A Panic at the Funeral.
ATLANTA, July 27. -- The funeral of the murdered negro preacher, W. R. Clemons, this afternoon was the largest in Atlanta in a long time. Scores of whites and thousands of negroes followed the hearse to the grave, the body being preceded by military and colored organizations. A serious panic occurred in the church during the funeral. The church was jammed from wall to wall and the yard outside was filled. It is estimated that the crowd reached over 5000. During the services a portion of the floor cracked, and some one cried out that the building was giving way. In a moment the wildest confusion ensued. The doors were soon glutted and women and children were picked up and thrown over the heads of those in front, while a number jumped from the windows. But for the activity of the policemen who were present to preserve order, many would have been seriously hurt and doubtless many killed. As it was, they managed to check the rush at the doors and secure a more quiet emptying of the church. Many sustained unimportant injuries, but miraculously no serious casualties occurred. Various rumors are afloat as to the murderers of the preacher, but as yet nothing tangible has been discovered.
27 April 2016
24 March 2016
Almost three years ago, I wrote in this space about Greensboro, Georgia's Spooky Old Gaol. This structure was used to house (and hang) criminals until about 1895. At that time, a new jail was established. After the death of legendary Sheriff L. L. Wyatt, that "new" jail (though more than eighty years old at the time of Wyatt's death) was given his name.
"SHERIFF L. L. WYATT
This 1895 jail is named for the legendary Sheriff, Loy Lee Wyatt, who enforced the laws in Greene County for fifty-two years until his death in 1977. Sheriff L. L. Wyatt was born on January 2, 1904, in Paulding County. He was recruited to serve the citizens of Greene County due to his fast legs and honest reputation. In 1925, L. L. Wyatt began his law enforcement career as a Greene County policeman who waged a "one-man war" against the making of illegal corn whiskey. Prior to his arrival, moonshine production was considered the leading industry in Greene County and its product was enjoyed in all of the finest hotels of Atlanta. After having rid the County of its moonshiners, Wyatt ran for the Office of Sheriff in 1940 defeating the incumbent. He served as Sheriff until he died in 1977. At the time of his death he was the longest standing Sheriff in the State, with thirty-seven years of service.
During his 37 years as Sheriff, Wyatt became a legend in his own time. Few men become legends and even fewer achieve the status of a "living legend" as did Sheriff Wyatt. He was a religious man who believed that God blessed him with protection during all of his fights, gun battles, and dangerous encounters. His law enforcement exploits exposed him to at least five gunshot wounds in the line of duty, in part due to the fact that he seldom carried a gun on his person, requiring him to retrieve it from his car at the sight of danger. In the early days of his career, when
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The most famous gunfight of Sheriff Wyatt's career occurred in 1974. He was 70 years old at the time. Bank robbers eluded a 100-car police chase that started in Wrens, Georgia, and ended in Greene County. The bank robbers had killed a teller at the bank in Wrens and had taken two women hostage. Sheriff Wyatt set up a road block midway between Union Point and Greensboro. Wyatt stood in the middle of the road as the speeding car approached. The robbers attempted to shoot him, but the gun misfired. One bank robber was killed in the ensuing battle, but both women were unharmed. Sheriff Wyatt subsequently received the award of Peace Officer of the Year for his bravery in this incident.
Sheriff Wyatt was a family man, devoted to his wife, son, and grandchildren. He was a businessman, lending his experience to the operation and affairs of the Citizens Union Bank as a director. He was a community leader who had concern for all citizens – rich and poor, black and white. Out of a concern for these people, legend has it that Sheriff Wyatt confronted a notorious member of the Dixie Maffia and proclaimed, "These are my people and I want you to leave them alone!"
Sheriff Wyatt, also known as Mr. Sheriff, was the epitome of a community oriented police officer long before such an idea was born and served as an example for every officer to follow."
According to his burial notice in the Augusta Chronicle (Georgia, 11 April 1977, sec. A, pg. 11, as viewed online at GenealogyBank), Loy Lee Wyatt died 8 April 1977 "after he was stricken with an apparent heart attack." The notice goes on to say, "During his tenure [as Sheriff], Wyatt gave Greene county a reputation as one [of] Georgia's most crime-free areas. Along the way, he was shot five times and narrowly escaped death twice in car crashes during chases."
Sheriff Wyatt was laid to rest at Greensboro Cemetery.
