I have more information that what was included in the Ancestors of Stephen Douglas Wildes, Jr. due to space limitations. You can find more information on the Ancestry World Tree at Ancestry.Com . Or you can email me at my email for a file with the Wildes GEDCOM.
_John Wildes | B: 1826 | D: 1881 | | __Alexander F. Wildes | Born: Oct. 29, 1853 | in GA | Died: Feb. 7, 1933 | in Folkston, GA | | __Ransel Hattress Wildes | | Born: Dec. 27, 1891 |_Sarah Nunez | in Charlton Co.,GA B: 1830 | Died: June 19, 1974 D: 1909 | Married: March 29, 1914 | in Ware Co., GA | | |Mark Robinson __Melvin Moses Wildes | | | Born: Aug. 16, 1923 | | | Died: Dec. 7, 1957 |__Nancy Ann Robinson | | Born: Jan 2, 1855 | | Died: March 30, 1938 | | in Folkston, GA | | | | _Rev. Moses Thrift | | | B: 1850 | | | D: 1919 | | | M: 1870 | | | | | __George Washington Thrift | | | Born: Feb. 9, 1877 | | | in Ware Co, GA | | | Died: Jan 4, 1954 | | | Married: June 25, 1896 | | | | | |__Emma Mae Thrift | | | Born: Jan. 10, 1899 |_Ardelia Lee | in Ware Co., GA B: 1848 | Died: Aug. 21, 1986 DL 1891 | | | | | | | | | |__Mary Vernon Davis | Born: Nov 13, 1882 | Died: Jan 16, 1963 | __Stephen Douglas Wildes, Sr. | Born: June 9, 1951 _Lewis "Luke" Thomas | in Folkston, GA | B: 1845 | Died: October 1992 | D: 1919 | | | | | __Alfred Thomas | | | Born: June 30, 1868 | | | in Wayne Co, GA | | | Died: Oct 4, 1928 | | | Married: Jan 14, 1892 | | | | | | __Wilbur Layton Thomas | | | | Born: Dec 27, 1896 |_Mary Stokes | | | in Pierce Co, GA B: 1843 | | | Died: March 25, 1988 D: 1924 | | | Married: Oct 22, 1919 | | | | | | | | _Banner Crews | | | | | ? | | | | | | | | |_Lovie Elizabeth Crews | | | Born: Oct 16, 1876 | |__Virginia Jeanette Thomas Died: Aug 16, 1958 | Living Indiv. | | Details Withheld | | | |_Harriet ?_ | | | | | | _Benjamin Dryden | | | B: 1843 | | | D: 1903 | | ___? Dryden | | | | | | | | | | | |_Frances Harris | | | B: 1847 | | | D: 1948 | |__Myrtle Irene Dryden | Born: Dec 29, 1899 | in Brantley Co, GA | Died: July 4, 1973 | | | |__unknown | Stephen Douglas Wildes, Jr. Living Indiv. | Details Wth. | | | | __? Odom___ | | | | | | | | | __John Odom_______| | | | | | | | | |__unknown | | | ___William Curry Odom, Sr. | | Born: Dec. 21, 1919 | | in Toombs County, GA | | Died: April 20, 1966 __? Curry | | in Folkston, GA | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |__Nona Curry______| | | Born: Sept 18, 1898 | | in Toombs Co, GA | | Died: ? After 1966 | | | |__Patricia Robin Odom | Living Indiv. |__Unknown Details Withheld | | _Peter Rausch | | Born: in Cannelton, IN | | Died: ? | | Married: Dec. 5, 1882 | | | __William Henry Rausch | | Born: Sept 16, 1883 | | in Cannelton, IN | | Died: July 24, 1958 | | in Orlando, FL | | Married: June 2, 1913 | | | | | | | | |_Caroline Hahnesbuth | | Born: in Cannelton, IN |__Mary Alice Rausch Died: ? Living Indiv. Details Withheld Thomas Irvin Sr. | | B: 1818 Scotland | | D: 1880 Indiana | | | __Thomas Woodrow Irvin | | Born: April 11, 1853 | | Died: Jan. 26, 1950 | | Married: Dec 4, 1876 | | in Perry Co, IN | | | |__Mary Alice Irvin |___?____ Born: May 14, 1886 in Cannelton, IN Died: Oct. 13, 1975 in Vero Beach, FL | William Ira Master | | | | |_Maxie Masters Born: 1857 Died: 1914 | |Mary Magdalone Maer
Georgia Atlanta Journal September 4, 1927
Thirty miles from Waycross, Ga., at Cogdell, on the edge of the Okefenokee swamp, lives
Mrs. Ed Robinson, whose grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Maximillan Wildes, and seven of their
children were massacred by Indians in 1832 at their home which stood near the present corporate
limits of Waycross. Miss Mary Wylie Jones, of Waycross, made the trip to Cogdell, and from the
lips of Mrs. Robinson secured the following story of Georgia's last Indian massacre.
