James Dewey Calhoun and Mary Elizabeth Brogdon

James Dewey Calhoun was born about 1904 near Ray City, GA.  His grave marker in Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA gives his birth date as June 22, 1904, but his Social Security records listed his date of birth as June 22, 1901.  Census records place his date of birth variously at about 1902, 1904, or 1907.  Based on the research of family members, the 1901 date is probably the most accurate.  He was a son of Samuel Augustus Calhoun and Rachel Bullard, and a brother of Joseph Burton Calhoun. The image detail below, of James Dewey Calhoun and his father,  is believed to date from around 1907.

James Dewey Calhoun as a young boy with his father, Samuel Augustus "Gus" Calhoun. Image detail courtesy of Mitchell Calhoun.

James Dewey Calhoun as a young boy with his father, Samuel Augustus “Gus” Calhoun. Image detail courtesy of Mitchell Calhoun.

James Dewey Calhoun first appears in the census records in 1910, enumerated as “Dewey.”  He was one of nine children in his parent’s household at Ray City, GA. Samuel’s mother was Rachel Bullard Calhoun, a daughter of  Luvellia Ray and Mack Bullard.

1910 census enumeration of James Dewey Calhoun

1910 census enumeration of James Dewey Calhoun

https://archive.org/stream/13thcensus1910po172unit#page/n640/mode/1up

In the 1920s the Calhouns were living  at Ray City, GA  where Dewey’s father rented a place on the Valdosta & Ray City Road. Dewey had a common school education, but by age 12  he was working on the Calhoun farm assisting his father with farm labor along with his brothers. Just around the corner from the Calhoun place was the farm of Elias M. “Hun” Knight, businessman of Ray City and owner of the Mayhaw Lake Resort.

1920-census-james-dewey-calhoun

https://archive.org/stream/14thcensusofpopu235unit#page/n312/mode/1up

James Dewey Calhoun married Mary Elizabeth Brogdon on Saturday, November 24, 1928 in Berrien County, GA.  The ceremony was performed by John G. Hall, Justice of the Peace. Dewey was 21 and Mary was 18 at the time of their marriage. She was a daughter of Thomas Brogdon and Blancett Swilley. Like Dewey, she had a common school education through 7th grade.

Marriage certificate of J. D. Calhoun and Mary Brogdon, November 24, 1928, Berrien County, Georgia

Marriage certificate of J. D. Calhoun and Mary Brogdon, November 24, 1928, Berrien County, Georgia

After marriage Dewey and Mary Calhoun made their home in the Lois precinct of the 1329 Georgia Militia District (Connell’s Mill District), where they began raising crops and children.  Dewey rented a farm next door to the 260 acre farm of Minerva Futch and John L. Allen.   The Allen place (formerly the farm of Jehu Patten) was on  land Lot  454 of the 10th land district (see map), located just southwest of Ray City, near the farms of  Francis Marion Shaw,  Lacy Shaw, and Jesse Shelby Shaw (see http://www.audubon4tet.com/FMS/21_John_Levi_Allen.pdf).  Lon Fender, one of the big timber men  and turpentine operators of the Wiregrass, was also renting a farm nearby.   The census taker who visited the Calhoun family to take their enumeration in 1930 was Perry Lee Pittman.

 

1930 census enumeration of James Dewey Calhoun

1930 census enumeration of James Dewey Calhoun

https://archive.org/stream/georgiacensus00reel338#page/n512/mode/1up

By the 1940s Dewey and Mary had moved their family to Alapha, GA where they rented a home on “Nashville and Nashville” road for $5.00 a month.

1910 census enumeration of James Dewey Calhoun

1940 census enumeration of James Dewey Calhoun

The employment data from the 1940 census shows Dewey was working 24 hours a week for the WPA while Mary kept home and the children attended school. In late 1938 the Work Projects Administration (WPA) began construction of a gymnasium for the public school in Alapaha, GA.

