Ida Sloan Ray Endorsed Doan’s Pills

In the age of patent medicines, ailments of all sorts were were attributed to poor health of various internal organs.  To the citizens of Wiregrass, GA and the rest of the world,  The manufacturers of Doan’s Pills declared the key to good heath was treating the kidneys:

     The headaches and dizzy feelings that trouble so many persons, are often but symptoms of kidney complaint.
      Kidney diseases are very treacherous. They come on. silently, gain ground rapidly, and cause thousands’ of deaths that could have been’ prevented by treatment in the beginning.  Nature gives early warnings of every disease. If you would but note and heed them. Backache, twinges of pain when stooping or lifting, headaches, faint spells and urinary disorders are among the first warnings of kidney trouble. If these signals are unheeded, there comes a steady, dull, heavy aching In the back and loins, a noticeable weakness and loss of flesh, rheumatic at tacks, weakening of the sight. Irregular heart action, languor,  attacks of gravel, irregular passages of the kidney secretions, sediment, painful, scalding sensation, dropsical bloating, etc.
      But there is no need to suffer long. Doan’s Kidney Pills cure all kidney troubles. This remedy has made a reputation for quick relief and lasting cures. It is a simple compound of pure roots and herbs that have a direct action, on the kidneys. It was given to the public by James Doan, a druggist, and is now known and recommended the whole world over.

Doan's Kidney Pills

Doan’s Kidney Pills

At the time, kidney function was poorly understood, and  renal diseases were lumped into a general condition called Bright’s disease.  Little science was employed in backing the claims of patent drug manufacturers. Instead, they relied upon the testimonials of local citizens to hawk their products.

One such testimonial was provided by Ida Sloan Ray, and between 1909 and 1911 newspaper readers  were apt to see her endorsement of Doan’s Kidney Pills published in The Waycross Journal.

Ida Sloan (1867 – 1930) was a daughter of Martha Susan Gordon and James Murray Sloan  , and sister of Dr. William Sloan.  At a very early age she came with her parents to Ray’s Mill, Berrien County, GA where she grew to womanhood.  She married James David Ray, son of  Ray’s Mill founder Thomas M. Ray, and  the couple made their home in various south Georgia towns.  The census of 1910 shows they were living in a rented home on Jane Street, Waycross, GA.

Waycross Journal, Aug. 26, 1910

Waycross Journal, Aug. 26, 1910


The Waycross Journal
August 26, 1910

HOUSEHOLD CARES

Tax the Women of Waycross the Same as Elsewhere

    Hard to attend to household duties with a constantly aching back.
    A woman should not have a bad back.
    And she wouldn’t if the kidneys were well.
    Doan’s Kidney Pills make well kidneys.
    Here is a Waycross woman who endorses this claim:
    Mrs. J. D. Ray, 33 Jane St.. Waycross, Ga.  My back ached so severely at times that I could not get about to attend to my housework.  It was almost impossible for me to get up or down stairs, as every move I made sent twinges through my body.  I could not rest well and as the result felt miserable during the day.  The kidney secretions were unnatural and proved that my kidneys were at fault.  The contents of one box of Doan’s Kidney Pills, procurred from Seals Pharmacy, gave me more relief and in a shorter time than anything I had previously used.  I am now free from backache and feel like a different person.  I have told several of my friends about the great benefit I have received from Doan’s Kidney Pills.”
    For sale by all dealers.  Price 50 cents.  Foster-Millburn Co., Buffalo, New York, sole agents for the United States.
    Remember the name – Doan’s
and take no other.

According to snippets of history published in company advertisements, in 1832 the formulation of Doan’s Pills “was the secret…of an old Quaker lady,” and “was kept a secret for years in a good old Quaker family.  The neighbors all knew about it and many a time had reason to be thankful for its existence.  Its fame spread and strangers who heard about it wrote for information concerning it, sometimes tried its virtues, and sometimes put a trial off for a more convenient season.”  “It was given to the public by James Doan, a druggist, and is now known and recommended the whole world over.” “James Doan was a great Doctor who lived in a town called Kingsville, in Canada, in North America. Sick people took journeys of many days to go to see him, and to get his medicine. He was a doctor who excelled in his neighborhood, because he prepard his medicine with his own hands, so he knew it was well prepared, and good.  He used to make it with shrubs, and roots, and herbs, which he gathered in the woods and veld near his home. He made many kinds of medicine; but the most excellent is that which is called Doan’s Backache Kidney Pills.” “To tell how it was dragged from an obscure country village and placed before the general public would be interesting reading, but lack of space compels us to withhold the particulars.”

Aunty Rogers, The Quakeress, inventor of Doan's Pills formula. 1907 ad from a New Zealand newspaper.

Aunty Rogers, The Quakeress, inventor of Doan’s Pills formula. 1907 ad from a New Zealand newspaper.

Related Posts:

Wild Men in the Wiregrass

A previous post Counterfeit Coins in Berrien County noted the involvement of the Dedge brothers in a rash of fake $10 gold eagle coins appearing in Berrien County, GA in 1910 :

“Dr. J.R. Dedge, a dentist at Nicholls, Coffee county, Ga. and his brother, E. E. Dedge of Milltown, Berrien county, were arrested by United States secret service men and  brought to Valdosta to-day, charged with being implicated in the disposal of counterfeiting $10 gold pieces.”

The Dedge brothers, sons of Joseph Gore Dedge and Louvenia Johnson,  were John R. Dedge, I.L. “Leb” Dedge, Estill E. Dedge,  and Calvin Warren Dedge. They were a family of dentists and doctors  who became notorious for questionable and violent dealings.  In 1896 Dr. Leb Dedge, D.D. S., was described as “a wild and desperate young white man” after he and Charles J. Medders assaulted a marshal, engaged in an armed stand-off with Dr. Julian and M. M. Knight in court, and led a riot along with Medders, L. Holzendorf, Sam Holzendorf and Charles Holzendorf at Pearson, GA.  Dr. Calvin Warren Dedge was shot to death in 1901 by Leon Roberts in an apparent justifiable homicide. Roberts was acquitted on trial, but later murdered by  James Dedge, son of C. W. Dedge, who was himself gunned down in by a marshal in Dunnellon, FL.

Dr. John R. Dedge, D.D.S.  perhaps gained the widest notoriety of the Dedge brothers. He was born March 11, 1865,  a native of Baxley, GA.   Dedge lived, worked, and swindled his way across the Wiregrass.  He was tried in Valdosta, GA and acquitted on the 1910 charges of counterfeiting.  In 1911 he campaigned for governor of Georgia. In the 1920s  J. R. Dedge and son, Floyd Dedge, would be tried for the shotgun murder of C. J. Medders at Alma, GA.  After two mistrials, Dr. J. R. Dedge was finally convicted of murder in a third trial and sentenced to life in prison, but was freed on appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court after serving only three years. But long before his sensational murder trials, even before he made a 1911 bid for the Governor’s office, Dedge was making headlines. As noted by the Waycross Journal ,  “It is an off year in South Georgia when Dr. Dedge does not announce some astounding piece of freak work …”

Around 1901 Dr. John R. Dedge, along with Charles J. Medders, hatched a scheme to exhibit a “Wild Man of Central America”   Their plan capitalized on a Victorian Era fascination with the exotic that was reflected in pseudo-scientific accounts of “wild men.”  Newspapers of the late 1800s and early 1900s had sensationalized stories of  primitive humans with horns, reported from history or far away locales.  “Human horns are anomalous outgrowths from the skin and are far more frequent than ordinarily supposed,” George Milbry Gould and Walter Lytle Pyle had written  in their 1894 book Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine, in which they described hundreds of cases of horned men. The popular belief in these horned men had been further reinforced by the 1897 work of  Army Medical Surgeon J.J. Lamprey, Horned Men in Africa.

Dedge  and Medders began their scam with Dedge making a trek to Central America, ostensibly to practice dentistry.  The Thomasville Daily Times-Enterprise noted his departure from that city on June 5, 1901:

drdedge1 (2)

Thomasville Dailey Times-Enterprise
June 5, 1901

Dr. Dedge left here yesterday for New Orleans and thence to Hot Springs for a month’s stay, after which he will go to Central America to practice dentistry.  Dr. Dedge is one of the most skillful men in the profession.

At Hot Springs, Dedge submitted his application for a U.S.  passport to go abroad, in which he stated:

I solemnly swear that I was born at Baxley, Ga in the state of Georgia, on or about the 11 day of March 1865; that my father is a native citizen of the United States; that I am domiciled in the United States, my permanent residence being at Waycross, in the State of Georgia, where I follow the occupation of practicing Dental Surgery; that I am about to go abroad temporarily;  and that I intend to return to the United States, with the purpose of residing and performing the duties of citizenship therein.     Further, I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; So help me God.

J. R. Dedge, D.D.E.

Dedge’s description was given as 36 years of age, six feet one inches tall. He had a thin face with a light complexion, high forehead, black hair, dark eyes, regular nose, medium mouth, and round chin.

1901-dedge-PassportApp

The real purpose of Dedge’s  trip to Central America may have been twofold. First, in a precursor to his later counterfeiting schemes, it appears that Dedge obtained a large number of Honduras silver pesos while in Central America.  These Honduran coins matched U.S. silver dollars in size, but were worth less than 50 cents in exchange. Dedge’s agents would later pass the foreign coins on unsuspecting Wiregrass merchants.

1892-honduras-peso

Second,  the excursion to the little known region gave a plausible explanation for Dedge’s introduction of the “Wild Man of Central America.”

Calvin Byrd was billed as the Horned Man of Central America

Calvin Byrd was billed as the Horned Man of Central America, 1902.

When Dr. John R. Degde returned from Central America and announced his discovery of a man with horns and tusks, the story made a sensation in newspapers all over the country.

Atlanta Constitution
March 8, 1902

HAS HORNS LIKE A GOAT: TUSKS LIKE AN ELEPHANT

Waycross, Ga., March 7. -(Special Correspondence.) – Dr. J. R. Dedge, of this city, has just received from Central America one of the greatest natural curiosities ever seen in these parts, and the presence of the freak in our town has created widespread interest.
     This freak is a man with two well-developed horns, similar in appearance to the horns of a goat, growing out of the top of his head and turning slightly back, with about the same angle and curve as goat’s horns.  He also has two prominent tusks protruding from his mouth, extending probably 2 inches from his gums. They grow out in the place of eye teeth.
    The man resembles the North American Indian in appearance very much, being probably a shade darker in color.  His father is said to be an American negro and his mother an Indian of the Black Hawk tribe.  He has  long jet black hair, a piercing eye, but seems rather stupid.  He is 6 feet high, weighs 190 pounds and is said to be 23 years old. In every respect, except the deformities mentioned, he seems to be a perfect specimen.
    This freak of nature is said to be the result of a fright his mother received, and the horns and tusk represent the goat and the elephant.  She was attending a circus one day, when in passing too near one of the goats, it jumped upon her, butted her to the ground and came near killing her.  In the scuffle with the goat she got almost into an elephant’s mouth, being right under the monster beast’s tusks.  When the child was born it had horns of a goat an in place of its eye teeth came tusks probably 3 inches in length protruding fully 2 inches from its mouth.  The horns measure about 5 inches in length.
   It is said the man speaks both English and Spanish fairly well, but can be induced to talk but very little.
    Dr. Dedge secured him from his parents. The freak was born in Mississippi, but was reared in Central America.

1902-mar-3-horned-manDespite the apparent medical skill with which this fraud was perpetrated, not everyone was convinced by Dedge’s story. Noting a proliferation of wild tales from Waycross, GA   The Dahlonega Nugget commented on the horned man ,  “Editor Greer, of the Waycross Journal, has discovered a bull frog with feathers on it. Dr. Dedge, of the same town, recently brought out a horned man, while the numerous jugs shipped into the place have created a whole museum full of boa constrictors, anacondas, and other monster reptiles.”

Even with the elaborate build up by Medders and Dedge, their “Wildman of Central America” fraud, along with the plot to pass off Honduran pesos as silver dollars was exposed in less than a week.  The story first appeared in the Atlanta Constitution, and a few days later more detailed coverage was reported in the Waycross Weekly Herald, March 22, 1902:

1902-mar-22-horned man-exposed1

Waycross Weekly Herald
March 22, 1902

Waycross Freak Exposed

The “Horned Wild Man” Comes To Grief in Valdosta.

Valdosta, March 14 – The horned wild man from South America, via Waycross, came to grief in this city this morning and one of his managers may have to face the charge of cheating and swindling, in that he has been passing silver dollars from Honduras for Uncle Sam’s coin, the Honduras money being worth less than half of the American.
    The story of grief began last night when the policemen arrested the wild man himself for discharging his pistol in the neighborhood of California hall where the negroes were having an entertainment.  The wild man, whose name was placed upon the police docket this morning as Calvin Byrd, went out on the town after his performance and was picked up by the policemen a little later for having fired his pistol on the streets.  The arrest disclosed one of the cleverest fake freaks that has appeared in this section in a long time.
    Byrd is an ordinary ginger-cake colored man and weighs about 160 pounds.  He has had an incision made in his scalp and a thin piece of metal slipped under the skin.  This piece of metal was attached to two knob screws about half an inch long and the horns were screwed to these little knobs for exhibition, give an appearance as though the horns grew from his head. His eye-teeth were gold-mounted and fixed so that the long tusk could be fastened to them so as to appear to be growing from the gum.
    Byrd professes to know nothing of how the operation was performed on his head, and says that it was done while he was sick with fever.  The incision has entirely healed up, though the place is still sore.  Byrd came here from Waycross with a couple of men from there, one of them said to be a dentist.  A week ago all the papers of the state had a sensational story of the great horned wonder.
    The man who was arrested for passing the Honduras dollars gives his name as J. C. English.  It is said that he has several hundred dollars of the money and passed them on a number of people here.  The amount of the coin which he is said to have had with him gave ground to the belief that he was engaged in a swindling game – on money as well as with the freak.

