Madison Springs
Madison County, Georgia

By Rev. C. P. Willcox
1933

 

In THE SOUTHERN BANNER of June 22, 1854, there appeared the following advertisement:

“Madison Springs, Madison County, Georgia.  For the liberal patronage extended to my Springs, and feeling my entire incapacity for their management alone, I have arranged with Aaron Gage, Esq., of Mobile, Alabama, popular host of the “Eutaw House”, to take an interest in them.  The hotel will be under his management during the approaching season.  Mr. Gage’s high reputation as a hotel keeper, connected with the fact that he intends making Georgia his future home, is a sure guarantee that nothing will be wanting under his management to give entire satisfaction.  The reputation of Madison Springs for health, climate, variety and the efficacy of the water; comfort and beauty of its environment, the fine rides, agreeable walks and the distant mountain views, make Madison Springs popular during the summer months and always insures fine society.  The table will be second to none in the country.  The fine German band from Charleston is engaged for the dancing; one member will give dancing lessons and one will teach music.  The Springs are twenty miles from Athens, where two lines of stage coaches are always ready to convey passengers.”

Madison Springs was discovered about 1800, so the story goes, by a man who bore the name of Vineyard, under the following circumstances:

Vineyard lived on the bluff just above the spring, and was suffering from what people thought was leprosy (doubtless it was pellagra).  His wife and children had to go out on the farm in order to make a living for the family.  One day, in the absence of his wife and children, Vineyard crawled down the bluff, suffering from his disease, and fell into the water and mud below the spring, and dipping leaves in the water he bathed himself freely, hoping it would help him, but found he could not get out of the water.  When his wife came back from her work, not finding him at home, she went down to the spring and saw him in the water unable to help himself.  She pulled him out and helped him up the bluff to their home.

The next morning Vineyard realized that he was better than he had been for a long time and decided he would drink the water every day because he saw he was getting better and better.  He felt there was “magic” in the water and that at last he was feeling as sound as anybody.

This is the story of the early discovery by a white man of Madison Springs.  In THE ARABIAN NIGHTS there is a story called “The Walking Bird, the Singing Tree and the Yellow Water.”  “The Yellow Water” in the ARABIAN NIGHTS story was at the top of a mountain, attained only after a dangerous and arduous climb.  The Yellow Water at Madison Springs is at the bottom of a low bluff.  Around this spot the trees, if there were “talking trees”, could tell many a story of days gone by when the Yellow Water of the famous spring flowed on unmindful of the flight of time and the changes that come and go with it.  Romances?  Yes, hidden in the trees and under the trees that do not talk.

In speaking of a natural wonder, it is easy for people to say “The Indians discovered it.”  But there is no record, that I know of, that the Indians discovered the mineral spring in Madison County, afterwards called Madison Springs.  However, it is doubtless true that the Indians discovered this spring in the sense that they discovered everything of importance, because they were the only ones on the place.  But the Indians did not seem to take to this spring, because there is no evidence that the Indians (Cherokee Indians) camped around this spring, such as pottery and arrow heads.  About a quarter of a mile to the east of the mineral spring there is a freestone spring and a good deal of evidence that the Cherokee Indians had a village there, because arrowheads and pottery can easily be found.  The Indians, in the opinion of the writer, seemed to like “freestone water” better than mineral water.  However, this is only a conjecture.  But the real discovery of the Mineral Spring, so far as the white man is concerned, can really be attributed to old man Vineyard and his “leprosy.”  This information came to the writer from Uncle Tom Dean and other old citizens of Madison County who got it by a “handed-down-by-mouth process” – from father to children and grandchildren, as Homer’s poetry and other ancient poets and historians had their handed down.

Looking over the records in the Court House at Danielsville, the first mineral spring, and the freestone springs nearby, naturally gave the name Madison Springs.  This was easily taken up by the public as the name of the place.  We also see this from the inscriptions on the tombstones in the old cemetery not far from the spring.

In tracing the early history at this point, we must look back to 1830, where on February 2 of that year William L. Griffith, Sheriff of Madison County, sold to William J. and Joseph F. Morton the original Madison Springs tract, of 900 acres on North Broad River, containing “all unsold lots and unimproved ones, reserving all the privileges to these lots which have been held and reserved by former owners, etc.”

Why Sheriff Griffith, of Madison County, sold Madison Springs at this time I do not know.  Whether he sold it to satisfy a debt or whether he owned it personally and was simply selling out to the Mortons.  This I know, people were going early to Madison Springs after its discovery by Vineyard, and after the value of the mineral water became known.  The tombstones in the Madison Springs cemetery show this.  The writer has traced ruins of cottages or huts near the spring where the people were living in the summer over a hundred years ago.

I do not this it will be necessary to give here any long abstract of title to show how the Madison Springs property came into the possession of the present owners.  In looking over an abstract from the records in the County Court House, I am touching only certain “high spots” to make this sketch interesting to the general reader.

According to the records, Robert Toombes (who afterwards became a general in the Confederate Army), Blanton M. Hill and P. J. Simmes in 1839 owned the Madison Springs tract of 900 acres, and they sold it Henry J. Pope, along with five other tracts or parcels of land amounting to 2450 acres, for which he paid $7,000.00.

