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Moultrie
Beth's Weekly Moultrie Observer Column - Week 19
(This appears here courtesy of The Moultrie Observer)


I'm still playing amongst the pages of old Moultrie Observers! It's fun!
Here's an article about Mrs. Mattie Lou Ingram. She had the distinction of being the first woman ever to be elected to the office of Ordinary of Colquitt County.
Mrs. Ingram was born in Colquitt County, the daughter of Green Norman and Mrs. Mattie Ann Thompson Norman of Rose Hill. She graduated from Moultrie High School and later took a business course. She worked for Alverson - Phillips Warehouse Company, in the county agent's office and for the Moultrie Production Credit Corporation.
In 1940, she went to work as a clerk in the office of Ordinary during the term of the late Mr. Jack J. Strickland.
During World War II, she spent two years in Idaho when her husband, Chesley Ingram, was stationed at Gower Field.
On her return to Moultrie, she again worked as clerk in the Ordinary's office while T. Josh Davis served as Ordinary. She was first elected to the office of Ordinary in 1952.
Moultrie was described in 1907 as "a city without automobiles" due to the "deplorable condition of the streets." A number of persons were reported ready to buy cars, but would not because of the "sand and mud."
A pine knot factory located in Moultrie in 1903 was the talk of South Georgia. A reporter for The Observer checked on the plant's "mysterious operations" and found that it was the seventh such plant in the world, designed to produce a superior grade of turpentine.
The newspaperman said, "You can go down any day of the week, except Sunday and Monday, and see charcoal, tar, pitch, oil, turpentine spirits and creosote coming out."
Several of the turpentine by-products from the use of pine knots were said to be salable and the charcoal, said the operators, "...is paying the expense of operation."
J. P. Cardon built the factory for The Georgia Naval Stores Company, a stock company, and pine knots - used only for fuel until that time - were in demand by the plant. Scores of persons were coming from all over the county to see the plant in operation during April of 1903.
Only July 9, 1903, the factory, which operated huge retorts in its use of pine knots, caught fire and burned. Seventeen thousand gallons of turpentine and creosote were destroyed with the plant. Because of the nature of the factory, it was not insured. The loss was, however, estimated at $30,000.
There were idiots amongst us in 1895, too. For some unknown reason, a person tried to poison the whole student body at Tallokas School in Brooks County on May 28, 1895.
Poison was dumped into the well, and 17 pupils and their teacher, J. P. Clowes, fell victim to the poison. It was only through the hard work of a physician that no lives were lost.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church was organized here December 15, 1951, with a membership of 54. Most of these members joined as a r4esult of a series of meetings which was conducted by Evangelist H.T. Anderson. These services took place in a tabernacle which was located where the old Gene Mills Recreation Center stood.
Work on the present structure on 2nd Street in 1952.
In 1956, the pastor was H. C. Brown of Albany, assisted by Moultrians Glenn Coon, Jr., and L. Paul Nabors.
Do you enjoy our newspaper browsing? Do you have a story of the "old days in Moultrie?" Please contact me if you like these columns or have a story to tell!


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