Classroom Building and Soup Kitchen at Ray City School

Classroom Building  and Soup Kitchen at Ray City School

Classroom Building at Ray City School.

Classroom Building at Ray City School.

The white wooden classroom building  was already an old building on the campus when Diane Miley attended second grade at Ray City School in 1939.

This building, which was originally located where the kindergarten is now situated, and was later moved further back from Pauline Street to its present location. The entrances to this building were on the north and south sides. A
central north-south hallway ran through the building. On the east side were two big classrooms for the 1st and 4th grades, and a small room used as the Soup Kitchen. On the west side were 2nd Grade and 3rd Grade classrooms. There were no bathrooms in this building, or in the main brick school building for that matter. The toilets at that time were outdoor toilets. the Ray City school did not get indoor toilets until after WWII.

The teachers in this wooden building were:

1st Grade: Mrs. P.M. Shultz
2nd Grade: Miss Josephine Collier
3rd grade: Eloise Johnson
4th grade: a young unmarried teacher

Other Ray City teachers around that time were Jesse Francis Webb, Hazel Tabor, Dorothy Chisholm, and Mary Peele, James Garland Grady.  Julius Glen Tatum was an Ag teacher.

This building housed the original “soup kitchen” lunch room at Ray City School. Off of the 4th grade classroom was a small room which was used as the lunch room. It measured about 10 feet by 12 feet and was equipped with  a cook table, but no sink counter. A big cast iron wood-burning stove occupied one corner of the room.  There were counters and benches along two walls where the children ate.  The lunchroom ladies  could not feed many children at a time. The charge for lunch was 10 cents, but not all children could afford to get a hot lunch. Many brought their lunch from home and ate in the school yard.

Mrs. Hun Knight worked hard to bring the soup kitchen to the school and worked in the kitchen. Mrs. Eula Swindle Hall was the first cook. She was followed by Mrs. Allie Purvis Starling. Leila McConnell also cooked. Martha Burkhalter was a lunchroom “waitress.” Agnes Knight Guthrie also helped in the kitchen. For the paying students, soup was served every day, with brown whole-wheat flour biscuits and butter. The kitchen was supplied with surplus government commodities supplemented with fresh produce that was brought in by local farmers in trade for their children’s lunches. Rossie Futch brought in sweet potatoes in trade for a hot lunch for his children.

Later, after the first school cafeteria building was constructed on the Ray City School campus in 1941, the small soup kitchen was turned into a trigonometry classroom for the high school students.

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Senior Class of 1951, Ray City School

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1939 Ray City Glee Club Goes On Tour

Ray City Class of 1930 Didn’t Walk

Ray City Girls Form Athletic Club, 1947

W.R. McClure Resigns as Ray City Principal

Mrs. Schmoe ~ Ray City Teacher

1951 Beaverettes Couldn’t Miss; Boys Went Afoul at Homerville

Sankey Booth, Wiregrass Educator

Ray City, GA Women’s Hoops, 1934

Queen of the Harvest celebrated Ray City Gymnasium

Tri-Hi-Y, 1939


Leon Bradford, Ray City Barber

Leon Bradford (1905-1962)

Leon Bradford and W. B. Parrish, February, 1951, at the diner in Nashville, GA. Leon Bradford owned a barbershop in Ray City.

Leon Bradford and W. B. Parrish, February, 1951, at the diner in Nashville, GA. Leon Bradford owned a barbershop in Ray City. Photograph by Jamie Connell. Image courtesy of

Leon Bradford was born December 5,1905 and raised at Ray City, GA. He was a son of Mack Talley Bradford and Margaret R. “Maggie” Gaskins.  His parents owned a farm on the Nashville & Valdosta Road, in the Connell’s Mill District near Ray City.

Leon and his brothers all attended school when they were of age. When Leon was about 13 years old, his father fell off a ladder. Although Mack Bradford’s injuries from the fall seemed minor, in just a short time he was dead.

For a time, Leon’s mother continued to farm the family place near Ray City. Leon’s older brother, Albert Bradford, worked as a farm laborer.

It appears that after the 8th grade, Leon Bradford had to give up school.  By 1930, Leon’s brother, Albert was married and had a place of his own. Leon’s mother moved with his two younger brothers to a farm at Cat Creek, GA, about ten miles southwest of Ray City. Leon moved into town at Ray City and took up the trade of barbering.  In 1930, he was boarding with Pleamon and Minnie Sirmons in their Ray City home.

About 1934, Leon married and in 1935  Leon and Dora Bradford became the parents of Patricia Bradford. The Bradford home was on Main Street in Ray City. They were neighbors of Hun and Gladys Knight, and the Knight’s boarders Hazel Tabor and Dorothy Chisholm who were both school teachers. Other neighbors of the Bradfords included George and Cynthia Swindle, Raymond and Jeanette Philipps, Marvin and Arlie Purvis, and Garth and Jessie Mae Webb. Patricia Bradford attended the Ray City School.

Leon Bradford had his own barbershop, located on the south side of Main Street just east of the tracks of the Georgia & Florida Railroad.  Just across the street was the Victory Soda Shop  and next door was the grocery store owned by Marvin and Arlie Purvis. A few doors down was another barber shop owned by Lyman Franklin Giddens.  On Saturdays, Wayne Putnal worked at Bradford’s barbershop cutting hair and giving shaves. Leon Bradford spent his career grooming the citizens of Ray City, GA.

It appears the Bradfords were Methodists. Patricia Bradford attended the Methodist retreats at Epworth on St. Simon’s Island, GA. Like his father before him, Leon Bradford was an active member of the Masons.

Leon Bradford died May 27, 1962 in Berrien County, GA. He was buried with others of the Bradford and Gaskins family connections at Fisher Gaskins Cemetery, located on Bradford Road six miles southwest of Ray City, GA.

Grave of Leon Bradford, Barber of Ray City, GA. Image source: Robert Strickland

Grave of Leon Bradford, Barber of Ray City, GA. Image source: Robert Strickland


1939 Ray City Glee Club Goes On Tour

Following a successful 1939 Christmas Cantata  performance, the Ray City School Glee Club went on a spring tour performing in local towns and even on the radio:

The Nashville Herald, March 2, 1939

Ray City Glee Club Heard at M.E. Church

The Ray City high school Glee Club was featured in last Sunday night services at the local Methodist Church, singing before a packed house.  Reverend J.O. Stanaland, pastor, announced that it was nearly a capacity congregation.

The Glee Club very ably and with pleasing harmonious voices rendered a group of chorus selections.  There are twenty-eight mixed voices in the Glee Club.

Transcription courtesy of Skeeter Parker


The Nashville Herald, March 16, 1939

Ray City Glee Club Gave Program at Lakeland Recently

The Ray City High School Glee Club numbering twenty-four voices, presented a program last Tuesday morning at the Lakeland School auditorium during chapel period.  Several readings were also given by students representing the Ray City Expression Department.  The performance received an enthusiastic response from the Lakeland faculty and student body.  Mr. House praised the work of the visiting group, and stated that on account of the pleasant scholastic relations in literary and athletic events which had always existed between Ray City and Lakeland he was exceptionally glad to have had the Ray City school represented here on such a delightful an occasion.  Similar programs were presented in Ray City last fall by Lakeland High School and Grammar School Glee Clubs prior to the School of the Air Broadcasts.  The Ray City Glee Club is preparing a program to be broadcast over radio station WAYX in Waycross at 2 o’clock p.m. April 7. – Lanier County News.

Transcription courtesy of Skeeter Parker

Members of the Glee Club:

Peggy Carter
Annie Ruth Clements
Juanelle Clements
Marjorie Garner
Frencholyn Guthrie
Myrtle Hendry
Alma Luke
Evelyn Moore
Victoria Sirmans
Pauline Skinner
Juanelle Starling
Carolyn Swindle
Allen Yawn
Roy Carter
Hugh Clements
Hubert Comer
Billy Guthrie
Morris Johnson
Bruce Knight
Harold Moore
Ronald Parrish
Hubert Starling
Jack Vickers
Lamar Weaver
Miss Josephine Collier
Mrs. Rudolph Zeigler (Martha Ernestine Cantrell)
Mrs. Garth Webb
Miss Hazel Tabor

Related Posts:

Ray City Seniors ~ 1939

Here is an updated, better quality photo of Ray City School seniors in 1939.  See the original article posted at Glee Club Gave 1939 Christmas Cantata.

1939 Class Seniors, Ray City School. Miss Tabor, Teacher. Pictured are Annie Ruth Clements, Elizabeth Weaver, Mona Faye Swindle, D'Ree Yawn, Hazel Sirmans, Doris Forehand, and J.D. Carter.

1939 Class Seniors, Ray City School. Miss Tabor, Teacher. Pictured are Annie Ruth Clements, Elizabeth Weaver, Mona Faye Swindle, D’Ree Yawn, Hazel Sirmans, Doris Forehand, and J.D. Carter. Image courtesy of Edith Mayo.

Glee Club Gave 1939 Christmas Cantata

In 1939 the Ray City School Glee Club gave a Christmas Cantata with many students and teachers participating.

