See Rock City

See Rock City

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Memories

Snowflakes falling,
Friends come calling,
Decorations in green and red.
Smells enticing,
Bowls of icing,
For cookies and gingerbread.

Candles glowing,
Goodwill flowing,
The Christmas story is read.
Yule log burning,
Wishful yearning
As children dream in bed.

Stockings hung
Carols sung,
Hope and Peace, the common thread.
Families near,
Memories dear,
As Christmas blessings are spread.

~ Nancy Hughes ~


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Schilling Farms

From Farm Land to Major Development, Smith Has Seen Progress of Schilling Farms
By Daisy Fontaine
- The Collierville Herald - 

Schilling Farms has a long and beautiful history, starting in 1929, when owner Neal Schilling worked for Ford. Schilling delivered Ford vehicles to Arkansas and his business was called Dealer’s Transport. The drivers had to ride back home on the bus.

The current president of Schilling Enterprises, Harry Smith, said Schilling was one of the first to realize that flat beds were the best for carrying the vehicles and this idea spread out from Memphis.

The entrepreneur spread out and, in 1958, he became the owner of the first Lincoln-Mercury dealership and his finances increased, an event that caused him to start buying small farm tracts in Collierville in the early ‘50's, which eventually became Schilling Farms.

At this point Schilling decided he would become a Ford tractor distributor, the first of his businesses which began on the farm. He urged tractor dealers to come and see demonstrations. This was quite lucrative until around 1962 when Ford bought the company out.

By that time there were visitors walking around the farm -- Hereford cattle. The cattle farm was taken care of by a Mississippi State University graduate who was an excellent farm man. Another excellent director had also arrived. Smith had come on the scene, keeping books, directing the Dealers Transport, and generally seeing that things were going right. There were two training centers, one in Georgia and another in Texas, that were showing the tractors and other equipment.

Mr. Schilling had died sometime in 1970.

Smith came to Memphis to stay around 1982. He had been president and CEO of Schilling Farms for some time. “Five or six years ago Ford tractor was merged with New Holland. Four years ago Fiat bought them out. We closed the center here. We did it just at the right time,” he said.

The right time for Smith was the time to stop and pray. A goodly amount of Schilling Farms had been sold in tracts. Smith said, “Eleven or 12 years ago I knew a long term plan was needed. We needed to sell it, hire some people to help develop it or someone to joint venture with us - like Boyle Investment. I’m thankful that I found them.

“I’ve always considered this was God’s ground. I wanted the land to be used in a way that God wanted, a real testimony where people can live, work, play, go to school and church."

Smith said he really wanted to have some authority. “A relationship with Boyle popped up. It was good. We seemed to have the same thoughts. Things began to go right,” he said.

Today Schilling Farms has completed 30 single family homes, 600 apartment units, 10 office buildings, including Helena Chemical Co.’s office building, still in construction and the largest of the office buildings, two restaurants and two churches. Life Church has bought 44 acres for future expansion. Methodist Hospitals are preparing to build doctors’ offices and a hotel will be built on Schilling Farms this year, Smith said.

“Bayard Boyle mentioned to me once that the white fence should remain at Schilling Farms and the mystique that goes with it. I can’t over emphasize the relationship with Boyle Investment. We have enjoyed this wonderful relationship that is making Schilling Farms so much as we would have it.” Smith said.

Smith, a quiet gentlemen who tries to study out the Godly way to do things, was born in Florence, Ala., where he lived for 37 years. During those years he was graduated from the University of North Alabama and became a CPA. He worked 16 years in public accounting before coming to Memphis. His family includes, his wife, Beth, and a daughter, Leslie, and her husband Rex Jones, who is involved with Schilling Enterprises. The Smiths have three grandchildren.

Neal F Schilling

Born on 31 Aug 1897 to Friedrick W Schilling and Amanda Wolf. Neal F married Nettie Walton. He passed away on 14 Jun 1970 in Memphis, Tennessee, USA.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Murphy's Laws And Others

Law of Mechanical Repair 

After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.

Law of Gravity

Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible place in the universe.

Law of Probability

The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Law of Random Numbers 

If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal; someone always answers.

Variation Law 

If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

Law of the Bath 

When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

Law of Close Encounters 

The probability of meeting someone you know INCREASES dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

Law of the Result 

When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, IT WILL!!!

Law of Biomechanics

The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Law of the Theater & Hockey Arena

At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

The Coffee Law 

As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

Murphy's Law of Lockers

If there are only 2 people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

Law of Physical Surfaces

The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor,
are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy 

As soon as you find a product that you really like,
they will stop making it, OR the store will stop selling it!!

Doctors' Law 

If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better..  But don't make an appointment, and you'll stay sick.

Why English Is Hard to Learn

We will begin with box; the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox is oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, and two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose is never called meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a house full of mice;
But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
The plural of man is always men,
But the plural of pan is never pen.

If I speak of a foot, and you show me two feet,
And I give you a book, would a pair be a beek?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't two booths be called a beeth?

If the singular's this and the plural is these,
Should the plural of kiss be ever called keese?

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his, and him;
But imagine the feminine...she, shis, and shim.
Got it?

Old Age Symptoms

When you like to be in a crowd because they keep you from falling down.

When the parts with arthritis are the parts that feel the best.

When your favorite section of the newspaper is "25 Years Ago today."

When a big evening with your friends is sitting around comparing living wills.

When your knees buckle but your belt won't.

When your clothes go into your overnight bag so you can fill your suitcase with pills.

When somebody you consider an old-timer calls you and old-timer.

When your idea of a change of scenery is looking to the right or left.

When your back goes out more than you do.

When you want to be nostalgic and you can't remember anything.

When you don't care where your spouse goes, as long as you don't have to go along.

When it takes longer to rest than get tired.

When getting "a little action" means you don't have to take a laxative.

There are three signs of old age.

The first is your loss of memory, the other two I forget.


Redneck Thanksgiving

You Might Be A Redneck If:

You've ever had Thanksgiving dinner on a Ping-Pong table.
Thanksgiving dinner is squirrel and dumplings.
You've ever re-used a paper plate.
If you have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say
Cool Whip on the side.
If you've ever used your ironing board as a buffet table.
On Thanksgiving Day you have to decide which pet to eat.
Your turkey platter is an old hub cap.
Your best dishes have Dixie printed on them.
Your stuffings secret ingredient comes from the bait shop.
Your only condiment on the dining room table is ketchup.
Side dishes include beef jerky and Moon Pies.
You have to go outside to get something out of the 'fridge.
The directions to your house include "turn off the paved road".
You consider pork and beans to be a gourmet food.
You have an Elvis Jell-o mold.
Your secret family recipe is illegal.
You serve Vienna Sausage as an appetizer.


A Thanksgiving Dinner

Take a turkey, stuff it fat,
Some of this and some of that.
Get some turnips, peel them well.
Cook a big squash in its shell.

Now potatoes, big and white,
Mash till they are soft and light.
Cranberries, so tart and sweet,
With the turkey we must eat.

Pickles-yes-and then, oh my!
For a dessert a pumpkin pie,
Golden brown and spicy sweet.
What a fine Thanksgiving treat!
~ Maude M. Grant ~

Sunday, November 2, 2014

David Letterman's Top 10 Reasons To Vote Democrat

        #10.  I vote Democrat because I love the fact that I can now marry whatever I want. I've decided to marry my German Shepherd.                                                        
#9.  I vote Democrat because I believe oil companies' profits of 4% on a gallon of gas are obscene, but the government taxing the same gallon at 15% isn't.                                                          
#8.  I vote Democrat because I believe the government will do a better job of spending the money I earn than I would.                                                           
#7.  I vote Democrat because Freedom of Speech is fine as long as nobody is offended by it. 
#6.  I vote Democrat because I'm way too irresponsible to own a gun, and I know that my local police are all I need to protect me from murderers and thieves.  I am also thankful that we have a 911 service that gets police to your home in order to identify your body after a home invasion.              
#5.  I vote Democrat because I'm not concerned about millions of babies being aborted so long as we keep all death row inmates alive and comfy.                                                          
#4.  I vote Democrat because I think illegal aliens have a right to free health care, education, and Social Security benefits, and we should take away Social Security from those who paid into it.                                                           #3. I vote Democrat because I believe that businesses should not be allowed to make profits for themselves.  They need to break even and give the rest away to the government for redistribution as the Democrat Party sees fit.                                                          
#2.  I vote Democrat because I believe liberal judges need to rewrite the Constitution every few days to suit fringe kooks who would never get their agendas past the voters.                                                           
… And, the #1 reason I vote Democrat is because I think it's better to pay $billions$ for oil to people who hate us, but not drill our own because it might upset some endangered beetle, gopher, or fish here in America.  We don't care about the beetles, gophers, or fish in those other countries.  
                                                       "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits"… Albert Einstein 
Source: email

Friday, October 31, 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ten Signs You Are Too Old For Halloween

You get winded from knocking on the door.
You have to have someone chew the candy for you.
You ask for high fiber candy only.
When someone drops a candy bar in your bag,
       you lose your balance and fall over.
People say, "Great Keith Richards mask!"
       and you're not wearing a mask.
When the door opens you yell, "Trick or..."
       and you can't remember the rest.
By the end of the night you have a bag full of
       restraining orders.
You have to carefully choose a costume that won't
       dislodge your hair piece.
You're the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood
       with a walker.
You avoid going to houses where your ex-wives live.

