Georgia Genealogy Trails

"Where your Journey Begins"

Brooks County, Georgia

Turner, Henry G., lawyer and member of Congress, was born in Franklin county, N. C., March 20, 1839. After the usual preparatory training he entered the University of Virginia, but the death of his father in 1857 made it necessary for him to leave the institution before completing his course. The following year he came to Georgia, where he taught school until the commencement of the war, when he enlisted in the Confederate service. He served through the entire war, being mustered out as captain, and in 1865 was admitted to the bar. In 1872 he was one of the presidential electors on the Democratic ticket. Later he served three terms in the legislature; was elected to represent his district in the lower branch of Congress in 1880, and reflected at each succeeding election until 1894. Upon retiring from Congress he resumed the practice of law at Quitman; was appointed one of the justices of the supreme court, but after a short service he resigned, and died at Quitman in 1905.


    The Allbritton family appears to have been a very old Georgia family, living here apparently before the Revolutionary War, but originally from South Carolina. John Allbritton, a Revolutionary soldier, of Effingham County, and George Allbritton of Burke County and Richard Allbritton of Screven and Bulloch counties, were probably brothers.

    Matthew Allbritton was a native of Effingham County, and was born in 1788, a son of John Allbritton, R. S. He grew up in Bulloch County which was created out of Effingham, and was married about 1808 to Ann Bulloch, a daughter of James and Dinah Bulloch of Effingham County. She was born in that county in 1792 and died in 1871 in Brooks County.
    Matthew Allbritton had one known brother and one known sister, viz: Thomas Allbritton, born 1776, of Ware County (cut into Pierce County by the creation of that county 1858), and Jane, born 1795, created he was cut off into it and became one of its first Inferior Court justices, serving 1826-27. In 1830 he lived (according to the 1830 tax digest) on lot of land 446, 12th district of Lowndes, now Brooks County, which he owned.
    Elder Allbritton died in the midst of a very busy ministry, and was greatly in demand as a preacher of the Gospel. His passing brought much sadness to a wide circle of brethren throughout this section. He was buried at Bethany Church. His grave was marked by a brick wall about it, though no tombstone was ever put there. His widow lived twenty-one years longer and died in 1871 and was buried on the old John W. Allen place one mile east of Dixie. She spent her last years with Mr. and Mrs. Allen. The children of
    Elder and Mrs. Allbritton were: 1. Abigall b. 1805, m. Cornelius English.   Died at Plant City, Fla. 2. Jesse J. b. 1810, m. Catherine Holloway. 3. James B. b. 1813, m. Mariah Lastinger. 4. George W. b. 1815, m. Jane Allen 5. William T. b. 1823, m. Adeline Griffin. 6. Matthew Henry      b. 1826, m. Mary Amanda Turner. 7. Martha Ellen        b. 1832, m. (1)______Woods; (2) John W. Allen. 8. Sophronia b. 1834, m. Willet F. N. Kirkland from Florida.
    M. H. and J. J. Allbritton were administrators of the estate.
    Rev. Allbritton and his wife were married in Bryan County and lived in Laurens County a few years, about 1809-15, and also lived a short time in Bryan County, and are found in the 1820 Census in Bulloch County. As already indicated, they moved to Lowndes (or Irwin at the time) about 1823-24, when only a few people lived here.
    Mrs. Allbritton had a sister Abigail who married Silas Hilliard in Bryan County, and they moved later to Ware County where their son Thomas (1804-1866) became a very prominent citizen and large landowner in his day, and served a number of terms in the state senate, also filling other offices. married John Dean in Laurens County in 1812. There were apparently other brothers and sisters. John and Jane Dean moved from Laurens to Lowndes County about 1830 and settled in present Brooks where they lived until they died, leaving several children whose descendants live here now. Most of the descendants of Thomas Allbritton became citizens of Florida.
    Matthew Allbritton was a well-known Baptist minister of his day. Just when and where he was ordained is not now known but it appears to have been before he moved to this section. He was one of the presbytery which constituted the first Baptist Church in all this section—Union Church on the banks of the Alapaha River near the present town of Lakeland, in October, 1825. He was then an ordained minister and was called as the first pastor and held the pastorate until his death in January, 1850. His wife became a charter member of Union Church by letter and was dismissed by letter August 12, 1826 and he and his wife became charter members of Bethel Baptist Church in Brooks County when it was formed in September, 1826. On September 6, 1833, he transferred his membership to Union Church and continued a member until his death. It is thought that Rev. Allbritton and his wife were originally members of a Baptist Church in Bulloch County and that he was ordained there. When division developed in the ranks of Baptists in the 1830s and 1840s Rev. Allbritton cast his lot with the Primitives. He served a number of churches all over old Lowndes County and also in Thomas County and over in Florida. He was pastor of Columbia Church in present Brooks County, 1841-1847, and it is probable, was its pastor for the preceding eight years, 1833-41, the minutes for that period being lost Was also pastor of Bethel Church for some years.
    Elder Allbritton was one of the first settlers of this section, and lived here when it was Irwin County. In 1825 when Lowndes was created lie was cut off into it and became one of its first Inferior Court justices, serving 1826-27. In 1830 he lived (according to the 1830 tax digest) on lot of land 446, 12th district of Lowndes, now Brooks County, which he owned.
    Elder Allbritton died in the midst of a very busy ministry, and was greatly in demand as a preacher of the Gospel. His passing brought much sadness to a wide circle of brethren throughout this section. He was buried at Bethany Church. His grave was marked by a brick wall about it, though no tombstone was ever put there. His widow lived twenty-one years longer and died in 1871 and was buried on the old John W. Alien place one mile east of Dixie. She spent her last years with Mr. and Mrs. Allen. The children of
    Elder and Mrs. Allbritton were: 1. Abigail b. 1805, m. Cornelius English.   Died at Plant City, Fla. 2. Jesse J. b. 1810, m. Catherine Holloway. 3. James B. b. 1813, m. Marian Lastinger. 4. George W. b. 1815, m. Jane Allen 5. William T. b. 1823, m. Adeline Griffin. 6. Matthew Henry     b. 1826, m. Mary Amanda Turner. 7. Martha EUen b. 1832, m. (1)______Woods; (2) John W. Allen. 8. Sophronia b. 1834, m. Willet F. N. Kirkland from Florida.
    M. H. and J. J. Allbritton were administrators of the estate. Rev. Allbritton and his wife were married in Bryan County and lived in Laurens County a few years, about 1809-15, and also lived a short time in Bryan County, and are found in the 1820 Census in Bulloch County. As already indicated, they moved to Lowndes (or Irwin at the time) about 1823-24, when only a few people lived here.
    Mrs. Allbritton had a sister Abigail who married Silas Hilliard in Bryan County, and they moved later to Ware County where their son Thomas (1804-1866) became a very prominent citizen and large landowner in his day, and served a number of terms in the state senate, also filling other offices.

George W. Allbritton

    George W. Allbritton, third son of Elder Allbritton and wife, was born in 1815 in Laurens County, and came as a boy with his parents to present Brooks County. He married Jane Allen, a daughter of Isaac and Easter Allen, who were among the first settlers of Thomas County. She was born September 19, 1818, and died November 9, 1892. Her husband enlisted in the Brooks County militia in the last year of the Civil "War and was captured in the battles about Atlanta, and confined in Federal prison on Hilton Head Island, S. ft, where he died January, 1865. He served in the Indian War as a first lieutenant in the Florida Volunteers, 1836. When Brooks County was formed Mr. Allbritton and family were cut out of Thomas County into the new county and continued to live here afterwards.
    Isaac Allen was a brother of James Allen, first Sheriff of Irwin County, also a brother of Dennis Alien, William Allen, and John Allen and Henry Allen, all of whom were originally from North Carolina and came to Georgia about 1800-1810 and settled first in Telfair County, then in Irwin, being cut off into Lowndes and Thomas counties later. Their father was Charles Allen, a Revolutionary soldier in North Carolina, later of South Carolina.
    The children of George W. and Jane Allbritton were:
1. Martha b. 1834f probably died in girlhood.
2. Easter b. 1838, m._Woods. Died Nov. 12, 1860.
3. Laura b. 1840, m. S. J. Harrell.
4. Mary b. 1842, m.
    (1) _Barnes;
    (2) _Lee. Died 1932.
5. Lurania b. 1844, m. Henry Ward.
6. Isaac Allen b. 1849, m. Willie Sinclair.
7. Susan b. 1852, m. Richard Stansell.
8. Rachel b. 1854, m. Augustus B. Jones. Died 1889.
9. George W„ Jr.    b. 1856, died Dec. 16, 1859.
10. Sophronia I.     b. 1860, m. George P. Smith. Died 1900.
11. Matthew J.       b. 1862, died single, age 21. Thomasville lawyer.

    Mrs. Jane Allen Allbritton is buried in the town cemetery at Dixie in Brooks County. Her husband was buried at Hilton Head, S. C.
    Isaac A. Allbritton Isaac Allen Allbritton was born in present Brooks County in 1849 and was admitted to the bar in Brooks Superior Court, December 21st, 1874, after a creditable examination. He was married in 1877 to Miss "Willie Sinclair, daughter of Hon. B. W. Sinclair and wife of Brooks County; to them were born two daughters, Alma and Willie. The former married Dr. E. L. Jelks of Quitman, and her sister who was never married, lives with her and Dr. Jelks in Quitman. Mr. Allbritton died a premature death July 21, 1881, in his thirty-second year, and was at his death enjoying a large and growing practice of law. Mrs. Allbritton having died the year before, their two little daughters were taken in hand by their grandmother, Mrs. Sinclair, and reared by her. Mr. and Mrs. Isaac A. Allbritton were buried in West End Cemetery, Quitman.


Randolph Avera was the son of David and Elizabeth (Hood) Avera; both were born in Washington County and reared twelve children. David was a member of the Legislature from Crawford County and later moved to Houston County where he died in 1876. Randolph Avera and his brother Thomas moved to Quitman and built the first brick store and set out the first shade trees in the new town of Quitman in 1859. On July 21, 1861, Mr. Avera married Mrs. Mary Jane (Young) McElveen who represented one of the oldest families in South Georgia. She was born in Thomas County September 29, 1830, the daughter of Michael Young and Mrs. Sarah Everett Young; the grand-daughter of William and Mary Henderson Young. William Young, in 1775, was a member of the Council of Safety at Savannah and on July 4th of that year represented the town and district of Savannah in the first assemblage of the Provincial Congress. He was afterwards a planter in Screven County.

Michael Young, son of William and Mary Henderson Young and father of Mrs. Avera, was born in Screven County January 16, 1797. He married Miss Sarah Everett who was born in Bulloch County. In 1828, Michael with his family and slaves, moved to the new county of Thomas and settled three miles from Thomasville, subsequently developing a yery large plantation there which he farmed profitably until his death. He was a member of the legislature from Thomas County; as there were no railroads he had to make the journey to Milledgeville on horseback. He died on his farm August 24, 1856. His wife died in 1876. They reared nine children.

Mary Jane Avera first married William Henry McElveen of Decatur County in 1850; they bought land and lived on their farm until his death at the age of 35. She was left with three small children. After her husband's death she bought a tract of land in 1857 in what is now Brooks County, to be near her brother, James Everett Young. There was no Quitman and her land was a pine forest. With her slaves she cleared the land and built a home; first, a log house and later a colonial-style residence set far back among fruit and shade trees. Here she and Mr. Avera lived for over fifty years and reared four children.

Mrs. Avera was untiring in her service to the county and to the welfare of the community. She was one of the founders of the Ladies' Memorial Association and an active member of the Methodist Church.

The Family

Mary Jane Young was born September 29, 1830 in Thomas County; married William Henry McElveen of Decatur County, December 17, 1850. Their children were William Henry McElveen, Jr., Sarah America McElveen and Susan Tallulah McElveen.

Sarah America McElveen married Dr. Daniel Luther Ricks. Their children were: Mary Tallulah, William Luther, Clara Ethel, Cora Lee, Lelia Viola, Josie Alberta and Hugh Brandon Ricks. Cora Lee married Matt Armstrong Fleming and their children are William McElveen Fleming, Hugh Armstrong Fleming, Frank Lamar Flem-ing. William McElveen Fleming married Louise Jefferson and their child was Stacy Jefferson Fleming. Hugh Armstrong Fleming mar-ried Nell Legwin and they have one son Hugh Armstrong Fleming, Jr. Frank Lamar Fleming married Eva Clark. Lelia Viola Ricks married Preston Castleberry and they have one child: Mary Mec Castleberry who married William Lawson Bobbitt. William Luther Ricks married Estelle Benedict and their children are: Charles Luther and William Benedict Ricks. Hugh Brandon Ricks married La Verne McFadin.

