G. R. Gibbons

 
The Cartersville News
Cartersville, Georgia
December 19, 1907, Page 1
 
Transcribed by:  
 

Mr. G. R. Gibbons Is Claimed By Death.
[A nice photograph of G. R. Gibbons is included with this obituary.]

Mr. G. R. Gibbons died at his home at Grassdale Wednesday morning of last week at 3 o’clock.  He had been in feeble health for several years past.  Mr. Gibbons was in his ninety fifth year and came of a family remarkable for their longevity, several members being now above the four score mark.

The remains were buried at Cassville cemetery Thursday being followed to their last resting place by a large concourse.

The following is a sketch of Mr. Gibbons’ life:
The grandfather, an officer in the revolutionary war, and the father of George Rockingham Gibbons came from Shamokin valley, near Philadelphia, Pa., to Woodstock, Shenandoah county, Virginia, where the subject of this sketch, George R. Gibbons, was born November 18, 1814.

When he was about three years of age, his father removed to within fifteen miles of Harrisonburg, the county seat of Rockingham county, to the fine old homestead on the banks of the lovely Shenandoah river, where he was reared to manhood.

At six years of age he was sent to board in Luray to attend school; then he went nearer home to the “old field” schools which laid and solidly too the foundation of the education of many an eminent man of that period.  Afterward he finished his education at the old “Richmond College” in the city of Richmond, Va.  Among his schoolmates were Randolph and Beverly Tucker, Geo. Pickett (afterward a general in the confederate army who was killed in leading the famous charge at Gettysburg), John S. Caskey and other young men afterward distinguished.  In Richmond in January 1839, under the firm name of Dandridge and Gibbons he opened a grocery and commission business, which he conducted with much profit and success for eight years.

May 31, 1841, in Trinity church, Richmond, he was happily married to Miss Harriette Rison, the grand-daughter of a cavalier of that name who came from France with the Marquis de Lafayette to fight for American independence and married in Virginia.

This gentle, refined lady died in 1876 after having raised to near maturity six daughters and one son, of whom Misses Georgia and Bettie have died within the past fifteen years.  Those still living are John R., residing near Little Rock, Ark., Mrs. R. Battle, Mrs. James L. Irick, both of whom are living near Cassville, Ga. and Misses Virginia and Hattie, who have remained with him at the old homestead.

In March, 1846, Mr. Gibbons purchased and removed from Richmond to a very valuable farm, eight miles from Harrisonburg, on North river, a branch of the Shenandoah, at the pretty little village of Bridgewater, where in the large splendid brick mansion which he built, he became, like his father, one of the most prosperous and prominent citizens of the valley.

This beautiful home will be remembered by many soldiers of the civil war, for many of them within its hospitable walls received food and shelter.  Situated on the Warm Springs turnpike, one of the main thoroughfares of the valley, both armies operated around this farm and it was a favorite camping ground for the army.

Gen. William B. Taliaferro camped on this farm in December, 1861; Gen. Imboden in 1863; the Maryland Battalion in May, 1863, and in May, 1863, the illustrious Gen. Stonewall Jackson was camped on the farm.

With the unselfishness characteristic of this great general though he invitation (sic), he dined at the residence and accepted the use of a room in which to write, he courteously declined sleeping there, saying, “I do not wish to fare better than my men.”

Such a strong adherent of the cause of the confederacy and being in the center of operations of both armies, Mr. Gibbons thought best to refugee to Bartow county, Ga., in October, 1863, buying the Crowell, Sullivan and Dillard farms; upon the latter of which he has resided for a period of forty-two years.  Of a retiring disposition, he has avoided publicity and refused to accept political offices which in his earlier life were tendered to him.  He was, however, a delegate to the convention that nominated Gov. Henry A. Wise, who was in that office at the time of the John Brown raid.

Joining the Methodist church in 1842, he remained a staunch supporter of that church.

Honesty, uprightness and industry were cordial virtues with him.  It is his boast that his word was his bond and that he owed no man.

He had the rather unusual record of never having taken, as a beverage a drink of any intoxicant and did not know one card from another.  He chewed tobacco but quit smoking some years ago.

At the age of ninety-odd years he retained to a wonderful degree both mental and physical vigor.  Blessed with a remarkable memory he frequently surprised visitors by lengthy quotations from Shakespeare and Milton, Pope, Burns, Young’s “Night Thoughts” and other favorite poets, or giving exact date and detail of some historical event, for having been fond of reading he has accumulated a store of information.

Acquainted with many distinguished persons, (among them the poet, Edgar A. Poe and his sister, Mary) he had a rich fund of reminiscence of people and events through all covering nearly a century, during which so many marvelous inventions have been introduced and such notable changes in church and state have taken place.

 

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