Thelma Wood Marries Jack Herlihy

On May 20, 1946 Thelma Wood, of Ray City, GA married  WWII veteran John Joseph “Jack” Herlihy, of New York She was born in Chatham County, GA on August 10, 1918,  a daughter of George Washington Wood (1884 – 1960) and his second wife, Fannie Lou Taylor Wood (1896 – 1981), of  Ray City.

The wedding was announced in Southern Cross, the Catholic newspaper of Savannah, GA.

Southern Cross, June 29, 1946. Thelma Wood, of Ray City, GA marries John Herlihy

Southern Cross, June 29, 1946. Thelma Wood, of Ray City, GA marries John Herlihy

Southern Cross
June 29, 194

Herlihy-Wood

Savannah, Ga. – Miss Thelma Wood, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Wood, of Ray City, and Mr. John J. Herlihy, of New York City, were married in the Chapel of Our Lady at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, on May 20, Monsignor T. James McNamara officiating.

Thelma and Jack were married 46 years, until Jack’s death in 1992.  Thelma died in 2007.  She was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Valdosta Daily Times
Obituaries for Friday, June 15, 2007

STAMPING GROUND, KY.

Thelma Herlihy

Thelma Herlihy, 88, of Stamping Ground, Ky. passed away Monday June 11, 2007 in Georgetown, Ky.

She was born on Aug. 10, 1918 in Chatham Co., Ga. to the late George Washington and Fannie Lou Taylor Wood. She was a homemaker and retired corporate secretary with Nabisco and was a member of Peekskill Baptist Church in Peekskill, N.Y. She was the widow of John Joseph Herlihy.

She is survived by one daughter Laura Herlihy of Eatonton; two sons, Dr. Jack Herlihy, Stamping Ground, Ky., Richard Herlihy, Hopewell Junction, N.Y.; five grandchildren, Shannon Shay, Little Jack, Colin, Christian and Corey; and one brother, Glenn Wood of Savannah.

Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, June 18, 2007 in the Chapel of Lovein Funeral Home with the Rev. Mike Gibbs officiating. Interment will be held in Beaver Dam Cemetery in Ray City. Visitation will be held from 7-9 p.m. Sunday. — Lovein Funeral Home, Nashville

 

Grave of Thelma Wood Hurlihy, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Grave of Thelma Wood Hurlihy, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

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George Washington Wood

George Washington Wood was a brother of John Rhoden Wood, who served as a U. S. Diplomat to France between WWI and WWII.  The two brothers grew up in Ray City GA.  Around 1913, after the death of his first wife, Creasey Brown, George Washington Wood moved to Savannah, GA. But some time in the early 1940s, George and his second wife, Fannie Lou Taylor, moved from Savannah back to Ray City, GA.

George Washington Wood and his second wife, Fannie Lou Taylor. Image courtesy of Katie Frost

George Washington Wood and his second wife, Fannie Lou Taylor. Image courtesy of Katie Frost

George Washington Wood was born July 9, 1884. A son of Milledge Dewey Wood (1862 – 1932) and Nancy Caroline Rhoden Wood (1860 – 1929).  George grew up at Ray’s Mill, GA (now Ray City).  As a young man, he was tall with medium build, grey eyes and brown hair.

At the age of 18, he married Creasy Brown of Dupont, GA and  the couple made their home on a rented farm in the Connells Mill District, the 1329 Georgia Militia District,  on the “Rays Mill and Cat Creek road” near the town of Rays Mill (now Ray City).  George worked the farm and Creasy assisted with the farm labor while raising four kids. Following the birth of her fifth child, Creasy fell sick in the fall of 1911 and died on October 10, 1911.

Children of Creasy Brown and George Washington Wood:

  1. Leon Wood, born August 30, 1901, Berrien County, GA;  died November 8, 1922; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA
  2. Hattie Wood, born about 1906, Berrien County, GA
  3. Gruvey Silas Wood, born March 24, 1908, Berrien County, GA; married Mary Pannal; died May 22, 1984, Savannah, GA; buried Hillcrest Abbey East Cemetery, Savannah, GA
  4. J. Remer Wood, born September 30, 1909, Berrien County, GA; married Jewel Prickett; died October 4, 1995; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA
  5. Henry C. Wood, born August 8, 1911, Berrien County, GA; died April 24, 1986; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

George was left to raise five children on his own. It appears that around 1915, he moved his young family to Savannah, GA where he secured a job as an electric street car conductor. About 1916 he married Fannie Lou Taylor  (1896 – 1981) and the couple made their home at 318 East 36th Street in Savannah.

