Mrs. E. W. Chunn
March 15, 1820 - July 11, 1894
|The Courant American, August 9, 1894; Page 4|
|Transcribed and submitted by:|
Mrs. Elizabeth Word Chunn, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Vance Word, was born in Lawrenceville, Laurens district, South Carolina, March 15, 1820, and died at Cassville, Ga., July 11, 1894.
On December 18, 1826, she was married to Samuel L. Chunn, of Ashville, N, C. In January, 1837, this happily mated young couple went to Polk county, Tenn., where they lived a number of years. In November, 1849, they moved to Cassville, which was then the principal town in northwest Georgia. Here they lived until her husband died in 1863.
In the spring of 1864, before the approach of Sherman’s invading hosts, she refugeed to Coweta county. After the surrender, she returned to Cassville and lived in that place of precious memory until the Reaper put forth his Sickle and gathered her unto the Eternal Harvest.
Mrs. Chunn early in life joined the Methodist church and in its communion went to rest. She was not content with passive goodness. Hers was active Christianity. Merely not doing evil did not satisfy her. Like the Master, she “went about doing good.” The aggressive sunshine of her nature was transmuted by the alchemy of religion into golden deeds of love and mercy, wrought here and there in the crucible of a long and busy life.
She was active “in all good words and works.” By word and deed she aided in the promotion and sustaining of the Cassville Female College, from whose portals have gone out to the world so many accomplished women to beautify and adorn the walks of life.
She was endowed with the genuine missionary spirit. While living in Polk County, Tennessee, in the early part of her married life, she organized and supplied with literature from her own means a Sunday school for the poor children in her neighborhood and left it in a flourishing condition when she moved to Georgia. In those days Sunday schools were rarer than they are now, and in this movement she was emphatically a pioneer.
Of limited means herself, her charity was abounding. In the best and truest sense she gave her mite. That poor widow whom the Master saw and spoke of as she came, timid and hesitating, into the temple and deposited her alms in the treasury made rich by the ostentatious gifts of the scribes and Pharisees, was not more genuinely liberal and philanthropic, than was this other widow who scarcely a month ago stepped across the narrow strand that separates this life from the next.
Column after column might be written truthfully narrating her good works and giving to language her good deeds. But to what end? Their recounting would not dry a single tear at her departure, nor make one ray more bright the crown which the Eternal Judge has placed upon her brow in recompense for the cross which she bore so long, so patiently and so well.
But I cannot close this poor and imperfect tribute to her worth without referring to one department of her lifework in the memory of which I stand reverential and with uncovered head.
In the City of the Dead at old Cassville sleep several hundred Confederate soldiers. Most of them are unknown. Almost all are strangers to the people among whom they rest. To the work of caring for these graves and annually commemorating them with appropriate ceremonies, Mrs. Chunn dedicated the best efforts of her hand and brain. She was never too busy or too tired to enter upon this honorable and honoring toil. While others aided, she stood in the forefront. What do we not owe to the noble women of our sweet sunny southland for their devotion to the graves and to the memories of those dauntless patriots who sacrificed their lives to the constitutional rights of the states? And to which of our noble women do we owe more in this behalf than to her whose earthly tabernacle is now dissolving in the same cemetery where lie the bodies of the brave?
Mrs. Chunn has vanished from the sight of men. Mortal ear will hear her voice no more. Mortal touch will not again feel the clasp of her hand. But long after she shall have become but a sweet and tender memory, the patriotic hearts of southern girls as yet unborn will, by the example of her devotion, be made to burn with reverential love toward the confederate dead, as their hands, years, and years in future, shall beautify the graves of these dead with vernal flowers, as her’s did, in the years agone.
Tread lightly, ye young men and maidens, sons and daughters of confederate soldiers, when ye approach the spot where her ashes repose! Speak softly and gently when ye mention her name! Keep green her memory in your hearts, while she rests, calmly and serenely, in the Shadow of the Everlasting Rock.
John W. Akin
August 4, 1894
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