Children of William Lindsey (1760/1770 – 1840) and Rachel Earnest — Dennis Lindsey (1812 – 1879)

9. Dennis Lindsey

He was born in Spartanburg County, and by 1842, had moved to Hamburg in what was then Edgefield District, South Carolina. Dennis spent his remaining years until the very end of his life living in Hamburg working as a cotton merchant. In the final year or two of his life, he and wife Mary Roman Lindsey moved their family to Augusta, Georgia, which is where I suspect her roots lay, and both Dennis and Mary died there. Hamburg, which is now defunct, was once a thriving cotton market directly across the Savannah River from Augusta.

Spartanburg County Records of Dennis Lindsey, Prior to 1842

As we saw in a previous posting, on 2 June 1834, Dennis Lindsey signed as a bondsman when his brother Isaac Lindsey gave bond for the administration of the estate of their grandfather Henry Earnest in Spartanburg County.[2] Also giving bond with Dennis was his brother-in-law William C. Johnson, husband of Dennis’s sister Cassandra. On the same day the bond was made, the court directed Isaac and Dennis to appraise their grandfather’s estate. When Henry Earnest’s personal estate was sold on 5 November 1835, Dennis purchased an enslaved woman named Chaney.[3]

We’ve also seen that, prior to the estate sale, on 5 October 1835, Dennis’s parents and grandmother Margaret Earnest deeded 500 acres of Henry Earnest’s land on the north side of the Enoree for love and affection to his grandsons Mark and Dennis Lindsey.[4] Their deed states that Henry had intended for these grandsons to have this tract, on which his parents were then living with Margaret Earnest. On the same day, William and Rachel Earnest Lindsey and Margaret Earnest made other deeds for love and affection from the estate to Dennis’s brothers Isaac and Henry. 

On 19 November 1835, Margaret Earnest and William Lindsey made further deeds for love and affection to Dennis along with his brother Mark.[5] Dennis was deeded an enslaved man Sam whom Margaret had bought at her deceased husband’s estate sale. 

At some point in 1835, Dennis’s mother Rachel filed suit in Spartanburg County Equity Court against her mother Margaret and husband Dennis.[6] Rachel’s complaint in this lawsuit makes allegations about several of her sons including Dennis. Rachel alleged that she had repeatedly asked Dennis and his brother Isaac to account for the personal estate of Henry Earnest and had requested that they keep “her drunken and insolvent husband from wasting the same.” She had also requested that her share of her father’s estate be retained in trust by Isaac and Dennis until she could obtain a court decree for her sole and separate use of the estate, and, as she claimed, her sons had refused this request. Her complaint bill requests that Isaac, Dennis, and their father William be required to come to court and answer the charges of the bill, and that Isaac and Dennis be required to account for their use of Henry Earnest’s estate, and to pay over to Rachel her share.

The case file has Isaac and Dennis’s response to their mother. The two brothers state that when they had presented an inventory of Henry Earnest’s estate to the court, the court refused to grant them an order of sale, apparently because their parents were opposed to the sale, “intending to live together & upon the property during the life of the old lady [i.e., Margaret Earnest] when the whole estate would centre upon their mother & father who were the sole heirs.” Isaac and Dennis also denied that their father was either habitually intemperate or insolvent.

According to Isaac and Dennis, William and Rachel had lived on Henry Earnest’s land with Rachel’s mother Margaret with no discontent until quite recently, when Rachel began complaining, and Isaac and Dennis again appealed for an order of sale, which was granted for November 1835.  Isaac and Dennis also denied that the estate had been wasted, but maintained that it had been improved, even while their parents and grandmother lived on it, and they also claimed that they had done nothing against the wishes of their mother. They also denied that their mother had ever applied to them for a settlement of the estate, and had considered her well pleased with the administration of the estate until very recently, when certain persons, for their own pecuniary gain, had put her up to filing a complaint.

The response of their father William to Rachel’s complaint specifies who the “certain person” who had put Rachel up to filing suit was, in the view of William and his sons: he claims that his son-in-law William Halbert, husband of his daughter Rachel, had done this, hoping to gain control of Henry Earnest’s state.  William’s response mentions his son Dennis a number of times. He states that when Isaac and Dennis determined to appeal for administration of the estate, he was in the office of the court of ordinary with Dennis, who asked the ordinary judge what would be the best course to pursue in administering the estate. The judge asked the age of the widow Margaret, and Dennis replied that his grandmother was about 85 years old. The judge noted that since Margaret was living with William and Rachel, who was Margaret’s only child, and since she was infirm, it would be best to keep the estate intact to care for Margaret, since it would belong to Rachel and William at Margaret’s death. All three parties — Margaret, Rachel, and William — then agreed to this.

After Spartanburg Equity Court issued a judgment about Rachel Earnest Lindsey’s case in June 1839 dividing the Henry Earnest inheritance equally between Rachel and William and stating that at their deaths, the estate would be divided equally between their children, Dennis and Mark then sold their brother Isaac on 22 September the 500 acres that had been deeded to them by their grandmother Margaret Earnest and their parents in October 1835.[7] For further information about this tract of land on the Enoree River, which included 300 acres granted to Dennis and Mark’s grandfather William Lindsey Sr. on 7 March 1769, see the posting linked at the start of this paragraph.

