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MURRAY COUNTRY FAMILIES

The R. R. Keith Family


Murray County Census records for 1850 list R. R. Keith, age 27; wife, Mary, age 22, children Lucinda J., age 2; and Clinton C. Keith, age 0. This simply means that Clinton was less than one year old. Family records indicate that this was the family of Reuben Roper Keith.

The 1860 Census lists Lucinda and Clinton, plus 4 new children: Jno. H., age 7; Freeman L., age 5; Martha M., age 3; and Geo. W., age 8 months.

Military records reveal that Reuben Keith enlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant, Co. H, 36th Regiment Georgia Infantry, April 24, 1862. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant March 21, 1863. He was captured by Union forces at Vicksburg, Mississippi, July 4, 1863, but he was paroled five days later.

Local family history recorded that soon after General Wheeler's cavalry had retaken Dalton, some of his troops were enroute to Tennessee. When they came to the Loughridge farm in Murray County, they destroyed fences and crops, then stole all of the family's livestock. This was probably because the troops thought that the Loughridges were sympathetic to the Union.

While they were at the Loughridge home the soldiers learned that the husband of one of the family's daughters, Mary Ann, was home on furlough from the Confederate Army because he was seriously ill. The soldiers went to the nearby dwelling to check on the convalescing soldier.

Somehow they concluded that Reuben was malingering and should have already returned to duty. It is uncertain whether the soldiers actually believed this or perhaps they just decided to further punish the Loughridges by killing a son-in-law.

They took Reuben from his bed, tied him to a horse, and led him away. The family later found his body and buried him in the Loughridge family cemetery at Eton, Georgia. They erected a gravestone that reads: R. R. Keith, Oct. 23, 1822, August 15, 1864. Beside Rueben's grave another stone reads: Mary A. Keith, "his wife," May 5, 1828, Feb. 14, 1909.

The 1870 Census lists Mary A. Keith as head of the household with no children after George W. Keith.

 



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