Black citizens legendary

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In observance of Black History Month, I would like to pay tribute to two area natives who rose from humble beginnings and made significant contributions to our country and town.

In 1897, President William McKinley had considered naming Judson Lyons the postmaster of Augusta. Under the heading, “Not a Negro,” the Birmingham (Ala.) Age-Herald reported, however, that Augusta would not have a “colored postmaster” because Postmaster General James A. Gary stated that it would cause trouble.

Instead, McKinley named Lyons register of the U.S. Treasury in 1898, thus making him the highest-ranking African-American in government at the time. He served admirably for eight years and won many praises from the president and his subordinates.

Lyons was born outside of Augusta in 1860 and grew up on a farm. He didn’t begin formal schooling until he was 15. He taught himself to read while working. He attended the old Ware High School and Atlanta Baptist College. He finished Howard University Law School in 1884 and passed the bar that same year.

He became a leader in the Republican Party, rising to chairman of a national committee.

He returned to Augusta in 1906 and practiced law, becoming Georgia’s first African-American attorney. He became president of the Haines Normal Industrial Institute Board of Trustees and helped educator Lucy C. Laney solicit funds from wealthy donors throughout the country.

He died in 1924, and is buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery.

William Carpenter was born in Edgefield, S.C., in 1873. He became an astute farmer and businessman. He operated a small farm in Aiken County and worked diligently to acquire more land. At one time, he had accumulated more than 500 acres, which were later developed into a town called Carpentersville.

He operated two grocery stores – one in South Carolina, and one on Broad Street in Augusta that sold groceries, meats, farm supplies and animal feed. He also was proprietor of furniture, financial and clothing businesses, and started the Georgia-Carolina Investment Co.

Carpenter was a partner in the Penny Savings and Loan Bank in the early 1920s, and served on the advisory committee of the Gwinnett Street branch of the Georgia Railroad Bank and Trust Co.

He was a deacon, trustee and big donor at Tabernacle Baptist Church. During the Depression years, he increased his church tithes and supported Tabernacle with various loans. There was a legend for years that he loaned the city of Augusta $8,000 during the Depression.

Committed to using his wealth to benefit his community, his life was defined by his humility. He died in 1959.

Tracy E. Williams Jr.

Augusta

Comments (12) Add comment
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carcraft
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carcraft 02/25/13 - 06:30 am
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I wonder why Lyons was a

I wonder why Lyons was a Republican and not a Democrat?

owensjef3
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owensjef3 02/25/13 - 07:11 am
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Because Republicans wee
Unpublished

Because Republicans wee tolerant and progressive, unlike now.

myfather15
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myfather15 02/25/13 - 08:57 am
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Because progressive liberal's

Because progressive liberal's have done a brilliant job of lying to the American people for the last century and longer. They've confused the lines of ACTUAL compassion. Instead of COMPASSION being wanting to HELP someone in need, it is now considered compassion ONLY when you GIVE them everthing they want and the GOVERNMENT provides for them.

Please tell me if I'm wrong, but Christ taught us to help the poor; He didn't say to give your money to government so THEY may help the poor. But according to liberal philosophy, you're only helping if you give the government and THEY help, hence more and more taxation.

If you're a millionaire or billionaire, it doesn't matter if you give 35-50% of your income to charity, thats not compassion. It's only compassion if you give as the LIBERALS seem appropriate.

Now, keep in mind; the average liberal millionaire/billionaire gives less than 10% of their income to charity. Yet, they are always claiming they would gladly pay more in order to pay their "Fair share". Well, whats stopping you?? It certainly isn't illegal to write a big check to charities or even the federal government, so what are they waiting for? Truth is, they don't like to put their money where their mouth runs daily.

Their compassion is a FALSE compassion, used only to further their agenda.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 02/25/13 - 10:23 am
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OK...I'll reword
Unpublished

owensjef....what are you talking about?

Jane18
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Jane18 02/25/13 - 10:43 am
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2 Smart and Good Men

Mr.Williams, I enoyed reading and learning about these two "Real Men". It is really a shame that their hardwork and determination was not passed down more effectively. I know that had there been men(or women) in my family that accomplished all these two men did, it would have been passed down through the family and friends. Did this, and is this, happening with the two gentlemen in this article(because this is the first time I have heard of them)?

carcraft
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carcraft 02/25/13 - 11:17 am
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I guess Republicans were

I guess Republicans were racist when Eisenhower desegragated schools in Little Rock huh?

carcraft
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carcraft 02/25/13 - 11:19 am
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I guess Folks haven't heard

I guess Folks haven't heard of Robert Byrd, life long Democrat and once a grand Dragon of the KKK? Al Gore's dad, Democratic racist till he died, William Fulbright, Democratic racist till he died. Yep all progrssives, LOL!

dichotomy
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dichotomy 02/25/13 - 11:21 am
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"Because Republicans wee

"Because Republicans wee tolerant and progressive, unlike now."

No, because that is the recipe for success. Note his story. Born poor. Educated himself. Went to work. Became a Republican. Experienced success. Republicans still believe in the same recipe....for all. It still works today.

Unfortunately the Democrat's recipe is born poor, social promotions through school, make excuses for not getting a job, file for welfare, food stamps, Section 8, get your Obamaphone, and keep voting Democrat.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 02/25/13 - 11:45 am
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Republican's believe in Malo
Unpublished

Republican's believe in "malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem." Democrats seem to believe the opposite.

par 3
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par 3 02/25/13 - 11:48 am
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Great letter, Tracy

No matter how much positive history about black people is shared, there is always someone out there to question the legitimacy of the claim. I hope the few negative people who comment on this site do not represent the views of most Augustans, because, if they do, we may as well give up trying to convince them that we are legitimate. Let us, as a people, as best we can, try and live positive lives, no matter the negative comments.

owensjef3
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owensjef3 02/25/13 - 12:56 pm
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I'm sorry I posted a response
Unpublished

I'm sorry I posted a response to car craf I did not mean to distract from two great stories with silliness

carcraft
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carcraft 02/25/13 - 01:07 pm
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Owensjef3 sorry I provoked

Owensjef3 sorry I provoked you to silliness!

Bantana
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Bantana 02/25/13 - 07:32 pm
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Some people never miss a

Some people never miss a chance to detract from a positive story about the achievements of African-Americans, with callous remarks like, "It is really a shame that their hardwork and determination was not passed down more effectively."

Gage Creed
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Gage Creed 02/25/13 - 08:51 pm
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I'm waiting on Nordic History

I'm waiting on Nordic History Month so "some people" get a chance to strike back with some callous remarks.

Say…isn’t “some people” a code word?

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 02/25/13 - 09:32 pm
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"if they do, we may as well

"if they do, we may as well give up trying to convince them that we are legitimate. "

That is a bothersome statement. I think you will find that 98% of the critics find anyone with a good work ethic, that doesn't eschew education and bothers to have a command of the language, that behave as responsible and polite citizens, to be LEGITIMATE.

AutumnLeaves
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AutumnLeaves 03/14/13 - 02:21 pm
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par3 and Bantana it is my

par3 and Bantana it is my impression that most of the comments are supportive of the letter. Most of the posters are not supportive of owensjef's and others negative and false comments about Republicans.

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