Rossie O. Knight and the Nixon Nitration Works

Rossie O. Knight (1892-1963)

Born of the World’s mischance,
Lair bade the newer toys of death,
Mortar, grenade and poison breath-
We smiths of Ordnance.

And none may see the arms we forge,
And laughing pass them by,
Nor do we think to show for sport,
Our ghastly armory.

-anonymous member of the Ordnance Department, WWI

Rossie O. Knight was a son of Sovin J. Knight and Ann Eliza Allen,  and grew up on his parents’ farm near Rays Mill (now Ray City),  before moving to Barney, GA.   From 1917 to 1919 Rossie O. Knight served  in some of the major European campaigns of World War I. He received the WWI Victory Medal with five battle clasps. But Rossie had enlisted in the service well prior to America’s entry into the Great War.  In the years from 1913 to 1917, Rossie was engaged in America’s preparation for the coming conflict, in military service in the Coast Artillery Corps, and working to produce war matériel at the Nixon Nitration Works.

Rossie O. Knight’s service records show he enlisted at Fort Slocum, NY on August 31, 1913. Other Berrien county men who entered the service via Fort Slocum included Carter H. Exum and Charlie Turner, both of Nashville, GA who enlisted June 22, 1914. John S. Shaw, of Rays Mill, GA enlisted at Ft Slocum on August 5, 1914 and went to bakers and cooks school at Fort Sam Houston, TX.

Rossie O. Knight WWI service record

Rossie O. Knight WWI service record

Fort Slocum, New York was a US military post which occupied Davids Island in the western end of Long Island Sound in New Rochelle, New York from 1867 – 1965. In 1913, it was a major Army induction center

Fort Slocum, New York was a US military post which occupied Davids' Island in the western end of Long Island Sound in New Rochelle, New York from 1867 - 1965.

Gun squad at Fort Slocum, New York. Fort Slocum was a major induction point for the U.S. Army during WWI.

After training at Fort Slocum, Rossie O. Knight was assigned  to Fort Hancock, NJ for duty with the Coast Artillery Corp, Third Company.  Fort Hancock, situated on the island of Sandy Hook, was a coastal artillery base defending the Atlantic coast and the entrance to New York Harbor. Fort Hancock was operated in conjunction with the US Army’s Sandy Hook Proving Ground, where newly manufactured artillery was tested.

Aiming a 14 inch artillery gun at Sandy Hook, Fort Hancock, New Jersey,

Aiming a 14 inch artillery gun at Sandy Hook, Fort Hancock, New Jersey.

It was in 1914, when Rossie was stationed at Fort Hancock that hostilities broke out in Europe.  Americans watched with interest, but President Wilson worked to keep the country out of the war; “While armies moved across the face of Europe, the United States remained neutral.”  The United States attempted to continue trade and diplomatic relations amid the rising world conflict, but the production of artillery and war matériel in America became critically important to the belligerents. America was just coming out of the Recession of  1913-14, and the business leaders and industrialists began ramping up their companies to produce the needed supplies.  Among these men was an industrialist and shipbuilder Lewis Nixon, who began construction of the Nixon Nitration Works to produce “gun cotton,”- for use in smokeless gunpowder.

Americans were largely ambivalent about the war in Europe. But on May 7, 1915 a German submarine torpedoed and sunk the RMS Lusitania in route from New York to Liverpool, causing the death of 1,198 passengers and crew. Reports of the sinking were emblazoned across newspaper headlines in the U.S. and caused a storm of protest, as 128 Americans were among the dead.

Lusitania Torpedoed

Lusitania Torpedoed May 7, 1915, banner headline in the Thomasville Daily Times Enterprise, Thomasville, GA

On May 8th, the day after the sinking of the Lusitania, the Nixon Nitration Works began production of gunpowder. Lewis Nixon announced he would turn his full attention to the completion of the plant.

