Luckie Lumber Company
In the early 1900s there were at least 86 lumber mills situated on the line of the Georgia & Florida railroad running from Augusta, GA to Madison, FL, some 250 odd miles. A big sawmill was situated on the railroad at a stop known as Luckie, just above Ray City. First operated under the name Luckie Lumber Company, it was owned by William F. Luckie. About 1911, W.F. Luckie sold out to Levi J. Clements and his sons. It appears that the Clements may have continued to operate under the name Luckie Lumber Company for several years, for the business was still listed under this name in the March 15, 1915 edition of the Lumber Trade Journal. (see also November 6, 1923 ~ Big Fire Loss at the Ray City Sawmill)
William Floyd Luckie
William Floyd Luckie, Jr. was born on October 15, 1858 in Greene County, Georgia. He was a son of William F. Luckie and Delaney Sayers, but was orphaned at an early age. His father was killed in 1859.
“In 1859, a runaway slave of William Luckey’s was captured. While attempting to punish him, the slave grabbed a knife and stabbed Luckey to death.” http://www.inheritage.org/almanack/c_greene_03.html
In 1861, his mother followed in death.
Afterward, William Floyd Luckie and his sisters, Tabbie and Mary were raised by their grandfather, James Martin Sayers, on his farm near Penfield, GA. William Floyd Luckie was enumerated there in 1870 as William Sayers. At the time, he was assisting his grandfather with farm labor.
On March 20, 1887 William Floyd Luckie married Anita Inez Parks in Dodge County, GA. She was born in 1863 in Georgia.
By the census of 1900 the couple had seven children and made their home in Hortense, GA in Wayne County, GA (now Brantley Co.) William was working as a merchant. Hortense is situated on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, which ran the fast mail train through the town, from New York to Jacksonville. But the town generated such little traffic that it wasn’t even a flag stop for the railroad.
Children of Anita “Nida” Inez Parks and William Floyd Luckie:
- Fulton Woodard Luckie (1880-)
- Annie Mae Luckie (1891-1971)
- Nebbie I or J Luckie (1892-1977)
- Willis Heard Luckie (1894- abt 1984)
- Fannie C Luckie (1895- )
- Rosa Kate Luckie (1897- )
- Candler C Luckie (1899)
- William M Luckie (1902-1931)
- John Parks Luckie
It appears that the Luckies moved about 85 miles from Hortense to McRae, GA sometime before 1903. Anita Inez Parks died May 5, 1906 and was buried there at Oak Grove Cemetery. William was left a widower with eight minor children to raise.
About 1907 William F. Luckie married a second time. In 1908 a son was born to this union, James Luckie (1908-1974). Elizabeth Susan and William Floyd Luckie were enumerated in McRae, GA with their children in 1910. William was working as a sawmill superintendent; Elizabeth was keeping house. In McRae, the Luckies owned a home on Huckabee Street, named in honor of William Allen Huckabee. Huckabee was first president of South Georgia College, a school which had been founded at McRae about 1885.
Shortly after the 1910 census William F. Luckie came to the newly incorporated town of Ray City, GA. Mr. Luckie founded the Luckie Lumber Company, a business that within a decade would grow to be one of the largest employers in the area. The big sawmill was located on the tracks of the Georgia and Florida about a mile north of town.
Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Luckie were among the first members of the Ray City Methodist Church, along with Will Terry, Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Turner, Mrs. Julia Dudley, Annie Lee Dudley, and Marie Dudley. The Church was organized by brother F.D. Ratcliff on October 29, 1910. The Rev. W.E. Hightower of Remerton, Georgia served as the first pastor. Originally the services were held in a tent on the north side of town near the homestead of Mr. and Mrs. Will Clements.
The business and social activities of the newcomers were newsworthy. The Valdosta Times, Saturday, November 26, 1910, noted:
Mrs. B.W. Boyd and Mrs. W.F. Luckie, of Ray’s Mill came down yesterday and spent the day in this city on a shopping trip.
and in January 19, 1911 The Valdosta Times reported from Rays Mill:
Mr. W. F. Luckie made a business trip to McRae last Saturday returning Monday.
In time, the Luckie children were on the social scene in Berrien county. The Atlanta Constitution noted Willis Heard Luckie among the Ray City young people at the Nashville, GA carnival in 1914.
Atlanta Constitution, Feb 8, 1914, pg 8 M
Nashville (news items)
Rays Mill was well represented at the carnival last week. Misses Annie Mae Carter, Margie Dasher, Pearl Hardie Knight, Mr. and Mrs. G. V. Harvie, W. H. Luckie, George Norton, J. J. and J. S. Clements and C.B . Shaw were among the visitors.
Some time between 1914 and 1920, William F. Luckie had moved his family to Spence, GA in Grady County where he was operating a sawmill at the time of the 1920 census. But by 1921, the Luckies moved to Cairo, GA.
By the time of the 1930 census, William and Elizabeth Luckie had returned to Ray City. They lived in town in a rented house; William Luckie engaged in truck farming.
William Floyd Luckie died on 16 Aug 1937 in Quitman, Brooks, Georgia. He was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Quitman, Georgia.
After his death, Elizabeth S. Luckie went to live in the home of her daughter Nebbie and son-in-law William H. Terry, on South Broad Street in Quitman, GA. She died on May 1, 1953 and is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Quitman, GA.