Gravestone of former sheriff cleaned, repaired

A group of retired public safety officials, led by former Gainesville policeman and local law enforcement historian Chad White, is in the midst of a restoration project a Bryan-Furr Cemetery, where former Hall County Sheriff Benjamin Bryan is buried.

Bryan served Hall County was in office from 1858-1860 and died in 1881 at the age of 63. Sheriff Bryan’s headstone was in a state of extreme disrepair when it was discovered, removed from its base and broken into pieces, according to a Hall County Sheriff’s Office Facebook posting.

The volunteer team cleared the grounds of the cemetery in Phase One of the project. In Phase Two, they removed additional debris and repaired Sheriff Bryan’s headstone, among others. In addition to several family headstones on the property, the team believes there could be up to 40 unmarked graves. Those will be marked with crosses during Phase Three of the project.

Former Flowery Branch Police Chief Gerald Lanich and Gainesville Police Department retirees Lt. Marty Lee and Mike Huckaby assisted with the project.

(Pictured: Repair process for Sheriff Bryan’s headstone. Courtesy Capt. (ret.) Chad White.)