07 August 2018

Acute Delirium, then Death While on Vacation for J. Flahive

Base of Jeremiah's tombstone. Image by Stephanie Lincecum.Jeremiah Flahive was born in County Kerry, Ireland, one of at least eight children of Patrick and Elizabeth Flahive. When he immigrated to Boston, Massachusetts in May of 1886, Jeremiah P. Flahive provided a birthdate of 6 April 1869. This differs from the one sculpted on his tombstone – 28 April 1870.

Jeremiah became a naturalized citizen of the United States on 5 October 1895 while still at Boston. He also, on 8 September 1897, married Margaret / Margarita C. Devlin there. She was born about 1874 in Ireland.

Jeremiah and Margaret had two sons in Boston before heading south to Macon, Bibb County, Georgia some time between 1900 and 1902. It was also around this time that Jerry's middle initial became J.

Three more sons were added to the family over the next five years or so. All five sons follow:

  • John Patrick (b. 1898)
  • Joseph Jerome (b. 1900)
  • Edward Leroy (b. 1902)
  • Hugh Gregory (b. abt 1905)
  • Jerome J. Jr. (b. 1907)

Tragedy struck the family in January 1909. "Little Jerome" died on the 4th, even though he "had only been sick one week and although everything known to medical science was done to spare his life." The death notice went on to add, "While he was only 18 months old he had succeeded in entwining himself about the hearts of his parents."

Sculpture atop base of tombstone for J. J. Flahive. Image by Stephanie Lincecum.Six months later, while surely still grieving little Jerome, the rest of the Flahives set out on a family vacation. Their entire itinerary is unknown to me, but it seems the journey began with the plan to return to Boston and visit a couple of Jeremiah's brothers. Unfortunately, the "father dear" did not live to see Boston or his brothers again.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
Friday, 9 July 1909 - pg. 9 [via GenealogyBank]

Deaths and Funerals

The funeral services of the late Mr. Jerry J. Flahive were held yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock from St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Rev. Father Madden officiating.

...Interment in St. Joseph's cemetery.

The large following of friends, embracing many of every class of citizens, attested the high esteem in which Mr. Flahive was held. The floral tributes were many and beautiful.

The death of Mr. Flahive was peculiarly sad. With his wife and four boys he had sailed from Savannah on the Nacoochee for a pleasure trip to Boston and eastern resorts, and had anticipated a pleasurable trip with those he held most dear.

He became violently ill on the ship, and while everything that could be done with medical skill and loving hands on board, the ship was stopped at Vineyard Haven, that a physician from the Marine Hospital could be secured. This was done by wireless telegraphy, and the physician had him carried by steam launch to the Davis Sanitarium, reaching there at 5 o'clock Sunday morning. He was given every possible attention, but died at 5:55 on Monday morning.

Mr. Flahive  is survived by his wife and four sons, John P., Joseph A., Edward L., and Hugh Gregory; a mother and five brothers; one sister living in Summerville, Mass., and one sister, Mrs. A. F. Devlin, of Macon.

While other newspaper items published regarding the death of Jerry Flahive cited a cause of "acute delirium," the death register of the town of Tisbury, Dukes County, Massachusetts for the year 1909 stated Jeremiah J. died – at the age of just 39 years – of Alcoholism.

Jeremiah, Margaret (d. 1915), and sons Joseph (d. 1958), Hugh (d. 1942), and Jerome were all buried in a section of Rose Hill Cemetery that was purchased by the Roman Catholic Church in the late 1890s known as St. Joseph's.

27 July 2018

In the Case of Mr. Coffey (d. 1921), Jack is John

I learned something new today: Jack is a nickname of John. (I'm not going to try and explain how it came to be as the theory is a bit convoluted, but will instead happily point you to the Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources.)

Regardless of the official name-nickname history, I saw it in practice with Mr. John T. "Jack" Coffey. He was born 21 August 1858 in Americus, Sumter County, Georgia to Irish-born parents, Daniel "Dan" and Mary Coffey (d. 1892). In every census record I've found for John/Jack – 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1910 – the name given is John. Even when he married Mary C. O'Hara (d. 1937) on 26 February 1889 at Macon, Bibb County, Georgia, the name recorded was John T. Coffey. The local Macon Telegraph newspaper, however, put both names in print when describing the happy wedding:

A very quiet but very happy marriage took place yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock at St. Joseph's Catholic church. It was the marriage of Mr. John T. Coffey and Miss Mary O'Hara, the ceremony being performed by Father Winklereid...

The groom has been for a number of years one of the most popular salesmen at the Empire Store, and no one knows Jack Coffey but to love him…

jcoffeyYet, when Mr. Coffey died 1 February 1921 at his home in Macon, Jack was the name written on his death certificate. And this is the name carved on his ledger marker gravestone in Rose Hill Cemetery. An obituary:

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
Wednesday, 2 February 1921 - pg. 4 [via GenealogyBank]


Employe [sic] of Burden Smith Co. Dies at Residence After Several Weeks' Illness.
Jack T. Coffey, for forty years a salesman with Burden, Smith and Company, died yesterday morning at 6 o'clock at his residence, No. 771 Oak street. He was 62 years of age and had been critically ill for several weeks.

Mr. Coffey and his brother, Dan, who died a few months ago, came to Macon from Americus when they were boys. Both obtained employment with Burden, Smith and Company and in that position obtained a wide acquaintance in Bibb and surrounding counties. Besides his wife, who was Miss Mary O'Hara, Mr. Coffey is survived by a cousin, James Coffey of Albany.

Mr. Coffey was a devoted member of St. Joseph's Catholic church, where the funeral will be held this afternoon at 4 o'clock, Rev. Father W. A. Wilkinson officiating. Interment will be in Rose Hill Cemetery…

aocoffeyAnother Mr. Coffey Marries Another Miss O'Hara

Daniel "Dan" Coffey, brother of Jack, married Amelia A. O'Hara (1876-1955) about 1902. Both Amelia and Jack's wife Mary were daughters of another Irish-born couple, Patrick and Ann O'Hara.

Dan died of acute Bright's Disease a few years (not months) before Jack. Both couples were buried in block 2, lot 34 of the Pine Ridge section of Rose Hill. This family burial lot was purchased by James Coffey in 1854, possibly the (or related to the) cousin of Albany mentioned in Jack's obituary.

