Thanks to John at Transylvanian Dutch who originated the Amanuensis Monday meme, providing a framework (and nudge) for transcribing family records, news clippings and other treasures.
I recently found two booklets from my great-grandfather Jehu Stokely Sawyer's funeral services in the boxes of papers taken from his house in 1996 after the death of his last surviving child. I shall be transcribing some of the information over the next few weeks.
Slipped in one of the books at the "Sermon Notes" page was a typed copy of the pastor's remarks.
FUNERAL MR. J. S. SAYER - REMARKS BY C. P. JONES
I come today to join this great host of neighbors and friends in paying a tribute of respect to Mr. J. S. Sawyer and share with his good family their sorrow in this sad hour. And, as I do it, down in my heart I feel that my place is down there in the family pew. In all my ministry in this section there has never been a family that has so endeared themselves to me, and the death of this good man not only causes grief among us but casts a gloom over this entire section where he was so favorably known. What a distinct loss. How the young and old, rich and poor, white and black, good and bad shall miss his pleasant smile, words of wisdom and helpful acts.
There is one verse of Scripture which sums up the life of Mr. Sawyer. It is in the book of Acts, II:24 - "For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and faith".
That can be truthfully said about "Uncle Gee". He was a good man in his home. No wife ever had a more faithful and provident husband, no child ever had a more loyal and devoted father. About this family we can say: "Behold, how they loved on another". He was a good neighbor and useful citizen. The night was never too dark, the weather was never too hot or cold, the distance was never considered when the cry of distress or occasion of need was heard by "Uncle Gee". He went, went always, went anywhere, went anytime that he could be of help to others. How sorely this community shall miss his tender touch. He was, however, his best as a Christian and good member of the Warrensburg church. All through his life he has been regular in attendance, liberal with his money and wise in his council. Never shall I forget when the church was remodeled and rooms added some lumber was needed to finish the floors. Mr. Sawyer wnet [sic] to his woods, cut down the best tree he had, saying - "God has been good to me and I want His Church to have the best I have". He laid up little wealth in this world but he was rich toward God and in friendships.
While we mourn his going we may be assured that his happy spirit has entered that sphere where no sickness, sorrow and death can come. May all of us resolve today to meet him in that happy world.
January 2I. I940. [sic]
One of our family's favorite comments about Gee was made by one of his friends when he was a younger man. The comment went that the Baptist church would never want for pastors as long as Catherine Sawyer fed them and Gee filled the coffers. Gee was notorious for going off to church and inviting any and everyone back home for supper. The church was just across his fields and Catherine and her daughters rarely attended the services. Instead they got to work in the kitchen looking out the window towards the church, knowing Gee would soon drag home as many as he could. It wasn't unusual to have 20 to 30 people for Sunday supper. Those were merry meals.
Doughty-Stevens Company (Greeneville, TN). "Jehu S. Sawyer Memorial Books." Digital Images. Privately held by Susan Clark. 1996.