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

Thursday, June 30, 2016

A SMIDGEN OF SNIPPETS

A SMIDGEN OF SNIPPETS

IN PRAISE OF PAPRIKA -   In the spring of 1941, Laurens County farmers began to experiment with the growing of Paprika peppers through the sponsorship of the Chamber of Commerce.  Courier Herald, May 3, 14, 1941.

WE’RE HOT AND WE’RE NO. 1 - On May 19, 2015 and July 11, 2015, the temperature in Dublin registered 95 and 104 degrees, the highest in the nation. Palm Beach Post - May 20, July 12, 2015

THEY DIDN’T START THE FIRES - Wednesday 17, 1941 was a busy day for the Dublin Fire Department.  Seven fires at seven different homes were reported at the same time around the city of Dublin.  Courier Herald, September 18, 1941

LIGHT SHOW - While looking for searchlight beams being tested in Laurens County, many Laurens Countains saw the lights of the Aurora Borealis, a rarity this far in the South.  Courier Herald, September 19, 1941.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS - Boosters of the Dublin High School Green Hurricane were well on their way to stage the first night football game at the school field along Woodrow Avenue.  It shall be noted that the first football field was located southeast of the current city water tower with Battle Field,  on the northwest side of the tower, being the second field. Local officials invited popular Georgia governor Eugene Talmadge to help inaugurate night football in Laurens County on November 1, 1941.  Coming from behind were the backers of the six man team of Rentz High School, who had electrical lights installed just in time for the September 24, 1941 with bitter rival Dexter.  Dexter won the game, but fans of the Rentz team can always say it was their school, which initiated a tradition which has lasted for nearly 75 years. Courier Herald , September 29, 1941.

THE FABULOUS NANCY HANKS - During the middle third of the 20th Century, the most popular passenger train in Georgia was the “Nancy Hanks, II,” or simply, the “Nancy Hanks,” The train was operated by the Central of Georgia Railroad and ran from Macon through McIntyre and Tennille in the East Central Georgia area.  Occasionally, unforseen problems with the main track forced rerouting along other train lines.  On May 15 and 16 in 1961,  the Nancy Hanks came through Dublin, because of that burned out journal box on another train car along the regular route.  A precedent was set when B.J. Tarbutton, a director of the railroad, got off the train in Dublin, the only Nancy Hanks passenger ever to deboard the train in Dublin, Courier Herald, May 3, 17, 1961.

THE LORD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS - In the early years of this century, the pastor of the First Methodist Church was asking the congregation to contribute to the repair of the Church.  An old miserly man, who always sat on the front row, rose to say "I'll contribute one hundred dollars."  At that moment, a piece of plaster fell striking the man on the head, which prompted the pastor to proclaim "Lord, hit him again!" As told by Mrs. Bluford B. Page.

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 pick 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.  Courier Herald, December 10, 1930.

COLD CASE SOLVED -   Fortunately Laurens Countians have been spared as victims of mass murders.  All of that changed in the autumn of 1979.   Marty Wilkins was working as a manager of the Flash Foods store on Glenwood Road.  Marty was a graduate of Dublin High School.  According to his store manager Sheila Hall, “he loved his job and was real friendly.”  Mrs. Hall had talked with Wilkins as he was counting the money in the register drawer just before 7:00 a.m. on the morning of October 20, 1979.  Within the next hour, Wilkins was found shot to death with a high powered rifle in the cooler of the store.  The cash was missing.  Marty Wilkins was only 24 years old and a father of one boy.  

The identity of Wilkins’ killer remained a mystery for  about six years.  In the spring of 1985, Henry Lee Lucas, one of America’s most infamous serial killers, was being transported from South Carolina back to prison in Texas.  As the car approached the Glenwood Road, Lucas told the driver to exit from the interstate highway.  He directed the officers to the Flash Food Store.  He told the officers that on October 20, 1979 he murdered a store clerk and put his body in the cooler.  Lucas divulged other information which was never given to the public.   Dublin Police Chief Wayne Fuqua was informed of Lucas’ statement.  Chief Fuqua sought and was granted a warrant by Deputy Magistrate Scott Thompson.  The mystery of the murder of Marty Wilkins was solved.  Courier Herald, October 20, 1979.

MUSKRAT ATTACK - S. A. Bailey was aroused one night when he heard a strange noise out in his back yard.  He thought that one of his pigs had gotten out of the pen and was being attacked by his dogs.  As he left the house, Bailey noticed two of his dogs fighting a brownish animal, which was getting the best of the two animals.  Bailey picked up a stick to help his dogs.  The animal charged and attacked Bailey.  Bailey wrestled with the creature, which sunk his long tusks into his right leg and wrapping his long flat tail around the other leg.  Bailey managed to escape the grip of the muskrat and with the aid of his son, succeeded in killing the animal.  Bailey brought the animal into town to show it off.  Afterwards, the head of the five pound muskrat was sent to the State Health Department to determine the presence of rabies.  Courier Herald, April 3, 1940.

PRAISE THE LORD  AND PASS THE AMMUNITION  - Poplar Springs Baptist Church did not hold a monthly conference during the month of November 1864.  The minute book recites that no meeting was held “on account of the excitement occasioned by the passing through the county of Sherman’s Army.”  Dublin Courier Herald, Dec. 14, 1943.

WATERMELON CAPITAL, TOO -   During this time of year, watermelons are plentiful in Georgia.  Cordele, Georgia claims the title of “The Watermelon Capital of the World.”  But In the mid 1930s, one out of every five watermelons produced in Georgia were grown in Laurens County. Courier Herald, November 15, 1935.

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