Mildred Lorene Clements Married Sergeant Mitchell Haygood Moore

Mildred Lorene Clements , of Ray City, GA, was a daughter of Alma and Hosea  “Hod” P. Clements and a sister of Frances Clements.

Mildred attended school in Ray City, and graduated with the RCHS class of 1939.  Mildred and Frances Clements attended the  Tri-Hi-Y Conference, Moultrie, GA, in  1939, along with Lucille Carter, Jaunelle Clements and Carolyn Swindle.

In 1940-41 Mildred attended Andrew College, a small Methodist junior college for women at Cuthbert, GA.

It was in the midst of WWII that Mildred Lorene Clements married Sergeant Mitchell Haygood Moore, of Lanier County.

Clinch County News Friday, December 3, 1943 Wedding announcement of Sergeant Mitchell Haygood Moore and Miss Mildred Lorene Clements, of Ray City, GA

Clinch County News Friday, December 3, 1943 Wedding announcement of Sergeant Mitchell Haygood Moore and Miss Mildred Lorene Clements, of Ray City, GA

Clinch County News
Friday, December 3,  1943

The marriage of Sgt. Mitchell Haygood Moore of Lanier county, and Miss Mildred Lorene Clements of Ray City, took place recently at the Methodist church in Ray City, Rev. L. D. McConnel officiating.  Sgt Moore is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Atticus H. Moore, former Clinch county residents who were cut off into Lanier when that county was formed in 1920. The bride is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hosea C. Clements of Ray City.

After their honeymoon,  Sgt Moore went off to fight in Europe. He would not return in life.

Tri-Hi-Y, 1939

Tri-Hi-Y, 1939

Tri-Hi-Y Conference, Moultrie, Ga.  1939
1939-tri-hi-y-1Frances Clements , of Ray City, GA, was Secretary of the Conference. Others from Ray City attending were Mildred Clements, Lucille Carter, Jaunelle Clements and Carolyn Swindle.

Andrew College Alumnus Mildred Clements

Andrew College

In 1940-41 Mildred Clements, of Ray City, GA, attended Andrew College at Cuthbert, GA. At the time, Andrew College was a small Methodist junior college for women. The choice of schools was appropriate , as Mildred Clements would observe a lifelong commitment to the Methodist church.

The Valdosta Times
April 6, 1941

The friends of Miss Mildred Clements are glad to learn that she has improved from her illness and returned to Andrew College Tuesday where she will graduate this term.

Andrew College, Cuthbert, GA

Andrew College, Cuthbert, GA

Born Sept. 14, 1921, in Berrien County, Mildred Lorene Clements was a daughter of Alma May and Hod P. Clements.  H. P. Clements was a banker and prominent businessman of Ray City. He was college educated and appreciated the value of a college education for his children.

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Andrew College Historical Marker

While Mildred attended Andrew College, her sister Frances and cousin Annie Ruth Clements went to Georgia State Women’s College.

According to the Andrew College website:

The Charter of Andrew College, granted in 1854 by the Georgia Legislature, is the second oldest charter in the United States giving an educational institution the right to confer degrees upon women. Originally named Andrew Female College, Andrew operated as a women’s four-year college for 63 years. In 1917 Andrew became a junior college and in 1956 the institution became co-educational. During the Civil War, classes were stopped and the College served as a hospital for wounded confederate soldiers. When classes resumed in 1866, a physical education course was added to the College’s curriculum, the first such course to be required of women in the South. In 1892, Andrew’s buildings burnt to the ground. However, the people of Cuthbert raised the funds necessary to build Old Main, the College’s landmark building, that very same year. Only a handful of colleges in Georgia are older than Andrew and few possess such a rich and celebrated history. Andrew College is recently celebrated the culmination of its Sesquicentennial (150 years of service) and a progressive Campus Master Plan was recently approved by Andrew’s Board of Trustees. “Andrew is small, but there are those that love her.”

