D’Ree Yawn and Friends in Ray City

In the 1930s D’Ree Yawn was a teenage girl living in Ray City, GA, photographed here with Mildred Clements, and another friend, Marie.

Three young friends in Ray City. Left to right: Mildred Clements, Marie ?, and D'Ree Yawn. Image courtesy of Debra Klein.

Three young friends in Ray City. Left to right: Mildred Clements, Marie ?, and D’Ree Yawn. Image courtesy of Debra Klein.

D’Ree Yawn and Mildred Clements were friends and neighbors. Mildred lived in the home on the northeast corner of Jones Street and Pauline Street; her parents were Hod Clements and Alma Florence May.

D’Ree was a daughter of Vera Laura Roberts and Clayton Samuel Yawn.  She was the sister of Allene Yawn and Caswell Yawn. In the 1920s D’Ree Yawn lived with her parents in the residence of her great uncle James Studstill. The Studstill home was located half-a-block down Jones Street, on a large lot on the southwest corner of Jones and Bishop Street. Some time in the 1930s D’Ree’s family moved up Jones Street to a house directly across Pauline Street from the Clements house. This house still stands, although it has been somewhat remodeled. In the 1930s there was a massive old magnolia tree in the front yard of this house that nearly obscured it from the street.

D'Ree Yawn and her family occupied this home in the 1930s.

D’Ree Yawn and her family occupied this home in the 1930s.

 

D'Ree Yawn and her family occupied this home in the 1930s.

1930s residence of the Yawn Family, Ray City, GA

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Obituary of Caswell Yawn

Caswell Samuel Yawn (1926-2003)

Caswell Yawn (LEFT) and James Clements (RIGHT)  photographed June 2, 1939. Image courtesy of Edith Mayo.

Caswell Yawn (LEFT) and James Clements (RIGHT) photographed June 2, 1939. Image courtesy of Edith Mayo.

Caswell S. Yawn, 77, died Saturday, June 21, 2003, at his residence under the care of Pearls of Life Hospice. He was born and reared in Ray City, Georgia, and lived in Jesup many years before moving to Reidsville 30 years ago. He was a U. S. Navy veteran and retired after 25 years of service from Georgia State Prison as an x-ray technologist. He was currently working part time as a lab technologist with Doctor’s Lab in Vidalia. He was a member and a deacon of Reidsville Baptist Church, Past Master of Rising Sun Lodge #32, served on the Board of Directors of the Reidsville Lions Club, and was a member of Reidsville VFW Post #7760. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Clayton Samuel Yawn of Florence, South Carolina, and Vera Roberts Yawn of Ray City, Georgia.
      He is survived by his wife, Grace Curl Yawn of Reidsville; two sons and daughters-in-law, Clayton and Ellie Yawn of Green Cove Springs, Florida, and Greg and Susan Yawn of Dacula, Georgia; two stepsons and stepdaughters-in-law, Mike and Kelly Canady of Hagan and Wayne and Tammy Canady of Reidsville; one stepdaughter and stepson-in-law, Teresa and Darrion Stanfield of Reidsville; two sisters, D’Ree Natale of Washingtonville, New York, and Allene Stutzman of Pinehurst, North Carolina; eight grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Monday, June 23, at Reidsville Baptist Church. Interment was in Reidsville City Cemetery, with Masonic Burial Rites given.
      Active pallbearers were Byron Smith, Floyd James, Glenn Williams, Bobby Anderson, Gary Curl, and Neil Rogers.
      Honorary pallbearers were the E. B. Register Sunday School Class, the Reidsville Lions Club, and Doctor’s Lab in Vidalia.
      Bradley B. Anderson Funeral Home of Reidsville, Georgia, was in charge of the arrangements.

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Hosea Peeples “Hod” Clements

Hosea P. “Hod” Clements,  son of Ann Eliza Swindle and John Miles Clements, was a life long resident of Berrien County. He was a cousin of the Clements brothers who ran the Clements Lumber Company at Ray City, GA. Hod was educated at the Georgia Normal College and Business Institute, and served in France during WWI, but always returned to Ray City.

Hod P. Clements of Ray City, GA, 1911.

Hod P. Clements of Ray City, GA, 1911.

On September 15, 1917 Hod P. Clements married Alma Florence May in a ceremony performed by A. J. Futch, Minister of God.  Alma was a daughter of Mary Florence “Molly” Simmons and Sirmon Green May. Her father was a farmer at Nashville, GA .

Hosea Peeples "Hod" Clements and Alma Florence May were married in Berrien County, GA on September 15, 1917.

Hosea Peeples “Hod” Clements and Alma Florence May were married in Berrien County, GA on September 15, 1917.

