Strange Story from Sharpe’s Store

Sharpe’s Store

In 1852, a strange medical story from Sharpe’s Store, GA was circulated in state newspapers.

Sharpes’ Store was at a center of commerce located on the Coffee Road about two miles above the present day town  of  Morven, GA.  The store had been founded in 1826 when Hamilton W. Sharpe came down the Coffee Road and decided to settle near the home and traveler’s inn of Sion Hall in Lowndes County.  Sharpe built a small store building out of logs near Sion Hall’s place.    Thus, Hall’s Inn and Sharpe’s Store  were situated approximately 25 miles southwest of present day  Ray City, GAthe site where  the Knight family first settled in the winter of 1826. In 1828, Hamilton W. Sharpe obtained the establishment of a U. S. Post Office at his store, for  which he was appointed Postmaster.  The Sharpe’s Store Post Office served Wiregrass Pioneers for almost 25 years.

The medical mystery in 1852 concerned a son of Berrien County resident Ashley Lawson, who resided in the area of Troupville, GA and who was a veteran of the 1836 Battle of Brushy Creek. The story was reported by James R. Folsom, who was a teacher in Berrien County, and later, Postmaster at Cecil, GA.

It began when the Lawson boy choked on a chinquapin nut in 1845…

1852-may-11-milledgevill-southern-recorder_sharpes-store.bmp

Milledgeville Southern Recorder
May 11, 1852

Sharp’s Store, Lowndes Co, Ga.
May 2, 1852.

Gentlemen: – I wish to give you the particulars of a strange circumstance which has taken place in this neighborhood a few days since.- In the year 1845, a little boy the son of Mr. Ashley Lawson, got strangled in trying to swallow a chinquepin, and from that time he has been troubled with a cough similar to croupe every winter. This spring his parents thought he would die, (being worse off than ususal) but he coughed up the chinquepin. On examination it had a bony covering about one sixteenth of an inch thick on it. On removing the osseous substance, the chinquepin was found to be perfectly sound, the marks were on it where he had scraped it with his knife before trying to swallow it.
He is now in good health and is free from the cough, with which he has been troubled so long. In conclusion I would say, that there are many respectable persons who will vouch for the truth of the above statement. Respectfully yours,

Jas. R. Folsom.

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Ray City Connections of Young Dr. Folsom

Although Dr. George Hill Folsom did not make a home in Ray City, GA until the late 1920s, he had strong ties to the community for some thirty years prior.  His wife’s family lived in the area and two of his children were born at Ray City during the time he was studying medicine in Atlanta. After completing medical school he became one of the medical men of Ray’s Mill.

A previous post on Dr. Folsom ~ Warrior Doctor has been updated with additional information on Dr. Folsom’s children, his wife’s family, and data from the 1940 census.

George Hill Folsom as a young man.

George Hill Folsom as a young man.

George Hill Folsom could trace his ancestry back to William Folsom (ca 1745-1785), “who assisted in establishing independence while acting in the capacity of Lieutenant in the Georgia Line.” Lieutenant William Folsom is thought to be a native of Virgina who later moved to Georgia where he lived  and died in Burke County.

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The Lucky Draw

In the  1832 Land Lottery of Georgia, 36 lucky drawers from Lowndes County won land grants in the Cherokee Indian Territory. Among the winners were Hamilton Sharpe, Pennywell Folsom and Bryan J. Roberts, who later fought in the last Indian skirmishes in Berrien County (then Lowndes County). See Pennywell Folsom Fell at Brushy Creek and Bryan J. Robert’s Account of the Last Indian Fight in Berrien County.

The last, or 1832 Land Lottery of Georgia, made available for distribution and settlement that part of the Cherokee Indian Nation which was in Georgia. This was a large area generally north of the Chattahoochee River in the north west and north central parts of the state. There were two distinct areas involved in this Lottery. One part was the area referred to as the gold lots, lying along the south boundary of the subject area, and the other part was referred to as the land lots.

Cherokee land lots were parceled out to white Georgians in one of the two state land lotteries held in 1832. The state conducted a total of eight lotteries between 1805 and 1833.

Cherokee land lots were parceled out to white Georgians in one of the two state land lotteries held in 1832. The state conducted a total of eight lotteries between 1805 and 1833.

