Simon Wood Hitch
- Born: 05 Sep 1848, Clinton, Jones Co., GA 4 5 6 7 8 9
- Marriage (1): Frances Alice (Fannie) Myers on 03 Dec 1874 in Macon, Bibb Co., GA 1 2 3
- Died: 18 Sep 1915, Waycross, Ware Co., GA 10 11
- Buried: Abt 21 Sep 1915, Lott Cemetery, Waycross, Ware Co., GA 11
Was a drummer boy in the Civil War. According to Simon Herbert Hitch, he walked back to Georgia from Appomattox.
Here is an article I wrote for the "Hitch Family Newsletter" for Winter 1998:
"The Wedding of Simon Wood Hitch and Fanny Myers, December 3, 1874
The following article was originally printed in the Macon, Georgia Telegraph and News in its Magazine Section, on Sunday October 26, 1930. It relates the story of two weddings in the 19th century that were conducted at Wesleyan College in Georgia. I found it to be an interesting recollection of wedding customs of that time and how our own Hitch family was involved. Read it and I'll discuss the family who participated afterwards.
WEDDINGS AT WESLEYAN RECALLED
Recent anniversary celebration of Mr. and Mrs. R.F. Burden recalled their marriage at College 1880 - Other nuptials which have had Wesleyan as a background.
A faded letter, a Golden Wedding and a Wesleyan freshman have combined to revive from the past the romantic episodes in the history of Wesleyan College - both of them weddings.
Minnie (Bass) Burden, daughter of the Rev. W.C. Bass was married to Richard F. Burden Sept. 9, 1880 during her father's presidency; and they have recently celebrated their fiftieth anniversary. Frances Elizabeth Hitch, the grand-daughter of Fannie Myers Hitch, who was married to S.W. Hitch during her father's term as president, is now president of the freshman class at Wesleyan. The faded letter was one found by Mrs. Burden which she received from her mother in 1874, describing Fannie Myers' wedding.
These two ceremonies were only six years apart and since that time there have been several at Wesleyan but none-of them have been surrounded with the romantic glamour and subsequent history that these have.
As the daughters of the president both girls knew Wesleyan as their home and their weddings were truly quiet home affairs, the only difference being that all of the immediate family could not be invited; for the girls who composed the college family had to be content to watch over bannisters and through shutters for a glimpse of the bride and groom.
They were also members of the Adelphean Sorority, now known as Alpha Delta Pi. This sorority was organized at Wesleyan and is the oldest in the United States. The hall of this historic organization was the scene of both weddings. It was in the old-old building, a replica of which is to be the new Alumnae House at Rivoli, as George I. Seney had-not yet made possible the "old" Wesleyan or what is now known as the Conservatory.
The Adelphean Hall was at one end of the main floor and the Philomethean Hall at the other. Then the structure was renovated and several floors and spires were added, the Adelphean Hall was made into two rooms and the Philomethean Hall became the Grand Parlor. The sororities were homes on the fifth floor. So the wedding ceremonies were read in what is now known as the president's office and the Student Government rooms.
A clipping from a Macon Telegraph of 1880 is tucked away in Mrs. Burden's scrapbook, along with many other records of interesting events in her life. It reads: "Night before last at the Wesleyan Female College Mr. Richard F. Burden was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Bass, daughter of Rev. W.C. Bass, president of Wesleyan Female College. The bridal couple left immediately for Cincinnati and the North.
"Mr. Burden is one of Macon's most enterprising and trusted young business men and numbers among his friends a host of our most substantial citizens. The bride, one of Macon's loveliest daughters, has been since her graduation a favorite in society and the pride of a large circle of friends. May happiness forsake them never. The formal notice in the Wedding column states that Bishop George F. Pierce performed the ceremony. He was the first president of Wesleyan and a close friend of Mr. Bass.
WORE BEARD THEN
The scrapbook also contained a newspaper print of a pen and ink sketch of Mr. Burden. When asked if that was the way the groom looked on his wedding day, Mrs. Burden laughingly remarked "No indeed, he had a long beard when we were married, and looked like he was fifty years old." But she hastened to explain that everybody wore beards then.
The wedding was in the evening and the bride wore the conventional white dress and veil; but her bouquet was a nosegay made by Mrs. Woodruff, mother of the Macon Florist, from her own garden flowers. She also made a boutonniere for the groom.
Of course, this popular young couple received many lovely wedding gifts but the one that Mrs. Burden remembered particularly was the Family Bible, presented them by "Aunt Nora" Canning her Sunday School teacher. It was a vast proportions, according to the "bride" and one of her chums, Leila (Burkes) Holmes remarked to the donor; "Well Aunt Nora, you need not give me a Bible when I marry. I had rather have a Jews-harp." Mrs. Burden did not remember what the teacher's gift to Dr. and Mrs. W.B. Holmes was but she knew that it was not a Family Bible similar to hers.
Campbell King is one of three people still living in Macon who attended the Burden's wedding and the only one of their "set". The other two were members of the college family and younger.
