Children of Dennis Lindsey (1812 – 1879) by Wives Louisa F. Styles and Mary S. Roman (Cunningham)

By Louisa, Dennis had children Oscar L. Lindsey and Tamora Gertrude Lindsey. As the posting I link above indicates, after giving birth to Tamora on 21 April 1846, Louisa died on 17 August 1846, with Tamora dying seven days before her mother on 10 August. The previous posting also notes that Louisa and Tamora are buried in Old Bethel Baptist cemetery at Woodruff in Spartanburg County, along with Louisa’s parents.[1] Though Dennis and Louisa were living at Hamburg at the time of Louisa’s death, and though their two children were born there, obituaries of Louisa indicate that she died at the home of her parents at Woodruff.[2]

In what follows, I’ll tell you what I know of Dennis and Louisa’s son Oscar L. Lindsey, who was born in 1844, as the last posting states. After having been raised by his Styles grandparents at Woodruff, Oscar lived to adulthood and died 21 June 1872 at Anderson in Anderson County, South Carolina.

Following Louisa’s death (again, please see the previous posting which I just linked again), Dennis remarried sometime between 16 November 1854 and 24 September 1860 to Mary, the widow of Oliver Hazard Perry Cunningham. O.H.P. Cunningham died 16 November 1854 and Mary appears as Dennis’s wife on the 1860 federal census in Hamburg on 24 September 1860.[3] As the previous posting explains, O.H.P. Cunningham was the brother of Dennis’s partner in his mercantile business, Dr. George C. Cunningham. Mary Cunningham was née Mary S. Roman. She and O.H.P. Cunningham married at Hamburg on 18 April 1843.

By O.H.P. Cunningham, Mary S. Roman had two daughters. The only record I’ve found of the first daughter is her listing on the 1860 federal census in Dennis Lindsey’s household in Hamburg, where she has the initial L. and is 13 years old. As the previous posting states, in my view, this daughter likely died between 1860 and 1870. The second daughter, Rosa A. Cunningham, was raised by Dennis and Mary Lindsey with their two children, and appears in a number of records as their sister.

Dennis Lindsey and Mary S. Roman (Cunningham) had children Lena D. and Dennis Lindsey. In what follows, I will provide information about them and also about Rosa Cunningham.

Dennis Lindsey and Louisa F. Style’s Surviving Child Oscar L. Lindsey

The preceding posting provides information about Oscar L. Lindsey up to 1860. As that posting notes, the 1850 federal census shows Oscar living at Woodruff in Spartanburg County with the family of Washington and Manela Posey Lanford, and indicates that he was six years old, born in South Carolina.[4] The Lanfords had no kinship connection to the Lindsey or Styles family that I have found, but lived close to Oscar’s grandparents Gabriel B. and Rebecca Farrow Styles, and, as did the Styles family, attended Bethel Baptist church at Woodruff, where Washington Lanford was a deacon. As are Gabriel and Rebecca Styles and their daughter Louisa with her daughter Tamora, the Lanfords are buried in Old Bethel Baptist cemetery at Woodruff.[5]

Since the 1860 federal census shows Oscar living with his widowed grandmother Rebecca Styles,[6] it seems to me that his father Dennis had probably placed him in the care of his Styles grandparents in Spartanburg County after Louisa died, and perhaps the grandparents had made an arrangement with the neighboring Lanfords, a young couple with a one-year-old daughter, to provide care for Oscar as a small boy. The 1860 census shows Oscar aged 15 and living at Woodruff with his widowed grandmother Rebecca, aged 76. He’s listed as a student.

Will of Gabriel B. Styles, 3 August 1860, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Will Bk. E, pp. 97-8

When the 1860 federal census was taken, Oscar’s grandfather Gabriel B. Styles had just died. He made his will in Spartanburg County on 3 August 1860 and it was probated in court on 21 September 1860.[7] Because the census lists Rebecca as head of the household on 15 September, it appears Gabriel had died by that date. 

The first bequest Gabriel B. Styles makes in his will is to his grandson Oscar L. Lindsey. The will states that Oscar was the son of Gabriel’s daughter, whose name is not given. Gabriel bequeaths to Oscar an enslaved woman Nancy and her children Charley and Narcissa and any progeny they might have. The will stipulates that if Oscar should die without lawful issue, the enslaved persons and their increase are to be divided among Gabriel’s sons Samuel F. Styles and Carey W. Styles. Oscar is placed by the will under the guardianship of his uncle Samuel F. Styles until Oscar reaches the age of 21, with instructions that Samuel is to see his nephew cared for and educated from funds generated by the work of the enslaved persons bequeathed to Oscar, and if those funds were not sufficient to provide for Oscar, Samuel might choose to sell the enslaved persons and use the proceeds on Oscar’s behalf.

