Ray City began 1934 on an optimistic note. A “booster” story from the Nashville Herald praised the farming, education, churches, municipal government, roads and businesses of Ray City.
The Nashville Herald,
January 25, 1934, Pg 1
RAY CITY IS NOTED SECTION
Excellent Community of Berrien County and South Georgia – Fine Farming Section
In writing about different communities of Berrien County it is next to impossible to neglect the city of Ray City and the large farming territory surrounding it. The Ray City section constitutes the southern portion of Berrien County, where extensive farm operations are carried on during every month of the year in all lines of endeavor.
The trading point is the city of Ray City, just ten miles south of Nashville, the county seat. It has a population of around 500 people, all of whom are industrious and hospitable, with fine schools, churches and live wire merchants. There is no better place in south Georgia to live than Ray City.
The farming population surrounding Ray City constitute an industrious and progressive people. To a certain measure they are prosperous, because everything to be raised on a farm can be grown on their fertile lands, and each year their products find ready markets, returning to them cash in abundance. The section is noted for its fine tobacco and cotton lands and is a hog and cattle raising territory of excellent possibilities.
The city of Ray City affords every convenience and comfort for the citizens of the community. There is a fine school system, which is under the capable and efficient supervision of Prof. P. M. Shultz. Prof. Ulmer Crosby is principal, and the other teachers are: Mrs. P. M. Shultz, Miss Jessie Aycock, Mrs. A.B. Baskins, Miss Lillian Ford and Mrs. Eulalie Dickson.
The school has nine grades, with an enrollment of a few over the two hundred mark. A number of fine students complete the school each year, advancing to higher institutions of learning. The school system in Ray City is really a big asset, (illegible) a higher type of citizenry.
The school board is composed of the following gentlemen who handle their duties in a most admirable manner and of benefit to patrons and students combined. H.A. Swindle, chairman, M.A. Studstill, sec.-treasl., C.H. Vickers, J.M. Studstill and W.M. Creech, members.
Ray City is not short either along the spiritual line, having four active churches as follows: Baptist, Rev. Walter Branch, pastor; Methodist, Rev. F.A. Ratcliffe, pastor; Primitive Baptist, Elder C.H. Vickers, pastor; Christian, supply pastor. The Baptist and Methodist churches conduct Sunday Schools, and young people’s organizations.
The affairs of the city of Ray City are in the hands of men who apparently have the united support of the people, as the entire body was recently re-elected to office. J. H. Swindle is mayor, and the councilmen are: G.V. Hardie, Y.F. Carter, H.P. Clements and W.M. Creech.
The standing committees for the year 1934 are: Water and lights, G.V. Hardie and Y.F. Carter; Street, W.M. Creech and H.P. Clements; Sanitary, entire city council.
In questioning the mayor, Mr. J. H. Swindle, he stated that the city enjoyed a very good administration the past year, and that 1934 was begun with the city in much better financial condition than a year ago.
Ray City is soon to enjoy one of the best highway outlets of any small city in south Georgia. It is located on Route No. 11, the short route into Florida from Atlanta. This highway has been recently graded for paving and at some future date this work will be a reality. Other good roads lead out in all directions as well. It is located on the Georgia and Florida railroad, and is one of the railroad’s most important shipping points. Mr. T.W. Thompson is the G. & F. Agent, having served in that capacity for a long number of years.
There are also several industries which add to the progressiveness of the town and community.
The Ray City Ice & Storage Company, of which Mr. D.T. Sharpe is manager, serves a wide territory. At present this concern has on storage over 100,000 pounds of meat being cured for farmers.
The Y.F. Carter Naval Stores concern is the largest firm in the community, where approximately fifty men are given employment. This firm operates over ten crops of boxes, the leases affording additional revenue for landowners. It has been in operation for about eighteen years.
The J.H. Swindle Gins and Warehouse is another concern of benefit to the entire section. Plants are located at Ray City and Barrett, being among the most up to date in south Georgia. Mr. Swindle buys cotton and cotton seed, corn, peanuts, hay and other country produce. Besides gin and warehouse activities he operates a twelve horse farm.
The Peoples Banking Company, a private institution, is owned by Mr. J. H. Swindle, with Mr. E. J. Patten as cashier. This bank was organized several years ago by Mr. Swindle when Ray City lost its regular bank, so as to carry on the business operations locally and without interruptions.
Mrs. R.N. Warr is owner of old Ray Pond, famous for its fishing for the past hundred years. Mrs. Warr acquired the pond about two years ago, and since has created a good income out of the sale of minnows, pond plants, frogs, and tadpoles. The pond covers an area of approximately 4,000 acres.
Among Ray City’s most enterprising merchants are: Swindle & Clements, B. Ridgell Jones Drug Store, Purvis Grocery Store, Weeks Grocery Store, Hardie Filling Station, South Georgia Oil Company, Bradford Barber Shop, Putnell Barber Shop, Swain Garage, Woodward Blacksmith Shop, Griner Corn Mill and others.
Transcription courtesy of Skeeter Parker