Obituary of Reverend C. P. Colmery
Contributed by Frances Clark Cronin August 30, 2006
VICKSBURG EVENING POST, MONDAY, MAY 2, 1938
The Death of Reverend C. P. Colmery
The people of this city and section will be shocked and grieved to
learn of the death of Rev. C. P. Colmery, which occurred at 4 this
morning after a brief illness.
Rev. Colmery had come to Vicksburg last Tuesday morning to attend
the funeral of Edmund McGivaren, and at the time he appeared in his
usual good health.
A little later he was stricken with pneumonia, and rapidly grew worse.
The death of Dr. Colmery is the first break in the family chain. He
has been spared a long life, and he has been useful and honored.
He was especially endeared to the people of Vicksburg and
warren county, having held services at the Presbyterian church at
Yokena for years, and his acquaintanceship was very extensive in
Vicksburg and this county.
He was a kindly man, thoughtful, considerate, a true Christian
gentleman, and members of his family will be the recipients of
condolences from a wide circle of friends and admirers.
Dr Colmery was one of the outstanding figures in this section. For
years he had labored with modesty and zeal for the uplift of his
congregation, for the betterment of his community and his section.
Dr. Colmery was born in Carrollton, Miss., on January 6th, 1859. He
obtained his education in primary schools conducted by his father,
Prof. J.S. Colmery.
At the age of eighteen he was ready for college, but like many other
boys of that age, thought he was “smart enough” and wanted to go to
work. for several years following, he lived and worded on a farm
owned by his father a few miles from Vaiden, Miss.
Leaving the farm after a few years, he became a salesman in a
general merchandise store in Vaiden. For some time he labored under
the conviction that he ought to preach the gospel, but tried to dodge
the issue. Finally, he yielded to his inner conviction, and gave up
all and in the fall of 1883, entered the Southwestern Presbyterian
University then located at Clarksville,, Tenn., but now located in
After graduation both in the academic and theological departments,
he obeyed the apostolic injunction and took unto himself a wife.
Graduating one day, and marrying the next, he with his bride came to
Edwards, July 1888. He was ordained to the full work of the ministry
in October of that year by the Presbytery of Central Mississippi,
which convened at Lexington, and was installed as pastor over the
churches at Edwards, Yokena and Osborne soon thereafter.
He spent his entire ministerial life in one and the same field, the
only pastorate he ever held. A few years later he organized a church
at Bolton, Miss.
He had numerous calls to larger and more remunerative churches, but
at the earnest solicitation of his churches, he declined, seeing no
reason to break up a harmonious pastorate. His work and association
here had been fruitful, and a most cordial and affectionate people
sustained and held up his hands, and gave him every evidence of
their loyalty through all this time, covering a period of nearly 50
He had married about 300 couples, buried approximately 500 people.
some say he married and buried more people than any other minister in
the state, but he questioned that statement. The whole people of
Edwards spoke of him as “their pastor,r” and he felt towards all of
them as “his people.”
When the yellow fever scourge invaded Edwards in 1897, he was urged
by his friends to take refuge in some other locality, but he said,
“No,” his duty was there and he felt that it was the safest place for
him in the discharge of duty.
His whole family went down with the scourge, but by a merciful
Providence they all recovered. This was the most trying experience
of his life. Many of his closest and most substantial friends were
taken ill, and he lived through it all, and said he could plainly see
the hand of Providence in it all.
Since he came to Edwards, the Methodist church changed pastors 25
times, the Baptist church, seven times.
His association with these brethren had been most cordial. They
worked together in a common cause most harmoniously.
In going to the Yokena church, his way lead through Vicksburg, and
he had many sweet recollections of many of her most distinguished
citizens including, Judge Gilland, Sam Shelton,Marye Dabney, H.C.
McCabe and last but not least his old classmate, Bob McLaurin, and
Among the ministers of Vicksburg whom it has been his pleasure to
know were Thomas Cummins, J.E. Jones, J. S. Hillhouse, T.B. Grafton,
in the Presbyterian church: R.A. Cohran, H.F.Sproles, Drs. Greenoe,
Webb and Morgan in the Baptist church. In the Episcopal church were
such men as Dr. Henry Sansom, Dr J.C, Johnes, Dr. C,E, Woodson. In
the Methodist church, Charles Crisler, Robert Selby, and others.
These were men of high standing, whom Rev. Colmery learned to love
To come in contact with such men is an inspiration to any man. Dr.
Colmery had more friends than any man in this section, and was called
on for funeral and marriages outside of his own denomination more
frequently than almost any other minister. Altogether, he felt that
his life hereabouts had not been in vain, and he was content to
remain and work in his humble way till the Master said, “It is
enough, come up higher.”