A Christmas Gun

Montgomery M. Folsom in 1889 sketched a Christmas scene from in old Berrien County in which he reminisced about his boyhood desire for a “Christmas gun.”

Montgomery Morgan Folsom (1857-1899) Montgomery M. Folsom was the eldest son of Dr. James Roundtree Folsom and Rachel Inman Swain. He was a grandson of Randal Folsom and great grandson of Lawrence Armstrong Folsom, one of the pioneer settlers of Lowndes County, GA. On his mother’s side he was a grandson of Sarah Wooten and Morgan G. Swain, early residents of Troupville, GA.

Montgomery Morgan Folsom (1857-1899)
Montgomery M. Folsom was the eldest son of Dr. James Roundtree Folsom and Rachel Inman Swain. He was a grandson of Randal Folsom and great grandson of Lawrence Armstrong Folsom, one of the pioneer settlers of Lowndes County, GA. On his mother’s side he was a grandson of Sarah Wooten and Morgan G. Swain, early residents of Troupville, GA.

In the antebellum plantation Christmas, according Marion Harland in The Christian Union,

The ‘Christmas gun’ was a big tree -oak or hickory- a cavity of which, natural or artificial, was plugged with powder and touched with a match. Guns and pistols were discharged in quick succession; canisters and bottles filled with gunpowder were set off under barrels and hogsheads. Everything that could explode and reverberate was brought into jubilant action. ‘Christmas comes but once a year’ was a formula that palliated disorder and excused hubbub… [At] midnight of Christmas Eve…as the clock tolled twelve… the simultaneous roar of the Christmas gun and the scattering detonations of smaller artillery which were kept up until sunrise. 

Given Folsom’s birth date of 1857, this memoir appears to describe Christmas during the Civil War seen through the eyes of a young boy ignorant of the work required to prepare for such a celebration.  His mentions of African-Americans participating in the Christmas celebration are pejorative references to his grandfather’s slave “Uncle Mose” and to the young slave boys,  children of slaves, the Christian Union said, for whom “The nominal holiday meant, for the domestic and stable staff, a week of incessant occupation – cooking, serving, cleaning, much grooming, harnessing, and driving, infinite hewing of wood and drawing of water.

Ragged Reminisences

How Grandpa Got Away With Me on the Christmas Gun.

Oh, I did want a Christmas gun so bad!

For weeks before Santa Claus had started on his rounds I was forever hanging round.

“Grandpa, how much do guns cost? Grandpa, can’t I buy a Christmas gun? Grandpa, get me a gun.”

The old gentleman must have got mighty tired of it, but I lived in hope if I died in despair.

In those days there were various ways of firing Christmas guns. Down at the shop Uncle Peter was able to make a pretty horrible explosion by spitting on the anvil, laying a piece of red hot iron on it and striking it a sharp blow with the big hammer.

I did not understand the reason for this at that time, but age and experience have informed me that it was the steam generated between the spittle and the hot iron. Now, if some other smart fellow would come along and explain to me just how comes steam to make a racket of that sort I shall be a wiser if a sadder man.

I guess it is on the same principle of a pop-gun, but I swear I’ve never correctly understood the principle of a pop gun, yet, I suppose like the Grecian philosopher, that with a gun long enough and a pusher strong enough, a fellow could make a tumultuous noise in the world.

Then there was another sort of a gun that was a rip roarer, but it was rather expensive. That was to bore an inch auger hole in a tree, drive a peg in the hole with a groove in it for the train, and put powder in the hole. The way we fired it was by laying a nice little train of powder, putting some shavings and scraps of cotton on it, setting the shavings afire, and then retreating to a safe distance.

This was a pretty good sort of a gun its own self, and it always reminded me of a story – a very funny story – that grandpa used to tell us about an Irishman who had an aching tooth.

The Irishman, according to grandpa’s version, put powder in the tooth, touched fire to it and ran.

With the full white light of modern research, and the gigantic strides of scientific investigation, I am led to believe that the Irishman was a myth and the whole story a hoax, but I believed it then, and I was happy.

I knew General DeLoach once swinged his eyebrows off and loosened his front teeth, fixing a train for one of those explosions, but the general had wet his eye so often that his vision was bad that day, so grandpa said.

I did want a gun so bad.

I made life exceedingly interesting for grandpa on the gun question.

