Family of Samuel W. Watson
Samuel. W. Watson (1863-1925), a son of Mark R. Watson and Rachel Slaughter, was born and raised in the Rays Mill district (1144 Georgia Militia District).
Back Row: James Watson (= Jim Watson, died single, ~28 yo), Bertha Watson (later, married Joe Outlaw). Middle Row: Samuel W. Watson (= Samuel Watson, Sam Watson),Elizabeth Betsy (Boykin) Watson . Front Row: Georgian Ann, Watson , later married Lewis Keeffe), Mark A. Watson (= Mark Watson), circa 1900. Courtesy of Bill Outlaw http://berriencountyga.com/
Watson Grade News, Tifton Gazette, May 27, 1904
May 27, 1894
Watson Grade News.
We had some very nice raining with some hail last Tuesday.
Mr. and Mrs. M. S. Patten, of Adel, were visitors in this section last Saturday and Sunday.
The school at ‘Possum Trot closed last Saturday with appropriate exercises and an excellent dinner. The school was under the management of Mr. Walter Patten and was a success in every respect.
Miss Merl Smith, of High Springs is visiting Miss Belle Patten.
Barney, the six months’ old son of Mr. and Mrs. B. H. Akins died last Saturday of fever, near this place, after an illness of four weeks. The remains were interred in Empire cemetery Sunday afternoon.
Mr. S. W. Watson, of Irwin, was in this section last week looking after some lands that are for sale.
Mr. K. E. Stapleton, of Milltown, is very sick at this writing.
Oat cutting is the order of the day now.
Mr. Mansfield Shaw and Miss Addie Greene were united in marriage Sunday afternoon, Rev. A. A. Knight officiating.
Mr. R. M. Greene is in Idaho, traveling for a buggy company.
Mr. M. C. Lee killed a rattlesnake near his yard one day last week that measured nearly six feet.
Miss Fannie Clements, of Rays Mill, is visiting relatives in this section.
Miss Rhoda Greene, who has been very sick for the past week, is convalesing.
Quite a crowd of young folks enjoyed a social entertainment at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Clements last Saturday evening.
Miss Mary Clements, of Rays Mill, is visiting her sister, Mrs. M. C. Lee.
Additional notes on Watson Grade:
Mr. & Mrs. M.S. Patten
Marcus Sheridan Patten (1862 – 1950) was a son of William Patten and Elizabeth Register, of Watson Grade near Ray’s Mill, GA. In 1904, Marcus and his wife of two years, Mittie Cordelia Walker, resided at Adel, GA. In McMillan and Allied Families, Robert H. McMillan described Mittie as “an exceptional woman, tall and aristocratic in manner and height.” Mittie’s father, Edgar David Walker (1859 – 1927), operated a turpentine still about five miles east of Adel. Her mother, Malissa McMillan (1861 – 1885), had died when Mittie was about four years old, and Mittie spent most of her childhood with her grandparents, John and Sallie McMillan, in Berrien County.
Possum Trot was one of the common schools of the area. In 1906 Possum Trot School was consolidated with Round Pond and Guthrie School.
Miss Belle Patten
Miss Belle Patten, age 21, was a daughter of James “Irwin” Patten and Leanna Patten.
Barney Akins (died of fever) was an infant son of Robert Henry “Bob” Akins (1876-1941) and Sarah Jane Murray (1883-1948). Bob Akins was a grandson of William Green Akins, one of the hunters who tracked down and killed the Berrien Tiger in 1849.
Mr. S.W. Watson
Samuel W. Watson (1863-1925), a son of Mark R Watson and Rachel Slaughter, was born and raised in the Rays Mill district (1144 Georgia Militia District). S.W. Watson moved his family to Irwin County some time before 1900, but returned to Berrien before 1910.
Mr. K. E. Stapleton
Kennie E. Stapleton, age 21, was a son of James Stapleton and Eliza Jane Morris. His father was a fisherman with a house on Main Street in Milltown, GA.
Oats were a staple crop for the farmers of Wiregrass Georgia. Even in a bad year, farmers like M.C. Lee would produce 5,000 bundles of oats.
Mansfield Shaw and Addie Greene
Addie Greene was a granddaughter of Delilah Ann Hinson. Her parents were Houston Greene and Ann Elizabeth Futch, of the Connells Mill district near Ray’s Mill. Mansfield Shaw was a son of Elbert Marion Shaw and Matilda Mary Waters.
Mr. R. M. Greene
In 1904, Riley M. Green was working for a buggy company. Born April 20, 1873, he was a son of Marshal E. Green and Mary Elizabeth “Maxie” Mathis. Later, he owned real estate in Ray City, GA and was involved in the incorporation of the Bank of Ray’s Mill. His sister, Mary Elizabeth “Effie” Green, married Thomas J. Studstill, and Riley took a position as manager at the Studstill sawmill.
Mr. M.C. Lee
Moses C. Lee (1853-1926) was an outstanding farmer of Berrien County, GA known for his production of food crops and cotton, as well as cattle and hogs.
Miss Fannie Clements
This young woman could have been Fannie Clements, daughter of John C. Clements, or Fannie Lola Clements, daughter of David C. Clements.
Rhoda Green (1886 – 1912) was a sister of Riley M. Green. She died in 1912 and was buried at Empire Cemetery, Lanier County, GA.
Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Clements
John Miles Clements and wife, Ann Eliza Swindle Clements, were long time residents of Rays Mill and the parents of Hosea P. “Hod” Clements.
Mary Clements & Mrs. M.C. Lee
Mary Clements, of Rays Mill, was the spinster sister of Amanda Clements Lee and John Miles Clements. Amanda Clements Lee was the wife of Moses C. Lee, a noted farmer of Berrien County.