Moses Clements Lee

Mose Clements Lee was born November 14, 1916, the sixth child of William David Lee and Mollie Bell Clements. His siblings were Vivian Lee, Fannie Lee, Ruth Amanda Lee, Willie E. Lee, and Mary E. Lee.

Moses Clements Lee, of Ray City, attended the University of Georgia.

Moses Clements Lee, of Ray City, attended the University of Georgia.  1942 UGA photo

At the time of his birth, the family home was in a two-room log cabin near Ray City, GA. About 1917, his parents ordered a “Modern Home,” The Avondale, No. 151, from the Sears Modern Homes Mail Order Catalog. The materials were probably shipped via the Georgia and Florida Railroad to Ray City, then carried by wagon to the Lee farm about three miles east of town where the home was were assembled.

After completing high school Mose C. Lee attended the University of Georgia. He was employed as an airplane mechanic. On November 25, 1942 he enlisted in the Army at Fort Mcpherson in Atlanta. After the war he returned to UGA where he completed his Bachelor of Business Administration and graduated on June 14, 1946.

He later returned to live in Lanier County, GA.

Mose C. married Jeanelle Curry, of Greenwood MS and they made their home in Lanier County, GA.

Mose Clements Lee died in 1999 and Jeanelle died in 2006.  The Lees are buried at the city cemetery in Lakeland, GA.

Grave of Mose Clements Lee and Jeanelle Lee

Grave of Mose Clements Lee and Jeanelle Lee

Feb 22, 1905 Marriage of Mollie Bell Clements

Remember Mollie Bell Clements Lee?  She and her husband, Bill Lee, ordered their home from the Sears Catalog about 1917 (see Ray City’s Mail Order House).  Mollie Bell Clements and William David “Bill” Lee were married on Wednesday, February 22, 1905.   Presented here,  the wedding announcement that appeared in The Valdosta Times.

The bride was a daughter of Martha J. Baskin and David Clements. The groom was a son of Moses C. Lee and Amanda Clements.

1905 Wedding announcement of Mollie Bell Clements, of Ray City, and William David Lee, of Milltown.

1905 Wedding announcement of Mollie Bell Clements, of Ray City, and William David Lee, of Milltown. The announcement appeared in the Saturday, February 25, 1905 edition of The Valdosta Times.

The Valdosta Times
Saturday, February 25, 1905

A Wedding Near Ray’s Mill.

      The home of Mrs. Martha Clements, near Ray’s Mill, was the scene of a very pretty wedding Wednesday afternoon, the contracting parties being Miss Mollie Clements and Mr. William David Lee, of Milltown. The ceremony was performed by Rev. L. R. Christie and was witnessed by a large number of friends of the contracting parties. The bride is a very popular as well as pretty young woman, and is a daughter of the late David Clements. The groom is a prominent merchant and naval stores operator at Milltown.
      The couple received many handsome presents and are receiving many congratulations and good wishes from their host of friends.

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Moses Lee ~ Exemplary Farmer

Moses C. Lee (1853-1926) was an outstanding farmer of Berrien County, GA.

He was a son of John Levy Lee and nephew of Moses Corby Lee (1808-1884), both pioneer settlers and prominent land owners of  old Berrien.  His father and uncle were veterans of the Indian Wars of 1838 and fought with Levi J. Knight’s Militia Company in the last Indian fight in Berrien County, GA.  His mother was Elender Wetherington (1813-1889).  He was the father-in-law of Lint Miller and one of the investors in the Miller Hardware & Furniture Company.

Born July 12, 1853,  Moses C. Lee (1853-1926) was sometimes referred to as M.C. Lee, Jr. to distinguish him from his uncle. Moses C. Lee, the subject, first appears at age six in Census records in the  1860 enumeration of his father’s household in Berrien County, GA.  His father’s real estate was valued at 3500 and personal estate at $3800.

