Spalding County, Georgia History

 History of Early Griffin

 By Judge L. P. Goodrich

 History of Early Griffin is Re-Produced so that all May Preserve the Record

 The history of early Griffin written by Judge L P. Goodrich is reprinted because of the numerous requests from readers of THE NEWS that it be published in one issue, making it easier to preserve it.

            The history was originally published in six installments and there were so many request for extra copies that the supply ran out.

            Many people who have read this history have stated that they believe Judge Goodrich has contributed more to Griffin in this authentic, interesting history, than any other man has done during the year.

 Early Conditions.

The lands embraced in Spalding county were acquired by the state of Georgia from the Creek Indians on January 8th , 1821, and formed a part of the original counties of Henry and Monroe. The next year a part of Henry was added to Fayette and a new county, called Pike, was carved out of the original Monroe.

Spalding county was created on December 20th, 1851, and included parts of Fayette, Henry and Pike.  Griffin was laid out and the first lots sold on June 8th, 1840.

Prior to 1840 this section was exceedingly primitive and undeveloped. There was nothing resembling a town or village in the present limits of Spalding county. The only post office was located at Double Cabin, which was merely a country store. A few of the wealthier planters had frame houses, but most of the people lived in log cabins. As a rule the farms were large, and the settlements were far apart. Macon was the nearest market, and wagons the only means of transportation. In 1836, David C. Wallis conveyed to Bartholomew Still about 1200 acres of land, for $3.50 per acre. This land included very nearly all of the present city of Griffin.

The founding of the city of Griffin, and the subsequent growth and prosperity of the county, were due to the genius and labors of an individual, whose memory should not be allowed to perish.

 

Gen. L. L. Griffin

General Lewis Lawrence Griffin was the first president of the Monroe Railroad and Banking Company and the founder of the city of Griffin. The information on him, which I have been  able to collect is hardly sufficient for a biography, but it reveals the outlines of an interesting and inspiring character.

            I have never been able to learn the date or place of his birth, except that he was a native Georgian. When a young man he located in Twiggs County, and began his life very poor. This was about 1810. Twiggs county was then on the frontier of the state. Just across the Ocmulgee river was the Indian Territory. Mr. Griffin volunteered in the state Militia , and saw active service under General David Newman in the Indian war known as the Florida Campaign; and afterwards under General John Floyd and General Thomas Glascock in the wars against the Creeks. He subsequently became a General in the Georgia Militia, which was then a position of considerable responsibility. He also served in the Legislature in 1829 and 1830. About 1831 he moved to Monroe County, and later to the city of Macon. In the meantime, General Griffin had acquired a considerable fortune, and in addition to his political and military honors, was regarded as one of the wealthiest men in Middle Georgia.

 

Transportation

            The greatest problem that confronted the statesmen and business men of the day was the question of transportation.  Unless means of transportation could be devised , the interior parts of the state must have remained undeveloped.  Augusta, Macon and Columbus were at the head of navigation on the principal streams, and were the only markets for the Northern and Central parts of the State. The first solition that suggested itself was to dig canals.  And the acts of the legislature from 1820 to 1830 are full of impracticable schemes to construct canals from the Savannah and Ocmulgee rivers to the Chattahoochee and Tennessee rivers. But the matter of rail transportation was receiving consideration, as is shown by an act of the legislature passed in 1825, which created a Board of Public Works, and directed this board “to call to their aid all men of science which they may deem necessary to enable them to report fully on the comparative advantages of canals or railways.”  George M. Troup was governor at this time and Mr. J.H. Couper was a member of the Board of Public Works. The prejudices and opposition which the pioneers of railroads encountered, are illustrated by Mr. Couper in the following interview, which he relates, with Governor Troup; “After a very earnest conversation with Governor Troup, he at length said to me;  ‘Well, Mr. Couper, I will go with you in favor of railroads, But what power do you contemplate?’ My reply was Locomotives, of course.’  ‘Good God,’ he said , ‘I cannot stand that, I will go to the extent of horsepower.”  This was in 1826.  And there were only twenty-two miles of railroad in the world.

            One of the earliest advocates of railroads and the most far-sighted, was General L.L. Griffin.  The first railroad chartered by the state of Georgia was the Ocmulgee and Flint Railroad or Canal Co.  This charter was granted in 1827 to Thomas Spalding, the man for whom Spalding county was afterwards named.  The company was authorized “to cut a canal or construct a railroad of wood.”   But in fact it did neither. The next charters were granted in December 1833 in the following order:  December 20th , The Central  Railroad and Canal Co., to build a railroad or canal from Savannah to Macon.  December 21st The Georgia Railroad Company, to build a railroad or turnpike from Augusta to Madison and Athens.  And December 23rd , The Monroe Railroad Co. to build a railroad from Macon to Forsyth. It will thus be seen that the Monroe Railroad Co., with General Griffin at its head, was the first company incorporated for the avowed purpose of building a railroad in the state of Georgia. It was also the first to lay an iron rail and to operate a locomotive.

 

Monroe Railroad & Banking Co.

            The Monroe Railroad company afterwards the Monroe Railroad and Banking  was organized to construct a track from Macon to Forsyth. But General Griffin had a greater vision than this. His purpose was to complete a great trunk line from Savannah through the center of the State, north, to the Tennessee River, and another line from Augusta across the center of the State, west to the Chattahoochee or Alabama river.

            Besides the Monroe Railroad, there were in 1836 three other railroad projects, either under construction or in immediate contemplation.. The Georgia Railroad was building a line of road from Augusta to Madison, with authority to extend this line westward. The Central Railroad was constructing a track from Savannah to Macon. And the Western and Atlantic was projected from the present site of Atlanta to Chattanooga. And General Griffin seized upon the idea of extending the Monroe Railroad to Atlanta, so as to complete the line from Savannah to the Tennessee River; and at the same time he proposed to construct a western branch, which with Georgia railroad, would complete the line from Augusta to the Chattahoochee. The charter of the Monroe Railroad was, therefore, amended so as to permit the building of the road to Atlanta (then called Terminus), and authorized the West Point or Alabama Extension.  “This was the most daring and ambitious scheme that had been advanced in railroad construction.

 

City of Griffin

            General Griffin foresaw that the point where these two great lines of railroad crossed, would be the Gate City of Georgia, and of the South. The point selected by the engineers for the West Point Extention to intersect the main line was located on the farm of Bartholomew Still in the northern part of Pike county, near the Henry county line. This point was almost in a direct line from Augusta and Madison to West Point and was the most practicable place for the Georgia Railroad to connect. And thereupon, General Griffin purchased eight hundred acres of land from Bartholomew Still and laid out, not a village nor a town , but a city.

