12 September 2012

John W. Cooper, a Biographical and Historical Sketch

Ancestry.com. Georgia Baptists : historical and biographical [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.
Original data: Campbell, Jesse H.. Georgia Baptists : historical and biographical. Macon, Ga.: J.W. Burke & Co., 1874.
Transcribed by S. Lincecum about 2006.

JOHN W. COOPER

Elder John W. Cooper was born in Henry county, Virginia, January 17th, 1783, and, with the family, removed to Wilkes county, Georgia, in 1786. He united with the old Ebenezer church, and was baptized by elder Jesse Mercer in 1805; some time afterwards, his membership was removed to Rehoboth church. In the winter of 1825 he removed to Monroe county, Georgia; was a member of the Mount Pleasant church, where he was ordained as a minister of the gospel in 1826, Elder Davis Smith being one of the Presbytery. In the winter of 1828 he removed to Harris county, Georgia, being one of the earliest settlers, which was soon after the purchase of the territory from the Indians, lying between the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers. In a few months after this, he aided in the constitution of Sardis church, in the western part of the county, which was one of the first churches organized west of the Flint river. He aided in the constitution of most of the churches in that immediate section of the State, as also in that which lay opposite in Alabama. He was a prime and active mover in the organization of the Western Association, of which he was elected moderator in 1841, the introductory sermon of which session was preached by Elder Jesse Moon, the father Miss Lottie Moon, now a missionary to China. He was re-elected annually, until his removal to Houston county, in the winter of 1848, and if my information be correct, was elected that year by acclamation, being the last session of that body he ever attended. He was present at the Georgia Baptist Convention in Marietta, in 1850, at which the illness that ended his life began. Returning home quite indisposed, he went to the monthly meeting of what was then Sandridge, now Factory church, Houston county, the first Sabbath in May, 1850, where he preached his last sermon. He died May 30th, 1850, with an abiding faith in the Saviour, whose glorious gospel he had preached more than forty years, his last words being, "O, that I could live to warn sinners!"

The education of the subject of this sketch was very limited. In his early life, neither means nor facilities were at his command. As a minister, the Bible was almost his only book of study, and with it, as was common with Baptist preachers in his day, he was very familiar. His views were not warped by the sayinggs of men; while he was solid as a rock in the doctrines of grace and the ordinances of the gospel, and never compromised with error, he was never rash. In Western Georgia, where he spent most of his ministerial life, he abounded in labors. So far as remembered, he was never without four churches, and unfrequently, to attend some of them, it required from Friday morning till Monday night. It was rare, indeed, he ever failed to meet his appointments. As was not uncommon in those early times, he frequently made tours of preaching to destitute sections and regions beyond. His preaching was without much method, always abounding in scriptural language, truth and illustration. He was of tender heart, often affected to tears. His labors were greatly blessed, and large churches were built up under his ministry. One of his sons says that a prayer meeting was held in a private house, at which began a work of great power. The meeting was removed to old Mountain Creek church, near which he lived, and continued, without interruption, forty-five days, during which one hundred and sixty-three persons were added to the church, and that, too, when the country was thinly settled.

Though rather emotional, he did not approve of noisy meetings. It is worthy of note, howaever, that on one occasion he was the subject of what was adjudged an unusual measure of the Holy Spirit's influence. It occurred at Beech Spring church, where he was aiding Elder George Granberry in a meeting of much interest. He had preached at the forenoon service, at the close of which his family physician observed a peculiar appearance of countenance, and insisted that he should go into the open air, which he declined, further than taking a seat upon the door-steps. In a moment, he began clapping his hands gently, and expressing himself as being very happy. He exhorted every unrenewed person whom he saw, and at the house of a precious man, (Deacon Joel Hood,) he had every servant called to the bed upon which he lay, and urged upon them immediate repentance. The clapping of hands, (which seemed involuntary,) and the talking continued, with a moment's interruption, until a late hour of the night, when "tired nature" succumbed to sleep. In the morning he was quite restored, and said the whole affair seemed as a dream. The writer witnessed the entire scene. He received but little for preaching. It is probable he never mentioned money to a church. I have heard him say a church to which he preached many years, and was not less than fifteen miles distant from him, never paid him enough to shoe his horse. At another, an old brother was appraoched by one of the deacons, who replied, "It is as much his business to preach as it is mine to go and hear;" and, doubtless, not a few are possessed with a like sentiment to-day.