On November 1879, Moses C. Lee married Amanda Clements in Berrien County, GA.   Born Sarah Amanda Clements, she was a daughter of  John F. Clements and Nancy Patten, and a sister of John Miles Clements.

The newlyweds made their home in a house on the farm of Moses’ father, John Levy (or Levi) Lee, where they were enumerated in the Census of 1880.

After the death of his father, John Levy Lee, in 1884, Moses Lee carried on working his Berrien County farm.  Moses Lee’s residence was known as “Stoney Hill,” according to William Green Avera.  The Lee place was situated on the road “from Milltown to Tyson Ferry on the Alapaha River just east of the present site of Alapaha.” This road passed the residences of John Studstill, first Sheriff of Berrien County; Judge J. H. Rowan; and Keefe and Bullocks Turpentine Still.

By 1896 Moses Lee was recognized as one of the leading farmers in this section.

Tifton Gazette, March 7, 1896 praises the work of Berrien County, GA farmer Moses Lee.

Tifton Gazette, March 7, 1896 praises the work of Berrien County, GA farmer Moses Lee.

Well, I have the results of what Mr. Mose Lee, has stored away, for another specimen of what can be obtained in the wiregrass region.  Will take corn first.  On his farm he housed between 1500 and 2,000 bushels of “little cob” corn, and some where near 11,000 pounds of well cured fodder.  He dug and housed 12,000 bushels of sweet potatoes, and left enough in the patch to fatten 100 head of hogs. Cotton! cotton! He raised nineteen bales of cotton, averaging four hundred pounds each, which amounts to 7,600 pounds, and has jugged and barreled 750 gallons of syrup, of the finest that can be made.  He killed enough porkers to amount to 12,000 pounds and from them he obtained about 1,650 pounds of lard.  Hay he housed enough to winter 50 or 60 head of cows, beside old “Buck”.  As it was a bad year for oats and rice he only housed about 5,000 bundles of oats and 80 or 100 bushels of rice.
    He has enlarged his farm this year, by adding 40 acres of new land.  He is only going to use ten tons of guano this year.
    We hear some folks crying hard times, but all they have to do is to work with energy and vote for Hammond.  If anyone thinks that I have exaggerated in stating the above facts, I can only refer them to Mr. Lee, Milltown, Ga.

In 1917, M. C. Lee was employing Randolph Graham, John Thomas Brantley and Fletcher Turner to farm his land.

Children of Moses C. Lee and Amanda Clements Lee:

  1. William David Lee (1880 – 1967) married Mollie Clements
  2. Jennie L Lee (1882 – 1974)  married Sam I Watson, 1900
  3. Ellen D Lee (1883 – 1907) married William R. Smith; died of measles April 30, 1907
  4. John Vinson Lee (1885 – 1947) married Camilla Spence
  5. L. Chester Lee (1887 –1908) died of typhoid fever December 14, 1908
  6. Winnie Lee (1888-1891)
  7. Lena A Lee (1891 – 1971) married Willis Linton “Lint” Miller, 1913
  8. Remer E Lee (1893 – 1901) died of blood poisoning
  9. Mary Emma Lee (1895 –1986) married 1) Virgil Shingler; 2) J.Crawford Dasher
  10. Infant Lee – born and died July 22, 1897

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Watson Grade News Feb 12, 1904

“Trixie”  continued the reports on Watson Grade in the February 12, 1904 edition of the Tifton Gazette.  Watson Grade  was a small community near Empire Church just northeast of Ray’s Mill, GA.  It was the location of the Watson family farm and the home of Sam I. Watson, among others. Like the January Watson Grade News   this February update included several bits on the family of William and Betsy Patten, as well as reports of marriages and social news.

Tifton Gazette
February 12, 1904

Watson Grade News

The farmers are making big preparations for another crop-buying mules and clearing new grounds.
    Mr. Editor, your solution of the fertilizer question in last week’s issue is the only one that the farmer of today is actually in touch with. The farmers, not being systematically organized, are dependent in selling their products and buying their general supplies, and the only way to surpass this stupid state is for each and every farmer to work to the end of not having “everything to buy.”  Raise it at home; we have all the necessities if we will only use a little energy.
    Mr. M. C. Lee killed a porker last week that weighed 486, net.
    Mrs W. C. Patten has been quite sick with pneumonia, but is improving.
    Mr. J. P. Patten and Miss Fannie Patten were united in marriage Sunday afternoon at the home of the bride’s parents. Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Patten, near Milltown.  The bride is a sweet and lovable girl, and member of one of Berrien’s best families. The groom is an industrious young farmer of near this place.
    Inspector Tyler was in Milltown last week, looking after some rural routes from that place.  Of the three routes proposed, only two have the required number of families, the one passing through this place and the one through the Ray’s mill vicinity.
   Mr. Will Rouse and Miss Elsie Spell were united in marriage Wednesday afternoon, January 27th, at 3 o’clock, at the home of the bride’s parents, Judge J.  H. Rowan officiating. Both have many friends, who wish for them a long and prosperous journey through life.
    Mr. Jonah Register is quite sick with grippe at this writing.
    Mr. June Patten left last week to take charge of a school near Alapaha.
    Mr. Jos. Watson, who has been suffering with cancer for some time, is improving.
    Prof. W. G. Avera expects to move his family to Atlanta in a few days, his object being to educate his children.  Mr. Avera is one of Berrien’s oldest and best educators, and one of our best neighbors, and we see him go with much regret.

TRIXIE.

1904-feb-12-watson-grade-news

Additional Notes:

Moses C. Lee, a son of Elender Wetherington (1813-1889) and John Levy Lee, was one of the leading farmers of Berrien County.  His daughter, Jennie Lee, was the wife of Sam I. Watson. About 1917 his son, William David “Bill” Lee,  ordered a mail-0rder house from the Sears catalog, which he assembled just east of Ray’s Mill.

Mrs. William C. Patten in the article is Sarah E. Lee, a cousin of M.C. Lee mentioned above.  She was a daughter of Moses Corby Lee (1808-1884)   and  Jincy Register.

John P. Patten  was a son of James Patten (1832-1907) and Phoebe Mathis (1832-1898).  His bride was Fannie Patten, daughter of Matthew Elihu Patten  and Martha F. Williams (1847 – 1897). The Mrs. M. E. Patten mentioned in the article was Fannie’s  step-mother Minnie Archibald Patten.  John P. Patten died in 1911 and is buried at Union Church Cemetery, Lakeland, GA.

Will Rouse, of Rays Mill, and Elsie (or Elda?) Spells, of the 1300 Georgia Militia District, were married on January 27, 1904. The couple later made their home at Ray City for many years. The marriage ceremony was performed by Judge J. H. Rowan.  According to William Green Avera, the Judge’s place was on the road “from Milltown to Tyson Ferry on the Alapaha River just east of the present site of Alapaha.”  This road passed the residences of John Studstill, first Sheriff of Berrien County; Stony Hill, residence of Moses C. Lee; and, Keefe and Bullocks Turpentine Still.

Jonah Register, son of John Register, was a young farmer of Berrien County, GA. He was suffering from grippe, a historical reference to the flu.  He later married Jane Cook, sister of Laura Cook and daughter of William Jackson Cook.  In the 1920s Jonah and Jane Register made their home in Ray City, GA.

Mr. June Patten was a son of Leanna and Irwin Patten.

Joseph Watson was the father of Samuel I Watson.

Professor William Green Avera was one of the most distinguished educators in Berrien County.

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Mollie Idelle 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.

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.

Her parents owned a house that was built  from a kit ordered from a Sears catalog (see Ray City’s Mail Order House).  Idelle Lee was enumerated in her parent’s household, along with her siblings, in the census of  1930.

In 1937 Idelle Lee attended Georgia State Womans College (G.S.W.C.), now known as Valdosta State University. There, in addition to her academic studies, she was a member of the Glee Club.

