Sam Inman, “Atlanta’s First Citizen,” Dies;
Funeral Services to be conducted Thursday

    Samuel Martin Inman, Atlanta’s best beloved citizen and one of the most admired men in the state, died early Tuesday morning at his home, 552 Peachtree street.
    The funeral will be held from the First Presbyterian church Thursday morning at 11 o’clock.
    The interment will take place in Oakland cemetery, and will be private.
    Mr. Inman would have been 72 years old on next February 13.
    Throughout his career he was in robust health and actively engaged in public matters until his last illness, which was of comparatively short duration.

Death Causes Widespread Grief.

    The death of no citizen in Atlanta has ever been the cause of such an universal and sincere grief. Mr. Inman, aside from having been a dynamic factor in the upbuilding of the city, was endowed with qualities which made him the heart’s idol of all who came in contact with him.
    When Mayor Woodward heard of the death of Mr. Inman he said that Atlanta had “lost its first citizen,” and he ordered the flag over the city hall at half-mast for the day.
    At a special meeting of the directors of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning resolutions were unanimously adopted expressing the deep regret of the chamber and asking that all business houses close their doors for an hour during the funeral of Mr. Inman.
    Special meetings were also held and resolutions were adopted by the Retail Merchants’ association and by the Fulton County grand jury.

Sam Inman from obituary.
Click to view full-size image.

Elders Will Be Pallbearers.

    Mr. Inman had been for years a member and officer in the First Presbyterian church. Thursday morning Dr. J. S. Lyons, pastor of the church, will conduct the ceremonies. The elders of the church will act as pallbearers. They are as follows: J. S. Panchen, Charles H. Lewis, Captain William Bensel, Dr. John G. Ernest, T. B. Gay, S. W. Carson, W. R. Hoyt, Paul L. Fleming, James R. Bachman, George W. Harrison, P. H. Calhoun, W. A. Speer and J. E. Nesbit.
    At the wish of Mr. Inman, expressed but shortly before his death, a number of school girls from Agnes Scott college, in which Mr. Inman was always deeply interested, will sing at the funeral services.
    The members of the family have requested that friends do not send flowers.

Tribute From Dr. Gaines.

    One of the most glowing of the tributes that were paid to Mr. Inman was that Dr. F. H. Gaines, president of Agnes Scott college. Mr. Inman had been a member of the board of trustees of that institution since February, 1899 – chairman since October, 1903.

    It follows:

“Mr. Inman has been a member of the board of trustees of Agnes Scott college since February 3, 1899, and its Honored and able chairman since October 13, 1903.

“During these years it has been my privilege to sit in many board meetings over which he presided. As chairman of the board, it has been both my privilege and my duty to confer with him many, many times concerning the interests and conduct of the college. I count it one of the privileges of my life to have been permitted to come thus in contact with such a man.

“It would be impossible within the scope of a short notice to enumerate the many great qualities of Samuel M. Inman. He has meant much to the college in many ways. His interest in its largest success has been deep and abiding. His gifts to the college up the present time have been fully $75,000. Last June he addressed a letter to the president expressing his willingness to give $25,000 to the college on condition that its friends should subscribe an equal amount by January 1, 1915. This condition has been fulfilled and the college will thus receive through the initiative and generosity of Mr. Inman the sum of $50,000. When this shall have been paid, his total gifts to the college will have been brought up to fully $100,000.

“He gave, however, far more to the college than dollars. He gave himself, his interest, his influence, his leadership and his prayers. It is impossible to estimate the value of these things. The interest he has awakened in the college in Atlanta and throughout the whole county, the friends he has made for it, his leadership in the board, and wherever he has been known, have been potent factors in placing the institution upon its present larges basis. Truly Agnes Scott college has lost a great leader and a great and noble friend. His memory will be cherished with the utmost affection and reverence for all the years to come.”

Chamber of Commerce Resolutions.

    The following are the resolutions adopted by the directors of the chamber of commerce at its call meeting Tuesday:

"Whereas, Providence has removed from this life Samuel M. Inman, for many years an honored member of this chamber, one of the master builders of Atlanta and a leader in all that is best in southern civilization; therefore, be it

“Resolved by the directors of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, That in the death of Mr. Inman Atlanta loses its first citizen. Georgia one of its noblest men, and the south no only a great man of affairs and a leader in its development, but a great example of civic virtue, a pattern and inspiration to the youth of the land.

“Resolved further. That this board attend the funeral in a body, and that a page in the minutes of the chamber of commerce be set apart as a memorial to Mr. Inman, with these resolutions inscribed thereon, and that copies be furnished to the press and to the bereaved family.”

Merchants Express Regrets.

    The Retail Merchants’ Association, composed of the most influential business men of the city, held a special meeting to draft the following resolutions of regret:

When in the course of events it behooves the Almighty Power to remove from his activities upon the earth a man who as served the public and his family and friends in an exemplary manner for a long period of years, and felling the great loss to the community by the death of so generous and good a man and citizen as Samuel Martin Inman, the Atlanta Retail Merchants’ association, through its board of directors in meeting assembled, does hereby
Resolve, That in the death of Samuel Martin Inman our whole city has lost a friend and supporter whose aid in times when they were most needed have been invaluable, who has contributed largely of his time, money and energy in every undertaking for the public good and the advancement of the civic, religious and business interests of this city; and, therefore, we do further

Resolve, That “Atlanta’s first citizen” has passed from among us and we do deplore and weep with his family and friends his passing, and we herby request each and every member of this association to close his place of business during Mr. Samuel Martin Inman’s funeral for a period of from 10:30 to 12:30 o’clock on Thursday morning, January 14, 1915, thus to attempt to show in our small way our respect for a good man and citizen who has been called to his reward, and to extend to each member of the bereaved family our sincerest sympathy in their bereavement and our assurances of respect and condolence.

