Monday, September 30, 2013

Physician, Soldier, Mason & Templar - Dr. Geraldus O. Buntyn

Buntyn Family Plot
Elmwood Cemetery
Masonic rites will be performed at Elmwood cemetery, at four o'clock today, at the grave of the late Dr. Geraldus O. Buntyn.  Buntyn was a very prominent and influential citizen of this county before the war, and especially well known at that time in the Masonic fraternity, having been long master of his lodge, and an active Knight Templar.  Losing a leg during the war, his health became impaired there from, and his mind eventually gave way.  His body came from Nashville by rail.  Park avenue lodge, of which he was a member, was compelled to defer paying the last acts of respect to their brother until this time.  The impressive ceremonies will be conducted by Bun F. Price, W.M. of Desoto lodge, by special request.  All brothers who desire to take part in the services are requested to assemble at the Masonic Temple at three o'clock.
Originally posted in the Memphis Daily Appeal, March 21 1880

Geraldus Oscar Buntyn was the son of prominent land owner Geraldus Buntyn and his wife Ann Eliza Carraway. He married Adaline Cherry Odom in 1853 in Desoto County Mississippi.  Ada died in 1856 leaving behind two young daughters in the care of Geraldus who returned with his daughters to Memphis after her death.   During the war he mustered in and out as a private with CO. B 7 Cav. (Duckworth's) Tenn.  Adaline was interred in Mississippi but her husband and children are interred at Elmwood.

Elmwood Cemetery records list his cause of death as "softening of the brain" while the Public Ledger reported that his death was caused by the wound he received during the war.  The Ledger also reported he had been a long-time member of the county court. Public Ledger March 20, 1880

Friday, September 27, 2013

Shocking Accident to a Little Girl, 1874

A fatal accident occurred at the residence of Mr. E.M. Apperson, corner Linden and Wellington streets, about 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon, which resulted in the death of Augusta Young Kenneday, daughter of Dr. A.E. and Mrs. Eva Virginia Kenneday, and grand daughter of E.M. Apperson.  At the time August, who was a child of 3 1/2 years, was playing with a number of other little ones in the hall upstairs.  A moment before the child had been caressing her mamma, when running out in the hall, she passed through a window leading to a small verandah in front.  This verandah overlooks a stone porch some 12 or 14 feet below, and is protected by a low, ornamental iron railing.  When the little one ran on the verandah, she jumped upon the railing, and, losing her balance, fell.  One short agonizing shriek, followed by a dull, heavy thud, as the baby, headlong, struck the stone pave; a tiny stream of thick brain clotted blood, and all was over.
From the Memphis Avalanche, published in the Nashville Union and American Sept. 29 1874

DIED- Kenneday- At  5 1/4 p.m. yesterday afternoon, Augusta, daughter of Dr. A.E. and E.V. Kenneday, aged three years, six months and twenty-two days.  Friends and acquaintances of the family are invited to attend the funeral, from the residence of E.M. Apperson, corner Linden and Wellington streets, this (Saturday) afternoon at 3 1/2 o'clock.  Rev. Dr. Slater will officiate.  Carriages in attendance.

Augusta Kenneday was the daughter of Dr. Absolom Early Kenneday, a Memphis dentist, and his wife Eva Virginia "Jennie" Apperson.  A.E. Kenneday was the son of the well known Revered Absolom Harper Kenneday.  A.E. served in the 3rd Ark Cavalry as a regimental musician. He played bugle. Jennie Apperson was a member of the affluent Apperson family and a daughter of E.M. Apperson and Susan B. Morecock. The Kenneday and Apperson families rest at Elmwood Cemetery.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Good Deeds of Women Seldom Live After Them, 1878

Annie Cook, Born 1840
Died of Yellow Fever 1878
A nineteenth century Mary Magdelene
Who gave her life while trying to
Save the lives of others.
Erected by Mr and Mrs J.D Taylor and the Brothers of The Sacred Heart, S.C.
April 5 1979

Madame Annie Cook
Memphis City Directory for 1876
Her real name was discarded long ago, even before Annie Cook made Memphis her home. What we do know is she was an attractive German woman who became a prostitute and Madam, which doesn't seem to have been illegal in Memphis at the time.  By all accounts she also had the proverbial "heart of gold" as the saying goes and was always helping others in need.

Annie Cook opened her home and nursed many Memphians during the 1873 and 1878 yellow fever epidemics until she contracted the disease herself in September, 1878.  When Annie became ill it was reported in the Public Ledger that Miss Lorena Mead nursed her to the last.  Annie died on Wednesday morning at 5am, September 11, 1878 and was interred that same day at Elmwood Cemetery.  She was originally interred in the Chapel Hill Section of the Cemetery but was later removed to the Howard Association section.  

Public Ledger
September 11 1878
Although Annie Cook was a sinner, a "mis-guided woman", and owned a house of "ill-fame" her exceeding kindness and most especially her compassion and heroism during the yellow fever epidemics gave her fame and recognition from people who otherwise would not have given her the time of day.  The Ledger said her name would "be linked with the martyrs of 1878" and it is but it's the letter from the "Christian Women of Louisville" that absolves Annie of her sins

The "Christian Women" of Louisville, appreciated the self-sacrifice and generosity of Annie Cook, the cyprian**, who consecrated her life and property to the sick of this city, gladdened her heart by a recognition of her christian heroism that must have gone far to reconcile her to the death she met so bravely. They sent her this note, addressed to "Madame Anna Cook, Mansion House, Memphis, Tenn.:

Louisville, August 28, 1878
Dear Madame--This mornings' paper announces that you have opened your house to the sick of Memphis, and that you are ministering to their wants personally.  An act so generous, so benevolent, so utterly unselfish, should not be passed over without notice.  History may not record this good deed, for the good deeds of women seldom live after them, but every heart in the whole country responds with affectionate gratitude to the noble example you have set for christian men and women.  God speed you, dear madame, and, when the end comes, may the light of a better word guide you to a home beyond.  From the

No doubt this affectionate and really christian recognition of her good deeds lighted Annie Cook's pathway to the grave.
**Cyprian - a wanton person, a prostitute
Originally posted in the Memphis Daily Appeal Sept. 22 1878

The following report of her death in the Weekly Bazoo, Sedalia MO, on September 24 1878 is probably the most sensational report of the "pariah" with a heart in her "gilded palace of sin".

