12 July 2020

Dispositions Contained in the Will of Meyer G. Schwed (d. 1885)

Upon his death in 1885, Meyer G. Schwed was laid to rest next to his wife Minnie in the Hebrew Burial Ground section of Rose Hill Cemetery. This first Jewish cemetery in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia was established in 1844. When Congregation Beth Israel was born in 1859, it took over the grounds.

I can't offer much concrete information about Meyer and Minnie, but his will (dated 14 August 1883) sure left a lot of clues. Here are some excerpts:

3 - Item - I want to be buried next to my beloved wife on my lot in Rose Hill Cemetery in the grounds of the Congregation Beth Israel. I want my said executors, hereinafter named, to have a monument erected over me as neat like that now over my wife as can be procured but it is not to cost over Four Hundred Dollars ($400.00)

4 - Item - $1000 to Congregation Beth Israel of Macon, Georgia to be invested in United States bonds or other good securities, bearing no less than four (4) per cent interest per annum, the interest from which shall be annually appropriated to keeping in repair & beautifying my said lot in the grounds of said Congregation in said Rose Hill Cemetery.

5 - Item - $500 to the Jewish Congregation Aschenhausen, Province of Lochsen [Sachsen?] Weimar Eisenach, Germany upon the conditions hereinafter stated...that they shall burn a light & say Kadish annually upon the anniversary of my death.

6 - Item - $1000 to Macon Lodge No. 5 F. A. M. of Macon, Ga. upon the conditions hereinafter named...the same shall be invested...which annual interest shall be used...in defraying the expenses of such re-union & entertainment by said lodge as they may deem appropriate to commemorate the anniversary of my death.

7 - Item - $2000 to parents Samuel and Matilda Schwed;
$3000 to brother Marcus Schwed;
$1000 to sister Rebecca Dankwerth;
$1000 to brother Lippman Schwed;
$1000 to brother Seligman Schwed if alive & his whereabouts can be ascertained within five (5) years after my death;
$1000 to brother Joseph Schwed;
$500 to sister Sarah Werzburg;
$500 to wife's brother Siegfried Lilienthal;
$500 to wife's brother Leonard Lilienthal;
$500 to wife's sister, wife of my esteemed friend Albert Gibian, Julia Gibian;
$500 to wife's nephew Julian Gibian;
$500 to wife's niece Mamie Gibian;
$500 to niece Essie Schwed;
$500 to nephew Isadore Schwed;
$1000 to niece Emma Dankwerth;
$500 to nephew Max Dankwerth.

8 - Item - ...to my namesake, M. G. Schwed Berkner, son of my esteemed friend Henry J. Berkner...$500.

9 - Item - ...to my namesake Herman Schwed Hertwig, son of my esteemed friend Herman Hertwig...$500.

10 - Item - $500 to esteemed friend Alexander Proudfit, Esq. [one of the named executors]

12 - Item - to Essie Schwed proceeds of my life policy for $1000 in the New York Mutual Life Insurance Company.

13 - Item - to Mamie Gibian proceeds of my life policy...in the Equitable Life Assurance Society of New York for $2500.

14 - Item - to Marcus Schwed proceeds of my One Thousand Dollar life policy in the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company, also the proceeds of my certificate for $2000 in the Ancient Order of United Workmen, also the proceeds [of] my certificate for $2000 in the Order of Knights of Pythias.

17 - Item - to my wife's sister, Julia Gibian, all my wife's clothes and paraphernalia.

21 - Item - At my death I desire my will translated into German & transmitted to the beneficiaries thereunder who may then reside in Germany.

Meyer believed his estate was valued at about $21,000.

He died 11 May 1885. An obituary from 18 May 1885 Morning Journal-Courier (New Haven, Connecticut):
Death of a Macon Merchant.
The Atlanta Constitution announces the death May 11 of M. G. Schwed, a prominent wholesale grocer of Macon, Georgia, aged thirty-six years...His firm were erecting a large and handsome business house in Macon. Deceased was a brother of Marcus Schwed, of this city, and formerly lived here.
I also found mention -- more than once -- in the local newspaper of the Macon Masons honoring the wishes of Mr. Schwed. Here's a clipping from the 11 May 1901 Macon Telegraph -- published sixteen years after his death (which incorrectly stated it was celebrating his birth).

