Millard Townsend was Pioneer in Special Education

Millard C. Townsend, subject of previous posts , and his family became residents of Ray City, GA some time prior to 1920. Townsend studied at Mercer University in the 1920s (see Millard Carnege “Mill” Townsend, of Ray City, Made Mark at Mercer , Millard C. Townsend and the Mercer Debate Team .

Gravemarker of Daniel Wiley Townsend, New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Gravemarker of Daniel Wiley Townsend, New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

His father, Daniel Wiley Townsend died at Ray City in 1928 and was buried at New Ramah Cemetery.

After college, Millard moved to Roanoke, Virginia, where he boarded with the family of Charles A. Ball, a Virginia real estate agent. Millard took a job as a teacher at the National Business College, and later became the Personnel Director for the college.

1930 census enumeration of Millard Townsend in Roanoke Virginia. In the 1920s, Townsend lived in Ray City, GA.

1930 census enumeration of Millard Townsend in Roanoke Virginia. In the 1920s, Townsend lived in Ray City, GA.

http://www.archive.org/stream/15thcensus2482unit#page/n393/mode/1up

Townsend became a leading advocate for special education and did much to organize support for mentally and physically handicapped children in the state of Virginia.

Millard C. Townsend, former Ray City, GA resident, was a leading advocate for the mentally and physically disabled in Virginia.

Millard C. Townsend, former Ray City, GA resident, was a leading advocate for the mentally and physically disabled in Virginia.

Halifax Gazette
October 14, 1954

State Retarded Children Work To Be Explained

M. C. Townsend

Education of mentally retarded and physically handicapped children will be the theme of an address before the Junior Woman’s Club here Friday night, October 22.
 The speaker will be M. C. Townsend, personnel director of National Business College, Roanoke, and one of the state’s pioneers in the mentally retarded education program. Townsend appeared here last June at the invitation of instigators of a movement to start a Council for Retarded Children here. His talk drew warm response, and since then efforts have been pushed to establish such a class here under auspices of the State Department of Education and private groups.
 Townsend is a graduate of Mercer University, Macon, Ga. The father of an mentally retarded child himself, Townsend early became interested in a plan to train and educate such handicapped children.
 He was the leader in the first Council for Retarded Children in the state, established at Roanoke. Later he helped organize the Virginia State Association for Mentally Retarded Children, an organization that numbers several Councils for Retarded Children in the state. He served as legislative chairman for the association last year, and was instrumental in securing the first state
 appropriations to the State Department of Education to assist with educational programs for the handicapped.
Former Governor Battle named him to the first commission to study the needs of mentally and physically handicapped children.
The Junior Woman’s Clubs of the state numbers the program as one of its principal projects and has offered its support to local councils fostering the educational program.

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November 6, 1923 ~ Big Fire Loss at the Ray City Sawmill

sawmill bladeIt was on this date, November 6, 1923 that fire struck the big sawmill at Ray City, GA.

News of the fire was reported on the front page of the Lanier County News, of Milltown (now Lakeland), GA. The sawmill owners were nationally prominent businessmen and the story was picked by the Atlanta Constitution.

The Lanier County News
Thursday, November 8, 1923, front page

Ray City Mill Had Big Fire Loss Tuesday

The Jackson Lumber Company suffered a heavy loss when their planning mill, dry kiln, a large amount of lumber and a number of tenant houses in the mill quarters at Ray City burned down Tuesday. By dint of hard work just in the knick of time the main mill was saved from destruction.
The fire started at 10:30 in the morning and spread rapidly. The hose available at Ray City reached only half way from the town to the mill, and was not till afternoon, when the Milltown hose was sent over and the fire department from Valdosta arrived on the scene with additional hose that effective work could be done. Had it not been for this timely aid the whole plant would have been wiped out.

Transcription courtesy of Skeeter Parker.

Jackson Lumber Company

The Jackson Brothers, owners of the Jackson Lumber Company, had purchased the entire mill operation from Clements Lumber Company for $75,000 in cash in what was described as “one of the biggest business deals pulled of in this section in some time.”  The Jackson Brothers were no strangers to big business deals, and were among the wealthiest businessmen in the south. Among their other Georgia investments were ownership of Tallapoosa Mills in Tallapoosa, GA and they were major stockholders in Couch Cotton Mill of Atlanta.