The year following the death of his grandfather Gabriel, Oscar L. Lindsey enlisted as a private on 11 December 1861 at St. Simons Island in Georgia in Company E of Georgia’s 26th Infantry (CSA).[8] In joining this unit, Oscar was following his uncle Carey Wentworth Styles, who had joined the same unit on 6 April 1861 as a captain. On 24 August 1861, he became colonel of the unit.[9]

Payment to Oscar L. Lindsey, Company B, 1st Regiment South Carolina Cavalry (CSA), 24 February 1864, NARA, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of South Carolina, M267, RG109

Oscar’s service papers show that he requested a transfer around 29 December 1862 to Company B of the 1st regiment of South Carolina Cavalry. He enlisted in the latter unit on 8 January 1863 at Camp Whatley in Culpeper County, Virginia.[10] The service papers show Oscar being paid on 24 February 1864 “at Camp in VA” $114.51 for service from 31 October to 31 December 1863. The receipt for this payment shows Oscar signing as O.L. Lindsey. Note that Oscar was 17 years old when he entered service in 1861.

Payment to Oscar L. Lindsey, Company B, 1st Regiment South Carolina Cavalry (CSA), 24 February 1864, NARA, Confederate Papers Relating to Citizens or Business Firms, 1861-65, M346, RG 109

A set of papers in the Confederate Citizens’ File shows Oscar L. Lindsey paid on the same day, 24 February 1864, $132.22 for corn and hay he had foraged for Confederate troops while serving in Virginia.[11] His service papers for the South Carolina unit confirm that he was “on detached service” and “scouting” for General Hampton in Virginia in the latter part of 1863 and first part of 1864. The payment on 24 February 1864 was made at Spotsylvania courthouse with Oscar again signing receipt as O.L. Lindsey.

Oath of Allegiance card, Oscar L. Lindsey, Company B, 1st South Carollina Cavalry (CSA), NARA, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of South Carolina, M267, RG109
Description of Oscar L. Lindsey, 26 February, 1864, NARA, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of South Carolina, M267, RG109

On 29 July 1864, Oscar was captured by Union troops at Petersburg, Virginia, and then sent from Point Lookout, Maryland, to a Union prison camp at Elmira, New York, on 8 August.[12] On 16 June 1865 at Elmira, Oscar gave the oath of allegiance to the Union, stating that his residence was Hamburg, South Carolina. A “description list” in his South Carolina service papers dated 26 February 1864 indicates that he was 20 years old with blue eyes, fair hair, fair complexion, 6’2” in height, and was farming in Edgefield District, South Carolina. 

The statement of the “description list” in Oscar’s South Carolina service papers that he was farming in Edgefield District suggests that he had either gone from Spartanburg County, South Carolina, to Hamburg by 1861, when he enlisted in the Confederate army, or intended to go there after his service ended. His father Dennis Lindsey remained in Hamburg at this time, so Oscar would have been with family in that part of South Carolina, even though he remained under guardianship of his uncle Samuel Farrow Styles until he reached 21, according to the terms of the will of his grandfather Gabriel Styles. 

Following his release from the Union prison in Elmira, New York, in June 1865, Oscar becomes difficult to track — as with so many of those who had been in military service during the war and then returned home and tried to resume normal lives under abnormal conditions. On 12 August 1867, he registered to vote in district 15 of Telfair County, Georgia, under the terms of the Reconstruction Act of 1867.[13] Why Oscar was in south central Georgia at this point, I don’t know. Following the war, his uncle Carey settled in Brooks County, Georgia, south of Telfair, where he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. I do not find Oscar buying or selling property in Telfair County per the county’s deed index, and have found no trace of him in Telfair County other than his voter registration listing in 1867. It’s possible that the collections of the papers of his uncle Carey Wentworth Styles at Emory University and University of Texas would contain documents that cast light on the final years of Oscar’s life. 

Death record of Oscar L. Lindsey, register of First Presbyterian church, Anderson, South Carolina, 21 June 1872, “Births, Baptisms, Deaths, First Presbyterian Church, Anderson, South Carolina, 1868-1895,” at Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, Presbyterian Church Records, 1701-1907

I am unable to find Oscar on the 1870 federal census. It seems that at the very end of his life, he had gone to Anderson County, South Carolina, where he was apparently living in the county seat, Anderson, some 90 miles north of Hamburg where his father and second wife and children were living. Oscar L. Lindsey died in Anderson, South Carolina, on 21 June 1872 at the young age of 28. The death registry of First Presbyterian church of Anderson records this date of death for him, with the notation that he had been a member of the church “but a short time.”[14] I have found no burial information for him or indication that he married.

Dennis Lindsey and Mary S. Roman (Cunningham)’s Children Lena and Dennis

As the previous posting notes, Dennis and Mary Roman Lindsey’s first child Lena D. Lindsey was born in July 1861 in Hamburg, South Carolina. The 1900 federal census, which shows her living at 31 Orange Street in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband James Thomas Gordon and family, gives July 1861 as her date of birth, indicating that she was born in South Carolina.[15] Lena Lindsey Gordon’s obituary in the Atlanta Constitution on 22 March 1911 also states that she was aged 50 when she died on 21 March 1911.[16]

“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

As the last posting also states, Lena D. Lindsey was enumerated in the household of parents Dennis and Mary Lindsey in Hamburg, Edgefield District, South Carolina, on the 1870 federal census, aged 9 on 9 August 1870.[17] The 1880 federal census lists her living with her brother Dennis and half-sister Rosa Cunningham (who were also in the Dennis Lindsey house in 1870) in  a household headed by her widowed mother Mary at 109 Houston Street in Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia, where Mary and her daughters Rosa and Lena are all enumerated as “sempstresses.”[18]

Richmond County, Georgia, Marriage Bk. M, p. 192

On 24 July 1883 in Richmond County, Lena married James Thomas Gordon, son of James B. Gordon and Isabella Thomas.[19] Their marriage record shows them being married by Reverend Anderson Joseph Jarrell, a Methodist minister in Augusta at the time of their marriage.[20]

Following their marriage, James Thomas and Lena Lindsey Gordon moved to St. Augustine in St. Johns County, Florida, where their family appears on the Florida state census of 1885 with J.T. Thomas listed as a merchant in St. Augustine.[21] Their household shows them with their one-year-old daughter Jessie V. Gordon.

By 11 December 1888, when their son William Thomas Gordon was born in Gordon County, Georgia (on this birthdate, see below), the Gordons had returned to Georgia. By 1896 the Atlanta city directory shows the family in Atlanta, living at 23 Formwalt Street, where James T. Gordon was working in the insurance business.[22] The next year’s city directory shows them in the same place, with James continuing to work in the insurance business.[23]

By 1898, there are intimations that the marriage of James T. and Lena Lindsey Gordon was having difficulties, since the Atlanta city directory for that year lists Lena L. Gordon as the widow of James T. Gordon, working as a dressmaker and boarding at 346 Rawson Street — though other documents after this date show James T. Gordon still living for a number of years after 1898.[24] Boarding at the same address in 1898 is Lena’s half-sister Rosa A. Cunningham, also listed as a dressmaker.[25] James T. Gordon is not listed in the Atlanta city directory this year.

As noted above, by 1900, Lena and her husband James T. Gordon are found on the 1900 federal census living in Atlanta.[26] The census indicates that this family was living at 31 Orange Street in Atlanta’s ward 2, and that Lena’s occupation was dressmaker. James T. Gordon (for whom no occupation is given) is aged 49, born in June 1850 in Georgia. Lena is 38, born in July 1861 South Carolina, with a father born in South Carolina and a mother in Georgia. The couple have been married 17 years and have had three children, all living.

In the household are children Jessie, 16, born in April 1884 in Florida; Willie, 10, born in December 1889 in Georgia; and Mary B., born in March 1893 in Georgia. All three children are in school. Also living with the Gordons is Lena’s half-sister Rosa Cunningham, who was born in South Carolina and is working as a dry goods clerk. The census states that Rosa was born in December 1859, but this is incorrect. The death certificate issued when she died in Atlanta on 1 December 1944 gives her age at the time of death as 90, placing her birth in 1854, which corresponds with the information about her age on the previously cited 1860 and 1870 federal censuses.[27]

As the previous posting states, when Lena’s mother Mary S. Roman Lindsey died in Atlanta on or shortly before 23 March 1900, her obituary in the Atlanta Constitution on 24 March states that Mary had died at her residence at 31 Orange Street, where her funeral was held on 24 March.[28] This is the address at which the 1900 federal census shows James T. and Lena Gordon’s family living on 4 June 1900.

The 1901 Atlanta directory lists Mrs. Lena Gordon, dressmaker, at 31 Orange Street, but no James T. Gordon.[29] Rosa A. Cunningham is also at this same address in 1901, working as a clerk in a store.[30] The 1902 city directory shows the same information: Mrs. Lena Gordon at 31 Orange, no James T. Gordon, and Rosa Cunningham living in the same place and working as a store clerk.[31] Ditto for 1903….[32]

By 1904, when Lena is again listed with no James T. Gordon in the city directory, she had moved to 222 Rawson Street and her son Will T. Gordon, now 16, is listed in the city directory living at the same address and working for Foote & Davies publishing company — the business in which Will’s uncle Dennis Lindsey was involved throughout his adult life.[33] Rosa Cunningham is living with Lena and her family and continuing to work as a store clerk.[34] The 1905 city directory reports the same information, except Rosa A. Cunningham is no longer listed with Lena or anywhere in the city directory: no James T. in the household, Lena living at 222 Rawson with Will T. appearing the directory and working at Foote & Davies.[35]