No, she was not an angel.  She was merely a woman.  Indeed, society denied her even that appellation, for she was a pariah-an outcast.  Oh, yes, she was pure once; but she fell, like thousands of others.  And such are beyond the pale that rears its impenetrable barrier between the impure and those who dwell secure within its protection.  But she had a heart, did this Annie Cook--wounded and crushed as it was, it overflowed with sympathy for the suffering, with charity for the erring, with generosity for the unfortunate.  They say no appeal to her for help was ever neglected, and often she left her gilded palace of sin to minister in person to some poor unfortunate who lay dying, poverty-stricken and neglected.  her purse supplied their wants, here were the hands that bathed their fevered brows and held the cooling drink to their parched lips. And when the dread summons came to bear the spirit home, she looked a message into the eyes of the dying to take with them in her behalf.

What was it?

Who can tell what rose in the heart of that Magdalen that her lips dare not tell?  Never mind, it was understood, and let us hope that God, in the infinitude of His mercy, granted the prayer of that weak woman sinner.

Well, the fever came, and the panic followed. The houses were deserted and each outgoing train was crowded.  Men and women fled for their lives; the most sacred ties were broken; brothers fled from sisters, husbands left their wives and children, and children deserted their parents.

Nothing was left but sickness, suffering, want, misery and death.

Then this woman called her gay companions around her and bade them begone.  She stripped palace of its magnificence and gave the proceeds to those who were burdened with disease and want.  Throwing wide open the doors of her mansion, she tendered the keys to the Howards its use as a hospital.  Then descending those steps for the last time, she began the work of mercy to which she dedicated her life.  From house to house she went on her mission of love.  By the bedside of the sick and dying she was ever found--furnishing the necessaries of life, nursing the sick with the tenderness of a mother, writing messages for those who ne'er again should see the dear ones addressed, easing the pangs of the dying, and reverently and tenderly shrouding the dead.  She labored with supernatural strength, and although the warning finger of Death rose up before her, she never faltered.  The convalescent were grateful, the sick hailed her presence with joy, and the dying blessed her as they passed away.  At last she, too, fell before the Destroyer's arm, and silently, willingly, aye gladly, followed those who had gone before.

Who she was, none ever knew.  True, her name was Annie Cook--at least people called her that; but the secret of her existence died and was buried with her.

Now tell us, ye world of prim morality and cold, prudential modesty--is there one slight chance of Heaven for this poor, betrayed woman!  Will those pearly gates be closed upon this repentant Magdalen, and yet open to those selfish, hollow-hearted creatures who left their kith and kin to perish in poverty and disease?

No, she was not an angel.  She was a pariah and an outcast; but from the simple lights before us, if ever a sinner was made worthy by a noble atonement, it was Annie Cook.


Many years ago there came to this city, from Ohio, a handsome German girl, who found employment with a family near First and Green streets.  Her expressive language, personal beauty, rich voice and magnetic person made her a general favorite.  When she saw any one suffering her eyes would grow soft with a beautiful, mysterious radiance, as she extended a helping hand.  She seemed in good spirits at times, yet there was something about her general demeanor that told that her poor soul was groaning beneath the burden of a mighty sin--really a calamity, and known to the laws of society as a crime.  Society is cold and heartless, and rules with an iron rod.

This was twenty-five years ago.  The fair young girl grew up to womanhood, and as a woman of the town, her name was known as Annie Cook.  Her real name remains as much of a mystery here as the nameless sin that drove her from the scenes of happy, joyful childhood. At one time she might have returned, like the dove of the ark, had it not been for the frowning world.

The leading characteristic of her life seemed to be to help the suffering.  When she lived in this city, on Madison street, a poor family became helpless with the small-pox, and this woman was found at their bed-side administering to their wants.  Notwithstanding her life, she endeared herself to many of the people here. Shortly after the war she became dissatisfied and went to Memphis.  Nothing more was heard of her until the yellow fever scourge of 1873.  She then threw her house open, that had been dedicated, to shame, volunteered as a nurse, and watched over the dead and dying like a ministering angel.

The generous public approved silently, of course, of her noble deeds, and she lived on through the years of sorrow, the same strange, mysterious woman, until the breaking out of the present scourge, when she again discharged her women, offered her house as a hospital and herself as a nurse.  Yesterday the wires whispered the news of her death.  Poor, ill-starred, misguided woman!  Whatever her sins might have been, she has laid them all down with her life, and may we not hope that her chances for a life of happiness "up there" are secured by an earnest repentance and a self-sacrifice that cost her life.  Mary Magdalen became the most devoted of His followers.  And now that Annie Cook's life has ended in sacrifice for others, there is hope that it may be said to her, "For inasmuch as you did it to the least of these, ye did it also unto Me."
Reprinted from the Louisville Evening News in the Memphis Public Ledger, Sept. 23 1878

As for Lorena Meade, Annie's nurse, she was born in Louisiana about 1844.  She appears in the 1880 Memphis Census as the owner of a "boardinghouse" and has several girls in residence.  She also appears in the 1883 Memphis City Directory as the Madame of her own house in Memphis at the same address on Causey street where she was living in 1880. By 1927 she is living in Iberville and was a seamstress.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Engulfed in a Robe of Flames, 1873

About four o'clock yesterday morning Captain E. A. Cole's little daughter aged about seven years, was so badly burned that no hopes are entertained of her recovery.  She was sleeping with an elder sister, who went out on the porch to get a drink of water, and set the lamp in the middle of the floor, near the bed.  From the lamp the mosquito-bar caught fire, and soon the flames communicated to the bed.  When the unfortunate little girl awoke, it was only to find herself wrapped in a robe of flames. Confused by the bright glare, and terrified by her helpless condition, she sprang form the bed and rushed madly out into the yard. Captain Cole, seeing the light and hearing the shrieks of the child, immediately entered the room, but seeing no one there, commenced subduing the flames of the burning bed.  He supposed his children had escaped uninjured, but about the time he extinguished the burning bed, he was horrified at the appearance of his little daughter, who, after running around the yard, entered the room, her clothing still burning.  This he made haste to extinguish, when he found that the fire had burned her so badly that it was useless to hope for escape, and the poor father quickly tore off the blackened shreds that clung to his child.  Dr. Erskine was sent for and attended the little sufferer.  Captain Cole, in extinguishing the flames of the bed, had his hands burned very badly.  He has our heartfelt sympathies.  Since writing the above, and at a late hour last night, we learn that she lingered until eight o'clock in the evening, when death put an end to her suffering.
Originally published in the Memphis Daily Appeal July 9, 1873