Fortunate Drawers from Lowndes County

  1. Jemimah Monk, orphan, Folsom’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 42, 6th Dist., 1st Sect., Union and Lumpkin County.
  2. Sampson G. Williams, McCraney’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 242, 6th Dist., 1st Sect., Union and Lumpkin County.
  3. Nancy Ivy, w., Folsom’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 314, 6th Dist., 1st Sect., Union and Lumpkin County.
  4. Isom Batton, Folsom’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 37, 7th Dist., 1st Sect., Union County.
  5. James Jamison, soldier, Barnett’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 273, 7th Dist., 1st Sect., Union County.
  6. Samuel Carter, Coward’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 321, 7th Dist., 1st Sect., Union County.
  7. Seaborn Bradford, Blair’s Lowndes.
    Lot 128, 8th Dist., 1st Sect., Union County.
  8. Blanset Sutton, widow, McCraney’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 67, 9th Dist., 1st Sect., Union County.
  9. James McLeod, Burnett’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 146, 9th Dist., 1st Sect., Union County.
  10. James Anderson, Studstill’s, Lowndes
    Lot 240, 10th District, 1st Sect., Union County
  11. Jane Clark, widow of Revolutionary Soldier., Burnett’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 250, 10th Dist., 1st Sect., Union County.
  12. Martha Akins, widow, Folsom’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 77, 16th Dist., 1st Sect., Union County.
  13. Hamilton Sharp, Blair’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 284, 17th Dist., 1st Sect., Union County.
  14. David Bell, Mattox’s, Lowndes
    Lot 316, 19th Dist., 1st Sect., Union County.
  15. Jesse Carter, Jr., Coward’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 3, 19th Dist., 1st Sect., Union County.
  16. Jesse Fulford, Folsom’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 13, 5th Dist., 2nd Sect., Gilmer County.
  17. John Dean, Gaulden’s, Lowndes
    Lot 227, 5th Dist., 2nd Sect., Gilmer County.
  18. Green McDonald, Folsom’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 232, 5th Dist., 2nd Sect., Gilmer County.
  19. Benjamin S. Vickers, Folsom’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 45, 7th Dist., 2nd Sect., Gilmer County.
  20. Jacob Carter, Coward’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 17, 8th Dist., 2nd Sect., Gilmer County.
  21. Bryan J. Roberts, Folsom’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 214, 9th Dist., 2nd Sect., Gilmer County.
  22. Cannay Burnam, Folsom’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 183, 9th Dist., 2nd Sect., Gilmer County.
  23. John Sutton’s orphans, McCraney’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 257, 10th Dist., 2nd Sect., Gilmer County.
  24. John William Spain, orphan, Studstill’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 127, 11th Dist., 2nd Sect., Gilmer County.
  25. Thomas Woods, Blair’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 94, 12th Dist., 2nd Sect., Gilmer County.
  26. Isam Watson, Revolutionary Soldier, Folsom’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 143, 12th Dist., 2nd Sect., Gilmer County.
    Lot 272, 9th Dist., 3rd Sect., Murray County
  27. James Price, Mattox’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 227, 12th Dist., 2nd Sect., Gilmer County.
  28. Lovick Green, Johnson’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 78, 13th Dist., 2nd Sect., Gilmer County.
  29. Robert Lindsey’s orphan, McCraney’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 184, 14th Dist., 2nd Sect., Gilmer County.
  30. Alexander Patterson, McCraney’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 258, 14th Dist., 2nd Sect., Cherokee County
  31. Bartimeus Williams, Blair’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 275, 14th Dist., 2nd Sect., Cherokee County
  32. Samuel Raney, Blair’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 33, 22nd Dist., 2nd Sect., Cass & Cherokee Counties
  33. Elias Skipper, Johnson’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 254, 22nd Dist., 2nd Sect., Cass & Cherokee Counties.
  34. Aaron Mattox, Mattox’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 281, 22nd Dist., 2nd Sect., Cass & Cherokee Counties.
  35. Anna Davis, orphan, Coward’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 322, 22nd Dist., 2nd Sect., Cass & Cherokee Counties.
  36. Pennywill Folsom, Burnett’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 116, 23rd Dist., 2nd Sect., Cass & Cherokee Counties.
  37. Noah Griffin, Blair’s, Lowndes
    Lot 213, 23rd Dist., 2nd Sect., Cass & Cherokee Counties.
  38. Joshua Davis, Coward’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 221, 23rd Dist., 2nd Sect., Cass & Cherokee Counties.
  39. Andrew Tucker’s orphan, Burnett’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 161, 24th Dist., 2nd Sect., Murry and Gilmer Counties.
  40. Moses Beesley, Burnett’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 308, 24th Dist., 2nd Sect., Murry and Gilmer Counties.
  41. John McDermed, McCraney’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 26, 25th Dist., 2nd Sect., Murray and Gilmer Counties.
  42. William Jerkins’s orphans, Blair’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 16, 26th Dist., 2nd Sect., Murray and Gilmer Counties.
  43. James Wade, Soldier, McCraney’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 119, 26th Dist., 2nd Sect., Murray and Gilmer Counties.
  44. Bartley Green, Johnson’s, Lowndes *
    Lot 324, 27th Dist., 2nd Sect., Murray and Gilmer Counties.
  45. William Newborn, Johnson’s, Lowndes *
    Lot 108, 27th Dist., 2nd Sect., Murray and Gilmer Counties.
  46. Dennis Wirthington, Coward’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 237, 5th Dist., 3rd Sect., Cass County.
  47. Archibald Strickland, Gauldings, Lowndes.
    Lot 115, 6th Dist., 3rd Sect., Cass County.
  48. Peter Warrington, Coward’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 129, 6th Dist., 3rd Sect., Cass County.
  49. John Jones, Jr., Mattox’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 200, 6th Dist., 3rd Sect., Cass County.
  50. Ashley Lindsey, Folsom’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 46, 8th Dist., 3rd Sect, Murray County.
  51. Molly Burnett, widow, revolutionary soldier, Burnett’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 201, 8th Dist., 3rd Sect, Murray County
  52. Archibald McCraine, McCraney’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 44, 9th Dist., 3rd Sect, Murray County
  53. Rebecca Tomlinson, widow, Cowart’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 128, 10th Dist., 3rd Sect, Murray County
  54. John Davis, Revolutionary Soldier, McCraney’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 293, 10th Dist., 3rd Sect, Murray County
  55. Bryant Burnam, Folsom’s, Lowndes.*
    Lot 284, 11th Dist., 3rd Sect, Murray County.
  56. Martin Shaw, Folsom’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 316, 11th Dist., 3rd Sect, Murray County.
  57. John Duke, Burnett’s, Lowndes.
    Lot 3, 12th Dist., 3rd Sect, Murray County.
  58. William G. Hall
  59. John Russell
  60. Green Hill
  61. John Roberts
  62. Asa Griffin
  63. Aaron Mattox
  64. Thomas L. Brown
  65. John Folsom
  66. Nathan Lindsey
  67. Rice Mathis
  68. Jeremiah Wilson
  69. Samuel Whitfield
  70. Silas Cason
  71. James Walker
  72. Edward B. Stafford
  73. Duncan McMillan
  74. Alexander Hodges
  75. James English
  76. John Tomlinson, Jr.
  77. John Duke
  78. John Sutton’s orphans
  79. Duncan Giddens
  80. Michael Peterson
  81. John F. Clements
  82. Robert N. Parrish
  83. Joseph Yates
  84. Silas Cason
  85. Isaac Carter
  86. Henry Hayman, R.S.
  87. Judith McFail, WRS
  88. James Walker
  89. Thomas Bellote
  90. Ely Hendry
  91. Thomas Giddens
  92. David Bell
  93. Samuel McCoy
  94. William McLeod
  95. William Hill’s orphans
  96. George W. Roberts
  97. James English
  98. Thomas Sherby
  99. Jesse Godwin
  100. Jordan Hancock
  101. J. McCranie
  102. Stephens Roberts
  103. William Coulter
  104. James Edmondson
  105. Angus McLeod
  106. John Townsend
  107. Gideon Elvington, RS
  108. Frederic McGiddery

Note- all marked * were granted previous to January 1, 1838.

http://archive.org/stream/cherokeelandlott00smit#page/172/mode/2up/search/lowndes

Georgia’s western and northern boundary had been established in 1802 by the cession of her western territory, from the Chattahoochee River to the Mississippi, to the United States. Although this cession had provided for the peaceful removal of all Indians within these boundaries, in 1828, the Cherokee still remained. Despite the fact the Cherokee were a peaceful and agricultural people, in that year Georgia extended her jurisdiction over them and named the area Cherokee County. Shortly thereafter, the General Assembly, by the Acts of December 21, 1830 and December 24, 1831, authorized the land to be surveyed and distributed by Lottery to citizens of Georgia. In 1832 the surveyors laid off the area in four sections, the sections into land districts about nine miles square, and the land districts into land lots of 40 and 160 acres respectively.

While the surveying was being carried out, those persons who had lived in Georgia three years immediately prior to the Acts of the General Assembly, registered to draw in the Lottery in their counties of residence. Their names, together with the numbers of the lots and districts, were sent to Milledgeville, then the capital of the state, and on specified days tickets from two wheels or drums were drawn simultaneously, one from the wheel holding the name tickets and one from the drum holding the land lot tickets. In this way, a person knew which lot he had drawn and if he subsequently paid to the state a grant fee of $18.00, a grant was issued to the lot he had drawn.

This grant from the State of Georgia was his title to the lot and from that time he could do whatever he wished with his property, although the state did not require that he live on it or cultivate it.

Revolutionary War veterans were given extra draws and were indicated by the letters “R.S.” written after their names. Many other classifications are indicated by initials, such as widows, insane, orphans, idiots, illegitimates, etc. Ordinary married men with their families, or bachelors, etc, are not designated by any initial. Any citizens participating in this and other Lotteries had to take only an ORAL oath when they registered to draw. Consequently, there are no written records as to what they may have said about themselves and their families.

