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.

Millard C. Townsend and the Mercer Debate Team

Millard C. Townsend was born in Florida on July 6, 1902, the son of  Margaret Elizabeth Buchanan and Daniel Wiley Townsend. His father was a Florida farmer.

Millard Carnege Townsend moved with his family from Lafayette county, Florida to Ray City some time before 1920. His father owned a farm on one of the settlement roads at Ray City.

At about age 23, Millard C. Townsend was studying at Mercer University in Macon.

Mercer University, Macon, GA

Mercer University, Macon, GA

His success there on the debate team was noted in the Atlanta newspaper.

Atlanta Constitution
May 1, 1926, pg 4

    Macon, Ga., April 30 – Mercer university debaters won the last intercollegiate debate of the present season by defeating a team from Wake Forest college in the Mercer chapel here tonight.
    Millard C. Townsend, Ray City, and Roy Hale, Locust Grove, were the Mercer representatives taking the negative side of the question, “Resolved, that the operation of United States coal mines should be regulated by federal commission.”  The judges handed down a two-to-one decision in favor of the Mercer debaters.
    A.S. Gillespie and C.R. Tew were the debaters from Wake Forest.

Millard’s father died in 1928 in Ray City, GA. After college, Millard moved to Roanoke City Virginia, where he boarded with the family of Charles A. Ball. He took a job as a teacher at the Roanoke National Business College.

Milliard Townsend remained in Roanoke, Va and died there in July, 1984.

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Reverend Ernest Leo Baskin

Ernest Leo Baskin was born Oct 12, 1890 near Rays Mill (nka Ray City), GA.  He was the son of Fannie Ellen Hagan and James B. Baskin.

Home of Fannie Hagan and James B. Baskin  circa 1900. The home was located near Ray City, GA on the Howard Boyett farm in today’s Lanier County. Left to right: Armstrong B., J Hagan, Ernest L, Fannie and James B. Baskin.

Childhood home of Ernest L. Baskin, circa 1900. The home was located near Ray City, GA in that part of Berrien County that was later cut into Lanier County, on the lot of land that became known as the Howard Boyett farm. Left to right: Armstrong B., J Hagan, Ernest L, Fannie and James B. Baskin. Image courtesy of

In the 1934 History of Worth County, GA author L.M. Grubbs gave this sketch of Ernest L. Baskins:


Among the earnest, successful and popular ministers of Southern Georgia, Rev. Ernest L. Baskin takes high rank, and as Pastor of the First Baptist Church at Sylvester he has exerted a most beneficent influence throughout the community. A native of Ray City, Berrien County, Georgia, he was born and reared on the farm of his parents, James B. and Fannie (Hagan) Baskin, both of whom are living in Ray City, the father being now retired.

After graduating from the Milltown High School in 1908, Ernest L. Baskin entered Mercer University, where he was graduated in 1912 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and then went to the Southern Baptist Seminary where he received the degree of Master of Theology in 1916. Then, after one year of postgraduate work in New Testament research he accepted the pastorate of the First Baptist church, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina, where he built a fine new church edifice at a cost of about one hundred and thirty thousand dollars. In 1924 he came to Sylvester as pastor of the First Baptist Church. He has stimulated the congregation to greater activity in all of its departments and it is now one of the most active, aggressive, and prosperous religious societies in this section of the county. The church has a membership of four hundred, with a Sunday School of three hundred and seventy-five members. Its auxiliary societies include a fully graded Woman’s Missionary Union and a Baptist Young People’s Union. Rev. Baskin set the pace for his people and, and because of his earnest labor for the upbuilding of the church, his splendid ability and his genial nature, he has won an enviable standing among the representative residents of the community. As a speaker Mr. Baskin is eloquent, forceful, and convincing and he has proven a tremendous power for good in this locality where his ability and devotion are fully appreciated. He is a member of the Georgia Baptist Association, Moderator of the Mallary Association, and is a member of the Kiwanis Club at Sylvester, in which work he is deeply interested.

Rev. Baskin wedded Miss Mary P. Groom, of Kansas City, Missouri, daughter of Michael F. and Luttie (Chappell) Groom.

Mrs. Baskin was educated in the Kearny Public Schools and the Southern Baptist W.M.U. Training School at Louisville, where she met her future husband. After graduating she served as Secretary of the Missouri State Board of Missions for a period of two years. She has been to her husband a help-mate in the truest sense of the term, aiding him very materially in his pastoral work by her quiet charm, commendable tact and gracious personality. They are the parents of two children, Ernest L. Jr., and James Groom.

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