September 10, 2016 at 4:28 am (Georgia State Womans College)
Tags: Alma L. Albritton, Carolyn DeVane, Cat Creek GA, Caulie Augustus DeVane, Doris Boyette, Dorothy Boyette, Eddie D. Boyette, Elias Moore Knight, G.S.W.C., Gladys Daniel, Hun Knight, Irene Guthre, Jack Knight, James M. Paulk, John O. Hambrick, John W. Weaver, Lanier County GA, Lois GA, Louise Paulk, Marian Hambrick, Maryln Faye Weaver, Mattie D. Boyette, Mayhaw Lake, Ray City GA, Ruth Hambrick, Thera Ollis Hambrick, West Hall VSU
West Hall, Georgia State Womans College, 1945
From 1922 to 1950 the state college in Valdosta, GA was known as Georgia State Womans College (now know as Valdosta State University”. A number of Ray City women who attended the college during this period were featured in a previous post. Here are a few more who appeared in available yearbooks:
Doris and Dot Boyette were daughters of Eddie D. Boyette and Mattie Deen Boyette. Their home was in Lanier County, just east of Ray City.
Doris Boyett, of Ray City, GA, 1942 sophomore at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA
Dorothy Boyett, of Ray City, GA. 1945 sophomore at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA
Carolyn DeVane was a daughter of Caulie A Devane and Alma L. Albritton. She grew up in the Lois community just west of Ray City, GA.
Carolyn DeVane, 1945, Freshman
Marian Hambrick, sister of Thera Hambrick, was a daughter of Ruth and John O. Hambrick. Her family’s place was in the Cat Creek community, just southwest of Ray City.
Marian Hambrick, 1941, Freshman
Louise Paulk was a daughter of Gladys Daniels and James M. Paulk. Her father died when she was a toddler and her mother remarried Hun Knight. Her step-father was the owner of the Mayhaw Lake amusement park at Ray City. Her half-brother was Jack Knight, who attended college at Valdosta after the school went co-educational.
Louise Paulk, 1939, GSWC
Marilyn Faye Weaver was a daughter of John W. Weaver and Irene Guthrie. The Weaver farm was just east of Ray City in the 1300 Georgia Militia District in Lanier County, GA.
Marilyn Weaver, 1949, freshman at Georgia State Womans College.
September 19, 2015 at 4:56 am (Faith and Begorrah)
Tags: Cat Creek GA, Cheefoo China, Lowndes County GA, MS Gripsholm, Pearl Allene Todd, Pearl Harbor, Pearl Todd Baptist Retreat, Ray City GA, Ray City School, Southern Baptist Conference, WW II
Pearl Todd, a Southern Baptist missionary from Hahira, GA, served many years in China. While in the U.S. in 1939, she spoke to many audiences, including sharing her China experiences with students at the Ray City School. Pearl Todd was back in China when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred.
Pearl Todd, taken POW by the Japanese in China, returned to Lowndes County in 1942.
Friday September 18, 1942
More Mission Work in China Is Seen ‘Later’
Returned Missionary at Valdosta Tells of Jap ‘Take-Over.’
VALDOSTA, Ga., Sept. 17. The constructive work of missionaries in conquered sections of China has not been lost and it will survive Japan’s “new order,” says a missionary who spent 20 years in China.
The missionary, Miss Pearl Todd, of Lowndes county, added confidently:
“We will take up our work when the World War chaos has been ended.”
Miss Todd returned recently on the Gripsholm, diplomatic exchange ship. She told of one rather severe brush with Japanese authorities after they took over mission schools along with other property at Cheefoo, Shantung province, following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
It involved “signing away” some properties of the Southern Baptist Conference. With a twinkle of humor in her eye, she added:
They already had the property, and I signed under duress.”
She feared the loss of her typewriter, which had a mission report in it. Miss Todd said Japanese soldiers who inspected it apparently could not read English and they left it. She said there were some sentences on the sheet in the typewriter which were not complimentary to the Japs.
In the 1940s, the Pearl Todd Baptist Retreat operated in the Cat Creek Community about 8 miles southwest of Ray City, GA.
Pearl Todd Baptist Retreat, located near the Cat Creek Community, operated from the 1940s to 1970s.
Pearl Todd Baptist Retreat, located near the Cat Creek Community, operated from the 1940s to 1970s.
“Nashville” and “Adel” dormitories at Pearl Todd Baptist Retreat.
