Classroom Building and Soup Kitchen at Ray City School

Classroom Building  and Soup Kitchen at Ray City School

Classroom Building at Ray City School.

Classroom Building at Ray City School.

The white wooden classroom building  was already an old building on the campus when Diane Miley attended second grade at Ray City School in 1939.

This building, which was originally located where the kindergarten is now situated, and was later moved further back from Pauline Street to its present location. The entrances to this building were on the north and south sides. A
central north-south hallway ran through the building. On the east side were two big classrooms for the 1st and 4th grades, and a small room used as the Soup Kitchen. On the west side were 2nd Grade and 3rd Grade classrooms. There were no bathrooms in this building, or in the main brick school building for that matter. The toilets at that time were outdoor toilets. the Ray City school did not get indoor toilets until after WWII.

The teachers in this wooden building were:

1st Grade: Mrs. P.M. Shultz
2nd Grade: Miss Josephine Collier
3rd grade: Eloise Johnson
4th grade: a young unmarried teacher

Other Ray City teachers around that time were Jesse Francis Webb, Hazel Tabor, Dorothy Chisholm, and Mary Peele, James Garland Grady.  Julius Glen Tatum was an Ag teacher.

This building housed the original “soup kitchen” lunch room at Ray City School. Off of the 4th grade classroom was a small room which was used as the lunch room. It measured about 10 feet by 12 feet and was equipped with  a cook table, but no sink counter. A big cast iron wood-burning stove occupied one corner of the room.  There were counters and benches along two walls where the children ate.  The lunchroom ladies  could not feed many children at a time. The charge for lunch was 10 cents, but not all children could afford to get a hot lunch. Many brought their lunch from home and ate in the school yard.

Mrs. Hun Knight worked hard to bring the soup kitchen to the school and worked in the kitchen. Mrs. Eula Swindle Hall was the first cook. She was followed by Mrs. Allie Purvis Starling. Leila McConnell also cooked. Martha Burkhalter was a lunchroom “waitress.” Agnes Knight Guthrie also helped in the kitchen. For the paying students, soup was served every day, with brown whole-wheat flour biscuits and butter. The kitchen was supplied with surplus government commodities supplemented with fresh produce that was brought in by local farmers in trade for their children’s lunches. Rossie Futch brought in sweet potatoes in trade for a hot lunch for his children.

Later, after the first school cafeteria building was constructed on the Ray City School campus in 1941, the small soup kitchen was turned into a trigonometry classroom for the high school students.

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Tri-Hi-Y, 1939

 

In 1934 Ray City was ‘Noted Section’ of Berrien County

Ray City began 1934 on an optimistic note.  A “booster” story from the Nashville Herald praised the farming, education, churches, municipal government, roads and businesses of Ray City.

The Nashville Herald, 
January 25, 1934, Pg 1

RAY CITY IS NOTED SECTION

Excellent Community of Berrien County and South Georgia – Fine Farming Section

In writing about different communities of Berrien County it is next to impossible to neglect the city of Ray City and the large farming territory surrounding it.  The Ray City section constitutes the southern portion of Berrien County, where extensive farm operations are carried on during every month of the year in all lines of endeavor.

The trading point is the city of Ray City, just ten miles south of Nashville, the county seat.  It has a population of around 500 people, all of whom are industrious and hospitable, with fine schools, churches and live wire merchants.  There is no better place in south Georgia to live than Ray City.

The farming population surrounding Ray City constitute an industrious and progressive people.  To a certain measure they are prosperous, because everything to be raised on a farm can be grown on their fertile lands, and each year their products find ready markets, returning to them cash in abundance.  The section is noted for its fine tobacco and cotton lands and is a hog and cattle raising territory of excellent possibilities.

The city of Ray City affords every convenience and comfort for the citizens of the community.  There is a fine school system, which is under the capable and efficient supervision of Prof. P. M. Shultz.  Prof. Ulmer Crosby is principal, and the other teachers are:  Mrs. P. M. Shultz, Miss Jessie Aycock, Mrs. A.B. Baskins, Miss Lillian Ford and Mrs. Eulalie Dickson.

The school has nine grades, with an enrollment of a few over the two hundred mark.  A number of fine students complete the school each year, advancing to higher institutions of learning.  The school system in Ray City is really a big asset, (illegible) a higher type of citizenry.

The school board is composed of the following gentlemen who handle their duties in a most admirable manner and of benefit to patrons and students combined.  H.A. Swindle, chairman, M.A. Studstill, sec.-treasl., C.H. Vickers, J.M. Studstill and W.M. Creech, members.