Captain Edmund Anderson Cole as an attorney and worked as the Clerk and Master of the First Chancery Court in Memphis.  During the Civil War he served for the Confederacy in Co. L 154th Sr. Tenn. Reg.  His first wife and the mother of Annie Cole, Ophelia A. Taylor, died in 1867 of consumption.  His second wife was Amanda Childress, she passed away in 1907.  Capt. Cole died from pneumonia in 1909.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Death, Yellow Fever, and Crime 1878

Death didn't take a holiday and neither did crime during the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878.  The Nelson family lost not only their lives during the epidemic but also their jewels.

A.W. Nelson is a bit of a mystery man.  The first evidence of his existence is a marriage record in 1855.  He married Camille Desport in Nashville on January 10 of that year.  Camille's family arrived in New Orleans January 25, 1849 on the J.H. Glidden which had departed from the port of Le Havre, France.  She was listed on the manifest with her father, Egalite Desport age 54, mother Francoise Desport age 47, and a sister, Heloise age 14.  Camille was 21.

The 1870 Census for Shelby County  indicates Dr. Nelson was born about 1821 in Tennessee and gives his occupation as a farmer with property valued at $50,000.  The Memphis City Directory for 1871 lists his occupation as physician.  The census tells us that A.W. and Camille had two children, Juliette (Julie) age 13 and listed as born in Iowa, and Victor age 2, born in Tennessee.  Camille seems to have been an artist of sorts as she entered several needlework items and a painting in the Fair competition in October 1872.  And , if the newspaper report is reliable then Dr. Nelson would have stood out in a crowd as it lists him as "the seven footer."  In addition he was said to be miserly and possessed a large estate which may have been true based on the 1870 census that he was valued at $50,000.

Dr. Nelson was the first die on September 9, 1878.  His son Victor died October 1 and interestingly enough was listed in the Public Ledger for that day as "son of Mrs. Dr. Nelson, colored, Age 12, Trigg Ave." Juliette died October 4 followed by their mother on October 5.   The Nelson family are interred at Elmwood.

At some point during the families illness a nurse named Mr. Hamburger entered their lives.  It is reported that he performed the last rites for Camille, the last of the family to die and that soon afterward Mr. Hamburger was seen "taking unusual luxury" and his conduct "attracted the attention of the police."   A box of jewelry was found in his possession.  He claimed his uncle gave it to him but he finally confessed that it was given to him by the daughter of Dr. Nelson with instructions what to do with the contents.  Hopefully the case went before the magistrate as the article indicated and Mr. Hamburger was duly punished.

The death of Dr. Nelson, the seven-footer, and of his entire family, was mentioned a few days ago.  In
Memphis Daily Appeal
Oct. 8, 1878
the same connection it was mentioned that he was miserly and possessed a large estate.  Whether that be so or not, there is a little story connected with one Hamburger, who gets his comforts through the gratings of the Adams street stationhouse, that may develop something as to the true condition of the man's estate.  Hamburger was one of the nurses, and very officiously performed the last sad rites at the demise of the only remaining member of the family last Saturday.  Yesterday Mr. Hamburger, in company with another of his kind, was seen taking unusual luxury in a hack in company with a couple of colored wenches.  his conduct attracted the attention of the police to the extent that he and his party were pulled, during which there was a mysterious box, which was attempted to be concealed.  This box contained a lot of valuable jewelry, which Hamburger claimed was given by his uncle.  He stuck to the "uncle" story until last night, when he confessed that a daughter of Dr. Nelson ha placed it in his keeping, with written instructions what to do with it.  The instructions were in a book somehow, that the police authorities had taken from him and would not let him get hold of. Esquire Quigley will have an interesting case in Hamburger.
Originally posted in the Memphis Daily Appeal October 8, 1878

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Death of a Brilliant but Erratic Man, James Birney Marshall 1870

"James Birney Marshall, a brilliant but erratic man, for nearly forty years at different times connected with the press of Louisville, Cincinnati, New Orleans and Memphis, came to his death in the latter city on last Saturday night week, by falling from a window in the Post Office Building.  He was a brother of Hon. Humphery (sic) Marshall, of Louisville."  The Home Journal, Sept 22 1870, Winchester TN

"His death came when least expected, and is involved in a mystery which no human ken will ever precisely solve."  The Public Ledger, September 5 1870, Memphis TN
Memphis Daily Appeal
Sept 6 1870

"The body, which had been laid away in ice during Sunday and Sunday night, was neatly clothed and placed in a handsome casket, on which was a simple inscription, giving his name, date and place of birth.  Precisely at the hour above the body was borne to the hearse...And thus closed the last manifestations of respect for one who lived out of and beyond his failings, and achieved the respect if not love of many of his co-laborers of the press."  Memphis Daily Appeal, September 6 1870

"Covington, Ky., September 4, 1870.  Have the remains of J.B. Marshall properly attended to, and forward them to me at Frankfort, Ky., by express."  Telegram from his son published in The Public Ledger, September 5 1870, Memphis TN

James Birney Marshall, known as Birney, was born in Kentucky in 1810 to a distinguished family.  His parents were John Jay Marshall and Anna Reed Birney.  His father graduated from Princeton in 1806 and embarked upon a career as a legislator, law reporter and judge,  He had a distinguished career and was appointed Judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals but the appointment was rejected on political grounds. John Jay Marshall lost the large estate and wealth he amassed through the years in the financial crash of 1837.  Like so many others, he died poor.   

Birney's grandfather was Senator Humphrey Marshall of Virginia and Kentucky and his brother, another Humphrey Marshall, was a celebrated politician and Brigadier General (CSA) during the Civil War.  Another prominent member of the Marshall family was John James Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the United States. On his mother's side of the family was James G. Birney, a well-known abolitionist and candidate for President of the United States in 1844. His first cousins, William Birney and David D. Birney, served in the Union Army at the rank of Major General.

