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

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A LITTLE OF THIS AND THAT

A LITTLE OF THIS AND THAT

Captain Clement Yannacone was flying his jet from Warner Robins to Fort Benning, when he lost control of his F-100 and crashed 20 miles southwest of Dublin on September 22, 1964.  Yannacone, a native of New Jersey, parachuted to the ground and landed five miles from the crash site.  Captain Yannacone, who flew two tours of duty in Vietnam, graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor's degree and earned a master's degree from Pepperdine University, He was stationed at an air field in Myrtle Beach, SC.

One of his proudest moments was being awarded his pilot wings and becoming a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.   He served two tours as a fighter pilot in Vietnam, along with being stationed at numerous bases in the United States, the Air Force Academy, Okinawa, Ethiopia and multiple countries in Europe. He was awarded numerous Air Force medals throughout his military career.  Captain Yannacone died on October 10, 2013 in New Mexico at the age of 83.


Norrie Wright learned to play golf and play it well on the links of the newly constructed course at the Dublin Country Club in the late 1940s and 1950s.  As a member of the Dublin Irish golf team, Norrie won the Class B Low Medalist Championship in 1952 and 1953.   At 14, Norrie won the 1950 Country Club Championship.  As a 15 year-old, Norrie defeated the highly athletic, Dr. Ty Cobb, Jr., by one stroke in the club’s Fall 1951 tournament.


In 1952, Norrie competed in the Georgia State Junior Chamber of Commerce tournament and was one of five young Georgians to compete in the national tournament in Eugene, Oregon.    Norrie played basketball for Dublin in his junior and senior years.  He joined the Florida State Seminoles golf team in 1955.   After he completed his collegiate career, Norrie has served as a golf pro in the Southeast for many decades.  In his playing days, Norrie was known as “the longest hitter on the planet.”  A golf mentor by destiny, Norrie coached Donna White to victory in the US Ladies Amateur Championship, as well as many PGA Tour golfers, including Bruce Crampton, who had 14 career wins on the PGA Tour and finished second to Jack Nicklaus in one Masters, one U.S. Open, and two PGA Championships.  Crampton was ranked in the top five golfers in the world in the early 1970s.  Norrie established the Norrie Wright Golf Center in Jacksonville, Florida.



Daniel Cummings was a well respected man in Dublin and Laurens County for more than a century.  He even has a building named for him.  On his 103rd birthday, Cummings swallowed enough alcohol to make him drunk  for the first time in his life.  He was quickly convinced that it
doesn’t pay to get drunk. Augusta Chronicle, 10/5/1951.

Dublin’s fire chief, S.V. Holmes, reported that during the year 1947, there was not a single false fire alarm reported. The Morning Olympian, 2/26/1948

Mrs. C.B. Fountain of the Harmony Home Demonstration Club won the 1948 fashion show in Laurens county.  Mrs. Fountain’s dress, made of feed sacks, cost her only five cents in materials. Edwardsville Intelligencer, 9/10/1948

Long time Laurens County vet, Dr. J. L. Smalley  reported that during an early June heat wave in 1939 that 40 mules, which are normally hardy during hot weather, died of the horrendous heat.  The Indianapolis Star, June 10, 1939.

Mainer Lee Toler, long time Society Editor of the Atlanta Constitution and one of the state’s leading newspaper women, was killed when her Chevrolet sedan  left  Highway 80 and slid down an
embankment five miles east of Dublin while she was on a Labor Day trip to Charleston, South Carolina  on September 2, 1939.  R.B. Calhoun, the operator of a nearby tourist camp, told Sheriff I. F. Coleman that the wreck was caused by a blowout of a tire which sounded like a gunshot.  Mrs. Toler’s badly damaged body was rushed to a local hospital for treatment. She died about four hours later.   Dublin Courier Herald, September 2, 1939.

Iris Mackey Ward Gillis was awarded the co-championship of the 20th Ward-Belmont Spring Riding Show in Nashville, Tennessee on May 6, 1943.  She tied Barbara Hess of Indianapolis in the national competition.

As World II came to an end in early September 1942, a problem arose - what do with all of the equipment which was left over.  Captain B.L. Graves, of Dublin, Ga., was placed in command of the Toddington Vehicle Storage Base, the only one of its kind in the United Kingdom.  Just in the first few days, Captain Graves was challenged with the duty to store and catalog 14,500 vehicles in a facility designed to handle only 5000 used Army vehicles with a projected 6,000 additional vehicles every month.  “We’ve got over 2,300 jeeps alone and every vehicle has to be checked,” Captain Graves told  reporter for the UPI in London.  The Troy New York Record, September 4, 1945.

The Dublin police were laughing when they hauled Willie Thompson into jail on the night of August 30, 1952.  It seemed that Thompson needed a ride home, so he stole the first car he saw.  Now this wasn’t your typical car parked beside the street. This car belonged to a local embalmer, whose car, you got it, was a hearse.  Thompson led police on a wild chase throughout the city around the courthouse and out into the country, where he was finally forced off the road by patrolman Ernest Dominy.  When Thompson tried to escape, Dominy fired a shot at Thompson and wounded him in  a knee.  The police charged Thompson was driving under the influence, speeding and resisting arrest, but couldn’t stop laughing when they opened the back of hearse to find a freshly embalmed woman. The Jackson Tennessee Sun, August 31, 1952.

Dolly was a special cow in this area.  After a five - day battle with pneumonia, Dolly, a two - headed cow, died.  The Greenville, South Carolina News, January 7, 1952.

Stanley A. Reese, a Dublin attorney serving in the U.S. Military, acted as a prosecutor in one of most heinous war crimes trials for murders committed by Japanese soldiers near Honshu in August of 1945. Twenty seven Japanese soldiers, including five generals, were charged with murdering some 50 American fliers by beheading, shooting or poisoning them.  All of the defendants plead not guilty because of their vicious rage after the indiscriminate bombing of their homeland. The Bend Oregon Bulletin, August 3, 1948.

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