Immediately after the Lottery of 1832 was held, the whole area of Cherokee County was divided into ten counties, i.e., Cass (which was renamed Bartow in 1861), Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding and Union, all of which were created in 1832. However, the original survey and grant records in the Surveyor General Department of the Office of the Secretary of State, always use the name of the original county — Cherokee.

The 1832 Land Lottery opened up the last area within the present boundaries of Georgia, which heretofore had not been available to the white settlers and was participated in by more persons than any other Lottery.

In spite of the distributing of the lands in the area, it was not fully settled at first. It was not until a Treaty with the United States and the Cherokee Nation on December 29, 1835 held at New Echota in Georgia, that the Cherokee finally agreed to leave their lands and move west beyond the Mississippi River. Soon after Georgians came in in large numbers and not an Indian was left within her boundaries.

Person Entitled to Draw

  • Bachelor, 18 years or over, 3-year residence in Georgia, citizen of the United States – 1 draw
  • Married man with wife and/or minor son under 18 and/or unmarried daughter, 3-year residence in Georgia, citizen of United States – 2 draws
  • Widow, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Wife and/or child, 3-year residence in Georgia, of husband and/or father absent from state for 3 years – 1 draw
  • Family (one or two) of orphans under 18 years, residence since birth in state – 1 draw
  • Family (three or more) of orphans under 18 years, residence since birth in state – 2 draws
  • Widow, husband killed or died in Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Indian Wars, 3-year residence in Georgia – 2 draws
  • Orphan, father killed in Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Indian War – 2 draws
  • Wounded or disabled veteran of War of 1812 or Indian Wars, unable to work – 2 draws
  • Veteran of Revolutionary War – 2 draws
  • Veteran of Revolutionary War who had been a fortunate drawer in any previous lottery – 1 draw
  • Child or children of a convict, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Male idiots, lunatics or insane, deaf and dumb, or blind, over 10 years and under 18 years, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Female idiots, insane or lunatics or deaf and dumb or blind, over 10 years, 3-year residence in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Family (one or two) of illegitimates under 18 years, residence since birth in Georgia – 1 draw
  • Family (three or more) of illegitimates under 18 years, residence since birth in Georgia – 2 draws

Persons Excluded

  • Any fortunate drawer in any previous land lottery who has taken out a grant of said land lot.
  • Any person who mined—or caused to be mined—gold, silver, or other metal in the Cherokee territory since June 1, 1830.
  • Any person who has taken up residence in Cherokee territory.
  • Any person who is a member of or concerned with “a horde of Thieves known as the Pony Club.”
  • Any person who at any time was convicted of a felony in any court in Georgia.

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Pennywell Folsom Fell at Brushy Creek

Penuel Folsom, the first soldier killed in the Battle of Brushy Creek, was buried in what is now known as the Rountree Cemetery, his being the first grave in it. – Lucian Lamar Knight

Grave marker of Pennywell Folsom, Roundtree cemetery (aka Evergreen Cemetery), Cook County, GA

Grave marker of Pennywell Folsom, Rountree Cemetery (aka Evergreen Cemetery), Cook County, GA

Pennywell Folsom fell in the first volley fired in the Battle of Brushy Creek, fought in July, 1836. After the fighting was over, Captain Hamilton Sharpe carried Folsom from the battlefield on horseback, but the mortally wounded soldier could not long survive. Folsom was carried back to the fort at the Rachel Morrison place (now the property of the Rountree family) near the Little River, where he was buried in a lone grave. Sharpe’s Company fired a volley of gunfire over the grave in salute to their fallen comrade. As that final tribute sounded through the forest, Captain Levi J. Knight and his company of men arrived on the scene. (Levi J. Knight was the original settler on the site of present day Ray City, GA.) Knight’s company had marched 30 miles from the Alapaha River where they had skirmished with Indians at the homeplace of William Parker (see Short-Arm Bill Parker and the Last Indian Fight In Berrien County, and Levi J. Knight Reports Indian Fight of July 13, 1836.)

Fifty years after the event, Montgomery M. Folsom reflected on the death of his kinsman:

The Atlanta Constitution
June 24, 1885 Pg 2

Down the River

The Folsom bridge, a noted crossing place, spans the [Little] river here. In the olden time a party of road cutters under the command of General Coffee passed through south Georgia from east to west. At this point they crossed the river. If you were to ask the old settlers they would show you the blazes on the pine trees that were made long ago. This road was a great thoroughfare and many a hardy settler has packed his traps in a cart drawn by a tough pony, and driving his flocks and herds before him has traversed the lonely pine barrens in search of a more generous soil and greener pastures. The hunters of Coffee’s party were Isham Jordan and Kenneth Swain. The song that was made by the hardy pioneers has been given to posterity as follows:

“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.”