On 26 October 1839 in Spartanburg County, Dennis Lindsey witnessed a deed by Jesse Cole to Jacob H. Hastin, both of Spartanburg County, for land on the east (i.e., north) side of the Enoree in Spartanburg County.[8] As has been previously noted, Jesse Cole was the husband of Hannah Cooper, whose father Jacob Cooper was the first husband of Dennis’s sister Rachel Lindsey. Hannah was a child of Jacob by a wife prior to Rachel Lindsey whose name has not yet been discovered.

Dennis Lindsey Moves to Hamburg, Edgefield District, South Carolina, by 1842

Petition of Town Council and Citizens of Hamburg to South Carolina General Assembly to Amend Town Charter, South Carolina Petitions to the General Assembly (1842), 194

By 1842, Dennis Lindsey had moved from Spartanburg County to Hamburg in Edgefield District, South Carolina, where he lived until the last year or two of his life, working as a cotton merchant. We know that he was in Hamburg by this year because he signed a petition of the town council and citizens of Hamburg asking to amend the town’s charter in that year. The petition was presented to the South Carolina General Assembly.[9]

Map of Edgefield District, South Carolina, from Robert Mills, Atlas of the State of South Carolina (Baltimore, F. Lucas, 1825; online at Library of Congress website

Hamburg is now defunct. The site it occupied across the Savannah River from Augusta, Georgia, is now in Aiken County. As Tom Downey notes, Hamburg was “one of South Carolina’s primary interior markets during much of the antebellum era.”[10] It grew rapidly in the 1830s, after it became the western terminus of the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company’s Charleston line, and after the Bank of Hamburg was founded in 1835. 

But floods in the 1840s and 1850s started Hamburg’s decline, and the opening of the Augusta Canal in the late 1840s diverted much of the river traffic of the upper Savannah away from Hamburg. When the railroad line extended across the river to Augusta, much of the town’s cotton trade went there and merchants began leaving Hamburg. The town then became a haven for emancipated slaves and the Republican Party during Reconstruction, and gained infamy after a Red Shirt mob massacred an unknown number of the community’s Black citizens in 1876. Following this, the General Assembly repealed the town’s charter and it began to decline, eventually becoming defunct. 

An announcement of Dennis Lindsey’s first marriage in the newspaper Greenville Mountaineer tells us that he was living in Hamburg when he married Louisa F. Styles on 5 March 1843.[11] This marriage would likely have taken place in Spartanburg County, where Louisa was then living with her parents Gabriel B. Styles and Rebecca Farrow. She is buried with her parents and her infant daughter by Dennis, Tamora Gertrude, in the Old Bethel Baptist cemetery at Woodruff in Spartanburg County.[12] The family of Gabriel and Rebecca Farrow Styles was connected to the Woodruffs, who founded Bethel Baptist church and the community of Woodruff, through the marriage of Rebecca’s sister Rosanna to Caleb Woodruff.

Carey Wentworth Styles, Houston Daily Post (4 April 1897), p. 28

Louisa Styles Lindsey’s brother Carey Wentworth Styles, founder of the Atlanta Constitution newspaper, seems to have followed his sister and brother-in-law Dennis Lindsey to Hamburg, since, as we’ll see in a moment, when Hamburg’s town council and citizens petitioned the South Carolina General Assembly on 1 December 1848 for funds to clear a portion of the Savannah River, C.W. Styles signed the petition along with D. Lindsey.[13]

The Edgefield Advertiser of 24 November 1852 contains a notice dated 1 September that T.P. McGrath and C.W. Styles had set up the law firm of McGrath & Styles in Hamburg.[14] When Major C.W. Styles married Frances Jane Evans on 23 November 1852, he was also reported in published wedding announcements to be living in Hamburg.

In 1844, a son Oscar L. Lindsey was born to Dennis and Louisa Styles Lindsey at Hamburg. The 1850 federal census shows Oscar living in Spartanburg County following his mother’s death in 1846 with the family of Washington and Manela Lanford in Spartanburg County.[15] I don’t know of a connection of either Dennis Lindsey or his wife Louisa to Washington and Manela Posey Lanford that might account for their son Oscar being placed with this family in 1850, other than the fact that the Lanfords lived at Woodruff in Spartanburg County close to  Oscar’s Styles grandparents, and attended the old Bethel Baptist church at Woodruff as the Styles also did. Like Gabriel and Rebecca Farrow Styles, and Louisa Styles Lindsey, Washington and Manela Lanford are buried in the cemetery of Old Bethel Baptist church, where Washington Styles was a deacon.[16] The 1860 federal census shows Oscar living at Woodruff with his widowed grandmother Rebecca Styles and listed as a student; it seems that his father Dennis may have placed Oscar in the care of Gabriel and Rebecca Styles after his mother Louisa died in 1846, and in 1850, his grandparents had the Lanford family providing care for him.[17]

