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J. Henry Burnett was the son of Rev. J. H. Burnett (Professor & Preacher). J. Henry lived in Auburn until the 1930s when he went to Atlanta, Georgia. His love of Auburn prompted him to write to the Auburn Times about the many people he knew and admired so well. He named his writings "Auburn in the Long Ago."

Subject:    Mr. Jack Gordon, the Miller.

Auburn Times – October 28, 1938

The Auburn Flour Mill has been quite a factor in Auburn and the surrounding country. The farmers found a ready market for wheat and the housewives found mighty good flour for their biscuits. My mother made many thousands of biscuits from the flour milled in Auburn, to-say nothing of the million or more tea-cakes or cookies, as we called them, also cakes and pies, and they were A Number One.

I remember Mr. Jack Gordon, tall and strong, as the miller. He and his wife, who was a Miss Darby, (sister of Miss Mary Darby, the milliner), had three children, Charlie, Jessie and Flora. Charlie and I were classmates and desk-mates at Auburn College and I recall that we were great rivals in algebra. As soon as the bell rang for “books,” the boys would see which could reach Prof. Burnett first and ask to go and bring water from the well or spring, not far away. I can see Jessie now rushing up to Prof. Burnett and saying, “Can I and Charlie go after water?” So, they took the two buckets, one for water for the boys and the other for water for the girls and in a few minutes would return with two bucks of water. Then there was another rush for the privilege of passing the water to the students, one going to the boys and another to the girls. Every boy drank from the same bucket and same dipper and every girl drank from the same bucket and same dipper. WE had never heard of germs or microbes and some of us are still living in spite of such unsanitary proceedings in the long ago.

Jessie never married. Flora married and lived in Denver until a few years ago, when her husband, a doctor died. Charlie has married twice, has two daughters by his first wife, both of whom are married. He has no children by his second wife. They all four live in Columbia, S.C., where until recently Charlie had charge of the Imperial Hotel there and Jessie was and still is an engineer. Flora makes her home there.

When the children were in their teens, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon moved to Bowling Green. This family was not as large as some, but as fine as any – being one of the most substantial in Auburn. Mr. Griffith afterwards became the miller.


Yours sincerely,

                        Macon, Georgia




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