Posts Tagged ‘William Starr Basinger’

FlowerFest 2015: at the Basinger Plot

December 12, 2015

Across the sandy lane from the Starr plot is the Basinger plot. The large central marker is for Sugar’s great-grandfather William Starr Basinger and wife Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger. Sugar’s brother, mother, and grandmother are also there, plus other Basinger relatives. 


My back is to the Starr plot.

This is a very shady lot, and I’ve never gotten a bright picture of it. We have been faithful to these people since we started bringing flowers in 2009. We didn’t bring flowers at Easter this year because I had to work that day, and Sugar doesn’t want to come alone. I still regret that we missed Easter, even though this is a self-imposed duty and we’re not winning any prizes. 


He points at his mother’s and brother’s graves off to our left.


The Will of William Starr Basinger

September 3, 2015

I can’t get these online fast enough. 


FlowerFest 2014: Poinsettias for Bonaventure and Laurel Grove

December 28, 2014

It started very simply.

Sugar wanted to continue a tradition whereby his mother would take flowers to her family’s gravesite at Christmas and Easter.

We started in 2009. That’s when we took poinsettias to his mother in Bonaventure and his cousin in Laurel Grove.

Then over time, we found more of Sugar’s relatives buried in both places. He bought more and more flowers every year.

This Christmas we were up to eight poinsettias, which represented not individual people, but individual plots with multiple relatives.

We asked a SugarCousin if she wanted to join us on our crazy train, and she did.


We three stop first at Bonaventure at the Corbin plot. Here’s a mystery: why is Dr. Francis Bland Tucker buried in the Corbin plot?

Albert Sidney Lawton, who knew Miz Florrie in Garnett, South Carolina, married Elizabeth Tayloe Corbin, a Savannah girl. Miz Florrie’s father, Walter Gant, worked for Albert Sidney Lawton, and when Albert Sidney moved to the Jacksonville area, Walter moved, too.








Leaving the Corbin plot, we drive further along the lane, and circle back on another lane so that Sugar can inspect some headstones. He thinks he knows these Lee people from when he was growing up.



We notice that Clermont Huger Lee has the same name as the girl that was in Sugar’s mother’s class at Pape School in 1925.

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Clermont Lee is on the front row, all the way on the right.



And just to the right, we find this stone, slightly hidden by the foliage. Perhaps we should add her to our floral list. No husband, no children.




Then on to the Basinger plot. I’ve written about this family a lot.

Back: Garnett, Mag, Will. Front: Leslie, Major Basinger, Walter, Mrs. Basinger, and Tom.

Back: Garnett, Mag, Will.
Front: Leslie, Major Basinger, Walter, Mrs. Basinger, and Tom.

We see that some little animals, chipmunks perhaps, have enjoyed a pre-Christmas acorn meal at the entrance to the plot.







This is James “Garnett” Basinger who married Nannie Screven. They had one daughter.

We step across the lane to the Starr plot. Sugar places the poinsettia in a permanent flower holder in front of his great-great-grandmother’s gravesite. She’s Jane Susan Starr Basinger.

Mary "Leslie", Tom, Elizabeth "Georgia", Jane Susan Starr Basinger, Walter, Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, Major William Starr Basinger, Maggie, and Ate' the dog in Dahlonega, Georgia.

Mary “Leslie”, Tom, Elizabeth “Georgia”, Jane Susan Starr Basinger, Walter, Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, Major William Starr Basinger, Maggie, and Ate’ the dog in Dahlonega, Georgia.

The Family Bible of Thomas and Jane Susan Starr Basinger.

The Family Bible of Thomas and Jane Susan Starr Basinger.




A little further along, we stop to visit Corinne Elliott Lawton.



Corinne Elliott Lawton

Corinne Elliott Lawton






Having finished at Bonaventure, we head across town to Laurel Grove.





The crape myrtles look like they could be cut back yet again.




Mrs. Dr. William Seabrook Lawton, in the late 1800's.

Mrs. Dr. William Seabrook Lawton, in the late 1800’s.



SugarCousin brought poinsettias for her parents and her aunt Mary.





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We’re not done. The Batesons need some poinsettias, too, especially when you stop to consider that this family has been in unmarked graves since 1855. Sugar had their marker made and installed this year after we learned that they were his cousins from Lancashire, England.





