News from The Cartersville Express

The Cartersville Express
Cartersville, Georgia
September 23, 1869, page 2
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Mr. Editor:  Please allow an humble citizen to make a few suggestions in regard to a matter of public interest; I allude to the Baptist church Graveyard in this place, and especially to the duties of our town Commissioner in regard to it.  With a full consciousness that I lay myself liable to being considered officious by our worthy town officials, and that they are wont to look upon any suggestions coming from outsiders, as unwarrantable intermeddlings with their duties and responsibilities, and consequently, as entirely gratuitous and unworthy of their notice, I venture upon a few hints in regard to this important subject.

I am one of those, sir, who look upon town Commissioners as representative persons, public servants to whom are entrusted the general interests of the incorporation.  They exercise that same diligence, discretion and foresight in regard to the public interests that an individual would in regard to his own.  They are amenable to their constituents, the incorporators, and should be held strictly accountable by them for any failure to perform the duties incumbent upon them.  Holding these general views, I approach this subject, not in a spirit of captious fault-finding, or as one hunting up matter of indictment against our town Commissioners, but with an honest desire to promote the present, and future welfare of the place.

It is a fact admitted by every intelligent man in the place, not only that this grave-yard, in its present locality, is a nuisance to the place, (being situated on the highest point of it, and near its center,) but that there is imminent danger that it may prove a source of pestilence, at no very distant day.  We get our water here, entirely from wells, and the region around this grave-yard is fast settling up, and is destined, ere long, to be the most thickly settled portion of the place.—Can any man, in his senses, doubt that the wells in the vicinity of this hill, if they have not already become contaminated by the putrid matter from these graves, will inevitably become so in a short time, especially when the number of graves shall have doubled or thribbled (sic) and the wells also become more numerous?  He is little versed in the history of other places similarly situated, and has but faint idea of the centripetal force of fluids, who entertains such a doubt.—There is scarcely a city or town of respectable size within the broad bounds of our country, who has not been compelled, at some period of history, to remove a grave-yard from its midst.  I am prepared to admit that a due respect for the buried dead, and a disposition to beautify and adorn the revered sepulchers of departed friends is one of the highest evidences of civilization and social refinement.—I would not have their sacred remains needlessly disturbed.  But I am not prepared to admit that our respect for the dead should cause us to disregard the interests of the living.  I believe that this grave yard should be removed immediately.  But I am met with the objection that the Baptist Church has vested rights in the matter, with which we cannot interfere.  The Baptist Church ought not to claim, and cannot maintain rights which are in direct conflict with the sanitary interests of the town.  Simply because a very good old gentleman, actuated by charity, gave the Baptist church a spot of ground for burial purposes, and his own revered remains repose upon the spot, is no good reason why the sanitary interests of a city should be disregarded, and a large portion of its inhabitants, be exposed for all time to come, not only to a nuisance, but to the most loathsome form of pestilential filth that can be imagined.—Why, sir, the very idea of drinking water—but we refrain from following the sickening subject further, out of delicacy to those who live in the vicinity of this hill.  If old Mr. Malcomb Johnston himself, could be resurrected from his grave, and allowed to speak, I do not doubt that he would vote for the removal of this cemetery to a more appropriate spot.  If we decide that it ought to be removed, our next inquiry is, “when and by whom should it be done?”  If it is ever removed NOW is the time.  In the first place it is a present nuisance.  Secondly, it would cost much less now, than at any future time.  The cost of removal will be enhanced at a ratio, proportioned to the increase in the number of future interments.  I suppose there are about 100 bodies buried there at present.  Say it would cost $10 a piece to remove them now, (this I think is a liberal allowance,) the whole cost would be $1000, saying nothing about the purchase of a new spot.  In three or four years it would cost a much larger sum, and new difficulties would arise, such as the opposition of the friends of the dead, &c.  A new spot should be purchased about a mile from the depot, containing 8 or 10 acres, and be enclosed as a public cemetery; allowing private families to purchase small sections for family burials, thereby raising money to pay the expense of enclosure, &c.   The present cemetery would make a beautiful and commanding site for a school building, town hall, or other public edifice, or could be sold and the proceeds appropriated by the Baptists to help pay for their church, or, if they prefer it, to erect a monument to the memory of Malcomb Johnston.

