Glaze Family History

Herman Thomas Glaze

Born: March 5, 1912 - Died: Jun 7, 1996


A Biographical Sketch 

 Compiled and written by

Jeffrey Lee Glaze


Includes material from taped interviews with H.T. Glaze, his wife Kate Glaze, Children and Grandchildren)


He was Married to Lille Kate Hughes. Their Children were:

  • James Eugene Glaze

  • Beatrice Evalyn Glaze

  • Katherine Anne Glaze

  • Ray Edward Glaze

  • Ralph Herbert Glaze

  • Martha Nell Glaze


Herman Thomas Glaze was born March 5, 1912 in Walton County, Georgia. He was the first-born child of James David Glaze and his wife, Violet Ramsden Glaze. He was born at home in the family's rented three-room house.


As a child, Herman attended Oakland Elementary School, Walker Bennett Elementary School, and Rock Chapel Elementary School. The family moved around quite a lot, which accounts for the number of schools he attended. While attending Oakland Elementary in the second grade, he became acquainted with seventh grader Lillie Kate Hughes, who was later to become his wife. Kate recalls Herman being a "big" boy for his age. When children played games at recess, Herman was one of the first chosen because of his size. Herman dropped out of school after the seventh grade in order to work and help support the family.

Infant Herman Glaze


His father, James David Glaze was a sharecropper, and eldest son Herman, helped with the family farming as much as possible.


As a young boy, Herman remembers that his mother, Violet Glaze would load her children into a one horse wagon, pulled by their mule named Nell, and take them to visit her father's home in the vicinity of Dacula and Buford, in Gwinnett County. The trip was an all day activity, which started in the wee hours of the morning, and lasted till after dusk. Mrs. Glaze's father, Thomas Ramsden, a native of England, lived in a log home, in Gwinnett County, which he had built himself.  Mr. Ramsden earned his living as a surveyor and a farmer, and is said to have been the surveyor who "laid out" the town of Buford, Georgia. Herman and the brothers and sisters enjoyed picking strawberries in a "big patch" down by their grandfatherís barn. During this period in the late 1920's, Herman and his family were members of Mountain View Baptist Church, in Stone Mountain, Georgia.


Herman recalls a particular chore he performed, while in his early teen years, for his father and Uncle Albert, who were working on a still owned by a Mr. Moon, located on a piece of land called Miller bottoms, (near Walnut Grove, GA) also owned by Mr. Moon. The task assigned to Herman and a cousin, was to hide out in a nearby haystack with a cowbell at the ready, to be rung when someone unknown to them would approach. The occasion to sound the alarm never arose. Herman's Uncle Luther (Luther Marion Glaze) also helped in distributing the "product" from the still. He was a peddler, and would buy the moonshine, and sell it on his routes. Herman remembers the moonshine selling for about $.25 per gallon.


His father, James David Glaze went to work in the late 1920's at the Stone Mountain Quarry. Herman also worked at the quarry for a time as a water boy. In March of 1929 James David Glaze was killed in an air compressor explosion at the quarry where both worked. Seventeen-year-old Herman was not at the immediate site of the explosion, but did arrive there as his father, still conscious, was being loaded aboard a train car to be transported to the village of Stone Mountain. Herman said that his father was in very bad shape when he saw him, vividly recalling to mind the horrible images of the wounds his father had suffered.  His father died later at the hospital. Herman and his mother Violet purchased an eight plot cemetery lot for $12 at the Walnut Grove Methodist Episcopal Church, where his father was buried. 


(The complete text of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution articles about this explosion is included in the biography of James David Glaze.)


The Glaze family sold some of the products of their farming labors in the farmer's markets in Decatur Georgia. Herman tells a story of the time he was selling sausage on the courthouse square in Decatur. The Dekalb County sheriff, Jake Hall, had prohibited folks from selling goods on the square itself, and a series of market stalls had been set up down the street. Herman set up on the Courthouse Square and began selling his family's homemade sausage. He had several customers buy from him before a Sheriff's deputy came by to chase him off. The way he told the story, the deputy shoved him, and he shoved back and knocked the deputy to the ground. He was promptly arrested and taken to the Dekalb County Jail. Mrs. Hall, the wife of the Sheriff, was in charge of the jail. She got Herman to promise to sell his sausage in the right place, and let him go. One of the customers who had bought sausage from Herman on the Court House Square earlier in the day, before he was arrested, was Mrs. Hall herself, and that sausage was destined to be served to the Sheriff.


