August 31, 2012 at 12:25 am (Education In the Wiregrass, Society and Leisure)
Tags: Grover Cleveland Patten, John W. Harrell, Laura Youmans, Maxie Snead Patten, Nashville GA, New Lois School, Ray City Baptist Church, William McIntyre Snead
Sixty-two years ago on this date, August 31, Ray City Baptist Church heard from guest speaker Maxie Snead Patten, a well known youth leader, author, teacher and coach.
Maxie Snead Patten 1937-38. Image detail courtesy of berriencountyga.com.
The Nashville Herald
August 31, 1950, Page 1
Mrs. Patten to Speak at Ray City Church Sunday P.M.
Mrs. Maxie Snead Patten will speak Sunday evening at 8 p.m. at Ray City Baptist Church, it was announced today.
The well known South Georgia young people’s leader will speak primarily to the youth of the community, filling the pulpit of the Rev. John W. Harrell.
A large attendance is being urged.
Transcription courtesy of Skeeter Parker.
Maxie Snead Patten was a daughter of Laura Youmans and William McIntyre “Bill” Snead, of Nashville, GA. Her father was a large land owner.
Maxie Snead attended Nashville High School where she played on the girls basketball team.
In 1933, Maxie Snead married Grover Patten in a Christmas Eve ceremony performed by Reverend John W. Harrell.
Later she taught in area schools and coached girls basketball. In 1937-38 she coached the New Lois girls team to the Berrien County championship.
In the 1940s Maxie Snead Patten authored a book, Youth, the Miracle Age, and was known as a youth leader.
March 23, 2012 at 12:05 am (Historic Businesses, Johnson Family, Uncategorized)
Tags: Caroline Floyd, Chloe Gardner, Clinch County GA, D.R. Dixon, Dupont GA, Floyd B. Johnson, G. A. Gibbs, G. C. Griner, J.H.P Johnson, James Howard Pascal Johnson, Jason Floyd, John W. Harrell, Joseph Henry Pascal Johnson, Joseph Wallace Johnson, Maurice Johnson, Prospect Church, Ray City Baptist Church, Ray City GA, Robert Bruce Johnson, Rowan Burnett Johnson, Rowan Glenn Johnson
Joseph Henry Pascal Johnson was born and raised on the old Johnson farm in Clinch county, about four miles north of Dupont, GA. His father, Captain Rowan Burnett Johnson, gave a portion of his land for the site of the primitive baptist Prospect Church, J.H.P. Johnson lived in DuPont for some years prior to moving to Ray City about 1913.
Joseph Henry Pascal Johnson, of Ray City, GA. Image courtesy of Julie Hutson.
In 1900 the newlywed J.H.P. “Joe” Johnson supported his bride, Chloe Ann Gardner, as a merchant in the Dupont district of Clinch County, GA. In the Clinch County census of 1910 Johnson reported his occupation as “farming”. Some time about 1913, the Johnsons moved to Ray City, GA where Joe served on the board of directors for the Bank of Ray’s Mill , and owned several retail buildings prior to the Great Depression. By 1930 J.H.P. the census shows he was back in the occupation of farming, but he was always in the retail business. His death certificate in 1953 gave his usual occupation as ”merchant and farmer,” and his type of business was owner of a general merchandise store.
Joseph Henry Pascal Johnson and grandchild. Image courtesy of Julie Hutson.
The Clinch County News
February 27, 1953
Death Of J.H.P. Johnson
Aged Clinch County Native Passes at Ray City
Mr. J. H. P. Johnson, known to his old home-county people as “Joe” Johnson, died in the hospital at Lakeland last Saturday morning, age 83 years following a long illness. Funeral and burial was had at Ray City last Sunday afternoon, the funeral being in the Ray City Baptist Church and conducted by the pastor, Rev. John W. Harrell, assisted by the Methodist Pastor, Rev. D. R. Dixon.
Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Chloe Gardner Johnson; three daughters, Mrs. Paul King of Orange Park, Fla., Mrs. R. Lawton LeSueur of Americus, Mrs. W. M. Carlton of Nashville; and six sons, R. G. Johnson of Elberton, J. Wallace Johnson of Valdosta, Floyd V. Johnson of Charlotte, N. C., J. H. Johnson and Maurice Johnson of Ray City, and R. Bruce Johnson of Callahan, Fla.
Mr. Johnson was the last surviving one of the children of the late Hon. Rowan B. Johnson, 1830-1904, well known Clinch County citizen and legislator of years ago. The elder Johnson died in June, 1904, while a member of the legislature from Clinch serving his fourth or fifth (though not consecutive terms) from this county. The mother of the deceased was Mrs. Caroline Floyd Johnson, daughter of Jason Floyd of Liberty County. The deceased was born and reared near Prospect Church, on the old Johnson farm now the plantation of Mr. G. C. Griner; and lived in DuPont for some years prior to moving to Ray City about forty years ago. He engaged in merchandising in Ray City until forced by ill health a few years ago to retire.
Mr. Johnson was a very fine, upright man,and had many friends. He was always genial and friendly, and leaves behind the record of a good, clean life filled with many deeds of kindness exemplifying many fine traits of character.