24 July 2018

Confusing Tombstone Placed for Mary Fern (d. 1885)

Standing in the Pine Ridge section (block 2, lot 14) of Rose Hill Cemetery is a cross-topped tombstone placed for Mary Fern, who died 27 February 1885. Here's an image (transcription of inscription on and below):


In Memory of
A Native of
DIED FEB. 27, 1885

[on base]

I should also note another side of the tombstone bears the name Michael Fern (with nothing further). Cemetery records show he was the purchaser of the family burial lot, and was interred there July 1856.

So. Her name was Mary Baley Fern (where "Baley" could be a middle name, maiden name, or previous husband's surname). Right? This funeral notice from page 5 of the 28 February 1885 edition of the Macon Telegraph (Georgia) seems to bolster the notion:

The friends and acquaintances of Dugal, John, and Miss Mary Fern are respectfully invited to attend the funeral of their mother this (Saturday) morning at 10 o'clock from the Catholic Church.

While trying to flesh out the lives of Mary's children, however, I came across something unexpected. On daughter Mary Fern's 1922 death certificate – with noted informant being her brother Dugal – her mother's maiden name was stated to be Mary Thompson (born Scotland).

After conducting more research, I think I found the marriage record that clears things up a bit. Mrs. Mary Fern married James Bailey 10 March 1860 – about 4 years after the death of Michael Fern – at Bibb County, Georgia.


My Latest Working Theory

Mary Thompson/Thomson married Michael Fern before or about 1840, possibly in Scotland, where at least two (and likely a third) of their children were born. The family was in the United States about 1850, where census records suggest at least two of their children – Dugal and Mary – became naturalized citizens about 1860.

Michael Fern died July 1856, was buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, and the widow Mary married James Bailey four years later. It's possible James died before 1880 (burial place unknown to me). Mary died February 1885, and was buried near her first husband. A death notice appeared in the same newspaper and issue referenced above (28 February 1885 Macon Telegraph):

The death of Mrs. Mary Bailey occurred yesterday morning at her home, 319 Fourth street. She had been indisposed for several days with pneumonia. Her funeral will take place to-day from the family residence.

The three known children born to Michael and Mary – Mary (d. 1922), Dugal (1842-1928), and John (d. 1901) – appear to all have died without issue. Each was buried in the lot at Rose Hill Cemetery purchased by their father, and if memory serves, not one has a tombstone.

22 July 2018

George E. Daniel Lived and Died in Alabama, but was Buried in Georgia

Image by James Allen.George Edward Daniel spent almost all of his life in the state of Alabama. He was born there, listed there in every census taken during his lifetime, and died there. So I'm happy to be highlighting this Rose Hill Cemetery burial, as it could possibly be an unexpected one to some.

George was born at Perdue Hill, Monroe County, AL on 15 December 1893. He was one of ten children born to John M. Daniel and Mary C. "Katie" Tolbert.

A few months before his twentieth birthday, George – described as short and stout, with blue eyes and dark hair – enlisted at Montgomery for service during World War I. He was part of the 308 Sanitary Train, 83rd Division, and possibly helped deliver relief and medical supplies to allies in Europe during and immediately following the war. George was discharged 17 February 1919, after about seventeen months of service.

In January 1920, George was back home in Perdue Hill for the taking of that year's federal census. Nine months later, however, George took a trip to Macon, Bibb County, Georgia in order to marry Clara Lillian Smith (1896-1981). She was a daughter of Emanuel Smith (d. 1929) and Swedish-born Annie M. Stroberg (1866-1957). George's older brother Joseph acted as best man.

After the ceremony and "a short wedding trip," George and Clara made their home at Perdue Hill. But by Spring of 1930, the couple and two young sons were living on Yancey Street in Montgomery, where George was occupied as a secretary for a furniture company.

George Edward Daniel died 17 July 1939 at his home in Montgomery. He unexpectedly "suffered a fatal heart attack while at the supper table."

George was buried in the Smith family burial lot (Pine Ridge section, block 2, lot 11) at Rose Hill. It was purchased by his father-in-law in 1929. Clara lived forty-two more years after the death of George, and eventually married a Mr. Strawn in the interim. Upon her death in 1981, Clara was retuned to the Smith family lot and buried near her first husband.


13 July 2018

Brain of Thomas Edgar Collins Mashed to Jelly

TECollinsmonumentT. E. Collins was born 2 November 1854 in Georgia to Stephen Collins (1809-1885) and Louisa H. Wilson (1827-1872). Unfortunately, Thomas met an accidental death at the age of just 23 years. Following from the 11 April 1878 edition of the Columbus Daily Enquirer (Georgia):


Mr. T. E. Collins met with a fatal accident in Macon, Tuesday. He had sold a buggy and was hurrying to his office in the dusk of the evening when he fell through a trap door fourteen feet to the hard clay floor of the ground story and landed on his head. His brain was mashed to jelly. Trepanning was performed without anaesthetics. He is probably dead before this paragraph meets the eyes of readers. He was one of the must [sic] respected young men of Macon. So reports the Telegraph and Messenger.

I was unfamiliar with the term trepanning, so searched for a definition. Wikipedia answered with this:

Trepanning…is a surgical intervention in which a hole is drilled or scraped into the human skull, exposing the dura mater to treat health problems related to intracranial diseases or release pressured blood buildup from an injury.


Detail from The Extraction of the Stone of Madness, a painting by Hieronymus Bosch
depicting trepanation (c.1488–1516). Public domain image via Wikipedia.

What a terrifying image. I hope Thomas didn't suffer needlessly. He was buried in the same family lot at Rose Hill Cemetery as his uncle William.

12 July 2018

Light Be the Turf Above William Collins (d. 1854)

One COLLINS family burial lot within the confines of Rose Hill Cemetery is located in the Central Avenue division (block 8, lot 15). This space was purchased by William S. Collins about November 1852. One of the earliest burials in the lot was that of his nephew, Stephen W., son of Stephen and Louisa H. (Wilson) Collins. Little Stephen, interred October 1853, was aged only one year and four months. A year later, exact to the month, the remains of Uncle William joined those of little Stephen.


I do not know for certain if William ever married. For the August 1850 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census, he was listed in brother Stephen's household. Both were occupied as brick makers.

A notice of William's death was published in the Tuesday, 17 October 1854 edition of the Macon Weekly Telegraph (Georgia):

Died in this city, of Bilious Fever, on Monday the 16th inst. WILLIAM COLLINS, in the 46th year of his age.

