Boyette Sisters at Georgia State Womens College

Dorothy and Doris Boyette at Georgia State Womans College

Doris Boyett, of Ray City, GA at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Doris Boyett, of Ray City, GA at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Dorothy Boyett, of Ray City, GA at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA. 1945

Dorothy Boyett, of Ray City, GA at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA. 1945

In 1944, Doris Boyette was a senior at GSWC and her younger sister,  Dorothy “Dot” Boyette was a freshman.  Doris was born 27 Oct 1923; Dot was born May 14, 1926. The girls grew up just east of Ray City, GA, in the adjacent portion of Lanier County. Their parents were Eddie D. Boyette  and Mattie Deen Boyette.

At GSWC, Doris was living in Ashley Hall,  a dormitory for sophomores; her roommate was Clare Carson, who was president of the sophomore class.

October 4, 1944 GSWC Campus Canopy mentions petite blond Dorothy

October 4, 1944 GSWC Campus Canopy mentions petite blond Doris Boyette, of Ray City, GA

Among the Boyette’s 1945 classmates was Carolyn DeVane, also of Ray City, GA. There have been many other Ray City women of G.S.W.C. over the years.

Ashley Hall, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA 1845

Ashley Hall, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA 1845

The girls’ activities in 1944-45 included the Polio Drive, scrap paper salvage, planting the Camellia Trail, and dancing with those men from Moody Airfield.  The May 9, 1944 edition of the Campus Canopy student newspaper reported. “It’s boy trouble for Dot Boyette…which of the four do you intend dating Sunday night, Dot? – Gee, we wish we could get one date. ”

1945 women of GSWC at Saturday night dance with the men from Moody Airfield.

1945 women of GSWC at Saturday night dance with the men from Moody Airfield.

The October 4, 1944 school newspaper reported:

“There they were, standing all alone just waiting for us to ask them to dance…Men, men and more men and not one of them had a chance.
    To quote one Freshman, Ann Maddox, “It was wonderful just to look at a man.”
    The dance was swell, but that familiar tap on another’s shoulder could mean one of two things…height of ecstasy or depths of despair…’til the next girl broke. This from Lawanda McCellar, as if she were just tearing herself away from it all.
    “Course I wished my fella had been there,” sighed Mary Tharpe, but what chance would I have had with him if he had been.”
    Annes Jean NeSmith summed it all up in a few words…”Plenty of men, good dancers, nice plausible lines, and I can hardly wait ’til next Saturday night.”
    “I’m still overcome by the sight of those men, to express an honest opinion.” says Betsy Markert still in a daze.
    “All in all the opinion of Converse is that it was wonderful and everybody had a good time, but give us men. We see women all week, is the general idea.
    Favorable opinions were not limited to the college girls though. Several of the Moody Field boys were carefully eavesdropped on. Result: “I just can’t believe it, so many girls. If I were to write my mother and say 15 girls cut in on me she would say I was crazy drunk, or lying.”

The hit songs those college girls were swooning to in 1944-45?  The Campus Canopy mentioned:

In 1945, Dorothy Boyett was elected treasurer of the Baptist Student Union.  In the Winter Quarter, 1945 Dorothy “Dot” Boyette was elected to the Sophomore Council.  “Members of the house council check lights, cards and attend the simple cases of Student Government violation. They are elected at the beginning of each quarter to serve a term of three months.”  Dot Boyett also served on the advertising staff and the business staff of the Campus Canopy.

By late 1945 Dorothy Boyette left Georgia State Womans College and was working in Brunswick, GA.

Dot married Charles Gordon Howell. He was a grandson of Caswell Howell, pioneer settler and one of the first ministers of the First Baptist Church of  Milltown (now Lakeland), GA. Dot and Charles raised crops and children in Lakeland, GA. Their son, Charles Howell, Jr. became Chief of Pediatric Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia. Their grandson, Charles Howell III, is a professional golfer.  Dorothy Boyette died June 2,1985. Interment was at Lakeland City Cemetery, Lakeland, GA.

Doris Boyette married John Sears and moved to Atlanta, GA.

Obituary of Doris Boyette Sears

Doris Boyett Sears age 87, of Atlanta, GA, passed on Sunday, June 26, 2011. She was predeceased by her husband, John Sears, daughter, Susan Elaine Sears, sisters, Irene B. Smith and Dorothy B. Howell. She is survived by her daughter, Pamela McKinney of Lawrenceville, sister, Louise Davidson of Bonaire, GA, brother, Earl Boyett of Lakeland, GA. 2 grandchildren, Robert Morris and Jennifer Shelton, 4 great grandchildren, Kayla Shelton, Savannah Shelton, Avri Shelton and Joshua Morris, numerous nieces and nephews, cousins and extended family also survive. Mrs. Sears was a charter member of the Johns Creek Baptist Church, a member of the Senior Choir, a Food Pantry Volunteer and an avid Gardner. A Funeral Service to Celebrate the Life of Mrs. Sears will be at 3:00 P.M. on Thursday, June 30, 2011 at Wages Lawrenceville Chapel. Interment will follow in the White Chapel Memorial Gardens, Duluth.

Twiggs Caulk Felled by Typhoid Pneumonia

Twiggs Caulk

Samuel “Twiggs” Caulk was  a son of  Emma L. Henderson and James Allen Caulk, born in Madison, FL on December 31, 1889.  His father died when Twiggs was about eight years old.  When he was 15, his mother was remarried to Ray’s Mill widower Edward J. Boyette.

In the Census of  1910, Twigg’s mother and sisters were enumerated in the household of Edward J. Boyette at Ray’s Mill, GA. The Boyette home was on Jones Street near the home of Dr. Charles X. Jones.  Boyette was a butcher, operating a meat market in Ray City on his own account. Twiggs Caulk was not enumerated in his step-father’s house, and his home at that time is not known.

The obituary below indicates that Twiggs Caulk contracted Typhoid pneumonia in 1911.  In an apparent mis-print the obituary refers to E.J. Boyette as his father-in-law, rather than as his step-father.

Moving on Up: John and Mary Jane Boyett’s Retouched Portrait

In the modern world of “glamour shot” photography,  a few digital improvements photoshopped into the family portrait are perhaps expected.  But even in the 1930s,  a family photo  could be upgraded with the judicious application of a little paint.  In fact, according to digital forensics expert, Dr. Hany Farid, “photographs have been manipulated for nearly as long as photography has been around. The nearly iconic portrait of Abraham Lincoln (circa 1860), for example, is a composite of Lincoln’s head and Senator John Calhoun’s body.”

Sharp-eyed reader, Richard Wheeler,  recently commented that the “formal” portrait of Mary Jane Sirmans and John Boyett (see John Boyett (1865-1938) ~ Ray City Farmer) is actually a retouched version of a more casual photograph of the couple (see The Calhoun Farm), presented here, side-by-side.   The Boyett’s home place was situated southeast of Ray City, GA on the shore of Banks Lake.

John Boyette (1865-1938) and Mary Jane Sirmans Boyett (1867-1946). John Boyett's land consisted of more than 1000 acres situated in present day western Lanier County, GA. (Image courtesy of

Original photo of John Boyette and Mary Jane Sirmans Boyett, circa 1930-31. Image courtesy of

Edward John Boyette and Mary Jane Sirmans, circa 1900. Image courtesy of I. Mitchell Calhoun.

Retouched family portrait of John Boyette and Mary Jane Sirmans Boyett. Image courtesy of I. Mitchell Calhoun.

” My mother, a great grand daughter of John and MaryJane’s has the exact same portrait (shown above, right) hanging in her living room,” said Wheeler. “In this photo John’s jacket and tie are painted on and Mary Jane’s dress and shawl are painted over. In the original (above, left) my great grandmother can be seen holding my grandfather as a infant, but they are painted out of these doctored portraits. This photo was taken 1930 or early 31. John died April 2 1938, from injury/illness days after crashing his pick-up truck.”

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Early School House

As a young girl, Lueannie Boyett Calhoun, daughter of John Boyette (1865-1938) and Mary Jane Sirmans Boyett (1867-1946),  attended the common schools of the area.

She probably attended the Grand Bay School, about which Nell Patten Roquemore wrote:

Grand Bay School was in the Crum-Boyett-Giddens-Baskin community, west of Milltown. (The building is still in use as a pack house on the W.B. Boyett farm.) Bob Patten had taught there before the turn of the century. Among the pupils there were Mary Crum and Larue Giddens.

Lueannie Boyett Calhoun photographed circa 1980 in front of the school she attended as a young girl.

Lueannie Boyett Calhoun photographed circa 1980 in front of the school she attended as a young girl. The School was situated on Baskins Road, near Ray City, GA in present day Lanier County. Image courtesy of Mitchell Calhoun.

The Marriage of Joe Calhoun and Lue Annie Boyett

Lue Annie Boyette, born May 27, 1899 was the only daughter of Mary Jane Sirmans and John Boyett,  subject of previous posts. Her father was a large landowner with a farm near Ray City in Berrien County.

Luannie Boyette & Joseph Burton Calhoun of Ray City, GA, 1919. Image courtesy of I. Mitcchell Calhoun.

Lue Annie Boyett & Joseph Burton Calhoun of Ray City, GA, 1919. Image courtesy of I. Mitchell Calhoun.

Lue Annie married Joseph Burton Calhoun on March 4, 1918 in Berrien County, GA.  She was a bride of 19; he was a 26 year-old groom, of medium height and build, blue eyed and blond haired.,190170

Joseph Burton Calhoun, in army uniform, 1819.

Joseph Burton Calhoun, in army uniform, 1819. Image courtesy of I. Mitchell Calhoun.

Joseph Burton Calhoun was a son of Samuel Augustus “Gus” Calhoun and Rachel B. Bullard, born and raised in Rays Mill, GA (nka Ray City). Prior to marriage he had been living in Moultrie, GA where in 1917, he was employed by J.M. Bryan as a mechanic.

In 1918, the newlyweds were separated by the Great War, as Joe entered service in the U.S. Army. (Joseph Burton Calhoun ~ WWI Soldier)

Lue Annie and Joseph first made their home in Ray City, where they were enumerated in the 1920 census. Joseph continued his trade as an auto mechanic, now working on his own account. They had a house right on Main Street, where Lue Annie cared for their children, Alberta and Joseph B., Jr.

Enumeration of Luannie Boyette and Joseph Burton Calhoun, 1920, Ray City, GA

Enumeration of Lou Annie Boyette and Joseph Burton Calhoun, 1920, Ray City, GA

By the Census of 1930, Joseph and Lue Annie Calhoun had moved to Orlando, FL. There, Joseph Burton Calhoun continued his profession as an automobile mechanic. Lue Annie kept house and raised their three children.

Enumeration of Joseph and Luannie Calhoun, 1930 Census, 1403 South Division St., Orlando, FL

Enumeration of Joseph and Lou Annie Calhoun, 1930 Census, 1403 South Division St., Orlando, FL

In 1935, the Calhoun’s owned a home at 4074 35th Ave N. in St. Petersburg, FL. Joseph worked as a service station attendant.

Enumeration of Joseph B. and Luannie Boyette Calhoun, 1935 Florida State Census, St. Petersburg, FL.

Enumeration of Joseph B. and Lue Annie Boyette Calhoun, 1935 Florida State Census, St. Petersburg, FL.

When Lue Annie’s father,  John Boyett,  died in 1938, his estate was divided among his nine children. His only daughter, Lue Annie Boyett Calhoun, inherited just over 100 acres of the family farm. Lue Annie and her husband moved from Florida back to the farm near Ray City, GA.

For the next 3o years, Lue Annie and Joe raised their children and crops on the Calhoun farm. They were well known citizens of the Ray City and Lakeland area. They were members of the Ray City Baptist Church and the Lakeland Parent-Teacher Association. Joe was a member of  Masonic Lodge #434, and a member of the committee that oversaw the construction of a new Lodge Hall at Lakeland, GA in the 1940s.

Joseph Burton Calhoun died in 1972 and was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery in Ray City. For fifteen more years Lue Annie continued to live on the Calhoun Farm, but 1987 she returned to Florida to live out her final years.  She died in 1993 in Winter Garden, FL.  She was laid to rest at Beaver Dam Cemetery next to her husband.

John Boyett (1865-1938) ~ Ray City Farmer

Edward John Boyett was a brother of William Jackson Boyett.

