|Lydia (Smith) Stone|
Lydia (Smith) Stone
"Born a dreamer, she became an empire-builder and a living legend in her time.
Lydia Stone was the name she was best known by, but she was born Lydia Smith and died Lydia Crews, the name of her second husband."
Lydia Smith (Miss Liddie) was six foot, four inches tall, broad shouldered and strong . The story goes,
"William Smith, her father, gave her a cow and sow to start her on the route to wealth.
With her childhood savings, she purchased her first 40 acres of land, began turpentine interests, and later sold the trees to the railroad for cross ties which she helped cut and load."
Primitive Baptists' Community around them weren't happy. Attempting to force them to marry, the Grand Jury of Charlton County, Georgia, charged that Gordon,
"...unlawfully did have carnal knowledge, connection and sexual intercourse with one Liddie Smith, a single woman, the said Gordon Stone being then a single man..."
Indictment; October 1903
A separate indictment carried a similar charge against Lydia Smith"
Two months later...
"On Christmas Day, 1903, Lydia and Gordon were arrested for operating a moonshine still, and the Grand Jury indicted them for their unlicensed selling of 'spirituous...and intoxicating liquors' ".
|Gordon and Lydia (Smith) Stone|
Lydia pleaded guilty to the moon shining charges. She paid a $100.00 fine- a massive sum for the time- to avoid six months jail time.
"They were later (1927 ed.) married but Charlton County people regarded their relationship as scandalous. "
|Melton and Lydia (Smith) Stone Crews|
"...she would seat him in her lap, rock in the old rocker on her front porch in Racepond, and sing to him. As gossips talked about the “ol womern and th’ youngun,’ she made Melton grow his hair long and a beard (to) make him look older."
Legendary Queen Lydia
"The 'Queen of the Okefenokee' died at her Racepond home on January 4, 1938; she was laid to rest beside her parents, a sister, and former husband.
High Bluff Cemetery
And the tallest monument in the cemetery was erected to the unschooled woman who once, very simply, stated the chief rule of finance;
'I always said I could make five dollars out of every one dollar I could get my hands on. I believe anybody can if they’re careful and not afraid to work.' "
*Note: Relationships, such as grandmother, 2nd great, etc., are expressed from the perspective of the grandchildren of Willis Edgar and Carrie (known as) Mae (Merritt) Musgrove.
Terms of relationship - grandmother, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc. - are used here generically to include relatives such as fourth great grandfathers, great grand uncles, second cousins twice removed, etc.