Wilkes County, Georgia Obituary - Maj. James Rembert Anthony


The news that Major James Rembert Anthony had died at the home of his son, J.R. Anthony, Jr. in Jacksonville yesterday morning at nine o'clock was received with deep regret in this city, where the deceased had long been known and honored. Major Anthony, who first settled in Florida at the town of Titusville on the Indian River in 1895, came to West Palm Beach in 1897, and has since been accounted among its most respected residents. His family has been closely identified with the growth of this city, their name being prominent in business and banking circles. Major Anthony served with distinction on the original Dade County School Board at a crisis when it had become necessary to lift education out of the realm of politics, and proved himself on all occasions a useful and public-spirited citizen.

He is survived by his widow and four sons, J.R. Anthony, Jr., A.P. Anthony, E.D. Anthony, and Lieut. Roscoe Anthony, besides several grandchildren.

Major James Rembert Anthony was born at Washington, Georgia, his parents being Micajah Anthony of Wilkes County, and Mary Dubose of Darlington, in that state. The Dubose family was of French-Huguenot extraction, and the Major came of the old cavalier stock of Virginia on both sides of the house. His mother's younger sister, Miss Julia Dubose, married the celebrated confederate general, Robert Toombs. Major Anthony's early education was confided, according to the custom prevailing in those days among wealthy southern families, to private tutors. He also attended the Beauman High School at Mt. Zion, Georgia, entering the University of Virginia at the age of eighteen. His college career was cut short by the outbreak of the war and he joined the Confederate Army in his second year. The Major made an excellent record in the war. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant at the end of six months, rose to be captain by the end of his first year's service, and held the commission of Major during the last six months of the war although he never actually received the commission of that rank issued to him by the Confederate government on account of its capture in transit by the Federal Army.

The Major fought in the First Battle of Manassas; in the seven day fight at Richmond and was almost fatally wounded at Mrs. Price's farm near Richmond. After recovering from his wounds he was sent on detached service to Savannah, and then was detailed to Florida to take part in the battle of Olustee, the only big battle of the war fought in this state. After taking part in the battle of Olustee, he was concerned in the skirmishes around Lake City, finally surrendering in North Carolina with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston at the close of the war.

Compelled by the ravages of war and the ruin of his property in Georgia to take up a new vocation in life Major Anthony determined to utilize his capital stock in the way of education. He first taught school at Elberton, Ga, and then built up a wide reputation as an educator by his conduct of the school in his home town of Washington. Following the traditions of his army life, Major Anthony's thirty-seven year career in the educational field was strongly marked by a rigid insistence on discipline, both of thought and conduct, and his fine personal example made a deep impression on the men of his native state. In the year 1895 Major Anthony transferred his educational activities to Florida, where his became the principal of Titusville high school on August 12. Here his health broke down and he moved south to West Palm Beach two years later. The remainder of Major Anthony's life was devoted to promoting the welfare of his family, and to the general educational uplift of his adolescent environment.

One of the most interesting episodes in Major Anthony's long military career was his share in the escape of his wife's [error in obit - mother's] brother in law, General Toombs. Immediately after the surrender, General Toombs uttered his famous boast that he would never be taken alive by the yankees, and forthwith set out on his famous ride through Georgia and Alabama. Major Anthony, after accompanying the general for two weeks was taken sick and compelled to return to Washington. The General, after reaching New Orleans in safety and embarking for Havana, sent word to Major Anthony to bring Mrs. Toombs to the Cuban capital. Providing himself with a bag of gold containing several hundred dollars which he concealed beneath his clothing, Major Anthony carried out his mission successfully, the General and Mrs. Toombs subsequently journeying to Spain where they spent 2 years until all bans had been lifted.

Major Anthony will be buried this afternoon in Jacksonville. The stores and banking institutions throughout the state, which his sons are identified, will be closed during the day.

The Palm Beach [FL] Post, December 6, 1918, p. 1.

SUBMITTED BY: Neeli Reamer
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