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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

DECEMBER DOINGS - A CHRISTMAS COLLECTION


YOU CAN'T FOOL ME, YOU TURKEY - Jordan Ellington was out in the swamps around Dublin  seeking to shoot a fat turkey hen for Christmas.  And so was Lee Davis, who heard the distinct call of the delicious bird.  When Ellington uttered his realistic turkey call, Davis fired, striking Ellington, the turkey who got himself shot by another turkey right before Christmas.  Greensboro, N.C. Daily News, December 14, 1922.  

FRANKLY MY SON, I DON'T GIVE A D#/N - George H. Williams had plenty of reasons to be proud of his son, Gladstone Williams.  Williams was an honor graduate of Harvard Law School and a talented writer for the Atlanta Constitution, the Miami Herald and the McClatchy Newspaper chain.  While he worked at the Constitution, Williams developed a brief friendship with Margaret Mitchell.  When Mitchell began to compose the character of Rhett Butler for her iconic novel, "Gone With The Wind," she often thought of the well mannered, handsome, well spoken and debonair Williams.

All of Georgia was excited as "Gone With the Wind" became an international best-selling book in the mid 1930s.   Georgians were more proud of their state with the premiere of Gone With the Wind at Lowe's Theater on December 15, 1939, seventy five years ago.  That is mostly everyone with the exception of George H. Williams.

In the days after the premiere, Williams told the members of the Dublin Rotary Club, "If it were my choice, I would destroy every copy and every film version of "Gone With The Wind."  "The book is doing more to rekindle hatred between the North and the South than  since the end of the conflict," Williams told the Dublin Rotarians.  It will also be noted that the elder Williams had a similar disdain for another Georgia icon, Coca Cola. 

WHERE ART THOU BROTHER? - The last time the Rev. A.E. Saunders heard from his brother, Edgar Sanders, was when he was out in Texas, nearly a decade before the turn of the 20th Century.   It was just before Thanksgiving 1934 while Rev. Sanders was attending the South Georgia Conference of the Methodist Church in Macon, when he was asked to pose for a photograph with three other ministers, who cumulatively totaled more than 203 years of service to the ministry of God.  

Edgar had gone to Texas in the early as the 1880s.  Not a trace of him had been known since he moved until his son read in a Texas newspaper that his uncle was pictured in the group photo.

The two began to correspond until they could be physically reunited. Macon Telegraph, December 9, 1934.

"I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS" - Jean Ellington, a 12-year-old Dublin girl, had spent all but two of her living years in a Philadelphia hospital suffering from the paralysis of her throat after a bout of diphtheria.  As the autumn session of her school in Dublin progressed, so did Jean, both physically and academically.  As the weather began to cool, Jean's thoughts turned to the best Christmas ever for which she hoped to receive a pencil box, vanity set, fruit and a typewriter from Santa Claus.  Macon Telegraph, December 11, 1935. 
  
A SECOND DAY OF INFAMY - In the dark days which followed the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the people of Dublin were making plans to return to church on the following Sunday to pray for America and for peace.  

Early in the morning of December 14, 1941 just before 7:00 a.m. as she was reporting to work, a nurse at the hospital of Dr. E.B. Claxton saw the smoke and flames and reported the conflagration to the fire department.  The nursing staff and Dr. Claxton leapt into action, bundling up some thirty patients, two or three of whom were sick with pneumonia or ailing from recent surgery.    The sickest of the patients were taken to other private hospitals while the remainder were taken into private homes to recuperate until their release. 

The inferno resulted in $100,000 damage to the building and the equipment.  The hospital, built in 1937 and thought to be fireproof, suffered substantial damage, but was repaired and remodeled. Augusta Chronicle, December 14, 1941. 

A COUNTRY CLUB FOR CHRISTMAS - For years, the erudite, elite and  athletically minded men of Dublin wanted a golf course to while away the hours on the links.  In 1921, they got their dream.    Located northwest of town adjoining what would become the dairy farm of Dr. E.B. Claxton, the members erected a 9-hole course centered along Hillcrest Parkway between Claxton Dairy Road and Brookhaven.    A club house was built on a lake at the western end of the course (now a part of St. Andrew Subdivision) just in time for Christmas.

To salute the opening of the 108-acre course, which included a swimming pool, tennis courts and other agreeable amenities, club members secured a Yule Log which they burned  all during the opening night.  Curtis Guttenber and his orchestra of Macon were hired to play an evening of holiday musical merriment.   Columbus Enquirer, December 24, 1921.

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS -  Dawson Kea, Dublin's Judge of Recorder's Court, was known for decades as a fine, honest and thoughtful Christian man.  Kea saw  that in the week before Christmas in 1938 that Dublin's civic club's stocking fund was alarmingly low.  So it occurred to the future state representative that he had personal control over some extra money for the indigent residents of Dublin during the Christmas season.  Kea's plan was to divert an entire week's fines from city court toward the fund in the true spirit of Christmas. 

Dublin Mayor William A. Hodges doubted the propriety of taking from  one class and giving to another one.  Mayor Hodges believed, "That charity should come from the heart, and from those able and willing to aid the less fortunate.  Its needs should be fully met by a public consciousness, instead of depending on such methods as haphazard collection of court fines." 

The matter came to a final resolution five days before Christmas.  Mayor Hodges, who lauded Kea's magnanimous intentions, personally asked the entire city council to contribute to the fund.  The council responded with a resolution to donate $50.00 from city funds.  Then, to start off the personal donations, Mayor Hodges put in $25.00 into the collection box.   Kea, whose only motive was to see that as many of the needy be taken care of as possible, was satisfied with the end result.  Macon Telegraph, December 13, 14, 21, 1938.   


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