Archive for November 14th, 2014

The Gold Mine in the Closet: Gulie Lawton Read

November 14, 2014

Guilielma Lawton married Abram Carrington Read.  She lived her whole life in Savannah.


Was Well Known and Was Popular
With Many Friends.
The death early this morning of Mrs. Guilielma Lawton Read, wife of Abram C. Read, removes a widely loved Savannahian, who spent her entire life here and claimed a vast host of friends who grieve for her.
Mrs. Read was the daughter of Dr. William S. Lawton and Mrs. Elizabeth Jones Lawton. The latter was the daughter of the well-known Georgian, Seaborn Jones. She was also the niece of the late Gen. Alexander R. Lawton. During her youth she lived in the old Lawton home on Lafayette Square, which was one of the social centers of the community, well known for its representative gatherings. She claimed an unusually large circle of friends whose devotion increased during the latter years of her life when her long illness was a source of grief to so many.
Always cheerful and possessing a lovable and charming personality, she was especially admired for her cheerful spirit and fortitude during her illness. A communicant of Christ Church, she was a devoted and active member. She possessed a beautiful Christian nature.
Mrs. Read is survived by her husband, Aaron (sic) C. Read; one daughter, Miss Anne Read, and one sister, Mrs. Emily Lawton Garrard.
The funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon at 4 o’clock from the residence, 118 East Thirty-fifth street, with private interment in the Lawton-Jones vault at Laurel Grove Cemetery. Rev. David Cady Wright, rector of Christ Church, will conduct the services.
The active pallbearers will be Charles Ellis, Wymberley W. DeRenne, T. Mayhew Cunningham, Jr., George E. Cope, Charlton M. Theus and Frank S. Mackall.
The honorary pallbearers will be J. Randolph Anderson, W. W. Mackall, P. A. Stovall, J. Florance Minis, C. T. Airey and W. D. Judkins.

The obituary mentions that she is buried at the Lawton-Jones vault in Laurel Grove. That’s where Sugar and I trimmed up the crape myrtles last year.  We didn’t know she was there because we didn’t have a list of occupants.  The obituary alsos states that she is the niece of the General Alexander Robert Lawton. He has died more than 30 years prior to Gulie’s death, but people still knew who he was.  He married Sarah Alexander, and one of their children was Corinne Elliott Lawton, whose life and death has caused so much stir here on this blog.

You can read the mention of Gulie in Sarah Alexander Lawton’s diary by clicking here. When I first read Sarah Alexander Lawton’s diary last year, I didn’t know who Gulie Lawton was.  I knew that she had to be related to Sugar somehow, and, like it sometimes happens, the answer comes to me if I wait long enough.  And also if I prod and poke about with a stick.

Before I had transcribed the obituary, I had seen mention in the city directories that Gulie and Abram’s daughter Anne had married Dr. Thomas Charlton and they were all living at 118 East 35th Street.  So we thought that Anne and Thomas had built the house at East 35th and that Gulie and Abram had moved in with them.  According to the obituary, it looks like it was the other way around, since the funeral procession left from the residence at East 35th, and there was no mention that Gulie had been living at her daughter’s residence.

Driving by now.

We turned the corner, and OHMYWORD.  This house is seriously jaw-dropping.






We’re at the corner of Abercorn and East 35th Street.

There’s a sign on the corner of the property that this is a business.  It appears that the house is used for offices now, and I’m guessing they are fairly grand offices.  Sugar seems to remember that Gulie’s husband sold his business, and the same name appears on the sign.

This kind of capital leads us to believe that somehow, somewhere, there are photos of this family.

Perhaps I need to get out my stick.