August 5, 2015 at 12:32 am (Uncategorized)
Tags: 4-H, Cat Creek GA, Charles McKuhen, Donald Mathis, Edna Young, Eugene Johnson, Henry F. Harrod, James Walter Williams, Marie Harrod Johnson, Mary Inez Watson, Ray City GA, Ray City School, Valdosta GA, William Ira Johnson
One of the popular clubs at the Ray City School was 4-H. In the 1930s, 4-H members included Bernard Johnson (RCHS 1930), Brown King (RCHS 1930), Leland Langford (RCHS, 1939), J. D. Luke, Billy McDonald, James Swindle (RCHS, 1936), Clyde Carter (RCHS 1936), Margaret Carter (RCHS 1930), Mabel McDonald (RCHS 1930), Clyde Moore, Doris Swindle (RCHS 1930), and Grace Swindle, and Beth Terry (RCHS 1930).
In the 1950s, the Ray City kids in 4-H included James Williams (RCHS 1952), Eugene Johnson (RCHS 1952), Donald Mathis (RCHS 1953), Charles McKuhen (RCHS 1953).
James Williams, Ray City High School class of 1953
James Walter Williams (1935-1998), son of James Walter Williams and Mary Inez Watson, was born and raised in Ray City, GA. He attended the Ray City School, participating in varsity basketball from 1951-53, and was a member of 4-H. He graduated with the RCHS class of 1953. Williams later served in the U.S. Army as a Specialist, 4th Class. James Walter Williams died December 14, 1998; he was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.
Eugene Johnson, 4-H Member
Ray City High School class of 1953
Eugene Johnson (1935-2012) was born September 1, 1935 in Moultrie, GA to the William Ira Johnson and Marie Harrod Johnson. When Eugene was a child his father died. His widowed mother moved the family to Cat Creek, GA to the homeplace of Eugene’s grandparents, Henry F. Harrod and Edna Young. Eugene Johnson passed away Saturday morning November 24, 2012 at his residence in Valdosta, GA; his grave is at New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, GA.
Donald Mathis, 4-H Member
1952-53 school photo, Ray City High School
Charles McKuhen, 1952-53 school photo, Ray City High School
Ray City School 4-H Club, 1952-53
4-H Girls, Ray City School, 1950-51
4-H Club, Ray City School, 1948-49
January 18, 2015 at 12:36 am (Families of Ray City, Ray City School)
Tags: 4-H, Athens GA, Billy McDonald, Camp Wilkins, Carrie Eugenia Langford, Cat Creek District, Cat Creek GA, Chloe Gardner, Clyde Carter, Clyde Moore, Donald L. Branyon, Doris Swindle, Georgia State College of Agriculture and the Mechanical Arts, Grace E. Swindle, James A. Swindle, John D. Luke Jr, King's Chapel School, Lacy A. McDonald, Leland Etheldred Langford, Lucile Ponsell, Lucy McDonald, Mabel McDonald, Margaret Carter, Mary Virginia Knight, Paul Knight, Ramblers Club, Ray City GA, Ray City School, University of Arizona, Walter Howard Knight, William E. Langford
Billie McDonald, of Ray City, GA at the University of Arizona, 1952
Billie McDonald, a son of Lacy Albert McDonald and Carrie Eugenia Langford, was born November 10, 1920 at Ray City, GA. He and his sisters attended the Ray City School. Mabel McDonald graduated from the Ray City School (then a junior high school) with the class of 1930 and went on to graduate from Valdosta High School in 1932. Eugenia McDonald graduated from Ray City High School with the class of 1936, and Billie McDonald graduated with the RCHS class of 1938. One of Billie’s classmates at Ray City was J.I. Clements who went on to a long coaching career at Georgia Southern University.
Billie McDonald’s father, Lacy A. McDonald, (1881-1960) was born at Cat Creek, Lowndes County, GA and worked in the Cat Creek District as a rural mail carrier. Lacy McDonald was probably educated at Kings Chapel School near Ray City, as was his sister, Lillie McDonald, who attended the school in 1906.
Billie’s mother, Carrie Eugenia Langford (1894-1984), was born at Rays Mill, GA (now Ray City) on August 31, 1894, a daughter of William E. Langford and Mary Virginia Knight, granddaughter of William Washington Knight, and great granddaughter of Levi J. Knight, original settler of Ray City, GA. Her parents owned a place between the farms of her uncle Walter Howard Knight and cousin Paul Knight.
Lacy McDonald and Carrie E. Langford were married on January 3, 1915 in Berrien County, GA. The ceremony was performed by Perry Thomas Knight, Minister of God. Afterward, they made their home at Ray City, on the farm of Carrie’s parents. Lacy continued to work as a rural mail carrier. His 1918 draft registration gives his physical description as short and slender with brown eyes and dark hair.
In the summer of 1931, ten-year-old Billie McDonald, his sister Mabel and their mother all went to Camp Wilkins, the first 4-H camp in Georgia. Camp Wilkins was a program at the Georgia State College of Agriculture and the Mechanical Arts at Athens, GA, now known as the University of Georgia. Billie and Mabel were there for the summer-long boys’ and girls camps. Their mother, Carrie McDonald, was there for a week long session for Farm Women. Also attending from Ray City that summer at Camp Wilkins were Leland Langford (RCHS, 1939), J. D. Luke, James Swindle (RCHS, 1936), and girls Clyde Carter (RCHS 1936), Margaret Carter, Clyde Moore, Doris Swindle, and Grace Swindle. Chloe Johnson was there also, attending the summer school for farm women. The 4-H activities in Berrien County were coordinated by County Agricultural Agent Donald L. Branyon.
Billie Graduated with the RCHS class of 1938. In 1950, he was enrolled at the University of Arizona. While pursuing his degree there he was a member of the Ramblers hiking club.
Billie McDonald, of Ray City, GA, attended the University of Arizona in 1950. Billie was a member of the Ramblers hiking club.
The only prerequisite for membership in Ramblers, Arizona’s hiking club, is an incurable wanderlust. Ramblers departed regularly each Sunday for many points of interest in the Southwest, including Miller Peak, Mt. Lemmon, and Baboquivari Peak. The Rambler pin identifies those who have tramped on a required number of hikes.
Billie McDonald married Lucile “Lucy” Ponsell (Lucy) McDonald (1921-2008). She was born near Waycross GA and lived in Jacksonville, FL during her early life. She also lived in Arizona, Alabama, Missouri and Mississippi before settling in Ray City, GA. She was a volunteer at the Ray City library. She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Ray City where she also worked in the church library.
April 11, 2014 at 12:57 am (Bullard Family)
Tags: Adam Allen Jones, Albert B. Surrency, Buie & Knight, Cat Creek GA, Dollie Howard Knight, Fannie Bullard Shaw, Green Bullard, Henry Needham Bullard, Jesse Shelby Shaw, Malone Bullard, Mary Ann Knight, Mary Johnson, Nashville GA, Possum Creek Road, Ray's Mill GA, Rays Mill Georgia, Sally Louise Bullard, Susan Bullard, W. H. Griffin, Will Simms, William A. Jones, William Berrien Shaw, William Hamilton Griffin, William Malachi Jones
Green Bullard was a long time resident of the Rays Mill (now Ray City) area, and husband of Mary Ann Knight. The Bullards owned land out Possum Creek Road and on toward the community of Cat Creek. (See Green Bullard and Green Bullard Fought Sickness in the Civil War)
Following Green Bullard’s death in 1907, there was some dispute among his children and step-children over the administration of his estate.
One side of the family, represented by Buie & Knight, wanted Henry Needham Bullard appointed as administrator. The other side, represented by William Hamilton Griffin, wanted Mallie Jones as administrator. Attorney William Hamilton Griffin, who was judge of the Valdosta City Court and a former mayor of Valdosta. Col. Griffin was a native of Berrien County and had served previously as clerk of the Berrien County court and as Ordinary of Berrien County.
Children of Mary A. Knight and William A. Jones (1835-1866)
- William Malachi Jones (1861-1925)
- Adam Allen Jones (1863-1922)
Children of Green Bullard and Mary A. Knight
- Sally Louise Bullard (1866 – 1919) married Albert B. Surrency
- Susan Bullard (1871 – 1950) married Jesse Shelby “Doc” Shaw
- Fannie Bullard (1874 – 1941) married William Berrien Shaw
- Henry Needham Bullard (1878 – 1938) married Mary Johnson
- Louis Malone Bullard (1881 – 1945) married Dollie Howard Knight
The court challenge was reported in the April 11, 1908 edition of the Valdosta Times.