Susan Tallulah McElveen married Joseph King Hodges. Their children: Mary Effie, Mec, Tallulah, Joseph King Hodges, Jr. Mary Effie Hodges married Joseph Walker and their children were Mary Beler, Emma, Tallulah, Joseph. Emma Walker married William Stevens Porter and their son is William S. Jr. Tallulah Walker married James A. Anderson and their children are James A. Jr., and Mary Emily Anderson. Mec Hodges married Bealer Walker, Tallulah Hodges married Tom Fox. Joseph King Hodges married Marie Cotter.

William Henry McElveen died in Thomas County, in 1857, and his widow married Randolph Avera July 21, 1861, in Brooks County. He was born May 21, 1826, at Fort Valley, Ga. Their children: Clara Lavinia, James Walter, John Randolph and Charles Young Avera.

James Walter Avera married Margaret McMullen and their chil-dren : Mary Mec, Walter McMullen, Sallie Lee and James West Avera. Mary Mec married Walter Thomas Home and they have: Walter T., Jr., and Margaret who married Eddy N. Ekdahl. Walter McMullen Avera married Allie Thomas and James West Avera married Mamie Smith.

John Randolph Avera married Beulah Whittington and their children: Kathleen, Mary Jane, Virginia McDonald, Ruth, John Randolph Jr., Beulah Whittington, Benjamin Whittington and Dougal McDonald Avera. Kathleen Avera married Paul C. Smith, later Ralph L. Slate; Mary Jane married George Robert Whitfield; Virginia MacDonald Avera married Lee Howard McFarlane; Beulah Whittington Avera married Allen Wyche Groover; Benjamin W. Avera married Theresa Kirstead and their children are: Benj. W. Jr., and John Randolph Avera II.

Charles Young Avera married Florrie McMullen and their children are Daisy and Charlie Jr., and Clara Lee. Daisy married Herman James Lambert and their children are Herman J. Jr., and Robert Young Lambert. Charles Young Avera also married Bertice Smith and they have: Henry Randolph, Ruth and Eloise Avera.

Herman J. Lambert mentioned above, has served in the U. S. Army for 28 years in a professional capacity. He at present is chief of the Dental Service at the Tripler General Hospital, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, where he lives with his wife and two sons. The elder son, Herman Jr., is a physician at the Queen Hospital in Honolulu, and the other son is attending the University of Hawaii.


Data Compiled by J. B. Baum of Quitman.

The first member of the Baum family known in South Georgia was Jacob Baum who was born in Germany, June 8, 1825, and died in Quitman, Ga., April 10, 1891. He and his brothers who came with him to America about 1847, were of High German descent and were born in or near Sahern, near Berlin. At least two of his brothers originally settled at Irwinton, Ga., they being Alexander Baum and Michael Baum. The latter, according to the family tra-dition, was a younger brother and he served in the Confederate Army and was in the battles around Atlanta. He was buried at Irwinton.

Six or seven Baum brothers departed from Germany about 100 years ago when there was a revolution for civil and religious liberty, and sailed for Baltimore, three of them uthnately settling in Georgia and two of these marrying and having large families.

When he first settled in this country Jacob Baum was an immigrant without funds and unable to speak English. He went into the mercantile business in Quitman and gradually accumulated capital whereby his business expanded.

Jacob Baum was wounded in the civil war in Germany and ultimately lost his eye-sight from this wound. He was not physically qualified for military service when the Civil War of 1861 came on and therefore could not serve in the Confederate Army but did serve as a Confederate nurse. He always said that he loved the country of his adoption more than his native country, as he knew what freedom meant. He could not understand why he had to forage at night for chickens, eggs, porkers, and other food for the wounded soldiers quartered in this section. He often stated to his children that his acts of stealing food for diseased and dying soldiers were the only acts of theft he had ever committed.

He married twice, first to Miss Hester A. R. Taylor of Thomas County, the sister of John Taylor of Boston, a Confederate veteran. They were married May 20, 1860. She died April 27, 1865, leaving three small children, viz: Leopold B. Baum, born November 24, 1861, died September 16, 1867; Bartola C. Baum, born October 22, 1863, died September, 1906, at Waycross; and Hester Ann Baum, born April 27, 1865, died September, 1904, married Bart Brooks. The latter's only child, Honora Brooks, born September 6, 1896 at Boston, Ga., married Charles St. Clair Harby of Greenville, Fla, at Boston, on March 25, 1919, who died November 23, 1934. There were two children of Honora and Charles, viz: James St. Clair Harby, born September 20, 1923, who served overseas in the late World War; and Louise Marie Harby, born August 31, 1929, living in Boston, Ga.

During the Civil War, Jacoh Baum carried on a mercantile business in Quitman, having bought one of the first lots in the business section of the town when the first auction of town lots took place in 1859. He built the usual type of country store across from the Court House on the lot where the present three-story building stands that was built by the Rountrees. The Civil War came on, and as time went on he had many trials. With a war on and much suffering everywhere, nursing sick soldiers, currency inflated and later with three motherless children on his hands he did not have much prospect for a bright future.

While thus traveling about he met the family of John Dugger, Sr., of the Grooverville section of Brooks County, and became acquainted with Miss Ann Pharaba Dugger, one of John Dugger's daughters. After a brief courtship they were married September 14, 1865. The present Baum home on West Screven Street was built in the 1860s (though of course it has been remodelled and changed in many respects since those days) and it was to that home with its three motherless children that he brought his bride. She took them into her love and care, and became a good mother to them.

To Jacob and Ann Pharaba Dugger Baum were born eight children, as follows: (1) Michael Baum, named for his uncle, born January 5, 1867; died in Miami, Fla., June 18, 1934. (2) Jacob Alexander Baum, born December 28, 1868, died January 8, 1895. Married January 8, 1890, Miss Mattie B. Perry of Lowndes County. She was born September 13, 1872, died September 18,1903. Issue Sallie (Mrs. C. M. Hunt) and Thelma (Mrs. Earl Doty). (3) John Henry Baum, born January 21, 1871, died January 8, 1934. Never married. (4) Ettie Baum, born October 9, 1872, married John G. Dean of Monticello, Fla., February 6, 1901, later resided in Panama City, Fla. Died July 6, 1944, leaving three sons, Charlie, John G. Jr., and Martine Dean. (5) Mamie Baum, born November 5, 1875, died January 28, 1887. (6) Tillie Baum, born December 2, 1877, died August 29, 1878. (7) Annie Baum, born January 12, 1882; taught school several years at Evergreen School in this county; married April 24, 1901 to Wm. A. Taylor, a nephew of her father's first wife. Died January 21, 1920, survived by her husband and four children, W. A. Jr., Walter, Annie Lois and Jacob Baum Taylor. (8) Mabel Baum, born September 12, 1883, lives in Miami, Fla., address 1865 N.W. 21st Terrace. Married October 12, 1904 to Olin P. Stewart. They have one son, Ben Stewart. Olin P. Stewart was a son of Rev. W. W. Stewart, Methodist minister in the South Georgia Conference, so well remembered by many older people as the Methodist pastor in Quitman for several years.

Mrs. Ann Pharaba Baum was born January 24, 1842, and died March 30, 1897. She and her husband are buried in the West-end Cemetery.

Clipping from "The Waycross Headlight," Waycross, Ga., issue of November 18, 1885:

"Mr. Jacob Baum, an old respected merchant of Quitman, is almost blind. "We knew him during the dark days twenty years ago when he kept a dry goods store and carried on the manufacture of cigars in that town. Mr. Baum is a German, honest to a fault, has a most excellent wife, and we regret to hear of the sad affliction that has come upon him. In his declining days he is still true to business principles and advertises in his county paper."

Michael Baum

Michael Baum, the oldest of the Baum children by the second marriage of Jacob Baum, was born as stated above, January 5, 1867, and married Miss Ruth Hastings Brantley of Boston, 6a., April 20, 1898. Their honeymoon consisted of a train ride from Boston to Quitman, where she came to her husband's home to mother the two youngest Baum girls, Annie and Mabel, who had been left orphans by the deaths of their parents. Mrs. Ruth Baum, like her namesake in the Bible story, became a sister to all the Jacob Baum children and was greatly loved by them. Her father was William R. Brantley, born February 12, 1834, died February 7, 1925, a native of North Carolina. She too lost a bright young sister in her girlhood—Sallie Brantley (August 25, 1873-October 2, 1892), but her brother William Zachariah Brantley (October 31, 1867 - July 10, 1931) lived in Boston all of his life. Ruth was also a sister to Zach's wife, Ruby Stone Brantley (August 5, 1867-September 23, 1935). The latter for many years ran the Hotel Ruby of Boston, so well known to the traveling public as the place where they had turn-tables and plenty of fried chicken! Grandmother Brantley was formerly Martha Watson (June 28, 1832-December 3, 1912) with relatives in Albany and in Worth County and Floral City, Fla. Zaek Brantley and wife Ruby left two children, Martha (Mrs. W. C. Ball of Thomasville) and Roderick Stone Brantley, very talented with paints, colors and an architect by profession, now located in Thomasvill, Ga. Grandfather Brantley was a Confederate veteran and was detailed to apprehend deserters toward the close of the war, also was assigned to get salt at St. Marks, Fla., and was in the Confederate secret service awhile. His oath of allegiance to the Union, after the War, is recorded in the Court House at Albany.

Mrs. Ruth Brantley Baum was born July 24, 1871, and died in Greenwood, S.C, September 9, 1935, and is buried in West End Cemetery, Quitman, in the Baum burial lot. Her husband, Michael Baum, was a resident of Quitman until 1925 when he moved with all the family to Miami, Fla., with the exception of his brother, John Henry Baum, and his son J. Brantley Baum, the latter being the only living member of the Baum family left in Brooks County at present.

Michael Baum first started to practicing law as the secretary for Judge W. B. Bennet of the County Court of Quitman, then was elected Justice of the Peace, and from 1919 to 1924 was Judge of the City Court of Quitman, and practiced law here for many years prior to his removal to Miami.

J. Brantley Baum was born June 17, 1899; graduated from Quit-man High School in 1917; subsequently was in World "War No. 1; received his academic training at the U. S. Naval Academy 1918-1920. He then attended the Lamar School of Law, Emory University, 1920-1923, and since his admission to the bar has practiced law in Quitman. He was married to Miss Marian Alene Akin, April 29, 1928. She was of an old Georgia family that moved to South Florida when Miami was a small village. They have the following children: Martha Patricia Baum, born March 17, 1929, Clifford Brantley Baum, born May 12, 1935, and Marion Ruth Baum, born October 8, 1936.

Michael Earl Baum, the second child of Michael and Ruth Baum, was born November 26, 1901, attended Quitman High School as well as Sparks Collegiate Institute at Sparks, Ga., and took his law course at Miami University, Miami, Fla. He married Emmalene V. Willett of Owensboro, Ky., a daughter of a prominent Baptist min-ister of that city. They were married August 30, 1928, and have a daughter Barbara Brantley Baum, born June 12, 1929. Michael Earl Baum is a successful and prominent Miami attorney. He prac-ticed law with his father in Miami until the latter ?s death.

The third child of the family was Mildred, born November 6, 1903 and died May 23, 1905.

Christine Ann Baum, the oldest living daughter, was born April 18, 1906, graduated from Quitman High School as well as from Wesleyan College, Macon; taught school for a year or so in Miami, Fla. and on July 21, 1928, was married to Joe E. Adams at Miami. They moved to Greenwood, S. C, about 1933, where Mr. Adams is prominently connected in the hardware and mill supply business. They have two sons, Joe Jr., born November 17, 1933 and Brantley Michael Adams, born August 26, 1940.

The youngest child of Michael and Ruth Baum, is Ruth, named for her mother. She was born January 20, 1909, attended Quitman High School and Andrew College, Cuthbert, and graduated from Southern College, Lakeland, Fla., in 1929. She then taught school in Dade County, Fla., and later married Tech. Sgt. Alden J. Wright, 7th Heavy Bombardment Air Force, TJ. S. Army. After World War II she returned to Miami where she is teaching in the public schools there.

Bartola Baum's Family

Bartola C. Baum, son of Jacob by his first marriage, was born October 22, 1863, and died at Waycross in September, 1906. His wife was Miss Nellie Garrison of Brooks County. They were married January 7, 1890.

He was survived by five children: (1) Joseph I. Baum, born August 22, 1892, in Waycross. Served in World War No. 1, veteran of overseas service, serving in the Army of Occupation in Germany. Married January 11, 1920, Leila V. Wells in Savannah. She was born December 12, 1901, in Savan-nah. They have one son Joseph I. Jr., born April 21, 1922, at Sa-vannah, served as an M.P. in World War No. 2; Joseph I. Jr., mar-ried October 2, 1943, in Miami, Fla., Miss Helen H. Hosack, and they have a son John D. Baum, born August 21, 1944, in Jacksonville, Fla.

(2) Conrad F. Baum, born in Waycross, about 1895; has lived in Savannah, Ga, Birmingham, Ala., Miami, Panama City, and St. Andrews, Fla. He is married and has a son Conrad Jr., who served in the U. S. Navy in World War No. 2.

(3) Mary Ellen Baum, born about 1897, in Waycross, married June 18, 1931, Russell F. Benatie in Jacksonville, Fla. Address: 1451 Pinegrove Avenue, Jacksonville, Fla. For several years she lived in Boston, Ga., with an uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Taylor, and after Mrs. Taylor's death she lived with another uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Deen Sr., in Panama City, Fla.

(4) Bartola Baum, born December 8, 1898, in Waycross. He served in World War No. 1, and was in France. He is active in the American Legion and in the Forty-and-Eight; and is a Mason. He has lived most of his life in Savannah, where he has a successful plumbing business. He married Miss Lucile M. Bishop October 15, 1922. They have one child, Bessie Helen Baum, born August 4, 1923, married Irwin Paul Brown, a staff sergeant in the U. S. Army.

(5) Percy Baum, born December 4, 1903, in Waycross In young manhood he joined the U. S. Army and was in the service seventeen years, receiving an Honorable Discharge account of disabilities, with the rank of sergeant, after Pearl Harbor. He was in defense work during World War No. 2, in shipbuilding yards at Savannah. He is active in American Legion work also. He lives with his brother Bartola in Savannah, and is unmarried.

Jacob Alexander Baum's Children

As already stated, Jacob Alexander Baum and wife had two children. These were:

(1) Annie Sallie Baum, born November 13, 1890. She was mar-ried to Marshall Joseph Hopps January 14, 1910. He died July 4, 1932, in Brunswick, 6a. To them was born one daughter, Evelyn Baum Hopps, born December 1, 1910. Mrs. Annie Sallie Hopps later married Charles Marvin Hunt, formerly of Valdosta, 6a., November 13, 1933, then lived seven years in Savannah and six years in St. Matthews, S. C, and St. Ceorge, S. C, where Mr. Hunt is a druggist. The daughter, Evelyn, married James Cale Leybourne May 19, 1929. He is Trust Officer and Vice-President of the American National Bank, Miami, Fla. Residence: 6001 N.W. 30th St., Coral Cables 34, Fla. They have three daughters: Martha Joe Leybourne, born December 5, 1930; Sylvia Owens Leybourne, October 25, 1937; and Sallie Amanda Leybourne, born January 7, 1940.

(2) Thelma Baum, born March 25, 1895, in Quitman. Married Lemuel Purdom March 15, 1916, in Waycross, Ga. He was born December 27, 1891, and died June 8, 1930. She then married Earl Doty November 2, 1935. He was born in Brookfield, Mo., November 15, 1885, and was a Supervisor at Army Air Field. By the first marriage a son, Lemuel A. Purdom, was born August 10, 1917, in Waycross; he married Dorothy May McQuaig in Jacksonville, Fla., May 19, 1939; they have two daughters, Sandra Evelyn born February 10, 1941, and Judy Kathryn born Sept. 17, 1943, both born in Waycross. Lemuel served in World War No. 2, overseas in Germany. Home address of Earl and Thelma Doty: 815 S.W. 66th Ave., Route 1, Miami 35, Fla.

(Written by W. T. Gaulden)

Wililam Baker Bennet was born in Liberty County, Ga., in 1827. Graduated from Mercer University in 1848. Married Miss Martha J. Campbell, daughter of Rev. Jesse H. Campbell in 1851. He read law under Charles Screven Gaulden at Lumpkin, Stewart County, and was admitted to the bar in 1850. Soon after, he located at Troupville where he practiced law until he moved to Quitman when it was founded in 1859.

When the War Between the States came on he enlisted as a volunteer Confederate soldier. He was later disehargd on account of disabilities, and returning to Quitman, he resumed the practice of law. He was elected to the legislature in 1865 and took part in the memorable legislative sessions of 1865-67. In 1868 he was appointed Solicitor-General of the Southern Circuit and held this office six years; in those days it was a large circuit embracing the territory between (and including) Pulaski and Thomas counties.

In 1880 Mr. Bennet was elected County School Commissioner and served four years. In 1884 he was appointed Judge of the County Court and served until it was changed into the City Court in 1904. He continued four more years as Judge of the City Court. In both judicial positions he served twenty-four years. During his long service on the bench he never had a decision reversed by a higher court. He resigned January 15, 1908, due to ill health, and his death soon followed, May 3, 1908.

Judge Bennet was possessed of a deep, religious nature, which was reflected in his conversion at the age of 30, his affiliation with the Troupville Baptist Church and his subsequent call to the ministry. More than any other he was largely instrumental in the selection of a site and the erection thereon of the first meeting-house, of the First Baptist Church of Quitman. He remained active in its affairs and in Baptist Associational work until his death. In 1874 he was ordained to the Baptist ministry and the next year accepted the call of the First Baptist Church in Thomasville as its pastor. He moved there with his family and continued in the pastorate there three years. In 1878 he returned to Quitman and continued for a number of years to serve churches in this county and section. In 1881-84 he was pastor of the Baptist Church at Homerville, and it was under his leadership that the church there built and dedicated its first house of worship.

Judge Bennet's early life was spent in the county of his birth and he was reared amidst wealth, culture and refinement for which Liberty County was noted. He was a man of great intellect, with a mathematical and analytical mind. He was a successful lawyer. It was in criminal cases whether in the defense or prosecution, that his legal abilities were best reflected. "While Solicitor-General it was often that he secured a conviction in every case during a term of court, with all the local bar against him. His great powers of wit and humor, pathos as well as logic, coupled with a deep discernment of law made him a masterful pleader at the bar. He had a passion for humor and few could tell a tale as well as he could. He was a delightful conversationalist.

Judge Bennet was highly regarded everywhere he was known. He was honest and truthful and courageous. In all the public offices he held and in the various relations of life he was faithful to every trust, and as a judge he administered conscientiously and impartially exact justice to all.

Judge Bennet was married twice. After his first wife's death he was married in 1887 to Miss Lizzie Spence of Camilla. Six children survived by the first marriage, and four by the second.

Judge Bennet's Family

Of Judge Bennet's six sons who lived to reach maturity, all be-came lawyers, achieving an enviable place in their profession and in the public esteem. Most of them held various offices of trust and honor. Three of Judge Bennet's daughters became teachers in schools and colleges and were outstanding in their profession. The other daughter married and reared a family of three children.

Joseph W. Bennet, the oldest son, studied law under his father and was admitted to the bar here in 1889; he soon after located in Brunswick and in a short time had a lucrative law practice. In 1898 he was appointed Judge of the Superior Courts of the Brunswick Circuit, and after serving one term, resigned and resumed the practice of law. Later, Governor Terrell tendered him an appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court, but after some consideration he declined. He served many years as Division Counsel for both the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and the Southern Railway. He had important business connections and interests, among these as president of The National Bank of Brunswick, also of the Brunswick Bank & Trust Company.

Stanley S. Bennet, the next son, was a prominent Quitman attorney and citizen. See further for sketch of his life.

Samuel Stevens Bennet, the next son, was admitted to the bar at the age of 17, and was taken into partnership at Camilla by Judge W. N. Spence, and practiced law there several years. Lated he moved to Albany where his practice rapidly extended over a large portion of Southwest Georgia. He served as President of the Georgia Bar Association and was a member of the American Bar Association. During World War I he was called to Washington and served awhile as Major in the office of the Judge Advocate-GeneraL He served two terms from Mitchell County in the legislature, and one term from Dougherty County. He died in November, 1945, age 71 years.

Matt. C. Bennet, the next son, began the practice of law in Camilla also. He later became secretary to Senator Hoke Smith in Washington after which he became connected with the office of Secretary of State in Atlanta, where he has for many years served as head of the Securities Commission. He is a veteran of the Spanish-American War.

Hilliard G. Bennet, the next son, after practicing law in Alaska located in Texas where he is now so engagei He married Mrs. Jewell Kolb of Texas.

William B. Bennet II, served in World War I overseas, then took up the practice of law in Tifton. He was Judge of the City Court there when he died at the early age of 31.

Misses Lee and Helen Bennet taught school for many years in Georgia, and their sister Elizabeth taught first in Georgia, then in Alaska and now in Washington state. Miss Hattie Bennet, the other daughter, married Allie McDonald and to them were born three children: Allie McDonald II, of Charleston, S.C, Mrs. Ferrell Jolly of Tifton, and D. Bennet McDonald of Quitman. The latter is at present (1948) Chairman of the Quitman City Commission and is active in civic affairs. He married Marie Storey and has two daughters, Jean and Lala.


Stanley S. Bennet, a distinguished member of a most distinguished legal family in Georgia, was born in Quitman, Navember 7, 1867, and was a son of Judge Wm. B. Bennet and wife. He attended Mercer University from which he graduated in 1888; he then returned home and studied law under his illustrious father. Proving himself an untiring and quick student he soon was admitted to the bar, and the partnership of Bennet & Bennet that immediately followed, became one of the finest and best in this section.

Mr. Bennet became the dean of the bar in Southwest Georgia and was connected with the official life in Quitman since early man-hood. He was Mayor of Quitman continuously from 1892 through 1903; attorney for Brooks County, serving in that capacity almost continuously since 1892, a period of fifty years; served 1892-1904 as County School Superintendent, represented Brooks County in hoth branches of the General Assembly. He was a member of the first State Highway Board and served until 1929. He was Division Counsel for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad for years; was a director of the Bank of Quitman and bank attorney up to the time of his death; served as Worshipful Master of Sholto Masonic Lodge for four years; was a Rotarian and a member of the Baptist Church where he led the Men's Bible Class each Sunday for nineteen years.

There was widespread sorrow at the passing of Mr. Bennet, for many people, who although they did not see him often, had so many delightful recollections of him and had felt in so many ways his warmth and courage and the genius of his fellowship. He occupied a leading place in the Georgia bar and no man had more firmly won esteem and admiration than had he both for personal qualities of ability and strength and the fine ethical stability of his legal activities. He played the game squarely and firmly in the best interest of his client but he held severely and unswervingly to his high concept of law and its ethics.

The memory of Stanley S. Bennet will live for he was among those very few who "have added a little to the sweetness of the world and a little to the light of it"

There was deep grief over the loss of this exemplary man. Death came September 15,1942, in the lovely, spacious, two-story home right in the shadow of the Baptist Church he had so faithfully served, and the law-office—a quaint little white frame building in the quiet of his trees and flower garden. Mr. Bennet gave to his town and state honor, dignity and distinction. He was a devoted husband and father and it can also be said he was a gentleman of the old school.

Surviving him are his widow the former Miss Minnie Hightower whom he married in 1892, and children: Miss Louise Bennet, dean of women at Shorter College; Stanley Spencer Bennet Jr., Quitman; Paul Bennet, Chairman O.I'.A. Board, farmer and business man; Miss Mildred Bennet, a teacher in the Quitman schools. —Mrs. Otis Bell.


(Note: The following sketch Is taken from Vol. II, Savannah and South Georgia," by Harden, and to it has been added more data as shown below, following the sketch. Mr. Bower died some years after the sketch was written.)