His habits of industry are regularity would have secured him an abundance of this world's goods had he given himself to their acquisition. But he "chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of the world." As a man, he always enjoyed the entire confidence of his acquaintances, which confidence was never abased. He paid his debts, was peaceable in society, never shirked responsibility, lived and died without a stain upon his character. As a christian, he was prayerful -- walked by faith rather than by sight -- without pretension wholly, and with the exception named above, his religious life was even, and his end peace.

Rev. George F. Cooper, of Americus, one of the best and ablest men in the State, is a son of his.

11 September 2012

John Springs Baxter, a Biographical Sketch

From Memoirs of Georgia, Volume II by The Southern Historical Association, 1895.
Transcribed by S. Lincecum about 2006.

John Springs Baxter, one of Macon's most distinguished citizens, was born in that city, Dec 3, 1832, and was taken to Athens when but a child in arms, by his parents. In that city he grew to manhood, attending private instruction in Dr. Beman's famous school, and graduating from the University of Georgia in 1853, with the degree of A. B. He then went to Jefferson Medical college, at Philadelphia, and was graduated in 1856. He returned to Macon and there began practice. In August, 1861, he enlisted in the Macon volunteers, an old military company, organized about 1825, which was assigned to the Second Georgia battalion, and known as Company B. He served as a private till April, 1862, when he was made surgeon of the battalion, and acted as such about two months. He then went to Richmond, where he was made assistant surgeon to the Third Georgia hospital. Two months afterward he was appointed surgeon of the Forty-sixth Georgia regiment, in the field, which regiment was then stationed at Charleston, SC. He accompanied the regiment, in May, 1863, to the relief of Vicksburg, and remained with the army until the surrender of Gen. Johnston, at Greensborough, NC. He officiated as surgeon in the battles of Jackson, Miss., and on the retreat from Chattanooga to Atlanta. After the war he resumed his practice in Macon, for about a year, and then went into the general maerchandise business with George S. Jones, under the firm name of Jones & Baxter. He retired from business the latter part of 1873, and in 1876 was made a director of Southwestern, running from Macon to Eufaula, Ala. and Columbus, Ga, the length of the road being 333 miles. In May, 1891, he was made president of the Southwestern, and served as such until February, 1894, and at the election of that year was made vice-president, an office which he now holds. In 1876, in connection with the late W. B. Johnston, he prganized the first artificial ice company established at Macon, and carried it on until 1884, and then sold out. He was one of the original incorporators of the Macon Brewing company, and was one of its directors, and when the company went into the hands of a receiver, in 1891, he and R. H. Plant reorganized the company as the Acme Brewing company, of which he is now a director. He was one of the men who agitated and secured the building of the Macon water works, and was a director up to 1893. He is a director of the Central Georgia bank, the Macon Fire insurance company, the Macon Building and Loan association, and the Ocmulgee Land company, all of Macon, and of the Southern Mutual Insurance company, of Athens, Ga. Dr. Baxter was married in November, 1858, to Caroline, daughter of the late Judge Edward D. Tracy, a resident of Macon, and has one child, Tracy Baxter, who is an attorney in Macon. His wife died in 1861, and Dr. Baxter has never remarried. He belongs to no church, though he affiliates with the Presbyterians, and belongs to no secret society. The only office he ever held was that of city physician, one year, 1857.

The father of Dr. Baxter was Thomas W. Baxter, born in Greene county in 1786. He was a merchant in Macon and Milledgeville, Ga, for many years, and later had charge of the Athens manufacturing company. He died in Athens in 1844. Thomas W. Baxter was a brave soldier in the Seminole war, and in the civil war furnished six sons, including the subject of this sketch, to the Confederate army, viz: Andrew, Thomas W., Eli L., who died in service; Edwin G. Baxter, killed in the service in Texas, and Richard B., who was all through the service until the attack on Knoxville in 1864, where he was captured and held until the war was over. He was in the Third Georgia regiment, first, and was a private in the Fifteenth Georgia regiment when he was captured. The grandfather and grandmother of Dr. Baxter were natives of North Carolina, and the family is of Scotch-Irish descent.

10 September 2012

James M. Rawls, a Biographical Sketch

Source: Georgia and Florida Biographies [database on-line].
Original Data from Biographical Souvenir of the States of Georgia and Florida,
Containing Biographical Sketches of the Representative Public, and many
Early Settled Families in These States
. F. A. Battey & Company, 1889.
Transcribed by S. Lincecum 2005.

James M. Rawls, of Cuthbert, Ga, is a native of Houston county, same State, and was born December 3, 1838. He is a son of Silas Rawls, a highly esteemed farmer of Georgia, who was born in 1805 and removed to Texas, where he died. Rebecca (Jenkins) Rawls, mother of James M., was born in Georgia and bore her husband thirteen children, of whom the subject is the seventh child.

James M. Rawls was reared in Houston County, educated in the common school, and in early life followed farming. In 1857 he taught school in Dougherty County for a short time, then in Early County, after which he farmed again until the outbreak of the war. He then joined the Confederate army as a private in the Fifty-fifth Georgia infantry, but served only a short time. In 1864 he again joined the army and served until he was wounded in August, 1864, at Atlanta. He afterward farmed in Miller County until 1873, and then engaged in the mercantile business in Arlington, Ga, until January, 1887, when he located in Cuthbert and formed a partnership with C. D. Webb. In 1857 he was married to Miss Rebecca Oliver, daughter of Joshua B. and Sarah A. (Dupree) Oliver of Dooly County, Ga. Their home has been made happy in the birth of two children, Ida and Sarah.

Mr. Rawls and wife are members of the Methodist Church and Mr. Rawls is a member of the F. and A. M.

09 September 2012

Joseph L. Guill, a Biographical Sketch

Source: Georgia and Florida Biographies [database on-line].
Original Data from Biographical Souvenir of the States of Georgia and Florida,
Containing Biographical Sketches of the Representative Public, and many
Early Settled Families in These States
. F. A. Battey & Company, 1889.
Transcribed by S. Lincecum 2005.

Joseph L. Guill, operator, deputy postmaster, railroad agent, Scotland, Ga, was born in Oglethorpe County, January 22, 1862. His parents are Augustus W. and Permelia (Lumpkin) Guill, natives of Georgia. The father was a blacksmith, later a farmer, and is still living in Greene County, Ga, aged fifty-six. His wife died December 3, 1880. She was a member of the Baptist Church. They had two children, Augustus B. (deceased in infancy) and our subject. His father's brothers and sisters were Matilda, wife of Samuel Young, living in Oglethorpe County; Larkin A. married Laura Godfrey (deceased); Frances, Rebecca, William, Augustus W., Josiah A., Jackson R. (deceased at the age of thirty-two). William was wounded in the foot during the war and limps from the wound, as the ball still remains. Subject's mother's father was twice married.

Our subject was married October 9, 1887, to Miss Elia V. Rollins, daughter of Judge C. W. Rollins, and Mattie C. (Norwood) Rollins, of Houston County. The children of the Judge are Eula C., wife of J. I. Kemp, living in Scotland; Elia V., and Fulton L. Our subject has been in his present position many years. He is a good man, and carries the confidence and respect of a large circle of acquaintances. Mr. Guill was made a member of the Masonic fraternity in 1885 in McRae Lodge 100, situated at Scotland, Ga.

08 September 2012

John J. Joiner, a Biographical Sketch

Source: Georgia and Florida Biographies [database on-line].
Original Data from Biographical Souvenir of the States of Georgia and Florida,
Containing Biographical Sketches of the Representative Public, and many
Early Settled Families in These States
. F. A. Battey & Company, 1889.
Transcribed by S. Lincecum 2005.

John J. Joiner, mayor, merchant and farner, Hawkinsville, Ga, was born November 18, 1850, Pulaski County, Ga. His parents are Larkin and Elizabeth (Linsey) Joiner.

Larkin Joiner was a farmer and a minister if the Missionary Baptist Church. he was born in North Carolina, June 20, 1809. He preached extensively in Houston, Lee, Worth, Dooley, Pulaski, Dodge and Laurens counties, and his fame as a minister was known throughout this part of Georgia. It is thought he baptized and married more persons than anyone else in this part of the State. He died November 14, 1880, aged seventy-one years. He was a son of Curtis and Sabre (Shepherd) Joiner, the former a farmer who is now deceased.

The subject's maternal grandfather was David Linsey, a farmer. His wife was Pollie (Heidleburg) Linsey; both deceased.

John J. was the fifth in a family of six children born to his parents, viz: Eliza, Martha, David C., Jane, John J. and Wm. L. The only death that occurred in this family for forty-five years was that of an infant.

Eliza, wife of Rev. R. Bullington, of Dooley County, died at the age of forty-five years. Martha, wife of J. T. Stevens, a farmer of Pulaski County, died in 1887, at the age of thirty-nine years. David C. was first married Mary A. Mims, who died in 1872. The second marriage was to Mary Singleton, and they are living in Hawkinsville, merchandising and farming. He served through the entire war without being wounded. Jane is the wife of Peter McKinney, of Dooley County. Wm. L., married to Bettie Taylor, is merchandising in Hawkinsville.

The subject began farming at the age of eighteen years, continued it for three years, when he engaged in merchandising in connection with his farming pursuits and has been thus employed since with very good success. He was elected mayor in January, 1887, and has been twice reelected, without opposition the second time. Before he served as mayor he filled the office of alderman for two terms.

January 14, 1869, he was married to Miss Jane Turner, daughter of John and Cynthia Turner, of Pulaski County. To their marriage have been born the following children: Mary J., a student in the senior class at Stanton, Va; Julian J., deceased at the age of two years; Greta, deceased at the age of fourteen months; Bessie L., deceased at the age of one month.

Mr. Joiner is a Mason and both he and wife are members of the Baptist Church. The mayor is a practical business man and a good worthy citizen.

07 September 2012

Joseph H. Hall, a Biographical Sketch

Source: Georgia and Florida Biographies [database on-line].
Original Data from Biographical Souvenir of the States of Georgia and Florida,
Containing Biographical Sketches of the Representative Public, and many
Early Settled Families in These States
. F. A. Battey & Company, 1889.
Transcribed by S. Lincecum 2005.

Joseph H. Hall, attorney at law, Macon, Ga, was born in Knoxville, Crawford County, Ga, March 31, 1852, a son of Samuel and Sarah (Ashe) Hall. Samuel Hall was born in Chester District, South Carolina, in 1820, and in 1839 came to Georgia, and settled in Crawford County. In 1847 he removed to Macon, thence to Oglethorpe in 1853, and in 1870 returned to Macon, where he made his home until his death, August 28, 1887, an honored and respected citizen. He was admitted to the bar in 1842, and was engaged in the practice of law until November, 1882, at which time he was elected associate justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, which office he held at the time of his death. He was solicitor-general of the Flint District for one year, and in 1856 he was an elector for the State of Georgia during the administration of James Buchanan. His father, Ezekiel Hall, was a native of Brunswick County, NC, and was a physician by profession. He moved to Georgia in 1837 or '38, locating in Knoxville, Crawford County. He died near Valley Forge, Ga, in August, 1870. He was a son of Samuel Hall, who was a Virginian by birth. The mother of our subject was born in North Carolina, a daughter of Samuel Ashe, who was also a native North Carolina, and a planter by occupation. He was a son of Samuel Ashe, who at one time was governor of North Carolina. The parents of our subject had born to them seven children, named as follows: Harriet, Ezekiel, Susan, Joseph H., Richard, Robert and Thomas.