Redneck Halloween

You might be a Redneck if:

The Halloween pumpkin on your front porch
has more teeth than your spouse.

Bubba's wife passed away and Bubba called 911.
The 911 operator told Bubba that she would send
someone out right away.

 "Where do you live?" asked the operator.

Bubba replied, "At the end of Eucalyptus Drive."

The operator asked, "Can you spell that for me?

 "There was a long pause and finally Bubba said,

 "How 'bout if I drag her over to Oak Street and you pick her up there?" 

Deep in the backwoods the hillbilly's wife went
into labor in the middle of the night, and the
doctor was called out to assist in the delivery.
Since there was no electricity, the doctor handed
the father-to-be a lantern and said,
 "Here, you hold this high so I can see what I'm doing."
    Soon, a baby boy was brought into the world.
"Whoa there," said the doctor. "Don't be in a rush to put
the lantern down...I think there's another one coming."
    Sure enough, within minutes he had delivered a baby girl.
    "No, no, don't be in a great hurry to be
putting down that lantern...
It seems there's yet another one in there!"
cried the doctor.
    The hillbilly scratched his head in bewilderment,
and asked the doctor,
"Do you think it's the light that's attractin' 'em?"


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Your Redneck Postcard

Dear Billy Joe,

I'm writin this real slow cause I know you can't read very fast.

We don't live where we did when you left, we read that most accidents
happen within 10 miles of home, so we moved.

I won't be able to send you our new address cause the last family that
lived here took the house numbers with them so they wouldn't have
to change their address.

This here new place has a washing machine. The first time mama used
it she put in four shirts and pulled the chain and we ain't seen them since.

It only rained here twice this week. Three days the first time and
five days the second time. 

I know it is cold where you are so we're sending you a coat. Mama said it would be too heavy to send in the mail with them buttons on it, so we cut 'em off and put 'em in the pockets.

My sister had a baby this morning. I ain't heard whether it's a boy or girl
so I don't know if I'm an uncle or an aunt.

We got a letter from the funeral home. They said if we don't make the last payment on the funeral bill, up she comes!

Uncle John fell in the big whiskey vat. When they tried to pull him out, he fought them off, so he drowned. We cremated him and he burned for three days.

Three of my friends went off the bridge in a pick up truck. One was driving, the other two was in the back. The driver got out cause he rolled down the window and swam to safety. The other two drowned, they couldn't get the tailgate down.

Well, I hope this catches you up on things that are going on around here.

Your cuz,


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Strawberry Icebox Cake

No Bake Strawberry Ice Box Cake
We love anything NO BAKE and this Strawberry Icebox Cake is simply scrumptious! It will be a guaranteed hit in your home so whip one up today!


Serves: 8 to 12
2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed and patted dry
3 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon rosewater, optional
4 sleeves (about 19 ounces, or 24 to 28 whole crackers) graham crackers
2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped


Take out a few of the best-looking strawberries and set them aside for the garnish. Hull the remainder of the strawberries and cut each berry into thin slices.
With a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whip 3 1/2 cups of cream until it just holds stiff peaks. Add the confectioners sugar, vanilla, and rosewater (if using) and whip to combine.
Spread a small spoonful of whipped cream on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, or a similarly-sized platter. Lay down six graham crackers. Lightly cover the top of the graham crackers with more whipped cream, and then a single layer of strawberries. Repeat three times, until you have four layers of graham crackers. Spread the last of the whipped cream over the top and swirl it lightly with a spoon. Add a few more strawberries.
To make the ganache, heat the remaining 1/4 cup cream until bubbles form around the edges, then pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it stand for a few minutes, then whisk until the mixture is thick and glossy. Drizzle this over the layered dessert with a spoon, or transfer to a squeeze bottle and use that to drizzle.
Refrigerate for at least four hours, or until the crackers have softened completely. Garnish with additional berries.

Recipe Notes

  • Building the cake on a platter instead of in a pan: You can build this cake in a 9x13-inch pan as I mention above, or you can build it up on a platter as shown here. Either way works nicely. The 9x13 pan makes it easier to transport the cake, but if you're staying at home, the platter makes it look a little fancier. You don't need to do anything differently when building it on a platter. I do, though, like to smear a bit of cream on the bottom of each cracker as I add it to the stack to keep it steady and in place. 
If you like this check out my blog: "Great," Deep South Recipes


What To Eat When You’re Broke

The lower your income is, the more difficult it is to be particular about what you feed your family.

This probably isn't an earth-shattering revelation to anyone, but if you feel like experimenting, try to buy a week’s worth of healthy food for a family on a budget of, say, $50-75.  Food manufacturers that target lower income shoppers with more affordable products tend to include more GMOs and toxic ingredients in their offerings.