After college, Mildred Clements married Mitchell Haygood Moore, a young salesman from Sirmans, GA.  During WWII he joined the Army Air Force and was assigned as a Staff Sergeant to the 854 AAF Bomber Squadron, 491st Bomber Group, flying as a crewman on a B-24 Liberator.  Some say he was a bombardier, others say he was a tail gunner. The 491st was one of seven Heavy Bombardment Groups – 488th through 494th – activated in the autumn of 1943.  By April of 1944, the 491st was  in England, and the group engaged in long-range strategic bombardment of Germany.  In July 1944 it supported the breakout at St. Lo and assaulted V-weapon sites and communications lines in France during the summer of 1944.  After August, 1944 the 491st concentrated its attacks on strategic objectives in Germany, striking communications centers, oil refineries, storage depots, industrial areas, shipyards, and other targets in such places as Berlin, Hamburg, Kassel, Cologne, Gelsenkirchen, Bielefeld, Hanover, and Magdeburg; on one occasion attacked the headquarters of the German General Staff at Zossen, Germany.  On the date of Mitchell Moore’s death, 26 November 1944, the 491st bomber group was on a mission to bomb an oil refinery at Misburg, Germany when the group was attacked by large numbers of enemy fighters.  There were 31 B-24s dispatched on that mission, 28 reached the target, 16 never came back. Although more than half of its planes were destroyed, the group fought off the interceptors, and successfully bombed the target. For this action the group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation. According to the 491st Bomber Group website, Mitchell Moore was flying as a Left Waist gunner on the Misburg raid when he was killed in action.

 

After the war, Mildred applied for and received a marble headstone from the Army Office of the Quartermaster General, to mark his grave at Union Church Cemetery, near Lakeland, GA.

Application for WWII headstone for Mitchell H. Moore.

Application for WWII headstone for Mitchell H. Moore.

Later, Mildred married WWII veteran and high school classmate Lawson Fountain.  After the war, Lawson Fountain had gone into the banking business with Mildred’s father, Hod P. Clements and was for many years a fixture  in Ray City’s financial institutions.  Lawson Fountain has been the subject of previous posts: Lawson Fountain ~ Ray City Banker and Shoe String Bandits Strike Ray City Bank.

Obituary of Mildred Clements Fountain.

Mildred Clements Fountain

Mildred Clements Fountain, 84, of Ray City passed away Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2005, at her residence after a lengthy illness. She was born on Sept. 14, 1921, in Berrien County to the late Hosea and Alma Clements. Mrs. Fountain taught school for many years, teaching in Enigma, Hahira and Pine Grove. She was a very active member of the Ray City United Methodist Church serving as president of the United Methodist Women for 21 years and many other positions in her church. She was preceded in death by her husband, Mitchell Moore who gave the ultimate sacrifice in WWII and her husband, Lawson F. Fountain who was the president of the Bank of Ray City. Survivors include her son, James L. Fountain, Ray City; sister, Frances Carter, Valdosta; two nieces, Sherry Buffaloe, Lexington, Tenn., Laurel Thomas, Valdosta; nephew, Larry Carter, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; several great-nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, 2005, in the Ray City United Methodist Church with burial following in Beaver Dam Cemetery.

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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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A Shower for Frances Clements

Frances Clements, 1939 high school photo,  Ray City, GA

Frances Clements, 1939 high school photo, Ray City, GA

An old Valdosta Daily Times newspaper clipping tells about the time the women of Ray City, GA threw a shower for Frances Clements, soon to be wed to Lawrence Carter of Valdosta.  The hostesses for the occasion were Mrs. Yance Carter, Bertie Moore, Dora Bradford, Inez Purvis, Mrs. Jim Paulk,  Gladys Knight, Hazel Bradham, Cynthia Swindle, Mrs. J.H. Swindle, Mrs. W.R. McClure, all of Ray City, GA and the groom’s mother, Bertie Carter, of Valdosta.

