The Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia)
12 March 1899
Digital image viewed online at Ancestry.com.
Transcription by S. Lincecum.
RECEIVER FOR BANK OF CORDELE
Petition Filed by the Bank of Stewart County.
SOME SPICY ALLEGATIONS
But They Are Not Made Public For The Present.
MARVIN AND HIS CONNECTION WITH BANK
The Story of the Doctor's Life in Cordele -- His Death and the Placing of His Remains in Her House by the Widow is Retold.
Macon, Ga., March 11. -- (Special.) -- Today in the United States court a petition was filed by the Bank of Stewart county asking for the winding up of the affairs of the First National bank of Cordele. Petitioner's attorneys are Hall & Wimberly, of Macon, and Thomson & Whipple, of Cordele. Judge Speer appointed Mr. Iverson L. Harris, of Macon, temporary receiver, and Mr. Harris left this afternoon for Cordele to take charge of the bank and its affairs. Judge Speer set March 24th as the time for the hearing.
The president of the bank is J. W. Bivins, and the cashier is his brother, F. J. Bivins. The individual property of these parties was placed in the hands of a receiver last Saturday by Judge Littlejohn, of the southwestern superior court circuit. In consequence thereof, the business of the bank has been practically suspended for several days. The capital stock of the bank is $50,000. It is alleged that it is an insolvent institution.
There are some very spicy allegations in the petition filed today, and would make sensational reading, but for certain reasons petitioners' counsel do not care to make public these allegations; at least not for the present. The cashier, Frank J. Bivins, claims to be the owner of 348 shares of stock of the bank, which was transferred to him by his brother, Joseph E. Bivins, the former president of the bank, but now deceased.
Marvin and the Bank.
Taking the present court proceedings as a basis, a most sensational story could be unfolded which would read more like the wildest fiction than real life, and the central figure would be the late Dr. George W. Marvin, formerly of Atlanta, but latterly of Cordele. A most thrilling drama could be written in which illicit love, suspicions, deaths, ill-gotten wealth, midnight marriage, embalmed corpse, remorse, lawsuits, receivers and wrecked property would all be features and phases of the plot.
The First National bank of Cordele was organized when that town was pulsating with business activity and progress in days of the boom period. He became president, and Joseph E. Bivins, cashier. The bank had a capital stock of $50,000, of which President Marvin owned nearly $35,000 worth. In 1892 President Marvin died and he was succeeded in the presidency by Cashier Joseph E. Bivins, and J. W. Bivins became cashier.
Joseph E. Bivins married the widow of Dr. Marvin and became the manager of her estate, which was estimated at the time of the death of Dr. Marvin to be worth $100,000. Mrs. Marvin died in 1896.
President Joseph E. Bivins died last December, at Cordele, soon after his return from a sanitarium at Milledgeville. On his death Cashier J. W. Bivins succeeded to the presidency of the bank, and Frank J. Bivins became cashier, and the 348 shares of the bank's stock of the late president, Joseph E. Bivins, appeared by transfer to be the property of Cashier Frank Bivins. There are now $7,500 of executions against J. W. Bivins and $12,000 of extensions against the estate of the late Joseph E. Bivins.
Attorney W. S. Thomson, of Cordele, has been appointed receiver of the estate of Joseph E. Bivins.
A Midnight Marriage.
Dr. Marvin married a widow, who was owner of her dead husband's estate, he having deeded the property to his wife before her elopement with Dr. Marvin, and having no children. Soon after this marriage a Miss Trammell, a typewriter, became acquainted with Dr. Marvin. Two months after Mrs. Marvin died and her property passed to Dr. Marvin. It was not long before Dr. Marvin and Miss Trammell were married. It is said the ceremony occurred after midnight, Miss Trammell having obtained a marriage license and preacher at that late hour. Soon after this Dr. and Mrs. Marvin moved to Cordele and Dr. established the First National bank, as already stated. He had been in Cordele only a few months when he ran for mayor and spent a great deal of money on the race. He was defeated by Mr. E. S. Strozier seven votes, but Dr. Marvin contested the election and Strozier was unseated.
In August, 1892, Marvin died and his widow was crushed with grief. He was buried and three days after his burial his body was exhumed and was embalmed by an expert embalmer, who was telegraphed for from New Orleans and did the work at a cost of $1,500, and was paid the money. An embalmer from Augusta, who assisted in the work, was never paid. He entered suit against Mrs. Marvin and at a recent term of court, some time after the death of Mrs. Marvin, he obtained judgement against her estate.
The Quick and the Dead.
When Dr. Marvin's body was embalmed his widow would not re-inter it, but in a handsome coffin with glass lid, placed the remains of her deeply mourned spouse in one of the rooms of her dwelling, where she could often look at the dead features of her beloved.
Some months after the embalming of her husband, Mrs. Marvin married Mr. Joseph E. Bivins, who advanced from cashier of the First National bank to president, the position held by Dr. Marvin at the time of his death. Mr. Bivins and his wife went on a bridal tour to Florida and on that same night the embalmed remains of Dr. Marvin were taken from his late home and brought to Macon by Mr. Bivins's brother and quietly buried. Two trains met and pulled out of Cordele at the same time, the one bearing the remains of Dr. Marvin to Macon and the other carrying the late Mrs. Marvin on a bridal tour to the Land of Flowers. Mr. and Mrs. Bivins lived happily together about three years, until in 1896 Mrs. Bivins died and her husband became possessed of her estate, much of which had been frittered away. In December of last year, as already stated, Mr. Bivins died. Dr. Marvin before his death had to defend his estate, obtained through his first wife, against claims of certain of her relatives, and he had to pay the client quite a sum of money, about $7,500. There were numerous sensational allegations connected with this suit.