Bird (2007-053 Tb90R9Se2)

 Capt. Frank Bird Sr. M.D. (1889-1973)  During WWI while overseas, Captain Frank Bird Captain Frank Bird M.D. (1889-1973)recorded the location and dates where he was stationed inside the band of his garrison hat including Chaumont and Rimaucourt, France.  This is taken in a series of three photographs due to the shape of the band on the inside of the hat.

Dr. Bird moved from Atlanta in July 1914 and established a medical practice in Valdosta with Dr. T.M. Talbots before volunteering for service in 1917. He was first based at Camp Gordon, northeast of Atlanta. There he served as the head of the surgical team and was promoted to Captain on February 12, 1918. On July 5, 1918, he was attached to Base Hospital 52 for service overseas. While overseas, he served as command of the Roosevelt Operating Unit in Encampment #15.

When Dr. Bird was returning to the USA from Europe on a WWI troop ship in 1918, he encountered many cases of the world flu epidemic. He observed that many of the officers died while many of the enlisted men lived. In contrast to the enlisted men, many of the officer”s fevers were broken by using cold compresses, cool air, and cool drinks.  Upon his return to Valdosta, Dr. Bird treated his civilian flu patients by keeping them covered with blankets and allowing their high fever to “burn off” the germs. This practice was at first controversial among other Valdosta physicians until the results proved beneficial.

Dr. Bird  and J.F. Mixson  established a hospital in 1927 located on the corner of Stevens Street, Briggs Street, and Central Avenue in Valdosta  and was later known as the Bird Hospital.Three of Frank Bird Sr.’s sons served in WWII. To see their information click here. : https://valdostamuseum.com/collections/textiles/military/wwii-textiles/wwii/

Gallaher 86-513Tb95R8Sd4

William W. Gallaher was born March 14, 1898 to the parents of Frank and Ludina Gallaher. In 1900 the family lived in Clinch County, GA. He enlisted in the army September 12, 1918. His brother, Joseph born Sept 1, 1896 and died Aug 7, 1958, lived in Valdosta married Effie B. b. Aug 8,1901 d.Mar 20, 1985).

William’s dog tags show he was a private. His collection of ribbon awards in the museum include: US Army Ambulance Service Association Medal, WWI, Victory Medal with 5 battle claps, Croix de Guerre (French War Cross with star) , National Guard 1906 Marksman’s badge ,Marksman  1907-1908, WWI UDC Medal,  and William’s dog tags.  Please note that not all of these medals belonged to William W. Gallaher himself since he did not enlist in the army until 1918;  however, some might have belonged to other family members.

Godwin (77-148-01, 2009-060 TB 35R10Se1)

Claude G. Godwin (1898-1953) in his WWI Marine Uniform which displays his ribbons and

Claude G. Godwin in his WWI Marine Uniform

Claude G. Godwin in his WWI Marine Uniform

his rifle qualification sharpshooter medal. Notice his division arm patch. This no longer remains on the uniform retained by the museum; however, traces of the stitching outline are still visible.

Claude Godwin, a Valdosta native, was in the 2nd Marine Division attached to the 6th Regiment of the 64th Marine Guard during WWI. He fought heroically as a gunner and rifleman during the Battle of Belleau Woods. He was severely wounded by shrapnel and gas while under heavy fire. He survived these wounds and was awarded a fourragere by the French for heroism. While he was stationed in France, he kept a diary. Though his son, Dr. Claude Godwin, has possession of the original diary, he allowed the museum  to transcribe and retain a copy and to photograph the original front of this small diary (picture shown).

Marine Claude Godwin’s heroism did not cease with his service in WWI. The week after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he again volunteered to serve his country. The museum is proud to also have his WWII uniform. You may read about his continuing service under Textiles/Military/WWII.

