Montgomery Morgan Folsom

Montgomery Morgan Folsom (1857-1899)
Montgomery M. Folsom was the eldest son of Dr. James Roundtree Folsom and Rachel Inman Swain. He was a grandson of Randal Folsom and great grandson of Lawrence Armstrong Folsom, one of the pioneer settlers of Lowndes County, GA. On his mother’s side he was a grandson of Sarah Wooten and Morgan G. Swain, early residents of Troupville, GA.

Montgomery M. Folsom was a poet and a writer of the Wiregrass section of Georgia who contributed to both Georgia and New York newspapers. He was a prolific writer of prose and poetry, which was widely published and read.  He was a protege’ of Henry Grady, outspoken white supremacist and publisher of the Atlanta Constitution.  Folsom’s works captured the spirit of his early life in old Berrien County and the oral history of Wiregrass pioneers and slaves.

Among other topics, Folsom wrote about the Withlacoochee River, Troupville, Coffee Road, the formation of Lowndes County,  the Battle of Brushy Creek, fire hunts, and early Wiregrass Methodists.

His literary writing seems clearly influenced by the work of Joel Chandler Harris; his creative period coincides almost exactly with Harris’ tenure as assistant editor and lead editorial writer at the Atlanta Constitution. In some of Folsom’s stories, his use of dialect and appropriation of African-American culture could be subject to the same criticism as Harris’ Uncle Remus stories.

Montgomery M. Folsom

Montgomery M. Folsom

 

Born in Berrien County, GA on January 31, 1857, he was baptized by Reverend Payton P. Smith at Salem Church near Hahira, GA; He was married in New Pleasant Hill Church, Colquitt County, GA, November 13, 1879 to Frances Edna Croft, daughter of Mary Ann Hiers and William Nathaniel Croft, born in Colquitt County, GA, July 15, 1860.

Children:

  1. Mamie Leona Folsom – Born near Hempstead, Colquit County, GA, August 25, 1881; married in Atlanta, GA, September 15, 1898, to Dr. Frank Alexander Wynne of Rome, GA; widowed [date unknown]; moved to Dallas, TX; wrote stories and articles for newspapers and magazines; taught voice and piano; prominent in club work; traveled to Europe.
  2. Ewell Vernon Folsom – born February 10, 1883 near Tifton, GA; married in Orange, TX, April 7, 190e to Emma Myer Curtis, of Orange, TX; engaged in lumber trade in Orange, TX; prominent in social circles, a writer of short stories, a singer with a fine bass voice; died in Beaumont, TX February 18, 1933.
  3. Noel Byron Folsom – Born December 2, 1885 near New River Church, Berrien County, GA; served in the Army after the Spanish American War as an Assistant Veterinary Surgeon; married in New York, NY in June, 1912 to Mabel Bell Walsh, a resident of Yonkers, NY; craftsman, engaged in ship-building during WWI; writer of prose and poetry.
  4. Julia Grady Folsom – born May 15, 1889 on Fort Hawkins Hill, East Macon, Bibb, County, GA; named for Mrs. Julia King Grady, wife of Henry Grady; married first at age 14 in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Atlanta to Richard Trevanion Patton, son of Mrs. Julia Iverson Patton; divorced September 13, 1909, both being too young to carry on; married second on December 31, 1925 to John Daniel Hargraves, son of Frances L. Daniel and Dr. Benjamin Worthington Hargraves, who was First Lieutenant, Company K, 55th Infantry in WWI; writer of many fine poems, published in the Atlanta Constitution and other publications.
  5. Jessie Juanita Folsom, born February 9, 1894 in Atlanta, GA; graduated Law School, admitted to the bar but never practiced; feature writer for the Atlanta Journal; married July 22, 1917 in St. Philips Cathedral, Atlanta to Lieutenant Basil Stockbridge, Atlanta lawyer.

He died very suddenly of apoplexy in Atlanta, GA July 1, 1899. Upon his death, the Atlanta Constitution proclaimed Montgomery M. Folsom one of the best known and most versatile newspaper men in the South.  He was buried July 4, 1899 at Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, GA.

Montgomery M. Folsom Dead; Had Only A Few Hours’ Illness

Seized with a Sinking Spell Saturday Afternoon, He Rapidly Grew Worse Until the End Came Yesterday Morning,

Apoplexy Was The Cause

He was on the Streets Saturday In His Usual Health.

Was A Capable Journalist And Poet

He Was Well Known in the South and His Writings Were Widely Read and Copied – A Sketch of His Life.

      Montgomery M. Folsom, one of the best known and most versatile newspaper men in the south, died suddenly at his residence, 445 East Fair street, at 7 o’clock yesterday morning, after an illness of only a few hours.
      Saturday morning Mr. Folsom was apparently in his usual good health, and left his home in unusually good spirits. He returned home about 1 o’clock in the afternoon and complained of feeling bad. At 3 o’clock he had a violent sinking spell and was soon unconscious. His family became alarmed at his condition, and Dr. Johnson, who lives in the vicinity of the Folsom residence, was summoned. His efforts were unavailing, and the stricken man failed to regain consciousness.
       Later in the afternoon no change in his condition taking place, his son-in-law, Dr. F. A. Wynne, was called in. He remained by the side of Mr. Folsom all night long, but saw that his condition was hopeless.
At 6 o’clock in the morning he partially regained consciousness, but could not speak. At 7 o’clock death came suddenly and without pain.
      The immediate cause of death was apoplexy, superinduced by an affection of the heart, from which he had been a suffering for the past two years.
      Montgomery Folsom is survived by a wife and five children; Mrs. F. A. Wynne, Ewell V. Folsom, aged seventeen; Noel F. Folsom, aged sixteen; Julia G. Folsom, aged thirteen, and Jessie Juanita Folsom, aged eight. He also leaves one brother and one sister- Carroll R. Folsom and Mrs. Minnie Weeks.

The Funeral Arrangements
      The deceased was a member of the Cherokee lodge, Masonic Order, of Rome. The funeral will be conducted Tuesday afternoon at 4 o’clock with masonic honors.
      Up to a late hour last night it had not been decided whether the services would be conducted from the residence of a church. The list of pallbearers will also be announced later.

Sketch of his life.
      Montgomery Morgan Folsom was one of the most brilliant and prolific writers in the south, and his literary productions were widely read and copied. He wrote prose and poetry with equal facility, and his acquaintance with men and affairs was extensive. He was an indefatigable worker and one of the most productive newspaper men in Atlanta.
      By nature he was extremely companionable, and made many friends who were warmly attached to him. His death was the cause of universal sorrow among a wide circle of friends and acquaintances.
Montgomery Folsom was born near Hahira, Lowndes county, Georgia, January 31, 1857, and was therefore forty-two years old at the time of his death. He was the son of James Rountree Folsom and Rachel Inman Folsom.
       His grandfather, Randel Folsom, was at one time a wealthy planter, possessed of literary tastes, who, when financial reverses overtook him, retired to the seclusion of his library and spent his declining years absorbed in study. It was from Randel Folsom that young Montgomery attained the rudiments of an education, which afterwards ripened into a rare culture.
      Montgomery Folsom was essentially a self-made man, and his fight for an education was a bitter, uphill one, fraught with obstacles in the shape of poverty and scant resources that would have daunted a nature with less steadfast purpose.
      However, he had a marvelous faculty for acquiring and assimulating knowledge, and once he read a book its substance remained with him. His grasp at the salient facts of a history or a scientific treatise was remarkable from the time he was a mere boy.
      Up to the time he was eighteen or nineteen years of age his days were spent in toll on a farm, and his nights in study. Arrived at the age of twenty, he became a pedagogue and taught small country schools in various parts of south Georgia. It was at Thomasville, Ga., while engaged in the avocation of school teacher, that he did his first newspaper work. His first published writings appeared in the Savannah Morning News, when he was a mere boy. They consisted of poems and articles of a literary and humorous vein.
      Later he began to contribute to the northern papers, and the New York Post and The Sun accepted many of his prose writing and verse. Up to the day of his death the later paper gladly accepted everything he wrote.
      The success of his writings decided him to adopt newspaper work as a profession, and his first editorial position was on The Thomasville Times. While at the head of this paper he wrote “Jeff Hancock’s Bull,” a set of humorous verses which attracted widespread attention —– for him a more than local reputation
      From Thomasville he went to Americus where he edited the Times-Recorder. Later he was given a position on the Macon Telegraph, and it was while in that city that his work attracted the attention of the late Henry Grady, who made him the Macon correspondent of The Constitution and encouraged him to write special articles for this paper.

Would Not Accept Pay.
      During the early days when Montgomery Folsom was connected with newspapers in the south he continued to do work for the northern press. This work he refused to accept pay for, and time and time again he returned checks to the senders with the request that they pay him in books. In this way he managed to accumulate a handsome library, which was composed chiefly of the poets. He was particularly fond of Byron, Shelley, Burns and Caldridge and knew many of their works by heart. He was also an ardent admirer of Victor Hugo, and was a deep student of the French revolution. Napoleon was his hero, and probably no man in Atlanta had read more miscellaneous literature bearing on the life and personal characteristics of Bonaparte.
       From Macon he went to Cedartown, where he purchased an interest in The Cedartown Standard, and was placed in editorial charge. In 1887 fire visited The Standard office and the plant, together with Mr. Folsom’s fine collection of books, was burned.
      Soon after this disaster he came to Atlanta and secured a position on the local staff of The Constitution. His  special work at this time, under the pseudonym of “The Night Hawk,” attracted considerable attention throughout the state.
      A connection with Society, a literary paper published by Mrs. Lollie Belle Wylie, followed. From Society he went to The Journal and from The Journal to Rome, where he edited The Tribune for a number of months.
      When The Evening Constitution was started he returned to Atlanta and was placed on the local staff of that paper. After the suspension of The Evening Constitution he returned to The Journal once more, leaving that paper to accept a position on The Chattanooga Times during the Spanish-American war, when troops were encamped at Chickamauga.
       In 1894 Mr. Folsom began to correspond regularly for a number of northern papers, and this work he continued to do up to the time of his death.
       He was a brilliant writer and a kindly gentleman, whose warm heart and generous impulses made for him many friends.

Grave of Montgomery Morgan Folsom, Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, GA

Grave of Montgomery Morgan Folsom, Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, GA

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Roster of Company D, 3rd Regiment Georgia Infantry U.S. Volunteers

In  1898, nowhere was there greater fervor for the Spanish-American War than in Georgia.  “When the United States became involved in war with Spain, Georgia furnished according to population more volunteers than any other State of the Union.”

A number of Berrien County, GA men volunteered for service in the U.S. Army.

Walter A. Griner, Carl R. O’QuinnPythias D. Yapp,, Zachary T. Hester, W. Dutchman Stephens, Samuel Z.T. Lipham, James M. Bridges, Charles A. Courson, Love Culbreath, George C. Flowers, James L. Jordan and George A. Martin all enlisted in Company D, 3rd Georgia Regiment, U.S. Volunteers. Aaron Cook served as a private in Company E, Third Regiment, U.S. Volunteer Infantry. Other Berrien countians serving in the Third Regiment were Luther Lawrence Hallman and William F. Patten, both in Company B.

Company D, 3rd Georgia Infantry, US Volunteers, Spanish-American War. Image source: http://www.spanamwar.com/3rdGeorgia.htm

The Third Regiment was organized at Camp Northen, Griffin, GA over the summer of 1898 and mustered into the service of the United States on August 24, 1898 with 43 officers and 1,243 enlisted men. The Third Regiment was assigned to Second Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps on October 7, 1898. The regiment left Griffin November 21 and arrived at Savannah November 22, 1898. It appears the Third Regiment  encamped at Camp Onward, awaiting embarkation. They sailed from Savannah on S.S. Roumania on Friday the 13th of January, 1899; arrived at Nuevitas, Cuba, January 18; changed station to Minas, Cuba January 30 and February 1. The regiment sailed from Nuevitas March 25, 1899 and arrived at Augusta, GA, March 29, 1899. The Third Regiment Mustered out of the service of the United States at Augusta, GA, April 22, 1899, with 46 officers and 945 enlisted men. Casualties while in the service: Officers – died of disease, 1; Enlisted men -died of disease, 24; killed by accident, 1; deserted, 50. – Correspondence Relating to the War With Spain

 

Company D, 3rd Georgia Infantry, US Volunteers
Muster Roll

  1. Stewart, Henry J. Captain. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 28; born, Rome, GA; occupation, Clerk; enlisted, Rome, GA, 1898-06-25; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 9, 1898 (later captain of Co. K, 43 Georgia Infantry US Vols); buried Myrtle Hill Cemetery, Rome, GA
  2. Brock, Benj. T. 1st Lieut. Residence, Trenton, GA; age, 32; born, Trenton, GA; occupation, Lawyer; enlisted, Trenton, GA, 1898-06-25; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 9, 1898; buried Brock Cemetery, Trenton, GA
  3. Land, Max E. 2nd Lieut.. Residence, Abbeville, GA; age, 26; born, Bullard, GA; occupation, Lawyer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, 1898-06-25; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 9, 1898; buried Sunnyside Cemetery, Cordele, GA
  4. Omberg, Frank Cleveland 1st Sgt.. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 21; born, Rome, GA; occupation, Bk-Keeper; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898; buried Rosemont Cemetery, Newberry, SC
  5. Culver, William H. Sgt. Residence, Atlanta, GA; age, 30; born, Greenville, GA; occupation, Mgr. Compress; enlisted, Atlanta, GA, July 13, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 16, 1898
  6. Baumgartner, Fred C. QM Sgt.; Residence, Rome, GA; age, 22; born, Knoxville, TN; occupation, Cabinet Maker; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; Mustered in Camp Northern, July 8, 1898; buried Myrtle Hill Cemetery, Rome, GA
  7. George, LaFayette F. Sgt. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 21; born, Rome, GA; occupation, Molder; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898; buried West Lawn Cemetery, Henryetta, OK.
  8. Logan, Eugene P. Sgt.. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 24; born, Rome, GA; occupation, Motorman; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  9. Gunn, Donald G. Sgt.. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 19; born, Rome, GA; occupation, Stone Cutter; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  10. Lipham, Samuel Z.T. Corporal. Residence, Sparks, GA; age, 21; born, Berrien County, GA; occupation, Lawyer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 16, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898; buried Dade City Cemetery, Dade City, FL
  11. Logan, Ernest J. Corporal. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 22; born, Rome, GA; occupation, Candy Maker; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  12. Porter, Bernard L. Corporal. Residence, Trenton, GA; age, 22; born, Trenton, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Trenton, GA, July 7, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 20, 1898
  13. Mardell, William V. Corporal. Residence, Cordele, GA; age, 24; born, Bainbridge, GA; occupation, Bk-Keeper; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 30, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 2, 1898
  14. George, Rugar E. Corporal. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 18; born, Rome, GA; occupation, Machinist; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 23, 1898
  15. Gwinns, Payton. Corporal. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 19; born, Winchester County, VA; occupation, Clerk; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; Mustered in Camp Northern Griffin, July 18, 1898
  16. Bell, DeWitt. Corporal. Residence, Farrill, AL; age, 24; born, Casandra, GA; occupation, Fireman; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  17. Brock, William H. Corporal. Residence, Trenton, GA; age, 18; born, Trenton, GA; occupation, Student; enlisted, Trenton, GA, July 7, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 20, 1898
  18. Byrd, Phil L. Corporal. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 18; born, Rome, GA; occupation, Clerk; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  19. Ellis, Flisha F. Corporal. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 19; born, Kingston; occupation, Wood Worker; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  20. Howell, William M. Corporal. Residence, Abbeville, GA; age, 25; born, Lumberton, NC; occupation, Merchant; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  21. King, Spencer B. Corporal. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 18; born, Rome, GA; occupation, Clerk; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  22. Allums, John J. Private. Residence, Douglasville, GA; age, 37; born, Henry Co., GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 30, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 3, 1898
  23. Arnold, John H. Private. Residence, Dallas, GA; age, 23; born, Dallas, GA; occupation, Farmer ; enlisted, Camp Northern GA, August 6, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 6, 1898
  24. Atkins, Tom. Private. Residence, Reasling, Floyd County, GA; age, 20; born, Floyd County, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Rome, GA, August 13, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 19, 1898
  25. Baumgartner, Schubert. Artificer. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 18; born, Knoxville, TN; occupation, Cabinet Maker; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 21, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 23, 1898
  26. Baxter, Homer E. Private. Residence, Vans Valley, GA; age, 18; born, Vans Valley, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  27. Baxter, John R. Private. Residence, Vans Valley, GA; age, 23; born, Vans Valley, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Rome, GA, August 3, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 5, 1898
  28. Baxter, William A. Residence, Six Mile Sta., GA; age, 28; born, Floyd County, GA; occupation, Six Mile Sta., GA; enlisted, Rome, GA, August 1, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 3, 1898
  29. Black, Fain B. Residence, Calhoun, GA; age, 26; born, Dalton, GA; occupation, Milling; enlisted, Trenton, GA, July 29, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 30, 1898
  30. Brannan, James F. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 25; born, Cumming, GA; occupation, Mill Operator; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  31. Bridges, James M. Private. Residence, Adel, GA; age, 21; born, Yorksville, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Adel, GA, July 21, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 27, 1898; buried Sparks City Cemetery, Sparks, GA
  32. Bunn, Chas. C., Jr. Private. Residence, Cedartown, GA; age, 18; born, Cedartown, GA; occupation, Clerk; enlisted, Rome, GA, August 3, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 8, 1898
  33. Chasewood, Richard A. Private. Residence, Atlanta, GA; age, 40; born, Newton County, GA; occupation, Shoe Maker; enlisted, Atlanta, GA, July 29, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 31, 1898
  34. Cliett, Hugh A. Private. Residence, Powersville, GA; age, 21; born, Bowersville, GA; occupation, Druggist; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  35. Collier, William. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 24; born, Peeks Hill, AL; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  36. Courson, Chas. A. Private. Residence, Hahira, GA; age, 21; born, Dupont, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Sparks, GA, July 23, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 27, 1898; died of typhoid fever at 1st Division Hospital, Savannah, GA, December 23, 1898; buried Friendship Cemetery, Hahira, GA
  37. Culbreath, Love. Private. Residence, Hahira, GA; age, 18; born, Troutman, NC; occupation, Mill Hand; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 28, 1898
  38. Culpepper, Morris P. Private. Residence, Mingo, GA; age, 23; born, Mingo, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; Mustered in Camp Northern, Griffin, July 15, 1898
  39. Davis, Chas. T. Private. Residence, Benn, GA; age, 21; born, Benn, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  40. Davis, Robert L. Wagoner. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 25; born, Spg Garden, AL; occupation, Clerk; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  41. Dorminy, Andrew J. Private. Residence, Dorminy Mills, GA; Record ID age, 20; born, Dorminy Mills, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 11, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  42. Dunford, John. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 27; born, Rockmart, GA; occupation, Clerk; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  43. Dunwoody, Chas. A. Private. Residence, Cedartown, GA; age, 35; born, Roswell, GA; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  44. Earle, Marcus B. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 28; born, Everett Springs; occupation, Railroader; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  45. Earp, Will G. Private. Residence, Sulphur Springs, GA; age, 18; born, Jasper, TN; occupation, Saw Milling;  enlisted, Trenton, GA, August 2, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 3, 1898
  46. Eustice, Hilliard. Musician. Residence, Rising Faun, GA; age, 18; born, Silver Plunk, CA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Trenton, GA, July 14, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 20, 1898
  47. Flowers, George C. Private. Residence, Sparks, GA; age, 34; born, Avery, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Sparks, GA, July 22, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 27, 1898
  48. Fountain, John T. Private. Residence, Tippettsville, GA; age, 21; born, Hawkinsville, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898.  Died, disease, December 8, 1898 at Savannah, GA
  49. Fowler, Columbus S. Private. Residence, Likeme, AL; age, 21; born, Melton, FL; occupation, Brickmason; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  50. Gillwater, Chas. E. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 39; born, Eufaula, AL; occupation, Brick Mason; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 23, 1898
  51. Graham, William F. Private. Residence, Fitzgerald, GA; age, 23; born, Independence, KS; occupation, Carpenter; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 25, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 30, 1898
  52. Griner, Walter A. Private. Residence, Nashville, GA; age, 19; born, Nashville, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  53. Haholzer, Mike. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 21; born, Pittsburg, PA; occupation, Tinner; enlisted, Rome, GA, 1898-08-01; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 3, 1898
  54. Hall, Burress. Musician,; Residence, Rising Fawn, GA; age, 21; born, Rising Fawn, GA; occupation, Musician; enlisted, July 18, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 20, 1898
  55. Hawk, Mitchell. Private. Residence, Rising Fawn, GA; age, 21; born, Rising Fawn, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Trenton, GA, July 14, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 20, 1898
  56. Herring, Eugene. Private. Residence, Lindale, GA; age, 23; born, Marshall County, MS; occupation, Mill Operator; enlisted, Rome, GA, 1898-08-02; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 4, 1898
  57. Hester, Zachary T., Jr. Private. Residence, Sparks, GA; age, 18; born, Glenville, MS; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 27, 1898
  58. Hoffman, Frederick. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 18; born, Jacksonville, AL; occupation, Shoe Maker; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 23, 1898
  59. Jackson, Central Z. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 21 8/12; born, Rome, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  60. Jobe, Henry W. B. Private. Residence, New England City, GA ; age, 21 3/12; born, Trenton, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Trenton, GA, July 7, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 20, 1898
  61. Johnson, Earl L. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 21 2/12; born, Elberton, GA; occupation, Clerk; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 16, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 23, 1898
  62. Jones, George H. Private. Residence, Goldsboro, N.C.; age, 28 7/12; born, Goldsboro, NC; occupation, Sawyer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  63. Jones, James A. Private. Residence, Tippettsville, GA; age, 27 2/12; born, Tippetsville, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  64. Jordan, James L. Private. Residence, Adel, GA; age, 25 7/12; born, Valdosta, GA; occupation, Mechanic; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  65. Keith, Ben. Private. Residence, Rising Fawn, GA; age, 21 3/12; born, Valley Head, AL; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Trenton, GA, July 15, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 3, 1898
  66. Keith, Thomas M. Private. Residence, Rising Fawn, GA; age, 25 11/12; born, Valley Head, AL; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Trenton, GA, July 14, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 20, 1898
  67. Kersey, Ike T. Residence, Cole City, GA; age, 29 5/12; born, Long Island, AL; occupation, Brakeman; enlisted, Trenton, GA; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA
  68. King, Robert N. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 21 11/12; born, Curryville, GA; occupation, Motorman; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  69. Langham, Nash. Private. Residence, Namnie, GA; age, 25 1/12; born, Dykes, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  70. Lawham, Virgil. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 23 8/12; born, Rome, GA; occupation, Oiler; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 16, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 23, 1898
  71. Martin, George A. Private. Residence, Hahira, GA; age, 21 5/12; born, Quitman; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Sparks, GA, July 23, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 27, 1898
  72. McGiboney, Chas. W. Private. Residence, Siney, GA; age, 21 9/12; born, Cave Springs, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Rome, GA, August 1, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 3, 1898
  73. Murray, Elmore E. Private. Residence, Savannah, GA; age, 21 1/12; born, Barton, Vt.; occupation, Teacher; enlisted, Sparks, GA, July 21, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 27, 1898
  74. O’Quinn, Carl R. Private. Residence, Nashville, GA; age, 18; born, Dupont, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  75. Porter, Aleck. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 18; born, Cave Springs, GA; occupation, Clerk; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  76. Porter, F. Private. Residence, Cole City, GA; age, 21; born, Long Island, GA; occupation, Guard; enlisted, Trenton, GA, July 18, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 20, 1898
  77. Posey, Thomas. Private. Residence, Margie, GA; age, 18; born, “Don’t Know” AK; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Rome, GA, August 2, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 5, 1898
  78. Rawlins, Marvin M. Private. Residence, Stockbridge, GA; age, 21; born, Snearsville, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Sparks, GA, July 21, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 27, 1898
  79. Reid, Ed. Private. Residence, Rome; age, 20; born, Rome, GA; occupation, Laborer; enlisted, Rome, GA, 1898-08-01; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 3, 1898
  80. Richardson, Wm. H. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 21; born, Coaco, GA ; occupation, Farmer;  enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  81. Rouse, Allen G. Private. Residence, Hahira, GA; age, 22; born, Fayetteville, N.C.; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Sparks, GA, July 23, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 27, 1898
  82. Rustin, David L. Private. Residence, Reidsville, GA; age, 31 1/2; born, Reidsville, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  83. Sanford, Rowan G. Private. Residence, Graham, GA; age, 23 2/12; born, Graham; occupation, Mechanic; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  84. Shannon, Oscar. Private. Residence, Etwah, GA; age, 20 7/12; born, Cleveland, TN; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Cleveland, TN, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 30, 1898
  85. Shelly, Lewis. Private. Residence, Cedar Bluff, AL; age, 19 3/12; born, Cedar Bluff, AL; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Rome, GA, August 4, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 6, 1898
  86. Sisk, Elijah W. Private. Residence, Everett, GA; age, 19 3/12; born, Plainsville, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Rome, GA, 1898-08-02; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 5, 1898
  87. Slaton, Purcelle. Private. Residence, Rising Fawn, GA; age,21 3/12; born, Rising Fawn, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Trenton, GA, July 15, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 20, 1898
  88. Smith, F H. Private. Residence, Atlanta, GA; age, 23 3/12; born, Gadsden, AL; occupation, Candy Maker; enlisted, Atlanta, GA, July 28, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 30, 1898
  89. Snider, George W. Private. Residence, Morristown, TN; age, 27 4/12; born, Maryville, TN; occupation, Med. Student; enlisted, Trenton, GA, July 7, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 20, 1898
  90. Snow, Henry O. Jr. Private. Residence, Abbeville, GA; age, 22 2/12; born, Brookville, Fla.; occupation, Med. Student; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 16, 1898
  91. Stappins, Wofford. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 22 10/12; born, Cartersville, GA ; occupation, Mill Operator; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; Mustered in AtCamp Northern Griffin, July 18, 1898
  92. Stephens, W. Dutchman. Private. Residence, Sparks, GA; age, 20 5/12; born, Wadley, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 27, 1898
  93. Swift, Mathews T. Private. Residence, Fitzgerald, GA; age, 21 11/12; born, Wrens, GA; occupation, Engineer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 25, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 30, 1898
  94. Tidwell, Williams. Private. Residence, Rising Fawn, GA; age, 18 1/12; born, Rising Fawn, GA; occupation, Painter; enlisted, Rising Fawn, GA, July 7, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 20, 1898
  95. Walden, William H. Private. Residence, Cason, GA; age, 22 3/12; born, Cason, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  96. Walker, John S. Private. Residence, Rising Fawn, GA; age, 26 6/12; born, Cedar Grove, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Trenton, GA, August 2, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 3, 1898
  97. Webb, Wiley. Private. Residence, Long Island, AL; age, 34 8/12; born, Cole City; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Trenton, GA, July 18, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 20, 1898
  98. Wheeler, Floyd T. Private. Residence, Trenton, GA; age, 21 4/12; born, Trenton, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Griffin, GA, July 10, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 20, 1898
  99. Wilder, Robert T. Private. Residence, Lindale, GA; age, 22 7/12; born, Cherokee Co., AL; occupation, Mill Hand; enlisted, Rome, GA, August 2, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, August 3, 1898
  100. Wilkinson, Ernest C. Private. Residence,Atlanta, GA; age, 19 11/12; born, Wilmington, N.C.; occupation, Electrician; enlisted, Atlanta, GA, July 13, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898
  101. Williams, Arthur E. Private. Residence, Jacksonville, GA; age, 19 3/12; born, McRae, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 11, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 15, 1898
  102. Yapp, Pythias D. Private. Residence, Nashville, GA; age, 19 5/12; born, Dublin, GA; occupation, Mill Hand; enlisted, Abbeville, GA, July 9, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 28, 1898
  103. Young, Joseph. Private. Residence, Rome, GA; age, 23 6/12; born, Canton, GA; occupation, Farmer; enlisted, Rome, GA, July 8, 1898; mustered in, Camp Northern, Griffin, GA, July 18, 1898

Narcissus Rouse and Bryant Miley

Bryant Miley and Narcissus Rouse

Narcissus Rouse and Bryant Luther Miley of Hahira, GA

Narcissus Rouse and Bryant Luther Miley of Hahira, GA

Narcissus Rouse came to Wiregrass Georgia when she was a little girl. Her father was Joshua W. Rouse and her mother was Sarah Monroe, the Monroe name being a pioneer family of the Tar Heel State. When she was six years old she came with her family from Wilmington, North Carolina by boat to Savannah, Georgia, then by train to Valdosta, GA, and by ox-drawn wagon to the area of Hahira, GA where they settled in the Bethany Community.

Narcissus Rouse married Bryant Miley on December 26, 1901 in Lowndes County, GA.  The groom was of medium height and build, with blue eyes and black hair.

Marriage certificate of Bryant L. Miley and Narcissus Rouse, Lowndes County, GA

Marriage certificate of Bryant L. Miley and Narcissus Rouse, Lowndes County, GA

Bryant Miley was a farmer and merchant of Hahira. He was born April 22, 1881, a son of James B. Miley and Laura Etta A. Webb.  His father was a prominent farmer and mill man in the Hahira District; the James B. Miley place was six miles above Hahira. His brother, Lucius Miley, was an agent for the Georgia Southern & Florida Railroad who in 1896 disappeared for a week in an apparent abduction. Another brother, Grover Cleveland Miley, was a proprietor of the Hahira Drug Company and secretary to the Board of Education.

In 1910, Bryant L. Miley and his brothers were working  in Hahira. Bryant was a hardware salesman.   James R. Miley was a grocery salesman. Cleveland Miley was managing his drug store.  Lucius Miley was working as a lumber inspector in Milltown, GA (now Lakeland). Bryant’s uncle, Remer Young Miley, was a house carpenter in Hahira.

In 1918, Bryant L. Miley was employed as a mail carrier on a rural free delivery route for the U. S. Government. His brother, James “Jimmie” Miley, was constable of Hahira.

By 1920, Bryant L. Miley went into  business for himself, opening his own store in Hahira.

Children of Narcissus Rouse (1882–1979) and Bryant Luther Miley (1881-1940):

  1. Reba Miley (1902–1974)
  2. Berry James Miley (1904–1989)
  3. John David Miley (1906–1993)
  4. Genesta Miley (1908–1996)
  5. Henry Frederick Miley (1910–1998)
Bryant Miley, Narcissus Miley and Genesta Miley in their Hahira, GA store

Bryant Miley, Narcissus Miley and Genesta Miley in their Hahira, GA store

In the 1930s B. L. Miley’s health declined from hypertension and kidney failure. In June of 1940 he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died at 5:00am on June 17, 1940. He was buried  at Shiloh Church, Hahira, GA. The burial was performed on June 19, 1940 by the Hahira Hardware Company.

Related Posts:

Rays Mill Public Service Company Electrified Hahira

The Rays Mill Public Service Company was formed about 1912 to provide local public utilities services, including electric and telephone service.

America's Electrical Week

America’s Electrical Week

The week of December 2 to 9, 1916 was celebrated throughout the country as America’s Electrical Week. During this time electricity and electrical goods were in the spotlight to an unusual extent. Thousands of manufacturers, dealers and agents in every state of the Union were booming the celebration. December 2, 1916 was the first time the Statue of Liberty was illuminated. The Western Electric Company celebrated the big week.