The Work Projects Administration was one of FDR’s New Deal programs, and the census asked if anyone in the household during the week of March 24–30, 1940, was at work on, or assigned to, public emergency work projects conducted by the WPA, the NYA, the CCC, or state or local work relief agencies. The WPA, established May 6, 1935, developed programs to move unemployed workers from relief to jobs. The WPA workers, among other things, rebuilt the national infrastructure, wrote guides to the 48 states, worked in the arts and theater, and assisted with disaster relief. The NYA, established under the WPA, gave part-time jobs to high school and college students to earn money to continue their education. The CCC, created March 31, 1933, employed men aged 18–25 in conservation work in the national parks and forests. http://1940census.archives.gov/about/

Other Work Projects Administration (WPA) projects in Berrien county include an annex added to the west side of the Berrien County Courthouse in 1938. In 1940, WPA workers assisted with the construction of the lunchroom at the Ray City School.  Bill Outlaw described a WPA project digging a ditch in Buck Bay, then called Beaver Dam Bay, on the W.H. Outlaw farm previously known as the Jerry S. “Buck” Sutton Old Home place (See Bill Outlaw’s   Georgia Centennial Farm application for the W. H. Outlaw farm  for interesting commentary on Berrien County farm life over the last 150 years). WPA instructors were also involved with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp at Homerville, GA  where Ray City and Berrien County men were working.

Later the Calhouns were back at Nashville, GA. Census data beyond 1940 has not yet been released,  but school photos from the 1950s show  Mary and Dewey Calhoun’s  children continued to attend at the Nashville public schools.

Children of Mary Elizabeth Brogdon 1909 – 2002 and James Dewey Calhoun (1901-1980)

  1. Charles Rex Calhoun 1929 – 2000
  2. Martha Virginia Calhoun 1933 – 2005
  3. James Dewey “J.D.” Calhoun 1937 – 2013
  4. Howard Vinson Calhoun 1939 – 1979
  5. Densil Calhoun 1944 – 2008
Rex Calhoun, son of Dewey Calhoun, attended 1st grade at Nashville Public School, 1936-37.  Image detail courtesy of www.berriencountyga.com

Rex Calhoun, son of Dewey Calhoun, attended 1st grade at Nashville Public School, 1936-37. Image detail courtesy of http://www.berriencountyga.com

Class photos from 1954 show Densil Calhoun was attending school at Nashville Elementary.

Densil Calhoun, son of Dewey Calhoun, 4th grade school photo,  1954, Nashville Elementary School.

Densil Calhoun, son of Dewey Calhoun, 4th grade school photo, 1954, Nashville Elementary School.

 http://berriencounty.smugmug.com/Schools/Nashville-Elementary/1954-Classrooms/17024719_X46qXD#!i=1288624316&k=fHz4KBF

The 1972 obituary of Joe B. Calhoun mentions that his brother, Dewey Calhoun was still residing in Nashville, GA.

James Dewey Calhoun died November 3, 1980. He was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.  His widow, Mary Brogdon Calhoun, continued to reside at Nashville, GA but was a member of the Baptist Church in Ray City.  Mary died in 2002 and was buried next to her husband at Beaver Dam Cemetery.

 

for May 6, 2002

Mary Calhoun

NASHVILLE — Mary Calhoun, 96, of Nashville, died May 5, 2002, in the Memorial Convalescent Center of Adel. Born on Aug. 26, 1905, to the late Thomas Brogdon and Blancett Swilley, she was a homemaker and member of First Baptist Church of Ray City. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dewey Calhoun, who died in 1980, and two sons, Howard and Rex Calhoun. Survivors include one daughter, Martha Gurganious of Nashville; two sons, Densol Calhoun of Nashville and J. D. Calhoun of Jackson; 11 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 7, 2002, in the chapel of Lovein Funeral Home with the Rev. Clarence Luke and the Rev. Fred Hesters officiating. Burial will follow in Beaver Dam Cemetery. Visitation is today after 4 p.m. with the family receiving friends from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. — Lovein Funeral Home.

Graves of James Dewey Calhoun and Mary Elizabeth Brogdon, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Graves of James Dewey Calhoun and Mary Elizabeth Brogdon, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Family of Gus Calhoun, Berrien County, GA

Ray City farmer Samuel Augustus  “Gus” Calhoun, subject of previous post (Gus Calhoun, Ray City Farmer), was from boyhood a lifelong resident of the Ray City area. He was born May 25, 1868, a son of Elizabeth Bell and Joseph Calhoun.

Gus Calhoun married Rachel Bullard on May 19, 1891 in Lowndes County, GA.  She was a daughter of Mack Bullard and Luvellia Ray, and a niece of Green Bullard.  The Calhouns made their home in the Cat Creek community,  located about 10 miles southeast of Ray City in Lowndes County, GA (Census of 1900.)

