This originally served as the administration building for Norman College. A granite marker commemorates the history of the college, with the First Baptist Church in the background. Jim Howard notes: This building replaced the building destroyed by fire in 1945, completed and occupied in January 1949. The public high school used the premises along with junior college students
Tag Archives: South Georgia Monuments
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.
Besides its fascinating history, Orphans Cemetery is a real gem of landscape architecture and cemetery design. It’s one of the most beautifully maintained in the state, and the rare cedars and other trees make it feel more like an arboretum than a burial ground. Interred in the mausoleum are Albert Genavie Williamson (1 August 1854-4 December 1925) and Martha “Mattie” Jane Buchan Williamson (10 April 1858-11 May 1938). Jay Gould Williamson, the nephew and adopted son of the Williamsons depicted as a young boy in the memorial, was born on 17 August 1893 and died on 23 September 1982. He spent his last 35 years on St. Simons Island and is buried at historic Christ Church Frederica.
From the marker placed by the Georgia Historical Society, Orphans Cemetery Association & Dodge County Historical Society in 1999: Albert G. Williamson, a Dodge County entrepreneur, donated land for a burial place in Orphans community following the death of a neighbor´s child, George P.A. Barnes, in 1887. The community was named in honor of the six orphaned Williamson brothers who moved here in 1873-74 from North Carolina. The earliest burials were children of the Thomas, Weldy, and Lashley families. Other common names in the original acre are Hardy, Manley, Steele, Stuckey, and Williamson. The statuary above their mausoleum depicts A.G. and Martha Buchan Williamson and their nephew, Jay Gould.
The mausoleum was erected by the Cordele Consolidated Marble Works on 17 August 1912. The statuary was cut from a photograph made in 1903. The details and life size depiction of the Williamsons is a stunning work of public art. Mr. Williamson’s Magnolia, as this giant tree is known, was planted in 1887. Today it provides a spot for refuge and reflection, with two swings hanging from its branches.
Mr. Williamson’s obituary provides more background as to his life and activities in Dodge County: Hon. A. G. Williamson, for fifty years one of Dodge County’s prominent citizens, died at his home in the city Friday night about nine o’clock, following an illness of more than a year, during which time he was practically an invalid. Mr. Williamson’s body was embalmed by J. W. Peacock Co., undertakers, and according to instructions previously given by him, was deposited in a vault at Orphans Cemetery at sundown Sunday afternoon. This vault, above which rested life-size statues of Mr. Williamson, Mrs. Williamson and J. Gould Williamson, a nephew and adopted son,, was erected by Mr. Williamson about fifteen years ago, and full directions were given by him as to the disposal of his body at death. The body, lying on the left side, reposed on a cedar cot, which had also been provided by Mr. Williamson, and in this position was deposited in the vault. The funeral service, which was conducted by Rev. Frank Adams, of the Christian church, consisted only of scripture reading, prayer and two songs. The scripture was from the 14th chapter of St. John, the second to fourth verses, inclusive. The songs ” I Shall Know Him, ” and “Asleep jn Jesus, ” were rendered by a double quartet composed of O. V. Lashley, Henry Manley, Robert Bennett, Mrs. Jeter A. Harrell, S. H. Goolsby, H. E. Dickens, John Parkerson, Mrs. C. F. Coleman. The active pallbearers were the following: W. Fitzgerald, W. H. Smith, C. F. Coleman, C. H. Peacock, R.G. P. McKinnon, C. C. Burch. An honorary escort was composed of C. D. Phillips, W. J. Deffinall, C. B. Murrell, J. H. Rogers, W. W. Puett, J. C. Wall. The floral offerings were banked about the mausoleum in abundant profusion and were magnificently beautiful. A throng of about one thousand people was in attendance.
Mr. Williamson was born in Columbus County., N. C., and was 71 years old August 1st. He came to Dodge County 52 years ago and secured employment as woods-rider for Coleman & Sessoms, a naval stores firm. Soon afterwards he was married to Miss Mattie Buchan, daughter of Dr. James Buchan, by whom he is survived. Being a man of keen and accurate judgement, he early realized the value of lands in this section of Georgia, and through this judgement and his untiring energy, he acquired as the years went by, 8,000 acres of Dodge County land, also large holdings in Eastman city property and government bonds. His estate is valued at between $400,000 and a half million dollars. Several months ago he deeded a large part of this property to relatives, his wife and adopted son being the principal beneficiaries.
Mr. Williamson united with the Christian church when quite a young man, and as long as his health would permit, took a very active interest in its affairs. He built the Christian church at Orphans and was an important factor in the erection of the Christian church in Eastman. To both of these institutions he was a strong pillar and liberal contributor.
Mr. Williamson was Ordinary of Dodge County two terms, beginning about 1895. His administration of this office was marked by splendid efficiency and admirable economy, he rendered to the people the same fine business management that characterized his personal affairs.
Mr. Williamson’s life and character constitute a remarkable demonstration of what a man may accomplish through the exercise of economy, energy and industry, coupled with the practice of hat rigid honesty and justice that marked all of his transactions.
Source: Tad Evans, Dodge County Newspaper Clippings Volume IV1920-1928.
National Register of Historic Places
Located on the grounds of the historic courthouse, Marion County’s confederate monument was dedicated by Mrs. Minnie S. Weaver, local UDC Chairman, on 23 August 1916. A crowd of over 2,000 came out to hear the Honorable W. B. Short and Lucian Lamar Knight deliver the keynote addresses. This was the last Confederate monument dedicated in Georgia in the Confederate commemoration era. The 12-foot-high ornamental bench, known as an exedra, is unique among Georgia’s official monuments.
Erected by the Ladies Memorial Association of Sumter County and the United Daughters of the Confederacy at the intersection of Lee & Forsyth Streets in 1901, this monument was moved to Rees Park after World War II due to traffic concerns at its original location.
Americus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Located in Rees Park, this monument honoring the soldiers of World War I was actually designed while its creator, Indiana native E. M. Viquesney, was living in Americus, though the first one to be manufactured was placed in Nashville, Georgia, prior to the erection of this one. The design was mass-produced in the 1920s and 1930s and is the most popular of its kind, with hundreds located in parks throughout the United States. It’s known as the Spirit of the American Doughboy.
Americus Historic District, National Register of Historic Places