April 11, 1908 Administration of the estate of Green Bullard is contested by daughter Fannie Bullard Shaw
April 11, 1908
Contest Over Administration
Mr. William B. Shaw, of Bainbridge, representing his wife [Fannie Bullard Shaw], accompanied by his attorney, Judge W. H. Griffin, and Mr. Will Simms, went to Nashville yesterday to appear before the ordinary there and have Mr. Henry Bullard made administrator of the estate of Greene Bullard. Other heirs wanted Mr. Mallie Jones made administrator. Judge Griffin represented one side and Buie & Knight the other. Judge Patterson heard the arguments and later appointed the clerk of the superior court, probably as a compromise, or until the matter may be given further consideration.
January 20, 2014 at 7:48 am (Society and Leisure)
Tags: Aaron Giddens, Alliance Warehouse Company, Amanda Armstrong Roberts, Captain E. T. Kendrick's Company of Florida Mounted Volunteers, Cat Creek GA, Henry Burroughs Holliday, Isben Giddens, James W. Roberts, John W. Hagan, Joseph Ousley, Kiziah Knight, Lewis M. Ayers, Martha Lawson Hodge, Mary Smith Giddens, Ray City GA, Ray's Mill GA, Rev. M. A. Morgan, Thomas B. Hodge, Valdosta and Fort Valley Railroad Company, Valdosta GA, W. B. Folks, W. G. McAdoo, William Roberts of Ray City Georgia
John W. Hagan (1836-1918) lived in the Cat Creek community near Rays Mill (now Ray City), GA. He served during the Indian Wars in 1857 with Captain E.T. Kendrick’s Company of Florida Mounted Volunteers. In the Civil War, he served with the Berrien Minute Men and wrote a number of Confederate letters from Civil War battlefields to his first wife, Amanda Armstrong Roberts (1843-1872). Following her death, Hagan was married in 1874 to Mary Smith, daughter of Owen Smith; she was the widow of Aaron L. Giddens and daughter-in-law of Isbin Giddens and Kiziah Knight. Third, Hagan married Mrs. Martha Lawson Hodge, widow of Thomas B. Hodge and Lewis M. Ayers.
John W. Hagan was a prominent citizen, who served as chairman of the Lowndes County board of commissioners, representative in the Georgia legislature, leader in the Populist party, board of directors of the Alliance Warehouse Company, and was one of the incorporators of the Valdosta and Fort Valley Railroad Company along with William Roberts, James W. Roberts, W.B. Folks, Henry B. Holliday (father of Doc Holliday), Joseph Ousley, and W. G. McAdoo, and others in 1873, although it is not clear that there was ever any material construction of this line.
John W. Hagan married for a third time in 1909.
January 23, 1909
Don Quixote, or some other observant person, remarked on one occasion that “Love like Death is no respector of person, age or clime. It enters the palace of the rich as well as the poor. It goes forth to conquer in the morning, at noonday and in the decline. It strikes in spring, summer and autumn – the buoyant youth, those of maturer age, and even those who have passed the summer of life.”
There is some truth in this statement is proven by a matrimonial event in Valdosta yesterday afternoon at the home of Mrs. Martha D. Hodge, the widow of the late Thomas B. Hodge. The contracting parties were Hon. John W. Hagan and Mrs. Hodge. The ceremony was performed by Rev. M. A. Morgan and was witnessed by quite a number of the relatives and a few intimate friends of the contracting parties.
Much interest was attached to the marriage because of the prominence of the contracting parties as well as because of the fact that both of them had passed the meridian of life, though both are still young. The groom is about seventy-three and the bride eleven years his junior.
The marriage came as a surprise to many of the friends of the couple as nothing had been said about it to their friends. It was rumored on the streets yesterday morning, but a rumor was all there was to it. The relatives were notified a short while before it occurred and were invited to be present.
The groom is chairman of the board of county commissioners, an ex-legislator and has been prominent in the county for many years. The Bride was the widow of the late Tom Hodge and previous to her marriage to Mr. Hodge was the widow of the late L. M. Ayers, of Hahira. Both parties are well fixed in this world’s goods, and the bride has property valued at from fifty to seventy-five thousand dollars.
They have many friends who hope that their last days may be their best and that happiness will attend them on their journey down the evening of life.