With his family name and background it can be assumed that James Birney Marshall had a lot of expectations placed upon him by his family to succeed.  References survive that indicate he might not have lived the life expected of him and that his death was a mystery. The first intimation  that something was not quite right appeared in The Home Journal that he was "brilliant but erratic".  The second is a book entitled The Marshall Family by William McClung Paxton published in 1885. Mr. Paxton remarks that he met Birney Marshal once and found him to be a brilliant talker and that he was handsome.  "He was an erratic genius, and his life was tarnished by extravagancies, dissipations and gallantries" wrote Paxton.  In addition he had been in contact with Birney's wife, Mary Ann in 1884. He writes that she was blind in one eye, her hand trembled but that she was still able to take part and converse in a lively manner.  "She does not refer with pride to her married life".   It is interesting to note that Birney's obituary said he was survived by one son and a daughter with no mention of his wife, Mary Ann Moore Marshall, who would survive him by 15 years.

To Eva: In her Album
by J. Birney Marshall
According to a report in the Public Ledger Birney Marshall began his career in Louisville Ky as a clerk of the court.  From there he took a position as cashier at one of the Louisville Banks.  Much of his studies were done at home after work and through his study he found a connection to poetry and literature. His stint as a poet lasted from 1836-38 and his work appeared most often in the Cincinnati Mirror and the Western Literary Journal.   

From the Louisville Daily Courier
April 14 1859
Marshall begins publishing the People's Press
backing Stephen A. Douglas as president.
He soon left banking behind to take up a career in publishing and had his own printing concern named the Louisville City Gazette.  During the course of his career he moved several times and was employed as a newspaperman in Columbus Ohio and from there he worked at the Cincinnati Enquirer as an editor.  

In 1856 he moved to New Orleans where he took a prominent position in literary circles.  When Henry Clay visited the city it is said that the first person he wished to see was Birney Marshall.  He stayed in New Orleans several years establishing friendships and working relationships among the local newspaper and literary groups.
From the Oswego Daily Times
April 17, 1857
Marshall succeeds
 Col. Samuel Medary at the Ohio Statesman

During the Civil War, it is said that Birney Marshall "was engaged in literary pursuits at Vicksburg" but another source says that he had left Memphis on his way to Louisville when he was arrested as a spy and was being held in a military prison!  It was reported in the New York Times, July 21 1862, that fifty-five arrests occurred over a period of three days and that J. Birney Marshall was among those arrested. "Guerillas will do immense damage to the Government...unless we promptly take the most energetic and efficient measures to hunt them down."

In 1865 he was back in Memphis where, at the death of John Reid McClanahan who met a similar death, he became the political editor for the Appeal.  After his position with the Appeal ended he began an association with the Public Ledger.  

Nashville Union and American
September 6 1870
The night of his death he had been working at the Ledger.  At 11 p.m. he was seen chatting with acquaintances and it was noted that he was at  the St. Charles eating-house as late as 2 am.  Speculation says that he went to his room located on the second floor of the Post Office Building and undressed for bed but found his room too hot so he sat on the window sill of the open window to cool off.  Some say he fell asleep at the window and accidentally fell to his death.  Other reports simply indicate he fell from the window without attempting to speculate the reason.  He was found the next day, his broken body lying in a pool of blood.

His body was shipped back to Kentucky to his brother, Brigadier General Humphrey Marshall, to rest among the graves of his family.  James Birney Marshall is interred at Frankfort Cemetery.  

The following article appeared in the Public Ledger on September 5 1870:

Lamentable Death by Falling from a Window.
Personal History of the Deceased.

It is our sad duty to chronicle the death of Colonel James Birney Marshall,  an attache of the Ledger office and a member of the editorial staff.  Saturday morning the one who approaches the bier, so to speak, to pay this poor tribute, sat with him in the editorial room and consulted his opinions on the business of the day. Col. Marshall was well in body and mind.  In the temporary absence of the senior editor, he occupied the chair Friday and Saturday and faithfully discharged the duties of the position.  His mind was as clear as noon day sunlight, and he dashed off a number of editorials on different subjects and various paragraphs on minor topics with the rapidity and ease of one in his accustomed place, and in the pride of manly, intellectual strength.  We noted his dispatch, his clearness of perception and vigor of memory.  The last lines he penned were an editorial at the head of the editorial page in reference to the important news received of Napoleon's surrender to King William and the capitulation of McMahon's army.  It was clear, concise and vigorous.  In a column it would be difficult to say anything as appropriate, even now.  The almost prophetic words he wrote in regard to the fall of Napoleon's hopes seem to have been, though in a different sence, suddenly and terribly realized in his own case.  He was found on the pavement at daylight yesterday morning.  Not Birney Marshall, indeed, but his shattered remains.  The genial spirit had fled to God, who gave it.  His generous heart was cold, and his pulse will throb no more.  an intellect of no common stature has fallen.  A brilliant mind, well stored with the world's choicest knowledge, was suddenly, and without warning, extinguished. His death came when least expected, and is involved in a mystery which no human ken will ever precisely solve. This is all we know!  Saturday at noon he was well and full of hopeful life; in the afternoon, and in the same evening, he was met by his friends on the streets and elsewhere as usual.

At eleven o'clock he stood on the corner of Third and Jefferson streets talking to some young man as the people came out from the theater, and he recognized his acquaintances in his usual prompt and graceful manner.  It is reported that he was seen in the St. Charles eating-house as late as two o'clock in the morning.  He had a room fronting the theater in the second floor of the old Postoffice building.  During the night some times he fell from the window to the alley-way below.  When found yesterday morning by officers Neil and Duffey it was apparent that he was instantly killed by the fall, and that he had lain there several hours.  His head was severely bruised and his arm broken, and his body otherwise showed the effects of the fall.  A pool of blood on the pavement attested the violence of his death.  The body was taken up and removed to Holst's and covered with ice.  A telegram was sent to Gen. Humphrey Marshall of Kentucky, conveying the sad news, and in the early part of the day no further steps were taken.  Late in the day the following dispatch was received:

Covington, Ky., September 4, 1870
Have the remains of J.B. Marshall properly attended to, and forward them to me at Frankfort, Ky, by express.

This was from his son.