May 8, 1915 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle announced the beginning of gun cotton production at the Nixon Nitration Works

May 8, 1915 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle announced the beginning of gun cotton production at the Nixon Nitration Works

The Brooklyn Eagle
May 8, 1915

Huge Nixon War Plant to Turn Out Guncotton

Lewis Nixon has decided to abandon his political activities to give his undivided attention to the huge war plant which he is erecting near Metuchen, N.J. With but a small part of the 400-acre gun cotton plant completed, the manufacture of explosives began today. Contracts have been made with France and England which will take the output of the plants for the next two and a half years, regardless of the duration of the war, delivering at least 100 tons of gun cotton each month during the life of the contract.

The Fatherland, a pro-German newspaper based in New York, reported in August 1915 that Nixon had closed a contract with the British War Office for 1,000,000 lbs. of gun cotton to be manufactured at the plants at Metuchen, N. J. The shipments were to begin April 15th and to be continued at the rate of 20,000 lbs. a day. The Nixon concern receives 70 cents per pound. Mr. Nixon, when interviewed, refused to give any details of his contracts, but intimated, said the New York World, that they called for much more material than was reported. Within six weeks, according to the New York Sun, the Nixon Nitration Co. erected three big structures in Millville, N. J., for the manufacture of gunpowder and other war materials. Seven smaller buildings were erected. Three shifts of men have been kept working 24 hours a day. The Sun reported that three times as many buildings would be constructed, and that the number of employees would be increased from 500 men to 2,000.”

Although men came from all over the nation to work in the Nixon Nitration Works, the company  struggled to find enough workers for the massive gunpowder works.  At one point labor relations were strained to the point of a strike. After two fires occurred  the plant let go a number of foreign nationals who had been employed there, although Lewis Nixon denied that espionage was the cause of the blazes.

Rossie O. Knight took a job at the Nixon Nitration Works in September, 1916 although his service record does not indicate any break in his enlistment. It appears that the U.S. Army was helping out with the labor shortage by placing soldiers on reserve status so they could be employed at the Nixon plant.

According to the National Archives, Woodrow Wilson was elected  for a second term as President on November 7, 1916 , “largely because of the slogan ‘He kept us out of war.’ Events in early 1917 would change that hope. In frustration over the effective British naval blockade, in February Germany broke its pledge to limit submarine warfare. In response to the breaking of the Sussex pledge, the United States severed diplomatic relations with Germany.”  On top of the resumption of U-boat torpedoing of passenger ships came the revelation of German communiques with Mexico intimating the countries were conspiring for the invasion of the United States.

Mexican-American relations  had been tense since revolution broke out in Mexico in 1910, leading the U.S. to engage in several intrusions into Mexico’s internal affairs. The American Ambassador to Mexico was implicated in the 1913 coup in which General Victoriano Huerta assassinated the President and Vice President of Mexico and seized control of the government, throwing the country into violent civil war. Because of the civil disruption in Mexico, the U.S. began garrisoning troops along the border.  At least two Ray City men served on the Mexican Border. Owen Leonard Clements was stationed with the 4th Field Artillery at Progreso, TX, and Owen Adrian Knight served in Company M, 23rd Infantry. The U.S. Navy occupied Vera Cruz in 1914 to protect U.S. interests in the Tampico oil fields. There was a series of subsequent territorial encroachments on both sides of the border. In a comparatively trivial border incursion by U.S. troops in January 1916, Sergeant Clements  was drowned while crossing the Rio Grand. Following Pancho Villa’s 1916 raids  into New Mexico, the U.S. Army launched the Mexican Punitive Expedition, led by General John Pershing, in a futile attempt to track down the Mexican rebel.

“In January of 1917, British cryptographers deciphered a telegram from German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann to the German Minister to Mexico, Heinrich von Eckhardt, offering United States territory to Mexico in return for joining the German cause. ” News of the Zimmermann Telegram was published in the American press on March 1, 1917.

A few weeks later, Rossie Knight wrote home to his brother Leland Thomas Knight (family referred to him as
T.L.). The letter was written on March 28, 1917 from New Brunswick, NJ, while Rossie was working at the Nixon Nitration Works. It expresses Rossie’s anticipation that the United States would declare war on Germany, and that he would be called back into active duty.