            Besides regular and generous streets and alleys, General Griffin laid out and dedicated twenty-two acres of land for the following public uses:

Court House Square

Two ornamental squares or parks

Parade ground or athletic field

Male Academy

Female Academy

Baptist Church

Presbyterian Church

Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Methodist Church

Protestant Methodist Church

Episcopal Church

Cemetery

            In speaking of the plan of the city, General Griffin said:  “in founding the city, my objective was, in the donations made, to provide, previous to the sale of any lots, for every interest, and to lay the foundation of the city upon a sound basis.”  It is interesting to examine the original plan of the city, to catch the vision which its founder had of its future greatness, and to inquire why all of his hopes were not realized.

            The fact that Atlanta secured the Georgia Railroad and the West Point Route, and thereby became the railroad center and metropolis of the state justifies the hopes which General Griffin once entertained for the city which he founded.  And the fact that the people of Griffin afterwards allowed the ornamental parks and public squares to be appropriated and sold for private purposes shows how far ahead of his times General Griffin was in city planning.

When it became apparent that the purchase of this land and the sale of the city lots was an immensely profitable speculation, General Griffin, who had purchased the land and laid out the city on his own account, voluntarily gave the investment to the Monroe Railroad and permitted it to reap the profits.  General Griffin himself gave the following account of this transaction:  “I purchased the lands on private accounts from Mr. Still , at about six dollars per acre, for the purpose of locating the city of Griffin.  I drew a map of the place after the survey; reviewed, selected, and marked the lots for the churches, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, two lots for male and female academies, and squares for public uses, Daniel Griffin drew for me a correct map, marking the donated property.  That gentleman was our chief engineer. He named the Broad street , and I named the others.

            “For the many offices of honor conferred on me from time to time by the people of Georgia and the company, I felt that I could give the investment to the company without injury to my feelings. I was then wealthy for that country, and had no children to provide for.

I proposed to the directors to give the company the investment by their giving the company’s obligation for the purchase money in the place of mine, and, in the name of the company, to carry out the above donations made by me, and marked on printed map. They agreed to do so, and did it. The chief engineer and directors met, and I was informed that, on the suggestion of the engineer, the Board called the place the city of Griffin. The only consideration that I received from this immensely profitable investment was their carrying out, in their name, my donations.”

            To this simple and straightforward statement made in 1854, General Griffin added the following beautiful sentiment:  “I feel thankful to the Giver of all good that I have been permitted to see my labors blessed and the people for whom it was intended enjoying its benefits.”

            When we realize that the sentiment was expressed by a man who had been unjustly criticized and abused, and was said to the people who had joined in the criticism and abuse, we can appreciate the moral greatness of General Griffin.

            The lots in the city of Griffin were sold on June 8th , 1840.  Shortly thereafter a financial depression affected the entire country and the Monroe Railroad and Banking Co., failed.  To sustain the failing fortunes of the company, General Griffin pledged his entire estate, and became bankrupt with the enterprise of which he was the head.

            It seems that the only serious mistake that General Griffin made, was in attempting to execute his plans, with insufficient capital.  But it should be remembered that railroads were then something entirely new, and the cost of construction and operation had to be learned by experience.  It should also be noted that the Monroe Railroad and Banking Co. was capitalized at $600,000.00  of which amount the State of Georgia subscribed $200,000 .00 and after the company had failed, a part of its assets, sold by the receiver, consisted of “subscriptions for stock unpaid, including the subscription of the State of Georgia for $200,000.00.”  A contemporary observer said: “If the stockholders and others directly interested in the success of this enterprise had given their aid and countenance at this critical junction, General Griffin and the Monroe Railroad and Banking Company might have ridden out the storm, and carried the project successfully through. But such was not the case, and defeat and disaster were the consequence.”

            Before the Monroe Railroad Company suspended operation in 1844, it had graded the line through to Atlanta, and completed the road from Jonesboro to Macon. The Macon and Western Railroad Company, which was organized in 1845 for the purpose of taking over the assets and franchise of the Monroe Railroad, completed the track to Atlanta in less than a year, and it immediately became a very successful enterprise.

            There is a homely phrase of the prize ring, that when a man is down he can never come back.  General Griffin was completely down. More than fifty years of age, his wife and children dead, his pet enterprise a failure, his fortune gone, the esteem and confidence of his friends destroyed, it took a man of rare courage to start life over again.  But instead of giving up and quitting General Griffin removed to Aberdeen, Miss., remarried, accumulated another fortune, raised a family of children, and died highly honored and respected.

The City of Griffin

            The deeds from Bartholomew Still to the Monroe Railroad and Banking Co., were made in1839.  The first lots in the city of Griffin were sold at auction on June 8th 1840. There was a bold spring near the present junction of the Central and Southern Railways. This spring was afterwards covered by the embankment of the Chattanooga Branch of the Central, but for a number of years it was the town spring, when New Orleans Street was the main business thoroughfare.  On June 8th, 1840, General Griffin stood on a stump near the spring and sold the lots to the highest bidders.  The first lot was sold to William Leake for $1000.00.  So far as the records show, the following are the names of the original purchasers from the Monroe Railroad and Banking Co.

 

Hunter & Beeks

Griffin Hotel Co.

J.E. Buntyn

B.H. Davis

Salomon Pace

F.D. Cummings

John R. Clark

L. H. Beck

Levi Calhoun

Thos. H.B. Rivers

A.     Bellamy

Eli. H. Walker

Jas. A. Beeks

J.P. Speer

Beck, Dobbins & Co.

Henry L. Quitt

James M. Ward

B.W. Doe

John Spruel

Wm. Cline

A.B. Dulin

J.M. Griffin

Jones, Peck & Johnson

Jas. W. Corbin

L.N. Whittle

Jos. B. Askew

Robert Allen

John McWilliams

John G. Hill

Martin & Reese

Thomas Coppedge

Curtis Lewis

A.A. Gaulding

W.S. Herronton

Allen Kennedy

Thos. L. Jacckson

John Knight

S.H. Martin

Hugh Porter

Jereminah Leake

Cader H. Smith

Shalor Oglesby

W.R. Reese

John W. Jones

Daniel Griffin.

 

            The list is very incomplete, due to the failure of the purchasers to record their deeds, which was a very common failure in those days.

            To the list should be added the names of the original settlers who did not purchase from the Railroad. The following parties located on lots Nos. 129 and 160  in the third district of Henry County, which were included in the corporate limits established by charter in 1843, but were not part of the original plan;

William Mosely

Ezekiel Tice

S.D. Fox

Wm. H. Pegg

Jas. L. Long

John T. Theawt

Miles G. Dobbins

Henry S. NcAllister

Jason Burr

Thomas Stewart

John Crozier

Aaron Cloud

William Gill

H.L. Deane

Stephen Jones

 

            Chloe C. Collier owned the land south of Poplar street, and Martha Baker owned the land west of tenth street.  It was some years later before these sections were subdivided and sold.

