Moses Wright

Moses Wright of Ray City, GA

Moses Wright of Ray City, GA

Moses Wright of Ray City, GA

Moses Wright was born March 2, 1886, a son of Julia Roundtree and Alexander Wright.

His mother, Julia Roundtree, was a daughter of Green Roundtree, a farmer of Lowndes County GA.  By 1870, just five years after the end of the Civil War, Green Roundtree had acquired a farm valued at $500 and a personal estate valued at another $500, making him one of the wealthier African-Americans in Lowndes County, and one of the very few African-American land owners of the time.

His father, Alexander Wright, was born about 1846. After the Civil War, Alexander Wright was enumerated as Ellick Right in Lowndes County, GA where he was engaged in farming. In the 1870s and 1880s, Alexander Wright was living next to the farm of his father-in-law, Green Roundtree. His household included wife, Julia Roundtree Wright, and daughters.

Since the 1890 Georgia census records are lost, little is known of Moses Wright’s early life.  It appears that his father, Alexander Wright, died around 1899, when Moses was about 12 years old. His mother was married a second time, to William Brown. Moses and his siblings were enumerated in the census of 1900 in his step-father’s household, in a rented  Valdosta, GA home. Thirteen-year-old Moses was working as a day laborer.

Moses Wright married about 1903 at the age of 16.  Carrie and Moses Wright made their home in the Cat Creek District, on the Valdosta & Rays Mill Public Road.  They were renting a farm which they worked together on their own account while raising their family.

In 1918, Moses Wright registered for the WWI draft along with other local men. He was a self-employed farmer residing on rural route 4 out of Valdosta, Lowndes County, GA.  He gave his next of kin as Cornelius Wright. His physical description was  medium height, stout build, black eyes and black hair.

Moses Wright 1918 draft registration., Lowndes County, GA

Moses Wright 1918 draft registration., Lowndes County, GA

By 1920, Moses and Carrie had moved their family to one of the settlement roads around Ray City, GA. They purchased a farm on credit, and worked it on their own account.  In 1930, the Wrights owned a home at Ray City valued at $1500.

Carrie  Wright died January 23,  1931 in Berrien County, GA at the age of 44.    Afterwards, Moses Wright married Stella Wright, also of Ray City, GA.   She was well known throughout the area as a seeress and a healer.   Stella  and Moses continued to live at Ray City through the 1940 census.

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Tri-Hi-Y, 1939

Tri-Hi-Y, 1939

Tri-Hi-Y Conference, Moultrie, Ga.  1939
1939-tri-hi-y-1Frances Clements , of Ray City, GA, was Secretary of the Conference. Others from Ray City attending were Mildred Clements, Lucille Carter, Jaunelle Clements and Carolyn Swindle.

Guy Stokely Selman and Betsey Lurine “Bessie” Cheney

Guy Stokely Selman and  Betsey Lurine “Bessie” Cheney

Guy Stokely Selman, born October 24, 1886 was a son of Joseph Landrum Selman and Nannie L. Abercrombie of Douglasville, GA.  In the early 1900s, the Selmans came to have connections with Ray City and Nashville in Berrien County, GA.

Guy Selman’s father was a doctor, and the family had many social connections with other physicians.  As Guy grew up and completed school, he and his siblings were influenced by this exposure.  The Selmans were staunch Democrats; Guy’s father, as well as his uncles James H. Selman and Thomas Hurt Selman, were Douglas County representatives to the state Democratic Convention in 1906.

Society items from the Atlanta Constitution show the mix of  Guy Selman, his brothers, sisters, cousins and classmates with the doctors and social set of Atlanta. A spring social in 1902  in honor of his sister, Bessie Selman, was attended by Guy and also by his brother Paul Selman.  Another guest of the party was his soon-to-be  brother-in-law, Dr. Foster Pierce Key:

The Atlanta Constitution
April 13, 1902

Miss Camp Entertains.

Miss Jessie Camp delightfully entertained a number of her friends last evening in honor of her guests, Miss Bessie Selman and Miss Coburn Morris, of Douglasville, at her home on Mitchell Street.     During the evening delicious refreshments were served.     The invited guests were Misses Annie Kate Bondurant, Bessie Selman, Ida Sewell, Birdie Dunlop, Coburn Morris, Bessie Northen, Annie Lou Keown, Edith Thomas, Maggie Dunlop, Alice McLauchlin, Daisy Brown, Clifford Layfield, Tenine Aderholt, May Layfield, and Beatrice Anderson and Messrs. F.P. Key, M. O. Colston, A. F. Campbell, Clevland Kiser, Emmet Harding, Paul Selman, Frank Hanle, D. H. Camp, Morris Askew, E. W. Livingston, John Keown, Charlie Wheeler, Guy Selman, John Camp, Loy Campbell, A.T. Dunlap, John Knight, Willie Selman, J. J. Barger, Irvin Barge, and Joe Keown.

In 1903 Guy’s sister, Bessie Velma Selman, married Dr. Foster Pierce Key and moved with her husband to Nashville, GA .  Guy Selman continued his social networking, while attending Mercer University.

The Atlanta Constitution
August 15, 1905

HOUSE PARTY AT CAMPBELLTON.

Campbellton, Ga.  August 14. – (Special.)  A delightful house party has been in progress at the country home of Missess Sue Ola and Carrie Henley, at Campbellton.  Those present were Mrs. R. B. Marsh and Mrs. E. A. Moore, of Atlanta; Misses Mattie Lee and Nettie Burton, of Smithville; Miss Mamie Little, of Carnesville, and Miss Elizabeth Marsh, of Atlanta; Messrs. Tom Selman, Emmet Marding and Dr. J. W. Whitley, of Atlanta; R. L. Henley, of Campbellton; Furman Bullard, J. A. Johnstone and Dr. E. A. Smith, of Palmetto;  B. H. Bomar, Guy Selman and Sanford Abercrumbie, of Douglasville.

When Bessie Selman Key died in 1907, Dr. F. P. Key continued to live in Nashville for a while, boarding with Jonathan Perry Knight and his family. In 1911 he remarried and moved to Atlanta.

After graduating from Mercer University in 1905, Guy Selman entered the Atlanta Medical College.  He must have been a good student, for he completed the four year program in only three years, graduating on April 22, 1908. (Other Ray City alumni of Atlanta Medical College include Dr. John Thomas Clower, 1862)

Guy S. Selman graduated from Atlanta Medical College

Guy S. Selman graduated from Atlanta Medical College

Shortly after graduation from Medical School, young Dr. Selman came to Ray’s Mill to enter practice.  The town, on the verge of municipal incorporation,  was being formed by the likes of Dr. Charles X. Jones, who served as its first elected Mayor.  It was situated on the route of the new Georgia & Florida Railroad, and the headlines of a local booster article  read “Ray’s Mill has Arrived.”

From the Atlanta Georgian and News, Jul. 5, 1909 — page 6, comes the following Society item:

Miss Nannie Love Selman has returned home [to Douglasville] after spending several weeks with her brother, Dr. Guy Selman, at Rays Mill, Ga. 

Dr. Guy Selman was one of the first medical doctors in the town of Ray’s Mill, GA .  He set up his office in H.H. Knight’s  old mercantile store which stood on Pauline Avenue. Dr. Selman was one of the men named to serve as city councilmen for the newly incorporated Ray City until the first elections were held on January 10, 1910.