Children of George Washington Wood and Fannie Lou Taylor:

  1. Thelma Wood, born August 10, 1918, Savannah, GA; married Jack Herlihy; died June 11, 2007; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.
  2. Georgia Wood, born August 18, 1921, Savannah, GA; Married first Robert Stanley Krinsky, second George Ruscup; died August 21, 2004; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA
  3. James Arthur Wood, born January 7, 1924; married Barbara Swindle, Berrien County, GA; died June 22, 1991 Savannah, GA; buried Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, GA.
  4.  Wallace Glenn Wood, born March 18, 1926; married Loretta Carver; died July 28, 2015; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

In the early 1940s Fannie Lou Taylor and George Washington Wood moved to Ray City, Georgia.  They lived in a home on Main Street, just across the street from the residence of Henry Alexander Swindle and Ora Kathleen Knight Swindle in a house that was formerly the residence of Mr. and Mrs. P. M. Shultz.

Home of George Washington Wood and Fannie Lou Taylor Wood, Main Street, Ray City, GA

Home of George Washington Wood and Fannie Lou Taylor Wood, Main Street, Ray City, GA

George Washington Wood died on Monday, June 13, 1960. He was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA, among others of the Wood family connection.

Grave of George Washington Wood and Fannie Lou Taylor Wood, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave of George Washington Wood and Fannie Lou Taylor Wood, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

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Portrait of Creasy Brown Wood

A wonderful portrait of Creasy Brown Wood (see Creasy Brown Woods buried at Dupont, GA) was recently contributed by reader, Katie Frost. In the early 1900s, Creasy Brown and husband George Washington Wood kept their household just west of Ray City, in the Connells Mill District.

Creasy Brown, wife of George Washington Wood. Around 1910, the Woods made their home in the Rays Mill area.

Creasy Brown, wife of George Washington Wood. Around 1910, the Woods made their home in the Rays Mill area. Image courtesy of K. Frost.

Creasy Brown, born August 14, 1877 was a daughter of  Sarah Hughes and James Brown. Her father was a veteran of the Civil War, having served as a private in Company D, 26th Georgia Infantry, Confederate States Army. Her mother, Sarah M. Hughes, was a daughter of  Nancy Hutto and William Hughes.

When Creasy was about twelve years old, her grandparents were brutally murdered at their home in Clinch county (see The Bloody Story: 1889 Murder of the Hughes Family in Clinch County.)

Creasy grew up in DuPont, Clinch County, GA.   She was enumerated. In the census of 1900 in her parents’ household in the 1280 District of Clinch county.  Their neighbors were Ola and Otis Mikell, subject of earlier posts (Ola Crews and Otis Mikell),

About 1903 Creasy Brown married 18 year old George Washington Wood.  She was 25 at the time.

The couple made their home on a rented farm in the Connells Mill District, the 1329 Georgia Militia District, near the town of Rays Mill.  George worked the farm and Creasy assisted with the farm labor. By the time the 1910 census came along they were also raising four kids.

The year 1911 brought tragedy. In September Creasy was down with illness; by early October she knew the end was coming.  After weeks of illness she passed away on October 10, 1911.  Her obituary mentions she was survived by her husband and five children. She was buried at North Cemetery,  Du Pont, GA, about 20 miles east of Ray City.

Children of Creasy Brown and George Washington Wood:

  1. Children of Creasy Brown and George Washington Wood:
    1. Leon Wood, born August 30, 1901, Berrien County, GA;  died November 8, 1922; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA
    2. Hattie Wood, born about 1906, Berrien County, GA
    3. Gruvey Silas Wood, born March 24, 1908, Berrien County, GA; married Mary Pannal; died May 22, 1984, Savannah, GA; buried Hillcrest Abbey East Cemetery, Savannah, GA
    4. J. Remer Wood, born September 30, 1909, Berrien County, GA; married Jewel Prickett; died October 4, 1995; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA
    5. Henry C. Wood, born August 8, 1911, Berrien County, GA; died April 24, 1986; buried Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA
Children of Creasy Brown and George Washington Wood. Left to right: Gruvey Silas Wood, Hattie Wood, Remer Wood, and Leon Wood (seated). Image courtesy of Katie Frost.

Children of Creasy Brown and George Washington Wood. Left to right: Gruvey Silas Wood, Hattie Wood, Remer Wood, and Leon Wood (seated). Image courtesy of Katie Frost.

George Washington Wood later moved to Savannah, GA and married Fannie Lou Taylor.

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John R. Wood Goes to Paris

Ray City, GA was the boyhood home of John Rhoden Wood, a son of Milledge Dewey Wood and Nancy Caroline Rhoden. He went on to a long career as a diplomat with the US State Department, serving primarily in France, from WWI to WWII.

