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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Beth's Weekly Moultrie Observer Column - Week 2
(This appears here courtesy of The Moultrie Observer)

In the old Moultrie Observer - actually a paper from Friday, October 12, 1956 - there's an article about Mrs. John R. (Martha Jane) Veal. Mrs. Veal was "one of Moultrie's oldest citizens" who moved to town in 1892 when she was only 20 years old.

Mrs. Veal said that in 1892 there was one small store here.

Mr. John Veal was one of the first mail carrier's in Colquitt County. He delivered the mail by horse and buggy.

Bob Bearden operated that little store. The store was also used as a courthouse.

Mrs. Veal said that Judge Hooker was the first local judge she remembered and Crawford Patterson was the first Justice of the Peace.

Mrs. Veal remembered when Horne Mercantile Company opened and she remembered Henry Murphy and Joe Battle as early employees.

Mrs. Veal, who arrived in Moultrie in July of 1892, remembered W. B. Dukes as the first mayor of Moultrie. She remembered Sam Morris and Addison Carter as early policemen.

According to Mrs. Veal, Dr. W. R. Smith was Moultrie's earliest physician. Dr. Smith arrived in Moultrie after Mrs. Veal moved here.

Mrs. Veal remembered early pioneer families of John Faison and Alton Collier. She said her earliest neighbors were the families of Allen Whitley and Tom Crawford.

The first church was Baptist and was in East Moultrie. Mrs. Ellen McNeil (later Mrs. W. C. Vereen) taught school there in 1895 and 1896. Mrs. Veal remembered the first pastor was a Rev. Bryant who had a son named Tobe.

Mr. Veal died in 1907, leaving Mrs. Veal with five children and a dollar a day insurance benefit. She raised her family herself.

In 1956 four of the children were still living. They were Mrs. Claude M. Stubbs of Waycross, Georgia; Mrs. Davis Slaughter of Moultrie (formerly of Atlanta); Sam C. Veal of Moultrie and Frank E. Veal of Tallahassee.

Early spring in the 1880s and 1890s was a signal for sheep shearing in Colquitt County.

Mr. R. L. Norman of Norman Park remembered the heavily timbered woods being "full of sheep." The sheep owners would have a roundup every spring. The sheep, heavy with a full coat, were herded into sapling pine pens and shorn of their fleece with hand shears.

I have to think about how burrs and stick-tights and sand-spurs get into my dog's coat. Imagine the fleeces of those sheep!

Sheep, in the 1880s and 1890s, were valuable for their wool and also for slaughter for their meet. Since there was no refrigeration, they were shipped to such points as Jacksonville on the hoof. The popularity of sheep began to wane around the turn of the century when naval stores and lumber workers began to arrive. It was then that packs of stray dogs began to decimate the flocks.

In 1899, there were about 30,000 sheep in Colquitt County. With the coming of the dogs, this number was cut down. Many of the sheep were sold to farmers in Tennessee and Kentucky and others were shipped to Jacksonville for slaughter.

It was said that the county was "being settled too rapidly for the sheep business, range is being restricted more each year and dogs are becoming more rampant. Hundreds of sheep are also being killed by forest fires."

Sheep were bringing $1.75 a head in 1909. Up to August of that year, 2,000 sheep had been shipped from Moultrie in the previous year.

Murphy community, just south of Moultrie, was one of the principal shipping points in Colquitt County.
Trying to "get" distant radio stations was a popular indoor sport here in 1926.

One Moultrie furniture store proprietor, using the then famous Atwater Kent set, reported logging 196 stations!

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