West Hall, Georgia State Womans College, 1937, Valdosta, GA. The institution is now known as Valdosta State University.

West Hall, Georgia State Womans College, 1937, Valdosta, GA. The institution is now known as Valdosta State University.

The 1937 Pine Cone, the GSWC yearbook, describes the activities of the Glee Club.

   Presenting an entirely different plan this year, the Glee Club not only appeared in their annual concert before the people of Valdosta in the Winter Quarter, but also made a tour of neighboring towns during the Spring Quarter.
    The entire club of thirty members entertained at various school functions.  A special Christmas program was featured this year.  The triple quartet was heard on Sundays in the churches of Valdosta and in radio programs from Thomasville, Georgia and Gainesville, Florida.

1937 Glee Club at Georgia State Womans College.

1937 Glee Club at Georgia State Womans College.

After college, Mollie Idelle Lee married Frank L. Carter.  In the 1940s the Carters lived in Florida.

Grave marker of Carol Lee Carter (1944-1950), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave marker of Carol Lee Carter (1944-1950), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Their first child, Carol Lee Carter, was born on New Year’s Eve, 1944 in Dade County, FL.  Sadly, Carol died before her sixth birthday.  She was buried at the Lee family plot in Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

The Carters later returned to Georgia. Frank L Carter died July 6, 1988 in Lanier County, GA.

Molly Idelle Lee Carter died November 1, 2005 in Lanier County, GA. She was buried along with her parents and others of the Lee family connection at the family plot in Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave marker of Mollie Idelle Lee Carter (1919-2005), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave marker of Mollie Idelle Lee Carter (1919-2005), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Obituary of Ruth Lee Sherman

Ruth Amanda Lee was born  April 30, 1910 near Ray City in Berrien County, GA .  Her parents, Mollie  Bell Clements and William David  “Bill” Lee, were third cousins.

Siblings  of Ruth Amanda Lee (Children of Mollie  Bell Clements and William David  “Bill” Lee):

  1. Martha Vivian Lee
  2. Ruth Amanda Lee
  3. Willie Edna Lee
  4. Mary Elizabeth Lee
  5. Moses Clements Lee
  6. Mollie Idelle Lee
  7. Sancel Lee, died at 15 months

Ruth’s early childhood was spent in a small log cabin her family owned near Ray City.  When she was about seven years old, her parents ordered a house from a Sears catalog (see Ray City’s Mail Order House).  The house, a complete do-it-yourself kit, was delivered to Ray City by train.  When fully assembled it was a seven-room, three-bedroom home, a spacious improvement over the two room cabin that was their former abode. Ruth A. Lee was enumerated in her parents household, along with her siblings, in the census of 1920 and 1930.

Later, Ruth A. Lee married a Mr. Sherman and they made their home in Lakeland, GA.

 Ruth Lee Sherman
LAKELAND — Ruth Lee Sherman, 91, of Lakeland passed away early Sunday morning, Oct. 1, 2000 in the Lakeland Villa Convalescent Center after a lengthy illness. She was born in Berrien County and had lived in Lakeland most of her life. She was a member of First Baptist Church in Lakeland. She was preceded in death by two sisters, Mary Lee Sollami and Willie Edna “Bill” Johnson and one brother, Mose Lee. Survivors include, two sisters, Idelle Lee Carter and Vivian Lee Exum, both of Lakeland; a number of nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2000 in the Lakeland Chapel of Music Funeral Services, Inc., with burial following in Beaver Dam Cemetery in Ray City.

Grave marker of Ruth Lee Sherman (1910-2000), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Grave marker of Ruth Lee Sherman (1910-2000), Beaver Dam Cemetery, Ray City, GA.

Mary Lee, G.S.W.C. Graduate

Another daughter of  William D. “Bill” Lee and Mollie Bell Clements, subjects of the previous post, was Mary E. Lee.  She was born February 6, 1915 in Berrien County, GA. Like her older sister, Vivian Lee, Mary grew up at Ray City, GA and went on to attain  a college education.

