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

Sunday, August 28, 2016


A Man of Morehouse     

When you think of Morehouse College, you think of tradition -a tradition of higher learning for African-American college students.  When you go back seventy-five years, you think of a day unlike today when a mere few, the lucky few, had the opportunity to attend an institution of higher learning, much less one with the honorable tradition as Morehouse.  For nearly four decades, one Laurens County native helped the school rise to the prominence it still retains today.

Brailsford Reese Brazeal was born in Dublin, Georgia on March 8, 1903.  The son of the Rev. George Reese Brazeal and Walton Troup Brazeal, young Brailsford attended Georgia State College and Ballard Normal School in Macon.    Late in his life Dr. Brazeal recalled that it was his Baptist preacher father's guidance and teachings that kindled his imagination as to what was beyond his neighborhood.  Brazeal recalled that his mother and his oldest aunt, Flora L. Troup pushed him to leave Dublin because he wouldn't be able to obtain anything but an elementary education in Dublin.  His uncle and namesake Brailsford Troup gave him a job during summers as a carpenter's helper.  Brazeal realized that the life of a laborer is not what he wanted and promised himself that he would do all that he could to break the barriers of race and segregation. 

He completed his studies  at Morehouse Academy, a high school, in 1923.  While at Morehouse College, Brazeal came to know Dr. Benjamin E. Mays, who served as his debate coach in college and would later serve as President of Morehouse.   After graduating from Morehouse in 1927, Brazeal continued his studies and obtained a master's degree in Economics  from the ultimately prestigious Columbia University in 1928.  

Salute to Dr. Brazeal, Morehouse College 2013
Brazeal was immediately hired as a Professor of Economics by Dr. John Hope, his alma mater's first black president.    By 1934, Brazeal was chosen to chair the Department of Economics and Business.  He was also selected to serve as the Dean of Men, a post which he held until 1936.  

In his early years at Morehouse, Brailsford met and married Ernestine Erskine of Jackson, Mississippi.  Mrs. Brazeal was a graduate of Spellman College in Atlanta.  An educator in her own right, Mrs. Brazeal held a Master's Degree in American History from the University of Chicago.  She taught at Spelman and served for many years as the Alumni Secretary.  To those who knew and loved her, Mrs. Brazeal was known to the be the superlative historian of Spelman History, though she never published the culmination of  her vast knowledge.   

The Brazeals were the parents of two daughters.  Aurelia Brazeal is a career diplomat and has recently served as the United States Ambassador to Ethopia, Kenya and Micronesia.  Ernestine Brazeal has long been an advocate for the Headstart Program.

The Brazeal home in Atlanta was often a home away from home for Morehouse students.  Especially present were the freshmen who inhabited the home on weekends and after supper for the fellowship and guidance from the Brazeals.  Among these students were the nation's greatest civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Maynard Jackson, the first black mayor of Atlanta.   It was Dr. Brazeal, who first recommended the young minister for acceptance at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.  Dr.  Brazeal wrote that King would mix well with the white race.   The Brazeal's bought the four square home near Morehouse in 1940.  Today, the home at 193 Ashby Street (now Joseph Lowery Boulevard) was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.  

Through scholarships, Brailsford Brazeal was named a Julius Rosenwald Fellow and in 1942, obtained his Ph. D. from Columbia University in economics.  As a part of his doctoral dissertation, Dr. Brazeal wrote about the formation of the of one of the first labor unions for black workers.  In 1946, Brazeal published his signature work The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.    For decades, labor researchers often cited Brazeal's writings  in his landmark work and other papers and journal articles.

During the 1950s, Brazeal worked in voter registration movements.  He wrote extensively about racial discrimination in voting, especially in his native state. He detailed many of the activities in his home county of Laurens.    In his Studies of Negro Voting in Eight Rural Counties in Georgia and One in South Carolina, Brazeal examined and wrote of the  efforts of H.H. Dudley and C.H. Harris to promote more black participation in voting in Laurens County.  He chronicled the wars between the well entrenched county sheriff Carlus Gay and State Representative Herschel Lovett and their desire and competition for the black vote.   He wrote of fair employment practices, desegregation of higher education, voter disfranchisement of black voters, voter registration, and many other civil rights matters. 

The members of the National Association of College Deans elected Dr. Brazeal as their president in 1947.   Brazeal a member of the Executive Committee of the American Conference of Academic Deans and as a vice-president of the American Baptist Educational Institutions. 

During his career Dr. Brazeal was a member of the American Economic Association, the Academy of Political Science, the Southern Sociological Society, the Advisory Council of Academic Freedom Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union, the N.A.A.C.P., the Twenty Seven Club, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Sigma Pi Phil, Delta Sigma Rho and the Friendship Baptist Church.

In 1967, Dr. Brazeal was inducted into the prestigious national honor society, Phi Beta Kappa as an alumni member of Delta Chapter  of Columbia University.  He organized a chapter at Morehouse, known to many as one of the "Ivy League" schools for African Americans.  

Dr. Brazeal retired in 1972 after a career of more than forty years, many of which he served as Dean of the College.  At the age of seventy eight he died in Atlanta on April 22, 1981. His body lies next to that of his wife, who died in 2002, in Southview Cemetery in Atlanta.  


Friday, August 26, 2016

Baseball in Dublin in 1916


Although there were no big name players on Dublin’s 1916 baseball team as in other years, the boys from Dublin, kept battling back and battling back to capture the title, if only self proclaimed, of Middle Georgia Champions.

Telling the whole story is quite impossible as the skimpy reports generally named only the pitchers and catchers name and when players’ names were mentioned, only their last names were included.

The first part of the 1916 season did not start off well at all.  In the first reported game on May 16, H. Etheridge, of the Adrian team, struck out 23 of 27 Dublin batters in a three-hit, 12 to 4 victory over Dublin.  A week later, Wrightsville smashed Dublin’s pitcher Blackshear for 20 hits in a 14 to 4 victory, Harrison, Georgia’s team defeated Dublin at Dublin for its third straight loss.  Harrison’s team was led most likely by Phil Bedgood, who pitched for the Cleveland Indians in 1922 and 1923. A fourth straight weekly loss (11-4) came at the hands of Wrightsville, which quickly became the dominant team in the area.  Adrian defeated the winless Dublin for the second time in the season, 17-10.

The Dublin team was reorganized on June 14. B.D. Kent was named the manager while Carl Hilbun was selected as Secretary/Treasurer of the team, which included; Alex Knight, Blue Holliman, Joe Caldwell, Griswold Satterfield, Chris White, Frank Ray, Frank Grier, J.S. Kendrick, B.D. Kent, Paul Wiliamson, Canty Davis, J.A. Peacock, Jr., and Lass O. Moseley, a pretty fair country ball player from Orianna, who enjoyed a somewhat successful semi-pro career and a highly successful political and business career as a hotel owner in Atlanta.

The team played its games at the 12th District Fairgrounds, just south of the site of Robinson Ray Company, now Cordell Lumber Company.   Before the fairground field could be prepared for play, Dublin defeated Adrian 5- 1 in a field behind the rear of G.H. Williams’ home (now the Laurens County Library.)  The first lineup featured: 1B-Frank Grier, 2B-Eugene White, SS-Joe Caldwell, 3B-Blue Holleman, RF-Paul Williamson, CF-Frank Ray, LF-Alex Knight, P - Chris White, Catcher, B.D Kent or Griswold Satterfield.

Dublin and Wrightsville split their first two games of their 3-game series, with Dublin taking the 2nd game behind the pitching of Henry and the catching of Passmore. But, the boys from Wrightsville came storming back to capture the series with a 16-2 drubbing over the Dublin nine.

Wrightsville, which dominated nearly every team on their schedule, claimed the Amateur Championship of Georgia after a forfeit from Swainsboro on July 21.  The Johnson County  team, under the leadership of manager, H.C. Tompkins, boasted a record of 43-9-3 and that they would play any team in the state at home or anywhere in the state.  They strengthened that claim with Jack Hawkins’ 8-0, no-hit, 12-strikeout  drubbing of Dublin on July 25.  Hawkins was a former pitcher for the Macon Peaches, Augusta Tourists and Columbus Foxes of the South Atlantic League.

