For 101 years, the gravesite of former Lexington Mayor Oscar Fitzallen Hosea has been unidentified by a headstone although his son Oscar F. Hosea, Jr. reportedly sold tombstones at the time of his father’s death.
A. C. “Trip” Wilson, III of South Carolina, the great-great grandson of Mayor Hosea, and a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, discovered that Hosea, Sr. did not have a headstone.
During the research, Wilson learned his ancestor, who had served as a private in the Fourth Mississippi Infantry, Confederate States Army, was wounded and captured on Feb. 15, 1862 at the Battle of Fort Donelson, Tennessee.
Mr. Hosea, a native of Adams County was born February 15, 1819 and moved to Holmes County in 1847. They had two sons and three daughters. His wife died in 1885.
He first lived near Emory and held the office of Justice of the Peace. He later moved to Lexington and served as Mayor from 1896 to 1898, or from 1896 to 1900.
A newspaper clipping with his obituary said he served from 1896 to 1898. Records at the Lexington City Hall indicate he served until 1900.
A newspaper clipping says, Rev. Hosea “had been a consistent member of the Methodist church more than fifty years, took a special delight in laboring in the Master’s vineyard, and at the time of his death was a local preacher of good standing in the Methodist church.”
Two separate newspaper clippings show a variance in his age at the time of his death.
The articles appear to have been published in different newspapers (the type fonts are different).
One clipping says he died at the age of 83 years, two months, and 25 days at the age of 83. This would have made his death in 1902.
The other article says he died on May 10 at the “ripe age of eighty-four years.” This would have been in 1903.
According to church history of the Lexington Methodist Church, Dr. T. C. Weir served the church from 1900 to 1902. This information seems to indicate that Mr. Hosea died at the age of 83, two months, and 25 days at the age of 83.
Funeral services were held at the Methodist Church, conducted by Dr. T. C. Weir, and the last rites of United Confederate Veterans were the last services at the grave, according to one of the clippings.
Either way, the former mayor was laid to rest in Odd Fellows Cemetery in Lexington.
The great-great grandson “Trip” Wilson organized and conducted a memorial service in honor of Oscar Fitzallen Hosea at Odd Fellows Cemetery with other Sons of the Confederate Veterans Camps and Re-enactor Units assisting him on June 19.
At that time, a proper headstone and Confederate Iron Cross of Honor (shown in foreground of photo) was placed on Mayor Hosea’s grave site.