A WING, A PRAYER AND OTHER THINGS
HEY YOU, UP IN THE CLOUDS, PULL OVER! - Sheriff Carlus Gay had arrested many drunk drivers during his twenty plus year career in law enforcement. But, he never dreamed one might come out of the sky. J.B. Daniel, a 40-year-old resident of Swainsboro, landed his private plane on Georgia Highway 29. Daniel then taxied his plane down for two miles down the highway to the Cile Cook Home at the junction of the highway with the Old Savannah Road. Gay could smell the scent of liquor on the breath of the pilot, whom he promptly arrested for flying under the influence. Augusta Chronicle, April 14, 1958.
THE POWER OF PRAYER - Brammer Cecil, of Mt. Airy, North Carolina, was
driving his truck through Laurens County carrying a heavy load of glass. When the glass shifted, Cecil's truck overturned. Cecil was buried under many slabs of heavy glass. Pinned, cut, and bleeding, Cecil had no hope of being extracted from the cab of his truck. The Rev. J.S. Wetzel, of Century Methodist Church, was the first motorist to arrive on the scene. Rev. Wetzel tried and tried to remove the glass. Then he prayed to God for the strength to get the man out. Cecil was praying too. Then, that's when another motorist, a resident of Toccoa, showed up. With the young man's help, Wetzel managed to free Cecil from the crushed truck. You see, the young man was no ordinary man. He had garnered world wide fame for his ability to lift heavy weights. That young man, you may have guessed, was none other than Paul Anderson, the reigning Olympic champion weightlifter - who was forever billed as the "Strongest Man in the World." Augusta Chronicle, March 14, 1960.
SHINE ON - Charlie Williams enjoyed a good shoe shine business in Dublin. Lots of men lined up to get their shoes looking like they were new. Trouble was that Charlie's real shine was not the shoe shine, but moonshine, which he kept in a five-gallon bucket next to his stand. Those customers who knew what was up ordered a "double shine" until law enforcement officers busted the money making operation. Augusta Chronicle, October 24, 1954.
"COURIER HERALD" GOES WORLD WIDE - Bernard Geeslin was walking along the seawall in Manilla in May of 1945 when he saw a Filipino sitting on his heels in the curve of the wall reading a newspaper. He took a closer look, and to his utter amazement, it was a December 14, 1944 issue of "The Courier Herald." The headline read "Nazis Smash American Lines." Geeslin was unable to ascertain the subscriber of the paper or what the reader thought of it. Dublin Courier Herald, May 25, 1945, p. 3.
THE OTHER LIBRARY - Did you know that the first Laurens County Library was established in 1938. The Carnegie Library in Dublin gave free service to only city residents at the time. The ladies of the Parnassus Club sponsored a library for county residents. The library was located in the county office building on East Madison Street, which served formerly as the post office from 1912 until 1936. Virginia Graves served as the first and only librarian. After a few months the Laurens County Library merged with the Carnegie Library. Countywide service began with the help of the W.P.A. which funded a traveling librarian. Dublin Courier Herald, 8/6/1938, Laurens Co. History, 1807-1941, p. 239, 248.
PSYCHIC FUND RAISER - One of the first fund raising events for the new Carnegie Library was held at the high school auditorium. Professor William Irving Fayssoux displayed his talents as a clairvoyant and psychic. The proceeds from the event went to the book fund of the new library. At three o'clock, Fayssoux blindfolded himself. He then drove madly and daringly over the main streets of Dublin. He promised the crowd that he could find a letter which had been hidden by a prominent Dublinite. Dublin Times, October 15, 1904, p. 1.
THE COTTON KING - Roswell King, a Connecticut native, left his home for Darien, Georgia, in 1788. King served in a variety of public offices including surveyor, justice of the peace, justice of the Inferior Court, and state representative. In 1802, King was hired as Major Pierce Butler's overseer on his plantations on Butler Island and at Woodville on the Altamaha River and Hampton plantation on St. Simons Island. During the next 36 years, King developed efficient methods in the cultivation of rice and sea island cotton. In 1816 Roswell King purchased a building on the northwest corner of the courthouse square in Dublin. In 1829, King sold the building which may have burned. In the 1830s, King was sent to Dahlonega to establish a branch of the Bank of Darien. King was much impressed with the beauty of the woodlands. He returned to North Georgia and purchased a large tract of woodlands. He dammed Vickery Creek and operated a large cotton mill. King named the new community after himself, and the community of Roswell was born. King appreciated the value of industry in the South, the lack of which led to the loss of the Civil War. Dictionary of Georgia Biography, Kenneth Coleman, Vol. 2, page 579; Deed Book G, page 192, Deed Book I, page 201, Laurens County Records.
SPICING UP OUR INDUSTRIES - The Dublin-Laurens Chamber of Commerce from its inception has sought out new industries and businesses for the county. In the spring of 1941 the Chamber worked with state officials and private industries in an experimental new crop in the Laurens County agricultural community. The new crop came from central Europe with the plants being donated from spice making firms. The new crop was a mild European pepper which when ground up would become a popular spice known as paprika. Dublin Courier Herald, May 3, May 14, 1941, p. 1.
THE LAST OF THE ONE ROOM SCHOOL HOUSES - A 130-year-old educational practice came to an end on September 9, 1937. The Laurens County Board of Education voted to close Burch's Academy, the last of the one room - one teacher schools. The school was located at the southern end of the county on the south side of Alligator Creek. The students of the grammar school were transferred to Cedar Grove School. Cedar Grove was the second largest county school with 11 grades. Dublin Courier Herald, September 10, 1937, p. 1.
THE THREE-SEATER BABY CARRIAGE - D.S. Brandon was one of Dublin's leading wholesale grocers. His wife was of the northern persuasion, a Yankee. She often ridiculed the women of the South for having so many children. Mrs. Brandon compared the high number of children to litters of puppies. The women of Dublin had the last laugh when Mrs. Brandon gave birth to triplets in 1909. The Brandon triplets were heralded in this area as much as the Dionne Quintuplets of the 1930s. Mr. Brandon was reading a newspaper when he saw an article about Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Robinson of Griffin, Georgia. The new parents of triplets were in need of help to pay the cost of caring for the babies. Brandon made arrangements to ship the custom made three-seater baby carriage to the Robinsons, for which the new parents were eternally grateful. Dublin Courier Herald, June 4, 1914, p. 1.