Modern law enforcement techniques and equipment have
revolutionized the apprehension of criminals in Colquitt County, but
credit must be given to the dependable old bloodhounds for “tracking down
their man” through the more than eight decades of law enforcement
activity. (as of 1976.)
Bloodhounds were important factors in the
apprehension of Tom Williams, who was later convicted in the slaying of ex
Warden W.C. Rowland and his wife here in 1954. It was one of the biggest
manhunts in the county’s history.
Colquitt County made a forward stride in its early
law enforcement work in 1897 with the purchase of seven bloodhounds. Four
of the dogs were shipped here from Texas, costing the county $107.75.
Sheriff J. S. Fisher, who made the deal, got a
bonus. The Texas breeder, flattered that a small, rural Georgia county
would want that many Texas dogs, sent along two young puppies, which were
trained by Moultrie Marshall Allison Collier, a veteran police officer.
As this was written in 1976, I’m sure the writer
could not have imagined that bloodhounds would remain an important part of
law enforcement into the next millennium. I’m sure that writer of a
quarter of a century ago could imagine that dogs would remain working
companions in many capacities and breeds in both our law enforcement but
in our military as well.
One of the pioneers in Colquitt County, William
Matthews, who served in the Confederate Army until the conflict ended,
died March 27, 1901 and is buried in Bridge Creek cemetery.
He was 85 years and 20 days old at the time.
Identified as one of the “early and best citizens” of Colquitt County,
Matthews was reported to have moved his family into the county in 1863.
He was the father of 13 children (nine still living
at the time of his death of heart disease. Two wives preceded him in
death. The fist was Rhoda Johnson, daughter of Stephen Johnson of North
Carolina and the second was Ann Williams of Colquitt County.
Moultrie was among the smallest communities in
Georgia at the turn of the century to have a nose and throat specialist,
Dr. W. L. Jerkins, who came here after five years in Atlanta. Other
dentists and physicians who served Colquitt County for the first few years
of the 1900s were G.J. Ford – dentist; W. S. Howell, M.D.; J. I. Wilson,
J.D; C. C. Fletcher, M.D.; W. F. Blasingame, dentist; and R.C. Lindsay.
Establishing a medical practice here about 1904 was Dr. Everett Daniel,
who spent the better part of a half-century doctoring Colquitt Countians.
Direct air mail service to and from the
Moultrie-Thomasville Airport at Sunset was discontinued in the late 1970s
after 27 years of service.
The first direct mail to be sent out of Moultrie,
was dispatched by local plane from old Clark Field on May 19, 1938.
Arrangements were made through the Moultie Chamber
of Commerce and the United States Post Office here for a plane owned by
Horace Williams and piloted by Marvin Hembel, to leave Clark Field at 10
AM carrying several hundred letters.
The air mail flight, cosponsored by Riverside
Manufactureing ‘Company, was a highlight of the observance here and
nationally of Air Mail Week.
Clark Field, from which the flight was made, was
located at the northwest edge of Moultrie was built in the early 1930s
with assistance from the WPA and PWA.