In the same edition of the Waycross Weekly Herald, frontman J.C. English told his side of the story:

1902-mar-22-horned man-exposed-jc-english-explains

Waycross Weekly Herald
March 22, 1902

J. C. English Explains.

The Man Arrested For Passing Honduras Dollars Has His Say.
Below we publish a statement from J. C. English. A notice of Mr. English’s arrest, last Friday, in Valdosta, was published in Saturday’s Herald. He was tried before a special session of the City Court of Valdosta Saturday afternoon and convicted of cheating and swindling. The fine and cost in the case amounted to $56. Mr. English paid the amount and was released and returned to Waycross Sunday morning.  Following is Mr. English’s statement:

Waycross, Ga., March 17, 1902.
I, J. C. English, the man that was arrested in Valdosta on the charges of passing Honduras dollars as Uncle Sam’s coin and cheating ans swindling, and as having hundreds of the coins in my possession, state that the charge is false.  Therefore I desire to explain the whole thing fully to the public, and will truthfully do so.
     Mr. Elias Howell is the man who had full charge of the said Calvin Bird and everything pertain to the concern, even to the Honduras dollars mentioned, and kept them in his possession in a large leather grip, and he took it with him all the time, to boarding places, etc.  I did not own any interest in either tent, negro, coins, or anything else pertaining thereto. I was only employed by Dr. J. R. Dedge to go with Mr. Howell and act as door keeper and talk on the outside to the people for him for so much per day and railroad and hotel expenses paid;  and as to my passing the coins across the counters as Uncle Sam’s money, I deny the charge.  I did not do anything of the kind, and can safely say that if any of the Honduras coins were put across the counters that Mr. Howell is the man that passed them, and not I, and his manner of acting is almost full proof of it; for he left me in the night-time without letting me know anything of his leaving, which in my belief is sufficient evidence that he was uneasy about his doings and afraid to remain in town for fear that he would be dealt with, therefore he left me there to be accused and dealt with for his misdemeanors.   J.C. ENGLISH.

[The Herald felt satisfied from the first that Mr. J. C. English had not been guilty of the charges made against him at Valdosta, and is pleased to publish the above statement from him.]

Despite this setback, it appears that Dedge and Medders were not deterred.  It is said that they amassed a fortune touring the country to exhibit their horned man, variously billed as the “Wild Man of Central America,”  “Wild Man of the Okefenokee,” “Wild Man of Africa,”  or “Wild Man of Borneo.”

Calvin Byrd’s part in the story continued when he surfaced at a Syracuse, NY hospital.

1902-aug-25-wildman-wants-horns removed

Waycross Journal
August 26, 1902

Wild Man from Borneo Again

He turns up at Syracuse N. Y. and Wants Horns Removed.

Calvin Bird, the “wild man from Borneo” who started his career from Waycross some months ago and ran amuck at Valdosta a few days later, has again come to the  front, this time at Syracuse, New York.
    Dispatches from that city say that Calvin Bird, a negro who hails from Pearson, Ga., and who has been touring the country with side shows ans circuses as the “Wild Man of Borneo,” appeared at the Hospital of the Good Shepherd today and informed the house surgeon that he had come to have his horns removed.  The physician was somewhat amazed at first, but upon noting the earnestness of the man, made an examination of his head.
    Under his scalp was found that a silver plate had been inserted, in which stood two standards.  On these standards, when he was on exhibition, Bird had screwed two goat horns, and thousands of people have paid admission to see his horns and hear him bark.
    Bird says he met a doctor in Central America who took him to the hospital in Pearson [GA] and had the plate inserted, first giving him an anaesthetic, and when he awoke he found the plates in his scalp, with two horns protruding.  The plate will be removed tomorrow morning.  The operation, the doctors say, will be a simple one.

In 1905, the Syracuse Journal of New York state reported once again on the “Wild Man from Borneo.”

1905-jan-4-Syracuse-journal_wildman-stabbed

The Syracuse Journal
Syracuse, NY
January 4, 1904

“Wild Man” is Better

    Although a diligent search has been made by the police for James Woods, the negro, who it is alleged stabbed Calvin Bird, the “Wild Man from Borneo,” in the Oriental hotel last Saturday morning, no trace of him has been found.
    It was stated at St. Joseph’s hospital that Bird’s condition has improved and it is expected that he will be discharged in a few days.

Post Offices of the Old Berrien Pioneers

EARLY POSTAL SERVICE

In was not until after the Civil War that mail service  at Rays Mill (Ray City, GA) became available.  But the mail was one of the earliest public services provided in the Wiregrass frontier of Georgia and the postal service for the region of present day Ray City stretches back 185 years.

Access to this early postal service was hardly convenient.  When pioneers like Levi J. Knight brought their families to Beaverdam Creek in the 1820s, this area of what was then Lowndes County was on the remote southern frontier.   A small frontier community was beginning to grow about ten miles to the east, near the Alapaha River where Lakeland now is, where a settler named Joshua Lee had established a grist mill a few years earlier.   Joshua Lee and his brother Jesse had come to the area in 1820 , and in 1821 began using slave labor and free labor to construct a dam to impound Banks Lake for a mill pond.

But, in 1825  no postal service had been established at the Lee Mill  nor anywhere else in the region. In 1827, when an official post office finally was established, it was situated on the Coffee Road, some 25 miles from where the Knights homesteaded on Beaverdam Creek.

McCRANIE’S POST OFFICE
The first post office in Lowndes County (which then encompassed present day Lowndes, Berrien, Cook, Brooks, Lanier, and parts of Tift, Colquitt, and Echols counties) was established on  March 27, 1827, at the home of Daniel McCranie on the newly opened Coffee Road.  Coffee’s Road was the first road in Lowndes County, but it was only a “road”  in the sense that it was a path cleared through the forest with tree stumps cut low enough for wagon axles to clear them.  Officially,    McCranie’s Post Office was designated simply as “Lowndes.”

The Waycross Journal-Herald
April 8, 1952 Pg 3

The McCranie Family

Daniel McCranie settled on the Coffee Road on lot of land No. 416, 9th District of present Cook County, according to the writer’s information.  It was at his home there that the first postoffice in Lowndes County was established March 27, 1827, and he became the first postmaster; was also there that the first term of Lowndes Superior Court was held in 1826.  The next year 1828, the post office was moved down Little River to a new place called ‘Franklinville’  which had been designated the county seat, and there William Smith became the postmaster.  The mail in those days was carried by the stage coach except to those offices off the main lines of travel when it was carried in saddlebags on horseback.

1830 Georgia map detail - original Lowndes County, showing only a conceptual location of Coffee Road, Franklinville, Withlacoochee River, and Alapaha River.

1830 Georgia map detail – original Lowndes County, showing only a conceptual location of Coffee Road, Franklinville, Withlacoochee River, and Alapaha River.

SHARPE’S STORE POST OFFICE
The Milledgeville Southern Recorder, May 17, 1828 announced that Hamilton W. Sharpe had opened a post office at Sharpe’s Store, Lowndes County, GA.

Hamilton W. Sharpe announces post office at Sharpe's Store, Lowndes County, GA.  The Milledgeville Southern Recorder, May 17, 1828.

Hamilton W. Sharpe announces post office at Sharpe’s Store, Lowndes County, GA. The Milledgeville Southern Recorder, May 17, 1828.

FRANKLINVILLE POST OFFICE
Franklinville, having been selected in 1827 as the public site new county of Lowndes, was situated near  the Withlacoochee River at a location about 10 miles southwest of  Levi J. Knight’s homestead (see Reverend William A. Knight at old Troupville, GA; More About Troupville, GA and the Withlacoochee River.)

…the post office was moved down the Withlacoochee River to the home of William Smith on lot of land No. 50, 11th district of present Lowndes where the court house commissioners had only recently decided to locate the first court house and name the place ‘Franklinville.’  On July 7, 1828, the Post Office Department changed the name of the post office to ‘Franklinville’ and appointed Mr. Smith as postmaster.

