Robert J. Starling was at Emory College, Valdosta, GA 1948

Emory at Valdosta

Robert J. “Bob” Starling, a son of Henry Laverne Starling and Allie Purvis, attended the Emory College campus in Valdosta in 1948. His father was the school lunchroom supervisor at Ray City, and his grandfather, Juniper Griffis Starling, was a pioneer settler of Coffee County, GA.

Bob Starling grew up in his father’s household on Park Street in Ray City, and attended the Ray City School along with his brothers and sisters. The Starling kids were all involved in the Glee Club. In 1939, Bob and his sister, Wylda Starling, played in the school’s Symphonet Band, along with Lamar Hardy, Fain Guthrie, Ferrell Herring, Barbara Swindle, Annie Martha Grisset, Lois Burkhalter, Kenneth Cameron, Billy Creech, Casswell Yawn, and Sadie Griner. His older siblings, Hubert C Starling and Juanelle Starling sang with the school chorus.

Robert J. Starling, 1948, Emory Junior College, Valdosta, GA

Robert J. Starling, 1948, Emory Junior College, Valdosta, GA

Emory Junior College, 1940s, Valdosta, GA

Emory Junior College, 1940s, Valdosta, GA

Bob Starling went on to become Dr. Robert J. Starling. He married a nurse, Frances Carolyn Singletary, and practiced medicine in Donalsonville, GA.  He eventually purchased the hospital in Donalsonville and he and Frances operated it for many years.

A writer on the Donalsonville Forum: Remember the Good Ole Days, posted in 2011:

Dr Earle Moseley built the facility and it was known as Moseley Clinic and Hospital until his death in 1963. After that time, Dr Bob Starling purchased the hospital and it was renamed “Seminole Memorial Hospital”. Dr Jake Holley came that same year and joined him. Later he was joined by Dr Lewis Chisholm for a while, then later Dr Charlie O Walker.

Another writer in 2008 recalled the doctor’s bedside manner:

“Doctor Starling was such a kind and gentle man. I was never afraid of going to him as a child. I wish he was still around for my own children. I cut my hand when I was a senior in High School, and he was on call in the emergency room that day at lunch. I had never been to him; we always went to old man Dr.B….But Dr. Starling took me in, and soothed me quickly. He had 6 stitches in my hand before I could squeeze out another tear for my mom !! I remember Fran and Scott Starling, Linda and Robert too.They always had the best Halloween decorations!”

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Hosea Peeples “Hod” Clements

Hosea P. “Hod” Clements,  son of Ann Eliza Swindle and John Miles Clements, was a life long resident of Berrien County. He was a cousin of the Clements brothers who ran the Clements Lumber Company at Ray City, GA. Hod was educated at the Georgia Normal College and Business Institute, and served in France during WWI, but always returned to Ray City.

Hod P. Clements of Ray City, GA, 1911.

Hod P. Clements of Ray City, GA, 1911.

On September 15, 1917 Hod P. Clements married Alma Florence May in a ceremony performed by A. J. Futch, Minister of God.  Alma was a daughter of Mary Florence “Molly” Simmons and Sirmon Green May. Her father was a farmer at Nashville, GA .

Hosea Peeples "Hod" Clements and Alma Florence May were married in Berrien County, GA on September 15, 1917.

Hosea Peeples “Hod” Clements and Alma Florence May were married in Berrien County, GA on September 15, 1917.

The following year Alma gave birth to their first child, James Herman Clements, born May 8, 1918.

As told in the previous post (Hod P. Clements and the Dixie Division ), Hod joined the army and shipped overseas late in the summer of 1918  where he served from September 17, 1918 to July 5, 1919.

James Herman Clements, son of Alma Florence May and Hod P. Clements, circa 1921. Image courtesy of berriencountyga.com.

James Herman Clements, son of Alma Florence May and Hod P. Clements, circa 1921. Image courtesy of berriencountyga.com.

For a while Hod and Alma made their home on his father’s farm, situated on

They moved to Ray City in the 1920s and lived in a house on Jones Street, Ray City, GA. Armed with a degree from the Georgia Normal College and Business Institute, Hod Clements went into business in Ray City: “From 1923 until 1945 Clements operated a general store named Swindle and Clements.”

James Herman Clements and Mildred Lorene Clements, children of Alma and Hod P. Clements, with Marie and Pete Studstill. Image courtesy of berriencountyga.com.

James Herman Clements and Mildred Lorene Clements, children of Alma and Hod P. Clements, with Marie and Pete Studstill. Image courtesy of berriencountyga.com.

The Clements were involved in the community. Hod Clements was a Master Mason, raised up January 8, 1935, and a member of Duncan Lodge. Alma Clements was a supporter of local education and in 1941 she was working in the lunchroom at the Ray City School.

In the 1940s the Clements home on Jones Street was valued at $1000.  Hod and Alma lived there with their children, James Herman Clements, Mildred Lorene Clements, and Helen Frances Clements. Also boarding in the Clements home was James Gaskins Grady.  Grady was a school teacher who had come to Ray City from Montevallo, AL some time after 1935.

The Clements’ neighbors on Jones Street were James M. Studstill, who was the uncle of Vera R. Yawn, and great uncle of D’ree, Allene, and Caswell S. Yawn. Another neighbor was Thomas J. Studstill, and a few doors down were Chester Nobles, Billy Creech, and J. H. P. Johnson.

Hod worked 60 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, employed as the manager of a meat market.  For this he earned $30 a week, $1500 a year.

In 1948, buying the old Ray City Bank and its equipment for $3,500 he opened The Bank of Ray City , a private bank and the only financial institution in the town at that time.  Obtaining a state charter in 1949, H.P. Clements began banking with a capital of $10,000. In 1956, Mr. Clements’ son-in-law, Lawson Fountain, returned to Ray City, from Jacksonville, FL and afterwards the two ran the bank together. In later years Mr. Clements was forced to retire due to ill health. Then in 1973 the bank was sold to the Citizens Bank of Nashville. Georgia, and is now the Ray City office of that bank.

Hosea P. Clements died June 8, 1978 and now rests in Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

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