Did Dr. Selman step out of the office and on to the diamond? Maybe. In the summer of 1909, the on the mound for the Ray City baseball team was pitcher Sellman. But more information is needed on that point.

bat

On April 14, 1910 Guy Selman and Betsey Lurine “Bessie” Cheney were married in Lowndes County, GA.   The bride, 23 years old, was a daughter of Patrick Mell Cheney, of Valdosta, GA.  Her father was a former school teacher from Penfield, GA who entered the insurance business in Valdosta. The groom, young doctor Selman, was  24 years old, of medium height with a stout build, brown eyes and dark hair.  The marriage ceremony was performed by  John E. Barnard  who was pastor of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Valdosta, and  President of Oaklawn Baptist Academy, Lakeland, GA.

Betsey Lurine “Bessie” Cheney married Dr. Guy Selman

Betsey Lurine “Bessie” Cheney married Dr. Guy Selman

In the 1910 Census, Guy S. Selman was listed as a physician practicing out of his own office.  He and  Bessie were boarding  with Austin Bridges in a house on Jones Street;  Mr. Bridges was a dry goods merchant working on his own account.

The Selman’s were prominent citizens and continued on the social of Ray City, Nashville, and Atlanta.  Mrs. Selman was a member of the Nashville Womans Club.

Nashville Womans Club shower 1915

In 1912, The Georgia annual : a compendium of useful information about Georgia : needed by every business and professional man in the state. A.B. Caldwell, Atlanta, Ga. listed Selman as one of three doctors in Ray City, the other two being Dr. Charles X. Jones and Dr. Manning G. Scherrer.

It appears from society page announcements in the Atlanta newspapers that the Selmans relocated from Ray City to Nashville, GA in the spring of 1912.

Atlanta Constitution
July 14, 1912

NASHVILLE, GA
A very enjoyable entertainment was given by Mrs. Guy Selman in compliment to Miss Ruth Selman, of Douglasville.  “Fishing for Love” and “Wink” were played.  Cream and wafers were served. Those present were Misses Clarice Askew, Ina Askew, Myrtle Tyson, Nettie Snead, Jewel Giddens, Ruth Selman, Tyson Fitch, Thelma Knight, and Miss Britt;  Messers. James Stephens, Noble Hull, Dewey Knight, Willie Peeples, Bob Hendricks, Dan Buie, Wallar Wood, Jessie Fitch, Maston Avera and Hobart Alexander.

The Atlanta Constitution
July 21, 1912

NASHVILLE, GA
Miss Ruth Selman, of Douglasville, who has been visiting her brother Dr. Guy Selman, has returned home….Miss Louise Cheney, of Valdosta, who has been the guest of her sister, Mrs. Guy Selman, has returned home.

By 1915, Dr. Guy Selman was exercising leadership of the Berrien County Medical Society:

Atlanta Constitution
January 15, 1915

Berrien County Physicians.

Nashville, Ga., January 15. – (Special.)  The Berrien County Medical society held its monthly session here Friday night.  Dr. G. S. Selman was elected president; Dr. Lacy Lovett, vice president, and Dr. D. E. Carter, secretary and treasurer.

The Medical Association of Georgia places Dr. Selman at Nashville in 1917, along with Dr. William Carl Rentz; the Ray City doctors at the time were Dr. Francis Marion Burkhalter and Dr. Lawson S. Rentz.

With America’s entry into World War I, the medical men of Ray City, GA were called into service, along with many other men of Berrien County. Dr. F.M. Burkhalter was sent to Fort Oglethorpe, then to France with the American Expeditionary Force.  Dr. Lawson Rentz went to Camp Wheeler, then to the Embarkation Service in New Jersey.  Dr. Gordon DeVane was  busy treating the victims of Spanish Influenza at home in Berrien County; he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Medical Reserve Corp, but died before he was deployed.