John R. Wood, 1920 passport photo.

John R. Wood, 1920 passport photo.

John Rhoden Wood was born in Dupont, GA on February 7, 1894. Some time before 1910, the Wood family moved from Dupont to the 1329 Georgia Militia District, near Ray City, GA where John R. Wood spent his teenage years.

At the time of the draft for WWI John R. Wood was living in Jacksonville, FL and working for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. He was 23 years old, of medium height and build, with blue eyes and brown hair. Wood entered the Army and was sent to France. He achieved the rank of Second Lieutenant before receiving an honorable discharge.

About 1920 John R. Wood married a French girl, Jeanne Victorine Brissaud.

Jeanne Victorine Brissaud, 1920 passport photo.

Jeanne Victorine Brissaud, 1920 passport photo.

That year Wood applied for a passport  to return to France, giving his permanent residence as Ray City, GA.

John R. Wood 1920 Passport Application

John R. Wood 1920 Passport Application

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Washington, DC

I, John R Wood, a native and loyal citizen of the United States, hereby apply to the Department of State, at Washington, for a passport for myself and my wife, Mrs. Jeane B. Wood.

I solemnly swear that I was born at Dupont Ga in the State of Ga, on or about the 7 day of Feb, 1894, that my father, M D Wood, was born in Coffee County Ga, and is now residing at Ray City Ga. that I have resided outside the United Stats at the following places for the following periods:

Paris, France. from Dec 1, 1918 to July 1, 1920 and that I am domiciled in the United States, my permanent residence being at Ray City in the state of Ga.

I am about to go abroad temporarily, and I intend to return to the United States within -{months/years} with the purpose of residing and performing the duties of citizenship therein; and I desire a passport for use in visiting the countries hereafter named for the following purpose:

France  – Returning to present employment

I intend to leave the United States from the port of New York sailing on board the  (name of vessel) on September 15, 1920.

Further, I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

J. R. Wood

Sworn to before me this 14th day of July, 1920
D F Smith
Agent, Department of State

In the margins the notation was added, “Honorable discharge from Army dated August 11, 1919 and giving rank as 2nd Lieut  seen and returned 7/14/20.”

The description of applicant gave his age as 26 years and height as 5 foot 11 inches.  He was fair in complexion with a full face, light hair,  high forehead, hazel eyes, straight nose, small mouth and square chin.

John Rhodes Wood's 1920 passport application gave his permanent residence as Ray City, GA.

John R. Wood’s 1920 passport application gave his permanent residence as Ray City, GA.

After some time in France,  John Wood made the return passage on the SS Rochambeau.

Over the next decades John R. Wood made several transatlantic voyages.  In May of 1926 he made the return crossing aboard the SS France.  At the time it was one of the fastest liners afloat.

SS France

SS France

In 1929 he sailed from Le Havre, France to New York aboard the SS Ile de France. The census of 1930 shows that John R. Wood and family were living in Paris, France where he was employed as Vice Consul.

SS Ile de France, photographed circa 1935

SS Ile de France, photographed circa 1935

On April 18, 1934 John R. Wood again departed from France, sailing from Le Havre aboard the SS Paris and arriving at the port of New York on April 24.  He gave his address in the U.S. as the Department of State, Washington, DC.

S.S. Paris, once the most luxurious ocean liner in the world.

In 1934 John R. Wood sailed aboard the S.S. Paris, once billed as the most luxurious ocean liner in the world.

In 1939, Wood made the Atlantic crossing on the SS Normandie.

SS Normandie at sea in the 1930s.

SS Normandie at sea in the 1930s.

More than a year after Germany invaded France during WWII,  John Wood departed Europe from Lisbon, Portugal on August 1, 1941, on the USS West Point.

USS West Point, August 1, 1941

USS West Point, August 1, 1941

Jeanne Brissaud Wood died on June 14, 1974 in Nice, France.

Later, John R. Wood made his residence in Colquitt County, GA.  He died in Savannah, GA on June 30, 1996 at 102 years of age.

In death he returned to his boyhood home of Ray City, GA where he was interred at Beaver Dam Cemetery, with his parents and others of the Wood family connection.

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Milledge Dewey Wood and the First Cotton Blooms of 1912

On June 25, 1912, The Valdosta Times reported on some of the first cotton blooms of the season. The growers were G. W. Carter, of Lois, and Milledge Dewey Wood, of Ray City, GA.