Our next enquiry is, as to who shall take this matter in hand.  It is evident that no private person can or will do it.  The Baptist Church are not likely to take the initiative, by making a voluntary proposition for the removal.  Then it follows as a matter of course that the town Commissioners, who are the proper exponents of the public sentiment and wants of the town, the guardians of the public interest of their constituents, and the constituted agents of the citizens of the place, whose right and duty it is exclusively to attend to such things, should immediately take this matter in hand, and attend to it.  Or perhaps, as one of our town Commissioners suggested to the writer of this article, some time since, when a proposition was made in regard to some other improvement, they may think a public meeting should be called, and resolutions passed on the subject!  If such is the case, we are getting to be a democratic town indeed!  If this is necessary, we had better dispense with our present town council, all except the Marshal, buy him a big bugle, and whenever it becomes necessary to pass an ordinance ,levy a little fine, or impound a hog, let him get out upon the house-tops, and sound a few blasts with his bugle, after the manner of our butchers at the market place, and we all can assemble, and determine the matter viva voce.  But if we have a counsel charged with the execution of the public business, we think it their duty to attend to such things.  If they are afraid of the responsibility of making an appropriation for this purpose, let them give the people a chance to vote upon the question as to whether this grave-yard shall be removed or not, and a sufficient amount of bonds issued to meet the expense.  We’ll venture the assertion that there are not twenty voters in the place, that will vote against it.  They have the means at their disposal, it is their duty to do so, and we do hope that they will attend to this matter of great public importance, soon.



Letters of Guardianship

M. V. Hollinshed applied to be appointed guardian “of the persons and property of Franklin Dupree, Esther Dupree, Edward P. Dupree, and Jno. H. Dupree, minors under fourteen years of age, resident of said county.”


Page 3.


Cartersville, Ga.
Sept. 22, 1869.

Mr. Editor:

According to appointment to meet to work on the Baptist Graveyard, seventeen men, two married ladies, two young ladies, and one small boy met, and by applying themselves closely all day, the work was completed that was designed for the day, to wit, the clearing off the ground.

The first appointment was at the Methodist Graveyard, where exactly the same number of gentlemen and ladies met, but as the yard is much larger, notwithstanding I never saw persons work better, we did not quite do half the clearing off desired.

Some of those who came out remained one hour, some two hours, some half the day and some all day.

It does seem that out of a population of near two thousand, more might have assembled.

It will take one more day’s work at the Methodist Graveyard, with about twenty hands, to complete the clearing off.  That day will be the first Wednesday in October, when it is hoped that more than twice twenty will be present.

The ladies with rakes do a great deal of good.  Bring axes, grubbing hoes, rakes, hoes and shovels, so that if we get through with the chopping and grubbing we can fill graves and clear the ground of trash and rocks.

We will have a day appointed hereafter for all the old citizens and others in town and country to meet to designate the different graves, so that boards may be placed at each with the proper names.

Those who have relatives buried at either of these yards, will, on that day, attend to them, if able to do so, and the remainder will be attended to by those who assemble for work.

I will now receive bids, in writing, for making the fence round both yards, at so much a panel of eight feet.  The posts to be good lightwood, five by six inches through, and seven feet long. –The posts to be set in the ground two feet.  The fence to have a base plank one by seven inches, with proper distance, so as to make the fence five feet high from the ground, in usual style.  These planks must be nailed on with ten penny nails, two being put in each seven inch plank where it crosses the post, and three in the ten inch plank in like manner.  The plank must be heart pine.

I will receive bids till the first Wednesday in October, when we assemble for work again.  On the evening of that day the work will be let by three disinterested men present.

Thomas M. Compton.


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