Sunday, December 8, 2019

From Days Gone By Dec 31, 1921

December 31, 1921.
    Wrightsville saw a quiet, sober and enjoyable Christmas. Drunkeness was at a low ebb and is now and disorderly charges have been few. The houses of worship were filled on Christmas day. The town businesses reports heavy selling several days in advance.
    A jolly set of young people from around Mr. Oliver's and Raines Crossroads paraded all over Wrightsville and put on the first outward Christmas celebration of the season save the small amount of firecrackers shot in town. Dressed funnily and driving and riding odd conveyances they made merry for sometime beforr taking their departure.
    Messrs. T. V. Kent and J. D. Bush have purchased the entire undertaking establishment of the Tanner Undertaking Company and have attractive quarters in Mr. Kent's department store on the west side of the court house.
    Mr. Mark Anthony, a football star of Georgia was the guest of Mr. Louie Johnson and other friends in the city. Dr. & Mrs. R. E. Butterly entertained them with a dinner.
    Warden Stanley is soon to break dirt on the Bee-Line highway out of the city towards Kite working his way to Moore's Chapel then completing it into Kite and to be at the Emanuel line by early summer. He has just completed a long stretch of public road into the city along the Summer's bridge way to Adrian.
    A colored named Fason was turned loose having been parolled by Govenor Hardwick. A few more have paid out and the gang is barely 50 in number now. Mr. Lovett Price and Mr. T. D. Holt has been added to the guard force.
    A new barn down at camp headquarters is finished. Several are in jail waiting to be tried. One of these is a colored man nicknamed "Peg" and "Peg"  has started a regular "preaching" racket down there.
    Around 2am the town was arroused with the fire alarm when the tenant house of Mrs. William Tyson out Idlywild was in flames. The colored tenants lost everything. Then later at 7am another alarm when the vacant residence next to Mr. R. T. Moye. The bucket brigade saved Moye's home but was all they could do.
    Officer C. T. Mixon went to Hastings, Florida for a colored prisioner whom Sheriff Davis located and had jailed on a local charge. Mr. W. T. Kitchens went to Macon where he has opened a store selling army goods. Mr. T. W. Horton of Scott filed for bankruptcy.
    Christmas weddings were very numorous this year. Miss Exie Lou Martin to Mr. Clyde Lord. She is daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Wallace Martin, he is son of Mr. & Mrs. F. C. Lord.
    Miss Lotis Stroud and Mr. Sidney Peebles, Miss Sarah Price to Mr. Olin Brantley, Miss Bessie McCoy to Mr. Roy Scarborough, Miss Eva Mae Beasley to Mr. Asa R. Morris, Miss Winburn Jackson to Mr. Lorenzie Powell and Miss Carrie Davis to Mr. Talmadge Colston.

