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News From the Past

From the Oglethorpe Echo
5 November1909
This file was contributed by Troy Colquitt    <>
(Posted with permission from Troy Colquitt)

Men who gave Oglethorpe fame for its Exceptional High Class of the most Noble of Citizenry
Oglethorpe Echo Oct. 1st 1909
  EDITOR OGLETHORPE ECHO:  In compliance with request and a promise I proceed to give a breif history of our old county for a decade and a half before the war between the states as a prelude to the  part taken in that memorable contest.  It is said that peace has victorys as well as war, so it has it’s heros.  No county had a better citizenship than Oglethorpe  during the period designated, noted alike for honor and probity as well as for general intelligence.

There were giants in those days and this was the arena for political discussions.  I cannot give the names of all, for many I did not know.  I will commence and go west from Lexington, having previously given my reminiscence of the town.
The first place was the home of Henry Jordan who died the latter part of the sixtys, next was the home of L. M. Johnson, father of Mesdames Chedal and Foster, and L. M. Johnson Jr., now of Atlanta.  I will give here the names of all the sons of James Johnson, who’s home was north of L. M. Johnson’s.  They were L. W. , Jas. T., D. D., E, W., Mid W., and H. W., or Capt. Whit as he is known, and the only living member of the family.  I can but name to praise.  Next the now thriving city of Crawford.  In those days E. M. Gilham, agent, and Chris Winter were the sum total of the citizens.  Close by, at Woodlawn, was the hospitable home of Shelton Oliver; above, the Daniel Deupree place, and later years the home of Richard Gaulding.  Next came Judge H. J. Hall and here I would state that the superior court of those days had in charge the roads and revenues of the county and was clothed with certain judicial powers and was a badge of honor.

On the opposite side of the road, Thomas Baldwin lived until about 1851, when he and John Hopkins and Barnett Moore moved to Desoto Parrish, La.  The Pope place was managed by overseers, the family making their homes in Athens.  The next place was Dr. Smith’s, who built the brick house now the house of A. C. Daniel.  The next place was Richard Winfrey’s, who though possessed of wealth was so unpretentious in his dress and ways tat many were the jokes told on him as to the distrust of hotel porter and clerks.  The last place, wherein Geo. H. Thomas now lived was John D. Moss, father of R. L. Moss of Athens, and another brother, Chessley, a warm friend and schoolmate of mine. On or near the Winterville road were the two Dillard brothers, Jos. B. and Richard Dillard.  In after years Jos. B. bought the Smythe place and moved to it.  Near them was Dr. T. D. Hutchinson and his father, Judge Peter W. Hutchinson, who, in my youth I considered, par example, a gentleman of dignity, intelligence, culture and honor, and looking back through the vista of years, must say I never knew a more type of citizen.  I was not acquainted much about where Winterville now is but will say that Germany made a valuable contribution to our citizenship in the person of the Winters and Meyers.  North of Winterville were the Eberharts, Carters, and other families.  In the extreme portion of the county, John Sims lived, now the home of B. B. Williams.

Near Beaverdam church the late Geo. H. Lester was raised.  William Beadles, one of the most eccentric of characters, moved from there to Coweta County.  The Busbys, Fleemans, and other good families were comfortably domiciled near this old church.  Between the Beaverdam and Danielsville roads were David and Nathan Johnson, B. H. Barnett, Major Charles Hargrove, Charley Broach, Henry Hawk, several families of Glenns, the Coile of whom I spoke, Winston Johnson was well known.  For years he was clerk of the Sarepta Association, and when voted compensation for his services, he would donate it to missions.  Where Smithonia  now is Park Arnold once lived, but moved to Coweta County, William Mathews, one of our best citizens, raised a large family of children near this place.

           J. S. B.


Oglethorpe Echo Oct. 8th 1909

Editor ,  Oglethorpe Echo. Before resuming my reminiscences of the citizenship of our county during the years antedating the memorable struggle , I would say that in my youth, my acquaintance did not extend to all portions of the county , notably that part bordering on Beaverdam creek and Broad river. Oliver Chandler , Mr. Wynn and Newton Noell were the best of citizens and the place whereon   L. W.. Collier now lives was the home of Archer Griffith , a man of wealth and quite prominent in politics.  Near by was Mr. Webb and near Cloud’s creek , Peyton Sanders , known more recently as the Ben Patton place.  South of that creek were the Herndons , Olivers , Taliaferros , Goolsbys and Frank Merriwether’s , now the Burckhalter place.
On the Danielsville and Washington road there was Geo.  W. Whitehead, Rev.  P. P. Butler , Obediah Stevens , Dewitt C. Smith,  Isaac Thornton and Mr. Armstrong , who lived at Sandy Cross.  In the direction of Point Peter , James  C. Johnson, Cunningham, and their father, William Cunningham , Raleigh Mathews , Capt. J.  H. Tiller , and above there , where P.  L. Wheeles now lives , was John P. Tiller , once sheriff of the county.

