Boys Lost in the Swamp

In 1906 two young men, William Franklin “Frank” Shaw and Ben Giddens, wandered into the South Georgia swamp. When it got late and the skies turned stormy the Shaw family, many of whom lived and worked in the Ray City vicinity, mobilized to search for the boys.  (Bryan Shaw, of the Berrien Historical Foundation, has written about his family history in the newsletter, Family of Francis Marion Shaw.)

The Valdosta Times
June 23, 1906


Cat Creek Lads Go Hunting and Failed to Return.

Frank Shaw and Ben Giddens Followed a Rabbit Into a Swamp and Were Unable to Find Their Way Out

Cat Creek, Ga., June 20 – Last Tuesday afternoon Frank Shaw, aged 15, son of Mr. B. F. Shaw, and Ben Giddens, another boy about the same age left their homes to go to the swamp nearby to gather huckleberries. The dogs that followed the boys treed a rabbit in the swamps, which is a bad place and the boys decided to go in the swamp and get the rabbit, when to their great surprise they found themselves lost.     The night was a dark and stormy one and the trees and limbs were falling in every direction.  The boy’s parents became alarmed by the boys failing to show up and they decided to go in search of them.     Messrs. B. F. Shaw and two sons, F. M. Shaw, Bobbie Taylor, John Shaw, W. B. Parrish, Frank Allen, J. S. Shaw, Brodie and Bruner Shaw, all went in search of the missing boys, some going in every direction.  The dogs that accompanied the boys did not come home, which brought great relief to the boy’s parents who realized that if the boys were either drowned or killed the dogs would have returned home.    The boys managed to find their way out of the swamps and got back to their homes about 11 o’clock, completely tired out.

Fortunately, on this day everyone returned safely to their homes.  Both Frank Shaw and Ben Giddens  would later call Ray City home. Frank Shaw, like many of the Shaw family children, attended school at King’s Chapel.

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Mary Vera Shaw of Ray City, GA

Mary Vera Shaw, mentioned in the previous post 1922 Spring Fever Hits Ray City, was a daughter of Mary Catherine “Minnie” Beagles and Beauregard Franklin Shaw. She was born May 21, 1905 in Berrien County, GA and spent her early childhood on her father’s farm on the Ray’s Mill & Cat Creek Road in Militia District 1329, the Connell’s Mill district.

When she was about eight years old her father died. By the census of 1920  her widowed mother had moved the family to a farm on one of the ‘settlement roads’ near Ray City, GA.  Next door was Jerry A. Shaw.

On January 20, 1925 at age 19  Mary Vera Shaw married Asa Ollie Causey. He was a farmer more than twice her age, a widower with children of his own.  After marriage, Vera and Asa Causey made their home in Pavo, GA.

In the Fall of 1932, Vera Shaw Causey came down with pneumonia.  She died Nov 14, 1932 and was buried at Pleasant Cemetery near Ray City, GA.

Mary Vera Shaw, husband Asa Ollie Causey, and son Herman Ollie Causey, circa 1928. Mary Vera Shaw grew up in and near Ray City, GA.

Mary Vera Shaw, husband Asa Ollie Causey, and son Herman Ollie Causey, circa 1928. Mary Vera Shaw grew up in and near Ray City, GA.


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