John Milton Guilliams, Dean of Faculty, South Georgia Normal College

When South Georgia State Normal College (Valdosta State University) first opened its doors in1913, the faculty were under the supervision of John Milton Guilliams, Dean of Faculty.

John Milton Guilliams, first Dean of Faculty at South Georgia Normal College (Valdosta State University).

John Milton Guilliams, first Dean of Faculty at South Georgia Normal College (Valdosta State University).

John Milton Guilliams
Central Normal College, A.B. Holbrook Normal College, A.M.  Teacher in Normal Schools in Illinois, Kansas, Florida and Tennessee. Founder of Jasper Normal Institute. Superintendent East Florida Military Seminary. Professor in Western Kentucky State Normal School. Superintendent City Schools of St. Petersburg, Florida. Institute lecturer in a number of states.

South Georgia State Normal College…“was given complete liberty to develop in any way that seems best to the Board of Trustees. At the first meeting of the Board after the school was financed, it was decided that the best interests of the State could be served by restricting the institution, for the present at least, to the higher education of young women. The College is therefore an institution of collegiate rank, providing both general and special training for the young women of the State.”

Among the inaugural year attendees of South Georgia State Normal College were young women from Berrien County; Myrtle Tyson, Clyde Woodard, Lillian Allen, Bessie Griffin, Effie Patten, Olive Peters, Minnie Belle Carter, Ethel Schnauss, Alma Tyson, Ella Parr, M. T. Lewis, and C. J. Knight.

1913 Spring dress uniform of the ladies of South Georgia State Normal College (Valdosta State University).

1913 Spring dress uniform of the ladies of South Georgia State Normal College (Valdosta State University).

There is more of culture for a Georgia girl in the study of …the tomato, than in the study of the rarest orchid of the greenhouse. – 1914 Bulletin of The South Georgia State Normal College

First building constructed on the campus of South Georgia State Normal College (now Valdosta State University).

First building constructed on the campus of South Georgia State Normal College (now Valdosta State University).

 

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South Georgia State Normal College For Young Ladies

In 1913, South Georgia State Normal College opened at Valdosta, GA. The school became Georgia State Woman’s College in 1922 , Valdosta State College in 1950, and Valdosta State University in 1993.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

1913

SOUTH GEORGIA

STATE

NORMAL COLLEGE

For Young Ladies

VALDOSTA, GEORGIA

 

ARCHITECT’S DRAWING OF FIRST BUILDING.

Architectural rendering of the first building to be built on the campus of the South Georgia State Normal College, Valdosta, GA

Architectural rendering of the first building to be built on the campus of the South Georgia State Normal College, Valdosta, GA

 

The Board of Trustees

Hon. W. S. West, Chr.               Valdosta, Ga.
Hon. W. L, Converse, Sect.       Valdosta, Ga.
Hon. C. R. Ashley, Treas.           Valdosta, Ga.
Hon. A. C Ward, Jr.                   Douglas, Ga.
Hon. E. H. Beck                        Barney, Ga.
Hon H. M. Mcintosh                Albany, Ga.
Dr. R. C. Woodard                   Adel, Ga.
Hon. H. H. Tift                         Tifton, Ga.
Hon. J. Hansell Merrill             Thomasville, Ga.

EX OFFICIO

Dr. D. C. Barrow, Chancellor of the University of Georgia Athens, Ga.

Hon. M. L. Brittain, State Superintendent
of Schools Atlanta, Ga.

The Faculty

The President
Mr R. H. Powell

Professor of Pedagogy and History of Education.
Mr. J. M. Guilliams

Superintendent of the Training School
Miss Lillian Rule

Professor of Mathematics and Physics
Mr. J. F. Wood

Professor of English and History
Mr. W. J. Bradley

Professor of Domestic Science and Arts
Miss M. Katherine Christian

Director of Agriculture and Manager of the
Boarding Department
Mr. J. E. Creel

Associate Professor of English and History
Miss Elizabeth McElreath

Teacher of Art and Manual Training
Miss Frances Ruth Carpenter

The Faculty (Continued)

Teacher of Nature Study and Geography
Miss Alice Pritchard

Teacher of School Music
To be elected

Assistant Teacher in English and Latin
Miss Nell E. Brimberry

Training Teacher, Third and Fifth Grades
To be elected

Training Teacher, 1st Grade,
To be elected

Matron
Mrs. R. H. Patterson

Secretary and Bookkeeper
Mr. W. P. Yarbrough

Introductory

On Thursday, January the Second, 1913, the South Georgia State Normal College will open for its first term’s work. The handsome building is nearing completion and will be ready for occupancy. A permanent maintenance fund has been appropriated by the Legislature. A strong faculty is being organized; and every ting is being done to guarantee from the start a normal college of highest efficiency — the equal of any in the South. Though the school opens its first year in January, it is believed that owing to the relatively small classes at first and the consequent greater personal attention, and to the exceptionally high average of training and experience of the faculty it will not be long before the classes are fully abreast of the yearly program of studies.

Location

The school is situated in Valdosta, at one of the most easily accessible points in South Georgia. The campus of sixty acres faces 2,100 feet on Patterson Street, the principal residence street of the city, and occupies a gently sloping hillside, which gives perfect drainage and affords an ideal school site. At the foot of the hill a small stream flows through a natural park of handsome trees, and at the top of the hill is a beautiful grove of virgin pines. The school has a campus of exceptional natural beauty.

Health and Sanitation

Valdosta enjoys an enviable reputation for health. The fall, winter and spring climate (when school is in session) is ideal. The school will be amply supplied with pure artesian water from the city waterworks;
and the sewerage system is of the most modern and thorough design. Every precaution has been taken to protect the health of the students.

The Faculty

The heart of any school is its faculty. The faculty of this school is being very carefully selected, and several members have already been employed. The names of those who have been elected appear at the beginning of these announcements. Most of them are well known in the State, and all are known for exceptional character and ability in their special lines. It is the determination of the Board of Trustees to leave nothing undone to secure for the South Georgia State Normal College as able teachers as are to be found in any school of its kind.

The Course of Study

The charter of the College defines one of the chief functions of the school as being “to prepare teachers for the public schools of Georgia.” The Board frankly accepts this function, and the course of study will be based largely on this purpose.

In grade, the school will extend about two or three years above schools of the rank of our best accredited high schools. Graduates of accredited schools of Group A will be admitted to the Junior year without examination (though with conditions in one or two required subjects); and students from other groups of accredited schools will be graded accordingly. Graduates from most accredited schools will enter the Sophomore Class. All other students will be admitted on examinations and previous records.

As to course of study, the work will be broad and thorough. Besides the professional work necessary to the training of teachers, there will be thorough and vital training in the usual academic studies and in the subjects pertaining to home activities and arts. It is, in a word, the purpose of the school to train for teaching by training for life.

The Building

Before the first brick was laid, a plan was made for all reasonable future development of the school, and prospective buildings are given their positions once for all. The general style of architecture adopted is a very beautiful form of Spanish Mission. As is indicated in the accompanying picture, the light colored walls, the great overhanging roof of rich, red tile, the open terraces, and abundant windows, give great beauty and comfort. The first building to be erected is a combination dormitory and administration building. It will eventually be used entirely for dormitory purposes. It is only two stories high, thus preventing the injury of much climbing of stairs. The rooms are all well ventilated. There is running water, hot and cold, in every room. Ample toilet and bath facilities are conveniently placed. The furniture, though simple, is neat and specially adapted to dormitory purposes. In short, the building is planned on most modern principles, by an architect of very wide and successful experience in school and dormitory building. It is sincerely believed that there is not a better building of its kind in the South.

Home Life

In the dormitory there are thirty bed rooms furnishing accommodations for about 65 students. Most of the rooms, thirteen by fifteen feet, will be occupied by two students. A few rooms, somewhat larger, will be occupied by three. The dining room and kitchen are planned with the same regard for health and comfort as are the bed rooms. The dormitory will be under an experienced matron, who has charge of the girls in all matters of their school-home life. The dining room will be in charge of one who knows the principles of foods and is experienced in providing wholesome and palatable meals.

No pains or expense will be spared to make the home life of the students comfortable, healthy and content.

Arrangements have been made with certain families in the city to take students as boarders; and where students have responsible relatives in the city, they may, with the approval of the president, arrange to board with them. Students in private homes will be required to conform to the same general rules as do those in the dormitory.

The Uniform

All students will be required to wear a uniform. Experts are now at work on the problem of a neat, serviceable, higienic, and economical uniform. Details may be had on request, about December first.

