This week’s Time Capsule looks at some World War I soldiers, the hunt for an armed, intoxicated man and a shooting at Cherokee Mills.

100 years ago ...

The Tuesday, Sept. 20, 1921, edition of The Cobb County Times reported that three World War I soldiers were reinterred in Cobb County soil the Sunday before.

James Woody of Cobb County, who was killed in action, was buried in the Gresham Cemetery. James C. Yarbrough of the 67th Company, 5th Marines, was buried at the Marietta National Cemetery. Yarbrough, who entered service when he was living in Cobb County, was killed in action on June 7, 1918. Atlanta resident Thomas D. Glen Jr. of the 76th Company, 6th Marines, was buried in the national cemetery beside his brother — who was also killed in action in France in the same engagement. Glen was killed on June 11, 1918.

Both Yarbrough and Glen’s remains had previously been interred in the American Concentration Cemetery, No. 1764, Belieau, Aisne, France.

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A second inside story reported that Lt. Irwin C. Owens, killed in action in France, was returned to Canton for burial.

Lt. Owens was a teacher at Marietta High School for two years before the war. He attended the first officers’ training camp at Fort McPherson, was commissioned as a lieutenant and went overseas with the 82nd Division. He was killed in the great drive through the Argonne Forest in 1919.

Marietta regarded Lt. Owens as one of their own and his photograph hung in the senior room at MHS. Just below this picture were “the verses he wrote on matters of death in battle” a few days before he died.

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In the “News From Our Correspondents” column, the Strickland’s Bridge section reported that the week before, young Charles Mitchell knocked a mowing blade down on his foot and Dr. Garrett was called to remove the rest of the boy’s nearly severed big toe.

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The Friday, Sept. 23, 1921, edition of The Cobb County Times reported on “the big excitement” in the Post Oak District the Monday afternoon before.

Trouble began when G.H. Hamby, who was believed to have been intoxicated, got a gun and went over to A.O. Sullivan’s house. Hamby’s first shot hit his neighbor’s home and the second hit the woodpile, where Sullivan was cutting wood. After the Sullivans ran inside and locked the door, Hamby demanded Sullivan come out to settle some things. When Sullivan refused, Hamby “invited him to stick his head out the door, so he could shoot it off.” When he didn’t receive an answer, Hamby went away.

Later he appeared at Mrs. Dora McClure’s home and found her little girl. She told him that no one was home before running around back and through the fields to where her mother was picking beans. Together they tried to get inside the house, but were spotted by Hamby. As he chased her mother, the girl was said to have grabbed Hamby’s free hand, pulled him off balance and made him fall to the ground.

As county police in Marietta were called, a posse of neighbors assembled for a dusk search for Hamby. In the darkness, an innocent cow was mistakenly shot and killed.

Once officers arrived, Hamby was found “peacefully sleeping in his bed at home, with his gun lying beside the bed on the floor.”

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The paper also carried a story out of the Cherokee Advance about the “shooting fracas” at the Cherokee Mills the Wednesday before.

W.P. Thomas was shot and killed by Gordon Ragsdale while he rode in a buggy with his wife and son. Ragsdale was accompanied in the shooting by his brother, Tom.

Witness reports stated that Thomas shot at Ragsdale earlier while the man was on his way to a cotton gin with a load of cotton. Ragsdale armed himself and when Thomas’ buggy came by, Ragsdale shot Thomas out of it with a shotgun and then emptied the second load into the body as he lay on the ground.

A part of the first load was said to have hit Mrs. Thomas, passing through her stomach, and Tom Ragsdale was said to have shot Thomas’ son. Both of the wounded were not expected to recover.

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Mrs. W.C. Carriker of Washington Avenue in Marietta was reported as the first woman to vote in a county election. When the polls opened at 7 a.m. the day before, Mrs. Carriker was the very first person in line.

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The Thursday, Sept. 22, 1921, edition of The Marietta Daily Journal reported that county officers acting on a tip confiscated a Ford car, more than eight gallons of liquor and placed Jim Neese under arrest for violation of the state Prohibition Act. Neese’s son, who was in the car, jumped out and escaped before they reached the check point on Cherokee Street in Marietta.

The liquor was poured out near the courthouse steps. The reporter also noted that “a crowd of thirsty looking spectators gathered about to view the ceremony and many were the melancholy sighs and longing looks as the joy juice sped its way down the gutter into the yawning mouth of the sewer.”

Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator and Historian for the Marietta Daily Journal.


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