Barrow County in 1915
Athens Weekly Banner, 2 Apr 1915, p. 5[At the first session of the Superior Court of Barrow County on 22 Mar 1915, Judge Charles H. Brand, pursuant to a motion made by Lewis C. Russell, a Winder attorney, ordered that “several pages of the Minutes of the Barrow Superior Court be used for historical events connected with Winder and Barrow county.” Judge Brand appointed Lewis Russell, G. A. Johns, and W. H. Quarterman to draw up the appropriate resolutions, and their report was published in the Athens newspaper cited above. Here is the entire text as it appeared in the newspaper.]
Barrow County Superior Court was ushered in on the morning of March 22nd, 1915, with light snow, high wind and unusually low temperature for the season of the year. Long before the hour for the convening of Court, a large crowd gathered to be present for the opening exercises. The number in attendance was estimated to be from eleven hundred to twelve hundred, including many ladies.
The first Court was convened in a brick building formerly used as an opera house and erected by the late Samuel E. Sharpton, of Winder, Georgia. The building is located on Broad street, in the city of Winder, and about three hundred feet southwest of the original corner stone marking the lines of Jackson, Walton and Gwinnett counties.
Barrow county was created by an act of the legislature of Georgia, passed on seventh day of July, 1914, and embraces about eighty-three square miles originally lying in Jackson county, about thirty-four square miles originally lying in Walton county and about seventy-two square miles originally lying in Gwinnett county.
The first election of officers of Barrow county was held on January the fifth, 1915 at Winder, Georgia, and resulted in the election of the following officers: H. Green Hill, Ordinary; George N. Bagwell, Clerk Superior Court; H. Otis Camp, Sheriff; James W. Nowell, Treasurer; Alonzo M. Williams, Tax Collector; J. A. Still, Tax Receiver; Robert L. Griffeth, County Surveyor; William M. Holsenbeck County School Commissioner; Tom McElhannon, Coroner; and Robert L. Carithers, Representative in the Legislature.
Winder, the county site, at the time of the creation of the county, had a population estimated to be about three thousand people. It has two railroads, the Seaboard Air Line, and Gainesville Midland, one M. E. church, South, one Baptist church, one Christian church, one Presbyterian church and one Wesleyan Methodist church, four banks, one trust company, about forty stores, six practicing physicians, three dentists, one cotton mill, one overall plant, one oil mill, one harness factory, three cotton warehouses, one weekly newspaper, a local telephone system, Southern Express office, one flour mill, two automobile garages, two wood and coal yards, two blacksmith shops, public school system, supported by city government, volunteer fire company, one hotel, an electric light, water and sewerage system owned and operated by the municipality. The following constitutes the city government: Willis O. Perry, mayor; Robert O. Ross, John T. Wages, Robert H. Moore, Loney W. Hodges, Benjamin E. Hill and Green S. Milsaps, members of the council, with John Jackson Foy, city clerk and K. P. Carpenter, city attorney.
The following compose the bar of Barrow county, named in the order of their length of active practice in Winder, Georgia: William H. Quarterman, born at Cuthbert, Randolph County Georgia, on the sixth day of March, 1867, admitted to the bar at Athens, Georgia in June of 1890, and commenced his practice of law at Winder on March 1, 1893. Lewis C. Russell, born in Clarke County, Georgia, October 1st, 1872, and reared in Clarke county, located at Winder, September 17th, 1897, and was admitted to the bar at Athens, Georgia and commenced the practice of law at Winder, Georgia, in April, 1898. George A. Johns, born at Warrenton, Georgia, February 27th, 1874, and reared at Social Circle, Walton County, Georgia, located at Winder November 28, 1896, was admitted to the bar and commenced the practice of law in December, 1902. Kinchen P. Carpenter, born in Walker county, Georgia, February 19th, 1872, located at Winder, May , 1914, and immediately commenced the practice of law, having been admitted to the bar at Lexington, Georgia, in September, 1910. G. Duke Ross, was born at Jefferson, Jackson county, Georgia, on March 24th, 1871, commenced the practice of law at Winder in June, 1914, having been admitted to the bar at Chattanooga, Tennessee in May, 1914. Richard P. Bentley, was born September 24th, 1875, at Jersey City, N. J. and was admitted to the bar at Trenton, N. J. February, 1899, and commenced the practice of law at Winder in February, 1915. John L. Cummings was born on March 23rd, 1879, in New York City, and was admitted to the bar at Brooklyn, N. Y., May, 1904 and will commence the practice of law at Winder, immediately, having been admitted to practice in Georgia during the present term of Barrow Superior Court.
Within the radius of Barrow county are the following incorporated towns: Winder, with a population of about 3,000; Statham with a population of about 1,000; Auburn, with a population of about 400; Carl, with a population of about 200; Bethlehem, with a population of about 300; Russell, with a population of about 200. On the latter of which resides, Judge Richard B. Russell, formerly Judge of the Superior Courts of the Western Circuit and at present Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals of the State of Georgia. He was born in Cobb County, Georgia, April 27th, 1861.
Your committee would not feel that it had done its full duty without mentioning in its report two of the citizens of Winder, who have successively owned practically all of the land embraced at the present time in the city of Winder, of which the present geographical center is the Gainesville Midland depot, and embraces a territory of one mile radius. These two citizens are Dr. J. M. Saunders and Mr. Wiley H. Bush. Dr. Saunders was born on December 28, 1826, at Lexington, Georgia, and is at present one of Winder’s esteemed and oldest citizens. Mr. Wiley F. Bush was born on January 10th, 1841, in Oglethorpe County, Georgia. Mr. Bush is, by unanimous consent, termed the father of Jug Tavern. The name of Jug Tavern was changed to Winder in the year 1894, being named for General John C. Winder, at that time president of the Seaboard Air Line railroad, and a General in the Confederate army. It is only fair to say that Winder would probably never have been on the map if it had not been for the untiring efforts and unselfish generosity of Mr. Wiley H. Bush.
Lewis C. Russell, Chairman
G. A. Johns
W. H. Quarterman
Committee Appointed by the Court.