Among the hazards to trains making runs
through Colquitt and neighboring counties in the early 1900s were
animals.& passenger train from Tifton “encountered a pretty bad case of
cows on the tracks between Moultrie and Aberdeen Sunday afternoon. A cow
was standing just beyond the Okapilco trestle and the pilot of the engine
struck her, rolling her along ahead of the train for some distance until
she was well onto the trestle. At last the engineer brought his train to
a standstill and got out and threw her cowship overboard.”
Turn of the century farming in this southwest
Georgia section was based on “plows” and manual effort – “sweat.”
A contrast of present-day mechanization and farm
income can be drawn from a report by the Quitman Free Press in early March
of 1901 on the operations of the E.J. Young “six mule farm” in Brooks
County. The statistics from the various crops grown on that farm were
cited as an example for “study by every farmer in south Georgia.”
20,894 pounds of bacon at 8 cents, $1,671.51; 2573
pounds of lard at 8 cents - $197.84; 55 bales of cotton, average 560
pounds at 9 ¾ cents at $949.10; 1800 bushels of corn at 55 cents at $990;
41 barrels of syrup at $9 per barrel at $379; 1300 bushels of oats at 40
cents at $520; 1800 pounds of fodder at 75 cents at $216. This makes a
total value of the products grown at $6,913.46.
Divide this amount by six, the number of plows run,
and it gives you $1,152.23 to each plow.
Remember this was at the turn of the century –
1899-1900. The report said that this was a “phenomenal” result.
A typical example of the kind of virgin pines found
growing in this southwest Georgia area – particularly in Colquitt County –
was brought to the Pinopolis Saw Mill Company in eastern Colquitt County
in June of 1901.
The pine was termed a “giant of the finest” in this
area. It measured 46 inches in diameter at the butt, was 64 feet long and
32 inches in diameter at the top.
A news report on the “big tree” said it would not be
sawed, but would be sent as cut to the eastern markets, where it was to be
exhibited as a typical specimen of the South Georgia pine.
Did you know the Georgia State Patrol had its
beginnings in Moultrie? It’s true!
When the Georgia State Patrol was first established
in the regime of Governor Ed Rivers, the Sixth District patrol
headquarters was located on the Sylvester Highway several miles north of
Personnel of the Sixth District patrol corps, headed
by Sergeant H.B. Freeman, set up headquarters on September 10, 1937 in the
spacious Taylor home which also had been occupied at one time by former
Assigned here with Sgt. Freeman were Cps. W.J.
Redrearn and troopers G.H. Standard, H. Fred Culbertson, C. D. Leverett,
P.F. Milton and B. H. Taylor.
Their assignment was to patrol 19 counties in
Later, the divisional patrol headquarters was moved
to Thomasville to be nearer the center of the district.
If you’ve enjoyed the last eight weeks of these
columns about the history of our area, you’re welcome to come to The Ellen
Payne Odom Genealogy Library and enjoy the old Moultrie Observers via
microfilm! You may browse to your hearts content! Our area has a
fascinating history and to read the contemporary accounts of what was
happening and the people involved is like taking a trip back in time.