Macon's Old City Cemetery (1825-1840)

The Old City Cemetery in Macon, Georgia was established in 1825 and used by many until 1840. That year marked the opening of Rose Hill Cemetery, a much larger and more beautiful landscape that attracted most Maconites for decades to come.

Today, the city of Macon maintains the grounds of the old cemetery. When I last visited in May of 2009, the grass was pretty and green and not too tall. That didn't hide the fact that the tombstones left in the cemetery were in poor shape and most of the brick walls surrounding family lots were crumbled. I did see several plaques stating restorations were done, many from the 1960's. All in all, the cemetery is a shell of what I imagine it once was.

The Old City Cemetery was definitely neglected for many, many years. In fact, old newspaper articles I have read on the subject say as much. An 1891 Macon Telegrah article, Whose Bones Lie Buried, states the following:
"There are many thus, both male and female, whose bones lie in that
neglected graveyard. The record book, on which was entered every burial,
has long been lost of destroyed. It is estimated that there are more than
one hundred bodies of the white population interred there whose graves
cannot be identified."
A 1919 Just 'Twixt Us column by Bridges Smith of the same newspaper states,
"We now speak in sorrow of the neglected condition of the old cemetery at
the foot of Poplar street, of the sunken graves, the tumbled down monuments,
of the weeds and briars growing over the graves, and of the dastardly deeds
of the sacrilegious..."
Some time ago I transcribed articles, took photographs of the cemetery and some of it's tombstones and placed them on the Southern Graves blog. I've since decided to create this page dedicated to the cemetery and some inhabitants that are bound to have been forgotten. Below is a listing of burials known to me. If you know of any individual interred in Macon's Old City Cemetery that is not listed here, or if you know of any burial listed that was relocated, please contact Stephanie Lincecum.

"...it is estimated that there are in all some 600 or 700 bodies buried in
those four acres, and there are only a few marks left to show the graves."
["The Old City Cemetery," Macon Telegraph, 9 Feb 1891]

Sources for this listing include the following:
· Personal Photos & Transcriptions
· Newspaper Article, Whose Bones Lie Buried (link to complete transcription)
· Newspaper Article, Macon's Old Cemetery (link to complete transcription)
· Newspaper Article, Caught on the Wing (link to complete transcription)
· Text File Contributed to USGenWeb Archives by Ben Phillips
· Old Macon City Tombstone Photos by James Allen

