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Map of Reynolds | 1945 Stores |1911 Newspaper Account

Reynolds was located on the direct line of the Central of Georgia Railroad between Macon and Columbus.

Origin of Name

There are several ideas about how Reynolds got its name. One source says "John Reynolds, one of Georgia's famous Governors"; another named "L.C. Reynolds, Esq"; yet another refers to the superintendent of the railroad at that time.

Early Beginnings

Governor George W. Towns owned land in this area and he (with H.H. Long) laid out the town with the streets running north and south, east and west. One block was given to the new railroad for a depot; a second was planned for the Courthouse site. [This is now "church park" near the Methodist Church]

The county officials had made the decision to locate the county seat 9 miles west, at Muscogee Station on the railway line as a more central location.

Settlers had moved into the area in the early 1800's...such families as Crowell , Corbin , Howard , Marshall , Carson , Hicks.

Railroad brings first store buildings.

After March 16, 1851 when the railroad arrived, a line of wooden store buildings were built on Talbot and Winston Street. The first brick building was in 1886 by J.N. Bryan and Co; followed by the Souder Building and the G.T. Ruffin building.

Early Hotel

Deed Book A - pg 233
Taylor 30th Jan 1854 Ezekiel Royal to Daniel Royal
$1900 Lots 7 & 8 Block 10; Lot 12 Block 6 Reynolds together with household & kitchen furniture in Hotel on Lot 6 Block 12 2 buggies, 1 wagon, 1 horse, 2 mules belonging to the stables in Lot 7 & 8 of Block 10
Wit: James T. May, Wm Hubbard.

Early Business

Edward A. Goddard moved from Butler after the Civil War. The first bank was established in 1897...first school house and churches were built. Population had grown to 1000.

Early Citizens

Henry Hodges with his brother Wash Hodges had been in the area along the Flint River prior to the railroads and built a house that became a landmark.

Dr. Christopher came along with the Paris family who established an early hotel called the Paris House. Mr. Paris was the dentist and also served as Mayor in 1890. A Columbus Enquirer article (1890) mentioned Souder and Son, Adams Store (owned and operated by J.A. Adams), Griffith and Frederick Warehouseman.

Goddard's Store was described as carrying a full line of dry goods, groceries and notions and was an undertaker 'and takes care of the dead as well as the living'. Treat Hines built a nice home for his daughter, Mrs. Goddard in 1872.

Governor John B. Gordon had a farm located near Reynolds.

In the Coleman Institute Catalog of 1911-12 the town had a cotton mill employing 400 people, e larage guano factories; a canning factory and a factory for making doors and windows. Three banks (Reynolds Banking Company, the First National Bank and the Farmers and Merchants Bank) served the area, still primarily agricultural.

Town Minutes - 1913

The earliest town minutes found in City Hall were dated Jan 10, 1913. Officials were: Mayor-J.A. Matthews; Aldermen - J.A. Ricks, J.G. Hill, C.H. Neisler, J.C. Newsome and J.E. Mangham. E.J. Poole was Marshal and J.T. Parks elected Nightwatchman.

Early Streets

Although the town had been laid out professionally (no doubt at the request of Gov. Towns), the wide streets of today were covered then with natural underbrush and narrow, crooked roads meandered through the trees. Adult males were required to pay a street Tasx of $5 or work on the streets for ten days.

The original houses were not very close together and all had their own well. In the early 1900's Albert Carter began to supply the town with water pumped from Ruffin Springs, later Carter Springs, northeast of town. A water tank was erected at the intersection of Talbot and Winston Streets.


Early mail carriers were: Lester Carter, Bailey Jones, Cliff Windham, C.S. Sawyer, and J.J. Saylor. Postmasters included: W.I. Powell, E.A. Hollis, J.G. Hicks, W.M Hollis, Blanche M. Brunson.

Reynolds Business Section ca 1945

Contributed by Thomas H. Gregory

1940-1950 era Starting at the Easternmost corner and moving west:

  R.E. Aultman's grocery store, 
Joe Goodrow's appliance store
C.B. Hick's hardware
Jaime Barrow's store,
Powell's Cafe
Hill's grocery (later Virgil Powell (Harry's brother)
Upholstery shop
Lawrence Cook's "five and dime", a stairwell that led to a
second floor hotel which burned in about 1947
Post Office 
Hick's Trussell's grocery and hamburger place,
 a small store that I do not remember very well, 

and last on the corner, Jacob Prager's clothing store. 

