newspaper article (from Atlanta, Georgia's The Constitution, 2 October 1892, transcription published in its entirety here) described him this way:
...On the streets he was a well-known character, and when once seen never forgotten...

...He was a gentleman of scrupulous neatness and apparently gave much time to his toilet. His clothing was always of the latest style and more than ordinary taste was displayed in his selections. He was not above the average size, but the immense side whiskers and heavy, drooping mustache he wore gave him something of a distinguished look. He seemed to pride himself on his personal appearance and would shun a speck of flying dust as quickly as he would dodge a mud-bedaubed buggy wheel casting off its load.

Dr. Marvin was not only partial to neat clothing, but he was especially fond of handsome jewelry. He wore a magnificent cluster of diamonds on his short front while an extra inlet was made in the linen to accommodate the fourth large diamond stud. His fingers were bedecked with the same shining stones and it was the boast of the doctor that he wore a limited fortune around with him -- a fortune any pawnbroker would gladly gather.
Dr. Marvin died in Cordele, Dooly County (present day Crisp county), Georgia the summer of 1892. But! He was not buried until January 1894. So where was he for those 16 or so months? Read on for the short version.

10 January 1894
The Atlanta Constitution (Georgia)
His Widow Will Have the Embalmed Body Interred at Macon

Macon, Ga., January 9 -- (Special) -- The remains of the late Dr. George Marvin will be brought to Macon from Cordele on Friday and buried in Rose Hill cemetery. It will be remembered that Dr. Marvin moved to Cordele from Atlanta a few years ago. He was quite wealthy and was president of the Cordele bank. He died about a year ago and left a beautiful widow and a large fortune. For a time the widow was unconsolable with grief. She had the remains of her husband embalmed twice, once by Undertaker Keating, of Macon, and then by a New Orleans undertaker. The body was placed in a glass casket. It was first buried but Mrs. Marvin afterwards had the remains disinterred and placed in a room in her house, where the body has remained for several months and until the present day. Recently Mrs. Marvin married Cashier Bivins, of her dead husband's former bank. He has been her financial adviser since the death of Dr. Marvin. Mr. and Mrs. Bivins are now in Florida on a bridal tour. A brother of Cashier Bivins came to Macon a few days ago and purchased a lot in the cemetery in which to bury the body of Dr. Marvin.
Yes, you read that right. Dr. Marvin -- whose corpse spent several months in his widow's home -- was to be buried in Macon's Rose Hill Cemetery. And supposedly the plan was followed through to completion:

13 January 1894
The Atlanta Constitution (Georgia)
Newsy Notes.
The remains of Dr. George Marvin arrived this morning from Cordele and were interred at 7:30 o'clock in Rose Hill Cemetery.
Unfortunately, I have no clue where within the cemetery he was buried. To my knowledge, there is no official record, nor is there any grave marker. I wonder, where exactly is Dr. Marvin?

If you're into lurid tales, stay tuned. I have more to tell about the late doctor. >>> He Came Out of the West (Paging Dr. Marvin, Pt 2)

02 April 2013

Lt. Edward Granniss's Short Military Career Ended at Gettysburg (Tombstone Tuesday)

Via Fold3.
Sergeant Edward J. Granniss enlisted in Company B, 2nd Battalion, Georgia Infantry at Macon, Georgia 20 April 1861. He was just twenty years old. About a year later, after a couple of letters of recommendation from his superiors, Granniss was elected 2nd Lieutenant. Not long after, he obtained the rank of 1st Lieutenant. The beginning of 1863 found young Edward at home in Georgia on furlough. He returned to his unit in time to be present for the perilous Battle of Gettysburg. This battle Lt. Granniss ultimately would not survive. He died 7 July 1863 of wounds received on likely the second day of battle.1

Son, Edward J. (1841-1863)
Killed at the Battle of Gettysburg
"He is well drilled, prompt, faithful and of fine habits and it would be great gratification to his many friends in Macon if he were promoted."2

"He has sustained a moral character for many years and will fill a commissioned office with credit to the country."3

"In 1863, the church sustained other serious losses. "War bowed his sable plume" and Edward J. Granniss, George Pierce Payne and George W. Ross were among the fallen. The two former were young men of most lovable qualities, and of great promise."4

Edward J. Granniss was a son of E. C. and Huldah E. Granniss.5 Young Edward (1841 - 1863) rests in Eglantine Square of Rose Hill Cemetery.

Gettysburg After Battle Report

Report of Capt. Charles J. Moffett, Second Georgia Battalion.

Camp near Bunker Hill, Va., July 18, 1863.
Sir: The Second Georgia Battalion, Georgia Volunteers, was placed in line of battle on the left of the Forty-eighth Georgia Regt., of Brig. Gen. A. R. Wright's brigade, about 11 a. m. on July 2, in front of heights occupied by the enemy on the south side of Gettysburg, Pa.

At 5 p. m. on the 2d instant, Maj. George W. Ross, commanding the battalion, was ordered by Gen. Wright to throw the battalion forward and to deploy as skirmishers, covering the front of the brigade and re-enforce the skirmishers already in position. Having deployed as skirmishers, the battalion was ordered to drive the enemy's skirmishers, and take possession of a fence and bottom occupied by them. This they did, with great gallantry on the part of officers and men, in the face of a pretty heavy fire, driving the enemy before them. In this position a heavy skirmish continued about one hour, during which time many men of this command were wounded.

About 6 p. m. the brigade of Gen. Perry advanced upon our right. At the same time, Gen. Wright's brigade came sweeping over the skirmish line. In the absence of orders, or any definite instructions in the event of an advance of our forces, the skirmishers
did not assemble, but went forward with the line as it moved past them. In this way the battalion was scattered along the whole line of the brigade, and some of the men went into action with Gen. Perry's (Florida) brigade, it pressing upon our right. This being the case, the battalion did not perform a separate and united part in the charge upon the enemy's position. Under a heavy fire from the enemy's artillery and infantry, the battalion advanced to the batteries of the enemy, and assisted in driving away their cannoneers, capturing their cannon, and engaging their infantry. Our numbers (of the brigade) rapidly decreasing under the heavy fire, not being re-enforced, and the column on our right giving way, we were forced to retire, and give up the position and advantage gained by Gen. Wright's brigade.

In this charge we lost many valuable officers and men. Maj. Ross was wounded near the brick house while endeavoring to turn the heads of [the captured] artillery horses toward our lines. The gallant Capt. C. R. Redding was left upon the field, supposed to be dead. By the official return of casualties heretofore made, you will see our losses.

The battalion rallied upon the field, and was ordered to the position occupied before they were deployed as skirmishers. At this place they remained with the brigade the night of the 2d instant.6

1. "Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia," database & images, Fold3 (http://www.fold3.com : accessed March 2013), entry for Edward J. Granniss.
2. "Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia," database & images, Fold3, entry for Edward J. Granniss.
3. "Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia," database & images, Fold3, entry for Edward J. Granniss.
4. Mulberry Street Methodist Church, Semi-Centennial Exercises: Memorials of Methodism, in Macon, Georgia, from 1828 to 1878 (Macon, Georgia: J. W. Burke & Co, 1879), 36; digital images, Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org : accessed 18 March 2013).
5. Rose Hill Cemetery (Macon, Bibb County, Georgia). Granniss Family marker, Eglantine Square section; personally read, 2013.
6. "American Civil War Regiments," database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed March 2013), 2nd Infantry Battalion Georgia.
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