A prominent farmer and merchant of Dixie, Brooks County, Robert Edward Lee Bower takes an intelligent interest in everything tending to promote the welfare and progress of the town and county, being a public-spirited and useful member of his community. A son of George Mcintosh Bower he was born July 14, 1862, in Newton County, Ga., of honored New England ancestry, being a direct descendant in the fourth generation of the noted sculptor, John Bower, and his wife Honora Bower nee Jacobs.

Ebenezer Bower, the subject's grandfather, was born, bred and educated in Providence, R. I. Foreseeing the future development of the South he came as a young man to Georgia and lived awhile in Savannah where he met and married an heiress, Miss Margaret McConkey. Removing with his bride to Jones County, Ga., he became an extensive and prosperous planter and merchant, in the management of his land having plenty of help, owning as many as 250 slaves. About 1830 he moved with his family to Florida, becoming a pioneer of Marianna, and there erected the first brick house built in that locality. He operated large tracts of land and leased many slaves to vessel owners doing shipping business between Apalaehicola and Mobile. When he came South there were no railroads in Georgia, the country being largely in its pristine wildness ... Both Ebenezer Bower and his wife spent their last years on their large estate in Western Florida. They reared six children, five sons and one daughter.

George Mcintosh Troup Bower was born in 1825 in Jones County, Ga., and as a lad of five years accompanied his parents to Florida. The facilities for obtaining an education in that state being then very limited he was sent North and in the public schools of Providence, R.I., acquired his early book knowledge which was subsequently supplemented by a course of study at Emory College in Oxford, Ga. When ready to establish himself in business he settled in Newton County, Ga., and was there an honored and esteemed resident until his death in 1897. He became prominent in public affairs, holding many offices of trust and responsibility, including those of county judge and sheriff. He was a great reader and a constant student, remarkably well-informed on all topics, and was very frequently called upon as an adviser and counsellor. During his life he saw wonderful changes in the face of the country roundabout, witnessing with just pride and gratification the growth of Georgia from a wilderness to a rich and prosperous state. . . .

The maiden name of the wife of George Mcintosh Troup Bower was Eliza Turner. She was born in Henry County, Ga., and was brought up and educated in her native state. Her father, Rev. Allen W. Turner, a native of South Carolina, was educated for the ministry and became a pioneer preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia. He held pastorates in different places in Georgia, and as there were then no railways nor even good carriage roads he used to make his long trips on horseback, and did most of his preaching in log houses. He was offered the position of bishop in his church but declined the honor, saying he could do more real good as a pastor. He spent his last days in Palmetto, Ga., and his wife whose maiden name was Mary Dousing, died in 1878. Mr. and Mrs. George Mcintosh Troup Bower reared the following children: Augustus Rudolphus, Eugenia, Mary Fletcher, Chalmers Hendrick, Allen Ebenezer, Robert Edward Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Annie, George and Bennie Simms Bower.

Obtaining his academical education at the seminary in Covington, Ga., Robert E. L. Bower completed the course of study at Oxford, at Emory. Going then to Coweta County he spent three years as clerk in a fancy grocery store and the following two years was employed as a truck farmer in Lake County, Fla. Lured to Orange County, Fla., Mr. Bower embarked in mercantile pursuits in Orlando, where he conducted a grocery for a time, carying a large stock of fancy goods. Returning to Georgia, he was for a year engaged in business as a merchant at Quitman, Brooks County, and was afterwards employed in farming in the Dixie district until 1901 when he resumed his former occupation in Dixie where he is conducting an extensve and remunerative business as a general merchant carrying a large stock of goods. Mr. Bower has been very fortunate in his agricultural operations and is the owner of various farms, aggregating in all 500 acres, the farms which are located in the Dixie, Dry Lake, and Grooverville districts, being operated by tenants.

Mr. Bower married in 1889, in Orlando, Fla., Miss Catherine Puckett, who was born in Gumming, Forsyth County, where her father, Rev. Miles Puckett, who preached during his life in various places in Georgia, was then located. Neither he nor his wife whose maiden name was Carrie Scott, are now living. Mr. and Mrs. Bower have six children, viz: Kittie Lee, Marie, R. E., Sybelle, Emory Scott and Jack. Mr. Bower is a Democrat in politics, but has ever been too much engrossed with his private affairs to indulge in office-holding, although he has for five years served as Chairman of the Dixie School Board. Both he and Mrs. Bower are consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. (End of sketch).

Robert Edward Lee Bower lived in Dixie the remainder of his life, dying at the age of 79. He was twice married. His first wife died December 14, 1918, and on December 17, 1919, he married Miss Katherine Beasley of Union Point. She preceded him in death about a year and nine months, she dying June 6, 1939, and he dying February 3, 1941. There were no children by the second marriage. She was a loving stepmother and a devoted wife. "Miss Katherine" as everybody knew her, was a faithful member of the Baptist Church.

The following paragraphs give data about the Bower children:

(1) Kittie Lee Bower, eldest of the six children, received her early education in the Dixie public school, and her higher education at Wesleyan College, majoring in music. She married Joseph Brewer Crane, born June 29, 1889, son of Ephriam Joseph and Zoe Elizabeth (Wilkerson) Crane. At the time of his marriage, Joseph Brewer Crane was postmaster at Dixie, serving from March 1912, to April, 1936, when he was transferred to the Rural Route service served by the Dixie postoffice, which he has served since. Their three children: Katherine Elizabeth, born April 11, 1918, graduate of Andrew College, taught school at Homerville one year; married October 9, 1937, to Oren Edgar Tally, a successful Homerville business man and owner of the Tally Ice and Cold Storage Company; they have one daughter, Sandra Katherine, born January 14, 1942. Joseph Bower Crane, second child of Joseph Brewer and Kittie Lee Crane, was born June 14, 1921, took a veterinary medical course at Auburn Polytechnic Institute, and after his graduation located in Valdosta, where he follows his profession; he married Miss Flora Ann Groover, May 9, 1943, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Groover of Dixie, and they have one son, J. B. Crane II, born July 12, 1947. Frances Marie Crane, third child of Joseph Brewer and Kittie Lee Crane, was born July 9, 1924, attended G.S.C.W. in Valdosta; married Dr. Herbert Spencer Tally, December 8, 1943 (brother to Oren Edgar Tally); Dr. Tally is a prominent veterinarian of Blackshear, where he and his family live. He and his wife have one daughter, Cheryl Ann, born October 3, 1944.

(2) Lydia Marie Bower, after receiving her high school education in Dixie, attended Wesleyan College majoring in music and voice. She taught school in different towns in Georgia and South Carolina, later marrying Dr. W. D. McCord of Americus, January, 1921. Possessed of a friendly nature she was loved and admired by all who knew her. She died May 28, 1936, leaving a loving husband and a devoted stepson to mourn her passing.

(3) R. E. Bower was born January 6, 1897, and died in Savannah, May, 1925. He attended the Quitman High School and attended Emory College. He then was connected with his father in the mercantile business at Dixie for several years, when he became connected with the Georgia Ice Company in Savannah and remained with them until his death. He married Miss Marie Harrington of Ludowici, January, 1920, and she and one daughter Gerald A"", survive. The widow lives in Tallahassee, Fla., and the daughter who married Richard Cross of Boston, Mass., in September, 1944, lives in Boston, and has a son, Richard Jr.

(4) Augusta Sybelle Bower, born March 2, 1900, received her education in Quitman High School, marrying very young to Lewis Thomas Beverly, a returned World War I veteran, on July 19, 1919. Lewis opened up a grocery store in his home town, Ocklocknee, 6a., but sold out a few years later and entered the produce business and is now a produce broker in West Palm Beach, Fla. Mr. and Mrs. Beverly have two sons: L. T. Jr., a World War II veteran, married Miss Lorene Davis of Delray Beach, Fla., and has two daughters,

Nannette and Corine; Lewis Jr., and family live in Savannah, where he is connected with the government training work in college for returned veterans. The second child of Mr. and Mrs. Beverly was Norman Emory who served in "World War II, and is now attending Mercer University, majoring in Social Science.

(5) Emory Scott Bower, born June 26, 1902, educated in Quitman High School; attended Sparks College; married Miss Lucile Crovatt of Thomasville, September 24, 1923. After several years in construction work he became connected with West End Ice & Storage Company in Quitman, which position he still holds. They have two daughters: Geraldine, born September 2, 1924, educated in Dixie High School, graduated from G.S.C.W. in Milledgeville with a B.S. degree; married Leon L. Blair September 24, 1945, he is A.C.L.R.R. agent, and they have one son, Gary Wayne Blair, born March, 1947; he owns the old R. E. L. Bower farm and operates a modern stock farm. The second daughter of Emory S. Bower is Jackie, born August, 1932, attending Dixie High School.

(6) Jack Bower, born April 6, 1906, attended Dixie High School. Married Miss Florrie Burke, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Burke of Hickory Head, October 8, 1926. He was with the Railway Express Company in Orlando, Fla., until his father's death when he came back to Dixie, subsequently entering the farming and cattle business with his brother Emory. He and his wife have two sons: (a) Robert Burke, born August 19, 1927, served in navy in World War II, and now attending Emory Junior College, Valdosta; (b) Glynn, born July 12, 1934, attending Dixie High School.


Lee Whiting Branch, prominent Quitman attorney, was born in Macon, Ga., April 18, 1871, the son of Dr. James Orson Brand and his wife, Mrs. Caroline Hentz Branch, and grandson of Caroline Lee Whiting-Hentz, noted Southern writer of the 1860s.

His father, Dr. J. 0. Branch, was a distinguished Methodist minister serving in the South Georgia Conference as pastor and Presiding Elder for many years.

L. W. Branch was in the honor group graduating from old Emory College at Oxford, in June, 1891, and was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He was admitted to the bar in Macon in 1893, and there practiced law for awhile, later coming to Quitman where he pursued his profession until his death December 17, 1937. He was married on September 27, 1899, to Miss Jamie Scotia Snow of Quitman, a daughter of Dr. J. S. N. Snow and Mrs. Scotia Livingston Snow; Mrs. Branch's death occurred simultaneously with her husband, bringing much sorrow to all Quitman. Surviving was one daughter, Lalla, wife of Commander Charles Kirkpatrick of the U. S. Navy.

Early in life Mr. Branch united with the Methodist Church and was active in the affairs of Quitman church for many years prior to his death, serving in the various capacities of Steward, member of the Board of Trustees, and teacher of the Men's Bible Class. He was generous towards his church, giving liberally of his time, talent and money.

In the Spanish-American War he served in the Third Georgia Volunteer Infantry, being stationed in Cuba and was given an honorable discharge as First Lieutenant. He was a trustee of Emory University, Representative from Brooks County 1904-1905, President of the Georgia Bar Association 1925-1926. Together with Stanley S. Bennet of Quitman, he was Division Counsel for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad from 1908 until his death. He was at the time of his death a member of the State Board of Education from the Second Congressional District and also a member of the Governor's Staff, both appointments having been made by Governor Rivers.

Mr. Branch was endowed with a fine and discriminating mind. He was clear-headed, an indefatigable worker, a close reasoner, resourceful, courteous and ethical. He was an excellent lawyer, and was counsel in many important cases during his career. Always taking an active part in the life of his community and his state, his sudden passing in the meridian of his life was a heavy loss to his home town and county.

(Note: The above adapted from a Memorial to Mr. Branch published in the Georgia Bar Association Proceedings for 1938.)

Branch Genealogy

The Branch family in Georgia traces back to Peter Branch of High Holden, County Kent, England, who was the emigrant ancestor to come over in 1638 when Charles I was King of England. He came in the ship "Castle" bound for Boston, but died enroute, on ship-board, in June, 1638.

Peter Branch was born in 1601, married Elizabeth Gillame January 13, 1623, and they had one son John, born 1628. The wife died prior to the family emigrating to America, survived by her husband and one son. Enroute the husband died, leaving the son John, then ten years old. The father left a will dated June 16, 1638, which was probated and recorded in Boston, Mass., leaving all his property to his son John, naming Thomas "Weyburn as Trustee.

John Branch lived eight miles from Plymouth Rock until he was 21 where on December 6, 1652, he married Mary Sneed of Marsh-field, Mass. He died at Marshfield May 17, 1711. Six children sur-vived John and his wife, among whom was Peter Branch.