A few lanes over is the Densler mausoleum. Mrs. Mary Densler was Aunt Polly to Sugar’s g-g-grandmother Jane Susan Starr Basinger. This family died out. No one to bring flowers, except us.

So we do.







We got these flowers almost a full week before we could put them out. Sugar went back and bought a bonus one just in case we needed it. What to do?



Close by is the Alexander family. Sarah Alexander married Alexander Robert Lawton, and they were Corinne’s parents. These Alexanders were Sarah’s family. There are other collateral folks here: Gilmer, Porter, Houston, Read, Cumming, Van Yeveren…






On the way home, we swing by for one last look at the Jones-Lawton mausoleum. The rain has been misting on and off for a bit, but it’s on the way in earnest now.


Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

The Gold Mine in the Closet: William Starr Basinger & the Georgia General Assembly’s Biographical Sketch

December 8, 2014




OF 1880-1.














Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1882, by


In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.





We have been unable to secure the necessary data for a bio-

graphical sketch of this distinguished gentleman, and conse-

quently can give only a brief glance at some of the more

recent events in his public life.

For several years previous to his election to the present General

Assembly, he was a member of the eminent law firm of Jackson, Law-

ton & Basinger, his partners being General Henry R. Jackson and

General Alexander R. Lawton, gentlemen who have won the highest

honors as military commanders and legal advisers.  No law fim in

the State had a more substantial reputation.

Colonel Basinger therefore came to the Legislature with a standing

in legal circles that placed him at once in the front rank of the ablest

members of the House, and secured to him positions on the most

important committees.

Speaker Bacon knowing well his capacity and fitness for the several

duties assigned him, placed Colonel Basinger at the head of the Com-

mittee on Banks, an right well has he discharged the delicate trusts

connected with this chairmanship.

As Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs, and as a

member of the General Judiciary Committee, and the Committee on

Corporations, he has likewise displayed his thorough knowledge of all

legal questions, of military organization and discipline, and of the laws

governing corporations.  No committeeman has done better or more

conscientious work than he.

Colonel Basinger is a quiet, unostentatious member, and seldom speaks

on any question; if he does address the House, it is where he has

something to say that is worth listening to, and which is always pre-

sented in a dignified, pointed and practical manner.  He wastes no

words, resorts to no tricks of oratory, yet never fails to hold the close

attention of the House to the close of his brief but comprehensive


In January, 1861, by order of Colonel A. R. Lawton, of the First

Georgia Regiment, under instructions from Governor Joseph E. Brown,

the Oglethorpe Barracks, in Savannah, were taken possession of by

Colonel Basinger then a company officer for the State of Georgia,

thus making him one of the earliest actors in the opening scenes of

the “War between the States.”





And Colonel A. R. Lawton?  That’s Corinne Elliott Lawton’s father.

The Gold Mine in the Closet: Basingers with Bicycles

November 29, 2014

Even though this photo is not completely identified with people or a timestamp, we know that it was before 1910, which is when the father, Major William Starr Basinger, died in Athens, Georgia.

William Starr Basinger and his wife Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger had six children that lived to adulthood.  During the end of his life, they went to live with their oldest daughter Margaret who married Charles Morton Strahan.  Uncle Charlie was a professor at the University of Georgia at Athens for over 60 years, and he and Margaret had a house on the campus where the Law Library is located now.

There are two boys in the photo, but which two boys are these?  The older two, James Garnett Basinger and William Starr Basinger, Jr., who graduated from UGA, or the younger two, Thomas Garnett Basinger and Walter Garnett Basinger, or a mix of the two?  At any rate, that’s definitely Margaret Amelia “Aunt Mag” Basinger Strahan with her parents, William Starr Basinger and Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger.

This is taken, we believe, on the back porch at the Strahan house on the campus.

Two Basinger brothers, their father William Starr Basinger, their mother Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, and their sister Margaret Basinger Strahan.

Two Basinger brothers, their father William Starr Basinger, their mother Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, and their sister Margaret Basinger Strahan.

We know that this is the Strahan house because Sugar said so.  We have also seen this house in other photos.

Like these three…

Again at the Strahan house at the University of Georgia in Athens.  There's Matilda Basinger with her mother "Batesie", an unidentified woman, Genette, Garnett Basinger standing in front of her great-grandmother Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, Mary "Leslie" Basinger Lawton, and Lillie.