Ray City is not short either along the spiritual line, having four active churches as follows:  Baptist, Rev. Walter Branch, pastor; Methodist, Rev. F.A. Ratcliffe, pastor; Primitive Baptist, Elder C.H. Vickers, pastor; Christian, supply pastor.  The Baptist and Methodist churches conduct Sunday Schools, and young people’s organizations.

The affairs of the city of Ray City are in the hands of men who apparently have the united support of the people, as the entire body was recently re-elected to office.  J. H. Swindle is mayor, and the councilmen are:  G.V. Hardie, Y.F. Carter, H.P. Clements and W.M. Creech.

The standing committees for the year 1934 are:  Water and lights, G.V. Hardie and Y.F. Carter; Street, W.M. Creech and H.P. Clements; Sanitary, entire city council.

In questioning the mayor, Mr. J. H. Swindle, he stated that the city enjoyed a very good administration the past year, and that 1934 was begun with the city in much better financial condition than a year ago.

Ray City is soon to enjoy one of the best highway outlets of any small city in south Georgia.  It is located on Route No. 11, the short route into Florida from Atlanta.  This highway has been recently graded for paving and at some future date this work will be a reality.  Other good roads lead out in all directions as well.  It is located on the Georgia and Florida railroad, and is one of the railroad’s most important shipping points.  Mr. T.W. Thompson is the G. & F. Agent, having served in that capacity for a long number of years.

The postmistress is Mrs. J. F. Fountain, and the rural mail carriers are James Grissett and L.A. McDonald.

There are also several industries which add to the progressiveness of the town and community.

The Ray City Ice & Storage Company, of which Mr. D.T. Sharpe is manager, serves a wide territory.  At present this concern has on storage over 100,000 pounds of meat being cured for farmers.

The Y.F. Carter Naval Stores concern is the largest firm in the community, where approximately fifty men are given employment.  This firm operates over ten crops of boxes, the leases affording additional revenue for landowners.  It has been in operation for about eighteen years.

The J.H. Swindle Gins and Warehouse is another concern of benefit to the entire section.  Plants are located at Ray City and Barrett, being among the most up to date in south Georgia.  Mr. Swindle buys cotton and cotton seed, corn, peanuts, hay and other country produce.  Besides gin and warehouse activities he operates a twelve horse farm.

The Peoples Banking Company, a private institution, is owned by Mr. J. H. Swindle, with Mr. E. J. Patten as cashier.  This bank was organized several years ago by Mr. Swindle when Ray City lost its regular bank, so as to carry on the business operations locally and without interruptions.

Mrs. R.N. Warr is owner of old Ray Pond, famous for its fishing for the past hundred years.  Mrs. Warr acquired the pond about two years ago, and since has created a good income out of the sale of minnows, pond plants, frogs, and tadpoles.  The pond covers an area of approximately 4,000 acres.

Among Ray City’s most enterprising merchants are:  Swindle & Clements, B. Ridgell Jones Drug Store, Purvis Grocery Store, Weeks Grocery Store, Hardie Filling Station, South Georgia Oil Company, Bradford Barber Shop, Putnell Barber Shop, Swain Garage, Woodward Blacksmith Shop, Griner Corn Mill and others.

Transcription courtesy of Skeeter Parker

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Ray City School 1934

Ray City School, 1934

The Ray City School held a junior high school rating until 1936, when it became an accredited senior high school.

Ray City School class photos from 1934. Identifications needed.

Ray City School 4th Grade Class Photo, Believed to be Spring 1934. Photo was inscribed on back " Mildred's 4th Grade Class, Ray City School." The reference may be to Mildred Clements, who graduated in 1939.

Ray City School 4th Grade Class Photo, Believed to be Spring 1934. Photo was inscribed on back ” Mildred’s 4th Grade Class, Ray City School.” The reference may be to Mildred Clements, who graduated in 1939.  Image courtesy of Edith Mayo.

A 1934 newspaper article on Ray City included the following information about the school.

The city of Ray City affords every convenience and comfort for the citizens of the community.  There is a fine school system, which is under the capable and efficient supervision of Prof. P. M. Shultz.  Prof. Ulmer Crosby is principal, and the other teachers are:  Mrs. P. M. Shultz, Miss Jessie Aycock, Mrs. A.B. Baskins, Miss Lillian Ford and Mrs. Eulalie Dickson.

The school has nine grades, with an enrollment of a few over the two hundred mark.  A number of fine students complete the school each year, advancing to higher institutions of learning.  The school system in Ray City is really a big asset, (illegible) a higher type of citizenry.

The school board is composed of the following gentlemen who handle their duties in a most admirable manner and of benefit to patrons and students combined.  H.A. Swindle, chairman, M.A. Studstill, sec.-treasl., C.H. Vickers, J.M. Studstill and W.M. Creech, members.

Ray City School, 1934, Grades 4 and 5. Ray City, Berrien County, GA. Image courtesy of Edith Mayo.

Ray City School, 1934, Grades 4 and 5. Ray City, Berrien County, GA. Teacher, Jessie Aycock. Image courtesy of Edith Mayo.

Ray City School, Ray City, GA. 1934 6th Grade Class. Lillian Ford, Teacher. (Top Row, L to R) Belle Garner, Thelma Sirmans, Velma Wood, Frances Sirmans, Geraldine Brown, Lounelle Futch. (2nd Row) Sarah Hunter, Monafaye Swindle, Hazel Futch, Helen Dubose, D'Ree Yawn. (Bottom Row) H. Cox, Lawson Fountain, Dan St?, Robert Hunter, James "Skinny" Holliday, Morris Johnson.

Ray City School, Ray City, GA. 1934 6th Grade Class. Lillian Ford, Teacher. (Top Row, L to R) Belle Garner, Thelma Sirmans, Velma Wood, Frances Sirmans, Geraldine Brown, Lounelle Futch. (2nd Row) Sarah Hunter, Monafaye Swindle, Hazel Futch, Helen Dubose, D’Ree Yawn. (Bottom Row) H. Cox, Lawson Fountain, Dan St?, Robert Hunter, James “Skinny” Holliday, Morris Johnson.

Ray City School, 1934, Grades 7 and 8. Ray City, Berrien County, GA. Image courtesy of www.berriencountyga.com

Ray City School, 1934, Grades 7 and 8. Ray City, Berrien County, GA. Boy at top left, Earl Pafford Swindle. Front row, second from right is believed to be Robert Bruce Johnson.

1934 Ray City School, Girls Basketball Team. (Left to Right) Front Row: Johnnie Sirmans, Grace Clements, Louise Paulk, Winona Holiday. Back Row: Helen DuBose, Clyde Carter, Jinnie Johnson, Helen Swindle, Virginia Studstill.

1934 Ray City School, Girls Basketball Team. (Left to Right) Front Row: Johnnie Sirmans, Grace Clements, Louise Paulk, Winona Holiday. Back Row: Helen DuBose, Clyde Carter, Jimmie Johnson, Helen Swindle, Virginia Studstill.

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RAY CITY SCHOOL OPENING 1937

On this date, September 6, 75 years ago today, the Ray City School opened the 1937 school year. A week before classes, on September 2, 1937 the Nashville Herald ran an outlook for the new school year.  Prentice Munson Shultz was Superintendent of the school at Ray City, Georgia that year.  He served as Superintendent of the Ray City School from 1929 to 1941, and his wife, Wilma Harper Shultz, taught first grade.

 

Nashville Herald
September 2, 1937

RAY CITY SCHOOL OPENS MONDAY
Plans Complete For Fine School Year – Fine Faculty Has Been Secured By P.M. Shultz, Supt.

    The Ray City School will open Monday, Sept. 6, at 9 a.m.
    All students are urgently requested to be present at the opening hour. This is very important as complete organization cannot be perfected to meet the needs of all students unless they are present at the beginning of the term so that teachers may know what their needs are or will be. Likewise, it is important that each boy and girl is present to give their application for free text books so that teachers may make requisition for same. Regular basic thexts throughout all grades will be furnished by the state but all workbooks, notebooks, other supplies, etc. are to be furnished by the pupil.
    As customary in preceeding years a small library fee of fifty cents per pupil will b charged each boy and girl in the High School grades. This fee is to be used as a library fund for upkeep of the library in buying books, magazines, etc.  This will enable each student to have accrss to reading material that otherwise could not be had.  Each student is ask to pay this fee on day of entrance.
    All parents and friends of the school are especially invited to accompany their children to school and to attend the opening exercises.  Not only are they invited to visit the school on the opening day but are invited to visit the school at any tie they can throughout the school year. This will give them a better understanding of the school and will help to encourage both students and pupils.
    Care has been taking in selecting the best teachers possible for the ensuing year. They are as follows:
P.M. Shultz, Superintendent
W.R. Salter, History and Science, Coach
Mrs. Irene H. Tollet, English, Librarian
To be supplied – French
Miss Mildred Vail, Public School music
Miss Hazel Tabor, Seventh Grade
Miss Ellene Jones, Sixth Grade
Mrs. Thomas Exum, Fifth Grade
Miss Mary Francis Baskins, Fourth Grade
Miss Lillian Ford, Third Grade
Mrs. P.M. Shultz, First Grade
Prospects are that the coming term should be one of the most successful in the history of the school.