Monday, March 18, 2013

A Brilliant Conversationalist and a Keen Humorist

Meet Joseph, or Josiah, Steadman Vinson, the father-in-law of the niece of the husband of my sister-in-law's great grand aunt. Yes, I did wander down a rat hole to find him!

Joseph Steadman Vinson
I think he looks a little bit like Martin Sheen, especially around the eyes. Joseph was born in 1844 in Warner Robins, Georgia, and lived a full and eventful life, dying when he was 81 years old. He enlisted as a private in the 6th Georgia Infantry Regiment at 16 and was wounded a year later at the Battle of Seven Pines. He was shot three times in each leg and spent six months in the hospital and at home recovering.

After the Civil War, Jospeh married Amanda Stripling but she died a few months after their marriage. In 1868 he married Julia Bason.

Julia Emma (Bason) Vinson
He mostly farmed in Houston County, Georgia, but also worked as a conductor on the Brunswick & Albany Railroad and later for the Southern Railway, making the run between between Brunswick and Macon. For several years he served as the chairman of the local farmers union and as chairman of the county association. He was a member of the Masons for 53 years. He is buried in the Bason Family Cemetery in Warner Robins, Georgia.

Joseph Steadman Vinson grave marker
When he died, more than a hundred people attended his funeral. His obituary included this personality sketch:

He knew and was known to more persons in Houston, Bibb, Dooly and Peach counties than any other man and he could hail each of these acquaintances by their given names. The friends lamented more than the mere passing of a another friend; it left a hole in their lives; left a wide space in their existence barren and empty. For Mr. Vinson, they said was a brilliant conversationalist, and a keen humorist and when he talked, he became the center of all interest.
There's a lot of grind work to genealogy research that can in no way be described as fun, but when you find a little something that gives insight into an ancestor's character, it really gets interesting.

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