Ray City was boyhood home of Morris Levin

Morris Levin

Morris Levin, 1931. Image detail courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/

Morris Levin, 1931.  Morris Levin grew up in Ray City, GA and was later instrumental in bringing industry to the Nashville, GA area. Image detail courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/

Morris Levin was born August 21, 1915,  in New Hanover County, North Carolina.  He was a  son of Nettie Simon and Abe Levin. As a child he came with his parents  to Ray City, GA where his father went into the grocery business for several years.  The 1920 census shows the family lived in a house on Jones Street, and that Abe Levin was a business owner and employer.  Abe Levin showed his support for the community with an advertisement in the 1929 debut of the Ray City News newspaper.

As a teenager, Morris Levin worked on the Ray City farm 0f Effie Guthrie Knight.  He assisted June Guthrie, Effie’s brother, with the farm labor.    June was responsible for the day to day operation of the farm from a young age, and was a farmer all of his life.  Later, the Levins moved to Nashville, GA and operated stores there for many years.    Whenever the Guthries shopped at the Levin store in Nashville, Morris always treated them with such cordiality and respect.  Many Ray City people, folks like Arrin and Verde Futch, continued to shop with the Levins at their Nashville stores.

Morris and Beverly Levin. Image courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/

Morris and Beverly Levin. Image courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/

Among the Levin’s good friends in Nashville, was Maude Sizemore.  Maude worked as a practical nurse, and was raising two boys on her own.  The Levins, through their community connections, were able to help Maude with good job opportunities.  One job was providing care for the children of Abraham Simon (A.S.) Harris,  a prominent merchant and owner of the largest department store in Ocilla, A.S. Harris Department Store.

 

Morris Levin,  photographed at Ivy Inn,  Berrien County, GA by A. W. “Wink” Rogers. Image courtesy of www.berriencountyga.com

Morris Levin, 1965.  Photographed at Ivy Inn, Berrien County, GA by A. W. “Wink” Rogers. Image courtesy of http://www.berriencountyga.com

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Perry L. Pittman Opposed Disenfranchisement of Georgia’s Black Voters.

In 1940s Perry Lee Pittman was a patrolman for the State Highway Department. He was renting a house on Jones Street, Ray City, GA where he lived with his wife, Inez, and their minor children: Howard Pittman, Tommy Pittman, Johnny Pittman, Meredith Williams,  and Cyril Williams.  He was a son of Louranie W. “Rainey” Register and John Edward Pittman.  He was born in Clinch County, GA and lived for many years in Berrien County, GA.

Perry L. Pittman served as the State Representative from Berrien County, GA, and was noted for his opposition to the  Georgia Constitutional Amendment that violated the voting rights of African-Americans in Georgia.

Perry L. Pittman, July 14, 1949, Chaplain of the American Legion, Otranto Post No. 115, Berrien County, GA. Image courtesy of berriencountyga.com

Perry L. Pittman, July 14, 1949, Chaplain of the American Legion, Otranto Post No. 115, Berrien County, GA. Image courtesy of berriencountyga.com

Perry L. Pittman was dedicated in service to his country and community.  He was a Ray City veteran of World War I, a teacher, law enforcement officer, and state legislator.  He was active in the American Legion and other civic organizations, and a member of the Primitive Baptist faith.

Perry L. Pittman, the State Representative from Ray City, GA.

Perry L. Pittman, the State Representative from Ray City, GA.

Atlanta Constitution
February 20, 1941

Representative P. L. Pittman of Berrien.

A representative for a decade, Perry L. Pittman now knows just what makes the wheels behind the law-making body of Georgia turn. He’s a teacher and a farmer and for 18 years has taught in the rural section.  A World War veteran who is most interested in education and agriculture, he is staunchly opposed to the grandfather clause.  He believes in economy and hopes to curtail expenditures whereby all past obligations may be paid in full and old people may receive their benefits through pensions.  He thinks pensions should be equally divided among the blind, cripple, and the dependent.  The solon is 42, married, the father of four daughters and one son.

THE GRANDFATHER CLAUSE

The Grandfather Clause was part of Georgia’s 1908 Disfranchisement Constitutional Amendment , an amendment to the Georgia Constitution that was written specifically to prevent African-Americans from voting in Georgia.  It worked by requiring voters to pass certain tests before they would be allowed to vote, but if your grandfather fought in the Civil War you were exempt from the tests.   According to the Georgia Info website:

In 1906, Hoke Smith campaigned for governor on a progressive platform — but one that championed disfranchisement of Georgia’s black voters. To accomplish this, Smith supported a constitutional amendment that provided that any male at least 21 years of age wanting to register to vote must also: (a) be of good character and able to pass a test on citizenship, (b) be able to read and write provisions of the U.S. or Georgia constitutions, or (c) own at least 40 acres of land or $500 in property. However, any Georgian who had fought in any war from the American Revolution through the Spanish-American War was exempted from these additional qualifications. More importantly, any Georgian descended from a veteran of any of these war also was exempted. Because by 1908, most white Georgia males were grandsons of Confederate veterans, this exemption became known as the “grandfather clause.” Essentially, the qualifications of good character, citizenship knowledge, literacy, and property ownership applied only to blacks wanting to register to vote.

Georgia’s Grandfather clause remained in effect until it was struck down by the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965.

American Legion Officers, July 1947

Perry Lee Pittman was sworn in as Chaplain of the American Legion Otranto Post 115 (Berrien County, GA) in July 1947, along with other officers. Image and original caption (below) courtesy of http://www.berriencountyga.comAmerican Legion Officers, July 1947
The Georgia Legionnaire, August 1947
photo caption:
NEW OFFICERS FOR OTRANTO – Georgia Department Commander of the American Legion, W.E. Burdine (left), installed new officers of Otranto Post 115 (Berrien County) July 7 and is shown congratulating Fred T. Allen, post commander. Looking on are: E.A. Alexander, historian; P.L. Pittman, chaplain. Back row, left to right: Bennie L. Tygart, vice-commander; A.D. Harnage, sergeant-at-arms; Bayne Griffin, finance officer; R.E. Williams, adjutant. (Photo by Jamie Connell) 

From Ray City, the Pittmans moved to Nashville, GA.  Later they would live in Homerville, GA and Valdosta, GA.

Perry L. Pittman & family move to Clinch County

Perry L. Pittman & family move to Clinch County

Clinch County News
February 13, 1953.

Perry L. Pittman and Family Move Here from Nashville

    Mr. and Mrs. Perry L. Pittman and family have moved here [Homerville, GA] from Nashville.     A few days ago Mr. Pittman bought the new home recently build in Hodges Gary subdivision from Mr. A. C. Colley.     He is a field agent with the State Revenue Department, Sales tax Division working in Clinch, Lanier, Echols and Charlton Counties.     Mr. Pittman was born in Clinch County, but has spent most of his life in Berrien County.  He taught school for over 20 years and has served in both houses of the state legislature, from Berrien County.  He has been active in the American Legion and other civic organizations in Nashville and is a member of Long Bridge Primitive Baptist Church.

Children of Perry Lee Pittman and Annie Jewell Fountain (1900 – 1934)

  1. William Arthur Pittman (1921 – 1945)
  2. Thomas Pittman (1924 – )
  3. Perry Howard Pittman (1927 – 1995)
  4. John Wesley Pittman (1933 – )

Children of Perry Lee Pittman and Vida Inez Webb (1905 – )

  1. Meredith Williams (1925 – )
  2. Fred J. Williams (1927 -)
  3. Cyril Williams (1932 – )
  4. Glenda Faye Pittman (1939 – )

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Jamie Alden Connell, A Life of Service

http://berriencountyga.com/http://berriencountyga.com/A previous post about Jamie Connell mentioned his work as Public Relations Officer at Moody Air Force Base near Ray City, GA (see Jamie Connell worked at Moody AFB.)  Jamie Connell’s life of service had a broad foundation.

Jamie Alden Connell was a postal carrier in Nashville, GA prior to World War Two. Image courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/

Jamie Alden Connell was a postal carrier in Nashville, GA prior to World War Two. Image courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/

Jamie Connell prepared for his future career first by attending the preparatory school at Gordon Military Institute, Barnesville, GA.

Gordon Military Institute cadets on parade in 1941.

Gordon Military Institute cadets on parade in 1941.

Founded as Male and Female Seminary in 1852, this was a pioneer school of its kind in Georgia. It was reorganized in 1872 as Gordon Institute, named for General John B. Gordon, famed Confederate soldier… In 1927 this school became Gordon Military College, an Honor Military School, an accredited, non-sectarian, five year preparatory Junior College. 

Gordon Institute cadets often went on to other colleges or to military academies like the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, Georgia Military Academy or North Georgia College. World War II  saw numerous Gordon alumni serving in Europe and in the Pacific, including Jamie Connell. In 1938, Jamie Connell transferred from Gordon Institute to North Georgia College.  He was listed as a freshman in the school’s 1938 Undergraduate Bulletin, which noted:

North Georgia College was originally organized and administered on a military basis which system has prevailed from the date of its founding. The college has been classified by the United States Government as an “essentially military college,” being one of eight colleges in the United States so designated. It is the only one in Georgia, and, since “essentially military colleges” endeavor to emulate the traditions of West Point, North Georgia College has well been called “Georgia’s “West Point.” General Robert Lee Bullard, formerly Commandant of Cadets and Professor of Military Science and Tactics, referred to the college as one of the two finest military schools in the country.

Jamie Connell, Cadet, North Georgia College, 1940. At North Georgia College, Cadet Sergent Connell was a member of the Camera Club,  served on the staff of the Cyclops college annual, and was editor of the Cadet Bugler, college newspaper.

Jamie Connell, Cadet, North Georgia College, 1940. At North Georgia College, Cadet Sergent Connell was a member of the Camera Club, served on the staff of the Cyclops college annual, and was editor of the Cadet Bugler, college newspaper.

As a North Georgia College Cadet, Jamie Connel was practicing for a future career in the military and public relations.   In 1940, he shared some of his experiences as Editor of the Cadet Bugler with The Atlanta Constitution.