Mr. G. A. Gibbs of Homerville, is his nephew. Mrs. O. C. Dukes of Homerville, and Mrs. M. G. Hughes of DuPont, are second cousins.
Death Certificate of Joseph Henry Pascal Johnson. Courtesy of Julie Hutson.
Grave of Joseph Howard Pascal Johnson and Chloe Gardner Johnson, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, Berrien County, GA
March 18, 2012 at 12:05 am (Sirmans Family, Uncategorized, WWII)
Tags: Albert Studstill, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Berrien County GA, Billy Clements, Brocy Sirmans, Clyde Miller, Daniel Walker Sirmans, Edith Sirmans, Glen Lee, Herbert Allen, Hyman Hardeman Sirmans, J. Bart Gaskins, Jack Knight, Jackie Giddens, Joe Latham, John D. Luke, Lawson Fountain, Leland Kent, Lerine Sirmans, Liberty Ship, Lonnie Plair, Mamie Sirmans, Margaret Sirmans, Marjorie Garner, Marvin Harris, Merice Lancing Langford, Patricia Ann Sirmans, Ray City Baptist Church, Ray City GA, S.S. William G. Lee, Sam Barker, Thomas Patten, Victoria Sirmans, Walter J. Gaskins
Hyman Hardeman ”Brocy” Sirmans (1919 – 1969) of Ray City, GA was a son of Mamie and Daniel W. Sirmans.
Hyman Hardeman ”Brocy” Sirmans of Ray City, GA.
H. H. Sirmans was born on March 22, 1919 at Ray City just in time to be enumerated in the census of 1920. His father rented a farm on one of the settlement roads near Ray City. Next door was John and Anne Sirmans Matheny, and on the adjacent farm, George W. and Mary Fender.
1920 enumeration of the household of Daniel W. Sirmans.
Hyman H. Sirmans was enumerated in the Census of 1930 in his father’s household at Ray City, GA. He was 11 years old, and attended school along with his sisters Lerine and Victoria. Edith and Margaret were too young to attend.
1930 enumeration of the household of Daniel W. Sirmans.
Hyman H Sirmans worked on a Liberty Ship during WWII. His service records give his physical description as 5′ 6″ tall, and 228 pounds.
He began his service at sea in 1940, and served as a Fireman/Watertender on the S. S. William G. Lee. The William G. Lee liberty ship built in Savannah Georgia by the Southeastern Shipbuilding Corporation.
The WWII liberty ship S. S. William G. Lee, photographed after the war.
As a Fireman/Watertender, H. H. Sirmans would have been responsible for tending to the fires and boilers in the steam ship’s engine room. His duties would have included tending the boilers to maintain steam at specified pressure, and regulating the amount of water in the boiler, observing gauges, and cleaning equipment and work area. He may have also done maintenance and repair work in the fireroom and engine room, and monitored operation of evaporators and condensers used to convert salt water to fresh water.
H. H. Sirmans married Marjorie E Garner in 1944 in Baker County, FL 1944 21268
1969 Obituary of Hyman Hardeman Sirmans, Ray City, Berrien County, GA.
LAKELAND, Ga. – H. H. (Brocy) Sirmans, 49, of Ray City, died at his home early today of an apparent heart attack.
He was born and lived all his life in Berrien County. He was a member of Ray City Baptist Church, the National Farmers Organization and the Farm Bureau.
Survivors are his wife the former Marjorie Garner; a daughter, Patricia Ann Sirmans of Valdosta; mother, Mrs. Mamie Sirmans of Ray City; four sisters, Mrs. Lerine Harris and Mrs. Margaret Stalvey and Mrs. Edith Peters of Ray City and Mrs. Victoria Bradly of Savannah.
Funeral services are to be held at 3 p. m. Wednesday at Ray City Baptist Church with burial at Beaver Dam Cemetery. The body is to be taken to the residence late today.
Music Funeral Home of Lakeland is in charge of arrangements.
Active pallbearers are to be Jackie Giddens, Murice Lankford, Marvin Harris, J. Bart Gaskins, Clyde Miller, Albert Studstill, James Swindle and Lonnie Plair.
Honorary pallbearers are to be Walter J. Gaskins, Billy Clements, Glen Lee, John David Luke, Lawson Fountain, Sam Barker, Joe Latham, Jack Knight, Herbert Allen, Thomas Patten and Leland Kent.
November 4, 2011 at 12:55 am (Calhoun Family, Uncategorized)
Tags: Alberta Calhoun, Alberta Courson, Allen Bates, Beaver Dam Cemetery, C.B. Calhoun, Donald Courson, James Dewey Calhoun, Joe Boyett, John Berton Calhoun, John W. Harrell, John Wesley Calhoun, John Wesley Calhoun Jr., Joseph Burton Calhoun, Lue Annie Boyett, Lula Anglin, Marvin Courson, Melton Courson, Mitchell Courson, Ray City Baptist Church, Robert Wayne Courson
Joseph Burton Calhoun and Lueannie Boyett Calhoun, long time residents of the Ray City, GA area are buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City.
Joe B. Calhoun rites held
Thursday, March 2, 1972
Joe B. Calhoun, 79, of Rte. 1 Lakeland, died early Wednesday in the Smith Nursing Home after a long illness.
A native of Lowndes County, he had lived in Lanier County about 31 years.
He was a retired farmer, a member of Lakeland Lodge 434 F&AM and the Ray City Baptist Church.
Survivors include his wife, the former Miss Louannie Boyette of Lakeland; a daughter, Mrs. Alberta Calhoun Courson of Lakeland, Fla.; two sons, J.B. Calhoun Jr., of Winter Garden, Fla.; and John Calhoun of Monroe, La.; a sister, Mrs. Lula Anglin of Adel; two brothers, Dewey Calhoun of Nashville, Ga., and C. B. Calhoun of Jacksonville, Fla. 12 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. Funeral services were held at 3 p.m. Friday at the Ray City Baptist Church with burial in the Beaver Dam Cemetery here.
The Rev. Allen Bates, pastor, conducted the services, assisted by the Rev. John W. Harrell. Burial followed in Beaver Dam Cemetery.
Active pallbearers were Robert Wayne Courson, Donald Courson, Marvin Corson, Mitchell Calhoun, Melton Calhoun and John Wesley Calhoun, Jr.
Music Funeral Home of Lakeland was in charge of arrangements.
The Valdosta Times
Sunday, April 11, 1993
LUEANNIE B. CALHOUN
Lueannie Boyett Calhoun, 93, of Winter Garden, Fla., passed away Friday morning at Quality Health Care in Winter Garden.
She was born and lived in what was then Berrien County and later changed to Lanier County most of her life, moving to Winter Garden in 1987. She was a member of First Baptist Church in Ray City.
She was preceded in death by her husband Joe Calhoun and one son, Burton Calhoun.
Survivors include: one daughter, Alberta Courson of Lakeland, Fla., one son, John Wesley Calhoun of Ft. McCoy, Fla., one brother, Joe Boyett of Peach County; 11 grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Monday at Ray City First Baptist Church with burial at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City. The family will receive friends at the funeral home tonight from 7-9 p.m. Mrs. Calhoun will be placed in the church one hour prior to services.
Music Funeral Home, Lakeland, is in charge of arrangements.
October 26, 2011 at 12:12 am (Boyett Family, Calhoun Family, Uncategorized)
Tags: Alberta Calhoun, Berrien County GA, John Boyett, John W. Calhoun, Joseph Berton Calhoun, Joseph Burton Calhoun, Lakeland Georgia, Luannie Boyette, Lue Annie Boyett, Mary Jane Sirmans, Rachel Bullard, Ray City Baptist Church, Ray City GA, Samuel Augustus Calhoun
Lue Annie Boyette, born May 27, 1899 was the only daughter of Mary Jane Sirmans and John Boyett, subject of previous posts. Her father was a large landowner with a farm near Ray City in Berrien County.
Lue Annie Boyett & Joseph Burton Calhoun of Ray City, GA, 1919. Image courtesy of I. Mitchell Calhoun.
Lue Annie married Joseph Burton Calhoun on March 4, 1918 in Berrien County, GA. She was a bride of 19; he was a 26 year-old groom, of medium height and build, blue eyed and blond haired.
Joseph Burton Calhoun, in army uniform, 1819. Image courtesy of I. Mitchell Calhoun.
Joseph Burton Calhoun was a son of Samuel Augustus “Gus” Calhoun and Rachel B. Bullard, born and raised in Rays Mill, GA (nka Ray City). Prior to marriage he had been living in Moultrie, GA where in 1917, he was employed by J.M. Bryan as a mechanic.
In 1918, the newlyweds were separated by the Great War, as Joe entered service in the U.S. Army. (Joseph Burton Calhoun ~ WWI Soldier)
Lue Annie and Joseph first made their home in Ray City, where they were enumerated in the 1920 census. Joseph continued his trade as an auto mechanic, now working on his own account. They had a house right on Main Street, where Lue Annie cared for their children, Alberta and Joseph B., Jr.
Enumeration of Lou Annie Boyette and Joseph Burton Calhoun, 1920, Ray City, GA
By the Census of 1930, Joseph and Lue Annie Calhoun had moved to Orlando, FL. There, Joseph Burton Calhoun continued his profession as an automobile mechanic. Lue Annie kept house and raised their three children.
Enumeration of Joseph and Lou Annie Calhoun, 1930 Census, 1403 South Division St., Orlando, FL
In 1935, the Calhoun’s owned a home at 4074 35th Ave N. in St. Petersburg, FL. Joseph worked as a service station attendant.
Enumeration of Joseph B. and Lue Annie Boyette Calhoun, 1935 Florida State Census, St. Petersburg, FL.
When Lue Annie’s father, John Boyett, died in 1938, his estate was divided among his nine children. His only daughter, Lue Annie Boyett Calhoun, inherited just over 100 acres of the family farm. Lue Annie and her husband moved from Florida back to the farm near Ray City, GA.