On 21 April 1846, Dennis and Louisa’s second child, a daughter Tamora Gertrude, was born at Hamburg. As noted previously, she is buried with her mother Louisa in Old Bethel Baptist cemetery at Woodruff, with her tombstone giving this date of birth and stating that she died 10 August 1846.[18]

Edgefield Advertiser (26 August 1846), p. 3, col. 2
Augusta [Georgia] Constitutionalist (27 August 1846), p. 3, col. 1
Tombstone of Louisa Styles Lindsey, Old Bethel Baptist cemetery, Woodruff, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, from her Find a Grave memorial page created by dora brown, photo by Labonte18

Tamora’s mother Louisa followed her in death seven days later on 17 August. Her obituaries in the Edgefield Advertiser and Augusta Constitutionalist state that she died at the residence of her parents G.B. and Rebecca Styles in Spartanburg County, and was the wife of Dennis Lindsey of Hamburg.[19] They note that she was 25 years old at the time of death. The Edgefield paper adds that she had been for the last five years a “devout and orderly member of the Baptist church” and was survived by one child.

Edgefield Advertiser (18 October 1848), p. 1, col. 2

Many indicators tell us that after his wife Louisa died and he brought their surviving child Oscar to Spartanburg County to be cared for by his Styles grandparents, Dennis continued his life in Hamburg as a cotton merchant.[20] For instance, on 23 August 1848, the Edgefield Advertiser ran an announcement dated 16 August, in which Dennis Lindsey and G.C. Cunningham thanked their “old friends and customers for past favors” and stated that the two could now be found at the store of G.W. Styles during the coming season. This ad is preceded by a notice headed “Grocery and Cotton Business” stating that G.W. Styles had returned from Mexico, and had resumed a grocery and cotton business in Hamburg at the place formerly occupied by G.C. Cunningham.[21] As C. Richard King’s biography of Carey Wentworth Styles notes, he served during the Mexican-American War (1846-8) as a sergeant in Preston Brooks’s company D of the Palmetto Regiment.[22]

I’m pretty sure that “G.W.” Styles is Dennis’s brother-in-law Carey Wentworth (C.W.) Styles, and that a typesetter mistook a C. for a G. in setting type for this announcement. Gabriel and Rebecca Farrow Styles had only three children — Dennis’s wife Louisa and sons Carey Wentworth and Samuel Farrow Styles. I have found no record of any Styles man with the initials G.W. living in South Carolina in this period. In fact, the preceding ad ends with a note that C.W.S. would be billed for the series of ads the paper was running. Styles evidently combined his law practice with a mercantile business.

Dennis’s business partner G.C. Cunningham is George C. Cunningham, who is listed on the 1850 federal census in Hamburg as a cotton speculator, aged 25.[23] George is living in the household of his brother O.P. Cunningham, aged 33, a merchant’s clerk, and O.P. Cunningham’s wife Mary. Oliver Hazard Perry Cunningham married Mary Roman at Hamburg on 18 April 1843. O.H.P. Cunningham’s tombstone in Schultz Hill cemetery in North Augusta in what’s now Aiken County, South Carolina, states that he was a merchant of Hamburg who was born 18 April 1816 and died 16 November 1854.[24] Following O.H.P. Cunningham’s death in 1854, Dennis Lindsey married Cunningham’s widow Mary as his second wife.

George C. Cunningham is also buried in Schultz Hill cemetery, which was formerly the town cemetery of Hamburg. His tombstone states that he died 30 May 1859 in the 39th year of his life.[25] A biography on his Find a Grave memorial page states that he was a cotton merchant, and also identifies him as a doctor. A funeral notice for George C. Cunningham in Augusta’s Daily Constitutionalist and Republic on 31 May 1859 says that his funeral was held that day at his residence in Hamburg.[26]

Petition for Establishment of Calhoun Lodge International Order of Od Fellows (abt. 1849), South Carolina Petitions to the General Assembly (abt. 1849), 4721

As we saw previously, Dennis signed a petition of Hamburg’s town council and citizens on 1 December 1848 for funds to clear a portion of the Savannah River, with his brother-in-law C.W. Styles signing along with him.[27] At some point in 1849, Dennis was also a signatory to a petition to the state legislature for the incorporation of Calhoun Lodge International Order of Odd Fellows at Hamburg.[28]

Records of the 1850s Show Dennis Playing an Active Role in Hamburg in That Decade

Dennis is enumerated twice on the 1850 federal census in Hamburg. On 26 November, he is listed in a boarding house headed by Nancy P. Farrow, with the census identifying him as a cotton buyer, aged 35.[29] Also in the house is Robert Cunningham, 27, a clerk in a store. Robert was a brother of Dennis’s business partner George C. Cunningham and of Oliver Hazard Perry Cunningham, whose widow Dennis would later marry. The following day, Dennis appears on the census in a hotel in Hamburg belonging to P.H. Castleberry, again as a cotton buyer aged 35.[30] Note that these two census entries suggest his year of birth was 1815, while his tombstone gives 1812 as the year of birth. 

