Summer 2021
News & Updates from
the Milton Historical Society
Student Smith and
“Chain” Pig

ALPHARETTA, GA. —- Emerson Smith, student at the Milton High School here, is pictured feeding his porker, a unit in an “endless pig chain” system which functions like the old dime letter game. It started with the purchase of four pure bred black Poland China sows and one boar. “Blessed events” brought 24 new pigs, 16 of which were females, and these were distributed among the students. With each new litter, two pigs are returned to the school committee, the mother pigs becoming sole property of the boys to whom they were assigned. Eventually it is hoped that 650 pure breeds will be available for farms of the community. The idea was originated by P. L. Elkins, vocational agriculture instructor, to give students pigs which they could not afford to purchase themselves.
7-26-38 Cleveland Bureau

News article and photograph submitted by Mark Amick

According to Connie Mashburn, Milton Historical Society Resident Historian, Elkins also provided seed money for the Milton High School Log Cabin, an FFA project.
Local farmers, such as W. H. Nix on Birmingham Road, often raised pure bred Ohio Improved Chester (O.I.C.) swine for their lard content. The Nix - Bell property on Birmingham Road has been recognized by the City of Milton with an historical marker.


Muse from Sir Winston Churchill
"I am fond of pigs.
Dogs look up to us.
Cats look down on us.
Pigs treat us as equals."
Civil War Battle of Atlanta
William Burney Morris

by Jean Fitch Hambrick

Early on that July 1864 morning, William Burney Morris once again climbed the peach tree in the yard of Crossroads School to better see what was happening in Atlanta. Located at Mount Vernon Highway and Powers Ferry Road, near his home, it was the highest point around. All summer he had been able to observe the skirmishes around Atlanta but this morning Sherman was through with Atlanta and struck the match before continuing his march of destruction across Georgia. William Burney Morris sat in that peach tree and watched Atlanta burn. He was my great grandfather.

No doubt, at barely fifteen, he had begged his widowed mother to let him join the Confederate Army to avenge the death of his three brothers. He was the youngest of nine children. As evidenced by the attached documentation, his brother James W. Morris, Company H. 7th Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Army of Northern Virginia, C.S.A., Cobb County, Georgia, “Roswell Guards”, died December 24, 1861 at Camp Centreyville, Virginia. He was 25 years old. 

His brother, Alexander W. “Sandy” Morris, Company E. 22nd Reg. Georgia Volunteer Infantry, Army of Northern Virginia, C.S.A. Forsyth and Milton Counties, Georgia, “Warsaw Rebels”, died July 5, 1862 in the military hospital in Richmond, Virginia from wounds suffered June 25, 1862 at King’s School House, Virginia. He was 20 years old.

His brother, Benjamin F. Morris, for whom my grandfather was named, enlisted with his brother, Alexander W. Morris, fought alongside and was wounded in the same battle. He died in the same military hospital in Richmond, Virginia on July 3, 1862, two days before his brother. He was 18 years old.

I can only imagine the overwhelming grief suffered by my great great grandmother, Elizabeth “Betsey” Kendall Morris, after the death of her husband, Charles Wesley Morris in 1860, and then within a seven month period, the deaths of three of her nine children.

William Burney Morris married Charity Rhoda Jett on November 27, 1873, with whom he had fourteen (14) children. He is buried in the family plot at Sandy Springs United Methodist Cemetery just down the road from that peach tree at Crossroads School.

These and many other stories have passed from generation to generation and finally to me through my grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Morris and my mother, Mary Maxwell Morris Fitch.
Editor's note: William Burney Morris was the grandfather of Milton historian Aubrey Morris and the great grandfather of Jean Fitch Hambrick, who wrote this piece in 2009.

