Americus and Sumter County, Georgia

Local History Calendar

Alan Anderson, compiler



Jan. 1:

In 1917 Nancy Russell, a black businesswoman, closed her restaurant and grocery on Forsyth after 41 years at the same location.

Jan. 2:

In 1832 Sumter County's first public officials were elected: John Kimmey, sheriff; Jacob W. Cobb, Clerk of Superior Court; Lemon C. Morgan, Clerk of Inferior Court; Larkin Glover, coroner; Lovett B. Smith, treasurer; John W. Pelham, tax collector.

In 1861 Timothy M. Furlow, Willis A. Hawkins and Henry Davenport, Jr. were elected as Sumter County's delegates to the Secession Convention at the state capitol in Milledgeville.

In 1890 the first electric street car system chartered in Georgia went into operation in Americus.

Jan. 3:

In 1957 McCay Hill School closed its doors permanently as students marched two blocks to the new Eastview School on Ashby.

Jan. 4:

In 1966 it was announced that A.S. Staley Junior High School was getting a new building for industrial arts and music.

Jan. 5:

In 1880 the Americus public school system opened with white students at the former Female College on S. Jackson and black students at Elbert Head's Hall on E. Forsyth and Bethesda Baptist Church on S. Forrest.

Jan. 6:

In 1956 it was announced that Daniel T. Grant, former A.S. Staley High School principal, had published a book, When the Melon is Ripe, about his time in Americus from 1947 to 1951.

Jan. 7:

In 1852 the General Assembly incorporated the Americus Female Academy, Rev. Philip A. Strobel, principal, at the northeast corner of Brown and Taylor.

In 1911 it was announced that the federal census of 1910 showed Americus with a population of 8,063.

In 1952 the Americus Baseball Club, Inc. surrendered its Georgia-Florida League franchise to Thomasville, ending four decades of professional baseball as the Cardinals, Pioneers and Rebels.

Jan. 8:

In 1919 the Americus city council voted to remove the city from the Central Time Zone to the Eastern Time Zone.

In 1969 Doug Carreker, Dr. Schley Gatewood, Mrs. William Harper, Ross Parker, Jim T. West and O.A. Williams, Jr. made up the first elected Sumter County school board.

Jan. 9:

In 1951 DeSoto and Leslie got dial telephone service

In 1969 it was announced that Americus native Fred D. Chappell, Jr. would appear in the Broadway play, "Red, White and Maddox."

Jan. 10:

In 1893 Americus established its first full-time professional fire department, E.L. "Coot" Stanfield, chief.

Jan. 11:

In 1878 the Americus Library Association organized the city's first public library, Thornton Wheatley, president.

Jan. 12:

In 1920 the McCay Hill School initiated the first auto mechanics curriculum in Georgia, Ernest Barnett, instructor.

In 1971 Jimmy Carter was inaugurated as Georgia's 76th governor, the only one from Sumter County.

In 1972 fire destroyed the remainder of the 1937 A.S. Staley High School building.

Jan. 13:

In 1840 residents of Washington, D.C. were shocked to read about the murder of Sumter County Sheriff John Kimmey in their local newspaper, "The Daily National Intelligencer."

In 1970 CBS newsman Roger Mudd spoke at GSW's Lyceum series, Dr. William B. King, president.

Jan. 14:

In 1889 the black Literary Club was organized at Prof. A.R. Cooper's with Prof. G.W.F. Phillips as president.

Jan. 15:

In 1833 the U.S. Post Office was established in Americus, Lemon C. Morgan, postmaster.

In 1957 the Koinonia Farm Store was dynamited, two and a half miles south of Americus on Hwy. 19.

Jan. 16:

In 1947 John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers union, bought gasoline at the Lighthouse while passing through Americus.

Jan. 17:

In 1828 Avery Wheeler led the first settlers into what is now Sumter County while crossing the Flint River at Shelby's Ferry.

In 1871 Green M. Wheeler, former sheriff, city clerk and treasurer and county tax collector, who surveyed the original town square in 1832, died at his home in Americus.

In 1890 the "Americus Times" debuted as a daily newspaper to compete with the "Americus Recorder."

In 1901 the "Sumter Light Guards" were reorganized for the third time, Capt. E.A. Nisbet, commanding.

In 1921 the John D. Mathis Post in Americus got its temporary charter, making it the second American Legion post in Georgia.

Jan. 18:

In 1881 the City of Andersonville was incorporated, Elder T.K. Pursley, mayor.

In 1918 Nottingham Law was the first Sumter County fatality in World War I.

Jan. 19:

In 1861 Sumter County's delegates joined the 208 to 89 majority vote for Georgia's secession from the United States of America.

Jan. 20:

In 1977 Sumter County's Jimmy Carter was inaugurated as the 39th President of the United States.

Jan. 21:

In 1921 the Rylander Theater, built by Walter Rylander, had its grand opening on Lamar with the national touring company of the hit play, "Lightnin'."

Jan. 22:

In 1934 construction began on the Americus Municipal Airport, just north of the present Magnolia Manor.

In 1936 Bonnie and Clyde's "death car" was exhibited in downtown Americus.

In 1953 two black county schools were discontinued, Mt. Mary on the old Andersonville Rd. and Old Corinth at Pineville, with students from the former going to Shady Grove and the latter to Welcome.

In 1976 the Victoria Era courthouse bell was formally dedicated at Founders Memorial Park, northeast corner of Forsyth and Prince.

Jan. 23:

In 1883 the city council named Bell, Bosworth, Hudson, Lester, Mayo and Patterson in one fell swoop.

In 1924 Mrs. Flossie Dunn Walters became the first woman in Sumter County's history to run for public office as county school superintendent.

In 1969 Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity established a chapter at Georgia Southwestern.

Jan. 24:

In 1836 Sumter County's first militia, the "County Guard," was formed during the Creek Indian War, Capt. Isaac McCrary, commanding.

In 1944 fire destroyed the annex of the First Baptist Church of Americus.

In 1969 radio personality Paul Harvey spoke to 1,500 people at the AHS gym.

Jan. 25:

In 1977 the U.S. Senate confirmed Sumter County native Griffin Boyette Bell as U.S. Attorney-General.

Jan. 26:

In 1867 the town clock was installed in the cupola of the courthouse.

In 1952 Japanese Emperor Hirohito's personal stallion was on display in Americus.

In 1964 most of the 1938 Americus High School building was destroyed by fire.

Jan. 27:

In 1882 it was opening night at Glover's Opera House on Forsyth, which became the city's first movie theater in 1901.

In 1957 the Boy Scout hut on Harrold at Virginia was formally dedicated, Charles S. Hogg, Jr., scoutmaster.

In 1978 it was announced that Howard Dayton was donating the Windsor to the City of Americus.

In 1999 the CBS-TV show, "60 Minutes II," broadcast a segment on the Daniel Colwell murder case in Americus.

Jan. 28:

In 1943 the General Assembly put Georgia on Central Time but Americus retained Eastern Time for one weekend while, coincidentally, the courthouse clock was not running due to repairs, making us, in the words of Ripley's Believe It or Not!, the town with no time.

In 1972 Dan Reeves Day was celebrated in Americus.

In 1989 the Rho Sigma Omega chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the country's oldest black sorority, was chartered in Americus, Jo Maxye McKenzie, president.

In 1990 the memorial on the courthouse lawn to honor Sumter County's military fatalities in twentieth century wars, highlighting Pfc. Luther H. Story's Medal of Honor, was dedicated, the project initiated and led by Nan Gunn.

Jan. 29:

In 1890 the Americus Institute was formally chartered as the Americus-Columbus Institute.

In 1891 the cornerstone ceremony was conducted for the Americus City Hall on Lee, between Forsyth and Lamar, designed by Windsor Hotel architect, G.L. Norrman.

Jan. 30:

In 1971 Gov. Jimmy Carter formally dedicated the Lt. Col. T.C. Tillman, Jr. National Guard Armory on the Friendship Rd.

In 2006 Paula Deen, of the Food Network's "Paula's Country Cooking," filmed a segment in Plains with Jimmy Carter.

Jan. 31:

In 2005 Millard and Linda Fuller, founders of Habitat for Humanity International, were fired by the board of directors because the Fullers were publicly critical of the board.

Feb. 1:

In 1957 the Georgia Council of Churches condemned violence that was being directed against Koinonia Farms.

In 2003 Sherlock Hall at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church was dedicated to memorialize church founders Christopher Joseph and Annie Gill Sherlock.

Feb. 2:

In 1833 the U.S. Post Office was established at Pondtown in the portion of Sumter County that became Schley County in 1857.

Feb. 3:

In 1899 the New Jersey monument at Andersonville was dedicated, the first one in the cemetery.

In 1956 the Sumter County States' Rights Council was organized to resist any attempts at racial integration, Eugene Horne, president.

Feb. 4:

In 1918 the U.S. War Department announced construction of Souther Field in Sumter County as an aviation training facility.

Feb. 5:

In 1855 the first Commissioners of the Town of Americus were installed: Charles J. Malone, Walter T. Davenport, Green M. Wheeler, Littleton P. Dorman, and James S. Fish, with John E. Sullivan, clerk and Henry Welday, marshal.

In 1890 the ten Americus capitalists who formed the syndicate that built the Windsor Hotel were identified as S.H. Hawkins, M. Speer, J.W. Sheffield, P.C. Clegg, G.W.N.B. Glover & F. Lanier, Jr., T. Wheatley, C.M. Wheatley, J.T. Windsor, C.C. Hawkins and W.E. Hawkins.

Feb. 6:


Feb. 7:

In 1928 soon to be New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a speech to the Chamber of Commerce in the Windsor's dining room, then spent the night there before returning to Warm Springs.

Feb. 8:

In 1996 the Griffin B. Bell Aerospace Technology Center at South Georgia Technical Institute was dedicated, Jon Johnson, president.

Feb. 9:

In 1887 the Victorian Era Sumter County courthouse at the southeast corner of Forsyth and Lee was formally dedicated.

In 1973 Sumter Countians were inundated by an eight-inch snowfall.

Feb. 10:

In 1921 a Women's Christian Temperance Union chapter was formed in Americus after a speech by Mary Harris Armor.

In 1967 it was announced that Murphy McManus would be the first headmaster of Southland Academy.

Feb. 11:

In 1865 a shootout between City Marshal S.H. Mitchell and train agent S. Rogers at the depot on Cotton resulted in no serious injuries.

In 2006 Atlanta Braves rightfielder Jeff Francoeur signed autographs to raise money for the Plains Better Hometown program, afterwards having lunch with former president Jimmy Carter.

Feb. 12:

In 1825 the Treaty of Indian Springs opened up to settlement the part of Georgia that now includes Sumter County.

In 1974 noted author Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was the featured speaker at the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner.

Feb. 13:

In 1873 State Representative Allen Fort's bill creating the Americus City School system was passed by the General Assembly.

In 1899 Americus experienced its coldest temperature on record, minus three degrees.

In 1936 Ben. S. Storey, of the Lacrosse community, was the first black person to serve on a Federal jury in Sumter County's history.

Feb. 14:


Feb. 15:

In 1973 demolition began on the Central of Georgia depot on Cotton at McGarrah.

Feb. 16:

In 1936 Charles M. Hale, for twenty years the highly esteemed principal of AHS, committed suicide. The school's library was named in his honor with a brass plaque.

In 1970 the Dallas Cowboys announced that Dan Reeves had been named backfield coach, the youngest in the NFL.

Feb. 17:

In 1886 passenger train service began between Americus and Lumpkin on the Americus, Preston and Lumpkin Railroad, built with private capital by Samuel H. Hawkins, of Americus.

Feb. 18:

In 1897 35 members of the Americus Baptist Church withdrew their letters in order to organize Furlow Lawn Baptist, now Central Baptist.

Feb. 19:

In 1891 the DeSoto Baptist Church was organized, "Brothers Moore, Walters and Weekly," presbytery.

Feb. 20:

In 1923 Americus police Lt. Homer A. Lee and Dave Cross killed each other in a shootout among the tombstones at Northview (now Eastview) Cemetery.

Feb. 21:

In 1914 the Cleveland Scouts announced that Americus would become the site of their spring training camp.

Feb. 22:

In 1900 Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan gave a whistle-stop speech at the Central Depot.

Feb. 23:

In 1854 Americus and Sumter County's first newspaper, "The Sumter Republican," Charles W. Hancock, editor, published its first issue.

In 1966 it was announced that Specialist 4 Sheppard Robinson, Jr. was the first Sumter Countian killed in the Vietnam War.

Feb. 24:

In 1906 the city government announced that Cotton Ave. would be the first street in the city to be paved.

In 1938 Frank P. Harrold donated to the city Magnolia Dell, 15 to 20 acres on Spring at Muckalee Creek.

Feb. 25:

In 1864 the first contingent of Federal prisoners of war arrived at Camp Sumter, better known as Andersonville Prison.

In 1873 the first Americus City Board of Education was organized, Rev. Dr. G.F. Cooper, president, Rev. A.M. Wynn, vice-president, M. Speer, treasurer.

In 1924 the "March King" John Phillip Sousa and his 100-piece ensemble gave a concert at the Rylander Theater.

Feb. 26:

In 1967 the cornerstone ceremony was held for the chapel and education building of the First United Methodist Church, Rev. V.E. Robertson, pastor.

Feb. 27:


Feb. 28:

In 1897 Furlow Lawn Baptist Church (now Central Baptist) was organized.

In 1921 Union High School formally opened, serving DeSoto and Leslie.

Feb. 29:


Mar. 1:

In 1937 the recreation playground at A.S. Staley High School was dedicated, John Mitchell, director, sponsored by the Dunbar Literary and Civic Club.

In 1937 Citizens Bank of Americus opened at the southwestern corner of Forsyth and Lee, Lee Hudson, president.

In 1978 Howard L. Dayton donated the Windsor Hotel to the city of Americus, J.W. Sheffield, Jr., mayor.

Mar. 2:

In 1939 Sumter County was neither wet nor dry as a referendum ended in a tie vote, 610 to 610.

Mar. 3:

In 1862 the "Zollicoffer Riflemen," Co. C, 10th Ga. Inf. Bttn., CSA, was organized in Americus, Capt. John Emory Rylander, commanding.

In 1955 Cephas Williamson, of the Thalean community, winner of the National 4-H Citizenship Award, visited President Eisenhower at the White House.

In 1960 Gov. Ernest Vandiver's fact-finding commission on possible school integration held its first meeting, in Americus, where four out of five testified in favor of racial segregation.

In 1971 the first-ever local telecast on a cable television channel occurred.

Mar. 4:

In 1867 the first edition of the "Tri-Weekly Georgia Citizen" was published in Americus.

In 1897 First Baptist Church of Americus adopted its present name.

In 1913 the Americus Light Infantry marched in the inaugural parade for President Woodrow Wilson in Washington, D.C.

In 1931 the Americus Jaycees were organized, George R. Ellis, Jr., president.

In 1966 the AHS Pantherettes defeated Cochran, 62-56, to be the first girls' team in the school's history to win the state Class A basketball championship, Melvin Kinslow, coach.

In 1975 singer Johnny Cash and his wife, June Carter, visited Plains.

Mar. 5:

In 1903 the Young Men's Christian Association of Americus was chartered by Messrs. C.P. Hammond, W.C. Carter, W.E. Staley, T.H. McGillis, Lee Hansford, T.W. Callaway, G.W. Bacot, W.P. Wallis, F.W. Griffin, C.L. Ansley and John W. Shiver.

Mar. 6:

In 1832 Justices of the Inferior Court Thomas D. Harvey, Richard Salter and Samuel Fauste appointed Jacob W. Cobb as Clerk, Court of Ordinary, the first official act of the new Sumter County government.

Mar. 7:

In 1897 Furlow Lawn Baptist Church (now Central Baptist) was duly constituted at services in the city hall, Rev. Robert L. Bivins, pastor.

In 1939 the Americus Cardinals baseball team changed their name to the Americus Pioneers.

Mar. 8:


Mar. 9:

In 1950 it was announced that the man-made lake at GSW was completed, Dr. H.K. Stanford, president.

Mar. 10:

In 1921 the Americus Lions Club, the second one in Georgia, was organized, Dan Chappell, president.

In 1967 the Union High Yellowjackets won the state Class C basketball championship, defeating Greenville 58-48, Ben Strickland, coach.

Mar. 11:

In 1865 Gen. Howell Cobb gave a speech at the Furlow Masonic Female College on S. Jackson.

In 1909 the Council of Safety Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, received its charter, Mrs. H.B. Simmons, regent.

In 1964 the State Board of Regents announced that GSW would become a 4-year institution.

In 1998 Vol. 1, No. 1 of the "Sumter Free Press" was issued, a weekly newspaper, J. Frank Myers, Jr., owner and publisher.

In 2006 movie and television star Martin Sheen visited Andersonville and spent the night at the Windsor.

Mar. 12:

In 1907 Americus police officer William R. Morris was fatally wounded while trying to arrest William Reese on N. Jackson. Reese was killed by a posse in a wild shootout on Magnolia and Morris died of his wounds two days later.

In 1953 it was announced that a branch of the Carnegie Library had been established at A.S. Staley High School, Viola Myrick, librarian.

Mar. 13:


Mar. 14:

In 1917 U.S. Vice-President Thomas Riley Marshall gave a speech from the balcony of the Windsor Hotel to the state Woodmen of the World convention.

Mar. 15:

In 1922 the John D. Mathis Post #2 of the American Legion, in Americus, was formally chartered, although it was the first one organized in Georgia.

Mar. 16:

In 1920 the Americus/Sumter County Chamber of Commerce was chartered by Carr S. Glover, Frank P. Harrold and Neal A. Ray.

Mar. 17:

In 1862 the 10th Battalion, Ga. Volunteers, CSA was organized, Maj. John E. Rylander, commanding as well as Co. C, the "Zollicoffer Riflemen" of Sumter County, Capt. B.F. Bell, commanding.

In 1973 Air-South Airlines began regular service twice-a-day between Americus and Atlanta.

Mar. 18:

In 1845 Tabernacle Methodist Church (now Plains United Methodist) was constituted at the Plains of Dura, Rev. Daniel Fresley, pastor, Rev. Jesse Boring, Presiding Elder.

In 1977 Habitat for Humanity International was formally incorporated under Georgia state laws.

Mar. 19:

In 1940 the city school board learned that A.S. Staley High had been chosen by the John D. Rockefeller General Education Board in New York for an experiment in vocational and domestic education, the only one in Georgia.

Mar. 20:

In 1936 fire destroyed the Americus Country Club on S. Lee Street Rd.

In 1971 Gov. Jimmy Carter dedicated the new auditorium for the Southwest Georgia Experiment Station near Plains.

In 1995 Tammy Hobbs and Danetta Warren became the first women to serve in the Americus Fire Department.

Mar. 21:

In 1919 Americus remained on Central Time as the rest of Georgia changed to the Eastern Time Zone.

Mar. 22:

In 1905 the Americus and Sumter County Hospital Association began conversion of the former T.M. Furlow mansion, on Barlow, into the city's first hospital.

Mar. 23:

In 1921 the grand opening of the Piggly-Wiggly Store, at Rylander's on Lamar, was the city's first supermarket.

Mar. 24:

In 1836 Mount Tabor Presbyterian Church in the northwest corner of Sumter County, applied to and was received by the Flint River Presbytery.

In 1920 the U.S Census counted a population of 9,010 for Americus.

In 1956 Clarence Jordan, of Koinonia Farms, unsuccessfully sponsored the first black student to apply to Georgia State University.

Mar. 25:


Mar. 26:

In 1856 the "Sumter Republican" published "An Act to Incorporate the City of Americus," upgrading its status from town to city.

In 1884 fire destroyed the entire block on the west side of Jackson, between Forsyth and Lamar, except the buildings at each end.

Mar. 27:

In 1880 fire destroyed two buildings on Forsyth but volunteers saved the antebellum hotel on the northwest corner of Forsyth and Lee.

In 1921 the formal dedication for the Calvary Episcopal Church sanctuary designed by architect Ralph Adams Cram was led by Bro. James B. Lawrence, rector.

Mar. 28:

In 1938 the Cobb Memorial Bridge on Hwy. 280 across the Flint River was officially opened to traffic.

Mar. 29:

In 1540 Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto camped on the site of the town that bears his name and locals claim the well his men dug is still there.

In 1890 the Americus Manufacturing and Improvement Corporation bought the courthouse square for $5,575, preparatory to their erection of the Windsor Hotel.

In 1900 the cornerstone ceremony for the Confederate Memorial in the intersection of Forsyth and Lee was sponsored by the Ladies' Memorial Association and the Daughters of the Confederacy, Judge Charles R. Crisp, speaker.

Mar. 30:

In 1879 a firestorm with 50-mile-an-hour winds burned several houses in Americus, causing extensive damage throughout Sumter and Schley counties.

Mar. 31:

In 1890 the Americus City Council renamed Smith St. to Elm Avenue.

In 1966 it was announced that Americus native Matthew Kennedy would direct the Fisk Singers on the ABC DuPont Show, "This Proud Land."

Apr. 1:

In 1890 the first labor union in Americus was formed, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.

Apr. 2:

In 1913 Prof. Major W. Reddick made a formal application to change his school's name to the Americus Institute.

In 1920 the Americus Kiwanis Club was organized, J. Lewis Ellis, president.

Apr. 3:

In 1942 it was announced that the Americus Fire Department was the only one in Georgia with armed firemen.

Apr. 4:

In 1969 H.K. Undercofler, Jr., formerly of Americus, was highlighted in Vogue Magazine for his roles in the Broadway play "Hair" and the Fellinni movie "Satyricon" under his stage name, Rusty Keller.

Apr. 5:


Apr. 6:

In 1877 Americus experienced a shower of grasshoppers and sea birds after an enormous storm struck with hurricane-force winds.

In 1915 fire destroyed the administrative/academic building at the Third District Agricultural and Mechanical School (now GSW).

Apr. 7:

In 1887 it was announced that J.W. Jordan, Jr. was laying off the town of Huntington on the S.A.M. Railroad between Americus and Leslie.

In 1910 the cornerstone ceremony for Americus High School on Rees Park transpired.

In 1921 the First Christian Church of Americus was organized in the former Universalist Church sanctuary on Taylor, Rev. W.A. Joyner, pastor.

In 1947 the Americus city school board approved adoption of the twelfth grade, adding a year to the curriculum.

Apr. 8:

In 1877 Americus experienced a rainfall that included sea birds and grasshoppers.

In 1891 the rival "Americus Times" and "Americus Recorder" consolidated to form the "Americus Times-Recorder," Capt. Bascom Myrick, publisher and editor.

Apr. 9:

In 1922 Ty Cobb, the "Georgia Peach," and the Detroit Tigers played an exhibition game with the Americus Cardinals at the Barlow St. ballpark.

In 1945 the Americus N.A.A.C.P. branch, John B. Dorsey, president, was chartered by the National Board of Directors.

Apr. 10:

In 1900 George W. Council's Planters Bank Building, at the southwest corner of Forsyth and Lee, opened for business.

Apr. 11:

In 1878 fire destroyed the Americus city hall, northeast corner of Cotton and Lamar, and most of the block on the north side of Lamar, between Cotton and Jackson.

In 1939 workmen began demolishing the first brick house built in Americus in 1869 by Maj. Moses Speer, banker and capitalist, northwest corner of Church and Jackson.

Apr. 12:

In 1838 the first major fire in Americus destroyed most of the block bounded now by Forsyth, Lamar, Lee and Prince.

In 1950 the Sunset Drive-In Theater opened on the south side of U.S. 280 near its intersection with U.S. 19.

In 1968 it was announced that Thomas Blount and Eddie J. McGrady were the first black appointees to the Americus city school board in its 95-year history.

Apr. 13:

In 1856 the Americus Methodist Church dedicated its antebellum sanctuary on the site of the present one. Rev. J.W. Hinton preached the dedicatory sermon and 46 years later returned to preach the last sermon, from the same verse, before the church was demolished in 1902.

In 1909 the Americus Carnegie Library opened on S. Jackson.

In 1926 Gov. Clifford Walker signed the bill changing the Third District A & M School to the Agricultural and Normal College (now GSW).

In 1937 the Americus city council voted to extend Forsyth beyond Cotton to intersect with Lamar just east of the new viaduct.

Apr. 14:

In 1858 Rt. Rev. Stephen Elliott, Episcopal Bishop of Georgia, organized what would become Calvary Episcopal Church, in the home of Ambrose Spencer on Taylor.

In 1893 W.H. "Bill" Styles, formerly of Americus and the first black State Representative for Liberty County, was visiting his old hometown.

In 1947 a storm destroyed Andersonville Methodist Church, which was rebuilt the following year.

Apr. 15:

In 1917 it was announced that the congregation of Furlow Lawn Baptist was changing their name to Central Baptist as they felt the old name was no longer appropriate, Rev. R.L. Bivins, pastor.

In 1934 Bishop W.A. Candler conducted the dedication ceremony for the present sanctuary of First United Methodist on S. Lee, Rev. H.T. Freeman, pastor.

Apr. 16:

In 1893 Dr. J. William Jones, Robert E. Lee's chaplain and author of Reminiscenses of Robert E. Lee and Memoirs of Jefferson Davis, preached at Baptist Church of Americus and gave a speech to the Sumter County Bible Society at First Methodist.

In 1942 the Martin Theater opened on Forsyth, between Cotton and Jackson, with "Blues in the Night."

In 1968, for the first time in history, Americus voters vetoed a school bond issue.

Apr. 17:

In 1912 Democratic presidential candidate Woodrow Wilson gave a whistle-stop speech at the Central Depot.

In 1955 the former Americus Negro Hospital on Wild was dedicated as a nursery and youth center for black children.

Apr. 18:

In 1854 fire destroyed the new First Presbyterian Church sanctuary on E. Lamar between Lee and Prince.

In 1923 the Americus Negro Hospital on Wild was formally opened under the supervision of Dr. W. Stuart Prather.

Apr. 19:

In 1930 gangster "Scarface" Al Capone was spotted on a train at the Central Depot, in transit between Chicago and Miami.

Apr. 20:

In 1854 fire destroyed the north side of the block of E. Lamar between Lee and Prince.

In 1882 the Baptists changed their church name to The Americus Baptist Church.

Apr. 21:

In 1868 newly enfranchised black voters in Sumter County cast their first ballots for the Reconstruction Constitution under the supervision of Federal troops at the courthouse in Americus.

In 1894 Americus and Ellaville were connected by telephone.

Apr. 22:

In 1970 the county school board announced the closing of the Thalean and New Era schools as part of the system's school desegregation effort.

In 1997 Gov. Zell Miller signed into law the designation of Plains High School as the "State School of Georgia."

Apr. 23:

In 1867 Georgia Secretary of State N.C. Barnett accepted the land lot map of Sumter County commissioned by the General Assembly.

Apr. 24:

In 1847 John T. Windsor, for whom the hotel is named, was born in the part of Stewart County that became Webster ten years later, a son of Alexander and Harriett Terry Windsor.

Apr. 25:

In 1890 the ground breaking ceremony for the Victorian Era sanctuary of the Americus Baptist Church (now First Baptist) was conducted, Rev. A.B. Campbell, pastor.

In 1950 the A.S. Staley High School Recreation Center was dedicated, where the teachers' parking lot is currently situated.

Apr. 26:

In 1899 eminent Georgia historian Lucien Lamar Knight spoke at the annual Confederate Memorial Day exercises at Oak Grove Cemetery.

Apr. 27:

In 1861 the "Sumter Light Guards," Co. K, 4th Ga. Infantry Regiment, CSA, was the first unit to leave Americus for the Civil War, Capt. William L. Johnson, commanding.

Apr. 28:

In 1887 the naming of DeSoto as a railroad station was announced.

In 1910 the grand opening of the Sumter County Country Club was on the site of the Georgia Southwestern Golf and Conference Center.

In 1957 Sumter County voters approved a bond referendum to replace the Victorian Era courthouse with the modern one we have now.

Apr. 29:

In 1875 Americus built the first bridge connecting Sumter and Dooly counties, where Hwy. 30 crosses the Flint River.

In 1914 the New York monument at Andersonville was dedicated by that state's U.S. Sen. A.J. Palmer.

Apr. 30:

In 1856 Well's Chapter No. 42, Royal Arch Masons, was chartered in Americus.

In 1970 Jimmy Carter formally announced his candidacy for Governor of Georgia.

May 1:

In 1914 the dedication ceremony for the Americus/Sumter County Hospital on Dodson was on property donated by Dr. W. Stuart Prather.

In 1952 the McCay Hill School published its first annual, entitled "Maybook," Walter T. Pace, principal.

In 1971 passenger train service ended in Americus when the "City of Miami" pulled out of the Central Depot for the last time.

May 2:

In 1842 angry farmers broke into the courthouse, stole Superior Court Clerk Jacob W. Cobb's desk and papers, then burned both on the edge of town.

In 1913 minor-league baseball began locally with the season opener for the Americus Muckalees in the Empire State League, at the ballpark on N. Hampton off Lamar.

In 1923 Charles A. Lindbergh arrived for a two-week stay at Souther Field where bought his first plane and made his first solo flight.

May 3:

In 1842 Sumter County farmers kidnapped Deputy Sheriff Isaac McCrary and threatened anyone who dared to bid, thus preventing the public sale by Sheriff Ebenezer Cottle.

In 1913 a fire caused severe damage to the roof and fifth floor of the Windsor Hotel.

In 1949 the new Americus City Hall was opened, on the east side of Lee between Forsyth and Lamar, Fred P. Bowen, mayor.

May 4:

In 1967 the ground breaking ceremony was conducted for the present U.S. Post Office at the northwest corner of Forsyth and Prince.

May 5:

In 1891 the Americus Manufacturing and Improvement Corporation voted to accept the name "Alhambra," submitted by Eugene A. Hawkins, for the new hotel.

In 1907 Prospect Park, at McGarrah and Hwy. 19, with a swimming pool, nature trail and zoo, was opened by owner Hugh L. Mize.

In 1991, according to the "Christian Index," George Bardin Hooks, Jr.'s baptism at First Baptist Church of Americus made him the only seventh generation family member in Georgia in the same church.

May 6:

In 1929 Rylander Theater manager Joel Gortatowsky showed the first talking movie in Americus, "The Awakening," starring Vilma Banky and Louis Wolheim.

In 2005 Faith Fuller's "Briars in the Cotton Patch" received two EMMY nominations from the Southeast Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, for its writing and music composition.

May 7:

In 1872 George W. Patterson was chosen as the first president of the Sumter County school board.

In 1942 the first black Boy Scout Troop in the Chehaw Council, #200, was sponsored by Bethesda Baptist Church, with King Bryson, scoutmaster.

May 8:

In 1996 Dan Torbert, of Americus, was presented the cellular telecommunications industry's VITA award by television and movie star William Shatner, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., for his rescue of eight people during the 500 Year Flood.

May 9:

In 1967 Gov. Lester Maddox spoke at the dedication of several new buildings at Georgia Southwestern.

May 10:

In 1959 the dedication ceremony was held for the First Baptist Church of Americus' present sanctuary, on S. Lee, Rev. J.L. Leopard, pastor.

In 2005 the dedication ceremony was held renaming Southerfield Industrial Park to Ted Baldwin Business and Technology Park.

May 11:

In 1890 local newspapers published architect Gottfried L. Norrman's rendering of the Windsor Hotel.

May 12:

In 1909 the unveiling ceremony for the Wirz Monument in Andersonville was conducted by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

In 1979 Charles Oxley, southeastern regional director of the federal Economic Development Administration, was the featured speaker at the formal dedication of the new Americus Public Safety Building on S. Lee.

May 13:

In 1829 Benton Moore Wheeler was the first white person born in what is now Sumter County, his father, Avery Wheeler, having been on the committee that chose the site for Americus.

In 1910 Henry Patterson was executed by hanging in the stockade, at the southwest corner of Forsyth and Prince, for the murder of Capt. W.F. McRae, superintendent of the Bagley-Ray Orchard Co.

May 14:

In 1935 it was announced that architectural plans had been approved for the "negro high school building" that would become A.S. Staley High, on five and a half acres where the recently demolished Americus Institute had been located.

In 1961 U.S. Congressman E.L. "Tic" Forrester dedicated the new terminal at Souther Field.

May 15:

In 1882 what is now First Baptist Church of Americus was formally incorporated.

In 1903 Monroe Adams was executed by hanging in the stockade for the murder of his wife and daughter.

In 1964 June Sheryl Moore, Sumter County High School senior, won honorable mention at the 15th Annual National Science Fair in Baltimore, MD.

May 16:

In 1853 Justices John J. Hudson, John U. Fletcher and Francis M. Coker, of the Inferior Court, formally accepted the brick Sumter County courthouse from contractor Patrick Adams.

May 17:

In 1910 the U.S. Post Office Building at the northwest corner of Lamar and Lee, now the Municipal Building, opened for business.

May 18:

In 1877 Charles Tommey was executed by hanging on McCay Hill for the murder of Mrs. Carraway near Smithville.

In 2003 the addition to James Bolan Lawrence Hall at Calvary Episcopal Church was dedicated by Rt. Rev. Henry I. Louttit, Jr., Bishop of Georgia, Rev. Reginald R. Gunn, rector, Martin K. Johnson, architect.

May 19:

In 1969 the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity was chartered at Georgia Southwestern.

In 1975 the 1926 St. James Pennington Episcopal Church sanctuary was moved into Andersonville.

May 20:


May 21:

In 1959 the formal dedication of the present Sumter County courthouse was officiated by Congressman E.L. "Tic" Forrester.

In 1968 voters approved the popular election of the county school board and appointment of the superintendent.

In 1974 State Representative Julian Bond (D-Atlanta) spoke at Georgia Southwestern.

May 22:

In 1889 Rev. John C. Bryan, of Americus, was elected president of the Colored Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia.

In 1930 the Americus Negro Playground, with a ballpark and swimming pool, was formally dedicated, Oscar Maxwell, president, on the east side of N. Lee south of Town Creek.

May 23:

In 1908 Booker T. Washington gave a speech at the Americus Institute, at the invitation of Rev. Major W. Reddick, president.

May 24:


May 25:

In 1894 Evangelist Sam Dean gave a speech at the Opera House.

In 1905 the grand opening occurred for the first city hospital, on Barlow, the only one in Georgia organized and administered by women, Mrs. P.C. Clegg, president.

In 1944 a community recreational center for black soldiers and youth was formally opened by the Negro Central Planning Committee, J.B. Dorsey, general chairman.

May 26:

In 1905 Samuel Hugh Hawkins, who built the only privately-funded railroad in Georgia, died at his home in Americus.

May 27:

In 1966 the proposed whites-only Southland Academy was announced publicly.

May 28:

In 1875 the antebellum Americus Hotel, that had been moved here from Oglethorpe and occupied the half block on the south side of Lamar east of Jackson, was demolished.

In 1932 the first radio station in Americus, WENC, "Where Every Nickel Counts," began broadcasting from the Rylander Theater, the Americus Broadcasting Co. having been incorporated by Dr. Linwood Morris, Henry P. Everett, R.T. Crabb and Stephen Pace (the station moved to Albany in Dec. 1933).

In 1948 the South Georgia Trade and Vocational School, on the Souther Field Rd., had its opening day ceremony, Jed B. Yingling, director.

In 1967 Bishop Arthur J. Moore dedicated the First United Methodist Church Chapel and Education Building, on S. Lee, Rev. V.E. Robertson, pastor.

In 2005 Millard and Linda Fuller led the grand opening of the new headquarters of the Fuller Center for Housing, Inc.

May 29:

In 1939 Georgia Southwestern's first annual, "The Gale," was published, Herschel Covington, of Americus, editor-in-chief.

In 1951 the Sumter Garden Club placed a plaque in honor of Mrs. Vivian Foy Jones on the monument at the southern end of Memorial Mile on Hwy. 19 north of Americus.

May 30:

In 1966 four hundred people participated in a Ku Klux Klan rally on the courthouse grounds.

In 2003 Faith Fuller's "Briars in the Cotton Patch" documentary debuted at the Rylander Theater.

In 2006 Elbert Head Memorial Park was dedicated in honor of the former slave, capitalist and Republican Party leader in Americus, just north of the Leonora Lambert Senior Center on N. Jackson.

May 31:

In 2003 Habitat for Humanity International's Global Village, between W. Church and Spring, had its grand opening with U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop as the keynote speaker, as well as former President Jimmy Carter and former Zambia President Kenneth D. Kaunda as guests.

June 1:

In 1832 Gen. Thomas Sumter, the "Fighting Gamecock" of South Carolina, for whom our county is named, died at his home just shy of his 98th birthday.

June 2:

In 1926 a dance inaugurated the new 10-acre recreation park named Lake Ocono, on Hwy. 19 S.

In 1932 the Americus Institute closed its doors permanently with its final commencement exercises.

June 3:

In 1836 the "Sumter Volunteers," Capt. Isaac McCrary, commanding, fought the Lower Creeks at the Battle of Boykin's Plantation in Stewart County on the Chattahoochee River.

In 1929 the city board of education added the ninth grade to McCay Hill School making it a junior high.

June 4:

In 1937 A.S. Staley High School was formally dedicated, E.J. Granberry, principal.

June 5:


June 6:

In 1858 the Mount Zion Methodist Church, south of Leslie's present location, was organized, Rev. Philip John Dell, pastor.

In 1883 Big Bethel Missionary Baptist Church was organized, Rev. Stephen White, pastor, Jas. Langley, Jackson Jones, Dubrow Townsend, deacons, Solomon Cooper, clerk.

June 7:

In 1919 Lt. Floyd A. Wilson, from Souther Field, crashed his plane behind the J.T. Argo home on E. Church St., causing his mechanic, Cpl. Calhoun, to suffer a broken wrist.

In 1920 the Americus Kiwanis Club received its charter, making it the eighth club established in Georgia.

June 8:


June 9:

In 1905 Prof. Alfred S. Staley replaced Prof. G.W.F. Phillips as principal of McCay Hill School, where he remained until his death in 1927.

June 10:

In 1930 the Sumter Garden Club, Mrs. H.O. Jones, president, dedicated Memorial Mile on Hwy. 19 north of Americus, in honor of Sumter County men who died in World War I.

June 11:

In 1861 the "Americus Volunteer Rifles," Co. K, 9th Ga. Infantry, CSA, was organized, Capt. James McD. King, commanding.

In 1883 the Bethel African Missionary Baptist Church was organized, Rev. B.B. Hinton, officiating, Rev. Stephen White, pastor, in the former antebellum Presbyterian sanctuary on E. Lamar (better known as "Big Bethel," the church removed to its present location on N. Jackson in Feb. 1962).

June 12:

In 1842 the "Sumter Volunteers," 1st Ga. Regiment, Capt. Joseph A.S. Turner, commanding, were enrolled at Americus for the war between Mexico and the United States.

June 13:

In 1884 an arson fire destroyed the antebellum sanctuary of the Americus Baptist Church (now First Baptist), at the southwest corner of Church and Forrest.

In 1966 State Senator Jimmy Carter, of Sumter County, announced his candidacy for Governor of Georgia.

June 14:

In 1854 Americus' second newspaper, "The Southwestern News," Democratic in politics, published its first issue, J.T. and J.L.D. Register, editors.

In 1921 Sgt. Alvin C. York, hero of World War I, spoke at Flag Day ceremonies at the Rylander Theater.

In 1974 Americus' first condominium, the Country Club Estates on S. Lee across from Magnolia Manor, were opened for occupancy by the developer, Paul Bush.

June 15:

In 1854 the "Sumter Republican" published Dr. James G. McCrary's census of Americus: 344 white males, 400 white females, 166 black males, 237 black females, 1,147 total with 5 dry goods stores, 4 grocery stores, 2 hotels, 3 churches, 3 schools, 4 drug stores, 13 lawyers, 8 doctors, 61 carpenters, 7 brick masons, 1 carriage shop, 3 blacksmith shops, 2 millineries, 2 harness shops, 1 tailor shop and 1 jewelry store.

In 1861 the "Muckalee Guards," Co. A, 12th Ga. Vol. Inf., CSA, was organized, Capt. Willis A. Hawkins, commanding.

In 1898 Co. G, 3rd U.S. Volunteer Infantry left Americus for the Spanish-American War, Capt. Walter K. Wheatley, commanding.

June 16:

In 1892 the grand opening of the Windsor Hotel was the biggest social event of the season.

June 17:

In 1884 the General Assembly chartered the Americus, Preston & Lumpkin Railroad, Samuel H. Hawkins, president.

June 18:

In 1998 Tom Gailey Park was dedicated at South Georgia Technical Institute in memory of Thomas C. Gailey, the former dean.

In 2005 Michael Booth, writer and co-producer of "Briars in the Cotton Patch," awarded southeast regional EMMY award for writing.

June 19:

In 1842 the Americus Presbyterian Church was organized, George M. Dudley, William J. Patterson and Henry K. McCay, elders.

In 1941 developer Roland S. Broadhurst announced the opening of the new Eastview Cemetery, enlarging the former Northview Cemetery.

June 20:

In 1907 a cornerstone ceremony was held for St. Andrew's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Plains, Rev. Charles A. Phillips, pastor.

In 1919 William Jennings Bryan, former U.S. Secretary of State and three-time Democratic presidential candidate, gave an anti-liquor, pro-League of Nations lecture at First Baptist Church of Americus.

In 1966 Mrs. Willie Pearl Fuse began directing the first Headstart Program in Sumter County

In 1969 two U.S. Navy pilots bailed out safely before their jet crashed two and a half miles west of Leslie off Hwy. 118.

June 21:

In 1913 Will Redding, a black man, was lynched by a mob of about 1,000 at the corner of Cotton and Lamar after he shot Police Chief William C. Barrow.

In 1951 Gen. Omar Bradley presented the Medal of Honor to Mark H. Story, father of Luther H. Story, at a Pentagon ceremony in Washington, D.C.

June 22:

In 1922 the Barlow St. swimming pool opened, Ralston Cargill, president of the Playground Association.

June 23:

In 1915 Prof. Major W. Reddick and Prof. Alfred S. Staley, of Americus, announced the unification of the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia, with the former as president and latter as secretary.

In 1938 Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I flying ace and president of Eastern Airlines, inspected the Americus Municipal Airport on S. Lee Street Rd.

In 1946 the Council of Safety Chaper, D.A.R., marked the grave of Capt. Simon Salter, a veteran of the Revolutionary War.

In 1975 the Americus Lodge No. 2535, Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, was chartered, Ray Schell, exalted ruler.

June 24:

In 1859 the Furlow Masonic Female College, Rev. Creed Fulton, president, was chartered by Americus Lodge #13, F. & A.M., built by Samuel Heys and David A. Mayo, north side of W. College between S. Forrest and S. Jackson.

June 25:

In 1888 engineer Zebulon H. Gilreath at the Americus gas plant "turned on the gas" for the first time ever.

In 1917 the "Sumter Light Guards" were reorganized for the fourth and final time, Capt. E.A. Nisbet, commanding.

In 1962 ground was broken for the A.S. Staley Junior High School's additions of seven classrooms, a library, lunchroom and gymnasium.

June 26:

In 1879 the "Sumter Light Guards" were reorganized for the first time since the Civil War, Capt. Thornton Wheatley, commanding.

June 27:


June 28:


June 29:


June 30:

In 1869 Georgia poet-laureate Sidney Lanier gave the commencement address at Furlow Masonic Female College.

In 1876 Emperor Dom Pedro, of Brazil, passed through Americus on a national tour.

In 1894 the connection of Americus and Albany by telephone was announced.

July 1:

In 1869 the cornerstone ceremony for the first Calvary Episcopal Church sanctuary on S. Lee was led by Rt. Rev. John W. Beckwith.

In 1960 after nine months, the demolition of the Victorian Era courthouse was completed with the opening of the cornerstone's time capsule.

In 1971 the National Park Service took over administration of the Andersonville Cemetery and Prison site.

July 2:

In 1880 the U.S. Census counted a 3,635 population for Americus, making it the eighth largest city in Georgia and the largest in southwest Georgia.

July 3:

In 1994 the 500 Year Flood, Georgia's worst-ever natural disaster, killed 15 in Americus and Sumter County, half of the state's total death toll, after 21 inches of rain fell in 24 hours.

July 4:

In 1884 it was announced that McCay Hill School was being built as the city's first black public school, Samuel Stevens and Jefferson Jones, black architects.

In 1918 Souther Field was formally dedicated as a U.S. Army Aviation Training Camp for World War I.

July 5:

In 1947 radio station WDEC-AM signed on for the first time.

July 6:

In 1857 a major shootout transpired at S. Jackson and Lamar between newspaper editor, Charles W. Hancock, and saloon owner Harvey W. Shaw, in which the latter was killed.

In 1861 the "Sumter Flying Artillery," Co. B, 11th Bttn. Ga. Arty., CSA, was organized, Capt. Allen S. Cutts, commanding.

July 7:

In 1946 James Earl Carter, Jr. and Miss Rosalyn Smith were married at Plains Methodist Church.

July 8:

In 1910 two of Americus' most prominent citizens died on the same day, Charles M. Wheatley and David C.N. Burkhalter.

July 9:

In 1965 Mary Kate Fishe Bell became the first black woman to run for public office in the history of Sumter County when she qualified to run against J.W. Southwell for Justice of the Peace in the 789th District.

July 10:

In 1832 Walter L. Campbell, of Houston County, sold Land Lot 156, 27th District to commissioners Hiram D. Youngblood, Lovett B. Smith, Samuel Faust, Martin G. Mims and Joseph Jackson, for the establishment of a county seat for the new Sumter County.

In 1854 the Georgia Supreme Court met in session at the courthouse in Americus, Justices J.H. Lumpkin, H.L. Benning and E.A. Starnes, presiding.

In 1927 the DeSoto Baptist Church sanctuary was dedicated.

July 11:

In 1890 "The Sumter Zouaves," a boys' military company was organized in Americus, Capt. Walter Crisp, commanding, with Will Brumby, secretary, Walton Callaway, treasurer.

In 1963 eleven blacks, among whom were Carol Barner, Annie Lou Ragans, Sandra Russell, Willie Mae Smith, Gloria, James A. and Lulu Westbrooks, made the first attempt at racial integration in Americus at the Martin Theater.

In 1972 Willie L. Paschal became the first-ever black principal at a formerly all-white school, Furlow Grammar.

July 12:

In 1938 the opening game between the Americus Cardinals and the Albany Travelers at the new ballpark, southeast corner Bell and Oak, was won by the home team 1 to 0.

In 1959 the opening services were held for St. Jude's Chapel on the Lake, two miles south of Dinkin's Store on the west side of Lake Blackshear.

July 13:


July 14:

In 1734 Gen. Thomas Sumter, for whom Sumter County is named, was born.

July 15:

In 1861 the "Sumter Flying Artillery," Capt. Allen S. Cutts commanding, arrived in Richmond, Virginia.

July 16:

In 1890 ground was broken on the old courthouse square for what became the Windsor Hotel.

July 17:

In 1862 the "Granberry Guards," Co. E, 10th Ga. Inf. Bttn., CSA, was organized, Capt. John L. Adderton commanding.

In 1923 "Shoeless" Joe Jackson signed to play with and manage the Americus Cardinals at the Barlow ballpark.

July 18;


July 19:

In 2003 Lulu Westbrooks-Griffin's "Lulu and the Girls of Americus, Georgia 1963" documentary debuted at the Rylander Theater.

July 20:

In 1902 the first automobile arrived in Americus.

July 21:

In 1953 Miss America Neva Jane Langley, of Macon, was the guest of honor at Americus' "Manufacturers Day" celebration.

In 1965 Mary Kate Fishe Bell lost the Justice of the Peace election to J.W. Southwell and was arrested for obstructing the polls.

July 22:


July 23:

In 1846 Liberty Primitive Baptist Church was constituted by Allison Culpepper and Daniel C. Davis, presbytery, on the east side of Chokeelagee Creek, then removed to Sumter City in 1858.

July 24:


July 25:

In 1865 Clara Barton, founder of the Red Cross, came to Andersonville to identify prisoners' graves.

July 26:

In 1865 Andersonville became a national cemetery.

In 1965 to help interracial relations, a Community Relations Committee was formed by the county commission and city council, consisting of Mrs. Audrey Bass, Mrs. R.D. McNeill, Sr., Lang Sheffield, John Pope, Spencer Pryor, W.E. Smith, Warren Fortson and Rev. Dr. Harold A. Collins.

In 1974 the train depot that is now a museum in Andersonville was moved there from Mauk, Ga., in Taylor County.

July 27:


July 28:

In 1965 Andy Whatley, white, was murdered by Charles Lee Hopkins, the shooter, and Eddie Will Lamar, the driver, both black, in a drive-by shooting at the gas station on the southwest corner of Hampton and Lamar (Lamar served 5 years in prison, Hopkins was murdered in prison).

July 29:

In 1847 the Georgia Supreme Court met in session at the Sumter County courthouse, Justices J.H. Lumpkin, H. Warner and E.A. Nesbit, presiding.

July 30:

In 1882 the Mt. Olive Baptist Church sanctuary on McCay Hill was dedicated, Rev. John C. Bryan, pastor.

In 1886 Henry Kent McCay, lawyer, Confederate general, Georgia Supreme Court justice and federal judge, a former Americus resident for whom McCay Hill is named, died in Atlanta.

July 31:

In 1965 Federal Judge W.A. Bootle ordered the release of Mary F. Bell, Mamie Campbell, Lena Turner and Gloria Wise and an end to segregated elections.

Aug. 1:

In 1865 Col. H.F. Sickles, commander of Georgia's 4th U.S. military district, and the 147th Regiment, Illinois Volunteers, set up headquarters in the Howell Cobb mansion at the northeast corner of College and Lee.

In 1886 Prof. G.W.F. Phillips edited and published the city's first black newspaper, "The Americus Monitor."

In 1930 the grand opening ceremony was held for the Crisp County Hydroelectric Plant that created Lake Blackshear.

In 1947 the Kinnebrew Company opened for business at its present location on the southwest corner of Jackson and Lamar, in the oldest surviving brick commercial building in Americus, built by J.J. Granberry and T.M. Furlow in 1850.

In 1965 civil rights demonstrators in Americus were turned away by church leaders at First Baptist, led by H.K. Henderson, and First United Methodist, led by W.D. White.

In 1974 the Windsor Hotel closed its doors after 82 years in business only to reopen in 1991.

Aug. 2:

In 1960 Citizens Bank of Americus bought the lot at the southeast corner of Forsyth and Lee after the demolition of the Victorian Era courthouse on that site.

Aug. 3:

In 1883 it was publicly announced that James Ellis and Elbert Head would be the first black jurors in the history of Sumter County.

In 1946 the Americus Housing Authority that oversees all public housing was formally organized, Frank Chappell, chairman.

Aug. 4:

In 1957 the announcement was made that the Michigan-based firm, Marlette Coach Co., would begin the mobile home industry in Sumter County at the new industrial park off of Felder.

In 1962 it was announced that Americus native Joanna Moore would be added to the cast of the CBS-TV's "The Andy Griffith Show," as his girlfriend for four episodes.

Aug. 5:

In 1922 a spontaneous combustion fire destroyed the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church of Americus.

In 1938 Sumter Electric Membership Corporation activated its first lines serving 161 homes, the county's first rural electrification.

In 1966 Capt. Mary Jennings O'Hara, of Americus, dietician to NASA's astronauts, appeared on CBS-TV's "To Tell the Truth."

Aug. 6:

In 1871 Perry H. Oliver, first mayor of Americus and promoter of the musical prodigy "Blind Tom," died in Americus.

In 1923 Bishop Warren A. Candler presided over the cornerstone ceremony for First United Methodist Church of Americus.

In 1965 Dick Gregory, comedian and civil rights activist, led a voter registration drive at the courthouse.

In 1968 Logan Park was dedicated at Plains in honor of Dr. Joseph Colquitt Logan.

Aug. 7:

In 1909 the Sumter County Country Club was chartered by A.N. Walker, Crawford Wheatley, Frank Lanier, G.W. Glover, W.A. Dodson and John Sheffield.

In 1965 led by Lester Maddox, 600 Ku Klux Klanspeople and their sympathizers marched silently uptown and to the courthouse.

Aug. 8:

In 1932 Time Magazine profiled U.S. Rep. Charles R. Crisp, of Americus, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

In 1953 the Sumter Shrine Club was organized, L.D. Kay, president.

In 1965 U.S. Congressman John Lewis, then the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee representative in Americus, and fifteen others were arrested for attempting to integrate First Baptist Church.

Aug. 9:

In 1949 the Americus Civitans Club was chartered, Ed McGowan, president.

Aug. 10:

In 1945 the announcement was made that Frank M. Staley, Jr., grandson of Rev. A.S. Staley, was the first-ever black Boy Scout to reach Eagle rank in the Chehaw Council.

In 1964 the South Georgia Methodist Nursing Center opened at Magnolia Manor.

Aug. 11:

In 1895 the Friendship Baptist Church was organized, Rev. John C. Bryan, pastor, at the northeast corner of Cotton and Wheeler.

In 1897 the congregation of Furlow Lawn Baptist Church (now Central Baptist) held their first service in their new sanctuary.

Aug. 12:

In 1887 the citizens of Job petitioned the state legislature to change its name to Leslie, after founder James E. Bailey's daughter.

In 1954 Georgia's first aluminum telephone booth was installed at Pope's Place, southwest corner of Hwy. 19 and Magnolia.

Aug. 13:

In 1864 Calvary Episcopal Church in Americus was formally organized by Rev. Thomas J. Staley.

In 1926 the Third District A & M School was renamed Third District Agricultural and Normal College.

In 1999 fire destroyed the old Americus Grocery Co. warehouse on the northwest corner of Cotton and Wheeler.

Aug. 14:

In 1868 the first volunteer fire company was organized in Americus, Hook & Ladder Company #1.