Moore (2011-36 TBH45R13Se)

The razzle dazzle painted brodie helmet pictured here belonged to Staten Felma Moore Moore(1895-1977). He entered the army on June 23,1918 and was attached to the 489th Motor Truck Company as an ambulance driver in France. He returned home to the Valdosta area in 1918 and worked as a farmer. Staten Felma Moore married Tressie Mae Copeland in 1922 and they had nine children.

One of their children, Jessie F. Moore wrote an article pertaining to his father’s service for the November-December 2002 issue of the museum’s newsletter. In 2011, he donated this helmet.

Staten Felma Moore is buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery.

Oglesby (82-328 Tb 38 R10Sa2)

Hugh Cobb Oglesby (1893-1954) was born in Quitman, Georgia. Before the war, he moved

Hugh Oglesby (1893-1954) (82-328 Tb 38)

Hugh Oglesby (1893-1954) (82-328 Tb 38)

to Valdosta and worked as a bookkeeper according to the 1913 Valdosta Business Directory.

The Oglesby family has been instrumental in shaping Georgia’s business sector. Garrett Oglesby, the great-grandfather of Hugh Cobb Oglesby, was one of the first manufactures of cotton gins according to Men of the Mark Vol IV. Hugh Cobb’s parents, James Wood Oglesby (b.1857) and Martha Elizabeth Oglesby, were married in 1877 and lived first Kingston, Georgia. James Wood and his oldest brother, Zenas, were first involved in the family’s cotton gin manufacturing business. By 1891, the brothers had branched out into the lumber business, and had formed the Oglesby Lumber and Manufacturing Company near Cecil. Their involvement in this business motivated them to build the South Georgia Railroad and the West Coast Railroad according to the History of Brooks County, Georgia 1858-1948 by Folks Huxford and Men of the Mark. Just before the turn of century, Hugh’s parents built a nice home on Screven Street in Quitman. The Oglesby brothers continued to be involved in many businesses in South Georgia and North Florida including banking, lumber and cotton mills, naval stores, and even briefly owned a resort.

Hugh Cobb Oglesby also had a brother who fought in WWI. He married Lamar Lewis on November 1, 1911. Lamar Lewis was sister to Caro Lewis of Valdosta who was one of the founders of the  Valdosta Chapter of the Red Cross during WWI.  First Lieutenant Wilbur Oglesby died in France October 30, 1918. His picture can be found in The Georgia State Memorial Book.  Lamar Lewis later married Julian Eugene Gammon.

Hugh Cobb Oglesby married Dixie Hollingsworth in 1928 and had three children. He continued to live in Valdosta and served as a Deputy U.S. Marshall. He is buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery.

This uniform was donated to the museum by Mrs. Hugh Oglesby in 1982.

Peeples (2000-9 Tb34R8a1)

This army WWI uniform belonged to Henry William (Bill) Peeples (1898-1931). Henry WIllam (Bill) Peeples (1898-1931) (2000-9 Tb18)This jacket has three chevrons on the lower right sleeve indicating one year and six months of active duty. The lower sleeve chevron patches were used just during WWI to indicate six months of active duty service per chevron.

Just before being sent to Camp McClellan in Anniston, Alabama for training, he married Lillian Audry Bray in Valdosta in 1917 (some sources say 1919). Years later Mrs. Audry Peeples recalled that “no one came to the wedding because of the flu epidemic.” Dr. Anthony, the minister of First Methodist Church of Valdosta was even ill (Way Back When Vol II, Albert Pendleton, Jr.).

Henry William (Bill) Peeples was born in Nashville, Georgia to the parents of William Henry Peeples Sr. (1869-1928) and Mary Wingate Peeples. They had come to Nashville from St. Mary’s, Georgia where George Henry Peeples (1840-1893), the father of William Henry Peeples Sr., had an estate called “Oak Well” which was situated along the St. Mary’s River.

Lillian Audry Bray, Bill Peeples’s wife, was also born in Berrien County but the 1910 US Census listed her family in Lowndes County. Her father, John Newton Bray, owned a lumber company in Valdosta and they lived in a lovely home on 1203 Patterson Street. Unfortunately, this home no longer exists.