The following year Alma gave birth to their first child, James Herman Clements, born May 8, 1918.

As told in the previous post (Hod P. Clements and the Dixie Division ), Hod joined the army and shipped overseas late in the summer of 1918  where he served from September 17, 1918 to July 5, 1919.

James Herman Clements, son of Alma Florence May and Hod P. Clements, circa 1921. Image courtesy of berriencountyga.com.

James Herman Clements, son of Alma Florence May and Hod P. Clements, circa 1921. Image courtesy of berriencountyga.com.

For a while Hod and Alma made their home on his father’s farm, situated on

They moved to Ray City in the 1920s and lived in a house on Jones Street, Ray City, GA. Armed with a degree from the Georgia Normal College and Business Institute, Hod Clements went into business in Ray City: “From 1923 until 1945 Clements operated a general store named Swindle and Clements.”

James Herman Clements and Mildred Lorene Clements, children of Alma and Hod P. Clements, with Marie and Pete Studstill. Image courtesy of berriencountyga.com.

James Herman Clements and Mildred Lorene Clements, children of Alma and Hod P. Clements, with Marie and Pete Studstill. Image courtesy of berriencountyga.com.

The Clements were involved in the community. Hod Clements was a Master Mason, raised up January 8, 1935, and a member of Duncan Lodge. Alma Clements was a supporter of local education and in 1941 she was working in the lunchroom at the Ray City School.

In the 1940s the Clements home on Jones Street was valued at $1000.  Hod and Alma lived there with their children, James Herman Clements, Mildred Lorene Clements, and Helen Frances Clements. Also boarding in the Clements home was James Gaskins Grady.  Grady was a school teacher who had come to Ray City from Montevallo, AL some time after 1935.

The Clements’ neighbors on Jones Street were James M. Studstill, who was the uncle of Vera R. Yawn, and great uncle of D’ree, Allene, and Caswell S. Yawn. Another neighbor was Thomas J. Studstill, and a few doors down were Chester Nobles, Billy Creech, and J. H. P. Johnson.

Hod worked 60 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, employed as the manager of a meat market.  For this he earned $30 a week, $1500 a year.

In 1948, buying the old Ray City Bank and its equipment for $3,500 he opened The Bank of Ray City , a private bank and the only financial institution in the town at that time.  Obtaining a state charter in 1949, H.P. Clements began banking with a capital of $10,000. In 1956, Mr. Clements’ son-in-law, Lawson Fountain, returned to Ray City, from Jacksonville, FL and afterwards the two ran the bank together. In later years Mr. Clements was forced to retire due to ill health. Then in 1973 the bank was sold to the Citizens Bank of Nashville. Georgia, and is now the Ray City office of that bank.

Hosea P. Clements died June 8, 1978 and now rests in Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

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Ray City School 1934

Ray City School, 1934

The Ray City School held a junior high school rating until 1936, when it became an accredited senior high school.

Ray City School class photos from 1934. Identifications needed.

Ray City School 4th Grade Class Photo, Believed to be Spring 1934. Photo was inscribed on back " Mildred's 4th Grade Class, Ray City School." The reference may be to Mildred Clements, who graduated in 1939.

Ray City School 4th Grade Class Photo, Believed to be Spring 1934. Photo was inscribed on back ” Mildred’s 4th Grade Class, Ray City School.” The reference may be to Mildred Clements, who graduated in 1939.  Image courtesy of Edith Mayo.

A 1934 newspaper article on Ray City included the following information about the school.

The city of Ray City affords every convenience and comfort for the citizens of the community.  There is a fine school system, which is under the capable and efficient supervision of Prof. P. M. Shultz.  Prof. Ulmer Crosby is principal, and the other teachers are:  Mrs. P. M. Shultz, Miss Jessie Aycock, Mrs. A.B. Baskins, Miss Lillian Ford and Mrs. Eulalie Dickson.

The school has nine grades, with an enrollment of a few over the two hundred mark.  A number of fine students complete the school each year, advancing to higher institutions of learning.  The school system in Ray City is really a big asset, (illegible) a higher type of citizenry.

The school board is composed of the following gentlemen who handle their duties in a most admirable manner and of benefit to patrons and students combined.  H.A. Swindle, chairman, M.A. Studstill, sec.-treasl., C.H. Vickers, J.M. Studstill and W.M. Creech, members.

Ray City School, 1934, Grades 4 and 5. Ray City, Berrien County, GA. Image courtesy of Edith Mayo.

Ray City School, 1934, Grades 4 and 5. Ray City, Berrien County, GA. Teacher, Jessie Aycock. Image courtesy of Edith Mayo.

Ray City School, Ray City, GA. 1934 6th Grade Class. Lillian Ford, Teacher. (Top Row, L to R) Belle Garner, Thelma Sirmans, Velma Wood, Frances Sirmans, Geraldine Brown, Lounelle Futch. (2nd Row) Sarah Hunter, Monafaye Swindle, Hazel Futch, Helen Dubose, D'Ree Yawn. (Bottom Row) H. Cox, Lawson Fountain, Dan St?, Robert Hunter, James "Skinny" Holliday, Morris Johnson.

Ray City School, Ray City, GA. 1934 6th Grade Class. Lillian Ford, Teacher. (Top Row, L to R) Belle Garner, Thelma Sirmans, Velma Wood, Frances Sirmans, Geraldine Brown, Lounelle Futch. (2nd Row) Sarah Hunter, Monafaye Swindle, Hazel Futch, Helen Dubose, D’Ree Yawn. (Bottom Row) H. Cox, Lawson Fountain, Dan St?, Robert Hunter, James “Skinny” Holliday, Morris Johnson.

Ray City School, 1934, Grades 7 and 8. Ray City, Berrien County, GA. Image courtesy of www.berriencountyga.com

Ray City School, 1934, Grades 7 and 8. Ray City, Berrien County, GA. Boy at top left, Earl Pafford Swindle. Front row, second from right is believed to be Robert Bruce Johnson.

1934 Ray City School, Girls Basketball Team. (Left to Right) Front Row: Johnnie Sirmans, Grace Clements, Louise Paulk, Winona Holiday. Back Row: Helen DuBose, Clyde Carter, Jinnie Johnson, Helen Swindle, Virginia Studstill.

1934 Ray City School, Girls Basketball Team. (Left to Right) Front Row: Johnnie Sirmans, Grace Clements, Louise Paulk, Winona Holiday. Back Row: Helen DuBose, Clyde Carter, Jimmie Johnson, Helen Swindle, Virginia Studstill.

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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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Reverend Clayton Samuel Yawn

Clayton Samuel Yawn (1895 – 1950)

Clayton Samuel Yawn lived in Ray City, GA from about 1918 to about 1935.  He was the father of Caswell Yawn, Aline Yawn and  D’Ree Yawn, subject of the previous post.

He was born and raised in Appling County,  and went on to be college educated and trained in the ministry. Some time before 1919 he came to live in Ray City.  However, he does not appear in the 1144 Georgia Militia District in the census of 1920.  It may have been during this time that Clayton was away at school.

C.S Yawn of Ray City, GA was listed among the ordained ministers of the United States in the 1919 American Baptists Yearbook.

Two years before, on June 5, 1917, the Reverend C.S. Yawn registered for the WWI draft in Appling County . The 22 year-old Yawn was described as medium height and build, with grey eyes and black hair.

Clayton Samuel Yawn attended the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL in 1918.

Clayton Samuel Yawn attended the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL in 1918.

Clayton Samuel Yawn and Vera Laura Roberts were married about 1921.

In the 1930 census  Vera and Clayton Samuel Yawn were living  in Ray City, GA boarding in the household of her uncle James and aunt Mollie Studstill. Clayton Yawn listed his profession as “commercial traveler,” working in the “automobile accessories” industry.

Clayton Samuel Yawn died in 1950.

Florence Morning News
Saturday, January 14, 1950

Rev. Clayton S. Yawn

    Funeral services for the Reverend Clayton S. Yawn, Baptist minister, will be conducted at 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon.
    Officiating will be the Reverend William L. Faircloth, pastor of the Rosewood Baptist Church of Columbia, and the Reverend Jasper Hinson, pastor of the Holly Hill Baptist Church.
    Committal services and burial will follow in the family plot of Norway cemetery.
    Mr. Yawn died Thursday afternoon at Bruce Hospital in Florence [SC].  He had been in failing health for the past year. At the time of  his death he was pastor of the Baptist Tabernacle of Ocean Drive.  He was a former pastor of the Grace Baptist Tabernacle of Bucksport.
    He was born at Hazlehurst, Georgia July 25 1895, the son of the late James H. and Lydia Carter Yawn of Baxley, Ga.  He had resided in Columbia, Sumter, Florence, Ocean Drive and Norway.  He was a member of the Rosewood Baptist church of Columbia, the Lions Club, and the Junior Order.
    Reverend Yawn was educated at Mercer University, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, and the Baptist Bible Institute of New Orleans.
    He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Ann Moss Moore Yawn of Norway; a son, Caswell Yawn of Atlanta, Ga.; two daughters, Misses Deree and Aline Yawn of New York City; a brother, Evan Yawn of Hazlehurst, Ga.; two sisters, Mrs. Edna Sapp and Mrs. Agnes Franklin of Brunswick, Ga.;  a nephew,Codis Yawn, of Charleston and two grandchildren survive also.
    The body of Reverend Yawn was taken from Waters Funeral Home Friday afternoon to the residence of Miss Emma Moss at Norway to remain until the hour of the funeral services.
    Active bearers will be Joe Cleaton, Henry Price, Frank Cunningham, the Reverenc Keith Gordon, J.W. Hughes, Dr. J. L Bruce, Dr. W. L. Mills, J. H. Price and R. L. Moore.