In his death, the community lose a good citizen, his friends, a generous companion -- the poor, an active and untiring benefactor. Light be the turf above him!

[Note: Rudy of ArchaicMedicalTerms.com shares the definition of Bilious Fever – "When a continual, remitting, or intermitting fever is accompanied with a frequent or copious evacuation of bile, either by vomit or stool, the fever is denominated bilious." I believe the source cited is Dr. William Buchan's Domestic Medicine, published 1785.]

09 July 2018

Basil Augustus Wise Sank Peacefully to Rest in April 1873

Rose Hill - Feb 2009 041B. A. Wise was born 1 October 1827 at Statesboro, Bulloch County, Georgia. He was one of several children born to John Wise and Rachel Jones (d. 1871). An elder sister of Basil's was Sophronia (1821-1891), wife of Aaron Cone (1810-1881).

Basil came to Macon, Bibb County, Georgia about 1848. He married Louise Lynde Clisby (1846-1934), daughter of Joseph Clisby (1818-1885) and Margaret Amanda March (d. 1852), on 28 October 1868 at Bibb County. Basil and Louise had at least three children: Basil Augustus (1869-1901), Joseph Clisby (1871-1930), and Emma Celetta (1873-1933).

Basil eventually settled in the wholesale dealership of household and crockery goods, doing quite well for himself. According to the 1870 Bibb County census – after the Civil War – his personal estate was valued at $30,000. His real estate was counted for $25,000. And two domestic servants were noted in the household, serving just three family members.

Basil didn't live long enough to retire at a ripe age and enjoy his successes, however. He died in April 1873, three weeks before the birth of his third child.

Rose Hill - Feb 2009 038Macon Weekly Telegraph (Georgia)
Tuesday, 8 April 1873 - pg. 6 [via GenealogyBank]

Death of Basil A. Wise, Esq.
This estimable and public spirited citizen sank peacefully to rest about 8 o'clock A.M. yesterday. His death creates a painful void in the community, while to his bereaved wife and tender babes the loss is irreparable.

Mr. Wise died of congestion of the brain after a brief illness, during which he was often delirious and unconscious of the presence even of his nearest friends. Toward the close of his sickness, under the influence of narcotics, he became calm, and even recognized his beloved wife, and caresses his child. He died without a struggle.

The subject of this brief sketch was born in Statesboro, Bulloch county, Georgia, and came to Macon about 1848, at a very early age. Possessed of excellent natural abilities, indomitable perseverance, and a reputation for integrity which has never been called in question, from very humble beginnings, he steadily advanced, step by step, first from an employee's position, to that of retail dealer in a small way, then to a more extended business, and finally to the front rank of Macon's wholesale merchants. He was engaged in the crockery, tin, and house furnishing business, and was widely known and respected both North and South, and even across the ocean, for his purity of character and the promptness with which he met all of his commercial obligation. Identified with the city which was the scene of his early struggles and proudest triumphs, no one was more keenly alive to all that pertained to its material and moral progress. Hence he was ever in the van when the calls of charity, religion or public necessity appealed to the generosity of the people.

Rose Hill - Feb 2009 040When the tocsin of war sounded, Mr. Wise, then in the full tide of successful business, at once turned his back upon the store, and joining the Macon Volunteers under their gallant leader, Robert A. Smith, left for Virginia on the 19th of April, 1861. There amid the ensanguined plains and historic scenes of the old Dominion, he passed a year in conflict with the foes of his country, and was afterwards appointed Adjutant of Ross' Battalion, which was stationed on the sea coast of Georgia. From this position he retired, to take command of a company of cavalry, and in that capacity served his country faithfully in Georgia and Florida to the close of hostilities.

To his other qualities of head and heart, Mr. Wise added the crowning grace of earnest piety. Rev. J. O. Branch, the pastor of Mulberry Street Methodist Church, of which the deceased had been a consistent member for eighteen years, told the writer that for several years past he has observed a remarkable development in the Christian character of our departed friend. The good he did in a quiet and unostentatious way, will never be revealed until the final day, and many will miss his noble charities and kindly sympathy. Even amid the delirium of his last illness, his thoughts seemed ever to dwell upon holy things, and the glories of the redeemed. From the first hour of his sickness, a strong presenitment [sic] of approaching dissolution seemed to possess his mind. And more than once, he expressed the hope that his dear wife would be reconciled to give him up. Not once dis his own faith falter, or a single cloud obscure the horizon of the future.

Thus passed away this excellent man in his 46th year, and the very meridian of his vigor and usefulness. Possessed of a graceful person and noble mien; blessed with an abundance of this world's goods, robust health, and great popularity, surely of him it might be said, "his mountain was strong." But alas! the battle is not to the strong nor the race to the swift; and again are we admonished that life is but a fleeting shadow which endureth but a little while and then vanishes forever.

Basil was buried in the Central Avenue Division of Rose Hill Cemetery (block 1, lot 83), a lot he purchased in 1854.

08 July 2018

Children of Joseph W. Cabaniss and Emily "Emie" Winship

As reported in this space previously, Joseph Warren Cabaniss (d. 1916) married Emily L. "Emie" Winship (d. 1908) 12 November 1868 at Griffin, Spalding County, Georgia. They soon after relocated to Macon in Bibb County.

According to the 1900 Federal census, Emie had eight children. Six of them were living. Rose Hill Cemetery records show an "infant of J. H. and Mrs. E. Cabiness" was interred there February 1874. Incorrect lettering aside, I believe this to be a child of Joseph and Emie. If there was an additional child that didn't survive long, he or she was also likely buried at Rose Hill. The six children to make it to adulthood follow:

cabaniss16228ph- Isaac Winship Cabaniss, most often known by his middle name, was born 31 August 1871 at Macon. By his late twenties, Winship was in the fire insurance business. In 1908, he was occupied as the vice-president of Equitable Banking & Loan Company and residing at the family home on Georgia Avenue. When the census was again taken two years later, after the financial fall of his father, Winship was noted as a farmer of a general farm in Monroe County. By 1920, he was in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan with an occupation of sales executive and office worker. In September of that same year, in Lucas County, Ohio, a 49-year-old Winship was married to an Ontario-born widow named Gladys Elizabeth McMinn (nee James). As best I can tell, this was his first and only marriage. Gladys was dead before the 1930 census was taken. That record showed Winston was "resident & owner" of a $25,000 home at 973 Merrick Avenue in Detroit. A family of four was also residing there as his tenants. By 1935, Winston had moved south to Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida. He died there 30 July 1944, and his body was brought back to Macon for interment in Rose Hill Cemetery.

cabaniss16231ph- Lila Peeples Cabaniss was born 15 January 1875 in Georgia (most likely at Macon). She never married, and  usually resided with family. After her father died in 1916, Lila remained in the family home at 313 Orange Street. Macon city directories for 1954 and 1956 provide an address of 273 Orange Street, but I'm not sure Lila really moved. According to the Georgia Death Index at Ancestry, she died 14 March 1969 at Twiggs County. Burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery at Macon.