The Tifton Gazette also announced the marriage, with some embellishments:
1909 John W. Hagan married Mrs. Martha A. Hodges
January 29, 1909
John W. Hagan and Mrs. T. B. Hodge were united in marriage at Valdosta last week by Rev. M. A. Morgan. No announcement had been made of the approaching nuptials, and the news came as a surprise to their friends. The groom is 74 years of age and the bride about the same. It is the third venture of the groom and the fourth of the bride. Both are prominent. The groom is chairman of the county commissioners of Lowndes county, and an ex-legislator. He was the leader of the populist party there twelve years ago. Both are well-to-do, the bride have $75,000 worth of property in Valdosta.
1909 marriage license for John W. Hagan and Mrs. Martha D. Hodges, Lowndes County, GA
December 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm (Berrien Minute Men, Civil War, Uncategorized)
Tags: Aaron Mattox, Asa Newsome, Barzilla Knight, Battle of Atlanta, Benjamin S. Garrett, Berrien Minute Men, Bryan J. Roberts, Bryant J. Roberts, Burrell H. Howell, Camp Chase, Captain Edward T. Kendrick's Company Florida Mounted Volunteers, Cat Creek GA, Company D 29th Georgia Regiment, Edward Maloy, Edwin Griffin, Elbert J. Chapman, Elias Lastinger, Elias Thomas, Elizabeth A. Clements, Elizabeth Dayton, Ellen Groover Clifford, Ezekiel Roberts, George Roberts, Harriet Newell Wilson, Henry Harrison Knight, Isbin B. Giddens, J. L. Robert, James D. Pounds, James Fender, James Giddens, James L. O'Neil, James Roberts, James Turner, James W. Mathis, Jasper Roberts, John C. Clements, John Carroll Lamb, John Fletcher Hagan, John Herndon, John J. Roberts, John M. Griffin, John Moore, John W. Hagan, Jonas Tomlinson, Jonathan D. Knight, Kiziah Roberts, Levi J. Knight, Moses F. Giddens, Moses H. Giddens, Nancy Moore, Reubin Roberts, Sherard Roberts, Stephen Roberts, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Griffin, Thomas W. Ballard, U.D. Knight, Vicksburg MS, Wiley E. Baxter, William Anderson, William Cameron, William Giddens, William J. Beatty, William Roberts, William Sirmans, William Washington Knight
In 1954, the Confederate letters of John W. Hagan were published by Bell Irvin Wiley. Hagan lived in the Cat Creek community near Rays Mill (now Ray City), GA. In the Civil War, Hagan enlisted in the “Berrien Minute Men,” a Confederate army unit organized by Levi J. Knight, original settler at the site of Ray City. Hagan served in the 29th GA infantry in Company D, (later reorganized as Company K, the Berrien Minutemen), and was elected 3rd Sergeant. By 1864, he was serving as 1st Sergeant, and at times was in command of the Company.
Confederate Letters of John W. Hagan
John W. Hagan wrote regularly from field camps and battle lines to his wife and family back in Berrien County. His letters were typically addressed to Amanda Hagan, his wife, or Rueben Roberts, his father-in-law. He frequently mentions relatives, colleagues in the Berrien Minute Men, and other Wiregrass Georgia residents including James Roberts, Ezekiel Roberts, Stephen Roberts, Sherard Roberts, Kiziah Roberts, Bryant J. Roberts, John J. Roberts, George Roberts, James Roberts, Levi J. Knight, Jonathan D. Knight, William Washington Knight, William Sirmans, John Herndon, Wiley E. Baxter, Barzilla Knight, John M. Griffin, Thomas Griffin, Asa Newsome, William Roberts, Benjamin S. Garrett, J. L. Robert, Elias Thomas, Harriet Newell Wilson, Ellen Groover Clifford, John Moore, Nancy Moore, Isbin B. Giddens, William J. Beatty, James L. O’Neil, William Giddens, Burrell H. Howell, Moses H. Giddens, James Turner, Edward Maloy, U.D. Knight, Henry Harrison Knight, Edwin Griffin, Wiley E. Baxter, William Cameron, Jonas Tomlinson, Thomas Clifford, Jasper Roberts, John C. Clements, Thomas W. Ballard, James W. Mathis, James D. Pounds, James Giddens, Elias Lastinger, James Fender, Aaron Mattox, Moses F. Giddens, and William Anderson.