Lewis E. Daniell, Types of Successful Men of Texas (Austin: Eugene von Boeckmann, 1890), pp. 407-409

Nancy Patillo Farrow, who had the boarding house in which Dennis Lindsey was enumerated on the 1850 census in Hamburg, was a half-sister of Rebecca Farrow Styles, mother of Dennis’s first wife Louisa. Nancy married her first cousin Samuel Farrow, who died in 1849 in Spartanburg County, after which Nancy opened a boarding house in Hamburg to support her family.[31] As Lewis Daniell’s biography of Louisa’s brother Samuel Farrow Styles states, Samuel F. Styles studied medicine with his uncle Samuel Farrow in Spartanburg County.[32]

Neither the 1850 nor the 1860 federal slave schedules for Edgefield District/County show Dennis Lindsey holding any enslaved people in those years.

On 5 June 1851, the Charleston Courier reported on a meeting held at Hamburg on 31 May with 400 citizens of the town opposed to immediate secession of South Carolina following a Southern Rights Convention in Charleston. Andrew J. Hammond chaired this meeting with and C.W. Styles as secretary. A list of those subscribing for the meeting to be held includes O.H.P. Cunningham, whose widow Dennis would marry following Cunningham’s death.[33]

Edgefield Advertiser (14 July 1852), p. 3, col. 2

On 14 July 1852, the Edgefield Advertiser reported that at a Fourth of July celebration held on Saturday the 3rd at Hamburg, Dennis Lindsey offered a toast to John C. Calhoun, who had died two years earlier after serving in various offices including the vice-presidency of the U.S. and as a U.S. senator.[34] At the same event, his brother-in-law C.W. Styles offered a toast to Francis Wilkinson Pickens, a cousin of John C. Calhoun (Pickens’s grandmother Rebecca Calhoun Pickens was Calhoun’s aunt) who also held various offices and was U.S. minister to Russia.

More records of the 1850s show Dennis continuing to be actively involved in the affairs of Hamburg, including as a manager of local elections. On 2 December 1853, a petition to the South Carolina Assembly filed by John E. McDonald and inhabitants of Edgefield District asking to be released from a bond involving a town lot in Hamburg mentions Dennis Lindsey, his brother-in-law C.E. Styles, and O.H.P. Cunningham, whose widow Mary Dennis would soon marry.[35]

On 20 December 1853, the Committee on Privileges and Elections of the South Carolina General Assembly reported names of election managers for an election to be held for senators and representatives on the 2nd Monday in October. Dennis Lindsey was one of the three managers for Hamburg.[36]

The next year in 1854, Dennis signed another petition of Inhabitants of Edgefield District, this one asking for repeal of the charter granted to Jones and Kennedy for a bridge over the Savannah River at Augusta.[37] Also in 1854 on 5 October, Dennis was again named election manager at Hamburg for an election to state offices the 2nd Monday in October.[38]

Charleston Courier (25 Nov 1854), p. 1, col. 2

As noted previously, on 16 November 1854, O.H.P. Cunningham, brother of Dennis’s business partner George C. Cunningham, died at Hamburg, and at some point between this date and 24 September 1860 when Cunningham’s widow Mary appears in Dennis’s household in Hamburg as his wife, Dennis and Mary had married.[39] I have not been able to track Mary’s parents, but suspect she may have been a daughter of Daniel S. Roman and Mary Ann Liverman, who married 17 February 1825 in Richmond County, Georgia. This family lived in Augusta.

Dennis Lindsey appears again on 18 December 1855 as an election manager for an upcoming general election in Hamburg.[40] The following year in 1856, he signed a petition in Hamburg to revise the town charter to allow the town council to impose various taxes.[41] Also in 1856, he appears again as an election manager at Hamburg in January and September.[42]

The loose-papers estate file of Robert F. Cunningham, brother of George C. and O.H.P. Cunningham, in Edgefield County shows Dennis Lindsey as an appraiser of the estate of Robert F. Cunningham.[43] The file contains an estate appraisal submitted to Edgefield court by William Walker, W.R. Hudson, and Dennis Lindsey on 3 October 1856, with each signing the appraisal. Robert was a brother of George C. and O.H.P. Cunningham, and is buried with them in Schultz Hill cemetery in North Augusta, his tombstone stating that he was born 1 October 1819 and died 20 April 1855.[44]

By 12 August 1858, when the Augusta paper the Daily Constitutionalist and Republic announced the dissolution of the firm of H.L. Cunningham & Co. of Hamburg, it appears that Dennis Lindsey and George C. Cunningham were no longer in business together.[45] The announcement states that the H.L. Cunningham firm had partners H.L. and G.C. Cunningham and Henry Solomon. This notice is dated 8 August. I do not know enough about the Cunninghams of Hamburg to determine whether Henry L. Cunningham is a brother of George C. and O.H.P. Cunningham or their cousin. Other records also show H.L. Cunningham in business with George and O.H.P.’s brother Robert F. Cunningham, whom I just discussed.