FRANKLINVILLE
    The erstwhile town of Franklinville did not exist long –  only about four years.  At its best, it could only boast one store and three or four families and the court house.

    The court house was built there in 1828-29, and was a small crude affair, costing only $215.00.  The first term of court in it was held in the fall of 1829.

    William Smith was the first one to settle there, and was living there when the site was chosen.  The only other families to ever live there, so far as can be determined were John Mathis, James Mathis and Sheriff Martin Shaw.  After a short residence there the three last named moved to that part of Lowndes cut off into Berrien in 1856.

    There began to be dissatisfaction about the location of the court house.  It was off the Coffee Road which was the main artery of traffic and communication, and from the beginning was not an auspicious location.  The legislature in 1833 changed the county-site to lot of land No. 109 in the 12th district, about three miles below the confluence of Little River and the Withlacoochee River.  It was named ‘Lowndesville.”  The post office however was not moved there, but the little court house was torn down and moved there.”

Newspaper accounts of the time indicate the courthouse remained at Franklinville at least as late as 1835, when a big Fourth of July celebration was held there.  Among the speakers celebrating the “Declaration of American Independence” at Franklinville that day were Levi J. Knight, Hamilton Sharpe, Reverend Jonathan Gaulden, William Smith, John Blackshear, James Williams and John Dees.

By 1836, the federal government acted to ensure reliable postal routes to the post office at Franklinville to serve the residents of Lowndes County (although the county seat had been removed to Lowndesville.)

 CHAP. CCLXXI.- An Act to establish certain post roads, and to alter and discontinue others, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following be established as post roads:

***

In Georgia—From Franklinville, Lowndes county, Georgia, via Warner’s Ferry, to Townsend post office, in Madison county, Territory of` Florida.From Jacksonville, Telfair county, via Holmesville, in Appling county, and Wearesboro, in Weare county, to Franklinville, in Lowndes county.

***

Approved July 2, 1836

This post road, built with slave labor, ran through Allapaha (now Lakeland), passed just south of L. J. Knight’s place, and continued west to Franklinville. With a public road established, a stagecoach route went into service from Thomasville, via Frankinville, to Waycross.

Detail of J.H. Young's 1838 Tourist Pocket Map of the State of Georgia showing the route from Waresboro to Thomasville, GA.

Detail of J.H. Young’s 1838 Tourist Pocket Map of the State of Georgia showing the route from Waresboro to Thomasville, GA.

TROUPVILLE POST OFFICE
Only a year after the clearing of the post roads to Franklinville, it was decided to move the Lowndes county seat  yet again, this time from Lowndesville  to a new site, named Troupville, at the confluence of the Withlacoochee and the Little River  (Map of Old Troupville, GA with Notes on the Residents).

1845 letter sent from Troupville, GA had franked by Postmaster William Smith.  Image source: http://www.cortlandcovers.com/

1845 letter sent from Troupville, GA hand franked by Postmaster William Smith. Image source: http://www.cortlandcovers.com/

In 1837, the transfer of the post office and Postmaster William Smith from Franklinville to Troupville inconvenienced many residents of north Lowndes county  , apparently prompting Hamilton Sharpe to re-open the post office at Sharpe’s Store on Coffee Road.

H. W. Sharpe re-opened the post office at Sharpe's Store.  Southern Recorder, April 18, 1837

H. W. Sharpe re-opened the post office at Sharpe’s Store on the Coffee Road, Lowndes County, GA. Southern Recorder, April 18, 1837.

Unfortunately,  Sharpe’s Store was even further distant from Beaverdam Creek;  the Knights, Clements, and their neighbors were left with a forty mile round trip to Troupville fetch the mail.  Sharpe himself served as Postmaster 1837 to 1848.  James Perry took over as Postmaster at Sharpe’s store from 14 December, 1848 to 16 August, 1849, when Sharpe returned to the position. John G. Polhill took the position 5 July, 1850, and Norman Campbell took over 21 August, 1850 to 21 July 1853 when the post office was moved to Morven, GA.

By 1838, Postmaster William Smith at Troupville was receiving weekly mail via routes from  Waresboro and Bainbridge, and from San Pedro, Madison County, FL. In 1847 weekly mail was coming and going from Irwinville and Bainbridge, GA, and from Madison, FL.  William Smith continued as the Troupville Postmaster until 30 October, 1848 when Henry J. Stewart took over.  On 16 August, 1849 William Smith resumed as Postmaster at Troupville.

Weekly service extended in 1851 to Waresboro, Albany and Irwinville, and to Columbus, FL.

Travel in the South in the 1830s

Travel in the South in the 1830s

 ALLAPAHA POST OFFICE
By the late 1830s, Allapaha (now Lakeland, GA), had grown into a bustling trade center with several mills and businesses. Ten miles east of Knight’s farm, Allapaha was situated at the point where the Franklinville-Jacksonville Post Road crossed the Alapaha River. In 1838 a post office was established there , and Benjamin Sirmans was the first postmaster.  Weekly mail service berween Waresboro or Waynesville and Troupville came by Allapaha.

Early Postmasters of Allapaha (now Lakeland, GA)

Benjamin Sermons Postmaster 06/27/1838
Isaac D. Hutto Postmaster 05/03/1841
James S. Harris Postmaster 03/05/1842
Samuel H. Harris Postmaster 09/12/1846
Peter Munford Postmaster 01/28/1848
James S. Harris Postmaster 02/09/1849
Andrew J. Liles Postmaster 11/27/1849

While Andrew J. Liles was Postmaster, the name of the town was changed from Allapaha to Milltown, GA.

FLAT CREEK POST OFFICE
Another early  Berrien post office was located at Flat Creek, about 15 miles north of present day Ray City, GA. This post office was established on August 9th, 1847. At that time, Flat Creek was a growing community located on one of the first roads in Berrien County, and warranted the establishment of a post office. The community center was built largely by Noah Griffin with the aid of his sons and African-American slaves.  “At the time of the establishment of the post office there was a saw mill, grist mill, cotton gin, a country store and farm, all owned and run by Noah Griffin and his sons…”   The J. H. Colton Map of Geogia, 1855 shows the Flat Creek community situated on Lyons Creek, a tributary of the Alapaha River. The store at Flat Creek was located on a road that connected Irwinville and points north to the town then known as Allapaha (now known as Lakeland, GA).

HAHIRA POST OFFICE
On May 7, 1852, a post office was opened at Hahira, GA and Barry J. Folsom was appointed as the first postmaster. Randal Folsom took over as postmaster in 1858. The post office at Hahira was closed in 1866, and postal service did not resume there until 1873.

STAR ROUTES
When Berrien County was created in 1856, there were still very few post offices in the area. “These were supplied by star routes, the carrier rode horseback.”   Prior to 1845, in areas inaccessible  by rail or water transportation delivery of inland mail was let out to bid by contractors who carried mail by stagecoach.  On March 3, 1845 Congress  established an Act which provided that the Postmaster General should grant contracts to the lowest bidder who could provide sufficient guarantee of faithful performance, without any conditions, except to provide for due celerity, certainty and security of transportation.  These bids became known as “celerity, certainty and security bids” and were designated on the route registers by three stars (***), thus becoming known as “star routes.”  In rural areas, a bidder who could provide delivery by wagon, or even horseback, could win a Star Route mail contract.

