William Lonnie Royal (1897 – 1981)
William Lonnie Royal was born June 13, 1897, at Homerville, Clinch County, GA. He was a son of Gabriel Marion Royal and Vercy Lee Fender. Some time after 1910 his father rented a farm at Ray City, GA and this is where Lonnie grew to be a man.
On June 21, 1917 William Lonnie Royal married Utha Gertrude Mixon in Berrien, Georgia. The ceremony was performed by Lyman Franklin Giddens, who was Justice of the Peace at Ray City. Utha Mixon was a daughter of Mary Elizabeth Clance and William Henry Mixon, of Ray City.
When the 1918 WWI draft registration occurred, Lonnie Royal was 21 years old and living and working at Ray City. He was of medium height and build, with blue eyes and dark brown hair. He was working for Daniel Jackson “Jack” Gaskins, a farmer in the Lois District just west of town. He listed Frank Royal, of Ray City, as his next of kin.
In the spring of 1919 Lonnie and Utha, now with an infant son, were trying to make a home. It’s unclear just how Lonnie came to such a desperate state, but he was charged in a number of thefts in the Ray City vicinity. The first case involved the heist of a turkey, said fowl being the property of a Mr. Connell. A second case involved the burglary of the residence of Lonnie’s employer, Jack Gaskins. Mr. Connell may have been Clinton D. Connell, who was a neighbor of Jack Gaskins. The disposition of these cases was reported in the Nashville Herald:
“Nashville Herald: Two of the cases against Lonnie Royals, a young white man living near the Berrien-Lowndes line, were tried. He was acquitted of stealing Mr. Connell’s turkey, but was convicted of burglarizing the home of Mr. Jack Gaskins. The jury recommended that he be punished as for a misdemeanor.”
Lonnie was acquitted in the case of the turkey heist, and apparently the jury took pity on him in the burglary case as they recommended sentencing for a misdemeanor crime.
Lonnie and Utha made their home in the Ray City area for many years.
Children of William Lonnie Royal and Utha Gertrude Mixon:
- Samuel Clarence Royal, b. Jul 26 1918, Ray City, Berrien, Georgia; married Mary Sue Smith; died March 4, 2008 Louis Smith Hospital, Lakeland, Lanier, Georgia
- Clara Mae Royal, b. Jan 21 1920, Ray City, Berrien, Georgia; died Dec 25 1923, Ray City, Berrien, Georgia
- William Clyde Royal, b. May 14 1921, Lakeland, Lanier, Georgia; married Dora Brown; d. Feb 27 1997, Columbus, Muscogee, Georgia
- Velma Louise Royal, b. Dec 26 1922, Ray City, Berrien, Georgia; died Dec 12 1923, New Bethel Cemetery, Berrien, Georgia
- Alva Inez ‘Mickie’ Royal, b. May 03 1924 Ray City, Lanier, Georgia; married 1) Woodard Bailey, 2) Horace L. Grayson; died Jan 09 2010, Beaumont, Texas
- Gola Wylene Royal
- Agnes Kathleen Royal, b. Jul 22 1929, Ray City, Berrien, Georgia; m. Dale Wilson; died Dec 04 1972, Phoenix, Arizona
- Jewel Christine Royal, b. Aug 23 1930, Ray City, Berrien, Georgia; died May 28 1944, Lakeland, Lanier, Georgia
- Gladys Helen Royal, b. Aug 18 1933, Ray City, Lanier, Georgia; m. Ralph Henderson ; died July 23, 2006, Bryon, Olmsted, Minnesota
William Lonnie Royal died March 2, 1981 in Berrien County, GA. He was buried at Fender Cemetery, Lanier County, GA
Images and information on Mixon family history contributed in part by http://royalmixon.tribalpages.com/