From 1860 to the End of Dennis’s Life

As noted previously, the 1860 federal census shows that Dennis Lindsey had married O.H.P. Cunningham’s widow Mary S. Roman Cunningham by 1860.[46] This census enumerates Dennis (as D. Lindsey) and wife Mary (M. Lindsey) living in Hamburg in Edgefield County, where Dennis is once again listed as a cotton merchant. The census gives Dennis’s age as 46, implying a birth year of 1814. Mary is 32 and was born in Georgia. In the household are two younger women, L. and R. Kernagan, 13 and 6, both born in South Carolina. 

Subsequent censuses and other documents will show that R. Kernagan is Rosa Cunningham, Mary S. Roman’s daughter by O.H.P. Cunningham. I find no record of L. Cunningham after the 1860 census. She is not listed in Dennis and Mary’s household on the 1870 federal census when her sister Rosa Cunningham appears in the household by her correct surname. It’s possible L. Cunningham married between 1860-1870, but, if so, it’s difficult to know how to search for the marriage when the 1860 census names her only by the initial L. It should also be noted that her name does not appear in the death notice of her mother or the obituaries of her sister Rosa and half-siblings Lena and Dennis Lindsey, so it seems likely to me that she died between 1860 and 1870.

In July 1861, Dennis and Mary had a daughter Lena D. Lindsey. In a subsequent posting in which I discuss Dennis’s children by his two wives, I’ll provide further biographical information about Lena, whose July 1861 date of birth we know from the 1900 federal census and her obituary in the Atlanta Constitution on 22 March 1911, which says that when she died in Atlanta on 21 March, she was aged 50.[47]  

Payment and receipt in Dennis Lindsey’s Civil War service papers, Co. C, 5th Regiment South Carolina Reserves (CSA), from NARA, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of South Carolina, M267, RG 109, online at Fold3

On 10 November 1862, Dennis Lindsey enlisted at Hamburg in Captain John B. Holmes’s Company (Co. C) of the 5th Regiment of South Carolina Reserves (CSA), in which he served as a 2nd lieutenant.[48] His service papers give his age as 49 at the time of his enlistment, suggesting a birth year of 1813. They also show him receiving a payment of $240 for service on 15 February 1863, signed as Dennis Lindsey, 2nd lieutenant. The payment form has a receipt attached, which Dennis signed on the day of payment as “Dennis Lindsey 2nd Lieut.”

Following his Civil War service, Dennis appears again as an election manager in Hamburg in a notice printed in the Edgefield Advertiser newspaper on 18 October 1865. This states that he was one of the Hamburg managers for elections to state office to be held on the 18th.[49]

On 9 December 1866, Dennis and Mary had another child, a son Dennis. This date of birth was reported by his wife Willie Lee Howard Lindsey when he died 11 March 1931 at Decatur, Georgia.[50] His wife reported that Dennis was born in Georgia, and his obituary in the Atlanta Constitution states that he was a native of Augusta,[51] but all federal censuses from the 1870 census forward give his birthplace as South Carolina. It seems clear to me he was born in Hamburg.

I have a note from an unidentified source, which I have not been able to track, stating that an index to old court decrees of Edgefield District shows Dennis Lindsey and wife Mary petitioning on 24 May 1867 for Joseph Kennedy to be appointed trustee in the estate of Robert J. Cunningham. I think that this citation may come from Daphne Cook Stone’s book General Will and Estate Index, Edgefield District.[52] If so, when I made a note of the record, I unfortunately did not note the source to which the book was pointing. I have checked Edgefield’s Court of Common Pleas petitions and decrees in summary process index, its Equity Court direct and cross index to court records 1800-1870, and its general index to loose probate records, without finding information about this legal action.

On 1 April 1868, Edgefield Advertiser reported about a meeting of Democratic Committee of Hamburg that had been held on 26 March. The report states that Dennis Lindsay [sic] had been appointed at this meeting to a committee to prepare business for meetings of the Democratic Committee.[53]

Later in 1868, on 1 July, the Edgefield paper printed a U.S. Internal Revenue Service announcement announcing that on 19 June at Hamburg, a house and lot belonging to E.R. Cunningham would be sold to pay Cunningham’s revenue tax.[54] The announcement states that Cunningham’s house and lot on Market Street adjoined the residence of Dennis Lindsey. The paper printed the same announcement a week later. 

The 1870 federal census shows Dennis Lindsey and his family living in Schultz township in Edgefield County.[55] Dennis is again listed as a cotton merchant, whose age is 57. Wife Mary is 42 and born in Georgia. In the household are children Lena D., 9, and Dennis, 3, both born in South Carolina, as well as Rosa Cunningham, 16, also born in South Carolina. Rosa’s connection to Dennis and Mary is not specified; later documents will show that she is Mary’s daughter by her previous marriage. Living in the house along with the Lindsey family are also Susan Scott and her children Ida, 5, and Eddy, 3. Susan’s occupation is domestic servant, and she and her children are listed as black. The census states that Lena has attended school during the census year.