            The Monroe Railroad and Banking Co., began construction at the Macon end of their line in 1836, and completed the track to Forsyth in 1838.  In 1841, iron rails had been laid to Barnesville, and wooden rails had been laid to Griffin.  The first cars that came to Griffin were pulled by horses from Barnesville.  The iron rails were laid to Griffin, and the first locomotive ran to this place in 1842.  Before the Monroe Railroad failed, it had completed the track to Jonesboro. The Macon and Western Railroad Co., which succeeded the old Monroe Railroad in 1845, completed the line to Atlanta in 1846.

            The Georgia Railroad was completed from Augusta to Madison in 1837. The financial difficulties of the Monroe Railroad delayed its completion especially between Griffin and Atlanta. So the Georgia Railroad extended its line from Madison to Atlanta, connecting with the Western and Atlantic Railroad. This was in 1845.  But Griffin still had an opportunity to secure the West Point Route, which would, at least, have put it on an equality with Atlanta. The story of how Griffin let Atlanta have this railroad also, is rather hard to understand today. But conditions were different in 1847.

 

Cotton Market

            Upon the completion of the Monroe Railroad to this place, Griffin became an important cotton market, Cherry & Brothers had a warehouse where the Newton Coal and Lumber Co., now is; Gaulding and Ferrell ran another on the corner of Hill and Taylor streets, where the Griffin Mercantile Co., now stands; A.B. Dulin another on Solomon street on the lot occupied by the Griffin Knitting Mills, and B.W. Doe and Co., another on Broad street, immediately east of the Episcopal church lot.  49,000 bales of cotton were brought to Griffin annually. All of this cotton was brought in wagons, and most of it came from the territory lying west of Griffin and extending into Alabama. The main artery of this immense wagon trade was the Meriwether or Greenville Public Road.  This was also the stage route from Griffin to Opelika, Alabama, which was a link in the New York and New Orleans Mail Line.  Between Griffin and Opelika there were 18 coaches, 240 horses, 15 drivers and 8 agents. The distance was ninety-three miles, and running time eighteen hours. A contemporary account says: “The route passes thru Greenville, LaGrange and West Point. Extra coaches are always ready to carry forward in fast time any number of through passengers, without detention. Indeed, this is one of the most superior mail routes in the United States.”

There was a diversity of opinion as to the relative advantages of a railroad or turnpike over this route. A company for each purpose was projected and Griffin had her choice.  She chose the turnpike, and the railroad was built to Atlanta.

 

Plank Road

            The Griffin and West Point Plank Road Co., was incorporated in 1849, and the plank road was actually constructed from Griffin to Flat Shoals, but the enterprise was a failure. The Greenville road is still called the Plank Road.

 

Incorporation

            The City of Griffin grew very rapidly. During its birth from June 8th, 1840, in less than a year the city had three churches – Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian – an academy, and a newspaper.  The Legislature incorporated “The City of Griffin” on December 28th, 1843.  Just five days prior to this, the Legislature incorporated “The town of Marthasville.”  It was two years later before the town of Marthasville aspired to be called the City of Atlanta. The census of 1850 gives the population of these two places as follows; Atlanta, 2,572; Griffin 2,320.  But with the completion of the railroad to West Point, Atlanta became the railroad center, and her growth was much more rapid.

 

Early History

            The early history of Griffin has never been written.  The materials for such a history are contained largely in tradition, and partly in the public records at the courthouses.  Some of these records are in McDonough, and others at Zebulon.  Because the lands embraced within the present city limits formerly lay in both Pike and Henry counties.  The old Pike and Henry county line ran East and West about two hundred feet  north of Tinsley street. In 1845, lots 129 and 160 were transferred to Pike county, which moved the county line over a mile north of Tinsley street.

 

Original Plan

            The original city, as laid out by General Griffin in 1840, was in the shape of a rectangle, and lay entirely in Pike county.  The northern boundary was the old Henry county line, just north of Tinsley street.  Poplar street was on the south; Brawner street on the east, and Tenth street on the west.  Poplar, Tenth and Brawner streets were not laid out or named on the original plan, but they correspond with the original south, west and east boundaries.

            The original streets, running east and west were Tinsley, Chappell, Broad, Solomon, and Taylor. Each of these streets were 100 feet wide , except Broad which was 280 feet wide.   The streets running north and south were First, Second, Third, Fourth, Brooks, Sixth, Hill, Eight and Ninth. Each of these streets were 60 feet, except Brooks and Hill which were 120 feet wide.  Chappell street was named for Hon. A.H. Chappell a distinguished lawyer of Forsyth, and later of Columbus.  Brooks and Solomon streets were named for Mr. Alfred Brooks and Mr. Henry Solomon, both of Macon, Ga.  Tinsley street was named for Jas. W. Tinsley; Taylor street was named by Job Taylor.  And Hill street was named for Mr. John G. Hill one of the original settlers of Griffin.  All of these parties were associated with General Griffin in the Monroe Railroad and Banking Company.

            Running east and west between the streets were alleys 30 feet wide.  These alleys have since been called Quilley street, Central avenue, Slaton avenue, and Bank Alley.  The blocks between the streets were 420 feet square, containing approximately four acres, including the alleys.

            Within the original boundaries, General Griffin laid out and dedicated twenty-two acres of land for public purposes, as follows.

            Court House Square.  Four acres bounded north by Broad street, south by Solomon street, and east and west by Brooks (or Fifth) street, which divided and went on both sides of the Square. The present county jail occupies a small portion of this square, which was afterwards cut up and sold.

             Parade Ground.  Four acres bounded north by Taylor street, east by Fourth street , south by Poplar street, and west by Brooks(or Fifth) street. The Sam Bailey Public school is on this lot.

            Burial Ground.  Four acres, bounded north by Taylor street, and west by First street. This lot was afterward dedicated to the Confederate Soldiers cemetery.

Ornamental Park.  One acre bounded north by Bank Alley, east by Hill Street , and south by Taylor Street.

            Ornamental Park.  One acre, bounded north by Quilly street, west by Sixth street, and south by Chappell street.

            Protestant Methodist church.  One acre, bounded north by Quilly street west by Eight street, and south by Chappell street.

            Episcopal Church.  One acre, bounded north by Quilly street, west by Hill street, and south by Chappell street.