About a mile and a half from the bridge, eastward, the ancestor of the Folsom’s settled. It had been a populous Indian town, and there are in existence to day, a tomahawk, a sofka pestle, a small cannon ball, and innumerable arrow-heads and skinning knifes of flint that were found there. The old gentleman had erected a strong block house, and when there was an alarm of Indians, the women and children were carried there, and the old men and boys left to defend them while the ablebodied once sallied forth to meet the foe. From this fort they marched forth to the bloody encounter at Brushy creek. The Indians had been goaded to madness. They were concealed in the dark swamp, and awaited in silence the approach of the whites. Penuel Folsom had made his will before leaving home, and when the soldiers were all drawn up at a safe distance from the enemy, and the scouts were cautiously advancing, he and Orville Shanks dashed forward with a yell and received the fire of a dozen unerring rifles. Shanks fell dead, and Folsom desperately wounded, was carried from the field, after the battle was over, behind Captain Sharpe who rode a powerful horse. When they halted he was laid down on the green grass and breathed his last. Some years ago I visited his grave in a lonely spot in the heart of one of the gloomiest forests of Berrien county. – Montgomery M. Folsom

There is a more detailed account of the Battle of Brushy Creek given at the Early History of Lowndes County and Valdosta , Georgia website:

Levi J. Knight described the fight to the governor, who later commended Knight and his comrades for their bravery. Knight wrote that both Enoch Hall and Hamilton Sharpe were in charge of companies of militia. In the course of tracking the Indians through Lowndes, fifteen men commanded by Captain Sharpe formed a battalion with thirty-one men from Thomas County after they discovered Indians in the fork of the Little River and Big Warrior Creek. Following the trail for three miles down the east side of the river, Sharpe and his soldiers encountered about sixty warriors and their families. In the ensuing fight, Captain Sharpe lost one man, Mr. P. Folsom, and one wounded, when he was forced to retreat. Reinforced by the remainder of the battalion, the Lowndes men pursued the Indians for another three miles and found them on a pine ridge, their rear protected by a cypress pond, and in their front a wide, open, boggy meadow. A general engagement commended about 9 o’clock a. m. and after a severe fight for two hours, the Indians were completely routed, with a loss of twenty-two Indians and two Negroes killed, that were seen, and many wounded. Of the militia, Bartow Ferrell of Thomas County and Edwin D. Shanks of Lowndes County were killed and nine wounded.

Norman Campbell, John McDermott, Robert N. Parrish, Pennywell Folsom, Ashley Lawson, Edwin D. Shanks, West Roundtree and others were among those going to the battle from around Troupville.

Knight’s Company and other militia units would continue to pursue the Indians across Berrien county. A few weeks later, the militia caught up with an Indian band in southeast Berrien county at a place called Cow Creek.

THE ROUNTREE CEMETERY

Pennywell Folsom no longer lies alone in deep Georgia woods. Around his grave, the Rountrees placed their own dead, until this burying ground became known as the Rountree Cemetery. This cemetery is located in present day Cook county , on Evergreen Church Road (CR 99), near the intersection with Rountree Bridge Road (CR 251) (see map). Around 1945, the present Evergreen Church was constructed adjacent to Rountree Cemetery, the original church building located on Rountree Bridge Road having been destroyed by fire.

Notes on Pennywell Folsom:
Pennywell Folsom was born in 1810 in Hawkinsville, GA. He was a son of Edith Pennywell and George Folsom. His father served during the War of 1812 in the Georgia Militia under Captain Allen Tooke builing forts on the frontier of Pulaski County to defend against Indian attacks.

When Pennywell was about 10 years old, around 1819, his father died. Pennywell became a ward of his uncle William Folsom and moved to Lowndes County (then Irwin County.)

According to Internet histories, Pennywell Folsom married Mary Ann McLeod about 1827. Their children were:

  1. Anna Jane Folsom 1828 – 1830
  2. Chloe Ann Folsom 1830 – 1906
  3. Bryant P. Folsom 1832 – 1864
  4. Anna America Folsom 1833 – 1912
  5. Edieth Folsom 1833 – 1907
  6. Emily Folsom 1835 – 1908

Captain Hamilton Sharpe, who led the Lowndes militia at the Battle of Brushy Creek, served as the administrator of Pennywell Folsom’s estate:

Captain Hamilton Sharpe administered the estate of Pennywell Folsom, killed under Sharpe's command at the Battle of Brushy Creek, July 1836.

Captain Hamilton Sharpe administered the estate of Pennywell Folsom, killed under Sharpe’s command at the Battle of Brushy Creek, July 1836.

Southern Recorder
August 23, 1836

Georgia, Lowndes County

Whereas Hamilton W. Sharpe applies to me for letters of administration, on the estate of Pennywell Folsom late of said county, deceased:
These are therefore to cite and admonish all and singular the kindred and creditors of said deceased, to be and appear at my office within the time prescribed by law, to shew cause (if any they have,) why said letters of administration should not be granted.
Given under my hand, at office, this 1st day of August, 1836.