Peter Branch, son of John, married Hannah Lincoln and they moved to Norwich, Conn., where he bought what is known as "the Branch Property" from Oraneco, sachem of the Mohegan Indians. Copy of original deed in possession of R. Branch Pollette of Hartford, Conn. Peter and Hannah had ten children, youngest of whom was Joseph, born September 10, 1704.

Joseph, born September 10, 1704, married Zerviah Tracy who was born September 12, 1714, at Preston, Conn. To them were born several children among whom was Rufus, the fourth child. There were six sons in this family.

Rufus Branch was born February 5, 1740, on Branch Hill, Preston, Conn. He married Abigail Mason, born 1744. Both died at Castleton, Vt., in 1835. She was a great-granddaughter of Major John Mason, the conqueror of the Pequots and Governor of the colony for many years. Rufus Branch was a Minute-man during the War in 1776 and as such fought at the battles of Hubbardton and White Hall. When the signal was given that the British were approaching Bennington (Vermont) he joined Stark's forces and fought through the battle and helped drive the "red-coats" to Stillwater.

Rufus and Abigail had ten children, the eighth of whom was named Waite Branch, born 1779 in Castleton, Vt., married Lucy Hide July 13, 1800, in Orwell, Vt. Waite and Lucy had three children, viz: Waite Jr., Franklin and Orson. Waite Branch Sr. was a Colonel in the War of 1812-14 and led his regiment at the battle of Plattsburg. The sword he then carried is in possession of Major C. F. Branch, his grandson.

Franklin Branch, second son of Waite and Lucy, was born 1802 in Orwell, Vt., died in Tampa, Fla., August 24, 1882. He was a graduate of Castleton (Vermont) Medical College. He practiced his profession in Abbeville, S. C, for many years, then went to Tampa, Fla. Married December 19, 1828, to Lavonia Nichols of Whiting, Vt. She with an infant son died October 2, 1829. Dr. Franklin Branch was married the second time, December 16, 1830, to Miss Matilda Vashti Wilson of Abbeville, S. C, born August 11, 1809, died in Tampa, Fla., August 29, 1857. There were six children by this marriage: Darwin Austin, Franklin Addison, Frances Lizonia, James Orson, Helen Mary, Lucy Hyde Branch. Dr. Branch married the third time Miss Martha A. Turnbull of Monticello, Fla., and they had one child, Henry Lee Branch of Tampico, Fla., born November 5, 1861.

James Orson Branch, fourth child of Dr. Franklin Branch, was born June 20, 1838, at Tampa, Fla., and died January 24, 1904, in Moultrie, Ga., where he had gone to attend a meeting of his church. For many years he had been one of the leading members of the South Georgia Conference. When time for his retirement came he bought a home at Dixie, Ga., and spent his declining years in this cultured and pleasant community. He was buried there.

Rev. J. O. Branch was married to Miss Caroline Lee Hentz in Marianna, Fla., January 20, 1858. She was the daughter of Caroline Lett Whiting-Hentz, the noted Southern novelist of ante-bellum days. They had six children viz:

1. Emma, married James S. Comer in Savannah, Ga. Two children : Lucile and Callie.
2. Charles Hentz Branch, married Zella Johnson. Issue: Hentz and Garnett.
3. Frank married (1) Julia Keys, issue: Theresa and Julia; and (2) Agnes Owens, issue one child, Frank Branch Jr. Married Jane Worthington, July 9, 1943, issue: Franklin Taylor Branch, January 14, 1947.
4. Orson married Belle Johnson of Cordele. Died in the prime of life. Both he and his wife are buried at Cordele.
5. Caroline Lee born in Tallahassee, Fla., January 20, 1867, married William P. Fleming at Dixie, Brooks County, January 29, 1892. Issue: James Branch Fleming born December 6,1894, at Dixie, married Evelyn Roebuck of Cordele, issue one son James Branch Felming Jr.; William Gladstone Fleming, born August 6, 1897, in Johnsonville, Monroe County, married Annie Belle Moye, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Moye, November 7, 1900, issue one son William Gladstone Fleming Jr., born February 24, 1926. Three other children of Mr. and Mrs. William P. Fleming died in infancy.

Bibliography: "History of Crisp County" by W. P. Fleming, page 149; ''Branch of Abingdon", by James Branch CabeU of Dumbarton, Va., also see "Branch History of 1638-1914 by A. E. Branch Paulson, page 8.


Joseph Brice and his wife, formely Martha Folsom, emigrated from Pennsylvania to Duplin County, N. C, and were said to have been natives of England. Among their children was Francis Brice, born March 17, 1804, in Duplin County, N. C, died at the family home at Tallokas, Brooks County, Ga., January 26, 1878.

Francis Brice married Elizabeth Murphy, daughter of James and Mary Hall Murphy of Duplin County, N.C. She was born March 7, 1805, and died at the family home at Tallokas, November 8, 1880. She and her husband and others of the family are buried at old Bethel Primitive Baptist Church a few miles from their old home.

Francis Brice and wife emigrated to Georgia in the fall of 1833, making the long overland trip in a covered wagon loaded with the few personal effects that they could afford to bring on the long tedious trip. It is said that they saw the celebrated falling of the stars as they were enroute; this incident occurred November 18, 1833. On arriving in Georgia they proceeded to what was then Thomas but now Brooks County, at Tallokas, and there he acquired land. Later the farm became a large plantation, the owner becoming an extensive planter and an influential citizen. Since those pioneer days the Brice family has been prominent in life and affairs of Brooks County.

The children of Francis and Elizabeth were:
1. Joseph b. 1826, N. C, never married.
2. William Francis b. 1830, N. C, m. Phoebe Alderman.
3. Mary W. b. 1833, N. C, m. Thomas R. Hesters.
4. David James b. 1837, Ga., killed at Gettysburg; never m.
5. Timothy W. b. 1838, Ga., m. Mary Fall.
6. Mitchell b. 1840, Ga., m.
    (1) Keziah Walker;
    (2) Martha Edmondson.

7. Martha b. 1844, Ga., m. Dr. G. B. Williams.
8. Amanda b. 1850, Ga., m. H. Dobbin Byrd.

Mitchell Brice, son of Francis and Elizabeth, was born in present Brooks County, December 14, 1840, and inherited Tallokas Planta-tion at his father's death. To these lands he added other lands and operated a large sawmill and general store in addition to his farms. He became interested in fine horses, many of which he bred and raised on his plantation. These horses he entered in various horse races after they were trained on his own race track. They were raced successfully in New Orleans, Jacksonville, St. Louis, Atlanta, New York, and at county fairs in Thomasville, Valdosta and other towns in South Georgia and Florida. He became a large stockholder in some of the first banks chartered in Quitman, and served as director; also became a member of the Board of County Commissioners and was Chairman at the time the court house was remodelled in 1892-93. Mr. Brice died at his home in Quitman, March 7, 1903.

The first wife of Mitchell Brice was Keziah Walker, daughter of Isham A. Walker of Quitman, a native of Pierce County. She was born February 4, 1855, and died January 26, 1882, survived by her husband and one child David James Brice, born February 13, 1872; the latter died June 24, 1894, single.

The second wife was Miss Martha Elizabeth Edmonson, daughter of Simpson D. Edmondson. To this marriage were born two children, viz: Mitchell who died in childhood, and Henry Turner Brice, born May 2, 1898, and who is now and has been for many years Chairman of the Brooks County Commissioners and is the present Chairman of the State Board of Corrections. H. T. Brice is the owner of Tallokas Plantation with its varied interests. He is a veteran of World War I. Mrs. Martha Elizabeth Brice resides at her home in Quitman.

Henry Turner Brice was married August 3, 1919, to Miss Sadie Tillman, daughter of Henry Young Tillman and his wife Marie McKey Tillman, of Valdosta. To them have been born three children: (1) Mitchell Brice, born September 23, 1920, who is a physician and served as captain in the U. S. Army in the Pacific area; (2) Marie, born December 10, 1923, married John Alston Bracey of Thomasville, served as Captain in the U. S. Army Air Force; (3) Henry Turner Jr., born November 12, 1925, served as Staff Sergeant in the U. S. Army, having seen service in Burma, India and China.

Timothy W. Brice, son of Francis and Elizabeth, was born October 4, 1838, at Tallokas. He died at Pavo, April 11, 1910. He was married December 15, 1866, to Miss Mary Susan Fall, of Senoia, daughter of Dr. Calvin Jones Fall and Mrs. Sarah Stroud Fall. She was born in Henry County November 12, 1847, and died at the family home in Pavo, April 11, 1910. To them were born ten children, viz: (1) Sallie Elizabeth who married J. D. Butler January 5, 1899. She died July 24, 1906.

(2) Lucy, born at Pavo, November 16, 1869, married November 15, 1888, J. M. Burnett of Tampa, Fla. Four children: Brice M., Lucille (who married Fred J. Bazemore of Orlando, Fla), Symms and Dorothy Burnette.

(3) Jennie Evelyn, born at Pavo September 10, 1871, married January 9, 1901, Dr. Joseph Monroe Brannon. One child: Mary Claire who was born at Pavo, December 5, 1909, married John Parnell Bondurant.

(4) Willie Mae, born at Pavo May 18, 1873, married at Pavo July 18, 1901, Dr. Reuben Jackson Clower, son of John Thomas and Anne Brogdon Clower, Their children: (a) Mary Thomas Clower, Homestead, Fla., born Morven, Ga., July 5, 1903, married at Miami, Fla., May 29, 1925, Frederick Theodore Suber, three children; (b) Emil Jackson Clower, lawyer, born at Morven September 1, 1905, graduated 1923 Emory Academy; BJh. degree 1927, and LL.B. 1929, Emory University; president student body in 1928; practiced law in Quitman and Rome, Ga.; appointed Assistant Attorney-General of Georgia and served under three governors; he was in U. S. Navy during World War II and was Lieut. Commander when mustered out: now practicing law at Rome; married Frances Stinson of Banner Elk, N. C, June 19, 1935, one son Daniel Bowie Clower born 1946; (c) Timothy Brice Clower, born Morven, Ga., May 21, 1909, graduated from University of Georgia in veterinary medicine. He has held the office of State Veterinarian several years and lives in Atlanta. He married LaForest Robertson and has two young sons viz: Tim Brice Jr., born August 2, 1936, and Crawford Jackson Clower, born July 26, 1946 (called Jack); (d) Margaret Clower, born Morven, Ga., April 22, 1915; graduated from University of Georgia in Domestic Science; successful teacher.

(5) Jessie Eliza Brice, born Pavo, January 5, 1875, died at Whigham, March 26, 1904; married, 1900, George Latham Bunch, born at Meigs; one child George Laford Bunch, Wilmington, N. C, married Hazel Guthrie, March, 1926.

(6) Frank Calvin Brice, born at Pavo, November 3, 1876; married June 3, 1908, Florine Faith, born at Floyd, La., January 26, 1882. Children: Frank Calvin Jr., born at McLane, Miss., February 8, 1912, Mary Faith Brice born Epley, Miss., August 30, 1913; and Charles Brice, born Epley, Miss., May 25, 1915.

(7) John Thomas Brice, Taft, Calif.; born at Pavo, August 30, 1882; married December 28, 1912, to Malta Matthews in Oklahoma. Children: John Thomas Jr., James and Mary Evelyn.

(8) James Samuel Brice, born Pavo, October 16, 1889, educated at Georgia Tech, Atlanta, and Mississippi A&M, Starkville, Miss. Married March 25, 1913 at Clay Center, Kans., Miss Amy Peterson, born Osceola, Neb., August 25, 1895. Their children: Corine Brice, born Morenci, Ariz., January 2, 1914; Donald, born Morenci, Ariz., August 2, 1917; Roger Brice, born Clay Center, Kans., December 15, 1919.

(9) Milton Fall Brice, born July 28, 1884, at Pavo. Died at Morven, Ga., November 1, 1943, at the home of his sister, Mrs. R. J. Clower; single.

(10) Mary Louette Brice, Tampa, Fla., born at Pavo, October 27, 1890; married June 8, 1926, Benjamin J. Spear, born at Tazewell, Ga., December 24, 1888, son of J. W. and Alice Spear.