            Presbyterian Church.  One acre, bounded north by Quilly street, west by Hill street, and south by Chappell street.

            Female Academy.  One acre, bounded north by Quilly street, east by Sixth street, and south by Chappell street.

Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  One acre bounded north by Solomon street, west by Eighth street, and south by Bank Alley.  The Griffin Hotel is on a corner of this lot.

Baptist Church.  One acre, bounded north by Solomon street, east by Hill street and south by Bank Alley.

Methodist Church.  One acre, bounded north by Solomon street, east by Sixth street, and south by Bank Alley.

Male Academy. One acre, bounded north by Solomon street, east by Sixth street, and south by Bank Alley. The new court house occupies a part of this lot.

The original plan of the city was remarkably symmetrical. The court house square was about in the center. The churches and schools were arranged in two groups, facing respectively on Chappell and Solomon street, between Sixth and Eighth streets, and the north and south sides each had a public park or Ornamental Square. The Presbyterian,  Baptist, and Methodist churches took possession of their respective lots, and erected churches at an early date. A school house was erected on the Female Academy lot. But the other features of General Griffins plan were sadly neglected. The Cumberland Presbyterian church and the Protestant Methodist church never organized and the Episcopal church did not take possession of its lot until 1869. Griffin was not a county site until December 1851, and a court house square seemed unnecessary. Likewise Ornamental Parks and Parade Grounds were regarded as needless encumbrances. But no sufficient reason appears why the Male Academy lot should have been abandoned. Nevertheless all of these things happened, resulting in the loss to the city of these magnificent donations, which are now so badly needed for schools, playgrounds, and athletic field.

The Christian church was organized in 1849 but purchased a lot for itself, as none had been donated to it in the plan of the city.

I have never had occasion to inquire into the manner in which the Court House Square, and the lot of the Cumberland Presbyterian church were disposed of. This occurred prior to 1850.  But I happen to know something about the others.  General Griffin was very particular about these donated lots, and anxious for them to be preserved and used.  He stated  

positively that the Monroe Railroad executed deeds to each of these lots.  He said; “ I being President, signed the title papers.  The consideration named in the deeds was small,  - whatever it was, I paid for the parties, in order that there never should be a plea of want of consideration.  I directed the cashier, Jeremiah Leake, to have the deeds recorded in the clerks office, Zebulon.”  But Jeremiah failed to record the deeds and numerous questions have arisen because of his failure.  So far as the records show, the title to these lots remain in the Monroe Railroad and Banking Company, and no deeds from the company have ever been found.

            In 1854, when the Baptist Church desired to sell its lot, and reinvest the proceeds in its present lot, the question was raised as to whether or not the church could convey a good title to the property.  In order to test this question, a test case was made.  Mr. Jas. Becks and Colonel Henry Moor filed a bill of injunction to stop the sale, and eminent counsel were employed.  General Griffin was then living in Mississippi, and being appealed to, he wrote a letter to Rev. J. H. Campbell, pastor of the Baptist Church, in which he said:  “I do not believe that the deeds have any provision for reversion, as that would have prevented the parties improving the property, - the opposite of my policy.  If the parties can sell the property to advantage, use the proceeds so as to accomplish more of the good first intended for them, as the consideration of the gift, I feel that would be acting in good faith.  And, with the lights before me, I can not see whence a legal objection could come.”  The injunction was dismissed, and the lot was sold.

            But a more serious question arose in regard to certain other lots.  It seems that Bartholomew Still sold the land to the Railroad on credit, but gave the company a warranty deed, and accepted its unsecured notes for the purchase money.  When the Railroad failed, one of these notes was unpaid, and remained unpaid.  Some years later before the Civil War, the executor of Bartholomew Still filed a bill in equity against the city of Griffin and others, in which he sought to subject the donated lots to the payment of this debt, on the ground that the title was still in the railroad.  The case was carried by to the Supreme Court, where it was ruled that all lots which had been taken possession of and improved by the donees, were discharged from any claim in favor of Mr. Still; but that any of the dedicated lots which remained vacant or unoccupied, could be levied on and sold to pay this indebtedness.  This eliminated all of the dedications except the Parade Grounds, the two Ornamental Parks, the two Academy lots, and the lots of the Episcopal and Protestant Methodist churches, which were vacant and unoccupied.  In 1869 a decree was rendered in favor of the plaintiff for $6,377.00 including principal, interest, and costs which decree provided that so much of these lots should be sold, as were necessary to pay the amount of the judgement and that the remainder of the property, if any, should vest in the City of Griffin.  Under this decree, the two Ornamental Parks, the two Academy lots and the Protestant Methodist Church lot were sold by the Sheriff.  The Episcopal church lot and the Parade Grounds were turned back to the City under the terms of the decree.

During the same year, 1869, the City donated the Episcopal church lot to the St. George Episcopal Church, to whom rightfully belonged, and the church immediately sold it, and reinvested the proceeds in present lot on Tenth Street.  Shortly after this, the City turned the parade grounds over to the Griffin Male Institute, which erected the Sam Bailey School building on it.  About 1889, the Presbyterian church sold its lot and removed to its present location.  The Methodist church still occupies a portion of its original lot, which, with the Soldiers’ Cemetery on the Old Burial Ground, are all that is left to perpetuate the purposes for which the lots were dedicated.

            In the plan of the City, Broad Street was evidenually designated as the main business thoroughfare, and Brooks (or Fifth) Street, leading to the Courthouse Square, was intended as an important avenue.  But in those days, at least, cities were evolved according to circumstances, and not made according to plans.

 

New Orleans Street

            Before the City of Griffin was laid out, the old McDonough Public Road ran through the farm of Bartholomew Still.  Near the point where the passenger depot stands, the road forked, the eastern branch leading to Zebulon and the western branch to Greenville in Meriwether County.  As a rule, the roads were changed to conform to the streets of the city.  The Zebulon road followed Eighth street, but the old Meriwether road continued to be used.  The road followed very closely the present side track of the Southern railroad leading to the passenger depot.  It came into town along Meriwether street, crossed Poplar street where the Southern bridge now stands and ran diagonally to Broad street, which it intersected where the side track now crosses.  This roadway was not in the plan of the city.  It did not correspond to any of the streets.  It ran across private property.  But most of the trade came to town along this roadway, and the merchants were quick to discover that it was better to have a store facing this established highway, than to have one on a newly made street.  Hence the road was allowed to remain and all of the first stores in Griffin were built on this road, between Broad and Poplar Streets, and it became known as New Orleans street.  For several years this was the only business street in town.  There were brick storehouses on both sides from Broad to Solomon, and several brick buildings between Solomon and Poplar.  By 1850 the main business section was on Broad Street, between New Orleans and Hill.  And by 1860 Hill had become the principal street.  When the Georgia Midland and Gulf Railroad came through Griffin in 1886, the City donated New Orleans Street for a right of way, and all traces of the old street have been removed. 