John W. Hagan witnessed and described the death of Major John C. Lamb, who commanded the 29th Georgia Regiment until he was killed during the retreat from Vicksburg, MS in 1863. Hagan also wrote about the execution of “Old Yaller” Elbert J. Chapman, who was shot for desertion even though he had left the 29th Georgia Regiment to serve with another unit.
John W. Hagan was captured during the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864 along with John Hearndon, Jonathan D. Knight, James D. Pounds, among others, and was sent to Camp Chase, OH for the remainder of the war .
The 43 letters he wrote home between 1861 and 1865 were published by Bell Irvin Wiley, and subsequently appeared in the Georgia Historical Quarterly. The content of these letters may now be viewed online through JSTOR archives of the journal articles.
THE CONFEDERATE LETTERS OF JOHN W. HAGAN. Part I
Bell Irvin Wiley
THE CONFEDERATE LETTERS OF JOHN W. HAGAN: Part II
Bell Irvin Wiley
The Georgia Historical Quarterly Vol. 38, No. 3 (September, 1954), pp. 268-290
December 20, 2012 at 6:41 am (Law and Order, Ray Family)
Tags: Allapaha GA, Bradford Ray, Burrell Hamilton Bailey, Cat Creek GA, Daniel Turner, Dormind's Store, Georgia Militia District 1307, Hiram Ray, James Brogden, Lakeland GA, Martha J. Swan
In previous posts Phil Ray, a descendant of Hiram Ray of Berrien County, has shared his research on the land deals and connections between the Ray and Bailey families that ultimately ended in death (see Burrell Hamilton Bailey Sells Out in 10th, The State vs Burrell Hamilton Bailey).
Here is the story of how Bradford Ray was gunned down by Burrell Hamilton Bailey on the streets of Alapaha, GA in 1873.
Bradford Ray was the son of Hiram Ray and the husband of Martha J. Swan. In 1872, Bradford’s father, Hiram swapped his place near Cat Creek with Berrien county farmer Burrell Hamilton Bailey for another farm in the 1307 Georgia Militia District, Lowndes County. When Hiram Ray moved his family to their new place, son Bradford Ray remained behind to work for Bailey as a tenant farmer. But in the summer of 1873 a dispute arose between Burrell Bailey and Bradford Ray over some family matter. On the 23 of June, 1873, while the two men were in the community of Alapaha, GA the argument turned violent; Bailey shot Ray in the stomach. Bradford Ray lingered with the wound for two weeks before it proved fatal. Burrell H. Bailey was indicted for murder.
Albany News, July 4, 1873. Burrell Hamilton Bailey shoots Bradford Ray.
July 4, 1873
Pistol Fighting at Allapaha.
ELEVEN SHOTS EXCHANGED
ONE MAN MORTALLY WOUNDED.
Allapaha, Ga., July 1st, 1873.
Editors Albany News: – Quite a serious difficulty occurred at this place (Allapaha, Berrien county,) on Saturday, 21st June, between Bradford Ray and Bill Bailey. The following are the particulars:
Some two or three months ago, threats were passed between Ray and Baily, in regard to some family matters, which were carried into effect at this place, as the following will show:
The meeting of the parties here, I am informed, was a premeditated arrangement. – Soon after their arrival in town, Baily got considerably under the influence of liquor, and fuel was added to the already kindled flame – the long pent-up passions were soon to leap beyond their bounds. But through the influence of friends, they were kept apart. Baily, with pistol in hand, walked away, telling Ray (who was then making desperate efforts to follow him) not to follow him, if he did that he would hurt him. After Baily got away all became quiet, until about four o’clock in the evening, when the parties met again in front of Mr. Dormind’s store, where the fatal difficulty was renewed, with the addition of another party, James Brogden, who was very drunk. Had it not been for Brogden, I am confident that the affair would have passed off without the loss of life. He approached Ray with abusive language, which caused several blows to be passed between them. Seeing that Brogden, who was very drunk, was getting the worst of it, he was parted from Ray several times, but could not be controlled. While this was going on, words were passing between Ray and Baily, who were in ten feet of each other, and as they were about to get together, Daniel Turner came up and tried to quiet the fuss; but by this time the row became general. Ray had his knife drawn, and Baily his pistol. – Baily told Ray that “if he approached him, he would shoot him.” Daniel Turner spoke and said: (I did not learn what he said only from Baily after the fight was over) “If you shoot Ray I will shoot you!” As soon as these words were spoken, Baily fired at Ray – the ball entering the stomach – then turned upon Turner, fired the second shot, which was immediately returned. Baily then fired the third shot at Ray, inflicting a painful wound in his left hip. Ray was at this time retiring from the scene of action. The balance of the shooting passed between Turner and Ray – fortunately neither was hit.
