Bowling at old Troupville, Georgia

1850s-bowling

Ten Pin bowling was a pastime at antebellum Troupville, Georgia.

Until the creation of Berrien County in 1856, the seat of county government for the pioneer settlers of Ray City, GA was situated at Troupville, Lowndes County, GA.  Troupville  was not only the center of governance, but also the commercial and social center of the county.  As related in J. N. Talley’s account of An Antebellum Trial at Troupville:

Court Week always attracted a great concourse of people. Some attended from necessity or compulsion, some to enjoy the feast of erudition and eloquence; others to trade, traffic or electioneer, but to many it was an occasion for much drinking and horse swapping, and for indulgence in cock fighting, horse racing, and other “Worldly amusements” for which Troupville became somewhat notorious. Indeed, among the Godly, it was regarded as a wild town – almost as wicked as Hawkinsville.

A brief legal notice which appeared in the April 2, 1852 edition of the Albany Patriot indicates that one of the “worldly amusements” available at Troupville was a ten pin alley, or bowling alley, operated by Daniel W. Thomas before his death.

1852 administration of the estate of Daniel W. Thomas, Troupville, GA.

1852 administration of the estate of Daniel W. Thomas, Troupville, GA.

Albany Patriot
April 2, 1852

Administrator’s Sale

Will be sold on the first Tuesday in May next, by order of the Judge of Ordinary, within the usual hours of sale, before the Court House door in Troupville, Lowndes county, the following property to wit:
Lot of Land No. ninety-one (91) in the 12th dist. of originally Irwin now Lowndes county, containing 410 acres more or less.
Also Town lot No. 17 containing one-fourth of an acre, well improved, with a Ten Pin Alley on said lot. Said lot is laid out in the town of Troupville, in Clyatts first survey. Sold as the property of Daniel W. Thomas late of Lowndes county deceased, for the benefit the benefit of the heirs and creditors of said deceased. Terms on the day of sale.

THOMAS B. GRIFFIN, Adm’r.
March 19, 1852.

Daniel W. Thomas (1820-1851) originated from Connecticut, but came to Troupville, Georgia some time before 1847. He was a shopkeeper and a bachelor , residing in a Troupville hotel owned by George W. Stansell. A Democrat in politics, he was elected as one of three Lowndes county representatives to the 1847 gubernatorial convention.

The Ten Pin Alley at Troupville may have resembled an early wooden outdoor bowling alley pictured below at Eudora, KS.  (Image courtesy of Eudora Area Historical Society)

The Ten Pin Alley at Troupville, GA may have resembled this early example from Eudora, KS. Image courtesy of Eudora Area Historical Society.

The Ten Pin Alley at Troupville, GA may have resembled this early example from Eudora, KS. Image courtesy of Eudora Area Historical Society.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=553124914709602&set=a.460372760651485.104139.195114533843977&type=1

The 1870 Tax Digest of Lowndes County, GA indicates that  S. B. Lester operated a ten-pin alley and a billiard table in the 663 Georgia Militia District.

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Milledge Dewey Wood and the First Cotton Blooms of 1912

On June 25, 1912, The Valdosta Times reported on some of the first cotton blooms of the season. The growers were G. W. Carter, of Lois, and Milledge Dewey Wood, of Ray City, GA.

Valdosta Times
June 25, 1912

Messrs. G. W. Carter of the Lois District and M. D. Wood of Rays Mill, were  among the first to send in cotton blooms to the Herald.  They are among the enterprising farmers of the county, and have their crops in fine condition.  We appreciate the favor of these friends in keeping us posted on their farming operations.

Milledge Dewey Wood  was the father of George W. Wood and father-in-law of Creasy Brown Wood, subject of previous posts (see Creasy Brown Wood buried at Dupont, GA).

M. D. Wood was a son of Josiah Wood and Caroline Meeks. His gravemarker gives his birth date April 28, 1862, but from census records it appears that he was actually born in 1860.

At the time of his birth, his father, Josiah Wood, was farming in Macon County, GA near the town of Lanier. But with the outbreak of the Civil War, his father joined Company E of the 4th Georgia Cavalry.  Josiah Wood did not serve long in the Confederate States Army. Due to a disability he was discharged after just one year of service.

Some time before 1870, young Milledge moved with his family to Coffee County, GA, where his father farmed a small place valued at $200.

The 1880 census record for M. D. Wood has not been located, but in 1883 he married Nancy Caroline Rhoden. In 1900, the couple made their home in Dupont, GA where Milledge owned  farm free and clear of mortgage.

By 1910 the Nancy and M. D. Wood had moved their family to Georgia Militia District 1329, the Connells Mill district, near Ray City, GA. Wood rented a farm on the Rays Mill-Cat Creek road, next door to farms of  Lacy Lester Shaw and Francis Marion Shaw.

In 1920, Wood was farming a place outside of Ray City,  on the Nashville Road.  On the farm next door was Gideon Gaskins.

Children of Nancy Caroline Rhoden and Milledge Dewey Wood:

  1. George Washington Wood 1884 – 1960, married Creasy Brown
  2. Joseph Bryant Wood 1885 – 1969
  3. Ely Benjamin Wood 1888 – 1978
  4. Willie Westberry Wood (1889 – 1974) – worked for E.M. “Hun” Knight, and later Clements Sawmill
  5. Laura Wood 1891 – 1973
  6. John Rhoden Wood 1894 – 1996
  7. Celia Caroline Wood 1896 – 1988
  8. Lulu Wood 1899 – 1974
  9. James Oliver Wood 1901 – 1975
  10. Dewey Franklin Wood 1906 – 1988
  11. Eliza Bell Wood 1909-1910

Milledge Dewey Wood died October 31, 1932.  He was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery in Ray City, GA

Grave marker of Milledge Dewey Wood, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Grave marker of Milledge Dewey Wood, Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

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James Henry Swindle and the Georgia Official and Statistical Register

Another find from the volumes of the Georgia Official and Statistical Register:

James Henry Swindle, 1953.

James Henry Swindle, 1953.

James Henry Swindle, Ray City, member [Georgia House of Representatives], 1935, 1937-37/38 Ex., 1939, 1947-48 Ex. – 48 2 Ex., 1949-49 Ex.-50,  1953-54. Farmer; merchant. Born Aug. 6 1886 near Ray City, Berrien County, GA. Attended elementary schools. Baptist, Democrat, Mason, Member, county board of education, 18 years; chairman, 4 years; member, town council, four years; mayor of Ray City, two years.

Family details: Married June 25, 1912 in Nashville, GA, Sarah Ellen Daniel (born Sep. 3, 1888 in Berrien County, GA), daughter of Aaron and Lula Virginia (Luke) Daniel. Children: Margarette Virginia; Doris Evelyn; Grace Elizabeth;James Aaron.   James H. Swindle is the son of George Emory Swindle and Margaret Melvina Futch (born June 20, 1856 in Berrien County, GA), and the grandson of James S. and Nancy (Parker) Swindle, and of John M. Futch (b0rn September 12, 1821 in Berrien County, GA, served as sheriff of Berrien County,  after county organization and during the Civil War, and Phoebe (Mathis) Futch (born Aug 1, 1822 in Berrien County, GA.).

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