Baskin Family Helped Found Ray City Baptist Church

Baskin monument, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Baskin monument, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

 

Frances Bell and James Madison Baskin were among the pioneer families that settled in the Ray City, GA area.

Frances was a member of the Troupville Baptist Church (now the First Baptist Church of Valdosta).  After the New Bethel Church, Lowndes County, was organized 1871, Frances and James were united with it.

Three of their daughters, Georgia Ann Baskin, Martha J. Baskin, and  Sarah E. Baskin were among founding members of Beaverdam Church  who met in the home of Mary and Thomas M. Ray, Sr. with Reverend J. D. Evans on September 20, 1874 to organize the church. While the minutes of that September meeting do not show their father, James Madison Baskin, present at the organizational meeting, he is listed on the plaque honoring charter members along with W.A. Bridges.    James and Frances remained members of the Ray City church for life.

In October 1874 J.M. Baskin was elected first deacon of the church , becoming ordained on March 21, 1875. He served on the committee that selected and procured the site for the construction of the church building.  According to notes written by Mary A. Ray, James M. Baskin and W.A. Bridges were the builders of the church building. Construction began in  January of 1875. Baskin and Bridges hand hewed out all the timber to frame the church. Windows and sawn lumber were purchased but had to be dressed by hand. The pulpit, table and pews were all built on site. J.M. Baskin made the doors himself.  He continued to serve as a deacon of the church until 1903 when dismissed by letter.

Frances Bell Baskin died on June 3, 1885 in Rays Mill, 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 married 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. This union produced six children.

James Madison Baskin lived on his land near Ray City with his second wife until his death on July 7, 1913 .  He and both of his wives are buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery in Ray City.

The graves of James Madison Baskin (1829-1913) and his two wives, Frances J. Baskin (1833-1885) and Mary A. Baskin (1859-1917). The obelisk marking the three graves is the largest monument in Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

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Obituary of Dr. L.S. Rentz

The obituary of  Lawson S. Rentz (1890-1970) provides a follow-up on this former Ray City, GA resident (see Lawson Rentz Serves Country and Ray City, GA).

Lawson S. Rentz, a son of William P. Rentz and Emmaline Parrish, was born May 15, 1889 in Lowndes County, Georgia. He married Clyde Lee Daniels on June 11, 1913 in Berrien County, Georgia.

Rentz was a First Lieutenant, Medical Corp,  during World War I. He served in the Embarkation Service   at Hoboken, New Jersey and afterward returned home to enter medical practice as one of the  Medical Men of Ray’s Mill.

In the 1920’s, when the marketing of the “American tropics” reached a heyday, Dr. Rentz was swayed to make a trip to Florida.  The dream of paradise in south Florida was the brainchild of  George Edgar Merrick (1886–1942), a real estate developer who is best known as the planner and builder of the city of Coral Gables, Florida in the 1920s, one of the first planned communities in the United States .  George Merrick is also credited with the establishment of the University of Miami in Coral Gables in 1925 with a donation of 600 acres of land and a pledge of $5 million dollars.

One of the 1920’s advertisements read:

Will you take the priceless gift of -LIFE?  Bronzed, erect old men. Women delighting in new cream-and-rose complexions. Round and brown children. Handsome, full-figured youngsters. These are evidences of the extraordinary vitality and superb health that come from living under the tropical skies of Coral Gables. And when you see these people you will believe, as we do, that the only American tropics will add years to your life, and will add new pleasures and delights to each year.

Developers ran steamships and special trains  to bring prospective buyers to south Florida. “If you should take one of these trips, and buy property in Coral Gables, the cost of your transportation will be refunded upon your return.”

The doctor did take a train, and found south Florida quite to his liking; he spent the rest of his life there.  He died March 26, 1970 in Dade County, Florida.

