Elsie Quarterman, Noted Ecologist, Once Resident of Ray City

Elsie Quarterman, Noted Ecologist, Once Resident of Ray City…

Or rather, the Ray City area.

As a young woman, noted ecologist and centenarian Elsie Quarterman’s home town was given as Ray City, GA.  At that time, the postal address of the Quarterman farm was Ray City, GA although the  farm was actually south of Ray City, GA across the county line in Lowndes County.

Canopy Roads of South Georgia notes, on June 9, 2014, “Aunt Elsie stepped over the final fence, dying peacefully at her home in Nashville, Tennessee, attended by her nephew Patrick and his wife Ann, as she had wanted.”  Canopy Roads has posted a more extensive sketch of her life at http://www.okraparadisefarms.com/blog/elsie 

 

Elsie Quarterman, 1931.

Elsie Quarterman, 1931 Pine Cone, Georgia State Womans College. The Quarterman farm was in north Lowndes County near Ray City, GA

Elsie Quarterman, a daughter of Alla Irene Peek  and David Sinclair Quarterman, was born 1910 in Lowndes County, Georgia.  Her father worked as a Superintendent of City Works for the City of Valdosta, GA and her early childhood was spent in the city, where her family resided at 115 Varnedoe Street. Her grandparents, Susan Evalyn “Susie” Sinclair and Thomas Quarterman, lived in a house on Hill Avenue.

Elsie Quarterman, high school student at Hahira, GA.

Elsie Quarterman, high school student at Hahira, GA.

Sometime around 1918-19 the Quarterman family removed from Valdosta to a  farm owned by Elsie’s father, located on Ousley road in Militia District 663 of Lowndes County.  Living at the farm house along with her parents and siblings were her Scottish grandmother, and grandfather who was disabled. In 1921, the Quarterman family moved again to a farm located on the Hahira road in Georgia Militia District 1307, the Cat Creek District of Lowndes County. Elsie attended high school at Hahira.  In the census of 1930, 19-year-old Elsie Quarterman is enumerated in her parents household on the family farm.

After high school, Elsie Quarterman attended Georgia State Womans College in Valdosta, GA (now known as Valdosta State University.) The 1931 Pine Cone, the college annual, gives her home town as Ray City, GA.  Elsie graduated from G.S.W.C. in 1932 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Elsie Quarterman, Georgia State Womans College diploma, 1932.

Elsie Quarterman, Georgia State Womans College diploma, 1932.

Elsie Quarterman later attended Duke University where she earned a Master of Arts in Botany, and a Ph.D. in Plant Ecology. After  achieving her doctorate, she joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University, and became the first woman to  chair a department of that institution. She became a noted pioneer in the field of ecology with important publications on southern hardwood and pine forests.

Amazon.com lists four books authored by Dr. Elsie Quarterman:

  • A summer check list of the vascular plants of the highland region (Publication – the Highlands Museum and Biological Laboratory) – Unknown Binding (1947) by Elsie Quarterman
  • Southern mixed hardwood forest: Climax in the southeastern coastal plain : U.S.A – Unknown Binding (1962) by Elsie Quarterman
  • ALLELOCHEMIC EFFECTS OF PETALOSTEMON GATINGERI ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF ARENARIA PATULA IN CEDAR GLADES – Unknown Binding (1975) by Barbara H & Quarterman, Elsie Turner
  • Potential ecological/geological natural landmarks on the interior low plateaus – Unknown Binding (1978) by Elsie Quarterman

For more on the life of Elsie Quarterman and Quarterman family history, see Elsie Quarterman (1910-), Centenarian Ecologist

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Artistry of Maria Antoniette Poblete Knight

 As told in previous posts, Maria Antonieta  Poblete  (or Poblette) was the first wife of Owen Adrian Knight,  of Ray City, GA.  They were married on September 5, 1917 in El Paso, Texas while Owen Adrian Knight was serving in the Army at Ft. Bliss, El Paso TX during World War I.  (See Ray City Love Story Told by Betty M. Williams)

Marie Antoinette Poblette Knight, novelty postcard, 1917, El Paso, TX

Maria Antonietta Poblette, novelty postcard, 1917, El Paso, TX taken just days after her marriage to Owen Adrian Knight.

 In 1919 just before being discharged from the Army, Adrian Knight apparently told his wife that his unit was shipping out to France. Then he disappeared for parts unknown.

 When his parents,  Walter and Jimmie Knight, learned of Adrian’s abandonment of Maria Antonietta and his two young sons they sent her money to travel from her home in Mexico to Ray City, GA.  In Adrian’s absence, “Toni,” as she was known to the Knights, lived with the Knight family.   In the summer of 1922, she attended college at Georgia State Womans College, now known as Valdosta State University. In those days, married women were only allowed to attend during the summer session.

While in Georgia, Maria worked as an art teacher at the Ray City School. Family members say, “She was artistic in many ways, her voice was beautiful and she played the piano by ear as well as by reading music.”

After about four years of waiting for Adrian’s return, the abandoned and heartbroken  Maria returned to Mexico with her two sons.  She was divorced from Adrian Knight and later married Desmond Mangum.

Painting by Marie Antoinette Poblette

Painting by Marie Antoinette Poblette

Mollie Idelle Lee

Mollie Idelle Lee, 1937. Freshman at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA.

Mollie Idelle Lee, 1937. Freshman at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA.

Mollie Idelle Lee was born Feb 28, 1919 near Ray City, GA  in  that part of Berrien County that was cut into Lanier County in 1920.   She was the youngest child of Mollie Clements and William David Lee.

Her parents owned a house that was built  from a kit ordered from a Sears catalog (see Ray City’s Mail Order House).  Idelle Lee was enumerated in her parent’s household, along with her siblings, in the census of  1930.

In 1937 Idelle Lee attended Georgia State Womans College (G.S.W.C.), now known as Valdosta State University. There, in addition to her academic studies, she was a member of the Glee Club.

West Hall, Georgia State Womans College, 1937, Valdosta, GA. The institution is now known as Valdosta State University.

West Hall, Georgia State Womans College, 1937, Valdosta, GA. The institution is now known as Valdosta State University.

The 1937 Pine Cone, the GSWC yearbook, describes the activities of the Glee Club.

   Presenting an entirely different plan this year, the Glee Club not only appeared in their annual concert before the people of Valdosta in the Winter Quarter, but also made a tour of neighboring towns during the Spring Quarter.
    The entire club of thirty members entertained at various school functions.  A special Christmas program was featured this year.  The triple quartet was heard on Sundays in the churches of Valdosta and in radio programs from Thomasville, Georgia and Gainesville, Florida.

1937 Glee Club at Georgia State Womans College.

1937 Glee Club at Georgia State Womans College.

After college, Mollie Idelle Lee married Frank L. Carter.  In the 1940s the Carters lived in Florida.

Grave marker of Carol Lee Carter (1944-1950), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave marker of Carol Lee Carter (1944-1950), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Their first child, Carol Lee Carter, was born on New Year’s Eve, 1944 in Dade County, FL.  Sadly, Carol died before her sixth birthday.  She was buried at the Lee family plot in Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

The Carters later returned to Georgia. Frank L Carter died July 6, 1988 in Lanier County, GA.

Molly Idelle Lee Carter died November 1, 2005 in Lanier County, GA. She was buried along with her parents and others of the Lee family connection at the family plot in Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave marker of Mollie Idelle Lee Carter (1919-2005), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave marker of Mollie Idelle Lee Carter (1919-2005), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Mary Lee, G.S.W.C. Graduate

Another daughter of  William D. “Bill” Lee and Mollie Bell Clements, subjects of the previous post, was Mary E. Lee.  She was born February 6, 1915 in Berrien County, GA. Like her older sister, Vivian Lee, Mary grew up at Ray City, GA and went on to attain  a college education.

Mary Lee of Ray City, GA at Georgia State Womans College (nka Valdosta State University)

Mary Lee of Ray City, GA at Georgia State Womans College (nka Valdosta State University), 1933

While Vivian Lee attended Norman Institute at Norman Park, Ga.,  Mary Lee went to Georgia State Womans College in Valdosta.

Later,  she married Saunto Richard Sollami. He served in the Army Air Corp during WWII.  The Sollamis made their home in Thomasville, GA.

Mary Lee Sollami died in December,  1993 in Thomas County, GA

Margaret “Lucile” Morris

Margaret Lucile Studstill Morris (1912 – 2009)

Margaret Lucille Studstill, 1933, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Margaret Lucille Studstill, 1933, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Margaret “Lucile” Studstill was born December 28, 1912 in  that part of Berrien County which was later cut into Lanier County.  She was the firstborn child of  Thersa Langford and Moses Albert Studstill.  The Studstill home was near Ray City, GA  on the Milltown and Ray City Road.  Lucile’s father conducted his business as a “Stock Dealer” in the town.

After completing high school, Lucile studied at  Georgia State Womans College in Valdosta, GA (nka Valdosta State University).

On May 12, 1935 Lucile married Shelby Jackson Morris in Nashville, GA.

Shelby Jackson (Jackie) Morris, Jr., born 1 June 1938, Kansas Anne Futch, born 15 November 1875, died 22 September 1958, Margaret Lucile Studstill Morris, born 28 December 1913, and Margaret Ann (Peggy) Morris, 1950.

Shelby Jackson (Jackie) Morris, Jr., born 1 June 1938, Kansas Anne Futch, born 15 November 1875, died 22 September 1958, Margaret Lucile Studstill Morris, born 28 December 1913, and Margaret Ann (Peggy) Morris, 1950. Image courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/

Lucile Studstill Morris spent her life living and working  in Lanier and Berrien counties.  “She worked at Berrien County Hospital as a bookkeeper. She was a member of Ray City First Baptist Church, D.A.R. and Huxford Historical Society. She was an avid historian and donated much of her research to the Lanier County Historical Society.”

Lucile Studstill Morris

Lucile Studstill Morris

Margaret “Lucile” Morris, 96 of Lakeland, passed away Friday morning, Sept. 4, 2009.  Funeral Services were held  Sunday, Sept. 6, 2009 in the Ray City First Baptist Church.  She was buried at the Nashville City Cemetery, Nashville, GA

….

Gravemarker of Margaret Lucile Studstill Morris, Nashville City Cemetery, Nashville, GA.

Gravemarker of Margaret Lucile Studstill Morris, Nashville City Cemetery, Nashville, GA.

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Putnal Family ~ Town and Country

Putnal Family of Ray City, GA

The  farm place of Wayne and Ellen Gaskins Putnal was located on the south side of Ray City, on Park Street.  Wayne Putnal worked the farm during the week and on Saturdays he could be found in town at Leon Bradford’s barbershop.  The barbershop was located on the south side of Main Street just opposite the Victory Soda Shop.  Mr. Putnal worked many years there, cutting hair and giving shaves. In his later years he had a noticeable tremble, but his customers could always be confident that he would apply scissors to locks or straight razor to whiskers with the steadiest hand.

There were seven children in the Putnal household, and they attended the Ray City School. They would walk up the dirt road that was Park Street to Johnson Street, then east to the school, joining the other farm children who lived along the way.

Children of Ellen Gaskins and Wayne Putnal:

  1. Leston L. Putnal
  2. Grace Marguerite Putnal
  3. Clifford Earl Putnal
  4. Cary W. Putnal
  5. Nelda E. Putnal
  6. Dorthy E Putnal
  7. Glen H Putnal

Leston Putnal married Louise Cooper after graduating from Ray City High School. During WWII, he joined the Air Force, and it became a 30 year career. While he was away during the war his wife and son rented an apartment in Effie Guthrie Knight ‘s house on Park Street. The large old house had once served as a hotel for tourists visiting the Mayhaw Lake Amusement Park. Later, Leston Putnal and his family lived in Adel, GA.

After high school, the sisters Grace and Nelda Putnal went to Jacksonville, Florida. Nelda  got a job as an operator for the Standard Oil Company and in 1947 she married Charles J. Vance.  Grace Putnal  found work as a bookkeeper.  She married Bobby Earnest  in Duval County, Fl in 1953.

Cary W. Putnal moved to Macon, GA.

Earl Putnal   was known to other Ray City students by the nickname, “Guinea.”  Like his older brother, Earl fought in WWII. He served in the Navy and was wounded in action.  After the war,  he returned to Ray City and married Helen Marie Lee. She was the daughter of   Letha Brantley and Loren Lafayette Lee.   Earl and Helen moved to Jacksonville,  where Earl took a job as a clerk with Spencer Electric company. Later, they moved to Galveston, TX where Helen’s parents had already relocated.

Dorothy Putnal married Payne Webb, a successful merchant of Ray City.  He owned a liquor store located on the south side of Main Street, opposite the present day location of the Dollar General store. The couple spent their honeymoon in Atlanta, and returned to Ray City to make their home. After marriage, Dorothy went on to attend Georgia State Womans College at Valdosta, GA (now Valdosta State University.)   After Payne died of cancer she relocated to Atlanta and remarried.

Glen Putnal became a dentist.

When Wayne and Ellen Putnal were ‘senior citizens,’ they moved from their home on Park Street to a place in town.  Annie Mae Clements sold the Putnals a lot on the west side of her house, the Clements house being located on the southwest corner of  Jones and Ward streets.  Using  the same building plans from which their farm home had been constructed, the Putnals had a house built on the town lot.  In their new home the Putnals were known as “nice people and good neighbors.”

The Putnal house on Park Street is long gone, but the town home still stands on Jones Street in Ray City, GA.

Luelle Giddens and the Euclidian Club at G.S.W.C.

Louelle Giddens, 1933, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Louelle Giddens, 1933, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Mary Luelle Giddens was born at Ray City,  GA on November 22, 1915, one of thirteen children born to Eugene Madison Giddens and Georgia Ida Rigell.  The Giddens home was located near Ray City on the Milltown & Ray City road and was cut into Lanier County when it was created in 1920.