NASHVILLE POST OFFICE
With the creation of the new county of Berrien in 1856, a public site was selected and Nashville was established as the county seat. The site was near the geographic center of the county and located on the Coffee Road, one of the earliest public roads in Georgia. “Previous to the creation of Berrien County there had been for many years a farm and public inn located at this point on the Coffee Road.” “The new county site had been laid out and christened and stores, shops and eating houses and other industries had been launched, where only a few months before there had been a farm and cow pens.”  In 1857 a post office was established at Nashville to serve the new town and the county residents. The early road from Nashville to Milltown passed through the Rays Mill community by way of the residences of General Levi J. Knight, Isben Giddens, and John M. Futch. Although Levi J. Knight’s farm was situated at the midpoint on the Nashville – Milltown(Lakeland) road, it probably became a matter of convenience to post mail at Nashville as that was where the business of the county was conducted.

CONFEDERATE POSTAL SERVICE
With Secession, the services of the U.S. Post Office were lost to the South and to Berrien County. The Southern Recorder, Dec 29, 1863 reported on Acts passed by the [Confederate] Legislature and signed by the Governor, Joseph E. Brown, which included an act, “Requesting the establishment of a mail route between Milltown and Nashville in Berrien county.”  The 1864 Census for the Reorganization of the Georgia Militia shows that A. K. Harmon was then serving as a postmaster for the 1144th Georgia Militia District, which was centered on Ray’s Mill. After the war, Nathan W. Byrd, a Nashville farmer and father-in-law of Matthew H. Albritton, served as the mail carrier on the route between Nashville and Milltown (Lakeland), GA.

RAY CITY POST OFFICE

After the Civil War postal service was established at the present site of Ray City, GA.  The previous post, Posting Mail at Ray City, describes how the grist mill built by  General Levi J. Knight and his son-in-law Thomas M. Ray on Beaverdam Creek became the first post station here.

Back Story on Benjamin William Furlong

Previous posts on this blog have concerned 1880s Berrien County desperado Benjamin William Furlong.  The story of Ben Furlong, and reports of his ghost, are interesting passages in Berrien County history.  A recent reader comment prompted a further look for Furlong’s trace. (see Ghost.)

Ben Furlong was a  wiregrass  sawmill man and at the same time an outlaw whose infamous deeds were published around the globe. While Ben Furlong had no direct connection to Rays Mill (nka Ray City), GA  he was well known to the citizens of Berrien County, and to all of south Georgia. His ‘stomping grounds’ centered around the town of Alapaha, which in the 1880s was the rail head for Berrien County.  Anyone doing business with the Brunswick & Western Railroad risked crossing paths with Furlong. Indeed, his orneriness was known all up and down the B & W line from Brunswick to Albany.  Dozens of criminal charges were levied against him in the Superior courts of Berrien and Dougherty counties.

As previously told, his final victim, Jesse Webb, was  shot, knifed, brutalized and murdered at Sniff Mill, situated on the route of the Brunswick & Albany Railroad near the county line between Berrien and Coffee counties.  Furlong was directly implicated in the murders of at least three other men, and his brother and partner, John Furlong, was gunned down in Texas after fleeing Georgia.  Ben Furlong was feared by foes, friends, lovers and lawmen.  Previous posts provide additional information on Ben Furlong’s “life of singular desperation.”

Ben Furlong was born about 1854 in Louisiana.  Some time before 1869 he came to Georgia with other Furlong family members.  By the age of 15 he was working for his brother-in-law ” in a responsible position” at a sawmill located in Pine Bloom, GA in  Coffee County.  The timber trade is one that he would follow for his short life, when he was not pre-occupied with drinking, drugs, murder, or other mayhem.

Furlong fled Pine Bloom after a fight in which he cut the throat of one of the sawmill workers. He was gone from the area for several years, but eventually returned. He was never charged with the murder.

Later he worked at other Berrien county sawmills at Vanceville and Sniff, GA.

Detail of Augustus S. Mitchell's 1883 County Map of the States of Georgia and Alabama, showing location of Vanceville, Alapaha, and Rays Mill, GA. The mapped location of Pine Bloom is in error - the actual location of Pine Bloom was about two miles east of Willacoochee. [Special thanks to Bryan Shaw for this explanation - see comment below.]

Detail of Augustus S. Mitchell’s 1883 County Map of the States of Georgia and Alabama, showing location of Vanceville, Alapaha, and Rays Mill, GA. The mapped location of Pine Bloom is in error – the actual location of Pine Bloom was about two miles east of Willacoochee. [Special thanks to Bryan Shaw for this explanation - see comment below.]

1880 Census enumeration of Ben W. Furlong in Ware County near Waycross, GA.

1880 Census enumeration of Ben W. Furlong in Ware County near Waycross, GA.

It appears that Ben Furlong married sometime before 1874. In the census of 1880 he and  his wife, Pocahontas (age 22), were enumerated in Ware County in the 1231 Georgia Militia District, near Waycross, GA. Ben was working there as a “timber sawyer” while Pocahontas was keeping house.  Their children were John W. Furlong (age 5), William Furlong (age 3), Benjamin Furlong (age 2) and Charles W.  Furlong (age 4 months.) (see  10th census, 1880, Georgia at Archive.org)

1881 South Georgia Pamphlet.

1881 South Georgia Pamphlet.

The following year, when Ben Furlong was about 27 years old, may have been the high point in his short life. (Here, the timeline of his documented activities seems to differ from the chronology given in the accounts of his life that were written after his death.)   That year, 1881, he and his brother, John Furlong,  were operating a sawmill at Vanceville, GA,  a stop on the Brunswick & Albany railroad a few miles west of Alapaha, GA.  The Brunswick & Albany provided a direct connection to the port at Brunswick, GA and access to world markets. There was a Navy yard at Brunswick, and it was said, “Hardly any other point along the Atlantic, from Maine to Florida, affords such facilities for ship building, with an unlimited supply of materials at hand.”  At Vanceville, the Furlongs were in the perfect position to profit from the demand for lumber and naval stores.

The railroad pamphlet Southern Georgia described Vanceville GA:

Vanceville, at the 125 mile-post, is a new and bright looking little settlement. Here Furlong Bros. have a sawmill which cuts 15,000 feet of lumber per day. They have a tramway started, the engine and iron on the ground. The country is rolling and beautiful. There are many lovely building sites on this road. Nature has made them beautiful, and in a few short years our eyes may be permitted to see beautiful gardens, vineyards and orchards, where now the wiregrass flourishes.

1883 Stock certificate of the Reppard Land, Lumber & Sawmill Company of Georgia. R. B. Reppard provided financial backing for the sawmill operated by John and Ben Furlong at Vanceville, GA.

1883 Stock certificate of the Reppard Land, Lumber & Sawmill Company of Georgia. R. B. Reppard provided financial backing for the sawmill operated by John and Ben Furlong at Vanceville, GA.

Furthermore, the Furlong Brothers secured the financial backing of  R. B. Reppard, a timber magnate of Savannah.  Reppard’s company, the Reppard Land, Lumber & Sawmill Company of Georgia,  owned a dozen sawmills and vast tracts of timber in South Georgia. Reppard invested $30,000 dollars in a sawmill at Vanceville, and set up Ben and John Furlong to run it.

