Presented by the Laurens County Historical Society, Dublin, Georgia. For questions and information, please contact Scott B. Thompson, Sr. at

Monday, November 23, 2015


Check out these 1955 prices in Dublin grocery stores
 for the makings of a fine Thanksgiving Dinner.
From the archives of the Dublin Courier Herald
Presented Courtesy of the 
Laurens County Historical Society and Dublin Laurens Museum . 
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When did Thanksgiving begin?  Many claim it began in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts in 1621.  Proud Virginians have a strong claim that it was on the banks of the James River two years prior when American colonists first celebrated their blessings on a day of Thanksgiving.  The Northerners won the Civil War.  So, to the victors go the rights to write our history.  So, the traditional origin of Thanksgiving features the Pilgrims and Indians of New England.   You might be surprised to learn that a Laurens County man was the first to urge the adoption of the holiday in Georgia.

In 1619, a group of English settlers arrived at the Berkeley Plantation on the James River, southeast of present day Richmond, Virginia. Their charter of settlement provided, "We ordain that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for the plantation in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God."  That first celebration was held on December 4, 1619.

Nearly two years later in the fall of 1621, the settlers of the Massachusetts colony joined with their Indian friends in celebrating their good fortune during their first year on the North American continent.  The holiday was primarily celebrated on an irregular basis. George Washington proclaimed a Thanksgiving in 1795.  It would be nearly another quarter of a century before northeastern states revived the erratic celebrations.

The authorities of Augusta, Georgia proclaimed one of the first local Thanksgiving  observations in Georgia on Friday, November 7, 1823.  Members of the Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches joined together for three services to thank God for  His tender mercies over all the works and in whose favors, all are partakers.

The origin of Georgia's first official celebration of Thanksgiving Day came in 1826.  Governor George M. Troup, in his annual message to the Georgia legislature, asked the assembly to proclaim a statewide celebration of Thanksgiving Day.  Troup, a resident of Laurens County, was one of the most powerful and admired chief executives of Georgia in  the first half of the 19th Century.  Troup urged the legislators to set a day aside to render from time to time homage and adoration so justly due to that Being, who is the donor of all good.

Robert Rea, of Greene County, introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives on November 18, 1826 to set apart a day statewide for prayer and thanksgiving.  Madison County Senator Robert Groves introduced a similar resolution five days later in the upper house in acquiescence to the Governor's request.   Both houses adopted the resolution on December 4th.

Legislators acknowledged the many undeserved favors bestowed by the hand of providence.  In paying honor to the Almighty, the legislature authorized the governor to set forth measures to establish a state wide day of Thanksgiving to be held on the first Thursday of the next year, January 4, 1827.

On the 8th of December, Gov. Troup urged all denominations to assemble in their respective churches and celebrate the day with penitential hearts and uplifted hands to make grateful acknowledgment for the benefactions  received from the Universal Parent.

Thanksgiving celebrations continued to be sporadic in Georgia until the 1840s.  The corporate authorities of Savannah determined that November 25, 1841 be a day of public Thanksgiving.  Daniel Hook, the Mayor of Augusta, proclaimed that the last day of 1841, would be set aside as "A day of Public Thanksgiving to Almighty God for blessing our city with its accustomed good health."

On December 19, 1842, the Georgia legislature officially adopted the first Friday of November in 1843 to be a day of Thanksgiving, to be attended with appropriate religious services in the several churches throughout the state.   The statewide observance once again changed in 1845, when Governor George W.  Crawford proclaimed  the 13th day of February as a day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, in congratulating the people of Georgia on the introduction of this time-honored custom of the Eastern States.   A dozen years later, the legislature determined that the celebration be held on November 26, 1857, the fourth Friday of that month.

Known more for her authorship of "Mary Had a Little Lamb," Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, is more responsible than anyone for the national celebration of Thanksgiving.   Mrs. Hale, is probably one of the most unknown successful women of the 19th Century.  She was the first to urge equal education for women and the first to start day care nurseries for working women.  And, Mrs. Hale was the first woman to serve as an editor of a woman's magazine.   It was Mrs. Hale who wrote to urge President Abraham Lincoln to issue his Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1863.

It would take another eighty years before the date was made uniform across the nation.  Amazingly, the designation of Thanksgiving Day as being the fourth Thursday of November, was not officially adopted by the Federal government until the day after Christmas 1941, two years after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt suggested the national holiday as a way of boosting the country's economy.

On this day of Thanksgiving, let us all acknowledge our gratitude for the blessings we have.  Celebrate the day with those you love. But remember those who are not as blessed, not only on this Thursday, but all the year long.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


A Super Superintendent

When the Dublin City Board of Education began to seek a replacement for W.R. Lanier as Superintendent of the Dublin City School System, they knew they needed to find the best man -women weren't considered in those days- for the job.  As one of the leading cities in the state at the time, the appointment of a highly qualified individual was critical.  The board chose, and wisely so, Kyle Terry Alfriend of Hancock County, Georgia to take charge of the five hundred and twenty five
student system.   Though this would be the only time in his career that Alfriend served as a superintendent of a public school system, he was regarded by his peers as one of the foremost educators in the state.  Morever, many considered him to be one of the finest educators in the Southeast.

Kyle Terry Alfriend, Sr. was born on October 17, 1874 in Hancock County, Georgia.  A son of Benjamin Abram and Mary Alfriend, Kyle was a member of the first graduating class of Sparta High School.  He attended George Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, where he obtained his formal training as a teacher.  For eleven years, Alfriend taught Latin and history at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville.

Based on outstanding recommendations, the Dublin Board of Education appointed Kyle Alfriend as school superintendent for the 1906-1907 school year.  During his first year, Superintendent Alfriend was paid the grand sum of $1250.00.  As superintendent, Alfriend occupied an honorary seat on the Board of Trustees of the newly constructed Carnegie Library.  He completed his second term in 1908, before a wealthier system called upon him to take charge of their main high school.

Beginning in the fall of 1908 and for four years, Alfriend took over the principalship of Lanier and Gresham High Schools, Macon main boy's and girl's secondary schools respectively.

He returned to Milledgeville, not at Georgia Military College, but down the street at Georgia Normal and Industrial College.  As chairman of the Department of History and Sociology and active in the civic affairs of the old Capital City, Professor Alfriend became a well-known leader in the college and in Baldwin County as well. The voters elected Alfriend in 1919 to represent them for a two-year term in the Georgia Legislature.  Naturally, he was named to chair the House Committee on
Education.   Representative Alfriend led the fight for a compulsory tax to support local public schools and the Barrett-Rogers Act consolidating smaller schools to increase the amount of funds available directly for education.

Professor Alfriend was always an active member of the Georgia Educational Association.  In 1919, he was elected the secretary of the group of educators dedicated to the promotion of advances in Georgia's schools.    The following year, his fellow members elected him vice-president.

In 1920, Kyle Alfriend took a new job and moved across the downtown area back to Georgia Military College, this time as President of the institution.

Two years later, President Alfriend took office as President of the Georgia Educational Association.  During his term, the organization's membership tripled its number of members.   In addressing the delegates at the convention in Columbus, Alfriend stated his belief that, "Our main purpose is to better the conditions in rural schools.  Not only do we want to better school houses," he said, "But, we want a better environment, better equipped teachers, all of which means that we will need more money," Alfriend concluded.

Alfriend specifically addressed the members of the Parent Teacher Association in attendance pointing out the critical need to co-ordinate the three essential elements of education; home, church and school.

Though he was addressing educators more than eighty-five years ago,
Alfriend's words still ring true today.  "It is extremely difficult for teachers to
properly carry out their work in the schools if they do not have the absolute
sympathy of the parents," he said as he appealed to all of the mothers in the state to
support their schools and their teachers.

Alfriend urged his congregation to eliminate the evils of ignorance and
poverty among the student population believing that poverty perpetuated ignorance
and ignorance perpetuated poverty.

In the years following the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution allowing women to vote, President Alfriend urged the women present to register to vote so as to empower them in making decisions in the operation of schools in the state, thereby insuring the happiness of their children.

To make a point about the necessity of more investment into the public school systems, Alfriend pointed out that usually a community's crown jewels were its courthouse and jail. He urged the community leaders in attendance to shift their efforts to building bigger and better schools and to show them off as a symbol of their town's commitment to quality education.

Later that year, Alfriend conducted an unsuccessful campaign for the office of State School Superintendent.  After losing the election to M.A. Brittain, Alfred returned to the classroom as Professor of History at Bessie Tift College in Forsyth, but continued to serve as Secretary of the Georgia Education Association.  While at Bessie Tift, Alfriend served as Dean. He also taught education and psychology.

In his family life, Professor Alfriend married Katherine (Katie) Elizabeth Cone, daughter of his Georgia Military College supervisor, Professor Oscar Malcolm Cone,  on December 22, 1904 in her native home of Milledgeville.    They had five children: Kyle Terry, Jr., Malcolm Cone, Mary Watts, Rebecca Hunt and Katherine Carr.

An accomplished Mason, Alfriend was elected Master of the Benevolent Lodge # 3 in Milledgeville in 1922.

Kyle Terry Alfriend, Sr. died on March 20, 1946 at the age of seventy-two.  He is buried in  Milledgeville next to his wife. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015




It is indeed quite an accomplishment to go undefeated and untied during a regular football season.  No matter the level of competition, winning all of your games is a difficult.  Injuries, fluke plays, careless mistakes and fate can defeat a team.  So, when the 1985 Dublin team took the field for the first time on August 31, 1985, they had one goal and that was to win their region. The Irish, ranked 8th in the preseason, had no dreams to win all ten of their regular season games. No Irish team, nor any East Central Georgia team had ever accomplished the nearly impossible feat.

Above:  (Steve Oliver, Paul Baker, Eric Beacham)

By middle of the 2nd quarter of the first game of the season, the Irish trailed the always tough Golden Hawks 14-0.  With three scores on a wet visitor's field, the Irish came back to win 18-14. (Harris scores - left)

With four touchdown runs by Dublin's fleet-footed tailback, R.W., James and scoring receptions by Paul Baker (left)  and Scott Long, the Irish easily defeated their cross county rival the East Laurens Falcons, 41-15.

  R.W. James with one of his four touchdowns.

The Dublin boys, ranked 5th in the state,  captured the County Championship with a 31-0, well-balanced shellacking of the West Laurens Raiders at Raider Stadium.

In Week 4, the Irish traveled to meet the Jones County Greyhounds, which had upset the green and gold in previous meetings in Gray.  The Irish defense remained solid shutting out their opponents in 10 of the last 12 quarters, With two touchdowns each from R.W. James and Thomas Walker, Coach Travis Davis' Irish coasted to a 41-0 win in their first region game.

           In the first crucial game of the season, the strong running of R.W. James, the steady passing of Derrick Harris and the consistently stingy Irish defense, kept Dublin in the game against the Panthers of Americus High, a team which the Irish have struggled over the years. With Brett Bailey's 27-yard-field-goal and a missed 2-point conversion by the Panthers being the difference in the scoring, the Irish (50) won at home 17-13. (Willie Spikes - left)

At half time of the 6th game of Dublin's homecoming game with  Tri-County, the Irish's chance at perfect season was in real jeopardy. Dublin QB Derrick Harris, stepped up and threw a TD pass to Paul Baker in the 3rd quarter and ran the ball into the end zone in the final stanza to cap a come from behind win, 14-10.

The Irish made it a lucky 7-0 in Cordele.  With two quarterback sneaks by Harris, Dublin jumped out to an early 14-0 lead.  Crisp County roared back to cut the margin to 14-9.  Coach Davis felt his Irish were "on the ropes" until Mitchell Marion scooped up a Cougar fumbled and sprinted 63 yards to turn the tide back in favor of the Irish.  The Dublin defense, which spent a lot of time on the field, held on and stifled their opponents to lead the Irish to a 21-9 victory.  (Tracy Willis and Flim Thomas make stop - left)

In a case of deja vu all over again, the Irish jumped out to a 17-0 lead against the perennially powerful Peach County Trojans, who came roaring back to cut the score to 20-13.   With the Irish headed toward an 8-0 record, every opponent was playing hard to end Dublin's undefeated record. As they had always done that season, the Irish defense bowed up and stopped a go ahead scoring drive late in the game.  The Irish sealed the game when they tackled the Peach quarterback in the end zone for a safety near the end of the game.   For the third time in the first nine games, the Irish were down at half time.  With unequaled determination, the Irish defense got their needed shutout in the second half.  The Irish offensive drove did what they had to as well and that was to score at least at least a field goal in the second half.  Derrick Harris took the ball end from the one-yard line for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to lead Dublin to a 16-12 win over Perry High in a game which the Irish almost lost.

Eric Beacham recalled, "We were down by a touchdown with less than two minutes left in the game. We had a big run that got us up to around mid-field. I remember standing in the huddle and all of us (the offense) looking at each other and thinking how difficult it was going to be to pull out a win. We really thought the road to a perfect season was over. I remember Derrick Harris calling the play and saying we can do this! First a pass  to Tim Powell and he catches it somewhere around the 20 yard line, then a pass to Paul Baker inside the  five yard line. Let me say it was one of the best catches I ever saw in high school. Paul had to stretch out horizontally and catch that ball. After that play we knew the game was ours. The next play (above)  we scored on a short run up the middle. What an emotional moment for me ...for the team!"

It all came down to the last regular season game on November 8.  The Irish jumped out to a 23-0 lead at the end of the first half against one of it's oldest and toughest rivals, the Dodge County Indians.  The teams swapped field goals in the second half leading the Irish to a 10-0 record.   (John Oliver - left)

"It's been a great season, but let's not be satisfied," an elated Davis who felt numb all over,  told his players after the win "You ve got a chance to do something here that no Dublin team has ever done   let s do it!"

(Coach Travis Davis looks happy)

Only two previous Dublin teams, the 1945 (5-0-1) the 1959 State Champions (11-0-1) had gone undefeated during the regular season.  No team had ever won 11 straight games in a season.  Only three teams, the 2002, 2005 and 2006 teams would win that many games to start the season.  No east Central Georgia team had ever accomplished that feat.

In the first game of the playoffs, Dublin met Crisp County for a second time. With the score knotted at 7-7 at the end of the half, the pressure was on the offense to score and on the defense to keep Crisp out of the end zone. Tim Powell snatched a short pass from QB Harris and Tracy Gay blocked a Cougar punt out of the end zone to vault the Irish to eleven straight wins with a hard fought 16-7 win.

Willie Spikes, Derrick Harris, R.W. James 

It was a cool, damp night on the Friday before Thanksgiving.  Andre Payne, remembered that running back Willie Spikes was on the field in the hospital bed at the edge of the end zone. R.W. James was still on the mends from a debilitating injury.  The Americus Panthers returned to the Shamrock Bowl determined not to lose to Dublin twice in a season.  The teams swapped two touchdowns.  But, the back breaker came in near the end of the first half.  After Dublin tied the game at 14, Edward Jackson took the ensuing kickoff back for 94 yards putting an end to the green team's momentum going into the halftime.  Although the Irish won the second half, 7-6, they came up short 26-21.  And, just like that, the season was over.   For the seniors, it was the last time they would put on their green and gold uniforms.  For the rest of the team, there was always next  year.

"That year was an amazing year and Im so proud I was a part of that team, I sometimes wonder where we rank among the great teams since we left, hard to compare I guess. We were on a tidal wave, acting crazy and having fun. Immature kids from different backgrounds who came together and played great football together," recalled receiver Paul Baker.

"There isn't a day I don't miss my good friend (the late)  Steve Oliver," recalled lineman John Wilson, who went on to play for three national championship teams at Georgia Southern. "But nothing comes close to those days in the Shamrock Bowl and growing up with my friends.

Lineman Eric Beacham, in looking back to that magical season, recalled, " We honestly thought we had what it took as a team to go all the way in '85.  Losing the region championship to Americus left a void in me that today still remains."

Jeff Morris recalled, "As the season went along and we just kept winning, the support from the community just grew."  Morris too felt empty after the playoff loss to Americus, who got revenge against Dublin for doing the same thing in the previous year.

"We were a talented team: Hard work, teamwork, dedication, and commitment along with the desire to win made us the team to beat, commented  Andre Payne.

So on this 30th anniversary of the first area football team to have a perfect regular 10-game season, here's a shout out to the 1985 Dublin High Irish, the  team that would not quit.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


“Faith of His Father, Living Still

Have you ever see a man with true faith?  If you knew James E. Dickey, you would have known a man whose faith was implanted his in soul by his father, nurtured by his mother and blossomed on the campus of Emory College in Atlanta. Frederick Faber never knew James Dickey.  But when he wrote the classic hymn Faith of Our Fathers, he would have told you that Dickey’s faith was true and lived still until his final breath.

From the moment of his birth in a modest house in Jeffersonville, Georgia on May 11, 1864, James E. Dickey was prepared and groomed  to preach the Gospel. His father, the Reverend James Madison Dickey, was an itinerant Methodist Minister of the North Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Though he spent most of life in North Georgia, Rev. Dickey did serve churches in Dublin in 1852 and in Jeffersonville in 1864, the last dark year of the Civil War.

James attended schools in Atlanta, Gainesville, Elberton and Calhoun as his father annually moved around serving new churches.  His summers were usually spent on the Richmond County farm of family of his mother, the former Miss Ann Elizabeth Thomas.  When Rev. Dickey’s health failed, the family moved to the solace of the farm.  James left school and worked on the farm.
Dickey’s life changed forever in 1878, when the elder Dickey died.  James took his father’s lifeless hand and asked his grandmother Thomas if his father was dead. When she responded in the affirmative, James knelt down and asked God, whom he considered to be his only father,  to grant him the ability and the resources to achieve his goal of attaining an education and making the most of his life.

For nine years, James Dickey worked as a store clerk and bookkeeper.  He never lost sight of his goal.  He studied at night and when he could took some courses in hopes of qualifying for entrance into a college.     His logical choice was Emory College in Atlanta.  So, on the opening day of classes in the 1887, James Dickey stepped through the doors of  college.  At the age of twenty three and older than those who had just graduated, James Dickey was determined to graduate.  And that he did.  In the spring of 1891, the man who never graduated from high school, walked across the stage as the salutatorian of his class.

So impressed were the president and faculty of Emory College with Dickey’s intellectual ability, they asked him to remain at the college as a professor.  Dickey readily accepted and with a secure position in hand, took the hand of Miss Jessie Munroe in marriage as classes were about to begin.

As Professor of Mental and Moral Science, James Dickey taught Christianity, economics and history until he felt the calling to follow in the footsteps of his father. After being licensed to preach, Rev. James Dickey was assigned to Grace Methodist Church in Atlanta, where he served from 1899 to 1902.

Although Rev. Dickey only served a church for three years, his destiny to serve the  Methodist Church was permanently determined when he was named President of Emory College.    As the head of his alma mater, Dickey faced the daunting task of turning the falter  college , which despite its support by the Methodist Church, had woefully fallen on hard times.    Dickey would not accept the status quo.  He designed and built new and modern facilities.  More and more students enrolled.   More and more money began to flow into the school’s endowment fund.   President Dickey saw the need to improve the law school at Emory, currently ranked as the twenty-second best in the nation.  He did so.  And, he thought that a Methodist supported college should have a School of Theology, so he created one in 1914.  Named in honor of Rev. Warren Akin Candler, Chancellor of the College and Bishop of the Methodist Church, the Candler School of Theology was created in 1914 and is today one of thirteen seminaries of the world wide church.  At the time, the school was the only Methodist seminary east of the Mississippi River.

Dickey was known across the state as an effective fund raiser.  In the spring of 1909  Dickey preached a sermon at the Methodist Church in Dublin.  He left the pulpit with $2500.00 in cash and pledges to further the growth of Emory.

During his tenure at Emory, Rev. Dickey tried to resign twice to further his career.  In 1910, he yearned to leave the college to become the Secretary of the Board of Education of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.  The college’s trustee refused to accept his resignation and convinced him to remain at Emory.    Five years later, Dickey tendered his resignation once again citing the fact that he could never be promoted as long as Bishop Candler was Chancellor of the College.  This time the trustees accepted his offer, but requested that he remain as a trustee of newly chartered Emory University in its new campus in Dekalb County.  Rev. Dickey was further honored by the bestowing upon him of an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree.

After leaving Emory, Rev. Dickey returned to preach, first at the First Methodist Church in Atlanta from 1915 to 1920 and at North Georgia College until 1921.

As early as 1906, the Methodist hierarchy saw special qualities in James Dickey.  His name was often mentioned as a possible bishop at the General Conferences which he attended in 1910, 1914 and 1918.  

At the General Conference in 1922 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the delegates elected Dickey to serve as a Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.  He was assigned to a district which encompassed Texas and New Mexico.  After four years in the Southwest, Dickey was transferred to Louisville, Kentucky, where he supervised Methodist churches in Illinois, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Bishop Dickey appropriately preached his last sermon on Easter Sunday in 1928.  He woke up the next morning in great pain.  His appendix had ruptured.  Surgeons attempted to repair the damage, but the failing minister lingered for one painful week before he died just before midnight on April 17, 1928 with his family beside his bed.

And so ended the life of a man, whose faith carried him through a life of service of others before himself.  His abiding faith in himself and more importantly in God, became a driving force in the resurrection of one of Georgia’s most important institution of higher learning.

Friday, November 13, 2015

THE SUPREME COURT Laurens Countians Before the Bench

Laurens Countians Before the Bench

 On September 24, 1789, the Congress of the United States adopted the Judiciary Act. In doing so, Congress created the Supreme Court of the United States, placing upon the court the power to hear cases involving Federal laws and to interpret them. Many will argue that the court has become a Super legislature in of its self.  Its decisions are often controversial and many are decided by a margin of a mere one vote.  Many more seem to be based on personal ideologies of the justices themselves and not upon established common laws and statutes.  A relative few lawyers in our country ever have the opportunity to argue their client's case before the panel of nine justices in the most hallowed, revered and chastised courtroom in America. This is the story of four Laurens Countians, all of whom at one time maintained homes in the Calhoun Street neighborhood.

The first Laurens Countian to appear before the bench of the Supreme Court was the venerable, and somewhat controversial, Thomas B. Felder, Jr.   Felder, a former mayor of Dublin, gained a reputation as an outstanding trial lawyer in Atlanta.  In the early 1920s, Felder was one of the legal advisers to President Warren Harding.  Consequently, Felder became entangled in legal troubles of his own and died under mysterious circumstances, as did many other members of Harding's inner circle.

In 1906, Felder represented Armour Packing Company against the State of North Carolina, which had imposed a tax of $100.00 per county for the maintenance of a meat packing plant.  Felder argued before the justices that the tax constituted an interference with interstate commerce and that it was also violative of the 14th amendment.  Although the stipulated facts defined what a meat packing plant was and that the activities of Armour did not constitute a meat packing plant, but merely a cold storage facility, the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision ruled in favor of the State of North Carolina. Felder's client lost another case to the other Carolina state in 1909 when the court sided with South Carolina's right to regulate and prohibit the sale of alcohol within her borders in the case of Murray v. Wilson Distribution.

Despite his success as an attorney, Felder lost in his third and final appearance before the court in the case of Crichton v. Wingfield, which involved a suit between an aunt and niece over ownership of promissory notes.  The case primarily dealt with which court, Mississippi or New York, had jurisdiction over the assets of the dear departed Mr. and Mrs. E.H. Lombard.

Thomas Hardwick, a former congressman, senator and governor of Georgia, lived in Dublin in the mid 1920s.  During that time he practiced law and published the Dublin Courier Herald.  Hardwick's first appearance in the Supreme Court came in 1914, when he represented the widow  and four minor children of one Mr. Dicks of Augusta.  It seemed that Dicks petitioned the Federal court for a declaration that he was bankrupt.   Sadly, Dicks died three weeks later.  His family attempted to have
some of his estate set aside to them for their support, a right unique to Georgia spouses and minor children. The bankruptcy trustee Hull disagreed and argued that Dicks's estate  solely belonged to his creditors.  The Supreme Court unanimously agrees with Hardwick and allowed the grieving family to have enough money and property to at least help them get back on their feet. In 1918, Hardwick's client, the Georgia Public Service Corporation, a forerunner of the Georgia Power Company, was successful in its argument that the company was entitled to raise utility rates with the authority of the Railroad Commission, despite the fact that it had agree to a fixed five-year rate with the Union Dry Goods Company.

Hardwick became the only Laurens Countian to appear before the court as a resident of Dublin in 1926.  Hardwick, representing Fenner, a cotton futures dealer, was unsuccessful in his argument that state laws restricting the sale of commodities were violative of the Interstate Commerce clause of the Constitution.    Hardwick, a resident of Augusta in 1934, won the case of Gay v. Ruff in which the railroad prevailed over the father who lost his son in an railroad accident.

Eugene Cook, a native of Wrightsville and a short time resident of Dublin while he served as Solicitor, was elected to serve as the Attorney General of Georgia in 1945.  As Attorney General, Cook's first case involving the Supreme Court came in 1946.  The case was one of the primary attempts to set aside Georgia's county unit system of voting in state wide elections.  The process allowed larger counties six votes to the top vote getters, while most of the smaller counties were allotted two votes.  Some Fulton County voters objected, primarily on racial grounds, asserting that their votes were diminished by the allocation of votes.  The Supreme Court disagreed and affirmed the process, though it would not be long before the process would be overturned by a more civil rights minded court.

In 1955, Cook and the State of Georgia in Reece v. Georgia  were unable to persuade the justices of the court that the state's system of requiring a criminal defendant to challenge the composition of the grand jury before his indictment was valid.

Cook was on the losing side of the case of Georgia vs. the United States in 1958 when the court unanimously affirmed the case in favor of the Federal government without issuing an opinion.  A year later, Cook successfully defended the state in the case of N.A.A.C.P. v Williams which involved a technicality on a fine in a criminal matter.

M.H. "Hardeman" Blackshear, Jr., an Assistant Attorney General under his former neighbor  Eugene Cook, made his first appearance before the Court in 1950 in the case of South v. Peters another suit involving the county unit system and which was also upheld by the court.  Blackshear represented the State of Georgia against the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company in 1952.  The bank claimed it was exempt from taxation under its state granted charter.

Blackshear, who authored many briefs during his tenure with the Attorney General's office, made his final appearance before the Supreme Court in 1953 in the case of Avery v. Georgia.  Avery was convicted of rape and sentenced to death. Avery's attorneys successfully argued that Avery was denied the right to a fair trial under the Constitution.  The court based its decision on the jury selection process where the names of white voters were written on white paper and black voters were
written on yellow paper.  Despite the fact that the State claimed that blacks were included in the jury pool, the presiding judge drew sixty potential white jurors and not a single black juror.

Maybe some day, our county will once again be home to an attorney who will zealously argue the rights of his client before a court which was established two hundred and twenty six years ago. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Remembering Clem Moye

“Remember me as you pass by.  As you are so once was I.  As I am now, so you must
be.  Prepare yourself to follow me.”  

        That appeal is engraved on the grave of Private First Class Clem Moye.   Part of Clem’s story lives on through his letters to and from his mother in his last year on the Earth.  And, thanks to the Rev. Greg Lowery for providing the letters and information about his great uncle, we now have a  keen insight into war and just how horrible it can be.

Ever since there was a postal service, soldiers have written letters home to their mothers, fathers, family members and their best girls.  Clem Moye and his mother were no exception to this practice.  For the first six months of 1944, Clem and his mother corresponded nearly half way around the world as often as they could.  Those letters have survived, along with a few from and to other members of Clem’s family.

Clem Moye was born on November 13, 1911, one of seven children of Lucian and Alice Gay Moye.  Clem grew up on the family farm east of Rentz near Cedar Grove, the ancestral home of his mother’s family in the Burch District of southern Laurens County.

The Moyes lived on a dirt road in the Pine Barrens - Wiregrass region of the county, a full day’s wagon trip from Dublin.  Clem knew little of the war in Europe as did many of the farming people of the day.  Clem was able to obtain only an eighth grade  education like many of the young boys on Laurens County farms during the 1920s and 30s.  Once Clem left school in the mid 1920s, he worked full time  on his family farm.

When the call came from Uncle Sam to serve his country, Clem answered it.  Clem traveled up southeast of Atlanta  to Fort McPherson,  where he enlisted on June 22, 1942.  At five-feet, five inches tall and weighing in at 131 pounds, Clem was somewhat small and at somewhat old at the age of nearly 31 to be accepted into the service.

Beginning in the latter part of 1943, Clem and his mother Alice began to correspond.  Alice saved many of her letters from Clem.  Only some of Alice’s letters to Clem have survived. The oldest surviving letter was written by Clem some eleven months after he enlisted in the Army.

“I want you to remember not to worry about me for I am getting along fine and I think I will continue to,” Clem wrote.  Alice worried anyway, as all mothers do.   Clem was a mechanic and had little doubt that he wouldn’t return home safe.   Clem’s biggest worry was not if he was coming home, but when.  Although he hadn’t been in the service a full year, he began to bug his major about his getting out of the service.  He was told he would be in the army until 1949 when he turned 38.

By New Year’s Day 1944, Clem was stationed on the West Coast - exactly where he did not  know.  He liked it, especially the better chow he was getting. Some four weeks later,  Clem surprised the family from his new home with the 287th Ordinance Company in  New Guinea, just across the Arafura and Coral seas north of Australia.  Clem liked his new home and was happy that he didn’t get seasickness like many of his buddies did.  It did take a while for Clem to adjust to the boiling hot January of the Southern Hemisphere.

Most of the time Clem and his mother talked about the farm, family and friends.  The 1944 crop was a good one and his cows were doing fine.   Clem’s life overseas appeared to be somewhat lacking in exciting news, although he was probably hiding the harry moments from his mother.

Whenever the paymaster issued Clem a check, he placed it in an envelope and mailed back to his mother to deposit  it in his bank account.   When the checks didn’t come on time, Clem never hesitated to apologize for the delay.  Alice never minded the late checks, she was glad to get a generous check for a Christmas or birthday gift.

“Fix it where you and mama could draw it out in case something was to happen to me.  Of course, I haven’t got the least idea that I won’t be coming back home after the war,” Clem wrote in a letter to his father in February 1944.

“I get all I want for four cents a pack.  I think that’s cheap enough for anybody, don’t you?  Money is no good over here. I only spent 83 cents last month.  There is nothing to buy here,” Clem wrote as he asked his mother to stop sending him packs of cigarettes.

“Ma Ma, I can’t say just how everything is over here. But, I want you to remember that I’m all o.k. and don’t you worry about me,” as Clem tried to console his mother about his safety.

As Clem and Alice talked about his friends in the service, Clem yearned to see a familiar face, “anybody,”  from home.  Alice, too could not wait to see her son again and very soon.

While most of the letters were conversations about what was happening to family friends, Clem did comment on the killing of Cadwell Police Chief John Faircloth and the re-election of his cousin, Sheriff Carlus Gay.  

On April Fool’s Day, Clem wrote, “I guess you see my address has changed, but we are still in New Guinea.  I think the Japs are really catching hell over here now.  Maybe the war will soon be over. I hope so anyway.”

As the spring came, the pace of Clem’s letters began to rise. It is easy to tell that Clem was ready to come home to his Mama and Daddy and the rest of the family and go to the sings at Oak Dale Church.

Clem confessed to Alice that he was beginning to worry about himself, “I get to studying about some things and can’t help it,” as he moved north of the Equator, closer to Japan.  And, Clem was still feeling fine when he wrote on May 25, 1944.

Two days later, the 41st Division of the U.S. Army landed on Biak Island off the northwest coast of New Guinea.  The Japanese instituted a new policy of allowing the Americans to land unimpeded to lure them into a killing zone.  On the following Sunday night after church, Alice sat down and wrote a letter to Clem hoping to see him soon.

At the very moment, the American and Allied armies were landing on Normandy Beach, Clem was driving a truck, laughing and talking with his friends.  An artillery shell struck the truck and  killed him instantly,

They laid his body to rest under a white cross in a makeshift military cemetery overlooking the sea.

Alice, unaware of her son’s death, kept on writing. On June 25, Alice answered Clem’s last letter by hoping that he would come home in 1945.

“I was sitting in the back hall on Friday night and watched the moon go down and thought of you so much until I couldn’t hardly stand it.  I could almost see you,” Alice remembered.  

On July 2nd Alice wrote,  “Clem,  I am thinking of you and to see if I can hear from you. It has been nearly two weeks since I have heard from you.” As she closed her letter, she promised to write more when his next letter came.

Three days later, the Western Union Telegram came addressed to E.L.Moye, Rt. 1 Rentz, Georgia.  “The Secretary of War desires me to his deep regret that your son, Private Clem Moye, was killed in action on Seven June on Biak Island - letter follows.”

In an soul numbing instant, Alice Moye collapsed into disbelieving grief.   Alice’s request to get a picture of Clem’s grave was denied by the Army.  Clem’s parents were able to have his body removed to the Moye-Gay Cemetery not far from his family home.

Alice  never got over losing her precious Clem.  She died a week before Christmas in 1948 and is buried in the Moye-Gay Cemetery beside her sons, Clem, Albert Clay and Menzo and her husband,  Lucian (E.L.) Moye, who died in 1955.

Recently, Laurens County dedicated the bridge over the Land Branch of Limesink Creek in memory of Clem Moye, just down the dirt road from where Clem grew up.

So, if you ever drive along Moye Road and cross the creek, remember Clem Moye for as he once was, soon you will be.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Veteran's Day is not a day off, but a day of Thanksgiving and Remembrance


Tomorrow is a day to remember all of the veterans of our country.  It was on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when World War I ended.

Originally November 11 was known as Armistice Day. For those who lived through the “War to End All Wars,” the day was more of a celebration of the victory over the evil enemies of Europe.  With the ending of World War II and the Korean War  and  more than a quarter of a century having elapsed since the official end of World War

I, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, former Supreme Commander of the American Army in Europe in World War II, declared that November 11 would become a day to honor all of the men and women of America who have served their country.

For the last six decades, Veteran’s Day has been a day to salute those veterans, both living and dead.  Locally, the national holiday has been more in the public eye because of the efforts of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as patriotic organizations like the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Laurens County Historical Society.

Tomorrow at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Carl Vinson V.A. Medical Center will host its annual Veteran’s Day service as it as for the last seven decades. The public is cordially invited to attend and admission is free.

If you are not able to attend, fly or display an American flag in your home or at your workplace, shake the hand of or hug a veteran every time you meet one or simply say a prayer of gratitude for those who have served our nation for more than two centuries.   And, especially for the following men of Laurens County who have paid the ultimate sacrifices so that we may be free, free from tyranny and oppression.

The following list has been changed over the years to add the names of those persons who had formerly lived here before their military service and to include those who have tragically lost their lives in the peace time service of country.

If you have information relating to any names which need to be added to this list, please contact Scott B.  Thompson at 478-279-2514 or at

                                                         THE ROLL OF HONOR

WAR OF 1812 - William Kemp. John Perry

WORLD WAR I ERA - John W. Adams, George L. Attaway, Walter Berry, James Bradley, Leon F. Brannon, Fisher Brazeal,  Linton T. (Leonard) Bostwick, Joseph J. Bracewell, James Brown, Tom Watson Bryant, Sammie Burke, David Burton Camp, Freeman Coley, Ashley Collins, William Coney, Alvin T. Coxwell, Samuel Evans, James W. Flanders, Clarence David Fordham, Oscar Fulwood, John W. Green, James C. Hall, Archie Hinson, Syril P. Hodges, Delmar M. Howard, Ben F. Howell, Wallace C. Huffman, Jesse Kelley, Frazier Linder, Dewitt Lindsay, Ed McLendon, Walter E. Martin, James Mason, George McLoud, Jessie Mercer, Rayfield Meacham, George C. Mitchell, Robbie  New, Cecil Preston Perry, Wilbur Pope, John H. Sanders, Roger O. Sellers, John Stevens, Ed Stuckey, Louis M. Thompson, Edgar Towns, Fleming du Bignon Vaughn, Ed Washington, George Windham, James A. Williams, Henry K. Womack, Wayman Woodard, and McKinley Yopp.

WORLD WAR II ERA - Robert T. Adams, Hardy B. Alligood, Connie Ashley, Jack Baggett, Charles E. Barron, Clinton H. Barron, Robert B. Bidgood, Cary H. Braddy, Palmer Lee Braddy, Eldridge D. Branch, Howard W. Brantley, Walter C. Browning, Gurvice A. Clark, James Coleman, Jerome W. Collins, Robert A. Colter, Hilton F. Culpepper, John C. Culpepper, John M. Dalton, Blanton T. Daniel, David G. Daniels, Jr., John R. Deamer, Walter B. Dixon, Daniel C. Fordham,  Thurman Foskey, James E. Fountain, Robert C. Graves, Horace J. Green, Joe R. Grier, Talman B. Hanley, Robert C. Harden, Freeman L. Harrison, Carice L. Harvey, E. Clay Hawkins, Hansford D. Heath, Edmond S. Hobbs, John C. Huffman, Willie T. Holmes, John W. Holt, Nathaniel Hooks, Billy Y. Horton, Robert L. Horton, James B. Hutchinson, Quien W. Johnson, Will Henry Jones, Wexell Jordan, Jr., Joel L. Keen, Albert H. Knight, Peter Fred Larsen, Robert M. Leach,  Robert E. Lee, Otis C. Leverette, Embree W. Loague, Christopher C. Lowery, Robert M.  Matteson, W. Carson McMullen, Chester C. Miller, Thomas L. Miller, Hugh M. Moore, Clem Moye, Carlton L.  Mullis, Albert F. Nobles, Harris O'Dell, Blakley A. Parrott, Jr., Martin H. Patisaul, J. Felton Perry, L. Cleveland Pope, Vernice Ricks, Randall Robertson, Henry V. Rogers, Jonnie F. Rowland, Roy C. Rozier, Thomas J. Russell, Jr., James Scarboro, Emory F. Scarborough, Hyram F. Scarborough, John Roy Scarborough, Roy W. Shepard, Jonnie W. Shinholster, John A. Shirley, Fred L. Smith, George B. Snellgrove, J. Frank Snellgrove, John H. Spivey, Hudson L. Stanley, G. Bert Stinson, Grady N. Strickland, Charles L. Taylor, Vivian Moreland Thomas, Emil E. Tindol, Zollie L. Tindol, Willie J. Tingle, Alfred Louis Underwood, Jack M. Waites, Cleveland A. Warren, James R. Warren, John H. Warren, Columbus Watkins, Walter P. Watson, Rodger Watts, William R. Werden, Jr., Oliver W. Wester, Olson W. Wilkes, Robert E. Williams, J. Miller Windham, Luther B. Word, Jr., and  Frank R. Zetterower, Jr..

KOREAN WAR ERA - James E. Daniel, Robert H. Grinstead, Roy T. Hughes, Albert A. Lewis, Joseph E. McCullough, T.J. McTier, Walter E. Nesmith, James C. Rix, Bobby Robinson, Ralph B. Walker, Bobby R. Wood, and Lonnie G. Woodum.

VIETNAM WAR ERA - George W. Baker, Jimmy Bedgood, Tommy N. Bracewell, Billy E. Brantley, Harlow G. Clark, Jr., James E. Cook, James E. Cooper, David L. Copeland, Robert E. Davis, Jimmy Harlan Evans, Bobby L. Finney, Gerald C. Fordham, William Z. Hartley, Walter C. Hurst, Jr., James Linder, Jr., Edward B. Lindsey, J.D. Miller, Billy Mimbs, Felton Lee Mimbs,  Eddie L. Smith, Bobby Stanley, Donald E. Stepp, Ralph W. Soles, James A. Starley, and William C. Stinson, Jr..


PEACE TIME - Darryl Tim Phillips (terrorist attack, Puerto Rico 1983), Johnny Pearson (training accident, United States, 1983).

Monday, November 09, 2015

World War I Veteran's Grave Uncovered

     Just when it may have appeared that all of the marked graves at Cross The Creek Cemetery in Dublin have been found, the grave of Ira Carswell was uncovered last week by City Sexton, Billy Mason.

     Lying on the southeastern edge of Cross The Creek Cemetery, Dublin's second city cemetery for African Americans,  the military marker's discovery is proof that more graves will be eventually found and identified.

      Ira Carswell was born  in Wilkinson County on July 28, 1895.  In 1900, Ira was living with his Uncle and Aunt, John and  Laura Hall in the Dublin Militia District.   The family moved to a home on a Branch of Smith Street in 1910.

    Shown as an office boy when he was inducted into the Army at Camp Wheeler, Macon, GA July 28, 1918, his 23rd birthday, Carswell had previously worked as a laborer for the Dublin Wagon Company.

     Ira, a medium sized African Amercian, served in the Medical Corps Mobile Co. 11 until September 22. before transferring to the training depot of the American Expeditionary Force until the end of the war.  On January 19, 1919, Carswell transferred to Veterinary Hospital # 4, where he served until his discharge on June 28, 1919.

     Carswell returned home to live at 610 E. Mary Street, just across the street from the entrance to Dudley's Cemetery.

     At the age of 45, Ira Carswell registered for the draft in 1940 from his home at 300 West 151st Street in New York City.  Ira, working for the Works Progress Administration at Fort Totten Park in the burrough of Queens, was ready to serve his country once again.

    A decade and one half later, on January 28, 1955, Ira Carswell died.

  Carswell's  military grave marker, placed by the U.S. government  at the request of his aunt, Laura Hall, was manufactured by the Columbus Marble Works in Columbus, Mississippi.

Saturday, November 07, 2015


From Gridiron to Boardroom

Old time Dublin High football fans will tell you that he was the greatest player ever to wear the green and white.  With the possible exception of Tennyson Coleman, he is certainly the best Dublin player ever to play on the old Battle Field.  But Charlie Bradshaw's success as a football player, first in Lake City, Florida, Dublin and later at Wofford College, was eclipsed by his success as a businessman and entrepreneur. Today, Charles J. Bradshaw, a former Dublin High quarterback, stands as a legend in the business community of South Carolina.

Charlie Bradshaw, the fifth of six children of James W. and Florence Sanders Bradshaw, was born in Lake City, Florida on July 15, 1936.  Bradshaw grew up in the sleepy community of Lake City, where he played football for Columbia High School. Bradshaw tells the story of how he was too young to work in the local tobacco warehouses.  With the help of his mother, Charlie sold snow cones to workers at a profit superior to that of his hard-sweatin' brothers.

When Charlie was a junior in high school, the Bradshaws made the 162-mile trip up U.S. Highway 441 to their new home in Dublin, where the elder Bradshaw worked at the V.A. Hospital.  In his first year at Dublin High, Charlie was instantly popular with his classmates, who elected him as Class Secretary and Representative on the Homecoming Court.  Charlie was a five-sport star in football, basketball, golf, tennis and track.  There were no other sports for him to star in.  In his senior season in 1953, Charlie was named the All Region quarterback and Mr. Dublin High School.  But Charlie wasn't just a jock.  He was a member of the Beta Club and the Spanish Club.


Following his graduation from Dublin High School, Charlie went on to play football for the University of Georgia, the first Dubliner to play for the Bulldogs.  A preseason injury just before his sophomore season forced Charlie to contemplate his future in Athens.  After consulting with his coaches,  his father and friends, Charlie, a back up quarterback,  decided to transfer to a smaller school, Wofford College, in South Carolina.   As he was in Dublin, Charlie was popular with his classmates.   He was a member of the Kappa Alpha Fraternity and President of the Student Body.  It was at Wofford, where Charlie's destiny as a quarterback and a businessman was set. With a fresh start in a new setting, Charlie, a member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame,  excelled on the football field.  In 1957, he was named to the All American Team for smaller colleges.  In his primary wide receiver Jerry Richardson, Charlie found a life long friend and business partner.

Charlie met his wife Judy Brewer on a wager with teammate Donnie Fowler. That bet turned out to be another one of the pieces of puzzle which led to Charlie's future in business.   Fresh out of college with a degree in mathematics, Charlie married Judy in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.  They set up their home in Spartanburg, where Charlie took a job with a local Ford dealership.    At the request of his brother in law Joe Brewer, Charlie took a look at a hamburger stand in Rocky Mount.  Bradshaw doubted that he could ever get rich selling 15-cent hamburgers and cokes and fries for a dime.    But Charlie had a talent for business.  He analyzed the sales and dreamed of franchising the restaurant across the Carolinas.  So in October 1961,   Charlie and Jerry, with his earnings from the Baltimore Colts, opened their first fast food restaurant at 431 Kenney Street in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  The restaurant, the first franchise in the chain, was the popular Hardee's Hamburgers.

The business began to grow.  In 1969, Bradshaw and Richardson combined their business interests across the Carolinas and founded Spartan Food Systems, Inc., which went public and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1976.

In 1977, the company began to acquire numerous restaurants of the Quincy's restaurant chain and later a string of Denny's restaurants.  At the peak of the ownership, Bradshaw and Richardson owned more than 600 franchises in a company which oversaw fifteen hundred more restaurants.  

The Transworld Company purchased Spartan in 1979.  Charlie Bradshaw was named the company's senior vice-president in charge of food services, which included the Canteen Company, the largest food vending service in the world.    In 1984, Bradshaw was promoted to president of the company, which included among its holdings, Century 21, Hilton Hotels and Transworld Airlines.    When the
company's stockholders and directors opted to get into the nursing home business, Bradshaw felt it was time for him to leave the company, although many had been grooming him to become the company's chief executive officer.

After a quarter of a century in the food service business, Charlie Bradshaw decided to go home, back to his family.  He formed Bradshaw Enterprises to work with his children and teach them the business skills he had learned from the first day of the Hardee's in Spartanburg to the tactics of the boardrooms of one of the country's largest companies.  Bradshaw was active in the Junior Achievement as it epitomized everything America stands for.    Charlie believed in the program which followed the same ideals he used in his own business ventures and pushed it as a way of getting young people involved in business. More important, Bradshaw believes that they know the proper way to go into business and how to handle problems which inevitably arise.

In 2001, Charlie took over the management of Team Sports Entertainment, which was the parent company of Team Racing Auto Circuit "TRAC."    Though he continues to work today at the age of seventy-two, Charlie spends more time with his family and grandchildren and playing golf every chance he gets.

To his friends, Charlie has always been known as a hard worker and a generous man. Charlie poured his efforts and his money into the Judy Bradshaw Children's Foundation for needy children.  He supported the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center Foundation and the Boys Clubs of America. Charlie has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the South Carolina Jaycees, the Spartanburg Distinguished Citizen Award and Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater Wofford.

In 2006, Charlie Bradshaw was inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame.  Bradshaw attributes his success toward those he worked with and those who worked for him by saying,  "I think the most important thing for any young person is picking his peer group, the persons he or she surrounds himself with. I don't care if it's his teen age years.  I don't care if it's in his college years, business, or whatever it is.  You are not going to be more successful than the people around you."