WILLIAM SMITH, Cl’k c.c.
August 16 31 5t

Checking on Citizens Bank of Ray City

Canceled checks drawn on the Citizens Bank of Ray City, Ray City, GA document some of the local businesses that Effie Guthrie Knight transacted with during 1927.

1927 check drawn on the Citizens Bank of Ray City and made payable to Dr. Folsom.

1927 check drawn on the Citizens Bank of Ray City and made payable to Dr. Folsom.

As the check above shows, Dr. George Hill Folsom came to Berrien County, GA some time prior to 1927. He established his home in Ray City where he engaged in general practice. A check in the amount of $1.00 might have been typical payment for an office visit in that time.

1927 check written by Effie Knight to C.O. Terry, and drawn on the Citizens Bank of Ray City.

1927 check written by Effie Knight to C.O. Terry, and drawn on the Citizens Bank of Ray City.

Written the same day as the previous check, this check to Ray City pharmacist, C. O. Terry,  may have been to fill a prescription written by Dr. George Hill Folsom.

Check drawn on the Citizens Bank of Ray City in payment to G. M. Purvis, made out in the amount of two dollars and fifty cents, and signed by Effie Knight.

Check drawn on the Citizens Bank of Ray City in payment to G. M. Purvis

Another check written by Effie Knight  is made out to G.M. Purvis.  Guy Marvin Purvis owned a general merchandise store in Ray City, GA.  Furthermore, he was Effie’s brother-in-law so naturally she’d be inclined to do business there.

 A check made out July 5, 1927 to G.V. Hardie in the amount of twelve dollars and seventy cents, and drawn on the account of Effie Knight at The Citizens Bank of Ray City.

A check made out July 5, 1927 to G.V. Hardie in the amount of twelve dollars and seventy cents, and drawn on the account of Effie Knight at The Citizens Bank of Ray City.

In the 1920s, Gordon Vancie Hardie opened up the first gas station in Ray City, GA. The check above may have been payment for service on Effie Knight’s car.

 

Dr. Folsom ~ Warrior Doctor

Dr. George Hill Folsom had family connections and was well known in Ray City and Berrien County, GA for more than 50 years.  He came to live in Berrien County some time prior to 1929, and established a home in Ray City where he engaged in general practice as one of the Medical Men of Ray’s Mill.

Dr. George Hill Folsom lived in Ray City, GA in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Dr. George Hill Folsom lived in Ray City, GA in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

George Hill Folsom was born July 26, 1877 in Colquitt County Georgia, a son of Randall Nathaniel Folsom and Mary E. Marchant.  George Hill Folsom could trace his ancestry back to William Folsom (ca 1745-1785), “who assisted in establishing independence while acting in the capacity of Lieutenant in the Georgia Line.” Lieutenant William Folsom is thought to be a native of Virgina who later moved to Georgia where he lived  and died in Burke County.

At age 3, George Hill Folsom was enumerated in the town of Warrior, Colquitt County, GA where his father was engaged in farming.

On April 7, 1903 George H. Folsom married Mattie Laura Brown in Pinopolis, Colquitt County, GA.  Her parents, Eliza Catherine Hancock and Simon Peter Brown, were also from Colquitt County, but had relocated to the 1487th district in Berrien County some time before 1900.

It is said that George H. Folsom  attended the Atlanta School of Medicine. If so, he would have studied there sometime between 1906 and 1910.

The Atlanta School of Medicine was  formally opened in October 1905, and became a part of Emory University in 1913.

It appears that  Mattie Folsom continued to live with her parents while George was away at medical school, for the couple’s   first child, Bessie Viola Folsom, was born on March 11, 1905 at Milltown, GA (now Lakeland). A second daughter, Susie Mae Folsom, was born at Ray City, GA on June 13, 1908.

After receiving a medical degree, Dr. George H. Folsom returned to his birthplace.  In the Census of 1910, he is enumerated on May 2, 1910 with his wife and daughters in Warrior, Colquitt County, GA where he was employed in general medical practice.  Although Mattie’s parents had also relocated back to Colquitt County by this time, the Folsoms must have retained a place or family connections near Ray City, for on December 11, 1910 this is where their first son, Ernest William Folsom, was delivered. A second son, George Jr. was born at Lakeland in 1913, followed by a daughter delivered at Valdosta in 1915.

By 1917, Dr. Folsom had moved his family to  Ellenton, GA where he engaged in general practice on his own account.  The Folsoms lived in a house on Baker Street, which Dr. Folsom owned free and clear.

It was while living in Ellenton that George Hill Folsom registered for the draft for World War I.  At 40 years of age, he was described as tall and stout, with dark hair and blue eyes. He was not called to serve in the war.