Herman worked during hard times at whatever employment he could find.  He told of the time he severely injured his left hand while using dynamite to dig holes for an orchard being planted along Memorial Drive. As of the mid 1980's, some of the trees he planted were still standing.


He married Lillie Kate Hughes on December 26, 1931. When Herman went to Kate's home to take her to be married, Kate's father was working in the yard cutting wood with an ax, and when Herman approached, Mr. Hughes jokingly brought up the ax as if to frighten him away. They had planned to marry at the home of "preacher Handy" but they became aware that a group of their friends, who had plans to play some practical jokes on the couple, were waiting at the preacherís house, so they went on to the home of the pastor of the Clarkston Baptist Church in Clarkston, Georgia.  After their marriage, Herman and Kate lived for while with his mother in Stone Mountain.


In (1932) Herman and Kate moved to northern Dekalb County where they share cropped, and he worked at numerous jobs while saving money to buy their own land. Kate joined the local Methodist Congregation at Winter's Chapel Methodist Church, on Winter's Chapel Road in Doraville, Georgia. Although he attended church often as a boy with his family, Herman was not in the habit of being in regular attendance at Winter's Chapel Methodist Church. Kate, on the other hand, hardly ever missed a Sunday. Kate's sister, Bernice, was a schoolteacher at the "Tilly School House" on Tilly Mill Road, at the later site of North Peachtree Baptist Church. Bernice lived with Herman and Kate for a while.


Herman's first full time job earned him 25 cents per hour working as a construction overseer on the construction of Pine Lake in Dekalb County. He recalls digging and building a wooden trough used to fill the lake from a nearby creek. He also took work on the Pine Lake project as a night watchman.


During the 1930's he earned money working for the Works Project Administration. Herman started driving a school bus for Dekalb County Schools. He was a driver for 36 years, during which time he drove his own children and grand children to school. When he first began driving, he owned his own school bus, which he purchased with Dekalb County School board backing. He very much enjoyed driving the School bus. Herman had a playful sense of humor, which he used to good effect with children on his bus.



Herman and Kate's first child was James Eugene Glaze, who was born at their home. Together they made the decision to name their child James, in honor of both of their fathers. Kate said that Herman chose the name Eugene. Three of Herman and Kate's children were born at home. Herman was away from home seeking work in Norfolk, Virginia at the time of his daughter Kathryn's birth. His brother in law, Roy Shiver, was working in Norfolk, and Herman drove his sister's Pontiac to Norfolk via U.S. Route 23. He rushed home by plane at the news of his daughter's birth.


When their son Ray (Ray Edward Glaze) was born, Herman's aunt "Melter" (Mildred Luvene Glaze) came out to their home to live with them and help out.


Herman and Kate with children; James. Beatrice, Ray and Katherine


During the 1930's Herman began working for Dekalb County Justice of the Peace Roddy McElroy as a constable. He and other law enforcement officers searched out and destroyed several moonshine stills, and he also served eviction notices, and other legal papers. The job of constable required that he buy his own gun, for which he purchased a 38-caliber revolver for $60. Kate did not want him to work as a constable because of the danger she believed he faced in that job. Herman said, "I like to got killed twice." There was an occasion when a drunken woman on whom he was serving legal papers struck him unconscious. He continued as a constable until that job was changed to County Bailiff, and continued as a Bailiff until the 1950's.


Herman also worked as a night watchman for the Standard Oil Company for thirteen years. Some of his grandchildren recall visiting him on the job in the evenings at the Standard Oil facility in Doraville, Georgia.


He and his wife Kate established a small grocery store on Peeler Road in northern Dekalb County, near what is now Winward Court. His wife worked the one room store. Later Herman and Kate bought some land on which to build a new store at the intersection of Winterís Chapel Road and Peeler Road. This new store included a small grist mill attached to the building. Neighbors brought their corn and other grains to the store to be milled. He also sold gasoline.