It was perhaps the very success and prosperity of their enterprise that brought about Ben Furlong’s downfall.  Later newspaper reports asserted, “The charge of such a large business turned Furlong’s head completely. He began drinking heavily, neglected his wife and family, and took to the companionship of wantons.”

By July of 1882 the growing aberration in Ben Furlong’s behavior was becoming apparent to everyone. Reports of his alcohol fueled aggression began appearing in the press, even in staid publications such as The  Sunny South,  a weekly literary magazine published in Atlanta from 1874 to 1907.

Sunny South
July 1, 1882

B. W. Furlong a lumber merchant of Vanesville, has been arrested in Albany for shooting at Mr. Will Harrell on the train. Whiskey.

At the western terminus of the B& W railroad  the local newspaper, The Albany News and Advertiser, gave an expanded account of the shooting:

Atlanta Weekly Constitution
July 11, 1882 Pg 3

Shooting on a Train

From the Albany News and Advertiser.
    B. W. Furlong, a prominent lumber man who operates at Vanceville, on the Brunswick and Albany road, was arrested in Albany on Thursday night, at the insistence of Mr. Will Harrell, who swore out a warrant charging assault with intent to murder.  Both parties came up on the train that evening and got into a row with each other. Furlong was quite drunk, drew a pistol and fired at Harrell.  Quite a row ensued before matters grew quiet.  When the train reached Albany the warrant was sworn and the arrest made, as stated.  Furlong was not incarcerated, but was allowed liberty under the surveillance of an attending officer.  He claims to have been crazed by drink, and did not know what he was doing.  He was brought before Judge Warren late yesterday afternoon and waived a committal trial.  Bond was fixed and given for his appearance here ond day next week.

In the summer of 1883, further stories about the excesses and abuses of Ben Furlong were appearing in newspapers all over the state, from The Valdosta Times, The Brunswick Advertiser,  The Columbus  Daily Enquirer, to The Atlanta Weekly Constitution :

The Atlanta Weekly Constitution
August 7, 1883 pg 2

Albany was full of rumors Sunday and Monday to the effect that a Mr. Furlong, of Furlong’s mill, about four miles this side of Tifton, had cruelly whipped his wife, and when she ran from him, he took the large end of his buggy whip, with which he had been beating her, and struck her on the head.  One report was to the effect that he killed her, but it was learned since that such was not true.  The deed was committed on Thursday, and Furlong defied arrest.  A large posse of men, however went down and arrested him.

The Atlanta Weekly Constitution
August 9, 1883 pg 2

A white man named Furlong, in Coffee county, brutally beat his wife – Mrs. Furlong, is in a deplorable condition – not expected to live. Her body is only a mass of bruised flesh, while one of her jaws is broken.  The cause of the trouble was a woman – another man’s wife, with whom Furlong was too intimate.  She has been arrested as an accessory to the crime.

 The Columbus Daily Enquirer
August 7, 1883 Pg 3 Brunswick Advertiser:  A disgraceful affair occurred at Vanceville on the Brunswick and Western road, the past week.  Mr. Ben Furlong, becoming enraged with his wife, chastised her severely with a whip, and because she attempted to get away struck her with the butt of the whip, knocking her senseless. He then stood in his doorway with a double-barrel gun and told all outsiders to keep off, or he would kill the first man who attempted to enter.  He remained master of the situation for several days, and finally surrendered.  Meanwhile his poor wife was lying extremely ill without attention.

By the fall, Furlong was again in trouble in Albany, GA the western terminus of the Brunswick & Albany, which by then had become the Brunswick & Western. The story from The Albany News was repeated in The Atlanta Weekly Constitution:

Atlanta Weekly ConstitutionOctober 18, 1883 Albany News:  B. W. Furlong, who beat his wife so mercilessly in Berrien county some time ago, and who spent several days in jail in this city, has been on the rampage again for the last week or two, and although under bond to keep the peace and for his appearance at the next term of Berrien superior court, has been into two or three more difficulties and making himself a nuisance generally.  Upon learning that Furlong was not keeping his promise to them, and that he was behaving badly again, three of his bondsmen, Messrs. W. J. Nelson, of Alapaha, B. B. Gray, of Gray’s  mills, and Colonel J. L. Boyt, of Dougherty county, notified the sheriff of Berrien county that they would not remain on his bond any longer.  The sheriff refused to relieve them of their responsibility, however, until Furlong was delivered to him.  With the intention of arresting Furlong and delivering him over to the sheriff, Mr. Nelson, accompanied by Mr. A. J. McRea, marshal of Alapaha, started Sunday night to Albany, where they expected to find Furlong.  They met him at Sumner, however, and started back to Alapaha with him.  They did not tell him what their purpose was, but he evidently suspected that something was wrong, and just after the train started, jumped off, and has since been making himself scarce.

A few days later, The Cuthbert Enterprise supplied a brief follow-up report which was repeated in The Atlanta Constitution:

Atlanta Constitution
October 20, 1883 Pg 2

B. W. Furlong, the wife-beater of Berrien County, has been surrendered to the sheriff by his bondsmen. Two indictments against him at the last April term of Dougherty superior court, and Messrs. C. M. Mayo and John Ray became his bondsmen.  There is also an indictment against him for assault and battery.

Columbus Daily Enquirer
October 23, 1883 Pg 3

Furlong the wife-beater, got drunk in Albany, Wednesday night, and has been surrendered by his bondsmen who thought that he had left them in the lurch.

Alarmed by Furlong’s scandalous and violent behavior, R.B. Reppard sent a man to Vanceville to take over the operation of the lumber mill. Ben’s brother, John, didn’t wait to be discharged and absconded with $10,000 dollars of the company’s funds.   He was later shot and killed by a Texas lawman in a dispute over payment in a land auction.

Meanwhile, Ben Furlong’s “reckless and dangerous” behavior continued to infuriate his neighbors.  In the summer of 1884, O.R. Giddens came gunning for Furlong, seeking satisfaction for some wrong. This time fate intervened, and the man was killed before he could confront Furlong.  Perhaps Giddens’ rage drove him to the fatal error…another man killed after crossing paths with Furlong.

The New York Times
June 17, 1884

Vindictive Mr. Giddens Killed.

Albany, Ga. Jun 16.  The night train on the Brunswick and Western Railroad ran over and killed O. R. Giddens, a well-known citizen of Berrien County, near Allapaha.  Mr. Giddens had a grudge against a man named Furlong, and it is claimed, was in waiting for the purpose of killing him. The train was delayed several hours, however, and Mr. Giddens, in walking up and down the track to pass away the time, fell asleep on the track and so came to his death.

Detail from an 1895 railroad map, shows the location, from East to West on the line of the Brunswick & Western Railroad, of Sniff, Alapaha, Enigma, Vanceville, and Sumner,GA.

Detail from an 1895 railroad map, shows the location, from East to West on the line of the Brunswick & Western Railroad, of Sniff, Alapaha, Enigma, Vanceville, and Sumner,GA.

A detail from the   George Cram Railroad and County Map of Georgia, 1885  shows the location of Sniff, Georgia.  According to The Mercantile Agency special edition of Bullinger’s postal and shippers guide for the United States and Canada, January 1883 edition,  Sniff, GA was located in Coffee County, placing it on the east bank of the Alapaha River.  Sniff, GA would be the stage for the final desperate acts of Benjamin William Furlong. In June of 1886,  state newspapers were again reporting on Ben Furlong’s violent encounters,  this time involving the shooting of a Brunswick and Western railroad engineer.