At the Glade , were Drs. Charles and W. W. Davenport and another brother , John  L., who was one of the pioneers and a pedagogue.  Mr. Ben Tiller was a fixture about that thriving village for a long while but he moved  to Athens before his death.
On the Elberton road William Tiller lived and William Glenn , known as “Cane Brake” to distinguish him from others of the same name.  Near the river, at what  in recent years, was Martin’s ferry , Stinson Jarrell made his home.

I will now give the names of some of the noble batch of citizens who lived between the Elberton and Danielsville road:  Robert Turner, Berry Hartsfield, Jacob Eberhart, Ambrose Witcher, Miles Smith, Abel Eberhart, Gibson Olive, and others.  Above Sandy Cross, Bob Turner, John Nunally, Wm. Colquitt,  John Bray,  Joe Colquitt.  Near Lexington , at what is now known as the Salmon place, was Judge F. L. Upson’s home before he moved to town.

On the Elberton and Carlton road in the rear of Walter Stevens home, Col. W. J. Ogilvie resided before moving to Louisiana .  Then Alvie Robertson,  Jas. Ogilvie, James Kidd, Henry Colquitt, Chessley Arnold, the first home of Thos. P. Callaway after his marriage and for some years the place of residence of  W. W. Bush and subsequently of  W. M. Martin.  West of Mt. Pleasant Church Robt. Smith lived. North, Dr. Willis Willingham, and after his removal to Lexington, Dr. Sherod Macarty.  At what is now the home of John W. Jarrell, John V. Collins who married the widow Bush.  Futher North, John W. Black and W. W. Everett.
Near Clouds Creek Church, that venerable Christian gentlemen, Asa Howard despense his hospitality and was a pillar of that church.  South on the road to Crawford, W. G. England raised a large family and several of his boys are able Methodist preachers.   E. W. Johnson was located on the same road near the junction with the Crawford and Danielsville road, and I failed to mention Thadeus H. Hawkins, a son-in-law of L. W. Johnson, who lived on that road.  Below what is known as Devils Pond, at what was for long years the home of M. H. Arnold, Charles Merriwether, like many others thought to make his slaves more porfitable by taking them west, so he went to north Mississippi.  But in his, as in other cases, it proved a mistake.  Two young men, Dr. Nat and Thomas Carithers left their native health north of there in Grove Creek district and moved to Jackson County.  The widow of Ed Colquitt raised her family near the Merriwether place and right well the task was preformed.  On the road from Devils Pond to its intersection below C. O. Stevens, James Johnson, of whom I spoke in my last, lived and raised his family.  Two maiden ladies, Misses Carter, by dint of effort, made a comfortable living , and took care of an insane brother, William.  John M. Kidd, W. J. Davenport, James Johnson, who married a Wise, lived on that road.
It has been under the most adverse circumstances that I have written up the county between, I will say, the Lexington and Smithonia Roads, I have doubtlessly left out many but not intentionally.  I remember that I failed to mention Anthony Olive, who bought and moved to the Col. W. J. Ogilvie place in 1858. I propose to confine my sketch to the period originally designated.  More anon.
                                                                            J. S. B.

         (Compilers note.  My forefather, John Vines Collier married the widow Bush.)

Oglethorpe Echo Oct. 29th 1909

Editors Oglethorpe Echo:  On account of the crowded condition of your columns I will abridge this week and take only to the Washington road. Two miles a little south of  east from Lexington lived George Latimer, who had five sons that were chips of the old block and made the best citizens of the counties to which they removed.  William went to Cass, now Bartow, Henry to Gainesville, Thomas to Merriwether and Wyatt to Heard.  John P. remained in this county.  Below Lexington, on the Washington road, was the home of F. M. Smith, for a long while sheriff of the county.  Southeast of him was Marshall Allen, whose father was killed by Walton in the early forties.