Another Alma Mater of Clayton Samuel Yawn was The Baptist Bible Institute of New Orleans (image circa 1938).

Another Alma Mater of Clayton Samuel Yawn was The Baptist Bible Institute of New Orleans (image circa 1938).

 

Mercer University, Macon, GA

Mercer University, Macon, GA

 

 

Obituary of Clayton Samuel Yawn, 1950, Florence, SC.

Obituary of Clayton Samuel Yawn, 1950, Florence, SC.

D’Ree Yawn Natale ~ Small Town Girl

D'Ree Yawn, about 12 years old. Image detail from 1934 6th grade class photo, Ray City School, Ray City, GA.

D’Ree Yawn, about 12 years old. Image detail from 1934 6th grade class photo, Ray City School, Ray City, GA.

Ray City, Ga was the childhood home of  D’Ree Yawn Natale, born July 31, 1922.

D’ree was a daughter of Vera Laura Roberts. Vera Roberts was a neice of  Mollie Clements and James M. Studstill. In 1920,  seventeen-year-old Vera was living in her uncle’s household.   Her uncle was a deputy sheriff stationed at the sawmill in Ray City.  This would have been the Clements sawmill, which was a community of over 300 people in itself.  The Studstills had a large old, unpainted house in Ray City that was situated on the southwest corner at the intersection of Bishop Street and Jones Street. The 1920 census lists this house on Jones Street, but the front of the house actually faced Bishop Street. (Later, this home was owned by Pluma Batterbee, and has since been destroyed.)  The Studstills also had a a farm out on the northeast side of town.

D’Ree’s father was Clayton Samuel Yawn.  He was born and raised in Appling County,  and went on to be college educated and trained in the ministry. Some time before 1919 he came to live in Ray City.  However, he does not appear in the 1144 Georgia Militia District in the census of 1920.  It may have been during this time that Clayton was away at school.

Clayton Samuel Yawn and Vera Laura Roberts were married about 1921. D’Ree was born the following year.

In the 1930 census D’Ree Yawn and her family were living in Ray City, GA still boarding in the household of James and Mollie Studstill. D’Ree’s father, Clayton Yawn, then listed his profession as “commercial traveler” working in the “automobile accessories” industry.

Image (right) is detail from the 1934 Ray City School Grade 6 class picture.

Ray City School 1934

In 1935, when D’Ree was about thirteen years old, her parents were divorced in Florida.  D’Ree continued to live with her mother and siblings in Ray City.

D’Ree grew into one of the most attractive young women of Ray City.  She, her sisters and mother, were always noted for their  fashionable dress, and beautifully done makeup and hair.

At age 21, D’Ree Yawn married Michael F. Natale. They were married on April 9, 1944 at St. Peter’s Church, Haverstraw, NY.  Thereafter the couple made their home in New York.

D'Ree Yawn and Michael F. Natale, April 9, 1944.

D’Ree Yawn and Michael F. Natale, April 9, 1944.

NATALE, D’REE – D’Ree Natale, formerly of Garnerville, NY, passed away on November 12, 2003, at her home in Washingtonville, NY. She was 81. She was the beloved wife of the late Michael F. Natale whom she married on April 9, 1944 and together owned and operated Mike’s Taxi Service in Haverstraw for over 50 years. D’Ree was born on July 31, 1922 in Ray City, Georgia to the late Vera Roberts Yawn and Clayton Samuel Yawn. D’Ree is survived by her four loving children, Michael and wife Lois of West Nyack, Robert and wife Joanne of Washingtonville, Debra and husband Robert Klein of Campbell Hall and Jeffrey of Atlantic Highland, NJ; and a dear sister, Allene Stutzman of Pinehurts, North Carolina; cherished grandchildren Christine, Stephanie, Tiffanie, Dawn, Amy, Robert Jr., Jaimie, Alison, Jason, James and Matthew; and six great-grandchildren, Madison, Branden, Aiden, Gavin, Jackson and Ian along with several nieces and nephews. D’Ree was predeceased by a granddaughter, Lauren, a brother Caswell Yawn and a sister Laura Jean Yawn.

 Funeral Services were held at the T.J. McGowan Funeral Home in the Village of Haverstraw on Monday, November 17, at 10 AM. Interment followed at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Washingtonville, NY.

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