“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Columbia in Maury County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Edward Franklin “Pop” Geers

B. January 25, 1851 - D. September 3, 1924

Edward Franklin “Pop” Geers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, April 24, 2022
1. Edward Franklin “Pop” Geers Marker
Inscription.  Known as the “Silent Man from Tennessee” and the “Grand Old Man of the Turf,” Ed Geers was born just west of Lebanon, Tennessee in Wilson County. There in Wilson County, he made a name for himself training and racing horses, and that is what eventually brought him to Maury County – Spring Hill's horse farms and Columbia's racetracks.

Geers had an eye for horses and could always pick a winner. Most folks looked at the horse named Napoleon Direct and saw an animal destined to pull a plow the rest of its life. Geers looked at the horse and saw a winner. Despite the snickering of critics, Napoleon Direct became the first horse to break the two-minute mile in the world of harness racing and he did so with Geers in the sulky.

Napoleon Direct was not Geers' only winner. Geers traveled the United States, following the harness racing circuit. In fact, he was on the track preparing for a race when his first child was born. The person that relayed the news of the birth congratulated the new “pop” and gave birth to Ed Geers' nickname. “Pop” Geers became one of the most famous harness racers of all-time – and one of the wealthiest. He won
Edward Franklin “Pop” Geers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, April 24, 2022
2. Edward Franklin “Pop” Geers Marker
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over $2 million in purses during his career.

“Pop” Geers died in a racing accident in Wheeling, West Virginia on September 3, 1924. The horse he was driving, Miladi Guy, stumbled during its run. The sulky behind the horse was flipped and Geers was thrown from the vehicle, seriously injured. He died of his wounds just three hours after the wreck.

He had been living in Memphis just prior to his death, but his wife and two of his children were buried here at Rose Hill Cemetery. After a funeral service in Memphis, his body was brought to Columbia by train where it was met by thousands of people who made the procession from Columbia's Union Station depot to the gravesite.

Two years after his death, a monument was erected in memory of “Pop” Geers on West Seventh Street in Columbia. In the Fall, when the trees are without leaves, the forty-five foot monument and Geers Memorial Park are visible from his grave.
Erected by Rose Hill Cemetery.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsCemeteries & Burial SitesSports. A significant historical date for this entry is January 25, 1851.
Location. 35° 36.179′ N, 87° 1.745′ W. Marker is in Columbia, Tennessee, in Maury County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Cemetery Street and Whatley Street
Edward Franklin “Pop” Geers image. Click for full size.
Bain News Service via Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division (public domain), circa 1912
3. Edward Franklin “Pop” Geers
, on the right when traveling north. Marker is located in Rose Hill Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 219 Cemetery St, Columbia TN 38401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Alfred Osborn Pope Nicholson (within shouting distance of this marker); The Confederate Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Rose Hill Confederate Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Edward Ward Carmack (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lt. James C. Wooten, II (about 300 feet away); Major Nathaniel F. Cheairs (about 400 feet away); Brigadier General John Carpenter Carter (about 500 feet away); Lt. Joseph A. Irvine (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia.
Edward Franklin “Pop” Geers Monument image. Click for full size.
Brent Moore via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0), December 28, 2017
4. Edward Franklin “Pop” Geers Monument
This obelisk, located at Pop Geers Park in the 600 block of West 7th Street, was dedicated in 1926.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 26, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 26, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 90 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 26, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Mar. 25, 2023