his wife
and their sons

Contributed 19 Mar 2005
by Wendy Cabler

The Florence Times,
February 2, 1904

Winston and Bartley McGee

          The Times has to report this week a sad case of death occurring near Killen, in which father and son died within three hours of each other, Mr. Winston McGee and his son, Bartley, being the victims of the grim monster.
          The deaths occurred Saturday night, the son dying about 9 o’clock and the father at midnight.  The cause of the father’s death was pneumonia, which carried him off after only a few days of illness; and the son died of consumption.  Both were interred at the same hour Monday morning.
          A wife and eight children remain of the family to mourn the great loss.  A large number of the friends of the family attended the funeral.

Florence Gazette
February 6, 1904

Excerpt on Winston and Bartley McGee:

           That is a sad case of affliction indeed that occurred near Killen Saturday night-father, aged 50 years, and son, 19, both dying within three hours.  To add to the distress, one or two other members of the family were ill at the same time.  The entire community were deeply impressed with the sad affair, and profound sympathy was expressed for the family.


Winston J. McGee

          On Saturday last, God in His wisdom saw fit to take from our midst, one of our best citizens, J. W. McGee.  He had been suffering for about a week of lagrippe.  Mr. McGee was born and raised in this State, and in early manhood he was married to Miss Bettie Billingsley, near St. Florian.  The union was blessed with 14 children, four of whom preceded him to the grave.  Mr. McGee was a member of the Christian church, and a faithful member, and a good man, who has gone to his reward.  To the grieved wife and children we extend deepest sympathy.  We say grieve not, for it was the will of Him who doeth all things well.  Live so you can have the hope of meeting him in that home beyond.  After services held by Rev. W. M. Bethel, the body was interred to rest in the burial ground near his home.  He leaves a wife and 10 children, two brothers, and a sister, and a large circle of friends to mourn his loss.

Mr. James Bartley McGee

          God also saw fit on the same night to take from this world of sorrow, to a home of brighter bliss, Bartley, who had been a sufferer of consumption for about a year, and took lagrippe, which was more than he could bear.
          Bartley was about 19 years of age and a good boy.  He was a member of the Christian church, having obeyed the gospel under Rev. E. C. Fuqua, July, 1902, and had lived a faithful member ever since.  How sadly he will be missed by this community.   He was willing and ready to die.  He called all his friends around him and told them that he wanted to meet [them] in heaven where sickness and death had no power.
          He called his friends had them to sing his favorite song, “Death is only a Dream,” and oh, how sweet it is to press the dying pillow and say death is only a dream, and that there is glory beyond the dark streams.  Dear mother, sister, and brothers, we say , grieve not; live to meet him over the river.  The rent in the earth will soon heal, but that in the hearts will never.  He is waiting for you all on the other shore. 
          Written by his dear friend, D.C.W.

Florence Gazette
April 24, 1907

Mr. William McGee
[son of J. W. and brother of Bartley]

          Mr. William McGee, living on Brush Creek, near Killen, died on Friday night last, of consumption, aged about 26 years. He was unmarried, and had been confined to his bed a year or more. Three years ago both his father and a brother died the same night, and within the same hour, with the dread disease that carried him off.

Florence Gazette,
November 28, 1932

Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Billingsley McGee

          There is a sorrowing family in this community whose name is McGee.  The widowed mother has seen an ocean of trouble.  First, in her girlhood days she witnessed the burial of her father and brother at the same time, and, I think, in the same grave.  She, Miss Bettie Billingsley, married Mr. Winston McGee, and a few years passed when Mrs. McGee was called upon to witness the last sad rites – her mother’s funeral.  [1901]  In January, 1904, her son, Bartley departed this life at 9:15 p.m., and just three hours later her husband was cold and still in death.  On January 9, 1907, her daughter, Mrs. Elzy Muse died, leaving some small children, whom Mrs. McGee took and helped to rear until now.  In April, 1904, I think it was, Mrs. McGee’s oldest son, William died, and on May 11, 1908, a daughter, Miss Chappel, departed this life, and after services by your humble scribe, her earthly remains were interred in the family cemetery, in the presence of many sorrowing friends.
          To the heartbroken mother and sorrowing children we would say, Sorrow not as those who have no hope.  It was the Holy Spirit who said, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints,” and “I go to prepare a place for you.”  (Psa. II6:15; John 14:2.)  All those whose deaths are above mentioned were members of the Church of Christ. In the short space of four years and four months, the graveyard in which Mr. McGee and son, Bartley, were first to be laid to rest, there are now 5 graves which mark the last resting place of a husband and father, two sons and two daughters.  Another daughter is not well by any means, but hope that she will speedily recover.
          It would not be treating Miss Ella Harris, of East Florence, right without mentioning that during Miss Chappel’s last days, Miss Ella came out to the country home and remained with the family, playing the part of the good Samaritan.  She has the good will of the entire community.  Thank you, Miss Ella.
                                                                   Wm. Behel.

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