Obituary

Dr. L.S. RENTZ  – age 80 of Coconut Grove, Fla., died of lung cancer in March of 1970. He had lived Miami for 44 years. A former resident of Nashville and Ray City, Dr. Rentz was lured to Miami by a promotion scheme devised by developer George Merrick, who sent trains up and down the East coast, promising anyone along the way a free trip to Florida in exchange for looking over his properties there.  Dr. Rentz hopped on, and decided to stay.  Survivors, Dr. L.S. Rentz, a pharmacist, lives in Miami; Dr. D. Frank Rentz, an orthodontist, also of Miami; his wife, the former Clyde Lee Daniel; 1 Daughter – Mrs. Annie Laura Carlisle of Cairo, Ga., 2 sisters- Mrs. Effie Griffin of Tampa and Mrs. Arlie Futch of Adel.

Related Post:

The Cost of Living in the Confederate States

Many pioneer settlers of Ray City, GA served during the Civil War.  While the men were away at war, confederate women were left to deal with the business of operating farms and agricultural industry. But during and after the war, the economy of the south was completely disrupted.

An interesting table of the price of provisions during the Civil War illustrates the failure of southern agricultural productivity and commerce.  The table was published in the 1866 in A journal of hospital life in the Confederate Army of Tennessee, from the Battle of Shiloh to the end of the war: with sketches of life and character, and brief notices of current events during that period, by Kate Cumming.  This journal authored by Kate Cumming, a Confederate nurse, is regarded as “one of the most accurate and vivid accounts of life in Southern wartime hospitals.”

During the four years of the war, commodities like flour went from $8 a barrel to $250 a barrel.  Brown sugar went from 7¢ per pound to $12 per pound; by the last year of the war refined sugar could not be had at any price. By comparison the price of bacon increased a modest 18 fold, going from 21¢ a pound to  $3.75.  

Table showing the dramatic increase in the cost of provisions in the South during the Civil War.

Table showing the dramatic increase in the cost of provisions in the South during the Civil War.

Related Posts:

Civil War Service of James Madison Baskin

James M. Baskin, early settler of the Ray City area, fought in the Civil War.  He owned many slaves who worked at his farm, cotton gin and other enterprises.  At the start of the war he was about 32 years of age, and like other able-bodied southern men he joined the Confederate army.  He left behind his wife, Frances Bell Knox Baskin, to care for their young family and to administer the Baskin farm and business interests.

On May 6, 1862 he enlisted at Nashville, GA and was organized along with other recruits into the 54th Georgia Volunteer Infantry at Savannah, Georgia on June 5.   James Baskin became a private in Company E, a company of men from Berrien County under the command of Captains J. H. Evans and H. M. Tally. The regiment served for some time in the department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. From January-February, 1863 they were south of Savannah,  with Company E stationed at Coffee Bluff. The orders from March 1863 show they were among the troops assigned to the Savannah River Batteries and other  defenses. In July of 1863, Company E and other infantry units of the 54th Regiment were moved up to the Charleston area, where they were involved in numerous engagements. On July 16th, they fought in the engagement near Grimball’s Landing, James Island, South Carolina. From mid-July to September 1863 they were involved in the defense of Charleston Harbor at Battery Wagner on Morris Island.

James M. Baskin may have returned home some time around June of 1863 as his wife, Frances, delivered the couple’s first son, James B. Baskin, on February 9, 1864. Or perhaps Frances traveled to Savannah to visit him that summer of 1863.  Martha Guthrie and other housewives of Berrien County are known to have made this trip to see their husbands the following year.

The 54th Georgia Regiment was reconstituted on April 22, 1864. They moved to Dalton, GA arriving on May 2, 1864 and went into action in the Atlanta Campaign. They fought almost daily engagements: from May 7-13 demonstrations at Rocky Face Ridge; May 14-15 actions at Lay’s Ferry, Oostenaula River, GA.; May 17 engagement at Adairesville,Ga.;  May 19 combat near Cassville,GA.; May 25-26 Battle of New Hope Church.

On May 25-June 5  the 54th Regiment was participating in operations on the line of Pumpkin Vine Creek, Paulding County, just north of the town of Dallas, GA.