- Joseph W. Cabaniss, Jr. was born 14 January 1878 in Georgia (most likely at Macon), and died 19 April 1903 at El Paso, Texas. A funeral notice from the 29 April 1903 Macon Telegraph [via "Georgia Historic Newspapers"]:


Will Be Held Today at the Family Residence -- A Promising Career Cut Short by Death's Call.

The remains of Joseph W. Cabaniss, Jr., arrived in this city yesterday at 2:30 o'clock, from El Paso, Texas. The funeral services will be held at the residence of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Cabaniss, 313 Orange street, at 3 o'clock today. Rev. J. L. White will officiate, assisted by Rev. W. N. Ainsworth. The interment will be at Rose Hill cemetery.

Jos. W. Cabaniss, Jr., after a course in the public schools of Macon, in Mercer University, the Virginia Military Institute, Columbia College, Jefferson Medical College and Bellevue, was assigned as house surgeon at St. Vincent.

He contracted, during his medical experience, tuberculosis, and was forced to abandon his career and seek health in the higher latitudes of Colorado. After a year in Colorado, he went to Mexico with his mother and spent four months in travel. On his return to El Paso, Texas, after a severe attack of illness, he suddenly passed away.

He was a young man of exceptional talent, in disposition warm-hearted and affectionate, and had he escaped the fatal disease which suspended his career, would have made an enviable reputation. He died at the age of twenty-six, in the spring of his youth, and promise of a useful life.

During the last illness of Mr. Cabaniss, he had the consolation of his mother's presence. Frail herself, she attended him with the devotion that belongs to motherhood only, and is today prostrated by the trials which she has undergone.

cunningh16997ph- Emily Winship Cabaniss was born 9 January 1880 in Georgia (most likely at Macon). She married Dr. Frank M. Cunningham 25 April 1906 at Bibb County, and the couple had a daughter named Emily (1907-2003). Frank died 21 June 1914 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Cause was "hemorage [sic] into the spleen secondary to myelogenous lukemia" (which he'd been diagnosed with five years prior). Portion of funeral recap from 25 June 1914 Macon Telegraph [via GenealogyBank]:


Attended by a host of sorrowing friends and relatives, the funeral of Dr. Frank M. Cunningham, whose death occurred in Philadelphia Sunday, was held yesterday afternoon at 5:30 o'clock from Christ Episcopal church...The church was filled to overflowing and hundreds of people were turned away, not being able to get room inside.

All classes of people were represented at the funeral -- the rich and the poor, those who had been befriended by Dr. Cunningham in time of trouble, those who had received treatment when Dr. Cunningham expected no financial return, and those for whom he had made sacrifices, when his body was racked by pain...The body was interred with Masonic honors at Rose Hill cemetery…

After the death of her husband, Emily had to become a career woman. In 1920, she was occupied as a manager in the "welfare work" industry, and she was hostess at a tea room in 1930 – all the while residing at the Cabaniss family home on Orange Street. Emily died on Christmas Day, 1962. Burial was at Rose Hill Cemetery.

cabaniss16225ph- Elbridge Gerry Cabaniss was born on Christmas Day, 1883 in Georgia (most likely at Macon). He spent his late twenties to late thirties as a fruit farmer, but by his late forties had moved on to being a salesman for a filling station. He seemed to stay in that occupation until at least the mid-1950s. Elbridge married Martha Jewett Williams (1885-1933) 22 March 1911 at Bibb County. The couple had at least one child, Kittie J. According to the aforementioned Georgia Death Index, Elbridge died 24 August 1963 at Jones County. Burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery at Macon.

- Emory Winship Cabaniss was born 3 February 1890 at Macon. For his World War I draft registration, Emory was described as tall and slender, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was most often occupied in an office of an electric company: in 1910, he was a stenographer for a power company in Bibb County; in 1917, he was a secretary for the Macon Railway & Light Company; in 1920, he was a stenographer for a gas and electric light company at Kenton County, Kentucky; in 1924, he was again secretary for the Macon Railway & Light Company; and (finally) in 1930, he was a paymaster for a power company in Charleston, South Carolina. Emory married Sarah Zeta Adams (d. 1974) 5 May 1917 at Bibb County, Georgia, and the couple had at least one son. Emory died of lung cancer 11 December 1949 at Charleston, South Carolina. Burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery at Macon.

Rose Hill - J Allen-007

06 July 2018

J. W. Cabaniss: Convicted of Bank Fraud, then Pardoned

cabaniss16229phJoseph Warren Cabaniss was born about 1841 in Forsyth, Monroe County, Georgia. He was one of at least ten children born to Judge Elbridge G. Cabaniss and wife Sarah Ann (Chipman), daughter of a Baptist clergyman from Massachusetts. I note Joseph as the 5th child, and 3rd son, born to this couple.

J. W. was attending Mercer University at Penfield when the Civil War broke out. He enlisted in the Confederate Army immediately, and served until the bitter end. After the war, J. W. settled in Griffin, Spalding County, Georgia. This is where, on 12 November 1868, he married Emily L. "Emie" Winship. She was a daughter of Isaac Winship (1802-1885) and wife Martha Pearson (Cook), daughter of a distinguished soldier of the War of 1812 -- Major Philip Cook (1775-1841).

J. W. and Emmie moved to Macon soon after their marriage, and went on to have six children reach adulthood. They were Isaac Winship (1871-1944), Lila Peeples (1875-1969), Joseph W. Jr. (1878-1903), Emily Winship (1880-1962), Elbridge Gerry (1883-1963), and Emory Winship (1890-1949).