Article submitted by Jim Farris
Used with permission of author Jean Fitch Hambrick
The WW II Parachute Wedding Dress
by Jenny Ashcraft
February 17, 2021
During WW II, resourceful brides all over the country demonstrated ingenuity, creativity, and support for the war effort by making wedding gowns out of parachutes. Fabric for bridal gowns was hard to come by, and brides learned to make do – or do without. Meanwhile, parachute makers were held to stringent standards, and if a parachute was rejected for any reason, the white nylon or silk fabric became surplus. Many brides used that surplus fabric for wedding gowns. This is the story of one WW II bride and her parachute wedding dress.

In the summer of 1942, the Navy established WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). WAVES aimed to free up men for sea duty by replacing them with enlisted women for onshore jobs. Twenty-year-old Janet Gleason from Massachusetts decided to join the WAVES. She was assigned to Joint Fort Dix Army Air Force Base in New Jersey, where she served as a Parachute Rigger Second Class.

That same summer, Idaho native Reo Arland Casper, 19, registered for the draft. Shortly after, he enlisted in the US Marines and was admitted into an elite Marine paratrooper training school. Paramarines were required to pass a strict fitness test, with 40% failing the training course. They were also prohibited from marrying. Reo was sent to Fort Dix for special training and eventually promoted to Sergeant.

During training, Paramarines shared the classroom with Navy WAVES. One day, during a class where students learned to fold and pack a parachute, Janet caught Reo’s eye.

The two struck up a friendship. Reo and Janet enjoyed long walks in Central Park and concerts at Radio City Music Hall. Before long, they fell in love. Reo had completed his training and was preparing to head overseas. Before graduation, he had to complete one final jump, and Janet carefully packed his chute. Reo received orders and prepared to ship out. Before leaving, he asked for Janet’s hand in marriage. They planned to wed as soon as the war was over.

Reo and Janet faithfully wrote letters and looked forward to reuniting one day. Janet’s commanding officer knew that she could not afford a wedding dress and gave her a Japanese silk parachute. The beautiful silk was the perfect fabric for a wedding gown.

Janet designed and sewed her wedding dress and then carefully packed it away, waiting for the war to end. That day finally came when Reo returned to the United States for official discharge in California on October 19, 1945. He and Janet made arrangements to reunite in his hometown in Idaho. Janet boarded a train, and after three years, the two were finally together again.
As wedding plans got underway, the couple encountered challenges when Reo’s mother objected to the wedding. She was concerned about the couple’s religious differences. Unwilling to be deterred, Reo and Janet traveled to Dillon, Montana, where they eloped on October 31, 1945. At last, Janet was able to wear the wedding gown that she meticulously designed and sewed from a parachute.
Reo and Janet were married for 58 years. She passed away in 2004 and Reo, one year later in 2005. The parachute wedding gown that Janet made is now part of the Hutchings Museum collection.

Reprinted with permission: Fold3 by Ancestry
Article submitted by Jim Farris
Milton Historical Society Explores Local Cemeteries
In an effort to identify the precise locations of Milton’s 28 cemeteries, members of the Milton Historical Society are photographing each site, updating GPS coordinates, and providing this new data for the City’s on-line interactive map.

The Society’s mission is to preserve and promote Milton’s past through exploration and education. This cemetery project will help foster a better understanding of our heritage.

According to project leader Jim Farris, Milton has 28 cemeteries, however, 9 have either unknown locations or no grave markers. This particular cemetery is called the Adams Family Cemetery, located off Arnold Mill Road, and contains over a dozen graves marked with upright stones. Milton’s only Revolutionary War veteran, Pvt. James Adams of the 3rd Regiment South Carolina was buried at this cemetery. 

Pictured from left to right is Pat Miller, President of the Alpharetta and Old Milton County Historical Society; Jim Farris, Milton Historical Society's Board member; and Jeff Dufresne, the Society's President.
Muse of the month!
Wisdom from Margaret Mead, anthropologist:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
Airport in North Fulton?
by Connie Mashburn

In early January 1970, the outlook was bleak for North Fulton residents who valued their privacy. Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell announced that Atlanta would build a second airport in either McDonough or North Fulton. The North Fulton site would cover much of northern Alpharetta and the area now known as the City of Milton. One of the runways would have crossed Freemanville, Summit, Brittle, Bethany, and Hopewell Roads. 