It was along the outside wall of the west side of Mr. Prager's store that contained all the names of those that were in the military during World Was II. If I haven't worn you out already, and you would like to know more about any of these stores, I remember them very well, as I spent a lot of time on this block.

It was located in the middle of the block across the street from what is now the Reynolds City Hall. You might be interested in knowing about the other stores in this block. Now, more details about Powell's Cafe, as it was commonly referred to. It was rather narrow in the front, but very long in depth, from north to south. The floor was wooden, which we oiled occasionally to reduce dust. The ceiling was made of squares of embossed tin, as was the fashion at one time. Upon entering the store, on the left side was a short counter behind which was a gas fired grill. This grill was used to fry hamburgers, steaks and almost any meat desired.

The short counter was located at the front of the store to serve sandwiches primarily to black people, who were not permitted normally to go further into the store and sit down.

Next, on the left side, was the ice cream freezer, my favorite spot, followed by a soft drink cooler.

Continuing on the left side was the cash register and then a very long counter with attendant revolving stools, which were a delight to young folks. Behind the counter on the walls were shelves for groceries At the rear was a desk where we did all the necessary paper work.

On the right side of the store in the front there were pin ball machines, a "juke box", and enough open space that it was frequently used by teenagers for dancing. Following that there was a long meat counter set at an angle, since it was too long to sit straight across, behind which was an area for cutting meat, etc. To the rear of the meat market area were several set of tables and chairs for dining. Behind a small screen was a wash basin.

At the very rear of the store, hidden behind a wall, was the kitchen, which was used to cook the noontime meal. If someone wanted a cooked meal, he ordered a "regular dinner". There were no choices, you took what was served you. Only fried meals were served in the evening, steaks, etc.

A little personal background: my mother (Annie Laurie Whatley Gregory and William Harry Powell married in 1944 and mother and I moved to Reynolds. I was then thirteen years old and was immediately "introduced" to the store, that is, it was expected that I would work in the store, which I did all of my teenage life. The ice cream freezer was of much interest to me. Harry died in 1955, so there you have the time bracket of my knowledge of the store. I don't know exactly when Harry opened the store originally, but it was said that he had a store in Reynolds all of his grown life. He was fifty-four when he died.

1911 Newspaper Accounty Transcribed by Carla Miles

The Butler Herald
Tuesday, June 20, 1911
Page Two


Reynolds is a thriving town of Southwest Georgia in
Taylor County, on a direct line of the Central of
Georgia Railroad, between Macon and Columbus. It is
located on a hill about four hundred and fifty feet
above the sea level, and is surrounded by a very
fertile and prolific farming section. The country
around Reynolds is generally level.  The land is a
dark gray with a deep red subsoil, and is adapted to
almost any kind of farming.

Just out of the incorporate limits of the town is the
famous farm of the late Gen. John B. Gordon.  This
farm is very beautiful and produces fine crops of
cotton, corn, etc., besides a large number of cattle
and horses. However, this is only one of the numerous
fine farms of this section.

Reynolds was founded in 1853, and was named for John
Reynolds, one of Georgia´s famous governors.  Since
that date it has continually grown year after year,
until now it has a population of over 1,200.

Nature has painted a beautiful picture for Reynolds.
The streets are shaded by original oaks.  There is a
beautiful park of these trees in the center of the
town, planted there by nature´s hand.

The driveways are hard and level; the air is
wholesome; the climate is excellent, neither severe in
winter, nor excessively warm in summer, and a more
healthful place could not be found.

In fact, Reynolds is the most beautiful town of its
size in Georgia. Reynolds is also a manufacturing
town, having a large cotton factory, giving employment
to four hundred operatives; two large guano factories,
a canning factory, and a factory for the making of
doors, windows and other materials for house building.

There are three banks, which contribute to the wealth
of the town, and a great aid to the farmers.

Reynolds markets every year seven or eight thousand
bales of cotton; one hundred and twenty five cars of
peaches and a vast amount of corn, peas, syrup and
sweet potatoes.


map of Reynolds
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