The June 8, 1918 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association included updates on the Medical Mobilization for World War I and the Orders to Officers of Medical Reserve Corps. The Honor Roll of physicians who had applied for or accepted commissions included Dr. Guy Selman:

To Camp Jackson, Columbia, S.C., for duty, Lieut. Guy S. Selman, Douglasville, GA

WWI service record of Guy S. Selman

WWI service record of Guy S. Selman

Dr. Selman was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Medical Corps on May 27, 1918. He was stationed at Camp Jackson, SC. By the time Lieutenant Selman, M.D. arrived at Camp Jackson, more than 42,000 men had reported there and more than 1,500 buildings had been constructed.  The base hospital was a medical complex,  with more than 80 buildings covering 12-15 acres of land.  There were 32 hospital wards adequate for the treatment of 1,000 patients.  The  hospital was staffed by about 450 men and nurses.  Selman was one of the fifty doctors and dentists assigned to the group.

That September, 200 cases of “Spanish Influenza” suddenly struck Camp Jackson.  The Spanish Flu quickly spread through the camp, infecting more than 5,000 people.   At Camp Jackson alone there were 300 deaths from the disease.   No doubt, Dr. Guy Selman played his part in treating the stricken soldiers of Camp Jackson.

1918 military hospital ward filled with

1918 military hospital ward filled with “Spanish Flu” cases.

The Spanish Flu of 1918-19 was the worst epidemic in history,  killing  over 600,000 Americans and over 40 million people world-wide. A little children’s rhyme attributed to popular comedian Joe Cawthorn appeared in print by October, 1918,  making light of the death that touched everyone:

I had a little bird,
And its name was Enza.
I opened the cage,
And in flew enza.

A month later, November 11, 1918 the Armistice ending WWI  was signed.  Lieutenant Selman’s  service at Camp Jackson continued another two month until his discharge came through January 8, 1919.  After the war, Dr. Selman and Dr. Rentz returned to Berrien County.  Dr. Burkhalter died in France of Lobar Pneumonia, probably induced by the Spanish Flu, as was Dr. DeVane’s death in October, 1918.  Many other  Ray City men were Veterans of World War I,  some gave their lives (Armistice Day Memorial to Soldiers from Berrien County, GA Killed During WWI).

As a veteran of stateside service Selman would have worn silver chevrons on the left cuff of his Army uniform denoting service on American soil. Gold chevrons were for men who saw foreign soil, worn on the left cuff to denote overseas service, or on the right to indicate a wound or gassing received in combat.  For many who did stateside service the Silver stripes instead of gold became a badge of shame.

In the 1920 census, Guy Selman continued his medical practice in Nashville, GA. His wife was teaching  public school. They were boarding with Jesse D. Louetie. Another boarder was Barnert Hall, Clerk of the Superior Court.

Some time after 1920 the Selmans moved to Florida. In 1928 Dr. Selman was elected president of the Seminole County Medical Society, Seminole County, FL.

1922 home of Dr. Guy Selman, Sanford, FL

1922 home of Dr. Guy Selman, Sanford, FL
Built in 1922, this Colonial Revival house was originally owned by Dr. G.S. Selman. There are “eyelash” dormers on both the house and garage. Read more: The Sanford Herald http://mysanfordherald.com/bookmark/691026

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Judge Holt and the Fish-Grass Case

It is said that Judge Thaddeus Goode Holt presided over the first session of the Superior Court of Lowndes County, GA in 1825, convened at the home of Sion Hall, and where Levi J. Knight served as foreman of the Grand Jury.

In Macon, the Honorable Thaddeus G. Holt  went into law practice with his brother-in-law, Allen Fleming, Esquire. A case of note was the Fish-Grass case, concerning the fishing for shad on the Ocmulgee River.

American Shad.

American Shad.