But grandpa had some sense, and he waived the plea and I got no gun, although I got a good many other very nice things, among them a rag doll that affected my spirit sorely, for above all things I hated for anybody to suppose that I was not thoroughly masculine in all my preferences and predilections. I suppose I might have been a more useful citizen had I never changed my notions.

Old Christmas – you know that comes just twelve days after new Christmas – was a bright and beautiful day. On the night before I had sat on a log and shivered for half an hour to see if the sheep all got down on their knees, as folks said they did, on old Christmas eve. That is a superstition, you know, and they further allege that the black ones get up on their legs and the white ones kneel on the ground. I don’t know about that.

By sun up, and before the frost had melted from the woodpile, a dozen big fat hogs were being scraped and scalded, and we were busy getting the sausage mill ready, and preparing for a hog-killing time.

Then when they were swung up, we boys stood around and claimed melts and bladders. We wanted the melts to broil and the bladders to blow up. I laid siege to the big blue barrow, and stood guard over him for three mortal hours, getting in everybody’s way, and prancing around and cutting up generally, for fear of losing my rights.

It was royal fun to sharpen a twig and string a slice of melt on it and hang it over the glowing coals until it was done, and have it nicely seasoned with a pinch of salt.

I guess I could tackle one with undiminished gusto even unto this day. It was the lingering taint of the savage taste cropping out in our blood, and aided and abetted by the little negroes who were not far removed from the condition of their Hottentot ancestry, after all.

But after the feast was over we began on the bladders. It was a matter of personal pride with us to see who could blow up the biggest. We would blow and blow till our eyes stuck out like pot legs, and we would beat and bang them to make them stretch, and then we would brag about who had the biggest. I blew up the biggest bladder I ever saw that day. It was the big blue barrow that furnished me the material, and I was awful proud of it.

Grandpa, he kept eyeing it, and I noticed that the old gent was in high good humor. He held a conversation with Uncle Mose, and afterwards I could see that Uncle Mose was tickled half to death, and he would keep slipping, and sliding, and snickering around, and every now and then I would hear a half suppressed, “Jesus, Marster!”

They were plotting my downfall, but I, in my childish innocence, went on my way rejoicing.

John Exom had given me an old ramshackle of a flint and steel gun, with only a remnant of stock, and no lock at all. The old thing was rusty, and choked up, and looked like it had been lost in time of the Revolution.

I wanted to get the thing cleaned out, but in spite of all the washing and rubbing and scrubbing I could do, it remained plugged up. When I asked Uncle Peter about it he said I’d have to burn the rust out of it, and while they were finishing up the hogs I embraced the opportunity to clean out my gun. I thrust the breach into the dying embers, and left it while I worked at the bladder.

While I was tying it up securely Grandpa came up to me, whetting the big butcher knife.

“Well, my boy, you’ve got a big Christmas gun now.”

“Jesus, marster!” snickered Uncle Mose, who was standing near, with his back to us.

“Yes, sir, I’m gwine to save it till next Christmas.”

“Oh, no, I wouldn’t do that. To-day’s old Christmas, and that is just as good as new Christmas. Put it down and jump on it hard, now, and let us see what a gun you can shoot.”

“Oh, no, sir, I can’t,” said I.

“Jesus, marster,” whispered Uncle Mose under his breath.

“Why, yes you can. See here, do it this way,” He laid the bladder down near a puddle that had been made in scalding the hogs. He fixed his feet carefully, and went on to explain: “Now, draw in a long breath, place your feet carefully, jump away up—.—”

‘ Slam—bang!—splash!”

“Jesus, marster! Oh, I’m shot!” squealed Uncle Mose, as he jumped up and down and rubbed himself.

Everything was confusion, and as the smoke rose Grandpa picked himself up from the mudhole, with the remains of the bursted bladder clinging to his pants.

“What in the name of common sense is the matter, Moses? Was it loaded?”

Then he saw the old gun barrel smoking in front of the furnace, and the hot coals scattered all around, and he took in the situation.

Uncle Mose walked half bent longer than I did, though…

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Isham Jordan Fought Indians, Opened Early Wiregrass Roads

Isham Jordan worked in 1823 to open John Coffee’s Road from Jacksonville, GA to the Florida line, thus opening for settlement old Irwin County which then encompassed Lowndes and Berrien, and other counties of Wiregrass Georgia.  Isham Jordan, along with Burrell Henry Bailey and others had worked to survey and mark the first public roads in Irwin County.

