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HOME MADE FUN IN THE EARLY DAYS

Part I: LATE 1800’S AND EARLY 1900’S

Life in a small Georgia town in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s was very satisfying for young and old. This was before radio or television sets – not to mention computer’s! Here are some of those memories as told to and gathered by Sarah Frances Miller during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Rocking chairs were dear to the hearts of Powder Springs residents in those day – both old and young. Most houses had front porches then. Almost every porch held a number of large Brumby rockers. It was unusual for some of them not to be occupied during the waking hours.

“Rocking chairs held a peculiar fascination for me”, recalls Fonnie Bullard. “At age four, I could sit sideways in a big porch rocker. I would play an imaginary piano on the arm of the chair.”

Children rocked vigorously and sang loudly, and often fell asleep in them. Ladies hurried to get through with their morning duties and their mid-day meals in order to sit in rockers on the front veranda in the shade of the huge oaks that used to line Marietta Street and the other streets of Powder Springs. The ladies would sew, read, visit or just rock and watch what was happening up and down the street, sharing gossip along the way. None of the porches were screened in the early days so fly swatters were very much in evidence.

When the gentlemen of the house came home to lunch, called dinner by most, they enjoyed the rocking chairs for a brief rest before going back to work.

After the evening meal the whole family, except those going out for some reason, gathered on the front porch to cool off, to rock and to discuss the events of the day and to catch up on the “local gossip”.

On hot summer nights the air would often be permeated with the odor of woolen rags doused in kerosene smoldering or smoking to keep the pesky mosquitoes away.

The porch swing was another popular resting place. These swings were usually suspended from the ceiling by chains. A few were on frames. Some were built for two people while others might hold four or five people according to the size of the occupants.

The front porches with their rocking chairs and swings were also used by the young people to get to know each other better – being a place for their “date” when “courting”, “sparking” and making plans for their future together as man and wife. It was a place for neighbors to gather to visit one another.

Fonnie Bullard tells this story about Murray Landrum who was stone dear. Murray ran a grist mill and worked in it all day. One Saturday afternoon he was sitting on a bench reading a news paper in front of C. M. McTyre’s Dry Goods and General Merchandise Store. At the time an itinerant street preacher was preaching. The preacher was a little irritated at Murray’s apparent lack of interest. He passed a cup around for an offering. Murray asked, “What do you want?” The preacher asked Murray, “Do you want to go to heaven?” Murray replied, “I am pretty well satisfied right here.”

Children had fun engaging in quiet games such as marbles, jackstones, thimble, blowing soap bubbles through a wooden spool, spinning a top, playing mumble peg, playing with paper dolls cut out of the Sears and Roebuck catalog. More active games included croquet. There were courts in many yards for this game. The Butner’s croquet ground was the space between the home later occupied by Walker and Ida Florence and the Methodist Parsonage. (currently the parking lot between the day care center and the funeral home). Drop the handkerchief, pop the whip, hop scotch, jump the rope, Red Rover, Fox in the War, Follow the Leader and rolling the hoop were old standbys. Many of these games are now forgotten.

Hide-and-Go-Seek was a very popular game because it could be played by just a few or many. There were many places to hide as well around the houses and the town!

County News by Correspondents Marietta Journal Oct 17, 1907

From other Towns and Localities.

WORK OF NEWS-FINDERS

All Points of the County Represented, Rural News and Fresh and Sparkling for Perusal.

POWDER SPRINGS

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Tapp of Henderson, Kentucky, were recent guest of the family of Mr. W. J. Tapp.

Miss Mamie Vaughn who is attending the State Normal School at Athens, spent Saturday and Sunday with homefolk.

Mrs. Eula Williams of Acworth, is visiting her aunt, Mrs. Uriah Matthews.

Miss Lillie Mosley spent last week with relatives in Douglasville.

Mr. John Mosley spent Sunday there and accompanied Miss Lillie home.

Misses Meek of Illinois are the charming guest of their sister, Mrs. MatDorsey.

Mrs. Belle Wright, Mr. Henry Morris and Mr. and Mrs. J. E. McKenney spent last Wednesday in Atlanta. They attended the National Convention of Rural Carriers.

Mrs. T. N. Camp and son, Dillard, have returned from an extended visit to South Carolina and the Exposition.

Powder Springs City Cemetery, 1917

The Powder Springs City Cemetery is located on the west side of Old Austell Road down from the intersection with Atlanta Street and across from the Methodist Cemetery. It was established in 1917 as part of the Methodist Cemetery but later became the City Cemetery. Sometimes it has been confused as being the Baptist Cemetery or part of the Methodist Cemetery.

The earliest markers are 1903 and 1905 for Landers Infants (M.A.J. and F.E. Landers) and 1916 Frances E. Landers (1865-1916) w/o M.A.J. Landers. According to family members, these graves were moved actually moved here M.A.J. Landers died in 1954 by his and Frances’ sons, George Landers and Robert (Bob) Landers. (note: information on file with Seven Springs Historical Society, archived at the Seven Springs Museum at the Bodiford House.)

The first burial was actually in May of 1917 and that of Everett McCord (1914-1917), s/o M/M F.O. McCord (Floyd). The next were in 1918 in February of Alfred Lee Elrod (1906-1918) and in October of Yancy Amos Boynton (1849-1918).

There is a small wooded area with an iron bench, at the front of the cemetery, on Old Austell Road. This area was established in 1978 by the Mimosa Garden Club of Powder Springs. Club Member, Mrs. Faye (Fae) Lindley inspired the Garden Club Members to set this area up as a Mediation Garden for all to enjoy.

In the Powder Springs City Cemetery are buried some of the members of the early families of Powder Springs. There are also those who came later to settle and open businesses, live here and/or live and work in the surrounding counties. Some are Veterans who served in the military during war and piece time. Some are merchants, tradesmen, businessmen, doctors, educators, pastors, mayors, councilmen, baseball players, every day citizens.

These are Lander’s, Lindley’s, Bone’s, Cassell’s, Lovinggood’s, McTyre’s, Hunter’s, Bodiford’s, Moon’s, Leake’s, Tapp’s, Furr’s, Abernathy’s, Hardy’s, Brumbelow’s, Fambrough’s, Sailors, Camps, Rakestraw’s, Miller’sNorrises, Lawler’s and Porter’s.

Mimosa Garden Club (1940-2013) – Charter Members: Martha Monte Brooks Brown (Mrs. James Kirk Brown) (1908-1995); Verna Norris Lawler (1912-1991); India Culpepper Norris (mother of Verna N. Lawler) (1894- 1977); Frances May Norris (Mrs. K.E. Norris) (1919-2007); Estelle Leake Tapp (Mrs. W.R. Tapp, Sr.) (1892-1979); Mrs. W.L. (Gladys) Jennings (1899-1958) and Mrs. M.J. (Mary) Miller (1909-1993, Secretary of the Club.

Powder Springs Women’s Club (1959-2016) – Charter Members: Kathrine Mellichamp (1920-2005) Founder/Organizer and President of the Club. Mary Holbrook Miller (Mrs. M.J. Miller) (1909-1993).

Powder Springs Baseball Players of 1920’s and 1930’s: Walter Lamar Jennings (1899-1964); Tom N. Scott (1906-1978) and Red (Lewis Clement) Lawler (1908-1988).

Powder Springs Baseball Players in 1947 and 1948: James Harold Duke (1927-2001); Marion Walton “Buddy” McTyre (1927-2009) and Thomas Harold Moon (1925-2014) and a WWII Veteran.

Push Rods – est 1950 – Charter Members: Russell Hunter (1937-2009); Guy Sheldon Camp (1931-1980); George Washington Eubanks, Sr. (1905-1961); George Washington Eubanks, Jr. (1933-1955); Jack Lane (A.J. Lane, III) (1938-1969); Jimmy L. Meadows (1936-2008) and Virgil Purvis, Jr. (1933-1960).