Atlanta Constitution (2 November 1905), p. 11, col. 7

On 2 November 1905, the Atlanta Constitution ran a notice from Fulton County court stating, “Mrs. Lena Gordon has applied for letters of guardianship of the person and property of James T. Gordon, insane person.”[36] The 1910 federal census shows Lena as head of a household in which James does not appear. The census states that Lena is married and not widowed, as we’ll see in a moment, James T. Gordon was still living in 1910. When his and Lena’s daughter Mary Belle Gordon applied for a passport on 6 February 1919 in Atlanta, her passport application states that her father was James Thomas Gordon, who had been born in Gordon County, Georgia, and was deceased.[37]

Atlanta Constitution (30 May 1905), p. 3, col. 6

James T. and Lena Lindsey Gordon’s daughter Jessie Vaille Gordon died on 29 May 1905 in Atlanta.[38] She is buried in Atlanta’s Westview cemetery with her mother Lena.[39] Her obituary in the Atlanta Constitution the next day states that she had been sick for over a year and died at her family’s residence at 22 Rawson Street. The obituary says that Jessie was survived by her mother Lena L. Gordon and a younger sister and brother. It also indicates that she was a graduate of the Girls’ High School and was a public school teacher. Notices in the Atlanta paper on 6 January and 28 April 1905 state that she was a third-grade teacher at Bell Street School and was sick on leave of absence. 

In 1906, the Atlanta directory shows Mrs. Lena Gordon back at 31 Orange Street with James T. not in the directory, and with Rosa Cunningham living with Lena on Orange Street.[40] William Gordon continues to be listed with his mother and aunt, working as a clerk at Foote and Davies. The following year in 1907, Lena appears in the city directory as a widow living at 24 Cooper Street, with son William T. living with her and working as a salesman at a business on Peachtree Street.[41] In this year, Rosa Cunningham is at 31 Orange Street and working as a saleslady.[42]

As noted previously, the 1910 federal census shows Lena as still married. Her listing as a widow in the city directory in 1907 and afterward evidently indicates that she and James T. Gordon had divorced or were separated. “Widow” or “widower” was often a euphemism in documents in the past for someone who had separated from or divorced a spouse. 

The 1908 directory shows Lena again listed as a widow and living at 24 Cooper Street. This listing makes it appear that Lena is the widow of William T. Gordon, but I think what it’s indicating is that Lena’s son William T., who is now 20, is considered head of the household. He is working for Huddleston Printing Company. Rosa is again with the Gordons and working as a saleslady.[43]

In 1910, Lena and her family appear on the federal census living at 26 Cooper Street in Atlanta’s ward 2.[44] This federal census gives Lena the middle initial A. She is 48, married 27 years, mother of three children of whom two are living. No occupation is listed for her. Living with Lena are son William T., 21, secretary-treasurer of a publishing company; daughter Mary Belle, 17, who has no occupation; sister Rosa A. Cunningham, 53, a saleslady in a bakery store; and a lodger Annie Jones, 48, also a saleslady in a bakery store.

The reason James T. Gordon is not enumerated with his family in Atlanta in 1910 becomes clear when one searches the 1910 federal census to see if he’s listed elsewhere in the state. He was in the Georgia State Asylum at Milledgeville.[45] The census states that James was born about 1849 in Georgia, was married, and was an insurance agent.

The 1911 Atlanta directory again shows Lena L. Gordon as the widow of James T. Gordon living with son William T. Gordon and half-sister Rosa Cunningham at 24 Cooper Street in Atlanta.[46] William T. Gordon is secretary-treasurer of Huddleston Publishing Company and Rosa is a manager of a business on Whitehall Street.

As previously noted, Lena Lindsey Gordon died 21 March 1911 in Atlanta. Her obituary on 22 March in the Atlanta Constitution is headed “Mrs. Lena L. Gordon Is Called by Death: Mother of William Gordon, Congressman Howard’s Secretary, Dies at Residence.”[47] It states that she had died at home at her residence at 20 Cooper Street in Atlanta the previous night after a brief illness. (Various documents show Lena living at 24 Cooper when she died, not 20 Cooper.) The obituary names Lena’s survivors as son William T. Gordon, private secretary to Congressman William Schley Howard; daughter Belle Gordon; sister Rosa Cunningham; and brother Dennis Lindsey, connected with the Telegram Publishing Company. Funeral arrangements were to be announced later. 