Dr. George Hill Folsom, wife Mattie and the children.

Dr. George Hill Folsom, wife Mattie and the children.

The Folsom’s final two children were both born in Valdosta, GA; Elmer  A. Folsom, born July 9, 1919 and Elton Brown Folsom, born March 6, 1924.

In 1928, Dr. Folsom’s daughter, Susie Mae Folsom, married Joseph Edward Boyett in Nashville, GA.  Apparently by at least 1929, the rest of the G.H. Folsom family had moved to Berrien, this time to Ray City, GA.  Dr. Folsom served on the 1929 Board  of Trustees for Ray City School.  He was one of the business men who endorsed the establishment of the Ray City News newspaper.

The Census of 1930 found the Folsom family living in town in Ray City. Dr. Folsom owned one of the finest homes in town, valued at $3000.  Mrs. Folsom kept house while their daughter, Bessie Folsom, was a grammar school teacher. The rest of the children were not employed and presumably were engaged in studies.  The family neighbors were H. C. Hutchison and the widow Mary J. Fountain.

By 1934, the Folsoms moved to Lakeland, Lanier County, GA where Dr. Folsom continued his medical practice.  A notice from the 1934 Lanier County News puts the financial outlook of the medical profession in the 1930s into perspective:

Notice to Public: To Whom It May Concern:  By mutual agreement the following charges will be made for our services effective immediately: Office Calls, $1.00. Local Calls, $1.50. Out of Town Calls 50 cents per mile. $1.00 extra charge will be made for night calls, both local and out of town. Obstetrics, $25.00 cash, or $30.00 on time, with $10.00 cash payment. Dr.  Louis Smith, Dr. G.H. Folsom.

By the 1940 census, George and Mattie Folsom had moved to Lakeland where they were living on Church Street. Still living in the Folsom household were the doctor’s adult children, Bessie, Ernest, Elmer, and 16-year-old Brownie. The Folsoms owned a home valued at $5000.

Income data from the 1940 census paints an interesting picture of relative wages of the time. The good doctor was drawing an annual income of $1000 for his 70 hour work week.  Bessie was working as a school teacher with an income of $540. Ernest Folsom, a road inspector for the Highway Dept, was drawing the highest wages, at $1200.

Dr. Folsom’s wife,Mattie Laura Brown, died November 8, 1947.  Dr. Folsom continued to live in Lakeland until his death January 17, 1963.

Children of Mattie Laura Brown and George Hill Folsom:

  1. Bessie Viola Folsom, born March 11, 1905, Lakeland, GA
  2. Susie Mae Folsom, born June 13, 1908, Ray City, GA RFD
  3. Ernest William Folsom, born December 11, 1910, Ray City, GA
  4. George Hill Folsom, Jr., born July 8, 1913, Lakeland, GA
  5. Katie Louise Folsom, born September 20, 1915, Valdosta, GA
  6. Elmer  A. Folsom, born July 9, 1919, Valdosta, GA
  7. Elton Brown Folsom, born March 6, 1924, Valdosta, GA

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More About Troupville, GA and the Withlacoochee River

Montgomery M. Folsom

Montgomery M. Folsom, from his 1889 book, Scraps of Song and Southern Scenes.

Found this 1889 account of the history of  Troupville, GA by erstwhile Wiregrass historian, poet, and humorous writer Montgomery M. Folsom.  Folsom starts his tale at the headwaters of the Okolocoochee and Withlacoochee rivers. He traces them down to their connection with the Withlacoochee, at which point Troupville was founded. As the government seat, Troupville was the center of legal and civic activity for Lowndes County (see An Antebellum Trial at Troupville). Troupville was also an important center of commerce and social life for the pioneer settlers of Lowndes County, like Levi J. Knight, who established the first community near the site of present day Ray City, GA.  The Knights settled on another branch of the Withlacoochee;  Beaverdam creek, at Ray City, flows into Cat Creek on down to the Withlacoochee.

Atlanta Constitution, January 29, 1889, Pg 12.