NameBornDiedNotes
Adams, Mary Jennett(e?)-Oct 11th, 1837Infant daughter of John and Mary J. M. Adams, of Montgomery (county?), Ala., aged one year, 3 months and 5 days
Barker, Charles Wentworth-June 3, 1823 (1828?)Infant son of Nathaniel and Mrs. Mary Barker. Aged 3 months and 13 days.
Beall, Hon. Robert A.-June 16, 1836Aged 35 years. He was elected the second mayor of Macon. He was an accomplished writer, a brilliant orator, an able lawyer and a fearless leader in the State Rights party. He was, to his age, the peer of any man in the state. He was buried with the highest military and civic honors. An admirable sketch of his life is published in the first volume of Miller's "Bench and Bar of Georgia."
Benjamin, Hetty-10th December 1850Wife of Charles Benjamin, aged 41 years. A small monument was once in place over this grave, but it is all broken on the ground now. (1893) Blessed are the pure in heart, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
Berry, William-Sept 9th, 1846Aged 45 years
Bird, Dr. Thompson-July 1828One of the original settlers of the town in 1823. Was buried by the Macon Lodge, the military court and the citizens generally. He was a grandfather of Hon. L. Q. C. Lamar.
Bressee (Bressie?), SusanOctober 15, 1797April 12, 1838Consort of William Bressee (Bressie?), aged 41 years. Has a brick wall in good condition, but grave has sunken much. (1893) She was a kind wife, good neighbor, and all lament her loss.
Butler, Infant Daughter-February 18, 1836Infant daughter of David and Rebecca Butler, aged 3 years.
Butler, Isaac-November 4, 1836A native of Westersfield, Conn., aged 25 years. [Photo at Bottom]
Call, M. A.1st Feb 18347th Oct 1835-
Campbell, James P.-July 18, 1833In the 19th year of his age. Headstone broken off and lying on the ground. (1893)
Carter, John E.-October 24, 1837A native of Boston, Mass., aged 20 years. Died in Macon. Though he passed away "a stranger in a strange land," as his epitaph recites, a nice tombstone was erected to his memory, upon which is inscribed, among other things, the following: "Thus died the stranger in a foreign clime, / Lovely and young in all manhood's prime; / Away from friends and parents to whom he was most dear, / And brother and sister too, who drop affection's tear." Cease then to mourn, enough for us to know, In peace rest his ashes, encircled in bright halo. His death was recorded in the 30 October 1837 Macon Georgia Telegraph: "Died, In this city, on Tuesday morning, 25th inst. John E. Carter, son of John H. Carter, of Boston, Mass. in the 21st year of his age."
Cassels, J. W.-1827 (1837?)Aged 20 months. Child, you must go.
Cassels, Mary ElizaOctober 12 (14?), 1809May 24, 1838The only monument of the ground is six feet high, one foot square. (1893) Daughter of John and Eliza Winn, and wife of Rev. Samuel J. Cassels. Born in Liberty county, Georgia, died in Macon in her 29th year. Monument was erected by the kindness of the Presbyterian (ladies) congregation of Macon. Her last words were quoted, to-wit: "Christ is my only salvation." Following from Whose Bones Lie Buried: "The deceased united with the Church Christ when thirteen years of age, continued with its fellowship more than fifteen, was an exemplary Christian, a dutiful child, a devoted wife, a faithful mother, and died a triumphant death." Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them. [Photo at Bottom]
Clark, John-November 24, 1824First interment in this cemetery, a painter.
Collins, Harriet E.-April 20, 1834Wife of Dr. Robert Collins, aged 31 years. Grieve not for me my dearest friends, Nor spend your tears in vain, I hope your loss in this vain world, is my eternal gain. [Obituary]
Collins, Infant Son-6th May 1838Infant son of Robert and Eliza C. Collins, aged 4 weeks.
Dannelly, Capt. William J.-June 1831Represented the county in the legislature. He was the fifth intendant of the town, and had been justice of the inferior court. He was buried with military honors by the Macon Volunteers, which company he commanded, being its second captain at the time of his death. His age was 30 years.
Davis, Eliza S.July 15, 1808January 3, 1841Wife of Charles Davis, Jr., born in Roxbury, Mass. A good Wife, a good Mother, good Daughter, and good Christian. Her death was recorded in the 5 January 1841 Macon Georgia Telegraph: "Died, In this city, on the 3rd inst. of consumption, Mrs. Eliza S. Davis, aged 32 years, wife of Charles Davis, Jr. of Roxbury, Mass."
Ellis, Thomas M.-October 3, 1832Aged 34 years. One of the first trustees of the First Baptist Church of Christ at Macon. Tread softly stranger, this is ground, Which no rude footstep should impress With tender pity gaze around; Let sadness all the soul possess. And, stranger, let your melting heart, Mark soil this fresh and verdant sod. And as you from the scene depart, Oh, let your soul commune with God. [Photo at Bottom; Obituary and Story of His Death]
Ellsworth, Capt. John-October 1839Aged 40 years. He was an officer of the Macon Volunteers in the Florida war. He was much esteemed and buried with military honors. One month after his death his wife died and was buried by his side.
Ellsworth, Mrs.-abt. November 1839Wife of Capt. John Ellsworth. Died one month after her husband; buried by his side.
Fort, Caroline (Carolina?) Calhoun-31st Aug 1837Daughter of A. M. and R. W. Fort, aged 11 months and 23 days.
Fort, Laura (Laurey?) Virginia-Sept 23, 1834Daughter of A. M. and R. W. Fort. Aged 4 months.
Gainer, Mrs. Cinderella-May 23, 1837Wife of Joseph Gainer, aged 24 years. Light lie the sod over the remains of her who was once animated by the same life and quickened by the same pulsations as those she left behind to mourn her untimely departure. She was adorned with the noblest attributes of our nature, and possessed of those virtues that sweeten the paths of adversity and render the rough ways of life smooth. Reader, wouldst thou know more? She lived an amiable wife and died a Christian.