John Boyett’s parents were among the pioneer settlers of Berrien County.  His father,  William Hill Boyett, came   to then Lowndes County area from North Carolina as a boy , about 1853, and later acquired land near present day Ray City,  GA.  John Boyett’s mother, Jemima Taylor, was born January 22, 1842 in South Carolina, and came to Georgia with her family in the early 1850s.   His parents were married on Christmas Day, Dec 25, 1856 in Berrien County, GA  exactly ten months after the county was formed.

Edward John Boyette and Mary Jane Sirmans, circa 1900.  Image courtesy of I. Mitchell Calhoun.

Edward John Boyette and Mary Jane Sirmans, circa 1900. Image courtesy of I. Mitchell Calhoun.

John Boyett was born on his mother’s 23rd birthday, January 22, 1865, during the Civil War.  At the time his father was serving in Columbus, GA making shoes for the Confederate States Army.   Folks Huxford reported:

“Mr. BOYETT volunteered Aug. 22, 1862, in Co., “I”, 50th Georgia Infantry Regiment, C.S.A., as a private.  He was detailed as a shoemaker Nov. 17, 1862 and sent to Columbus, Ga., where he rendered that service to the army until February, 1865.  He was paroled at Thomasville, May 11, 1865, and returned home.”

John Boyett grew up on his father’s farm in the 1300 Georgia Militia District, near Ray City.

On January 15, 1891 John Boyett married Mary Jane Sirmans in Berrien County, Georgia.,191792

According to  Mitchell Calhoun, grandson of the subject, “Edward John Boyett was a rather large farm owner in the early 1900s between Ray City and Lakeland, Georgia.  They lived along ‘Boyett Road’ and that general area.  There are quite a number of Boyett descendants in that area today.  And the Empire Church and the Beaver Dam Cemetery at the First Baptist Church of Ray City has a lot of their graves.”

Boyette Road near Ray City, GA.

Boyette Road near Ray City, GA.

John Boyett died in 1938 and his estate was divided among  his nine children.

Gravemarker of John Boyett, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Gravemarker of John Boyett, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

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Ruth Boyette Married Dillard Markham During WWII

On New Year’s  Day, 1943 the Clinch County News announced the marriage of Ruth Boyette and Sergeant Dillard Maurice Markham.  She was from Ray City, GA, a daughter of Hattie Mae Dean  and Grover Gordon Boyette.    She was born September 7, 1920 near Ray City, in that part of Berrien County, GA that  two months later would be cut into the newly created Lanier County.  Her grandfather, John Boyette, was among those who fought the creation of the new county (Ray City Citizens Fought Creation of Lanier County). Sergeant Markham was a WWII soldier stationed at Moody Air Field near Ray City.

Ruth Boyette and Dillard Markham marriage announcement, 1943.

Ruth Boyette and Dillard Markham marriage announcement, 1943.

Clinch County News
January 1, 1943

Miss Boyette Weds Sgt. Markham

    Miss Ruth Boyette of Homerville and Ray City, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. G. Boyette of Ray City, became the bride of Sgt. Dilliard M. Markham of Moody Field, Valdosta, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. D. Markham of Goodes, Va., on December 19 at an impressive ceremony solemnized at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Wooten of Homerville.
    White gladioli and graceful ferns were used for the living room decorations and formed a beautiful background for the ceremony. Rev. L. C. Harvard, Methodist minister, officiated.

The Markhams made their home in Lynchburg, VA where they operated a successful produce business.  Ruth Boyette Markham died November 2, 2008.  Dillard Markham died March 18, 2010.

 The News & Advance 
November 4, 2008

Ruth Boyette Markham

    Ruth Boyette Markham, of Lynchburg, died Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008. She was the loving wife of Dillard Maurice Markham for 66 years.
    Mrs. Markham was born in Lanier County, Ga., on Sept. 7, 1920, to the late Grover Gordon Boyette and the late Hattie Mae Dean Boyette. Ruth was devoted to raising her family and helping in the family business, Markham Produce.
    In addition to her husband, she is survived by her son, Dillard A. Markham of Columbia, S.C.; her daughter, Sally M. Tinsley of Lynchburg; one brother, Hansel Lincoln Boyette and his wife, Connie, of Lakeland, Ga.; and two grandchildren, Robert E. Tinsley III and Whitney S. Tinsley, both of Lynchburg. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by one sister, Mary Boyette Mercier.
    The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008, at Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008, in the chapel of Tharp Funeral Home. Interment will follow in Virginia Memorial Park.
    Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Hills, 3300 Rivermont Ave., Lynchburg, VA 24503.
Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family, (434) 237-9424. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

Dillard Maurice Markham,  March 18, 2010

Dillard Maurice Markham passed away Thursday, March 18 at his residence.  Born April 2, 1920, in Bedford County, a son of the late Elmor Dove Markham and the late Gracie Markham.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth Boyette Markham, his daughter Sally Markham Tinsley, four brothers and three sisters.