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

While Vivian Lee attended Norman Institute at Norman Park, Ga.,  Mary Lee went to Georgia State Womans College in Valdosta.

Later,  she married Saunto Richard Sollami. He served in the Army Air Corp during WWII.  The Sollamis made their home in Thomasville, GA.

Mary Lee Sollami died in December,  1993 in Thomas County, GA

Ray City’s Mail Order House

In the early 1900s rural consumers found they could purchase almost anything from mail-order catalogs, including homes.  About 1917, one Ray City couple did just that.

The Avondale, Sears mail-order home ordered by Mollie and Bill Lee, of Ray City, GA in 1917.

The Avondale, Sears mail-order home ordered by Mollie and Bill Lee, of Ray City, GA in 1917.

 Sears Catalog Homes (sold as Sears Modern Homes) were ready-to-assemble houses sold through mail order by Sears Roebuck and Company. Over 70,000 of these kit homes were sold in North America between 1908 and 1940. Shipped via railroad boxcars, the kit included all the materials needed to build a house.  Many were assembled by do-it-yourself homeowners with the help of friends, relatives, and neighbors, in a fashion similar to the traditional barn-raisings of farming families.

As an add-on, Sears offered the latest technology available to house buyers in the early part of the twentieth century. Central heating, indoor plumbing, and electricity were all new developments in-house design that “Modern Homes” incorporated, although not all the houses were designed with these conveniences. Central heating, for example, not only improved the livability of houses with little insulation but also improved fire safety, a worry in an era when open flames threatened houses and even entire cities, as in the Great Chicago Fire (1871).

As demand decreased, Sears expanded the product line to feature houses that varied in cost to meet the budgets of various buyers. Sears began offering financing plans in 1916. However, the company experienced steadily rising payment defaults throughout the Great Depression, resulting in increasing strain for the catalog house program. More than 370 designs of Sears Homes were offered during the program’s 32-year history. The mortgage portion of the program was discontinued in 1934 after Sears was forced to liquidate $11 million in defaulted debt. Sears closed their Modern Homes department in 1940. A few years later, all sales records were destroyed during a corporate house cleaning. The only way to find these houses today is literally one by one.

One Sears mail-order home was purchased by Mollie and  Bill Lee of Ray City, GA.

Mollie  Bell Clements and William David  “Bill” Lee both grew up near Ray City, GA.  Mollie was a daughter of  Martha J. Baskin and David C. Clements. Bill was a son of Moses C. Lee and Amanda Clements.  He was educated at the Green Bay School near Ray City, where he was a member of the Advanced Literary Society.

Mollie and Bill were married February 22, 1905 in Berrien County, Georgia. As newlyweds, they made their home in a two-room log cabin.  The Census of 1910 shows William and Mollie living  in Georgia Militia District 1144, the Rays Mill District, with their two young children, Vivian  Lee and Fannie Lee.  Bill was farming on his own account. By 1917, the Lees had four more children,  Ruth Amanda Lee, Willie E. Lee, Mary E. Lee, and Moses Clements Lee.  Clearly, it was time for a bigger house.

About 1917,  Bill and Mollie ordered a “Modern Home,”  The Avondale, No. 151, from the Sears Modern Homes Mail Order Catalog.  The materials were probably shipped via the Georgia and Florida Railroad to Ray City, then carried by wagon to the construction site.  The Lees purchased additional interior components to complete the house from the Sears & Roebuck store in Valdosta, Ga.  The home would have been assembled completely by manual labor, as electric power was not yet available in Ray City in 1917. The house had seven rooms, and the common features of the time, like 12 foot ceilings, plaster walls, wood floors, and bay windows.  Over the years the Lees modified the original floor plan of their Sears home, adding on to the back of the house to enlarge the kitchen and rear bedrooms, and adding a sun room off the master bedroom.

Nearly 100 years later, the house still stands near Ray City.

