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

Friday, February 19, 2016

SMIDGENS, SCRAPS AND SCINTILLAS



Ever wonder why, February usually has 28 days? Don’t forget 29 this year.  Until 450 B.C., the Roman calendar did not include the months of January or February.   After using up most of the days, the composers of the calendar had to cut the number of days to make the 365.25 day year.   Upon the implementation of the Gregorian calendar in England and its eastern colonies in America, February was officially designated as the 2nd month with a 29th “Leap” day every four years. 

ONE RICH UNCLE - H.H. Lanier earned a meager living as a watchmaker in a Dublin jewelry store.   Mark Hopkins, a brother of Lanier’s mother, traveled to California during the 49er days.  Hopkins founded the Central Pacific Railroad.  Uncle Mark Hopkins died in 1878.  For more than forty years, his heirs fought over his estimated twenty to one hundred and thirty five-million dollar estate.  The family was still fighting in 1927.  Macon Telegraph, February 28, 1927.


PISTOL PACKING MAMMA - In the early days of February 1925, Mrs. J.R. Rooks, was convicted of a misdemeanor in a Laurens County Superior Court.  Now Mrs. Rooks, who admitted she was just borrowing a friend’s gun,  was not your typical miscreant lawbreaker.  Mrs. Rooks, a widow, was convicted of “pistol toting” or carrying a concealed pistol without a license.  Newspaper accounts stated that Mrs. Rooks, sentenced to pay a fine of one dollar and court cost, was the first woman in Georgia convicted of the crime.  The conviction brought to the forefront the move to ban the carrying of concealed weapons, a move applauded by the Laurens County Grand Jury. Macon Telegraph, February 13, 1925


HOW ABOUT THOSE DUBLIN DOGS! - When the Dean of the University of Georgia issued his list of the university’s top students, one remarkable fact stood out.  Every Dubliner attending the university made the list.  They were Leila Bates, R.C.Coleman, Eugene Baldwin and Charles Molony.  Macon Telegraph, February 13, 1931. 

PECAN PLANT - An unusual production plant was established in Dublin in February 1937 by Mr. and Mrs. G.H. Williams.  The Williams operated The Dublin Pecan Shelling Company out their own building on West Madison Street behind the McLellan’s Store in the old “Four Seasons’ Building.”  Of the company’s thirty employees, 26 were African American women, who earned four cents per pound or about 75 cents to one dollar per day.  The plant was managed Hyers Holland.  The Williams hoped to produce 1500 pounds of pecans a week for shipment to wholesalers around the South.  Williams took the cracked hulls and used them to fertilize his pecan trees. Macon Telegraph, February 11, 1937. 

DEXTER SCOUTS - The second Boy Scout troop outside of Dublin was founded in Dexter in October 1922.  The troop was led by Professor Shippey of the Dexter school, Dr. J.E. New, H.W. Daniel and T.C. Methvin.  Macon Telegraph, October 11, 1922  

HAVE SOME TURNIPS AND VOTE FOR ME - Dexter Mayor Gene Gilbert enjoyed being mayor.  He used many gimmicks to get votes, giving out calendars, and the usual sort of political freebies.  In 1950, Gilbert turned to one of his favorite foods.  The mayor planted the village square with turnips as his gift to those who voted for him and even those who didn’t.  Richmond Times Dispatch, April 2, 1950. 

EAT YOUR VEGGIES - In the category of fantastic fruits and vegetables, consider these produce. J.M. Butler was proud of his sweet potatoes. He showed four of his prize spuds with a combined weight of fifteen pounds. He was also proud that he dug four to five thousand bushels of sweet potatoes from his ten-acre field. Not one to be outdone, Judge J.E. Page, of Orianna, brought a twenty-one-inch long ten-pound sweet potato into the newspaper office five days later in November 1917. The big tater was seven inches in diameter at its thickest point. Unless you were a cotton farmer, 1917 was a good year. J.H. Taylor of Dudley set out tomato plants in July and carefully cultivated them, protecting them from the summer's scorching heat and the fall's chilly nights. In early December, Taylor delightfully took a couple of beauties into Dublin to show them off. Have you ever seen a double watermelon? Well in July of 1900, J.W. Weaver brought in his unnatural oddity for believers and nonbelievers to see. J.N. Mullis, of Laurens County, may hold the record for the most odd clump of fruit. In 1891, Mullis brought a four-inch long twig from his prolific apple tree. To the amazement of the editors of the Eastman paper who saw it with their own eyes, the short branch had twenty-two well-developed apples attached to it.  
NOT THE WAR TO END ALL WARS  - During the 1930s, more and more political and military leaders foresaw a great war being fought in Europe.  In 1919, one Dublin man, S.M. Alsup, predicted  another world war, twenty years before it happened.  S.M. Alsup was a clerk with the American Forces in Treves, Germany.  On February 2, 1919, Alsup wrote a letter to his wife.  Alsup talked with German citizens and observed what was going on around him.  Alsup predicted "that if Germany is allowed to run her manufacturing plants and other industries to the extent of making it possible for her to pay the huge debt that she is supposed to pay, she will be on top again before we know it; at which time the war of all wars will be fought."  Alsup went on to write, "I certainly hope I am wrong, but my opinion is that in 1940 there will be another great war, if not earlier."  Alsup's prediction was right on the money - twenty years before Great Britain declared war against Germany and World War II began.  Dublin Courier Herald, June 20, 1940.
MAMMOTH TOOTH - Beulah Samples collected many things in his lifetime, most of which he sold for a profit.  In the weeks before Christmas in 1930 when it was hog killing time, Samples picked up some leftovers from B.V. Loye, who butchered a large hog on the plantation of Mrs. E.C. Hightower.  The tusk, measuring nine inches in length after three inches were broken off when the tooth was removed from the 624-pound hog.  Dublin Courier Herald, December 10, 1930.

BOMBER CRASH - It looked like a scene out of World War II.  A B-26 bomber, with flames coming out of it, was falling to the earth.  The plane, a part of an outfit known as the Confederate Air Force, developed trouble on a flight from Louisville, Georgia to its home base of San Marcos, Texas. The pilots jettisoned the cockpit and crash landed the bomber into a field belonging to M.O. Darsey. Both pilots survived.  Dublin Courier Herald, May 13, 1976.

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