For the next 3o years, Lue Annie and Joe raised their children and crops on the Calhoun farm. They were well known citizens of the Ray City and Lakeland area. They were members of the Ray City Baptist Church and the Lakeland Parent-Teacher Association. Joe was a member of Masonic Lodge #434, and a member of the committee that oversaw the construction of a new Lodge Hall at Lakeland, GA in the 1940s.
Joseph Burton Calhoun died in 1972 and was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery in Ray City. For fifteen more years Lue Annie continued to live on the Calhoun Farm, but 1987 she returned to Florida to live out her final years. She died in 1993 in Winter Garden, FL. She was laid to rest at Beaver Dam Cemetery next to her husband.
October 24, 2011 at 12:53 am (Grissett Family, Uncategorized)
Tags: Anna Martha Grissett, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Claxton Georgia, Elinor Grissett, Gloria Jane Grissett, James A. Grissett, Lillian Crum, Lillie Crum Grissett, Lucian Hall Grissett, Ray City Baptist Church, Ray City GA, Stephen Grissett, Thomas Jackson Crum
James Arthur Grissett (1900-1983)
James Grissett, Sr. was a mail carrier serving the Ray City area, and for some time he served as a U.S. Postmaster. His wife, Lillie Crum Grissett, was known throughout the community for her kindness and assistance to those less fortunate. For years, she played the organ at Ray City Baptist Church. The Crum family had an automotive business in Lakeland.
James Arthur Grissett was a son of Sarah Martha Hendrix or Hendricks (1881-1975) and Lucian Hall Grissett (1862-1935). His father, Lucian, was born during the Civil War in North Carolina. His mother was a native of Georgia. As a boy, James A. Grissett lived with his family in Tattnall County, GA where his father operated a turpentine still and James attended school. The family lived in a rented home on Railroad Street in Claxton, GA where they were enumerated in 1910.
1910 Census enumeration of James Arthur Grissett in the household of his father, Lucian Hall Grissett, at Claxton, GA.
Some time before 1920, James’ parents moved the family to Berrien County, GA and made their home in the Upper 10th District. At the enumeration of the 1920 census, Lucian Grissett was working there as a foreman for a turpentine operation, but by this time James had left his father’s household. In 1920, 19 year-old James A. Grissett was boarding with the Henderson family in the Mud Creek community, Clinch County, GA. James Henderson was the manager of a naval stores outfit, and James Grissett was the commissary manager. The Henderson house was located on the Dupont Sirmans Road.
1920 Census enumeration of James Arthur Grissett, Mud Creek community, Clinch County, GA.
By 1922, James’ parents had moved to Ray City, GA where Lucian Hall Grissett attended the Missionary Baptist Church. About 1928, James A. Grissett married Lillian Crum. She was a daughter of Thomas J. Crum, subject of previous posts.
By 1930, James and Lillie Grissett had also relocated to Ray City, where they owned a home valued at $2200. James was employed as a letter carrier.
1930 Census enumeration of the Grissett Family in Ray City, GA.
The Grissetts owned a large farm at Ray City, GA situated between Beaverdam Creek and Johnson Street. This land also had some frontage on Pauline Street and on Main Street. A house located on Pauline Street across from the Beaver Dam Cemetery was owned by the Grissetts, although they never lived there. The house may have been occupied by tenant farmers who rented some of the Grissett land.
James Arthur Grissett and Lillie Crum were the parents of five children.
- James A. “Jimmy” Grissett
- Anna Martha Grissett
- Elinor Grissett
- Gloria Jane Grissett
- Stephen Grissett
For many years, the Grissetts employed a Mrs. Burnett. Mrs. Burnett’s son was a tenant farmer with the Grissetts. She lived in a house on Main Street, Ray City, GA. She walked to work every day, to the Grissett farm on the south side of Beaverdam Creek. Part of her job was to milk the cows, and she would bring home a pail of milk every day. She and her husband frequently made their evening meal on fresh milk and cornbread.
October 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm (Calhoun Family)
Tags: Allenville Georgia, Berrien County GA, C.B. Calhoun, Cat Creek GA, Charles Birch Calhoun, Cola Calhoun, Elizabeth Bell, G. C. Tuten, Gussie Calhoun, Irvin Mitchell Calhoun, J. S. Gaskins, James Dewey Calhoun, Joseph Burton Calhoun, Lizzie Bell Calhoun, Lue Annie Boyett, Lula Calhoun, Luvelia Luvenia Ray, Mack Bullard, Mack Calhoun, Max Nathan Calhoun, Rachel Bullard, Ray City Baptist Church, Ray City GA, Robert Lee Calhoun, Samuel Augustus Calhoun
Ray City farmer Samuel Augustus “Gus” Calhoun, subject of previous post (Gus Calhoun, Ray City Farmer), was from boyhood a lifelong resident of the Ray City area. He was born May 25, 1868, a son of Elizabeth Bell and Joseph Calhoun.
Gus Calhoun married Rachel Bullard on May 19, 1891 in Lowndes County, GA. She was a daughter of Mack Bullard and Luvellia Ray. The Calhouns made their home in the Cat Creek community, located about 10 miles southeast of Ray City in Lowndes County, GA (Census of 1900.)