In 1949 Mr. Markham opened Markham Wholesale Produce.  After 50 years of serving the community he became known as Grand Daddy Markham to all the stores, restaurants, friends in Virginia and all the South Eastern states.  He proudly served his country during WWII as a member of the US Air Force. He was loved by all.

Dillard is survived by a son, Dillard A. Markham, Columbia, SC, two grandchildren: Whitney S. Tinsley and Robert E. Tinsley, III, of Lynchburg, a brother, Stuart Markham of Lynchburg, a sister, Dorothy Markham Garrett, and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends today from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg. A funeral service will be held Monday, March 22, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at Keystone Baptist Church with Dr. Monty Fox officiating. Burial will follow in Virginia Memorial Park with military honors provided by American Legion Post 16.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Hills, 3300 Rivermont Ave. Lynchburg, VA 24503.

The family would like to thank Marva Henderson, who was Dillard’s friend and care giver for four years.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family, 434-237-9424.

Thomas Jackson Crum

Thomas Jackson Crum, image detail courtesy of Berrien County Historical Foundation

Thomas Jackson Crum

A recently encountered newspaper clipping from the Clinch County News gives the obituary of  Thomas Jackson “Jack” Crum.

Jack Crum was a prominent farmer, banker, cotton merchant, and community leader.  He lived near Ray City, Georgia in that part of Berrien County that was cut into Lanier county in the 1920s.

Jack Crum was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery in Ray City.

Clinch County News
December 24, 1943

Mr. Thomas J. Crum, prominent Lanier county citizen, died at his home near Lakeland, on the 9th inst. after suffering a heart attack about twelve hours earlier. He had been about his usual business the day before dying next morning about 7 o’clock.  He was a native of Tift county and was 73 years old and a member of the county board of Education and had served as a deacon in the Ray City Baptist Church a number of years. His wife and three children survive.

Grave marker of Annie Boyette and Thomas Jackson Crum, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave marker of Annie Boyette and Thomas Jackson Crum, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Thomas Jackson Crum was  born  September 4, 1870  a  son of Amanda Melviney Willis (1850-1922) and  Benjamin Harmon Crum (1842 – 1924).  His father was a confederate veteran who volunteered with Company I, Georgia 50th Infantry Regiment. Benjamin H. Crum was captured along with Jesse Bostick (subject of previous posts (see Jesse Bostick and the Battle of Cedar Creek) and other men of the 50th Regiment  at the Battle of Cedar Creek in Virginia in 1864 and imprisoned at Point Lookout, MD. Benjamin Harmon Crum survived the war and returned to his family in Tift County.

Thomas Crum and his sister Leonia Crum married two siblings in the Boyette family.  In 1895 Thomas Crum married Annie Boyette (1873-1950), and in 1899 Leonia Crum married Jesse Thomas Boyette.  The Boyettes were children of Jemima Taylor (1842 – 1926) and William Hill Boyett (1834 – 1897) of Ray City.  Their father also was a confederate veteran who  volunteered with  Company I, Georgia 50th Infantry Regiment and was detailed as a shoemaker during the Civil war.

Left to Right: John C. Crum, Thomas Jackson Crum, Annie Boyette Crum, Lillie Crum, Benjamin Hill Crum, Nancy Della Knight Crum, Mae Crum, Mary Crum, Delilah Boyette Gaskins, and Lester Gaskins.

Thomas Jackson Crum Family at the old home place.  Left to Right: John C. Crum, Thomas Jackson Crum, Annie Boyette Crum, Lillie Crum, Benjamin Hill Crum, Nancy Della Knight Crum, Mae Crum, Mary Crum, Delilah Boyette Gaskins, and Lester Gaskins. Image courtesy of Berrien County Historical Foundation

Ben Hill Crum, Jr., grandson of Thomas Jackson Crum, has prepared a sketch of his grandfather’s life which appeared in the family history Crum Family of The South.  This sketch is excerpted below; those interested in further Crum family history may view the complete text at Family History Archive.

Crum Family of the South

Crum Family of the South

Thomas Jackson Crum, the son of Amanda Willis and Benjamin Crum (CSA) of Tift County, was one of the pioneer citizens of Lanier County moving here from Tift County in the early 1890s.  At that time he was a part time tombstone salesman and farm hand.
    He married Annie Boyett, daughter of the Honorable William Hill Boyett in 1895.  They had five children, the late Ben Hill Crum, Mrs Mary Robinson of Lakeland, the late Annie Mae Giddens, the late John C. Crum and Mrs Lillie Grissett of Ray City.  There were seventeen grandchildren.
    In 1906, Mr. Crum purchased land from Thomas Murphy and in 1909 purchased adjacent land from Hill Boyett making up what became the Crum Farm. This size farming operation was referred to as a “seven horse” farm.  Mr. Crum raised livestock, grew tobacco, corn and other farm products. He cured meat and bottled syrup which he sold along with other varieties of farm products.  In a 1936 edition of Lanier County News, he was quoted as follows, “I have not purchased a pound of meat since the second year I was married and I do not consider a mana good farmer who cannot raise plenty of meat and food for his family and have some to sell.”
    Mr. Crum was one of the seven original stockholders of the Bank of Milltown. He was very prosperous as a cotton speculator, buying cotton when the price was low, storing it and selling it at a later date at a considerable profit.
    Mr. Crum was community minded and interested in the education and guidance of young people.  He served on the Lanier County Board of Education for twenty years and was Chairman of the Board when he died.  Mr. and Mrs. Crum were active members and supporters of the Beaver Dam Baptist Church in Ray City.  He served as a deacon for many years.  Mr. and Mrs. Crum are buried at Beaver Dam Church.
    The Crum family resided in a peg and groove house which was constructed in the 1830s for a time while their farm home was being built.  The family occupied the new home about 1913.  The residence was constructed from timber grown on the farm. The old house which served as a pack house after the new residence was constructed had been donated to the Agrirama at Abraham Baldwin College  where it is now preserved an represents a part of the history of the time.  The Crum family residence was destroyed by fire in April 1974.  The farm located some 3 1/2 miles west of Lakeland off the Ray City Road, is presently owned by G. L. Gaskins.
    Jackson Crum, “Jack”, as his “Annie” called him, will be remembered for many things by his family and the friends who knew him well.  “He was a quiet man most of the time, but when he spoke, we listened. He had the clearest blue eyes, was tall and thin, and had a strength you could see and feel.  A strength of character with a strong sense of right and wrong was always apparent.  You always paid your debts, went to church, told the truth, loved your family, were honest in business, worked hard, played little, wasted nothing, and believed in God. Always.”

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Wed under the Great Comet of 1882

William Jackson “Jack” Boyette and Charlotte “Lottie” Cook

William Jackson Boyett and Charlotte Cook Boyett. Image courtesy of

William Jackson Boyett and Charlotte Cook Boyett. Image courtesy of

William Jackson  Boyette was born 11 Oct 1862 and lived his life in the Ray City, Berrien County, Georgia vicinity. He was a son of William Hill Boyette and Jemima Taylor, pioneer settlers of the Ray City, GA area.

He married Charlotte Cook on August 27, 1882. She was a daughter of Lucretia Sirmans and John  Jasper Cook.  J.J. Cook was a farmer of the Watson Grade community just northeast of Rays Mill.  He would later be among those who opposed the creation of Lanier County.  Her brother, Aaron Cook,  fought in the Spanish American War.

One wonders if the newlyweds saw it as an auspicious sign that just a few days later there appeared in the sky the Great Comet of 1882.  The comet was soon visible even in the daytime sky.

 The Comet in Georgia
From the Berrien County News
October 11, 1882

It exceeds in brilliancy the great comet which made its appearance in the days of Millerism. Who knows but what its luminous tail will swoop down upon the earth, as it seems to be rapidly approaching this terrestrial ball.

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See more about the history of Ray City, GA at