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.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin