Marvin and Arlie Purvis

 

Ray City home of Guy Marvin Purvis and Arlie Guthrie Purvis on the southeast corner of Main Street and Park Street, Ray City, GA.

Ray City home of Guy Marvin Purvis and Arlie Guthrie Purvis on the southeast corner of Main Street and Park Street, Ray City, GA.

Marvin and Arlie Purvis lived in this Ray City home from the 1920s to about 1942.

Marvin and Arlie Purvis lived in this Ray City home from the 1920s to about 1942.

Ray City home of Marvin and Arlie Purvis

Ray City home of Marvin and Arlie Purvis

Guy Marvin Purvis (1899-1975) was a merchant of Ray City, Ga. He was a son of Mary Brantley and Lee Arnold Purvis. For about 20 years he owned Purvis Grocery Store in the town.  His wife, Arlie Guthrie Purvis (1890-1976), was a sister of Effie Guthrie KnightJohn Guthrie, Sam Guthrie.

The Purvises lived in the house on the southeast corner of Main and Park streets. They had a nice houseful of furniture, dining room set, bedroom set in the master bedroom, iron beds in the other rooms. They had a nice little spool-leg dropleaf dinette set in the kitchen. In 1930 they had a radio, which was a rare thing in Ray City in those days. There were only eight radio sets within the city limits, the other owners being James A. Grissett, John D. Luke, Henry Swindle, Walter Altman, John Simpkins, Joseph Johnson and Fannie Parks.  The average cost of a radio in 1929 was around $139 dollars. In terms of comparable “affordability” for an average person in today’s dollars (2010 index) this would be like making a $7,600 purchase (relative worth based on nominal GDP per capita index – see MeasuringWorth.com). The house had a back porch and an outhouse at the very back of the lot.

Behind this house was the farm of Perry Swindle. Mr. Swindle and his wife Cynthia “Cynthy” Swindle.Perry Swindle had a large open truck and hauled goods and animals and people, too. He provided an annual excursion for the Ray City School students to Twin Lakes, GA.

By about 1941 Marvin could no longer make a go of it operating his Ray City store. Right after the Purvises lost the store, they moved about half a mile south on Park Street to live  with Arlie’s sister, Effie Guthrie Knight, for a few months. This was right before WWII and Marvin got a temporary job helping to build the bridge over Beaverdam Creek. He was probably making more money at this job than he had made for quite some time in his failing store. Some of the other Ray City men working on road construction were Cranford P. Bennett, Edwin L. Mobley, Oscar H. Scarborough, and Clementine Mikell.

After a short while Marvin & Arlie Purvis moved into town where they rented some rooms.  They were living in an apartment that had been partitioned off a part of the home of Mrs. Nancy Mobley on North Street. Mrs. Mobley was a widow and  had living with her in the main part of the house her daughter and son-in-law Eloise Williams Johnson and Bernard L. Johnson, and Eloise’s half sister Doris Mobley. Eloise was a teacher at the Ray City School.

Arlie Purvis made a little money baby sitting Jack Patten, son of Mabel Edith Cook and Thomas Penland Patten.

Later Marvin and Arlie moved across the street to live in the house on the southwest corner of North Street and Bryan Street in Ray City, GA.

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Ola Crews and Otis Mikell

The Minutes of the One Hundred Twentieth Annual Session of the Union Primitive Baptist Association, October 18-20, 1975 noted the passing of Ola Crews Mikell:

MEMORIAL COMMITTEE

WE, YOUR COMMITTEE ON MEMORIALS BEG TO SUBMIT OUR REPORT IN LOVING MEMORY OF OUR DEAR DECEASED MEMBERS WHO HAVE BEEN CALLED AWAY SINCE OUR LAST SESSION.

…SISTER LEALA MIKELL WAS BORN SEPT. 14, 1891, MARRIED BROTHER O.W. MIKELL MARCH 7, 1909, UNITED WITH OLIVE LEAF CHURCH SEPT. 1911, CAME TO NEW RAMAH CHURCH BY LETTER FEB. 12, 1916, DEPARTED THIS LIFE FEB 14, 1975.

IT IS WITH MUCH SADNESS THAT WE RECORD THESE MEMORIALS, BUT WE SAY TO ALL THAT MOURN THEIR PASSING, WE SHARE IN YOUR LOSS, BUT WE BELIEVE THAT OUR LOSS IS THEIR ETERNAL GAIN, OUR PRAYERS THAT GOD’S RICHEST BLESSINGS WILL FILL THE EMPTINESS THAT IS LEFT BY THEIR ABSENCE.

Anne Leola “Ola” Crews was born in Clinch County, GA on   September 14, 1891, the eldest child of Perry Crews and Rhoda Guthrie. She appeared with her family in the Census of 1900 in the Mud Creek district of Clinch County. Her father was working a rented farm there.

In 1909, Ola Crews married Otis Willie Mikell in Clinch County.  Born April 8, 1885 in Berrien County, he was a tall and slender young man, with dark hair and blue eyes.  His  mother was Rebecca Lee (1845-1932). His father, John A. Mikell (1848-1889), served terms as Justice of the Peace, Road commissioner, and Deputy Sheriff in Clinch County, GA.

Otis Mikell and Ola Crews marriage certificate.

Otis Mikell and Ola Crews marriage certificate.

While the Clinch County marriage license clearly shows that O.W. Mikell and Ola Crews were joined in matrimony on March 7, 1909, census records from this period are confusing.

On the one hand, it appears that Ola continued to live with her mother for some time after her marriage.  In the 1910 census of of the Mud Creek district, Ola Crews was enumerated on April 19 in her widowed mother’s household, under her maiden name, as a single female.  Her mother, Rhoda Crews, was head-of-household, a farmer, working her land on her own account.

On the other hand, the census of Militia District 1280 in Clinch County, enumerated in May, 1910 shows  O.W. Mikell as head of household with his wife, Ola Mikell, married one year.  Otis and Ola were renting a house on the farm owned by his mother. Otis’ brother, George Calhoun Mikell,  and his family were renting the house next door.

Ola and Otis Mikell were members of the Primitive Baptist faith.  Church records show that Ola Mikell united with Olive Leaf Primitive Baptist Church near Dupont, GA in September, 1911.

Some time before 1916, Otis and Ola moved to Ray City, GA. On February 12, 1916 Ola joined with New Ramah Church at Ray City by letter.  The WWI draft registration records show Otis worked as a farmer at M.C. Lee’s place.

In the Census of 1920, Otis W. Mikell was renting a farm on a settlement road near Ray City.  By this time, the Otis and Ola’s household included their five children: Annie C., Alvin L., Cleo,  and the twins  Clementine and Pauline. Also in the Mikell home was Otis’ brother, Augustus.  Farming next door was  John Troutman from Bavaria, Germany, and boarding with him was the Primitive Baptist preacher, Alfred F. Fender.

In the 1930s,  Otis and Ola  were renting a farm and raising their children in the Lois district, near Ray City.

Children of Ola Crews and Otis Mikell:

  1. Annie Clarice Mikell 1911 – December 12, 2002
  2. Alvin Lee Mikell 1913 – 1987
  3. Lula Cleo Mikell, April 4, 1915 – October 27, 2013
  4. Pauline Mikell 1919 – 2006
  5. Clementine Mikell 1919 – 1992
  6. Ola Mae Mikell 1929 –

 

Otis Mikell died February 19, 1958. Ola Crews Mikell died Feb 14, 1975. They are both buried at New Ramah Cemetery in Ray City, along with others  of the Mikell family connection.

Ola Crews and Otis Mikell, New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Ola Crews and Otis Mikell, New Ramah Cemetery, Ray City, GA