Judy Shippey, Guest Columnist.
The year is 1944. The place is a remote area of the Fort Stewart Military Reservation, about four miles northwest of Taylor's Creek, specifically the old Hendry Family Cemetery.
After the Army had taken over the area, the old Cemetery had been discovered and orders had been given to move the tombstones from the Hendry Cemetery to the Methodist Cemetery at Taylor's Creek. Two of the workers, whose duty it was to remove the tombstones, came to the old cemetery one day to see what needed to be done. What they saw shocked them into awestruck silence!
''Hey!'' one said to the other. ''Will you look at that?'' ''Yeah!'' said the other, equally impressed. ‘'I never saw anything like that before in my life!'' What did they see? Ah, read on!
The grave at which they were staring was that of Robert Hendry, 1752–1830. He was born on the isle of Arran in Scotland. For the most part, that island was peopled entirely by Hendrys (of the Clan MacNaughton), with two other families, the Kerrs and the MacMillans, allied against them in a constant feud. on the isle of Arran in Scotland. For the most part, that island was peopled entirely by Hendrys (of the Clan MacNaughton), with two other families, the Kerrs and the MacMillans, allied against them in a constant feud.
Read on, it’s coming! Circa 1770, Robert Hendry emigrated to America and settled in North Carolina. During the Revolutionary War he enlisted on September 20, 1776, as a Continental (Private) in the 5th South Carolina Regiment. He served under Lieutenant Colonel 'Lighthorse” Harry Lee. He was present at the surrender of the British at Yorktown on October 19, 1781. Shortly after, he was mustered out of the Service.
After he left the Service, Robert Hendry lived both in New Hanover County, North Carolina, and in Burke County, Georgia.
He and his wife, Ann Lee Hendry, whom he had married in 1778, and their nine children moved to Liberty County in 1801. They settled at Taylor's Creek, in the western part of Liberty County. He bought land four miles northwest of Taylor's Creek, and there his children grew up and married. In addition to being one of the 'founding fathers' of Liberty County, Robert Hendry was active in occupations which were of service to the people of the County. He was appointed Justice of the Peace of the 17th District of Liberty County on July 9, 1802, and served until 1811. He was again commissioned September 15, 1819, and served until 1824.
In 1827, Robert Hendry became Tax Collector for Liberty County and served in this post until his demise.
Robert Hendry was a Scotch Presbyterian and a member of Midway Congregational Church. His wife was a Methodist and was a charter member of the Taylor’s Creek Methodist Episcopal Church, founded in 1807.
Robert Hendry died August 31, 1830, at Taylor’s Creek. His wife followed him in death May 31, 1834. Both of them were buried in the old Hendry family cemetery.
NOW, HERE IT COMES! As we come back through time to 1944 and to the removal of the Hendry tombstones to the Taylor’s Creek cemetery, what did the workers see that so stunned their eyes into disbelief?
They found that over the 114 years since he had been laid to rest there, the limbs of a growing oak tree had picked up the marker of my great-great-greatgrandfather and, cradling it gently, had elevated it to a distance of 15 feet above the ground!