BY MARY WYLIE JONES
On reaching Cogdell, I sought out Mrs. Robinson, better known as "Aunt Sara," and I asked her to
tell me the story of that terrible event back in the spring of 1832. It was Sunday afternoon and
we sitting on the porch of her home, which is on the edge of the great Okefenokee.
"I wasn't in that massacre, of course," Aunt Sara began. "But I feel as though I had been right there with my father and the other brothers who escaped, for I've heard my father tell about it all literally hundreds of times. He used to think I was too young to hear a story so terrible, and he'd have me leave the room when he started to relate it to people who inquired about that dark happening of Indian days. I'd leave, but I would go to the next room and lean my ear close to the wall, and listen again and again to the story as he told it.
I wish you could have heard it from his own lips. He seemed to see it all over again, and would get so excited he would make you see it too. When I grew older, he would talk with me about the massacre until now I catch myself thinking at times that I must have been there, too."
The facts that Aunt Sara spent that Sunday afternoon telling me are given here just as I received them from her. I gathered from what she said that her grandfather, Maximillan Wildes, was a husky, dominating pioneer, a man who always had taken care of his family, and figured he always could. But the time came one day when he found he was powerless in the face of a great danger.
He could have avoided the situation, he had ample chance to flee, but when any such thought came to him, the old feeling, "I'm able to take care of me and mine," crowded out his cautious impulses. He had taken care of himself when he ran away from his home in Scotland when he was twelve years old; he had managed through the dangers and privations of pioneer days in Georgia; he had taken care of his young wife, Sarah Wilkinson, whom he had married when he was quite a young man; he had by the strength of his own good arm reared and cared for ten children, and now that he was at last settled in a home of his own with crops and cattle and timber land, he wouldn't leave it through fear of anyone of anything.
If ever a man had a "hunch" that something terrible lurked near, Maximillan Wildes did. And in the big "front room" of his little log house, on the edge of the great Okefenokee swamp in south Georgia back in the spring of 1832, Wildes sat and stood at intervals, paced the floor restlessly, and finally gave vent to an expression that indicated his anxiety.
"I tell you, I don't like it." The children begged that he tell them about it, his wife questioned him repeatedly, but he refused to discuss it for fear of alarming them.
It takes only a slight suggestion to whet a woman's intuition. Sarah knew Maximillan was not accustomed to such anxiety. She knew, too, it was no small worry that caused him to pace the floor restlessly as he was doing, so she pleaded with him that he take her and the children to a neighbor house for the night. Wildes resented her lack of faith in his ability to take care of them, and assured her that she need not fear.
Early in the afternoon of the same day, Wildes and his wife had been to a pond near their home, gathering and burning "scenia" bushes from which they got lye to make soap. Just as they were preparing to come home, Wildes herd a rustle of limbs a short distance away, and looking in that direction saw several people hiding in ambush. As quickly as possible he took the bit of lye they had secured and hurried home. His wife didn't stop to question his haste until that evening, when his actions led her to believe that he had seen something that had aroused his suspicions.
As a wagon drew up, the family dismissed for a moment their fear, and went out to greet two cousins, Alice Wilkinson, and her little brother, who came to spend the night. After supper the children lit a bonfire and played around until time to retire.
Very late in the night different members of family were aroused several times by two yard dogs that barked furiously as they were accustomed when strangers came near. As the dogs would bark only a short while and then stop, they gave little weight to it and no one got up to investigate.
At daybreak Mrs. Wildes went out into the yard to get a light from the embers of the bonfire. Just as she walked into the yard, she heard a bottle hit the ground. Looking in the direction from whence it came she became paralyzed with fear, and rushed into the house to the bed where Wildes was sleeping and shaking him shouted: "Wildes, the Indians are outside! "Wildes jumped out and seized his gun and shouted in a loud voice that the Indians might hear: "Boys, get your guns and let's kill these d__n Indians."
Wildes thought he might frighten the Indians off with this bluff. He had only one gun in the house and one boy big enough to shoulder a gun. One of the Indians replied in his broken way: "We know how many of you there are and how may guns you have." Wildes had played his highest card and lost. The Indians had been lurking around for several days and knew just how he stood.
Wildes fired the first shot; then in a body the Indians charged him, wrenched his gun from his hand, and shot him through the breast. Mary Anne, 18-year-old daughter, grabbed the baby and ran but she and the baby were beaten down, the baby dying immediately. Mrs. Wildes and the children rushed from the house toward Dubus Bay, near their home, but as they ran into the open, the Indians were able to catch five of them. They knocked them with clubs and beat them mercilessly. Mother Saw Children Slain Mrs. Wildes managed to run to the outer edge of the bay, where she hid in some bushes.
Helpless and unable to aid her children and husband, she waited patiently for some of them to join her. At intervals she peeped through the bushes, and saw one after another of her children slain. The path through the bay was open to her, but she refused to take it. Seeing her children and husband this killed and feeling that she had nothing more to live for, she gave up, fell upon a log and did not try to escape.
Mr. And Mrs Wildes and seven children were killed. Through some way four sons, Reuben the oldest, (in his teens) ; Jim, Jesse and John escaped; also Alice, the little girl who had come to spend the night. News of the massacre spread to neighbors who hurried toward the Wildes place and met the boys who had escaped.
Immediately they took word to a small company of soldiers under Captain Elias Waldron, stationed on the edge of Kettle creek, about four miles away. The captain, fearing the Indians might continue their march, ordered all the women and children in this section, now known as Waycross, to gather in an old fort (which stands today), and placed them under guard. The men and the soldiers rushed to the scene of the terrible massacre. The home was burned to the ground; the cows, penned up were bellowing on account of the odor of blood, and dead bodies were lying about.
They heard some one calling in a weak voice, and turned to find Mary Anne, still clinging to the dead baby and calling for water. One of the men rushed off to get it for her, and immediately upon drinking it she fell dead.
The Indians had taken everything they could use, and after burning the house, had destroyed everything possible. They had emptied the bed ticks of their feathers and had set them flying everywhere. Then they had danced their bloody dance and were gone.
The soldiers, unable to find a covering for the bodies, took from their horses the saddle blankets, wrapped the nine bodies and laid them in the body of a new cart Mr. Wildes had recently made, and buried them, all in the same grave. The stump of a chinaberry tree about four feet high, with its sprouting branches, marks the grave to this day.
Having performed this simple funeral rite, the soldiers rushed ahead in search of the Indians. They tracked them to where they saw the smoke of a camp fire, and followed this. As well as they could tell, there were about thirty Indians. As soon as the Indians "got wind," of their approach, they hastily packed as many things as they could and rushed to the outer edge of the Okefenokee swamp, several miles away.
In the deserted camping place the soldiers saw a number of things the Indians had taken as their loot, among which was a brightly colored dress of one of the Wildes girls, torn into shreds by them. The Indians knew well the "ins, and outs," of the swamp, and could follow the trails they had made, no white man could follow. The small band of soldiers knew, too, that they were out-numbered, and would be at a total loss in the swamp, so they were forced to turn.
It was from this swamp the Indians had come, and it was to it they went back. The "pale face" had forced them back, back, back, and their resentment sometimes would drive them out to seek revenge.
Soon after the Wildes massacre Governor Gilmer commissioned General Charles Floyd to drive the Indians from Georgia. At the head of a small band, General Floyd set about this mission, and drove the Seminoles into Florida, where their descendants now live in the Everglades.
The Wildes massacre occurred ninety-five years ago, on the outskirts of what is now Waycross. It was the last tragedy of its sort in this state, and one of the most horrible. It happened eight years after Ware county was formed, and fully a quarter of a century before Waycross came into existence.
The place where the massacre took place is now a modern farm with a model dairy, a water system and many conveniences of the city. About one hundred feet from the home of the present owner, in the midst of a cornfield, is the grave of the Wildes family, with its chinaberry stump for a tombstone. About five feet of ground on each side of the grave in this fertile field is left untended, and the grave has been left untouched.
Within a mile of the scene of the massacre is Waycross, a beautiful, prosperous city of 22,000.
It, like many other cities in south Georgia, was late in being settled because of the danger of
attack by Indians. Changes took place though-out this section as soon as the Indians were driven
from their stongholds in the Okefenokee.
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Last Updated: July 6, 2001