The following day, the Atlanta Constitution printed a funeral notice stating that the funeral was to be held that day at Lena’s residence at 24 Cooper Street.[48] As indicated above, Lena is buried in Westview cemetery in Atlanta, as are her daughter Jessie and half-sister Rosa Cunningham.[49]

As has been noted, James Thomas Gordon and Lena D. Lindsey had the following children:

Atlanta Constitution (10 May 1896), p. 2, col. 4

1. Jessie Vaille Gordon has already been discussed. As stated above, Jessie was born in April 1884 in St. Augustine, St. Johns County, Florida, and died 29 May 1905 in Atlanta, where she’s buried in Westview cemetery. On 10 May 1896, the Atlanta Constitution published a drawing of her as a girl of 12 years old, stating that she was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Gordon of 23 Formwalt Street, and was the first honor student of the fifth grade at Formwalt Street School and one of its brightest pupils.[50] As her obituary (cited above) states, she was a third-grade teacher at Bell Street School at the time of her death.

William Thomas Gordon passport application, 18 April 1921 passport application, NARA, U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, vol. 1578, certificates 23250-23625, 22 April 1921-23 April 1921; certificate 23487

2. William Thomas Gordon was born 11 December 1888 at Oostanaula in Gordon County, Georgia, and died 24 December 1934 in Washington, D.C., where he is buried with his wife Mary Rosalie Shreve Gordon in Rock Creek cemetery. The date and place of birth are found in an application for a U.S. passport that Will T. Gordon filed 18 April 1921.[51] In his declaration for the application, Will states that he was born in Gordon County, Georgia, on 11 December 1888. The passport application also contains an affidavit given 13 April 1921 by Will’s uncle Dennis Lindsey in DeKalb County, Georgia, in which Dennis states that he had a family bible in which the date and place of his nephew Will’s birth in Oostanaula, Georgia, were recorded. The passport application has photos of Will and his wife Rosalie and states that he was 5’11” in height with blue-gray eyes, light brown hair, and fair complexion. As his sister Mary Belle’s February 1919 passport application discussed above had done, Will T. Gordon’s application states that his father was deceased. The passport application has a photo of Will (see the head of the posting).

Atlanta Constitution (25 December 1934), p. 7, col. 4

The same date of birth is recorded on Will Thomas Gordon’s tombstone in Rock Creek cemetery, Washington, D.C.[52] The tombstone also records his date and place of death as given above. The date and place of death are also given in his obituary in the Atlanta Constitution on 26 December 1934, which has a Washington, D.C., byline dated 25 December and states that Will had died at George Washington University hospital on Christmas eve.[53]

The obituary indicates that Will was a patent attorney in Atlanta and later in D.C. and had attended Georgetown University. He was son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gordon of Gordon County. He was survived by his wife, the former Rosalie Shreve of Virginia, and a sister Mrs. Marybelle Gordon Barrows of New York City.

Atlanta Constitution (8 August 1915), p. 8, col. 5

As noted in his mother’s obituary cited above, at the time of her death in 1911, he was private secretary to Georgia Congressman William Schley Howard. An 8 August 1915 article in Atlanta Constitution contains a biography of Will T. Gordon at the time he moved from D.C. back to Atlanta after having worked for Congressman Howard.[54] This states that he was establishing a law practice in Atlanta’s National Bank Building, that after time spent in the printing trade in Atlanta, he was appointed in 1911 to Congressman Howard’s office, and while in D.C., he took a law degree at Georgetown. He was a junior member of the D.C. firm of Shreve, Crowe, & Gordon. This article has a photo of Will.

Photo of Rosalie Shreve Gordon from William Thomas Gordon passport application, 18 April 1921 passport application, NARA, U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, vol. 1578, certificates 23250-23625, 22 April 1921-23 April 1921; certificate 23487
Evening Star (Washington, D.C.) (6 November 1935), p. 2, col. 6

While he was living in D.C., on 14 June 1913, Will married Mary Rosalie Shreve, daughter of Arthur Berry Shreve and Anna May Baldwin of Loudon County, Virginia.[55] Rosalie is buried with Will at Rock Creek cemetery.[56] An article in the D.C. newspaper Evening Star on 6 November 1935 states that the preceding day on 5th November, Rosalie Gordon had been found unconscious on a street in San Francisco with her skull crushed.[57] She was taken to a hospital and died there. At the time the D.C. paper reported her death, information about what caused her injury was not available. The Evening Star article states that she had moved to San Francisco in May 1935 following her husband Will’s death the preceding year.

I have not found information showing that Will T. and Rosalie Shreve Gordon had children.

Mary Belle Gordon, 6 February 1919 passport application, NARA, U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, vol. 707, certificates 65000-65249, 19 February 1919-21 February 1919; certificate 65132

3. Mary Belle Gordon was born 24 March 1893 in Gordon County, Georgia, according to her previously cited passport application.[58] In addition to Mary Belle’s declaration on 6 February 1919 providing this information, the application has an affidavit from her aunt Rosa A. Cunningham given at Atlanta the preceding day stating her niece’s date and place of birth and stating that Rosa was Mary Belle’s aunt and that her parents were James Thomas Gordon and Lena Lindsey. Rosa’s affidavit states that Lena was born in Augusta, Georgia, but note that federal censuses consistently report Lena born in South Carolina — at Hamburg, it seems clear to me.