Milledgeville Union Recorder
June 22, 1886 pg 6

Probably Fatal Difficulty

News reached the city [Albany, GA] by the Brunswick train on Wednesday night that B. W. Furlong shot Church Brock, at Sniff, on Wednesday morning.
    The News and Advertiser was unable to get full and reliable particulars of the difficulty, but it seems that Furlong owed Brock some money, and that when the latter asked him for it on Wednesday morning hot words followed.  Furlong cursed Brock, using very severe language, and when Brock started to strike him Furlong drew his pistol and shot him.  The ball taking effect in the abdomen.
   One of the News and Advertiser’s informants stated that Brock had a monkey-wrench in his hand, and another said he did not think he had anything.  We give both statements with knowing which, or whether in fact either, is strictly correct.
    It is thought that Brock will die.
    Furlong is well known in Albany, and Brock has been an engineer on the B. & W. Railroad, but was running as a fireman on a freight train on Wednesday.  He is a Brunswick man, and was carried home on Wednesday.  – Albany News

The Macon Weekly Telegraph
June 29, 1886  Pg 5

    John Brock, an engineer on the Brunswick and Western railroad, was shot while the train was stopping at Lee’s Mill on Wednesday afternoon, by Ben W. Furlong, a mill manager.  The men had some difficulty  previously, on account of a small sum alleged to be due Furlong by Brock, and when the train stopped, Brock went into the depot, and furlong followed, abusing Brock. The latter was about to strike him, when Furlong pulled out a self-cocker and shot Brock, the ball entering his right side and passing out on the left below the navel.  The wound is painful, but not serious.

Just a few weeks following the shooting of Church Brock, Furlong’s despicable behavior slid even further into the depths. The End of a Noted Desperado told the story of Furlong’s torturous execution of Jesse Webb in early September, 1886. Before that month was out Furlong took his own life, overdosing on Laudanum.  Laudanum, essentially a liquid heroin, was also known as opium tincture or tincture of opium. It was an alcoholic herbal preparation of opium that was popular in patent medicines in the late 1800s.     The obituary of Benjamin William Furlong appeared in the Macon Weekly Telegraph:

Macon Weekly Telegraph
September 28, 1886   Pg 11

DEATH OF B. W. FURLONG.

A Well Known Mill Man Ends His Life With a Dose of Laudanum.

Albany News.
    News reached the city yesterday morning of the death of Mr. B. W. Furlong, at his home at Sniff, on the Brunswick and Western railroad, on Friday evening.  He died from the effects of a dose of laudanum which he took, it is supposed with suicidal intent.
    Coupled with other reports as to what caused him to end his own life, it is rumored that he killed a negro not many days ago and sank his body in the Alapaha river.  He had been on a protracted spree just before his death, and had involved himself in a good deal of trouble.
    Mr. Furlong was well known in this city and all along the line of the Brunswick and Western railroad, having been engaged in the saw mill business on this line of road for several years past.  While he was a very clever and companionable man when sober, he appeared to place no value upon his own life when on one of his protracted sprees, and was generally regarded as a reckless and dangerous man.

Related Posts:

Railroad Horror! 1888 Train wreck kills John T. Ray and 30-odd others.

The 1888 train wreck of the Savannah, Florida and Western at Hurricane Trestle near Blackshear, GA  was one of the worst in Georgia history.  The SF&W route ran from Savannah through Valdosta to Bainbridge, with connections to all points. The victims included citizens of Valdosta, GA and John T. Ray, who grew up in Ray’s Mill (nka Ray City), GA.   John T. Ray (1845-1888)  was raised by his uncle Thomas M. Ray, who founded Ray’s Mill along with his father-in-law General Levi J. Knight.

The Railroad Disaster to the West India Mail Near Blackshear, Georgia, an engraving from a photograph published in Harper's Weekly, March 1888.

The Railroad Disaster to the West India Mail Near Blackshear, Georgia, an engraving from a photograph published in Harper’s Weekly, March 1888.

The Hurricane Trestle railroad disaster was widely reported, with accounts and follow-ups appearing in newspapers all over the country from New York to Minnesota.  Transcribed here is an account that appeared in the Valdosta Times, Valdosta, GA:

The Valdosta Times
Saturday, March 24, 1888

Railroad Horror! Frightful Disaster On The Savannah, Florida And Western Railroad Near Blackshear.  Thirty-Odd Passengers Killed! Among Whom Are Some Of Our Colored Citizens. A Broken Axle Causes The Train To Plunge Through Hurricane Trestle.  Full Details Of The Disaster.

We are indebted to visitors to the wreck and to the Jacksonville Times Union for much of the information contained in the following. It was almost impossible to get specials from the scene of the catastrophe owning to the press of railroad work on the wires.

Blackshear, Ga., March 17.  The first section of the fast mail train going west was derailed before reaching Alabaha, one mile from Blackshear.  Upon reaching the trestle the entire train of five cars crashed through.  Twenty persons were killed and as many wounded.  The coaches are a total wreck. The entire community went to the rescue, caring for the dead and wounded. Superintendent Fleming with a large force is now on the spot.

Waycross, Ga.,  March 17.  Train No. 27, the first section of the fast mail came thundering along down the S.F. & W. railroad this morning at the rate of forty miles an hour, when it struck the trestle crossing at Alabaha Creek.  This trestle is fifty feet high and one hundred feet wide.  Engineer Welsh was in charge of the engine and Conductor W.L. Griffin in charge of the train. The engine and tender had nearly reached land on the Jacksonville side of the creek when the front axle of the baggage car breaking, the car left the track followed by others of the train, consisting of the private car of President Wilbur, of the Lehigh Valley road, Pullman car, first and second class coaches, and a baggage and mail car. The coupling between the tender and the baggage car broke loose and the engine reached the other side safely.

In the creek all was chaos and confusion.  The cars were piled on the top of each other,  and the cries of the frightened injured passengers arose from a caldron of death.  Nineteen dead bodies were taken from the wreck as soon as help could be organized.  There may be others yet to be found.

As soon as practical medical aid from Savannah, Jacksonville and Waycross, was secured, and several wrecking trains  soon reached the scene. The passengers were taken out and as far as possible removed to hotels in Waycross.  Hospitals were made of the hotels here,  and the good ladies of the town turned out en masse to attend upon the wounded  and dying.  Six wounded have died since reaching Waycross and it is suspected that others will die to-night. The bodies of eight colored men unidentified are at the depot awaiting identification.  Numerous surgical operations were performed, and at a late hour the patients had all been attended to and wanted for nothing.

Drs. Henry Bacon, Neal Mitchell, John Domingo Fernandez, and Charles J. Kenworthy, all of Jacksonville, FL were the first doctors to arrive at the 1888 train wreck at Hurricane Trestle,near Blackshear, GA

Drs. Henry Bacon, Neal Mitchell, John Domingo Fernandez, and Charles J. Kenworthy, all of Jacksonville, FL were among the doctors to arrive at the 1888 train wreck at Hurricane Trestle,near Blackshear, GA

The physicians who came up from Jacksonville were Drs. Neal Mitchell, J. Kenworthy, J.D. Fernandez and Henry Bacon, and they have done noble work in saving life and aleveing suffering.  They were on the ground before any of the Savannah physicians and have worked like heroes.