Personal History.
Col. Marshall was about sixty years of age.  He belonged to the distinguished Marshall family of Kentucky and Virginia and inherited the full share of their genius, which was improved by a thorough collegiate course and life of close application to study.  He was a cousin of Tom Marshall and grandson of Chief Justice Marshall.  His maternal relations were noted for their talent, as his mother was a sister to James G. Birney, who once lived in Huntsville, Ala., and was a candidate for President of the United States in 1844.  J. Birney Marshall, whose sad death we have just announced, was a regular graduate.  When a boy, his mind was quick, sprightly and retentive, and he graduate at an early age with the highest honors.  He commenced business life at Louisville Ky, as clerk in one of the courts over which a relation presided. (His father's court perhaps?)  He was soon transferred from this position to cashier in one of the Louisville banks.  During the meantime Mr. Marshall had been studious in his reading, and had displayed great literary taste, and soon connected himself with the press at Louisville.

Many years ago he published the Louisville City Gazette, and had a flourishing printing establishment, since which time he has been a regular contributor to the literature of the South and West.  After many years' residence in Louisville, and connection with the Times and other papers, he removed to Columbus Ohio and was connected with the Statesman while Sam Medary was Governor of Kansas.  he was next employed upon the Cincinnati Enquirer as one of its editors.  Mr. Marshall removed to New Orleans in 1856, where he was prominent in literary circles, and the companion and associate of such men as S.S. Prentiss and Pierre Soute; and upon the memorable visit of Henry Clay to New Orleans, J.B. Marshall was the first person the great statesman of Ashland inquired for.  Mr. Marshall was connected with the press of New Orleans for many years, and had the confidence and friendship of Dennis Corcoran, of the Delta, and Lumsden & Kendall, of the Picayne.  During the war Mr. Marshall was engaged in literary pursuits at Vicksburg.  After the close of the war he was associated with our fellow-citizen Captain James O. Durff at Cairo.  He removed to this city in 1865, and has been an occasional contributor to the Memphis press ever since.

Previous to the war, we should have stated, Colonel Marshall was the editor of a Southern Magazine published by Hutton & Freligh, in Memphis.  After the war, for a time, after the death of the lamented McClanahan, whose tragic fate was similar and almost identical, Colonel Marshall was the political editor of the Appeal.  With a change of proprietors, however, his services were transferred elsewhere.  for some time past he has been associated with the Ledger, but it was not until the enlargement of the paper, last week, that he was regularly engaged.  he excelled both as a literary and political writer.  His style was clear, chaste and smooth, yet incisive, aggressive and vigorous.  Few men possessed such a facility of expression and happy command of language at once simple and elegant.  his powers of memory were remarkable.  his reading had been extensive in every branch of literature, and he could on the instant repeat the best passages of works he had not read for ten, twenty or thirty years.  In his manners he was always unobtrusive, dignified and easy. He had a genial warmth of heart apparent in his writings, both of prose and poetry, which was also felt by all in his presence. he possessed rare charity for the world, and was gentle as a child; it is not likely that he ever wilfully wronged a human being in his life.  His literary attainments were not excelled perhaps by any member of the press in the South.  His accomplishments, and his worth as a journalist, have ever been acknowledged by all the members of the city press, and he has always been treated with the deference and marks of respect due one of his age and position.

The funeral took place to-day, and was attended by the newspaper fraternity, members of the Typographical Union, and many friends who knew and respected him.  The remains were escorted to the Louisville depot and forwarded to Lexington Ky.  He is survived by one son and a daughter, who reside at or near Lexington. 

Captain Frank L. James, of the Appeal, and Mr. Michael Nealis left on the one o'clock train in charge of the remains.

The Memphis Avalanche reported his death on September 9 1870:

Shocking Occurrence - Col. James Birney Marshall Killed by a Fall from a Window
On Sunday morning out citizens were again startled by the announcement that Colonel James Birney Marshall had been killed by falling from the window of his room, which was located in the second story of the old Post Office Building.  At what time he fell it is difficult to say, as his body was found by officers Neil and Duffy, at an early hour in the morning.  From all appearances he had been lying there for some time.  His right arm was broken and the hand considerably mashed as if he had put it out in order to break the fall.  A jury of inquest was summoned, and a verdict rendered in accordance with the above facts.

The deceased was aged about sixty years.  He was a native of Kentucky, and brother of Gen. Humphrey
Memphis Daily Appeal
January 15 1862
advert for
Passmore, Lide and Marshall
Marshall.  He first published a paper at Louisville, called the City Gazette.  Afterward he was editorially connected with the Ohio Statesman, published at Columbus.  he was next employed upon the Cincinnati Enquirer, in similar capacity.  Going to New Orleans, he became connected with the Delta and Picayune.  At the close of the war he went to Cairo and engaged in the publication of the Daily News, then published in that city.  His first appearance in Memphis was in the summer of 1861.  he wrote occasionally for different papers and in a few months went into the real estate business in conjunction with Mr. O.H. Lide and Mr. Passmore.  The firm was Passmore, Lide & Marshall, and continued until sometime in 1862.  Colonel Marshall left Memphis and returned to Cincinnati soon after Federal occupation in 1862 and engaged in the Cairo newspaper enterprise.  He returned to Memphis in 1866, since which time he has seldom been out of the city.

Colonel Marshall was one of the veterans of the press, having been engaged in editorial and literary pursuits perhaps thirty-five years.  He possessed abilities of a high order, and a superior education.  His writing revealed both intellect and cultivation, strengthened by good judgment and had he applied himself as assiduously  to producing results as to acquiring the knowledge necessary for them, no eminence in his vocation would have been beyond his reach.

He had a large number of friends, and few, if any, enemies.  No one who knew him will learn of his death without sorrow.  His remains were attended to the Memphis and Louisville depot by members of the press, Typographical Union and other friends and were forwarded yesterday afternoon, to Frankfort, Ky.,  for interment, in charge of Captain F.L. James and Mr. M. Nealis.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rev. Lemuel C. Ransom, Licensed to Preach

Lemuel "Lem" C. Ransom was born in Williamson County Tennessee in 1831 to Athelston Ransom and Elizabeth Clark.  At a young age he professed his religion, joining the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1844.  The next year he was baptized.  In the following years he found his calling to preach but being from a poor family he didn't have the education that he felt was necessary to become a preacher.  In order to achieve his goal he continued working along side his father in the fields and at night would study by candlelight.  In 1849 he entered Motley Academy and in October 1850 he received his license to preach. He next entered Cumberland University at Lebanon.  In April 1855 he was ordained and in June 1855 he graduated from Cumberland.   His first preaching assignment was in Selma Alabama where he spent several years.  He didn't neglect his personal life and in 1858 married Priscilla Mayes Ridgeway.  The couple were blessed with several children.  