            Brooks (or Fifth) Street divided the City very nearly into east and west halves.  But all of the early activities were conducted on the west half, and when the City began to grow, it extended north, west, and south.  The East half remained undeveloped a long while.  The first addition to the original city was made by Dr. Jas. L. Long, the physician in the place.  Dr. Long built and lived in the house where Dr. J. F. Stewart now resides on the corner of North Hill and Quilly streets.  In 1843, he opened North Hill street from the Henry County line to Cherry Street, and laid out Cherry Street from Sixth to Ninth streets.  Cherry was originally called Long Street, and the name ought to have been retained.  Some of the oldest residences were built on this addition, including the home of Sidney Lanier.

            Sidney Lanier was born in Macon, Ga., on the third of February, 1842, his brother, Clifford Lanier, was born in Griffin, April 24th , 1844.  Sometime between these two dates Robert S. Lanier, the father of Sidney and Clifford, moved to Griffin, and purchased the lot on North Hill Street where I now reside.  There was a house on this lot which was afterwards removed.  Robert S. Lanier sold this place to Dr. W. H. Prichard in 1847, and returned to Macon soon afterwards.  Dr. Prichard built the present house in 1850.  Sidney Lanier was christened in the old Presbyterian Church which stood on the corner of Hill and Chappell streets.  Some of the old oak trees are still standing on North Hill street under which he played as a child and now, as then,

 

            “When the moon is no more, and the riot is in rest,

And the sun is awake, at the ponderous gates of the west,

            The slant yellow beams down the wood/aisle doth seem

               Like a lane into heaven that leads from a dream.”

 

            Sidney Lanier returned to Spalding County on a visit in 1874, and while at the home of his friend, Capt. John M. Kell, near Sunnyside, wrote one of his loveliest lyrics.  The great poet, in search of health and fortune, had journeyed far.  He had been a soldier and wanderer.  But visiting the scenes of his childhood he wrote on this occasion,

 

            “Oh steadfast dweller on the self same spot,

Where thou wast born, that still repinest not

            Type of the home-fond heart, the happy lot.”

 

            Clifford Lanier was also a distinguished poet.  There are many of his poems that it would be worthwhile to mention.  But I will content myself with one.  It expresses his view of life “past the Western gate.”

 

            “In circles ever moveth life around

Without decline; death puts no term nor bound;

Age at old portals is await

For that new scene beyond the gate.

This little grain of life was sweet; how grand

The planetary round of God’s new land.”

           

            Robert S. Lanier was a lawyer, and was one of the first members of the Griffin Bar.  But I think that Mr. Henry Moore preceded him.  Mr. Moor was Chairman of the first Board of Commissioners of the City, and a member of the Convention which passed the ordinance of Secession, for which he voted.

            There was another distinguished member of the early Griffin Bar, whose name has almost been forgotten.  Urbane B. Oglesby came to Griffin from Missouri, prior to 1855.  Though he was a native of Georgia, his son Thaddeus K. Oglesby, was born in 1847, Booneville, Mo., where I presume the family resided.  Mr. Oglesby, Sr., had been very prominent in politics in Missouri, and came within one vote of defeating Thos. H. Benton for the United States senate.  While practicing law in Griffin, Mr. Oglesby was the legal preceptor of Judge W. L. Grice, afterwards of Hawkinsville, who was admitted to the Bar in Griffin in 1855.  Judge Grice wrote:   “Mr. Oglesby lived until after the war.  He was a tall, rather baldheaded man, stooped a little in his old age.  He was a thoroughbred, well grounded lawyer.”  This is all the information I have concerning him.  But the son T. K. Oglesby was for several years private secretary to Hon. A. H. Stephens, and an author of some distinction.  He died some years ago while an editorial writer of the Savannah Morning News.

            The other noted members of the Griffin Bar prior to the Civil War included Judge Jas. H. Stark, Hon. Andrew R. Moore, Judge Gilpin J. Green, Judge E. W. Beck, Hon. David J. Bailey, Judge John D. Stewart, Col. L. T. Doyal, and J. Q. A. Alford.

            The first newspaper was printed in 1841 by William Cline, and was called the Jeffersonian.  The Jeffersonian was, of course, an orthodox democrat.  A copy of this old newspaper dated September 7th, 1847, was loaned to me by Mr. James F. Thompson.  In 1845, Mr. A. G. Murray established the American Whig, which was changed to the American Union in 1851.  A file of this paper can be found in the office of the Ordinary.  It was published until 1861, when the name was changed to The Southern Union.  In 1856, A. A. Gaulding was publishing The Empire State, a Democratic organ, but I do not know when it was established.  A copy of this paper dated November 19th, 1856, was furnished me by Mrs. Bessie Dortch of Aberdeen, Miss. 

            The first hotel was the Griffin Hotel, located on the corner of Broad and Sixth streets, where the Peoples Warehouse now stands.  About 1845, the Griffin Hotel was built on the corner of Hill and Broad streets where the Gresham Manufacturing Company is.  This old building burned in 1891, after it had ceased to be used as a hotel.  It was about 100 feet long, 50 feet wide, and three and a half stories high, constructed of wood.  The conflagration, when it burned, has left an enduring memory.  The Planters Hotel was built a few years later by William Freeman.  This building still stands on Poplar Street next to the Southern Railway, where Dr. J. M. Kelley afterwards resided.

            The “big store” in the early forties was run by H. J. and J. B. Sargent in a brick building on the corner of New Orleans and Broad Streets.  H. J. Sargent raised a volunteer company known as the Fannin Avengers, and went to the Mexican War.  F. N. Ison, H. B. Holliday, G. D. Johnson, T. D. Bertody, W. J. Perry, Henry McAllister, and Thos. Ison, names familiar in Griffin annals, were members of the company.  After the Mexican War, the Sargents moved to Coweta County, and established a cotton factory at the station on the Central Railroad which now bears their name.  They were succeeded by J. A. and J. C. Beeks, who opened a large store on the corner of Hill and Broad streets, where Johnson’s Drug Store now is.  In 1849, E. R. Goodrich joined this firm which continued the largest in Griffin until the Civil War.

            The names of the leading antebellum physicians will appear among the incorporators of the Middle Georgia Medical College.  My information is that Drs. R. A. McDonald and Jas. R. Cleveland were the earliest dentists.