The above resolution unanimously passed by the directors of the Atlanta Retail Merchants’ association this January 12, 1915.


Finance Committee.

The finance committee of city council adopted the following:

“Whereas, Samuel M. Inman, for many years known as the leading citizen of Atlanta, has this day died, and his nephew E. H. Inman, is a member of the finance committee of the general council of the city of Atlanta, and it is fitting that some action be taken by this committee because of these fact; and

“Whereas, By his life as well as generous contributions, he has made possible the development and establishment of some of the leading educational institutions in and near Atlanta and posterity will reap the benefit of his devotion and his liberality; therefore, be it

“Resolved by the finance committee of the general council of the city of Atlanta, as follows;

“First—That we sincerely regret the passing away of Samuel M. Inman from among the citizens of this city, and we deplore loss not only as a friend, but as one of the supporters of the city in all its undertakings.

“Second—That we extend to his family our heartfelt sympathy, but we believe that the wetness of his life will remain as incense to comfort and cheer them in their hour of distress.

“Third—That a copy of this resolution be sent to the family of Samuel M. Inman, and to our fellow-member, E. H. Inman, and also handed to the clerk of council in order that same may be filed among the permanent records of this city.

“A. W. Farlinger, chairman; C. C. McDonald, J. N. Ragsdale, C. H. Kelley, Edwin F. Johnson, Edgar Dunlap, Jesse W. Armistead, J. R. Seawright.”

Atlanta’s First Citizen.

    For nearly twenty years Samuel M. Inman has been known as “Atlanta’s first citizen.”
    This title was conferred on him during the Cotton States and International exposition of 1895, and during the succeeding years he justified the sobriquet in many was by deed equally as splendid as that which won him the distinction.
    During the day when the exposition looked as if it would prove a failure through lack of funds, Mr. Inman contributed $50,000. Other sums quickly following and the exposition was made a success.

Confidence Restored.

    The effect was magical. Confidence was at once restored and the exposition was saved.
    Since that day Mr. Inman has been foremost in every movement looking to the advancement of the city.
    Mr. Inman was one of the most lovable character in the south. A man of deep religious feeling, devoted to the Presbyterian church, he was, withal, a man of broad human sympathies. He was tolerant of the beliefs of others and he was charitable of the frailties of mankind.

Born in Tennessee.

    He was born in Dandridge, Tenn., February 19, 1943. His grandfather was of English descent and a valiant officer in the revolutionary war. His grandmother was of Scotch-Irish decent.
    Mr. Inman’s father Shadrack W. Inman, was a merchant and farmer and gave his son considerable training in these pursuits. His early school training was obtained at Maryville college, of Tennessee. While attending college at Princeton university his course of study was interrupted at the age of 18 by the outbreak of the civil war.
    Mr. Inman immediately left college and offered his services to the confederacy, joining the First Tennessee cavalry. He was later commissioned a lieutenant for bravery.

Comes to Atlanta.

    In 1866 Mr. Inman established himself in business in Augusta, Ga. In 1867 he removed his business to Atlanta, where he was joined by his father in forming the firm of S. M. Inman & Son. When his father withdrew form business in 1870 the firm of S. M. Inman & Co. was founded.
    In 1868 he married Miss Jennie Dick, of Rome, Ga., who died in 1890. About twenty years ago Mr. Inman was married a second time to Miss Mildred McPheeters, of Raleigh, N. C., by whom he is survived.
    Mr. Inman was one of the most widely known of Atlanta’s citizens, although he never sought public office. He was everywhere beloved by reason of his kindly personality and wide benevolence.

Interested in Education.

    There was no educational institution that did no receive Mr. Inman’s deep interest. He was chief founder and one of the commissioners of the Georgia School of Technology. For many years he was a member of the board in charge of Agnes Scott. At the death of Colonel Scott he was made chairman and served in that capacity till his death. Mr. Inman gave $50,000 to the college in the interest of new improvements and later supplemented this gift with an additional $25,000.
    When the business men of Atlanta undertook the Cotton States exposition, Mr. Inman was made chairman of the finance committee. In this capacity he bore the many burdens of this great undertaking. The exposition commenced September 18, 1895, scheduled to continue 100 days. It was soon discovered that $100,000 would be immediately necessary or the exposition would be compelled to close its door at the demand of the sheriff.
    It was then that Mr. Inman undertook to give $50,000 of the amount need if the fifty directors would furnish the remainder. This was done and the exposition continued a success.

Made Fortune in Cotton.

    Mr. Inman amassed a fortune in the cotton business. For many years also he was director in the Atlanta National Bank, the Lowry National bank, the Equitable Life Insurance company, and the Southern railway, a stockholder in the East Atlanta Land company and many large enterprises.
    He repeatedly declined public office, though pressed upon him unsought through popular confidence.
    Mr. Inman is survived by his wife, two sons, Henry and Frank M. Inman; one daughter, Mrs. J. W. Cooper, of Philadelphia, and three sisters, Miss Jennie Inman, Mrs. Howard Bell and Mrs. E. E. DuBose, of Atlanta.