The Jackson Brothers’ purchase included two weeks run of the mill and all of the lumber inventory. The Jackson Brothers also purchased the ‘Sirman’s Timber’, the largest body of original growth pine that was still standing in south Georgia. Several hundred acres of this timber stand had not been turpentined until 1922. The same timber stand had sold around 1920 for over $100,000 and had been leased for turpentining at that time. The Sirman’s Timber stood between Milltown (nka Lakeland), GA and Nashville, GA.

The purchase was reported by the Nashville Herald on the front page of the February 6, 1923 edition.

CLEMENTS LBR. COMPANY SOLD OUT AT RAY CITY

Nashville Herald, February 16, 1923

The Clements Lumber Company one largest and oldest lumber concerns in this section of the state, was sold at Ray City last week by the Clements Brothers to Jackson Brothers, formerly of Tallapoosa, Georgia.

The Clements Lumber Company has been doing business in Ray City for twelve years, it was stated by the present owners. The Jackson Brothers are mill men of considerable experience. They were formerly in the cotton mill business.

They are said to have paid $100,000 and will assume charge of the plant at once.

The new owners have bought the Lon Fender timber tract, which Mr. Fender bought more than a year ago from the Sirmans estate. It is one of the finest timber tracts in this section of the state. This with the other timber insight affords at least five years running yet, and there is more to be had, it is said, that will run them ten years.

The Clements Brothers have not decided yet what they will do in the future.

The Jackson brothers took charge of the mill in the first week of March, 1923. They had been operating a cotton mill in San Antonio, Texas which they sold to return to their former home in Georgia.  Justin C. Jackson became the president of the Jackson Lumber Company making his home in Valdosta, GA.  Jackson Lumber Company made no immediate changes in the crew operating the sawmill at Ray City. They planned to begin sawing the Sirman’s timber just as soon as the turpentine lease was up.

Unfortunately, just eight months later on the afternoon of November 6, 1923 disaster struck. A fire broke out at the Jackson Lumber Company that threatened to consume the entire operation. According to the Atlanta Constitution, the Ray City Fire department responded – running a fire hose from the town to the sawmill, a distance of one mile. But there was only enough hose on hand to reach half the distance to the mill. The Valdosta Fire Department sent a unit with additional hose to fight the blaze. By the time the firefighters from Valdosta arrived , the dry kiln, planing mill, several employees’ cottages, and 150,000 feet of lumber had already burned and the flames had reached the sawmill. They quickly coupled their hoses to the line that had already been laid by the Ray City firemen and carried the line on to the mill. The firefighters were able to save practically all of the sawmill itself, but the damages were estimated to be $50,000 dollars. The plant was insured and it was expected that the mill would be rebuilt.

The Atlanta Constitution reported the $50,000 loss in a page 21 story in the November 8, 1923 edition.

The Nov 8, 1923 edition of the Atlanta Constitution reported the sawmill fire at Ray City, GA.

The Nov 8, 1923 edition of the Atlanta Constitution reported the sawmill fire at Ray City, GA.

 

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Millard Carnege “Mill” Townsend, of Ray City, Made Mark at Mercer

In 1924 Millard Townsend, of Ray City, GA was a freshman at Mercer University in Macon, GA.

Millard Carnege Townsend of Ray City, GA/ , 1925 Caldron, Mercer University Annual.

Millard Carnege Townsend of Ray City, GA, 1925 Caldron, Mercer University Annual.

Millard Carnege Townsend, subject of previous post (Millard C. Townsend and the Mercer Debate Team), was born in Florida on July 6, 1902, and moved with his family from Lafayette county, Florida to Ray City some time before 1920. His parents were Margaret Elizabeth Buchanan and Daniel Wiley Townsend. His father owned a farm on one of the settlement roads at Ray City.

1920 Census enumeration of Millard Townsend and family in the 1144th Georgia Militia District, near Ray City, GA.

1920 Census enumeration of Millard Townsend and family in the 1144th Georgia Militia District, near Ray City, GA.

http://www.archive.org/stream/14thcensusofpopu235unit#page/n313/mode/1up

As a student at Mercer, Millard C. Townsend was engaged in many extra curricular activities. He was a member of the school band, leader of a literary society, speaker on debate teams, and an assistant editor for the school paper.