George G. Smith of Macon wrote, in 1904, about Joseph's rise in the banking business:

He was made teller of the Exchange Bank in 1871. In 1878 he was elected cashier, and was Cashier for 18 years. The President of the bank, now grown to be one of the largest and most important in the State, died, and Captain Cabaniss who had managed all of its affairs was elected President, a position he holds at the present time (1903). No man in Macon is more trusted and esteemed than Captain Cabaniss.

AugustaChronicle2May1908Less than five years later, the "largest and most important" Exchange Bank was defunct. And President Cabaniss was charged with embezzlement and fraud. In order to appease some of the bank receivers trying to bring other lawsuits against J. W., he "liquidated his indebtedness to the bank by turning over to the receivers $53,000 worth of securities and real estate property, including his home and some 40 smaller pieces of property" in early May 1908. This was just a few months after the death of his wife Emmie. About this same time, J. W. left Bibb County, and removed to Bolingbroke in Monroe County.

After some delay, a trial focusing on the charge of fraud was finally held. The verdict came on a Saturday night in late May of 1909. Following from the Columbus Daily Enquirer (Georgia):


And a Fine of $500 in Addition -- Verdict Last Night.

Macon, May 29. -- J. W. Cabaniss, president of the defunct Exchange bank, of Macon, who has been on trial here all this week for declaring dividends not earned while president of the bank, was tonight found guilty of a felony, and sentenced to the state farm for one year and to pay a fine of $500.

One of the most dramatic scenes ever witnessed in the Bibb county superior court room occurred this morning when Mr. Cabiniss [sic] made this statement to the jury.

Tears streamed down the eyes of jurors, attorneys and spectators as the aged man, broke in health as a result of the worries and troubles that he has undergone for the past year, faced the jury and began his recital for the first time of his side of the causes which led to the failure of the bank over which he presided for so many years, and with which he had been connected since 1871. [End of article; no further detail given.]

MaconTelegraph16June1910An appeal was made, and another year passed before a higher court "sustained" the ruling. More weeping was the result:

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
Thursday, 16 June 1910 - pg. 9 [via GenealogyBank]


Men, Women and Children Wept When They Learned Fate Venerable Banker.

BOLINGBROKE, Ga., June 15. -- When it was known through this morning's Telegraph that the court of appeals had sustained the previous sentence of J. W. Cabaniss sorrow fell like a pall upon this entire hamlet.

Men, women and children wept in sympathy for the venerable man, who has already suffered enough even if he were guilty of the charge.

The financial losers in the Exchange Bank failure are most deeply incensed that the affair should end in the tragic robbery of honor from this beloved Christian gentleman.

MaconTelegraph11September1910Yet another year would pass before the saga reached its conclusion. Interestingly, I found no specific mention of J. W. ever serving any part of his prison sentence.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
Sunday, 11 September 1911 - pg. 1 [via GenealogyBank]


The Executive Order Goes Fully Into a Lucid Explanation of the Case, and Gives the Reasons -- Roland Ellis Brings Pardon.


Are Among the Principal Reasons Given By the Governor for His Action in Rescuing Aged Banker from Sentence On Prison Farm at Milledgeville.

ATLANTA, Ga., Sept. 10. -- Governor Brown today at noon issued a full pardon for J. W. Cabaniss, of Macon, the president of the late defunct Exchange bank of that city, charged with the offense of paying an unearned dividend, contrary to law...

..."Whereas, it appears that the said J. W. Cabaniss is more than 70 years old, and has for more than forty years, in the same community, borne an upright and blameless life, a life that was an example to all who lived and came within the sphere of his influence, and the only offense with which he is charged being only a technical one from which he individually derived practically no benefit; and

"Whereas, numerously signed petitions from the best citizens of this state and the counties of Bibb, Monroe, Jones, Richmond, Laurens, Twiggs, Decatur, Taliaferro, Houston, Sumter, Macon, Jasper, Crisp, Lowndes and other counties, have been presented praying that said sentence should not be executed, and that said J. W. Cabaniss receive at the hands of the executive a full pardon, the said petition including not only men who are stockholders, but depositors of the said Exchange Bank of Macon, and men of every class and walk in the communities from which said petitions came, and also petitions signed by every member of the senate of Georgia and by nearly all of the members of the house of representatives, praying executive clemency...

MaconTelegraph11March1916Some time after 1910 (and likely after the pardon), J. W. returned to Macon. He died there in 1916.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
Saturday, 11 May 1916 - pg. 1 [via GenealogyBank]


Was Once of Macon's Most Prominent Citizens.

Joseph Warren Cabaniss died yesterday afternoon at 4:30 o'clock, at his home on Orange street. He was in his seventy-fourth year and has been in ill health for several months. At his bedside were all of his children, Winship, Elbridge G., Emory Winship and Lila P. Cabaniss and Mrs. Emmie Cabaniss Cunningham.

He was the son of Judge E. G. Cabaniss, of Forsyth, and the brother to E. G. Cabaniss, of Savannah, and H. H. Cabaniss, of Atlanta. He was a student of Mercer university at Penfield at the outbreak of the war between the states. He immediately enlisted and served with honor under Lee in Virginia until the surrender. He went to Griffin immediately after the war to live and on November 12, 1868, was married to Emily L. Winship, daughter of Isaac and Martha Cook Winship. They came to Macon in 1869 and since that date had lived in this city.

He was one of Macon's most prominent citizens and a Christian gentleman and had thousands of friends all over the state who will mourn his loss.

Burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery (Central Avenue Division, block 10, lot 4).

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?

18 June 2018

Iverson Fowler Holt (1847-1927) and wife Katie G. Stevens

holt19323phIverson F. was born June 1847 in Georgia (likely Houston County) to Fowler and Martha Compton (b. abt 1815) Holt. After the death of his father in 1855, it seems Iverson spent at least some time with his uncle Milton Holt (b. abt 1798) in White Sulphur Springs, Meriwether County, Georgia. They were together there for the taking of the 1860 census. And it's from Meriwether County that Iverson enlisted in the Confederate States Army, about a month before his sixteenth birthday.