Martha Brice, daughter of Francis and Elizabeth, was born at old Tallokas, in 1844, and was married to Dr. Green B. Williams November 6, 1870. She resided at Quitman until her death. The children of Dr. and Mrs. Williams:

(1) Mitchell Williams, married Alma Booker, and their chil-dren were Clarence and Irma. Clarence married Ernestine Baker and has three children. Irma married Morris Crane and lives at Dixie, and has four children.

(2) A. B. ("Ade") Williams, married Luella Griffin, and lives in Orlando, Fla. Children: Clyde, Frank, Blenus and Catherine.

(3) Wilburn W. Williams, married first, Lollie Rogers and had one son Joe who married Hattie Landers. Joe and his wife and one child live in Atlanta. W. W. Williams' present wife is Miss Ida Fluker from Greene County.

(4) Arthur E. Williams who married Nellie Pidcock of Moultrie. She died in Quitman May 21, 1947. A. E. Williams and wife had three daughters: Miss Martha Williams of Quitman, Mrs. Frances (Aubrey) Smith of MonticeUo, Fla., Mrs. Nellie (M. L.) Willis of Bainbridge.

(5) Luther Williams who married Lena Goff of Tifton. They have three sons and two daughters and live in Tifton.

(6) Frank Brice Williams married-and they have several children.

(7) Joseph Brice Williams, died unmarried.

(8) Claude Williams married Lucy Morse of Tallokas. They live in Tampa, Fla.

William Francis Brice, born 1830 in North Carolina, married Phoebe Alderman, born 1834, daughter of George and Nancy (Carlton) Alderman and granddaughter of Daniel Alderman of Duplin County, N. C. Their children: Timothy, Presley, Marcus, Eliza, Charles, Robert and Betty, the latter married John Beaty of Pavo. Mary Brice, born 1833 in North Carolina, married Thomas R. Hester. To them were born seven children:

(1) Cullen B. Hester married Julia Simmons of Tampa. Their children: Mamie, Cora and Bertha.

(2) Theo married Pauline Greene from North Carolina. No issue.

(3) Lilla married James Burgess of Pavo. Children: Grady and West.

(4) J. M., married America Murphy of Moultrie, Ga. Children: Stella who married Walter Waters of Pavo; Bessie married Lloyd McWilliams, of Tampa Fla.; Mattie, Bertha and Effie, who married Dewey Worth of Perry, Fla.

J. M. Hester's second wife was Bessie Harper. To them were born James who married Ruby Odum and their children are Mildred Shirley, James Edward, Paul and Myra Lee Hester; John, Myra Lee and Mamie.

(5) Francis Bartow Hester married Miss Molsie Lee Odum, born at Newton, Georgia, October, 1891, daughter of Rev. J. M. Odum. They had seven children as follows:
    a. Ethel Pearl m. John Weyman Coley of Dodge Co. July 20, 1913.

1. John W. Coley Jr., b. June 26, 1914, at SmithviUe, Ga., m. first Devara Lane of St. Augustine, Fla., Nov. 12, 1938, and to them was born John Richard Coley, Aug. 26, 1941; married secondly, Louise Gatt at Greenville, Tenn., Apr. 1, 1944, and they have a daughter, Carla Jean, Mar. 12, 1945.

2. Horace William Coley, b. Dec. 26, 1916, at Jacksonville, Fla., m. Dora Knipp, Sept. 27, 1947.

    b. Verna, m. Robert Steele of Baltimore, Md.

1. Robert, Jr., born Feb. 14, 1944.

        c. Willie Jackson, m. Allene WUliams of Pulaski County. They have four daughters: Jacqueline Grace, Molsie Frances, Ha Juanita, Ernestine Anne.

    d. Francis married EsteUe Giles of Tennessee, in 1929.
    e. Bobbie Mae, m. Wilbur James, of JacksonviUe, Fla., Mar. 22, 1947.
    f. Tiny Jewell, m. Burton Barringer of St. Augustine, Fla., Feb. 14, 1931. One son: Robert, b. Sept. 9, 1935.
    g. Ernest Bartow, m. Alma Morgan at Asheville, N. C. Dec. 27, 1934.

1. Barbara, b. April 12, 1938.
2. Anne, b. Oct. 26, 1939.

The second marriage of Francis Bartow Hester was in March, 1917, to Miss Ola Fitzgerald of Pulaski County, Ga. ( 6) Mattie Hester married John Suber of Coolidge, Ga. To them were born: Bertha who married Garnett Dekle of Coolidge, Lula who married Charlie Carter of Coolidge; Lottie married D. M. Baker of Coolidge; J. D. married first to a Murphy, and secondly, a Chastain.

(7) Ida Dove, married Luther Adams of Madison County, Ga. They have three children: Hyman, Grady and Mary.


The Clowers of Morven have been prominent citizens of Brooks County since 1887. They trace their lineage back to Daniel Clower who was born in Germany July 17, 1762. He came to America as a youth and fought with the Colonists in their struggle for independ-ence. Daniel married and had a son Daniel P. Clower born May 13, 1805, and died about 1840 in Gwinnett County, Ga. He married Parthene Brandon, daughter of William Brandon. Daniel P. Clower and his wife both died in the prime of life, leaving four children, John Thomas, William P., Mary Elizabeth and Nancy J. These were brought up by an uncle, Joseph Brandon.

Dr. John Thomas Clower, the eldest of the four children of Daniel P. and Parthene, was born in Gwinnett County, Ga., May 13, 1830. He obtained such education as was available at that time and later entered the Atlanta Medical College from which he graduated just as the War Between the States was declared. He immediately enlisted and was made 2nd Lieutenant of his company which was attached to Major Leyden's Battalion in the 9th Georgia Regiment, which became a part of the Western Army. Later Dr. Clower was appointed Regimental Surgeon and was with the army in its many campaigns and battles until the last of the conflict in 1865.

When Dr. Clower returned to Georgia he went back to Gwinnett County and engaged in the practice of his profession until 1870 when he moved to Ray's Mill, Berrien County, where he practiced medicine the next seventeen years, moving from there to Morven district, Brooks County, 1887. On moving here he bought a farm and carried on farming in connection with his professional work and became noted as an agriculturist and as a physician of skill and ability, until his death March 12, 1893.

Dr. Clower married Delusky Ann Brogdon in 1869. She was born March 7, 1849, in Gwinnett County, daughter of Hope J. and Emily Brogdon. To them were born three sons, John P. Clower, Reuben Jackson Clower and W. L. Pierce Clower, all born in Berrien County.

John P. Clower was twice married. First wife was Frances Louise Edmondson, daughter of S. D. Edmondson of Brooks County. She died in early womanhood, leaving two children, Bamma and Warren Candler Clower. The second wife was Miss Mamie Pruitt, and to them were born three children viz: Young, Lovie and Elizabeth. John P. Clower died in Moultrie, May 29, 1920.

W. L. Pierce Clower, born 1880, lived at the old homestead with his aged mother until her death, and now lives in Morven.

Dr. Reuben Jackson Clower

When Dr. R. J. Clower died at Morven, January 10, 1942, Brooks County lost one of its leading citizens and finest characters. His passing at the age of sixty-eight left many with a sense of personal loss, thankful that they had known this beloved physician. He gave the last full measure of his failing strength in devoted efforts to relieve suffering humanity.

Dr. Clower, affectionately known as "Dr. Jack," was born October 11, 1873, at Ray's Mill, now Ray City, in Berrien County, son of Dr. John T. and Deluscia Ann Clower. He followed his father in his professional footsteps, taking over his extensive practice at his death, and his father having in turn taken over the extensive practice of Dr. R. M. Hitch at his death. Both, father and son, received their medical education at the old Atlanta Medical College, now a branch of Emory University.

Surviving Dr. Clower is his widow who was Willie Mae Brice, daughter of Timothy Brice, of the pioneer Brice family of this county; also two sons, E. J. ("Sandy") Clower, and Dr. Tim Brice Clower. The former, "Sandy" Clower, studied law, was admitted to the bar, served as Assistant Attorney-General of Georgia and is now Solicitor-General of his circuit (Rome). Dr. T. B. Clower of Atlanta, is State Veterinarian. Also surviving Dr. R. J. Clower are two daughters, Mrs. Mary Suber of Homestead, Fla., and Miss Margaret Clower, formerly a teacher in the LaGrange schools but now in government employ at Spartanburg, S. C.

Dr. "Jack" Clower was one of the last old-time country doctors who have played such a remarkable part in Georgia life in their day. He had practiced medicine at Morven forty-six years and had patients in all parts of this section. In the course of his practice he had delivered more than 5000 babies, which is one indication of the great extent of his service in the county.

His was a well-rounded life, active in church, fraternal and all civic affairs. He served for many years as Superintendent of the Methodist Sunday school at Morven; was Chairman of the Board of Stewards of that church; was a member and Chairman of the County Board of Education for some years, and had served as Mayor of Morven. He was active in the Masonic fraternity and the Morven lodge conducted the Masonic funeral rites at the grave. For some time before the funeral a procession of people passed the casket, people in all walks of life who had been his close friends, and who had been his patients. In the throng were a great many colored people whom the Doctor had waited on and treated and befriended. To a great many of these people he was the greatest, most dependable friend.

(This account of Dr. Clower condensed from a sketch of his life appearing In "History of Savannah and South Georgia", and from a news item in "The Quitman Free-Press."


Hon. David R. Creech was one of the earliest and best known Quitman citizens and had a large part in the early building up of Quitman and Brooks County. The following news item from the files of the Quitman Free Press, issue of Saturday, August 14, 1897, tells not only of his passing but also of his life and character:

"Judge D. R. Creech, one of Quitman's oldest merchants and best known citizens, died at his home on Court Street Monday morning at 10 o'clock after an illness that confined him to his bed for four days. He had been a sufferer from Bright's disease of the kidneys for a year or more, and for the past few months he realized that the end was fast approaching. The funeral was preached at the home by Father Schleake of the Catholic Church of Columbus, Tuesday at 11 o'clock, A.M. after which the remains were interred in their last resting place in the new cemetery.

*'David Robinson Creech was born in Laurens County, Ga., on the 4th day of November, 1830, where his boyhood was spent, moving with his parents to Thomas County in 1849 in his 19th year of age. In 1851 he moved to Lowndes County, accepting a position in his uncle's store at Clyattville; here he remained until 1857 when he moved to Troupville and entered the mercantile business for himself.

"When this county was cut off from Lowndes and Thomas in 1859 and Troupville was broken up, part going to Valdosta and part coming to Quitman, he cast his lot with the latter and opened up the first business house that was started here. It was in the building now occupied by Jim Buckner and known as the Witt shop. He afterwards built the brick store in which he did business until his death.

"Judge Creech was a man of strong intellect, a forceful reasoner and a natural leader of men, and his life has been one that leaves its impress on the memory of man. He never took a position until he had reason on his side and then his stand was firm. His title of Judge was acquired by his having been Justice of the Inferior Court of this county, which was the only public office he ever held or would hold. In politics he was a strong believer in Democracy and a life-long defender of its principles. He was for a number of years Chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee and one of the strongest leaders in the county.

"In business and his dealings with his fellow-man we can unhesitatingly say of him that which we conceive to be the greatest encomium that can be applied to the life of man; in all things he was strictly honest, doing unto his fellow man as he would have them do unto him . . . . "

Judge and Mrs. Creech had only one son, Lewis Thomas Creech, born October 26, 1861, in Quitman; married September 14, 1893, to Mary Araminta Young. Died July 16, 1940. To them were born the following children: Roberson Young Creech, November 10, 1894; Lewis Thomas Creech Jr., October 27, 1896; Mary Emily Creech, February 2, 1899; Lavinia Araminta Creech, July 9, 1901; Silas Morton Creech, March 14, 1904; William Briggs Creech, July 8, 1907; Frances Rachel Creech, June 28, 1910; Sara Lee Johnson Creech, May 2, 1916.

Roberson Young Creech married Ida L. Stump of Valdosta, July 17,1917, and now lives in Belle Glade, Fla. Three children: R. Y. Jr., Marcelyn Wingfield Creech and Barnes G. Creech.

Lewis Thomas Creech Jr., married Maude L. Booker, February 11, 1917. He died May 9, 1938. Two children: L. T. Creech III, October 30, 1919, and Ivy Lavinia Creech, May 2, 1918.