Samuel Augustus Calhoun and Rachel Bullard, circa 1907. Image courtesy of Irvin Mitchell Calhoun.
By 1910 Gus Calhoun had moved his wife and children a few miles north to Ray’s Mill (nka Ray City), Berrien County, GA where he rented a farm next to his father-in-law, Mack Bullard.
Children of Samuel Augustus Calhoun and Rachel Bullard:
- Joseph Burton Calhoun (Dec. 10, 1892 – Feb. 23, 1972)
- Lizzie Bell Calhoun (1895 – )
- Mack Calhoun (1897 – )
- Robert Lee Calhoun (1899 - )
- Gussie Calhoun (1900 – )
- James Dewey Calhoun (Jun. 22, 1904 – Nov. 3, 1980)
- Lula Calhoun (1904 – )
- Cola L. Calhoun (1906 – )
- Max Nathan Calhoun (1910-1970)
- Charles Birch Calhoun (1913-1995)
Rachel Bullard and Samuel Augustus Calhoun family, circa 1907. The 1910 census records show the Calhouns living at Ray City, Berrien County, GA during this time.The original photo was discovered in the attic of James Dewey Calhoun, Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Brogdon. About 1996, Irvin Mitchell Calhoun, great grandson of Samuel Augustus Calhoun had the photo professionally restored.
Rachel Bullard Calhoun died in 1935 and was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA. Shortly thereafter, Gus Calhoun retired from active farming and made his home near Ray City on the property of his son, Joseph Burton Calhoun.
The family photo above brings family memories to Irvin Mitchell Calhoun, great grandson of Samuel Augustus Calhoun:
My grandfather (Joseph Burton Calhoun, Sr.) is the teenage boy standing up the center of the photo. .. I remember Grandpa Gus living with my grandparents (Joseph Burton Calhoun, Sr. & Lue Annie Boyett) on their farm on Boyett Road in the latter years of his life. I was born in 1941 so this must have been in the early to mid 1940s.
They built a small one room shack out back of the house and he lived out there. We boys use to visit him often out there. He was always doing things with us.
Samuel Augustus “Gus” Calhoun died January 5, 1957. The funeral services were held at Ray City Baptist Church and was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery.
Obituary of Samuel Augustus Calhoun (1868-1957) of Berrien County, GA. Image courtesy of I. Mitchell Calhoun.
Lakeland, Lanier County, GA
Jan 9, 1957
S.A. Calhoun Dies at 89 in Lakeland
S.A. (Gus) Calhoun, 89, died Sunday afternoon at the home of his grandson, J.S. Gaskins, in the Allenville community of Berrien County after being in declining health for several weeks.
He was a native of North Carolina, but came to South Georgia as a boy and lived here all of his life. Until his retirement some 20 years ago, he farmed in this area. He was a member at the Ray City Baptist Church.
Survivors include three daughters, Mrs. Lizzie Brantley of Nashville, Mrs. Gussie Clark of Eloise, Fla. and Mrs. Lula Gaskins of Nashville; six sons C. B. Calhoun of Jacksonville, Fla. J. B. Calhoun of Lakeland, J. D. Calhoun and Mack Calhoun, both of Nashville, M. N. Calhoun of Winterhaven, Fla., and R. L. Calhoun of Jacksonville; 32 grand children; 50 great-grandchildren; and a number of nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 at the Ray City Baptist Church with Rev. G. C. Tuten officiating.
Special thanks to I. Mitch Calhoun for his research on Calhoun Family history , and for contributing images and content to this post.
September 17, 2011 at 12:29 am (Faith and Begorrah, WWII)
Tags: Armstrong B. Baskin, Helen Baskin, Joseph Candler Pierce, Lanier County GA, Nancy Richardson Pierce, Ray City Baptist Church, Ray City GA, Ray City in WWII, Valdosta GA, Wilmont Pierce
Wilmont Pierce (1922-2009) An old newspaper clipping tells of the service of Wilmont Pierce, of Ray City, as clerk of the Valdosta Baptist Association during the 1950s. Pierce was a graduate of Lanier County Schools, and in 1938 was a member of the 8th District high school championship basketball team. He joined the First Baptist Church, Ray City, Ga., in the early 1940s and served as a deacon, teacher and in various other capacities. In 1943 he married Helen D. Baskin, daughter of Armstrong B. “Bee” Baskin. Pierce served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was stationed in France and Germany, as well as Fort Dix, N.J. Following the War he enlisted in the regular Army for service in the Panama Canal Department. After discharge from the service Wilmont Pierce farmed at Ray City with his father-in-law. In the late 1960s, the Pierces moved to Valdosta, GA and later moved to Axson, in Coffee County, GA.
Wilmont Pierce, of Ray City, GA, Clerk of the Valdosta Baptist Association, 1953
Clinch County News
November 6, 1953
Rev. Marvin Stedham, Lakeland, retiring moderator of the Valdosta Baptist Association, congratulates the newly elected moderator, Rev. Edgar Davis (center), Homerville pastor, who was named to the association’s highest office at sessions of the annual meeting in Valdosta Thursday. Wilmont Pierce, Ray City layman (right), was re-elected as clerk of the organization for his third term. Rev. Omer Graves, Nashville, who was named vice moderator was unable to attend.