THE WITHLACOOCHEE RIVER.
VALDOSTA, Ga., January 19. -[Special.]- Away up near the northern limit of the great wiregrass section there is a big cypress swamp. They call them bays there. From this bay emerges a little stream of claret colored water. This is near Peckville, and close to the corner of Worth, Irwin, and Dooly counties. This is the head of the Ockolocoochee, Little river.
    Farther eastward, some ten or fifteen miles, there is another bay from which emerges a restless current that goes rushing away toward the south, fretting among the pine boles, resting among the silent solitudes of the mysterious swamps, the Alapaha.
    About midway between these streams, some twenty miles below their heads, the Withlacoochee steals stealthily out of the depths of a brambly brake and glides noiselessly away, like some black serpent of the swamps winding in and out among the barrens.
    The Ockolocoochee curves and twines among the pine-clad ridges, receiving the tribute of some lesser stream at every turn. Ty Ty, Warrior, Big Indian on the West, No-Man’s-Friend, Frank’s creek from the east, till it reaches Troupville. It is, properly, the river, despite the fact that its name is lost after its confluence with the Withlacoochee. It is like the wedding of a great big strapping wiregrass girl with a short, stout, presumptive little man.
    The Ockolochoochee is the stream for fishing. Along the snowy margin of its glistening sand-bars the red-belly, the perfection of perch; and in its placid eddies, beneath the shadow of the tupeloes, the red-horse sucker, chief of all the carp tribe; abound in strength and numbers sufficient to gratify the most inveterate of anglers.
    New river gives the Withlacoochee a good start, and it swerves away to receive the tribute of half a dozen streams on its tortuous course. From its fountain head it is dark and forbidding, and the secrets of its black waters are preserved most faithfully.
    Away back in the olden days when Lowndes county was as big as Poland, an act was passed by the Georgia legislature, appointing a commission to select an appropriate place for a county site. Franklinville had been its capital, but was not near enough to the center. As the legend goes, Big Billy Knight and Big Billy Folsom were appointed.
    These two worthies, one from the pimple hills of the Ockolocoochee, and the other from the saw palmetto flats of the Withlacoochee; decided that the most appropriate point was right in the fork of the two rivers. They had an idea that the river would be navigable that high up, even above the point where the Alapaha disappears and runs underground a mile before uniting with the Withlacoochee.
    So it came about that where the wine-red waters or the Ockolocoochee and the black current of the Withlacoochee meet at the end of a long sandbar and go tumbling and writhing, eddying and curving down the long reach of moss-grown trees, like two huge serpents struggling for the mastery, the plat of a town was drawn, and it was called after Georgia’s great chevelier governor, “Troupville,” with a strong accent on the “ville.” They had not learned to say “Troupvul” then, and it was such a high sounding title that they lingered lovingly on the pronunciation.
    The town grew apace. It enjoyed what the modern’s call a boom. Land lots sold rapidly, and settlers came rushing in, mainly the Smiths. Lowndes county has ever been prolific in the smith line. Owen Smith, Old Billy Smith, Young Billy Smith, all sorts of Smiths, even down to our Hamp, who so ably represents that historic name in the present pushing metropolis Valdosta.
One of the Smith’s built a tavern, and another Smith set up in business, and young Dr. Briggs, who came from the north, broken in business, but full of energy and ability, and laid the foundation of that prosperity that has long distinguished the Briggs and the Converse families.
    Troupville only suffered one inconvenience. To get to town three-fourths of the population had either to cross the river of the east or the river of the west and half the time, during the winter and spring, these rivers were raging with freshets, the bridges were afloat and were frequently swept away.
   One thing more hindered her prosperity. At the only season when the main river was navigable, the Old Nick, himself, couldn’t navigate it. So it transpired that the only freighted barge that ever tempted its tempestuous tide was a flat boat that went down the river to the Suwanee, thence down that river to Cedar Keys.
    It never returned.
    The boatmen sold the vessel and cargo and walked home.
    Life was too short to navigate that crooked stream, with its sunken logs and treacherous sands, and the hope of water transportation was abandoned.
    Among those who settled in Troupville and left behind many momentous memories, was Morgan Goodgame Swain, a burly blacksmith from Emanuel, who was ever ready for a fight, frolic or a footrace. He stood six feet three and weighed over two hundred without  pound of surplus flesh. As handsome as a Greek god he was gifted with herculean strength and a heart that was generous and true. He erected his forge on the bank of the Ockolockochee, and his wife took possession of the tavern. Becky, she was lord above, and Morz was lord below.
    The town of Valdosta was laid off when the old Atlantic and Gulf Railroad was built, about the opening of the war. Brooks and Echols had been cut off from Lowndes, and the county site was moved four miles southeast of Troupville to Valdosta. A great many of the buildings were moved bodily. And now there is not one brick upon another to tell the story of Troupville. A pile of white rocks marks the spot of Swain’s old forge, and some weather beaten mulberry trees still bud and blossom around the old square where stood the tavern. Aside from these there is nothing left to keep alive the cherished hopes that once animated the soul of Troupville.
   The Withlacoochee still glides along to meet the Ockolocoochee, and the land that lies between them, once town property, is now a barren waste, overgrown with somber pines, solitary tufts of bear grass whose white crests wave to and fro in ghostly suggestiveness in the twilight of summer evenings when the whip-poor-wills chant their weird melodies among the lonely thickets.
    Around the once populous portion of the town lies a waste of sedgy fields that are barren and unproductive. The half-wild goats browse among the fennels and briars. “Ichabod” is written in lichen crusted letters, and desolation reigns supreme.
                 MONTGOMERY M. FOLSOM.

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