When Henry William Peeples Jr. returned from his service, he and Lillian Audry made Valdosta their home and raised their three children. In 1922, a chapter of the Kwannis Club was established in Valdosta and Henry William Peeples Jr. was one of the charter members. He died in Valdosta in 1931 and is buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery. Lillian Audry lived to be 104 and is buried next to her husband.

Roberts (2000-09 Tb 34R8Sa1)

Ben Hill Roberts Jr.(1895-1963) a native Valdostan attended Marion Military Institute before (2015-15) Ben Hill Roberts Jr in Naval Uniformbecoming a Naval Officer in World War I. His military records indicate that he enlisted his service on June 5, 1917 at age 21. His dress blues show his ranking as an ensign. The museum also archives additional uniforms belonging to Ben Hill Roberts Jr. including his white service dress uniform (choker whites).

The Roberts family has always been actively involved in shaping Valdosta’s history. George Roberts ( a great uncle to Ben Hill Roberts Jr.) owned one of the first businesses in Valdosta in 1859. His parents Ben Hill Roberts Sr. and Mrs Helen Harrell Roberts, built a house on 412 Hill Avenue in 1899 according to the Valdosta Times (Valdosta Times 8/4/1899). They owned land and businesses in downtown with other family members including John T. Roberts the brother of Ben Hill Roberts Sr. John T. Roberts was one of Valdosta’s Mayors that held four consecutive terms in office from 1906-1914.

After serving in WWI, Ben Hill Roberts Jr. was very active in Valdosta’s business and community. Early in his professional career, he founded an insurance agency in Valdosta.  He was also a charter member of the Kiwanis club of Valdosta which began in 1922 according to The History of Lowndes County Georgia 1825-1941. In addition, Ben Hill Roberts Jr. served as President of the Chamber of Commerce in 1959.






An overcoat identical to the Oglesby’s uniform is displayed in the WWI exhibit on the main floor of the museum. Written on the inside lining is the name Coffey. If you have information pertaining to this solider, please contact the museum.


Unknown Georgia Uniform (TB 59R11Sd1)

This summer army jacket is tunic length and made of  very heavy cotton. The front closes with 5 removable dark brass buttons with stamped back information “Sigmund Eisner Red Bank N.J.” The front has 4 large rounded bellow patch packets with slightly v flaps that are secured by an army button and a vertical button hole. The collar of this uniform is a high folded over standing collar and closes with 2 large hooks and eyes and contains Georgia collar pins “G. A.” on each side. The sleeves have a large v cuff.  The jacket is not lined and the left inside contains a  large black inked stamp with guns crossing (Infantry)  and “GA 1 B, 135.” The Georgia Company B was from Macon, Georgia and the museum staff is still searching for a  Macon/Bibb County listing of Georgia Infantry Company B men in 1906 or 1907 to possibly identify who this belonged to. A white sewn in tag inside the lower right pocket has the stamped information “Contract June 25th, 1907, N.Y.Depot A. Mellin.” The museum textile staff is still looking for information on whom this coat belonged to. If you have any information on the identification of this coat please contact the museum. You assistance is greatly appreciated.

Unknown Green Wool WWI Jacket with US collar disk (TB 59R11 Sd1)

This WWI fully lined wool jacket has high choker collar that closes with two large hook and TB59R11Sd1eyes, 5 army dark brass buttons in the front, 4 rounded patch pockets which close with a v shaped flap and button, back hem is straight across (no back cut out tail), and one inside pocket. There are no identity marks, and no laundry marks. This coat looks unused. It has a slight flaw mark on the left shoulder of the weave.


Army Pants 1924 Tb 59R11Sa1

These green wool army pants are dated on the back of the  button as 1924 closes in the front TB 59 Green Wool Army Pantswith a 5 button fly, contains suspender buttons and a 281/2 inch waist and an outer seam of 42 1/2 inches. The hem is sewn by hand and a side pocket has been hand repaired. This army issued green wool pants has lost its identity though there are several laundry marking on the inside. If any one has any information on these pants, please let the museum textile staff know and thank you for your assistance and time.

