A POT TO CHIP IN - Abraham Lease wanted to do something to help his adopted country of the United States of America. His son Izzie flew with the Army Ferrying Command. Another son, Nat Lease, also a pilot, was stationed in Lubbock, Texas. There was a war going on in his native homeland of Russia. When Lease and his wife immigrated to the United States from Russia in 1904, they brought with them a copper boiler which dated back to the 1840s. The five-pound, ten-inch wide, five-inch deep pot could be used by the American military by melting it down to use to make shells for both the U.S. and Russia. To further help the war effort, Lease looked around his back yard and removed thousands of pounds of scrap metal from the abandoned family laundry. Lease saw his donation as a way to save on his taxes and help the cause of freedom. Atlanta Constitution, Oct. 1, 1942.
WILL THE REAL W.J. MULLIS, PLEASE STAND UP? - Any postal carrier whoever put an envelope in the mail box of a John Smith or Elizabeth Williams frequently wondered if they got it in the right place. The postal carrier on the Dexter rural route had a bigger problem. There were at least two hundred members of the Mullis family who lived on his route. The real problem was there were three Mullises who carried the name of W.J. Mullis. At the suggestion of the carrier, one added a "Sr." to his name, another "Jr.," and the other just plain W. J. Mullis. Atlanta Constitution, July 20, 1938.
WE AIN'T NOTHING BUT TWO HOUND DOGS - N.M. Corder always kept a tribe of goats around his house. In the winter of 1889, one of Corder's nanny goats lost her kids. With no children to care for, the nanny decided to adopt two hound dog pups. Every day the goat would go to the front gate of the Corder house and bleat. And, just like clockwork the hungry pups would go to the nanny for a daily feeding of goat milk. The remarkable goat had furnished life nourishing milk to two human orphan children two years before. Atlanta Constitution, March 18, 1889.
BISCUITS, BOARDS, AND BABIES - Henry Dies had enough children to field a football team and a baseball team, with one more for good measure. In 1917, Dies was the father of twenty-one children, seventeen sons and only four daughters. Another son died soon after becoming of legal age. His living issue ranged in age of 18 to 49. And, if that wasn't enough mouths to feed at Thanksgiving, Dies had sixty-four grandchildren. Of course, Dies had help in raising nearly two dozen children. And the credit for this record should not go to him, but to his two wives who nurtured an army of children.
Dies, who at the age of fifty-six fathered his last child, moved to Dublin from his native Sparta. He reported that he was healthy, never being sick, not even ever suffering from a headache, backache, or toothache. At six feet, three inches tall, the 180-pound behemoth board sawyer was the self-proclaimed champion biscuit eater of Laurens County. Two of his children ate their share of biscuits, covered with butter and gravy. William Dies, of Atlanta, topped the scales at 475 pounds, while one daughter, Mrs. Katie Dyal of Augusta, weighed a walloping four hundred and forty-four pounds. Remarkably, the other 19 Dies children were of normal weight. Atlanta Constitution, Nov. 25, 1917.
ONLY IN AMERICA - Many people, especially these days, consider the phrase "government intelligence" an oxymoron. That was never more true than back in 1939. It seems that a representative of the newly formed Social Security Board forbade the employment of a pair of oxen on a grading project on a Wrightsville street. When W.F. Scott Contracting Company were unable to use modern machinery in paving East Elm Street, Scott secured the use of two strong oxen belonging to Clayton Wood. When the beasts of burden were nearly half way through their work, a hopeless bureaucrat appeared on the scene and quickly ordered the work to stop. In compliance with the governments instructions, Wood and engineer Sam Alexander drove to Dublin to the nearest Social Security office. There Wood registered his two oxen as Louis Wood, aged seven years, and Brown Wood, aged eight years. And, to ensure their compliance with the law, the boys were issued their personal social security cards, numbered 477 and 478. With the full permission of the Federal government, the oxen answered the whistle and went back to work to finish the project. This is no joke. Atlanta Constitution, May 26, 1939.
WE DON'T NEED A DOCTOR, WE'VE GOT GRANDPA - Dr. Luther Johnson Thomas was born in 1839. During the Civil War, Dr. Thomas was a Third Sergeant in Company B of the 27th Georgia Infantry. After the war, Thomas worked as a pharmacist in the village of Wellston, which later became Warner Robins. After graduating from Atlanta Medical College in 1882, the doctor moved to Dublin to begin his practice of medicine, which lasted until his death in 1924. During his career, Dr. Thomas delivered a lot of babies. Three of those were on the house. He delivered his daughter, Mrs. C.A. Rogers of Macon. Two decades or so later, Dr. Thomas was present and aided in the birth of his granddaughter, Mrs. A.G. Johnson. Another twenty something years later, Dr. Thomas brought his great granddaughter, Minnie Elizabeth Johnson, into the world. In addition to his prowess as a physician, Dr. Thomas was known for his agricultural skills in using modern scientific methods of farming. Later in his life, Dr. Thomas, married Anna Mary Rainey, widow of Daniel L. Bennett. Mrs. Thomas died on August 27, 1964 and is buried in Northview Cemetery. The 93-year old was the last surviving Confederate widow in Laurens County. Macon Telegraph, Oct. 21, 1914.
AN ALARMING MESSAGE - Mailboxes in neighborhoods are now a thing of the past. But, in 1914, they were placed at strategic locations around the city. It seems that in the days before Thanksgiving in 1914, a Dublin lady walked down the street from her to home to mail a letter. As she stood at the corner, she reached for the box. Its door was open. She pulled the lever to open the slot and let go. In just a few minutes, the entire Dublin fire department showed up with sirens blaring as the embarrassed lady looked around to see the mail box right beside the fire alarm box. The large crowd which had gathered laughed out loud. So did the fireman, who had a brief moment of hilarity during an otherwise boring day. Macon Telegraph, Nov. 27, 1914.