Biffle Researchers

SAR Honors John Biffle

Saturday, November 6, 1999
Macedonia Baptist Church

See the following media release FYI. The weather was great and we had 125 to attend.

Best Regards, Geroge Thurmond

Revolutionary War Patriots John Biffle and Joseph Emanuel Lyon were honored at a recent grave marking service conducted by the Piedmont Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution. The dedication service was held at the Macedonia Baptist Church, believed to be the oldest church in DeKalb County.

Representatives from patriotic organizations participated in the service, including Chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution and Children of the American Revolution. The dignity of the occasion was highlighted by Bagpiper and Piedmont Chapter member, John Lee Mortison piping the Master of Ceremonies, John C. H. "Jack" McCord, to the grave sites. Also participating in the service was the Georgia Society, Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard and Militia Guard who were dressed in period uniforms. Drum and fife music, traditional to grave services, was played during the unveilings of the markers and the presentation of several wreaths. Piedmont Chapter of the SAR

Special guests included Robert F. Galer, member of the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution Executive Committee who drove from Columbus to participate in his Militia uniform. Edgar B. Sterrett, Jr. President of the Georgia Society, Sons of the American Revolution greeted the attendees and outlined the various programs conducted by the Sons of the American Revolution.

The Color Guard included Former National Society President General, James R. Westlake, Sr. of Covington, former Georgia Society President, Herbert B. "Kit" Braselton of Braselton, Georgia Society Vice Presidents Larry T. Guzy of Marietta and Robert R. Turbyfill, Jr. of Augusta and Piedmont Chapter Secretary, George E. Thurmond of Alpharetta.

Color Guard member and Piedmont Vice President, Robert W. Bauchspies gave a dedication statement, reminding the attendees of the sacrifices made by those who fought for our country's freedom so many years ago. Compatriot Bauchspies concluding with a memorable poem - Freedom is Not Free.

Mrs. Horace L. Hopkins, Regent of the Baron DeKalb Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, presented the biography on her ancestor, John Biffle. Regent Hopkins had in her possession the family bible of Patriot Biffle. Biffle, a native of Germany, served as a private in the North Carolina Troops. He married Sally Ingram, who is also buried at Macedonia. In addition to farming, Patriot Biffle was one of the county's first real estate dealers, originally buying 800 acres and selling it in smaller parcels to incoming settlers.

The original log cabin built by Patriot Biffle was moved to Adair Park in Decatur and preserved for the public by the DeKalb Historical Society.

Macedonia church member, James D. Ragsdale participated in the unveiling of the Biffle grave stone. Ragsdale was assisted by the Biffle descendants who attended the service, including Larry Slaton, his son and grandson from Tignall and David Angelo DeCesare of Stockbridge.

Wreath laying ceremony Dedication ceremony
William E. Chapman whose Revolutionary War ancestor's son was a charter member of, and is buried at Macedonia, laid the Piedmont Chapter wreath, followed by Regent Hopkins.

Piedmont Chapter member Phillip G. Riddle of Jasper provided the biography of Joseph Emanuel Lyon. Born February 13, 1754 in England, Lyon was a jeweler by trade. He came to the colonies as a British soldier. He was captured during fighting in Germantown, Pennsylvania on October 4, 1777. Obviously a pragmatic soul, he took the oath of allegiance and joined the Colonial Army. He was wounded at the battle of Cowpens, South Carolina on January 17, 1781.

The Lyon family history holds that Joseph had been left for dead on the Cowpens battle field. A passer-by saw that he was alive and carried water to him in his hat. The Revolutionary War Samaritan carried him home and cared for him until he recovered. Patriot Lyon was ever after crippled, losing an arm as a result of his wounds. Lyon was a teacher by profession.

Joseph Lyon married Mary Ann Marshbank about 1785 in South Carolina. Patriot Lyon died in 1830. Descendants of this couple still live on the same land along the South River where Joseph and Mary Ann first settled. Their house, much modified since Joseph built it is still home to members of the Lyon clan. The house has the distinction of being the oldest in the county occupied continuously by the same family. Lyons Road, off Browns Mill, is named for this family.

Lithonia resident, George J. Lyon, unveiled the grave stone of his ancestor, Joseph Emanuel Lyon. He was accompanied by numerous other descendants of Patriot Lyon, including Mrs. Oneida Peters of Monroe, Mrs. Lee Lyon Rodriguez of Cumming, Mrs. Dianne Lyon Boldt from Gainesville, her sister, Mrs. Sandra Lyon Davis from Lewisville, Texas and other Lyon family members.

Thomas C. Riggs, member of the Lyman Hall Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution, laid a wreath at the grave stone of Patriot Lyon, followed by Regent Mrs. H. Carl Tanner of the Martha Stewart Bulloch Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Compatriot Riggs was dressed in a Continential Line uniform. The wreath laying concluded with two wreaths presented by Ms. Kinsley Belew, President of the Children of the American Revolution. Ms. Belew is in the tenth grade at Cartersville High School. She was escorted to the grave sites by Boy Scout Andrew Rhodes, Troop 62, William Rhodes, Cub Pack 61 and Carlton Williams, Cup Pack 236.

The grave stones were marked with distinctive bronze markers which depict the familiar Continential soldier with his musket, ready to defend his country. The marker consists of four arms and eight points, each point being decorated with a gold head. The source of the cross is the ancient chivalric Order of St. Louis. The cross is connected with a circular laurel wreath, a Napoleonic symbol recognizing faithful service and merit. The year 1775 is inscribed at the base - the year the "shot heard round the world" was fired at Lexington Green, Massachusetts. American flags were appropriately placed at the rear of each grave stone. John Biffle gravestone

William J. Barnes, dressed in a Marine Revolutionary War uniform, Kenneth L. Howell and Robert F. Galer served as Escort Officers.

Following the playing of Amazing Grace on the bagpipes, a black powder gun salute was fired by Militia Guard member James P. Conerly of Alpharetta to honor Patriots Biffle and Lyon.

Piedmont Chaplain Robert J. Buck of Marietta provided an inspiring benediction.

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