Pleasant H. Lovejoy, public-spirited, civic leader, prominent public official, and Christian gentleman.
There is a sentiment and an inspiration among “the old red hills of Georgia” that “breeds and makes real men,” and in this atmosphere, in the county of Jasper, “Plez” Lovejoy first saw the light of day.
Filled with energy and courage, he enlisted in the Confederate Army as a 16-year-old boy. Beginning life during the days of Southern reconstruction, facing the struggle and deprivations that fell on every one, he took his stand in the forefront of the battle for existence and, aided by sacrifice, effort and courage, helped his beloved State to “lift its pale face from the ashes of destruction.” That era produced men of steel, energy and courage. With this spirit, he began life in Montezuma, Georgia, and early in his career he joined hands and heart with Miss Henrietta McKenzie of Montezuma, and very soon moved to Hawkinsville.
Of this union there were born the following children: Kate Watts, Thomas E., Welcome, Lena Lovejoy Boyer, Annie Lee Lovejoy Twitty, Evelyn Lovejoy Anderson, Hallie, and P. H., Jr. Hallie, and P. H., Jr., are deceased.
His first business venture was employment in the business of P. C. Clegg at Hawkinsville, serving with this firm until he formed, with the late J. F. Coney, the firm of Coney, Lovejoy & Company, composed of himself, J. F. Coney, and T. H. Bridges. This firm was an outstanding business concern in this city for twenty years and more, dissolving a few years before his death. After this he engaged successfully in the horse and mule business and had extensive farming operations.
Mrs. Henrietta McKenzie Lovejoy died in Hawkinsville on March 28, 1898.
He was married the second time to Mrs. Mattie Wimberly Napier of Hawkinsville. There were no children born to this union. Mrs. Mattie Wimberly Lovejoy died on the 9th day of February 1911, after which he never married, spending his remaining days in his home with his daughter, Mrs. Kate L. Watts. He died on the 25th day of February 1917.
This man never viewed life from a distance. He,-was always in the battle of life, always in the front ranks, and always found battling for the right. He was a leader in the construction of the first public school for Hawkinsville, and served as a member of its board of education until elected mayor of Hawkinsville, which office he held for fourteen years. During this time he led all the fights for bond issues and succeeded in establishing an electric lighting system for the city; constructed by his efforts the finest and most complete waterworks system; also led in building a large city auditorium, along with other accomplishments, all of which stand as a lasting monument to his civic pride, patriotism, courage, honor, and energy. His real love for Hawkinsville and Pulaski County can scarcely be described.
As a young man he aligned himself with the Methodist Church. He was always a “church man,” serving on the board of stewards of his church from young manhood until death.
Both of his wives were Baptists by profession, and he was just as loyal to this church as to his own. The church of God and his family always came first with him. His home life was grand and beautiful. He was never so happy as when surrounded by his family and loved ones. His devotion to them was superb, and their fidelity, respect and devotion for him was beautiful.
He lived a life of energy, honor and patriotism. He proved a loving husband to two noble Christian wives, a devoted father to his children, a charitable citizen to every human and public need. He lived a Christian life and died a highly respected, honorable Christian gentleman.