Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Merchants operating stores in Union Co. in 1881
In last week's column we
store of Mr. John Andrew Wimpey and his wife, Nellie Jane Duckworth
neglected to write that their store, first opened in Choestoe, had the
misfortune to burn down. But they rebuilt on the same location on the
From census, tax and other
records we learn
the locations and names of merchants in 1881 in
In 1881, the county seat town of
Ivy Log had the most stores of any of the districts. In fact, Ivy Log was described as "a bustling place" in early records. Those who kept the residents supplied with opportunities to purchase store-bought goods were Ruben Deavers, Isaac, Glazier, Napoleon Bonaparte Hill, L. P. King, William Lance, J. Ledford, Larkin Lewis, Henry McBee, Jasper Owen(s)by, Cannon Stephens, Caleb Thompson and James Reed. These twelve merchants were among the outstanding citizens in that section of the county.
Third in number of mercantile places operating was the Choestoe District. There Archibald Collins, Ruth Collins, James M. Dyer, James Nix, John Combs Hayes Souther, T. M. Swain, Willis Twiggs and Joshua Audern had places of trade. Except for Joshua Audern (whose last name may have been spelled wrong by the census taker), the store keepers had descendants who still live in that district today.
Gaddistown District "across the mountain" at Suches had six merchants in 1881. These were James A. Cavender, Charles Davis, John Davis, Henry Gurley, James Gurley and John A. Thomas. There, as in the other districts, last names of these merchants are familiar among citizens who live there today.
Coosa District had four stores
William Ledford, C. Nelson, Arthur Owensby and George W. Cavender.
Camp Creek settlement had four stores operated by Jesse Low, Thomas M. Lance, John Davenport and J. J. Cobb.
Young Cane had one store owned by James F. Reed.
All the forty-five merchants in 1881 offered needful products such as salt, sugar, coffee and tea. Many had barrels of staples from which they measured dry beans and rice. The barest essentials were main items in these stores. Far from well-stocked with goods, the community stores were noted nonetheless for hospitality, and places where people could learn the latest news. The pot-bellied stove or open fireplace was a place of warmth in winter inviting everyone in to "sit a spell" and visit.
Jones; published April 30, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville,
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Ethelene Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance wirter, poet, and historian. She may be reached at email firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA 31061-2411
Updated May 11,