Tag Archives: South Georgia Cemeteries

Missouri Powell Canaday, Sister of Osceola, Moniac

Thanks to Sheilia Willis for sharing the location of Mrs. Canaday’s grave, and for this history, some of which (corrected) comes from a Charlton County history published in 1972: In terms of Chief Osceola [born  in present-day Tallassee, Alabama, to Billy Powell to John William and Polly Coppinger Powell. John William Powell was Scottish or Irish and Polly was Creek] , his lineage is most interesting. When he was a boy, some of his family and their friends were given sanctuary in the Moniac area after the Battle of Horseshoe Bend when many of the Upper Creeks fled to Florida. His sister was Missouri Powell who married John Milledge Canaday. He was supposedly a Creek warrior who was born in Coleraine, Ireland, and also had the name of Ossio Yahaltla. Perhaps John’s father was there going to school as some Native Americans did during the 1700s.

In 1800 John traveled up the St. Marys River and built a cabin near what is now Moniac. Then he visited relatives in Northern Alabama where he met and married Missouri Powell. Later, he went back up there to fight Andrew Jackson but when the Red Stick Creeks were defeated in 1814, he brought his wife’s family, including Osceola, down to this area. The Canadays remained here and Missouri’s sister’s family later went to adjacent Columbia County, Florida, but the rest of Osceola’s family moved farther down into Florida where he grew up and became famous as a leader of the Seminoles who you know had some of their origins from the Creek/Muscogee Nation.

The Canadays had many children and one of their descendants lives in St. George and runs the Canaday Gas Station there. My father and I always do a pit stop there when we go to the VA hospital in Gainesville.

Of Missouri’s children, John Milledge Canaday, Jr and his wife Sarah Howell Canaday are buried in North Prong Cemetery, which is a few more miles south and then on the west side of the St. Marys in Baker County, Florida. Sarah’s family was killed by Indians at Toledo. The death of the Howells is sometimes mixed up with the Canaday children but if you check the births, deaths, and marriages, you will see the difference. [The other children were Osceola Nikkanochee Canaday b. ?; Elizabeth Canaday b. 1823; Mary Ann Canaday b. 1824; Henry Canaday b. 1829; James Canaday b. 1831; William Jackson Canaday b. 1833; and Frances Marion Canaday b. 1840.

Also buried with the Canadays is Old Man Jernigan (Johnnygan). I’m unsure at this time as to his connection.




Filed under --CHARLTON COUNTY GA--, Moniac GA

Moniac Baptist Church & Canaday Cemetery, Charlton County

Adjacent to Moniac Baptist Church is the historic Canaday Cemetery, established in 1830. Notably, it’s the final resting place of Missouri Powell Canaday, the sister of the Seminole chieftain Osceola. Many of the pioneers of this section were assimilated Native Americans.

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Filed under --CHARLTON COUNTY GA--, Moniac GA

West End Cemetery, Quitman

Quitman’s first cemetery, West End was established in 1859. It has the inviting park-like atmosphere typical of Victorian cemeteries and is a nice place to walk around. When I was here, the camellias were in full bloom, providing nice contrast to the Spanish moss hanging from old oaks.

Seventeen unknown Confederate soldiers are buried near the rear of the cemetery.

The grafted camellias are a highlight when they’re in bloom.




Filed under --BROOKS COUNTY GA--, Quitman GA

Lark Martin Memorial, Fitzgerald

When I was paying my respects to family members recently, I came across this memorial in Evergreen Cemetery. The name was familiar because when I was growing up, I recall my grandmother and great-grandmother speaking fondly of Lark Martin as Fitzgerald’s most famous hero of World War II. They even had a copy of The Saturday Evening Post which featured a story about him. Captain Lark E. Martin, Jr., was born on 9 October 1922 and when he was still a teenager, he was already a B-24 pilot serving in the Pacific Theater with the Jolly Rogers Bomber Squadron, 5th Air Force, based in Port Moresby, New Guinea.  A little over a month before his 20th birthday, on 2 September 1943, while piloting the “Battlin’ Betts”, Martin was killed in action. His co-pilot, engineer, radio tech, and five passengers were also lost.

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Filed under --BEN HILL COUNTY GA--, Fitzgerald GA

Lewis Brothers, Montezuma

montezuma ga felton cemetery lewis brothers monuments photograph copyright brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2016

The two most famous residents of Montezuma’s historic Felton Cemetery are the Lewis Brothers. Elijah John Lewis (11 February 1879-8 August 1893) had an attack of appendicitis traveling to New York with his uncle William “Minor” Lewis to buy stock for their store. He died in Chester, South Carolina while awaiting medical attention. Robert Landrum Lewis (16 January 1881-18 March 1895) saved an eight-year-old boy named Frank Hague from drowning in Beaver Creek and on the next day was accidentally shot by Leo Hertz. It was first though that he would survive but he died in his sleep. The boys’ father, Elijah Banks Lewis, was so saddened by the loss of his sons that he ordered marble statues from Italy in their likeness. There are many other wonderful monuments and memorials in this cemetery.


Filed under --MACON COUNTY GA--, Montezuma GA

Oak Grove Methodist Church, 1919, Screven County

Oak Grove Methodist Church Screven County GA Dirt Road Cemetery Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Oak Grove stands at the end of a lonely dirt road in rural Screven County, not far from the Savannah River and the South Carolina state line. It’s as perfect a setting for such a place as one could imagine.

Historic Oak Grove Methodist Church Endangered African American Landmark Screven County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Established in the first generation after slavery, the congregation dates to 1876. The first church built here is now lost to history, but was likely of crude construction.

Historic Oak Grove Methodist Church Screven County GA Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

The present structure, which is critically endangered and beyond saving, was built in 1919. It was likely in use until the 1970s. The congregation survives at another location today.

Oak Grove Methodist Church Screven County GA Interior York Player Piano Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Nothing remains inside the church but the ruins of a York Player Piano. I would advise strongly against entering due to the instability of the structure.

Oak Grove Methodist Church View Out the Front Portico Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016



Filed under --SCREVEN COUNTY GA--

Bertha C. Wooten Monument, Morgan

Morgan GA City Cemetery Wooten Sculpture Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

This moving tribute to Mrs. Wooten (4 December 1880 – 31 March 1914) can be found in the historic Morgan Methodist Church Cemetery.

Morgan GA City Cemetery Berta C Wooten Weeping Sculpture Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing South Georgia USA 2016

Wes Haun writes: This monument is close to one for her son put there by her husband, Mr James Wooten. In 1921 he was lost at sea on the USS Conestoga which was located in March, 2016. After 95 years missing, all 56 souls were recognized at appropriate ceremonies. The one in Morgan was Saturday July 16. My grand daddy was Mr Jim’s friend and is buried in this cemetery.


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Filed under --CALHOUN COUNTY GA--, Morgan GA