Rumor has it Iverson was "...Wounded at Hatcher's Run, VA Apr. 5, 1865. Sent to Richmond, VA hospital. Pension records show he was sent home on wounded furlough Apr. 9, 1865." [FindAGrave Memorial Bio]

It was also recorded in Robert S. Davis's Georgia Black Book that an Iverson F. Holt of Bibb County was admitted to the Georgia Lunatic Asylum some time between 1853 and 1870. I wonder if his admittance has more to do with his Civil War wounds than him truly being a "lunatic."

holt1267nphI have yet to locate Iverson in census records for 1870 or 1880, but a marriage record shows he married Katherine "Katie" Grimes Stevens 29 January 1879 at Bibb County. Katie, born 25 March 1858 in Georgia, was a daughter of Miles G. Stevens and wife Letitia.

According to the 1910 Macon, Bibb County, Georgia Federal census, Catherine had six children. Only three were living at the time, and it seems those were the only three to make it to adulthood:

  • Mildred L. Holt was born 29 September 1883 in Georgia. She married Clarence D. Williams about 1907, and they had at least three children. Mildred died 15 June 1972 at Duval County, Florida, and was buried in Oakland Cemetery at Tallahassee, Leon County.
  • Miles Fowler Holt was born 18 May 1886 in Georgia. He married Esther Sutton (1888-1973) about 1910, and they had at least three children. Miles died 30 April 1967 in Bibb County, and was buried in Macon Memorial Park.
  • Albert Sharp Holt was born September 1890 in Macon. He married Maybelle (1892-1967) about 1917, and they had at least one son. Albert died 18 June 1970 at Bibb County, and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery at Griffin, Spalding County.

By 1910, Iverson was working as a clerk for the railroad. He likely followed this same (or similar) occupation until retirement. Iverson's last address was 1716 Second Street, Macon. He died there 4 September 1927, and Katie lived on for almost twenty-one more years. They both were buried in Rose Hill Cemetery's Central Avenue Division.

An obituary for Iverson ran in the 5 September 1927 Macon Telegraph under the headline, Veteran Dies After Illness: I. F. Holt, Long in Bad Health Succumbs at Home.

Also buried in Rose Hill is Iverson's sister, Mary Chandler Holt. She died in 1870 at the age of twenty, and was buried in a lot purchased by her and Iverson's uncle, Pulaski S. Holt.


See also >> "Pulaski S. Holt Outlived Them All"

16 June 2018

James R. Butts and Steamboat Navigation on the Ocmulgee

butts2656nphJames Rogers Butts was born August 1802 in Connecticut, a son of Elijah Butts. A biography of James's son-in-law, W. H. Atwood, in Memoirs of Georgia (Southern Historical Association, 1895) states James "was the great-grandson of Josiah and Elizabeth Butts, who were the parents of fourteen children. At one period of the revolutionary war they had seven sons and eight grandsons in the patriot army."

By the late 1830s, James was settled in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia. He remained there until his death – due to "congestion of the brain" – in 1869. James was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery, in a family lot he purchased in 1855.

[For more detailed information about James's wife and their seven children, go to >> Louisa Polhill Butts (d. 1892).]

While researching the life of James, I uncovered a short item in the 19 March 1839 Macon Weekly Telegraph. It was referencing an informal dinner –

…given by the citizens of Macon in honor of their enterprising fellow-citizen JAMES R. BUTTS, proprietor of the new Steamboat Sam Jones, which had just arrived. No one individual, perhaps, has contributed more to advance the prosperity of this city than Mr. B. He may almost be said to be the father of Steamboat Navigation on the Ocmulgee. The class of Boats, with stern wheels, were invented and first put into successful operation on our River by him…

For a little background, I offer this excerpt from an article about the Ocmulgee River by Keith Hulett for the New Georgia Encyclopedia

…Because the river was frequently narrow and winding, and unnavigably shallow in the dry months, however, it had never been particularly well suited to commercial boat traffic. The best that steamboats could do in the 1820s was to make the trip partway from the coast and transfer their goods to poleboats, which could be pushed the rest of the way to Macon by slaves. The first steamboat reached Macon in 1829, and the first commercial steamboat to make the full Darien-to-Macon run arrived in 1833. In late 1835 three steamboat companies operated on the river, and by the end of the decade there was a steady flow of traffic transporting cotton and lumber to the markets of Savannah and Darien from the wharves of Macon, Hawkinsville, Abbeville, Jacksonville, and Lumber City, and from the river landings of prosperous Ocmulgee River plantations.

DailyConstitutionalist28Jul1869-ButtsWhen James died, several Georgia newspapers printed death notices. He was described as being involved "with the commerce and business enterprise of Macon" for more than thirty years. It was also noted, "He was a man of very active, original mind and considerable inventive power." Full obituary follows:

Macon Weekly Telegraph (Georgia)
Friday, 30 July 1869 - pg. 4 [via GenealogyBank]

JAMES R. BUTTS, ESQ. -- The memory of this old and prominent citizen of Macon, demands more at our hands than the brief announcement of his death. His public services to the State, his exemplary life, his indomitable energy and perseverance in all his undertakings, would furnish the material for a most interesting biography; but we must leave that work for some one more familiar with the subject, and confine ourselves to a brief review of some of the leading features of his career.

James R. Butts was born in the State of Connecticut, on the 22d day of August, 1802, and died in Macon on the 26th day of July, 1869 -- aged sixty-six years, eleven months and four days. He was the oldest son of Dr. Elijah Butts, of Connecticut, and when quite a young man he left the State of his birth and became a citizen of Twiggs county, Ga., where he soon afterwards entered into the mercantile and boating business -- running his boats to Macon, where he soon after located.

About the year 1830, he conceived the idea of adapting steamboats to the navigation of the Ocmulgee river, and constructed the steamer "Pioneer" -- the forerunner of a line of steamers called the "Pioneer Line," extending from Macon to Darien, Savannah and Charleston. To the success of this enterprise Macon owes much of its prosperity. During this interval he was associated in business, first with Mr. Coats, and son afterwards with our esteemed citizen, Mr. Charles Day.

The building of the Central Railroad from Savannah to Macon, changed the route of trade from the river, when Mr. Butts extended his enterprise to the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers.

In 1850, Mr. Butts was elected Surveyor General of the State, which office he filled with marked distinction during Gov. Town's administration. In 1856 he returned to Macon, and in 1857 compiled an authentic map of the State, which to this day is an admirable and accurate work for reference to the geographical student.