On June 10-July 3 Operations about Marietta and the Pine Mountain-Lost Mountain line; June 27 Battle of Kennesaw Mountain;  July 5-July 17 Operations on the line of the Chattahoochee River; July 20 Battle of Peachtree Creek.

During the Battle of Atlanta, on July 22, 1864 , James M. Baskin was wounded in the hip – one of 83 casualties the Regiment suffered in that engagement.

“He lay all night on the ground. The next day he heard a rustling in the grass and called out.  He was rescued by a Yankee soldier.”

He spent time in  hospital in Lagrange, GA until in April 1865 he was furloughed ‘wounded’  and returned to his home to Berrien County.  While James was away, Frances ran the Baskin farm and cotton gin.   With the end of the war, James Baskin returned to farm life.  After the Baskin’s slaves were freed, most made their homes on the farm and lived out their lives there

While working in the gin Frances had contracted a form of tuberculosis. She died on June 3, 1885 in Rays Mill (now known as Ray City), Berrien County, Georgia.

The widower James Baskin, with minor children still at home, decided to re-marry.  On December 30, 1885 he married Mary Ann Harrell of Lowndes County.  This union produced six children.

In his old age, James M. Baskin applied for and received an annual Indigent Soldier’s pension.  His applications stated that he applied on account of “age and poverty.” He was in bad physical condition and suffered from rheumatism. His application stated his wife owned a small farm where they lived with five children, and up until that time he was “trying to farm” and “made a scant living.’

James Madison Baskin Settled at Beaver Dam Creek.

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.  (The 1850 Dekalb County census  records show that by the age of 17 she was married to Joseph Knox, age 28, and that the couple had a one year old son named Alton.)

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.

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:

  1. Baskin, Fannie E. (1853 – 1892) m. William A. K. Giddens
  2. Baskin, Sarah “Sallie” E. (1856 – ) m. Thomas M. Ray, Jr.
  3. Baskin, Georgia Ann (1857 – 1934) m. Leonard L. Roberts
  4. Baskin, Martha J. (1859 – 1950) m. David C. Clements, Dec. 22, 1881
  5. Baskin, Mary J. (1861 – 1902) m. Ulysses A. Knight
  6. Baskin, James B. (1864 – 1943) m. Fannie Ellen Hagan, dau. of John W. Hagan, Dec. 15, 1887
  7. Baskin, Callie D. (1866 – 1890)  m. John T. Smith
  8. Baskin, William H. (1869 – ) m. Mamie Harrell, dau. of John W.
  9. Baskin, Emma (1872 – ) m. George T. Patten
  10. Baskin, Maggie May (1874 – 1898) m. Robert L. Patten
  11. Baskin, Ollie (1876 – ) m. L. H. Dasher

Frances Bell Knox Baskin died on June 3, 1885 at Rays Mill (now 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

  1. Baskin, Alonzo L. (1886 – ) b.   Nov. 17, 1886, m. Corine Rodriguez
  2. Baskin, Verdie (1888 – ) b.   Dec. 17, 1888, m. James W. Lovejoy
  3. Baskin, Infant (1891 – 1891)
  4. Baskin, Ruby (1893 – ) b.   May 16, 1893, m. Walter M. Shaw
  5. Baskin, Ruth (1894 – 1922) b.   Dec. 15, 1894, died single, age 22 years
  6. 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.

Related Posts:

Engagement of Mary Frances Baskin

Mary Frances Baskin was born about 1918 and raised at Ray City, Berrien County, GA.  Her parents  were long time residents of Ray City.  At the time of her birth her parents had a house in Ray City on Pauline Street, just north of Johnson Street, near the present day location of the Ray City Community Library.  The Baskins also maintained a residence out at the old Baskin home place located in present day Lanier County.

Mary Frances’ father, Armstrong  B. Baskin, was known as “B” Baskin.  He was one of the more affluent members of the Ray City Baptist Church and was very active in the church.  Later, he served on the Lanier County Board of Education.  Mary Frances’ mother, Minnie Lee Hancock Baskin, was a school teacher in Lanier County for 21 years. In 1958, Minnie Lee received national attention when she lost her job after allowing a white child to ride with African-American children on a segregated school bus (Education: The Crime of Minnie Lee).