Houseplans for The Avondale, mail-order house sold by Sears & Roebuck.

House plans for The Avondale, mail-order house sold by Sears, Roebuck & Co.

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Vivian Lee ~ Graduate of Norman Institute

Martha Vivian Lee was born May 13, 1908,and raised at Ray City, GA. She was the daughter of William D. “Bill” Lee and Mollie Bell Clements. Her father, rented a farm on one of the settlement roads at Ray City.

Brand Hall at Norman College, Norman Park, GA

Brand Hall at Norman College, Norman Park, GA

Vivian Lee graduated from the Junior College scientific program at Norman Institute, Norman Park, GA.  The  June 5, 1927 edition of the Atlanta Constitution (full transcript below) reported the ceremonies.

The college celebrated Commencement with four days of activities, beginning Friday evening, with a program presented by the grammar school graduates, followed by the inter-society contest in piano, reading and declamation. On Saturday night, the senior play was presented to a large audience. Dr. H.F. Loomis, pastor of the First Baptist church of Daytona Beach, FL, delivered the baccalaureate sermon.  On Monday morning, the Bessie Tift society and the Excelsior society debated the subject, “Resolved, that President Coolidge was justified in vetoing the McNary-Haugen farm relief bill.” L.H. Browing, president of Norman Institute, delivered the diplomas to the graduates. Rev. G.W. Christopher, Baptist pastor at Whigham, Ga., made the literary address to the graduates of the junior college, the high school and the commercial department, and Frank Clark, county school superintendent, addressed the alumni.

After college, Vivian Lee returned to Ray City to live with her mother and father. The January 3, 1929 edition of the Ray City News noted in the personal mentions:

 Mr. Bill Lee and daughter, Miss Vivian,  are visiting relatives in Tampa, Fla.

In the census of 1930, she was enumerated in her parents’ household. The occupation data of the census shows that she found employment in a law office as a stenographer .

Later, Vivian Lee married Thomas Pate Exum and lived in Lakeland, GA.

Vivian Lee Exum died 21 Nov 2001.

Atlanta Constitution
June 5, 1927  Pg B8

Norman Institute Commencement.

