Rays Mill Boys Debate at Advance Society Meeting

In the late 1800s,   Perry Thomas KnightLucius Clements, Benjamin L. Wilkerson and William D. “Bill” Lee  were intellectually inclined young men of  Rays Mill, GA.    Clements and Wilkerson were neighbors.  All four of the boys attended the Green Bay School. They and others of similar mind gathered at  Green Bay “Advance Society” meetings to discuss and debate social ideas.

Tifton Gazette
Friday, March 20 1896

From South Berrien
Green Bay, Feb 17.  Our Advance Society held its meeting Friday evening.  Subject for discussion Resolved, that the negro has been more cruelly treated by the white man than the Indian.  The decision was rendered in the negative. The affirmative was represented by B.L. Wilkerson and W. D. Lee, and the negative by P.T. Knight and Lucious Clements.

Lucius Clements would have been about 15 at the time of this debate: Perry Knight about 19. Lee was 16, and Wilkerson was 17.  Perry T. Knight attended Oaklawn Baptist Academy  and went on to became a teacher, lawyer, soldier, chaplain, railroad commissioner, legislator, and public service commissioner.  Lucius J. Clements  attended the Georgia Normal College & Business Institute,  and managed the Clements Sawmill at Ray City until the Clements family sold the business.  He became a businessman, license inspector, and assistant tax collector. Wilkerson became a dentist and later moved to Miami, FL.  Lee became a farmer; he later constructed a Sears Mail-order home east of Ray City.

Images courtesy http://yatesville.net/index.htm and http://berriencounty.ga


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