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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Beth's Weekly Moultrie Observer Column - Week 5
(This appears here courtesy of The Moultrie Observer)

We'll go back, this week, to our favorite thing...newspaper browsing.
   The papers I'm using for this trip to yesterday were given to me by the late Mr. Jack Ladson of Vidalia, Georgia.
   Mr. Ladson used to tell me stories of when he and my husband's father, Wiley Benjamin Gay, used to "paint Moultrie red" as young men!  I think of Mr. Ladson with affection...and miss I miss Dad Gay.
   We're revisiting an article that was written about what happened legally when all of our county records were destroyed by fire in 1881.
   The headline says, "Burning of Courthouse Set Stage of Land Litigation."
   The article says: Many bitter feuds erupted in the ensuing years as the legal profession and the courts sought to determine proper ownership to property.  Slowness of the courts, mainly due to the large number of cases crowding every term of court for years, permitted many families who otherwise had been good friends to split apart.  Several killings occurred within the county because two or more citizens held what apparently were "good and valid" titles to the same property.
   A news report in January of 1894 graphically tells the story of the numerous disputes and the tenseness of the situation.
   That article said, in part: Examination of land records and tax digests for the county shows a remarkable state of affairs.  It has been found that a number of lots are claimed and assessed by at least four persons, each having a good and separate title to the land.
   The whole county will average two claimants to each lot and there are some instances in which as many as a dozen persons pretend to be owners.
   There will be a number of lawsuits and much ill feeling.  There is reason to be fearful that the situation will cause much bloodshed.
   One man had already been killed in a land dispute the year before and the report said frequent threats, with brandished pistol, had occurred on the streets of Moultrie and neighboring villages.
   The news report said that "we are satisfied that many persons bought land in good faith, but so did other claimants to the same land.  Prudence, coolness and patience will be needed.  The courts already are crowded with cases.  Delays must necessarily occur before conflicting claims can be heard and settled.
   As an indication of the seriousness of the mix-up, the report said, "it is too late to reach those responsible for duplications of titles.  The only thing left is to settle the land titles according to the law and let the loser pocket his loss and the winner his gain."
   It's interesting to note that the "Old Huber Residence Used As Hospital In Flu Epidemic Of '29."  The old Huber home on South Main Street was used as an emergency hospital in the flu epidemic of 1929.  Patients from the county were hospitalized there.
   Mrs. Jennie Garrard, social welfare worker, had asked the Red Cross to operate the hospital there.
   There were many instances of entire families being stricken with the flu.
   Remember, you may see Moultrie on our Welcome to Moultrie section of Electric Scotland!
   It's easy to access.  Simply visit the Internet and go to and the click on Family Tree.  When Family Tree comes up on your screen, just click on Welcome to Moultrie.

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