As many of my fellow taphophiles (cemetery enthusiasts) can attest, road trips mean stopping by at least one cemetery. If we have time (and an understanding partner), we try to sneak in more.
Last October, my husband invited me to join him as he attended a retreat of his alma mater Oglethorpe University’s board of trustees. The retreat was held at the Lodge and Spa at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga., about 75 miles southwest of Atlanta.
The Callaway Gardens/Warm Springs area holds special memories for me. My family moved to Georgia in 1973. When family from Ohio would come to visit us, we inevitably took them to Callaway Gardens or the Little White House at nearby Roosevelt State Park. I have many pictures of picnics with family, visits to the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel. I had a chance to revisit it on this trip!
Several retreat attendees talked about getting a massage at the spa but I knew I’d enjoy a cemetery hop more (as would my wallet). While my husband was in a meeting, I headed to Chipley Cemetery for an hour or so.
The town of Chipley was incorporated in 1882 following the extension of the Columbus and Rome Railroad a mile north of the village of Hood. Hood was renamed Chipley after Col. William Dudley Chipley, a partner in promotion of the railroad. Col. Chipley is buried in Linwood Cemetery in Columbus, Ga. The name was changed again in 1958 to Pine Mountain when Callaway Gardens opened.
Many locals still call the cemetery by its old name, Chipley Cemetery, but these days it is also referred to as Pine Mountain Cemetery. According to Find a Grave, Chipley Cemetery has around 1,300 burials. I suspect there are a number of unmarked graves there as well. It’s not far from Main Street, tucked away off the beaten path.
Below is a picture of the Leslie family plot, with only three marked graves. There may be more but unmarked.
The Leslie plot interested me more for the iron fence around it than the actual people buried there, I admit. While not in the best condition, it excited me because it was made by the Cincinnati-based Stewart Iron Works. I’ve featured this company in this blog before. They were known throughout the country for their fine work.
Not far from the Leslie plot is the Dunlap family plot, which also has a Stewart Iron Works fence around it.
The oldest son of Joseph T. Dunlap and Rebecca Hamilton Dunlap, Walter Fain Dunlap was a farmer in Meriwether County. He married Rosamond Dillard in 1904.
Sadly, many of their children would die in infancy. Four Dunlap children died between 1906 and 1913. Two of their children, Mary and Fay, would live past infancy. Fay married and move to Ohio, dying in 1997. I could not trace Mary past her teen years.
I’m always intrigued by what people did for a living. Walter pursued farming like his father until the 1930s. Since the Great Depression made farming a very difficult existence, many turned to other careers and Walter was one of them. He is listed in both the 1930 and 1940 U.S. Census records as a traveling art salesman.
This puzzled me at first until I saw that in 1940 he was a calendar salesman for the Gerlach Barklow Company of Joliet, Ill. When the company started in 1907, there was no way to mass produce color prints so each had to hand-tinted by employees. Much of the artwork on the calendars was produced by local artists, many of whom were women. Gerlach Barklow calendars were often purchased by businesses to be given to their important customers as gifts. The company closed in 1971.
Nearby was a marker for Nancy Eliza Houston, who died at the age of 19. I don’t know what the cause was. She was the daughter of James O’Neal Houston and Nancy Jane Kimbrough Houston.
Despite the fact she lived a short life, she made an impact on those around her. Her Find a Grave online memorial has a note from a woman named Judy Jackson who wrote: “I went to school with Nan and knew her since we were small. She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.”
John Willis Crawford saw a great deal in his life as a blacksmith in Chipley. Born in 1847, he married Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Barnhart (only 15 at the time) in 1870 and together they had at least seven children. He served in the Confederate Army in Georgia’s Third Cavalry Regiment.
John died in 1930 at the age of 83 and is buried beside some of his children. His marker was made by hand. There is no marker at Chipley for his wife, Betty, who died in 1933. She may be in an unmarked grave or buried elsewhere.
The grave of dentist Dr. Thomas Penhallegon intrigued me because it was by itself next to the back fence, not close to the other graves. He didn’t spend much time in Chipley at all but his life had more twists and turns than a soap opera.
Born in Calumet, Mich., Thomas he got his dental degree from the Chicago College of Dental Surgery in 1902. He married Rose Wood in 1905 in Traverse City, Mich.
Rose and Thomas moved to Oregon and in 1912, he took his board exams to become a dentist in Salem, Ore. In 1914, he and a fellow dentist sued their employer, Edgar Parker, as the result of alleged injuries sustained from the use of “hydrocane,” a dental anesthetic. Both claimed they had to quit working because of their injuries. This may be why city directories note that Thomas turned to real estate as vice president of the Warrenton-Astoria Townsite Co. in Portland, Ore.
By World War I, Thomas had left Oregon for Cartersville, Ga. working as a superintendent at the Republic Iron & Steel Co. In 1919, Rose and Thomas officially divorced and in 1920, he married a Frenchwoman named Marie “May” Helm. They lived in Atlanta and he opened One Price Dental.
Rose is listed in the 1920 Census in Yakima, Wash. as a widow but living with a “parnter” named David Dodge. I have never seen this term used in census records so early. Business directories list her as “secretary treasurer” of the Warrenton-Astoria Townsite Co.
A 1914 newspaper ad (shown above) lists David Dodge as manager of their Portland office, and the 1914 business diretory lists him as married to a woman named Leona. I can only guess that Rose left Thomas for David Dodge, who left his wife for Rose. By 1930, Rose had married David Dodge and they were living in Los Angeles, Calif. She died in 1958.
In the late 1920s, Thomas and May moved to Birmingham, Ala. to help one of Thomas’ relatives who owned a foundry and cement coloring company. They remained there until the mid 1930s when they returned to Atlanta. They moved to Chipley at some point after 1935 and Thomas worked as a dentist there until his death in 1940. If May is buried with him, she has no marker.
I photographed the markers for two brothers, Willis and James Garner. I noticed that they had died within days of each other in 1895.
The parents of Robin and James were John Sledge Gardner and Althea Marion Collins Garner. They lived in a little town called Rough Edge in nearby Troup County. The couple had several children, with Robin and James being the second and third.
Althea died on January 2, 1896, only a 13 days after James. She is buried at Bass Family Cemetery in Troup County. I’m not sure why James and Robin are not buried with her. It looks like they may have all succumbed to the same illness.
It appears that John and the younger children moved to Alabama soon after but I don’t know what happened to them. A family tree on Ancestry says John died in 1905 but he is not on Find a Grave.
I did discover that eldest Garner son, John, ended up moving to Ocilla, Ga. and marrying a woman named Hazel. They named two of their sons after John’s brothers, Willis and Robin. They must have meant a great deal to John.
If I’d had more time, I would have explored more of Chipley Cemetery but I only saw about 65 percent of it. But I know I’ll be back to visit Callaway and Chipley someday. I think it has more stories I need to uncover.