In 1860 he took charge of the St Louis Cumberland Presbyterian Church and that's where he was preaching when the Civil War broke out.  He left St. Louis and went south where he joined the 20th Ala Inf, Confederate States Army, as their Chaplain.  In 1863, he resigned from the army and went back to Alabama to preach.  In 1866 he was assigned to the church at Murfreesboro, Tennessee and just two years later he became the preacher at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Memphis where he stayed until his death in 1874.  He ministered to many during that time and was of great service during the 1873 yellow fever epidemic.  Rev. George Tucker Stainback said during Ransom's time in Memphis "he had preached 642 sermons, attended 132 funerals, baptized 154 persons, married 64 couples and made 3987 pastoral visits having made over 1000 in 1870."  

It is a tribute to Rev. Ransom that so many distinguished preachers in their own right and from their own denominations participated in his funeral service.  Rev. Stainback, mispelled Steinback in the obituary, would become well known as the man who brought Nathan Bedford Forrest to God and preached his funeral. Rev. Sylvanus Landrum of the Central Baptist Church was well known for his service to the city during the yellow fever epidemics, losing two sons to yellow fever in 1878.   Rev. E.C. Slater was the minister of the Central Methodist Church and was considered a martyr during the yellow fever epidemics, succumbing to the fever in 1878.  Several other preachers occupied seats near the pulpit.

Rev. Ransom was interred at Elmwood Cemetery.  After his death, his wife Priscilla, moved to Nashville where she died in 1909.  It says a lot about her devotion to her husband that on her death certificate her occupation was listed as "Pastor's Wife" even though Lemuel Ransom had been dead for 25 years.  Priscilla is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Nashville.

Memphis Daily Appeal
October 24 1874
Yesterday morning the funeral of Rev. L.C. Ransom, the lamented pastor of the First Cumberland Presbyterian church, whose death has filled the hearts of the entire community with grief and regret, took lace.  The whole congregation, besides many persons of other churches and ministers of other denominations, assembled at the Cumberland church to testify their sorrow and their lament for the loved pastor, who had been called from earth in the prime of life and in the midst of a ministerial labor no less splendid in earnest faith and beautiful christianity than in the good results and great triumphs that characterized his efforts.  The interior of the church was draped in mourning, as was also the pulpit, in front of which the coffin was placed.  Rev. Dr. Sylvanus Landrum, of the Central Baptist church, Rev. Dr. E.C. Slater, of the Central Methodist church, Rev. W.E. Boggs, of the Second Presbyterian church, Rev. E. B. Surratt, of the First Methodist church, Rev. L.C. Taylor, of the Chelsea Cumberland Presbyterian church, Rev. J.C. Hook, Rev. G.A. Lofton, of the First Baptist church, Rev. Dr. J.O. Steadman, of the Alabama street Presbyterian church, Rev. W.D. Mayfield and Rev. Dr. George Tucker Steinback occupied seats in the pulpit.  

Rev. Mr. Surratt opened the Funeral Service by reading the hymn "Asleep in Jesus," which was then sung by the choir.  Ref. Mr. Lofton next read passages of scripture from the fourth and fifth chapters of Second Corinthians, and was followed in prayer by Rev. Mr. Boggs.  The choir then sung the first, fourth, fifth and sixth stanzas of hymn 671, as follows:

Now let our mourning hearts revive,
  And all our tears be dry;
Why should those eyes be drowned in grief,
  That view a Saviour night?

The eternal shepherd still survives,
  New comfort to impart;
His eye still guides us, and His voice
  Still animates our heart.

"Lo! I am with you," saith the Lord,
  Your safeguard and your guide;
"Your Saviour still and happy they
  Who in My love confide!"

Through every scene of life and death
  This promise is our trust;
And this shall be our children's song
  When we are cold in dust.

Rev. Dr. Steinback then delivered the funeral sermon.  He said that never in all the duties of his life had he discharged a duty so sad as this one, when he was about to pronounce the funeral sermon of the dearest friend on earth.  He was afraid his feelings would run riot over his judgment in the attempted discharge of this melancholy duty, and that he would be unable to discharge the important trust satisfactorily to himself and profitably to the audience.  He asked the aid of their prayers of grace in his efforts, and that the solemnity of the services would be sanctified to God.  He then read as the text for his sermon forty-sixth verse, first chapter St. John: "And Nathaniel said unto him: Can there any good things come out of Nazareth?  Philip saith unto him: Come and see."  It was only when we would elimenate (sic) in the life of a man some great truth, some great principle that may be potential in forming our character and worthy of our emulation that a contemplation of their lives was of good to them.  He thought it better and more conducive of good and interest to sketch the character of the deceased brother than to preach a funeral sermon, in the common meaning of that term, upon such an occasion.  There was not perhaps any passage in the scriptutres more expressive of the deceased brother's character than the one he had quoted--"Come and see." 