Letter of March 28, 1917 from Rossie O. Knight to his brother Leland Thomas Knight.

Letter of March 28, 1917 from Rossie O. Knight to his brother Leland Thomas Knight. Image courtesy of Bryan Shaw.

 

Nixon Nitration Works
New Brunswick, New Jersey
March 28th, 1917

Mr. T.L. Knight,
Dear Brother, I will write you a few lines to let you
know that I am still living and to find out how you ar gitting along
I am getting along fine exspecting to haft to go to war every day I am
exspecting to be called back to the army.
Congress will meet the second of april which is next monday and I
think that war will be declared and if it is I will be called back to the
service if I am called back I am going home for a few days before I go
back to the army. so you need not be suprised to see me coming to your
house in a few days. I will only have a few days there but that will be
better than not going at all.
say do you remember how we ust to scrapp. I often laugh about it that
was the happiest days after all wasant it.
when we would get off saturday at noon. and all day sunday off I tell you
that is the best life after all back on the farm for mine after this yea
r. I have been working here seven months and I havent lost a day not one
and I have worked seven days a week no sundays off. I am alowed one day
a month off and that is all I get. and I get that off with pay that is
why I say I havent lost a day.
and I have just ben making a good living and that is all if a man is
making a living any where these days he is doing fine I think but
I am getting in a position now that I think I can save a little money
if I stay here.
If I am called back to the army and dont have a chance to go home
I will let you hear from me.
Give my best regards to all the people I know.
Respectifully,
(signed) Your Brother
Rossie

Transcription courtesy of Bryan Shaw

Rossie O. Knight was correct in his predictions. On April 6, 1917, the United States Congress formally declared war on Germany and its allies. By  August 7, 1917 he was serving overseas with the U.S. First Division .

The Nixon Nitration Works continued to produce war matériel,  throughout the war. The Nixon Nitration Works which included a number of plants, covered about 12 square miles on the Raritan River, near New Brunswick, in what was then officially known as Raritan Township (later changed to Edison) and unofficially known as Nixon, New Jersey. The company manufactured some two hundred million pounds of  smokeless powder for the Allies and the United States Government during WWI. As a collateral activity, it manufactured military pyrotechnics for the army and navy and at the armistice was the largest single producer of such pyrotechnics in the United States.

With the coming of peace, the company converted to manufacturing plastic materials of the cellulose derivative type. Nitrocellulose was a highly flammable plastic used to make film and x-rays, among other things.  One of the buildings at the Nixon Nitration Works was leased to the Ammonite Company, which disassembled artillery shells and reprocessed the gunpowder contents into fertilizer.

1924 Nixon Nitration Works disaster

On Saturday morning, March 1, 1924, an explosion destroyed the Ammonite building. The 11:15 a.m. explosion touched off fires in surrounding buildings in the Nixon Nitration Works that contained other highly flammable nitrocellulose  materials.  The disaster killed twenty persons, destroyed forty buildings, and demolished the industrial town of Nixon, New Jersey.

Special thanks to Bryan Shaw for contributions of content and images.

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An old tintype of Walter Howard Knight

Walter Howard Knight (1859-1934)

Tintype photograph of Walter Howard Knight, Rays Mill, Berrien County, GA. Image Courtesy of Jimmie Mobley.

Tintype photograph of Walter Howard Knight, Rays Mill, Berrien County, GA.  Image Courtesy of Jimmie Mobley.

Walter Howard Knight, a son of  William Washington Knight (1829 – 1863) and  Mary Elizabeth Carroll (1839 – 1906) was born November 28, 1859 in Berrien County, GA.  The tintype photograph above depicts him  in his senior years, perhaps in the 1920s.

Tintype photographs  such as this were made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of iron coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion.  Since the image is produced directly on the medium, tintype photographs normally appear as a mirror image, reversed left to right.  Each tintype is usually a camera original – one of a kind.   Compared to other early photographs, tintypes were very inexpensive and relatively easy to make. A photographer could prepare, expose, develop and varnish a tintype plate and have it ready for the customer in a few minutes.  Tintypes became very popular during the Civil War, and enjoyed their widest use during the 1860s and 1870s. Although prints on paper soon displaced them as the most common type of photograph, the tintype process continued to enjoy considerable use throughout the 19th century and beyond, especially for casual portraiture by novelty and street photographers.

Historical records of Walter Howard Knight first appear in the Census of 1860 when he was enumerated in his father’s household in Berrien County, GA.

1860 census enumeration of Mary Elizabeth Carroll and William Washington Knight, Berrien County, GA.

1860 census enumeration of Walter Howard Knight in the household of his parents, Mary Elizabeth Carroll and William Washington Knight, Berrien County, GA.

1860 Census  https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu111unit#page/n403/mode/1up

Walter Howard Knight had little chance to know his father who went off to fight in 1861 as a Sergeant in the company of Berrien Minute Men.  The Civil War letters of William Washington Knight spoke tenderly of his children as he wrote from the camps and  battlefields,  but he was not to see them grow to adulthood.  Illness was rampant among the Confederate regiments, and Knight was furloughed home sick in 1863.  He died of chronic diarrhea at Milltown, GA December 27, 1863, one month after Walter Howard Knight’s fourth birthday.

After the War, Walter’s mother married William Joseph Lamb who was also a veteran of the Berrien Minutemen (see  William J. Lamb ~ Confederate Veteran).   The census of 1870 shows  Walter Howard Knight was living with his mother, step-father and sisters (Mary Virginia and Lillian Melissa) in the 1144th Georgia Militia District, later known as the Ray’s Mill District. (A third sister, Margaret Ann, had died during the Civil War).

1870 census enumeration of the household of Mary Elizabeth Carroll and William Lamb, Berrien County, GA.

1870 census enumeration of the household of Mary Elizabeth Carroll and William Lamb, Berrien County, GA.

http://archive.org/stream/populationschedu0135unit#page/n439/mode/1up

At age 19, Walter Howard Knight married Jimmie Gullett in Dougherty County, GA.  She was the 14 year old daughter of George M. Gullett and Julia Lindsey. Her father was an insurance agent in Daugherty County.

Marriage Certificate of Jimmie Gullett and Walter Howard Knight

Marriage Certificate of Jimmie Gullett and Walter Howard Knight

According to the Census of 1880, Walter and Jimmie Gullett Knight made their home in the Rays Mill District, near the farm of his step-father, William J. Lamb. Walter, like his neighbors, was engaged in farming.  Property tax records from 1884 show Walter H. Knight did not own the land he farmed, but did own $60 in livestock, $5 in tools and books, and $25 in household furnishings.

1880 enumeration of Jimmie Gullett and Walter Howard Knight, 1144 GMD Rays Mill District.

1880 enumeration of Jimmie Gullett and Walter Howard Knight, 1144 GMD Rays Mill District.

By 1890 Walter had acquired 490 acres consisting of lot 426 in the 10th Land District.  The land was valued at $1 per acre. At the time taxes were assessed he had the farm, $75 in household furnishings, and no other taxable property.  Among the property owners on adjacent land lots were James M Sloan,  Elizabeth E. Knight ( portions of Lot 450), Joseph E. Langford (portions of Lot 450),  and Barney B. Chism on Lot 427.

Partial map of the 10th Land District, showing location of Lot 426.

Partial map of the 10th Land District, showing location of Lot 426.

By 1900 Walter H. Knight was farming land on the Valdosta Road near Rays Mill, GA. The Census of 1900 shows Walter H. Knight owned a farm free and clear of debt, which he occupied with his wife Jimmie, and eight children.  His brother-in-law William E. Langford, husband of Mary Virginia Knight, was farming nearby. Among his other neighbors were Greene Bullard,  and Henry Bullard.

1900-walter-h-knight-enumerationhttps://archive.org/stream/12thcensusofpopu179unit#page/n776/mode/1up

 In October of 1900, Walter’s daughter Dollie  married “the boy next door,” Louis Malone Bullard , a son of Mary Ann and Green Bullard, and moved with her husband to Valdosta, GA.    In 1901 his daughter Julia married David Jackson Rigell, merchant of Ray’s Mill, GA.  (She later married W. D. Sloan, son of her parent’s neighbor, James M. Sloan).

Walter H. Knight and Jimmie Gullett Knight continued farming land near Ray City into the following decades.   In the spring of 1910, their daughter Ruby Texas Knight  was married to James Randall Johnson and the couple made their home next door to her father’s place on the Valdosta Road, Ray City, Georgia. Walter’s eldest son, Paul Knight, was farming nearby. The Langfords farmed neighboring land, but both Mary Ann and Green Bullard had passed away.

1910 census enumeration of the household of Walter Howard Knight and Jimmy Gullette, Berrien County, GA.

1910 census enumeration of the household of Walter Howard Knight and Jimmy Gullette, Berrien County, GA.

https://archive.org/stream/13thcensus1910po172unit#page/n635/mode/1up

It was a terrible blow to Walter and Jimmie Knight when their son Ralph was lost in the sinking of the HMS Otranto in the closing days of World War I. They carried on working their farm through the 1920s. Their daughter Laurie remained at the old home place, but the rest of their children had moved on to their own lives. In 1919, their daughter-in-law Marie “Toni” Poblete Knight, wife of Owen “Adrian” Knight, came to live with them on the farm with her two children Owen, Jr and Ralph. Toni had married Adrian while he was serving in the Army at Ft. Bliss, El Paso, TX.  But at the end of WWI, Adrian had abandoned his young family and disappeared (see Ray City Love Story Told by Betty M. Williams.)

1920 enumeration of Jimmie Gullett and Walter Howard Knight, 1144 GMD Rays Mill District.

1920 enumeration of Jimmie Gullett and Walter Howard Knight, 1144 GMD Rays Mill District.

http://archive.org/stream/14thcensusofpopu235unit#page/n319/mode/1up

Walter and Jimmie kept their daughter-in-law, Toni Poblete Knight and grandchildren with them on the farm for four years, until Toni lost any hope that  Adrian would return to his family.  Toni returned west and obtained a divorce.

Laurie Inez Knight,  the youngest Knight daughter married Horace Webb in 1928.  They made a home on Charlton Street in Valdosta, GA

Adrian Knight eventually did return to Ray City and his parent’s farm. He married his brother’s widow, Effie Guthrie Knight. In the census of 1930, the enumeration of Walter H. Knight’s place shows Owen A “Adrian” Knight and Mary E. “Effie” Knight had a home on the Knight farm.

 

Children of Jimmie Gardener Gullett and Walter Howard Knight:

  1. Julia Elizabeth Knight,  born August 9, 1880; died September 10, 1955
  2. Dollie Howard Knight,  born April 12, 1882;  died March 26, 1956
  3. Paul Knight,  born July 22, 1884; died 1949
  4. Walter Raleigh Knight,  born  November 14, 1886,
  5. Ralph Knight,  born 19 Apr 1889; died in the Otranto disaster  October 6, 1918
  6. Ruby Texas Knight,  born  October 11, 1891;  died June 17 1977
  7. Laurie Inez Knight,  born  April 9 1894; died April 1, 1974
  8. Owen Adrian Knight,  born  October 7, 1896; died  September 25, 1972

Walter Howard Knight  died June 13, 1934.


