Friday, April 5, 2013

Jesse Goodwin Saunders

Jesse Goodwin Saunders is pretty much a mystery. On the 1910 census, my aunt's future father in law, Julian Washington Riddick was a teenager living with him and his wife, listed as their adopted son.

Jesse Saunders Patent
Jesse Saunders was born in Virginia on July 11, 1863 and died in Lake Park, Lowndes County Georgia on August 19, 1927. He married Mamie Saunders in 1886. She was born in Georgia in 1865 and died in Lake Park, Georgia on October 23, 1934.

Jesse and Mamie had a small farm outside Lake Park. He hadn't always been a farmer though as I found a record of him being appointed the Postmaster for Alexanderville in Echols County, Georgia on November 24, 1886.

I'm not sure why or how Julian Riddick came to be living with them. His father, Julian Fraser Riddick had died in 1903 but his mother was still alive and he had a lot of other relatives in Washington County and Panama City, Florida he could have gone to live with. How did he end up in the small Georgia community of Lake Park near where I-75 is today?

Julian's father was born in Virginia so it is possible Saunders was a family friend or relative. I haven't found any connection yet. Julian listed Lake Park, Georgia as his home town on census, marriage records and his military enlistment papers so he must have considered the Saunder's farm as home.

Jesse Saunders Death Certificate
I did find another record for Jesse Saunders which is interesting and maybe will help my cousins out down the road. He filed a patent on May 29, 1906 for an "Apparatus for Distilling Turpentine." It looks like a new and improved still that cooled the turpentine spirits before it could evaporate away or leak out of the wooden barrels.

Jesse and Mamie never had any children of their own so Julian Washington Riddick may have been their only heir.

I don't know if anyone is still using his still or if it ever had any monetary value. If so, then my cousins owe me a finders fee for anything they collect from their adopted grandfather's invention. You don't see a lot of people collecting the sap from Pine trees anymore so maybe the petroleum substitutes took over before Jesse could make any money on his idea.  

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