Samuel Augustus Calhoun and Rachel Bullard, circa 1907. Image courtesy of Irvin Mitchell Calhoun.

Samuel Augustus Calhoun and Rachel Bullard, circa 1907. Image courtesy of Irvin Mitchell Calhoun.

By 1910 Gus Calhoun had moved his wife and children a few miles north to Ray’s Mill (nka Ray City), Berrien County, GA where he rented a farm next to his father-in-law, Mack Bullard.

Children of Samuel Augustus Calhoun and Rachel Bullard:

  1. Joseph Burton Calhoun (December 10, 1892  – February 23, 1972) married Lue Annie Boyette
  2. Lizzie Bell Calhoun (1895 – )
  3. Mack  Calhoun (1897 – )
  4. Robert Lee  Calhoun (1899 –  )
  5. Gussie  Calhoun (1900 – )
  6. James Dewey  Calhoun (June 22, 1904 – November 3, 1980) married Mary Elizabeth Brogdon
  7. Lula  Calhoun (1904 – )
  8. Cola L.  Calhoun (1906 – )
  9. Max Nathan Calhoun (1910-1970)
  10. Charles Birch Calhoun (1913-1995)
Rachel Bullard and Samuel Augustus Calhoun family, circa 1907. The 1910 census records show the Calhouns living at Ray City, Berrien County, GA during this time.The original photo was discovered in the attic of James Dewey Calhoun, Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Brogdon. About 1996, Irvin Mitchell Calhoun, great grandson of Samuel Augustus Calhoun had the photo professionally restored.

Rachel Bullard and Samuel Augustus Calhoun family, circa 1907. The 1910 census records show the Calhouns living at Ray City, Berrien County, GA during this time. The original photo was discovered in the attic of James Dewey Calhoun, Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Brogdon. About 1996, Irvin Mitchell Calhoun, great grandson of Samuel Augustus Calhoun had the photo professionally restored.

Rachel Bullard Calhoun died in 1935 and was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.  Shortly thereafter, Gus Calhoun retired from active farming and for a while lived with his grandson, Philip Burkhalter, at Ray City. They were neighbors of Effie Knight and Lucy Guthrie. Later Gus moved  to the property of his son, Joseph Burton Calhoun, near Ray City.

The family photo above  brings family memories to Irvin Mitchell Calhoun, great grandson of Samuel Augustus Calhoun:

My grandfather (Joseph Burton Calhoun, Sr.) is the teenage boy standing up the center of the photo. .. I remember Grandpa Gus living with my grandparents (Joseph Burton Calhoun, Sr. & Lue Annie Boyett) on their farm on Boyett Road in the latter years of his life.  I was born in 1941 so this must have been in the early to mid 1940s.

They built a small one room shack out back of the house and he lived out there.  We boys use to visit him often out there.   He was always doing things with us.

Samuel Augustus “Gus” Calhoun died January 5, 1957.  The funeral services were held at Ray City Baptist Church and was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery.

Obituary of Samuel Augustus Calhoun (1868-1957) of Berrien County, GA. Image courtesy of I. Mitchell Calhoun.

Obituary of Samuel Augustus Calhoun (1868-1957) of Berrien County, GA. Image courtesy of I. Mitchell Calhoun.

Lakeland, Lanier County, GA
Jan 9, 1957
S.A. Calhoun Dies at 89 in Lakeland

    S.A. (Gus) Calhoun, 89, died Sunday afternoon at the home of his grandson, J.S. Gaskins, in the Allenville community of Berrien County after being in declining health for several weeks. 
    He was a native of North Carolina, but came to South Georgia as a boy and lived here all of his life.  Until his retirement some 20 years ago, he farmed in this area. He was a member at the Ray City Baptist Church.
    Survivors include three daughters, Mrs. Lizzie Brantley of Nashville, Mrs. Gussie Clark of Eloise, Fla. and Mrs. Lula Gaskins of Nashville; six sons C. B. Calhoun of Jacksonville, Fla. J. B. Calhoun of Lakeland, J. D. Calhoun and Mack Calhoun, both of Nashville, M. N. Calhoun of Winterhaven, Fla., and R. L. Calhoun of Jacksonville; 32 grand children; 50 great-grandchildren; and a number of nieces and nephews.
    Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 at the Ray City Baptist Church with Rev. G. C. Tuten officiating.