He recalled with pleasant reminiscence the jolly times their crowd used to have together. They called themselves the Creme de la Creme club and had many parties and good times in innocent fun.
"We did not run with the fast crowd." he said for none of us danced but sometimes we did go to the theater. We had the beat time of any group in town; and we were all at the wedding."
"We were at the train to see them off; but there was no rough stuff. Of course we threw a little rice around but we did not tie any tin cans as I can remember."
Mr. Henry Derry who was a young boy living in the college with his father Professor Derry, at the time, also denied that there were any pranks played on the young couple. "She was entirely too dignified and so was he," he explained.
J. Lundie Smith, son of Prof. Crosby Smith was only seven years old but he distinctly remembered going calling with "Miss Minnie" and leaving cards just before the wedding; but he is not clear as to whether they were invitations farewell messages or just formal visiting cards. He knows that they were whatever convention called for at the time. But the honor of riding with the bride-to-be and her small brother, Julian Bass, on this important mission was what made a lasting impression on him.
The Golden Wedding celebrated on Sept. 9 by Mr. and Mrs. Burden with a quiet home dinner given by their two daughters, Octavia (Burden) Stewart and Alice (Burden) Domingos, recalls this delightful event fifty years ago which it commemorated. The only guests on this occasion except the immediate family, were Mrs. Ria Burkes and her daughter, Miss Margie Burkes who have both a blood and Wesleyan kinship to the Burdens. Both Mrs. Burden's daughters are graduates of Wesleyan and Adelpheans. Eugene Burden is their only son.
GROOM NOT COMPOSED
The wedding of Fannie (Myers) Hitch, daughter of Dr. Edward Howell Myers who was twice president of Wesleyan, occurred on December 3, 1874. The only written record of that wedding is in the letter which Mrs. Burden recently found. Her father and mother were living in the college. This is an extract in the letter:
"This has been one of the loveliest days I ever saw, clear, bright, beautiful, not a cloud has flicked the blue sky; all has passed as sweet as a marriage bell". May It be emblematic of dear Fanny's wedded life. I dislike to see her go, she has always been a special favorite of mine, and I believe fully reciprocated my feelings. She will make a noble wife, and deserving a mighty good husband, which I trust she has found. She made a sweet modest and pretty looking bride in her traveling suit of Plum Colored Cashmere, with Cardinal-trimmings-and a Beautiful white Japonica in her hair; without her hat. I never saw her look as pretty.
"The groom looked very stylish and was quite composed though you could see it was the result of desperate effort. Dr. Myers I thought at one time would not be able to get through as his voice faltered considerably. The ceremony was a pretty one -- and such a pretty picture as would have put you ‘young fry' Maggie, Sallie, and Clara -- much in the notion if it did not make you desperate. Julian who you know loved Fanny very much, asked me if he must applaud and say ‘Hurrah for Col. Hitch!'. I begged him to excuse us."
The Maggie mentioned in the letter as a "young fry" was a younger sister of the bride who, with Mrs. Burden, was visiting away from home at the time. Julian was then about six years old.
Mrs. Burden had been graduated from Wesleyan the summer before and she recalled with great glee the April Fool joke which the senior class played on Dr. Myers. It seems that he did not attend class on time and the Mercer boys had told them how they ‘walked out' when the professor was late. So the girls first hid under their desks and then, when he did not come, left the class and went down on the back campus. Mrs. Burden said that Dr. Myers did not think their conduct was at all "lady-like" and told them so very emphatically.
Mary (Hitch) Peabody, only daughter of Mrs. Hitch, is living in Macon with her daughter Frances (Peabody) McKay. They are both Wesleyan graduates, and Mrs. Peabody was an Adelphean, having attended there before the sororities were disbanded.
The fact that "Betty" Hitch, the president of the Wesleyan freshman class was called before the sophomore court for being the only "Hitch" in her class, recalls to Mrs. Peabody the conversation of two of the old mammy servants of the college at the time of her mother's wedding. One of them said "Mis' Fannie is gittin' married dis mornin', ain't she? Whose she gwiner marry?" The other replied "Lawd, chile, I der know, it's either Mister Itch or Mister Scratch, I disremember which."
She also tells how when she attended Wesleyan Mrs,, Burden's father was president of the college, and having known her mother in school and as a young lady, he simply transferred her name down to the daughter. And although she was known to her school-mates as Mary Hitch, she was always "Fannie Myers" to him.
Mrs. Peabody said that with much foreboding Dr. and Mrs. Myers let their oldest daughter go to Blackshear, Ga. "A little town just out of the Okefenokee swamp" to teach school. It was their impression that all learning and culture stopped at Macon, or at least at Savannah. They were assured that the people she was going among were densely ignorant and decidedly uncouth. So imagine their horror when she wrote them that she was going to marry a young country lawyer of that municipality. However, their minds were set at rest when they found that he was the nephew and law partner of Captain John C. Nichols, a war hero and congressman from that district.
