In November of 1845 a girl was born in Madison Georgia. Young Elizabeth, as she was named, spent her youth there and she and her family rode out the turmoils of the Civil War.
As a young lady Liz moved to Macon, Georgia to attend Wesleyan College. The college had been founded just a couple decades before (in 1836) as the first school chartered to give college degrees to women. In April of 1865, a few months shy of her twentieth birthday she took the hand of a Confederate Army Captain in marriage. The Captain’s name was Briggs Hopson Napier. Thus Liz assumed the name Elizabeth Jones Reed-Napier.
By accounts the Napiers were farmers, and stayed in Macon. Liz had a total of twelve children, however three of them died before reaching adulthood. This was not uncommon at the time. Briggs had some professional success on his own and served as the editor of the Monroe County Newspaper. At some point they found time in their lives to get away from farming and ran a local pub.
Liz lived out her life in Macon. She established her roots and watched her family grow. She passed away at the distinguished age of 89, and was laid to rest in nearby Rose Hill Cemetery. Other than her children and grandchildren she faded from memory as most of us will.
About 35 years after her death, a young man passed the time hanging out in this cemetery. Some might say he was loitering, some would call it daydreaming. The young man had just written a song for the woman whom he was enthralled with. Painfully she was involved with another man. He couldn’t very well name the song after her. It would be too obvious. What should he call his song? He knew it was a good piece of music, it deserved to be heard.
The young man’s eyes wandered around the cemetery, and came to light on one particular tombstone. It was then that Dicky Betts knew. He would call the song “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”.
In Memory of Elizabeth Reed: The Allman Brothers: