THE ET CETERA CHRONICLES - VOL. 28
BLACK SKY, RED CYCLONE - On the afternoon of April 13, 1901, the residents of southern Laurens County held on for dear life. Out of a black southwestern sky there came a cyclone, red from the dirt being sucked from the fields. J.E. Hattaway, superintendent of the chain gang, estimated that the funnel cloud cut a path a mile wide. He heard a low rumbling noise, similar to that of an earthquake. Two foot wide pines were being snapped off. Livestock were instantly killed. Fences and barns were smashed. At Springhaven, W.D. Hudson, H.D. Barron, James Daniel, and R.E. Thomas lost their houses. The storm lasted for nearly 15 minutes at Dudley with Joseph Scott, W.D. Hudson, Mr. Bonner, and Mrs. John Daniel losing their houses. It was said that 3000 trees were blown down on the Daniel Farm. At Grimsley, Wash Burch, S.H. Tucker, Andrew Lowery, and Lester Winham suffered major losses. The storm passed on through Laurens County, but not before striking Tweed, where M.L. Smith lost his house. The storm struck one more time at Rockledge where M.L. Pope, J.A. Sumner, and A.J. Coursey lost their houses. Laurens Countians were lucky in that there were only two or three minor injuries. Dublin Courier Dispatch, April 18, 1901, pp. 1,7.
DRUGS 24/6 - A century ago, Dublin was riding the crest of a wave of phenomenal growth. Throughout the city, drug stores were on almost every block. But, Dublin made the big time, when two competing pharmacies opened their doors 24 hours a day, but not for seven days. You see, until Super X Drug Store challenged Dublin's "Blue Law" ordinance in the early 1970s banning drug stores from opening on Sundays, it was illegal for a drug store to open on the Sabbath, with the proviso that only one store could be open on a rotating basis and primarily for emergencies.
THE NIGHT OF THE TWISTER - Rarely and fortunately does a strong tornado ever strike Laurens County. On April 30, 1953, little Glenn Register, the four year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Register of Dublin, was in Warner Robins. About dusk a powerful twister struck the city nearly leveling eight city blocks. Glenn was rushed to an Atlanta hospital but died on the way. The storm reeked havoc on an area mostly inhabited by Air Force personnel. When it was over, seventeen were dead and nearly four hundred and fifty were injured. Reuben Lindsey, principal of the elementary school, died as a result of a heart attack he suffered just before the storm. Dozens of the injured were brought by state troopers to the newly constructed Laurens County hospital. The city of Dublin sent four trucks to Warner Robins to help in the cleanup. Dublin Courier Herald, May 1, 1953, p. 1.
JACK OF CLUBS - Thomas Randolph Ramsay was born into one of the most prominent families in Laurens County. His father, Rev. W.S. Ramsay, was a colonel in the Confederate Army, a well known Baptist minister, and founder of our present school systems in Dublin and Laurens County. His Randolph family was one of Virginia's oldest and most famous families. His cousins included Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, and Chief Justice John Marshall. By trade, he was a businessman involved in automobile sales, crate manufacturing, and a nursery and floral business. Ramsay, like his father, was active in civic affairs, perhaps more so than anyone else in the history of Laurens County. He was associated with nine fraternal and civic organizations. Ramsay was a Mason, Knight of Pythias, Odd Fellow, Elk, Kiwanian, Knight Templar, Shriner, Sportsman, and Rotarian. Laurens County History, Vol. 1, pp. 455-6.
SODA POP WITH A KICK - The weather was warming up. Folks needed to quench their thirsts on the warm spring days. A.H. Cowart, a member of the foreign colony, set up his drink stand on South Jefferson Street near the depot. Deputy Sheriff E.E. Clark noticed the large crowds which started gathering around Cowart's stand. The bottles, which appeared to be lemon soda, seemed to be selling well - too well. Upon further examination Deputy Clark discovered that the bottles did not contain lemon soda, but moonshine. Much to the dismay of the thirsty customers, Clark took Cowart and his stock to jail. Dublin Courier Herald, May 5, 1919, p. 1.
THE FIRST CONSUMER WATCHDOGS - Early in 1919 a new corporation was organized in Dublin. R.I. Stephens, C.P. Ennis, J.C. Moore, H.W. Nalley, and J.P. Tomlinson formed the Producers and Consumers Alliance of America. The goal of the organizers was to confer on all public questions and to inform the public. They also planned to inform the public on the conclusions of their conferences. The organization was a non- profit one and open only to those over sixteen with good morals. Dublin Courier Herald, Feb. 21, 1919, p. 5.
FIGHTING OVER THE AG SCHOOL - The competition was stiff. Dublin and Cochran were vying for the 12th District Agricultural College. Each congressional district in Georgia maintained a school to teach the young men of the district in the fundamentals of agricultural techniques. Cochran was initially awarded the school, but failed to live up to its promises. Gov. Dorsey opened the competition up again by asking for a re-submission of the bids. Dublin, backed by all members of the business community, submitted a strong bid. Dublin had five railroads and was the center of agricultural commerce in the region. The Dublin Committee headed by E.D. White, President of the Chamber, E.E. Street, M.H. Blackshear, and J.M. Finn promised to raise $95,000.00 within 60 days after the contract was awarded. Dublin promised 202.5 acres of land for farming, 13.5 acres of land for the campus, one 8 room brick college - valued at $40,000.00, and one 8 room frame dormitory - valued at $4,000.00. Additionally the city promised $25,000 in cash and free utilities for five years. Cochran promised an equal amount of land and free utilities. All of Dublin was shocked when the state awarded the school to Cochran. Dublin Courier Herald, Feb. 14, 1919, p.1, March 20, 1919, p. 1.
FREE THE TROUT - Fish naturally swim up stream. The men along the lower end of Turkey Creek knew that and knew that they could place traps in the creek preventing them from swimming up the stream. The men of northwestern Laurens County sought the help of the Georgia Legislature. On October 24, 1870 a law was passed directing the sheriffs of Laurens and Wilkinson counties to remove any traps or obstructions. Any officer failing to comply with the directive was subject to a fine up to five hundred dollars. Georgia Laws, 1870, p. 457.