22 March 2016
Mineral springs are naturally occurring springs that produce water containing minerals that some claim give it a therapeutic value. Salts and sulfur compounds are among the substances that can be dissolved in the spring water while it travels underground.
Resorts sprang up around these springs in the 19th and early 20th centuries when it was popular for (usually wealthy) people to travel to such places and "take the waters." An 1886 newspaper article spoke of such a treasure in Whitfield County, Georgia, saying it contained "this pure medicinal beverage gushing from the Blue Ridge Mountains." Two counties over, due east of Whitfield, is Fannin. In 1905, it was discovered the town of Blue Ridge in Fannin County had at least three mineral springs. Rev. Joel Butts, pastor of the Blue Ridge Baptist Church found the springs, cleaned them out, and had the water analyzed. It was determined that drinking the water from these springs would benefit one's general health because it contained magnesium, iron, and sulfur.
According to theblueridgehighlander.com, "today there are no longer any mineral springs available for visitors to submerge in, even though un-maintained springs still do exist on private property in the area if you know where to look." In April 2015, a walking trail was opened in a place where one of the springs could once be found. According to an old picture on an informational marker along the trail, the spring was outfitted with what looks to be a gazebo, a common practice of the time.
The creek that runs through the area is simply called Mineral Springs Creek, and you can see where the mineral spring itself once was, as denoted on this map.
The walking trail is part of a very pretty and well kept 13 acres. I've visited it a couple of times. Walking along and listening to the quiet waters of the creek flow by is very peaceful. It's also cool to think people have been coming to this same area for the same rejuvenating purposes for more than 100 years. As local resident Eva Baugh said when describing the springs, "Even if you didn't drink the water, it was a good place to visit and gossip."
In the following image, the creek bank to the left is approximately where the spring once was.
I've only known about the walking trail less than a month. I read an article that stated the site was once a dump. I don't know if that was to be taken figuratively or literally. Whatever the case of the recent past may be, I'm glad the area was cleaned up to a space that can be enjoyed by many. And I'm especially thankful the historical significance is not lost.
01 September 2015
Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)
29 March 1913, pg. 7
SAMUEL HAMMOND LIVES IN MEMORYAccording to Waymarking.com, Samuel Hammond was born September 1757 in Richmond County, Virginia. He died at Varello, near Augusta, September 1842 (on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River).
Monument to Patriot of Country's Early History Presented to Augusta by His Descendants
DR. M. ASHBY JONES ORATOR
Accepted on Behalf of City by Mayor L. C. Hayne -- Exercises Presided Over by Judge William F. Eve -- Mrs. Bellamy, of Macon, One of Donors
The presentation to the city of Augusta of the monument to Col. Samuel Hammond of revolutionary fame was a most impressive event of yesterday afternoon. The granite boulder, upon which the heroic bronze bust of Colonel Hammond is to be placed, is erected on the 600 block of Greene Street. At the hour of 5 o'clock, a crowd of interested spectators gathered and the presentation ceremonies began upon the arrival of Mrs. Ellen Washington Bellamy, of Macon, who is one of the donors of the monument, the other donor being her brother, the late Hugh Vernon Washington, of Macon, a grandson of Colonel Hammond...
Mayor Hayne's Acceptance
..."For over a century his [Colonel Hammond's] remains have rested unmarked on the banks of our own Savannah, where the holiest requiems have continuously been sounded from the winds that blew over the grave of this intrepid hero, who dared to die, that his country might live...
Mrs. Bellamy Speaks
Mrs. Bellamy then spoke a few words of appreciation, explaining that it was the wish of her brother, the late Hugh Vernon Washington, of Macon, that this monument be erected in Augusta, whose history their illustrious ancestor helped to make, and that the monument was his gift as well as hers...[Entire article may be viewed online at GenealogyBank.]
Regarding Col. Hammond's Revolutionary War career, the monument provides:
WITH GENERAL GREENE IN EVERY IMPORTANTThe news article above implies Hammond's grave was unmarked in 1913. It is definitely marked now, with a military marker and a 5 foot pyramid. According to his FindAGrave memorial, "In 1991, the grave of Colonel Samuel Hammond was relocated to the Hammond Family Cemetery on the property of the Charles Hammond house in North Augusta, SC from it's original location 1.6 miles away in New Richmond, SC because of the development of the Riverview Park Complex."