From Days Gone By Dec 24, 1921

December 24, 1921.
    According to Victor Davidson of Wilkinson County the proposed Bee-Line Highway was once an Indian trail. Known as the Ridge Road it divides the valleys of Big Commissioner and Big Sandy creeks, lined with old homes.
    The movement ehich is gathering force in Washington, Johnson and Emanuel counties for the building of a Bee-Line state highway from Savannah to Macon, running through these counties, crossing the Oconee River at Ball's Ferry and passing through the middle of Wilkinson County, is arousing considerable comment here.
    The proposed route known as the Ridge Road passes through Irwinton and running near the majority of the towns of the county would be of untold benefit to thousands of people in Wilkinson. Macon being the market in which most of the produce of the county is sold, there has been felt a widespread need for an excellent highway to that city for many years, and should the big canning plants open up in Macon in the near future, Wilkinson County, on account of its proximity, will be able to market all the vegetables that can be raised.
    Although the length of this stretch of road lying in Wilkinson County is about 30 miles, yet there is no doubt but that this could be built as cheaply as any road in the state. There is a world of clay and sand all along the route which could be had without effort. In addition to that there is a peculiarity about this road that is to be found perhaps nowhere else in Georgia, in that throughout its entire length in the county, it can be run without crossing a single stream of water, which would eliminate all need of bridges.
   This road gets the name of Ridge Road from the fact that throughout the whole county it follows the long narrow ridge which divides the valley of the Big Commissioner from that of the Big Sandy creeks. The ridge is the divide and in places very narrow. One joker makes a statement which is slightly exaggerated in that "when a car is coming from Macon in the rain water that runs off the right side of the car goes into Big Sandy and the left side into Big Commissioner". However, there are one or two spots where this might happen on the road.
    This road has played an important part in the history of Wilkinson County. First, we find it an old Indian trail leading from the Indian village of Fort Hawkins towards the sea coast. Later, when the county was laid off and Irwinton was settled, it became the line of communication between this isolated spot and the civilized world. The Oconee River being opened for navigation for barges and small boats, the cotton, tobacco and other produce was hauled along this road to Ball's Ferry and often on to Savannah. Later on, when Fort Hawkins settlement began to grow, the road was extended there along the old Indian trail, and this being the nearest route to Savannah by as much as a whole day's journey, then became the stage route to Savannah the road was during those years traveled as much perhaps as any road in the state.
    Running along the highest ridge of the county, on either side are the wide valleys of the two creeks stretching out for miles, furnishing the finest views to be found in middle Georgia. It is small wonder that as the county increased rapidly in population the aristocracy of the antebellum days should build their fine homes along this route. To this day many of the dilapidated remains of those homes may yet be found, others with their chimneys standing guard over the ashes as ghostly reminders of the departed glory of the old South.
    Still later, along the road came Sherman's hosts, burning and pilliaging the countryside, passing through Irwinton, destroying the court house on his march of destruction. And to this day the country has not recovered from the devistation nor have the indignities suffered been obliterated from the minds of the people. In their triumphant march along this road, Sherman's men carried J. R. Kelley, now attendance officer for Wilkinson, then the one-legged soldier, a prisioner in their hands and sentenced to be shot at sunrise because he had the nerve to attack single-handed the Federal patrols approaching the town of Gordon, killing one of them. Mr. Kelley succeeded in rolling out of the covered wagon he was in and escaping his captors while crossing Ogeechee swamp.
    There are no less than three Primitive Baptist churches located on the road, Ramah, Friendship and Myrtle Springs. Ball's Ferry across the Oconee, connecting this stretch with Washington County, is one of the oldest ferries across the Oconee river, getting its name from Anderson Ball, one of the most prominant pioneer citizens of the county.

From Days Gone By Dec. 17' 1921

December 17, 1921.
    William Wright, colored, living 7 or 8 miles west of the city was caught Saturday night with alot of wet goods and shooting irons around his usual place of abode by officers Lee Jackson and Will Crawford in a raid on the premises. A gallon and a half of the home-made brew was captured, a 15 gallon lard can still was destroyed and 2 barrels of mobby went up in flames.
    When Officer Jackson went into the yard he was confronted by Wright who went back for his pistol. The officer grabbed him and took the big gun away from him. Wright's wife took a hand in the fray with a big shotgun but she didn't get far before this was taken away from her. She grabbed the whiskey and started under the house with it when Crawford pulled her out by a foot. They had some crowd of shooting irons around. The big blue-steel pistol, a 44-40 Winchester rifle, a pop-gun and a breach loading shotgun and Wright carried a big pocket knife which much resembled a Bowie knife. Wright was jailed on several charges.
    Solicitor W. C. Brinson charged Mrs. Eliza Stuckey after her house had been raided Sunday night by officers Elton Oliver, Will Crawford and Henry T. Downs, Eliza had a big time at her house Sunday night. All the bloods of darktown were either there, had been there or was on the road there and as a result of the net dragging seven sons Eric were landed in the guard house charged with gambling. Brinson is making an effort to stop so much of this gambling around by putting some folk in the gang who operate such houses.
    The Bee-Line Highway Association was formed in Wrightsville and the outline was given of the proposed route. The Bee-Line route from Savannah to Macon through Johnson County via Kite and Wrightsville is to be undertaken. They are pushing for the state to adopt this route. The committiee consisted of C. D. Roundtree, Dr. J. W. Brinson, Mr. W. A. Mixon, W. H. Lovett, G. D. Smith, J. C. Cave, M. T. Riner, J. S. Stephenson and S. M. Price. Also added were Fluker Tarbutton, Z. T. Houser, W. R. Smith, L. A. Lovett, J. B. Williams, M. Daley, C. T. Bray, H. J. Claxton, Henry Stephens, W. H. Raley, C. L. Claxton, Henry Garnto, Samps L. Powell, S. H. Lynch and W. N. Powell.
    Part of the group traveled part of the proposed route of the Bee-Line starting in Kite and Wrightsville and headed towards Irwinton by way of Ball's Ferry crossing on the Oconee River and met with the Irwinton committee at their courthouse.
    The Bee-Line Highway, a road project in which now the citizens of Johnson, Emanuel, Wilkinson, Bibb and others are relaying this interest to the state highway department. Candler County has been asked to join also as a letter was sent to Secretary Williams of the Woodpecker route, which runs from Savannah over the Dixie Overland through Statesboro, Metter, Graymont, Swainsboro, Kite, Wrightsville, Irwinton to Macon. It is shown that this route saves 25 to 30 miles between Swainsboro and Macon by way of Wrightsville and would shorten the trip from Atlanta to Savannah.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

From Days Gone By Dec. 10, 1921

December 10, 1921.
    Mr. E. E. Sanders is mayor of the city after last weeks elections. Messrs. C. S. Blankenship, I. R. Tanner and W. F. Outlaw won the three open council seats.
    Miss Jennie Moore and Mr. Ellie Drake were married. Jennie is a daughter of Mr. & Mrs. C. T. Moore of Adrian. Mr. Drake is son of Mr. & Mrs. Lum Drake. Mr. Samps Powell and Miss Bertha Mae Garrett were married also. Mr. Charlie Brady died suddenly at Alamo. He was once employed here with the Headlight.
    In a very spirited game of basketball in Tennille, Wrightsville went  in defeat by the score of 27 to 20. Eugene Cook stared for Wrightsville. Wrightsville has several good games booked for this season and with a little practice will give these teams a hard fight.
    Johnson had ginned 3,701 bales of cotton up to November 14th against 7,395 bales up to the same point last year. Johnson County's quarenteen has been lifted. It is now free of the cattle tick.
    The fire alarm sounded around 8:30 Sunday night and the force with alot of people came out to assist in stopping the destruction of property by fire. The vacant residence that was built by Mr. W. H. Smith and belonging to Mr. R. B. Bryan was afire and burning fast. The department turned out in full force but too late to save anything. It was a seven room frame house and practically new. It is not known how the fire originated.
    The sales here Tuesday was attended by more people than have been gathered here for awhile. There was a few sales made through levies by the sheriff but the most of the property sold was sold by administators for the purpose of distrbuting among heirs. Principal among these were the Powell, Harrison and Davis estates which were put up to the highest and best bidder and which did not bring on the average more than $12 per acre. There was a few shares of bank stock sold also.
    Messrs. L. Samps Powell and W. T. Harrison, Jr. and Messrs. J. W. and O. K. Davis were the administators who sold the property, Col. A. L. Hatcher representing the two former estates and Judge B. B. Blount the Davis estate. Col. C. S. Claxton sold two tracts of land under levy. Some cattle was sold by Sheriff Davis under another levy.
    Gov. Hardwick orders soldiers pensions to be ready to distribute by the 25th. The war tax on soda's was also lifted. The directors of the Jefferson County bank at Wadley closed its doors Friday morning and placed in the hands of the state bank examiners. The branch at Matthews is also affected.
    The moon may be a dry planet, but there is considerable moisture in moonshine. Many people are saying how proud they are of the way the roads over the county are being improved by the present force of hands. Alot of moving around will be done between now and the new year. Several houses in the city are vacant now and there are reports that a few more will be vacant by owners moving to thier farms.
    Mr. & Mrs. J. T. Burch had a little daughter and all are just fine. Miss Sallie Davis is now with Powell Chapel School.
    W. T. Johnson will open up a place of business next to the E. A. W. Johnson store. The Tanner Undertaking Co. is moving down to the store of Mr. T. V. Kent, where it has arrainged new quarters for its big stock of coffins, caskets and robes.
    Mr. Stephen D. Powell died November 13th living in the Providence Community. He was born in 1877. In 1905 he married Miss Mattie Mae Caplan and had 10 children, one who died in infancy. He died of pneumonia and was buried at Gumlog cemetery.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