The Masons of Macon Will Enjoy the Feast Provided for in the Will of the Deceased Member of the Macon Lodge.

The Masons of Macon will tonight celebrate the anniversary of the birth of M. G. Schwed, the story of whose will has been annually told in these columns since his death. He provided that a certain sum of money should be invested by Macon lodge, and the proceeds from the investment should be used each year for making merry on the anniversary of his birth. The Masons find it very easy to carry out his wishes in the matter, and tonight they will gather at the asylum of Macon lodge and do as the will directs.
Minnie, beloved wife of M. G. Schwed, died 16 April 1879 at age 26.

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10 July 2020

Sgt. Thomas Christian Heidelberg, III (d. 1864)

The image below captures but a small portion of Soldier's Square in Macon, Georgia's Rose Hill Cemetery. Behind and to the left of the centered stone placed for John Smith is a similar marker placed for Thomas Christian Heidelberg, III.

Soon after the American Civil War, Jane Lumsden Hardeman led the charge of "removing the remains of soldiers from graves scattered around the Confederate hospitals" in Bibb County to Old City and Rose Hill cemeteries "and erected wooden headboards at each mound with the name, company, regiment, and date of death of each soldier." [Historical Marker] The number of Confederate dead in Soldier's Square at Rose Hill Cemetery numbers above 600.

Thomas C. Heidelberg, III was one such soldier. He was born about 1836 in Mississippi. In May 1862 he enlisted as a Private in Co. H, 27th Mississippi Infantry. The headstone placed for him erroneously puts Thomas in the 29th Miss., though it does concur with the Roll of Honor published in the Macon Telegraph in 1866.

A couple of months into his service, Thomas spent some time "in hospital at Mobile," but definitely had returned to his company by the fall of 1862.

The following year, Thomas (now a sergeant) was "wounded battle Lookout Mt. Nov 24, 1863 & sent to hospital by order Brigade surgeon." Furthermore, according to his service records, Thomas "Appears on a LIST of killed, wounded and missing, of Walthall's Brigade, in the engagement of Lookout Mountain, Tenn., (Nov. 24, 1863.)" List dated Camp near Dalton, Ga Dec 18, 1863, with remarks: mortally wounded.

Thomas must have survived, though. He was with his company leading up to the Battle of Jonesborough (Jonesboro) in Clayton County, Georgia. Curiously, a card from his service file states he was admitted to a hospital near Jonesboro on 27 August 1864. This was a few days before the battle, yet the same card cites the dates of the battle, and a subsequent card seems to give an injury date of 31 August 1864. Lack of a precise date notwithstanding, Thomas quite possibly was wounded in that battle. A gunshot wound fractured his "middle third left femur." Field treatment received was a "simple dressing" 10 hours after injury.

I cannot imagine the pain.

At least a week would pass before Thomas arrived at Ocmulgee Hospital in Macon (approximately 70 miles south of Jonesboro). I presume an infection had set in at the wound site, as his medical card stated his leg was amputated.

Sixteen days after that last hospital admittance, on 24 September 1864, Thomas Christian Heidelberg, III died. At Ocmulgee Hospital in Macon, Georgia -- more than 400 miles from his home in Jasper County, Mississippi.
We see their gory forms in long procession, embracing the epauletted leader and private soldier, the beardless youth and gray haired sire, the strong and middle-aged, the wan and weary, whole hecatombs, indeed, who went down amid the crash of battle and with garments rolled in blood. Others, not less brave, appear stark and stiff in the hospitals where, too, with equal devotion they had yielded their lives a Holocaust for liberty. -- "Roll of Honor Republished," 26 April 1878, Macon Telegraph and Messenger

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