Her father, E.M. Giddens, was a farmer in the Rays Mill district for many years. He was also active in the politics of Lanier county, serving as Ordinary in 1923, and as a Lanier County Commissioner in 1927.  Her uncle, David Jackson Rigell, was a well known merchant who operated one of the earliest stores at Rays Mill (nka Ray City) and later operated a mercantile  in Lakeland, GA.

From 1933 to 1935 Luelle Giddens attended Georgia State Womans College in Valdosta, GA (now known as Valdosta State University.)

She apparently excelled in the study of mathematics at G.S.W.C., for she joined the Euclidean Club, an honors society for math students.

EUCLIDIAN CLUB

For the Greek mathematician Euclid the club was named when it was organized in the spring of 1930.  At that time the club consisted of only a small number of students most of whom were underclassmen, there being only two majors in the math department.

The requirements have been raised from a grade of B honors in two courses and Juniors and Seniors constitute a majority of the membership.

The idea of the club is to create more interest in mathematics and encourage scholarship by having  qualifications for membership.

The monthly program consists of modern trends in mathematics and current topics.

Louelle Giddens, 1934, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Louelle Giddens, 1934, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Louelle Giddens, 1935, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Louelle Giddens, 1935, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

After college, Luelle Giddens married Robert Harold Ogburn (1910-1987), of Atlanta.

Harold Ogburn died February 16, 1987.  Luelle Giddens Ogburn died January 17, 1999.   Both were buried at buried at Arlington Memorial Park, Sandy Springs, Fulton County, Georgia.

Gravemarker, Luelle Giddens Ogburn.

Gravemarker, Luelle Giddens Ogburn.

Gravemarker, Robert Harold Ogburn.

Gravemarker, Robert Harold Ogburn. http://www.findagrave.com

Margaret Carter, G.S.W.C.

 

Margaret Carter

Margaret Carter attended school in Ray City and graduated with the Ray City School Class of 1930

In 1934 and 1935,  Margaret Carter was attending Georgia State Womans College in Valdosta, GA, where she was a member of the Glee Club.

Margaret Carter was born and raised in Ray City, GA.  She was the daughter of Cora and Yancy F. Carter.

 

 

 

 

 

1934  Pine Cone
Georgia State Womans College Yearbook

GLEE CLUB

The first record of the Glee Club was in 1914 under the direction of Miss Mary Young.  Then the  membership of the club was about sixteen, and the main feature was the annual operetta which was sponsored by the club with the aid of some of the talented people in town. From the very first Christmas festival the Glee Club has constituted a most enjoyable part of the program as well as various other programs during the year.

Now the membership has increased to forty-four girls selected by competitive tests as to excellence of voice and ability to read music at sight.

The club entertains at various civic functions in Valdosta as well as at chapel, teas, and dinners on campus. At the Christmas festival the Glee Club leads the singing from the whimsical folk carols to those of a deeper religious note.  One of the most delightful customs is the singing of quaint old English melodies at dawn on the morning that the Christmas holidays begin.

The culmination of the club activities is the annual concert presented by the Glee Club each spring.  This year the concert was a lovely and colorful affair having as its theme the color tones of music.

1935 Margaret Carter, sophomore, Georgia State Womans College

1935 Margaret Carter of Ray City, GA, sophomore, Georgia State Womans College

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Anna Martha Grissett at Georgia State Womans College

Ray City History Anna Martha Grissett

Anna Martha Grissett, 1939. 5th Grade class photo, Ray City School. Ray City, Berrien County, GA

Anna Martha Grissett, 1939. 5th Grade class photo, Ray City School. Ray City, Berrien County, GA

Anna Martha Grissett was born December 31, 1928, to James Arthur Grissett and Lillian Crum.  She was born just in time to be the first birth announced in the Ray City News newspaper, which began publication January 3, 1929. Ann attended the Ray City School, where classmates say she was a very bright student.  When she was ready for high school, her parents arranged for her to attend school in Valdosta. As young people, Anna Martha Grissett, Jimmy Grissett,  Diane MileyCarroll Brown GuthrieHerman Knight Guthrie,  and some of the Knight cousins spent summers working at the tobacco barn on Paul Knight’s farm out on Clabberville Road (aka Johnson Street), southeast of Ray City.  At the time this land was being farmed by Herman Guthrie, son-in-law of Paul Knight. After high school, Ann Grissett attended Georgia State Womans College at Valdosta, GA.  The personal mentions in the June 17, 1948 edition of the Nashville Herald told of her plans for the summer break.

1948 Ann Grissett at Georgia State Womans College

1948 Ann Grissett at Georgia State Womans College

 Miss Ann Grissett, a student of G. S. W. C. Valdosta, is spending this week at Ridge Crest, N. C. after which she will spend her vacation at home with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Grissett, in Ray City.

Ann Grissett subsequently attended the University of Georgia, graduating from that institution in 1950.  She later moved to Atlanta where she was employed by Amana Refrigeration, Inc.

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