Sunday, December 16, 2012


The Weekly Press Association Converges on Dublin

It was another hot July week when 200 or more members and guests of the Georgia Press Association descended on Dublin, Georgia in 1912. It was during that pinnacle year in the growth of Dublin as a major city in Georgia that the "Emerald City" hosted eight state wide gatherings. Laurens County, one of the top seven counties in the state in population and with its central location, the city of Dublin, with all of its railroads and fine amenities was the ideal place to hold a meeting.

It was during the year 1878 when the Dublin Gazette was first published, giving the county its first weekly paper. Over the next quarter of a century, newspapers would come and go. In the year 1912, a year when Dublin and Laurens County had reached the pinnacle of their growth and economic development, Dublin was home to two weeklies, or semi- weeklies, the Dublin Courier and the Laurens Herald. A year later, the two papers would merge to form the Dublin Courier Herald, one of the first dailies outside of a major metropolitan area in Georgia.

The members of the Fourth Estate, as newspapermen were first dubbed by British philosopher, Edmund Burke, came to salute and honor their own and hear the finest and the best speakers, who spoke on a variety of topics relating to the present state of the newspaper business aswell as its future. Any discussion of news, especially in a presidential election year, revolved around politics. The year 1912, which pitted Republicans, Wm. Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt, against Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, was no exception.

The participants rolled into town on a special M.D. & S. train on July 15th. Anyone who had a car, remember it was 1912, was invited to meet the 6:00 o'clock p.m. train at the depot to give rides to the out of town guests to their assigned homes around the city. The people of Dublin had done this all before. As they had done in 1899, every factory whistle wailed upon the train's arrival.

Association President, Claud M. Methvin, called the first meeting of the 26th annual convention to order later that evening in the Dublin City School Auditorium. Methvin, editor of the Eastman Times Journal was married to the former Miss Madge Hilburn, of Dublin. Mrs. Methvin became an exceedingly successful editor on her own, earning a place in the Georgia Newspaper Hall of Fame in 1994.

Dublin's perpetually popular Mayor, E.R. Orr, and Judge John S. Adams, one of the many smart legal minds in Dublin, welcomed the guests to Dublin. W.T. Anderson, the legendary editor of the Macon Telegraph and one of the initial inductees into Georgia's newspaper hall of fame responded on behalf of the association.

After J.C. Williams reminisced about the 1899 meeting in Dublin, editor Frank Lawson gave an interesting talk, "From Railroading to Journalism." Lawson, then the editor of the Laurens Herald and later the Dublin Courier-Herald, began his business career as a lowly railroad clerk and ended it as one of the state's most respected editors.

Pleasant A. Stovall, (LEFT) the statesmanlike founder of the Savannah Evening Press and a former editor of the Augusta Chronicle, and an initial 1931 inductee in the Georgia Newspaper of Fame, gave the most highly acclaimed speech of the night. Stovall saluted the small town journalists by advising them to follow the exemplary procedures of the New York World. Just a year after appearing in Dublin, Stovall was appointed by his childhood friend, Woodrow Wilson, as the United States Ambassador to Switzerland, a position in which he served in until the end of World War I.

At the end of the speeches, Mrs. T.H. Smith and Mrs. Holt Skelly sang, accompanied by Miss Mary Hicks on the piano. To conclude the musical presentation, Miss Ruth Oppenheim, of Atlanta, performed several operatic arias.

After a morning session of quote, "interesting" papers, the whole congregation of conventioneers boarded a Wrightsville and Tennille train for a picnic at Idylwild, the railroad's resort on the Big Ohoopee River, southwest of Wrightsville. There they enjoyed a fine barbecue, prepared by experienced Dublin barbecue artists, Peter Twitty, William Tindol and F.C. Tindol, a fish fry and a speech by Cedartown Standard Editor, W.S. Coleman. The originally planned and usual visitor Oconee river boat ride down to Well Springs was canceled when a ban on passengers on freight boats was instituted after the sinking of the Titanic some three months earlier.

After another filling feast, the group returned to Dublin for one final meeting. W.W. Robinson, opened his new hardware store (which became the Ritz Theater two decades later) on West Jackson Street in what was described as "the most brilliant of its kind ever held in the state." In justifying that often quoted praise, W.T. Anderson told the assembled multitude that the affair wasn't equaled by a ten-dollar a plate banquet that he recently attended at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

Rev. W.A. Talieferro, of the First Baptist Church, served as the toastmaster of the evening's festivities. R.M. Martin, the head of the newly constituted Chamber of Commerce, spoke of "Hot Air and the Press" in the first toast of the evening. Rev. Talieferro kept every toaster on time (a three minute limit) during the festivities.

Dublin attorney and political afficionado, G.H. Williams, spoke of politics and the press. Peter S. Twitty, Jr., who would later become Mayor of Dublin and Georgia's Game and Fish Commissioner, preached to the choir on the subject of the returns of advertising in the newspaper business. Dublin attorney and future Superior Court Judge and U.S. Congressman, W.W. Larsen, spoke of his experiences as the Governor's Secretary.

Returning to Dublin that week was Ernest Camp, former editor of the Dublin Times, and a 1962 inductee in the state's newspaper Hall of Fame. Possibly present was Nora Lawrence Smith, a 26-year-old native of Dodge County and editor of the Wiregrass Farmer and the Hall of Fame's first female inductee. Attending the convention were; William G. Sutive (Savannah Evening Press - 1942 inductee,) Pleasant T. McCutchen (Franklin News) and Theron Shope (Dalton Citizen,) 1966 inductees, William Shackleford (Oglethorpe Echo-1968 inductee,) Albert S. Hardy (Gainesville News-1956 inductee,) James C. Williams (Greensborough Herald Journal-1944 inductee) and Louis Morris (Hartwell Sun-1956 inductee.)

During a short business meeting on Wednesday morning. C.M. Methvin was reelected as the head of the organization. R.Y. Beckham of the Laurens County Herald was elected as the association's 2nd Vice President.

Hal M. Stanley (LEFT) assumed the role as editor of the Dublin Gazette, Laurens County's first weekly newspaper in 1890. Seven years later, Stanley and brother Vivian joined to establish the Dublin Courier. Hal Stanley involved himself in the inner workings of the Georgia Press Association, serving as its President from 1907 to 1909 and as its executive secretary for three decades, all of this in addition to a mirror role as the Executive Secretary of the Weekly Association. For the last five years of his life, Stanley was honored with the title of Secretary Emeritus. Stanley and Telegraph editor, W.T. Anderson, joined Stovall as the three initial members of the Georgia Newspaper Hall of Fame who were present at the gathering.

After yet another grand meal, the members of the association caught a train for the coast for two days of surf, sun, fun and fishing. But, it was during that showery, somewhat mild July week, a hundred years ago that a baker's dozen of the finest journalists in Georgia history gathered in the Emerald City for three days of fine dining, great speeches and all around fun.


They weren't exactly the weddings of the century, no one or two weddings are except to the couples themselves. But, when Dena Baum married Emanuel Dreyer and her sister, Blanche Alexandria Baum, took the hand of Junius Schiff in marriage, they were the largest weddings ever held in Laurens County. On this Valentine's Day, let's turn back the clock more than a century of ago and took a look at what truly glamorous weddings used to be about.

Dena Baum was the first of the daughters of Napoleon Bonaparte Baum and Louise Kohn Baum to get married in Dublin. Being of the Jewish faith, there were no synagogues in Dublin for the Baum girls to get married in. Misses Baum chose the secular venue of the Laurens County Courthouse. The brides' father was one of the city's leading merchants and public-spirited citizens at the turn of the 20th Century. Their mother was a Washington, D.C. socialite of sorts. Her father, Phillip Kohn, was once the architect of the Capitol. Mrs. Baum was in attendance at Ford's Theater on the night when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.

It was a warm night on the 7th of January in 1903. Nearly 800 guests from around the city and around the state were filing into the courthouse hoping to get a good seat in the crowded courtroom. For the first time in the history of the county a couple would be married according to the rites of the Jewish religion. Newspaper writers billed it as "the largest ever witnessed in this section of Georgia."

The courtroom was elegantly decorated with evergreen and flowers as to disguise the normal use of the auditorium. A canopy, draped with sheer white cloth and bamboo vines, was erected in front of the judge's bench.

To get the guests into the mood, Professor Carl Leake led his orchestra featuring musical selections from the opera, "Martha." Mrs. T.H. Smith, Mrs. Carl Leake, S.M. Gibson and C.H. Kittrell sang the wedding march as the bridal party approached Rabbi Isaac C. Marcuson and the groom, Emanuel Dreyer, the junior partner of the successful retail grocery firm of Brandon and Dreyer, and his best man, Morriel Elkins.

Dena's younger sisters, Jeanette and Helen, served as ribbon girls. Adeline Baum, the maid of honor, preceded the bride and their father down the aisle to join the ushers dressed in tuxedos and the attendants, beautifully attired in satin dresses.

The beautiful and impressive, yet longer than usual ceremony, lasted well into the late hours of the evening. After the nuptials, the couple, the wedding party and their guests walked across the courthouse lawn to the Baum house on the northeast corner of the square.

After a wonderful honeymoon in Florida, the Dreyers returned to Dublin, all the more wealthy than when they left. With hundreds of gifts in hand along with a reported thousand dollars in gold, the Dreyers were ready to begin their dream life.

A more traditional June wedding took place at the courthouse on June 12, 1907. It was a perfect late spring day with fair skies and an ideal room temperature at 9:00 in the evening. Once again, there was an overflow crowd of friends and family pressed into the Laurens County courtroom. This time, the groom, Junius Schiff, was not as well known, but was fortuitously brought to Dublin to take a position as the floor manager of the Sam Weischelbaum Company, in which the Baum family held an interest.

Blanche Baum Schiff  (above left).

Following the plans of her sister's wedding, an orchestra of family friends were on hand to play as the bridal party came down the aisle. For all of you wedding planners, a reporter described the auditorium, "From the door to the altar was laid with white crash cloth. A profusion of cut flowers, palms, ferns and pot plants was used in the decoration. The stand in back of the altar was draped with white ribbon and ferns, and on each were suspended the letter 'B' and 'S." Between the letters was a large heart made of ferns and cut flowers. Two large arches spanned the entrance. These were draped with white ribbon and ferns. From the altar was suspended a canopy studded with lights and draped with white ribbon and cut flowers. From this canopy over the bride and groom was suspended a large bell made of red and white roses.

Just as she had before, sister Adeline Baum, gowned in a lace robe and who would never marry herself, served as the maid of honor. Leo Weiss was the groom's best man. The groomsmen wore continental evening suits, while the bride's maids wore white lingerie chiffon dresses and carried white flowers.

After Rabbi David Marx of Atlanta presented the newlyweds, they walked out of the auditorium to the traditional Mendelssohn's Wedding March. Following the ceremony, another lavish reception was held in the Baum home across the square.