Mayors: M.A.J. Landers (1865-1954); Thomas Newton Compton (1909- 1978) served 1957-1962 and 1967-1970. Compton Elementary School is named after Mr. Compton. Richard D. Sailors, Sr., (1938-2015) served 1987-2000 and Fred Brady (1933-1957).

Mayor of Hiram: Joseph Millard Harshbarger (1881-1958) served 1928-1931, 1936-1943 and 1946-1947.

Powder Springs City Councilmen: William Buren Turner, Sr. (1917-2003) and a WWII Veteran. Fred Brady (1933-1957) owned furniture store in downtown Powder Springs and Brady’s Grocery Store (located where the shopping center is next door to BP Station at intersection with Powder Springs Road and Austell Powder Springs Road). These are just a few of the Mayors and Councilmen who may be buried in this cemetery.

Powder Springs Chief of Police: William Hugh Poore (1905-1990) served 1943, 1954, and 1969. He was a member of the Powder Springs Baseball Team in 1947 and 1948 where he also served as coach.

Doctors: Dr. Frank Pickens Lindley, Sr. (1890-1953). Dr. A. J. “Doc” Lane, Jr. (1912-1990) Druggist – Lane Drug Store in downtown Powder Springs.

William Robert Landers (1888-1982) one of first City Mail Carriers in 1964 and a WWI Veteran. Edgar R. “Ted” Leake (1905-1992) Postmaster 1962-1963. Estelle Leake Tapp (1892-1979) Postmistress 1935-1962. Mason Jones (M.J.) Miller (1911-1989) Mail Carrier and Georgia “Ray” Hardy (1927-2005) Postal Clerk. Both served for many years.

Rev. J. M. Spinks (1851-1939) Pastor First Baptist Church of Powder Springs 1895-1904 and 1905-1911 (Total of 15 years). Prior to being Ordained in 1889, Rev. Spinks practiced law in Dallas; represented Paulding County in the State Legislature in 1884 and 1885 and was Editor of the Dallas New Era Newspaper.

Rev. Robert Jehu Smith, Sr. (1894-1961) Pastor First Baptist Church of Powder Springs 1932-1937. Rev. James “Jimmy” McClellan Ford (1934-2013) retired United Methodist Minister.

Rev. Marvin J.W. “Doc” Frady (1934-2016) Pastor Clarkdale First Baptist Church; Chaplin of Cobb County Sheriff’s Office; Chaplin to House of Representatives and State Senate of Georgia; helped build Corner Baptist Church and served as Music Director and a former Chiropractor.

Frank Picken “Pick” Lindley, Jr. (1917-1985) owner and director of Lindley Funeral Home from 1937 when he took over from his Grandfather until he sold the business in 1968 to Gene Davis. Pick was also a WWII Veteran. The funeral home went through several owners, Marion
Turk, Dennis Bellamy and currently Dwayne Green. Warren Watson “Pinky” Jennings (1915-1998) started work for Lindley Funeral Home in 1936 and stayed throughout all owners until he retired from Bellamy Funeral Home in 1997. Serving for 60 years.

M.A.J. Landers (1865-1954) Matthew Andrew Jackson “Jack” or ‘MAJ” Landers was a businessman, merchant, and Mayor of Powder Springs. He ran a hardware store downtown, a construction company, a feed mill, and an automobile dealership (perhaps the first in Powder Springs). As Mayor he initiated the first city owned water works in 1934 with $12,000 that he backed with his own money. He aided with essential supplies from his store to the City of Gainesville during their recovery after the tornado of 1936 devastated that city.

Virgil A. Lovinggood, Sr. ((1888-1985) was a businessman in downtown who operated Lovinggoods Store for nearly 50 years. He sold all manner of goods and merchandise, never turning away those in need. His family operated a sorghum mill. He was a prosperous farmer prior to purchasing the store and continued to farm. He raised his own produce and livestock. You would find these products – syrup, produce, meat, dairy items and even a new product called “Coke” in his general store.

Charles Marshall McTyre (1875-1960) operated a cotton gin (McTyre’s Cotton Gin) and a general store in downtown.