Special thanks to I. Mitch Calhoun for his research on Calhoun Family history , and for contributing images and content to this post.

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A Christmas Wedding for Mary Catherine Hill

Mary Catherine Hill was born about 1875, and was a lifelong resident of Berrien County.  She first appears in census records in the Census of 1880, as a child in the household of her parents, Betty Newbern and William J. Hill in the 1148th Georgia Militia District.  Her father was a farmer, as were his neighbors Mack Bullard and William Avera.

On Christmas Day 1891,  M. C. Hill married J. B. Griner  in Irwin County, GA.

Mary Catherine Hill and James B. Griner were married Christmas Day, Dec 25, 1891 in Irwin County, GA.

Mary Catherine Hill and James B. Griner were married Christmas Day, Dec 25, 1891 in Irwin County, GA.

The couple made their home in Nashville, GA where  Jimmy engaged first in farming, then took a position as  deputy for Berrien County Sheriff,  I.C. Avera.

Some time after 1930 Jimmy and Catherine  moved to Ray City, GA.  Mary Catherine Hill Griner remained a resident of Ray City, until her death in 1940.

Obituary of  Mrs. J. B.  “Jimmy”  Griner

Mrs. J. B. “Jimmy” Griner, 65, died June 24, 1940 at her home in Ray City,  GA.  She was a daughter of the late William J. and Betty Newbern Hill.  Mary Catherine Hill married Jimmy Griner in 1891. Burial was in Flat Creek Cemetery. Survivors: Her husband and the following children: Lucius E. Griner of Lake Wales, Fla.; J.R. Griner of Ocilla; Mrs. Vinnie Robertson of Illinois; Mrs. Emma Overstreet of Tifton; Mrs. Ethel Sutton of Hollywood, Fla; Miss Mimmie Griner of Ray City; Mrs. Cleo Allen of Ray City.  She is also survived by three brothers and two sisters.

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Gus Calhoun, Ray City Farmer

Samuel Augustus Calhoun, circa 1907. By 1910 he was farming at Ray City, GA

Samuel Augustus Calhoun, circa 1907. By 1910 he was farming at Ray City, GA

Gus Calhoun was one of the stalwart farmers of Ray City, GA. (see Family of Gus Calhoun,  Berrien County, GA)

Samuel Augustus Calhoun was born May 25, 1868 in Georgia, probably in the community of Colquitt. He was the son of Elizabeth and Joseph Calhoun. His father was a farmer, and Gus followed in the same tradition.

Samuel Augustus Calhoun married Rachel Bullard on May 19, 1891 in Lowndes County, GA.  She was born in 1874.  Her parents were Mack Bullard and Luvellia Ray.  The ceremony was conducted by John G. Hall, Justice of the Peace.  The couple made their home in the Cat Creek community, Lowndes County. They appear there in the Census of 1900.

By 1910 Gus Calhoun had moved his wife and nine children a few miles north to Ray’s Mill (now known as Ray City), Berrien County, GA where he rented a farm next to his father-in-law, Mack Bullard.

Samuel Augustus Calhoun and Rachel Bullard marriage certificate, 1891, Lowndes County, GA.

Samuel Augustus Calhoun and Rachel Bullard marriage certificate, 1891, Lowndes County, GA.

In the 1920s the Calhouns were living  in Ray City, GA renting a place on the Valdosta & Ray City Road.  With the help of his sons, Gus farmed the place on his own account. Thomas Brantley was farming the place next door.

Rachel Bullard and Samuel Augustus Calhoun family, circa 1913.  The Calhouns were living in Ray City, Berrien County, GA during this time.

Rachel Bullard and Samuel Augustus Calhoun family, circa 1913. The Calhouns were living in Ray City, Berrien County, GA during this time.

The 1930s found Gus and Rachel still on the farm in Ray City, renting for $15 a month. At 60, Gus continued to farm, with the help of his sons, Collie and C.B. Also in the Calhoun household was their daughter, Gussie Clark, and her two children, Mildred and Charles. Gussie assisted with the farm labor.  Their son, Max Nathan Calhoun, was renting the house next door with his wife and young child.

Samuel Augustus Calhoun died on January 5, 1957 and is buried in Beaver Dam Cemetery in Ray City, Georgia in Berrien County.

Rachel Bullard Calhoun  is also buried in Beaver Dam cemetery.

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