The G. K. Smith place was, at an early date, the poor house of the county, and after it was broken up, Montgomery Smith occupied it for awhile and Absalom Jackson followed him.  Below the two mile post, Thomas Latimer  built in the early fifties and lived till his removal from the county.  A mile north of this road was the lifetime home of Judge S. R. Maxwell.  On top of the hill from Long creek, R. S. Lovern lived.  Across the creek to the left of  the road was Wash Birdsong’s place of abode till he built the house in which R. L. Callaway now lives.  About half mile north, near the creek, Robert Birdsong was domiciled.  On the left hand road , leading to the Cox place, Augustus Dozier spent most of his long life. To the right of the road, a quarter of a mile, Hoy T. Landrum lived and after his death Mid W. Johnson came into possession of the place. On the opposite side of the road a Mr. Powers lived but his death was beyond the time limit.  What is now known as the Butler place Rev. P. B. Butler made his home after his son, Jos. B. Butler, also a preacher, moved to west Tennessee.  I will state that T. J. Howard, whose name I failed to mention, lived to the rear of his father, Robert Howard, after his marriage.  Below the Cox place, near the Mallorysville road, lived Richard and John Dowdy.  Near the Centerville road, Smith and Messrs. Dorough, Henry Peterman, Joe Gresham, and a Mr. Rivers, together with others from the Wilkes side of Dry Fork, moved Texas in 1856.

Up Dry Fork John P. Latimer, Mr. Hewell, Jefferson, Bradford, Crawford, Arnold, Jabes P. Smith, William Wynn, David Dunn, Jas. A. O. Patton, T. J. Hardin, Tolbert, Woodall, William Booth and John Winn.  Immediately on the Washington road I failed to name Dr. William T. Landrum, who practiced medicine near the Gresham or Amis place, prior to his removal to west Tennessee.

On the road, as it formerly ran, from Buffalo creek direct to the Birdsong home, Mrs. Thornton lived, with her sons, but afterwards, Captain Whit Johnson dispensed lavishly his hospitality, untill his wife’s death, and soon after the tocsin of war was sounded and he was one who responded readily.

Where J. B. Bacon now lives was the home of  Samuel Lumpkin, and afterwards of Daniel D. Johnson. The Cook place was north of the road but overseers were changed often.

This brings me back to the Wash Birdsong home, now R. L. Callaway’s.  I will state that the south side of our county was to me a sealed book before the war.  Only a few homes can I designate but I shall do my best.

More anon
J. S. B.

Oglethorpe Echo Nov. 5th 1909
Editor Oglethorpe Echo:  I started out to write a personal reminiscence and regret that I  have not the time to consult with citizens in different portions of the county so as to make it more elaborate. I may make some mistakes as in the case of Mrs. Bunch, nee Glenn, who was a neice and not a daughter of Richard Huff.

I will now proceed and take the territory east of the Greensboro road to the railroad south of the Washington road near the mountian.  Robert Eberhart, Hop Farmer, Thomas Wynn, Moses Wright, R. J. Arnold, Dave Pittard and his brother Thomas, till he moved to Cass county.

In the thriving little village of Philomath lived Dr. Glenn, Robert Daniel, Mr. Hardy James, V. Drake and the venerable  Dr. John W. Reed, who as teacher and preacher left an impress that will last forever.  Above Woodstock  as it was better known were the Williams, John and Johnson, Jesse Dalton, George W. Callaway, Cuthburt J. Smith, Mr. Cramer, Judge's W. T. Howard and Thomas H. Hawkins and Z. H. Clark.  The place of S. O. Callaway was known as the Woody Jackson place, his son Andrew Woody known as Hick Jackson died there in about 1858 and Z. H. Clark bought and moved to it.  Thomas Howard, kown as Pony Tom, lived about Salem, also Edward and Richard Brooks.  Where Willie Brooks now lives was for several years the home of M. J. Poss and afterwards of Alice Goolsby.  East of the Greensboro road, Mack Young.  Whitfield Landrum, the father of Columbus J., Dr. M. M. and Frank M.Landrum. Near by was William Gilham.

In the roster of the military companies from the county the sons of the noble sires I name will be seen and naught but boy heroes could spring from such fathers.  On the road from Salem to Stephens, Nathan Smith and several of his sons lived and there was a large family of Youngs, the elder were Giles and Henry.  Their sons and grandsons make a large percent of that portion  of the county and all are good citizens. Above Stephens or Antioch as it was known lived George Lumpkin, a Baptist preacher.  There were quite a number of Lumpkins in that
section of the county and they had rather a peculiar way of designating themselves, Squirrel Skin Billy, for instance.  Near Center church lived George Mclaughlin.

Below, is the thriving city of Maxeys and there are several families of that name near the city.  Thomas Flemming was a merchant there when I first new the place.  Lindsay Jacks, Mr. Gilliam, DeWalden, Pope, Taylor, A. T. Brightwell, Dr. J. H. Brightwell.  North of Maxeys was the home of Wyatt Moody, and sons, Sampsonius and Dr. Waldemar.  Near there was Bowling Green, the once noted place for horse racing and other sports.  Nathan Hunter lived to raise a large family and none were more highly respected.  A Mrs. Johnson lived near and William,
Robert G. and Thomas, his sons , and Miss Lizzie, a daughter,
afterwards, Mrs. John T. Loften, were the best people.