The pistols being emptied, all became quiet, and attention was turned to Ray, who was considered mortally wounded. Baily was arrested by a Bailiff and turned over to Sheriff Mathews, (who was absent from town at the time of the difficulty) and held in custody until Monday morning, when he gave bond; but as Ray daily grew worse, Baily’s bondsmen became uneasy, and on Friday, 27th, he was lodged in Nashville jail to await his trial at the August Term of the Superior Court, for the murder of a fellow-being.
Ray lived until Sunday morning, 1 o’clock, 29th ult., when the spirit of the unfortunate man passed away. Thus were the hearts of two families made to mourn over an irreparable loss.
September 15, 2012 at 12:36 am (Giddens Family, King's Chapel School, Shaw Family)
Tags: Beauregard Franklin Shaw, Ben Giddens, Bobbie Taylor, Brodie Shaw, Cat Creek GA, Charles Bruner Shaw, Dock Shaw, Francis Marion Shaw, Frank Allen, J. S. Shaw, Jesse Shelby Shaw, John Shaw, W. B. Parrish, W. Bartow Parrish, William Franklin "Frank" Shaw, William Franklin Shaw
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
BOYS LOST IN THE SWAMP.
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.
August 10, 2012 at 12:18 am (Giddens Family, Law and Order)
Tags: Brookfield FL, Calvin Hightower, Cat Creek GA, Duncan Giddens, Isaac Jasper Giddens, Ray City GA, William Roberts of Ray City Georgia
Jasper Giddens, who killed Calvin Hightower at Cat Creek,GA was finally captured at Brookfield, FL in 1887. The story of the killing was told in previous posts Cat Creek Knife & Gun Club and Jasper Giddens ‘Settles’ Knife Fight.
He was born as Isaac Jasper Giddens in 1844 at Cat Creek, Lowndes County, a son of Duncan Giddens. The Giddens’ place was just a little southwest of the homestead of Levi J. Knight, original settler of Ray City, GA. His father, Duncan Giddens, had served with Levi J. Knight in the Indian Wars of 1838, and a brother, John Mathis Giddens, served during the Civil War with the 50th Georgia Infantry, Company B and died about 1862 in a military hospital. (See Marrying Cousins: Letitia Giddens and John Mathis Giddens.)
As a young man, Jasper Giddens had lived in Ware and Clinch counties, but eventually returned to the general region of Cat Creek and present day Ray City, GA. He took a job as a farm laborer at a plantation on the Lowndes/Berrien county line owned by William Roberts, who at that time was also part owner of the land now occupied by the city of Ray City. (See Ray City Land Passed Through Many Hands)
After the 1879 killing, Giddens had eluded authorities for seven years. But The Atlanta Constitution reported his capture in 1887:
The Atlanta Constitution
March 14, 1887, Pg 2
Jasper Giddens, who killed Calvin Hightower in the fall of 1880, in the upper part of Lowndes county, was captured several days ago at Brooksfield, Florida and is now awaiting his trial. The account of the killing was published in the Valdosta Times soon after it occurred. Giddens and Hightower met a a country frolic. There were several of the Hightowers, male and female, and they were all at enmity with Giddens for some cause, and they warned him not to enter the house where the dancing was progressing. He hesitated some time, but backed by some friends, finally entered when a row at once occurred in which Giddens was severely cut. At first he did not know that he was cut, and he left the house, but returned immediately when he discovered his bleeding wounds and drew a pistol and fired the fatal shot which took the life of Calvin Hightower – the bullet taking effect in the abdomen. He dodged the sheriff for some weeks and finally arrange a $500 bond, on which were the names of about fifteen of the best men in that portion of Lowndes and the lower part of Berrien. But before court, when he was to have been tried, he jumped his bond, and his bondsmen were forced to pay the amount. Since that time, those injured gentlemen have been busying themselves to find him, and they have at last succeeded. A detective was employed ans several days ago he landed Jasper Giddens in the Brookfield jail, and Sheriff Harrell, of Lowndes county, went after him. His trial will likely take place at the May term of Lowndes Superior court. There is also a bill against Giddens for bigamy.
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