THE 1925 MERCER UNIVERSITY BAND: Kyle T. Alfriend, President; E.C. Middlebrooks, Secretary; Members, J. Noble Arnold, J. H. Anderson, Aubrey Abbott, Kyle T. Alfriend, J. W. Avery, J. Logan Bloodworth, Lawson F. Bell, Dan C. Benton, J. T. Cook, Walton W. Cook, J. P. Chapman, C. B. Fulghum, J. H. Fulghum, Roy Harrison, S. B. King, George Kent, R. T. Lee, E. C. Middlebrooks, O. H. Middlebrooks, W. P. Martin, J. H. Murray, J. T. Minor, William Mitchell, M. C. Townsend, Bruce P. Powers, Lamar R. Portain, Maynard Smith, J. E. Suires, Jack Taylor, L. H. Young, J. M. Hardy, Oliver Benson, C.C. Thomas, H. Williams, Mac Davis.

THE 1925 MERCER UNIVERSITY BAND: Kyle T. Alfriend, President; E.C. Middlebrooks, Secretary; Members, J. Noble Arnold, J. H. Anderson, Aubrey Abbott, Kyle T. Alfriend, J. W. Avery, J. Logan Bloodworth, Lawson F. Bell, Dan C. Benton, J. T. Cook, Walton W. Cook, J. P. Chapman, C. B. Fulghum, J. H. Fulghum, Roy Harrison, S. B. King, George Kent, R. T. Lee, E. C. Middlebrooks, O. H. Middlebrooks, W. P. Martin, J. H. Murray, J. T. Minor, William Mitchell, M. C. Townsend, Bruce P. Powers, Lamar R. Portain, Maynard Smith, J. E. Suires, Jack Taylor, L. H. Young, J. M. Hardy, Oliver Benson, C.C. Thomas, H. Williams, Mac Davis.

1924 clipping from the Mercer Cluster. Debate Council plans strenuous forensic season.

1924 clipping from the Mercer Cluster. Debate Council plans strenuous forensic season.

Mercer Cluster
September 26, 1924

DEBATE COUNCIL PLANS STRENUOUS FORENSIC SEASON
Tryouts For Teams to be Held This Fall; Only Four Men Back

Plans are already underway for the inter-collegiate debates at Mercer during the coming year. The members of the Council have been selected and preparations are being laid for the most strenuous year of debating through which Mercer has ever gone.
Dr. Rufus C. Harris, of the law school, is chairman for the coming season. Other members of the committee are, Dr. A. P. Montague, Dr. Percy Scott Flippen, Prof. Joseph Robinson and Prof. W. T. Smalley. In addition to these members from the faculty, the presidents of the Ciceronian and Phi Delta Societies will be active members of the Council.
During the past four years Mercer has participated in eighteen inter-collegiate debates, winning twelve of this number.

Won 4; Lost 1

Teams were met last season from the following colleges; Richmond University, of Richmond, Va.; Georgia Tech, University of Alabama, William-Jewel College of Missouri, and Wake Forest College. The above contests were won with the exception of the Wake Forest affair.
This year’s program will call for Mercer’s meeting some of the foremost colleges in the forensic arena including some intersectional debates if plans that are now in their infancy materialize.
Subjects for the tryouts  for positions on the teams will be announced sometime during the fall term and the applicants will be permitted to display their skill before the Christmas holidays.
Only four men who were on debating teams last year are back or are eligible. These are Eugene Cook, Herbert Bradshaw, Joe McClain and M. C. Townsend.

Mercer Cluster
May 2?, 1925

Ciceronians Select
Townsend Next Head

Millard C. Townsend of Ray City, Ga., has been chosen to serve as president of the Ciceronian society for the first term of the next school year. This honor was well placed, Mr. Townsend having defended this society several times in debates and oratorical contests.

Other officers elected were: vice-president, T. Harris Tyson of Tennille, Ga.; secretary, Fred Forrester, of Head River, Ga.; chaplain, George Jester, of Camp Hill, Ala.; critic, Courtland Gilbert, of Brunswick, Ga.; reporter, Julian J. Upshaw, of Douglasville, Ga.; and janitor, G. L. Griner, of Camilla, Ga.

Speakers and officer for the annual society day program, which will be held next winter, were elected as follows; debaters, M. C. Townsend and Frank Twitty, with C. A. Martin and C. E. Langston as alternates; orators, Herbert Bradshaw and T. Harris Tyson; presiding officer, C. A. Martin, and chief marshall, H. S. Sauls.