In 1862 he was captured at St. Mark's, Florida -- whither he had gone to establish Salt Works -- by a party of Federal cruisers, and was incarcerated for nine months in the prison at Fort  Lafayette, with the distinguished Dr. Ould, of Ohio, and others. On being released from his long imprisonment, he immediately returned to his adopted State and family, and was known as a most zealous and undeviating friend of the South and her brave defenders in the field.

Since the war he was the senior partner in the real estate firm of Butts & Brother, of this city, and whilst conducting the business of the office he conceived the plan of throwing into the markets of the world, by means of floating saw-mills, the magnificent timber resources of the State which line the banks of the Ocmulgee River.  Through his efforts, the Georgia White Oak Lumber Company was organized, of which he was the President, and during last year he built at our city wharf the "Tallulah," a substantial and admirably constructed boat, for getting out ship-knees, pipe and barrel staves; but which, for some cause not yet clearly defined, met with a disaster soon after it arrived at the field of operations, which checked and stopped the further prosecution of an enterprise which will yet be carried out, and confirm the views of Mr. Butts, as often expressed to the writer, that from the timber along the banks of the Ocmulgee, vast fortunes would some day be hewed out, by public spirited and enterprising men.

Up to within a short time of his death, Mr. Butts was in the enjoyment of good health, for one of his years; but when disease, at last, came, his enfeebled frame could not withstand the shock, and it broke suddenly as the dried reed. He was seized about 9 o'clock, on Saturday night last, with an attack of bilious cholic, which terminated in congestion of the bowels, and he expired on Monday afternoon, at 5 P.M., calmly and quietly, "like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him and lies down to pleasant dreams."

15 June 2018

Louisa Polhill Butts (d. 1892) & the Georgia Lunatic Asylum

Louisa Mary Polhill was born about 1822 in either North Carolina or Georgia. According to the granite marker placed at her burial site in Rose Hill Cemetery – likely added some years after her death – Louisa was a daughter of Harriet Allen Taylor and John Goldwire Polhill, a judge of the Superior Court of Georgia. (Harriet was also buried in Rose Hill upon her death in 1873.)


Louisa married James Rogers Butts (1802-1869) on 7 July 1841 at Baldwin County, Georgia. This couple had at least seven children:

  • Catharine G. Butts Atwood (d. 1870)
  • Tallulah Ellen Butts Atwood (d. 1909)
  • Harriett Laura Butts (1854-1855)
  • Elijah Polhill Butts (d. 1892)
  • Jessie C. Butts (1859-1953)
  • James Albert Butts (d. 1930)
  • John G. Polhill Butts (d. 1913)

James and Louisa settled in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia after their marriage. Per the 1860 census, James owned real estate valued at $90,000. He worked as a land agent and surveyor until his death in July of 1869, and the 1870 mortality schedule of the US Federal census provided James died of "Congestion of the Brain."


It's possible Louisa did not handle the death of her husband well. Her name – Mrs. Louisa Butts of Bibb County – appears on a list of Georgia Lunatic Asylum Patients in Robert Davis's Georgia Black Book: Morbid, Macabre, & Sometimes Disgusting Records of Genealogical Value, admitted between the years of 1853 and 1870. Louisa is a head of household in Macon for the July 1870 census, so it's possible she was admitted to the Milledgeville hospital shortly thereafter.


1937 view of front, Milledgeville State Hospital. Parts of central building date back to Civil War.
Photographer L. D. Andrew, public domain.

According to the 1880 Baldwin County, Georgia Federal census, Louisa was still a patient at the "State Lunatic Asylum," and noted specifically as "insane." I presume Louisa was a patient at the asylum until her death in 1892. Though I have not come across a specific record that states as much, her obituary noted she died at Milledgeville.

For that same year census, Louisa's three youngest children (Jessie, James, and John) were residing with their oldest living sister, Tallulah Butts Atwood, in McIntosh County, Georgia.

Louisa's Legacy: Notes on Her Children

  • Catharine Butts Atwood at Rose Hill CemeteryCatharine G. Butts was born 10 September 1843 in Georgia. She married William Henry Atwood, son of Henry Skilton Atwood and Ann McIntosh, 16 August 1867 at Bibb County, Georgia. They had one child, Louise M. Atwood, before Catharine died 8 October 1870. She was buried in the James R. Butts lot at Rose Hill Cemetery. (Image of her tombstone at right.)
  • Tallulah Ellen Butts was born 5 October 1850 in Georgia. Tallulah, after the death of her sister Catharine, also married William Henry Atwood on 17 October 1871 in Fulton County, Georgia. This couple had at least six children: Henry G., Maud A. (1875-1957), James R., Jane C., Elliott McIntosh, and Sibyl Jessie (1890-1919). Tallulah died 1 November 1909, and was buried at the Atwood Family Cemetery in McIntosh County.
  • Harriett Laura Butts was less than a year old when she died 17 January 1855. Hers was the first burial in the family lot at Rose Hill Cemetery, James purchasing the lot the day after her death.
  • Elijah Polhill Butts was born in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia about 1856-1857. He married Ada Creswell after 1880, and they had at least four children: Carolee J., Adrienne C. (1887-1950), Julia P., and Catharine Isle (b. 1891). Elijah met an accidental death 11 January 1892 while working as the "Resident Engineer" on a reconstruction project on the Burlington Bridge in Des Moines County, Iowa. He "was struck on the head by a stone, receiving a fracture of the skull which proved fatal. No one saw the accident, but he was found unconscious under [a] pier."
  • Artist unknown - Mary Baker Eddy, "Rudimental Divine Science," first published in the United States 1891, courtesy of Project Gutenberg, Public DomainJessie C. Butts was born 22 May 1859 in Macon. By the early 1900s, it seems she had devoted herself to the Christian Science belief. In a 1903 Christian Science Journal, Jessie was noted as a "first reader" for services at the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Terre Haute, Indiana. The 1910 McIntosh County, Georgia Federal census gave her an occupation of "Doctor, Scientist," and her 1953 death certificate stated her usual occupation as "C. S. Practitioner." Jessie, who never married, died at "Mrs. Della Anderson's Rest Home" in Austin, Travis County, Texas.
  • James Albert Butts was born 12 August 1861 at Macon. Some time after reaching adulthood, James made his way West. I'm not certain how he spent his time between 1880 and 1910, though I should note his death certificate gave him the occupation of miner dating prior to 1903. – For the 1910 Maricopa County, Arizona Territory census, James was an inmate at the "Territorial Insane Asylum." He was at the same institution in April 1930, then called the Arizona State Hospital for the Insane. James died 8 months later. His death certificate noted he had been a resident of the institution for 27+ years. Cause of death was chronic myocarditis, with a contributory factor noted as psychosis.
  • John G. Polhill Butts was born in Macon just before Christmas in either 1886 or 1887. He became a civil engineer for the railroad, and maintained a residence in Macon. On 11 April 1906, John married Sara Wright Flournoy in Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky. This was noted as his second marriage. John contracted pulmonary tuberculosis, and died at a sanitarium in El Paso, Texas 8 December 1913. Per his death certificate, John had been at the Homan Sanatorium 10 days; in the state of Texas 6 months. The disease was contracted at Macon, Georgia, and the same location was noted to be his usual residence. Burial was at Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso.