It just isn’t possible to stick to my usual food restrictions.  Generally speaking I avoid:
  • Non-organic dairy because of the hormones and antibiotics as well as the GMO feed given to the animals
  • Non-organic meat because of the hormones and antibiotics as well as the GMO feed given to the animals
  • Anything containing corn, soy, or canola in any form because it is almost certain to be GMO
  • Anything with chemical additives like artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Anything that is likely to have been doused in pesticides
  • Anything containing neurotoxins like MSG, fluoride, or aspartame (along with other artificial sweeteners)
It is a matter, then, of weighing the pros and cons, and figuring out what things, for you, are the most important, while also deciding which standards can be sacrificed.  These decisions will be different for everyone, based on their personal health concerns, their genetic propensity for certain diseases, and the members of the family for whom they are buying the food.

Sometimes, when you’re looking at someone else’s situation while you are comfortably backed by a loaded pantry, it’s easy to be judgemental and tell them what they “should” do. The thing that we  must all remember is that when times are tough, a person may be down to these two options with a two week grocery budget:

1.) Buy strictly healthy organic foods and feed your family for perhaps 8 out of the 14 days.
2.) Carefully select which standards you will relax to keep the tummies of your family full throughout the wait for the next paycheck.

Very few people are going to choose option one.

Usually, I have an enormous stockpile of non-GMO dried foods and a flourishing garden to serve as a back-up for whatever non-toxic items are being offered at a reasonable price that week.  Because I’ve recently moved and am rebuilding my pantry from the ground up, I have no such stockpile right now. I am at the mercy of the food manufacturers.

When your budget is extremely limited, the normal healthy eating suggestions of shopping only the perimeter of the store or visiting the farmer’s market will not suffice to feed a family.  As much as you may want to dine only on locally grown, fresh organic produce, a $50 farmer’s market spree will only get you through a few days if you are totally reliant on only this food.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Life Is Too Short

...To wake up in the morning with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, and forgive the ones who don't.

And believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it.
If it changes your life, let it.

Nobody said it would be easy, They just promised... It would be worth it!
Happiness can't be bought, it would be too expensive... You have to make your own.

Happy are they that take life day by day, complain very little, and are happy for the little things in life! At the end of the day, it's not about being pretty and popular, it's about being healthy and happy!

Laugh when you can Apologize when you should... And let go of what you cannot change.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Things About Kids

There is only one pretty child in the world and every mother has it.

Chinese Proverb:  Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like clearing
your driveway in the middle of a snowstorm.

Mothers of teens are the only ones that KNOW why animals eat their young.

I asked Mom if I was a gifted child... she said they certainly wouldn't have paid for me.
Children are natural mimics, who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.
Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.

A child's greatest period of growth is the month after you've purchased new school clothes.
The main purpose of holding children's parties is to remind yourself that there are children
out there more awful than your own.

We childproofed our home 3 years ago and they're still getting in!

Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your children.

When mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time,
but you can never fool a Mom.

I love to give homemade gifts... which one of my kids do you want?

Anyone who says 'Easy as taking candy from a baby' has never tried it.

Children: You spend the first 2 years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next 16 telling them to sit down and shut-up!

Chattanooga Shoeshine Boy

Have you ever passed the corner of 4th and Grand
Where a little ball of rhythm's has a shoeshine stand
The people gather round and they clap their hands
he's a great big bundle of joy.
He pops a boogie woogie rag
the Chattanooga shoeshine boy.

He charges you a nickel just to shine one shoe
He makes the oldest kind of leather look like new
You feel as though you wanna dance when
he gets through.
He's a great big bundle of joy.
He pops a boogie woogie rag
the Chattanooga shoeshine boy.

It's a wonder that the rag don't tear
the way he makes it pop!
You ought to see him fan the air
with his hoppity hippity hoppity hippity hop!

He opens up for business when the clock strikes nine
He likes to get 'em early when they're feeling fine
Everybody gets a little rise and shine
with a great big bundle of joy
He pops a boogie woogie rag
the Chattanooga shoeshine boy!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Carrot Clarinet

Click Here to watch the video.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Believe It Or Not

Recently, when I went to McDonald's I saw on the menu that you could  have an order of 6, 9 or 20 Chicken McNuggets.

I asked for a half dozen  nuggets. "We don't have half dozen nuggets", said the teenager at the counter. "You don't?" I replied. "We only have six, nine, or twenty," was the reply. "So I can't order a half-dozen nuggets, but I can order six?" "That's right." So I shook my head and ordered six McNuggets.

I was checking out at the local Foodland with just a few items and the lady behind me put her things on the belt close to mine. I picked up one of those dividers that they keep by the cash register and placed it
between our things so they wouldn't get mixed. After the cashier had scanned all of my items, she picked up the divider, looking it all over for the bar code so she could scan it. Not finding the bar code she said to me "Do you know how much this is?" and I said to her "I've changed my mind, I don't think I'll buy that today". She said "OK" and I paid her for the things and left. She had no clue to what had just happened....

A lady at work was seen putting a credit card into her floppy drive and  pulling it out very quickly. When inquired as to what she was doing, she said she was shopping on the Internet and they kept asking for a credit card number, so she was using the ATM "thingy".

I recently saw a distraught young lady weeping beside her car. "Do you  need some help?" I asked. She replied, "I knew I should have replaced  the battery to this remote door unlocker. Now I can't get into my car. Do you think they (pointing to a distant convenience store) would have a  battery to fit this?" "Hmmm, I don't know. Do you have an alarm too?" I asked. "No, just this remote thingy," she answered,  handing it and the car keys to me. As I took the key and manually unlocked the door, I  replied, "Why don't you drive over there and check about the batteries?  It's a long walk."

Several years ago, we had an Intern who was none too swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said, "I'm almost out of typing  paper. What do I do?" "Just use copier paper,"  the secretary told her. With that, the intern took her last remaining blank piece of paper, put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five "blank" copies.

I was in a car dealership a while ago, when a large motor home was towed into the garage. The front of the vehicle  was in dire need of repair and the whole thing generally looked like an extra in "Twister". I asked the  manager what had happened. He told me that the driver had set the cruise control and then went in the back to make a sandwich.

My neighbor works in the operations department in the central office of a large bank. Employees in the field call him when they have problems with their computers. One night he got a call from a woman in one of the branch banks who had this question: "I've got smoke coming from the back of my terminal. Do you guys have a fire downtown?"

Police in Radnor, Pennsylvania, interrogated a suspect by placing a metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a photocopy machine.
The message "He's lying" was placed in the copier, and police pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn't telling the truth. Believing the "lie detector" was working, the suspect confessed.

The Gentleman

 A man was riding on a crowded bus, standing room only.
 The bus stopped and an elderly lady got on carrying
a large picnic basket. She stood right in front of the
man and grabbed the overhead rail so the picnic basket
  was above the man's head.

Being a gentleman, he offered his seat to her.
She quickly declined as she was only going a short distance.

Soon the picnic basket began to leak.
The man felt something drop on top of his head.
As he looked up it hit beside his nose and ran down
  across his lips. He tasted it, looked up at
the lady and asked, "Pickles?"

She replied, "No, no, puppies....."

Friday, August 1, 2014

Roanoke, Alabama

Downtown Roanoke, Alabama
Downtown Roanoke, Alabama

Roanoke is a city in Randolph County, Alabama, United States.

Roanoke is served by a weekly newspaper, The Randolph Leader.  As of the 2000 census, the population of the city is 6,563.


The city is served by Mayor Mike Fisher since 2009.

Roanoke has three schools served by Roanoke City Schools: Knight Enloe Elementary (K-3), Handley Middle School (4-8), and Handley High School (9-12). On December 1, 2011, The Handley Tigers won the AHSAA Class 3A State Championship.

Notable People:

  • Admiral Edward A. Burkhalter - Chief of Naval Intelligence; Director of Intelligence Community, CIA
  • Wilkie Clark, African-American entrepreneur and civil rights activist
  • Jake Daniel, former Major League Baseball player
  • Horace Gillom, former Cleveland Browns player, who contributed to the evolution of punting by standing further back from the center than was normal at the time
  • William Anderson Handley, former U.S. Representative
  • Fred Hyatt, former Auburn University and professional football wide receiver
  • Odell McLeod, American country-gospel singer, radio entertainer, and songwriter
  • Stan O'Neal, former chairman and chief executive officer of Merrill Lynch
  • Clare Purcell, former Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and the Methodist Church
  • Ella Gaunt Smith, American doll manufacturer

Doll House Lady Entrepreneur:

Ella Gaunt Smith, lady entrepreneur who began to manufacture dolls from her home (called the "doll house") that were widely owned across the USA. The dolls used innovative designs and were indestructible; and included both black and white dolls.

Ella Gaunt Smith (born April 12, 1868 – April 2, 1932 in Roanoke, Alabama) was an innovative American doll manufacturer.

After graduating from LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia, and marrying Samuel Smith, Ella began working as a seamstress. She spent years repairing broken bisque dolls brought in by her neighbors and experimenting with ways to produce sturdier dolls. She eventually turned to doll manufacturing full-time, selling mostly to friends and neighbors. After experiencing early success she exhibited her dolls at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, winning a Grand Prize for Innovation and helping establish a nationwide market for her product. She received a patent for her design in 1905.

