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Gospel Pilgrim: Mary E. Sims, John R. Stanton, Rev. Nathaniel Walker

Mary E. Sims was born around 1903. She married M.C. Sims Sr. In 1930, she worked as a laundress and lived on Fifth Street with her husband and their son Sam. The 1940 US Census lists her as a widow, employed as a cook and living on Hull Street with her sister, Sara Hill, and two of Hill’s grandchildren. At the time of her death Mary Sims lived at 853 West Weddell Street. At 43 years old, she died from unknown causes on October 18, 1946. [Researched and written by Ainsley Stephens]

John R Stanton was an Athens resident who was born around 1899. He was married and had multiple siblings. He died from unknown causes on October 25, 1948 and was buried in Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery on October 31, 1948.

[Researched and written by Abby Lauterbach. I tried to find information on Mr. Stanton through the people who were listed in the newspaper announcement of his funeral, but I was unsuccessful. I couldn’t help but think about how most of the women were simply listed as “Mrs. [Husband’s Name].” Maybe if I could research those women I would have found his sister or daughter, but I couldn’t do that because their name wasn’t even given.]

A lifelong Athens resident, Reverend Nathaniel Thomas Walker was born on February 22, 1887. He was drafted for the First World War in 1917, and according to the Athens Daily Herald, he was part of a group of men sent to France. Walker had requested a military exemption, but it was rejected: as the newspaper noted, “two young men who are in the ministry failed to exempt [from military service] – on account of the fact that they did not file proof to their claim in the prescribed manner.” After his return from the war, he married Susie B. Walker, with whom he took care of a stepdaughter, Christine B. Barnette. He worked as a preacher, and between 1931 and 1944 he was the reverend of Union Missionary Baptist Church. He lived at 160 Water Street in 1917, and resided on Finley Street in 1920. In August 1955, he passed away from unknown causes and was buried in Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery. [Researched and written by Abby Lauterbach] 

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