The Nashville Herald, 
June 21, 1934

MR. KNIGHT DIED AT RAY CITY HOME

	Many friends here of Mr. Raleigh Knight sympathize with him deeply in the death of his father, Mr. Walter Howard Knight, which occurred at his home 
in Ray City last Wednesday.  Mr. Knight was seventy-four years of age and was a well-known and highly respected citizen of his community.  He was a native of 
that section and had lived there all his life.
	He is survived by his wife, four daughters and three sons.  His wife was before her marriage Miss Jimmie Guelette of Albany.  The daughters are Mrs. 
W.D. Sloan of Stockton; Mrs. L.M. Bullard and Mrs. Horace Webb of Valdosta; and Mrs. J.R. Johnson of Ray City.  The sons are Paul Knight and Owen Knight of Ray 
City and Raleigh Knight of Adel.
	There are also 12 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren among the survivors.
	The funeral services were held at the Baptist church at Ray City Thursday afternoon. – Adel News.
Transcription courtesy of Skeeter Parker

Jimmie Gullett Knight died three years later, August 3, 1937.  Husband and wife are buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Graves of Jimmie Gullett and Walter Howard Knight, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Graves of Jimmie Gullett and Walter Howard Knight, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

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Artistry of Maria Antoniette Poblete Knight

 As told in previous posts, Maria Antonieta  Poblete  (or Poblette) was the first wife of Owen Adrian Knight,  of Ray City, GA.  They were married on September 5, 1917 in El Paso, Texas while Owen Adrian Knight was serving in the Army at Ft. Bliss, El Paso TX during World War I.  (See Ray City Love Story Told by Betty M. Williams)

Marie Antoinette Poblette Knight, novelty postcard, 1917, El Paso, TX

Maria Antonietta Poblette, novelty postcard, 1917, El Paso, TX taken just days after her marriage to Owen Adrian Knight.

 In 1919 just before being discharged from the Army, Adrian Knight apparently told his wife that his unit was shipping out to France. Then he disappeared for parts unknown.

 When his parents,  Walter and Jimmie Knight, learned of Adrian’s abandonment of Maria Antonietta and his two young sons they sent her money to travel from her home in Mexico to Ray City, GA.  In Adrian’s absence, “Toni,” as she was known to the Knights, lived with the Knight family.   In the summer of 1922, she attended college at Georgia State Womans College, now known as Valdosta State University. In those days, married women were only allowed to attend during the summer session.

While in Georgia, Maria worked as an art teacher at the Ray City School. Family members say, “She was artistic in many ways, her voice was beautiful and she played the piano by ear as well as by reading music.”

After about four years of waiting for Adrian’s return, the abandoned and heartbroken  Maria returned to Mexico with her two sons.  She was divorced from Adrian Knight and later married Desmond Mangum.

Painting by Marie Antoinette Poblette

Painting by Marie Antoinette Poblette

Ray City Love Story Told by Betty M. Williams

Maria Antonieta  Poblete  (or Poblette) was the first wife of Owen Adrian Knight,  of Ray City, GA.  They were married on September 5, 1917 in El Paso, Texas while Owen Adrian Knight was in the Army.  Maria Antonieta  Poblete was born in Mexico and grew up with the Mormon Colonies in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Owen Adrian Knight, known as “Adrian”, was born and raised in Ray’s Mill, GA (now Ray City), the eighth child of Walter Howard Knight and Jimmie Gardener Gullette.

Maria and Adrian had two children, Owen Adrian, Jr., born April, 1918,  and Ralph H.,  born May 31, 1919.  Ralph was named after his uncle killed in the Otranto disaster in October, 1918. (See Ralph Knight ~ Ray City Soldier ~ WWI)

Following the end of WWI, apparently just before the birth of his second son, Adrian Knight left Texas for parts unknown.  Maria Antonieta came to Ray City with her two young children  to live with Adrian’s parents.  In Adrian’s absence, “Toni,” as she was then known, lived with the Knight family. She attended college in Valdosta and worked as an art teacher at the Ray City School.  After about four years of waiting for Adrian’s return, the abandoned and heartbroken  Toni returned to Mexico with her two sons.  She was divorced from Adrian Knight and later married Desmond Mangum.