Dr. John A. Bell lived near and Judge J. Hamilton McWhorter was near the villiage of Bairdstown.  Jasper and Columbus Kinnebrew, Thomas Callahan, Joe Armstrong, John S. Callaway, Jasper Haynes, James King, A. J. Watson.

The Cheney and Briscoe families were residents of this portion of the county and Greene.

I know I have left out many families and I am reminded of Richmond and James Dorough, some of the Adkins, and the Raidens.  Pink Tuggle left the county in the forties and moved to north Georgia.  Marston Bray, I think, moved near salem awhile before the war.  Peter Dalton, was I suppose , a life long resident of the county not far above Woodstock. I was away from the county and state  from February, 1858, till after the war, and consequently am not sufficient to the task of giving all the names of that portion of the county  I never did visit.  As a school boy  at Meson Academy I met with many who knew my father and whom I respected.  I knew a few men who had unfortunately become addicted to the use of whiskey or brandy as that was the most popular beverage and would often imbibe too freely, yet they were gentlemen all the same.  I suppose it was  in a great measure owing to the liquors of that day.  I once presented Aleck Simmons, who went from Wilkes county to Canton, Miss.  A bottle of peach brandy made by Wiley Yarbrough and he showed it to his friends and told them he knew men in Georgia who had been drunk on such as that forty years and had been fattening every day.

More anon.
J. S. B.

Oglethorpe Echo Nov. 12th 1909
To use a Texas parlance I come to a round up, but before doing so I will state an omission.  George Latimer had a son, Joel, who went to Alabama.  The two Milner brothers, John and Johnson, lived between Salem and Woodstock.  Three sisters were married to men whose names I mentioned in my last.

Above Bairdstown lived that courtly gentleman, P. M. Stevens.  Near him was Joel Hunt, Messrs. Smith, Marable and Colclough, I have not used titles, but will by way of designation in the case of Messrs. W. B. Brightwell, O. P. Finley, J. W. Patrick, Mr. Porter, Dr. George Lumpkin, Burnett Moore, J. A. and B. A. Christopher, Seaborn Aycock, A. J. Gillen, Sr.  William Davis, William Brook, Booker Adkins, for a long while sheriff of the county, after the war.  I will say that Mr. Adkins lived near Prospect Academy located them near where R. L. Callaway now lives.  I went to school with his oldest boys in 1848.  The Ellises were denizens of upper Falling Creek district, James and William Jewell, Marshall Edwards, Hamp Bugg, Matt Jackson, Mr. Cummings.   I again state that I speak only of those I knew, but did not know of their precise location.  I have alluded to Marshall Edwards as he lived at Herman, he had five other brothers who lived above  or to the northwest of him.  William Lemuel, John, Seaborn and Mordecai.  The Martins, Crowley's Trible, Obadiah Thompson and Feilding Dillard.  I will again allude to some families  that went to Louisiana a few years before the war, and I knew them there.  Barnett Moore, John Holmes, Thomas Baldwin, Mrs. Pricilla Moore and Mrs. Elizabeth Crowder.  They and their children were the best of citizens and were never wanting in any essential to constitute models of their county's pride.  There were three Fullilove brothers, James, William and Tatum, that went to Louisiana and one I am sure was from the Oglethorpe side - the other two from Clarke.  Marshall Brawner was living at the Brawner house just before the war.

The Bowling family lived above Stephens and up the railroad were John Pulnot, Jacob Phinizy, Woodie Daniel, Mr. Campbell, James Norton and I would not leave out that unique character, Bennett Martin.  Never did a man hold more tenaciously to his convictions. T'was he who said he once met with eleven contrary men when he would not assent to a verdict that he did not believe was right.  There was a Mr. Phelps, who moved to the George Latimer place before the war, and his sons made good soilders.  Mr. Hansford was an overseer, who changed his abode very often but his sons were all true blue in the trying times from 1861 to 1865.  Newton Petermen, William Wray, and Henry Brittian, who was for many years the honored ordinary of
the county.

I know I have ommited many names, but if I am able to obtain a roster of the different companies in the county, that defect in my memory will be made manifest.  Now, as to the ladies of the county. The mothers, wives and sisters, too much can not be said in praise. The untiring energy and self sacrifice well deserves a monument.  A roman matron was once asked by some visitors to see her jewels, meaning her personal adornments.  In response she bought out her two sons.  They, in after years, gave inestimable proofs as defenders of the ancient city.  The mothers of Oglethorpe, like the ancient spartan mothers, bade adieus to their sons with the same injunction, "Return on you shield or with your shield", conquer or die, and right nobley did they heed the advice.  I will say that the request to write up the military characters of the county, to obey I shall need aid.  I was in the western army with a Texas regiment and knew little of my native county's part in the struggle.

J. S. B.



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