Mary Frances Baskin grew up to become a school teacher, herself, and taught  at the Ray City School in the late 1930s.  Later, she taught in the Atlanta School System.   In 1943, the Atlanta newspapers announced her engagement to William Lester Brady, Jr.

Atlanta Constitution
May 23, 1943

Miss Mary Frances Baskin To Wed William L. Brady Jr.

    RAY CITY, Ga.,  May 22. – Wide social interest centers in an announcement made today by Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong B. Baskin, of Ray City, of the engagement of their daughter, Miss Mary Frances Baskin, of Atlanta, to William Lester Brady Jr., of Atlanta, the marriage to be a fashionable event taking place at the Druid Hills Baptist church in the late summer, the exact date and wedding plans to be announced later.
    The beautiful bride-elect is the sister of Miss Helen Baskin,  of Macon, and her brothers are Quartermaster Sergeant John W. Baskin, Parris Island, S.C., Curtis Baskin, and Louis Baskin, both of Ray City.
    Miss Baskin’s mother is the former Miss Minnie Lee Hancock, of Nashville, daughter of E.L. Hancock and the late Mrs. Hancock, who was before her marriage Miss Mary Brown, daughter of John Brown and Jane Paulk Brown, John Brown being a casualty of the War Between the States.  Her paternal grandparents are the late James Baskin and Mrs. Baskin of Ray City.
    Miss Baskin received an A.B. degree from Bessie Tift College in the class of ’37. She was a member of the Sigma Delta Chi sorority. In 1938 she did post graduate work in library science at the University of Georgia. She is a teacher in the Atlanta public schools and is a talented pianist.  In Atlanta she resides with her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Baskin.
    Like his bride-to-be, Mr. Brady is a descendant of prominent families.  He is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. William Lester Brady, of Atlanta. His mother, before her marriage was Miss Bertha Vileeta Hayes, of Toccoa. His maternal grandparents were the late Mr. and Mrs. William Jasper Hayes, of Toccoa. His paternal grandparents were the late Mr. and Mrs. George Thomas Brady, of Harrisburg, Pa.  A brother, Joseph Vickery Brady, is completing training at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Great Neck, N.Y. Another brother, Luther Hayes Brady, was reported missing in action by the Navy last September.
     The groom-elect is a graduate of Atlanta Boys’ High school. He attended Emory University where he majored in public affairs. While at Emory he was a manager of the Emory Glee Club, editor of the Emory Wheel, member of D.V.S. senior honor society, a Rhodes Scholarship nominee, and was listed in “Who’s who in American College and Universities.” He is a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and is director of the Young People’s Training Union of the Druid Hills Baptist church.  He is now advertising director of the Rialto theater.

The Baskin-Brady wedding took place in Atlanta.

Related Posts:

Millard C. Townsend and the Mercer Debate Team

Millard C. Townsend was born in Florida on July 6, 1902, the son of  Margaret Elizabeth Buchanan and Daniel Wiley Townsend. His father was a Florida farmer.

Millard Carnege Townsend moved with his family from Lafayette county, Florida to Ray City some time before 1920. His father owned a farm on one of the settlement roads at Ray City.

At about age 23, Millard C. Townsend was studying at Mercer University in Macon.

Mercer University, Macon, GA

Mercer University, Macon, GA

His success there on the debate team was noted in the Atlanta newspaper.

Atlanta Constitution
May 1, 1926, pg 4
MERCER DEBATERS WIN OVER WAKE FOREST

    Macon, Ga., April 30 – Mercer university debaters won the last intercollegiate debate of the present season by defeating a team from Wake Forest college in the Mercer chapel here tonight.
    Millard C. Townsend, Ray City, and Roy Hale, Locust Grove, were the Mercer representatives taking the negative side of the question, “Resolved, that the operation of United States coal mines should be regulated by federal commission.”  The judges handed down a two-to-one decision in favor of the Mercer debaters.
    A.S. Gillespie and C.R. Tew were the debaters from Wake Forest.

