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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Moultrie
Beth's Weekly Moultrie Observer Column - Week 13
(This appears here courtesy of The Moultrie Observer)


We live under the threat of many frightening things today…but, have you thought that nobody at any time has ever lived without fear of something?
   Scarlet fever posed more than one terror in the Colquitt area during 1917.
   Scores of children were taken out of the school system by their parents during a scarlet fever “scare” period.  The absentees became so numerous that school authorities threatened to refuse promotion to pupils who failed to take regular scholastic examinations.
   In a note to the public regarding mid-term examinations, school authorities pointed out that “there is no provision for promoting the child who is out through fear of further spread of the disease.  There will be special examinations for the sick-abed, but no favors will be shown the fever-scared crowd no matter how much study is done at home.
   Citing the dilemma, a reporter wrote: “Mothers will think twice before they choose between sending their children back to be exposed to the dangers of scarlet fever and the humiliation of a withheld promotion.”
   “Public Welfare,” a publication issued by the Georgia Department for Public Safety, publicized in 1926 the abolishing of Colquitt County’s poor farm.
   An article related how the county was able to save $1800 a year, according to a report by Commissioner Sam Harrell.
    “Acting upon the recommendation of the Department of Public Welfare, the county social worker, Mrs. J. Garrard, arranged for the almshouse population to be cared for in private homes.  The old almshouse was no longer needed.  The financial burden was lowered.  The stigma of pauperization was removed and the county grew in self respect.”
   So pleased was the state department over Colquitt’s achievement that it recommended similar efforts by other counties.  “By so doing,” state officials wrote, “any county can enjoy the benefits of constructive work with its poor….
   Colquitt County jurors “had it soft” early in 1907.
   Commissioner J.F. Monk had comfortable, cushioned chairs put in jury boxes in the courtrooms in Moultrie.  Court officials foresaw folks “rushing” to serve on juries.  The cushioned chairs were seen as a major cure for so many excuses to get off juries.
   Joshua Tillman helped to “drive out Indians” from Colquitt County!
   Described as “one of the landmarks” of Colquitt County’s early history, died October 23, 1894 and was buried the next day at Sardis Cemetery.  He was 92 years of age at the time of his death.
   Tillman, born September 24, 1802, and was among those of the territory who drove the Indians from this part of the country.
   “Uncle Joshua” Tillman left a large number of descendants, many of whom reside in Colquitt County today (1956 and 2002!).
   Roland M. Harper made a survey of cemeteries in the county in April of 1930.  The average age of death, he concluded, had increased from 17 in 1900 to 41 at the time of his survey.
   Moultrie, he said, had larger families than most Georgia towns.  The average here in 1920 was 4.35 persons to a family.
   The nation-wide flue epidemic of 1918-1919 was said to have been deadly in Moultrie, according to Harper.  But, he concluded, the number of deaths in the second half of 1918 and the first six months of 1919 as shown on tombstone dates was only slightly above normal.
   Families represented by more than half a dozen tombstones were Moore, Spivey, Taylor, Monk, Smith and Ashburn.


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