Betty Williams has published a poignant biography of  Maria Antonieta  Poblete that weaves a narrative of her life in Mexico, Texas and Georgia, and world events involving the Mexican Revolution, the Mormon Church, and WWI. The eBook is available from Amazon.com

World War, Revolution and Religion from the Journals of Maria Antonieta Poblete

World War, Revolution and Religion from the Journals of Maria Antonieta Poblete

Williams, Betty (2011). World War, Revolution and Religion.

World War, Revolution and Religion from the Journals of Maria Antonieta Poblete By Betty M. Williams

The unlikely conjunction of a world war, a revolution and a religion may have given us a glimpse into the connecting principle of the Universe. Such a conjunction in the first decades of the 20th Century of WWI, the Mexican Revolution and the Mormon Church in Mexico brought about the meeting of Maria Antonieta Poblete and Owen Adrian Knight in the summer of 1917.

A love story is the result of that unlikely conjunction, but in order to tell the story, I must include the history that brought these people together in time and space. The story was set in motion by a revolution and a religion and tragically, for all three of the people eventually involved by love of Maria, interrupted by a World War.

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Effie Guthrie and the Knight Brothers of Ray City, GA

Effie Guthrie, daughter of Arren H. Guthrie  and Lucy Newbern, was a lifelong resident of Ray City, GA and many of the Guthrie family connection still reside here.   She married first Ralph Knight.

Ralph Knight was one of the Knight brothers of Ray City, GA:  PaulAdrian, Ralph, and Raleigh, all sons of Walter Howard Knight and Jimmie Gardener Gullette.  There were four Knight sisters; Julia Elizabeth Knight, and Ruby Texas Knight, Dollie Howard Knight, and Laurie Inez Knight.

Effie became good friends with her sister-in-law Julia Knight.  After Ralph Knight was killed in the Otranto disaster of World War I, Julia and Effie sometimes travelled together.  Around 1921-22, the two women travelled by train to New York City on a shopping trip.  Later, Effie married Ralph’s brother,  Adrian Knight.

Effie Guthrie Knight. Ray City, Berrien County, Georgia.

Effie Guthrie Knight. Ray City, Berrien County, Georgia.

Effie Guthrie Knight and Owen Adrian Knight, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Effie Guthrie Knight and Owen Adrian Knight, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Ralph Knight, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Ralph Knight, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Ray City, GA Veterans of World War I

The men of Ray City, Berrien County, Georgia served in World War I.  Some served with honor, a few found difficulty, still others gave their lives (see Otranto Disaster.)  Below is a partial list of Ray City Veterans who returned from service in World War I, with links to details of their service records.

WWI Inductees at Nashville, GA Courthouse, 1918.

WWI Berrien county Inductees at Nashville, GA Courthouse, 1918.

World War I soldiers returning home.

World War I soldiers returning home.