Millard’s father died in 1928 in Ray City, GA. After college, Millard moved to Roanoke City Virginia, where he boarded with the family of Charles A. Ball. He took a job as a teacher at the Roanoke National Business College.

Milliard Townsend remained in Roanoke, Va and died there in July, 1984.

Related Posts:

 

Lorton W. Register ~ Killed in Action, WWI

Lorton Webster Register of Ray City, Georgia.  KIA, WWI.

Lorton Webster Register of Ray City, Georgia. KIA, WWI.

Lorton Webster Register, of Ray City, GA entered World War I military service as a private in 1917.

Lorton W. Register was born in Hahira, GA about 1892, a son of John R. Register.  His early childhood was spent in Hahira.  Some time before 1917, the Register family moved about thirteen miles to the northeast to Ray City, GA.  During WWI, Lorton went to Ft. Thomas, Kentucky where he was enlisted in the Army.   The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917 and on April 15, 1917 Lorton was inducted.  He was 25 years old at the time of enlistment.

Fort Thomas was  designated as a recruit depot. Recruits arrived as civilians and were processed into uniformed soldiers  with assignments to official training locations.

Service records show Lorton W. Register was attached to the following companies:

Company F, 7th Infantry  to June 10, 1917;
Company F, 61st Infantry  to Aug. 10, 1917;
Company M, 18th Infantry  to Nov. 23, 1917;
Company I, 18th Infantry  to death.

1917 photo postcard showing newly-inducted soldiers departing Fort Thomas, Kentucky for their training assignments. The back of the card is cancelled by the Columbia machine cancel of Newport, Kentucky (the town nearest Fort Thomas), dated August 11, 1917. Photo and caption courtesy of Bob Swanson

1917 photo postcard showing newly inducted soldiers departing Fort Thomas, Kentucky for their training assignments. The back of the card is cancelled by the Columbia machine cancel of Newport, Kentucky (the town nearest Fort Thomas), dated August 11, 1917. Photo and caption courtesy of Bob Swanson

Private Register served in France in the early part of the war. In March, 1918 he saw action while on duty at a listening post at the front lines at St. Mihiel, France.  After the engagement, he was reported “Missing in Action.”

More than a year later it was determined that he had been killed by a shell fragment during action on March 1, 1918.  His father, John R. Register, received the official notification of his son’s death at his home in Ray City.  The report of Georgia casualties appeared in the Atlanta Constitution.

WWI Doughboy Monument, Nashville, GA.  The name of Lorton W. Register appears on the base of the monument, along with the names of other soldiers of Berrien County, GA who gave their lives in the war.

WWI Doughboy Monument, Nashville, GA. The name of Lorton W. Register appears on the base of the monument, along with the names of other soldiers of Berrien County, GA who gave their lives in the war.

Atlanta Constitution
May 29, 1919

ON OUR NATION’S ROLL OF HONOR

The names of twelve Georgia boys appear in today’s official casualty list, which contains the names of 527 more American heroes who were victims on the fields of France.
    The Georgians are, killed in action previously reported missing: Privates Albert L. Carter, Ellaville: Lorton W. Register, Ray City.
    Returned to duty, previously reported missing in action:
Privates Dave Akins, Vienna; Elder Grace, Elko.
    Wounded in Action: Lieutenants George A. Roberts, 451 Center street, Macon; Gardie Nix, 70 North Main street, Gainesville; Sergeants William C. Graham, 521 Lee Street, Atlanta; Jabez P. Kelly, Mystic; Corporal Walter S. Robinson, Waco; Privates Dallas T. Townley, Lawrenceville; Lawrence P. Woolf, Morrow.
    Died of Disease:  Private Elijah Mealer, Cartecay.

Lorton W. Register is among the soldiers honored at St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Thiaucourt, France; his name appears there on the Tablets of the Missing.

American Cemetery, St. Mihiel, France as it appeared in 1921.