HT Glaze Grocery (about 1939)

On Thursday, August 27, 1953, in the early afternoon, the store, along with the attached grist mill and warehouse, was burned to the ground in an accidental fire, started when sparks ignited dust in the mill while Herman's second son Ray (Ray Edward Glaze) was operating the mill. Herman's youngest son, Ralph (Ralph Herbert Glaze) was helping his big brother filling bags in the mill when the fire broke out, and for a short time the family feared that Ralph had been caught up in the fire. Fortunately Ralph had gotten clear and was just fine. But, the grocery store was a total loss. The fire advanced so rapidly that Herman and his son Ray were unable to even attempt to put out the fire. Large drums of gasoline and kerosene exploded, intensifying the fire. Herman and Ray did all they could to pull goods from the store as it burned. Ten year old Ralph attempted to help fight the fire by taking the glass globe of a gum drop machine and filling it with water to throw on the flames. There was no insurance, and the loss was well over fifty one thousand dollars. Much of the Dekalb County fire department turned out to the fire, but were able to do little more than watch, and try to prevent the fire from spreading to other nearby outbuildings. While the store was being rebuilt, Herman and Kate operated the grocery store from the front rooms of their small home, with what goods they had rescued from the fire and what they could afford to purchase. Their children remember the cramped conditions and competition for space in their home with the "store's" dry goods.


Herman built a new store and a few years later a new brick family home. Both were still standing at the time of his death in 1996. When each of Herman and Kate's children came of age, he offered them some assistance in getting started on their own. Each was offered an acre of land or the equivalent in cash. This is how three of his children came to live virtually next door to Herman and Kate. Herman had cut a dirt Road across his property from a point on Peeler Road next to his home, looping around to Winter's Chapel Road, across the street from Winter's Chapel Methodist Church. The road was named Lakeside drive, but there was more than one Lakeside drive in North Dekalb County, and the County asked Herman to rename the road. The children were excited about prospect of naming a road, and made all kinds of suggestions, but Herman chose to call it Glaze Drive.  Over the years, Herman built homes on his land along the street and sold them. One home that he built was a house for his mother and sister. His grandson Jeff Glaze bought .57 acres in 1980 and later built a house. Glaze drive remained dirt until 1968 when it was paved for about half its length by Dekalb County. Many maps still show Glaze Drive looping from Peeler Road to Winterís Chapel Road, but those maps are in error. Glaze Drive became a dead end street in the late 1970ís.


HT Glaze home at 4985 Glaze Drive

In the mid-1960's, Herman built a larger home for himself and Kate on Glaze Drive. He and Kate's new home was two stories, with a full basement, and plenty of room. An upstairs suite of rooms served as the home of his brother in law, Herbert Howard Hughes, who had lived with them since his return from service in the United States Army in World War Two. He loved to build and utilize "outbuildings" on his property. For many years they kept cows, pigs and chickens in a number of barns, chicken coops, pig pens, and other outbuildings.

Herman never liked to throw anything away that might be of some use at a later time, which resulted in numerous storage buildings filled often to capacity. Some of these traits were passed on to his sons. Three of the children, Beatrice, Ray, and James all built their homes on adjacent lots.


The grandchildren of Herman Thomas Glaze knew and loved him as their "Papa". Some of the great grandchildren called him, "Great-Papa". Because three of his children lived within walking distance of his home, ten of the grandchildren grew up close to Herman and Kate, visiting often, and even catching the school bus at the end of his driveway. His yard, gardens and property served as the playground for grandchildren who were used to having him near. Often in later years, he would park on his property in his pick-up truck looking over his land and enjoying watching the world, and people, as they flowed by, sometimes enjoying a cigar (as Kate did not enjoy having him smoke in the house). And many times one of his children or grandchildren would discover him snoozing as he sat in his truck.


Herman enjoyed farming and watching plants grow. Every year for as long as any family member can remember, he planted a garden with corn, tomatoes, squash, potatoes and other crops. To be sure, Kate enjoyed gardening as much as he, and she worked the gardens as hard or harder. Much of their gardening included flowers because of Kate's love for beautiful flowers of all varieties.


Their son Ray Edward Glaze inherited this green thumb and often participated in keeping the crops planted and harvested.

Herman on his Ford tractor


When it got difficult for Herman to do some of the planting, Ray would often do the planting for his father, sometimes heeding Herman instructions and desires, and sometimes not. Daughter Beatrice, who lived just across the street, would often assist her mother in harvesting the bounty of Herman and Kate's green thumbs. One thing Herman definitely like to do himself was to hop on the tractor and do some plowing, or bush hogging. The tractor was a good way for him to ride around and enjoy a cigar (Swisher Sweets being a favorite brand).


Upon the occasion of Herman's sixty-ninth birthday, on March 5, 1981, his sister Edna Louise Glaze Shiver presented him the following poem:

Just look at the baby picture and you will see,

A baby so pretty any woman his Mother proudly would be,

A little red wagon his heart did crave,

Would you believe $1.25 for it is all she gave?


Curiosity, they say, killed the cat,

But this boy almost lost all that,

Playing with a dynamite cap he just wanted to see

what was on the inside, and so he did

Just look at his hand if he's not got it hid.


Then he grew up and started to date,

And it wasn't long before he married Kate,

Three boys and three girls he struggled to raise,

But now he has 16 grandchildren to praise.


He started off with a snuff box store,

But wasn't long before he had more.<:f>

Nothing stopped him for long

being wiped out by fire only made him strong.


A brother so cheerful and willing to give,

This he'll always be as long as he lives.

69 is not so old,

I'll bet his mind is full of stories yet to be told,


He loves sweets almost as much as me

Just go easy on them and maybe you'll see 103!


by Edna Louise Glaze Shiver,             March 5, 1981

Herman Thomas Glaze was admitted to Saint Joseph's Hospital on Saturday June 1, 1996. He suffered a massive stroke while in the hospital, and died at 4:05 am Friday, June 7, 1996. 

During his hospitalization, all of his children and his wife Kate spent time at this bedside. He was aware of their presence. His daughter Kathryn stayed overnight with him, as did his son-in-law "Buddy Coker", who was at his side when he died. Herman Thomas Glaze's burial was at the Winters Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery on the afternoon of Sunday, June 9th 1996. Several of his grandsons served as pallbearers.



Following is the text of an article which appeared in the Friday, August 28, 1953 edition of the Atlanta Constitution regarding the fire that destroyed Mr. & Mrs. H. T. Glaze's Grocery Store. The article included a photograph of three firemen sifting through the burned out rubble with the following caption; "FIREMEN SALVAGE STOVE WOOD AND MERCHANDIZE FROM MILL FIRE, Firemen L-R: O.F. Lanfley, Willard C. Townsend, and J. A. Murphy Toss Wood from Ashes."


Doraville Fire Destroys 3 Buildings

A $51,000 fire early Thursday afternoon destroyed a grocery store, grist mill, and warehouse located at the junction of Peeler and Winter Chapel Roads in Doraville

The buildings, belonging to Herman T. Glaze, 42, Peeler Road, were burned to the ground. The blaze was believed caused by a spark from a stone striking the steel mill as Glaze and his son Ray Glaze were grinding hay for feed.

The spark flew to a pile of finely ground hay and spread to another pile of hay nearby, Glaze stated.

Glaze and his son tried to fight the fire with their well pump but the blaze spread to an attached store and warehouse.

Fourteen fire trucks from the surrounding communities responded but were hampered in fighting the flames by a lack of water.

A 500-gallon fuel tank in the mill exploded but two gasoline tanks in an attached shed remained undamaged.

The fire destroyed a quantity of television sets, radios, washing machines, $300 worth of hay, the mill and its machinery and a quantity of office supplies. Glaze and his son managed to save about $350 worth of groceries from the flames.

© 1996-2005 by Jeffrey Lee Glaze. All Rights Reserved. Materials on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of the author. 

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March 07, 2017