Knight Sisters of Ray City

Laurie Inez Knight (left) and Ruby Texas Knight (right), of Ray City, GA.

Laurie Inez Knight (left) and Ruby Texas Knight (right), of Ray City, GA.

 Jimmie Gullette and Walter Howard Knight, subjects of previous posts, had four daughters: Julia Elizabeth Knight, Dollie Howard Knight, Ruby Texas Knight, and Laurie Inez Knight.

Grave of Julia Rigell Sloan, City Cemetery, Lakeland, Lanier County, GA

Grave of Julia Rigell Sloan, City Cemetery, Lakeland, Lanier County, GA

Julia Elizabeth Knight (1880 – 1955)
Julia Elizabeth Knight was born August 09, 1880 in Georgia.  She married twice.  Her first husband, David Jackson Rigell, was an early merchant of Ray’s Mill, GA (now Ray City, GA.)  They were married on March 19, 1901.   Sometime after Mr. Rigell’s death in 1911,  she married Dr. William David “Will” Sloan.  Julia Elizabeth Knight died September 10, 1955.

Grave of Dollie Howard Knight (1882 – 1956), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave of Dollie Howard Knight (1882 – 1956), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Dollie Howard Knight (1882 – 1956)
Dollie Howard Knight was born April 12, 1882. On October 28, 1900 she married “the boy next door,” Louis Malone Bullard , a son of Mary Ann and Green Bullard.  The Bullards lived on the east side of the Valdosta Road, in present day Lanier County. Dollie Knight Bullard died March 26, 1956, and was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave of Ruby Knight Johnson (1891 - 1977), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave of Ruby Knight Johnson (1891 – 1977), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Ruby Texas Knight (1891 – 1977)
Ruby Texas Knight  entered this world on October 11, 1891.  She was married to James Randall Johnson on April 21, 1910 and the couple made their home next door to her father’s place on the Valdosta Road, Ray City, Georgia.  Ruby Knight Johnson died June 17, 1977 and was interred at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, Berrien County, Georgia.

Grave of Laurie Knight Webb (1894 - 1974), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave of Laurie Knight Webb (1894 – 1974), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Laurie Inez Knight (1894 – 1974)
Laurie Inez Knight  was born April 9, 1894. She married Horace Webb in 1928.  They had a home on Charlton Street in Valdosta, GA where her husband worked as a furniture repair man. Laurie Knight Webb died April 1, 1974 and was buried next to her sister, Ruby, at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA

Knight Sisters of Ray City, GA. (L to R) Dollie Howard Knight, Julia Elizabeth Knight, Laurie Inez Knight, and Ruby Texas Knight.

Knight Sisters of Ray City, GA. (L to R) Dollie Howard Knight, Julia Elizabeth Knight, Laurie Inez Knight, and Ruby Texas Knight.

Dr. Sloan Had Ray City Roots

Dr. William David Sloan (image courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/)

Dr. William David Sloan (1879 – 1935)  (image courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/)

William David Sloan was born March 12, 1879 in the 1144 Georgia Militia District, the “Rays Mill District.” He was one of 11 children  born to Martha Susan Gordon and James Murray Sloan.

William David Sloan’s parents  came from North Carolina. His father moved the family from North Carolina to Mississippi for a brief stay, then to Echols Co., Ga.; thence to Berrien County, GA in 1871 where he engaged in farming. His father, James M. Sloan, a son of David and Diadema Sloan, was born January 18, 1833 in Duplin County, N.C., and  died November 20, 1894.

In 1897,  W. D. Sloan went with Lane Young to Thomasville, GA to study at  Stanley’s Business College.  The census of 1900 shows 21-year-old William  back in the Rays Mill District living in the household of his widowed mother .  She owned the family farm, free and clear of mortgage, which she worked on her own account, with the assistance of farm laborer Charlie Weaver. William’s mother, Mrs. Martha Susannah Gordon Sloan, died Oct. 25, 1908.

Julia Elizabeth Knight Ridgell, widow of David Rigell, married Dr. William Sloan.

Julia Elizabeth Knight Ridgell  (photo circa 1910), widow of David Rigell, married Dr. William Sloan.

In 1907 William received a scholarship from the Governor.  The August 28, 1907  issue of the Atlanta Constitution noted that W. D. Sloan, of Milltown, had been appointed by the governor to receive a scholarship at the Medical College of Georgia.

He moved to Augusta, GA where he studied medicine at the  University of Georgia’s Medical Department, now known as Georgia Regents University. He graduated from UGA with a medical degree in 1910 and went into general practice, working on his own account.  At the time he was boarding in the household of Charles Conner, of Watkins Street, Augusta, GA.

William David Sloan returned to Berrien County, GA and sometime after 1911 married Julia Elizabeth Knight Rigell.  She was the widow of David Rigell, an early merchant of Rays Mill, GA. She was born August 9, 1880, a daughter of Walter Knight and Jimmie Gullette.

Dr. William David Sloan and Julia Knight Rigell Sloan. (Image courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/)

Dr. William David Sloan and Julia Knight Rigell Sloan. (Image courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/)

William David Sloan enlisted in the Army Medical Service in 1917, and served during World War I.