ENGAGEMENT THROUGH VIRGINIA,
THE CAROLINAS AND GEORGIA: ON THE FRONT
LINE AT EUTAW, COWPENS AND KINGS MOUNTAIN.
AT THE SIEGE OF CHARLESTON,
SAVANNAH AND AUGUSTA
12 May 2015
...[T]he chief factors in Atlanta's phenomenal growth are the railway lines which converge at her civic center, there forming a web of steel, from the bi-focal points of which they radiate in every direction.In an effort to connect railroad lines within the state, a point seven miles east of the Chattahoochee River was picked as a spot "best suited for running branch lines to various towns within the State." This point was called Terminus, defined as "an end point on a transportation line or the town in which it is located."
A man named Hardy Ivy was the first person to purchase a tract of land and build a shanty, before the town was surveyed, in 1836. It wasn't until 1842, when a new track was tested -- and considered a success, that the town began to really come to life with the building of new stores and churches.
Wilson Lumpkin, an ex-Governor of the state, was at this time one of the commissioners appointed to supervise the building of the Western & Atlantic Railroad. Lumpkin helped re-survey the land, fixed a site for the depot, and negotiated enough property for terminal facilities. Many wanted to rename the town after Lumpkin in appreciation for the prominent part he played in laying off several land lots. He refused, so people circumvented his protest a bit by renaming the town after his youngest daughter, Martha.
DECATUR, GA, Feb 13 -- Mrs. Martha Lumpkin Compton, after whom the city of Atlanta was twice named died at her home here tonight at the age of 90 years. In 1844 the village now called Atlanta, was named Marthasville in her honor. Four years later it was named Atlanta after the nickname of "Atalanta," which Mrs. Compton's father, Governor Wilson Lumpkin had given her. [Montgomery Advertiser (Alabama), 14 February 1917]
11 May 2015
As Hart served her unwanted guests, she frequently passed between them and their stacked weapons. Inconspicuously, she began to pass the loaded muskets, one by one, through a chink in the cabin wall to Sukey, who had by this time slipped around to the rear of the building. When the Tories noticed what she was doing and sprang to their feet, Hart threatened to shoot the first man who moved a foot. Ignoring her warning, one Tory lunged forward, and Hart pulled the trigger, killing the man. Seizing another weapon, she urged her daughter to run for help. Hart shot a second Tory who made a move toward the stacked weapons and held off the remaining loyalists until her husband and several others arrived. Benjamin Hart wanted to shoot the Tories, but Hart wanted them to hang. Consequently the remaining Tories were hanged from a nearby tree. In 1912 workmen grading a railroad near the site of the old Hart cabin unearthed a neat row of six skeletons that lay under nearly three feet of earth and were estimated to have been buried for at least a century. This discovery seemed to validate the most oft-told story of the Hart legend." [snippet from New Georgia Encyclopedia article, "Nancy Hart (ca. 1735-1830)"]
Click here for Nancy's FindAGrave memorial.
02 May 2015
"Near the outskirts of the little town of Heardmont, in the eastern part of [Elbert] county, stood the old home of Stephen Heard, the founder of Washington and one of the most noted of Georgia's early patriots and pioneers. It was called Heardmont, from the name of the owner. The residence is said to have been the first lathed and plastered house in this part of the State, and when the contractors were building it people came miles to see the handsome structure. In appearance it was not unlike the old Heard house at Washington, with a double veranda enclosed by tall columns. The furniture was of solid mahogany purchased in London. The home was destroyed years ago. But the little cemetery is still to be seen and the monuments are well preserved." [Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials and Legends by Lucian Lamar Knight (1914), pg. 537]
|Gov. Heard's Grave|
Stephen Heard, Governor of Georgia in 1781, lawyer, planter, surveyor
and soldier of the Revolution, lies buried in this family cemetery...Heard's
home "Heardmont" once stood nearby...
In the family burial ground at Heardmont lie the mortal remains of the old patriot. The inscription on his tomb is as follows:
Sacred to the memory of Colonel Stephen Heard. He was a soldier of the American Revolution, and fought with the great Washington for the liberties of his country. He died on the 15th of November, 1815, in the 75th year of his age, beloved and lamented by all who knew him. "An honest man is the noblest work of God."
All photos © 2011-15 S. Lincecum.