Other items that have not been identified are also in TB 59 include a green garrison hat size 7, Sam Browne belt, and leather leg shields.


Other Artifacts From WWI

Samuel Amos[s]1990-582-08 TB90R9Se2

Hermon Samuel Amos (1896-1990)

Paul Leavy captured Hermon Samuel Amos on his 90th birthday for an article in the Valdosta Daily Times. The article ran on November 25, 1986 and is archived at the museum in the Susie McKey Thomas Newspaper Clipping Collection (SF-PEO-A-Amos).

This WWI sewing kit belonged to Sergeant Herman Samuel Amos (1896-1990). In addition to this WWI textile, Samuel Amos’s Infantry Drill Regulations Book remains on display in the downstairs “The World At War” Exhibit.

As a young boy Samuel lived with on his grandmother, Rebekah Amoss’s farm with his parents, Albert A. Amoss and Lelia Amoss, and his two sisters in Hancock County. His WWI draft record shows him at this location. However, after the war in the 1920 US Census, he had moved to Valdosta and was living with his sister, Emma Amoss Register, and her husband, Sam David Register. He married Lynda Lee Sutton and had four girls. Sometime during this part of his life, Samuel dropped one of the S’s in the spelling of his last name to Amos. He continued living in Valdosta the rest of his life.

Samuel Amos worked with the Georgia Southern and Florida Railroad as a fireman in 1930 and lived on 413 W Central Ave. Later he moved to North Lee Street. He worked as an engineer through the time in which the Georgia Southern and Florida Railroad became the Southern Railway. He retired in 1972.

In addition to his work on the railroad, Samuel was also a charter member of the American Legion, a member of the First Baptist Church, and a Mason. He is buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery. An article archived at the Lowndes County Historical Museum from the Friday November 11, 1988 edition of the Valdosta Daily Times Newspaper stated that at that time “Amos, 92, is the only living charter member of  Post 13 of the American Legion and said he was not afraid when he was called to serve his country.” (SF-EVE-K-75).








Sousa Uniform 1986-395-1 TB 94  Mrs. Alton Johnson


Lester Grey was a brother to Mrs. Jeanne Johnson, wife of *Dr. Alton Johnson- the first pediatrician in town. Lester Grey  was born March 22, 1898 in Indiana to the parents of Katherine Florence Valliere and Benjamin Mansfield Grey but also lived in Alabama and later Atlanta. He was interested in music and played trombone at a very early age. During WWI, he and his brother were assigned to the 42nd Rainbow Division of the US Army. He played trombone for the Army band and his brother Crawford played cornet.  According to a short narration written by his sister, this was one of the first divisions to be shipped out oversees traveling on the USAT Kroonland. (This ship had originally been used in International Mercantile IMM but during WWI was used as a United States Army Transit.) After the war, Lester Grey remained in Germany for a year studying music and when he returned to the states he played for  Rialto Theatre in Atlanta and for special occasions at the Georgian Terrace Hotel which had opened in 1911. In 1919, Lester Grey joined the John Phillip Sousa band and earing the distinguished seat as first trombone. In 1925, he married Cathern Brannen and that same year he left the Sousa band. He played in the Tommy and Jimmy Dorset Band, during the Big Band era, and also for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. His sister reported he also taught music at Carnegie Hall before going back to school and graduating with an accounting degree. He worked for Fairchild’s Camera and Instruments as their accountant. This company was involved in the manufacturing of spy cameras, and later expanded to include weapons cameras, x-ray, and radar equipment and such used during WWII.  After his wife’s death, he moved to Valdosta in 1962. He died in Lowndes County in 1964 and is buried in Sunset Hill Cemetery. 

*To see the quilts of LT Col. Alton Johnson please click here: https://valdostamuseum.com/collections/textiles/quilts-coverlets-and-blankets/