“Trixie” continued the reports on Watson Grade in the February 12, 1904 edition of the Tifton Gazette. Watson Grade was a small community near Empire Church just northeast of Ray’s Mill, GA. It was the location of the Watson family farm and the home of Sam I. Watson, among others. Like the January Watson Grade News this February update included several bits on the family of William and Betsy Patten, as well as reports of marriages and social news.
February 12, 1904
Watson Grade News
The farmers are making big preparations for another crop-buying mules and clearing new grounds.
Mr. Editor, your solution of the fertilizer question in last week’s issue is the only one that the farmer of today is actually in touch with. The farmers, not being systematically organized, are dependent in selling their products and buying their general supplies, and the only way to surpass this stupid state is for each and every farmer to work to the end of not having “everything to buy.” Raise it at home; we have all the necessities if we will only use a little energy.
Mr. M. C. Lee killed a porker last week that weighed 486, net.
Mrs W. C. Patten has been quite sick with pneumonia, but is improving.
Mr. J. P. Patten and Miss Fannie Patten were united in marriage Sunday afternoon at the home of the bride’s parents. Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Patten, near Milltown. The bride is a sweet and lovable girl, and member of one of Berrien’s best families. The groom is an industrious young farmer of near this place.
Inspector Tyler was in Milltown last week, looking after some rural routes from that place. Of the three routes proposed, only two have the required number of families, the one passing through this place and the one through the Ray’s mill vicinity.
Mr. Will Rouse and Miss Elsie Spell were united in marriage Wednesday afternoon, January 27th, at 3 o’clock, at the home of the bride’s parents, Judge J. H. Rowan officiating. Both have many friends, who wish for them a long and prosperous journey through life.
Mr. Jonah Register is quite sick with grippe at this writing.
Mr. June Patten left last week to take charge of a school near Alapaha.
Mr. Jos. Watson, who has been suffering with cancer for some time, is improving.
Prof. W. G. Avera expects to move his family to Atlanta in a few days, his object being to educate his children. Mr. Avera is one of Berrien’s oldest and best educators, and one of our best neighbors, and we see him go with much regret.
Moses C. Lee, a son of Elender Wetherington (1813-1889) and John Levy Lee, was one of the leading farmers of Berrien County. His daughter, Jennie Lee, was the wife of Sam I. Watson. About 1917 his son, William David “Bill” Lee, ordered a mail-0rder house from the Sears catalog, which he assembled just east of Ray’s Mill.
John P. Patten was a son of James Patten (1832-1907) and Phoebe Mathis (1832-1898). His bride was Fannie Patten, daughter of Matthew Elihu Patten and Martha F. Williams (1847 – 1897). The Mrs. M. E. Patten mentioned in the article was Fannie’s step-mother Minnie Archibald Patten. John P. Patten died in 1911 and is buried at Union Church Cemetery, Lakeland, GA.
Will Rouse, of Rays Mill, and Elsie (or Elda?) Spells, of the 1300 Georgia Militia District, were married on January 27, 1904. The couple later made their home at Ray City for many years. The marriage ceremony was performed by Judge J. H. Rowan. According to William Green Avera, the Judge’s place was on the road “from Milltown to Tyson Ferry on the Alapaha River just east of the present site of Alapaha.” This road passed the residences of John Studstill, first Sheriff of Berrien County; Stoney Hill, residence of Moses C. Lee; and, Keefe and Bullocks Turpentine Still.
Jonah Register, son of John Register, was a young farmer of Berrien County, GA. He was suffering from grippe, a historical reference to the flu. He later married Jane Cook, sister of Laura Cook and daughter of William Jackson Cook. In the 1920s Jonah and Jane Register made their home in Ray City, GA.
Mr. June Patten was a son of Leanna and Irwin Patten.
Joseph Watson was the father of Samuel I Watson.
Professor William Green Avera was one of the most distinguished educators in Berrien County.
- Sam I. Watson and the State Board of Education
- Georgia Teacher For Fifty Years Only Went To School 335 Days
- Watson Grade News, January 22, 1904
- Watson Grade News, March 25, 1904
- Watson Grade News May 27, 1904
- Obituary of Mrs. Babe Patten