Mary Emily Creech married July 26, 1920 to George Burnett Moore, and they live in Sparta, Ga. Children: George B. Jr., born October 18, 1923, and Mary Lucy Moore, born October 4, 1929. Lavinia Araminta Creech married George Edward Durham of Alexandria, La. They now reside in Jacksonville, Fla. No issue.

Silas Morton Creech married September 15, 1934 to Elizabeth Ann Marston of Baltimore, Md., and they now live in Bethesda, Md. Three children: Imogene Creech, S. M. Creech Jr., and Jay Gardner Creech.

William Briggs Creech married November 2, 1930, to Miss Hannah Mary Ashe of Columbia, S. C, and they reside in Atlanta. One son, Wm. B. Creech Jr.

Frances Rachel Creech married November 24, 1939 to Laurence Winton Boon of Wilmington, N. C. They have one child, L. W. Jr.

Sarah Lee Johnson Creech and her mother now live in Belle Glade, Fla., where she has built a home and is established in business.


Mrs. Grace Gillam Davidson, the daughter of William Andrew Gillam and Marie Wilson Trout, was born April 7, 1873, near Kingston, Ga. It is an interesting sidelight that the wedding ceremony of the mother and father was performed in Atlanta by Rev. Arminius Wright, the father of Prof. Homer Wright who later served as head of the Quitman Public Schools.

Mrs. Davidson finished the course of study at the Kingston public school and later graduated from Martin Institute at Jefferson, Ga. Later she taught school in a number of places including Buford and Acworth.

In September, 1893, she married at Kingston, Ga., John Lee Davidson and shortly thereafter the young couple moved to South Georgia where Mr. Davidson became connected with the lumber manufacturing interests of the Oglesby family. The sawmill was located at a place known as Heartpine, some three miles south of the village of Adel (in present Cook County) and was served by what was then known as the Georgia, Southern & Florida Railroad.

The family moved to Quitman in 1901, followed about two years later by the sawmill which continued in operation for some twenty years thereafter.

Mrs. Davidson was interested in matters pertaining to local com-munity history and family history for a great many years. She was one of the charter members of the Hannah Clarke Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution which was organized by Mrs. L. C. Chapman in April of 1908. Mrs. Davidson served as chapter regent from time to time and later was elected as honorary regent for life in recognition of her outstanding work.

She began her genealogical research more or less as a hobby but it became so interesting to her that she developed it into practically a nation-wide business. In carrying on this work she perhaps had the largest volume of correspondence of any woman in this section. This correspondence was not confined to Georgia, but extended over the South and the nation. She also had a number of clients in Europe and even in China. For several years after her death, letters on genealogical matters were still being received from many people who did not know of her death.

Mrs. Davidson served as D.A.R. State Historian from 1926 to 1928 and as State Chairman of Genealogical Research from 1928 to 1932. She compiled and indexed seven volumes of county records during this period. Her historical collection of Georgia Society of D.A.R. records of Richmond County, Elbert County and of "Wilkes County constitute valuable reference works in many public and private libraries. Her books are considered particularly valuable by librarians and professional genealogists, because the subject matter is so well indexed.

Each summer for a number of years she toured various counties throughout the state which were rich in historical lore, and spent many hours copying in longhand old marriage records, birth records, records of deeds, wills and other public records which might shed some light on local history or on history of the families who settled and lived in the respective communities. When she was asked by the local chapter of the D.A.R. to undertake writing a history of Brooks County Mrs. Davidson agreed to do so despite the handicap of deafness. Unfortunately, her eyesight began to fail in 1937 along with her general health, and it was a source of deepest disappointment to her that she was unable to proceed further with the work of compiling this History. It was no less grieving to her to give up her beloved genealogical work. With her husband's assistance in writing down notes and in doing her typing and writing her letters she tried to carry on after her eyesight began to fail, but when health too, failed, she at last had to lay down life's work and like many others before her who were engaged in some great work, had to leave it uncompleted and let somebody else take up when she had left off.

Mrs. Davidson passed away November 3, 1940, survived by her husband and two children. Mr. Davidson has since departed this life. The two children were born while the family was living at Heartpine but were actually born at Mrs. Davidson's old home, Kingston. Miss Marie Davidson, the daughter, graduated from Brenau College and later married John Kimble and has a son James C. Kimble who served in "World War II, in the North African and Italian campaigns: she is now Secretary of the Brooks County Board of Health. John L. Davidson Jr., the son, graduated from the Georgia School of Technology in Mechanical Engineering, and served in World War I, and is now Vice-President of the Valve Pilot Corpora-tion, New York City. He lives in a suburb, Scarsdale, N. Y.

Among Mrs. Davidson's friends and the surviving members of the family there remains a dominant impression of her concept of history so aptly expressed by the ancient Roman scholar, Cicero, "To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"

(The foregoing is inserted to the memory of Mrs. Davidson by the Committee in charge, and is complimentary to her family out of a sense of appre-ciation of her faithful labors.)


By Mrs. Donald M. Davis Dr. Jesse Thomas Davis was born in 1824 in Georgia, and was one of the first citizens to locate in the new town of Quitman when it was laid out. He was a young physician, and in the small-pox epidemic in 1860 he was appointed by the Inferior Court as Chairman of the Citizens' Committee to combat the spread of the dread disease. He became the first Justice of Peace in the newly-formed Quitman District and served 1859-1871. In October, 1866, he was appointed local agent for the Atlantic & Gulf Railroad at Quitman, and continued in this capacity until January 1, 1892, when he had to resign on account of his health which had been steadily declining. On the 27th of the same month he died. The railroad company never had a more popular or efficient representative. Dr. Davis and his wife also operated "The Railroad House" adjoining the depot, for several years; it was a very popular place with the travelling public and railroad men. Dr. Davis was a town councilman 1873-74 and was Mayor of Quitman in 1876.

Dr. Davis was twice married. By the first marriage there was a daughter, Miss Lalah Davis. The second marriage was on March 10, 1869, to Miss Lucy L. Russell, daughter of James Russell of Quitman and Thomasville. By this marriage there were four sons born: James Russell, Fred, Thomas and Dudley, all of whom are now deceased. Fred and Dudley never married. Tom is survived by his wife, the former Mary Lee Felder of Elmyra, N. Y., and their children, Thomas and Caroline.

Dr. Davis was a devoted parent and husband and, with his wife, took a lively interest and pleasure in the rearing and recreation of their children. Their home on South Lee Street was the scene of many happy hours for the boys as well as for the children of the neighbors and often for the children of the town at large.

James Russell Davis

James Russell Davis, son of Dr. Jesse T. Davis, was born in Quitman, August 29, 1871, and died here April 1st, 1925. He was educated in the old Quitman Academy and at Mercer University. On the death of his father he was appointed railroad agent here and was later transferred to Naylor. In August, 1893, he was appointed Assistant Cashier of the Merchants & Farmers Bank, and in February, 1896, was promoted to cashier, which position he held until the bank was succeeded by The Citizens Bank, holding this position several years. He later became vice-president of the First National Bank in Quitman.

Mr. Davis was a member of the city council 1903-1914 and was Mayor for eight years, 1914-1922. He was the third president of the Quitman Rotary Club, and was Superintendent of the Baptist Sunday school for years. A more genial and sociable man Quitman never had, and his death was mourned by countless friends and citizens.

Mr. Davis married his one and only sweetheart, the lovely Con-stance McCall, on June 14,1892. She was born in Quitman, November 30, 1872, a daughter of Dr. and Mrs. James H. McCall; and died April 30, 1943. Of their four children, three survive: Donald McCall Davis of Quitman, Mrs. E. H. Graves of Eufaula, Ala., and James Russell Davis Jr., of Jacksonville, Fla. The fourth child was Tillie Mae, born June 25, 1893, died December 16, 1945, married Septem-ber, 1916, to Joseph W. Pate of Monticello, Fla. Mr. and Mrs. Pate had two daughters: Emmala Pate, born November, 1927, and Josephine, married Feb. 14, 1945, John Anderson.

Lillian Russell Davis, born May 30, 1897, married December 1, 1922, to Eugene H. Graves. Two children: E. H. Jr., born September 3, 1924, and Constance, born June 23, 1926, married Ralph Garrison of Eufaula, Ala., September 18, 1946.

James Russell Davis Jr., was born August 9, 1905, and was married July 19, 1941, to Miss Mildred Lockerman of Montezuma, Ga.

Donald McCall Davis was born in Quitman, October 8, 1895, and attended Quitman public schools, later G.M.A., from which he graduated in 1911. He then attended Auburn where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He served in World War I in the Aviation Cadet Corps for about 18 months. He entered the automobile business here as Ford dealer, in 1916 and was in this business until 1941. He is now in the insurance and gasoline business. He is active in the social, civic and religious life of Quitman. He is very active in the First Baptist Church in which he has served a number of years as Sunday school teacher and deacon, and is now Superintendent of the Sunday school. He is one of the only two active charter members of the Quitman Rotary Club in which he is much interested and of which he has served as President. He was married October 20, 1926, to Miss Sarah Maddux of Culloden, Ga., and they have two children, Evelyn Towns Davis, born August 26, 1928, and Donald McCall Davis, Jr., born May 19, 1931.


The Denmarks of Brooks County are descended from William Denmark, a Revolutionary soldier, who lived in Hyde County, N. C, until his removal to Screven County, Ga., sometime during the 1770s. Record is found of his residence and plantation known as "Denmark's Point" on one of the numerous coastal bays in Hyde County. After living in Screven County a short while he moved to Effingham County, where his stock-mark is found of record, registered December 19, 1791. In his last years, he moved to Warren County, Ga., where he died at the age of 102 years.

William Denmark was married twice, to Misses Moye, sisters. The first wife, Mourning, died in North Carolina. Born by the first wife:

1. Stephen     m. Mrs. Elizabeth Bird-McCaU, dau. of Frederick Rester.
2. James       m. Susan, dau. of William Wise, Oct. 4, 1S02. Moved to Miss.
3. Abegail      m. William Travis in N. C. Moved to Georgia also. By the second wife, Anna, were born the following:
4. Redden b. 1770, m. Lavina Wise, dau. of Wm.
5. Levisa m. Frederick Rester, Jr.
6. Malachi m. Jane Wise, dau. of William.
7. Martha m. Thomas Jones, Apr. 17, 1799.
8. Susannah m. _Jones.
9. Clarisa m. John Lucas, Aug. 20, 1794.
10. Jemima probably never marriei
The Effingham County deed records show a deed of gift dated January 21,1795, by William Denmark to his wife Anna and children Stephen, Susanna Jones, Jemima, Clarissa and Martha, Mrs. Lavinia Rester, and Redden Denmark. See deed book "CD" page 279, of Effingham County.

Redden Denmark

Redden Denmark, named above, was married August 17, 1802, to Miss Winnie Wise, daughter of William Wise, a Revolutionary soldier. She was born 1787 and died 1857. Redden Denmark died in Bulloch County in 1813 in the prime of life, leaving a wife and five small children. Issue:

1. Elizabeth b. 1803, m. James Groover; moved to Brooks Co.
2. Clarisa b. 1804, m. John William Gibson, Jan. 29, 1818.
3. Sarah b. 1805, m. Wm. Lastinger, Jan. 10, 1825.
4. Thomas I. b. 1809, m. Amanda Groover, Dec. 1, 1831. Moved to Brooks.
5. John b. 1811, m. Mourning Hagan July 8, 1830.

Thomas Irving Denmark

Thomas Irving Denmark was born September 30, 1809, in Bulloch County, son of Redden, and his father dying when he was four years of age the child was taken to the home of his uncle Malachi Denmark, where he grew to manhood. Six years after his marriage he moved to Lowndes County (territory now in Brooks County) and lived there until he died in 1897.