Goodrich, Stephen (Steven?) S.-July 19th (18th?), 1833 (1835?)Of Oswego, N.Y., aged 29 years.
Hammond, ElishaOctober 10, 1774 (1784?) (1764?)July 9, 1829Born in Massachusetts, died in this town. He was a graduate of Dartmouth College, N.H. He emigrated to South Carolina, and first became a professor in the South Carolina College, and then a professor at Mt. Bethel Academy. The tribute upon the slab says that he was a man of great learning and was noted as an instructor. He was also the father of James Henry Hammond, governor of South Carolina 1842-1844. Gifted with a mind of uncommon strength, which was also cultivated well, of enlightened views and elevated sentiments, frank, generous, polite, he lived usefully and died lamented. [Obituary]
Healy, Lawrence-February 6, 1840Aged 27 years. A native of the Parish of Cloon, county of Leitrim, Ireland. Slab erected by Peter Dyer.
Heterich, Jacob--No other words on the stone. (1893)
Hollingsworth, Thomas J.-June 6th, 1840Aged 21 years and 4 months. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.
Howard, Rev. John-August 22, 1836The first presiding elder of the Methodist church in this city, and a man who took a leading part in establishing Wesleyan Female College. Removed and reinterred in Rose Hill Cemetery. [Obituary]
Indiana, MargaretSeptember 5, 1839July 18, 1840-
Jennings, Robert Carter-4 (14?) Nov 1837Aged 21 (23?) years.
Loving, Judy-May 24, 1844Aged 60 years.
McGehee, Rebecca Mary-16th August 1836 (1830?)Daughter of Abner and Laura A. (Louise?) McGehee, aged 9 months.
Mullholland, Thomas-Nov 22, 1837A native of Ireland. Born in the county of Leitrim, parish of Cloon. Aged 72 (32?) years. This stone was erected by his brother, Michael Mulholland.
Mulloy, Thomas-December 13, 1842Aged 26 years. A native of the Parish of Meelick, County Mayo, Ireland. Slab erected by his friend George Ormsby.
Napier, Nancy-April 2, 1839Wife of Thomas Napier, aged 57 years. [Photo at Bottom]
Napier, Thomas-September 30, 1838A native of Virginia, for about fifty years a citizen of Georgia, aged about 70 years. These two graves have a good brick wall around them, an iron gate and it locked. (1893) [Thomas and wife Nancy.] His death was recorded in the 2 October 1838 Macon Georgia Telegraph: "Died, On Sunday afternoon, after a short but severe illness, Major THOMAS NAPIER, one of the oldest citizens of Macon, aged 71."
Newcome, Capt. Lemuel-October 1834Aged 33 (38?) years. He succeeded Capt. Dannelly as commander of the Macon Volunteers. No man had lived in the community more respected. He was buried by the Macon lodge, of which he was senior warden, and the Macon Volunteers.
Ormsby, John-Oct 26, 1841Aged 31 years; a native of the Parish of Killarer, County Mayo, Ireland. Slab erected by his brother, George Ormsby.
Pace, Mrs. Rebecca-30th December 1838 (1828?)Consort of Thomas Pace and daughter of Jared Irwin, aged 51 years.
Phelps, Jonathan C.-September 10, 1836Son of Noel L. Phelps, of Farmington, Conn., aged 24 years.
Phillips, Margaret Corhan-July 14, 1831Infant child of John and Sarah Phillips. Aged 18 months.
Russell, Sarah Ann R. C.March 17, 1836August 8, 1838Daughter of A. and F. Russell.
Sage, Oliver F.-July 20, 1841Son of Oliver and Sarah M. Sage, aged 10 months. His death was recorded in the 23 July 1831 Macon Telegraph: "DIED, In Macon, on Wednesday evening last, Oliver F. infant son of Mr. Oliver Sage, aged sixteen months."
Saulsbury, Thomas JacksonMay 31st, 1810July 28 (23rd?), 1841Born in Denton, Dover County, State of Delaware. Died in Macon, GA. Aged 31 years. [Photo at Bottom]
Saunders, Emeline Buxton-November 6, 1834Wife of Wright C. Saunders, aged 25 years.
Scott, Nicholas-13th (15th?) Nov 1837Aged 42 years. He was born in the County Meath, Burrough of Navin, Parish of Dunarme, Ireland. Mr. Scott was a laborer on the Monroe railroad and died from a kick by a mule.
Smith, Robert D.May 20, 1811September 28, 1834He lived beloved without a foe, died lamented in the bloom of life to bloom in the immortal state.
Smith, Theodrick L.-December 22, 1839A native of Virginia, aged 40 years. [Obituary]
Traynor (Traylor?), Francis-6th (5th?) September 1837A native of Monaghan county, Ireland. Aged 20 (26?) years. Erected by P. M. and B. (H.?) Traynor (Traylor?).
Ventress, Capt. James-July 24, 1829Age about 58 years.
Walsh, Jane-August 5 (6?), 1840Erected by Maurice Walsh, in memory of his wife, aged 18 years. A native of Nenagh county, Tipperary, Ireland. Requiescat in pace.
Washington, Charles W.-March 1, 1833Drowned in Walnut creek in the 31st year of his age. "A tremendous gale had swept over the interior of the state on Feb 28, 1833, causing great destruction to property, and several lives were lost. The water courses were suddenly swollen on the following day, and at night the northern mail stage, in passing Walnut Creek, was swept away and upset. Two passengers and the driver escaped by swimming. Another passenger, Mr. C. W. Washington, was drowned. His body was recovered and brought home. He was the brother of the late R. B. Washington and of Hon. James H. R. Washington. He was a merchant much respected and his death was deeply lamented." (From Whose Bones Lie Buried)
Woodliff, AdriadneJune 24th, 1841Oct 17th, 1843Daughter of Edward and Winney Woodliff
?, Nina (Nelly?)-August 1838A member of the Baptist church at Macon.
?, Rinah1st April 180611th February 1835-


Mary Eliza Cassels

Isaac Butler

Nancy Napier

Thomas M. Ellis

Thomas Jackson Saulsbury

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