Mary Belle’s passport application, which has a photo of her (see the head of the posting), states that she was going to France and Great Britain under the auspices of the Y.M.C.A. An undated letter in the passport application from Wilman C. Adams, executive secretary of Y.M.C.A.’s National War Work Council, states that Mary Belle had been appointed a secretary of the council and was going to France for service with the expeditionary troops there. 

A physical description of Mary Belle in the passport application file says that she was 5’7” tall and had blue eyes, light brown hair, and a fair complexion. A 17 February 1919 letter of Captain J.S. Moore of the Intelligence Division of the War Department in the file says that this division had no objection to Mary Belle’s going overseas with the A.E.F. for Y.M.C.A. duty.

Atlanta Constitution (9 February 1919), p. 12, col. 5

Three days after Mary Belle applied for her passport, the Atlanta Constitution published an article about her and her plans to go overseas to entertain the American troops in France.[59]

The article states that Mary Belle had had “splendid training” in schools of oratory and musical conservatories, and had studied at the Emerson School of Oratory in Boston and trained with Miss Lotta Clark of Boston University in the field of pageantry. She had previously studied five years at the Atlanta Conservatory of Music and taught piano and oratory at Roanoke Institute in Virginia, as well as piano and expression at Mississippi College for Women and expression at Lagrange, Georgia. 

Following her return to the United States, Mary Belle Gordon married Edward Morley Barrows in New York City on 28 July 1922. On 23 August 1922, the Atlanta Constitution carried an article stating that the marriage of Mary Belle Gordon to Edward Morley Barrows in New York City on 28 July had been announced by her brother Will T. Gordon and wife of Washington, D.C.[60] The article states that the bride was well known in Atlanta and was “possessed of great musical and elocutionary talent,” having graduated from the Atlanta Conservatory in both those areas. 

The following month on 20 September, the Atlanta Constitution reported that Edward M. Barrows would be lecturing in Atlanta in connection with the “Better Films Week” program.[61] This article states that Edward Barrows was associate director of training service for community theater at Columbia University and was “considered one of the greatest American teachers of the drama.” The article also indicates that he had married Mary Belle Gordon of Atlanta, who had graduated from Atlanta Conservatory and attended the New England Conservatory.

I have not found death or burial information for Mary Belle Gordon. By the time the 1940 federal census was taken, Mary Belle was living alone in an apartment at 79 Washington Place in New York City, and was teaching drama in a school.[62] The census lists her as married (she has the name Barrows on the census). The 1940 census shows Edward M. Barrows with a wife Maria, living in Warwick in Orange County, New York. When Mary Belle’s aunt Rosa Cunningham died in Atlanta on 1 December 1944, her obituary and funeral notice in Atlanta Constitution refer to Mary Belle as Miss Mary Belle Gordon.[63]

I have not found information indicating that Mary Belle and her husband Edward M. Barrows had children.

Death certificate of Dennis Lindsey, Georgia Department of Health and Vital Statistics #004582669, DeKalb County, 1931, #31-6044

Dennis Lindsey, son of Dennis Lindsey and Mary S. Roman, was born 9 December 1866 in Hamburg, Edgefield County, South Carolina, and died 11 March 1931 at Decatur, DeKalb County, Georgia. His death certificate, with information supplied by his widow Willie Howard Lindsey, provides these dates of birth and death.[64] As the preceding posting states, when Dennis died, his widow Willie reported that he had been born in Georgia, and his obituary in the Atlanta Constitution states that he was a native of Augusta, Georgia,[65] 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.

As the preceding posting also states, Dennis is enumerated on the federal census in Hamburg in 1860 and 1870 in the household of his parents Dennis and Mary Roman Lindsey, and in 1880 in Augusta in the household of his widowed mother Mary. The latter census shows him as a clerk in a dry goods store in Augusta at age 13 (citations for these censuses are at the posting I have just linked).

Fulton County, Georgia, Marriage Bk. G, p. 324

On 10 December 1890 in Fulton County, Georgia, Dennis married Willie Lee Howard, daughter of James William Howard and Fannie A. Smith.[66] The couple’s marriage record shows them being married by Reverend Virgil Chalmers Norcross, a Baptist pastor.[67]

Atlanta Constitution (12 March 1931), p. 6, col. 5-6

As the previous posting indicates, there is a biography of Dennis Lindsey in volume 52 of American Biography: A New Cyclopaedia.[68] This source and Dennis’s obituary on 12 March 1931 in the Atlanta Constitution provide considerable biographical information about him.[69] The obituary, with the heading  “Funeral Rites for Dennis Lindsey: Prominent Figure in Labor Circles Dies at Residence in Decatur,” states that Dennis moved to Decatur, Georgia, in 1914 and in 1919, he established a printing company in Decatur that bore his name. He was an organizer of the International Printing Pressmen and Assistants’ Union of North America and a member of its Atlanta chapter, and had been president of Atlanta Federation of Trades. According to the obituary, Dennis was a member of Decatur Presbyterian church and a Mason. He died at home in Decatur at 122 Barry Street on 11 March 1931. The obituary states that he was survived by his widow and a sister, Miss Rosa Cunningham. His funeral was held at Decatur Presbyterian church with burial in Decatur cemetery.

