Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
on Thanksgiving and
a Look at the Firstborn Son of the Rev. Milford G. Hamby
As you gather with family and/or friends for a Thanksgiving Day celebration may you find many things for which to give thanks. In our family celebration, no two years are exactly the same, except that the menu does not vary that much. But with extended family, we never know who will be invited for the first time or who will be unable for scheduling and other reasons to attend the Thanksgiving fest. For many years one thing has remained traditional with our family. As we hold hands around the laden board, ready to offer thanks, one by one each names a highlight in the year just past for which he or she is thankful. This tradition helps us to focus on God’s providence in our lives and the true meaning of Thanksgiving. We are admonished: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (I Thes. 5:18).
Last week this column was about
Milford Gilead Hamby (1833-1911), outstanding early circuit-riding
whose influence reached across not only
While Rev. M. G. Hamby was in
his charge in
Franklin County, Ga., at Carnesville, his first son, named William
Hamby, was born
It has been written that with 25 churches to visit and exhort, the young son’s father was gone from home much of the time. Monday was an exception because it was “wash day” when Rev. Milford’s wife, Eleanor Caroline Hughes Hamby, got her husband’s clothes laundered and ready for his week’s circuit. Likewise, much of the rearing of Elder Hamby’s ten children was left to their mother, who succeeded well at mothering.
It was noted of the Rev. William
Hamby that “blood of preachers coursed through his veins.” He was the
generation of known Methodist ministers. He being in the fourth
ordained, his father,
Rev. W. T. Hamby spent
forty-five years in
the active ministry. His first charge was the Hiawassee, Georgia
held pastorates at Calhoun, Winder, Trinity Methodist in
In retirement he remained active, preaching on the average of 75 times per year. In a news article lauding his life of service, he was called the “nestor of Methodism.” During his active ministry he delivered 8,000 sermons, conducted 500 funerals and married 300 couples. His annual salary for pastoral duties ranged from $65 in the beginning to $3,250 at his retirement.
Some of the lighter moments he
about weddings. While he was at Calhoun, he drove a wild horse 20 miles
storm to get to the place of the wedding. After he had performed the
the groom took him aside and said he wanted to “reverence” him for his
The preacher was given 50 cents. At a wedding at
Rev. W. T. Hamby married Emma
daughter of Spencer Lafayette Curtis (1835-1865) and Mary Lou Twiggs
(1835-1899). To William and Emma Jane were born five children: Frank
Hamby (1883-1894); Nellie Lou Hamby (1889-1979); George Robins Hamby
d. 1893); Fannie Lee Hamby (1895-1903); and Emma Lillian Hamby
Only one of the five children grew to adulthood. Nellie Lou Hamby
William Lester Matthews in
Emma Jane Curtis Hamby was born
At Thanksgiving, another item to place on our thanks list is the legacy of a good ancestry. From our forebears we get not only physical characteristics that mark us as their descendants but the upbringing that helps to mold and make us who we are.
c2005 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Nov. 24, 2005 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
[Ethelene Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at e-mail email@example.com; phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA 31061-2411.]
Updated August 6, 2009