 

Banks

            Mr. Tom Ware, late of DeKalb County, who contributed to the Atlanta Constitution under the pen name of Sarge Plunkett, once lived in Griffin, and was present when the first lots were sold.  He states in one of his articles that “the first bank in Griffin was a little ten by twelve rock house, protected at night by a big bulldog procured for the purpose.”  But he fails to state where the house was located or the name of the bull dog.  The Monroe Railroad & Banking Co., The Georgia State Bank, and possibly some other institutions established branch banks in Griffin at an early date.  But the first bank chartered in Griffin was the Interior Bank of the State of Georgia.  This was incorporated in 1854 by

John B. Reid

Wm. R. Phillips

A.     A. Gaulding

T. D. Johnson

J. S. Jones

D. A. Johnson

 

            Two other banks were incorporated in this place prior to 1860 as follows:

1856 The Exchange Bank of Griffin.  Incorporators: 

Louis S. Salmons

Jno. W. Shackleford

L. H. Durham

Aaron Cloud

R. Q. Dickerson

William Cline

C. H. Smith

J. H. Lumpkin

 

1857.   Savings Bank of Griffin.  Incorporators:

Miles G. Dobbins

John Neal

Wm. R. Phillips

Wm. L. Gordon

Isaac B. Williamson

Wm. D. Alexander

 

            In reading the issue of The Empire State, published November 19th, 1856, my attention was attracted by the following editorial:  “In our advertising column today will be found the annual statement of the Interior Bank of the State of Georgia, by which it will be percieved that it is in a sound and healthy condition.  Wild cat, or no wild cat, we defy any bank in Georgia to show a more favorable account of its condition.”  In this highly flattering notice here is at least a suggestion that the Interior Bank was not, like Caesar’s wife, above suspicion.

 

            The statement was as follows:

                        RESOURCES

Bills and notes discounted                              $354,765.34

Due from Banks, Bankers                                    346,234.70

Expenses                                                            1,711.59

Banking House, and Lot                                    5,359.62

Cash                                                                 47,210.24

Bills on Solvent Banks                                      3,984.00

                                                                     $759,265.49

 

                        LIABILITIES

Capital                                                            $500,000.00

Circulation                                                     241,410.00

Deposits                                                             1,112.83

Profits                                                              16,686.66

Due to Bankers                                                       56.00

                                                                        $759,265.49

 

            There are two remarkable things about this statement.  In the first place, the capital stock of the Interior Bank was $500,000.00, which is more than the combined capital of the three banks operating in Griffin today.  And in the second place the deposits amounted to only $1,112.83.  In the light of the present conditions, it is difficult to see how a bank could run at all with no more deposits than that.  Yet the statement shows a healthy profit account.

            The list of stockholder follows, which increases the mystery:

 

                        STOCKHOLDERS

George Smith                                                4,930 shares

S. C. Higginson                                    10 shares

J. R. Valentine                                       10 shares

P. Giddes                                               10 shares

Robert Reid                                           10 shares

W. R. Phillips                                        10 shares

Wm. Markham                                      10 shares

Jas. S. Jones                                          10 shares

 

            George Smith, S. C. Higginson, J. R. Valentine, P. Giddes, and Robert Reid are unfamiliar names.  Who was George Smith that owned $493,000 in Griffin bank stock? 

            Mr. John J. Knox wrote a “History of Banking in the United States”.  Mr. Knox was comptroller of the currency of the United States from 1872 to 1884 and was the author of the National Coinage Act of 1873.  A copy of his history can be seen in the Carnegie Library in Atlanta.

            According to Mr. Knox a Scotchman named George Smith located in Chicago about 1840, and engaged in banking in Illinois and Wisconsin.  Mr. Smith obtained a charter for the Marine and Fire Insurance Co. of Wisconsin, and began issuing warrants or certificates of this company intended to circulate as money.  These certificates were always signed “George Smith, president,” and were popularly known as “George Smith money”.  Those were days of wildcat banks, and worthless paper currency, but unlike most other institutions, the Marine and Fire Insurance Co., always redeemed its certificates promptly, and in consequence “George Smith money” became the standard paper currency in the northwest and Mississippi Valley.

            Subsequently, a law was passed which prohibited an insurance company from issuing notes, and it became necessary for Mr. Smith to issue his currency in the name of a bank.  He, therefore, came to Georgia and purchased control of the Interior Bank at Griffin and issued his notes in the name of the Interior Bank of Georgia.  These notes were never intended for circulation in Georgia but were carried to Chicago and circulated throughout the Northwest.  About the beginning of the Civil War, Mr. Smith closed out his banking business and returned to England, a millionaire.  But, it is stated, Mr. Smith redeemed every note that was returned for redemption, and honorably liquidated every obligation of the Interior Bank.  So, “wildcat or no wildcat,” we can defy any bank in the world to show a more honorable record.

            One of the largest and most successful institutions in Georgia today is the Southern Mutual Insurance Co.  This company was organized in Griffin, where it had its principal office for several years.  The company was chartered in 1847, and the first Board of Directors consisted of:

John G. Hill, Griffin, Ga., Pres.

James Clark, Lumpkin, Ga., Vice Pres.

John U. Parsons, Griffin, Ga., Sec.

H. K. McKay, Americus, Ga., Actuary

L. R. Brewer, Griffin, Ga., Treas.

Curtis Lewis, Griffin, Ga.

H. J. Sargent, Griffin, Ga.

Wm. H. White, Griffin, Ga.

Wm. Boynton, Lumpkin, Ga.

John Dill, Ft. Gaines, Ga.

Charles F. Bernis, Ft. Gaines, Ga.

 

            The home office of the company was on the corner of New Orleans and Broad streets.  The company afterwards moved to Athens where it still resides.

            Spalding County was created by an act of the Legislature on December 20th, 1851, and was named for Hon. Thomas Spalding of McIntosh County.  At first the county did not extend beyond the Flint River, but Line Creek District was added in 1856.  In 1854, a small part of Butts County was added to Spalding, and Lots 96 and 97 in the First District of Original Monroe county were transferred from Spalding back to Pike county.  These lots were the home of Uriah Askew.  Lots 96 and 97 were not adjacent to the Pike County line, but lay some distance over the interior of Spalding.  So if the act were constitutional, Pike county would include a little detached island, completely surrounded by Spalding county lands.  So far as I can find the Supreme Court, has never passed upon this act, which has never been repealed.  It has been disregarded for a number of years, and I think that it was declared illegal by the Superior Court.

