End of a Decade (1919)

By the summer of 1919 the Flemington, Hinesville & Western Railroad was a memory. Its owner, Joseph B. Way, relocated in Thomasville, Georgia. The Georgia, Coast & Piedmont Railroad, which had a depot at Ludowici, was being phased out during the same period. The proliferation of automobiles and trucks was the general reason for the failure of both railroads.


World War I ended on November 11, 1918. By the sum­mer of 1919, the Savannah Morning News printed articles almost every day about the return of a local military organi­zation from France. They were all mustered out at Camp Wheeler in Macon, Georgia.


Patriotism still ran high across the nation. Liberty Bonds were still being sold “until it’s over, over there.” A motion picture called “Hearts of the World,” described by the Savannah Morning News as a “love story of the World War,” played at the Savannah Theater in 1918. It was brought back for a return engagement to the same theater in the summer of 1919.


Liberty County farmers in the summer of 1919 were of­fered “bright leaf’ tobacco seeds by the Georgia Board of Trade to plant the next year. It predicted that tobacco would soon replace cotton as the money crop of farmers in coastal Georgia. The prediction was correct, but it was several years before the majority of Liberty County farmers planted to­bacco.


Dancing was called a sin by all of the preachers in Liberty County in 1919, and particularly when they did something new in America called “cheek-charming,” or dancing too close to one another. Al though the preachers had nothing to do with it, in four more years a dance called the “Charles­ton” would become popular where partners seldom touched each other.


Social news from Liberty County printed in the Savannah Morning News in 1919 was generally about people visiting each other. A one-day visit by a lady in Hinesville to Walt­hourville would be duly reported. There was a picture of Josephine Hendry of Taylors Creek in the newspaper when her engagement to Leland M. Branch was announced. There was a story about a “fishing party” in November 1919 at Sutherland’s Bluff. The fishermen were W.R. Shave, P.F. Martin, Donald F. Martin Sr., Edgar B. Way, and B.A. Me­Donald Jr., all from Flemington.


The most widely discussed issue in Liberty County at the end of 1919 was the proposed eighteenth amendment to the constitution, which prohibited the manufacture or sale of intoxicating liquors. A majority of the states approved of the amendment, and “prohibition” became a way of life in America.