Talmadge Reneau Jones

The Courant American Newspaper
Cartersville, Georgia
May 6, 1897 Page 5
Transcribed and submitted by: 

Youth Struck Dead.

Master Reneau Jones Victim of Lightening Bolt.

Killed Instantly in Street.

Was Going Home From School House Alone—Much Sympathy and Large Funeral Gathering.

It is doubtful if, ever in the history of Cartersville. The community has been so suddenly and awfully shocked over an occurrence as over the tragic death of Master Reneau Jones, on Friday evening last. As the news of the occurrence spread from one to another, as it did swiftly, people would exclaim “So sad,” “Isn’t it awful?” etc., and could only realize gradually the terrible truth.

The lad, who was in the sixth grade of the west side school, had just been excused by his teacher, Miss Leila Hall, as he said he was not feeling well and also had planned to go to the country to spend several days with an uncle. He got his books and hurried from the school house. It was about one o’clock and a terrible thunderstorm was coming up. Soon peal after peal of lightening followed each other. He was proceeding along the little street that ends up at the west between the schoolhouse and the tabernacle lots. He was about in front of the house belonging to John Smith and occupied by Prof. Swanson, when there was a loud peal and the lad suddenly fell. Mrs. John Smith saw him fall, but didn’t realize what caused it. A negro man, Alfred Lawrence, working in Judge Fite’s garden, near by, saw him also but hesitated through fear to go to him. He notified Mrs., Fite and others found out and soon it was that people began to gather about the prostrate form. He was lying face downward. The lad was picked up and carried to Judge Fite’s home. Information of the happening reached the school, and the pupils, in excitement repaired to the place where he fell and later gathered at Judge Fite’s home to see the little fellow so suddenly and awfully stricken. His features bore a perfectly natural look, not even the most vague sign of their being distorted or drawn being visible. Death must have been instantaneous. There was a burnt place on his right temple, there was a bruise over his heart, and on the right side there were three places about the size of half dollars, where the skin was peeled off. The current must have coursed from his temple down the right side, then across to his left side and down his body to his ankles. There was a small hole under the bottom of each foot.

Drs. Greene and Griffin being sent for, made efforts at resuscitation, little hoping for success. Life was extinct.

The inanimate form was soon moved to the parents’ home, on the east side of town. Here callers were many and sympathy was expressed from every lip. The parents took the lad’s death very hard. It was their only boy and an idol of their hearts. Their friends and those of the lad seemed to share their deep grief. Floral offerings, as well as tender words, were extended. The home was made a regular bower of flowers.

On Sunday morning the funeral took place from the Methodist church, and by 10:30 o’clock the time set for exercises a vast crowd had assembled. The church was packed and many were unable to get in the building.

The following were the pall bearers: Roy Satterfield, Jabez Spear, Dewitt Gilbert, Joseph Neel, Robert Gilreath, Harry Edwards.

The following acted as escort: Robert Munford, Emory Gilreath, Howard Hicks, Harry Cobb, Eddie Strickland, Augustus Fite, Jr.

Rev. B. P. Allen made a feeling talk and was followed by Rev. W. H. Patterson.

The procession was a long one and deeply impressive. Following the hearse was a white horse hitched to a white buggy with the seat unoccupied, draped with white ribbon, and the horse was led by a boy. The gathering at the cemetery was one of the largest ever seen on any funeral occasion. The children of the public schools attended the funeral in a body.

Little Reneau would have been 14 years of age next October. He was a manly little fellow, and possessed a soft genial nature, winning everybody to him he came in contact with. He was a great favorite in his class and in the whole school. He was a strikingly fine figure physically and was very fond of outdoor sport. He never seemed happier than when with his favorite pointer and gun was hunting birds or with fishing rod in hand he was taking his piscatorial jaunts.

It was said that he was asked once, if like, his father, he was going to be an insurance man, and he replied: “No I want to be a preacher.”

[A pen and ink drawing accompanies the article, labeled “Reneau Jones, as he appeared with his dog and gun, enjoying a favorite pastime, hunting—from a Kodac snap shot.”

Another obituary for Talmadge Reneau Jones can be found in the issue of May 13, 1897, page 4.]


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