About this time Daniel Morrison of Augusta saw the possibility of developing a wonderful summer resort for health and pleasure at Madison Springs.  Morrison had evidently been spending some time at the Springs and he saw what the water could do for health, and so in September he prevailed upon Henry J. Pope to sell him the land he purchased from Messrs. Toombs, Hill and Simmes in January.  Here we find the records state that on September 24, 1839 Pope conveyed the same 2450 acres, including the Madison Springs tract, to Daniel Morrison, and for the same price he had paid to Toombs, Hill and Simmes in January.  Thus, Daniel Morrison became the sole owner of Madison Springs, which was destined to become one of the South’s celebrated summer resorts in colonial days.  At this time there were small cottages and huts for the summer colony, but Morrison had other plans for his resort as people were coming more and more to the Springs.  He must have a hotel for the crowds that would come to his resort and partake of the magic water which was bubbling from his Mineral Spring.  This hotel was built by Morrison about 1841.  The building was of colonial type, one and a half stories high – the chimneys outside.  The dining room was in the basement, the floor of which was cement.  This cement was evidently of very good quality as the old floor is almost intact to this day.  A porch encircled the building, and Uncle Tom Dean said to walk around the building on this porch thirteen times was equivalent to walking a mile – a favorite sport at the time, especially on rainy days.  There were ample “accessories” such as a large kitchen at the rear of the hotel building.  In colonial days, kitchens were detached from the “main house.”  In this kitchen was a large brick oven for the baking of bread, and there was a coo for the bread-making and a cook for meats and general cooking.  Nearby was a dry well where the meats and milk were kept.  The ruins of the old kitchen and the dry well can be readily seen at this time.  The china used in the rooms of the hotel was etched with a picture of the spring – so to this day pieces can be picked up bearing the legend “Madison Springs, Daniel Morrison, Proprietor.”  Mr. Morrison also had a beautiful marble urn made in Augusta, and this urn is still doing service at the spring.  Right at the springs was the pavilion.  The original pillars of the pavilion can be seen at this time with names carved on them, dated carrying one way back before the War Between the States.  When the hotel was built, Mr. Morrison also built a number of cottages.  The people, it seems, would have a public house or barroom; so one was built, but I am glad to say there was also a church.  And just beyond the spring there was a commodious bathhouse, and nearby there was a splendid bowling alley for the amusement of the guests.  From the freestone spring just below the mineral spring, water was conveyed to the hotel by a ram.  Madison Springs was well planned and well built.  The lumber for building was cut from the forests nearby, and the brick made from clay dug in the meadows just below the spring.  There was a broad avenue leading from the hotel to the spring covered with white sand.  This was called “Euclid Avenue.”  An old resident of Danielsville remarked once to the writer that he had seen as many as one hundred couples at one time in this broad avenue leading from the spring to the hotel.  I have heard my mother say (she was there in 1854 and 1855) that stands were erected from the hotel to the spring, and on these stands pine knots were placed and lighted, and the whole place lighted up till bed time and after.  The people knew how to have a good time in those days.  There was a band from Charleston, as we see from the advertisement heading this sketch, and dancing of the old fashioned kind was frequent in the hotel.  In August there was a grand ball.  Commencement at the University of Georgia was in August in those days; the stage coaches and carriages from Athens and other parts of Georgia were crowded with young people going to Springs to attend this ball.  Let me here quote from a letter written to “The Southern Banner” by an enthusiastic spectator at the grand fancy ball in the hotel the night of August 8, 1854:

“Mr. Editor:  I am writing to furnish you with an account of the grand fancy ball on the eighth.  It was far more brilliant than anyone ventured to hope – dazzling beauty, sparkling wit and mirthful fancy combining gave joyous revelry.  The ball room was brilliantly lighted, and at half past eight the guests commenced assembling.  First, I noticed among the spectators Judge Lumpkin of Athens; Judge Starnes of Augusta, Dr. D’Antignac, Dr. Dugas and Governor Schley of Augusta – all of whom were specially invited guests – besides various gentlemen from Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama.  And now let me present the intelligent, witty and handsome Mrs. R. of Beaufort.  You may be sure she caused shouts of laughter as she entered the room dressed as the wife of an old English yeoman.  She was leaning on the arm of Dr. P. of Macon.  You must permit me to mention here Dr. P.’s dress, for it would be too unkind to separate so unique a pair.  Their dress corresponded well.  I can only describe them by saying they were vast in dimension, huge in rotundity and superlatively antiquated.  Both sustained their characters admirably, and could you have seen this happy couple, as they plodded though the dance, you too would have been convulsed with laughter.  Let me also present Miss Y of Mississippi as “Mary, Queen of Scots”; Miss G of Mobile as “Flora”; Miss L of Portland, Maine; and lots of others from Athens, Augusta, Charleston and Savannah.  There were others that I cannot now remember.  I would like to give you an account of the supper which was elegant, but I have already detained you too long.  Suffice it to say that the evening will long be remembered by all present as one of the most pleasant that ever passed. – “Spectator”

At the height of its popularity it was necessary to build an annex at the Springs.  This was a long wooden building to the left of the main hotel further down the stage road going to Anderson, South Carolina.  This went by the name of the “Long House” or “Stag House” and was used for the men folks exclusively during the height of the season at this popular watering place.  Of course, the mineral spring was the drawing card for most of the people, but not the only drawing card, as certain amusements were provided each season besides the parties and dancing at the hotel, as we have seen.  The woods at Madison Springs were, and still are, wonderful – a virgin forest of beautiful trees – white oaks and other oaks, hickories and pines and the beautiful dogwood and other smaller trees and shrubs, all wild and romantic looking, winding country roads through them, and hills and valleys on all sides.  Analysis, as we shall see, makes the spring one of nature’s own medicine chests which, combining with the fresh forest air, gives one an exhilarating experience at Madison Springs.  One writing some years ago of the woods at Madison Springs said of them:

“The magnificence of grand cities, however much it inspires, cannot absorb my love for the rural simplicity of this beauteous spot or drive away admiration for the majestic solemnity of its deeps woods full of tall pines continually “bowing like saints in prayer.”  Could the thousand echoes which lie sleeping here against those wooded hills be awakened, with what a grand chorus would these forests resound!”

Mr. Daniel Morrison was the sole owner of Madison Springs after he acquired the property of Henry J. Pope, and after he built the hotel in 1841, but in the early ‘50s (about 1850 or 1852) he sold the original Madison tract, the hotel and all accessories and all rights and privileges to John D. Watkins and Harrison Musgrove.  Musgrove, a short while after, sold his interest to Watkins, and Watkins became the sole owner of the property and proprietor of the hotel.

We see from the advertisement introducing this sketch how Watkins managed the hotel.  It must indeed have been a most attractive place.  Oftentimes the writer, while at Madison Springs, would looks over towards the ruins to the old hotel and hear that band from Charleston playing for the dances and see his mother dancing the stately minuet.  One summer (1854 or 1855) Grandmother Harris and my mother (Mary Smythe of Augusta) were looking forward to going to the dance at the hotel – perhaps the night of the “grand fancy ball.”  Suddenly, the stage coach arrived in front of the hotel, as it did every day, and a letter was handed to Grandmother Harris announcing the death of George Smythe, Mary’s uncle.  Did Grandmother Harris tell Mary Smythe the news?  No indeed.  She put the letter away until the next day so Mary could go on to the fancy ball at the hotel that night.  And the letter was “news” the next day.  That’s the way folks did in those days.  That’s the way some folks do now.  Anyway, that’s the way Grandmother Harris did.

As I write, there is before me a picture of the old hotel pillars – all that was left of the large hotel which once stood at Madison Springs.  As I look at the picture I can think back and see the stage coach arriving in front of the hotel, the people coming out on the porch and coming out in the yard to meet friends and relatives and the new arrivals and to get the all-important mail and the newspapers of the day.  National questions which fill our newspapers of the present day filled the newspapers of the ‘49’s and ‘50’s.  The old gentleman wearing his “black stock” can be seen in a quiet corner of the porch reading his paper, and the “mammy” gathering up the children and taking them down to the spring to drink the water and play in the pavilion.  But somebody once said “Everything passes.”  The old hotel is gone, the bowling alley is gone, the church is gone – in fact, all is gone except the marble urn at the spring, part of the pavilion, some tombstones in the cemetery and one cottage which has been remodeled.

Madison Springs reached its height under the management of Messrs. Morrison and Watkins.  To get a clear image of how things looked at Madison Springs at this time, note the following letter written by a guest at the Springs and which appeared in an Athens paper dated July 13, 1854:

“Mr. Editor: I am not much given to watering places, and generally they are to me exceedingly dull places.  The last week, however, I have spent at Madison Springs, with comfort and pleasure.  I do not propose to “puff” the proprietor, but I feel as a Georgian that it is due to the enterprising proprietor that the traveling public should know the amount of ease, comfort, good cooking, good music, good bathing and good cheer generally which may be found under his roof.  The number of visitors at present is limited, not exceeding thirty, but I do not hesitate to say that for the number, I never met so many real, genuine, intelligent ladies and gentlemen.  As the visitors are “for the season” they constitute of themselves and attraction to the Springs.  Some of them are from your City and are known by you to merit the encomium I bestow.  In the hope to find leisure for another week of quiet enjoyment at this delightful place, I am your obedient servant.”  (signed) “T”

The following write-up is from the same paper:

“We had occasion during the past week to visit this delightful watering place, and were highly pleased to notice many improvements by the present proprietor for the better accommodation of his guests.  Two new springs have been discovered during the last year.  The first is about three-quarters of a mile from the hotel, and is strongly impregnated with sulphur, magnesia and soda; the second principally white sulphur.  Our short stay did not permit us to visit the latter, but as to the efficacy of the former, the hearty supper we ate after drinking its water is sufficient testimony of its powers.  We find a marked change in one night’s sojourn.  The enterprising host, Col. Watkins, intends several very great improvements which will be completed by the next season – among others, a tower on the hill between the hotel and the new spring from which an extensive mountain view may be enjoyed.  We do not hesitate to say that the accommodations are equal to any establishments of the kind in the south… An excellent band of music performs before dinner and after tea, and those who have a passion for twirling the light fantastic toe can enjoy it to the extent of their desires… Madison Springs cannot be surpassed.”

While incorporating in this sketch of Madison Springs these interesting excerpts from old newspapers, we must not overlook the fact that one of the biggest conventions ever held in the Old South took place at the Madison Springs Hotel in 1856.  Let us look at this very condensed report from “The Southern Watchman” telling about “The Georgia Airline Railroad Convention”:

“The Georgia Airline Railroad Convention, Madison Springs, Tuesday, July 8th, 1856.  Pursuant to previous notice, the Georgia Airline Railroad Convention assembled at this place today at eleven o’clock A.M., where delegated gathered from the counties of Madison, Clarke, Jackson, Fulton, Gwinnett, Franklin, Habersham and Elbert in Georgia; and from Anderson in South Carolina.  Preliminary organization was in charge of Gabriel Nash and James S. Gholston of Madison County.  In the permanent organization of the convention James M. Calhoun of Fulton County was made chairman, and James S. Gholston and John M. Freeman of Madison County were made secretaries.

“The convention had as its prime object the building of a big airline railway from the South to the North, and it was here at Madison Springs, through this convention, the great railroad was organized that became the Richmond and Danville Railroad (The Piedmont Airline) that became in after years a prominent part of the great Southern Railway.

“Our space is too limited to give the names of all the delegates to the convention, but they were such men as James M. Calhoun, Jonathon Norcross, L. E. Bleckley of Fulton County; Dr. Henry R. J. Long, William Gerdine, W. G. DeLoney, E. O. Lumpkin, John C. Lumpkin and John H. Newton of Clarke County; John Scott, R. H. Bulloch, W. H. Griffith, Gabriel Nash, James S. Gholston, James W. Daniel of Madison County – and others from the adjacent counties interested in the project.”

When he took charge as proprietor the first thing that John D. Watkins did was to get an analysis of the water of the various springs.  In May 1852, Mr. Watkins secured the services of Dr. Lewis Harper, a well-known chemist of his day.  Dr. Harper made what he called a “Qualitative chemical analysis of the Madison Chalybeate Sulphurous and Alkaline Springs.”  Dr. Harper in writing to Mr. Watkins under the date of May 22, 1852, said in reference to his work in analyzing the springs, “to determine their contents,” that he had only been bale to make an “accurate qualitative analysis.”  At the time other engagements did not allow time to proceed with an exact “quantative analysis.”  But, nevertheless, Dr. Harper classed them as “really valuable springs.”

The analysis centered around the two mineral springs, one called the old spring or “number one”, situated in the grove in front of the large hotel; and the other situated in a northern direction about a half mile from the hotel, which he called the new spring, or “number two”, and later it was called “Sulphur Spring.”  The temperature of Spring Number One was 62 degrees Fahrenheit; that of Number Two was 61 degrees Fahrenheit.  The quantity of water given out by both springs was the same, viz, one gallon in one minute and forty-five seconds, or a little over 822 gallons in 24 hours.  The reaction of the water is alkaline in both springs, and the smell and taste of both springs is practically the same, though Number Two was found to have a little more sulphur in the water than the water at Number One.

Here is Dr. Harper’s “Summary recapitulation of the contents of the Springs”:

No. 1  Old Spring

  1. Protocarbonate of Iron, consisting of Protoxide of Iron and Carbonic Acid.
  2. Protosulphate of Iron, consisting of Protoxide of Iron and Sulphuric Acid.
  3. Sulphate of Ammonia, consisting of Ammonia and Sulphuric Acid.
  4. Alumina, a trace consisting of Aluminum and Oxygen.
  5. Chloride of Magnesium, consisting of Magnesium and Hydrochloric Acid.
  6. Lime, a trace, in the form of a Sulphate, containing Calcium and Oxygen.
  7. Crenic and Apocrenic Acids – of no importance
  8. Silicic Acid – of no importance

No. 2  New Spring

  1. Protosulphate of Iron (as at One 2)
  2. Protocarbonate of Iron (as at One 1)
  3. Sulphate of Amonia (as at One 3)
  4. Magnesia, a trace in the form of a Carbonate, containing Magnesia and Carbonic Acid.
  5. Alumina, a trace (as at One 4)

Dr. Harper, in concluding his analysis of the springs, says:

“Both of the springs contain such a considerable quantity of Ammonia to render them Alkaline.”  And he says further:  “If the water of the Madison Springs is to be applied as a merely chalybeate water, it is advisable to use it as fresh as possible – immediately from the spring, as a part of the iron is so easily precipitated; if as a sulphurous water, it is advisable to use it stale, and let it stand over night.  It loses then nearly all that part of the iron which is in combination with Carbonic Acid, and likewise nearly all of the latter, but retains all its Sulphuric Acid, and only that part of the iron in combination with that acid.  As a bath, the water, especially that of the New Spring, retains little of its Chalybeate property, but all of its Sulphur, especially when warmed.”

We are soon coming to the close of this sketch of Madison Springs.  From the foregoing the reader can see what the magic water of Madison Springs can do and did do for those who were fortunate to be at its side and drink its Yellow Water.  Before closing this sketch, however, we want to call the reader’s attention to the old cemetery at Madison Springs – something over one hundred years old.  One day not so very long ago while walking in the cemetery the writer noticed especially the two following epitaphs which I am sure will be of interest as they link the past with the present:

In Memory of
James Willis
Twin son of William and Eliza Jane Dearing
Who Died at the Madison Springs
August 27, 1825
Aged one year, one month and twenty days
Suffer little children to come unto Me

Sacred to the Memory
Of
Elizabeth M. Hill
Daughter of
Blanton M. and Elizabeth Ann Hill
Born April 3, 1828
Died September 19, 1834

These were children of well-known Athens families.  Blanton M. Hill was the joint owner of Madison Springs with Robert Toombs and P. J. Simmes in 1839.

“Everything passes.”  It must pass on.  Such is life in this world.  Even in 1854 John D. Watkins, the sole proprietor of Madison Springs, was beginning to convey the land with the hotel and buildings thereon to secure a debt, and in 1862 it seems from the records that he conveyed to John P. Brooks the original tract of 900 acres, together “with household and kitchen furnishings” – evidently the furniture of the hotel and kitchen.  Here we lose trace of John D. Watkins as proprietor of Madison Springs, and the place seemed to lose its grip, as it were, in the imagination of people as a summer resort.  Only those seemed to go there now who knew the value of the water.  The War Between the States was on at this time, and people had already been going to other resorts as railway facilities increased.  And fire, that great destroyer of things mundane, leveled with the dust of the earth the old hotel and adjacent building one night in February 1871.

“How did the hotel happen to burn down?” I asked Uncle Tom Dean whose lands were adjacent to those of the Madison Springs tract.  I had heard that is was of incendiary origin.  Mr. Dean said a woman was milking a cow near one of the cottages and a lamp or lantern was turned over on some shucks and from this the fire started.  A brisk wind was blowing at the time, and the fire spread rapidly.  Mr. Dean said he and others went on top of the hotel and tried to stop the fire there, but it was so hot they were forced to come down.  The great destroyer had done its work.  Practically everything was burned of any value except two of the cottages.

A number of well-known citizens of Athens (namely, Ferdinand Phinizy, Y. L. G. Harris, W. L. Jones, R. L. Moss, J. A. Hunnicut and Cobb and Erwin) bought the place in 1872 from Mary C. Scranton, Mary L. Scranton and Annie E. Scranton.  These gentlemen conceived the idea of obtaining Madison Springs for a private summer resort, as it were, for their families… a place hidden away from the maddening crowd and nestled so quietly underneath the wonderful forests, and place of wide scope for their children to play… and last of all, the magic water.  Dr. Hunnicut was especially advised to take a very sick child to Madison Springs, and there she was restored to health.  Dr. Hunnicut was so impressed with the value of the place that he and his beloved wife and their children for years and years made this place a happy and joyous summer “rendezvous.”  Even to this day, members of the family go there – not seeking the “talking bird, the singing trees and the yellow water” of the Arabian Nights, but seeking a place where the Campephilus Imperialis talks to the whippoorwill, the tall pines sing with the winds and where the yellow water bubbles up as joyously as a baby’s laughter.

As one by one the gentlemen mentioned dropped out of the ownership of the springs, Dr. Hunnicut became the sole owner and after his death, and that of his beloved wife, his daughter, Miss Mary Hunnicut, became the sole owner.

The writer has had many a good time a Madison Springs, and many a good rest, and felt the glow of renewed health; and when I say everything passes, I must add, except memory.  With this idea in mind, I close this sketch of Madison Springs with some lines I wrote in 1895.  I do not claim to be a poet, but nevertheless here are the lines:

Madison Springs!  Madison Springs!
How sweetly the name in my memory rings
As at eventime I sit
In the sunset’s afterglow
And fondly turn me back a bit
To the scenes of long ago!
 

Athens, Georgia
February 1933

 

 


Photographs and Drawings

 


The Marble Urn ~ all that is left at the Spring today.

One of the Summer Homes.  The second floor was added later.  Still standing and occupied.