From 1899 to 1932 her back-yard factory employed 12 women and produced 8,000-10,000 dolls per year. The dolls, known as Ella Smith dolls or Alabama Babies were also sometimes called "Roanoke Indestructible Dolls" because of their heavy cotton frame and stout plaster of Paris heads. It was often said that a truck could drive over one of these dolls without damaging it. The price at the time for an Ella Smith doll ranged from $1.15 to $12.15 depending on size, clothing and hair. A tenth of her dolls were painted black to resemble African American girls. She was likely the first manufacturer to market dolls based on people of African descent in the Southern United States.

Smith was known for working with a hymn-singing parrot perched on her shoulder. At a time when she was planning to expand her operation, a train wreck caused the disastrous loss of many orders. At the same time a lawsuit arising from a bad business deal cost her a large settlement. Mrs. Smith, who suffered from diabetes and kidney disease, died in 1932.

Ella Smith dolls, especially the black-skinned dolls, are highly collectible. A Randolph County Historical Museum, to be located in the 1940 Post Office building in Roanoke will tell the story of the Ella Smith Doll through documents and artifacts.

External Links:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Milledgeville, Georgia

(Georgia's second capitol building), built 1807-1837 (1937 photo)

Milledgeville is a city in and the county seat of Baldwin County in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is northeast of Macon along U.S. Highway 441 and is bordered on the east by the Oconee River. The rapid current of the river here made this an attractive location to build a city. It was the capital of Georgia from 1804 to 1868, notably during the American Civil War. Milledgeville was preceded as the capital city by Louisville and was succeeded by Atlanta, the current capital.

The population of the town of Milledgeville was 18,382 at the 2010 census.

Milledgeville is along the route of the under-construction Fall Line Freeway, which will link Milledgeville with Augusta, Macon, Columbus, and other Fall Line cities with long histories from colonial Georgia.
Milledgeville is the principal city of the Milledgeville Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Baldwin and Hancock counties and had a combined population of 54,776 at the 2000 census.

The Old State Capitol building is located in the city.


Milledgeville, named after Georgia governor John Milledge (in office 1802–1806), originated at the start of the 19th century as the new centrally located capital of the state of Georgia. It served as the state capital from 1804 to 1868.

In 1803 an act of the Georgia legislature called for the establishment and survey of a town to be named in honor of the current governor, John Milledge. The Treaty of Fort Wilkinson (1802), in which the Creek people, hard pressed by debts to white traders, agreed to cede part of their ancient land, had recently made available territory immediately west of the Oconee River. The restless white population of Georgia continued to press west and south in search of new farmland, and the town of Milledgeville, carved out of the Oconee wilderness, helped accommodate their needs. The area was surveyed, and a town plat of 500 acres (2.0 km2) was divided into 84 4-acre (16,000 m2) squares. The survey also included four public squares of 20 acres (81,000 m2) each. In December 1804 the state legislature declared Milledgeville the new capital of Georgia. The new planned town, modeled after Savannah and Washington, D.C., stood on the edge of the frontier, where the Upper Coastal Plain merges into the Piedmont.

In 1807 fifteen wagons, escorted by troops, left Louisville, the former capital, carrying the treasury and public records of the state. The new statehouse, though unfinished, managed to accommodate the legislators. Over the next thirty years the building was enlarged with a north and south wing. Its pointed arched windows and battlements marked it as America's first public building in the Gothic revival style.

Governor Jared Irwin (re-elected in 1806) soon moved into a handsome two-story frame structure known as Government House, on the corner of Clarke and Greene streets. The new capital started as a rather crude frontier community with simple clapboard houses, a multitude of inns and taverns, law offices, bordellos, and hostelries. The town attracted several blacksmiths, apothecaries, dry-goods merchants, and even booksellers. Travelers to the town generally remained unimpressed, noting the ill-kept and overcrowded inns, the gambling, the dueling, and the bitter political feuds.

Life in the antebellum capital:

After 1815 Milledgeville became increasingly prosperous and more respectable. Wealth and power gravitated toward the capital, and the surrounding countryside became caught up in the middle of a cotton boom. Cotton bales would line the streets, waiting for shipping downriver to Darien. Such skilled architects as John Marlor (1789-1835) and Daniel Pratt (1799-1873) designed elegant houses; colossal porticoes, cantilevered balconies, pediments adorned with sunbursts, and fanlighted doorways all proclaimed the Milledgeville Federal style of architecture. The major congregations built fine new houses of worship on Statehouse Square. The completion in 1817 of the Georgia Penitentiary heralded a new era of penal reform. 

