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GEORGE GAFFORD BLAU

1873-1957

                At Age 70 - January, 1944                                                 About 1888        

George Gafford Blau was born on December 26, 1873 in Girard, Russell County Alabama. It may only be coincidence that his first name is the same as his great-great grandfather. It appears likely he was named after a friend of his father. There was a George Gafford who was a sign painter (same occupation as his father) in Columbus and Girard, and who died August 3, 1879. As a child he attended school. He began working at Golden's Foundry in Columbus, Muscogee County, at age 15 in 1888 as a machinist. The foundry was owned by his brother-in-law, John Poitevent Golden. In 1893 he was a member of the Dixie Brass Band of Columbus:

George Blau in center

"A NEW BRASS BAND.

The Dixie Brass Band of Columbus is the name of the latest musical organization. It is at present located in Girard, and is composed chiefly of young men living across the river. Last night they complimented the Enquirer-Sun office with a delightful serenada. The young men composing the band are...Richard Blau, cornet,...George Blau, baratone,...and Martin Blau, snare drum."

(Columbus Enquirer-Sun, February 75, 1893)

He met Ola Castleberry of Cusseta, Chattahoochee County, and carried on a romance by mail. They were married in Cusseta on January 24, 1894 (Chattahoochee Marriage Book A, p 438). In 1896 they lived at 1324 4th Avenue in Columbus. By 1900 they moved to 1110 11th Avenue. From 1902-1908 they lived at 1728 18th Avenue. In 1910 they moved to 643 20th Avenue. The 1910 Census (ED 112 sheet 12) shows Ola's mother, age 67, in their home. She began living with them shortly after Ola's father died. In 1918 they moved to 1945 Oak Avenue. The 1923 City Directory shows him as assistant foreman at Golden's Foundry. In 1928 they moved to 1945 7th Avenue. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on January 24, 1944 (Columbus Enquirer, January 25, 1944, p 8). He started work at Golden's Foundry when he was 14 and worked 58 years as a machinist and supervisor, retiring at age 72 on April 15, 1946. He was well known in Columbus and when he would go down town to walk he could not go a block without meeting several friends. He was characterized by his brother, Charlie Blau, as "the only gentleman in the Blau family." He was not the only gentleman but he was a man of gentleness and kindness. They were both active members of Rose Hill Methodist Church.

50th Wedding Anniversary 1944

Ola Castleberry Blau was also well known in Columbus. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and was active in civic affairs. She traced her ancestry for DAR purposes through her mother to Alexander Carswell, apparently not having the knowledge that her great grandfather, John Castleberry, also served in the Revolutionary War. She died on March 13, 1950 at age 74. Her death was reported on the front page of the Columbus Enquirer on March 15. She was buried in the Blau family plot at Linwood Cemetery.

 

After his wife's death, George Blau remained in Columbus but made frequent visits with his children. He died on February 12, 1957 at age 83. His death was also reported on the front page of the Columbus Enquirer on February 13. He is buried next to his wife. His will was signed September 15, 1947, probated February 15, 1957 (Will Book K, p 227).

 

Their children

1. MABEL ELIZABETH BLAU was born on December 21, 1894 in Cusseta, Chattahoochee County, Georgia; married Luther D. Duffer (born January 2, 1887) on June 3,1916 (Marriage Book S, p 427). Mabel Blau Duffer died March 13, 1986 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and was buried next to her husband, who died January 18, 1972, in College Park, Fulton County, Georgia.

2. TINA BELLE BLAU was born January 2, 1896 in Columbus; married Evan Slider on October 16, 1920 (Marriage Book V, p 128). She died on January 13, 1972 in Lake Worth, Florida.

3. LUCILE GERTRUDE BLAU was born December 6, 1901 in Columbus; married Frank Burton Vardeman on March 19, 1921. She died November 12, 1992.

4. GEORGE GAFFORD BLAU, JR

 born January 31, 1908; married Mary Elese Cornett on September 4, 1931 in Seale, Russell County, Alabama. He was an architect in Atlanta, designing churches, schools, public housing, and houses. His primary work, the Chapel of Peachtree Christian Church, is included in the National Register of Historic Buildings. 

He died on October 18, 1963 in Opelika, Alabama and is buried in Arlington Cemetery in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. Elese Cornett Blau died on October 4, 1987 in Atlanta and is buried at Arlington Cemetery.