 


Unmarked grave in the woods up the road from the hotel

Rhonda Collins and Ruth Bond at grave of Elizabeth M. Hill, 1982

 

 

 


SACRED
T
o the memory of
ELIZABETH M. HILL
Daughter of
BLANTON M. &
ELIZABETH ANN HILL
Born the 3rd day of April
 1828
Died the 19th of September
1
834

 


Caricatures of
Madison Springs Visitors

This is one of the ways visitors spent their Sunday afternoons.  An artist drew and made silly comments about the residents, then placed them in a book.  Some of the drawings had actual photographs of the face of the visitor.





 


Madison Springs Post Office History



Madison Springs Post Office
Hwy 29 N., just past Jones Chapel Church

~ Postmasters ~

Robert M. Garvin Postmaster 07/20/1825
Robert B. McMullen Postmaster 11/25/1828
Joseph F. Morton Postmaster 03/13/1830
William M. Morton Postmaster 11/28/1832
Russell I. Daniel Postmaster 11/26/1835

Discontinued on July 10, 1837
Reestablished on May 29, 1838

Charles W. Callin Postmaster 05/29/1838
Edward Lampkin Postmaster 05/29/1839
Daniel Morrison Postmaster 04/04/1840
Harrison Musgrove Postmaster 09/16/1850
John D. Watkins Postmaster 12/22/1851
Keeland Tyner Postmaster 03/10/1855

Discontinued on January 5, 1867
Reestablished on February 15, 1871

Miss Jane Williford Postmaster 02/15/1871
Willis W. Williford Postmaster 11/18/1872
Thomas W. Dean Postmaster 01/15/1873

Discontinued on May 22, 1873
Reestablished on September 1, 1875

Joseph P. Tooney Postmaster 09/01/1875

Discontinued on April 17, 1878
Reestablished on June 3, 1878

J. B. Dean Postmaster 06/03/1878
Mrs. Martha A. Sartain Postmaster 12/20/1878
John R. Bond Postmaster 01/06/1881
Asa H. Coker Postmaster 04/07/1884
T. W. Dunn Postmaster 02/05/1886
Nathan C. Bond Postmaster 05/18/1886
Luther C. Brackinridge Postmaster 02/05/1887
John W. Beard Postmaster 09/12/1890
Stephen Walker Fitts Postmaster 10/10/1895

Discontinued on October 31, 1903
Papers to Danielsville

 


Some Early Deeds involving Madison Springs
1814 - 1831
 

Madison County Deed Book A - page 118  
Madison Co., Ga.: 27 Aug 1814, William Lokey & Peter Smith to John Vinyard, all of said county, for $250, 100 acres in said county on Matthew’s Creek, part of a 1000 acre survey granted to Nimrod Long. Beg. spanish oak cor., N75W 31 ch. 62 links to post oak cor., S15W 31 ch. 62 links to black jack cor., S75W 31 ch. 62 links to pine cor., N15E to beg., including the Mineral Springs commonly called Vinyard’s Mineral Springs, reserving to said William Lokey & Peter Smith one whole acre to be laid out in some part thereof where there are no improvements or houses, not to include the Mineral Springs, and provided that on the one acre laid off there shall not be any public houses of entertainment or house for the reception of guests or boarders erected or built, in case there should, the reservation shall be void. Any private family who may build or live on said lot of one acre shall be entitled to the free use and enjoyment of the Mineral Springs and all other water in the said tract of land. (signed) William Lokey, Peter Smith. Wit: Benjamin Lokey, Joseph Vineyard, Thos. W. Webb, Allen Daniel, J.I.C. Rec. 7 Sep 1814.

Madison County Deed Book A - page 228  
Madison Co., Ga.: 12 Jul 1816, William Lokey and Peter Smith of Madison Co. to Thomas Terrell and John Terrell of Wilkes Co., Ga., for $20, lot of land in Madison Co. containing 1 acre, nearly adj. to the Mineral Spring and nearly a south course therefrom, including a house lately occupied by John Davenport, Esq., having Harvey’s and Bradley’s houses on the west and Cobb’s supposed lot on the east, the same being in the occupancy of the said Thomas Terrell and John Terrell and about to be improved by them; beg. stake cor., S70E 1 ch. 76 links to stake, S20W 5 ch. 58 links to stake, N70W 1 ch.76 links to stake, N20E 5 ch. 68 links to beg. Contained in a tract of 100 acres sold by said William and Peter to John Vinyard and reserved in deed of conveyance provided that on said lot shall not be any house of entertainment or house for the reception of guests or boarders erected. Nevertheless any private family who may live or build upon said lot shall be entitled to the right of way to said Mineral Springs and all other springs and waters upon said tract of 100 acres, and to the free use and enjoyment of said springs and waters. (signed) William Lokey, Peter Smith. Wit: Duncan G. Campbell, Robt. H. McKea, Allen Daniel, J.I.C. Rec. 15 Jul 1816.

Madison County Deed Book A - page 230  
William Lokey and Peter Smith on 27 Aug 1814 conveyed to me 100 acres, reserving 1 acre not to include any of the improvements adj. the Mineral Springs on said tract; and whereas said William and Peter have conveyed to Thomas Terrell and John Terrell 1 acre including a house near said spring lately occupied by John Davenport, Esq. I fully approve and confirm said conveyance and for $6 discharge said William and Peter from all convents and responsibilities arising out of said conveyance in regard to the laying out of said lot as far as respects the inclusion of buildings and other improvements. 13 Jul 1813. (signed) John Vinyard. Wit: Robt. McKea, S. B. Harper. Proved by Rbt. McKea and S. B. Harper 13 Jul 1816, Allen Daniel, J.I.C. Rec. 15 Jul 1816.

Madison County Deed Book A - page 304  
Ga.: 3 Oct 1816, John Vinyard and Frances his wife of Madison Co., Ga., to Wm. Dearing & James Alexander, both of the town of Washington, Wilkes Co., for $1000, tract in Madison Co. on waters of Matthew’s Creek, known as the Madison Spring tract, 100 acres, beg. spanish oak x, N75W 31 ch. 62 links to post oak x, S15W 31 ch. 62 links to black oak x, S75E 31 ch. 62 links to pine x, N15E 31 ch. 62 links to beg. (signed) John Vinyard, Frances (x) Vinyard. Wit: Moses Vinyard, Wm. (x) Webster, Wm. Cleghorn, J.P. Proved by Moses Vinyard and William (x) Webster 4 Oct 1816, Wm. Cleghorn, J.P. Madison Co., Ga.: of the within mentioned 100 acres, it is understood that the lot of land containing 1 acre now covered by Thomas Terrel’s house belongs to said Terrel and is not conveyed to Dearing & Alexander. Note: This writing was on the back of the deed but no name signed thereunto. James Long, Clk. Rec. 3 Apr 1817.

Madison County Deed Book A - page 306  
Madison Co., Ga.: 3 Oct 1816, John Vinyard & Frances his wife of Madison Co., Ga., to Wm. Dearing & James Alexander, both of the town of Washington, Wilkes Co., for $100, tract in Madison Co. on waters of Matthew’s Creek and bordering on the south side of Broad River, 300 acres, with the exception of 100 acres known as the Madison Spring tract laying partly in the survey which John & Frances hath this day sold to Dearing & Alexander, beg. hickory cor. on banks of Broad River, S46W to hickory 40 ch., N44W 60 ch. to pine, N60E 55 ch. to pine, S72E 20 ch. to pine on Broad River, along river to beg. (signed) John Vinayard, Frances (x) Vinyard. Wit: Moses Vinyard, Wm. (x) Webster, Wm. Cleghorn, J.P. Frances Vinyard relinquishes her dower right, proved by Moses Vinayard and William (x) Webster 4 Oct 1816, Wm. Cleghorn, J.P. Rec. 3 Apr 1817.

Madison County Deed Book A - page 336  
Ga.: William Dearing of Wilkes Co., Ga. have authorized Mr. James Alexander of Madison Co. to dispose of and make conveyance of all my rights & title to any of the 32 lots unsold at the Madison Springs in Madison Co., in the plan of said village to contain ˝ acre. 3 Sep 1817. (signed) Wm. Dearing. Wit: Green Rutherford, S. Minor, Jno. K. M. Charlton, J.P. Rec. 20 Nov 1817.

Madison County Deed Book A - page 336  
3 Jun 1817, William Dearing & James Alexander of Wilkes Co., Ga. to Thomas M. Gilmer of Oglethorpe Co., Ga., for $50, tract in Madison Co., Ga. at a place known by the name of Madison Springs & known in the place laid out for a town or village at said springs by No. 29, beg. stake on the street, N20E 418 feet to stake cor., N70W 52 ˝ feet to stake cor., S20W 418 feet to stake, S70E on the street 52 ˝ feet to beg., on the conditions following: said Thomas M. Gilmer to have priviledge of timber for building on said lot and firewood to be taken from the tract belonging to said William & James adj. said village, except the publick commons, and said Thomas M. Gilmer is restricted & prohibited from keeping a house of entertainment or boarding any person or persons for compensation or vending goods, ware or merchandise of any kind. (signed) James Alexander, James Alexander in fact for Wm. Dearing. Wit: John Riley, Geo. R. Gilmer, Allen Daniel, J.I.C. Rec. 20th 1817.

Madison County Deed Book A - page 337  
5 Sep 1817, William Dearing and James Alexander of Wilkes Co., Ga. to John J. Cochran of Columbia Co., Ga., for $50, tract in Madison Co., Ga. at a place known by the name of Madison Springs, and known in the place laid out for a town or village at said springs by No. 12, beg. at a x stake on the street, S20W 418 feet to x stake, N70W to cor. stake 52 ˝ feet, N20E 418 feet to stake on the street, S70E 52 ˝ feet to beg., on the conditions following: said John J. Cochran to have priviledge of timber for building on said lot and firewood to be taken from the tract belonging to said William & James adj. said village, except the publick commons, and said John J. Cochran is restricted & prohibited from keeping a house of entertainment or boarding any person for hire or compensation or retailing spirits or vending goods, ware or merchandise of any kind. (signed) James Alexander, James Alexander Atty. in fact for Wm. Dearing. Wit: Geo. R. Gilmer, John Riley, Allen Daniel, J.I.C. Rec. 21 Nov 1817.

Madison County Deed Book A - page 338 
5 Sep 1817, William Dearing and James Alexander of Wilkes Co., Ga. to Shaler Hillyer of said county, for $50, tract in Madison Co., Ga. at a place known by the name of Madison Springs, and known in the place laid out for a town or village at said springs by No. 27, beg. stake on the street, N20E 418 feet to x stake, N70W 52 ˝ feet to cor. stake, S20W 418 feet to x cor., S70E on the street 52 ˝ feet to beg., on the conditions following: said Shaler Hillyer to have priviledge of timber for building on said lot and firewood to be taken from the tract belonging to said William & James adj. said village, except the publick commons, and said Shaler Hillyer is restricted & prohibited from keeping a house of entertainment or boarding any person for hire or compensation or retailing spirits or vending goods, ware or merchandise of any kind. (signed) James Alexander, James Alexander Atty. in fact for Wm. Dearing. Wit: Geo. R. Gilmer, John Riley, Allen Daniel, J.I.C. Rec. 21 Nov 1817.

Madison County Deed Book A - page 339  
12 Sep 1817, William Dearing and James Alexander of Wilkes Co., Ga. to Andrew Ruddel of said county, for $50, tract in Madison Co., Ga. at a place known by the name of Madison Springs, and known in the place laid out for a town or village at said springs by No. 9, beg. stake on the street, S20W 418 feet to x stake, S70E 52 ˝ feet to cor. stake, N20E 418 feet to x stake, N70W on the street 52 ˝ feet to beg., on the conditions following: said Andrew Ruddel to have priviledge of timber for building on said lot and firewood to be taken from the tract belonging to said William & James adj. said village, except the publick commons, and said Andew Ruddel is restricted & prohibited from keeping a house of entertainment or boarding any person for hire or compensation or retailing spirits or vending goods, ware or merchandise of any kind. (signed) James Alexander, James Alexander Atty. in fact for Wm. Dearing. Wit: Thomas Terrel, John Terrel. Rec. 21 Nov 1817.