Valdosta Times
June 25, 1912

Messrs. G. W. Carter of the Lois District and M. D. Wood of Rays Mill, were  among the first to send in cotton blooms to the Herald.  They are among the enterprising farmers of the county, and have their crops in fine condition.  We appreciate the favor of these friends in keeping us posted on their farming operations.

Milledge Dewey Wood  was the father of George W. Wood and father-in-law of Creasy Brown Wood, subject of previous posts (see Creasy Brown Wood buried at Dupont, GA).

M. D. Wood was a son of Josiah Wood and Caroline Meeks. His gravemarker gives his birth date April 28, 1862, but from census records it appears that he was actually born in 1860.

At the time of his birth, his father, Josiah Wood, was farming in Macon County, GA near the town of Lanier. But with the outbreak of the Civil War, his father joined Company E of the 4th Georgia Cavalry.  Josiah Wood did not serve long in the Confederate States Army. Due to a disability he was discharged after just one year of service.

Some time before 1870, young Milledge moved with his family to Coffee County, GA, where his father farmed a small place valued at $200.

The 1880 census record for M. D. Wood has not been located, but in 1883 he married Nancy Caroline Rhoden. In 1900, the couple made their home in Dupont, GA where Milledge owned  farm free and clear of mortgage.

By 1910 the Nancy and M. D. Wood had moved their family to Georgia Militia District 1329, the Connells Mill district, near Ray City, GA. Wood rented a farm on the Rays Mill-Cat Creek road, next door to farms of  Lacy Lester Shaw and Francis Marion Shaw.

In 1920, Wood was farming a place outside of Ray City,  on the Nashville Road.  On the farm next door was Gideon Gaskins.

Children of Nancy Caroline Rhoden and Milledge Dewey Wood:

  1. George Washington Wood 1884 – 1960, married Creasy Brown
  2. Joseph Bryant Wood 1885 – 1969
  3. Ely Benjamin Wood 1888 – 1978
  4. Willie Westberry Wood (1889 – 1974) – worked for E.M. “Hun” Knight, and later Clements Sawmill
  5. Laura Wood 1891 – 1973
  6. John Rhoden Wood 1894 – 1996
  7. Celia Caroline Wood 1896 – 1988
  8. Lulu Wood 1899 – 1974
  9. James Oliver Wood 1901 – 1975
  10. Dewey Franklin Wood 1906 – 1988
  11. Eliza Bell Wood 1909-1910

Milledge Dewey Wood died October 31, 1932.  He was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery in Ray City, GA

Grave marker of Milledge Dewey Wood, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Grave marker of Milledge Dewey Wood, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

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Creasy Brown Woods buried at Dupont, GA

An old newspaper clipping reported the passing of Creasy Brown Wood, wife of George W. Wood.

Nashville Herald
Friday October 13, 1911

Death of Mrs. G. W. Woods

Mrs. G. W. Woods died at her home near Rays Mill, Tuesday evening, October 10, at 2:30 o’clock, after an illness of about six weeks.
    Mrs. Woods was a well known lady and was loved by all who knew her.  She was about thirty years of age.  She leaves a husband and five children, besides her brothers and sisters, to mourn her death. Her remains were carried to DuPont for burial.
    Mrs. Woods bade her husband and loved ones good-bye before she died.
    Her bereaved husband has the sympathy of many friends.

“May he and she in Heaven meet,
Cast their crowns at Jesus’ feet.”
                         – A Friend

The Herald extends its deep sympathy to Mr. Woods in the loss of his wife.

Creasy Brown Wood was buried at North Cemetery – Dupont, GA  near her parents, grandparents, and many others of her family connections rest.

Grave marker for Creasy Brown Wood, Wife of George W. Wood, North Cemetery, Dupont, Clinch County, GA.

Grave marker for Creasy Brown Wood, Wife of George W. Wood, North Cemetery, Dupont, Clinch County, GA.

Creasy Brown, born 14 Aug 1877, was the daughter of Sarah M. Hughes (22 Jan 1847 – 19 Jan 1904)  and James Brown (15 Sep 1828  –  15 Aug 1900)  of DuPont, Clinch County, GA.  In the census of 1900, Creasy was enumerated in her parents’ household in the 1280 District of Clinch county, where they were neighbors of Otis Mikell, subject of earlier posts (Ola Crews and Otis Mikell)

The graves of Creasy Brown’s maternal grandparents bear an unusual inscription –  MURDERED.  When Creasy was twelve years old her grandparents were brutally murdered at their home in Dupont, GA.

Atlanta Constitution
November 9, 1889 pg 2

THE BLOODY AX.

A Double Murder in Clinch County, Georgia.

An Old Man and His Wife Found Dead on Their Premises – Excitement of the Affair.