Earl “Bug” Porter, Jr. (1927-2011) continued to operate Porter’s Garage and Powder Springs Service Station after his father Earl Porter Sr. (1896-1978) passed away. Bug also owned and operated the Powder Springs Lawn Mower Shop. Bug and his service station were a well loved fixture in downtown Powder Springs for many years. He was also a WWII Veteran.

Wallace McSel Pearson (1917-2012) was a contractor, builder and painter who was well known in Powder Springs and the surrounding Counties. He was a Director for 23 years with Greystone Powder Corporation and a WWII Veteran.

Elmer Gladney (E.G.) Wylie, Jr (1926-2012) Powder Springs Businessman, founder of Carter Concrete, Wylie’s Insulation (Rainey Brothers), a builder and contractor. Mr. Wylie was one of the original Directors of the Powder Springs/Cobb County Bank established in 1969. (which has, over time, became part of current day Wells Fargo Bank).He is a Veteran of WWII and Korea – U.S. Army and Air Force.

Aaron Grady Grier (1895-1985) was a man who loved people and was always actively involved with his church, the schools, and was always
kind and thoughtful. Mr. Grier was a school bus driver and school crossing guard for many years. He worked at Powder Springs Elementary School, Tapp Middle School and Milford Elementary School.

In August of 1988, the Powder Springs City Council recognized Mr. Grier’s service to and love of the children and people of Powder Springs by naming the new street leading to the new Powder Springs Elementary School “Grady Grier Drive” in his honor.

Estie Mae Norris (1915-2014) was a long time member of the Seven Springs Historical Society and Museum and the Powder Springs Senior
Citizens Center. Estie was known as the “Quilt Lady” for all the quilts she made or helped make during her lifetime. She made and donated 20 handmade quilts to the used as fund raisers for the Seven Springs Historical Society and Museum. These were usually raffled off in December of each year. She was a hard worker, respected and loved by many people.

Margaret Virginia Tapp (1911-1992) was a history teacher in Cobb County for many years. She was the Historian of the First Baptist Church of Powder Springs and author of two volumes of their history. “The History of the First Baptist Church of Powder Springs, GA.”. Miss Tapp was also one of the Historians of Powder Springs.

Charles Haskell Harper (1909-1969) a photo compositor for Atlanta Newspaper, Inc.

Henry Wilbur Dewberry (1902-1975) a Mortician and Director for several large Funeral Homes in the Atlanta area, including Austin Dill Funeral Home.

William Roy “Bill” Tapp, Jr. (1922-2011) served as an engineering draftsman in 1943 for WWII Bombers. Then, in 1945, as part of an Anti Sub Fleet. By trade Mr. Tapp was an architect for many of the buildings, homes, schools, public/government facilities around and in Atlanta, Fulton County, Cobb County, Douglas County and City of Marietta. Mr. Tapp designed the initial Campus and buildings of the Southern Polytechnic State University, now Kennesaw State University. Mr. Tapp also designed the First Baptist Church of Powder Springs church building in 1964.

Robert Graham Bodiford (1921-2012) moved his family to Powder Springs when he purchased the Queen Anne Style Home on Marietta Street in 1954. He worked at Lockheed as an Aeronautical Engineer. Mr. Bodiford was always active in the community serving as a City Councilman for many years. He was active in his church and the Powder Springs School systems. He was also a long time and active member of the Seven SpringsHistorical Society and the Seven Springs Museum.

George Landers (1886-1987) was a farmer and the son of M.A.J.Landers (1865-1954) and Frances E. Landers (1865-1916). He lived on the corner of Atlanta Street and Marchman Street. In 1985, the City purchased Mr. Landers home and moved it to the Park on Brownsville Road and rebuilt it as a cabin for the Seven Springs Museum. The Museum remained there for thirty years.

In 2014, the City of Powder Springs purchased the home from the Bodiford Estate and renovated it to house the Seven Springs Museum. In October of 2015, the home opened as the Seven Springs Museum at the Bodiford House. The artifacts that were housed at the old Museum that was located in the Park on Brownsville Road, were now in a new home preserving the history of Powder Springs for everyone to enjoy.