Just when the Dublin team had fallen into deep despair, things began to turn around on July 26, when pitcher Culpepper defeated Wrightsville in a pitcher’s duel 1-0.  The following day, Owens no hit Statesboro 2-0.  In a third straight tight game, Statesboro, shut out Dublin 1-0.  But Dublin kept fighting back with a 5-4 victory over Statesboro behind the pitching  of Owens to take the three game series.

Dublin started off August by winning its third straight shutout victory with pitcher Watts defeating Statesboro 7-0.   Dublin smashed Metter in the next game 10-2 in a lopsided game from the beginning, putting an exclamation point on a three-game sweep with a 1-0 shutout.

Dublin returned home in defeat from Idylewild near Wrightsville, behind the superb pitching of Wrightsville’s Dick Stevens.  Dublin’s Culpepper suffered a tough loss despite his six strikeouts and four hits allowed.   Dublin could not overcome Wrightsville’s single run despite Wooten’s 3-4 performance.  Dublin came back the next day with a 4-2 win which was followed with Wrightsville winning 6-1 and then again,  5-3, before Dublin won 2-1.

Swainsboro was shut out by Dublin’s Hunt in a 1-0 victory at the 12th District Fairgrounds.  Dublin’s pitcher Owens helped his own cause by homering in a 13-6 win over Swainsboro in the 2nd game.

Dublin left town to play a three game series in Midville, Georgia in Jefferson County, but not before a 6-2 defeat of Statesboro and a 1-1, 12-inning tie.

The entire season came down to a three game series against Midville in Dublin.  Dublin squeaked by the visitors 4-2 with the steady pitching of Hunt and sloppy play of the men from Midville.  In the second game, Midville took advantage of a Dublin error which tallied six unearned runs, to win 8-4 and tie the series.  With the home team advantage, Dublin jumped out to a quick lead and with the reliable Hunt on the mound, held on for an 8-4 victory.

By defeating Midville, Dublin claimed the Middle Georgia Championship.  Although in their reported games, the reorganized Dublin team had a record of 14-7-1, no where near the impressive record of their rivals  from Wrightsville which won more than 80 percent of their games.

But, Dublin had six more games to play and they were not going to rest on their trophy.   On the 21st, Dublin defeated  Statesboro 4-2 in the  fastest game of season.  In the next game,  Dublin again jumped out front early and played tough behind a solid outing by Watkins after the hitters chased Statesboro’s top starter Philpot from the game.    Dublin went on to sweep the three games series by a score of  4-2 after a bam bam play in a game filled with errors.

To put a big exclamation point on their championship, Dublin’s manager scheduled a three games series to end the season on August 24, 25 and 26.   Dublin’s dependable pitcher Hunt shut out the Savannah All Stars at the Fairgrounds 2-0 to take the first game. Dublin, didn’t let up, they could smell victory against the best team that Savannah could field.  In the 8th inning, Savannah changed pitchers with Dublin way ahead, when the score reached 11-2, Savannah’s manager threw in the towel,   Apparently the third game was forfeited as Dublin had already clinched the series by winning 10 of their last 13 games.

And so it was in the Summer of ’16 a century ago  in the year before the world went to war for the first time that  a scrappy bunch of Dublin ballplayers fought and scratched by winning 10 and tying 1 of their last 13 games to conquer the Amateur Championship of Middle Georgia, with all deference to the Wrightsville squad which clearly was the best team anywhere around East Central Georgia.


This photograph represents the only known image
of the home of Dr. Robert H. Hightower, Sr. and 
his family, which was located on the site of the present
Fred Roberts Hotel at the original beginning of
Academy Avenue.  It is often hard to visualize
the number of homes, which came right up into the
main business district of downtown Dublin.  Photo ca. 1900-1905

Monday, August 22, 2016


Frank's Place was located on the present site of the Oaks 
Shopping Center in Dublin during the 1930s and 1940s.
It was here in the spring of 1935, when baseball great
Dizzy Dean skipped the team party after a game against
the University of Georgia at the Fairgrounds.  Dean had too
much to drink and found himself at the train depot, long after
his team, the St. Louis Cardinals left on a west bound train.
Cardinal manager Frisch fined Dean, who was the reigning 
National League MVP, a definite winner of the Cy Young Award
had it been given out in those days, and the leader of the
reigning world champs, fired back and said, "Ok, I'll just quit."