19 May 2016

Suffered Burns from Embers in Woods? (Mary Palmer's Story)

Rose Hill - Feb 2009 (2) 040Mary L. Palmer was born about June 1858 in Georgia to Samuel B. and Mary (Lewis) Palmer.  Six months after her birth, Mary's mother passed away at the age of just 25 years.  Though listed with her father for the 1870 U.S. Federal census in Savannah, Mary seems to have been "away" at school by the age of 16.  Here's the rest of her story, told in a local newspaper:

Macon Telegraph and Messenger (Georgia)
16 March 1875, pg. 4
Death of Mary Palmer.
This young lady, about 16 years of age, died a day or two ago from the effects of burns she had received.  She was walking in the woods near her school at Cartersville, and, from the information we obtain, her clothing caught on fire from some burning embers in the woods.  Her companions rushed to her rescue and assisted in the extinguishment of her apparel.  She was taken to her school, and her father, Mr. Samuel Palmer, of Savannah, was telegraphed to as to her condition.

Mr. Palmer, we learn, left immediately to visit his daughter, and the opinion was that she would recover from the effects of her burns.  Mr. Palmer's business called him away, and during his absence his daughter relapsed.  The effects of the burns were more severe than pronounced.  He was again sent for, and before he could reach her she was dead.

Being conscious of her situation, she requested that her remains should be deposited by the side of her mother and her grandparents in the family lot in Rose Hill Cemetery.

Mr. Cubbedge, a friend of the parents of the girl, received the remains at his residence, and the last sad rites were performed by the Rev. Mr. Rees yesterday afternoon.

Miss Palmer's mother was the daughter of the late F. F. and Julia Ann Lewis, of this city, who were among the first members of the Presbyterian Church of this city.
I must admit, my skeptic side reared a bit when reading this story of Miss Palmer's death.  I don't quite understand the circumstances of her being burned enough to believe it happened just as was written, I guess.  Mary does appear to have been a mature young lady to make a level-headed decision as the one she faced when near death.  I hate to think of her being alone at that time.

I do not have a good photo for Mary's tombstone in the Central Avenue District of Rose Hill Cemetery.  The photo at top (taken 2009) shows where her stone is leaning, and you can see a CUBBEDGE stone to the left of hers.  I cannot say, however, if this is indeed the family that accepted her remains.

The left side of the image below was taken by James Allen about 2007.  It appears the stone was lying on the ground.  For the right side, I just inverted the colors to maybe make it easier to read.  You should be able to click any picture to enlarge it.

Mary L. Palmer
Daughter of Saml B. Palmer
Died March 10, 1875
Aged 16 Y'rs, 8 Ms, 20 Ds
When she died on earth, she was born in Heaven.

Rose Hill - J Allen

A very nice picture of Mary's tombstone can be viewed at FindAGrave.  The memorial was created January 2015, and I see the stone is standing upright.  That makes me happy.

Also on FindAGrave is a memorial for Mary's father, Samuel B. Palmer.  He rests at Bonaventure Cemetery in Chatham County.

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