- VOL. 27

Rev. Norman G. McCall, First African Baptist Church, Dublin, GA

A MIGHTY PREACHER MAN -  The Rev. Norman G. McCall served as pastor of the First African Baptist Church of Dublin for nineteen years.  Rev. McCall was a giant of a man and known all over for his Herculean strength.   Rev. McCall worked on the river boats and it was said that he could swim across the river with two sacks of fertilizer under his arms.  Rev. McCall was active in the organization of the schools in the black community in the 1880s.  His family lived in the southwestern portion of Dublin between Marcus and Marion Streets.  Rev. McCall served on the Executive Board of Central City College and as President of the State Sunday School Board of Education.  He was a member of the Masons, the Odd Fellows, and the Laboring Friends. On June 15, 1904, after suffering for several months with dropsy, Rev. McCall fell dead in his field.  His funeral procession was one of the longest in Dublin's history, nearly one mile long. Dublin Times, June 18, 1904, p. 1.

HOW DARE THEY?  Times change.  They always will.  Today  rampant trafficking in illegal substances plagues our nation.  Folks in Dublin a century ago  were shocked when two men who  sold drinks and snacks  aboard trains ( they called them news-butchers in the day) were arrested for selling Coca Cola and cigarettes aboard a Macon, Dublin and Savannah train on a Sunday.   Macon Telegraph, August 9, 1913.   

THOSE CRAZY DUBLIN DRIVERS - Many people have complained about the drivers along Dublin's streets.  It's a common complaint that one might hear in any city or town.  On September 16, 1933, it wasn't very safe on the streets of Dublin.  Capt. Rube Perkins was a show off.  Capt. Perkins was hired to promote the Ford Motor cars of Morris Motor Company.  Capt. Perkins had his eyes taped shut and then was blindfolded and hooded.  The captain loved to drive along crowded streets.  After the wild drive the daredevil walked along the ledge of one of Dublin's tallest buildings.  To help draw more people Captain Perkins presented one lucky person with a case of Nu - Grape Soda. Dublin Courier Herald, September 14, 1933.

A ZOO COMES TO DUBLIN -  Perhaps the largest collection of animals ever seen in Laurens County was exhibited in a vacant store building on the corner of West Jackson and Lawrence Streets in May of 1944.  The traveling zoo was sponsored by the U.S. Society of Zoology in the interest of conservation of wildlife.  The exhibit featured more than 200 animals, some of which were very rare.  More than six thousand people visited the $25,000.00 exhibit during its six-day stay. Dublin Courier Herald, May 5, 1944, p. 1, May 12, 1944, p. 2.

GOOD INTENTIONS GONE BAD - In the winter of 1914 Bethlehem Orphanage was established near Minter on land donated by B.M. Wilkes.  Thirty orphans were moved here from Meansville in Pike County.  Mr. and Mrs. A. Stafford were the managers. Shortly after when the orphanage was in the process of being moved to the plantation of Dr. G.E. Green, the new house burned on May 14th.  The appeal to rebuild the new orphanage did not succeed.  The ministers of Laurens County visited the orphanage and found it to be totally mismanaged with the welfare of the children in danger.  Mr. Stafford left to go to the bedside of his wife who was very sick.   The ministers and eventually the county took in the orphans, who were sent to other orphanages in Georgia and other states.   DCH,  1/22/14, p. 7; 3/19/14, p. 1; 5/14/14, p. 1; 5/28/14, p. 4; 6/18/14, pp. 1,9;  6/25/15, p. 1.

DUBLIN LAWYER ATTENDS NATIONAL CONFERENCE - George W. Williams, a Dublin attorney, and his wife were appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt as delegates to the National Divorce Congress.  Legal and church experts from all over the country gathered in Washington to develop a uniform system of divorce laws in the United States.  Williams was appointed as the third ranking member of the Committee on Resolutions, the most important committee of the congress.  The group was treated to a state dinner at the White House. After two weeks of deliberations, the group made its recommendations to President Roosevelt. Dublin Courier, Feb. 23, 1906, p. 8.

BUY WAR BONDS -  Angelo Catchechis, a Greek café and fruit stand operator in Dublin, had been trying for several months to make it possible for his wife and five children to join him in Dublin.  The family was caught on the island of Corfu between Greece and Italy after the beginning of hostilities in Europe.  Catchetis, a naturalized citizen of the United States,  was actively soliciting donations for the relief fund for victims of the Greek war.  Catchetis saved $2000.00 to pay for his family's trip to America.  He decided to buy War Bonds with the money.  Catchetis put it this way; "Now that I have no more hope of seeing my family until the war is over, my money is going to the aid of the United States to help end it as soon as it can be done."  Catchetis’s efforts were validated as trustworthy to Federal officials by City Alderman Milo Smith, Sr.  Dublin Courier Herald, November 12, 1940, p. 1, December 11, 1941, p. 1.   

A WALKING BLIND TIGER - The term "blind tiger" was given to a commercial establishment which sold illegal beer, wine, and liquor.  Blind tigers sprang up in Dublin after the sale of alcoholic beverages was banned in the 1890s.   While walking his beat one day, policeman Vernon Chavous noticed a man walking the streets in an unusual manner.  The officer    kept his distance from the man while observing his every move.  Finally Chavous noticed that the man, I.C. Fennell of Macon, had two one-gallon jugs, tied together with a rope, under his overcoat.  The brazen man started tending bar right out in the open in front of the Episcopal Church.  Chavous finally caught the man on Academy Avenue near the high school.  Mayor E.R. Orr fined the man $50.00 or 90 days on the chaingang. Dublin Times, December 3, 1904, p. 1.


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