Public-spirited citizens such as Tomlinson Fort (mayor of Milledgeville, 1847–1848) promoted better newspapers, learning academies, and banks. In 1837-1842 the Georgia Lunatic Asylum (later the Central State Hospital) was developed. Oglethorpe University, where the poet Sidney Lanier was educated, opened its doors in 1838. (The college, forced to close in 1862, was rechartered in 1913, with its campus in Atlanta.)

The cotton boom significantly increased the demand for slave labor; planters bought slaves transported from the Upper South, and by 1828 the town claimed 1,599 inhabitants: 789 free whites, 27 free blacks, and 783 African-American slaves. The town market, where slave auctions took place, stood next to the Presbyterian church on Capital Square. Skilled black carpenters, masons, and laborers constructed most of the handsome antebellum structures in Milledgeville.

Two events epitomized Milledgeville's status as the political and social center of Georgia in this period:
  1. The visit to the capital in 1825 by the American Revolutionary War (1775–83) soldier the Marquis de Lafayette. The receptions, barbecue, formal dinner, and grand ball for the veteran apostle of liberty seemed to mark Milledgeville's coming of age.
  2. The construction (1836-38/39) of the Governor's Mansion, one of the most important examples of Greek revival architecture in America

The Civil War and its aftermath:

Burning of the penitentiary at Milledgeville, GA by the Union Army (November 23, 1864)
On January 19, 1861, Georgia convention delegates passed the Ordinance of Secession, and on February 4, 1861, the "Republic of Georgia" joined the Confederate States of America. Wild celebrations, bonfires, and illuminations took place on Milledgeville's Statehouse Square. In November 1864, on a bitterly cold day, Union general William T. Sherman and 30,000 Union troops marched into Milledgeville.

When they left a couple of days later, they had ransacked the statehouse; vandalized the State Chapel by pouring honey down the pipes of the organ and by housing cavalry horses in the church; then destroyed the state arsenal and powder magazine; burned the penitentiary, the central depot, and the Oconee bridge; and devastated the surrounding countryside.

In 1868, during Reconstruction, the legislature moved the capital to Atlanta—a city emerging as the symbol of the New South as surely as Milledgeville symbolized the Old South.

Milledgeville struggled to survive as a city after losing the business of the capital. The energetic efforts of local leaders established the Middle Georgia Military and Agricultural College (later Georgia Military College) in 1879 on Statehouse Square. Where the crumbling remains of the old penitentiary stood, Georgia Normal and Industrial College (later Georgia College & State University) was founded in 1889. In part because of these institutions, as well as Central State Hospital, Milledgeville remained a less provincial town than many of its neighbors.

Notable People:

Twentieth century:

As the old capital moved into the 20th century, it produced a number of people who would attain national prominence. Among these were the distinguished chemist Charles Herty; epidemiologist Joseph Hill White; Woodrow Wilson's treasury secretary, William Gibbs McAdoo; and Ulrich Bonnell Phillips, a noted historian of the South.

The most famous 20th-century residents make up an unusual trio. In 1910 eighteen-year-old Oliver Hardy, of Laurel and Hardy fame, moved to Milledgeville, where his mother managed the stately old Baldwin Hotel, and stayed for three years. U.S. Congressman Carl Vinson represented his hometown of Milledgeville and central Georgia for fifty years (1914–65). The writer Flannery O'Connor came as a young girl with her family to Milledgeville from Savannah. O'Connor, a 1945 graduate of Georgia State College for Women, did much of her best writing in Milledgeville at her family's farm, Andalusia. (Today it offers public tours.) Her critically acclaimed short stories and novels have secured her reputation as a major American writer.

In the 1950s the Georgia Power Company completed a dam at Furman Shoals on the Oconee River, about 5 miles (8 km) north of town, creating a huge reservoir called Lake Sinclair. The lake community became an increasingly important part of the town's social and economic identity. In the 1980's and 1990's Milledgeville began to capitalize on its heritage by revitalizing the downtown and historic district. Another attraction, Lockerly Arboretum, offers tours of the facility's botanical gardens as well as educational programs and the Lockerly Heritage Festival each September. By 2000 the population of Milledgeville and Baldwin County combined had grown to 44,700. Community leaders have made concerted efforts to create a more diversified economic base, striving to wean the old capital from its dependence on government institutions such as Central State Hospital and state prisons - a task made more urgent by recent prison closures and job reductions at Central State, caused by tightening state budgets.

Current-day industries and occupations:

Milledgeville has hosted the Central State Hospital, Georgia's first public psychiatric hospital, since 1842 - residents of Milledgeville and central Georgia refer to it as "Central State". Parents seeking to ensure the good behavior of their offspring in the early 20th century would sometimes threaten that bad children "would be sent to Milledgeville".

Government and infrastructure:

Baldwin State Prison (previously Georgia Women's Correctional Institution) of the Georgia Department of Corrections is located in Milledgeville.