In The bench and bar of Georgia: memoirs and sketches, with an appendix, containing a court roll from 1790 to 1857, etc, Volume 2, Steven Frank Miller tells a story of the Fish-Grass case in which Thaddeus G. Holt and Allen Fleming represented defendants in the Superior Court of Twiggs County:

A little circumstance may be here related as occurring in 1832, or thereabout…

A well-known citizen of Macon, considerably advanced in years and of great wealth, had retained Messrs. Shorter and Gordon as standing counsel. The litigation in which he was engaged was quite extensive, and some of it very curious. Among other possessions he owned land on opposite sides of the Ocmulgee, and had resolved to permit no fishing on his property, except by his leave. In the shad-season, several poor men residing in Bibb crossed over, fastened their canoes to the Twiggs side, and threw out their nets for fish in the river. To warm themselves, they kindled a fire on the bank, burned pine-knots, and probably increased their comfort by adding a few sticks of other wood to the flame. This was the only ” breaking the plaintiff’s close and treading down his grass” for which his counsel were instructed to bring an action in Twiggs Superior Court, because it was for a trespass on the realty. The defendants employed a gentleman* [Thaddeus G. Holt] who had just retired from the bench of the Southern circuit, and his partner† [Allen Fleming] in the practice, whose modesty alone forced him afterward from the bar. The trial came on:  the plaintiff, trembling with bodily infirmities, yet resolute, appeared in court with his title-papers, scowling vengeance on the poor fishermen who had dared to trample on his rights,— “the grass aforesaid.”

The evidence showed a legal trespass of a very harmless character. Mr. Gordon argued the case for the plaintiff by stating the law, and maintaining that because the plaintiff was rich it was no reason why justice should be denied where a plain case of damage had been made out; for the law presumed damage whenever a trespass was committed. The effort was up-hill, a heavy strain to counsel, and the jury looked as if they had no disposition to encourage him by nods or smiles of approbation as he dwelt on the strong points of his argument.  After Mr. Gordon closed, the junior counsel of the defendants launched forth in a vein of goodhumored yet convulsive ridicule, and blowed the case so completely that the jury in five minutes returned a verdict for the defendants. Whereupon the plaintiff instantly paid the cost and entered an appeal, declaring that he would “give it to the rascals next time.” While the appeal was pending in the grass-fish case, Mr. Gordon found it inconvenient to attend Twiggs court, and the action was transferred into the hands of a gentleman‡ [John A. Cuthbert] who, as an advocate, (a former Representative in Congress,) evinced a high order of talent and very refined and uniformly-courteous address. His speech for the plaintiff was calmly logical, and was a fair specimen of Westminster deduction from small premises. The ex-judge, who was behind none of his compeers in blandness of manner, then touched the spark to the magazine of fun in the case, and away it exploded, causing much suppressed laughter, even at the expense of Mr. Gordon, who was accused of deserting his large practice in the court rather than appear in so pitiful a case or seeming to offend his rich client by a refusal,—a case so unequal, so much power on the one side and so much weakness on the other, as to remind one of a whale making war upon a minnow, if nature ever permitted such contests; a case where a rich man grudged a few straggling fish in a public highway (for all rivers in Georgia were such) to the poor families who looked to it for their daily support. The special jury readily gave a concurring verdict for the defendants. A motion was made for a new trial, on which a rule nisi was granted, and taken to the Convention of Judges, who advised a dismissal of the rule. Thus terminated the case,

* Hon. Thaddeus G. Holt, now of the city of Macon.

†Allen Fleming, Esq., then of Marion, but who for the last eight or ten years has been the Agent of the Marine and Fire Insurance Bank at Griffin.

‡John A. Cuthbert, Esq., then editor of the Federal Union, now a resident of Mobile, Alabama, and late judge of the county court.

 

Additional notes on Judge Thaddeus G. Holt:
His father, Thaddeus Holt, served for a short time in the state legislature and as a lieutenant colonel in the militia during the War of 1812. He participated in several duels during his life and was eventually murdered in October of 1813.

 

The Estate of Green Bullard

Green Bullard was a long time resident of the Rays Mill (now Ray City) area, and husband of Mary Ann Knight.   The Bullards owned land out Possum Creek Road and on toward the community of Cat Creek.  (See Green Bullard and Green Bullard Fought Sickness in the Civil War)

Following Green Bullard’s death in 1907, there was some dispute among his children and step-children over the administration of his estate.