Religious Life

It is a fundamental principle of the school that the public institutions of a Christian State are or ought to be Christian institutions. While the school is wholly undenominational, every incentive will be given to the development of wholesome Christian sentiment and noble Christian character. The religious life of the students will be in every way encouraged. Students will be expected to attend the churches of their own membership or of that of their parent’s choice.

Expenses

Matriculation fee per year $10.00

(This year $5.00.)

Books, Stationery, etc $8.00 to $12.00

Board, Lodging and Laundry in Dormitory, per month $12.00

Clothes, about $35,00

Laboratory and Domestic Science Fees $1.00 to $4.00

The Matriculation fee is payable when the student enters each year.

Books, Stationery, etc., are paid for when purchased.

Of the board and lodging fee, $24.00 is payable January 2nd, and $36.00 March 1st.
Laboratory and Domestic Science fees are payable at the beginning of the course.

Students from other states may be admitted upon payment of $50.00 tuition in addition to the foregoing fees.

What a Student Should Bring With Her.

Each student should bring with her the following articles: Sheets, a blanket, a pillow, pillow cases, a bed spread, towels, napkins, a knife, a fork, a spoon, and such other articles of personal use as she may need.

Each student should also have for the protection of her health and comfort a good umbrella, over shoes, and a warm cloak or rain coat.

The teaspoon and fork should be of solid silver or of good plated ware, and should, if possible, have the student’s initials engraved on them.

Training School

A normal school is as strong as its training school. Care has been taken to place the training school on a sound basis from the start. It has been arranged to open with three grades (1st, 3d, 5th) and to add grades each year until the school is complete. Expert teachers are in charge of the training school, and every care is taken to give the children of the school the very best educational advantages.

A fee of $2.50 per half year is charged for each pupil. This fee is due January 2nd for this school year.

For Further Information, Address

R. H. POWELL, President

Valdosta, Ga.

Application for Admission

_____________ ____ ______________ 1912 ____

(Postoffice and date)

Mr. R. H. Powell,

President South Georgia State Normal College:

I desire to enter my daughter as a student in the South Georgia State Normal College at the opening of the school, January 2nd, 1913.

She agrees to observe the rules and regulations of the institution.

_______________________________________Parent

Please give the following information
—————————————-
Students full name:
________________________________________

Age on January 1st, 1913 _______________

School last attended ___________________

Grade completed ________________________

Graduate of a High School? yes or no ___

Student’s health? good or not __________

Note: Students should, where possible, have the Superintendent or Principal of their school write a confidential letter to the President of this College speaking of the advancement and qualifications of the student. The student should bring with her such diplomas and certificates as she may have received.

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Joseph Hansell Merrill

Joseph Hansell Merrill (1862-1925)

In 1913, Joseph Hansell Merrill served as one of the founding Trustees of South Georgia State Normal College, at Valdosta, GA. In 1922, the school became Georgia State Woman’s , Valdosta State College in 1950, and Valdosta State University in 1993.  Joseph Hansell Merrill was a law partner of Charles Paine Hansell, son of Judge Augustin H. Hansell who spent 50 years on the bench of the of Southern Circuit of Georgia.

Portrait of Joseph Hansell Merrill

Joseph Hansell Merrill, attorney at Thomasville, GA, was a founding Trustee of South Georgia State Normal College (now Valdosta State University).

 

National Cyclopedia of American Biography
pg 14

MERRILL, Joseph Hansell, lawyer, was born at Thomasville, Ga., October 12, 1862, son of Joseph Styles and Anne (Hall) Merrill. His earliest paternal American ancestor was Nathaniel Merrill, who came from England in 1633 and settled at Ipswich, Mass. His wife was Joanna Kinney, and from them the line of descent is traced through their son Abel and his wife Priscilla Chase; their son Abel and his wife Abigail M. Stevens; their son Abel and his first wife Ruth Kellog; their son Stevens and his wife Mary Noyes; their son Joseph and his wife Sarah Capp, to their son Lemuel Merrill and his wife Eliza Barker, who were the grandparents of Joseph Hansell Merrill. Joseph Styles Merrill, father of our subject and a graduate of Oglethorpe University, was farmer, merchant, and ordinary of Thomas county, Ga. Joseph Hansell Merrill received his preliminary education at Fletcher Institute, Thomasville, where he won a scholarship to the State University. He was graduated at the University of Georgia with distinction in 1880. He studied law at Thomasville under Arthur Patten; was admitted to the bar of Georgia in 1884, and in that year began the practice of his profession at Thomasville as a partner of his preceptor under the firm style of Patten & Merrill, which relation continued three years. During 1887-99 he was the partner of Chas. P. Hansell, under the firm style of Hansell & Merrill. From 1899 to 1915 he practised alone. Since 1915 he has been of the firm of Merrill & Grantham, with Charles Pinckney Grantham. He represents various corporations including railroad companies, and other business interests, largely by yearly contracts, and is rated an authority on land titles, devoting much of his time to this work as a specialty. He was referee in bankruptcy during 1904-08, and judge of the superior courts of the Southern circuit of Georgia in 1910. Of thirteen cases tried by him taken to the Supreme court, eleven were affirmed; two reversed. He has never sought political office, and only accepted the offices above mentioned at the earnest request of the appointing power. His service on the bench elicited much favorable comment from the press. He was called an ideal presiding officer, whose rulings were characterized by sound legal knowledge and understanding, and excellent judgment. Aside from his professional activities he is president of the Thomasville Real Estate & Improvement Co.; vice-president and attorney Citizens Banking & Trust Co., and a director in various other commercial, industrial or financial institutions. He is one of the three Georgia members of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, 1912-19; member of its executive and legislative committees, and is frequently called on to preside over its deliberations in committee of the whole, and he is Georgia member of the general council American Bar Association; past president (1908-09) Georgia State Bar Association, and president of Thomas County Bar Association, past president Thomasville Public Library Association, and Thomasville Young Men’s Christian Association. Politically he is a Democrat, and he is a communicant of the Episcopal church, and has taught a Bible class for thirty years. He was a speaker in various drives for war work during 1917-18 in Georgia and Florida, and he was alumnus orator at the University of Georgia commencement in 1902. A paper by him for the Georgia Bar Association in 1901, “The Book in the Lawyer’s Library,” was widely published and attracted much favorable comment from members of the bar throughout the country. He finds his chief recreation in golf and horseback riding. He was married (1) at Thomasville, Ga., Dec. 30, 1885, to Mattie C., daughter of John G. Pittman, a real estate operator of Thomasville; She died in 1888, and he was married (2) at Thomasville, Nov. 12, 1890, to Blanche, daughter of Hiram R. Tarwater, a merchant of Louisville, Ky. He has one surviving child of the second marriage; Katherine, now Mrs. John Pasco, Monticello, Fla.

Boyette Sisters at Georgia State Womens College

Dorothy and Doris Boyette at Georgia State Womans College

Doris Boyett, of Ray City, GA at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Doris Boyett, of Ray City, GA at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Dorothy Boyett, of Ray City, GA at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA. 1945

Dorothy Boyett, of Ray City, GA at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA. 1945

In 1944, Doris Boyette was a senior at GSWC and her younger sister,  Dorothy “Dot” Boyette was a freshman.  Doris was born 27 Oct 1923; Dot was born May 14, 1926. The girls grew up just east of Ray City, GA, in the adjacent portion of Lanier County. Their parents were Eddie D. Boyette  and Mattie Deen Boyette.

At GSWC, Doris was living in Ashley Hall,  a dormitory for sophomores; her roommate was Clare Carson, who was president of the sophomore class.

October 4, 1944 GSWC Campus Canopy mentions petite blond Dorothy

October 4, 1944 GSWC Campus Canopy mentions petite blond Doris Boyette, of Ray City, GA

Among the Boyette’s 1945 classmates was Carolyn DeVane, also of Ray City, GA. There have been many other Ray City women of G.S.W.C. over the years.

Ashley Hall, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA 1845

Ashley Hall, Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA 1845

The girls’ activities in 1944-45 included the Polio Drive, scrap paper salvage, planting the Camellia Trail, and dancing with those men from Moody Airfield.  The May 9, 1944 edition of the Campus Canopy student newspaper reported. “It’s boy trouble for Dot Boyette…which of the four do you intend dating Sunday night, Dot? – Gee, we wish we could get one date. ”

1945 women of GSWC at Saturday night dance with the men from Moody Airfield.

1945 women of GSWC at Saturday night dance with the men from Moody Airfield.

The October 4, 1944 school newspaper reported:

“There they were, standing all alone just waiting for us to ask them to dance…Men, men and more men and not one of them had a chance.
    To quote one Freshman, Ann Maddox, “It was wonderful just to look at a man.”
    The dance was swell, but that familiar tap on another’s shoulder could mean one of two things…height of ecstasy or depths of despair…’til the next girl broke. This from Lawanda McCellar, as if she were just tearing herself away from it all.
    “Course I wished my fella had been there,” sighed Mary Tharpe, but what chance would I have had with him if he had been.”
    Annes Jean NeSmith summed it all up in a few words…”Plenty of men, good dancers, nice plausible lines, and I can hardly wait ’til next Saturday night.”
    “I’m still overcome by the sight of those men, to express an honest opinion.” says Betsy Markert still in a daze.
    “All in all the opinion of Converse is that it was wonderful and everybody had a good time, but give us men. We see women all week, is the general idea.
    Favorable opinions were not limited to the college girls though. Several of the Moody Field boys were carefully eavesdropped on. Result: “I just can’t believe it, so many girls. If I were to write my mother and say 15 girls cut in on me she would say I was crazy drunk, or lying.”

The hit songs those college girls were swooning to in 1944-45?  The Campus Canopy mentioned:

In 1945, Dorothy Boyett was elected treasurer of the Baptist Student Union.  In the Winter Quarter, 1945 Dorothy “Dot” Boyette was elected to the Sophomore Council.  “Members of the house council check lights, cards and attend the simple cases of Student Government violation. They are elected at the beginning of each quarter to serve a term of three months.”  Dot Boyett also served on the advertising staff and the business staff of the Campus Canopy.

By late 1945 Dorothy Boyette left Georgia State Womans College and was working in Brunswick, GA.

Dot married Charles Gordon Howell. He was a grandson of Caswell Howell, pioneer settler and one of the first ministers of the First Baptist Church of  Milltown (now Lakeland), GA. Dot and Charles raised crops and children in Lakeland, GA. Their son, Charles Howell, Jr. became Chief of Pediatric Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia. Their grandson, Charles Howell III, is a professional golfer.  Dorothy Boyette died June 2,1985. Interment was at Lakeland City Cemetery, Lakeland, GA.

Doris Boyette married John Sears and moved to Atlanta, GA.

Obituary of Doris Boyette Sears

Doris Boyett Sears age 87, of Atlanta, GA, passed on Sunday, June 26, 2011. She was predeceased by her husband, John Sears, daughter, Susan Elaine Sears, sisters, Irene B. Smith and Dorothy B. Howell. She is survived by her daughter, Pamela McKinney of Lawrenceville, sister, Louise Davidson of Bonaire, GA, brother, Earl Boyett of Lakeland, GA. 2 grandchildren, Robert Morris and Jennifer Shelton, 4 great grandchildren, Kayla Shelton, Savannah Shelton, Avri Shelton and Joshua Morris, numerous nieces and nephews, cousins and extended family also survive. Mrs. Sears was a charter member of the Johns Creek Baptist Church, a member of the Senior Choir, a Food Pantry Volunteer and an avid Gardner. A Funeral Service to Celebrate the Life of Mrs. Sears will be at 3:00 P.M. on Thursday, June 30, 2011 at Wages Lawrenceville Chapel. Interment will follow in the White Chapel Memorial Gardens, Duluth.

Ray City’s Women of G.S.W.C

Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA

Georgia State Womans College, 1925. (Now known as Valdosta State University)

Georgia State Womans College, 1925. (Now known as Valdosta State University)

From 1922 to 1950 the state college in Valdosta, Georgia now known as Valdosta State University operated as a four year college under the name Georgia State Womans College.  A number of Ray City women attended the college during this period. Here are a few who appeared in available yearbooks:

Dorothy Boyette

Dorothy Boyette, of Ray City, GA. Attended Georgia State Womans College in 1944.

Dorothy Boyette, of Ray City, GA. Attended Georgia State Womans College in 1944.

