Transcriber's note: the bracketed comments within the article are by the original author.

Viewed online at Georgia Historic Newspapers: Macon Telegraph.

The Weekly Telegraph, Macon, Georgia
Wednesday, 25 February 1891



The Bodies Will be Removed This Week -- Some of the Pioneers of Macon Will be Disturbed in Their Graves.

From Daily Telegraph, Feb 23. The work of removing bodies from the old cemetery at the foot of Cherry street to Rose Hill begins tomorrow.

A few facts in addition to those already published a few weeks ago on this subject will be interesting to most of the citizens of Macon.

The Confederate dead who had died in the hospital at Macon were buried in an unoccupied lot adjoining which was enclosed for that purpose. The last assemblage of people there was on the 26th of April 1867, when the members of the Ladies' Memorial Association of Macon, with many of the surviving comrades of the heroic dead, repaired thither to scatter flowers and render appropriate tributes to their memory. In 187- the remains of these soldiers were removed to Rose Hill cemetery and since that time the old cemetery has been abandoned. In 1871 the city council had a new fence erected around it for the protection, against intrusion, of the graves, lots and tombstones that remained. The ashes of some of the early settlers and founders of Macon still remain there, and their graves may be identified by the tombstones over them; but there is a much larger number whose graves cannot be even identified.

The following is a list of the only graves remaining which are marked by monumental stones, bearing name, dates and other sepulchral inscriptions.

"Sacred to the memory of Elisha Hammond, who was born in Massachusetts, Oct X, MDCCLXXIV, and died in this town July IX, MDCCCXXIX. He was educated at Dartmouth College, N.H., and early in life emigrated to South Carolina, where he became distinguished as an instructor of youths, first as a professor in the South Carolina College, and afterwards of Mount Bethel Academy. Gifted with a mind of uncommon strength, which was also cultivated well, of enlightened views and elevated sentiments, frank, generous, polite, he lived usefully and died lamented."

[Note. -- Mr. Hammond was the father of Governor Hammond of South Carolina. He was appointed by the trustees rector of Bibb County Academy, in January 1828. The academy was a small, wooden house, with only one room and plank shutters; located between First and Second streets, near the river.]

"Sacred to the memory of Mrs. Rebecca Pace, consort of Thomas Pace and daughter of Jared Irvin. Died, December 30, 1828. Aged 51 years.

[Jared Irvin was a revolutionary soldier, was a member of the convention for revising the constitution of Georgia in 1789, again for the same purpose in 1795; and was president of the convention which formed the celebrated constitution of 1798. He was frequently president of the Senate. He was governor in 1796; he signed the famous act recinding the Yazoo law. He was governor again from November 1806, to November 1809. At the close of the revolutionary war he was a member of the first legislature under our present form of government.]

"The remains of Harriet E. Collins, wife of Dr. Robert Collins. Died April 20, 1834. Aged 31 years."
Grieve not for me my dearest friends,
Nor spend your tears in vain,
I hope your loss in this vain world,
is my eternal gain.

Near the same grave is a stone --
"To the memory of an infant son of Robert and Eliza Collins. Died 1838. Aged 4 weeks."

"In memory of Thomas M. Ellis, who died Oct 3, 1832. 34 years."
Tread softly stranger, this is ground
Which no rude footstep should impress
With tender pity gaze around;
Let sadness all the soul possess.
And, stranger, let your melting heart,
Mark soil this fresh and verdant sod.
And as you from the scene depart,
Oh, let your soul commune with God.

[Mr. Ellis was a prominent citizen of Macon and had been made president of the bank, and shortly afterward, on the failure of the bank, he was killed by Wm. Byrum.]

"To the memory of Jonathan C. Phelps, son of Noah L. Phelps, born at Farmington, Conn. Died Sept 10, 1836. Aged 24 years."

"To the memory of Oliver Sage, son of Oliver and Sarah M. Sage. Died 1841."

"In memory of Eliza Davis, wife of Charles Davis. Born July 1808. Died 1841. A good wife, good mother and good Christian.

"To the memory of Charles W. Washington. Drowned in Walnut Creek March 1, 1833. Aged 31 years."

[A tremendous gale had swept over the interior of the state on Feb 28, 1833, causing great destruction to property, and several lives were lost. The water courses were suddenly swollen on the following day, and at night the northern mail stage, in passing Walnut Creek, was swept away and upset. Two passengers and the driver escaped by swimming. Another passenger, Mr. C. W. Washington, was drowned. His body was recovered and brought home. He was the brother of the late R. B. Washington and of Hon. James H. R. Washington. He was a merchant much respected and his death was deeply lamented.]

"Charles Wentworth, infant son of Nathaniel and Mary Barker. Died June 3, 1823."

"James P. Campbell. Died July 18, 1833, in the 19th year of his age."

"Sacred to the memory of Thomas J. Hollingsworth, who departed this life 6 June 1840, aged 21 years. Blessed are the dead who died in the Lord."

"Sacred to the memory of Susan Bressee, consort of William Bressee. Departed this life 12 April 1838, aged 41 years. She was a kind wife, good neighbor, and all lament her loss."

"To the memory of John E. Cartey, a native of Boston, Mass. Died Oct 24, 1837, aged 20.
Thus died a stranger in a foreign clime.
Lovely and young, in all of manhood's prime;
Away from friends and parents to whom he was most dear.
And brother and sister, too, who drop affection's tear.
Cease then to mourn, enough for us to know,
In peace rest his ashes, encircled in bright halo.

"Sacred to the memory of Robert D. Smith, who was born the 20th of May 1811, and departed this life on the 28th Sept 1834.
He lived beloved without a foe, died lamented in the bloom of life to bloom in the immortal state."

"Sacred to the memory of Emeline Buxton, wife of Wright C. Saunders, died Nov 6, 1834, aged 25 years."

"The Lord have mercy on the soul of Nicholas Scott, who departed this life on 13th Nov 1837, aged 42 years. He was a native of Ireland."

[Mr. Scott was a laborer on the Monroe railroad and died from a kick by a mule.]

"Sacred to the memory of Robert Carter Jennings. Died 4 Nov 1837, aged 21 years."

"Sacred to the memory of Theodrick L. Smith, a native of Virginia. Died 22 Dec 1839, aged 40 years."

"To the memory of Mary Jennette Adams, infant daughter of John and Mary Adams, of Montgomery county, Ala."

"Sacred to the memory of Mary Eliza Cassels, daughter of John and Eliza Winn, and wife of Rev. Samuel J. Cassels. She was born in Liberty county, GA October 12, 1809. Died in Macon May 1838, in twenty-ninth year of age. The deceased united with the Church Christ when thirteen years of age, continued with its fellowship more than fifteen, was an exemplary Christian, a dutiful child, a devoted wife, a faithful mother, and died a triumphant death. Her last words were: Christ is my only salvation.
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.
Erected by the ladies of the Presbyterian Church of Macon, GA."

At the side of this monument, which is a very neat one and the only shaft in the cemetery, is a stone over a small grave marked, "J. W. Cassels, died 1827, age twenty months.
Child, you must go."

"Sacred to the memory of Stephen S. Goodrich of Oswengo, N.Y., who died July 19, 1833, aged twenty-nine years."

"Here lies the body of Francis Traynor, a native of Monaghan county, Ireland, who departed this life on Sept 5, 1837, aged 26 years. Erected by P. M. and B. Traynor."

"Erected by Maurice Walsh in memory of his wife Jane, who departed this life Aug 5, 1840, aged 18 years. She was a native of Tipperary, Ireland. Requiescat in pace.

"Sacred to the memory of Capt. James Ventress, died July 24, 1829. Age about 58 years."

"The Lord have mercy on the soul of Lawrence Healy, who departed this life 6 Feby 1840. He was a native of Ireland. Erected by Peter Dyer."

"To the memory of Thomas Jackson Saulsbury, born May 31, 1810 in Denton county, State of R. I., died in Macon, GA July 28, 1841, aged 31 years."

"The remains of Rebecca Mary, daughter of Abner and Laura A. McGehee, died 16 Aug 1836, aged 9 months."

"Here lies Mrs. Cinderella Gainer, wife of Joseph Gainer, died May 23, 1837, aged 24 years.
Light lie the sod over the remains of her who was once animated by the same life and quickened by the same pulsations as those she left behind to mourn her untimely departure. She was adorned with the noblest attributes of our nature, and possessed of those virtues that sweeten the paths of adversity and render the rough ways of life smooth.
Reader, wouldst thou know more? She lived an amiable wife and died a Christian.

"Sacred to the memory of Thomas Napier, a native of Virginia, and for 50 years a citizen of Georgia. Departed this life Sept 30, 1838. Age 70 years."

"Sacred to the memory of Nancy, wife of Thomas Napier. Died April 2, 1839. Age 57 years."

"To Laura Virginia, daughter of A. M. and R. W. Fort, died 1834. Aged 4 months."

"Caroline Calhoun, daughter of A. M. and R. W. Fort, who died 31 Aug 1837. Age 11 months, 23 days."

"To the memory of Thomas Mulholland, died 1837. Aged 72 years."

"To Wm. Berry, died 1846. Age 45 years."

An upright marble slab at the head of a grave has simply the name "Jacob Heterich." Another one has inscribed: "Nina -- She was a member of the Baptist Church."

Among the graves of once prominent citizens which cannot be found are those of Dr. Thompson Bird, one of the original settlers of the town in 1823. He died in July 1828, and was buried by the Macon Lodge, the military court and the citizens generally. He was a grandfather of Hon. L. Q. C. Lamar.

Capt. William J. Dannelly, who died in June 1831. He enjoyed the popular favor of the county, and represented it in the legislature. He was the fifth intendant of the town, and had been a justice of the inferior court. He was buried with military honors by the Macon Volunteers, which company he commanded, being its second captain at the time of his death. His age was 30 years.

Capt. Lemuel Newcome died in October 1834, aged 33 (38?) years. He succeeded Capt. Dannelly as commander of the Macon Volunteers. No man had lived in the community more respected. He was buried by the Macon lodge, of which he was senior warden, and the Macon Volunteers.

Capt. John Ellsworth died in October 1839, aged 40 years. He was an officer of the Macon Volunteers in the Florida war. He was much esteemed and buried with military honors. One month after his death his wife died and was buried by his side.

Hon. Robert A. Beall died on June 16, 1836, aged 35 years. He was elected the second mayor of Macon. He was an accomplished writer, a brilliant orator, an able lawyer and a fearless leader in the State Rights party. He was, to his age, the peer of any man in the state. He was buried with the highest military and civic honors. An admirable sketch of his life is published in the first volume of Miller's "Bench and Bar of Georgia."

There are now living several aged veterans of the Macon Volunteers, who, with arms reversed, banner draped and furled, marched to the sad beat of the muffled drum in the funeral cortege of their last named comrades, and
"-- discharged the last farewell shot
O'er the graves where the heroes were buried."

There are many thus, both male and female, whose bones lie in that neglected graveyard. The record book, on which was entered every burial, has long ago been lost or destroyed. It is estimated that there are more than one hundred bodies of the white population interred there whose graves cannot be identified.

Macon's Old City Cemetery