And just like it was before, wedding gifts filled the Baum residence. There was enough cut glass, dishes, silverware and serving pieces to entertain party guests for a lifetime. The Schiff's left her home at 2:00 in the morning to catch an afternoon train from Tennille to Savannah. The couple traveled to Norfolk, Virginia where they saw the sights around Old Point Comfort, Hampton, and Portsmouth. They left the Old Dominion and traveled to New York City, where after a short visit, traveled up the Hudson River to Niagra Falls, a common honeymoon destination of the day and in Dena's words, "the prettiest sight we saw." On their return home, the Schiffs toured Philadelphia, Washington and visited with the groom's parents in Atlanta before returning home after their twenty-five-day honeymoon tour. They would enjoy a marriage of fifty-five years.

Junius Schiff  (above left) died on February 17, 1963. Blanche died on May 12, 1972. Tragically, Emanuel Dreyer took his own life on May 29, 1923. Dena died on March 15, 1947. They are buried in the family plot in Section W of Northview Cemetery in Dublin.

Over the last century, weddings have changed dramatically. In some cases, they haven't changed at all. So, on this Valentine's Day, let me wish a happy life to all of those who love and who are loved by someone. Treasure all the days you have after you say your vows. In the case of the Baum sisters, one marriage lasted a lifetime while the other was tragically cut short.


Today is September 11, 2012.  Not a soul alive eleven years ago will ever forget the horror of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Nor, will they ever forget the waves of patriotism from patriotic Americans which swept across the country. 

For centuries, Laurens County and Dublin have had more than their normal share of patriots.  On this Patriot's Day, let us go back in time to recognize some of our nation's patriots, for whom some of our city streets  are named. 

We all know that Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and Jackson streets were named for our early southern presidents.  And,  Franklin, Lawrence (Laurens) and Marion Streets were named  for one Yankee and two South Carolina patriots of the American Revolution.

Truxton, Bainbridge, Rodgers and Decatur are not really household names.  These Dublin streets were named for naval heroes of the early 19th century.  Commodore Thomas Truxton brought the American navy on a par with the French and the British navies during the naval battles with the French in the Caribbean around the turn of the 19th century.  Truxton, commanding the "Constellation," captured the French frigates "Insurgente" and "La Vengance" and won the hearts of the American people.  William Bainbridge was a one time commander of the frigate "Constitution."  Bainbridge gained fame for his bravery and gallantry in the war with Tripoli.  Commodore John Rodgers served as executive officer of the "Constellation" under Truxton.  He captained a ship in the War of 1812.   Stephen Decatur, a commodore in the navy, was a hero of the War of 1812 and became even more famous after his death in a duel with a fellow officer.  Schley St., which runs into West Moore St., was named for Admiral Winfield Scott Schley, hero of the Spanish-American War.  Dewey St., was named in honor of Adm. George Dewey, another hero of Spanish-American War.

In September 1943, engineers began laying out the streets on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Hospital.  The streets were named for medical department personnel killed in action during World War II.   

Gendreau Circle was named for Capt. Elphege A.M. Gendreau of San Francisco, who was killed in combat in the South Pacific. Gendreau was an officer of the United States Navy during both World Wars. A native of Canada, he was commissioned an Assistant Surgeon, Medical Reserve Corps, with the rank of Lieutenant JG .

Captain Gendreau served as the chief surgeon on the staff of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet. In the summer of 1943, he was on temporary duty in the South Pacific inspecting medical facilities to improve treatment and care of battle casualties. Captain Gendreau voluntarily boarded the  LST-343 to assist in the evacuation of the sick and wounded from Rendova. The doctor was killed in a dive-bomb  attack on the LST on July 21, 1943.  Gendreau's dedicated service prompted Admiral Nimitz to recommend that a destroyer be named for him.

Blackwood Drive was named in memory of James D. Blackwood, of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania and senior medical officer of the U.S.S. Vincennes.  Blackwood, of  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, enrolled in the Naval Coast Defense Reserve as an Assistant Surgeon in 1917.  Dr. Blackwood  served aboard transport ships in the Atlantic during World War I.  When the U.S.S. President Lincoln was attacked, Blackwood's heroic actions earned him a Navy Cross. 

Blackwood was appointed Medical Inspector with the rank of Commander in 1938 and reported to the Vincennes, on which he served  during the early months of World War II. During the Battle of Savo Island on August 9, 1942 in the Solomon Islands campaign, an American naval force was struck in a surprise night attack.  Blackwood was killed when the Vincennes sunk into the Pacific Ocean. 

Johnson Drive and Alexander Drive were named in memory of Cmdr. Samuel E. Johnson, of Clinton, Alabama, and Lt. Cmdr. Hugh R. Alexander, of Belleville, Pennsylvania. Alexander was killed aboard  the U.S.S. Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor. 

Lt. Cmdr. Edward Crowley, of San Francisco, had Crowley Avenue named in his memory after he was killed in the Solomon Islands.  

Neff Place was named in honor of Lt. Cmdr. James Neff, Senior Medical Officer of the cruiser U.S.S. Juneau.

Trojakowski Avenue was named in honor of Commander W.C. Trojakowski, of Schenectady, N.Y..   Trojakowski, a senior dental officer,  was killed in the blast from a bomb while carrying on his duties in a splendid manner on the main deck.  

Morrow Place was posthumously named for Lt. Junior Grade Edna O. Morrow, of Pasadena, Calf..    Nurse Morrow, diagnosed with terminal cancer,  was flying home from Pearl Harbor aboard Pan Am Flight 1104 in January 1943.  She was coming home to die when her plane crashed, killing all aboard. 

The last street, Evans Avenue, was named in honor of Lt. Cmdr. Edward E. Evans, of San Francisco, who was killed in the Solomon Islands in December of 1942. 

When Rod Peacock laid out Linda Vista Subdivision in the early 1970s, he wanted to salute many of the leaders of the United States Military who served in the Southeast Asian Theater of Operations during World War II.  

Merrill Street is named after General Frank Merrill, the leader of Merrill's Marauders.  Merrill's men defied all odds and triumphed over one adversity after another by tenaciously moving through the jungles of Southeast Asia.  Scott Drive is named for General Robert L. Scott of Macon.  Scott was a leading pilot of the famed "Flying Tigers." 

            Major-General Orde Charles Wingate was a British Army officer and creator of special military units in Palestine in the 1930s and in World War II. He is most famous for his creation of the Chindits, an airborne unit assigned to work behind Japanese lines in World War II.

        Lieutenant General Claire Lee Chennault was an American military aviator. A aggressive officer, Chennault  was a fierce advocate of fighters, when high altitude bombers were the predominant aircraft of the day.   Chennault retired in 1937 and went to work as an aviation trainer and adviser in China,.  The general  commanded the "Flying Tigers" during World War II, one of the Air Force's most acclaimed units. 

So when you drive  along these streets, don't just think of them as a way to get where you are going.  Think of those American Patriots who made so many unselfish and ultimate  sacrifices for all of us in America.   

Thursday, December 13, 2012


They call this place Northview. They have been calling it Northview for now on 111 years. Some wanted to give it romantic names like " Necropolis," "Mistletoe Bower" or "Weeping Willow." Still others wanted to call it "Sawyer Place" for Jonathan Sawyer the founder of the City of Dublin some century before, while others wanted to dub it "Orrville" or "Orr Field" in honor of E.R. Orr, chairman of the city council committee on cemeteries. It is place where the members of the Dublin Rotary Club, took the suggestion of Mary Barbee and with the generous contributions from members of our community, put a facelift to the cemetery where our friends and loved ones rest in eternal peace.

It is a warm - no hot - quiet Sunday morning. Puffy cumulus clouds race to the west, spinning off a tropical storm approaching from the east. The perfume of the so, so sweet magnolias permeates the air. Mockingbirds engage in aerial combat. Off in the distance, the mourning dove coos her melancholy dirge of death.

Over there is a six-trunk, non-native spruce tree. It is draped with a coat of Spanish Moss, a relative of the pineapple plant, you know.

This is where it all began in 1902. On a sad, sad April day, the six-month-0ld, infant body of Joseph Dewitt Carter (left) was laid to eternal rest on the crest of this hill, now shaded by the ancient oaks planted here nearly a century ago.

"How much of light, how much of you is buried with this darling boy?" That's what his grieving parents implored.

Down the hill, yellow dandelion flowers volunteer over the grave of Sgt. Oliver W. Wester, 4th AAAF Fighter Group, who was killed on July 14, 1943.

Here lies 2nd Lt. Rrobert Andrew Beall. Beall was there in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania leading his Gibson Guards of Wright's Brigade toward "The Angle" on Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg. It was toward the end of the second day of the epic battle when Beall and his brigade were "Masters of the Field" as they were the first and only Confederate brigade to break the Union lines at the High Water Mark of the Confederacy. When the Georgia boys in butternut failed to get support on their flanks, they were surrounded by reserve Federal units. More men were lost to death and capture on their retreat than on the arduous advance to the stone-walled salient. Lt. Beall was wounded, captured and taken to prison at Point Lookout, Maryland. After an early release, Lt. Beall stood with the last shattered remnants of his company at Appomattox Court House when the killing finally and mercifully came to an end.

And then there are the dough boys of World War I. Sgt. Syl P. Hodges, who immediately enlisted in the Signal Corps, 4th Division upon the declaration of war and who had just been transferred to the front when he was accidentally killed in a rest billet.

Corporal Clarence D. Fordham, joined Co. C of the 151st Machine Gun Battalion, just after graduating high school. Fordham went to Mexico with the boys from Georgia in 1916 and was one of the Yanks who went over there in 1918 with the Rainbow Division. Fordham was wounded on July 25, 1918 and lingered for six days before he died. He was only 17 years old.

"Nobly he fell while fighting for liberty. Eternal rest grant him oh Lord. And let perpetual light shine on him," is how this hero's granite epitaph reads.

Descendants of Leonard and Ellen Braddy still place flags by the graves of sons, Cary and Braddy. The Braddys lost two of their sons in World War II. Lt. Cary H. Braddy died on April 21, 1945 somewhere in the not so sunny, South Pacific. Sgt. Palmer fell on the frozen fields of Belgium some 14 weeks earlier. No parents should suffer like that.

Just another pace or two away lies the mortal remains of Judge Felton Perry - his given name as he was not a jurist - who died on the frozen fields of Europe on the 9th day of January, 1945.

Confederate and American flags adorn the grave of Capt. Hardy B. Smith almost as if they were never raised against each other.

There are Hatfields and McCoys here too, although there has nary a feud between these Laurens County clans.


Right in the middle of the cemetery is the Mausoleum. It took about two years and $30,000.00 to build this distinguished ossuary of concrete and marble. First National Bank President Frank Corker, the man who built Dublin's skyscraper, led the effort to construct the masonry mansion for up to two hundred souls. It is the immortal home of families like the Pages, Garretts, Phillips, Robinsons, Adams, Powels, Brantleys, and more, the people who made their fortunes when cotton was king and railroads carried us from town to town and wondrous places around the country.


Advance units of the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts have already canvassed the area, marking the grave of all of those who have served our nation and our fallen heroes.

Twenty years after his death, the citizens of Dublin dedicated a ledger to the memory of Mayor Lucien Quincy Stubbs, who made many improvements to the city he so dearly loved. Stubbs would have gladly surrendered these posthumous accolades to resurrect the lives of his beloved Clara, John, and Ella who died all too young.

Ella Stubbs

John M. Stubbs, Jr.

Grieving parents, Lucien and Lula, placed concrete angels, now spattered with pale green lichens. John prays to the heavens, one of his broken wings loving placed back on it pedestal. Lula, her tiny, dainty fingers crumbling, spreads flowers of joy and good cheer.

Here lie sinners, saints, quarterbacks, and poker players. Passing through this graveyard you will finds Kings, Princes, Knights, Lords, loads of lovely ladies and way too many little princesses.

There is at least one Diamond buried here, but don't go digging up Mrs. Mary Claire just yet.

For those of you who are superstitious, there are Boneys, Slaughters, Hooks, Roaches, Tingles, Webbs, Vines, Leaches, Chivers, Clouds and Stranges. And for those who really are afraid of being here, the Adams family lies over there. There are even Graves in some of these graves. And, if you walk over in Section C, Row 17, you will find Mr. and Mrs. Coffin (Shubert and Lollie.) Cross my heart and hope to join these folks, I am not lying!

Green and blue funeral home tents keep the scarce rains from washing away the recent tears of grieving loved ones dropped on the yellow sandy loam.

Back in the early days, infants were indiscriminately snatched away from excited parents. Emma Dora Arnau's final crib is adorned with a mourning dove lying beside a short stump signifying a life cut all to short in 1902. An unnamed, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Lord died at the age of one day in 1904. His parents paid quite handsomely for a stone cutter to carve an image of their most beloved little boy. Another, unadorned stone simply says "Tommy."

Dozens and dozens of unmarked slabs, their occupant's identities unknown to all but God, still confound ancestor seeking visitors.

Kinchen Walker, a soldier of the South and a devout Methodist, was a good man. He helped to rid the city of demon rum, or so he thought.

J.W. Holland sleeps as a brilliant red cardinal glides over his eternal bed.

I think I'll stop now. The cool shade isn't so cool anymore. It's time to take a break, drink some sweet tea and rest until next week when my ramble through Northview continues.



I'm back and ready to resume my journey through the eternal homes of people we once knew and loved.

Over here among the members of the Felder family, is the grave of Thomas Brailsford Felder, Jr., a political nova, drawn into the black hole of the not so heavenly world of politics. He had all the promise of success in the world, but it was relationships with the evil ones of the Warren Harding administration who seduced him to the Gates of Hades. Look there, one end of his slab seems to be rising out of the ground. It's election time and ol' Tom Felder must be rising up for one more political fight. You can't keep a good man down.

Dr. Charles Hicks' marker is draped with a cloth. Maybe it is supposed to symbolize mosquito netting. You see it was Dr. Hicks who figured out why the skeeters of Buckeye brought us so much malaria. The pioneering physician discovered that the healthier folks in Dublin drew their water from deep underground aquifers, while the sickly people up in the hills of Buckeye got their drinking water from shallow wells where the stinging critters picked up the once deadly parasites.

Major T. D. Smith, the grand master of barbeque, assembles his comrades in Gray, some sixty strong. Not a single "Billy Yank" lies here, at least not one who will proclaim it.

One arm is missing from the angel who watch over the graves of W.J. Hightower and his family. The newer angels around this place still have their arms and wings. The ravaging devil of time hasn't figured out a way to clip them off yet.

Mr. Mockingbird, my constant and faithful tour guide, returns - dancing from stone to stone. He leads me to a Georgia Bulldog, complete with his red sweater and telling all of us that this man loved them Dawgs.

Rainbows of summer flowers, some natural and some plastic, decorate the rolling landscape. It doesn't take Miss Swallowtail long to figure out the difference.

I see the graves of teachers, plumbers and fighter aces. Faithful friends, beloved daddies, and Woodmen of the World are here too. There are Elks and Mooses, but not the antlered kind. Over there are orphans, unsurpassed mothers, and memories.

People who knew Mr. Cy Dozier knew that he was a Christian from the cradle to the
grave. His epitaph reminds us of that wonderful trait.

Many of us ate her delicious home style food, but how many of you know that the lady they called "Ma," was in fact Fannie Bell Keen Hawkins. Over here is "Bud" Barron, one of those flyboys, who flew more air miles than almost any other pilot in World War II.

Slumbering here is the infant son of Dr. and Mrs. E.B. Claxton. Even the John Hopkins taught medical skills of his physician father couldn't save his momentary life.

Duos and trios of American Arborvitae spiral skyward. They tell the good people where to catch the up escalator.

April 1944 wasn't a good month for the Bidgood family. Robert Bidgood, the handsome, beloved son of Grover and Henrietta Bidgood, went missing over New Guinea. There was no Happy New Year in the Zetterower family in the cold European winter of 1945 either. Frank Zetterower, Jr. earned a Silver Star by giving his life to save the life of a fellow soldier in the village of Gambsheim, France.

In those days, sometimes it took years to bring home the bodies of the boys who fought in that brutal, terrible war. When Frank's remains came home, his father, Frank, Sr., chose to join his namesake. They buried them side by side on that sad, sad Sunday.

Other young boys, who fought the war started by men, gave the last true measure of devotion in the service of our country. Their mothers cried. Their strong fathers crumbled under weight of agony and despair. Willie T. Holmes was killed in Okinawa. The blood of recent school boys, Randall Robertson and James B. Hutchinson, stained the white -grained sands and rocky, igneous hills of Iwo Jima. And, there are army officers like Lt. Peter Fred Larsen was killed by his own men - a villainous trick of his captors who hauled him and others around in the crammed, filthy holds of cargo ships which fell in the sights of American fighter pilots. By my feet lies Wex Jordan, the "Fiddling Fullback," a football star and an All-American boy, faces the heavens, where he lost his life in a training accident in the skies off San Diego.

A single simplistic column marks the graves of a decade of the members of the Baum and Dreyer families. Sons and daughters of Israel, public service was their fundamental creed. Louisa Kohn Baum was there on that seemingly happy, mid-April evening, when John Wilkes Booth put a gun to the head of Abraham Lincoln and nearly finished killing off a badly wounded nation.

It is all together fitting and proper that George and Patricia Tanner lie in wait next to Alice Patterson over in the edge the woods by the frilly pink mimosas. They wait for the Birdman, Tommy Patterson, who's watching and waiting for that one more angelic winged creature to carry him home to the Green Acres neighborhood where they lived as neighbors and loved life on the banks of the Hunger and Hardship Creek. Son Hunter Patterson has just come back with precious artifacts from the swampy creek, where he discovered and thrilled in the natural beauty of our world.

There are broken markers, broken hearts and broken dreams. Ancient cedars spread their short, scaly needles casting shadows of death and despair, while a duo of mourning doves dart and dash among the oaks and myrtles. Brown thrashers, wrens and sparrows scan the surface for a seed or tasty insect for Sunday brunch.

Elllison Pritchett lies here. Way back during the days of the Great Depression, he built an airplane for the world's richest man, but had to keep on building planes to pay his bills.

I see the grave of little Jimmy Rogers, a sweet child of his parents love whom God called home to the bright mansions above. Just below Mary's little lamb, the stone mason carved the day he flew home with the angels, September 24, 1901 - a date which predates the city's purchase of the original 25-acre cemetery from Celestia Smith by three months and two days.

Cemeteries to some are terrifying places. Others are superstitious when they come here. "Don't step on the graves," they say. Some hold their breath as they motor by, just to keep the spirits from taking it away. Others, like me, see cemeteries as wonderlands, wonderlands of beauty, family, heritage, sacrifice, service, and most of all, love.

Besides, in my position as President of the Laurens County Historical Society, it is my solemn duty to know where all the bodies are buried.

Before I go, I think I will walk over to the far left side of the cemetery right along the tree line near the back. I recommend that the next time you go to this place that you follow my footsteps.

There is the place where young Gavin plays. Gavin had to leave us all to soon. In his gravel box, you find more than a platoon of angelic cherubs to protect him from the evil ways of the world which surround him. Gavin has red race cars and many neat toys to play with. On the round stones, he reads the words "faith, hope and love," three attributes which could save the world if we all used them, and constantly, in our daily lives.

Back in October, Gavin had Jack-O-Lanterns to fill with Halloween candy. In April, the Easter Bunny left a trio of Spiderman eggs in a Spiderman pail. At one end of the box there is a short cross to remind him that Jesus is there by his side. He knows his loving family is always there for they always bring him new toys to play with.

Gavin plays from the early dawn until the last glow of evening twilight. And, when the Sun goes down, his family put out some solar powered lights, just so he won't be alone in the dark. No child was ever loved more.



In the early decades of the 20th Century, there was no more fun time, no more important time or no more anticipated time than fair time. State. District and county fairs were the people's favorite time of the year. With most of the crops in the barns and the gins, the rural people, the farmers and the merchants who sold them goods, could pause for a week, relax, and have a grand of' time. Before it was over, more than 20,000 people would come to the autumn festival.

Following the 1910 Census, Lauren's County found itself in the 12th Congressional District of Georgia. It was the practice in those days for every Congressional District to stage its own fair, centered in the largest city within the district. Dublin, being one of the largest cities in the state in general, was selected to host the very first 12th Congressional District Fair, which took place a century ago this week.

Building off the foundation of the county's first fair in 1911, the organizers of the 1912 fair set out to show off Dublin and Laurens County to the entire state. Peter Twitty, Jr., who would go on to become Mayor of Dublin and Georgia's Game and Fish Commissioner, served as President of the 12th District Fair Association. Twitty was aided by Capt. W.B. Rice, J.B. Type, and Vivian L. Stanley, who served as vice-presidents along with other vice presidents hailing from the eleven-county district. Newspaperman Frank Lawson, gleefully counted the bulging receipts and carefully watched the expenses. Local promoters proudly hailed the fair as the largest of its kind in the state with the exception of the State Fair in Macon, which took place a few weeks later in October.

To draw a crowd, the fair's organizers planned an abundance of events, not to mention the $3000.00 in cash prizes. Three things would always produce people; food, fun and politics.

The fair opened on Tuesday, October 8 with short addresses by President Twitty and other community leaders. Farmers, the main focus of the fair, were saluted on Wednesday, Farmers' Union Day. With the fear of the dreaded boll weevil on their minds, a large crowd gathered in the Laurens County Courthouse to hear addresses by Lawson E. Brown, State President of the Georgia Farmers' Union and J.A. Evans, a Federal government expert on the boll weevil. Congressman Dudley M. Hughes, of Danville, a farmer's congressman if there ever was one, disappointed all when his schedule didn't allow him to appear before the large throng of farmers.

Thursday, the 10th, was, well, "Fun Day." Horse races along a half-mile straightaway along a major city thoroughfare were the highlight of the day. The races were so well attended that the horses and their riders were hampered because of the crowds spilling onto the race track. The nucleus of the fair was located on the site of the current day Farmers Market. An all day sing featured the best of local singers entertained the crowd. Many of the best fiddlers in this part of the country gathered and rosined up their bows in one of the city's first Fiddler's Conventions.

The fun continued on Friday, when all kids got out of school to attend the festivities. Of course, their parents came too. And, of course, the parents were the targets of the politicians. Thomas E. Watson, a perennial Populist presidential aspirant, told the gathering just what they wanted to hear. State School Superintendent, M.L. Brittain was there to promise everyone that he would make all the schools in the state better and soon.

John M. Slaton, a former appointed Governor of Georgia, appeared in hopes of being elected in the following election. Slaton was elected, but saw his political career collapse when he pardoned Leo Frank, who was coincidentally was represented by law partner.

To top off the next to the last day of the fair when an estimated 5,000 people swarmed all over the city, all of the prize winners were announced. By far and without a doubt, the best jelly maker was Mrs. J.W. Horne, who proudly walked away with four blue ribbons in all four jelly making categories. Mrs. B.H. Rawls claimed the title as Queen of Condiments for her zestiest catsup and briniest pickles. Mrs. E.H. Langston and Mrs. S.H. Cook were the superior seamstresses of the fair.

Agricultural exhibits and competitions were integral parts of fall fairs for decades. The Emanuel County Boys Corn Club walked away with the grand prize with their record of 57 bushels of corn produced per acre at a handsome profit of $40.97 per acre.

There were poultry and livestock exhibits and of exhibits of nearly every crop one could imagine. Most exhibits were allowed free of charge. But in order to help pay the bills, a charge of 10 cents per chicken and 50 cents for hogs, sheep, goats and cattle, and $1.00 for horses, mules and mules were levied. W.W. Robinson and D.W. Gilbert displayed the finest in agricultural equipment and implements from their respective hardware stores. It will be remembered that it was Gilbert, who created the idea for the county's first fair in 1911. Each county in the district put on display showing off what was best in their communities. Houston County walked away with the Grand Prize of the 12th District Fair.

Baseball fans in the crowds were treated to play by play, inning by inning reports at the Telephone Exchange as the Boston Red Sox, jumped out to 3-1 game lead over the New York Giants, Interestingly, the second game of the series resulted in a 6-6 tie, causing an 8-game World Series.

To make the atmosphere a lot livelier, Dublin's highly heralded brass band, fresh from the magnificent performances representing Georgia at the previous two National Confederate Reunions, entertained the crowds daily.

The District Fair came to a climax on Saturday, October 12, on Dublin and Laurens County Day. The day was set aside for one last great day of fun on the Big Midway.

Although an aero plane could not be secured, thrill seekers were treated to several balloon ascensions. A young and somewhat fearless daredevil leaped from the balloon, pulling his parachute at the last possible moment.

The fair came to end with a dazzling fireworks show. The crowds went home, counting the 360 days until the fair of 1913, which would be even better.

But, it was in those days, in the twelfth year of the 20th Century, when the envious eyes of the citizens of Georgia were focused on the 12th District Fair, our fair, a century ago this week.


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        Do you ever wonder why the doors of many Episcopalian churches are painted red?  The answer goes as far back as the Middle Ages. Some say that the color represents the Blood of Christ, marking the front of the church and even some of its side doors as a sanctuary.  It has long been said that no soldier would follow an enemy behind the red door of sanctuary inside the church.  Today, the red doors still symbolize that the church is a place of refuge and safety.

The red door tradition  lives on in Episcopalian, as well as some Catholic and Methodist churches around the world.  And, you don’t have to go very far to find a red door church here.  Just go look at the red doors of Christ Episcopal Church located in Dublin’s historic triangle. In fact the church has four red doors.

Founded in 1899, Christ Episcopal Church is the city’s oldest church building in its original form.    On February 5, 1899,  the church was consecrated by Rt. Rev. C.K. Nelson and Archdeacon, W.M. Walton, the latter serving as the church’s  first priest. In those days, the Dublin church was a mission church under the charge of the priest of St. Luke's Church in Hawkinsville.  The church was built in the shape of a crucifix with a high vaulted ceiling supported by heart pine beams.  The ceiling area is similar to that of the hold of a ship or an ark, symbolizing that the church is the ark of the children of God in times of tumult.  The sanctuary has seen some minor alterations, adapting to the technology of the day, while major additions were made to the rear of the building.  The present stained glass windows were added in 1994.  

The bell on the exterior of the church was given to the church by church member W.W. Walke after he rescued it from the Laurens County Courthouse, which was demolished in 1963.  The bell had been removed from the Dodge County Courthouse after that building burned and was  placed in Dublin’s courthouse in the mid 1930s. 

        The exquisite red front doors were hand crafted by Jim DeFaux from strips of mahogany glued together.  If you take a closer look, you will notice that the doors actually incorporate two crosses.  The whole process took three months to complete.  DeFaux also designed the interior narthex doors to compliment the front doors. 

The Episcopal Church Women will sponsor a “Red Door Sale,” beginning on Saturday morning, October 20,  at 8:00 a.m.  in the church social hall and lasting until three o’clock in the afternoon.  The church is located at the corner of South Church Street and Academy Avenue in Downtown Dublin.   For more information, call (478) 272-3003. 

The sale, an annual event, will feature its usual treasures as well as works of local artisans, Christmas items, jewelry, antiques, and plants for your garden.  There will be  silent auction items and free drawings during the day, for which you will need to be present to win.  

Information will be available on the red doors and the new Columbarium in the church garden.  Take a peek at the renovation of the James Crabb Episcopal Center and get details on the upcoming Christmas tour.

While you are browsing, nibble on some of the most delicious pies, cakes and cookies, you will ever taste.  The members of the church cordially invite you to attend the Holy Eucharist services each Sunday at 10:30 a.m., followed by a social coffee hour.

Some Episcopalians  now say the interpretations of the meaning of the red doors have changed or expanded. They say that the red doors not only symbolize the church as a place of refuge in the house of the Holy Spirit, but that they  shine forth with a warm welcome.  Come by, visit and see for yourselves. 


A dozen decades ago, Dublin and the rest of Laurens County, stood upon a precipice.  As we gazed into the valley of the future, we saw the whole world coming toward us.  That year, 1891, became one of the most pivotal years in the history of our county.  Dublin and Laurens County began its ascent from a sleepy,  lawless  village into one of the most prosperous and progressive locales in the entire state of Georgia. 

In the quarter century after the end of the Civil War, citizens of Dublin and Laurens County struggled to survive.  After the war, more than a decade would pass before a local newspaper was published or a river boat cruised up and down the Oconee River.  Two decades passed before railroad tracks were laid to the edge of the Oconee River.  A devastating fire nearly wiped out the entire business district of Dublin in 1889.   Still after twenty-five years, there was no bridge, either rail or passenger, over the river.  By the end of the year, two bridges would be constructed and a rail connection to Macon would be established with another one to Hawkinsville in the works.

When the rails of the Dublin and Wrightsville Railroad, later known as the Wrightsville and Tennille Railroad, first reached the eastern banks of the Oconee in 1886, freight and passengers were required to be carried by ferry across the river, which was subject to the mercy of floods and drought.  By 1891, the owners of the railroad were determined to construct a bridge over the river to increase their profits.   

Ever since 1883, John T. Duncan, Judge of The Laurens County Court of Ordinary, led the effort to construct a bridge over the Oconee River.  After the electorate failed to approve a bond issue to build the bridge in 1883, private individuals attempted, but failed  in their efforts when the rushing flood waters washed a wooden bridge down river.  Undaunted, Duncan persevered. By mid-July 1891, the first permanent bridge over the Oconee was completed.  It lasted until it was replaced in 1920 and again in 1953.

Pedestrians, horse drawn vehicles and various livestock could now travel over the Oconee without having to deal with long lines, flood waters and costly toll fees at the Dublin ferry.    For the first time ever, citizens of Dublin and Laurens County, as well as the occasional traveler were no longer at the mercy of the raging or shallow waters of the Oconee.  More importantly, passage over the Oconee River was now free.  

The first permanent county bridge, which would last nearly three decades, was  replaced in 1920.

A sign of better times came when the Laurens Lodge, No. 75, F&AM moved into its new lodge in  a brick building which later became the Lanier Building and now occupied by the Courier Herald,   The first lodge of the Royal Arcanum was organized and met in the the Masons' new quarters. 

In another move which signified a revival in the city, Lucien Quincy Stubbs, son of Col. John M. Stubbs - Dublin's first newspaper publisher -  purchased The Dublin People and renamed it the Dublin New Era.   Stubbs purchased the newspaper from Major A.H. McLaws, a Confederate officer and brother of Confederate Major General Lafayette McLaws.

Another good sign was the final prohibition of legal alcoholic beverage sales within the city limits. For more than a decade, the teetotalers and the drinkers waged a see-saw battle over the issue of beer and liquor sales in the city.  By the mid 1880s, the prohibitionists began to move ahead of those who wanted to buy a drink wherever and whenever they wanted to.

Still another showdown between the drinkers and the dry folks came in early March. In a county wide election, the prohibition people defeated the imbibing inhabitants by a scant margin of 131 votes.    Legal sales of liquor within the city of Dublin in bar rooms already licensed by the Dublin City Council continued until the end of the year.  

A new bank, the People's Banking Company of Atlanta, was established, but failed to succeed.  It would take another year until the beginnings of the Dublin Banking Company, began a successful thirty year reign as the city's first permanent bank. 

The year 1891 was a year of new and old.  A new jail replaced the old one which had been burned to the ground by disgruntled prisoners.  The grist mill at Blackshear's Mill Pond,  now known as Ben Hall Lake, burned leaving the county's oldest grist mill in a pile of ashes. 
Without a doubt, the most important, non war,  date in the history of 19th Century Laurens County came on July 22, 1891.

Early on the morning of July 22, 1891, Conductor J.B. Maxon guided the first train out of the depot on Walnut Street. D.G. Hughes of Danville, H.S. Morse, president of the Illinois and Georgia Improvement Company, headed the list of dignitaries on board. A second train followed behind the No. 1. The trains chugged along the 54-mile track built primarily for the farmers who lived between Macon and Dublin.  Over $100,000.00 was raised among large and small farmers.  The project's success was assured when H.S. Morse was appointed as the superintendent, and James T. Wright was elected president  and the Illinois and Georgia Improvement Company supplied the rest of the capital investment.  The trains stopped in the growing community of Jeffersonville and picked up more passengers.  Vice president Dudley M. Hughes boarded the train during a celebration at Allentown.  Mercer Haynes, E.E. Hicks, Charles Brantley, and Dr. Wood of Dublin boarded the train which was now handsomely decorated with flowers and evergreens by the ladies of Dublin and Allentown. 

The trains rushed through the infant towns of Montrose and Elsie (Dudley) to the shouts of joy.  Dublin was waiting, ready for the train.  Everyone was dressed in their best.  An estimated three thousand persons gathered around the depot.  Barbecue dinners and over a thousand loaves of bread  were served.  The Dublin Light Infantry led by Lieutenant J.M. Adams performed maneuvers for the crowds, only to be interrupted by a downpour.  Everyone scattered into the stores and the homes in the area.  The grounds that were saturated with people only minutes before were now nearly deserted.  Col. Stubbs's family played host to some honored guests.  His home was located on the farm of Col. Stubbs that then stretched from North Church Street to Calhoun Street and Moore Street on the north.  At 4:00 the train, now carrying all of the passenger cars, returned to Macon.  Following the new railroad to Macon was the first telegraph line running from Macon to Dublin.  

More than two hundred years have passed in the history of Laurens County and Dublin now, but if I had to pick one, the most important one, that year would be 1891.   While many important events have taken place in the last two centuries, it was during that single year when many of the most seminal events in our county's history converged into  a turning point of our time.