Joseph H., the subject of this sketch, was reared and educated in Macon, and Houston County, Ga. He graduated from the University of Georgia at Athens in 1873. He read law under the preceptorship of his father, and was admitted to the bar March 24, 1874. He then located at Fort Valley, Ga, where he practiced law two and a half years; in 1876, returned to Macon, and during his residence there he has built up a lucrative practice, and gained the respect and confidence of his fellow-citizens. He was married August 9, 1881, to Ida Tutwiler, of Green Springs, Hale Co., Ala, daughter of Henry and Julia (Ashe) Tutwiler. They are the parents of three children, named, Margaret, Willie and Sarah. In politics Mr. Hall is a Democrat. His wife is a member of St. Paul Episcopal Church.

06 September 2012

James C. Johnson, M.D., a Biographical Sketch

Source: Georgia and Florida Biographies [database on-line].
Original Data from Biographical Souvenir of the States of Georgia and Florida,
Containing Biographical Sketches of the Representative Public, and many
Early Settled Families in These States
. F. A. Battey & Company, 1889.
Transcribed by S. Lincecum 2005.

James C. Johnson, M.D., Macon, is a native of Henry County, GA, born November 1, 1838, and is a son of Thomas B. and Amanda M. (Cain) Johnson. Thomas B. was a son of David Johnson, one of the oldest settlers of Georgia, coming from Virginia. He died in 1865 at the advanced age of eighty-six years. Thomas B. was born in Putnam County, Ga, and is now a resident of Spalding County, and is yet in the enjoyment of good health at the age of eighty-two years. For many years he has represented his county in the State legislature. His wife, Amanda M., died in 1887 at the age of seventy-nine years. They were married at the respective ages of nineteen and seventeen years, and lived on the same farm, five miles from Griffin, in the enjoyment of each other's society more than sixty-three years. Both were devout members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for more than sixty years. Thomas B. Johnson was a model temperance man. He never used tobacco in any form, and for more than sixty years has not tasted intoxicants. His wife's father left his home in the State of Louisiana at the age of fifty years, going to Texas to transact business, and was never heard of afterward. He had $1,000 in his possession at the time, and it is presumed that he was murdered for his money.

James C. Johnson, our subject, received good educational advantages, and graduated at the Atlanta Medical College in the class of 1859. He located at Wellborn's Mills, Houston County, the same year, and began the practice of medicine. He was a partner of Dr. L. B. Alexander, now of Monroe County, for one year, after which he practiced his profession alone. He entered the Confederate service as physician and surgeon in the spring of 1862, and continued therewith until the close of the war. He was surgeon of the second regiment of the Georgia reserve corps, and by virtue of his commission became brigade surgeon. He was stationed at Andersonville prison for two years, going there when that prison contained 1,600, and was there when the number had increased to 38,000. He slept in the same room and ate at the same table with Captain Wirtz for one year, and the same with A. W. Perrons, the first commander of the post. At the close of the war he opened an office at Echeconnee Station, Houston County, where he had an extensive practice, making a speciality of surgical diseases of females; obstetrics and diseases of children. During the winter of 1865 and '66 he treated fifty-seven cases of small-pox for Houston County and sixteen cases for Crawford County, Ga, and as an evidence of his success it is only necessary to say that in the seventy-three cases he only lost two patients. The two counties mentioned rewarded him for services rendered by paying him $5,750, and during this time he also attended individual cases of small-pox that paid him more than $1,000. His practice that year amounted to more thatn $7,200. He has followed his profession for a period of thirty years with gratifying success, and has now a large and lucrative practice in the city of Macon, where he has made his home since March, 1884. The doctor was married in 1862 to Miss Annie Eliza Reynolds, daughter of James and Sarah (Paul) Reynolds. To this marriage has been born two children: William Reynolds and Mattie N. -- the latter a school-girl, in her teens. William R. was married February 27, 1887, to Miss Mina L. Kent, of Bibb County, Ga. To them was born in May, 1888, a son named Thomas Blanton Johnson.