On next Tuesday evening, May 26, the Society will hold its annual oratorical contest.

Mercer Cluster
May 29, 1925

Townsend is Winner
Of Ciceronian Medal

Millard C. Townsend, of Ray City, was awarded the medal from the Ciceronian debating society oratical contest which was held on Tuesday evening. His subject was Victory of Sword or Cross.

There were four other contestants for the medal, these were: Julius T. Anderson, of Milledgeville, who spoke on The Agriculturalist and His Advance; Charles A. Martin, of Rex, A Trust to Keep; Julian J. Upshaw, of Douglasville, Wilson, the Man; and S. Virgil Cofield, of Monroe, Twenty Century Manhood.

Rev. J. H. Barber, speaking for the judges of the occasion, heartily commended the work being don in the societies.

Townsend, the winner, has recently been elected president of the Ciceronians for the first month of the 1925-26 season. He has been a member of several Varsity debating teams all of which have emerged victorious.

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Calhoun Obituaries

Joseph Burton Calhoun and Lueannie Boyett Calhoun, long time residents of the Ray City, GA area are buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City.

Joe B. Calhoun rites held
Thursday, March 2, 1972

Joe B. Calhoun, 79, of Rte. 1 Lakeland, died early Wednesday in the Smith Nursing Home after a long illness.
A native of Lowndes County, he had lived in Lanier County about 31 years.
He was a retired farmer, a member of Lakeland Lodge 434 F&AM and the Ray City Baptist Church.
Survivors include his wife, the former Miss Louannie Boyette of Lakeland; a daughter, Mrs. Alberta Calhoun Courson of Lakeland, Fla.; two sons, J.B. Calhoun Jr., of Winter Garden, Fla.; and John Calhoun of Monroe, La.; a sister, Mrs. Lula Anglin of Adel; two brothers, Dewey Calhoun of Nashville, Ga., and C. B. Calhoun of Jacksonville, Fla. 12 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. Funeral services were held at 3 p.m. Friday at the Ray City Baptist Church with burial in the Beaver Dam Cemetery here.
The Rev. Allen Bates, pastor, conducted the services, assisted by the Rev. John W. Harrell. Burial followed in Beaver Dam Cemetery.
Active pallbearers were Robert Wayne Courson, Donald Courson, Marvin Corson, Mitchell Calhoun, Melton Calhoun and John Wesley Calhoun, Jr.
Music Funeral Home of Lakeland was in charge of arrangements.

The Valdosta Times
Sunday, April 11, 1993

Obituaries
LUEANNIE B. CALHOUN

Lueannie Boyett Calhoun, 93, of Winter Garden, Fla., passed away Friday morning at Quality Health Care in Winter Garden.
She was born and lived in what was then Berrien County and later changed to Lanier County most of her life, moving to Winter Garden in 1987. She was a member of First Baptist Church in Ray City.
She was preceded in death by her husband Joe Calhoun and one son, Burton Calhoun.
Survivors include: one daughter, Alberta Courson of Lakeland, Fla., one son, John Wesley Calhoun of Ft. McCoy, Fla., one brother, Joe Boyett of Peach County; 11 grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Monday at Ray City First Baptist Church with burial at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City. The family will receive friends at the funeral home tonight from 7-9 p.m. Mrs. Calhoun will be placed in the church one hour prior to services.
Music Funeral Home, Lakeland, is in charge of arrangements.

Early School House

As a young girl, Lueannie Boyett Calhoun, daughter of John Boyette (1865-1938) and Mary Jane Sirmans Boyett (1867-1946),  attended the common schools of the area.

She probably attended the Grand Bay School, about which Nell Patten Roquemore wrote:

Grand Bay School was in the Crum-Boyett-Giddens-Baskin community, west of Milltown. (The building is still in use as a pack house on the W.B. Boyett farm.) Bob Patten had taught there before the turn of the century. Among the pupils there were Mary Crum and Larue Giddens.

Lueannie Boyett Calhoun photographed circa 1980 in front of the school she attended as a young girl.

Lueannie Boyett Calhoun photographed circa 1980 in front of the school she attended as a young girl. The School was situated on Baskins Road, near Ray City, GA in present day Lanier County. Image courtesy of Mitchell Calhoun.

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