Obituary of Wilmont Pierce
Wilmont Pierce, of Axon, Ga., passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009, at his home following an extended illness. Mr. Pierce was born on Jan. 17, 1922, in the Mud Creek/Crisp area of Lanier County, the son of the late Joseph Candler Pierce and Nancy Richardson Pierce. Preceding him in death were his wife of 61 years, Helen D. Baskin Pierce, Axson, Ga., and his brothers and sister, Billy Pierce, Dilmus Pierce and Beatrice Pierce Everett, all of Lakeland, Ga. He was a graduate of Lanier County Schools. Mr. Pierce has served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was stationed in France and Germany, as well as Fort Dix, N.J. After his discharge he farmed with his father-in-law, the late A. B. Baskin of Lanier County. He was instrumental in re-organizing the Lanier County Farm Bureau and became the first insurance agent for the Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance Company in that county. He also opened the first Farm Bureau supply store that became a pilot project for Farm Bureau stores state-wide. He retired in the late 1990′s while residing in Valdosta, Ga. After moving there in the late 1960′s, he worked with the Grant’s retail stores, later managing hospitality properties for Jolly Inn. The King of the Road, Club House Inn and the Elks Club. He also managed properties in Thomasville, Ga. and Jacksonville Beach, Fla. In his early years, Mr. Pierce had been a member of Unity United Methodist Church in Lanier County. He became a member of First Baptist Church, Ray City, Ga., in the early 1940′s where he served as a deacon, teacher and in various other capacities. After moving to Valdosta he was a member of First Baptist Church there. He and his wife moved to Coffee County in 2000, and was a member of Stokesville Baptist Church where he served as a teacher of senior adults until a few months ago. He is survived by his sons, Michael J. Pierce (Lou), Axson, Ga., W. Candler Pierce (Mary Ann), Wyoming, R.I., Bobby L. Pierce (Kay), Axson, Ga.; his grandchildren, M. Andrew Pierce (Robin), Olathe, Kan., Holly Smith, Axson, Ga., Wade C. Pierce (Jennifer), Keith H. Pierce, Clearwater, Fla., Jessica and Andrea Pierce, Boston, Mass., Justin Pierce, Wyoming, R.I., K. Lynn Eslinger (Jason), Cleveland, Tenn., Kimberly L. Hunter (Tim), Valdosta, Krista L. Pierce, Valdosta; as well as seven great-grandchildren. Surviving in his extended family are J.C. and Evelyn Pierce, Crawfordville, Ga., Howard and Dorothy Faye Pierce Ray, Ray City, Ga., Jessie Pierce Hudson, Valdosta, McDonald (Jabo) and Betty Pierce and Burma Pierce, Lakeland Ga., Vanelle Baskin, Valdosta, Gloria Baskin, Groves, Texas, Hagan and Shirley Baskin, Atlanta; and 16 nieces and nephews.
Memorial services for Mr. Pierce were held at First Baptist Church, Ray City, Ga., on Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009, at 2:30 p.m. with the Rev. John Patten and the Rev. Bob Pierce officiating. Interment, with the Rev. Edgar Musgrove officiating followed in the Unity United Methodist Church cemetery near Lakeland, Ga., with military honors.
July 26, 2011 at 12:13 am (Boyett Family)
Tags: 50th Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Amanda Melviney Willis, Annie Boyette, Battle of Cedar Creek, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Benjamin Harmon Crum, Benjamin Hill Crum, Berrien County GA, crum, Delilah Boyette, Jemima Taylor, Jesse S. Bostick, Jessie Thomas Boyette, John C. Crum, Leonia Crum, Lester Gaskins, Lillian Crum, Mae Crum, Mary Crum, Nancy Della Knight, Point Lookout Maryland, Ray City Baptist Church, Ray City GA, Thomas Jackson Crum, Thomas Murphy, William Hill Boyette
Thomas Jackson Crum
A recently encountered newspaper clipping from the Clinch County News gives the obituary of Thomas Jackson “Jack” Crum.
Jack Crum was a prominent farmer, banker, cotton merchant, and community leader. He lived near Ray City, Georgia in that part of Berrien County that was cut into Lanier county in the 1920s.
Jack Crum was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery in Ray City.
Clinch County News
December 24, 1943
Mr. Thomas J. Crum, prominent Lanier county citizen, died at his home near Lakeland, on the 9th inst. after suffering a heart attack about twelve hours earlier. He had been about his usual business the day before dying next morning about 7 o’clock. He was a native of Tift county and was 73 years old and a member of the county board of Education and had served as a deacon in the Ray City Baptist Church a number of years. His wife and three children survive.
Grave marker of Annie Boyette and Thomas Jackson Crum, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.
Thomas Jackson Crum was born September 4, 1870 a son of Amanda Melviney Willis (1850-1922) and Benjamin Harmon Crum (1842 – 1924). His father was a confederate veteran who volunteered with Company I, Georgia 50th Infantry Regiment. Benjamin H. Crum was captured along with Jesse Bostick (subject of previous posts (see Jesse Bostick and the Battle of Cedar Creek) and other men of the 50th Regiment at the Battle of Cedar Creek in Virginia in 1864 and imprisoned at Point Lookout, MD. Benjamin Harmon Crum survived the war and returned to his family in Tift County.
