Posts Tagged ‘Montgomery’



Patricia and Diane Story

“Papa, why do you call me, Petunia?”

“Because you are beautiful and sweet, just like a petunia,” answered the old man as he slowly rocked on his front porch.

The old man was speaking to my sister, Patricia Anne Story. She was the granddaughter who soaked up his stories of old – stories about Colonial America, Georgia, England and Scotland. Our beloved grandfather was patriarch of the Story family who lived in Tucker, Georgia. He liked Tucker, but his heart belonged to Lincoln County Georgia, where he was born and raised. It’s where he met his true love, Nancy Bentley. He was the awesome Horace Lawton Story, Sr.

Those stories only served to wet Sister’s whistle. (If he’d only known what he started!) As an adult, Patricia spent hours on end researching courthouses, archives, museums, libraries, and cemeteries (She once fell into a rotted grave! Thank you Aunt Nancy for pulling her out!). Add a life time with aunts, uncles and cousins, gathering and confirming information about our family: Story, Bentley, Ramsey, Gunby, Montgomery, Smalley, Paschal, Duckworth, Swint, Digby, O’Neal, Tankersley, Eubanks, Briscoe, Newton, Hardin, and Reid families, all of which make up the Horace Lawton Story family.

Patricia took on the huge project of refurbishing old and damaged family photographs, even hiring an artist to replace the eye balls of our great-grandmother Sallie Gunby-Story in a portrait. Sallie’s eyes were poked out with a pencil while Lawton and Nancy’s children were young. The refurbished photo can be found in the story Thomson Train Station.

I grew up with little interest of the past, especially the deceased. (What was Sister thinking?) But upon each return from a Lincoln County exploration, she infiltrated my mind little by little. The information about our bygone family swirled in my head until I was in. I wrote little stories about them. Then I too had to return to Lincoln County to see for myself, see the lake that swallowed me up at age four, see where Aunt Donn lived, see the monuments that bore the names of my grandfathers of old, and search out any clues that we were there.

When I have a question, I call Sister. She graciously answers any time day or night. If she can’t recall instantly, she says, “Let me get back to you with that one.”

And she does. Thank you, Patricia!

I would like to acknowledge the following for their contribution to The Ghosts of Lincoln County:

Our inspiration: Papa Story – Horace Lawton Story, Sr., also (Aunt) Nancy Bentley Story-Goss, Robert Randolph Story, Vickie Graves-Watkins, Gene Graves, Patricia Moss, Dwain Moss, Tom Poland, Bill Tankersley, Laverne Story-Stanley, Darryl Bentley, and Allan L. Bentley. And, the Lincoln Journal, the sweet ladies at the Thomson Library, McDuffie Museum, Thomson Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Chamber of Commerce, and Aunt Donn for her Southern hospitality in her Lincoln County home so many years ago.

And last but not least, I would like to thank my father, Thomas Jonathan Story, Sr., for instilling the love of Lincoln County in my heart.

Painstaking detail has been made to present the correct information, particularly with names, dates, places and history, though The Ghosts of Lincoln County is not a history book. Just enough history is provided to create a setting for a story about real people and how their lives marked community, family and the State of Georgia. Creative license has been used to round out some of the stories, particularly with “conversations.”

The Ghosts of Lincoln County  (c) copyright 2016 by Diane Story All Rights Reserved