The Atlanta Constitution
May 30, 1940

In American Schools

    From the North Georgia College has come a letter.  It was written by Jamie Connell, editor of The Cadet Bugler, campus publication. It is about the German propaganda that has flooded into his office, at the school, ever since the beginning of the 1939-40 school year.
    Some of the material, writes Connell, is far-fetched and horrible, like the alleged atrocities told in that pamphlet, already described in The Constitution, “Polish Acts of Atrocity Against the German Minority in Poland.”  Other is more like the sugar-coated pills you swallow without leaving a bad taste in your mouth.  Pamphlets attempting to justify the Nazi policy and emphasizing the cultural, moral, and economic nature of the German people.
    A large portion of this stuff is sent out bu the German Library of Information, 17 Battery Place, New York.  With it they send booklets of German carols and christmas toys for children.  More sugar coating.
    There are other propagandists who, deliberately or otherwise, are almost as great a menace and nuisance.  There is for instance, the Committee on Militarism in Education. That organization can protest so speciously against innocent facts that they become ridiculous.
    There is the American Committee for Democracy and Intellectual Freedom, the Youth Committee Against War. And others.  They all send their stuff to newspaper offices and, most dangerous of all, to such youth media as the Cadet Bugler at Dahlonega.
    Whether or not organizations which send out such material intend well, they should be immediate objectives of searching investigation by proper authorities.  They constitute a most subtle and dangerous “fifth column” in America and they attack at the point where the greater susceptibility to false argument exists, amongst the youth of the schools and colleges.  They are attempting to do what Hitler did with the youth of Germany, mould them to their desire while yet they are young.
    Most of the stuff these groups send out goes, naturally, to the waste basket.  American editors are not gullible.  But even though the percentage of scattered seed that takes root is small, it is nonetheless dangerous and the scattering should be halted at the source before it can do still further harm.

Jamie Connell's 1943 greeting card. Image courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/

Jamie Connell’s 1943 greeting card. Image courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/

Following graduation  from North Georgia College, Jamie Connell entered active military service. Jamie Connell enlisted in the Army on March 6, 1943 .  He was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Force.

In a January 14, 1944 Nashville News note, the Valdosta Times commented briefly about Jamie’s service status:

Lt. Jamie Connell, navigator-bombadier of New Mexico, is spending a while here [Nashville, GA] with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Connell while on a 14 day furlough.

A postcard produced from photos taken by Jamie Connell, circa 1950s.

A postcard produced from photos taken by Jamie Connell, circa 1950s.

Jamie Connell served in the Army Air Force until discharged January 25, 1946.  He returned to college to finish his studies at the University of Georgia’s  Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, graduating in the class of 1948.  Afterward, he went to work in journalism for the Berrien Press, of which he became part owner.  Continuing his association with the military, he became a public relations officer at Moody Air Force Base. Many photographs of people and places around Berrien County that were taken by Jamie Connell have been entered into the Berrien County Historical Foundation photo collection at http://berriencountyga.com/.  Some of his work found a commercial market.

Jamie Alden Connell. Image detail courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/

Jamie Alden Connell. Image detail courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/

Jamie Connell retired from Moody Air Force Base in 1971.  He died October 17, 1973 at the age of 53 and was buried at Westview Cemetery, Nashville, GA. In 1973, a University of Georgia scholarship for academic excellence was established in his name.

According to the Grady College website:

The Jamie Connell Memorial Award is in honor of Alden Jamie Connell who graduated from the Grady College in 1948 after serving his country in World War II. His sister, Ms. Dura Connell of Macon, Ga., established this fund in memory of her brother upon his death in 1973. Jamie Connell prided himself on being a professional. He was a photographer with the U.S. Air Force and after leaving the service, became the photographer a newspaper. His love and enjoyment of photography led his sister to establish this scholarship.

The school has also honored Jamie Connell with an annual photography competition bearing his name.

Jamie Connell worked at Moody AFB

After graduating from high school Jamie Alden Connell, of Nashville, GA   attended North Georgia College for two years and completed his degree at the University of Georgia. He served in WWII, and later worked at Moody AFB near Ray City.  Photos below are from the 1939 and 1940 editions of The Cyclops, year book of North Georgia College.

Jamie Connell. 1939. North Georgia College.

Jamie Connell. 1939. North Georgia College.

Jamie Connell. 1940. North Georgia College.

Jamie Connell. 1940. North Georgia College.

Jamie Connel, 1939, with other members of the Y.M.C.A. at North Georgia College.

Jamie Connel, 1939, with other members of the Y.M.C.A. at North Georgia College.

Obituary
Jamie Alden Connell

Jamie Connell, age 53 of Nashville, died October 17, 1973 in Tift General Hospital.  He was co-editor of the Berrien Press, and had been since it was organized in 1959.  He was a graduate of the University of Georgia, veteran of WWII; worked at the Nashville Post Office for several years; was public relations officer at Moody Field until his retirement two years ago. Funeral services were at the Nashville Baptist Church, and burial was in Westview Cemetery. Survivors: his mother, Mrs. Pearl Connell; 1 sister, Miss Dura Connell of Macon, and 1 brother – Ellis Connell of Warner Robins.

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