Madison County Deed Book BDE - page 133  
Wilks Co., Ga.: Heretofore William Dering and James Alexander were joint purchasers of a tract in Madison Co. containing 650 acres, granted to John Vinyard and others who conveyed same to afsd. persons jointly; said William Dearing has sold his moiety or half of said tract to James Alexander for $5000; tract adj. Deen, Daniel & others, which includes the Madison Springs and where James Alexander now lives. 14 Jan 1819. (signed) William Deering, Eliza Jane Deering. Wit: Duncan G. Campbell, Thomas D. McLaughlin, J.P. Eliza Jane Deering, wife of William Deering, relinquishes her dower. Rec. 12 May 1819.

Madison County Deed Book BDE - page 144  
Madison Co., Ga.: 20 Sep 1819, James Alexander of Madison Co. to Jeremiah Harris of Richmond Co., Ga., for $85, tract in Madison Co. at Madison Springs, distinguished in the village of Alexanderville by No. 13, on the conditions following: said Jeremiah to have privilege of lumber for building on said lot, and firewood to be taken only from the Springs tract containing 100 acres, and is forever restricted and prohibited from keeping a house of entertainment, or boarding any person for hire or compensation, or retailing spirits or vending goods, wares or merchandise of any kind. (signed) James Alexander. Wit: W. Boykin, N. H. Beal. Catherine Alexander relinquishes her dower. Proved by Nathan H. Beal 20 Sep 1819, Charles Polk, J.P. Rec. 20 Sep 1819.

Madison County Deed Book BDE - page 389  
Ga.: 6 Sep 1824, James Alexander of Madison Co., Ga. to Joel Early of Green Co., Ga., for $50, tract in Madison Co. at the place known as Madison Springs and designated in the place laid out for a town or village at said Springs by Lot No. 20, adj. Lots No. 19 and 21, containing 52 ˝ feet in front and 418 feet back, on the following conditions; said Joel is to have the privilege of timber for building and firewood to be taken from the Springs tract belonging to the said James adj. the said village, excepting the town common, and is restricted and prohibited from keeping a house of entertainment or boarding any person for compensation, or vending goods, wares or merchandise of any kind on said lot. (signed) James Alexander. Wit: Charles L. Matthews, A. Gailey, J.P. Rec. 7 Oct 1824.

Madison County Deed Book BDE - page 390  
6 Sep 1824, James Alexander of Madison Co., Ga. to James Bradley of Oglethorpe Co., Ga., George M. Meriwether of Jasper Co., Ga., and Lucius Davenport of of Abeville Dist., SC, for $25, lot in Madison Co. at the place known as Madison Springs and designated in the place laid out for a town or village at said Springs by Lot No. 32, adj. Mrs. Holsey’s lot, containing 52 ˝ feet in front and 418 feet back, on the condition following; said George, James & Lucius to have the privilege of firewood and timber for building off of the Springs tract, excepting the town common, and are restricted from keeping a house of entertainment or boarding any person for compensation, or vending goods, wares or merchandise of any kind. (signed) James Alexander. Wit: Chas. L. Matthews, A. Gailey, J.P. Rec. 7 Oct 1824.

Madison County Deed Book BDE - page 391  
Ga.: 6 Sep 1824, James Alexander of Madison Co., Ga. to Charles L. Matthews of Oglethorpe Co., for $50, lot in Madison Co. at the place known by Madison Springs and designated in the place laid out for a town or village at said Springs by Lot No. 19, bounded by No. 18 & No. 20, containing 52 ˝ feet in front and 418 feet back, on the condition following; said Charles to have the privilege of timber for building and firewood from the Springs tract belonging to said James adj. the vilage, excepting the town commons, and is restricted and prohibited from keeping a house of entertainment or boarding any person for compensation, or vending goods, wares or merchandise of any kind on said lot. (signed) James Alexander. Wit: Geo. M. Meriwether, A. Gailey, J.P. Rec. 7 Oct 1824.

Madison County Deed Book BDE - page 432  
Madison Co., Ga.: 25 Jul 1825, Meshack Turner Willhite, Sheriff of Madison Co., to Robert M. Garvan; whereas a writ of Fieria Facias on 9 Sep 1824 issued from Superior Court to all the sheriffs of the state, commanding that of the property of James Alexander to cause to be made the sum of $862 besides interest and cost; levied on 10 Nov 1824 on a tract in Madison Co. adj. Russell J. Daniel, Thomas Deen & others, embracing the Madison Springs, 980 acres; advertised in the Missionary and sold at the courthouse 1st Tues. Feb 1825 to Isaac Strickland, the highest bidder, for $730, which bid he gave up to Robert M. Garvan. (signed) M. T. Willhite, Shff. Wit: James Powers, Benjamin Borum, J.P.

Madison County Deed Book BDE - page 445  
Madison Co., Ga.: 8 Oct 1825, Meshack Turner Willhite, Sheriff of Madison Co., to Robert M. Garvin of Madison Co.; whereas a writ of Fieri Facias where William P. Arnold was plaintiff, James Alexander, James Oliver and Robert M. Garvin securities on the appeal are defendants, 9 Sep 1824, issued out of Superior Court, $862 besides interest and cost; on 10 Nov 1824, levied said writ, along with others against James Alexander, on a tract in Madison Co. adj. Russell J. Daniel, Thomas Deen and others, embracing the Madison Springs, 980 acres; advertised in the Missionary and sold at the courthouse 1st Tues. Feb 1825 to Isaac Strickland, the highest bidder, for $730; said Isaac Strickland authorized Meshack T. Willhite to make titles to the said Robert M. Garvin. (signed) M. T. Willhite, Shff. Rec. 14 Oct 1825.