            Among the early industries of Griffin, mention should be made of Finley’s Foundry and Machine Works, and the Hide and Leather businesses of Henry Banks.  Mr. Banks built the house on Solomon Street where Mr. H.W. Hasselkus afterwards lived, and conducted a large tanning yard on the same lot.  Robert Finley was an engineer on the Monroe Railroad and Banking Co., and ran the first locomotive from Macon to Forsyth.  Leaving the employ of the railroad, he located in Griffin, and established an extensive foundry and machine shop on North Hill street, between the residence of Mr. B. R. Blakely and the former residence of Mrs. Vone H. Mills.  He afterwards moved his works to Macon.

            The Savannah, Griffin and North Alabama Railroad, now the Chattanooga Branch of the Central, was incorporated in 1854, but actual construction did not begin until after the war.

            The most striking feature about the early history of Griffin is the interest which was manifest in education.  The Griffin Male and Female Academy was organized in 1840, and built the little brick schoolhouse on the Female Academy lot, where Mrs. M. E. Critendon taught for many years after the war.  This institution was incorporated in 1841, with the following Board of Trustees:

Pitt S. Miller

Jas. S. Long

James Butler

Wesley Leake

William Leake

 

            The names of these pioneers in the educational work of the city should be preserved. 

 

In The Jeffersonian for 1848, there are two schools prominently advertised.  The Griffin School, James Hilsman, president and The Female Institute and Griffin High School, J. Rosemond, president.  Mr. Hilsman stated that his school numbered 125 pupils during the year (1848) and had obtained the services of a lady in every way competent and a gentleman of classical talents.  The faculty of The Female Institute and High School consisted of:

J. Rosamond, Pres.

Mrs. L. Brown, Art

Miss Julia Rogers, Music

Miss Maria Atwater, Science and French.

 

            The cost of education in those days can be arrived at from the advertisement of the Female Institute and High School.

            Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, per quarter            $4.00

            Grammar, Geography and History, per quarter            $6.00

            Science and Ancient Languages, per quarter            $8.00

 

            The state made some provision for paying the tuition of the poor children out of “Poor School Funds”, but this was very inadequate.

            But prior to 1860, the following institutions of learning had been established in Griffin and were in a highly flourishing condition:

The Griffin Synodical College

The Griffin Female College

Marshall College

The Middle Georgia Medical College

           

            Each of these was a chartered educational institution, authorized to grant diplomas, honors and degrees.  The building of the Female College still stands on the corner of College and Eighth streets and is occupied by Mr. R. B. Joiner.  The Medical College was the two-storied brick building on the northwest corner of Broad and Fifth streets, afterwards known as the Goddard House.  The building of The Synodical College was burned during the Civil War.  A picture of this handsome old building may be seen in White’s Historical Collections of Georgia, from which I take the following description:  “The college edifice is built of brick, 100 feet long, and 50 feet wide, and two stories high.  It contains on the lower floor a large chapel room for the primary department and a parlor.  On the second floor are four large recitation rooms, and a large study room, well furnished with desks and chairs.  The building occupies a commanding situation and is surrounded by beautiful grounds.”  The site of this building was the four-acre lot now occupied by the Library and High School.  Marshall College was located on a six acre lot which lay west of Thirteenth street, and the building fronted the intersection of Broad and Thirteenth.  This building was burned about 1870, and I have never seen it described.

            The Board of Trustees of these institutions constitute an honor roll of the early and most public spirited citizens of Griffin.  The Synodical College was incorporated in 1852 with the following trustees:

John B. Reid

Hugh H. Kirkpatrick

Curtis Lewis

Jas. H. Stark

E. P. Daniel

W. W. Chapman

Jas. S. Long

Jas. S. Jones

Andrew R. Moore

W. J. Keith

W. N. Cunningham

J. D. Stephens

J. G. Alexander

R. T. Marks

Andrew J. Peden

Washington Poe

William Markham

Cyrus Sharp

 

            The Female College was chartered in 1852 as the Griffin Collegiate Seminary for Young Ladies, but the name was changed in 1854.  The Board of Trustees consisted of:

John B. Reid

W. W. Chapman

John G. Hill

A.     A. Gaulding

Wm. Freeman

Absolom Gray

William Cline

Rufus McCune

A.     N. Nall

A.     L. Borders

J. J. Purce

 

            Marshall College was incorporated in 1853, with the following Trustees:

Jesse H. Campbell

Augustus L. Brodus

Alfred Buckner

J. Q. A. Alford

Parker Eason

Hendley Varner

Jas. H. Stark

Andrew W. Walker

Wm. R. Phillips

W. W. Woodruff

Wm. Freeman

Milton Westmoreland

Chas. H. Johnson

Jason Burr

 

            These trustees represented the Flint River Baptist Association, the City of Griffin, the Presbyterian, Methodist and Christian churches, Warren Lodge, I.O.O.F., and Meridian Sun Lodge, A. & A. M.  In 1858 the college was given over to the Missionary Baptist Church, and the following Board of Trustees appointed:

Parker Eason

Jonathan P. Miller

J. Q. A. Alford

Erastus W. Beck

Andrew Walker

Aquilla B. Mathews

L. T. Doyal

Jno. W. Whitaker

John D. Stewart

Miles G. Dobbins

Jason Burr

Chas. H. Johnson

John T. Bansome

Henry P. Hill

 

            The Medical College was chartered in 1859, but it was a development of a medical college which had been conducted by Dr. Edward C. Knott for a number of years prior to that time.  The incorporators were all physicians and as far as I know lived in Griffin, viz:

Edward F. Knott

Simeon H. Sanders

John D. Chattfield

Thomas M. Darnall

J. H. Condly

Milton J. Daniel

John L. Moore

Samuel H. Smith

 

            The board of trustees, named in the act of incorporation were:

J. Q. A. Alford

Wm. J. Jossey

G. J. Greene

L. T. Doyal

Benson Roberts

George W. Grant

E. W. Beck

 

            As stated above, these names represent the most prominent and public spirited men in the community and deserve more than passing reference.

            The Synodical College was under the direction of Rev. C. P. B. Martin.  Prof. Martin was a pupil and namesake of the famous Carlisle Pollock Beman, who taught the old Mt. Zion Academy in Hancock County.  Mr. L. L. Knight in his Georgia Landmarks says:  “Mt. Zion was a school which the Bemans - Nathan and Carlisle - made famous throughout the land.”  Prof. Martin was one of the most noted educators in Georgia.  He afterwards removed to Texas, and was prominently identified with the educational interests of that state.

            Marshall College was under the presidency of Rev. Adiel Sherwood.  Dr. Sherwood was a graduate of Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., and had taught in Columbia College, Washington, D.C. and later at Mercer University. 

            The Female College was under the direction of Prof. Hugh E. Morrow.  Prof. Morrow was a native of Belfast, Ireland, and a graduate of the University of Georgia.  He was an experienced teacher, and eminently qualified for his position. 