Again at the Strahan house at the University of Georgia in Athens. There’s Matilda Basinger with her mother “Batesie”, an unidentified woman, Genette, Garnett Basinger standing in front of her great-grandmother Margaret Roane Garnett Basinger, Mary “Leslie” Basinger Lawton, and Lillie.



Perhaps around 1923 or 1924.  Genette is in the back of this trio.  The other two are most probably her cousins Garnett and Matilda.  They are at the Strahan house on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens.

Perhaps around 1923 or 1924. Genette is in the back of this trio. The other two are most probably her cousins Garnett and Matilda. They are at the Strahan house on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens.

Another online resource that I am newly interested in is

I found this clipping regarding the two oldest Basinger boys, who were in the class of 1890 at the University of Georgia in Athens.


From the Atlanta Constitution, June 15, 1890



William S. Basinger, Jr., of Dahlonega, is

the son of Maj. W. S. Basinger, president of

that college.  He is a member of the

S. A. E. fraternity and Phi Kappa lit-

erary society.  He is the youngest

man in the graduating class, and is

first-honor man in the Master of Arts course.

He is one of the brightest men in college,

and will make his mark.  He, too, will be a


James Garnett Basinger is also a son of

Major W. S. Basinger.  Like his brother, he

took first honor in A. M. in the class of ’89,

and took a post-graduate course this year, in

which he receives the degree of C. and M. E.

He is a member of S. A. E. and Phi Kappa.

Civil engineering will claim his genius.

Something remarkable about these boys is their age.  William Starr Basinger, Jr., is graduating from college to become an attorney at age 17, and won’t turn 18 until August 28, 1890.  James Garnett Basinger, the oldest, has graduated the year before in 1889 at age 19, and has finished a post-graduate course in 1890 at age 20.  It is helpful to note that James Garnett Basinger has just turned 20 on May 27, 1890, so he’s still extremely young.

Now I’m wondering if this is a graduation photo and the boys received bicycles for graduation presents.  I suppose it’s possible.

Thanks, Sugar, for sharing another photo from the gold mine in the closet!

The Gold Mine in the Closet: William Starr Basinger and Margaret Roane Garnett

November 9, 2014

Everybody knows about William Starr Basinger and Margaret Roane Garnett, right?  ‘Cause I’m single-handedly making them rock stars, 1800’s fashion.  You can read more about them here, and if you want, you can search the blog for Basinger or Garnett, and you’ll find boat-loads of stuff in general.

Sugar found in his closet gold mine two photos, one each of William Starr Basinger and Margaret Roane Garnett.  He believes that W. S. Basinger is in his 20’s, and that Margaret is perhaps somewhere between 16 and 20 years old, so I’m wondering if it was a tradition back in the day to have your photo made at about age 20.  Any thoughts?  I know you have them.

The curious thing to me about these photos, and you’ll see what I mean, is that they are on the same kind of paper, the same size, and the vintage looks the same.  They were stored together, and have the bottom left hand corner broken off, like the two photos were stacked together and the corner became bent and broken completely off.


His is darker with more contrast.  So I’m thinking that someone within the last hundred years took two existing photos and had them reproduced.

When we were in Richmond last year on our history mystery trip, we ate at Garnett’s Cafe (no there is not a family discount).  Our waitress looked EXACTLY like Margaret Roane Garnett.  I mean identical.  I wanted to take her picture, and Sugar said that I should not, and we had a conversation that consisted of hissing back and forth in an effort to be heard and also to be quiet, like older people do.  Of course, I did ask our waitress if she was related or if her name just happened to be Margaret.  Apparently, she’s heard the first part but not the second, and neither were true.

I swear she was Margaret Roane Garnett in jeans and T-shirt.  Same face and build, same dark hair.

A curious coincidence that I’m calling this series “The Gold Mine in the Closet”, and the Basinger family lived for a while in Dahlonega, Georgia, which was the site of the first major U.S. gold rush.

Will these photos ever end?  Apparently not.

I’m typing like crazy, and editing photos, and watching the movies in my head.

And it’s all for you, people.  ALL FOR YOU.  (Sorry, all caps means I might be a little deranged.)

Back to the Basingers: Sugar Finds a Gold-Mine in a Closet

October 22, 2014

Sugar has a closet with odd, assorted items in it, all pertaining to his family.  It’s like a little time capsule.

He knew that he had some photos of when his parents would go to Edisto Island and stay with Chalmers and Faith Murray.  He’s not really sure how those four met up, and none of the photos actually had Chalmers in them.  He was a busy fellow.  Google him – you’ll see.  He was an attorney, an author, a writer, and editor, a speaker.

So the time machine was activated, and Sugar found photos of Edisto, but that wasn’t all.  He found photos of his mother as a little child, photos of his mother’s mother, and other family members, then he found a jaw-dropper.


We went on a little history tour earlier this year in March.  He took some photos of the William Starr Basinger family to a local Staples to be copied so that he could present them to the historical society in Lumpkin County, Georgia.  You might remember reading about our follow-up visit in the historical society’s newsletter.  Good times.

He was pretty sure that he got the family photo from another cousin in Savannah, until he pulled out the original from the closet box, and O MY.  There is handwriting on the back that identifies the people.

But wait for it.  There’s ANOTHER photo of the same family with the parents and the children, also all identified.

Y’all, please.  Go get those photos out of the closet and scan them.  NOW.


Dahlonega, Ga.

The Basinger family

Leslie, Tom, Auntie, Grandma

Walter, Mamma, Papa,

Maggie, Ate’





J. N. Wilson, Savannah, Ga., 1885

The Basingers

Garnett, Mag, Will

Leslie, Maj. Basinger,

Walter, Mrs. Basinger,




(I used an automatic adjustment feature on the computer program to alter the lightness/darkness of the back of the 2nd photo.  It made the handwriting more distinct, but also changed the color.)

In Which I am a Historian, Part 2

July 20, 2014

Last year, another writer called me a “Historian”.  You can visit J’aime Rubio’s investigative blog by clicking on the link.

I.  Like.  It.

This past March, Sugar and I went to Dahlonega, Georgia, on a William Starr Basinger pilgrimage. The historical society’s newsletter for June, 2014, did a write-up of the occasion. They mailed the newsletter to us, and if you want to check out their website, take a look by clicking here.



In Which There Are Ten, Expanded

May 16, 2014

(This is the second part of a series.  If you would like to read the first part, click here.)

When I learn something that I can’t quite wrap my brain around, I avoid it and walk away.  Usually I’m just walking a circle on my way back to the whatever-it-is, and I’m thinking and staring off into space, and if I have the camera, I’m taking photos.

After finding nothing on the Bateson plot at Lot 322 in Laurel Grove Cemetery except a piece of broken metal decorative work, I wandered around.  I could see the Densler mausoleum only a few rows over.  Did the Batesons and the Denslers know of each other?  Probably not.  But surely the Basingers and the Batesons knew of each other.


J. Walz was an important and popular sculptor in Savannah. Unfortunately, we’ll never know what this looked like when it was new. It’s toppled over, and there appears to be glue that held it together, and that the damage was caused by time, not vandals.



Henry E. Campsen 1889-1915




TO THE MEMORY OF Dr. JAMES M. GORDON who was born April 21st, 1821, and died of Yellow Fever in this City Sept. 18th, 1854.


Resolute in his devotion to the call of humanity he shrank not even from the pestilence but fell himself a martyr amidst those he sought to save.








Sugar called me over to see if I could read the name on this headstone.  It looked like “Cricc”, but we decided after looking at adjoining headstones, that the name was Grigg.  He served in the Savannah Volunteer Guards, and surely William Starr Basinger, Sugar’s great-grandfather, knew him.





Sadly, we got back in the van, and headed over to the corner of Drayton and Congress where the Bateson brothers had their store in the 1870’s.  They also lived in the same general area.

We couldn’t find Congress, although I thought that this was it from my remembering the map, but Sugar said no, it’s just an alley.




We circled around and found Congress, and the location of the Bateson family.



To the right.  There’s nothing left of their home and business, except some weird light pattern.



We headed home, and I got out the computer, and did some more research.

We’re gonna have good stuff coming up soon.  I just have to get my thoughts in order.

Lunch in Atlanta

April 16, 2014

We on our way home!  It’s been a lovely trip.  We were hungry on the way, so we had lunch in Atlanta.

We didn’t actually stop the van.











It is unwise to stop in Atlanta unless you are not in a hurry to get anywhere.

Soon, we’re home.  William Starr Basinger would be pleased.