Rev. L.C. Ransom was born in Williamson county, Tennessee, October 21, 1831, and died in this city at ten o'clock last Wednesday, October 21, 1874.  At a camp-meeting at Jackson Ridge, in his native county, October, 1844, he made a profession of religion and joined the Cumberland Presbyterian church; and in 1845 was baptized by Rev. W.N. Finney.  Shortly after that he was impressed with a desire to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He had a struggle between what he considered his duty (to preach the gospel) and the fear of trusting himself to the sacred position without being called by God.  The struggle with himself in his desire to serve God was a struggle which the servants of God often have and are prepared to appreciate. This struggle lasted three years, but in 1848 he settled the question by devoting himself to the gospel ministry. October 7, 1848, he was received as a probationer, under the care of the elder presbytery.  He, however, felt himself totally insufficient for the discharge of the important trust God had now put upon him.  He was poor, and his parents were unable to give him the education which he deemed necessary.  Not deterred by this, however, he worked side by side with his father, tilled the fields, assisted his parents, and when the evening shades would come, this young man, with his eye singled out to the important task to which his God had called him, lit his torch and studied the work assigned him by the presbytery.  In November 1849, he entered Motley Academy, Marshall County, Tennessee, under the tuition of Rev. N.B. Motley, for whom he ever cherished the deepest affection.  In his journal he speaks of this teacher in grateful terms, and to his pious teachings attributes all the good and noble qualities that he may possess.  On the seventh of October, 1850, he was licensed to preach, and was advised to enter the work immediately and devote himself fully to the work of the ministry.  They said to him:  "go!-preach Christ, never mind the school now."  This, however, he did not do, for he thought he must prepare himself.  He attempted to enter an academy in the neighborhood; he failed, but does not give the reason.  We are left to infer that he did not have the means. Not discouraged, however, but determined to go forward and acquire the literary knowledge he deemed necessary, he succeeded through the kindness of a friend in entering Cumberland university, at Lebanon, and was there graduated.  While a student there he had charge of two neighboring country churches.  In April, 1855, he was ordained, and in June, 1855, he was graduated with honor, and immediately went south on a missionary tour, preaching to the destitute churches in Alabama.  On February 6, 1856 we find him in his first charge at Selma, Alabama, where he remained two years as a faithful laborer.  In 1860 he took charge of the St. Louis Cumberland Presbyterian church, which, at that time, was involved, and the property subsequently lost to its congregation.  There he labored earnestly, with the prospects of final success, which was prevented by the war.  Leaving St. Louis, he became chaplain of the twentieth regiment of Alabama volunteers, Confederates States army.  In that connection they labored and preached together to those brave boys who went down to the grave in defense of what they deemed a righteous and sacred cause.  While in that capacity, his labors were abundantly blessed.  They should have seen him at Vicksburg standing fearless amid the hissing of shell and the roar of cannon, he preached to the soldiers, and through his instrumentality many brave men were brought from darkness to light, and from the powers of Satan to God.  In 1863 he resigned as chaplain, and went to Selma, where he took charge of a church, and at the same time edited the Southern Observer with zeal and ability.  In 1866 he took charge of the Presbyterian church at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and labored there two years with signal ability and success.  In January, 1868, he became pastor of this, the First Cumberland Presbyterian church of Memphis, whose pulpit was draped in mourning, and lamenting the death of the beloved Davis.  A laborer, a worker in all the important trusts, subserving the interests of his Master's kingdom in all the relations of life, Ref. L.C. Ransom was true and faithful, as a son, a brother, a father, a friend, a patriot.  In all these different relations of life he met the full measure of a man, and conducted himself nobly and faithfully.  Above all, he was faithful to his God and to the immortality of his soul.  In these, the nobler and higher attributes, must be seen the greatness of the man. Of exalted piety, full of christian zeal and of the holy ghost, he was one whose soul could not rest in form or ceremony, but sought rest in the spirituality of God.  Ritualism had no place for him; he had no use for ceremonies and form, but looked through them and sought communion with God.  Religion was to him a grand principle that had its source in God, and form and ceremony found no lodgment in his heart.  His spirit held sacred communion with God, and this was the secret of his success and his devotion.  He was never idle, but always stimulated with faith, and labored earnestly in the cause of Christ.  Meek and lowly like his Saviour, he had taken the yoke on his shoulder and found rest at the foot of the cross.  The congregation might that day be baptized in the same spirit.  Whilst meek and lowly in heart. he was brave and fearless in duty.  No craven heart was beating in his bosom, and he was ever ready to stand up for Jesus, to give his reasons for his hope in Him and to advocate his Master's cause, irrespective of any and all surroundings.  He was a true christian--of great faith, that never wilted, but soared above earth and took hold on God under all surroundings.  Dr. Steinback then spoke of the faith in God which he manifested during the yellow-fever of last year.  He was not astonished that he was dead; up to the time he came here he had preached 1801 sermons and baptized 105 persons.  During his pastorage in Memphis he had preached 642 sermons, attended 132 funerals, baptized 154 persons, married 64 couples and made 3987 pastoral visits having made over 1000 in 1870. This was exclusive of other work.  He had attended every prayer-meeting and Sunday-school, and association. What a remarkable worker was he, considering his frail constitution.  He was a man full of labor to have made these pastoral visits, to bestir himself so zealously for the good of his flock--what a laborious life has this man of God spent among you in Memphis--this work caused his death. One cold, cheerless night last winter a young man, who was on his supposed deathbed, sent for this man of God, who was then confined to his couch with a severe cold.  When the messenger came for him at the midnight he said "I must go."  She who mourns him now so deeply said he must not go.  But he went out into the dark and cheerless night, and since then he was never well.  The death of such a man is a public calamity. Memphis has in his death lost a valuable man.  He went about relieving the poor and the distressed.  This man of God endeavored by all within his power to teach the people of Memphis the highest principles of virtue, morality and religion--and would that Memphis had a thousand such men.  This church felt the loss most severely--surely did it seem that this church had been afflicted.  Did they remember Brother Donnell, who years ago organized that church--not the present building, but an old house?  Brother Donnell had long gone to a better land, and he saw present in the audience but one who was in that organization.  Then there was Porter, the erudite and his encourager, who was sacrificed by yellow fever.  Next there was the saintly, persuasive Bryan.  Then came that man of God, the peerless Davis, whose energy and zeal had built the house; and he, too, was sacrificed.  No wonder the church was draped in mourning, the pulpit festooned in crape, and the hearts of the congregation bowed down in sorrow, for she had suffered a great and another loss.  but these humble and faithful men of God had not died in vain.  In Brother Ransom's death the ministers have also sustained a loss, and they would miss him when they came together; they would miss his advice and his wisdom.  He has gone, but gone to his God, and they would there meet him.  Was the loss hopeless? Was it irreparable? God did all things wisely, and they should bow to his will. Let us emulate his noble, christian faith and life, and 

"So live, that when our summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan that moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
We go not, like the quarry slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon; but sustain'd and sooth'd
By an unfaltering trust, approach the grave 
Like one that draws the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."

Dr. Steinback's sermon was eloquent, fervid and impressive, there being scarcely a dry eye in the audience when he concluded.

Rev. Dr. Slater, of the Central Methodist church, then made a short address, in which he spoke of the virtues, the faith, and the christian meekness and piety of the deceased.  He knew him in early life, when quite a boy.  A better man he never knew.  He was without pretension, and in five years he had never heard him utter anything but what was seasoned with grace.  His whole ambition seemed to glorify his God.  He had left a rich legacy to this church. All their ministers had gone to heaven.  He lives, and will forever in the hearts of all.

Dr. Slater was followed by 

Rev. Dr. Landrum, of the Central Baptist church, who said he as well as others had lost a friend--not only a friend, but a christian.  Three years acquaintance endeared him to his heart.  He was among the first he met in Memphis, and their friendship grew all the warmer.  He alluded to the meetings of the ministers, and the great work the deceased brother had done.  The ministers in the different associations owed much to this clear, practical man.  No better a representative was among them of the symbol Jesus gave when he said: "unless ye become as little children ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven."  He longed for the salvation of the people and believed in revivals.  His long heart's desire was the salvation of the people of Memphis. They would at the winter evening meetings miss the form of him who, by song, prayer and exhortation contributed so much to their meetings.  A child once, seeing the wooden props removed from under a bridge, asked his father if it would not fall.  He told him no, but that the props were removed so as to let the bridge rest on its foundation of stone.  As the props were removed from under the church, he hoped the members, would come to rest it on the solid foundations of God's great stonework. He read of an island in the sea whose men ventured in little boats far out into the ocean.  But their return was not always safe and easy; for often the fog and mist would settle on the waters, and hide the land, yet their wives and children would come down to the shore and sing aloud, so that the wanderers could know in what direction to steer their boats.  And now glad songs were singing by the band on the shore of the other world to them enveloped in the cheerless midst of this world.  he hoped they would take courage and have faith to reach the land whose songs were heard in the darkness of grief and sorrow.

At the conclusion of Dr. Landrum's remarks, the many persons present ook a last look at the loved form of him whose death has caused general sorrow in this community.  A hymn was then sung, and the coffin, followed by a long train of mourning friends, was borne to Elmwood cemetery, where the burial services were concluded by Rev. L.C. Taylor, and then the remains were hid away in a quiet grave, and the clods rattled coldly above the lvoed form of the pure and the pious man.  A last prayer was made, and he was left to sleep the dreamless sleep of the grave, and sorrowing friends retired from the sacred spot with sad memories that will linger long in their hearts and blossom in the coming years with affection and gratitude for the lamented pastor.
Originally posted in the Memphis Daily Appeal October 24 1874

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Death of a Soldier, June 1861

Artwork from the Memphis Daily Appeal, 1861
On June 22, 1861, Memphis had its first funeral procession in accordance to "full and strict military forms". The deceased soldier was Logan Burton.

In the 1850 Census Logan Burton is living in Laurel Kentucky with his parents Ellis and Julia Burton and a host of siblings.  By 1860 his mother Julia has disappeared from the Census and the family is living in Pulaski Kentucky. The Kentucky enumeration is dated July 1860.   Burton also appears in the 1860 Census for Memphis dated August 1860.  His occupation is listed as farmer and his year of birth is listed as 1839.  The Memphis Census shows he is a native of Kentucky.

The Memphis Daily Appeal newspaper account indicates he was a member of the Secession Guards, 7th Tennessee under Capt. John H. Morgan.  Military records differ a bit.  The Secession Guards Co. C were formed in Shelby County and Logan Burton joined that company.  The Guards became a part of the 13th Infantry, not the 7th as had been reported, which was formed in June 1861.  

The Secession Guards had been at Fort Wright (Randolph, TN) where Burton fell ill.  The Company boarded the steamer Ingomar,which was headed to Memphis.  Logan Burton died enroute of "congestive chills".  The Military records say it was Typhoid Fever.

Once the Ingomar docked at Memphis the body was removed and given the first full military escort in the city to the Gayoso Hotel.  His flag draped coffin was escorted by four regiments.  At this time, it is unknown where the mortal remains of Logan Burton were laid to rest.  

The following account relates the events surrounding the death of Logan Burton.

Death of a Soldier--As the Ingomar was on its way to the city yesterday, one of the soldiers died; we give below the proceedings on that occasion, on the part of the military on board. On reaching the city a funeral cortege was formed, and the body was carried to the Gayoso.  This cortege was the first funeral procession ever martialed in Memphis according to full and strict military forms.  The procession included officers representing each of the four regiments now at Randolph. The flag in which the coffin was enshrouded was furnished by Captain Clarke of the Ingomar.  The body lay in state at the Gayoso, a guard was mounted in the room beside the coffin during the whole night.  The following is a statement of the proceedings on board the Ingomar:

Steamer Ingomar, June 22, 1861.

Logan Burton, a private in Capt. J.H. Morgan's company 7th regiment Tennessee volunteers, died since the steamer Ingomar left Fort Wright from congestive chill.  The officers and soldiers of the brigade, passengers upon the steamer, immediately called a meeting, for the purpose of paying their respects to the deceased. Capt. J.L. Granberry, of the 7th regiment, was called to the chair, and Capt. Dyer, of the same regiment was appointed secretary.  On motion, Capt. J.J. Keller, Lieut. A.S. Curry, and Surgeon J.A. Forbes, were appointed a committee to draft resolutions, who reported the following:

Whereas, It has pleased Almighty God to summons from us our brother in arms, Logan Burton, a worthy and gallant soldier, and member of Capt. Morgan's company in the 7th regiment; therefore be it

Resolved, That we tender our condolence to the family and friends of our deceased fellow-soldier, and that we deeply sympathize with the members of his company and the 7th regiment in their loss.

Resolved, That in the death of Mr. Burton, the service has lost a true and gallant soldier, the company and regiment to which he was attached, a faithful member.

Resolved, That we, the officers and soldiers, who are passengers upon the Ingomar, will escort the remains of our deceased fellow-soldier, from the steamer to the Gayoso House, Captain Brannan commanding, until suitable arrangements be made for his interment.

The committee would report that the deceased was a native of Kentucky, about twenty-two years of age, but for some time past a resident of Shelby county, Tenn., and when a call was made to uphold the honor of the South, he joined the Secession Guards commanded by Captain J.H. Morgan.  All of which is submitted.

The Committee.
Originally posted in the Memphis Daily Appeal, June 23, 1861.