American Cemetery, St. Mihiel, France as it appeared in 1921.

The St. Mihiel Cemetery is at Thiaucourt, a shadeless plain about 25 kilometers northeast of St. Mihiel. Here are gathered the bodies of those who fell in the reduction of the dangerous St. Mihiel Salient. The Memorial Highway, in its loop southward from St. Mihiel through Toul and up to Thiaucourt passes near Vaucouleurs and Domremy, associated with the birth and life of Joan of Arc.     –1922 Annual report By American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society

Later, permanent grave markers and a monument were added to the cemetery.

 American Cemetery at St Mihiel, France.

American Cemetery at St Mihiel, France.

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Mollie Idelle Lee

Mollie Idelle Lee, 1937. Freshman at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA.

Mollie Idelle Lee, 1937. Freshman at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA.

Mollie Idelle Lee was born Feb 28, 1919 near Ray City, GA  in  that part of Berrien County that was cut into Lanier County in 1920.   She was the youngest child of Mollie Clements and William David Lee.

Her parents owned a house that was built  from a kit ordered from a Sears catalog (see Ray City’s Mail Order House).  Idelle Lee was enumerated in her parent’s household, along with her siblings, in the census of  1930.

In 1937 Idelle Lee attended Georgia State Womans College (G.S.W.C.), now known as Valdosta State University. There, in addition to her academic studies, she was a member of the Glee Club.

West Hall, Georgia State Womans College, 1937, Valdosta, GA. The institution is now known as Valdosta State University.

West Hall, Georgia State Womans College, 1937, Valdosta, GA. The institution is now known as Valdosta State University.

The 1937 Pine Cone, the GSWC yearbook, describes the activities of the Glee Club.

   Presenting an entirely different plan this year, the Glee Club not only appeared in their annual concert before the people of Valdosta in the Winter Quarter, but also made a tour of neighboring towns during the Spring Quarter.
    The entire club of thirty members entertained at various school functions.  A special Christmas program was featured this year.  The triple quartet was heard on Sundays in the churches of Valdosta and in radio programs from Thomasville, Georgia and Gainesville, Florida.

1937 Glee Club at Georgia State Womans College.

1937 Glee Club at Georgia State Womans College.

After college, Mollie Idelle Lee married Frank L. Carter.  In the 1940s the Carters lived in Florida.

Grave marker of Carol Lee Carter (1944-1950), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave marker of Carol Lee Carter (1944-1950), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Their first child, Carol Lee Carter, was born on New Year’s Eve, 1944 in Dade County, FL.  Sadly, Carol died before her sixth birthday.  She was buried at the Lee family plot in Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

The Carters later returned to Georgia. Frank L Carter died July 6, 1988 in Lanier County, GA.

Molly Idelle Lee Carter died November 1, 2005 in Lanier County, GA. She was buried along with her parents and others of the Lee family connection at the family plot in Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave marker of Mollie Idelle Lee Carter (1919-2005), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave marker of Mollie Idelle Lee Carter (1919-2005), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Mary & Saunto Sollami Buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery

As mentioned in previous posts, Mary Elizabeth Lee, daughter of  William D. “Bill” Lee and Mollie Bell Clements  of Ray City,  married Saunto Richard Sollami.   The Sollamis made their home in Thomasville, GA.

Mary Lee Sollami died  December 1,  1993 in Thomas County, GA.  Saunto Richard Sollami died December 6, 2003.   The are both interred at Ray City in Beaver Dam Cemetery, in the Lee family plot. Also buried at Beaver Dam is their infant son, born January 3, 1945.

Gravemarker of Mary Lee Sollami (1915 -1993), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Gravemarker of Mary Lee Sollami (1915 -1993), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

In memory of Saunto Richard Sollami (1919-2003), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

In memory of Saunto Richard Sollami (1919-2003), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Infant son of Richard and Mary E. Lee Sollami, Jan 3, 1945. Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Infant son of Richard and Mary E. Lee Sollami, Jan 3, 1945. Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

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