04 May 2018

Adolph, Emilie, and Levy Bernd

lberndLevy Bernd was born 21 April 1788 in Prussia. In the fall of 1835, he and wife Fredrica brought nine children to the United States, arriving in New York on 13 October.  Those children were Johanette, Bertha, Henrietta, Adolph, Ferdinand, Gustav, Lisette, Julius, and Emilie.

Less than a month later, Levy signed a Declaration of Intention to become a United States citizen.  By September 1850, Levy and family were residing in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.  He was occupied as a merchant.

After spending some time in St. Louis, Missouri, Levy's final settlement would be at Macon, Bibb County, Georgia.  He died there August 1868.  At the time, the local newspaper denoted Levy the "oldest German in Macon." His final resting place was in the old Hebrew Burial Ground at Rose Hill Cemetery.  [Image at right credit: Evening Blues (2004) via FindAGrave.  Permission for use granted in bio.]

Adolphus (Adolph) Bernd was born 7 December 1821, likely a son of Levy and Fredrica.  His tombstone provides a birthplace of Hohensolms, Germany.  My limited knowledge suggests this locale was more specifically part of the Kingdom of Prussia at the time of Adolph's birth.  [Later it would be part of the North German Confederation, then the German Empire, and finally the Federal Republic of Germany.]

Adolph signed a Declaration of Intention to become a United States citizen while at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in October 1848.  He was in Levy's household for the 1850 Federal census (same locale), also occupied as a merchant.

Directories for the city of St. Louis, Missouri show Adolph was there at least from 1864 to 1866.  He was partnered in business with his brother Ferdinand. The Bernd Brothers company was involved in "wholesale and retail wines and liquors," located at 26 Market street.

Since Levy died in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia the summer of 1868, I think it's likely Adolph was there by then, too.  He was definitely there for the taking of the July 1870 Federal census, as well as the 1871 Bibb County, Georgia Tax Digest.  During this time, Adolph was partnered with another brother, Gustav, in the business of saddle and harness manufacturing.

I have found no evidence to suggest Adolph ever married.  For the June 1880 Macon, Bibb County, Georgia Federal census, he was a single man living at 108 Plum Street.

Though I read in a report about the Jewish community history of Macon that the partners of A. & G. Bernd Co. parted ways some years later, it appears Adolph remained engaged in the same harness making business until his death at Macon the last of January 1891.

Mr. Adolph Bernd's funeral notice stated he was to be buried "in the Beth Israel cemetery." This was the old Hebrew Burial Ground at Rose Hill.


(Image by James Allen)


Emilie Dellevie Bernd was born 26 April 1832 in Germany / Prussia, possibly a daughter of Levy and Fredrica.  Emilie was just three years old when she arrived in New York in 1835.  She was in Levy's household for the 1850 Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania Federal census, and Adolph's household for the 1870 Macon, Bibb County, Georgia Federal census.

edberndAccording to her tombstone, Emilie died 28 June 1875.  Like Levy and Adolph, she was buried in the old Hebrew Burial Ground at Rose Hill Cemetery.  A portion of her epitaph follows:

Her great aim was the pursuit
of knowledge, in the possession
of which she made no ostentations
show.  Her delight was to make those
dear to her happy, not forgetting
the comforts of others, nursing
the sick and relieving the needy.
She walked in the way of righteousness
and truth, the reverse was repugnant
to her soul.

[Image at right credit: Evening Blues (2004) via FindAGrave.  Permission for use granted in bio.]



08 March 2018

R. E. Church Buried 2 Wives Before His Own Death at Age 32

100_4059In the Eglantine Square section of Rose Hill Cemetery stands a tombstone placed for R. E. and Maria N. Church.  According to cemetery records, this tombstone is in a family lot purchased by Lewis P. Strong on 1 August 1840.

Since Maria's death date is listed as 25 October 1839, and R. E.'s is 11 February 1840, one has to wonder if they were initially buried elsewhere and later moved to Rose Hill.

Rodman Ebenezer Church was born in Bethlehem, Litchfield County, Connecticut 5 June 1807 to Rollin and Sally Church.  He married Maria N. Strong 13 September 1831 in Middletown, Middlesex County, CT.  Even though they were both young, this was not Rodman's first marriage.  Two years prior, he had wed Lydia Maria Dean.  She died about nine months later, on 11 July 1830, at age 22.

When second wife Maria died in 1839, she was only 21 years old.

Rodman lived only a few months after the death of his second wife. The epitaph on their shared tombstone says, in part, "They were lovely in their lives.  In their deaths they were not divided."

Upon Rodman's death in 1840, the following was published in the 18 February edition of the Macon Weekly Telegraph (Georgia, pg. 3):

In this city, on the night of the 10th inst. of the consumption, Mr. RODMAN E. CHURCH, aged 32 years. He was formerly of Durham, in the State of Connecticut, but had resided here since the early settlement of the place. He was justly esteemed by all who knew him, as an honest and upright man -- whose integrity was never questioned -- and in whom no guile was ever known. He had for 8 years been a member of the Presbyterian Church, and his walk was exemplary before the world, and in his death, gave convincing evidence that he had not made a vain profession.

He was buried on the 11th by the Macon Volunteers, of which Company he had for many years been a good and prompt soldier; and it is believed that the seeds of the disease of which he died, were contracted during the hardships and exposure of the Florida Campaign in 1836.

Lewis P. Strong, who purchased the family burial lot at Rose Hill, was likely Maria's brother.  He and wife Lurane were also buried there.


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