Dennis Lindsey and wife Willie Lee Howard Lindsey are buried together in Decatur cemetery.[70] Because of his prominence as a business and labor leader in the Atlanta and Decatur area, the Atlanta Constitution has information about Dennis Lindsey’s activities in the period from his arrival in Decatur in 1914 and his death in 1931.

As does this posting (above), the preceding posting provides quite a bit of information about Lena and Dennis Lindsey’s half-sister Rosa A. Cunningham, daughter of Oliver Hazard Perry Cunningham and Mary S. Roman, as does this posting. In addition to what is found above and in the last posting, more information about Rosa is to be found in her previously cited obituary in Atlanta Constitution on 2 December 1944.[71] This states that Rosa died on 1 December 1944 at home at 891 West End Avenue in Atlanta. This was the address of the Georgia Home for Old Women, in which Rosa had lived from at least 1930 forward. The obituary also indicates that Rosa was survived by her sister-in-law Mrs. Dennis Lindsey and was to be buried at Westview cemetery in Atlanta. A funeral notice in the same issue of this newspaper invites friends of Miss Rosa Cunningham, Mrs. Dennis Lindsey, and Miss Mary Belle Gordon Rosa’s funeral at 3 P.M. on 2 December at the chapel of Sam R. Greenberg and Company.


[1] See Find a Grave memorial page for Louisa Styles Lindsey, Old Bethel Baptist cemetery, Woodruff, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, created by dora brown, photo by Labonte18; and Find a Grave memorial page for Tamora Girtrude [sic] Lindsey, also Old Bethel Baptist cemetery, created by Dora Brown.

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

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

[4] 1850 federal census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, p. 257A (dwelling/family 2453; 14 November).

[5] 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.

[6] 1860 federal census, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Southern Division, Woodruff post office, p. 390 (dwelling/family 1309; 15 September).

[7] Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Will Bk. E, pp. 97-8.

[8] NARA, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia, M266, RG109, online at Fold3.

[9] NARA, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia, M266, RG109, online at Fold3.

[10] NARA, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of South Carolina, M267, RG109, online at Fold3.

[11] NARA, Confederate Papers Relating to Citizens or Business Firms, 1861-65, M346, RG 109, online at Fold3.

[12] The conditions at the Union prisoner of war camp at Elmira were so notoriously harsh that the prison was dubbed Hellmira. There were numerous deaths due to lack of food and medical care. Following the war, the site was demolished, with claims that this was done because it had been an embarrassment to those operating it. On the Elmira camp, see Michael P. Gray, The Business of Captivity: Elmira and Its Civil War Prison( Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2001). See also Joel Stashenko, “Union Civil War Prison Camp an All-but-Forgotten Relic of Brutality,” Los Angeles Times (16 July 1989), citing the research of Michael Horigan, author of Elmira: Death Camp of the North (Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole, 2002).

[13] Georgia Archives, Returns of Qualified Voters under the Reconstruction Act, 1867, Telfair County, Georgia, Bk. 1, p. 216; online at Ancestry as Georgia, U.S., Returns of Qualified Voters and Reconstruction Oath Books, 1867-1869.  

[14] See “Births, Baptisms, Deaths, First Presbyterian Church, Anderson, South Carolina, 1868-1895,” at Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, Presbyterian Church Records, 1701-1907online at Ancestry as Presbyterian Church Records, 1701-1970.

[15] 1900 federal census, Fulton County, Georgia, Atlanta, ward 2, p. 6 (dwelling 87/family 120; ED 51; 4 June). 

[16] “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.

[17] 1870 federal census, Edgefield County, South Carolina, Schultz township, p. 418B (dwelling 86/family 108; 9 August).

[18] 1880 federal census, Richmond County, Georgia, Augusta, p. 265 (ED 97; dwelling 38/family 44; 1 June).

[19]  Richmond County, Georgia, Marriage Bk. M, p. 192.

[20] For biographical information, see the Find a Grave memorial page of Rev. Anderson Joseph Jarrell, who is buried in Oxford Historical cemetery, Oxford, Newton County, Georgia; it was created by a Find a Grave user with the username Twin of an Angel.

[21] 1885 Florida state census, St. Johns County, Florida, St. Augustine, p. 28 (family 288; ED 9; 7 June). 

[22] Atlanta City Directory 1896 (Atlanta: Franklin, 1896), p. 720.

[23] Ibid., 1897, p. 726.

