Rev. J. G. Ryals, D. D.

Died September 3, 1892
American Courant
Cartersville, GA
September 8, 1892, page 1
Transcribed and submitted by: 

Death of Dr. Ryals.

In the early morning hours of Saturday last, September 3rd, the Rev. J. G. Ryals, D. D., breathed out his earthly life, at the residence of his son-in-law, Mr. J. J. Conner, near this city. In the death of this good and able man Bartow county loses one of her most distinguished citizens. Though for some years Dr. Ryals had resided in Macon, yet he ever spoke of Bartow as his home, and here he came every summer to find in our bracing climate strength for his arduous duties in his professorial chair in Mercer University. To Bartow he came from Montgomery county when a young man, and commenced the practice of law at our bar. In this profession he continued, honored and prospering, until the fall of 1863, when he reached the age of 37 years. At that time his mind and heart turned to the ministry, and the church at Cartersville being pastorless he was called to the vacant pulpit and ordained to his life work, in which he achieved so great success and wrought so great good.

Dr. Ryals soon took rank as a leader among the Baptists of Georgia, and was called by them to fill positions of honor and influence. He was a graduate of Mercer University, and his alma mater honored herself in bestowing upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. In 1883 he was called to the chair of systematic theology in that institution, and since then he has faithfully discharged the duties of his responsible position in training the young candidates who have been preparing for the Baptist Ministry. This position necessitated his removal to Macon, the seat of this university. In that community he won the esteem of all with whom he had to do. He was universally admired and beloved as a Christian scholar and gentleman. The entire faculty and students of the institution he honored by his calling, regarded him with confidence and affection, and looked to him as one of their wisest counselors. His loss will be sadly felt by them.

Dr. Ryals left a wife, a daughter and two sons. We believe two other sons died some years ago. One of his surviving sons is the professor of mathematics in Mercer, and the other a leading attorney in Macon. His daughter is the wife of our esteemed fellow countyman, Mr. J. J. Conner. Saturday morning the body was brought to Cartersville and taken to Macon for burial. The Macon Telegraph of Monday morning, thus refers to the closing scene:

“The funeral of Dr. Ryals took place yesterday from the First Baptist church and was attended by a vast assemblage of friends who knew and loved him.

“Never has there been a more solemn and impressive funeral occasion than that of Dr. Ryals yesterday. The floral offerings were many and beautiful and were a fitting tribute to the life of Christian purity that the eminent divine had lived.

“The pall bearers were: J. W. Cabaniss, C. P. Steed, H. M. Willet, E. Y. Mallory, B. L. Willingham, K. P. Moore and W. B. Daniel.”

Lucien Barnsley entered the confederate states service as volunteer at Rome, Ga., in the Rome Light Guards, C. A., 8th Georgia regiment. He participated in most of the great battles of Virginia. He was elected captain shortly before the surrender, while on detail service in middle Georgia. He never took the oath of allegiance to the United States government, preferring exile.


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In Memoriam.

Rev. James G. Ryals was born in Montgomery county, Georgia, on the 3rd day of April, 1824, and graduated at Mercer University while it was located at Penfield, Georgia, in 1851. After graduation he married Miss Mary E. Janes and moved to Cass, now Bartow county, Georgia, and engaged in the practice of law. [Obituary continues]




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