James L. Byington

The article below  was written in the Irwinton Bulletin by the Womens Christian Temperance Union, after the death of James L. Byington at the age of 42 on Jan 12, 1912.
    James L. Byington  was the son of Mirabeau and Lydia E. Barrett Byington and married to Eula Hughes Gilmore, daughter of Dr. E.T. Gilmore and Susan Boyer Gilmore. The children were Rosa Byington Lindsey, George Byington (died as infant) Ed Byington and Fred Byington (twins)
    He had business interests in sawmill, gristmill and was President of the Irwinton Railway company.  One of his partners was G.H. Carswell. He was a sheriff of Wilkinson County for six years  and voted a member of the Georgia House of Representatives twice although he didn't serve his second term because of his illness and death.

He and his family are buried in the Byington plot in Memory Hill Cemetery in Milledgeville,Ga..


     Mr. James L. Byington, an honorary member of our organization, having been taken from this earth to the upper and better kingdom, we desire to say a few words concerning his life and character.
     Mr. Byington was held in the highest esteem by all those who know him. He was a man of his word. He did unto others as he would have them do unto him. He was honest, loyal, just and forgiving. He assisted those who needed his help. An while he believed in that pure, clean, unselfish, and upright life, yet he was kind and considerate of his weaker brother who had erred, and gone in the path of the wicked. No man ever lived in our county who was more honored or trusted than he. Three times he was elected without opposition to a position of trust in our county. He was open and outspoken in his condemnation of the evils of intemperance. He was fearless in his position for right., or acquiesce in the wrong for the sake of popularity, but he boldly and fearlessly stood upon the side of right, and was always openly fighting the wrong. He looked for the good, and not for the evil in mankind. While in health and in strength, he was a power for good and was ever ready to assist in any move to better the county and community. He will be sadly missed by all of the people of this county, whom he loved and by whom he was honored. For months he was sorely afflicted. He suffered physically and mentally the agonies of a thousand deaths, that he was never heard to murmur or complain, but the more he was afflicted the closer he clung to and the louder he praised his God. Surely the reward for such a life shall be great. Our organization has lost a member who was an honor and a credit to us, a member who lived and acted and taught purity and manliness among men. This county has lost one of its best citizens and the state a faithful officer.
    To his wife and children we extend our heartfelt love and sympathy and pray for them God's richest blessings, to his friends and loved ones everywhere, we can truthfully say that he died as he lived, a man of God.
  Be it resolved by the W.C.T.U. That a copy of this resolution be given the family, and one published in each of the county papers.

Irwinton Bulletin 1912
news article and family information submitted by Jeff Edgens, greatgrandson

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