  1. Adams, Champ (Army: Camp Wheeler, Camp Upton)
  2. Ray City People: Altman, Wilbur Harris (Army: Fort Screven)
  3. Anderson, George Marvin (Army: Camp Hancock)
  4. Armstrong, Henry
  5. Baldwin, Will  (Army)
  6. Baskin, John Hagan  (Navy)
  7. Boggs, Carlos J. (Buffalo Infantry)
  8. Boyette, Grover Gordon  (Navy)
  9. Ray City People: Boyett, Jesse
  10. Brown, Hershel Chester  (Navy)
  11. Brown, Ollie   (Army)
  12. Ray City People: Browning, Lewis (Army)
  13. Burkhalter, Francis Marion (Army)
  14. Calhoun, Joseph Burton (Army)
  15. Ray City People: Clanton, Lewis (Army)
  16. Clements, Levi D.
  17. Ray City People: Clements, Grover C  (Army)
  18. Clements, Hosea Peoples (Army)
  19. Ray City People: Clements, Richard Schley (Army)
  20. Collins, Thomas J. (Army, Disabled Veteran)
  21. Currye, Robert  (Army)
  22. Davis, Coley M.   (Army, KIA)
  23. DeLoach, James Marvin (Army)
  24. Eady, Phillip  (Army)
  25. Frasier, William O.  (Army)
  26. Godwin, Joseph W.   (Army)
  27. DeVane, Gordon
  28. Garfield, Baker   (Army: 516th Engineers)
  29. Genrette, David  (Army)
  30. Giddens, Marcus  (Army)
  31. Green, George  (Army)
  32. Ray City People: Greene, Jesse L  (Army)
  33. Ray City People: Hall, Edward C
  34. Hall, Pasco Olandro (Army)
  35. Ray City People: Harnage, William C  (Army)
  36. Hardie, Grover Cleveland  (Army)
  37. Hillard, James  (Army)
  38. Ray City People: Hinson, Milton J  (Army)
  39. Ray City People: Holliday, Glenn  (Army)
  40. Howard, Thomas (Army)
  41. Jones, John  (Army)
  42. Jones, Lacy (Army)
  43. Jones, Robert (Army)
  44. Tonie M. Kirkland, Army
  45. Ray City People: Kirkland, Clayton (Army)
  46. Ray City People: Kirkland, Tonie M (Army)
  47. Ray City People: Knight, Eugene M (Army)
  48. Knight, Owen Adrian (Army)
  49. Knight, Perry Thomas  (Army)
  50. Knight, Ralph  (Army, died in sinking of the HMS Otranto)
  51. Knight, Rossie O.  (Army)
  52. Lane, Collie  (Army)
  53. Ray City People: Langford, James R   (Army)
  54. Lawson, Carlie   (Army)
  55. Lee, James Isaac
  56. Little, Ira  (Army)
  57. Miller, Elzie Nathaniel (Navy)
  58. Miller, Leon Clyde
  59. Mincey, John  (Army)
  60. Ray City People: McDonald, Robert Fulton
  61. Ray City People: Odum, Henry A  (Army)
  62. Parham, Foster B.  (Army)
  63. Ray City People: Parker, John H
  64. Ray City People: Peters, Johntie A  (Army)
  65. Pitman, Perry Lee
  66. Ray, Boisey   (Army)
  67. Ray City People: Register, William B  (Army)
  68. Register, Lorton W.   (Army)
  69.  Rentz, Lawson S.   (Army)
  70. Richardson, William T.  (Army)
  71. Richburg, William Thomas
  72. Rivers, Sidney Jr,   (Army)
  73. Roberson, Alfred   (Army)
  74. Roberson, Joe   (Army)
  75. Robinson, Virgil   (Army)
  76. Scott, Lelon   (Army)
  77. Shaw, John Sheffield   (Army)
  78. Shaw, William (Army)
  79. Sirmans, John   (Army)
  80. Ray City People: Sirmans, Virgil C   (Army)
  81. Sloan, William David (Army Medical Service)
  82. Smith, Lonnie W.   (Army)
  83. Spates, William M.   (Army)
  84. Ray City People: Strickland, Ivey L   (Army)
  85. Ray City People: Sumner, Morris C   (Army)
  86. Ray City People: Sutton, Harry C
  87. Ray City People: Taylor, Leon S    (Army)
  88. Ray City People: Thomas, Silas I    (Army)
  89. Ray City People: Tison, William Wiley
  90. Townsend, Hilton Monroe   (Navy)
  91. Voss, Rubie   (Army)
  92. Watts, Henry   (Army)
  93. Webb, Lowndes Otis   (Army)
  94. Webb, Marcus Lafayette   (Army)
  95. Webb, Shellie Loyd   (Army, died in sinking of the HMS Otranto)
  96. Mallie Boukin Webb, Navy
  97.  Webb, Ura T.    (Army)
  98.  White, James Lee   (Army)
  99.  Whitford, Claudie   (Army)
  100.  Wiggins, Siar   (Army)
  101. Wiley, Mattalies   (Army)
  102. Wilkins, Alfred   (Army)
  103.  Williams, Pink   (Army)
  104.  Williams, Gordon   (Army)
  105. Herman A. Williams, Army
  106. Ray City People: Wilson, Harry   (Army)
  107. Ray City People: Wilson, John F

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