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This Day in Georgia History

February 29, 1816

William Monroe Crumley Born

Clergyman William Monroe Crumley was born in Laurens, South Carolina. A Methodist minister, Crumley traveled and preached widely throughout Georgia, having congregations in St. Marys, Elbert County, Greene County, Macon, and Columbus. While he was well respected and noted for his conversions in these posts, it was in Savannah that he showed heroic disregard for self. In early September 1854, a hurricane ravaged Savannah, followed soon by an epidemic of yellow fever. Crumley worked tirelessly to alleviate the suffering, both physical and spiritual, endured by the many of the city’s inhabitants. Contracting the disease himself, he went through a long recovery period, then resumed his work, preaching in Augusta, Rome, Athens, and Atlanta. When the Civil War broke out and each state established a hospital in the Confederate capital of Richmond, VA, Crumley was appointed chaplain to the Georgians in residence there. He served throughout the war and wrote moving pieces for the Southern Christian Advocate urging those at home to send supplies to the hospital. After the war, Crumley continued to serve in various Methodist churches in Georgia, finally settling in Atlanta, where he died April 24, 1877.