When Coffee’s road was cut, Jordan and the other hunters who supplied meat to the work party were honored in the songs and stories of the Wiregrass pioneers. Some of these verses were passed down in the works of Montgomery M. Folsom (see also Pennywell Folsom fell at Brushy Creek), whom Folks Huxford described as “a sort of grandson of old Troupville,” Georgia.

“Yonder comes ole Isham Jordan,
That ole ‘onest huntin’ man.
Glorious tidin’s he doth bring,
Swain has kilt another turkey hent.

We’ll allow the New Convention;
We’ll all allow the rights of men;
We’ll allay the Injun nation;
The volunteers and the drafted men.”

Isham Jordan and John Coffee were among the early pioneer settlers of Telfair County, GA. Telfair was formed from Wilkinson County in 1807, and named for Edward Telfair.

When Pulaski County was created in 1808, the legislative act,

“Provided, That until the court-houfe fhall be erected the elections and courts for faid county fhall be held at the houfe of Ifham Jordan.”

1822 map detail of Telfair County, GA and Pulaski County, GA

1822 map detail of Telfair County, GA and Pulaski County, GA

The first term of Pulaski Superior Court held in 1809 at Isham Jordan’s house on Jordan’s Creek, presided over by Judge Peter Early.  Early, whose family had one of the largest slaveholding plantations in Greene County, was an outspoken opponent of any attempts to outlaw the importation of African slaves.

Unfortunately, the first three census schedules for Georgia (1790-1810)  are missing, thus there is no 1810 enumeration of Isham Jordan.  Legal actions indicate that Isham Jordan appeared in 1813 before Justice of the Peach, Josiah Cawthorn, in Telfair County, GA where a judgement was found against him in the amount of $25 in favor of Adam G. Saffold. Saffold subsequently assigned the debt to his attorney, Griffin Mizell.

Georgia, Jones County:
Know all men by these presents that I do by these presents constitute and appoint Griffin Mizell my true and lawful attorney so far as to take full and complete control of a judgement in my favor on a note of $25 against Isham Jordan in the Justice’s Court held before Josiah Cawthorn in the county of Telfair; receipt for and receive the same & apply the amount to his own use. May 5th, 1813
(Signed)
Adam G. Saffold.
Carter & Mizell Correspondence

 

Telfair County court records show legal actions were taken against Isham Jordan and Nancy Moore in 1817. Apparently, a bench warrant was issued for their arrest for failure to appear in court. They were hauled before the court and subsequently posted bond in the amount of $800 against their future appearance.

The State vs Isham Jordan & Nancy Moore, Fi Fa, 1817

A rule having been obtained for the Sheriff to return into court the above fi fa with his actings and doings thereon or show to the contrary and cause having been shewn ordered that said rule be discharged.
Petit Jury Sworn
  1. Richard Wooten
  2. William Studstill
  3. Wilkins Fulwood
  4. Arch McLeod
  5. Joseph Fletcher
  6. Jacob Cravey
  7. Meriden Messec
  8. Stephen Hubert
  9. Joshua McCann
10. William Moore
11. William Mooney
12. Henry Jones

The State vs Isham Jordan & Nancy Moore

          William Hendry [sheriff?] surrendered the principles in Court it is therefore ordered that the said be discharged from his recognizance.
         Isham Jordan and Nancy Moore and Andrew Posey aknowledge themselves indebted to the Governor and his Successors in office in the Sum of eight hundred dollars to be void on the condition that the said Jordan and Moore appear at the next Superior Court and not depart without leave thereof.

         his
Isham X Jordan
mark

          her
Nancy X Moore
mark

Andrew Jolly

 

In 1818, it was Isham Jordan who reported the Battle of Breakfast Branch, subsequently conveyed by letter to Governor William Rabun and published in the Milledgeville, GA newspapers.

JOURNAL OFFICE
Milledgeville, March 11, 1818.
Skirmish with Indians.

The following was received this evening by express to the Governor:

Hartford, March 10th, 1818.

Sir :—I have this moment received information through Mr. Isham Jordan, of Telfair County, which I rely on, of a skirmish between the Indians and some of the citizens of Telfair, on the south side of the Ocmulgee River, in the afternoon of the 9th inst., twenty or twenty-five miles below this.

On the night of the 3d inst., Joseph Bush and his son were fired upon by a party of Indians, the father killed, and the son severely wounded and scalped, but he so far recovered as to reach home in two days after. The citizens having received information of the foregoing facts, assembled on the 9th instant to the number of thirty-six, and crossed the river in the forenoon to seek redress. Finding considerable signs of Indians, they pursued the trail leading from the river some distance out, where they came in view of a body of savages, fifty or sixty, advancing within gun-shot. The firing was commenced by each party, and warmly kept up for three-quarters of an hour. A part of the detachment effected their retreat, bringing off one badly wounded; four are certainly killed; the balance of the detachment has not been heard from; Major Cothom, (commandant of the Telfair Militia,) is among the missing. Four Indians were killed.

From information, the citizens below this are much alarmed, and leaving their homes, I have thought proper to communicate the foregoing to you by express. I am your Excellency’s most obedient servant,

Richard H. Thomas, Lieutenant-Colonel.

In consequence of the foregoing, the Pulaski Troop of Cavalry has been ordered out by the Executive, to scour the frontier and afford protection to the inhabitants. – The Telfair detachment we fear, has suffered greatly and we shall rejoice, if all who are missing have not perished. It would seem, that the Indians confiding in superior numbers, had sought to draw out the militia, by permitting the young man whom they scalped to reach the settlement.

Another Milledgeville newspaper added:

Rumour says, that the part of the detachment who are spoken of as having effected a retreat, fled at the beginning of the action, leaving the rest, most of whom have since returned, to contend with the Indians. Mitchell Griffin, Esq., Senator from Telfair, was among the killed.

Battle of Breakfast Branch, March 9, 1818 -Georgia Historic Marker

Battle of Breakfast Branch, March 9, 1818 -Georgia Historic Marker

Unfortunately, the attack on the Bushes and the Battle of Breakfast Branch helped to precipitate the Chehaw Massacre,  perpetrated by Georgia militia soldiers upon a village of Native Americans who were actually friendly to the American government.

By 1820, Isham Jordan and his family appear in the census records of Irwin County, GA.  The enumeration indicates Jordan was a neighbor of Burrell Bailey.

1820 Census enumeration of Isham Jordan in Irwin County, GA

1820 Census enumeration of Isham Jordan in Irwin County, GA

At the first term of the Superior Court of Irwin County, held September 21, 1820, Isham Jordan was drawn to serve on the first Petit Jury. The court was held at the house of David Williams, on land lot 147, 4th District of Irwin County. His Honor Thomas W. Harris was Judge, and Thaddeus G. Holt was Solicitor. The only business transacted was the drawing of the Grand and Petit Jury for the next term of court. Among those selected as Jordan’s jury mates for the first Petit Jury were Sion Hall and Drew Vickers. Burrell Bailey, Willis King, Elijah Beasley and Ludd Mobley were among those selected to serve on the first Grand Jury.

At the second term of the court the Petit Jury was not called for duty, but Isham Jordan faced charges brought by the Grand Jury for alleged adultery and fornication:

The second term was held at the house of David Williams on March 29, 1821. Judge T. W. Harris presiding, T. G. Holt, Solicitor-General. The only business transacted was by the Grand Jury as follows:

“We, the Grand Jury, for the county of Irwin, at a Superior Court held at the house of David Williams on the 29th day of March, 1821, make the following presentment. We present Isham Jordon and Nancy Moore for living in a state of adultery and fornication in the county aforesaid on the 28th day of March, 1821 and before that time. We present Alexander McDonal and Barbary Kelly for living in a state adultery and fornication in the county of Irwin on the twenty-eighth day of March, 1821, and before.”
(Signed)
Samuel Boyd, Foreman; David Hunter, Thomas Burnett, John Sutton, David Callaway, Achibald McInnis, Elijah Beasley, Redding Hunter, Willis King, James Rutherford, James Burnett, Ludd Mobley, David Allen, David Williams, William Hall, Daniel Burnett, Nathaniel Statum, Green Graham.

It appears that Jordan and Moore stood trial for the charge of adultery and fornication.  An undated Court record provides the following

The State vs Isom Jourdon & Nancy Moore
Adultery & Fornication
Verdict
We find the defendants not Guilty
Thomas Fulgham, foreman

 

 

Irwin County court records show Jordan and Bailey served together as a road commissioners.

At the July term, 1821, an order was passed establishing a public road in Irwin County beginning at the county line at Ludd Mobley and continue a river road, crossing House Creek at David Calaway ford and continue to the upper line, and Ludd Mobley, Willis King and Murdock McDuffie were appointed to lay out and mark said road beginning at county line up to House Creek and Green G. Graham, Burrell [Henry] Bailey and Isham Jordan were appointed to lay out and mark said read from House Creek to upper line of county.

At July term, 1822, an order was passed appointing David Calaway, Isham Jordan and Nathaniel Statum, commissioners, to lay out and mark a river road beginning at David Calaway ford on House Creek and up to line of the county.

Isham Jordan subsequently appears in the 1830 census of Irwin County.

1830 Census enumeration of Isham Jordan in Irwin County, GA

1830 Census enumeration of Isham Jordan in Irwin County, GA

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Becky Bullard of Nashville

Margaret Rebecca Bullard, of Nashville, GA graduated in 1963 from Wesleyan College, Macon, GA.

Margaret Rebecca Bullard 1963 yearbook photo, Wesleyan College, Macon, GA

Margaret Rebecca Bullard 1963 yearbook photo, Wesleyan College, Macon, GA

Margaret Rebecca Bullard
Nashville, GA
Psychology
Who is the girl to meditate over jokes and then laugh the Loudest? – Becky –
Who writes her “day by day” account of independent study one hour before it’s due? -Becky-
Who can pack cosmetics, hair dryer, and a hat or two in one traincase for a week-end trip to Atlanta -only Becky-
And who can manage a full academic schedule, ten hours a week of work in the alumnae office (with coffee breaks and perusals of the society page), nightly trips to the “Pig,” and frequent visits home to Nashville (the big city with two traffic lights)? -our own fun-loving and friend-making Becky.
She is a bubble of vitality, a portrait of true goodness, and a symbol of honor and truth which all could use as a model. Becky can have no unsolvable problems; for with the objectivity of a psychology major, the warm understanding of a person who loves people, and the eager anticipation of her all-white wedding and fifty years in a full nine-passenger Chevrolet station wagon, Becky has already found her way of life and living.

Wesley Fellowship 1, 4, treasurer 2, secretary 3; Town and Country 1, 2, 3, 4; French Club 1; Volleyball 1, 2; Dance Club; Soccer 2; Executive Stunt Committee 3, 4; Psychology Club 4.

 

Psychology Club, 1963, Wesleyan College, Macon, GA <br> "The objective of a study of PSYCHOLOGY is to understand the abilities, motives, thoughts, and actions of people. Understanding of self and of others is a primary goal. The study is designed to help a person in all areas of life, especially as a Christian, as a homemaker, and as a member of a civic and social group."

Psychology Club, 1963, Wesleyan College, Macon, GA

“The objective of a study of PSYCHOLOGY is to understand the abilities, motives, thoughts, and actions of people. Understanding of self and of others is a primary goal. The study is designed to help a person in all areas of life, especially as a Christian, as a homemaker, and as a member of a civic and social group.”

 

Newspaper Staff, 1963, Town and Country, Wesleyan College, Macon, GA <br> The Name Town and Country dates back to the dates when the Wesleyan campus was in two locations, with the fine arts students in the conservatory in town, and the liberal arts students here at Rivoli. Since that time, of course, the entire school has been moved out to the present location, but the name of the newspaper has stayed with us. The "T and C" is published by the students bi-monthly and endeavors to represent the entire student body in its news coverage and in its editorial policies. The staff is composed of volunteers with a special emphasis being given to any major requirements except for advanced staff positions. In spite of its lack of professional guidance however, the paper has proven to be of almost professional quality and has shown the maintenance of high standards throughout.

Newspaper Staff, 1963, Town and Country, Wesleyan College, Macon, GA

“The name Town and Country dates back to the dates when the Wesleyan campus was in two locations, with the fine arts students in the conservatory in town, and the liberal arts students here at Rivoli. Since that time, of course, the entire school has been moved out to the present location, but the name of the newspaper has stayed with us.
The “T and C” is published by the students bi-monthly and endeavors to represent the entire student body in its news coverage and in its editorial policies. The staff is composed of volunteers with a special emphasis being given to any major requirements except for advanced staff positions. In spite of its lack of professional guidance however, the paper has proven to be of almost professional quality and has shown the maintenance of high standards throughout.”

The March, 1963 edition of Town and Country included the note, “A word to the wise: Let’s be careful about those trips to the “city” with three traffic lights, Becky Bullard! By the way, what’s that on your fourth finger, left hand?”

And the April 25 edition followed up with this:

TELL IT!!
by Hilda Jackson

All year I’ve told it— everything, that is, that wasn’t cut for one reason or another. And there’s one other important thing that I haven’t told — what are all there ring clad, pin clad, or the left out loafer and sack clad seniors going to do now that they have poise, personality, and an education?

This summer is absolutely terrifying filled with the clang, clang of wedding bells. Ann Hutchings is marrying her old professor Jack Bauer in June. Elaine Evatt and Ronnie are taking their infamous train early in June, also. Barbara Johnston will set up housekeeping in their plush chevy with the piped in music after June 23. Nancy Williams and Ned can save gas money this summer — ^they won’t have to drive back to the dorm at 12:00 each night — they’re getting married, too. Carolyn Akin, our future alumnae president, will become Mrs. John Henderson in June of 1963!

Diane Lumpkin stands alone in July unless Becky Bullard has chosen this month. (Becky was out with HIM when I wrote this). Diane and Dewitt have chosen July 6 to make that final payment on the king-size bed.

 

 

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Emily Britton Parker, Ray City Teacher

Reverend Robert H. Howren ~ Methodist Circuit Rider

Reverend John Slade of the Troupville Circuit

1949, Ray City School, 3rd Grade

Ray City School, Third Grade, 1949

Special Thanks to Chris Clements for sharing Ray City School records.

1949 Ray City School 3rd grade

1949 Ray City School 3rd grade

 

1949 Ray City School 3rd Grade Roster

1949 Ray City School 3rd Grade Roster

  • Harold Scarboro – Harold Duane Scarboro [Scarbrough] -born December 16, 1939, a son of Elmo Clifton Scarbrough and Ruth Martin. His father helped build Moody Air Force Base. The family home was a two-dollar-a-month rental place in the Lois community on the Ray City and Hahira Road. Harold’s grandparents, Lela and Charlie M. Scarbrough, rented the house next door, and uncle Paul Allen Scarbrough was nearby. His brother, Charles Scarbrough, was a Ray City Senior in 1949.
  • Christine Akeridge
  • Leon McCullers – Leon Franklin McCullers, born October 30, 1940, a son of Leroy McCullers and Verdy Martin.  His father was a farmer and a veteran of WWII. His siblings, Dorothy McCullers and James Wesley McCullers, also attended the Ray City School.
  • Martha D. Flowers was a daughter of Ola Browning and James H. Flowers. Her parents were lodging with Lewis D. Browning in a home on the Ray City & Nashville Road in the Lois community. Her father worked as a farm laborer.
  • Bob Cook – Robert Eugene Cook – born July 26, 1936, a son of Isaac Clayton Cook and Mattie E. Sirmans. His father’s occupation in 1940 was fishing. He was a brother of Betty Jo Cook and Bertha Nancy Cook.  The Cooks rented a house on Jones Street, Ray City, GA.
  • Betty Burkhalter – Betty Madie Burkhalter, born March 4, 1938, a daughter of Phillip I Burkhalter and Edna Gertrude Brantley.  Her father was a farmer.  When she was a toddler her great grandfather, Gus Calhoun, lived with the family.
  • Edward Carter
  • J. D. Cone – John Dewey “JD” Cone, born May 27, 1940,  was the son of Dewey Lesley Cone and Velma Sowell Cone. In 1940, the family lived in the Lois community, just west of Ray City, on a rented farm. JD’s father worked as a laborer. By 1942, JD’s father took a job with Henry Gornto working on his farm about a mile and a half southeast of Ray City.
  • Dorothy Skinner – Dorothy L Skinner, born July 23, 1940, a daughter of Payton Shelton Skinner and Mary E. Akridge Skinner.
  • Wilmer Smith
  • Bonnie Fountain
  • Wendell Browning
  • Deloris Barnard – Iris Delores Barnard, born August 19, 1939 in Ray City, GA, a daughter of Charlie Jackson Barnard (1909-1970) and Lola Lee Davis ( 1919-2009). She was the granddaughter of Andrew Jackson Barnard and Nettie Ray Barnard, residents of the Lois community just west of Ray City. She was the sister of Ann Barnard and Charles Barnard.
  • Grace Carter
  • Marion McKuhen
  • Mary Justic
  • Earl Warren
  • Lawana Snipe – LaJuana Jean Snipes, born January 4, 1940, a daughter of Arthur Leonard Snipes (1907–1962) and Louise Elizabeth Garner Snipes (1909–1997), and a granddaughter of Asa Duggan Garner and Bessie Yopp Garner.  She was a sister of Donald Dale Snipes (1943-2016). The Snipes lived in the Lois Community just west of Ray City. Some time in the 1940s the Snipes moved to a house on the south side of Jones Street  in the middle of the block east of Ward Street.  In the late 1950s the family moved just outside the Ray City city limits on the Adel Highway.
  • Willard Bates – attended the New Lois school by 1952
  • Bobby Smith
  • Earl Snipe
  • Kenneth Griner
  • Myrtle Myers
  • Billy Sirmans – Billy Lawton Sirmans, born October 14, 1939, a son of John Abner Sirmans and Lettie Studstill. His father was a veteran of WWI.
  • C. Fountain
  • Gene Baldree
  • M. Fountain
  • R. Dampier –  Ronald Edward Dampier, born December 12, 1940 in Ray City, GA, a son of J W Dampier and Ardie Kent Dampier,
  • Jan Moore was a daughter of Ferris Moore, who was the Ray City iceman.
  • J. Jefferson
  • C. Sirmans
  • Johnny Wood –   He was a son of Jewel and Remer Wood.  His father was a smoke house operator. The family home was on Jones Street and the smokehouse was in the back yard. People would come by the house to buy smoked meat.  Johnny Wayne Wood later moved to Savannah. He came back to Ray City and worked as the Chief of Police.
  • M. Smith
  • Bobby Pevy
  • Carol May
  • Alvis Sauls – a son of Alvis Sauls (1914-1989) and Kathleen Warren Sauls (1917-1977)
  • Bobby Green

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George W. Davis ~ Methodist Circuit Rider

George W. Davis was an early circuit riding Methodist preacher in Lowndes County, GA.  He was sent from the Tallahassee District in 1832 to ride the newly created Lowndes (later Troupville) Circuit. This was when Lowndes County encompassed a vast area of south Georgia including much of present day Lowndes, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Tift, Echols, and Lanier counties, and the county seat of government was at Franklinville, GA.

Methodist Circuit Rider in the early days. The history of Georgia Methodism from 1786 to 1866.

Methodist Circuit Rider in the early days. The history of Georgia Methodism from 1786 to 1866.

The privations of the early circuit-riders (as they soon became known) were such that the health of most of these vanguards of the Cross was soon broken.  Subjected to bitter cold and at other times to unbearable heat, oftentimes with the ground as a bed at night, fording impassable streams, long distances between settlers and between preaching points, no roads, no bridges, no churches (and even when some were formed they were too weak to afford any financial help to the pastor), with many natural enemies in addition to the lurking Indian, long absences from home and kindred, with the heavy spiritual care of a struggling mission work upon their shoulders, it was no wonder that many of the early pioneer preachers died in the prime of life, while others had to take enforced “locations” on account of broken health. It was thus that the first young preacher sent out on the newly established Lowndes Mission in 1832, died at the age of 24 years.

The loss of Rev. Davis weighed in the reflections of Rev. Robert H. Howren,  who would soon follow in this young circuit-rider’s footsteps round the Methodist churches of Lowndes County. In his memoirs Howren said:

Rev. George W. Davis, the first pastor of the Lowndes Mission, was born in Morgan County, Ga., in 1808, and was converted in 1824 in a camp-meeting near Monticello, Jasper County, [FL]. In 1828 he felt a call to preach and was admitted on trial into the Georgia Conference, later into the full connection. He was assigned to the traveling ministry in which he continued  with great fortitude and faithfulness despite hardships and trials, until his death. His first work in South Georgia was in 1830 when he served as Junior Preacher on the Liberty County Mission, Savannah District. The next year he was assigned to the Appling County Mission, a truly pioneer work. In January, 1832, he was assigned to the newly-formed Lowndes Mission but did not live to wind up the year, dying suddenly within two minutes on November 17, 1832 at the home of Joseph McBride in Florida. (From Conference Obituary).

 

Though his death was sudden, the righteousness of his life gives assurance that he died in the Lord. Being seated at the table in company with some of his brethren at the house of brother Joseph McBride, in Florida, he suddenly sunk down and expired in about two minutes, November 27, 1832, in the twenty-fourth year of his age.  -Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church, 1840

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