Hugh Moss Comer family papers
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Hugh Moss Comer family papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Comer family.
Creator: Comer, Hugh Moss, 1842-1900.
Title: Hugh Moss Comer family papers
Dates: 1879-1934
Extent: 0.4 cubic feet (7 folders, 1 oversize folder)
Identification: MS 2235

Biographical/Historical Note

Hugh Moss Comer (1842-1900) was born and reared in Alabama. He came to Savannah, Georgia in 1868 and quickly became a prominent businessman. He was involved in many businesses, including the Savannah Hotel Company, through which he helped establish the DeSoto Hotel. He also served as president of the Central of Georgia Railroad Company from 1882-1900 and as president of the Cotton Exchange. At the time of his death, he was an established business leader and millionaire.

Comer married Mary E. Bates prior to coming to Savannah, and the couple had two surviving children, Hugh M. Comer, Jr. and Annie Comer. After his first wife's death in 1875, Comer married Lilla Hall of Connecticut around the year 1880. They had three children: John, Mary (who married Mills B. Lane in 1906), and Lilla (who married Dr. John Kirk Train).

Lilla (d. 1957) and Dr. John K. Train (1880-1955) married in 1909 and had six children. The couple was known throughout Savannah for their generous philanthropy. Dr. Train established his medical practice in Savannah in 1904.

Pauline De Caradeuc (1843-1914) came from an affluent Catholic French-Italian family in Charleston, South Carolina. Her family later moved to Montmorenci, a plantation near Aiken, South Carolina. She began keeping a journal in 1863 about the effects of the Civil War. In 1866, she married Jacob Guerard Heyward (1844-1888) of South Carolina. In 1869, the couple moved to Savannah where Guerard worked as a bookkeeper. In 1876, Guerard became a partner with Hugh M. Comer and Company, a Savannah cotton and rice factoring firm. Pauline's journals end with the death of her husband in 1888.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of correspondence of the Hugh Moss Comer family (1879-1934), debut lists (no dates), memorials to Hugh Moss Comer (ca. 1900), Comer's Georgia Historical Society membership certificate (1870), and the wedding invitation for Mr. and Mrs. John Kirk Train (1909). The correspondence is mainly among family members, particularly Mrs. Lilla Hall Comer.

These journals were later edited and published by Mary D. Robertson in 1992 under the title A Confederate Lady Comes of Age: The Journal of Pauline De Caradeuc Heyward 1863-1888.

This collection contains 3 photographs. One photograph is of the children of Hugh M. and Lilla H. Comer: Mary, John, and Lilla Comer taken in 1893. One photograph is of a young boy and a baby girl, possibly the children of Hugh M. Comer's first marriage. This photo is not dated. The last image is a class photograph from an unknown school showing the class of 1900. There are 19 people in the photograph and they are all identified. H. F. Train appears to be a teacher or headmaster in the photo. This photo was taken by M. Edward Wilson of Savannah.

Index Terms

Caradeuc family.
Comer family.
Comer, Hugh Moss, 1842-1900.
Comer, Mary E. Bates, d. 1875.
Heyward, Jacob Guerard, 1844-1888.
Heyward, Maude, 1872-1942.
Heyward, Pauline DeCaradeuc, 1843-1914.
Lane, Mills Bee, 1860-1945.
Letters (correspondence)
Train family.
Train, John Kirk, 1880-1955.
Train, Lilla Comer, d. 1957.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material was acquired from descendant of creator.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Hugh Moss Comer family papers, MS 2235, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Harriet Train Blake, 1987.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1Memorials to Hugh Moss Comer, d. 1900


2Debut lists, undated
Miss Lilla Hall, later Mrs. Hugh Moss Comer


31880, 1897, 1900, 1905-1908


41922-23, 1926, 1928, 1931-1932 1934, 2 undated


Contains 5 letters to Andrew J. Coe in Charleston, South Carolina (1879-1880) and 3 letters to Mrs. Calvin Coe of Connecticut from her granddaughter Lilla Hall Comer (1880)


Contains 1 complete letter (probably to Lilla H. Comer, 1891) and 1 partial letter (undated) from Annie Comer, the Comer-Train Wedding Invitation (1909), a 1922 letter to Mills B. Lane re estate of H. M. Comer, a 1931 letter to Mrs. S. W. Wayne in St. Simons from her grandson John, 1 partial letter - no date, author unknown


1Membership certificate for Hugh Moss Comer to the Georgia Historical Society, 1870