Frances Clements was the daughter of Hod P. Clements (Hosea Peeples Clements) and Alma Florence May.  She was the sister of Mildred Lorene Clements and James Herman Clements.

    Miss Frances Clements, bride elect, was the inspiration of a miscellaneous shower Thursday afternoon at the home of Mrs. E. M. Knight, prior to her marriage to Mr. Lawrence Carter of this city [Valdosta, Ga].
    This attractive home was thrown en suite for the occasion and bouquets of mixed garden flowers were used to advantage in the living room. The attractively appointed refreshment table was overlaid with a white cutwork cloth, and was centered was an erpegne, a gift from Germany. Dainty white flowers encircled the punch bowl which was flanked by candelabra holding white tapers. Crystal platters held a variety of sandwiches, dainty sweets and tidbits.
    Punch was served by Mrs. Peggy Carter, Mrs. Bill Bradham, Mrs. Jim Paulk, and Mrs. Leon Bradford.
    The brides’ book was kept by Mrs. Mildred Moore, sister of the bride to be.
    For this event the future bride was attired in green. Complementing her costume were brown accessories with a corsage of talisman roses.
    Hostesses for this occasion were: Mrs. Y. F. Carter, Mrs. F.C. Moore, Mrs. Leon Bradford, Mrs. G.L. Webb, Mrs. H. P. Giddens, Mrs. Bill Bradham, Mrs. Artis Purvis, Mrs. Jim Paulk, Mrs. E.M. Knight, Mrs. G. P. Swindle, Mrs. J.H. Swindle, Mrs. L.L. Carter, Mrs. W.R. McClure.

After marriage, Frances Clements and Lawrence Carter built this homeon Bemiss Road, Valdosta, GA.  At the time of construction,  the home was located on the outskirts of the town.

After marriage, Frances Clements and Lawrence Carter built this home on Bemiss Road, Valdosta, GA. At the time of construction, the home was located on the outskirts of the town.

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Lawson Fountain ~ Ray City Banker

Lawson Fountain of Ray City, GA.

Lawson Fountain of Ray City, GA.

Lawson Fountain

Lawson Fountain grew up in Ray City, GA and was educated in the Ray City School.  He graduated with the Class of 1939  and later married his high school classmate, Mildred Clements.

In 1949,  Lawson’s father-in-law, H.P. Clements, opened a bank and named it the Bank of Ray City.  Mr. Hod P. Clements and Lawson Fountain operated the state chartered bank until Mr. Clements was forced to retire due to ill health. Then  Lawson Fountain served as President of the bank. His home was on the east side of town.

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In 1959, Lawson Fountain served on the City Council of Ray City.

Lawson Fountain, 1959, Ray City, GA Councilman

Lawson Fountain, 1959, Ray City, GA Councilman

From a 1973 bank newsletter:

    Lawson Fountain returned from Jacksonville, Florida to his hometown in 1956 and helped start the Bank of Ray City. He continued his banking career with the Citizens Bank after it purchased The Bank of Ray City.

    ” I have always enjoyed banking,” Lawson said, ” and knowing just about everybody in this area is an added pleasure in my work. People like banking at home because it saves out-of-town trips for banking services. We are open five days a week from 9 until 4, and the drive-in opens at 8:30 every morning.”

    Lawson is married to the former Mildred Clements, and they both grew up in Ray City. Their only son, James, now lives in Oregon.

    Fishing is Lawson’s favorite pastime, and he said he enjoys the many good fishing places around Ray City.

    The Fountains are active in Ray City United Methodist Church.

    Lawson Fountain’s knowledge of the people and their needs in the Ray City area adds a personal touch to banking at the Bank of Ray City Office of the Citizens Bank.

Grave marker of Lawson F. Fountain, Nov 7, 1922, Jan 23, 1989, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Lawson F. Fountain, (1922-1989) Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

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