Thomas Crum and his sister Leonia Crum married two siblings in the Boyette family. In 1895 Thomas Crum married Annie Boyette (1873-1950), and in 1899 Leonia Crum married Jesse Thomas Boyette. The Boyettes were children of Jemima Taylor (1842 – 1926) and William Hill Boyett (1834 – 1897) of Ray City. Their father also was a confederate veteran who volunteered with Company I, Georgia 50th Infantry Regiment and was detailed as a shoemaker during the Civil war.
Thomas Jackson Crum Family at the old home place. Left to Right: John C. Crum, Thomas Jackson Crum, Annie Boyette Crum, Lillie Crum, Benjamin Hill Crum, Nancy Della Knight Crum, Mae Crum, Mary Crum, Delilah Boyette Gaskins, and Lester Gaskins. Image courtesy of Berrien County Historical Foundation http://berriencountyga.com/
Ben Hill Crum, Jr., grandson of Thomas Jackson Crum, has prepared a sketch of his grandfather’s life which appeared in the family history Crum Family of The South. This sketch is excerpted below; those interested in further Crum family history may view the complete text at Family History Archive.
Crum Family of the South
Thomas Jackson Crum, the son of Amanda Willis and Benjamin Crum (CSA) of Tift County, was one of the pioneer citizens of Lanier County moving here from Tift County in the early 1890s. At that time he was a part time tombstone salesman and farm hand.
He married Annie Boyett, daughter of the Honorable William Hill Boyett in 1895. They had five children, the late Ben Hill Crum, Mrs Mary Robinson of Lakeland, the late Annie Mae Giddens, the late John C. Crum and Mrs Lillie Grissett of Ray City. There were seventeen grandchildren.
In 1906, Mr. Crum purchased land from Thomas Murphy and in 1909 purchased adjacent land from Hill Boyett making up what became the Crum Farm. This size farming operation was referred to as a “seven horse” farm. Mr. Crum raised livestock, grew tobacco, corn and other farm products. He cured meat and bottled syrup which he sold along with other varieties of farm products. In a 1936 edition of Lanier County News, he was quoted as follows, “I have not purchased a pound of meat since the second year I was married and I do not consider a mana good farmer who cannot raise plenty of meat and food for his family and have some to sell.”
Mr. Crum was one of the seven original stockholders of the Bank of Milltown. He was very prosperous as a cotton speculator, buying cotton when the price was low, storing it and selling it at a later date at a considerable profit.
Mr. Crum was community minded and interested in the education and guidance of young people. He served on the Lanier County Board of Education for twenty years and was Chairman of the Board when he died. Mr. and Mrs. Crum were active members and supporters of the Beaver Dam Baptist Church in Ray City. He served as a deacon for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Crum are buried at Beaver Dam Church.
The Crum family resided in a peg and groove house which was constructed in the 1830s for a time while their farm home was being built. The family occupied the new home about 1913. The residence was constructed from timber grown on the farm. The old house which served as a pack house after the new residence was constructed had been donated to the Agrirama at Abraham Baldwin College where it is now preserved an represents a part of the history of the time. The Crum family residence was destroyed by fire in April 1974. The farm located some 3 1/2 miles west of Lakeland off the Ray City Road, is presently owned by G. L. Gaskins.
Jackson Crum, “Jack”, as his “Annie” called him, will be remembered for many things by his family and the friends who knew him well. “He was a quiet man most of the time, but when he spoke, we listened. He had the clearest blue eyes, was tall and thin, and had a strength you could see and feel. A strength of character with a strong sense of right and wrong was always apparent. You always paid your debts, went to church, told the truth, loved your family, were honest in business, worked hard, played little, wasted nothing, and believed in God. Always.”
April 23, 2011 at 5:54 am (Baskin Family)
Tags: 54th Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Alonzo L. Baskin, Alton Knox, Beaver Dam Baptist Church, Beaver Dam Creek, Bell House, Callie D. Baskin, Coffee Road, Corine Rodriguez, David C. Clements, Emma Baskin, Fannie E. Baskin, Fannie Ellen Hagan, Fannie Ellen Hagin, Frances Bell, George T. Patten, Georgia Ann Baskin, James B. Baskin, James G. Baskin, James Madison Baskin, James W. Lovejoy, John Holmes Baskin, John T. Smith, John W. Hagan, L.H. Dasher, Laura Hall Sweat, Leonard L. Roberts, Levi J. Knight, Lowndes County Georgia, Maggie May Baskin, Mamie Harrell, Martha J. Baskin, Mary Ann Harrell, Mary J. Baskin, Ollie Baskin, Ray City Baptist Church, Ray City GA, Robert L. Patten, Ruby Baskin, Ruth Baskin, Sarah E. Baskin, Sarah Goode, Thomas M. Ray Jr., Ulysses A. Knight, Verdie Baskin, Walter M. Shaw, William A.K. Giddens, William H Baskin
James Madison Baskin, first of the Baskin family to settle in the Ray City area, came to Berrien county about the time it was created in 1856. He was the grandfather of Armstrong B. Baskin, and great grandfather of Mary Frances Baskin. James M. Baskin was born 6 April 1829 in Houston County, GA, one of thirteen children born to Sarah Goode and James G. Baskin. His father was born 1792 in Abbeville District, SC. and came to Georgia as a child.
