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Bulloch History with Roger Allen
Bullochs tale of Uncle Gart
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    If someone in your family lived in Register back in the early 1800s, they probably knew “Uncle Gart.”  Garrett Williams Jr. was born in either 1765 (or possibly 1788) in Duplin County, North Carolina to Garrett Williams Sr. He had two brothers: David Williams; and John G. Williams, who was the pastor at the Lower Lott’s Creek Baptist Church for a great many years.
    Garrett and his wife lived in the sleepy little town of Register, where they had two children: William “Wiley” Williams; and Simon L. Williams. Garrett Jr. was a very successful farmer, and had acquired a great deal of land: 40 acres in Lumpkin County, 490 acres in Brooks County, and some 3,889 acres in Bulloch County. He was also a wise investor, having bought a substantial number of Central of Georgia Railroad stocks.
    Both of his sons did their duty, serving in the Confederacy during the War Between the States. Wiley, as he was known, was a Captain in Company C. of the 47th Georgia Volunteers Infantry Regiment. He paid the ultimate price for his bravery, dying in the Battle of James Island, South Carolina on 6/10/1862. Simon fared better, serving as a Lieutenant Colonel with Company D. of the 61st Georgia Volunteers Infantry Brigade.
    He was also very active in his church, the Lower Lott’s Creek Baptist Church. Not surprisingly, when he died, he left instructions to be buried there. Well, not exactly there. Seven or eight years before he died, Uncle Gart erected a house made from the heart of pine eight foot above the ground suspended in an old oak tree near his house, by the Register to Excelsior Road.
    Some said he had recurring visions of worms and mold covering his body, and he couldn’t stand the thought of coming to such an end. For whatever reason, his instructions to his family were very clear: he was not to be buried in the ground. Therefore, when he died (either May 1, 1867 or on July 1, 1887, depending which report you believe) his family honored his wishes. They put his body in the box and suspended it up in the tree, and there it stayed, for at least forty years.
    Eventually, the box came crashing down. Depending on whose story you believe, either vandals cut the coffin down, broke into it and stole his skull OR the box simply fell from its perch, to the ground.  At this point, however, his body was re-interred, this time being buried in a regular coffin in the Lower Lott’s Creek Church Cemetery on January 1, 1902. There, hopefully, Uncle Gart is resting to this day.

Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at roger
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