Dr. William David Sloan, Army Medical Service, WWI. (image courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/)

Dr. William David Sloan, Army Medical Service, WWI. (image courtesy of http://berriencountyga.com/)

Dr. Sloan later made his home in Stockton, GA but often visited his many family connections in the Ray City area. In September 1925, he happened to be on hand when little Merle Elizabeth Langford suffered a fatal rattlesnake bite. (Ray City Child Dies From Bite Of Rattle Snake, 1925)

Dr. William David Sloan and his automobile. Dr. Sloan was born and raised in the Rays Mill, GA vicinity.

Dr. William David Sloan and his automobile. Dr. Sloan was born and raised in the Rays Mill, GA vicinity.

In his later years Dr. Sloan suffered from kidney and heart disease.

The Journal of the American Medical Association, March 2, 1935 issue reported the obituary of William David Sloan.

William David Sloan, Stockton, Ga. ; University of Georgia
Medical Department, Augusta, 1910; served during the World
War ; aged 55 ; died, January 10, in a hospital at Atlanta, of
chronic nephritis and heart disease.

He was buried at Wayfare Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, in Echols County, Georgia.

Grave of William David Stone (1879-1935, Wayfare Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Echols County, GA.

Grave of William David Sloan, M.D. (1879-1935), Wayfare Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery, Echols County, GA.

Julia Rigell Sloan died September 10, 1955.  She was buried at the City Cemetery in Lakeland, GA  next to the grave of her infant daughter, born February 3, 1907.

 

Grave of Julia Rigell Sloan, City Cemetery, Lakeland, Lanier County, GA

Grave of Julia Rigell Sloan, City Cemetery, Lakeland, Lanier County, 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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Men at Beaver Dam Baptist Church

A group of men assembled at Beaver Dam Baptist Church (now known as Ray City First Baptist Church), Ray City, GA.  This was before the present brick church was built.

A group of men assembled at Beaver Dam Baptist Church (now known as Ray City First Baptist Church), Ray City, GA. The church building was the original wooden structure that served before the present brick church was built. (Identifications Needed.)

Walter Howard Knight, photographed at Beaver Dam Baptist Church (now known as Ray City Baptist Church), Ray City, GA.

Walter Howard Knight, photographed at Beaver Dam Baptist Church (now known as Ray City Baptist Church), Ray City, GA.

Walter Howard Knight, a son of William Washington Knight (1829 – 1863) and  Mary E Carroll (1839 – 1906), is the only identified individual in the photo above.  He was born November 28, 1859 in Berrien Co., GA and died June 13, 1934.  Walter Howard Knight is buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

BEAVER DAM BAPTIST CHURCH
In 1874 when Mercer Association missionary Reverend J. D. Evans came to Ray’s Mill, GA  Thomas M. Ray was deeply moved by the Baptist’s message.  Thomas M. Ray must have attended the church meetings in the old log school house and the big revivals that were held in May and July, 1874, for he became instrumental in the formation of a Baptist Church at Ray’s Mill.  On September 20, 1874 a small group of followers met with Reverend J. D. Evans  at  the  home of Thomas and Mary Ray to organize the Beaver Dam church.  Thomas M. Ray. and David J. McGee were elected to represent the new church to the Mercer Baptist Association and were sent as messengers to the Valdosta Church. The Reverend J. D. Evans wrote a petitionary letter which they carried to the association. In November 1874 Thomas M. Ray was appointed to a church building committee along with James M. Baskin and David J. McGee. He served on the committed that selected and procured the site for the construction of the church building. He continued to serve on the building committee until his death.

The original wooden church building at Beaver Dam was constructed by W.A. Bridges and James M. Baskin (see Baskin Family Helped Found Ray City Baptist Church).  Construction began in  January of 1875.  Baskin and Bridges hand hewed the timbers to frame the church.   Sawn lumber were purchased but had to be dressed by hand. The building was finished with windows and siding. The pulpit, table and pews were all built on site. J.M. Baskin made the doors himself.

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

Ralph Knight ~ Ray City Soldier ~ WWI

Private Knight entered service in July, 1918. Was attached to 5th Company, Coast Artillery Corps, Ft. Screven, Ga. Embarked for over-seas in September, 1918, and was drowned on the ill-fated transport “Otranto,” which was sunk off the Scottish Coast in a collision October 6, 1918.

Ralph Knight (1889-1918)

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

Ralph married Effie Guthrie, daughter of Arrin and Lucy Guthrie.

Ralph Knight registered for the WWI draft June 5, 1917.  According to his draft card his birth date was April 19, 1890 although his gravemarker gives his date of birth as April 19, 1889.  The physical description given on his draft card was:  Medium height Medium build, brown eyes, black hair.

Ralph did not return from the war; he was killed in the Otranto Disaster.  He is buried in Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, Georgia.

Effie Guthrie Knight’s home was on Park Street, Ray City, GA.  It  was the home of her father, Arrin Guthrie, and others of her family, although it was owned by Effie.  For all of her life, a large print of the portrait above hung in the parlor of Effie Knight’s home.

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