Robert Eugene Battle
Jerry W. Battle, Sr.
|My Grandfather Robert Eugene Battle 1874 - 1954|
|My Grandmother Annie Hardy Lumpkin Battle 1887 - 1970|
|Daughter of W. W. Lumpkin and Berta Lee Snipes|
My grandfather, Mr. Bob as he was known was elected Sheriff of Schley County, Georgia at the age of 40 and served in that capacity from 1915 - 1928. His first term as Sheriff followed the terms of his father-in-law W. W. Lumpkin who served 1905 - 1914 and 11 years later was followed by his brother-in-law W. L. Lumpkin who served in that capacity from 1941 - 1945.
There many stories told about my grandfather's term in the office of Sheriff but one in particular is quite memorable and exhibits a stark contrast to what would probably take place today.
Some time during the early to middle years of the 1920s and just a few weeks prior to Thanksgiving there was a murder that took place in Schley County. After some investigation into the matter it was determined that the murder had been committed by two well known young brothers in the county.
It was Thanksgiving Day and my grandfather knew just where to find the brothers. He knew that their mother was a very good cook and that they would not be far from the Thanksgiving Day dinner table. On approaching the front yard of the home where they lived he was greeted by the father of the two who already knew why my grandfather was there and on a holiday at that. They did not even discuss the reason for the visit as the father went on to invite him to sit down to dinner with the family upon which he accepted the invitation, went in and sat down to eat.
After they all finished eating and expressing complements and gratitude to the cook, the father told the two brothers, "alright boys, get your hats and go with Mr. Bob" and that was all there was to it.
One last detail about my grandfather was that sometime around 1890 or 1891 he lost his left arm just above the elbow in a cotton gin accident yet successfully ran for the office of Sheriff of Schley County in 1914 and managed to carry out the duties of that office for some 13 years. Since he was naturally "left handed" losing that arm could have presented a problem but since his early school teachers had forced him to learn to write with his right hand, writing was not a problem for him.
And this note from a cousin Judy Eason McClellan......"Evidently Grandma Battle was a spunky thing herself. I remember Mama talking about how she supposedly held off a mob that was tryin to get to one of the prisoners. Grandpa was not there at the time so she got her shotgun and stood on the front porch of the old jail and held them off until Grandpa got there."
From cousin John Arthur Battle....."Grandpa Battle was the first sheriff in Schley to have an automobile. Around 1920 he bought a Model T Ford, recieved a few instructions on how to drive , which he immediately forgot, and drove it home to the jail. When he arrived, he forgot how to stop the machine so he just rode around the block until Grandma came out on the porch. He hollered for her to get the kids and when he came around again he would slow down and they could jump in and ride out to the farm, All went well until they got to the farm and he had to run into a sand bed and choke it down to get stopped. My dad was about 11 years old and he had already figured out how to drive so he became grandpa's chauffeur after that.
From cousin John Arthur Battle..... "Another good story on Grandpa happened during prohibition. A group of Christian Temperance ladies confronted him about the farmers up in the pine-barrens making licquor. His answer to them was that the land in the upper end of the county was so sandy and poor that selling their corn by the gallon was the only way that they could feed their kids. Shortly afterward, prohibition was lifted. I also remember misbehaving at the dinner table. Grandpa could thump you on the back of the head so hard that you straightened right up."
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