Every once in awhile, there’s a story in an
old Moultrie Observer that is so charming…well, charming maybe doesn’t
describe this one, but a story that simply must be saved.
This one is headlined, "Mysterious killer –
Fowl play in community."
And the story reads: Mystery shrouded the
deaths of more than 100 in Moultrie back in 1947.
Police went on the search for a "long low
black animal" believed responsible for the mass slaughter. The victims
were all hens.
The Observer reported the mysterious death
of the fowls in this way:
Approximately 100 hens, together valued by
their various owners at over $125, were mysteriously killed in north
Moultrie over the weekend, according to Police Captain, Jim Lee.
"The hens, all revealing a sharp wound on
the neck or back, were not eaten by their assailant," Captain Lee
"J.G. Culpepper, who lives on North Main
Street, said 18 of his hens were found dead around 3 AM Sunday when a
noise in the chick yard aroused members of the family. Culpepper told
Captain Lee that he saw what he thought to be a "big, black dog" leaving
"Mrs. E.D. Barnwell, who has reported 33
hens killed at her residence on First Street, Northwest, said Mr. Barnwell
"waited up to see what was killing them and saw a long, low, black animal
run from the yard." Mrs. Barnwell’s hens were slain during the night
"Among other hens killed were 15 belonging
to "Bunk" Bridges and "a number" raised by Mrs. L.B. Knox. Both the
Bridges and the Knoxes live within a block and a half Mrs. Barnwell.
"Even though none of the fowl was reported
devoured several were minus their heads," Captain Lee said.
"Dog tracks found in several chicken yards
where the hens were killed lead police to believe a canine is responsible
for at least some of the destruction," an officer said.
Owners who have lost chickens in the north
Moultrie section recently advanced the theory that "maybe a weasel is
A later story in The Observer
reported that most of the persons in the north Moultrie area who had lost
chickens to the mysterious marauder were selling out their flocks.
Apparently the chick owners feared that the
strange animal would return.
Police Chief Floyd Addison theorized that
stray dogs or varmints driven from the swamps by high water were
responsible for the wholesale slaughter.
Night-long vigils at several chicken houses
failed, Chief Addison said.
Jasper McLemore, Colquitt County
youth, won a free trip to Washington in 1911 with a record-producing yield
of 152 bushels of corn on one acre of land.
The corn was produced on the family farm
five miles east of Moultrie and was nearly double the yield on the second
place winner’s acre plot.
The contest was staged under sponsorship of
the Boys’ Corn Club, a forerunner of the present day 4-H and FFA
Poultry shows used to be a popular
event in the county, according to post World War I reports.
The Colquitt County Poultry Association
staged a number of exhibits, attracting entries of breeds which are
becoming scarcer through the years.
A 1915 report lists such "featherduster"
types as Langshans, Brahmas and Cochins, Wyandottes, giant Buff Orpingtons,
Among the prominent exhibitors were
Benjamin and Everett Daniel, G.W. Milligan, Dr. Cleveland Millsap, F.R.
Pidcock, J. Frank Norman and Harley Williams.
Does anyone else remember the
"Chicken Auctions" that used to be held near Moultrie? They were fun!
By the way, if you’d like to travel to
Scotland us next summer, visit
and go to The Family Tree page. The trip information is right
at the top of our page! My life-long best friend, Marti Van Horne (who now
lives in Raleigh, North Carolina) is a Scots Travel Specialist. She and I
plan trips each summer. About half of the folks who go with us each year
have been with us before! We do have a good time!