Hogansville, Troup County, Georgia History

The city of Hogansville lies on the line between the Eleventh and Twelfth Land districts. The Calumet Mills and the mill village is in land lot No. 96, the churches and residence section in No. 97, and the southeastern part of the city in No. 128 of the Eleventh District; the central southern part in No. 9, the business section in No. 10, and the High School and Stark Mills in No. 11 of the Twelfth District; the western side of the city in Nos. 22, 23 and 24 of the Twelfth. The location is that of the intersection of the commercial highway towards Augusta before the coming of railroads and the old Indian trail which connected the McIntosh Reserve with the Creek towns on the lower reaches of the Chattahoochee and the Flint rivers. At an early date a large part of the site of the city was the property of William Hogan, for whom the town was named.

The early history of Hogansville is a record of a community gathered around the churches and school and the mill of Daniel Norwood on Yellow Jacket Creek near the present station of Trimble. Among the names secured from old deeds and records are found the following pioneers: Uriah Askew, Joseph N. Boyd, John Brooks, Zadoc J. Daniel, Silas N. Davis, Hartsfield Hendon, William Hogan, William Hopson, Martin Jenkins, Mordecai Johnson, John A. Jones, James M. McFarlin, William Mobley, Alfred P. Norwood, Daniel Norwood, William D. Phillips, Samuel S. Reid, John W. Scoggins, John Sims, John Trimble, Henry Wideman, and many others whose names were overlooked or not found in the records.

The incorporation of the town was deferred until long after the community was a recognized business center, and was dated October 12, 1870, when James M. Hurst, Joel J. Loftin, W. H. C. Pace, John T. Pullin, Warren Bacchus, and Benjamin W. Morton were appointed commissioners and a body corporate under the name and style of Town Council of the town of Hogansville. The corporate limits at that time were circular with a radius of three-fourths of a mile with the railroad depot as a center; however, the radius was reduced to a half mile on February 28, 1876; and on December 17, 1901, the present rectangular limits were established. The intersection of the center line of the street and the main line of railroad track is the point from which measurements are made. The distance toward the east, south and west is three-fourths of a mile, towards the north seventenths of a mile; the sides of the rectangle are due east and west, and north and south.

At the time this community was settled, the whole country was in forest, and Andrew Pickens Norwood used to relate that the only clearing was that of a corn patch located about a mile northeast on the west side of the present highway on land now owned by Warner Smith, which was the site of an Indian village.

In those early days the nearest cotton market was Augusta, and the transportation was by means of wagons. These market trips were great events, and there was usually a considerable train of wagons, camping on the roadside by night, for it required several days to make the trip. On the return trip they brought back such necessities and luxuries as would be used for the year until another caravan set forth.

Daniel Norwood, the father of Andrew Pickens Norwood, migrated from South Carolina to Georgia in 1828, and settled about three miles north of Hogansville, and built the old Norwood mill about two miles east of Hogansville on Yellow Jacket Creek near the present station of Trimble. The dam was constructed of granite quarried from a large outcrop near the mill. This mill was patronized by the settlers for miles in all directions.

The completion of the Atlanta and West Point Railroad in the early fifties centered the activities of the community near the railroad station, and the town began to attract the settlers from the surrounding country as a good place to engage in different kinds of business.

After the demoralization incident of the War Between the States and the subsequent carpet-bag rule, the community commenced its stride with the incorporation of Hogansville as a town on October 12, 1870, and one of the first enterprises of the new town was the establishment of a supply and general merchandise store by Morton and Trimble, a firm composed of Captain Benjamin Morton and W. S. Trimble, which firm brought the first carload of commercial fertilizer to Hogansville.

This period was also the beginning of tenant farming and crop mortgage system, which grew through the seventies, eighties and nineties, and reached the culmination in disaster in 1920, when post-war deflation, assisted by boll weevil depredations, finished the task of demolition of the farm supply business. During the heyday of prosperity Hogansville became known as one of the best cotton markets in western Georgia, and the merchants of the town sold supplies to a large part of the counties of Troup, Heard, Coweta and Meriwether. It was the nearest railroad point to Franklin, the county seat of Heard County, sixteen miles distant, and also the same distance to Greenville, the county seat of Meriwether County. All freight and passenger traffic as well as the mails for these two towns and the adjacent territory came through the Hogansville offices.

In 1881, R. M. Farrar, T. M. Sikes, Frank Word, John Word and W. S. Trimble incorporated and built the Hogansville Cotton Oil Mill, the first such plant in the county. Soon afterward Edward Atkinson of Boston on a visit to the Cotton Exposition in Atlanta conceived the idea of building a model ginnery, and of setting an example to the cotton farmers of improved ginnery methods, whereby the, farmers would get a premium price for their staple. This large plant added to the gins already in operation, and the great facilities afforded by Frank Word’s large warehouse, made Hogansville a popular cotton market, both for buyer and for seller.

The merchants and Farmers Bank was incorporated on December 8, 1888, by W. S. Hendon, J. H. Covin, E. Mobley, C. K. Bass and J. F. Mobley, and the Hogansville Banking Company at a later date.

The oldest business in Hogansville is the carriage and wood-working shop established in 1868 by William Prather, and successively by his son E. C. Prather maintained, and at present by the grandson, O. W. Prather. The drug store now owned and operated by the Daniel Drug Company was established about the same time, but was at first owned and operated by Dr. W. D. Boozer.

The schools of Hogansville have always been the mainstay and pride, and lists among the instructors such substantial and well-equipped men as George Looey, John H. Covin, who taught as many as three generations in some families, A. F. Trimble, W. S. McCarty, H. W. Wooding, and two superior women, Mrs. J. H. Covin, a friend to every one, and Mrs. John Daly, who in her private school, and in many cases without remuneration, equipped large numbers of boys and girls with knowledge to secure positions and to earn their own living.

In 1900 R. W. Trimble established the Trimble Brick Company two and one-half miles east of Hogansville on the railroad with a capacity of eight to ten million brick per year, and giving employment to about fifty men. The clay from which the brick were made was found in the low lands along Yellow Jacket Creek near the station of Trimble. The plant operated continuously for twenty-eight years until 1929, and furnished the brick for nearly all the cotton mills throughout this territory.

In 1902, R. W. Trimble developed the quarry near Trimble, which was operated by the Yellow Jacket Quarry Company. Approximately three hundred thousand tons of crushed stone was shipped from this quarry to the Atlanta and West Point Railroad to be used for ballast, and to contractors for concrete mixing. Forty thousand tons were used for the sea wall at Mobile, Alabama. The brick depot built at Trimble to care for the business of the brick-yard and the quarry, was erected on the site of the original Speer’s spur track.

On August 12, 1919, the charter of Hogansville was amended by the General Assembly of Georgia, and the town of Hogansville was thereafter known as the City of Hogansville. This city now boasts of a paved street, an excellent system of public schools, water and sewer conveniences, electric lights, and is a real city.

Mayors Of Hogansville

1902-03 J. F. Askew
1904-06 S. A. Davis
1907-08 Edwin Trippe
1909       J. F. Askew
1910       J. F. Jones
1911-14 W. G. Davis
1915-22 J. F. Askew
1923       J. H. Melson
1924-30 G. G. Daniel
1931-     Charles A. Smith

City Clerks Of Hogansville

1902-04 W. C. Matthews
1904-06 W. D. Zachry
1907       Thomas J. Jones
1908-09 W. C. Matthews
1910       W. S. Hendon
1911-14 D. I. Daniel
1915       J. W. Smith
1916-20 R. H. Utting
1921       M. A. Shackelford
1922-23 W. P. Arnold
1924-29 R. H. Utting
1930-    Charles T. Hightower

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