Margaret Carter, a the daughter of Cora and Yancy F. Carter, attended G.S.C.W in 1935:

1935 Margaret Carter, sophomore, Georgia State Womans College

1935 Margaret Carter of Ray City, GA, sophomore, Georgia State Womans College

Frances Clements, daughter of Hod P. Clements of Ray City, GA excelled at technical studies.  After completing high school at  the Ray City School she went on to enroll at Georgia State Womans College in 1943:

Frances Clements, of Ray City, GA. A 1944 sophomore at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA.

Frances Clements, of Ray City, GA. A 1944 sophomore at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA.

Annie Ruth Clements  was born at Ray City, GA about 1924, a daughter of Mary Elizabeth Lee and  William A. Clements. Her father was a farmer and butcher at Ray City. She enrolled at Georgia State Womans College in 1943:

Ann Ruth Clements of Ray City, GA, a 1943 freshman at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA (now Valdosta State University.)

Ann Ruth Clements of Ray City, GA, a 1943 freshman at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA (now Valdosta State University.)

Geraldine Fletcher Giddens, born Geraldine Hester Fletcher on February 2, 1924, was a daughter of Eliza Carter and Zachariah Fletcher. She  married Norvell “Joe” Giddens, and made her home at Ray City, GA while attending G.S.W.C.:

Geraldine Fletcher Giddens was a resident of Ray City, GA while attending Georgia State Women's College during the 1940s.

Geraldine Fletcher Giddens, 1943 freshman class photo, Georgia State Womens College. She was a resident of Ray City, GA while attending G.S.W.C. during the 1940s.

Mary Luelle Giddens was born at Ray City,  GA on November 22, 1915, one of thirteen children born to Eugene Madison Giddens and Georgia Ida Rigell. She attended G.S.W.C. in the 1930s:

Louelle Giddens, 1934 student of Georgia State Womans College.

Luelle Giddens, 1934 student of Georgia State Womans College.

Thera Ollis Hambrick attended  G.S.W.C. in the 1930s and later served as librarian at the school. She wrote  Valdosta State College: The First Half Century:

Thera Hambrick, of Ray City, GA, 1935 freshman at Georgia State Womans College.

Thera Hambrick, of Ray City, GA, 1935 freshman at Georgia State Womans College.

Mary Lee, a daughter of  William D. “Bill” Lee and Mollie Bell Clements,  was born February 6, 1915 in Berrien County, GA:

Mary Lee of Ray City, GA at Georgia State Womans College (nka Valdosta State University)

Mary Lee of Ray City, GA at Georgia State Womans College (nka Valdosta State University), 1933

Mollie Idelle Lee was born Feb 28, 1919 near Ray City, GA  in  that part of Berrien County that was cut into Lanier County in 1920.   She was the youngest child of Mollie Clements and William David Lee.

Mollie Idelle Lee, 1937. Freshman at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA.

Mollie Idelle Lee, 1937. Freshman at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA.

Judy Moore attended G.S.W.C. while a resident of Ray City, GA in the 1950s.

Judy Moore, of Ray City, GA, 1950 freshman at Georgia State Womans College.

Judy Moore, of Ray City, GA, 1950 sophomore at Georgia State Womans College.

Elsie Quarterman  attended Georgia State Womans College in Valdosta, GA (now known as Valdosta State University.) The 1931 Pine Cone, the college annual, gives her home town as Ray City, GA.  Elsie graduated from G.S.W.C. in 1932 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and went on to become a noted ecologist:

Elsie Quarterman, 1931.

Elsie Quarterman, 1931.

Doris E. Swindle was born and raised in Ray City, GA.  She was a daughter of  Sarah Ellen  “Stell” Daniel and James Henry Swindle. Her father was a farmer and merchant of Ray City, and served in the Georgia House of Representatives in the 1930s. She died in an automobile accident in 1941.

1934 Doris Swindle, Georgia State Womans College

1934 Doris Swindle, Georgia State Womans College

Grace Swindle was the youngest daughter of  Sarah Ellen  “Stell” Daniel and James Henry Swindle, and sister of Doris Swindle and James Aaron Swindle.

Grace Swindle, Freshman, Georgia State Womans College.

Grace Swindle, Freshman, Georgia State Womans College.

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Clements Cousins at G.S.W.C.

In the 1940s Annie Ruth Clements and Frances Clements, Ray City cousins, both attended Georgia State Womans College, now known as Valdosta State University.  The Clements girls  were descendants of one of the pioneer families of Ray City,GA and were both  granddaughters of John Miles Clements (1859 – 1937).

Ann Ruth Clements (L) and Frances Clement (R), of Ray City, GA. In 1943, the Clements girls were freshmen at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA (now Valdosta State University.)

Ann Ruth Clements (L) and Frances Clement (R), of Ray City, GA. In 1943, the Clements girls were freshmen at Georgia State Womans College, Valdosta, GA (now Valdosta State University.)

Annie Ruth Clements was born at Ray City, GA about 1924, a daughter of Mary Elizabeth Lee and  William A. Clements. Her father was a farmer and butcher at Ray City.  She was a  sister of Billie Clements who would later own the Victory Soda Shop in Ray City. The long-time Ray City landmark opened in 1943, during WWII, and during the time Annie Ruth was  attending G.S.W.C.

Frances Clements was born about 1925, also at Ray City, GA, a daughter of Alma Florence May and Hosea “Hod” P. Clements.  Her father was a graduate of Georgia Normal College and Business Institute, and a prominent businessman of Ray City.  After college, Frances Clements married Lawrence Carter and the couple made their home in Valdosta.

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Putnal Family ~ Town and Country

Putnal Family of Ray City, GA

The  farm place of Wayne and Ellen Gaskins Putnal was located on the south side of Ray City, on Park Street.  Wayne Putnal worked the farm during the week and on Saturdays he could be found in town at Leon Bradford’s barbershop.  The barbershop was located on the south side of Main Street just opposite the Victory Soda Shop.  Mr. Putnal worked many years there, cutting hair and giving shaves. In his later years he had a noticeable tremble, but his customers could always be confident that he would apply scissors to locks or straight razor to whiskers with the steadiest hand.

There were seven children in the Putnal household, and they attended the Ray City School. They would walk up the dirt road that was Park Street to Johnson Street, then east to the school, joining the other farm children who lived along the way.

Children of Ellen Gaskins and Wayne Putnal:

  1. Leston L. Putnal
  2. Grace Marguerite Putnal
  3. Clifford Earl Putnal
  4. Cary W. Putnal
  5. Nelda E. Putnal
  6. Dorthy E Putnal
  7. Glen H Putnal

Leston Putnal married Louise Cooper after graduating from Ray City High School. During WWII, he joined the Air Force, and it became a 30 year career. While he was away during the war his wife and son rented an apartment in Effie Guthrie Knight ‘s house on Park Street. The large old house had once served as a hotel for tourists visiting the Mayhaw Lake Amusement Park. Later, Leston Putnal and his family lived in Adel, GA.

After high school, the sisters Grace and Nelda Putnal went to Jacksonville, Florida. Nelda  got a job as an operator for the Standard Oil Company and in 1947 she married Charles J. Vance.  Grace Putnal  found work as a bookkeeper.  She married Bobby Earnest  in Duval County, Fl in 1953.

Cary W. Putnal moved to Macon, GA.

Earl Putnal   was known to other Ray City students by the nickname, “Guinea.”  Like his older brother, Earl fought in WWII. He served in the Navy and was wounded in action.  After the war,  he returned to Ray City and married Helen Marie Lee. She was the daughter of   Letha Brantley and Loren Lafayette Lee.   Earl and Helen moved to Jacksonville,  where Earl took a job as a clerk with Spencer Electric company. Later, they moved to Galveston, TX where Helen’s parents had already relocated.

Dorothy Putnal married Payne Webb, a successful merchant of Ray City.  He owned a liquor store located on the south side of Main Street, opposite the present day location of the Dollar General store. The couple spent their honeymoon in Atlanta, and returned to Ray City to make their home. After marriage, Dorothy went on to attend Georgia State Womans College at Valdosta, GA (now Valdosta State University.)   After Payne died of cancer she relocated to Atlanta and remarried.

Glen Putnal became a dentist.

When Wayne and Ellen Putnal were ‘senior citizens,’ they moved from their home on Park Street to a place in town.  Annie Mae Clements sold the Putnals a lot on the west side of her house, the Clements house being located on the southwest corner of  Jones and Ward streets.  Using  the same building plans from which their farm home had been constructed, the Putnals had a house built on the town lot.  In their new home the Putnals were known as “nice people and good neighbors.”

The Putnal house on Park Street is long gone, but the town home still stands on Jones Street in Ray City, GA.