From Days Gone By Dec. 3, 1921

December 3, 1921.
    The November term of City Court stopped work late Friday afternoon having put through a long line of criminal and civil proceedings through the judicial mill. Judge S. W. Sturgess of the City Court of Dublin was on the bench part of the week for Judge Moye who was disqualified in a number of cases. Judge Moye took the bench again Thursday morning and until adjournment on Friday late.
    Solicitor W. C. Brinson represented the interest of the county in his usual efficient manner and quite a number of convictions are on the court's record. Eight went to the chaingang from the court. Of these, five were men and three were women. The latter were arrainged on charges growing out of crimes committed in the city. There are now 49 inmates of the county gang and Warden Stanley has the largest force the county has ever had. A lot of bonds were forfeited.
    Even the joker is there. All except one queen, Warden Stanley now has a full deck. A white man went off Saturday for a liquor crime to which he plead guilty before Judge Moye and two more blacks went off Monday afternoon, making now 52 inmates on the chaingang. The two blacks were Robert Davis, who plead guilty to a pistol charge, and Lewis Youngblood who visited the farm of Prof. L. M. Blount Sunday afternoon and carried away a bag of pecans. He, also, said he was guilty and they both drew 8 months a piece. Warden Stanley now has 9 more then the gang ever carried before and is building roads in a hurry.
    Just as Mr. J. E. Linder had returned from his room in the Ansley Hotel in Atlanta, to the street where 20 minutes before he had alighted from his big Packard automobile he discovered to his dismay that his costly machine was gone. Mr. Linder and party had just srrived in the city and the others had gotten out at the Piedmont and he drove on down to the Ansley. He stopped his car, got out and registered, went up to his room, bathed his hands and immediately returned to the street and during this short interval the car was nowhere to be found. Detectives and the police were put after it, but up to now no trace of the missing auto has been revealed. Mr. Linder had theft insurance to the amount of $2000. The Packard people fixed him up with a brand new beauty in which he came home.
    There is no doubt that the railroads of the country are hit hard and many of them are facing a crisis in their running existence and it is being talked that there will be a general scrapping of short lines in many sections of the United States. Whether this will be done or not we cannot say. We do know that their business is crippled and will be for another year, because their business is like most every other business--not much doing. Nothing being shipped in nor out and won't be for some time to amount to a great deal. It is then for our people to begin to look into road building possibilites over this section, building highways over which may be conveyed such commodities as will necessary have to move.
    It all depends on how you look at it. A lot of folks go around wearing good clothes, owe every other fellow you meet and then brag on how much they pay the preacher.