Schultz township was named for the founder of Hamburg Henry Shultz. As Tom Downey notes, Shultz (whose surname appears as Schultz in other sources) was a German immigrant who had first settled in Augusta, and then had become angry at the treatment accorded him by the “aristocrats of Augusta.”[56] In retaliation against his perceived treatment by fellow merchants in Augusta, Shultz built the town of Hamburg across the Savannah from Augusta to permit South Carolina to compete for the trade of the upper Savannah River. Downey states, “The South Carolina General Assembly assisted Shultz in his trade war with a $50,000 loan and by exempting Hamburg town lots from taxation.”

By 9 May 1877, when F.M. Trimmier, administrator of the estate of Mark Lindsey, Dennis’s brother, filed his petition in Spartanburg County to administer Mark’s estate, Dennis and Mary had moved their family across the Savannah River from Hamburg to Augusta.[57] This is evident in a statement in Trimmier’s petition that two of Mark’s brothers, Dennis and John, were living out of the state of South Carolina in May 1877.

The Augusta city directory for 1877 confirms that Dennis had moved his family to that city by 1877. He appears in the city directory in that year as Dennis Lindsay, cotton [business], residing on Houston Street north of Broad.[58]

Dennis Lindsey died in Augusta, Georgia, in 1879, according to his tombstone in Magnolia cemetery in Augusta.[59] A biography of Dennis’s son Dennis in the biographical series American Biography: A New Cyclopaedia gives 1878 as his father’s year of death, noting that Dennis Lindsey was a “man of affairs, very outstanding in Hamburg.”[60]

Dennis’s widow Mary appears on the 1880 federal census as head of her household at 109 Houston Street in Augusta. She is 52, a seamstress (“sempstress” in the original) who was born in Georgia of South Carolina-born parents.[61] In her household are children Rosa, 25, a seamstress, Lena, 19, and Dennis, 13, all born in South Carolina and all listed with the surname Lindsey. Rosa and Lena are also listed as “sempstresses,” and Dennis is clerking in a dry goods store.

238 Broad Street, Augusta, Georgia, from Google Maps street view

In 1883, the Augusta city directory states that Mary S. Lindsey, widow of Dennis, is living in Augusta at 238 Broad Street with her children Lena D. and Dennis Lindsey and Rosa Cunningham.[62] By 1890 Mary had gone to Atlanta and was living there with her son Dennis, who had married Willie Lee Howard in 1891. The Atlanta city directory for that year shows her and Dennis, with his family, living at 28 Formwalt Street in Atlanta.[63] Dennis was working as a press feeder at Thomason & Sons in Atlanta in 1900. The city directory states that Mary S. Lindsey was the widow of Dennis Lindsey (the elder). 

The 1893 city directory shows Mary living at 44 Formwalt and Dennis living at Ingleside, Georgia, and working as a pressman for Mutual Printing Company.[64] Mary’s daughter Rosa Cunningham was also in Atlanta by this year, working as a clerk at G. Garrow and boarding at 69 Garnett Street.[65] In 1894, Mary S. Lindsey was at 23 Formwalt Street in Atlanta, with son Dennis continuing to work for Mutual Printing Company and live in Ingleside.[66] Daughter Rosa was living with her now and continuing to work as a clerk at G. Garrow.[67]

Atlanta Constitution (24 March 1900), p. 10, col. 7

Mary Roman Lindsey died on or shortly before 24 March 1900 at the home of her daughter Lena in Atlanta. Her funeral notice in the Atlanta Constitution on that date states that Mary S. Lindsey had died at her late residence, 31 Orange Street in Atlanta, where her funeral was to be held on the 24th.[68] She was survived by “Deems” Lindsey, Rosa Cunningham, and Mrs. J.F. Fass, and was to be buried at Augusta. The 1900 federal census shows Lena and husband James Thomas Gordon living at 31 Orange Street in Atlanta with Lena’s half-sister Rosa Cunningham in the household.[69]

The Mrs. J.F. Fass named in this funeral notice is a mystery me. Since I have not been able to trace Mary’s Cunningham daughter who has only the initial L. in the 1860 federal census, who was born in 1847, according to that census, the thought occurs to me that Mrs. J. F. Fass is that mystery daughter. But I can find no match anywhere in Georgia or South Carolina for a J.F. Fass who could possibly be the husband of Mary’s daughter L. Cunningham.

In my view, just as the funeral notice garbles the name of Mary’s son Dennis, it has garbled the married name of her daughter Lena, and Mrs. J.F. Fass is Mrs. J.T. Gordon — who is not otherwise named in this funeral notice, though we know she and her husband lived at the address at which the notice says Mary S. Lindsey was living and died. It’s also important to note, as previously stated, that none of the obituaries of Mary’s children Lena, Dennis, or Rosa Cunningham ever mentions another sister, suggesting that Rosa Cunningham’s sister L. Cunningham died young. Though it’s a far stretch to see the name J.T. Gordon turning into J.F. Fass, I think this is precisely what has happened here, perhaps from a misreading of a hastily written funeral notice sent to the newspaper in cursive handwriting.