Then the wedding hour was set for 7 o'clock in the morning in order that the bride and groom might attend the luncheon with which Mr. And Mrs. Green (Greenberry Jones Foraker, another uncle and aunt of the groom wished to entertain for them at their Atlanta home. It seems that there was but one train a day running between Macon and Atlanta then.
The story is told of their trip to Atlanta that they had not been on the train long before the nervous young groom felt the need of a smoke, so he left his bride and went into the smoker.
Now the bride was widely acquainted, through her father and numbered among her friends the famous barrister, L.Q.C. Lamar. He happened to be traveling the same route and, passing through the train, spied the pretty young girl sitting alone. He sat down for a chat.
When the young lawyer returned to his seat, he found it occupied by a man who was at the top of the ladder which he had just begun to climb and felt rather timid about intruding, being naturally reticent, also. So he continued up the car and returned, not once but several times.
Finally Justice Lamar noticed his restless pacings and remarked casually: "Who is the nice looking young man walking up and down the car?" The bride blushingly admitted that he was her husband.
"Your husband! When were you married?"
"This morning" she said. Then the courteous old-gentleman was covered with embarrassment and jumped up hastily. But she called her new husband to be introduced and they all had a friendly conversation. When he got up to leave, he told Mrs. Hitch "My dear, keep your husband out of politics, for Washington is situated just over Hell."
She took his advice, for she and her husband spent their useful lives quietly, in Waycross, Georgia, with never a political aspiration to disturb their tranquility.
Fanny Hitch, the subject of the preceding article was born as Frances Myers on December 31, 1849, the daughter of Rev. Edward Howell Myers and Mary Frances Mackie. She died in Ware County, Georgia on November 6, 1912. As we have learned from this article, Fanny Myers married Simon Wood Hitch on December 3, 1874. Simon W. Hitch was born on September 5, 1848 in Jones Co., Georgia and died September 18, 1915 in Waycross, Ware County, Georgia. He was the son of Sylvanus F. Hitch (c.1811-1880) who had moved from Massachusetts to Georgia in the early part of the 19th century. Once in Georgia, he married Ann Apollina Nichols (c.1822-1898).
I am grateful to Louise (Hitch) Gilchrist of Courtland, Alabama for sending me a copy of the preceding article and information on her line of the family. Mrs. Gilchrist is a granddaughter of Simon Wood Hitch through his son Edward Sylvanus Hitch. Thanks Louise for sharing this information."
In the Federal Census of 1880, Simon W. Hitch is listed in Pierce County, Georgia (Blackshear) in a household as follows: - Simon W. Hitch, age 32, born in GA - Fannie Hitch, age 28, born in GA - Mary Hitch, age 3, born in GA - Francis M. Hitch, age 2, born in GA.
In the Federal Census of 1900, Simon W. Hitch is listed in Ware County, Georgia (Waycross) in a household as follows: - Simon W. Hitch, born 9/1847 in GA - Fannie M. Hitch, born 10/1849 in GA - James W. Hitch, born 9/1880 in GA - Edwin S. Hitch, born 11/1884 in GA - Mary P. Machir, born 1/1822 in GA - Mary C. Walker, born 11/1885 in GA - Elbert Peabody, born 7/1875 in AL - Mary H. Peabody, born 9/1876 in GA.
In the Federal Census of 1910, S.W. Hitch is listed in Ware County, Georgia (Waycross) in a household as follows: - S.W. Hitch, age 62, born in GA - F.W. Hitch, age 60, born in GA - M.C. Mackie, age 88, born in GA - E.P. Peabody, age 35, born in AL - Mary H. Peabody, age 34, born in GA - L.H. Peabody, age 7, born in GA - F.H. Peabody, age 5, born in GA - S.W. Peabody, age 2, born in GA.
Here a biography of Simon Wood Hitch from the "History of Ware County, Georgia" (DAR), it tells a brief history of the man with relationships as shown. It states that his father Sylvanus Hitch died in 1880 at age 72 and his mother Ann A. Nichols Hitch died in 1898. His mother's parents were Simon Wood Nichols of SC and Margaret Waver Nichols. It states that his wife Frances Myers Hitch died on November 6, 1912 and she had father Dr. Edward Myers of Orange County, New York and mother Mary Mackie Myers. Dr. Myers father was Selim Myers and mother was Mary Howell Myers. It states that his brother Frank died at age 22, his other brother James married Reubie Lillie, and his other brother Edward S. married Louise Daniel.
Simon married Frances Alice (Fannie) Myers, daughter of Rev. Edward Howell Myers and Mary Frances Mackie, on 03 Dec 1874 in Macon, Bibb Co., GA.1 2 3 (Frances Alice (Fannie) Myers was born on 31 Oct 1849 in GA,2 12 13 died on 05 Nov 1912 in Ware Co., GA 14 and was buried about 08 Nov 1912 in Lott Cemetery, Waycross, Ware Co., GA.)