There are also numerous Veterans from various wars buried here. These are only a few of those Veterans. A “Thank You” always to all our Veterans no matter when or how they served their country. World War I – Charlie R. Strickland (1892-1953); Hubbard Rakestraw (1894-1970); Milton A Hill (1891-1955); John Hansel Baggett, Jr. (1897-1977); George M. Furr (1891-1980); Grady Mark Moon (1890-1971); James Franklin (1891-1951) Regt FA Repl Draft and Tally L. Umphrey (1893-1965). Brothers George P. Stansell (1889-1973) and Victor H. Stansell (1892-1972).

World War II – Paul Clay Honea (1924-1961); Charles Robert Leake (1924-1982); George Robert Landers (1920-1989); Charles Comer “Charlie” Turner (1912-1979); Robert Lee Wehunt (1928-1978); Richard Porter (1922-2001); Everett Milton Furr (1924-2011); Jake H. Cole (1919-1999); James Paul Cornwell (1915-1966) and John Edward Davis (1920-1980).

World War I and II – Dewey Edgar “Duke” Howard (1899-1965)

Korea – Donald Joseph Howard, Sr. (1932-2004); Robert H. Scott (1930-1984); Guy Shelton Camp (1931-1980) and John L. Beavers (1930-1992).

Vietnam – Robert Lloyd Doss, Jr. (1946-2008); Robert Steven Akin (1948-2006); John L. Beavers (1930-1982); Donald Aaron Pigg (1946-1977) and William D. Fisher (1949-1971) SP4 9 Army Band.

Korea and Vietnam – Wilton V. Woods (1930-1981) and Jack Edwin Gray (1933-1976).

There is also a marker for military service in memory of Hugh D. Hudson (1914-1943), Veteran of WWII, who died on the Island of Corsica in the line of duty. He was the son of Fred and Bertha Hudson.

There are memorial markers throughout the cemetery honoring the lives and families of those buried here in their final resting place. There are also markers honoring the memory of those who, for some reason, could not actually be buried here.

All those buried here have, through their lives, in some way, helped make their communities a better place to live for everyone.

The Powder Springs City Cemetery has approximately 1700 graves. There is still room for other family members and possibly other future burials today in 2019.

The Powder Springs City Cemetery is maintained by the Powder Springs Cemetery Association which was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1989. Frank Moon, Jr. was the original worker to get this group working to provide perpetual care for this cemetery and the Methodist Cemetery.

Powder Springs Memorial Gardens

Powder Springs Memorial Gardens was established in 1970 and is located on Atlanta Street near the intersection with Old Austell Road. The Gardens also back up to the Powder Springs City Cemetery located on Old Austell Road.

The first burials were the next year in March of 1971. March: William Doyle “Billy” Mitchell. April: Floyd Phillip Cooper, Jr., USAF; Homer Lee Echols and Ethel Inez Meadows. May: Dorothy Brand Hulsey. September: Bluford K. Byess and Paul Daniel Currier.

In the Memorial Gardens are buried those who were businessmen and tradesmen in Powder Springs, Cobb County and the surrounding areas. Some were veterans who served in war and peace times. Some were doctors, educators, pastors, mayors, councilmen, baseball players and farmers. There are families of the names Abernathy, Baggett, Brown, Cooper, Croker, Haynie, Hunter, Kellett, Long, Meadows, and Porter.

Powder Springs Baseball Players of 1920s and 30s: John B. McTyre (1901-1972) and Paul Edwin Hilley (1912-2000).

Powder Springs Baseball Players of 1947-48: Ty C. Porter (1925-1986) and Carol Edward Moon (1929-2011). Mr. Moon was also involved with the Powder Springs Baseball Association working for many years.

Push Rods – est 1950 – Charter Members: Wendell Gunnell (1932-2000); Sammy (Samuel) Hardy (1938-1996) and Arthur Clay (A.C.) Hunter (1911-1999).

Mayors: Gene Jackson (1926-2005) served 1965-66 and twice as a City Councilman, 1958-59 and 1962-64. Mr. Jackson was also Road Superintendent for Cobb County and a charter member of Doss Memorial Baptist Church. Roy C. Kellet (1925-2005) served 1971-1974 and was a WWII Veteran. Franklin Boyd “Doc” Chastain (1934-1992) served in military in 1951.

Powder Springs City Councilmen: Robert Ervin (R.E.) Long Jr. (1932-2009). Mr. Long was also on the board of directors for Austell Gas System for 43 years. He was President of the C&S Bank of Austell. After 45 years of service in the banking industry, he retired from Bank of America. Joseph Paul Bourassa, Sr. (1927-2010). Mr. Bourassa was also a Past Commander for the American Legion Post #294.

Theses are just a few of the Mayors and City Councilmen who may be buried in this cemetery.

Rudolph Byars Kellett (1927-2006) Postmaster 1963-1975. Charles Robert (Bob) Burkett (1922-2014) was a Rural Mail Carrier. Sewell L. Kellett (1930-1998) was one of the first City Mail Carriers in 1964.

Louise P. Clonts (1905-1993) long time teacher at Powder Springs High School and Powder Springs Elementary School. Bonnie Mercedes Keplinger Ray (1937-2018) taught at Compton Elementary, Tapp and Smitha Middle Schools. Mrs. Alta Harris Hardy (1924-2011) served for many years as a cook at Powder Springs Elementary School System for 33 years.

Vessie Frances Thomas Geen (1916-2002) was one of the five graduated from the first graduating class of Powder Springs High School in 1934.

John “Butch” Davis, Jr. (1961-2011) former owner of Powder Springs Amoco Station (now BP Station) and owner of West Cobb Towing.

John Hiram McTyre (1913-2005) Railroad Switchman.

Powder Springs Youth (Baseball) Association: Charles Robert “Bob” Burkett (1922-2014) Baseball coach for many years. He also coached football at McEachern and was involved with the Boy Scouts. Carl Moon (1929-2011) coached baseball for many years. Joseph Paul Bourassa (1927-2010) was a president and coach of the organization. Stephen Lynn Tessereau (1954-2017) coached Powder Springs Storm Baseball Team and was known as “Coach Steve”. e was also affiliated with McEachern High School’s Seventh Grade Baseball Team.

James Edward Wilson (1941-2007) established Wilson Air Conditioning Service in 1969. He served in Vietnam and was the recipient of the Purple Heart for his service.

Marcus D. Abernathy (1918-1990) worked for Lindley Funeral Home and Bellamy Funeral Home for 60 years. He also served in WWII.

Howard H. Croker (1924-1988) owner Croker Wrecker Company and a used car lot in Powder Springs for many years. He also served in WWII.

James Wesley Chambley (1932-2015) owner of Javelin Printing Company in Atlanta.

Rev. Robert D. Bitterman (1932-2003) was a pastor in Ohio for over 50 years before moving to Powder Springs in 1997. Here he continued working in the missionary evangelist field and pastoral training. Rev. Bitterman was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Austell.

Stuart B. Powell (1922-2001) a retired City of Atlanta police officer after 30 years of service. He was also a WWII veteran.

Larry Barkwell (1940-1973) worked for the Atlanta Police Department. Killed in the line of duty. Jerry Barkwell (1940-1983) Sheriff’s Department, Brevard County, Florida. Twin brothers, both in law enforcement.

Chief David Wilson Hilton (1937-2016) worked for the Atlanta Fire Department 1955-64 and simultaneously as Fire Chief of the Powder Springs Fire Department until 1971 when it was consolidated into the Cobb County Fire Department. Throughout his career he developed and helped develop various safety procedures for the fire departments. He developed the Emergency 911 System, Georgia’s first Fire Education Department, Fire Arson Investigation, implemented Emergency Medical Service for Cobb County, Residential Fire Code with sprinkler system for buildings across the nation and internationally–just to name a few. Chief Hilton received many awards (local and national) through his career for his achievements and accomplishments. Also, through the years he worked with various youth organizations and his church. He was a charter member of Macland Baptist Church. Chief Hilton retired in 1994.

There are also numerous veterans from various wars buried here. There are only a few of those veterans. A “Thank You” always to all our veterans no matter when or how they served their country.

World War I – Plumer Talmadge Boyd (1895-1957) GA PVT Co G1 Inf Repl Regt (Infantry Replacement Regiment) and John H. Settlemire (1895-1986). Mr. Settlemire also served in WWII.

World War II – George Washington Awtrey, Jr. (1922-2013) served in the Navy and was decorated three times for his service: Joseph Preston Carter (1914-1994); Irene Kellett (1923-1987); George M. Haynie (1920-1991); Harkless M. “Hark” Kinsey (1919-2013); J. Walden (J.W.) Taylor (1923-2013) received Air Medal for Flying 50 missions over South Pacific; Furman T. Finch (1927-1999); Samuel Paul Thomason (1923-2008) and Jessie Leroy Long, Jr. (1923-2002) in Coast Guard.

Korea – Carolyn Anne Lester Piper (1932-2015) Army as Cryptographer 1950-52; James Harle Elbon, Jr. (1929-1997); Billy Crabbe (1932-2014) and served after the war as a pastor for over 40 years. Verlon Edward Maxwell (1922-1999).

Korea and Vietnam – Dennis E. Couch (1933-2018): James H. McFarland (1930-2004) and John H. Vann, Jr. (1933-1987).

Vietnam – Jackie Wright Allen (1939-2005); Bobby G. Bookout (1946-2017): Dr. SIlas W. (Wayne) Brown (1949-1985): Harold George Cantrell (1932-2006); Russell C. Mountcastle II (1935-2001) and Roland Kirk Rakestraw (1938-1999).

There is a marker for military service in memory of PO Joel Candler Stephens (1943-1968) who was lost at sea approximately 400 miles SW of the Azores eastern edge of Sargasso Sea in 1968.

There are memorial markers throughout the cemetery honoring the lives and families of those buried here in their final resting place. There are also markers honoring the memory of those who, for some reason, could not actually be buried here.

There is an American flag along the entrance to the cemetery. The marker has emblems of the U. S. Military Forces. Below these emblems it reads: ” Flags Flying in Memory of…”

All who are buried here have, in some way, all through their lives, helped make their communities a better place to live for all generations.

The Powder Springs Memorial Garden currently has over 1250 graves. However, there is still more room for future burials today in 2019.

The Memory Gardens is a perpetual care cemetery and is associated with the Sunrise Memorial Gardens in Douglasville.

Powder Springs Remembers Grady Grier for Service to Schools

The Powder Springs Elementary School will celebrate its 30th anniversary in October at this location on Grady Grier Drive.

Douglas Brice, Neighbor Staff Writer, August 11, 1988

For 15 years Grady Grier braved the elements as a school crossing guard, helping the children of Powder Springs and Milford arrive safely at school and home again.

In recognition of his service to the people of Powder Springs, the Powder Springs City Council announced last week that the new street leading to the new Powder Springs Elementary School from Old Austell Road will be named Grady Grier Drive in his honor.

“I think that’s the most appropriate to name the street after him,” said Murray Barber, assistant superintendent for elementary operations for the Cobb County Public Schools.

Barber was principal of Tapp Middle School from 1975-1981, while Grier served as crossing guard. He knew Grier for almost 30 years as a fellow member of the First Baptist Church of Powder Springs before Grier’s death in 1985.

“He was a real friend to the students,” said Barber. “The kids loved him.”

Grier was often on hand at student orientations, even though not required, directing traffic and making himself available to meet parents.

Aaron Grady Grier, known by his friends simply as Grady, died March 22, 1985, at the age of 89. He was married 58 years to Maggie Hays Grier, who died in 1975, and had two sons, Billy and Herbert.

Originally from Cherokee County, Grier worked 35 years at the old Whittier Mills in Atlanta. They moved to Powder Springs in 1956.

Grier drove a school bus for three years in Powder Springs and served as a school crossing guard from April 1969 to 1976 at Milford Elementary School then at Tapp Middle School from 1976 until shortly before his death.