    Valdosta, Ga., November 8. -(Special)- A most horrible and brutal double murder has just come to light from Clinch county.  The victims were an old man 78 years of age, and his aged wife.  The murderers are supposed to be negroes.  It is supposed that the murder was committed late Wednesday evening, but was not discovered till yesterday evening, some twenty-four hours later.  Mr. Hughes and wife lived seven miles south of Dupont by themselves.  They were good citizens and had raised a large family of respectable sons and daughters, who had grown up and left home.  One of the boys rides the mail from Dupont to Dames’ mill, and the route goes by the old man’s house. On Wednesday morning last, young Hughes stopped a few minutes to see the old folks, and the old gentleman told him that three negroes, a mulatto and two blacks, had been dodging about his place in a suspicious manner.  They called, ostensibly, for water, and inquired if anyone lived with him and his wife. They then disappeared, and later when he went in the woods to cut some posts, Mr. Hughes came up on them lying behind some logs.  On the return of young Hughes, later in the day, he stopped again, and found his parents safe and all right. He supposed the negroes were likely after pilfering, and did not give the matter much further thought. On Thursday afternoon two of Mr. Hughes’s grandsons, Thadeus Hughes and Jimmie Rice, young lads, went to spend the night with the old people, and when they entered the yard they found their grandfather laying near the steps dead.
    They immediately fled and carried the news to the nearest neighbors. A crowd soon gathered, and when they returned to the old peoples’ residence they found the old lady also dead in the kitchen. She had evidently been killed first, while the old man was probably in the lot feeding his stock. She was preparing supper, and had some raw meat in a bowl in her hand when the fatal blow was struck with an ax from behind. She fell upon her face and the bowl broke as she fell, and another lick on the back of her head shattered her roach-comb and crushed in the skull.  The old man was met or overtaken in the front yard and dealt two blows which crushed his skull and killed him immediately.  The bloody ax which did the work was found leaning against the plazza not ten steps from where the old man lay.  Mr. Hughes is supposed to have had over two hundred dollars in his trunk, which was found out in the yard, broken open and rifled. The people in the neighborhood are greatly excited about the affair, and every effort will be made to hunt down the red-handed villains, but they got twenty-four or thirty-six hours the start if they left the country as soon as the crime was committed. Sheriff Dickerson has offered a reward for the murderers, and will use every endeavor to catch them.

Her grandparents were buried in North Cemetery – Dupont, GA.

Grave markers of William Hughs, and Ellen S. Hughs, murdered in 1889, buried at North Cemetery, Dupont, Clinch County, GA.

Grave markers of William Hughs, and Ellen S. Hughs, murdered in 1889, buried at North Cemetery, Dupont, Clinch County, GA.

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Jewel Wood and Ray City’s Victory Soda Shop

Jewel Wood worked in the Victory Soda Shop in down town Ray City, Georgia. She was hired in 1943 by Ralph Gaskins, the shop’s original owner, and was employed there for more than 40 years.

In its heyday the Victory Soda Shop was one of the best known  landmarks of Ray City.  It was located in a brick commercial building on the corner of Main Street and  Street. The shop was a popular gathering spot for local citizens, and once boasted the town’s only telephone.

 In a 1984 newspaper article Wood reflected, “I was there when they first had fountain drinks. They provided special glasses with marks to show you where to put the syrup, the soda, and the ice.  The brass cash register is still there, the five and one cent keys all but worn out from the days when coffee was a nickel and candy was a penny.”  Besides the obligatory soda fountain offerings, she served the patrons quick fare like hamburgers and hotdogs. The Victory Soda Shop’s hand squeezed lemonade was widely regarded as the best in the area.  In the early days, she knew all the customers by name. One any given day, you could expect to find the town’s old timers, pundits and sages gathered around a table swapping yarns, offering advice, or analyzing current events over a cup of coffee.

From behind the counter, Jewel Wood saw Ray City change with the times.  With the triumph of the Allies in World War II, the little shop earned its name. In the Sixties, the Civil Rights movement ended the segregation of the shop’s clientel. Later, the construction of Interstate 75 meant less traffic passing through town, but the local fame of the Victory Soda Shop would still draw the occasional visitor from the highway.

Over the years the shop had different owners.  Billy Clements was the proprietor for many years.  In 1984 it was owned by Jewel Wood’s son, Johnnie Wayne Wood.  The Victory Soda Shop is closed now, although the brick building where it was located still stands, the last remaining commercial brick building in Ray City.

 A previous Ray City History post included a newspaper photo Victory Soda Shop ~ Ray City, GA 

Brian Brown  provides a photograph of the building that once was home to the Victory Soda Shop at

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