Biography of Miles Bembry
Miles Bembry, son of William and Marina Bembry, was born in North Carolina, January 24, 1826, and died in Pulaski County, April 1, 1888.
His grandfather, John Bembry, an English shipmaster, placed his sons at Edenton, North Carolina, at the death of their mother, Annie Bryan, from Ireland, where, after retirement from sea service, he joined them and settled, later moving to Florida and then to Georgia.
Miles showed his pluck and determination when, at age fifteen, he assumed control of the remains of his father’s estate, most of which had been lost by mismanagement, and, with his mother’s help, reared the younger children, winning by this sacrifice the high respect of all.
He accumulated a valuable estate, cleared and developed thousands of acres of land, built homes, operated his own sawmill, grist mill, cotton gins, first with water power, later with steam, first of this type in the county. He held the office of Sheriff for two terms, and successfully managed the leading hotel in Hawkinsville for a number of years.
July 24, 1843, he married Sarah Lancaster, daughter of Nancy Johnson and George Washington Lancaster. He was a good neighbor, kindly in his home, progressive in business, and generous to the highest degree, few asking help without receiving, and was the idol of the colored people because of his kindness and consideration. He was a devout member of the Missionary Baptist Church, a charter member of Corinth, always giving freely to church and schools, aiding individuals in educating themselves.
Miles could not serve his beloved Southland in the War Between the States because of defective hearing, but sacrificed to this cause his cherished son and a dear younger brother, William, who was killed in the Battle of Chickamauga. The son, William, enlisted at age sixteen, served three years, was taken prisoner and, after recovering from a severe case of smallpox, was smuggled through the lines to freedom by a kind-hearted Yankee, who was touched by the boy’s youth and broken health. Journeying alone, separated from his body servant, he reached home, dying soon afterward.
John and Emily, second and third children of Miles Bembry, died quite young. Robert Taylor, fourth child, a noble Christian worker, progressive and public-spirited, was educated at Oglethorpe. He was on the Board of Commissioners which erected the first bridge over the Ocmulgee River at Hawkinsville. He married Sarah Carruthers, educated at Andrew Female College, Cuthbert, Ga.
Herschel Franklin, fifth child, extensive farmer, was noted for his kindness and integrity. He married Cora Taylor, daughter of Tom Taylor, and Martha Pickett, niece of Pulaski’s beloved Dr. Gus Taylor.
Alice Carrie, only surviving daughter, a beautiful and cultured young woman, was educated at South Kentucky Female College, Hopkinsville, Ky. She married Eldridge Cosmo Smith.