When grown to adulthood, James M. Baskin left his family home with two slaves given to him by his father. These slaves were experienced in construction, and James went into business as a building contractor.
While on a stay in Atlanta, James M. Baskin resided at the Bell House, a boarding house said to be the first hotel in Atlanta. There, he met the proprietor’s daughter, Frances Bell Knox. She was a widow with a three-year-old son, Alton Knox. About 1852, Frances Bell Knox and James Madison Baskin were married in Houston County. In 1853, Frances gave James a daughter, Fannie E. Baskin. Another daughter, Sarah “Sallie” E., followed in 1856.
James M. Baskin’s father died in 1856. About that time he decided to move his family from their home in Houston County. His adopted son was now seven years old, his daughter three. His wife was probably either pregnant or was caring for their second infant daughter Sarah “Sallie” E., who was born that same year. Who knows his reasons for uprooting his young family? The Indian wars were over – south Georgia was secure. The Coffee Road provided a migration route and there was a steady southward flow of settlers. Perhaps the disposition of his father’s estate incited him to move. Perhaps he foresaw the coming war and wanted his family farther from north Georgia military objectives, or perhaps he saw more opportunities in the new counties being opened in southern Georgia.
It was in 1856 that Berrien County was cut out of Lowndes County; Levi J. Knight and others were setting boundaries and surveying the new county. James M. Baskin brought his family to the area of Beaverdam Creek in the southernmost part of the new county. He settled about a mile outside of present day Ray City, GA on land Lots 470 and 471 in the 10th land district. Tax records from the 1870s show James M. Baskin owned 1080 acres pf land in Berrien county, relatively valuable land appraised at $1.85 per acre.
1869 Berrien County Map detail showing location of land lots #470 and 471.
Over the next five years three more daughters were added to the Baskin family: Georgia Ann (1857), Martha J. (1859), and Mary J. (1861)
The Civil War came along and James M. Baskin joined the Confederate army, enlisting as a private in the 54th Georgia Infantry. He fought throughout the war and was wounded in the Battle of Atlanta.
After the war, James Baskin returned to farm life. Over the next ten years he and Frances had five more children. In all, James M. Baskin and Frances Bell had 11 children. James and Frances Baskin, and some of their children, were active in the formation of Beaver Dam Baptist church, now known as Ray City Baptist Church.
Children of James Madison Baskin and Frances Bell:
- Baskin, Fannie E. (1853 – 1892) m. William A. K. Giddens
- Baskin, Sarah “Sallie” E. (1856 – ) m. Thomas M. Ray, Jr.
- Baskin, Georgia Ann (1857 – 1934) m. Leonard L. Roberts
- Baskin, Martha J. (1859 – 1950) m. David C. Clements, Dec. 22, 1881
- Baskin, Mary J. (1861 – 1902) m. Ulysses A. Knight
- Baskin, James B. (1864 – 1943) m. Fannie Ellen Hagan, dau. of John W. Hagan, Dec. 15, 1887
- Baskin, Callie D. (1866 – 1890) m. John T. Smith
- Baskin, William H. (1869 – ) m. Mamie Harrell, dau. of John W.
- Baskin, Emma (1872 – ) m. George T. Patten
- Baskin, Maggie May (1874 – 1898) m. Robert L. Patten
- Baskin, Ollie (1876 – ) m. L. H. Dasher
Frances Bell Knox Baskin died on June 3, 1885 in Ray City, Berrien County, Georgia.
James Baskin was a widower, 56 years old, the youngest of his 11 children just 9 years old. He decided to re-marry. Just six months later, on Dec 30 1885 he wed Mary Ann Harrell. She was a native of Lowndes County, born in Nov. 29, 1859. At 27, she was a prominent citizen experienced in public service, and a former Ordinary (probate judge) of Lowndes county.
Children of James Madison Baskin and Mary Ann Harrell, - m. 30 DEC 1885 in Lowndes County, Georgia
- Baskin, Alonzo L. (1886 – ) b. Nov. 17, 1886, m. Corine Rodriguez
- Baskin, Verdie (1888 – ) b. Dec. 17, 1888, m. James W. Lovejoy
- Baskin, Infant (1891 – 1891)
- Baskin, Ruby (1893 – ) b. May 16, 1893, m. Walter M. Shaw
- Baskin, Ruth (1894 – 1922) b. Dec. 15, 1894, died single, age 22 years
- Baskin, John Holmes (1897 – ) b. Oct. 8, 1897, m. Mrs. Laura Hall Sweat of Waycross
James Madison Baskin lived on his land near Ray City with his second wife until his death on July 7, 1913. Mary Ann Harrell Baskin died April 29, 1917.
He and both of his wives are buried in the Ray City Cemetery.
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