Milestones & Tombstones

First Baptist Church of Marietta

It was about 10 years ago that I learned that there was a street in Marietta Georgia that was named after my great, great, great grandfather David Dobbs. It was the other day, when I was going back through my notes, that I realized that I had never bothered to look to see what was on Dobbs Street in Marietta.

Thanks to Google Maps, I can virtually transport myself down to the sidewalks of Marietta and have a little virtual walk down Dobbs Street. I discovered that the current location of the First Baptist Church of Marietta is the corner of Church Street and Dobbs Street.

The building, with its white marble and granite façade, was built in 1897 and faces Church Street. Its address is 148 Church Street. The original church building, built in 1838, of which my ancestor David Dobbs was an early member, was located where the current Confederate Memorial is near Citizen’s Cemetery. The building at its current location on Dobbs Street was completed in 1897. The Victorian-Gothic designed structure of Georgia marble and granite has a colonnade porch with twin staircases at the entrance. The auditorium, designed in a bowl shape for good visibility for worshipers, has many original features, including wood trimming, curved oak pews, chandelier, and stained-glass windows.

Another thing that I learned is that the church has a very interesting history. According to the history of the Old Zion Baptist Church, a predominantly African American church located in Marietta, the First Baptist Church of Marietta was originally integrated – Whites and Blacks worshiped together in the same building in the antebellum South.

According to the history page at Prior to 1866, blacks, most of whom were former slaves, were members of First Baptist Church, the oldest white Baptist church in Marietta. Black and white Baptists worshipped together in the same building during slavery… By 1850, Cobb County had a total population of 13,843 persons which included 2,272 slaves. First Baptist had an enrollment of 142 members, of whom 59 were black… It is interesting to note that then, all persons, black or white, were baptized in the same place, Rock Springs, at the foot of the Kennesaw Mountains (approximately two miles from the church).

According to The Zion Baptist Church is one of the oldest African-American churches in North Georgia. Once a part of the First Baptist Church of Marietta, the slave membership began petitioning for a separate church in 1852. First Baptist granted letters to 88 African-American members for the purpose of constituting a new church. The old church, built in 1888, was used until the 1980s, when a new sanctuary was erected. In 2007, the church built another sanctuary on the corner of Cherokee and Lemon Streets. Currently, the building is the home of the Old Zion Heritage Museum.

Citizens Cemetery of Marietta, Georgia

Thinking about the church in Marietta got me to thinking about the cemetery in that town. When my brother visited Marietta about 10 years ago, he went to the cemetery and took pictures of the Dobbs’ headstones that he could find. While he did find the headstone of my great-grandfather’s uncle of the same name, he did not get a picture of the headstone of my great grandfather, James M. Dobbs, Sr. I was curious to see what I can find at and that is when I discovered the Marietta City Cemetery Mapping Application

3rd great-grandfather, David Dobbs (1793-1871) – Citizen’s Cemetery, Marietta, Georgia.

2nd great-grandfather, David Judson Dobbs (1835-1877) – Citizen’s Cemetery, Marietta, Georgia.

2nd great-grandmother, Martha (Mattie) Josephine Prothro (1834-1928) – Citizen’s Cemetery, Marietta, Georgia.

Great-grandfather, James Monroe Dobbs (1859-1922) – Citizen’s Cemetery, Marietta, Georgia. [Note: July 8, 1925 is the date he was reburied in Marietta from his original internment at College Park, Georgia}

Great-grandfather’s first wife, Emma Hahr Dobbs (1860-1898). She died about a year after they returned from four years in South America.

My great-grandmother, J. M. Dobbs, Sr.’s second wife, and my grandfather moved back to Texas after his father’s death. From the 1920s to the 1950s, they lived in Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and finally the Waco/Temple area. Helen Spiegel Dobbs, James M. Dobbs, Jr, and my grandfather’s second wife, Helen Mewhinney are buried at Holland (Texas) Cemetery.

Great-grandmother, Helen Spiegel Dobbs (1871-1950) – Holland (Texas) Cemetery

Grandfather, James Monroe Dobbs, Jr. (1902-1956) – Holland (Texas) Cemetery

My grandfather’s 2nd wife, Helen Mewhinney Dobbs (1898-2001) was 103 years old when she passed away in 2001.

Father’s Side

I looked to see what I could find on my father’s side of the family and did manage to find two. I found one ancestor buried in Kansas and another in Pennsylvania.

Francis “Frank” Gaume (1843-1917) was my paternal grandfather’s grandfather. He was a veteran of the Civil War who fought on the Union side and was wounded at the Battle of Stone’s River in Tennessee (1862/63). About 50 years after the war, he became a resident of the old soldier’s home at National Home at Fort Leavenworth Kansas. He is buried at Fort Leavenworth and his grave marker lists him as a member of company I 19th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was also in the ranks of the 162nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

Also, I found a photograph of the gravestone of Corbett Pickering (1796-1878). He is believed to be the father of Della, wife of Frank Gaume and mother of Della Gaume, the mother of my grandfather, Leopold DeBacker. Corbett was a farmer in Pennsylvania and a veteran of the war of 1812. He died at the age 82 in 1878 and he is buried at the South Gibson Cemetery, South Gibson, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania.

Maternal Grandmother’s Side

Great, great-grandfather Joseph Kollros (1792-1863) and great, great-grandmother Magdalena Ringswald (1802-1884) (right), great-grandmother Maria Eichorn (1843-1907) (left) and great-grandfather Constantine Kollros (1838-1916) (middle). Behind them are buried Maria’s brother Erhardt and sister-in-law, Mary Leaf. St Michael’s Cemetery Louisville, Kentucky.

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