Turin Methodist, located in rural Coweta County was organized in 1838 by a group of families who migrated from Newbury County in South Carolina in 1828, shortly after the county was created by the Treaty of Indian Springs in 1825. The treaty was signed by Chief William McIntosh, who was later assassinated by fellow tribesmen who contended he had no authority to sign such a treaty. These early families came from Prosperity, South Carolina and their church was named Tranquil Methodist, as it had been in Prosperity.
The local church history states that …“The earliest church building was located between the large oak and large cedar tree at what is now Tranquil Cemetery and was of log construction. The second building was a large square frame building located on the same site. Land for these first two buildings was given by William Baugh Shell and his wife Nancy…Mr. Shell’s home contained a preacher’s room, kept always in readiness for the preacher whenever he came….. There has always been a direct descendent of William B. Shell active in the church.”
This history was written in 1982 which means that Shell direct descendants have served the church for over 150 years. Of the 322 recorded interments in Tranquil Cemetery, 42 of them bear the sur name Shell. One of these interments memorializes CSA veteran William Derrick Shell, the son of William B. and his wife Nancy. William wrote letters to his parents back home in 1861 and 1862, the last being written on June 21, 1862. He died about three months later in Lynchburg, Virginia. Just one of thousands of sad stories to be found in the Georgia cemeteries. Ironically, his father was a delegate to the Succession Convention at Milledgeville and signed the papers of secession from the Union.
The church prospered and the decision was made in 1886 to relocate to the town of Turin, located nearby. The name of the church was changed from Tranquil to Turin at that time. Building the church was a community affair with the members hauling logs to saw into lumber and then gathering to do the do the construction as well.
We salute members of Old Turin for their stewardship of the church, that can now be enjoyed for generations to come. Be sure to click and scroll the photos below for more Turin Methodist History.
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.
Buried here are James D. Hunter, Sr. (January 21, 1832 to October 21, 1891) and his wife Rebecca J. Hunter (August 16, 1842 to November 18, 1919). James D. Hunter and Rebecca J. Elder were married in Coweta County April 29, 1864. They had at least 5 children. James was Captain, Company D, 19th Georgia Infantry, CSA. He served from June 11, 1861 to January 11, 1864. He was wounded December 13, 1862 at Fredericksburg, Virginia. His left arm was disabled. James D. Hunter’s parents, John Levi Hunter (1801-1871) and Abigail Johnson Hunter (1809-1847) are also buried at Tranquil Cemetery.
Foreground: Pvt. Frederick Foster Page born August 24, 1839 and died Aug. 13, 1861. He served in Company D, 19th Georgia Infantry, CSA. He entered service June 11, 1861 and died at home. He was the only son of 10 children. His father was Dr. George H. Page (1810-1885) and his mother was Nancy Gay Page (1819-1905). They are both buried at Tranquil Cemetery. In 1860, Dr. George H. Page owned 67 slaves. The value of his real estate was $31,000 and the value of his personal estate was $68,630. The marker in the background is for Charles Leavell who was born August 30, 1803 in Newberry, South Carolina and died of Heart Dropsy October 10, 1879. His wife, Elizabeth Worthington Hunter Leavell (1813-1884) is buried near him. They had six children. In 1860, Charles Leavell owned 28 slaves.
Emma Frances McKnight Summer was born February 3, 1845 and died February 19, 1907. She married William Harrison Summer December 28, 1865 in Coweta County. They had three daughters. William Harrison Summer (1840-1932) was a Corporal in Company D, 19th Georgia Infantry, CSA. He was wounded at Petersburg, Virginia. He is also buried at Tranquil Cemetery.
Mary Walker Bowden was born November 15, 1852 and died January 1, 1945. She is shown in the 1900 Coweta County census where she was listed as 47 years old, the mother of six children with 5 still living at that time. The five children ages 10 to 20 and her husband Raleigh Bowden (1841-1907) were listed in that same 1900 census. Raleigh Bowden’s cemetery marker is also visible in this picture. Raleigh Bowden’s occupation was listed as land lord. He served in the 32nd Infantry, Company B during the Civil War and was wounded by a shot striking about 4 inches to the left of his spine.
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