|In the Tuesday Morning
edition of the Georgia Telegraph printed in Macon, Georgia on November 4, 1851 this ad appeared:
"Removal Sale. W.B. Hill has removed his entire stock of
Dry Goods, Groceries, etc. from Macon to his store in Oglethorpe,
on Baker Street, oppisite Lewis and Price's Warehouse. Mr. Hill
asks for the same patronage from the citizens of Oglethorpe
that he received while in business in Macon.
Soon after his arrival in Oglethorpe,
Mr. Hill purchased lots on the eastern side of Sumter
Street to build a new home for his wife, Mary and his neice,
Bethia Moody, who resided with them. Mr. Hill set his home back
from the street and framed it with beautiful oak and cedar,
but the cedar tree is hanging with tendrils of ivy, giving to
the house an impressive look of an ante-bellum home. There's
an interesting story told about Mr. Hill's 17 yr. old neice,
Bethia Moody. During the last days of the War Between the States
when Wilson's Raiders of the Union Army were enroute to Macon,
a troop of Union soldiers went into encampment at Buck Creek.
News had come to Oglethorpe that the Union Army was approaching
and the populace buried everything valuable and pieces of silver
they owned to keep them out of the hands of the army stragglers.
The Bunt Hill family buried their valuables.
Mr. Hill was away from his home
and store helping to defend the Southland when the
Union soldiers approached. The Captain demanded that Bethia
get the keys to her Uncle's store and accompany his soldiers
so that they could supply the troops with food. Bethia was
afraid not to do as she was told, so she accompanied them
to the store, unlocked it and stood aside while the soldiers
filled their saddlebags. They then rode out of town to join
Bethia Moody continued to live
with her uncle and aunt in the lovely old home. She
was married three times. Her first husband and child died
in Texas. Her second husband Henry Clay Hill was shot by an
unknown assailant in 1872, just as he was entering a store
downtown. The crime was never solved. Bethia's third husband
was M. English. her descendant, the Kleckly and English families
still reside in Oglethorpe today.
Mrs. Mary Hill died in 1869 followed
by her husband, Bunt Hill in 1883. The next owner of
the house was Mr. J. R. Williams, known as "Mr. Bunk."
He operated a cotton warehouse downtown and every morning
hitched up his old grey horse to the buggy to ride to his
work. He was very fond of small boys and girls, and many afternoons
the old horse and buggy were familiar sights around town filled
to overflowing with as many boys and girls as could stick
Mr. Williams married the former Miss
Louise Noell, of Virginia. To this marriage were born
three children: Roy Williams, Louise Williams and Wilbur Williams,
who died at the age of eight years. Mr. And Mrs. Williams
enjoyed many happy years in the old house. At their deaths,
their daughter, Louise, who was married to Edmund Nelson,
inherited the house. She lived there with Louise her daughter
until her untimely death in 1940. Mr. Nelson was Clerk of
Superior Court of Macon County.
The next owners were Mr. And Mrs. John I. English and son,
Robert. Mr. and Mrs. English made some changes in the house
while they were owners. She kept the dining room windows ablaze
with gaily colored blooming plants. Her house was filled with
antique pieces inherited from her family. She liked to entertain
and many a lazy summer afternoon was spent on the screened
back porch enjoying a tea party with her many friends.
Entering the front porch with its four square white
columns with filigree trim the beauty of the house is enhanced
with perfectly balanced front windows and double wooden front
doors, through which one enters a hall. On the left are the
bedrooms with connecting baths. On the right is the parlor
or living room, with its fireplace at one end. The dining
room has a row of windows facing the east. This is a room
of great dignity with its floor covered in an oriental rug,
beautiful dining room table and chairs and many lovely pieces
of crystal and silver. Visitors are impressed with the 14
foot plastered walls, woodwork and hardwood floors that are
overlaid on two other floors underneath.
Leaving the dining room one enters a roomy and comfortable kitchen. As one passes from
one room to another, there's a feeling that this old ante-bellum
house, built more than a century ago, has been loved and cared
for by every family who lived within its walls.
Mr. and Mrs. Donald S. Wood are the present owners. Although
they are not native to this state, and have only owned the
house a few years, already it has won their hearts. They have
made very few structural changes since they bought the place,
but they have been impressed with the thickness of the heart
pine lumber used in the beams, sills and joists. Mrs. Wood
says if the house had ever been a haunted house, the ghost
would have been a happy ghost, for the house has a happy feeling
that one can sense, when entering into its rooms.
To Mr. and Mrs. Wood, the old ante-bellum
home is everything their hearts desired as a permanent
home, the fulfillment of a dream now realized.