One side of the family, represented by Buie & Knight, wanted Henry Needham Bullard appointed as administrator.  The other side, represented by William Hamilton Griffin, wanted Mallie Jones as administrator. Attorney William Hamilton Griffin,  who was judge of the Valdosta City Court and a former mayor of Valdosta. Col. Griffin was a native of Berrien County and had served previously as clerk of the Berrien County court and as Ordinary of Berrien County.

Children of Mary A. Knight and William A. Jones (1835-1866)

  1. William Malachi Jones (1861-1925)
  2. Adam Allen Jones (1863-1922)

Children of Green Bullard and Mary A. Knight

  1. Sally Louise Bullard  (1866 – 1919) married Albert B. Surrency
  2. Susan Bullard (1871 – 1950)  married Jesse Shelby “Doc” Shaw
  3. Fannie Bullard (1874 – 1941) married William Berrien Shaw
  4. Henry Needham Bullard (1878 – 1938) married Mary Johnson
  5. Louis Malone Bullard (1881 – 1945) married Dollie Howard Knight

The court challenge was reported in the April 11, 1908 edition of the Valdosta Times.

April 11, 1908 Adminstration of the estate of Green Bullard is contested by daughter Fannie Bullard Shaw

April 11, 1908 Administration of the estate of Green Bullard is contested by daughter Fannie Bullard Shaw

Valdosta Times
April 11, 1908

Contest Over Administration

    Mr. William B. Shaw, of Bainbridge, representing his wife [Fannie Bullard Shaw], accompanied by his attorney, Judge W. H. Griffin, and Mr. Will Simms, went to Nashville yesterday to appear before the ordinary there and have Mr. Henry Bullard made administrator of the estate of Greene Bullard.  Other heirs wanted Mr. Mallie Jones made administrator.  Judge Griffin represented one side and Buie & Knight the other.  Judge Patterson heard the arguments and later appointed the clerk of the superior court, probably as a compromise, or  until the matter may be given further consideration.

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Pasco Olandro Hall and the Porterdale Mill

Pasco Olandro

Pasco Olandro “Pad” Hall

Pasco Olandro “Pad” Hall was born June 30, 1890 in Rays Mill (nka Ray City), GA.    He was the adopted son of Cassie Lee Hall (1857-1944)  and John Lewis Hall (1858-1918). Pad grew up in Ray City, GA.

Family members say as a young man, “He had blue eyes, brown hair was dark complexion 5 feet 8 inches tall weighed approx 170 lbs.” His occupation was Blacksmith.

During World War I Pasco Hall was enlisted as a private in the Army.  He was inducted at Nashville, GA on November 8, 1918.  His service record shows he was with Battery D, 26th Artillery, Coastal Artillery Corps, Fort Screven, GA, until discharged. Fortunately the Armistice on 11 November 1918, ended the war in victory for the Allies and Pad never saw duty overseas. He received an Honorable Discharge on December 6, 1918 at Fort Screven GA.

Pasco Olandro Hall, WWI Service Record

Pasco Olandro Hall, WWI Service Record

After the war, Pad Hall moved to Porterdale, GA and went to work at the Porterdale Mill of the Bibb Manufacturing Company.  Bibb was one of the largest employers in the state.

Porterdale Mill on the Yellow River, GA

Porterdale Mill on the Yellow River, GA

By the time of the 1920 Census Pasco Olandro Hall was married to Ruby Kirkus, He was 27, Ruby was 17.  The couple were living in the Cedar Shoal district, Newton Co., GA. in the household of Leila Kirkus.

Pasco Olandro Hall died October 22, 1942 in Porterdale, Newton County, GA.  He was buried in the Hall Family Cemetery in Newton County, GA.

Grave of Pasco Olandro Hall

Grave of Pasco Olandro Hall

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