            Under the leadership of these distinguished educators, the Griffin colleges occupied the very highest rank among the institutions of the state.

            All these schools continued in a prosperous condition until the Civil War, and were attended by pupils from all parts of Georgia and the adjoining states.  But after the war, they never revived.  The Medical College building was sold in 1869, and soon became a hotel.  The Synodical College was used as a hospital during the war, and while so used, was burned down.  The trustees conveyed the lot to the Griffin Male Institute in 1870, and the latter turned it over to the Board of Education in 1884.  The lot remained vacant until 1891, when the old High School building was erected.  Marshall College was levied on and was by the Sheriff in 1866.  It was subsequently acquired by Professors Hulsey and Tignor who conducted a private school for a few years.  But the building was burned in 1870, and the lot was sold for residential purposes.

            The Female College was sold to A. B. Niles in 1869, and he conducted a private school for several years.  After the death of Prof. Niles, Prof. George B. Butler conducted a rather high class school in the building.  But the building library and the paraphernalia were sold by the Niles heirs in 1885, to Mr. F. G. Bailey, and it ceased to be used for school purposes.

            The history of education in Griffin, like almost everything else after the war, should open with an entirely new chapter.

 

            The Meridian Sun Lodge and Pythogoras Chapter No. 10 F. and A. M., were incorporated in 1850.  The charter members of the Meridian Sun Lodge were:

Jason Burr

A. A. Wooten

William Cline

 

            The charter members of Pythogoras Chapter No. 10 were:

A.     A. Gaulding

W. W. Chapman

Nathan B. Johnson

 

            Two destructive fires occurred in Griffin prior to 1860, the first, about 1855, destroyed the entire block on the west side of Hill between Broad street and Slaton’s avenue.  The second, in 1859, destroyed the block on the west side of Hill street between Slaton’s avenue and Solomon street, except the Joe A. Rice Building.  Immediately after this fire, the first volunteer fire company was organized.  The company purchased an engine which pumped by manpower, and constructed cisterns, some of which still remain, on Hill street.  I have never seen a list of the members of the old company, but I have a notice of a business meeting which was signed:

Gilman J. Drake, President

W. L. Goodrich, Secretary

B.     H. Osborne, Treasurer

 

The Griffin Light Guards were organized several years before the Civil War.  The original officers were:

S. W. Mangham, Captain

Chas. S. Wright, 1st Lieutenant

William Cline, 2nd Lieutenant

L. J. Bloodworth, 3rd Lieutenant

 

            According to my information, one of the first houses erected in Griffin in 1840, was the house afterwards occupied by Dr. T. J. Collier.  This old home was built by Daniel Griffin, and was located on the corner of Eighth and Taylor Streets, facing the former.  It was later moved to its present location on the corner of Eighth and Bank Alley.  Daniel Griffin was the chief engineer of the Monroe Railroad and Banking Co.  The chief engineer of the Macon and Western Railroad Company, which succeeded the Monroe Railroad was Daniel Holman.  He also located in Griffin.  Mr. H. S. Watt was chief engineer of Savannah, Griffin and North Alabama Railroad, and Mr. M. F. Tutwiller was chief engineer of the projected Griffin, Monticello and Madison Railroad.  Both of these gentlemen located in Griffin.  And the late E. H. Davis, of Griffin was the engineer of the State Highway Department.  The only remarkable circumstance in the fact is that the chief engineer of the Georgia Midland Railroad failed to locate here.  Evidently he did not take a good survey of the city.

            Many fine old homes were erected in Griffin prior to the Civil War, some of which remain to attest the wealth and culture of the early days.  One of the oldest of these is the house built by John G. Hill, on the corner of North Hill and Quilly street, where Mr. Jeff Brooks afterwards lived.  Just beyond this is the old home erected by Rev. Obediah C. Gibson, on the corner of Hill and Tinsley streets, now owned by Mrs. Vone H. Mills.  Jas. A. Beeks built the house on the opposite side of Hill street in 1840, and three doors further North is the house erected in 1850 by Dr. W. H. Prichard on the lot which he purchased from Robert S. Lanier.

            On the Northwest corner of Hill and Cherry streets is the old house built by Col. Henry Moore.  This house formerly stood on the Southeast corner where Mr. B. R. Blakely resides.  During the Civil War, this was the home of Miss Bettie Childress, who was married in this house to General John G. Brown, C.S.A.  General Brown afterwards became governor of Tennessee, and “Miss Bettie” was mistress of the governor’s mansion at Nashville. 

            The home of Judge John B. Reid is still standing, facing Poplar street in the rear of the Yarborough Motor Company, known as the old Nall place, and further out South Hill street, are the old homes of Ben M. Miller and W. A. Redding.  The Miller house was afterwards owned by Captain H. P. Hill, and is now owned by O. S. Tyus.  The Redding is known today as the old Baker place owned by Dr. D. A. Forrer.

            The home of Mrs. R. F. Strickland on College and Eighth streets was erected by Judge J. H. Stark.  And the home of the late Judge Robert T. Daniel on Tenth and Poplar streets was erected by his grandfather General E. P. Daniel.  Mr. W. W. Chapman built the Kincaid home on Eighth and Poplar streets.  The home of Dr. N. B. Drewry on Solomon street was built by William Mitchell.  The homes of J. P. Nichols, Sr., and Judge J. A. Drewry, on Thirteenth street, were erected by Solomon Bridges and Parker Eason.  Hon. David J. Bailey, Sr., built the old Bailey home on Meriwether street, and just in front of the Bailey place is the old home of Curtis Lewis afterwards known as the Drake place.  The present home of Mrs. D. J. Bailey on Tenth and Solomon streets was built by Rev. W. J. Keith.

            All of these fine old structures are in an excellent state of preservation, and some of them are still occupied by the children and grandchildren of the original owners. 

            In addition to the names of the early settlers to whom reference has already been made, special reference should be made to the following useful citizens of the Antebellum Period:

A.     A. Blakely

Henry T. Brawner

F. D. Dismuke

J. S. Westbrook

W. G. Dewberry

C.     F. Newton

T. J. Brooks

Isaac C. Nichols

Jas. W. English

Fletcher Hanson

 

            James W. English was a buggy trimmer and Fletcher Hanson was a prescription clerk in a drug store on Broad Street.  Mr. English was later mayor of Atlanta, and one of its leading citizens.  Mr. Hanson became President of the Central of Georgia Railroad Company.

            This brief memorandum is not intended as a history.  It contains many serious omissions and not a few inaccuracies.  But it is written in the hope that someone better fitted will revise and complete the story.

 

(The End)


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