Ray City School Gets Lunch Room, 1941

There was a time when students at Ray City School ate bag lunches outside on the school grounds. In those days, said life-long Ray City resident David Miley, the unwary child might have his or her lunch snatched away by a free-range hog.  Later, the school yard was fenced and a cattle gap installed to keep out the livestock.  By 1941, the school had a lunch room serving 150 students a day.

Ray City School lunch room, 1952-53.

Ray City School lunch room, 1952-53.

In 1941, Alma Florence May Clements, wife of  Hod P. Clements, wrote a newspaper article about the lunchroom:

Nashville Herald
February 13, 1941
Lunch Room for Ray City School
by Mrs. H.P. Clements
    Through the efforts of our efficient Parent Teachers Association we are sponsoring one of the most worthy projects that we have ever sponsored.
    In the year 1939 we started or at least we created the idea of a lunchroom for our school. We had lots of things to discourage us, as in the first place we did not have room in the building, not stove, but a few of us decided that where there is a will there could certainly by a way.
    Our hats are off to one of our trustees.  Mr. M.A. Studstill, who with a big heart and a bigger pocketbook, donated the lumber to build the lunchroom.  But that wasn’t enough.  He furnishes us with all the wood that anybody will go after from his saw mill. If we just had  few more like him, I don’t known what we might be able to do.
With the assistance of the WPA our lunchroom has been built and the good women of the P.T.A. donated very generously to furnish it in January of 1941.  We had only two ladies in the lunchroom and accommodations for 100 children. Our good county school superintendent, R.A. Stallings, came to our rescue and helped us get more help and now we have four helpers in the lunchroom and they are all ready and willing to do their part and then some.

    We feed at least 150 children each day taking care of all of the underprivileged children and those who can are more than willing to donate and help finance the lunchroom. It is just a happy privilege to visit the lunch room, and I wish every mother who sends her child to the lunchroom would please visit us and see how efficiently the food is prepared and served to the children.
    Let’s try in every way we can to make this lunchroom in Ray City a larger and better lunch room than it has been in the past.  Let’s encourage our workers in the room, and stand behind the trustees of our school to visit the lunch room more often and see for themselves the work that is being done.
    Let’s all pull together to make a better school for Ray City, a better town in which to live. Our school faculty is always ready to cooperate and help in any and every way it can. Lets all put our shoulders to the wheel and really and truly do something for Ray City.

Ray’s Mill has Arrived

In March, 1909, Eugene Ray filed a newspaper article with the date line ” Rays Mill, Ga., March 9. — (Special)”.

“To colonies of people, south Georgia offers special inducements. While it is true that there are in every county and in almost every district small tracts of land for sale, and while it is true that there are in every town men, enterprising and patriotic, who will divide up their real estate holdings to suit the purchaser, yet there are tracts of thousands of acres owned by the wealthy sawmill man, who, having cut the timber off his land, desires no to dispose of it to the farmer and dispose of it in a body. Selling it that way, he would sell it cheaper. I mention these facts in answer to inquiries received by mail.”

“But there is land suitable for every class…”

“Rays Mill, a very new town on the Georgia and Florida Railroad, ten miles south of Nashville, is in this section, and is proud of its location. Less than six months ago there was no town and no sign of it. Today there are at least a half a dozen new store houses completed or being built, and probably twenty-five new residence buildings completed or planned, to say nothing of a half a hundred new cabins for the colored laborer. A two story hotel building is near completion and will soon be occupied. M.E Studstill has a new sawmill here and J.H. Crenshaw has another. Charles H. Anderson and Dr. Guy Selman are putting up a drug store. Mr. Anderson is postmaster and Dr. Selman practices his profession here. A.L. Bridges is another young merchant who will soon move his store to town. Louis Bullard is completing a two story house. And so on — all in five months. The truth is, Rays Mill, the town, has just about ‘arrived,’ or will soon.”


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