|Birth: ||Apr. 5, 1938|
|Death: ||Apr. 5, 1938|
The area around the site of Bulls Mill is breath taking even on a gray day in winter. There are grassy fields, forested hill tops with slate gray bluffs, a creek that is a swimming pool for squirrels and a watering place for thirsty deer, fox and coyote. Red tailed hawks keep watch in the blue skies above. Add the area’s natural solitude and one understands why pioneers ventured there as early as 1832 when James Kimberling constructed a grist mill at the site. Native Peoples lived there for thousands of years before.
The area once was part of Greene County and entered the land of Taney in 1837 when that county was formed. In 1859 it was annexed into the newly formed Christian County. The mill site saw a good deal of activity during the Civil War and may have actually survived that brutal conflict. Relics of the era have been unearthed nearby. It was also the place where Abraham Shafer killed his son, Simon, mistaking him for a turkey in 1867. In the local Cobb-Keeton Cemetery Elizabeth McCoy was laid to rest. She was given the rarest of tombstones for a woman; that of a Union Civil War veteran.
It is no wonder then that Barbara and Bob Kipfer have purchased the property and begun to return it to the state in which pioneers found it upon their arrival more than 180 years ago. The couple also sponsors a program where school children come to learn about conservation science.
Not far from the grave of Elizabeth McCoy is a small stone marker that reads “George Ray Lilly; April 5, 1938.” His mother called him “Georgie” nearly 70 years later.
Georgie lived but 12 hours. When he died, Mary Lou (Proctor) Lilly bathed him, wrapped him in a blanket and carried him to the cemetery. She also carried a shovel. She kissed her infant son, said farewell to him forever and buried him in the cemetery. His father, Nathan Lilly, had lost an arm.
“He had gone hunting,” Nathan’s son in law, Holly Ward, said recently by phone from his home in Oklahoma. A young teenager, Nathan lay “the shotgun against the fence and it shot his right arm about six inches below the shoulder. He liked to bled to death. They called an old doctor and they cut it off with a hack saw.”
Because of the physical challenge, he couldn’t run a plow or chop wood, the two ways men of that era supported their families. Nathan turned to the only industry left. The whiskey still was secluded on a tributary of Bull Creek but law officers found it. Nathan was arrested and went to prison. Georgie was born several months later.
When Nathan returned home, he and Mary Lou raised a fine family. He found work as a foreman on a WPA road construction project and later on the West Coast during WWII. The couple’s descendants number in the hundreds. But when she could, Mary Lou trekked to the peaceful spot on the banks of Bull Creek, placed flowers on Georgie’s grave and remembered. She died in 2006 at the age of 92 and was laid to rest beside her husband in the Chadwick Cemetery.
Created by: Brad Melton
Record added: Nov 15, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 120339011
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