Grier was known as a man who loved people and was always actively involved with his church, the school and with the job of living in general, said Barber. He had a strong faith in God and was always kind and thoughtful.

“He was a person who encouraged others,” said Barber. “One of his favorite pastimes was to call people on the telephone on his or her birthday and, after a brief hello, he played happy birthday to them on the harmonica.”

“Grady Grier’s faith was an inspiration to many,” said Barber.

“He just enjoyed life,” said daughter-in-law Ruth Grier.

Grier joined the First Baptist Church of Powder Springs in the late 1950’s, taught Sunday school, sang in the choir, was a deacon and was involved with the senior citizens’ group.

The Rev. Michael Woods of First Baptist, who came to Powder Springs in 1981, remembers him as a man who seemed much younger than his age, he said. In fact, he practiced in the choir the Friday before he died.

“I never knew Grady to say anything ill about anybody,” said Woods. “He was a man of integrity.

Although Grier seldom discussed his faith in God, “He’s one who just liked (his faith) to the fullest,” said Woods. “I never did see him depressed.

Woods considers it appropriate they named a street next to a school after him, he said.

Grier worked at Tapp until March 1984, when he left for medical reasons, but returned that fall. He stayed until November 1984. He died the following March.

At the time of his death in 1985, he also had two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Nellie Ruth, four grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. He had one surviving sister, Lena Hill of Acworth.

 

 

Fabulous Female Flocks

A search began in late 2017 for more information on a curious resident of the Methodist cemetery in Powder Springs, GA. On a mid-sized tombstone topped with a carving of a parachuter reads:

Reo Flock Russell
June 19, 1909
Nov 2, 1936
Daredevil Sister of the Fabulous Flock Family

This grave, on the far right side of the cemetery, sits alone as if the family anticipated burying more members alongside Reo. More interesting still is the fact that, judging by the last name of Russell, Reo was apparently married, but still buried alone in a cemetery almost a hundred miles from her hometown of Fort Payne, Alabama. Why? Hearsay from the community agrees that Reo, who was a barnstormer—trick airplane performer—loved the landscape of Powder Springs from the air, and wanted to be buried in the small Western Georgia town. One may think she died performing, as she was only 27 at the time of her death, however, reports are that she suffered from tuberculosis. Apart from a single page on the Encyclopedia of Alabama website*, there isn’t much information on Reo Flock herself, but plenty on her famous brothers, who were early NASCAR racers. In fact, the name “Reo” derived from the REO Motor Car Company. There is a full biography of her family on the EoA website** as well, along with the only known photo of Reo, in which she is hanging from a (grounded) airplane.

Also worthy of mention is Reo’s sister, Ethel Flock, who was included in the book NASCAR: The Complete History by Greg Fielden. On page 19 it states: “A few female drivers, including Sara Christian, Louise Smith, and Ethel Flock, competed alongside with the fellows.” Later, on page 42, there is a captioned photo of Ethel with one of her brothers, and it reads, “Fonty Flock poses with his sister, race car driver Ethel Flock Mobley, before the Oct. 23 Atlanta race. Mobley drove in two Strictly Stock events in ’49, including the Daytona Beach race that has three female drivers in the lineup. Ethel was the wife of Mobley, who fielded modified cars for Tim Flock.” The Encyclopedia of Alabama page related that Ethel moved from women-only races to regular competitions, and even beat two of her brothers in a single race! Her career was short-lived, however, as—according to the EoA—she retired to focus on her family life.

Women in the early to mid-20th century were often regulated to a barely a mention in history, as my sleuthing has proved. In my quest to find more information on the intriguing Reo, I attempted to contact living family members who could vouch for the supposed information, and perhaps offer a more personal account of her life for the records at the Powder Springs Historical Society. Unfortunately, I did not get a response as yet, but have found that a great-niece, Carrie Flock, is a retired boxer. Apparently the Flocks are still producing fierce females!

*http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/m-2138
**http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1049

Powder Springs Methodist Cemetery
3975-4043 Old Austell Road
Powder Springs, GA 30127

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