In the next posting, I will provide biographical information about Dennis Lindsey’s children by his two wives who survived to adulthood — his son Oscar L. Lindsey, born to Louisa Styles; and his children Lena and Dennis Lindsey, born to Mary S. Roman. The posting will also provide information about Mary’s daughter by Oliver Hazard Perry Cunningham, Rosa A. Cunningham.


[1] See Dennis Lindsey’s Find a Grave memorial page, Magnolia cemetery, Augusta, Georgia, which was created by M Long and has a photo of his tombstone, also by M Long.

[2] Spartanburg County, South Carolina, loose-papers estate files, Henry Earnest estate, #840.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. V, pp. 565-6.

[5] Ibid., Deed Bk. W, pp. 359-361.

[6] Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Equity Court, 1837, box 18, package 6, Rachel Lindsey vs. Peggy Earnest et al.

[7] Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. W, pp. 432-4.

[8] Ibid., Deed Bk. X, p. 364.

[9] South Carolina Petitions to the General Assembly (1842), 194.

[10] Tom Downey, “Hamburg, 1821-1876,” South Carolina Encyclopedia, online at website of University of South Carolina. See also John A. Chapman, History of Edgefield County from the Earliest Settlements to 1897 (Newberry: Elbert H. Aull, 1897), pp. 20, 103-4, 236-242.

[11] Greenville Mountaineer (Greenville, South Carolina) (7 March 1843).

[12] See the biography of Louisa’s brother Carey Wentworth Styles, founder of the Atlanta Constitution, by Raymond B. Nixon entitled “Constitution’s Founder Fought for Georgia with Pen and Sword,” Atlanta Constitution (17 June 1945), pp. 12, col. 1-8. See also Lewis E. Daniell, Types of Successful Men of Texas (Austin: Eugene von Boeckmann, 1890), pp. 407-409.

[13] South Carolina Petitions to the General Assembly (1848), 38. 

[14] Edgefield Advertiser (24 November 1852), p. 3, col. 1. For biographical information about Carey Wentworth Styles, see  his Wikipedia biography, citing multiple sources. See also the brief biography at Emory University’s page for his papers, “Carey Wentworth Styles papers, 1860-1945.” A biography by C. Richard King entitled “Styles, Carey Wentworth (1825-1897)” is in Handbook of Texas at the website of the Texas State Historical Association.

[15] 1850 federal census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, p. 257A (dwelling/family 2453; 14 November).

[16] See the Find a Grave memorial page of Washington Lanford at Old Bethel Baptist cemetery, Woodruff, South Carolina, created by David ~ Effie; and H.P. Griffith, The Life and Times of Rev. John G. Landrum (Philadelphia: H.B. Garner, 1885), p. 182, noting that Washington Lanford was a deacon of Old Bethel church. Griffith’s book transcribes a 7 May 1882 letter of Mary Brockman Walker of Waco, Texas, indicating that her mother Mary Farrow Dean was a sister of Gabriel Styles’s wife Rebecca Farrow and speaking of the old Bethel church at Woodruff and the Cedar Shoals Baptist church in Spartanburg County pastored by Reverend Miles Rainwater (p. 54).

[17] 1860 federal census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Southern Division, Woodruff post office, p. 390 (dwelling/family 1309; 15 September).

[18] Find a Grave memorial page for Tamora Girtrude [sic] Lindsey, Old Bethel Baptist cemetery, Woodruff, South Carolina; created by Dora Brown.

[19] Augusta [Georgia] Constitutionalist (27 August 1846), p. 3, col. 1; Edgefield Advertiser (26 August 1846), p. 3, col. 2.

[20] South Carolina Petitions to the General Assembly (1848), 38.

[21] Edgefield Advertiser (23 August 1848), p. 3, col. 6. The same two announcements ran in subsequent editions of the paper — see, e.g., Edgefield Advertiser (18 October 1848), p. 1, col. 2.

[22] C. Richard King, “Styles, Carey Wentworth (1825-1897).”

[23] 1850 federal census, Edgefield County, South Carolina, Hamburg, p. 133A (dwelling 2015, family 2021; 27 November. 

[24] See Find a Grave memorial page for O.H.P. Cunningham, Schultz Hill cemetery, North Augusta, Aiken County, South Carolina, created by acpflute, who has uploaded a photo of the tombstone to the page.

[25] See Find a Grave memorial page for George C. Cunningham, Schultz Hill cemetery, North Augusta, Aiken County, South Carolina, created by acpflute, who has uploaded a photo of the tombstone to the page. George died testate in Edgefield County. His original will and estate papers are in Edgefield County, South Carolina, loose-papers estate files, estate of George C. Cunningham (1859), box 79, package 3168.

[26] Daily Constitutionalist and Republic [Augusta, Georgia] (31 May 1859), p. 2 col. 2.

[27] See supra, n. 13.

[28] South Carolina Petitions to the General Assembly (abt. 1849), 4721.

[29] 1850 federal census, Edgefield County, South Carolina, Hamburg, p. 129A (dwelling 1964/family 1970).