   ” The commencement program of Norman Institute came to a close Monday morning with the delivery of diplomas.  Rev. G.W. Christopher, Baptist pastor at Whigham, Ga., made the literary address to the graduates of the junior college, the high school and the commercial department.
    The inter-society contest in piano, reading and declamation was held Friday night. The winning contestants were: Piano, Frances Sims, Savannah, Ga.; reading, Miss Maude Hendley, Bainbridge, Ga., Excelsior society; Raymond Harvey, Pine View, Ga., Excelsior Society.
    Preceding the contest Friday night the grammar school graduates presented an attractive program under the supervision of Mrs. J.F. Morris. Those receiving certificates of graduation from the grammar school were: Sarah Gawin, Philadelphia; Jack Jones, Jacksonville, Fla.; Walter Jones, Tampa, Fla.; Le Roy Post, Holly Hill, Fla.; Luculle Trutt, Thomasville, Ga.; Judson Wilder, Lakeland, Fla.; A.D. Williams, Jr., valedictorian, Tampa, Florida.
    The Senior Play was presented Saturday night to a large audience.
    D. H.F. Loomis, pastor of the First Baptist church of Daytona Beach, Fla., preached the baccalaureate sermon.
    President L.H. Browning delivered the diplomas to the graduates Monday morning.  The following received degrees:
    Junior College (scientific) – Hughes Browning, Norman Park, Ga.; Benton Fillingim, Cuthbert, Ga.; Vivian Lee, Ray City, Ga.; Claude Reynolds, Norman Park, Ga.; Harvey Simpson, Hahira, Ga.
Normal – George Elton Clark, Norman Park, Ga.; Elois Hoffman, Faceville, Ga.
    High School – (Classical) Mildred Callan, Norman Park, Ga.; Esther Graham, Barney, Ga.; George Scott, Barney, Ga. (Scientific) Wayne Christopher, Whigham, Ga.; D. Alson Griner, Lennox, Ga.; John Hoffman, Daytona, Fla.; Kathleen Jones, Enigma, Ga.; Edith Lodge, Whigham, Ga.; Stanley Newton, Norman Park, Ga.; Arnold Scruggs, Barney, Ga.; D. Maurice Smith, Cairo, Ga.; Lucy Nell Tompkins, Norman Park, Ga.
    Normal – Olis Harrell, Pavo, Ga.; Eloise Overton, Norman Park, Ga.; Louise Parker, Orlando, Fla.
    Commercial Department – Lillie Anthony, Vero Beach, Fla.; Lizzie Barrett, Monticello, Fla.; Elnora Brewer, Morgan, Ga.; Anna Mae Browb, Ocalla, Fla.; Charlie Coleman, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Paul Dozier, Damascus, Ga.; Katherine Erwin, Tampa, Fla.; Inez Keerce, Hahira, Ga.; Elizabeth Martin, Knights, Fla.; Mercer Mitcham, Omega, Fla.; Sanders Morgan, Fort Meade, Fla.; Gwuynnie Morgan, Thomas Morgan, Norman Park, Ga.; Ida Moss, Perkins, Ga.; Grace Mugridge, Cairo, Ga.; Elizabeth Murray, Arlington, Ga.; Clarence Watkins, Putman Hall, Fla.; Roy Wlech, Fort Pierce, Fla.; Nada Wills, Norman Park, Ga.
    Violin – Elizabeth Martin, Knights, Florida.
    Previous to the baccalaureate address Monday morning the semi-annual inter-society debate took place, the subject being, “Resolved, that President Coolidge was justified in vetoing the McNary-Haugen farm relief bill.”  The affirmative was presented by J. A. Thompson and George Scott of the Bessie Tift society, and the negative was defended by Harry Simpson and Claude Reynolds of the Excelsior society. The Judges gave the decision to the negative.
    Frank Clark, county school superintendent, made an address to the alumni which was followed by announcements of some special work done and some work to be undertaken next year.  He called attention to the large number of normal diplomas; 21 B.Y.P.U. diplomas; 171 seals on books in Sunday school teachers’ training course; 39 red seals; 27 B.Y.P.U. seals on Pilgrim’s Progress. He also announced that work on the new dormitory for boys will begin at once and will be ready for occupancy by January.

Rays Mill Boys Debate at Advance Society Meeting

In the late 1800s,   Perry Thomas KnightLucius Clements, Benjamin L. Wilkerson and William D. “Bill” Lee  were intellectually inclined young men of  Rays Mill, GA.    Clements and Wilkerson were neighbors.  All four of the boys attended the Green Bay School. They and others of similar mind gathered at  Green Bay “Advance Society” meetings to discuss and debate social ideas.

Tifton Gazette
Friday, March 20 1896

From South Berrien
Green Bay, Feb 17.  Our Advance Society held its meeting Friday evening.  Subject for discussion Resolved, that the negro has been more cruelly treated by the white man than the Indian.  The decision was rendered in the negative. The affirmative was represented by B.L. Wilkerson and W. D. Lee, and the negative by P.T. Knight and Lucious Clements.

Lucius Clements would have been about 15 at the time of this debate: Perry Knight about 19. Lee was 16, and Wilkerson was 17.  Perry T. Knight attended Oaklawn Baptist Academy  and went on to became a teacher, lawyer, soldier, chaplain, railroad commissioner, legislator, and public service commissioner.  Lucius J. Clements  attended the Georgia Normal College & Business Institute,  and managed the Clements Sawmill at Ray City until the Clements family sold the business.  He became a businessman, license inspector, and assistant tax collector. Wilkerson became a dentist and later moved to Miami, FL.  Lee became a farmer; he later constructed a Sears Mail-order home east of Ray City.

Images courtesy http://yatesville.net/index.htm and http://berriencounty.ga