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Smallpox Cemetery, Macon Co., Georgia
 
AKA Silent Cemetery
 
Smallpox Cemetery (Silent Cemetery)
(original burying ground of the Indians, later used as a city cemetery)
Located between the railroads in Oglethorpe near the river.
 
 
There is only one marker left. Numerous people were buried in this cemetery. Best guesses on those buried in the cemetery from the book 'History of Macon County Georgia' by Louise Frederick Hays
 
 
Mrs. Josiah [Mary] Moody, Sr. -grandmother of Mrs. Mary Bethia Moody English
b. abt. 1798, d. 1858

James 'Jimmy' Williams
b. c. 1832 - d. 1858
-brother of Richmond B. Williams b. 1832- d.1896; and a great uncle of C. T. Harden
[no other WILLIAMS family members afflicted]

Elizabeth, consort of Wm. Robinson
d. 11 Jun 1851 (Smallpox epidemic estimated as 1858, this burial is earlier)

Change note: The Reverend P. L. J. May family was incorrectly reported to have succumbed to smallpox during the epidemic in the Macon County history book as cited below. Correspondence with W. L. May on 31 Dec 2004 is as follows:

"The History of Macon County Georgia is in error as to the deaths of Rev. P. L. J. May and his family in 1858 due to smallpox. He and his family are in Fulton Co Ga 1860; Floyd Co Ga in 1870 and 1880. His first wife, Mary, died in Oglethorpe Ga Feb 10, 1853." [For incorrect book passage, see below HMCG page 181]

 
reference:
HMCG - History of Macon County Georgia: page 181
"...the town was ravaged by an epidemic of smallpox which caused the death of a large number of its citizens. The first to take this dreaded disease was Rev. May, the local Methodist minister. Consternation was spread when it became known that somewhere in this preacher's itinerary he had contacted smallpox, a virulant type. He died, but not before others had taken it. He was carried out into the stillness of the night and buried in the silent cemetery (this cemetery was the original burying ground of the Indians), since known as the Smallpox Cemetery. This place which in the palmy days was used as a city cemetery, was abandoned now only for people who died with this disease. Rev. May's entire family suffered a similar fate. Mrs. Moody, grandmother of Mrs. Bethia English, one of Oglethorpe's grand old citizens, was also buried in the Smallpox Cemetery. James Williams, a great uncle of C. T. Harden, who was kindhearted and fearless, helped to bury many, but finally succumbed himself and is buried there."
 
HMCG: page 660-661
R. B. William 1832-1896
By Mary Belle Powers

R. B. Williams was born in Virginia, August 9, 1832. He and his brother, James, left Virginia and came to Oglethorpe at an early date. These brothers proved to be a blessing to this community during the smallpox epidemic. Being kindhearted and helpful they found ample work to do. Every night they busied themselves in burying those who had died with smallpox during the day, but one day, Jimmie, as the younger brother was called, fell ill with the dreaded disease, weakened by work and exposure, he was not able to overcome, and in a few nights he was carried out in its stillness, and placed beside the ones he had helped to bury. Richmond, as a the older brother was called, escaped the disease and continued to help as he strongly believed; "Duties are ours, events are God's"
A short time after coming to Oglethorpe, he married Miss Jane McKenzie, daughter of Hardy McKenzie and Charlotte Greer McKenzie. To this union were born nine children: Jimmie, Charlotte, Mamie, Bartow, Ada, Calvin, Will, Alice, and Austin. The first three named were born before the Civil War. The husband and father left them as well provided for as he could, and served through the war. They lived during this period between Oglethorpe and Andersonville, on the place now known as Sidney Lee place. A negro slave girl whom Mrs. Williams' mother had given her was the only help and protection she had. One day a prisoner escaped from Andersonville prison, and stopped at Mrs. Williams' and begged for something to eat. She fed him, and on leaving she gave him the last ham in her smokehouse. Another time a Yankee appeared at her door and asked her for a night's lodging. It was a very cold night, and the sleet was falling fast, so she told him he might sleep in the crib. She locked him up for safe keeping until the next A.M. She gave him breakfast and urged him to return to the prison at Andersonville.
When her husband returned from the war, he found her still carrying on-a true woman of the south. He joined her and very soon they were hard to work. It is said of this couple that they never failed to help the needy, and to relieve sorrow and suffering as far as possible. They lived to see their children all grown. (story continues with children's names and spouses, etc. Page 661, HMCG by Hays)

 
HMCG: page 476
Smallpox Cemetery
Mrs. Moody, grandmother of Mrs. Mary Bethia Moody English, one of the oldest residents of the county, now 89.
Jimmie Williams
Elizabeth, consort of Wm. Robinson, died 11 Jun 1851
 
Other:

p181
Smallpox Cem
James Williams, a great uncle of C. T. Harden, who was kindhearted and fearless, helped to bury many, but finally succumbed himself and is buried there.

pg. 325 HMCG by Hays
"Mrs. Charlotte Greer McKenzie was Mrs. Allen Perry's grandmother, and a great-grandmother of C.T. Harden of Oglethorpe and Mrs. J. W. McKenzie of Montezuma, and an aunt of Judge R. L. Greer, Dr. C. A. Greer, and Mrs. Susie Greer Sutton of Oglethorpe.


     
     
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