[30] Ibid., p. 131A (dwelling 1997/family 2000).

[31] See Audrey Doris Coolsby Farrow, A Genealogical History of the Farrow, Waters, and Related Families (Fulton, Mississippi: Itawamba County Times, 1973), p. 49, citing a 1 August 1894 letter of D.B. Clayton.

[32] Daniell, Types of Successful Men of Texas, p. 408.

[33] Charleston Courier (5 June 1851), p. 2, col. 4.

[34] Edgefield Advertiser (14 July 1852), p. 3, col. 2.

[35] South Carolina Petitions to the General Assembly (1853), 133.

[36] Reports and Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina Passed at the Annual Session of 1853 (Columbia: R.W. Gibbes, 1853), p. 202.

[37] South Carolina Petitions to the General Assembly (1854), 138.

[38] Edgefield Advertiser (5 October 1854), p. 4, col. 3.

[39] The Charleston Courier reported on 25 November 1854 (p. 1, col. 2) that O.H.P. Cunningham of Hamburg had died at Hamburg on the 15thinst. of typhoid fever, aged 37.

[40] Reports and Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina Passed in December 1855 (Columbia: E.H. Britton, 1855), p. 223. See also Edgefield Advertiser (26 December 1855), p. 2, col. 6.

[41] South Carolina Petitions to the General Assembly (1856), 5735.

[42] See Edgefield Advertiser (2 January 1856), p. 2, col. 5; ibid. (10 September 1856), p. 3, col. 3, ibid. (24 September 1856), p. 4, col. 5; and ibid., (1 October 1856), p. 4, col. 3.

[43] Edgefield County, South Carolina, loose-papers estate files, estate of Robert F. Cunningham (1856), box 71, package 2873.

[44] See Find a Grave memorial page of Robert F. Cunningham, Schultz Hill cemetery, North Augusta, Aiken County, South Carolina, created by acpflute, who has uploaded a photo of the tombstone to this page.

[45] Daily Constitutionalist and Republic [Augusta, Georgia] (12 August 1858), p. 2, col. 5.

[46] 1860 federal census, Edgefield County, South Carolina, Hamburg, p. 117 (dwelling 1776/family 1767; 24 September). 

[47] “Mrs. Lena L. Gordon Is Called by Death: Mother of William Gordon, Congressman Howard’s Secretary, Dies at Residence,” Atlanta Constitution (22 March 1911), p. 1, col. 2.

[48] NARA, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of South Carolina, M267, RG 109, online at Fold3.

[49] Edgefield Advertiser (18 October 1865), p. 4, col. 4.

[50] See death certificate of Dennis Lindsey, Georgia Department of Health and Vital Statistics #004582669, DeKalb County, 1931, #31-6044; online at Ancestry in the collection Georgia, U.S., Deaths Index, 1914-1940.

[51] “Funeral Rites for Dennis Lindsey: Prominent Figure in Labor Circles Dies at Residence in Decatur,” Atlanta Constitution (12 March 1931), p. 6, col. 5-6.

[52] Daphne Cook Stone, General Will and Estate Index, Edgefield District (priv. publ. Trenton, South Carolina, 2005).

[53] Edgefield Advertiser (1 April 1868), p. 2, col. 5.

[54] Edgefield Advertiser (1 July 1868), p. 4, col. 4.

[55] 1870 federal census, Edgefield County, South Carolina, Schultz township, p. 418B (dwelling 86/family 108; 9 August). 

[56] Downey, “Hamburg, 1821-1876.”

[57] See 9 May 1877 petition of F.M. Trimmier to administer estate of Mark Lindsey, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, loose-papers estate file of Mark Lindsey, file 644.

[58] Sholes’ Directory of the City of Augusta for 1877 (Augusta: Chronicle & Constitutionalist, 1877), p. 227.

[59] See supra, n. 1.

[60] William Richard Cutler, American Biography: A New Cyclopaedia, vol. 52 (New York: American Historical Society 1932), p. 303.

[61] 1880 federal census, Richmond County, Georgia, Augusta, p. 265 (ED 97; dwelling 38/family 44; 1 June).

[62] Sholes’ Directory of the City of Augusta 1883 (Augusta: Chronicle Book House, 1883), pp. 192, 325.

[63] Atlanta City Directory for 1890 (Atlanta: Constitution, 1890), p. 827.

[64] Atlanta City Directory for 1893 (Atlanta: Constitution, 1893), pp. 882-3.

[65] Ibid., p. 528.

[66] Atlanta City Directory for 1894 (Atlanta: Constitution, 1894), pp. 912-3.

[67] Ibid., p. 555.

[68] Atlanta Constitution (24 March 1900), p. 10, col. 7.

[69] 1900 federal census, Fulton County, Georgia, Atlanta, ward 2, district 51, p. 6 (ED 51; dwelling 87/family 120; 4 June). 

One thought on “Children of William Lindsey (1760/1770 – 1840) and Rachel Earnest — Dennis Lindsey (1812 – 1879)

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