Ray City School, circa 1949. The school building was originally constructed in 1922.

Ray City School, circa 1949. The school building was originally constructed in 1922.

The Nashville Herald, December 14, 1939

Ray City School Glee Club to Give Christmas Cantata

      Ray City High School Glee Club will present a Christmas Cantata, “Memories of Bethlehem,” (Holton), on Wednesday evening, December 20, at 8 o’clock in the high school auditorium.  The glee club will be assisted by Miss Josephine Collier, pianist; contralto, Mrs. Rudolph Zeigler (Martha Ernestine Cantrell Ziegler); soprano, Mrs. Garth Webb, and Miss Hazel Tabor.

      Members of the club appearing on the program will be:

      Sopranos and altos:

      Peggy Carter, Annie Ruth Clements, Juanelle Clements, Marjorie Garner, Frencholyn Guthrie, Myrtle Hendry, Alma Luke, Evelyn Moore, Victoria Sirmans, Pauline Skinner, Juanelle Starling, Carolyn Swindle, Allen Yaun.

      Baritones and basses:

      Roy Carter, Hugh Clements, Hubert Comer, Billy Guthrie, Morris Johnson, Bruce Knight, Harold Moore, Ronald Parrish, Hubert Starling, Jack Vickers, Lamar Weaver.

      The Symphonet Band, which has been organized since October, will play for the processional.  They are: 

      Lamar Hardy, Fain Guthrie, Ferrell Herring, Barbara Swindle, Annie Martha Grisset, Lois Burkhalter, Kenneth Cameron, Billy Creech, Casswell Yaun, Bob Starling, Sadie Griner, Wylda Starling.

      Ushers for the occasion will be Helen Scarboro and Betty Garner.  Candle lighters will be Robert Martin, Rudolph Scarboro, Bill Gray, Harvey Wood.

      Wise men will be Hilda Sirmans and Doris Mobley.

1939 Class Seniors, Ray City School. Miss Tabor, Teacher. Pictured are Annie Ruth Clements, Elizabeth Weaver, Mona Faye Swindle, D'Ree Yawn, Hazel Sirmans, Doris Forehand, and J.D. Carter.

1939 Class Seniors, Ray City School. Miss Tabor, Teacher. Pictured are Annie Ruth Clements, Elizabeth Weaver, Mona Faye Swindle, D’Ree Yawn, Hazel Sirmans, Doris Forehand, and J.D. Carter.

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On this date, September 6, 75 years ago today, the Ray City School opened the 1937 school year. A week before classes, on September 2, 1937 the Nashville Herald ran an outlook for the new school year.  Prentice Munson Shultz was Superintendent of the school at Ray City, Georgia that year.  He served as Superintendent of the Ray City School from 1929 to 1941, and his wife, Wilma Harper Shultz, taught first grade.


Nashville Herald
September 2, 1937

Plans Complete For Fine School Year – Fine Faculty Has Been Secured By P.M. Shultz, Supt.

    The Ray City School will open Monday, Sept. 6, at 9 a.m.
    All students are urgently requested to be present at the opening hour. This is very important as complete organization cannot be perfected to meet the needs of all students unless they are present at the beginning of the term so that teachers may know what their needs are or will be. Likewise, it is important that each boy and girl is present to give their application for free text books so that teachers may make requisition for same. Regular basic thexts throughout all grades will be furnished by the state but all workbooks, notebooks, other supplies, etc. are to be furnished by the pupil.
    As customary in preceeding years a small library fee of fifty cents per pupil will b charged each boy and girl in the High School grades. This fee is to be used as a library fund for upkeep of the library in buying books, magazines, etc.  This will enable each student to have accrss to reading material that otherwise could not be had.  Each student is ask to pay this fee on day of entrance.
    All parents and friends of the school are especially invited to accompany their children to school and to attend the opening exercises.  Not only are they invited to visit the school on the opening day but are invited to visit the school at any tie they can throughout the school year. This will give them a better understanding of the school and will help to encourage both students and pupils.
    Care has been taking in selecting the best teachers possible for the ensuing year. They are as follows:
P.M. Shultz, Superintendent
W.R. Salter, History and Science, Coach
Mrs. Irene H. Tollet, English, Librarian
To be supplied – French
Miss Mildred Vail, Public School music
Miss Hazel Tabor, Seventh Grade
Miss Ellene Jones, Sixth Grade
Mrs. Thomas Exum, Fifth Grade
Miss Mary Francis Baskins, Fourth Grade
Miss Lillian Ford, Third Grade
Mrs. P.M. Shultz, First Grade
Prospects are that the coming term should be one of the most successful in the history of the school.