Your representative arrived here at 7:15 PM on the Montgomery train, and found the little city wild with excitement. Visiting the “Old School House” first I found there one dead body, that of Mrs. W.A. Shaw of Jacksonville, and eleven wounded persons.  The Grand Central Hotel was next visited and there were found four badly wounded. At the Commercial House there were seven wounded and two dead.  At the depot lay the corpses of eight colored men. At houses scattered through the town are numbers of other wounded.

The number of dead aggregates twenty-seven, about equally divided to color.  Seven of these have died at Waycross this afternoon.  Nineteen persons were killed outright at the wreck, and thirty-five were wounded. The list of those killed outright cannot be verified at this time, on account of the confusion going on at Waycross, to which place the ladies have been brought.  From passengers on the ill-fated train a partial list is made up.

Killed.

Mrs. Marion G. Shaw, of Jacksonville, wife of Captain W.A. Shaw
Miss Mamie Shaw, of Jacksonville, young daughter of the preceding. These two were instantly killed in the wreck.
M.A. Wilbur of South Bethlehem, Pa., son of the President of Lehigh Valley Railroad, who was on the train with his private car.
W.G. Geiger, of Savannah, drummer for Ware Bros. Aged 35.
W. Martin, a tourist of Cleveland Ohio.
Major J. H. Pate, Hawkinsville, Georgia. Aged 60.
John T. Ray and Daughter, of Dale’s Mills, Ga.
P.C. Smith, conductor of the Pullman Car.
Charles Fulton, Master of Transportation of the Brunswick and Western Railway.
W. M. Martin, Union News Company’s agent on the train.
Fred Meynard, of New York.
E.P. Thompson, of North Carolina.
W.H. McGriff, of Savannah, Ga.
Mrs. Kelly, residence unknown.
Cuffie Williams and Charlie Cason, both colored, of Valdosta, Ga.
Caesar Foster and Moses Gale, both colored, of Waycross, Ga.
Charlie Pierce, colored train hand.
One unknown white man, dark hair and brown moustache, supposed to be a minister.
One unknown young lady, white, with plain gold ring, inside which is engraved “P. to K., 1883.”
Also, two unknown negro men and two unknown white men.

Another Account. A Correspondent At Blackshear Describes The Awful Scene.
Special to the Times-Union. Blackshear, March 27.  The first section of fast mail train No. 27, for Jacksonville, leaving Savannah at 7 this morning, fell through the Hurricane Trestle, about a mile and a half east of Blackshear, at 9:30 this morning.  The entire train, consisting of a baggage car, smoker coach, the Pullman car Saxon and the private car Minerva, of President E.P. Wilbur, of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, went down, and all except the last named were totally wrecked. The engine broke loose from its tender and escaped, but the tender went with the cars.  The engine came on to Blackshear and gave the alarm.  All the stores closed and everybody went to the wreck and to the wants of the wounded and dying.

The trestle is about 300 feet long, where the train fell is about 25 feet high. Two thirds of the trestle fell with the cars, and of that standing there is nothing but the columns and the stringers. The cross ties are cut into splinters.

The train caught fire from the stoves, but the heroic presence of mind of Engineer Welsh, who leaped from his engine and put out the fire, prevented an awful cremation.

The accident is supposed to have been caused by a defective truck under the baggage car, and the mark of machinery dragging along the ties extends for several hundred yards beyond the train.

Doctors Smith, Moore, Whatley and Fuller, of Blackshear, were on hand shortly after the accident. Drs. Redding and Walker, of Waycross; Drs. Drawdy and Little, of Jessup, and Dr. William Duncan, of Savannah, were there soon after, and as rapidly as the wounded could be moved they together with the dead, were carried to Waycross.

President Wilbur was fearfully cut in the head and otherwise injured. He never lost consciousness, however, and when the doctors got through sewing up his wounds he dictated a telegram about the accident. His son R.H. Wilbur is badly hurt.

Among those who escaped were Mr. and Mrs. George J. Gould, New York.  Mrs. Gould was bruised some, but not badly.  They are now at the Brown House, in Blackshear.  They were going to Fernandina to meet his father, who is expected there in his yacht.

Blackshear, March 17.  Superintendent Avelihe, Train Dispatcher  Davis and other officials, have a large force of hands at work, but it will be several days before trains can pass. Arrangements have been made for trains to come arround by Brunswick over the E.T.V. & G. and the B & W. roads.

It is a singular coincidence that one year ago the same car of President Wilbur with almost the same party, was derailed near Blackshear. It is also remarkable that during the long years the the Savannah, Florida and Western Railway has been in existence, it has never until to-day killed a passenger.

The ladies of Blackshear did noble service. They were everywhere and many a poor sufferer died easier for their gentle caresses. They never tired but stayed on the ground until the last sufferer was moved. Superintendent Flemming expressed himself as especially grateful to them for their assistance and devotion.

The officials of the railroad were tireless in their efforts to relieve suffering, and all day long, and not until the last wounded one was gone did they turn their attention to the wreck.

A commendable feature of the community was that no discrimination was shown between the races in the efforts to rescue each from the debris and alleviate their suffering, but as fast as found kind hands took care of them.

Many touching scenes were witnessed and many instances of devotion strong in death transpired, as where husband refused to leave wife and wife refused to leave husband.  Newsman Martin saw others were hurt worse than himself, an refused assistance, but in a few minutes he was dead.  Major Pate said he was not hurt and fell back dead.

Mr. Ray, who was killed, was a prominent citizen of Blackshear. He was general manager and part owner of the Dale Saw Mills, near Jesup.  Fears have been entertained for Editor Ellenwood, of the Journal, and Mr. W. J. Balentine, who were expected  home on the ill-fated train.  They have not been found, however, and although unheard from the uneasiness is abated.

In addition to Mr. and Mrs. George J. Gould, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert B. King and Miss Alice Simpson, of New York, are in Blackshear. Miss Simpson is seriously hurt. All the others are in Waycross.

Undertaker Dixon, of Savannah, with about thirty coffins, has arrived and gone on to Waycross. He will take charge of the embalming.

Jno. T. Ray. Mr. Jno. T. Ray, who was killed, was a cousin of Mr. T. M. Ray of Valdosta.  He was a Berrien County boy and raised by the late T.M. Ray, of Ray’s Mill.  Just after the war he married Miss Wilkins the daughter of the late Rev. J.J. Wilkins, of Naylor, in this county, and moved down the road and engaged in railroading. He rose rapidly and then engaged in the saw milling business with J.J. Dale. At the time of his death he was a partner with Dale, Dixon & Co.

His little daughter Mattie, 8 years old, is not dead as at first reported. She has a broken thigh  and other injuries and will likely die.

Mr. T. M. Ray of Valdosta went down to his burial at Blackshear yesterday.

Our Local Dead.

Cuffy Williams and Charles Cason were both colored citizens of Valdosta. Cuffy’s remains were brought up Sunday morning and were buried this afternoon. A large concourse of sorrowing friends and relatives followed his remains to the burying ground.

There was some trouble in Charles Cason, and his relatives did not learn of his death until last night. His remains will likely come up today.

Mr. Charles Fulton, who was killed in the wreck, was recently appointed master of Transportation of the B. & W. He was well known in Valdosta. His aged parents, Mr. and Mrs Silas Fulton, lived many years in Valdosta. He was a brother to Mrs. Patterson of Valdosta.

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