Jasper Giddens ‘Settles’ Knife Fight

An earlier post gave a transcription of the December 17 December 1879,  Columbus Daily Enquirer  report of a knife fight and shooting at Cat Creek (see Cat Creek Knife and Gun Club).  A more detailed story appeared in the Valdosta Times, and was picked up by the Daily Constitution in Atlanta.

Atlanta Daily Constitution
December 16, 1879

Valdosta Times: The fatal affray which occurred nearly two weeks ago in the northern portion of this county did not come to our ears in time for our last issue. Better late than never, however, we are enabled to furnish the following particulars: Mr. Jasper Giddens, who is a son of Duncan Giddens, of Clinch county, has been farming on a plantation near the Berrien county line, owned by Mr. William Roberts.  During the year he had employed on his farm as a farm hand a Mr. Calvin Hightower.  A dispute arose between them, and Mr. H. was dismissed.  Mr. Giddens had a claim upon which he entered suit, and upon the occasion of the fatal encounter Mr. Hightower and two of his brothers went over, it seems, to Mr. Gidden’s place to “settle” the difficulty.  They were said to have been well armed. After some words blows were resorted to, and knives drawn and freely used.  Both Hightower and Giddens were severely cut, and it is said that the Hightower brothers were about to take a hand in the fight when Giddens jerked loose from his antagonist, and drawing a pistol, shot him in the abdomen. The wound being a fatal one ended the fight.  Mr. Hightower lived about a week, having died last Tuesday, and Mr. Giddens has fled the country.  We have heard various shades of rumors about the unfortunate affair, but we regard the above as having come from as correct a source as could be obtained. It is hard, of course, to get at the literal details.

Jasper Giddens was born at Cat Creek, GA.  As a young man, he lived in Ware and Clinch counties,  eventually coming back to south Berrien county and the general region of present day Ray City, GA where the shooting occurred.  Cat Creek community is located in Lowndes county near the line with Berrien County.  Just across the county line, in Berrien County, was the Knight community, the homestead of General Levi J. Knight. Many of the Giddens family connection still reside in the nearby area.

Related Posts:

L.C. Swindle Faces Bank Robber at Ray City – February 28,1939

On February 28, 1939, 72 years ago today, the Farmer’s bank at Ray City was the scene of a hold-up. The  Bank cashier was  L.C. Swindle.

Leonard Columbus Swindle was born May 20, 1880, the son of Margaret M. Futch and George Emory Swindle.  He was the grand son of Nancy Jane Parker and James Swindle. As a boy, he grew up on the on the Swindle homeplace near Ray City, GA. Later he lived in Cecil, and Valdosta. In Valdosta, L.C. was employed as a store clerk.

As of September 12, 1918, Leonard Columbus Swindle and his wife Mary Coley Swindle were residing in Barretts, GA about five miles south of Ray City when he registered for the WWI draft. He was a farmer, tall and slender with blue eyes and dark hair.

By 1930, L.C. and Mary had moved back to Ray City,GA. Mary worked as a store clerk and L.C. worked in a cotton warehouse, probably for his brother James H. “Jim” Swindle who owned the cotton warehouse at Ray City.

Later,  L. C. Swindle drawing on his business experience operated and controlled the Farmers Bank at Ray City.  It was there, on February 28, 1939, working as Cashier that he faced the gun of a bank robber.

Atlanta Constitution
March 1, 1939

Early Morning Holdup Man Gets $655; Police Take Up Hunt.

RAY CITY, Ga., Feb. 28.  Police searched for an armed bandit who robbed the Farmers’ bank here of $633 today when he was admitted before the regular opening hour to get change for a $20 bill.
Cashier L.C. Swindle reported the robbery to police and fixed the time at about 7:15 o’clock.  He said he had gone to the bank early to work on some insurance papers.  Someone knocked on the door and asked if he could get $20 changed.
Swindle said such requests before the bank  opens are frequent and he told the man he would let him in.
“He walked to the cashier’s window and laid a $20 bill on the counter,” Swindle related. “I asked how he wanted the money and as I was counting it out, the man said, ‘wait a minute.'”
When he looked up, Swindle said, a gun was pointed at him and the man said “give it all to me.”  Swindle added the man scooped up the cash and warned him to “stay in here,” and fled.
Sheriff N.N. Hughes, of Nashville, came here to investigate the case, and said the cashier described the man. Details were withheld until after search of the vicinity.
Hughes said he would search for two men reported seen near the bank early in the morning.  The sheriff said Swindle was unable to tell him whether or not the bandit was in a car, as the blinds were down and a radio playing drowned out possible motor noise.  Others said they heard a car about the time of the robbery.

Related Posts:

Andrew Washington Turner and Phoebe Isabelle Sirmans

Andrew Washington Turner, born 1 Jan 1867 in Dublin, GA, was the son of Adeline Rebecca Black and Jesse Turner. As a boy, Andrew Washington Turner came to the 1144th Georgia Militia District, the Ray’s Mill District.  He came some time before 1880 from South Carolina with his widowed mother and sisters.On March 27, 1892, Andrew Turner married Phoebe Isabelle Sirmans.   She was born June 1, 1867 the daughter of Abner and Frances P. Sirmans.

Andrew Washington Turner and Phoebe Isabelle Sirmans were married March 27, 1892 in Berrien County, GA

On February 24, 1893, Andrew  Turner and his wife bought land from her father,  Abner Sirmans, which became their homesite in Ray’s Mill (nka Ray City), Georgia.  The Turners made Ray City, GA their home through the 1920s, and  during the town’s boom period constructed “two large brick buildings known as the Andrew Turner Buildings.  One of the buildings is two stories high.”  In 1929, the Ray City News reported that this building was sold to M. G. Melton.

Andrew Washington Turner and wife, Phoebe Isabelle Sirmans

Some time prior to 1930, the Turners moved to Valdosta, Lowndes County, GA . Andrew Washington Turner died there on July 26, 1936.

Phoebe Isabelle Sirmans Turner lived with her daughter, Rosa Shaw, until her death on Aug, 29, 1948.

Andrew Washington Turner and Phoeba Isabelle (Sirmans) Turner are buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery in Valdosta, Georgia.

Graves of Andrew Washington Turner and Isabelle Sirmans Turner, Sunset Hill Cemetery, Valdosta, GA

Graves of Andrew Washington Turner and Isabelle Sirmans Turner, Sunset Hill Cemetery, Valdosta, GA

Related Posts:

Herman Knight Guthrie ~ 1948 Junior Class President

Herman Knight Guthrie, Junior Class President of 1948, Ray City School, Ray City, GA

Herman Knight Guthrie, Junior Class President of 1948, Ray City School, Ray City, GA

Herman Knight Guthrie was raised in Ray City, GA where many of the Guthrie family connection have resided.  As a student, he attended the Ray City School, and was President of the Junior Class of 1948.

Herman Knight Guthrie passed away in 2006. His obituary was published in the Valdosta Times:

Valdosta Daily Times
21 Mar 2006
Valdosta , GA , Us..

    Herman Knight Guthrie, 72, of Valdosta, passed away Sunday morning, March 19, 2006, at his residence after a brief illness.

   He was born in Winter Haven, Fla. on Nov. 3, 1933, to the late Herman Brown and Agnes Knight Guthrie. At an early age, he and his family moved to Ray City where he lived until his graduation from Berrien County High School. He served in the United States Air Force as a aircraft mechanic in Japan and French Indochina. After returning to Valdosta he continued his career as an aircraft mechanic at Moody Air Force Base. He owned and operated Guthrie’s Gulf for 15 years. He returned to Moody in the transit maintenance department where he retired in 1995. One of his favorite pasttimes was auto racing, which he pursued as one of the founders of Thunderbowl Speedway. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Valdosta for more than 50 years. His wife, Mary Jane Brooks Guthrie, preceded him in death.

    Survivors include two sons and daughter-in-law, Gary and Susan Guthrie of Powder Springs and Brad Guthrie of Valdosta; two grandchildren, Branyon Guthrie and Sarah Guthrie; brother and sister-in-law, Carroll and Jacque Guthrie of Ray City; two nephews, Larry Guthrie and Mike Guthrie; and two nieces, Carroll Jean Lawrence and Cara Lee Staples.

    Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, 2006, in the Valdosta chapel of Music Funeral Services with burial following in Sunset Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends tonight from 6 – 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Sympathy may be expressed online at http://www.musicfuneralservics.com. ? Music Funeral Services of Valdosta.

Related Posts: