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Fulton County Historical Markers

Francis Robert Goulding

  • Source: David Seibert
  • Marker: Francis Robert Goulding
  • Location: Goulding home at end of Goulding Dr, Roswell


Francis Robert Goulding, author, clergyman, inventor, lived in this house at the time of his death, August 22, 1861 and is buried in the Roswell Presbyterian Cemetery. The son of Rev. Thomas Goulding, founder and first president of the Presbyterian Theological Seminary at Columbia, S.C., Goulding was born near Midway Church in Liberty County, September 28, 1810. Graduated from the University of Georgia in 1830, he was licensed to preach in 1833.

Best known as the author of the popular juvenile novel, “The Young Marooners” and similar books, Frances R. Goulding like his father achieved eminence in the pulpit, filling many pastorates. In 1842, while visiting near Eatonton, he conceived the idea for a machine for sewing. While pastor of the Bath Presbyterian Church in Augusta, aided and encouraged by a friend, Judge Schley, he perfected his model. Meantime, Elias Howe of Massachusetts had secured a patent on a similar machine.

His first wife, Mary Wallace Howard of Savannah, was the first to sing Bishop Reginald Herber’s famous hymn “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains”. It was set to music by Dr. Lowell Mason, pastor of Savannah’s independent Presbyterian Church, and dedicated to her. There were three Goulding children, Robert, Mary and Frank.