[24] Ibid., 1898 (Atlanta: Pease, 1898), p. 693.

[25] Ibid., p. 570.

[26] See supra, n. 15.

[27] Georgia Health Department, Office of Vital Records, Indexes of Vital Records for Georgia: Deaths, 1919-1998, #26289; online at Ancestry as Georgia Death Index, 1919-1998.

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

[29] Atlanta City Directory 1901 (Atlanta: Foote & Davies, 1901), p. 791.

[30] Ibid., p. 640.

[31] Ibid., 1902, pp. 791, 677.

[32] Ibid., 1903, pp. 695, 580.

[33] Ibid., 1904, pp. 686.

[34] Ibid., p. 570.

[35] Ibid., 1905, pp. 624-5.

[36] Atlanta Constitution (2 November 1905), p. 11, col. 7. 

[37] NARA, U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, vol. 707, certificates 65000-65249, 19 February 1919-21 February 1919; certificate 65132; online at Ancestry as U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925.

[38] See her obituary in Atlanta Constitution (30 May 1905), p. 3, col. 6.

[39] See Jessie Gordon’s Find a Grave memorial page, Westview cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia; it was created by member 47251322.

[40] Atlanta City Directory 1906 (Atlanta: Foote & Davies, 1906), pp. 744, 622.

[41] Ibid., 1907, p. 768.

[42] Ibid., p. 633.

[43] Ibid., 1908, pp. 718, 584.

[44] 1910 federal census, Fulton County, Georgia, Atlanta, ward 2, p. 1B (dwelling 14/family 19; ED 50; 15 April). 

[45] 1910 federal census, Baldwin County, Georgia, militia district 321, p. 8B (19 April).

[46] Atlanta City Directory 1911 (Atlanta: Atlanta City Directory Co., 1911), pp. 831, 664.

[47] See supra, n. 16.

[48] “Mrs. Lena L. Gordon,” Atlanta Constitution (23 March 1911), p. 11, col. 6.

[49] See Find a Grave memorial page of Lena Lindsey Gordon, Westview cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia; created by member 47251322.

[50] “Jessie Vaille Gordon,” Atlanta Constitution (10 May 1896), p. 2, col. 4.

[51] NARA, U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, vol. 1578, certificates 23250-23625, 22 April 1921-23 April 1921; certificate 23487; online at Ancestry as U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925.

[52] See the Find a Grave memorial page for Will Thomas Gordon, Rock Creek cemetery, Washington, D.C., created by hgs205. The memorial page erroneously has him born in Gordon, Wilkinson County, Georgia.

[53] “Will T. Gordon Dies at Capital Hospital: Georgian Was Former Congressional Secretary to Schley Howard,” Atlanta Constitution (25 December 1934), p. 7, col. 4.

[54] “Will Gordon Opens Office in Atlanta for Practice Here,” Atlanta Constitution (8 August 1915), p. 8, col. 5.

[55] See Family Search, District of Columbia, Marriages, 1830-1921, citing the original marriage record. An announcement of the marriage is also in the Washington, D.C., newspaper Evening Star on 15 June 1913, p. 67, col. 3. The announcement states that the couple married the evening before at St. Stephen’s Episcopal church.

[56] See Mary Rosalie Shreve Gordon’s Find a Grave memorial page, Rock Creek cemetery, Washington, D.C., created by hgs205.

[57] “Mrs. W.T. Gordon Killed in West: Details of Death of Patent Lawyer’s Widow Unrevealed,” Evening Star (Washington, D.C.) (6 November 1935), p. 2, col. 6. A funeral notice is in the Evening Star (20 November 1935), p. 11, col. 7, noting that her funeral was at Rock Creek cemetery on 21 November.

[58] See supra, n. 37.

[59] “Atlanta Girl Goes to France to Help Entertain Troops,” Atlanta Constitution (9 February 1919), p. 12, col. 5.

[60] “Gordon-Barrows, Atlanta Constitution (23 August 1922), p. 9., col. 3.

[61] “’Better Films Week’ Program Praised,” Atlanta Constitution (20 September 1922), p. 8, col. 3.

[62] 1940 federal census, New York, New York, Manhattan’s 10th district, p. 5B (ED 31-906; 29-30 April).

[63] See Atlanta Constitution (2 December 1944), p. 2, col. 6, and p. 3, col. 3.

[64] 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.

[65] “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.

[66] Fulton County, Georgia, Marriage Bk. G, p. 324.

[67] For biographical information, see the Find a Grave memorial page of Rev. Virgil Chalmers Norcross at Oakland cemetery, Atlanta; created by Walk the Earth.

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

[69] See supra, n. 65.

[70] See the Find a Grave memorial page of Dennis Lindsey, Decatur cemetery, Decatur, Georgia, created by Annette Sutherland-Garland, which links to the memorial page of his wife Willie.

[71] See supra, n. 63. 

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