Monday, November 18, 2019

From Days Gone By Nov. 26, 1921

November 26, 1921.
    No town can prosper where every businessman in it lives to himself! Merchants and businessmen of a town must co-operate with each other if they would hold the trade in territory that belongs to them. All business institutions and property owners of a town to be permanently prosperous must always be working together to bring the trade of the territory in their direction or else it will go elsewhere where more alluring inducements are offered. Merchants of no town of any importance should be without an organization of their own. All business institutions of a town besides a merchants association should maintain a well organized and well suported chamber of commerce or board of trade.
   The C. E. Smith Cash Store at Harrison was broken into a little after midnight by a set of robbers and goods to the amount of about $300 were taken out as estimated by the manager, Mr. Daniel. The glass in the front door was broken, the door opened and the goods taken out at the back, put in an automobile and carried hastily away. The night marshal saw the light and heard the noise in the store and went for help. Before help got there the robbers had made their haul and left for parts unknown. Mr. Daniels offered a $50 reeard for their capture and return of goods.
    Mr. Goode C. Watkins of meeks and Mr. Charles L. Wilson filed for bankruptcy. Mrs. Eloise Grahl of Adrian won the prize of $1 offered for the Alma Mater song written by a student of Andrew Female College at Cutbert.
    T. D. Holt resigns as night policeman because of health reasons. Mr. Elton Oliver will replace him for the city of Wrightsville. Dr. I. H. Archer who has been in New Orleans will be returning to Wrightsville on furlough.
    Next week is the city elections and politics is warming up. Those in the council races are O. H. Tompkins, R. E. Butterly, Gainer Fulford, M. S. Duggan, James D. Bush, C. S. Blankenship, A. F. Flanders, J. A. Hall, J. W. Brinson, I. R. Tanner and W. F. Outlaw.
    A large black dog came to Alex Mayo's home acting very insanely. After watching it for a while Mayo determined the dog was mad as it ran after his hogs and chickens. Mayo got his shotgun and mounted his mule and when he got in shooting distance killed the mad dog.
    If the boll weevil had never infested the cotton belt, it was only a question of time until our agriculture would have collapsed of its own accord. Our soils were getting poorer all the time, due to the strain of planting cotton year after year. We must improve our soils permanently and the best way to do this is to keep livestock. Now is the best time to build up your worn out gully lands.
    A real cold snap has hit the county and it is a good time for hog killing. Many farmers have taken advantadge of it and put in their smokehouse for next year. This is one thing that is plentiful in Johnson County and a real money-saving proposition with plenty of meat and curing houses. Especially when hogs are selling for 6 cent a pound but a pound of porkchops cost you 25 cents a pound in the store. Lots of difference between the hog in the farmers hands and the consumer. Somebody is getting an unreasonable profit.
    It is refreshing to note that throughout Johnson County there is an increased interest in schools.Educating your children is an investment that bankrupt courts can't touch.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

From Days Gone By Nov. 19, 1921

November 19, 1921.
    The present status of law and order, the continuance of lawlessness and depravity in Johnson County has the people questioning the safety of their homes and firesides. It has grown to a pretty pickle when brazen-faced bootleggers, blind tigers, pistol carriers, blood-thirsty, dirty loafers roam around at will, degrading the moral stamina of the county and besmirching its fair name. "Cyclone Mack" fittingly describes a blind tiger as a cross between a buzzard and a polecat.
    Whether a man and his family may dwell in this county in saftey and have enjoyments of life is a question before us at this time and a question for the courts with their juries to decide with unflinching support of the citizenry in redeeming it from this terrible state of lawlessness. Civilization and lawlessness cannot live in the same land. When a man is slain in a private quarrel the crime is not a private one but a public wrong, done against all the people, impairing their security and threatening the destruction of it.
    The murders and other crimes are more or less directly traceable to the moonshiner who has the crimes on his hands and the blood stains covering his front doors show the bloody trails he is leaving behind him as he dispenses the poison which is demoralizing the county and lowering its standards as a quiet, law-respecting community. Johnson County people who really care do not relish such conditions, do not uphold them and blush at their committals. And Johnson's true-blue people resent its continuance with their vigor and manhood, all at their command, and arise to ask from slumbers, are our homes safe? Is our citizenship protected? True nerve and backbone of the good folks of the county must answer these questions.
    We must help our sheriff put down this wave and re-establish law and order, remove the causes of the lawlessness. It is grossly unfair to the schools and the churches, to the future citizens of our county to give its very existence to the moonshine stills and non-responders of the law of every character. Shame on us if we can't do something and do it now.
    Sheriff Lewis Davis has made a statement to the Headlight in which he says he nor his office can't do anything with this whiskey business and other petty and bad crimes of the county without the backing of the good people of the county. He is ready and willing at any time to go after any sort of law breaking whenever it is put before him.
    He says that the chaingang is as full now as it has ever been, there being 43 inmates there at this time, and according to Warden Stanley it has never been any higher. These prisioners are there for making and selling liquor, stealing hogs, pistol toting, gambling, assualt and battery, murder, etc.
    The sheriff states that this is the result, although there was no court in May and no Superior Court in September or there woul most likely have been more on the gang. Since he went in office the first of this year he has handled 111 prisioners through the county jail for this county, to say nothing of the large number he has handled for other counties. There are 4 now in jail and between 120 and 130 out under bond for both the courts, according to the cases on file in the clerk's office.
    Sheriff Davis believes in law and order and the strict enforcement of all laws on the statutes and regards the crime wave bad. He expresses the hope that it will subside and most respectfully seeks the moral backing and strong support of the good people of the county in surppressing it.