In the old Moultrie Observer -
actually a paper from Friday, October 12, 1956 - there's an article about
Mrs. John R. (Martha Jane) Veal. Mrs. Veal was "one of Moultrie's oldest
citizens" who moved to town in 1892 when she was only 20 years old.
Mrs. Veal said that in 1892
there was one small store here.
Mr. John Veal was one of the
first mail carrier's in Colquitt County. He delivered the mail by horse
Bob Bearden operated that
little store. The store was also used as a courthouse.
Mrs. Veal said that Judge
Hooker was the first local judge she remembered and Crawford Patterson was
the first Justice of the Peace.
Mrs. Veal remembered when
Horne Mercantile Company opened and she remembered Henry Murphy and Joe
Battle as early employees.
Mrs. Veal, who arrived in
Moultrie in July of 1892, remembered W. B. Dukes as the first mayor of
Moultrie. She remembered Sam Morris and Addison Carter as early policemen.
According to Mrs. Veal, Dr. W.
R. Smith was Moultrie's earliest physician. Dr. Smith arrived in Moultrie
after Mrs. Veal moved here.
Mrs. Veal remembered early
pioneer families of John Faison and Alton Collier. She said her earliest
neighbors were the families of Allen Whitley and Tom Crawford.
The first church was Baptist
and was in East Moultrie. Mrs. Ellen McNeil (later Mrs. W. C. Vereen)
taught school there in 1895 and 1896. Mrs. Veal remembered the first
pastor was a Rev. Bryant who had a son named Tobe.
Mr. Veal died in 1907, leaving
Mrs. Veal with five children and a dollar a day insurance benefit. She
raised her family herself.
In 1956 four of the children
were still living. They were Mrs. Claude M. Stubbs of Waycross, Georgia;
Mrs. Davis Slaughter of Moultrie (formerly of Atlanta); Sam C. Veal of
Moultrie and Frank E. Veal of Tallahassee.
Early spring in the 1880s and
1890s was a signal for sheep shearing in Colquitt County.
Mr. R. L. Norman of Norman
Park remembered the heavily timbered woods being "full of sheep." The
sheep owners would have a roundup every spring. The sheep, heavy with a
full coat, were herded into sapling pine pens and shorn of their fleece
with hand shears.
I have to think about how
burrs and stick-tights and sand-spurs get into my dog's coat. Imagine the
fleeces of those sheep!
Sheep, in the 1880s and 1890s,
were valuable for their wool and also for slaughter for their meet. Since
there was no refrigeration, they were shipped to such points as
Jacksonville on the hoof. The popularity of sheep began to wane around the
turn of the century when naval stores and lumber workers began to arrive.
It was then that packs of stray dogs began to decimate the flocks.
In 1899, there were about
30,000 sheep in Colquitt County. With the coming of the dogs, this number
was cut down. Many of the sheep were sold to farmers in Tennessee and
Kentucky and others were shipped to Jacksonville for slaughter.
It was said that the county
was "being settled too rapidly for the sheep business, range is being
restricted more each year and dogs are becoming more rampant. Hundreds of
sheep are also being killed by forest fires."
Sheep were bringing $1.75 a
head in 1909. Up to August of that year, 2,000 sheep had been shipped from
Moultrie in the previous year.
Murphy community, just south
of Moultrie, was one of the principal shipping points in Colquitt County.
Trying to "get" distant radio stations was a popular indoor sport here in
One Moultrie furniture store
proprietor, using the then famous Atwater Kent set, reported logging 196