Old Governor's Mansion (Baldwin County, Georgia).jpg
Old Governors Mansion

The Governor's Mansion (Milledgeville), also known as Old Governor's Mansion or Executive Mansion, is a mansion in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Georgia has had three official mansions and one unofficial mansion in two different cities. This one is the first Executive Mansion (1838-1868). It is still open for public tours. The state capital was moved from Milledgeville to Atlanta in 1868.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973.

The house is operated by Georgia College & State University as an antebellum historic house museum.

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Atkinson Hall

Atkinson Hall is a historic building at Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia. Atkinson Hall was constructed in 1896. It is next to the Old Georgia Governor's Mansion. It was saved from demolition in 1977-78 by alumni, community support, faculty, and students. The building was home to the college's J. Whitney Bunting College of Business and is named for William Y. Atkinson and his wife, Susan Cobb Milton Atkinson. Susan Atkinson was involved in advancing women's education after communicating with he journalist friend, Julia Flisch. Atkinson persuaded her husband, a state legislator from Coweta (and future governor), to create legistlation establishing Georgia Normal & Industrial College in 1889. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 20, 1972.

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Cairo, Georgia

Cairo City Hall
Cairo City Hall

Cairo /ˈk.r/ is a city in Grady County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 9,607. The city is the county seat of Grady County.


Cairo was founded in 1835. It was incorporated as a town in 1870 and as a city in 1906. In 1905, Cairo was designated seat of the newly formed Grady County.

Syrup City:

Although Cairo is nicknamed the "Syrup City" it has no relationship with the Karo brand of syrup, which is pronounced like the city's name. Rather, Cairo earned its nickname by producing cane syrup from the early 1900's through the late 1990's. Of the several companies that produced cane syrup, Roddenbery's was the best known.

Reflecting this "syrup" heritage, the Cairo High School football team is nicknamed the Syrupmakers, and the school mascot is the agriculturally based sugar cane farmer/syrupmaker similar to the Cornhusker and Boilermaker. According to local tradition, this began during a rainy football game, when the players wore donated ponchos with "Roddenbery Syrup" printed on them. The most widely accepted tradition and the one with the most supportive evidence claims that a newspaper reporter referred to the Cairo Tigers in print as "the syrupmakers from Cairo."

The school's female athletic teams are named "Syrup Maids," often shortened to "Maids," while the male athletes are often dubbed "Makers." In 1986 ESPN chose "Syrupmakers" as the No. 1 nickname for a high school sports team. In 2009, ESPN's Sports Center selected the Syrupmakers as their number one mascot in the high school heritage category.

Recreation and Entertainment:

Cairo is close to great hunting, fishing, and points of historical interest. The local industrial base continues to grow with manufacturing, service, and healthcare companies anchoring a strong economy.

The area is home to several local festivals, including Calvary's Mule Day, Whigham's Rattlesnake Roundup, Cairo's own Antique Car Rally, and several competitive recreational programs. The Antique Car Rally features a wide range of cars, and includes many activities: a poker run, a parade, and even a street dance. It usually takes place on the second weekend of May. Sponsored by Mr. Chick, it is an annual event that attracts many people to the southwest corner of Georgia.


Grady County Schools serves the city. Elementary schools in Grady include Shiver School, Eastside Elementary, Northside Elementary, Southside Elementary, and Whigham School. All residents are zoned to Washington Middle School and Cairo High School. Students living further out in the county are sent to Shiver School K-8, or either Whigham School

Cairo is now the home of a South West Georgia Tech campus, main campus in Thomasville, Georgia.

Notable People:

  • Teresa Edwards, former professional basketball player and an Olympic Gold Medalist.
  • Willie Harris, a member of the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sox team, current member of the Cincinnati Reds.
  • Ernest Riles, a shortstop and third baseman in Major League Baseball from 1985 through 1993.
  • Jackie Robinson, a Baseball Hall of Fame member and the first person to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball was born here.
  • Daryle Singletary, country music singer
  • Bill Stanfill, a former All-Pro National Football League defensive end.
  • Mickey Thomas, lead singer of Jefferson Starship
  • Bobby Walden, former punter for Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings
  • David Ponder, former defensive tackle for the Dallas Cowboys
  • Arthur L. Williams, Jr., founder of Primerica Financial Services
  • John Monds, 2010 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate for the State of Georgia
  • George Thornewell Smith, politician
  • Curley Williams, Country music singer and songwriter. Born near Cairo, Georgia in Grady County.
  • Jake Bundrick, drummer for the pop/rock band Mayday Parade.
  • J.J. Wilcox, 3rd round pick in 2013 NFL draft (80th overall), safety for the Dallas Cowboys

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