Nashville, GA Electric and Water Plants Built in 1907

In the south end of Berrien County it wasn’t until 1923 that Ray City  got electric lights and running water, although some residents installed their own carbide electric systems before that.

Here’s an old newspaper clipping about the power and water plants built in Nashville, GA in 1907. The contractor for the construction of the plant was W.P. Tittle.  Tittle later owned a Maxwell car dealership in Nashville.

Nashville Herald article on town's first power and water

Nashville Herald article on town’s first power and water.

Nashville Herald
February 16, 1956

Electric and Water Plants Built in 1907

      Nashville citizens reached the decision in 1907 that something should be done about improving the water supply and furnishing electric lights for the town.
      After employing engineers to draft plans for a combined water and light plant a contract was let to W. P. Tittle, who built the plant and installed the water mains and electric distributing system.
      After much grief in attempting to operate the light plant a deal was finally completed in 1928 when the Southeast Georgia Power Co., purchased the electric light plant for $50,000. The Southeast Georgia Power Co., in turn sold the plant to the Georgia Power Co., who operate the electric distribution for Nashville today.
       The water plant, which the city retained, has been improved from time to time and additions made until today it is one of the most complete in the state. The water department of the City of Nashville is today serving 1,065 customers through the water meters, quite an increase from the less that 100 customers who began using city water when the plant was first installed.

Additional Notes:

Southeast Georgia Power Co., located at Douglas, GA, served several communities in south Georgia with electricity…

The Georgia Power Company on January 28, 1930, purchased from the Southeast Georgia Power Company the complete electric distribution systems in the towns of Alma, Nichols, Nashville, Willacoochee and Broxton, together with the respective franchises under which these distribution systems were operated. It also acquired certain transmission lines in Baker, Coffee, Atkinson and Berrien counties, between Alma and Douglas, Douglas and Broxton, Broxton and Ambrose, Douglas and Willacoochee, and Willacoochee and Nashville.

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Dr. H.W. Clements and the Doctor’s Roadster

Henry Warren Clements, M.D.  (1877-1952)

Henry W. Clements was a Physician who lived and practiced in Ray City, Georgia during the early days of the town.  He was one of the many Medical Men of Ray’s Mill (now Ray City), who served the community over the years.

Henry W. Clements went into medical practice  for a short time in Rays Mill, GA after graduating from the Medical College of Georgia in 1900.  A clipping from the Tifton Gazette shows he soon moved to Hahira, and in 1901 he moved again to Lenox, GA

Dr. Henry W. Clements moves to Lenox, GA

Dr. Henry W. Clements moves to Lenox, GA. Tifton Gazette, Feb. 22, 1901

Advertisment of Dr. H. W. Clements, Physician and Surgeon. Tifton Gazette, Mar. 25, 1904.

Advertisment of Dr. H. W. Clements, Physician and Surgeon. Tifton Gazette, Mar. 25, 1904.

In 1908 Dr. Clements was admitted to the Medical Association of Georgia. The Census of 1910 places him in Lenox, GA, but newspaper mentions show he and his wife, Pauline Nelson Clements, were back in Ray City by early 1911.  Dr. Clements was a self-employed physician in general practice in Ray City.  His bookkeeper was Robert Tombs Harrell and he also employed Floyd Lafayette Blanton in farming. According to the 1920 Census, Dr. Clements owned a home in Ray City on North Street, next door to his father, Levi J. Clements.

 Dr. Clements practiced in Hahira, Lenox, and Ray City until the early 1920’s.  Transportation for these years was by horse and buggy and his stable full of horses is well known.  Prior to World War I, the second gas vehicle in Berrien County was a  Maxwell proudly owned by Dr. Clements.

The Maxwell Motor Company produced a model called the Doctor’s Roadster, marketed especially to medical men, as seen in this advertisement from The Medical World magazine.

W.P. Tittle & Co., a Nashville, GA firm from 1911 to around 1925, was the first automobile dealer in Berrien County and handled the Maxwell line of cars. The firm was owned by  W.P. Tittle, C.G. Starling, and D.D. Tittle.

With the growing popularity of the automobile, Dr. Clements found that in addition to treating the sick and delivering babies,  he was now treating accident victims.  In 1923 when his cousin, Homer Clements, broke an arm while hand cranking his car, Dr. Clements may have set the “Ford Fracture.”

Dr. H.W. Clements lived in Ray City, GA and kept his medical practice there until he moved to Adel, GA in 1922.  Adel is just 10 miles west of Ray City;  Homer could have made the trip in 1923 to get his arm treated.

On the night of January 17, 1929 Dr. Clements was called for an emergency response when Rema Sirmans was ejected from a Ford roadster in a one car accident near Sparks, Ga. No doubt, Dr. Clements treated many other automobile accident victims over the years.

Tragically, his own daughter, Hilda Clements, and son-in-law would be killed in an automobile accident at a bridge near Ray City, on December 21, 1941.

Children of Henry W. Clements and Mary Pauline Nelson (1881 – 1954):

  1. Henry G. Clements 1903 – 1948
  2. Harvey J Clements 1905 – 1927
  3. Jaunita P Clements 1913 –
  4. Fred Nelson Clements 1918 – 1987
  5. Hilda Clements 1921 – 1941

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