March 18 in Ray City History

On this date…

March 18, 1854, Ansel Parish  (1824 -1891) was ordained an Elder in the Primitive Baptist church. He was a son of Henry and Nancy Parrish, and son-in-law of William Anderson Knight, pioneer settlers of old Berrien County, GA . Ansel Parrish had joined Pleasant Church at the age of 19, and thereafter dedicated his life to the service of the Primitive Baptist faith.  Elder Ansel Parrish was one of the ablest and best known Primitive Baptist preachers of his time. During the Civil War he ministered to the confederate soldiers in 50th Georgia Regiment at their encampment near Savannah, GA. He became a leader among the Primitive Baptists, and preached at many of the churches in the area.

March 18, 1877, Martha Ada Swindle was born in Berrien County, GA, a daughter of pioneer settlers Nancy Jane Parker and James Swindle. James Swindle moved his family to Berrien County some time in the 1860′s. The Swindle farm was located about two miles outside Ray’s Mill, GA.

March 18, 1908, it was announced that A. & F. Wright had been awarded the contract to lay track for the Georgia & Florida Railroad  from Valdosta to Nashville, by way of Rays Mill, GA. The track was to be laid in just three weeks, and regular passenger service scheduled to begin on October 1, 1908 with two trains a day stopping at the station in Rays Mill.

March 18, 1910, J. F. Buckholtz sold to J.M. Deloach the “lot No I in block No. 2″ in Ray City, located on the present day corner of Ward and Jones streets.   Bucholtz had acquired the lot from Dr. Charles X. Jones. Within a month J.M. DeLoach flipped the lot, selling it to Levi J. Clements, who later owned the Clements Lumber mill at Ray City.  During WWI, J. M. Deloach jumped from the deck of troopship HMS Otranto  when it went down off the coast of Scotland,  becoming one of the few soldiers from Berrien county to survive the sinking .

March 18, 1916, Ellen Gaskins and Wayne Putnal were married in Berrien County in a ceremony performed by Justice of the Peace J.W. Moore. Ellen was the 16 year-old daughter of Mary E. Strickland and Levi J. Gaskins of Rays Mill, GA. For a few years Wayne and Ellen Putnal lived at various locations in the area, before settling a big farm out on Park Street extension on the south side of Ray City. Wayne Putnal was known as a very industrious man. During the week he worked his farm, and on Saturdays he worked as a barber, cutting hair at a barbershop in Ray City. In their later years, the Putnals moved from their farm place to a house in town. They spent the rest of their lives in Ray City.

March 18, 2010, Dillard Maurice Markham passed away Thursday, March 18 at his residence in Virgina.  Born April 2, 1920, in Bedford County, a son of the late Elmor Dove Markham and the late Gracie Markham.  He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Ruth Boyette Markham, who was born at Ray City, GA.  The two met while Markham was stationed at Moody AFB during World War II.

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