A few days after that announcement, Mayor Massell declared that he, the Atlanta city aldermen, and the airlines had chosen North Fulton as the preferred site. Opposition was quickly organized by North Fulton leaders. Highly respected attorney Alford Wall was hired to lead the opposition. 

A planning session was held at the Roswell High School gym, and nearly 700 enthusiastic and vocal residents attended. There, committees were created, and soon letters and phone calls were directed to politicians and other influential people. Many of the recipients, including members of the Fulton County commission, were persuaded to join the opposition. Several members of the Georgia General Assembly were recruited as allies. Anti-airport rallies were held in communities and churches throughout North Fulton. “No Airport In North Fulton,” signs and bumper stickers were everywhere.

To shorten the story, after several months had passed the City of Atlanta caved, citing higher costs if North Fulton County was picked for a second airport (which had been the case from the beginning). However, North Fulton citizens were certain that they had simply outworked and outsmarted their neighbors to the South.
Congressional Response to Connie Mashburn
Coming Attractions...

Milton Historical Society events and programs scheduled for Autumn 2021:

  • Social at Wildberry Creek Farm
  • Booth at the Crabapple Fest
  • Ron Grossman, Presidential Paramours
  • Ann Foskey, Sweet Apple Memories
  • Ed Malowney, Barbara Latham, Connie Mashburn, Old Milton Post Offices
  • Holiday gathering

Watch this space for more information on dates and venues!
Milton Historical Society Patrons

Many thanks for your support!

Lifetime Patrons
Amy and Mark Amick
Josephine and Jeff Dufresne
Felton Anderson Herbert**
Johnny Herbert
Bill Lusk
Linda and Robert Meyers
Adam Orkin
Charlie Roberts
Sarah Roberts
Marsha and Kevin Spear
Karen Thurman

** An additional 2021 gift of $250 was made in honor of Robert Meyers

Corporate Sponsors
Lithic Genealogy Group
The William B. Orkin Foundation


2021 Patrons
Sustaining Patrons
Kathy Beck
Philip Beck
Byron Foster
Sheryl and Carl Jackson
Steve Krokoff
Holt Lyda
Connie Mashburn
Curtis Mills
Ronnie Rondem
Jennifer and Robert Sorcabal
Family Patrons
Joan Borzilleri
Mary and Gregg Cronk
Amy Dubroc
Linda and James Farris
Laura Foster

Individual Patrons
Elizabeth Montgomery
Lynn Tinley
2020 Patrons
Sustaining Patrons
Kathy Beck
Philip Beck
James Farris
Linda Farris
Byron Foster
Sheryl and Carl Jackson
Steve Krokoff

Individual Patrons
Elizabeth Montgomery
Lynn Tinley
Family Patrons
Sheree and Marc Arrington
Laura Bentley
Wayne Boston
Mary and Gregg Cronk
Lara Dolan
Amy Dubroc
Laura Foster
Seth Garrett
Burt Hewitt
Robert Jamison
Courtney LaFon
Mary Jo and Ed Malowney
Suzanne and Barry Mansell
Paul Moore
Jennifer and Robert Sorcabal
We Love our Founding Members!
Ron Wallace
Felton and Johnny Herbert
Adam Orkin
Pat Miller
Dawn and Keith Reed
Amy Christiansen
Kathy and Philip Beck
Jessica and Warren Cheely
Heather and Joe Killingsworth
Ronnie Rondem
Seth Chandlee
Curtis Mills
Mary Ann and Clarke Otten
Mark Amick
Joan Borzilleri
Norm Broadwell
Jeff Dufresne
James Farris
Byron Foster
Kim Gauger
Bill Lusk
Connie Mashburn
Robert Meyers
Charlie Roberts
Kevin Spear
Karen Thurman