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Gospel Pilgrim: Arthur Thomas, Lonnie Thomas, Willie Strickland

The son of Margaret and Hamilton Thomas, Arthur Thomas was born between 1867 and 1870. Around 1906, he married Gertrude Thomas, and the couple had at least one child, Willie Mae Thomas. In 1910, he worked as a brickmason and rented a home at 288 Bridge Street. He died from unknown causes in 1944. At the time of his death, he lived in Atlanta. [Researched and written by Nic Rasool]

Mr. Lonnie Thomas was born on May 6, 1879. He married Ethel Thomas, who worked as a hotel maid. Lonnie and Ethel had at least six children: Edward, Melvin, Hassie (or “Azzie”), Alfonzo, Charlie, and St. Elmore. Census records show that Lonnie owned his house on 160 Water Oak Street in Athens, Georgia. In 1910, Mr. Thomas went to court and won against someone who had wrongfully disposed of his personal property. His draft card for the military in 1918 listed the same address, along with his employer, the Georgia Plow Company, where he worked for many years as a laborer in the factory. He died from unknown causes on January 20, 1963, and was buried in Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery. [Researched and written by McKenna Sanville]

The son of Edward Strickland and Jennie (Wagner or Wagoner) Strickland, Willie Strickland was born in Athens, GA around 1898. He grew up on First Street, and after marrying Bertha Mae Harvey in 1937, the couple moved down the street to another residence on First Street. Throughout his life, Strickland had many different jobs including working in a saw mill according to the 1920 census, a cotton mill according to the 1930 census, and as a maid according to a 1931 Athens directory. During the Second World War, Strickland registered for the draft, but was not drafted into service, most likely because he was already married and 43 years old at the time. He died from unknown causes on April 6, 1974 in Athens, and was buried in Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery. [Researched and written by Casey Serrano]

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