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The history of Haralson County

  Our humble roots: how it all began

August 2004

(Revised July 2009)

by Peggy Kimball
with minor editing and embedded painting by Ron Feigenblatt

Early settlers in Haralson County were Cherokee and Creek Indians. There were approximately 34,000 Cherokees and 10,000 Creeks. They roamed the many wooded areas hunting for their food, and they had many streams to fish in.

There were few white settlers prior to the early 19th century when the final Indian treaty was signed in 1827. The Georgia Legislature created five new counties: Carroll, Coweta, Lee, Muskogee and Troup. Settlers began moving into the area and felt they needed a county seat where they could conduct county government.

Now, keep in mind that travel was very slow, either by horse, mule teams or oxen.

Some influential gentlemen petitioned the state legislature to create what became Haralson County. The new county which officially began life on January 26, 1856, was Georgia's 112th and named for a statesman, Hugh Haralson.

Land lots south of the Cherokee line were 202.5 acres and those north of the line were 40.5 acres. Settlers began moving to the area in search of gold after the Indians were removed. Gold had been discovered in North Georgia. The search, however, turned out to be more work than it was worth and the settlers turned to cultivating crops, namely cotton.

Opossum Snout, Haralson County, Georgia

Painted 1891 by Lyell E. Carr (1857-1912)
Oil on canvas, 28.5 x 40.75 inches

In the permanent collection of the Morris Museum of Art, (Augusta, GA) which writes: using the former name of the once quiet community of Opossum Snout as the image's title, Carr recalls a time in the South before the turbulent period of the Civil War.

This painting is evidently the same work as one titled A Georgian Peddler, which is rendered as a sketch on pg. 271 of The Quarterly Illustrator for 1894. On November 19, 1892, The New York Times was favorable, but less than ebullient in its assessment. In an article titled AUTUMN SHOW AT THE ACADEMY it wrote the following: Mr. Lyell Carr continues to send Georgia types, but he is beginning to paint very hard again. "A Georgia Peddler" hardly explains itself; it is to be supposed that the yellow man with the fowling piece has his eyes on a bird. "The Moonshiner's Daughter" is a trifle conventional in pose and hard in painting. But Mr. Carr is on the right track.

Small towns began to spring up all over the area. Among the first was "Possum Snout", and "Wolf Pen", later called "Kramer", which later became Bremen.

The county seat, Buchanan, was originally called Pierceville until it was noted that Georgia had another Pierceville already. Both towns were named in honor of the former President Franklin Pierce. The first incorporation was granted on December 22, 1857. The town was designed in the traditional sense, around a courthouse in the center of town.

The historic courthouse was built in 1891 and 1892. The contractor was C.W. Goldin and the price of the contract was $19,000. The contractor ran out of money and Mr. Davenport, the Ordinary, wrote out a warrant for $1,000 to complete the building. He was promptly defeated in the next election.

Railroads aided substantially in the growth of the county and manufacturing soon augmented the local economy for decades to come.

Many changes have taken place in our county, most of them good. While we are no longer the "Clothing Center of The South" we enjoy the best of everything. Medical facilities, great doctors and reasonable driving distances to larger cities and universities all contribute to make Haralson County "A great place to visit, and a better place to live."