Coincidentally, the Western Electric News, December, 1916 edition included a note about the Rays Mill Public Service company.

Despite its name, the Rays Mill Public Service company apparently first offered service in Hahira, GA.   The article below indicates that the company established electrical service at Hahira in 1912 (Electrification would not be established in Ray City until 1923).  The company was proud of its record of uninterrupted service in Hahira and of the fact that its power plant was so simply designed that it could be operated by an illiterate.

Rays Mill clipping from December, 1916 edition of the Western Electric News.

Rays Mill clipping from December, 1916 edition of the Western Electric News.

Western Electric News
December, 1916

As Others See Us

Four years ago we sold the Rays Mill Public Service Western Electric equipment for an electric light plant to supply Hahira, Georgia, with electricity. Our Atlanta office recently received an unsolicited letter from the Manager of the Public Service that says in part:
“We have a record with our plant that I am certain very few others have, and that is – we have never had a “dark” night since. Mr. Pinch turned the juice on something like three or four years ago – and furthermore we have never had a man that run our plant that we paid more than $50.00 per month, and he is now running it and cannot read his own name in print! Now if that is not some RECORD for Western Electric goods I will that some man to trot out one better.

The company was later renamed the Ray City Public Service company.

 

Glen Putnal

Glen Hilton Putnal was born July 24, 1936, a son of Wayne Putnal and Ellen Gaskins.  Glen was the youngest of the Putnal children.  He grew up on the Putnal farm on Park Street extension, Ray City, GA. The Putnal farm was about a half mile down the dirt road south from Effie Guthrie Knight’s place and Glen would come up to play with Effie’s neices and nephews.

He attended the Ray City School where he excelled in academics.

Glenn Putnal, 1953 junior at Ray City High School.

Glenn Putnal, 1953 junior at Ray City High School.

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Glen Putnal, 1954 senior photo, Ray City School, Ray City, GA

Glen Putnal, 1954 senior photo, Ray City School, Ray City, GA

—•—

 Glen Putnal was voted the cutest boy of the Ray City High School Class of 1954. Elinor Grissett was cutest girl.

Glen Putnal was voted the cutest boy of the Ray City High School Class of 1954. Elinor Grissett was cutest girl.

 

Glen Putnal went to Valdosta State College, graduating in 1958 with a degree in Biology.  He became a dentist and worked at the Georgia State Prison at Reidsville, GA

Georgia State Prison, Reidsville, GA

Georgia State Prison, Reidsville, GA

—•—

Glen Putnal, 1955, freshman at Valdosta State College

Glen Putnal, 1955, freshman at Valdosta State College

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Glen Putnal, 1958, senior at Valdosta State College

Glen Putnal, 1958, senior at Valdosta State College

Glen Putnal later returned to the area and practiced dentistry in Hahira, GA.  He was active in civics. In 1967 he was president of the Lion’s Club of Hahira, GA. He was a contributor to the Valdosta State College Foundation.

Glen H. Putnal died November 4, 1990 in Lowndes County, GA. He was buried at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens, Adel, GA.

Post Offices of the Old Berrien Pioneers

EARLY POSTAL SERVICE

In was not until after the Civil War that mail service  at Rays Mill (Ray City, GA) became available.  But the mail was one of the earliest public services provided in the Wiregrass frontier of Georgia and the postal service for the region of present day Ray City stretches back more than 185 years.

Access to this early postal service was hardly convenient.  When pioneers like Levi J. Knight brought their families to Beaverdam Creek in the 1820s, this area of what was then Lowndes County was on the remote southern frontier.   A small frontier community was beginning to grow about ten miles to the east, near the Alapaha River where Lakeland now is, where a settler named Joshua Lee had established a grist mill a few years earlier.   Joshua Lee and his brother Jesse had come to the area in 1820 , and in 1821 began using slave labor and free labor to construct a dam to impound Banks Lake for a mill pond.

But, in 1825  no postal service had been established at the Lee Mill  nor anywhere else in the region. In 1827, when an official post office finally was established, it was situated on the Coffee Road, some 25 miles from where the Knights homesteaded on Beaverdam Creek.

McCRANIE’S POST OFFICE
The first post office in Lowndes County (which then encompassed present day Lowndes, Berrien, Cook, Brooks, Lanier, and parts of Tift, Colquitt, and Echols counties) was established on  March 27, 1827, at the home of Daniel McCranie on the newly opened Coffee Road.  Coffee’s Road was the first road in Lowndes County, but it was only a “road”  in the sense that it was a path cleared through the forest with tree stumps cut low enough for wagon axles to clear them.  Officially,    McCranie’s Post Office was designated simply as “Lowndes.”

The Waycross Journal-Herald
April 8, 1952 Pg 3

The McCranie Family

Daniel McCranie settled on the Coffee Road on lot of land No. 416, 9th District of present Cook County, according to the writer’s information.  It was at his home there that the first post office in Lowndes County was established March 27, 1827, and he became the first postmaster; was also there that the first term of Lowndes Superior Court was held in 1826.  The next year 1828, the post office was moved down Little River to a new place called ‘Franklinville’  which had been designated the county seat, and there William Smith became the postmaster.  The mail in those days was carried by the stage coach except to those offices off the main lines of travel when it was carried in saddlebags on horseback.

1830 Georgia map detail - original Lowndes County, showing only a conceptual location of Coffee Road, Franklinville, Withlacoochee River, and Alapaha River.

1830 Georgia map detail – original Lowndes County, showing only a conceptual location of Coffee Road, Franklinville, Withlacoochee River, and Alapaha River.

SHARPE’S STORE POST OFFICE
The Milledgeville Southern Recorder, May 17, 1828 announced that Hamilton W. Sharpe had opened a post office at Sharpe’s Store, Lowndes County, GA.

Hamilton W. Sharpe announces post office at Sharpe's Store, Lowndes County, GA. The Milledgeville Southern Recorder, May 17, 1828.

Hamilton W. Sharpe announces post office at Sharpe’s Store, Lowndes County, GA. The Milledgeville Southern Recorder, May 17, 1828.

Milledgeville Southern Recorder
May 17, 1828

A Post Office has been recently established at Sharpe’s Store, in Lowndes county, Geo. on the route from Telfair Courthouse to Tallahassee – Hamilton W. Sharpe, Esq. P.M.

Hamilton W. Sharpe served as Postmaster at Sharpe’s Store until 1836.  At that time the name of the post office was briefly changed to Magnum Post Office, with John Hall appointed as Postmaster.

FRANKLINVILLE POST OFFICE
Franklinville, having been selected in 1827 as the public site new county of Lowndes, was situated near  the Withlacoochee River at a location about 10 miles southwest of  Levi J. Knight’s homestead (see Reverend William A. Knight at old Troupville, GA; More About Troupville, GA and the Withlacoochee River.)

…the post office was moved down the Withlacoochee River to the home of William Smith on lot of land No. 50, 11th district of present Lowndes where the court house commissioners had only recently decided to locate the first court house and name the place ‘Franklinville.’  On July 7, 1828, the Post Office Department changed the name of the post office to ‘Franklinville’ and appointed Mr. Smith as postmaster.

Postmaster Smith’s annual salary in 1831 was $16.67.

FRANKLINVILLE
    The erstwhile town of Franklinville did not exist long –  only about four years.  At its best, it could only boast one store and three or four families and the court house.

    The court house was built there in 1828-29, and was a small crude affair, costing only $215.00.  The first term of court in it was held in the fall of 1829.

    William Smith was the first one to settle there, and was living there when the site was chosen.  The only other families to ever live there, so far as can be determined were John Mathis, James Mathis and Sheriff Martin Shaw.  After a short residence there the three last named moved to that part of Lowndes cut off into Berrien in 1856.

    There began to be dissatisfaction about the location of the court house.  It was off the Coffee Road which was the main artery of traffic and communication, and from the beginning was not an auspicious location.  The legislature in 1833 changed the county-site to lot of land No. 109 in the 12th district, about three miles below the confluence of Little River and the Withlacoochee River.  It was named ‘Lowndesville.”  The post office however was not moved there, but the little court house was torn down and moved there.”

