22 September 2016

William Wylie Didn't Survive the Mardi Gras Trip

100_4441William Wylie was born in Houston County, Georgia 26 June 1845.  He served the Confederacy during the Civil War, and afterward became a police officer in Bibb County.  William married at least twice.  First, I believe, to a woman named Mary.  This union produced at least three children:  Ella, Laura, and Thomas.

On 22 November 1877 in Bibb County, Georgia, W. A. Wylie married again to Mrs. Jane E. Stephens.  She brought along two children, Edna and Jimmie, and the couple together had a son named Warren.  The former Mrs. Stephens was born Mary Ella Jane Ray, daughter of John H. and Sarah Ray.

At 8:15 on a mid-February 1890 morning, the not yet 45 year old William Wylie left Macon with his wife and stepson Jimmie.  They were on their way to New Orleans, Louisiana to participate in the Mardi Gras celebration.  Unfortunately, Mr. Wylie would not survive the trip.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
16 February 1890, pg. 2 [via GenealogyBank]


Stricken With Paralysis in New Orleans Yesterday, He Dies Suddenly.
Ex-Lieutenant Wm. A. Wylie is dead.

The news will come as a shock to the hundreds of friends of the ex-officer, who, with his rough address, but great big warm heart for the poor and needy made friends everywhere.

Thursday, Mr. Wylie accompanied by his wife and step son, left Macon to witness Mardi Gras and visit New Orleans.  Yesterday morning, while at his boarding house on St. Charles street, he was stricken with paralysis.  Physicians were called in, but he sank rapidly, becoming unconscious during the afternoon and dying at 7:30 o'clock last night.

The remains will leave New Orleans this morning and will reach the city tomorrow night, when the funeral arrangements will be completed.

Mr. Wylie was born in Houston county about 1845.  He went to the war and fought gallantly, returning with fifty men, the fragment of his regiment.  Years ago he went on the police force.  He rose, after hard and constant duty, to a lieutenancy, and in that position served the city several years, until with the new administration, in 1889, he was relieved.  He then went into the liquor business, and was a member of the firm of Wylie & Stembridge.  He leaves a wife and two children by a former wife and two step-children to mourn his death.  He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, Order of Tonti and other orders, and had an insurance of about $20,000 on his life, distributed among them.

His generous nature was more apparent to those whom he knew well.  To them he was all that a friend could be, and they will sincerely mourn his death.  All of the orders will attend the funeral.


Two days after his death, the remains of Mr. W. A. Wylie arrived by train in Macon, Georgia.  Several members of the community were at the depot to take charge of the body.  He was laid to rest in Rose Hill Cemetery the next day.

Ella Ray Wylie survived her husband by another 25 years.  Upon her death, 2 August 1915 in Montgomery, Alabama, Ella was finally laid to rest next to William.


  1. So they published how much insurance money the families got back then?

    1. Sure. I've also seen news articles dedicated to how an estate (usually a large one) was divided. It can be interesting!


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