Mr. Denmark was married in Bulloch County December 1, 1831, to Miss Amanda Groover daughter of Charles Groover of that county. She was born in Bulloch County May 12, 1816, and died August 15, 1890, at the family home in Brooks County. Thirteen children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Denmark, viz:

1. Sarah b. 1832, m. James Lee of Bullocn Co.
2. Agnes A. b. 1834, m. A W. L. McFarlin.
3. Redden Irving        b. 1836, m. Josephine McMullen.
4. Mary Jane b. 1838, m. Wade P. Hodges of Decatur Co.
5. Clayton R. b. 1841, m. Nannie McMullen.
6. Frances R. b. 1843, m. Thomas N. Arrington.
7. Daniel Jones b. 1845, died at the age of 11 years.
8. Ann Victoria b. 1848, died at the age of 16 years.
9. Brantley A. b. 1850, m. Ann Rebecca Stark of Savannah,
10. Florence V. b. 1852, m. J. N. Sannders.
1L Elisha Peck Smith   b. 1855, m. Mary Lane.
12. Dewitt Clinton        b. 1860, died single May 1873.
13. Nora Jndson b. 1862, died in Infancy-

Mr. Denmark enlisted in the Seminole Indian War in Florida and served a short while. When the Civil War came on he was overage but later when the call went out for volunteers from 16 to 60, he volunteered though he was 55 years old at the time. He saw hard service in the battles around Atlanta and was there when that city felL His sons Redden and Clayton enlisted in the early part of the war, in the Confederate Army and were in it until the close. Mr. Denmark was a farmer all his life and was industrious and successful in business. He was very religious and believed firmly in education and gave his children the very best education he could possibly afford. He believed that boys and girls should be taught early to take care of themselves and that idleness was the cause of much evil in life. He was a member of the Baptist Church and a deacon also, from young manhood until his death, and was a deacon in Hickory Head Baptist Church for many years prior to his death. All his large family with one exception, were members of the Baptist faith. It was said of him that he was of the high type of Christian who loved his neighbor as himself and this trait of character in life made him the friend of everybody and everybody to be his friend.

In his latter years he was affectionately known as "Uncle Tommy, the grand old man of Brooks County."

Mrs. Denmark was descended through both of her parents from the Salzburgers who as well known, left Austria on account of their religious beliefs and settled at Ebenezer in Effingham County. She was very strong intellectually and was deeply religious. She was one of the organizers of Liberty Baptist Church at Grooverville in what was then Thomas County but now Brooks County.

Clayton R. Denmark

Clayton Rhey Denmark, son of Thomas I. and Amanda Groover, was born October 27,1840, in Lowndes, now Brooks County, and died December 10, 1886, at Hickory Head within a few miles of where he was born.

On July 21, 1861, he volunteered in the Confederate Army, joining the newly-formed Piscola Volunteers which afterwards became a part of the 26th Georgia Regiment. He served through the war and was in Virginia under Generals Lawton, Gordon and Stonewall Jackson. He was wounded three times but as soon as he was well enough he went to the front again each time. After the war was over he returned home and by industry and thrift and good judgment became in due time an extensive planter.

On October 25, 1865, Mr. Denmark was married to Miss Nannie McMullen, daughter of John and Nancy McMullen of Brooks County.

To them were born six children, viz:
1. Thomas Jackson b. 18 , died at the age of 16 years.
2. Charles Groover b. 18 , m. Cora Holcomb.
3. Dewitt Clinton b. 18 , m. Ella Young of Eatonton, Ga.
4. Jennie Lee b. 18 , never married.
5. Carrie Amanda b. 18 , m. Joseph Bruce Tillman of Quitman.
6. Clayton Rhey, Jr. b. 18 , m. Effie Galloway of Baltimore, Md.

"While a soldier in the Confederate Army Mr. Denmark united with the Baptist Church. He was a faithful member and deacon of Hickory Head Baptist Church to the day of his death.

Clayton R. Denmark may be said to have been one of the builders of Brooks County. He had an unflagging interest in the welfare of his county and rendered a most worthwhile service in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. He was appointed as a member of the Board when it was created by legislative act approved August 11, 1881, and became its chairman on the board assuming office, and continued as such until his death five years later. The County Commissioners in session, at their first session after his death, adopted resolutions of respect to the memory of Mr. Denmark, and in these resolutions said:

" Resolved that in the death of Mr. C. R. Denmark the Board has lost not only its presiding officer but also one of the safest, most liberal and prudent of its members, one whose enlarged views, good judgment and faithfulness to the discharge of his duty, ever made his advice entitled to the careful consideration of this Board;

"Resolved that the County of Brooks has lost one of its best citizens, one whose energy and success did much to recommend our County Board, and one whose liberality, both public and private, rendered him a benefactor to our people."

Redden Irving Denmark

Redden Irving Denmark, son of Thomas Irving and Amanda Denmark, was born July 30, 1836, and married October 12, 1858, Miss Josephine McMullen, daughter of James and Harriet (Rountree) McMullen.

He was a planter and spent his life on his farm near Quitman in Brooks County where he died March 12, 1902. His home was "open house" to a host of friends and he and Mrs. Denmark were noted and loved for their abundant hospitality.

Mr. Denmark was a man who had a vision of what could be developed along agricultural lines. He was one of the founders of the Hickory Head Agricultural Club which was a strong factor in community life in that section. This club was the first of its kind to be organized.

Mr. Denmark was largely responsible for the establishment of the Rural Mail route in Brooks County, which was the first in the South. He was vitally interested in education and assumed a large responsibility for the maintenance of the community school, and this school stood so well that pupils leaving it could enter any college in the state.

As a young man, Mr. Denmark served two years in the Confederate Army and was Adjutant of his Regiment. He was an active member of the Hickory Head Baptist Church and a man of outstanding activities in the life of his community and county.

Children of Mr. and Mrs. Denmark were:
1. Charles died in infancy.
*2. Harriet Amanda m. W. Hewell Britt of Sparta, Ga.
3. Daniel Arlington m. (1) Josie Jelks, (2) Parthenia Staten.
4. Emma Cotton never married.
5. Frances Reiser never married.
6. Edgar never married.
7. Arthur m. Bertha Twiss.
8. Augusta Reppard   m. Henry L. Covington of Pensacola, Fla.
9. Cobb m. Rebecca Moss of Paducah, Ky.
10. R. I. Jr. m. (1) Eva McArthur, (2) Fannie Mae Duke.
11. Josephine m. Oreon Burnett.
*Mr. and Mrs. Britt had only one daughter, Emma Jo, who was reared as one of her grandparents* family. She married Golden Stevens.

Elisha Peck Smith Denmark, Attorney

Elisha Peck Smith Denmark achieved much prominence as a successful lawyer and business leader first in Quitman and then in Valdosta. He was born December 4, 1854, in present Brooks, a son of Thomas I. and Amanda Denmark; and died January 6, 1929, in Valdosta. He was the last of a family group widely known in this part of the South.

E. P. S. Denmark's early life was spent on his father's planta-tion in the Hickory Head community where he received his early schooling. He later attended the University of Georgia law school and graduated, and then took up the practice of law in Quitman in 1878. In 1879 he was appointed Solicitor of the County Court, and the next year was elected to the State Senate from the 7th District, serving 1880-81.

In February, 1893, Mr. Denmark moved to Valdosta and there formed a law partnership with the late D. C. Ashley, which continued for many years. He was one of the organizers or charter stock-holders of the Bank of Quitman, and was President of the bank until his removal to Valdosta. In Valdosta, he was one of the organizers of The Merchants Bank which for many years was a very strong financial institution and in more recent years was merged with the Citizens & Southern National Bank. Mr. Denmark also helped to organize the Strickland Cotton Mills in Valdosta, and was the attorney for the corporation.

Mr. Denmark was a member of the First Baptist Church, first in Quitman, then in Valdosta. He served on the Valdosta City Board of Education for nearly thirty years as its Chairman. He married Miss Mary E. Lane, of Lowndes County, on January 6, 1881. To them were born five children: Remer Lane Denmark, E. P. S. Denmark Jr., Augustus H. Denmark, Thomas Irving Denmark married Lucille Graham and Mary E. who married C. C. Bell of Nashville, Tenn.


Edward Taylor Dukes, Quitman merchant, was born in Thomas (now Brooks) County, December 12, 1846, fourth son of Edward Clinton Dukes and Mrs. Nancy Hodges Dukes. He served in Company "B," 1st Georgia Reserves in the Confederate Army, from May, 1864, to the close of the war. He went to Homerville in 1867 and engaged in the mercantile business. His brother Henry C. Dukes was associated with him. In 1873 he was elected Clerk of the Superior Court of Clinch County, serving two years. Just before the close of his term he appointed a deputy clerk and returned to Brooks County where he and his brother went into business in Quitman. The Quitman Reporter on September 10, 1874, said:

"It is our pleasure this week to record a pleasant accession to the young men of our community and a substantial addition to the business men of Quitman. We allude to Messrs. E. T. and Henry C. Dukes, formerly of Homerville, who have just moved to our town and opened the store next door to Mr. Nathan Gazan on Screven Street, under the firm name of E. T. Dukes & Bro. The senior of the firm went to New York this season and purchased a large and tasty assortment of goods which are now being opened and prepared for sale. "We welcome these worthy young gentlemen to our town and trust that their busi-ness undertaking may meet with their most sanguine expec-tations. ."

In a few years Mr. Henry C. Dukes sold his interest to his brother and went first to Atlanta then to Valdosta where he was in business until his death. E. T. Dukes continued in the mercantile business in Quitman until his death in 1920.

Mr. Dukes was first married in 1870 to Miss Lucy E. Wade, daughter of Hon. Elijah Wade and his wife Mrs. Elizabeth Reddick Wade. She died the next year at Homerville, leaving an infant son Edward Scott Dukes (1871-1902). On February 10, 1876, Mr. Dukes married Miss Avie Bryan who died in 1881, leaving one daughter, Nellie Leland Dukes. In 1891 Mr. Dukes was married the third time, to Miss Mattie Eliza Rountree, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Rountree of Quitman, and to them was born one daughter, Frances Rountree Dukes, now Mrs. Paul McDonald Wynne, of Miami, Fla.

Mr. and Mrs. Wynne have two children, Pauline Dukes and Frank Cody Wynne. Nellie Leland Dukes married June 15, 1898, E. Peck Smith (1873-1915) and they had one daughter, Theodosia Livingstone, married W. H. White Jr., and is now living in St. Augustine, Fla. Edward Scott Dukes married Miss Mattie Irvine of Madison, Fla., June 15, 1893, and had a son Charlie Dukes.

Mr. Dukes was a Mason, first becoming one at Homerville in March, 1874, and after removal to Quitman was a member of Sholto Lodge until his death. He and his last wife were active in the social, business and church life in Quitman during their entire married lives.

Edward Clinton Dukes (father of E. T. Dukes) was born in Liberty County January 6, 1810, and died at his home in present Brooks County July 17, 1855. His wife, Nancy, was born in Tattnall County (on the Tattnall-Liberty line) February 6, 1813, and was a daughter of "William Hodges, a pioneer citizen of Tatnall and Liberty counties. William Hodges lived near Taylor's Creek Church in Liberty County and was buried there. Edward C. Dukes was Justice of Peace 790th district of Lowndes (now Brooks) County 1840-1853 and was a charter member and the first Secretary of Okapilco Lodge No. 172, F.&A.M., located at old Tallokas. He served 1852-1853-1854 as secretary. On moving from Liberty County Mr. Dukes first settled not long after marriage, in the Grooverville district of Thomas County (now Brooks), where he was Justice of Peace of the 754th district 1841-45 and captain of the militia 1836-37. He later sold out and moved to the Tallokas district of what was then Lowndes, now Brooks. He and his wife had twelve children. Edward C. Dukes was a son of John Taylor Dukes, a Revolutionary soldier, who drew land in 1784 in Washington County (now Tattnall) as a Revolutionary soldier.

Original data: Huxford, Folks,. The history of Brooks County, Georgia. Quitman, Ga.: Hannah Clarke Chapter, D.A.R., 1948, c1949.
WILSON, MRS. ELLA KEMP (MRS. W. T.). Probation Officer, Thomas Co. Daughter of Bryant A. Kemp (December 1, 1822-November 15, 1876) and Emily A. (Fulwood) Kemp October 4, 1844-June 2, 1870). Born in Brooks Co., Ga., December 6, 1860. Educated in schools of Brooks Co. and Thomas Co. Married March 16, 1881, in Thomasville, Ga., William Thomas Wilson. Children: Three Daughters and two sons. Baptist. Democrat. Member, Eastern Star, W. C. T. U. and Business and Professional Women's Club. Probation Officer, Thomas Co., November 11, 1919-date; Attendance Officer,  Thomas Co.,  1920-date.    Address:    Thomasville, Ga. ['Georgia Women of 1926', Compiled by Ruth Blair]

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