Newspaper accounts of the time indicate the courthouse remained at Franklinville at least as late as 1835, when a big Fourth of July celebration was held there.  Among the speakers celebrating the “Declaration of American Independence” at Franklinville that day were Levi J. Knight, Hamilton Sharpe, Reverend Jonathan Gaulden, William Smith, John Blackshear, James Williams and John Dees.

By 1836, the federal government acted to ensure reliable postal routes to the post office at Franklinville to serve the residents of Lowndes County (although the county seat had been removed to Lowndesville.)

 CHAP. CCLXXI.- An Act to establish certain post roads, and to alter and discontinue others, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following be established as post roads:

***

In Georgia—From Franklinville, Lowndes county, Georgia, via Warner’s Ferry, to Townsend post office, in Madison county, Territory of` Florida.From Jacksonville, Telfair county, via Holmesville, in Appling county, and Wearesboro, in Weare county, to Franklinville, in Lowndes county.

***

Approved July 2, 1836

This post road, built with slave labor, ran through Allapaha (now Lakeland), passed just south of L. J. Knight’s place, and continued west to Franklinville. With a public road established, a stagecoach route went into service from Thomasville, via Frankinville, to Waycross.

Detail of J.H. Young's 1838 Tourist Pocket Map of the State of Georgia showing the route from Waresboro to Thomasville, GA.

Detail of J.H. Young’s 1838 Tourist Pocket Map of the State of Georgia showing the route from Waresboro to Thomasville, GA.

Detail of Burr's 1839 map showing the route from Waresboro to Thomasville via Franklinville and Magnum, Lowndes County, GA

Detail of Burr’s 1839 postal map showing the route from Waresboro to Thomasville via Franklinville and Magnum, Lowndes County, GA

TROUPVILLE POST OFFICE
Only a year after the clearing of the post roads to Franklinville, it was decided to move the Lowndes county seat  yet again, this time from Lowndesville to a new site, named Troupville, at the confluence of the Withlacoochee and the Little River  (Map of Old Troupville, GA with Notes on the Residents).

November 10, 1841 letter from Samuel Swilley to Charles J. McDonald, Governor of Georgia, posted at Troupville, GA

November 10, 1841 letter from Samuel E. Swilley to Charles J. McDonald, Governor of Georgia, posted at Troupville, GA and reporting Indian activity in the area. Captain Samuel E. Swilley was a militia leader in the 1836-1842 Indian Wars in Lowndes County, GA.

1845 letter sent from Troupville, GA had franked by Postmaster William Smith. Image source: http://www.cortlandcovers.com/

1845 letter sent from Troupville, GA hand franked by Postmaster William Smith. Image source: http://www.cortlandcovers.com/

In 1837, the transfer of the post office and Postmaster William Smith from Franklinville to Troupville inconvenienced many residents of north Lowndes county, possibly prompting the resumption of postal service at Sharpe’s Store on Coffee Road.  The name of Magnum Post Office reverted to Sharpe’s Store Post Office, and Hamilton W. Sharpe was again Postmaster.

H. W. Sharpe re-opened the post office at Sharpe's Store. Southern Recorder, April 18, 1837

H. W. Sharpe re-opened the post office at Sharpe’s Store on the Coffee Road, Lowndes County, GA. Southern Recorder, April 18, 1837.

Unfortunately,  Sharpe’s Store was even farther distant from Beaverdam Creek;  the Knights, Clements, and their neighbors were left with a forty mile round trip to Troupville fetch the mail.  Sharpe himself served as Postmaster 1837 to 1848.  James Perry took over as Postmaster at Sharpe’s store from 14 December, 1848 to 16 August, 1849, when Sharpe returned to the position. John G. Polhill took the position 5 July, 1850, and Norman Campbell took over 21 August, 1850 to 21 July 1853 when the post office was moved to Morven, GA.

By 1838, Postmaster William Smith at Troupville was receiving weekly mail via routes from Waresboro and Bainbridge, and from San Pedro, Madison County, FL. In 1847 weekly mail was coming and going from Irwinville and Bainbridge, GA, and from Madison, FL.  William Smith continued as the Troupville Postmaster until  October 30, 1848 when attorney Henry J. Stewart took over.  On  August 16, 1849 William Smith resumed as Postmaster at Troupville.

Weekly service extended in 1851 to Waresboro, Albany and Irwinville, and to Columbus, FL.

Travel in the South in the 1830s

Travel in the South in the 1830s

 ALLAPAHA POST OFFICE
By the late 1830s, Allapaha (now Lakeland, GA), had grown into a bustling trade center with several mills and businesses. Ten miles east of Knight’s farm, Allapaha was situated at the point where the Franklinville-Jacksonville Post Road crossed the Alapaha River. In 1838 a post office was established there , and Benjamin Sirmans was the first postmaster.  Weekly mail service berween Waresboro or Waynesville and Troupville came by Allapaha.

Early Postmasters of Allapaha (now Lakeland, GA)

Benjamin Sermons Postmaster 06/27/1838
Isaac D. Hutto Postmaster 05/03/1841
James S. Harris Postmaster 03/05/1842
Samuel H. Harris Postmaster 09/12/1846
Peter Munford Postmaster 01/28/1848
James S. Harris Postmaster 02/09/1849
Andrew J. Liles Postmaster 11/27/1849

While Andrew J. Liles was Postmaster, the name of the town was changed from Allapaha to Milltown, GA.

FLAT CREEK POST OFFICE
Another early  Berrien post office was located at Flat Creek, about 15 miles north of present day Ray City, GA. This post office was established on August 9th, 1847. At that time, Flat Creek was a growing community located on one of the first roads in Berrien County, and warranted the establishment of a post office. The community center was built largely by Noah Griffin with the aid of his sons and African-American slaves.  “At the time of the establishment of the post office there was a saw mill, grist mill, cotton gin, a country store and farm, all owned and run by Noah Griffin and his sons…”   The J. H. Colton Map of Georgia, 1855 shows the Flat Creek community situated on Lyons Creek, a tributary of the Alapaha River now known as Ten Mile Creek. The store at Flat Creek was located on a road that connected Irwinville and points north to the town then known as Allapaha (now known as Lakeland, GA).

HAHIRA POST OFFICE
On May 7, 1852, a post office was opened at Hahira, GA and Barry J. Folsom was appointed as the first postmaster. Randal Folsom took over as postmaster in 1858. The post office at Hahira was closed in 1866, and postal service did not resume there until 1873.

STAR ROUTES
When Berrien County was created in 1856, there were still very few post offices in the area. “These were supplied by star routes, the carrier rode horseback.”   Prior to 1845, in areas inaccessible  by rail or water transportation delivery of inland mail was let out to bid by contractors who carried mail by stagecoach.  On March 3, 1845 Congress  established an Act which provided that the Postmaster General should grant contracts to the lowest bidder who could provide sufficient guarantee of faithful performance, without any conditions, except to provide for due celerity, certainty and security of transportation.  These bids became known as “celerity, certainty and security bids” and were designated on the route registers by three stars (***), thus becoming known as “star routes.”  In rural areas, a bidder who could provide delivery by wagon, or even horseback, could win a Star Route mail contract.

NASHVILLE POST OFFICE
With the creation of the new county of Berrien in 1856, a public site was selected and Nashville was established as the county seat. The site was near the geographic center of the county and located on the Coffee Road, one of the earliest public roads in Georgia. “Previous to the creation of Berrien County there had been for many years a farm and public inn located at this point on the Coffee Road.” “The new county site had been laid out and christened and stores, shops and eating houses and other industries had been launched, where only a few months before there had been a farm and cow pens.”  In 1857 a post office was established at Nashville to serve the new town and the county residents. The early road from Nashville to Milltown passed through the Rays Mill community by way of the residences of General Levi J. Knight, Isben Giddens, and John M. Futch. Although Levi J. Knight’s farm was situated at the midpoint on the Nashville – Milltown(Lakeland) road, it probably became a matter of convenience to post mail at Nashville as that was where the business of the county was conducted.

CONFEDERATE POSTAL SERVICE
With Secession, the services of the U.S. Post Office were lost to the South and to Berrien County. The Southern Recorder, Dec 29, 1863 reported on Acts passed by the [Confederate] Legislature and signed by the Governor, Joseph E. Brown, which included an act, “Requesting the establishment of a mail route between Milltown and Nashville in Berrien county.”  The 1864 Census for the Reorganization of the Georgia Militia shows that A. K. Harmon was then serving as a postmaster for the 1144th Georgia Militia District, which was centered on Ray’s Mill. After the war, Nathan W. Byrd, a Nashville farmer and father-in-law of Matthew H. Albritton, served as the mail carrier on the route between Nashville and Milltown (Lakeland), GA.

RAY CITY POST OFFICE

After the Civil War postal service was established at the present site of Ray City, GA.  The previous post, Posting Mail at Ray City, describes how the grist mill built by General Levi J. Knight and his son-in-law Thomas M. Ray on Beaverdam Creek became the first post station here.

Related Posts:

The Second Death of Reverend Robert Payne Fain

In the summer of 1911 The Valdosta Times reported that  Reverend Robert Payne Fain was seeking souls in Ray’s Mill, now Ray City, GA. Along with Reverend Fain was Miss McCord, who had just come from the Kansas City National Training School for Deaconesses and Missionaries.

The  Valdosta Times
June 10, 1911
Around Ray’s Mill

Rev. R. P. Fain is holding a tent meeting here [Ray City] now.  He began Saturday, holding his first service Saturday Evening.   Miss McCord, who is just from the Kansas City training school, lectured Sunday afternoon.  They had three services today, but only two in the week, at four o’clock in the afternoon and 7:30 in the evening.

Born Jefferson Payne Walker (1860-1921) in Texas, it is said he changed his name to Robert Payne Fain about 1883 after being falsely accused of theft.  His father was James Carr Walker, a Methodist minister who was one of the original settlers of the community of New York, TX.  His mother was Mary Ann Fain.

Robert Payne Fain left Texas to attend Emory College in Oxford, GA., and became a Methodist Minister in the South Georgia Conference. On October 27, 1889 he married Remmie Carolyn Howell in Lowndes County, Georgia.  The Fains made their home in the 1300 Georgia Militia District, in present Lanier County.

1910-Tifton-Gazette-sep-9

Tifton Gazette, September 9, 1908

Children of Robert Payne Fain and Remmie Carolyn Howell:

  1. Laura Fain 1892 –
  2.  Robert L Fain 1894 –
  3.  James Edward FAIN 1896 – 1960
  4.  William Howell Fain 1898 –
  5.  Mary Fane 1900 –
  6.  Ona Fain 1902 –
  7.  Elethia Fain 1906 –
  8. Jewell Fain 1909 –

Robert Payne Fain, aka Jefferson Fain Walker, died January 6, 1921 while attending a meeting at  Hahira, Georgia.

Death of R. P. Fain

Strange death of Reverend R. P. Fain

Strange death of Reverend R. P. Fain. This account appeared in the El Paso Herald, El Paso Texas

El Paso Herald

Minister Left For Dead Resucitated  By Another Pastor

Valdosta, Ga., Jan. 7. – Stricken with acute indigestion, the Rev. R. P. Fain was given up for dead while attending a ministers’ meeting at Hahira, Ga., and laid out in the church while his son went to inform the family.  Meantime, Rev. John Stanford arrived and, pressing on the “body” with his knees, resuscited the minister.

Death of  Reverend R. P. Fain reported in the Thomasville Times-Enterprise.

Death of Reverend R. P. Fain reported in the Thomasville Times-Enterprise.

Thomasville Times-Enterprise

DEAD, THEN ALIVE THEN DEAD AGAIN CASE OF MINISTER

Peculiar Experience in Valdosta When Minister Died, Was Revived and Apparently Well and Then Died a Short Time Later.

Valdosta, Ga., Jan. 7. – Rev. R. P. Fain, of Hahira, a well known minister of South Georgia, was the victim of suspended animation in a church there during a meeting of ministers Wednesday, and died last night after going to the station to bid departing preachers farewell.  He was stricken on the street and died before he could be removed to his home.

Second death was fatal to Reverend R. P. Fain, Americus Times-Recorder, Jan 13, 1921

Second death was fatal to Reverend R. P. Fain, Americus Times-Recorder, Jan 13, 1921

SECOND ‘DEATH’ IS FATAL TO PASTOR

Hahira Minister Succumbs After Being Revived From Spell

   Valdosta, Jan. 7. – Rev. R. P. Fain, of Hahira, well known minister of South Georgia, who was a victim of suspended animation in church there during a meeting of ministers Wednesday, died last night after going to the station to bid the departing preachers farewell.  He was stricken on the street and died before he could be removed to his home.
    Mr. Fain was the pastor of the Methodist church at Hahira, and had been very actively engaged in helping to entertain the visiting ministers, comprising all of the preachers of the Valdosta district.
    About 11 o’clock Wednesday while the ministerial conference was in session, he was stricken.  Some of the ministers present saw him tottering and about to fall and rushed to his rescue.  They held him up until he was, apparently, dead, then laid him out.  In a few minutes his body was cold, his face black, and rigor mortis had apparently set in.  His son, Rev Ed Fain, as well as other ministers present, gave him up for dead, and the younger Mr. Fain went to the house to inform his mother of his father’s death.
    After fifteen or twenty minutes Rev. John Stanford, of Adel, decided that an effort should be made to revive him; so he jumped on the prostrate form with his knees and began to work his arms violently, to see if his respiratory organs would not begin to function.  After a few minutes the stricken preacher gave one breath and later on he revived so that he could be carried to his home.
    Later on in the day he was able to disrobe himself and go to bed. Yesterday morning he was able to return to the church and resume his work among the preachers. It seems that he had a very violent attack of acute indigestion.

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G. V. Hardie Was Visionary Merchant

For about 30 years in the early 1900s Gordon Vancie Hardie was a merchant of Ray City, GA.  Among his marketing strategies was an arrangement with A. K. Hawkes Company to bring a visiting optician to Ray City.

By special arrangement, the firm of A. K. Hawkes, Optician, Atlanta, GA made visits to rural drug stores, like that of Ray City, GA merchant G. V. Hardie.

By special arrangement, the firm of A. K. Hawkes, Optician, Atlanta, GA made visits to rural drug stores, like that of Ray City, GA merchant G. V. Hardie.

G. V. Hardie ran advertisements in The Valdosta Times announcing this service for his patrons.

Feb 3, 1912 announcement in The Valdosta Times: G. V. Hardie, Ray City Druggist, brings optomistrist to town.

Feb 3, 1912 announcement in The Valdosta Times: G. V. Hardie, Ray City druggist, brings A. K. Hawkes optician to town.

A. K. Hawkes Company, eyeglasses and case. Image source: http://www.rubylane.com/item/634706-1003111/K-Hawkes-Co-Eyeglasses-Case

A. K. Hawkes Company, eyeglasses and case. Image source: http://www.rubylane.com/item/634706-1003111/K-Hawkes-Co-Eyeglasses-Case

About Gordon Vancie Hardie (1890-1937)…

Gordon Vancie Hardie was born in Pinetta, Florida on Tuesday, May 13, 1890, a son of Jessie F. and Lila D. Hardie. Gordon had a brother, Grover, who became a physician, and two sisters, Pearl and Maud.

Gordon spent his boyhood days in Florida; at the time of the census of 1900, his family was living in Withlacoochee, Madison County, Florida.

By 1910, Gordon’s father had moved the family to Georgia. Nineteen year-old Gordon was living in his parents household in Hahira, GA, where his father had acquired a farm.

While his father farmed, Gordon worked as a drygoods salesman. One of the merchants in town was Irvin “Plimp” Hodges. Plimp had spent most of his life farming in Lower Fork, Lowndes County, GA, but some time prior to 1910 he brought his wife and daughter, Addie, to live in Hahira, GA. Perhaps Gordon Hardie met Addie at her father’s store. Somehow they became acquainted and soon enough they were married.

Gordon Vancie Hardie and Addie B. Hodges were wed on November 25, 1912 in Lowndes County, GA. Perry T. Knight, Minister of God and native of Ray’s Mill, GA, performed the ceremony.

From about 1911 to his death in 1937 Gordon Vancie Hardie made Ray City, GA his home. He was buried in Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave marker of Gordon Vancie Hardie, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave marker of Gordon Vancie Hardie, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

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Lorton W. Register ~ Killed in Action, WWI

Lorton Webster Register of Ray City, Georgia.  KIA, WWI.

Lorton Webster Register of Ray City, Georgia. KIA, WWI.

Lorton Webster Register, of Ray City, GA entered World War I military service as a private in 1917.

Lorton W. Register was born in Hahira, GA about 1892, a son of John R. Register.  His early childhood was spent in Hahira.  Some time before 1917, the Register family moved about thirteen miles to the northeast to Ray City, GA.  During WWI, Lorton went into the Army.   The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917 and on April 11 Lorton and his brother, Balley Register,  both volunteered for service.  Lorton was sent to Ft. Thomas, Kentucky where he was inducted on April 15, 1917.  He was 25 years old at the time of enlistment.

Fort Thomas was  designated as a recruit depot. Recruits arrived as civilians and were processed into uniformed soldiers  with assignments to official training locations.

Service records show Lorton W. Register was attached to the following companies:

Company F, 7th Infantry  to June 10, 1917;
Company F, 61st Infantry  to Aug. 10, 1917;
Company M, 18th Infantry  to Nov. 23, 1917;
Company I, 18th Infantry  to death.

1917 photo postcard showing newly-inducted soldiers departing Fort Thomas, Kentucky for their training assignments. The back of the card is cancelled by the Columbia machine cancel of Newport, Kentucky (the town nearest Fort Thomas), dated August 11, 1917. Photo and caption courtesy of Bob Swanson

1917 photo postcard showing newly inducted soldiers departing Fort Thomas, Kentucky for their training assignments. The back of the card is cancelled by the Columbia machine cancel of Newport, Kentucky (the town nearest Fort Thomas), dated August 11, 1917. Photo and caption courtesy of Bob Swanson

Private Register served in France in the early part of the war. In March, 1918 he saw action while on duty at a listening post at the front lines at St. Mihiel, France.  After the engagement, he was reported “Missing in Action.”

More than a year later it was determined that he had been killed by a shell fragment during action on March 1, 1918.  His father, John R. Register, received the official notification of his son’s death at his home in Ray City.  The report of Georgia casualties appeared in the Atlanta Constitution.

WWI Doughboy Monument, Nashville, GA.  The name of Lorton W. Register appears on the base of the monument, along with the names of other soldiers of Berrien County, GA who gave their lives in the war.

WWI Doughboy Monument, Nashville, GA. The name of Lorton W. Register appears on the base of the monument, along with the names of other soldiers of Berrien County, GA who gave their lives in the war.

Atlanta Constitution
May 29, 1919

ON OUR NATION’S ROLL OF HONOR

The names of twelve Georgia boys appear in today’s official casualty list, which contains the names of 527 more American heroes who were victims on the fields of France.
    The Georgians are, killed in action previously reported missing: Privates Albert L. Carter, Ellaville: Lorton W. Register, Ray City.
    Returned to duty, previously reported missing in action:
Privates Dave Akins, Vienna; Elder Grace, Elko.
    Wounded in Action: Lieutenants George A. Roberts, 451 Center street, Macon; Gardie Nix, 70 North Main street, Gainesville; Sergeants William C. Graham, 521 Lee Street, Atlanta; Jabez P. Kelly, Mystic; Corporal Walter S. Robinson, Waco; Privates Dallas T. Townley, Lawrenceville; Lawrence P. Woolf, Morrow.
    Died of Disease:  Private Elijah Mealer, Cartecay.

Lorton W. Register is among the soldiers honored at St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Thiaucourt, France; his name appears there on the Tablets of the Missing.

American Cemetery, St. Mihiel, France as it appeared in 1921.

American Cemetery, St. Mihiel, France as it appeared in 1921.

The St. Mihiel Cemetery is at Thiaucourt, a shadeless plain about 25 kilometers northeast of St. Mihiel. Here are gathered the bodies of those who fell in the reduction of the dangerous St. Mihiel Salient. The Memorial Highway, in its loop southward from St. Mihiel through Toul and up to Thiaucourt passes near Vaucouleurs and Domremy, associated with the birth and life of Joan of Arc.     –1922 Annual report By American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society

Later, permanent grave markers and a monument were added to the cemetery.

 American Cemetery at St Mihiel, France.

American Cemetery at St Mihiel, France.

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Early Telephone Systems Operated In Local Towns

The 1920 Report of the Railroad Commission of Georgia reported that the offices of the Ray City Telephone Company were located in Hahira, GA.  For the year 1921, the company had gross earnings of $1872.59 and $2359.75 in operating expenses, for a net deficit of $487.19.

In 1924, the Atlanta Constitution reported that a Ray City entrepreneur would purchase the Hahira telephone system.

Atlanta Constitution
March 8, 1924, Pg 8
RAY CITY MAN BUYS HAHIRA PHONE SYSTEM

    Hahira, Ga., March 7. – (Special.)  M.G. Melton, of Ray City, Ga., has purchased the Hahira telephone system from the Bank of Hahira, and will assume management at once.
    The system is comprised of 225 telephones, with rural lines running into adjacent communities, as well as being connected by the Southern Bell system for long distance service.

Unidentified 1920s Georgia switchboard operator. Vanishing Georgia, Georgia Archives, Office of Secretary of State. http://cdm.sos.state.ga.us/u?/vg2,7216

Unidentified young man, 1920s Georgia switchboard operator. Vanishing Georgia, Georgia Archives, Office of Secretary of State. http://cdm.sos.state.ga.us/u?/vg2,7216

By the time of Melton’s Hahira investment, Ray City also had a well established telephone system.

Ray City Public Service Company

The Rays Mill Public Service company was established some time prior to 1912. By 1919, the Ray City Public Service Company served as the telephone company for Ray City, Georgia.  The Report of the Comptroller-General of the State of Georgia for the year ending December 31, 1922 shows that there were no less that 152 telephone companies operating across the state.  In the local area, Ray City, Nashville, Milltown, Hahira, Homerville, Cairo and Quitman all had telephone companies.

It is said that the first telephone in Ray City was installed at the drugstore that later became the Victory Soda Shop.  Ike Fender and Gillie Ann Cowart were among the town’s first telephone operators.

By 1922, the Ray City Public Service company had 16 miles of telephone poles and 75 miles of telephone wire.  The company paid $9.50 for telephone company taxes, and the  total value of the company property was $1,900.00.   In the Report of the Comptroller-General of the State of Georgia for the year ending December 31, 1925, the company name is given as Ray City Telephone Company. The total value of the company property was $1,888.00, and the company paid $9.44 in state taxes.

Later, M.G. Melton relocated to Hahira, but continued his commercial investments in Ray City.  An earlier post told of his intention to operate a telephone exchange in Ray City.

Ray City News, Jan 3, 1929
M.G. Melton Buys A. Turner Brick Bldgs.

   A transaction of much interest to the people of Ray City and surrounding  community is that in which Mr. M. G. Melton of Hahira purchased the two large brick buildings known as the Andrew Turner Buildings.  One of the buildings is two stories high and the top floor is needed for the telephone exchange.

In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps assisted with the construction of rural telephone lines. Eventually, the larger telephone corporations bought out the local exchange operators.  In 1950, the telephone service in Ray City was provided by Consolidated Telephone Company, which also served Berlin, Boston, Coolidge, Doerun, Hahira, Lakeland, Meigs, Morven, Moultrie, Norman Park, and Pavo.

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