Madison County Deed Book BDE - page 496  
Ga.: 9 Aug 1826, Robert M. Garvin & Lucinda his wife of Madison Co., to Thomas J. Bugg and Simmons Crawford of Columbia Co., Ga., for $50, one lot containing one half acre, beg. stone cor. on the street, N20E 418 feet to stone cor., N70W 52 ˝ feet to stone cor. on the corner of a lot deeded to John Groves, S20E 418 feet along Groves’ line to the cor. of his lot on the street, N70E on the street 52 ˝ feet to beg., known in the village of Alexander or Madison Springs as Lot No. 24, bounded W by lot deeded to John Groves, S by street down to the mineral spring, on all other sides by lands of Robert M. Garvin, said lot laid out of a tract known as the Madison Springs tract, sold 1st Tues. Feb 1825 as the property of James Alexander by Meshack T. Willhite, then sheriff, by fieri facias against the James Alexander, to Robert M. Garvin; upon the following conditions; Bugg & Crawford agree not to board or accommodate for hire any person, nor keep open or expose to sale goods, wares or merchandise or articles in the grocery or dry goods line of merchandising. (signed) Robert M. Garvin, Lucinda T. Garvin. Wit: Stewart McMullen, William G. Springer, J.P.M.C. Lucinda T. Garvin relinquishes her dower. Rec. 1 Sep 1826.

Madison County Deed Book BDE - page 530  
Wilks Co., Ga.: 3 May 1827, Thomas Terrell of Wilks Co., Ga. to Edward Coxe of Oglethorpe Co., for $125, lot in Madison Co., 1 acre, nearly adj. the Mineral Springs, lately occupied by said Terrell, having Mr. Telfair’s lot on the west side, formerly Harvey & Bradley’s lots, and on the east by house & lot of Richard Blount, formerly supposed to belong to Thomas W. Cobb; beg. stake cor., S70E 1 ch. 76 links to stake, S20W 5 ch. 58 links to stake, N70W 1 ch. 76 links to stake, N20E 5 ch. 68 links to beg.; contained in a tract of 100 acres sold by William Lokey & Peter Smith to John Vinyard and reserved in the deed to said Vinyard the lands of Terrell, making the express limitations that on said lot shall not be any publick house of entertainment, or house for the reception of guests or boarding. (signed) Thomas Terrell. Wit: Wm. G. Driver, J. S. Griffin, John B. Lenard, J.I.C. I, Henry Terrell, now the only acting exec. of John Terrell, late of Wilks Co., dec’d, relinquish to Edward Coxe all claim which I, as exec., have in said lot. (signed) Henry Terrell, acting executor. Wit: Wm. G. Driver, Joseph W. Robinson, A. H. Sneed, J.P. Rec. 18 Jun 1827.

Madison County Deed Book BDE - page 538  
Madison Co., Ga.: 4 Oct 1827, Robert M. Garvin of Madison Co. to Adam L. Alexander of Wilks Co., for $150, tract in Madison Co. at Madison Springs, Lot No. 15, known by the name of Olive’s Lot, bounded E by Lot No. 16 and called Dodson’s Lot, W by Lot No. 14 and called Campbell’s Lot, ˝ acre, beg. stake on the street, 418 feet to stake, S70E 53 feet to stake, N20E 418 feet to stake on street, N20W on street 53 feet to beg., with the restrictions and advantages following: Adam L. to have the privilege of timber for building on said lot and firewood from the tract belonging to or now in the occupancy of said Robert M., adj. the village, and Adam L. is restricted from keeping a house of entertainment or boarding house, or retailing spirits, or vending wares, goods or merchandise. (signed) Robert M. Garvin. Wit: Stephen W. Stephens, A. Gailey, J.P. Rec. 10 Oct 1827.

Madison County Deed Book F - page 137 
Madison Co., Ga.:  2 Feb 1830, James Power, Sheriff of Madison Co., to Joseph Morton and William Morton of Clarke Co., Ga.; whereas sundry executions issued from the Superior Court of Madison Co. in favor of sundry persons against the property of Robert M. Garvin, to wit; one in favor of Archibald C. McKinly against Robert M. Garvin for $129.60  besides interest & costs, dated 16 Sep 1828; one other in favor of Archibald C. McKinly, admin., and Hannah Upson, admnx. of the estate of Stephen Upson, dec’d, against Robert M. Garvin and John A. Heard for $1747.20 besides interest & costs, dated 16 Sep 1828; one other in favor of William B. S. Gilmer against Robert M. Garvin for $329.47 besides interest & cost, dated 18 Mar 1829;  said executions levied on 900 acres on North Broad River adj. Russel J. Daniel and others, on the east of the eastwardly line of the village of Alexandersville, extending to the north and south boundary of that tract; also all the unsold lots in the village of Alexandersville convenient to the Madison Springs, one of said lots adj. William Dearing and [blank space] Ruddle, the lots sold under the following restrictions: the purchaser has the liberty of cutting firewood and timber for building from the 100 acres laid off for that purpose and attached to said village, purchaser is not at liberty to take in boarders, retail spirits, or in any way use property so as to affect the interest of the Tavern or Boarding House;  after advertising in the Athenian, sold tract of land and one lot in Alexandersville adj. William Dearing & Ruddle at the courthouse 1st Tues. Nov 1829 to Joseph Morton and William Morton, the highest bidders, for $305; and after advertising the balance of the unsold lots in Alexandersville in the Athenian, sold at the courthouse 1st Tues. Jan 1830 to Joseph Morton and William Morton, the highest bidders, for $20.  Signed:  James Power, Shff.  Wit: James Long, A. Gailey, J.P.  Clarke Co., Ga.:  For $1000 , Joseph F. Morton of Clarke Co. convey to Wm. M. Morton all my right, title & claim to the property conveyed to us in the within deed.  Signed:  Joseph F. Morton.  Wit:  John Jackson, S. Brown, J.P.  Rec. 2 Jan 1833, Isaac N. Culbertson, Clk.  

Madison County Deed Book F - page 70 
Madison Co., Ga.:  12 Dec 1831, Joseph F. Morton of Clarke Co., Ga. to Wm. M. Morton of the same place, for $2000, all that tract of land known as the Madison Springs tract, including the springs and containing 1100 acres, in Madison Co. on waters of Broad River, adj. Russell David and others, the said Madison Springs and land being held jointly by the said Wm. & Joseph D. Morton; now all right and title I own to said land I hereby convey to said Wm. M. Morton; I further convey all rights & title I hold to lots in what is commonly called the village at the said springs, together with all the outbuildings and improvements.  Signed:  Jos. F. Morton.  Wit: Nathaniel C. Burnett, David Stephens, J.P.  Rec. 9 Feb 1832, Isaac N. Culbertson, Clk.  

 


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