In 1889 Henry W. Grady, the voice of the "New South," gave a speech to a Confederate veterans' reunion at the courthouse.

In 1971 Mr. and Mrs. Dave Farris bought the first home in the new Brookdale subdivision, off Magnolia, J.W.C. Horne, Jr., developer.

Aug. 15:

In 1835 the Inferior Court commissioned John R. Moore to construct the county's first courthouse but he appropriated $950 and left town without building anything.

In 1904 the Fisk Jubilee Singers gave a concert at Campbell Chapel A.M.E. Church.

In 1927 long a landmark on Cotton, William E. Mitchell's newly renovated Mitchell Hotel had its grand opening.

Aug. 16:

In 1917 David Pearlman, prominent member of the Americus Jewish community, who owned two department stores on Cotton and Lamar, died at his home.

Aug. 17:

In 1839 the U.S. Post Office was established at the Plains of Dura in Sumter County, David W. Robinette, postmaster.

In 1916 the murder of Walter Wade, of Leslie, led to three trials and conviction of Dr. Charles K. Chapman, Americus dentist, for the murder.

Aug. 18:

In 1892 it was announced that the Savannah, Americus & Montgomery Railroad then terminated at Lyons, Ga.

Aug. 19:

In 1905 Crisp County was created out of the southern half of Dooly County and named for Speaker Charles F. Crisp, late of Americus.

In 1914 the Americus Muckalees baseball team won the Georgia State League pennant.

In 1918 it was announced that Cpl. Roy S. Ratley of Sumter County was the first member of the "Americus Light Infantry" to be killed in World War I.

In 1938 the Forsyth Street extension beyond Cotton Avenue was opened to traffic.

Aug. 20:

In 1864 the medical board announced the acquisition of the courthouse, Furlow Masonic Female College and other large buildings in Americus as hospitals for hundreds of wounded Confederate soldiers.

In 1886 Mayor John B. Felder attacked Councilman Willis P. Burt with a knife on Lamar, but the two combatants were separated before either was hurt (four months later Burt ran against Felder and lost).

In 1920 World War I veterans in Americus organized the John D. Mathis Post of the American Legion.

In 1952 an announcement was made that North Side Homes, a 150-unit public housing project between N. Jackson and N. Lee, was ready for occupancy.

Aug. 21:

In 1913, Frank A. Hooper, former Americus attorney, began closing arguments for the prosecution in the Leo Frank trial in Atlanta.

In 1952 retired Americus police chief John N. Worthy was only the eleventh person to be awarded a "Life Membership" in the Georgia Peace Officers' Association.

In 1963 three civil rights demonstrators, Ralph Allen, John Perdew and Donald Harris, were bound over to Superior Court, charged with inciting a riot.

In 1977 the United Holiness Church dedicated its new sanctuary, southeast corner of Hale and Johansen, Evangelist Aaron Snipes, pastor.

Aug. 22:

In 1974 the Americus Housing Authority named the "Leila Barlow Apartments" across N. Lee from A.S. Staley Junior High.

Aug. 23:

In 1878 Dr. Albert Rees donated the park at Felder and Taylor in memory of his son, Lt. Lucius G. Rees, who had been killed in the Civil War.

In 1888 Maj. Moses Speer, banker and capitalist, began the movement that culminated in the building of the Windsor Hotel.

In 1958 Americus native Joanna Moore starred in the "Be My Guest" episode of CBS-TV's "United States Steel Hour."

Aug. 24:

In 1971 A.S. Staley Junior High School inaugurated its first special education class.

Aug. 25:

In 1953 one of the oldest businesses in Americus, Harrold Bros., donated their business records to Emory University, four tons worth, covering the period from 1859 to 1953.

In 1954 the 100-year-old McMath's Mill burned just west of Americus.

Aug. 26:

In 1855 the dedication ceremony for the Bethel Baptist Church of Americus (now First Baptist) sanctuary, at the southwest corner of Church and Forrest, was conducted by Rev. H.C. Hornady, pastor.

In 1969 the Americus city school board named the new elementary school after Miss Sarah Pope Cobb, the longtime principal of Furlow Grammar.

Aug. 27:

In 1843 Mt. Olive Baptist Church was organized four miles south of Andersonville on Lighting Wood Knot Creek, Rev. Phillip Belcher, pastor.

In 2006 The Restoration Church of Americus held its inaugural service at GSW's Jackson Hall, Rev. George F. Edge, pastor

Aug. 28:

In 1962 radio station WISK went on the air at noon.

Aug. 29:

In 1834 Robert Emmet Cobb was the first white male child born in Americus.

Aug. 30:

In 1864 the worst fire in the history of Americus destroyed Cotton Ave. and the block between Forsyth and Lamar, east of Cotton.

In 1970 fire, supposedly due to faulty wiring, destroyed the A.S. Staley Junior High School auditorium the night before it was to be racially integrated.

Aug. 31:

In 1964 Americus High School was racially integrated for the first time in its 84-year history, with four black students, David Bell, Jr., Robertena Freeman, Dobbs Wiggins and Minnie Wise.

Sept. 1:

In 1874 the "Americus Volunteer Rifles" reorganized for the first time since the Civil War, Capt. J.R. McCleskey, commanding.

In 1948 the Harlem Theater opened at 210 Cotton, with Cab Calloway's "Hi-De-Ho," Stillman Theaters, Inc., owners.

In 1950 PFC Luther H. Story, of Americus, was killed in action in the Korean War and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the only one in the history of Sumter County.

In 1967 A.S. Staley reopened as a high school after ten years as a junior high while Southland Academy opened in the old Anthony High School building off Felder, for whites only.

Sept. 2:

In 1938 Americus High School opened in its new building on Harrold at Dodson.

Sept. 3:

In 1891 after public rejection of the hotel's original name, the Americus Manufacturing and Improvement Corp. decided on the name Windsor in honor of local banker John T. Windsor and because it evoked images of Windsor Castle in England.

In 1920 Miss Ruth Clark, a social worker, became the first woman to register to vote in the history of Sumter County.

Sept. 4:

In 1876 Americus tried its first experiment with public education, a four-month term, with white girls at the Female College on S. Jackson and white boys at the Rylander Academy on Rees Park (arrangements for black children were promised but not specified).

In 1974 Judge Thomas O. Marshall, Jr., of Americus, was elected to the State Court of Appeals.

Sept. 5:

In 1899 local jeweler Charles A. Fricker bought the Windsor Hotel for $40,000 at public auction.

In 1925 the highest temperature ever recorded in Americus was 111 degrees.

In 1975 the first game was played in the Finklea-Robinson Stadium at Americus High School.

Sept. 6:

In 1857 fire destroyed most of the south side of Lamar and the west side of S. Jackson, sparing only the Granberry Building on the southwest corner of Jackson and Lamar.

In 1900 Dr. Peter F. Bahnsen moved to Americus and resided here until his death in 1961, during which time he was appointed Georgia's first state veterinarian in 1907, a position he held for 20 years.

Sept. 7:

In 1854 the "Sumter Guards" in Americus elected their officers, Capt. Timothy M. Furlow, commanding.

Sept. 8:

In 1941 it was announced that the Day Students Annex at GSW was completed.

In 1963 St. Martin de Porres Catholic Chapel, for blacks, wa formally dedicated at the southeast corner of Maxwell and Vista.

Sept. 9:

In 1962 the Barnum Funeral Home was dedicated at its present location on Ashby.

In 1967 the "Times-Recorder" debuted its weekly column, "News of the Local Negro Community" by Mrs. Ann Witcher (it was discontinued in May 1971).

In 1968 Trinity Baptist Church was constituted, Rev. W.C. Davis, pastor, on the north side of Felder between Furlow and Varsity.

In 2004 Willie Nelson performed in Plains, with Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, while filming a video for the Country Music Television cable channel.

Sept. 10:

In 1965 Police Chief Ross M. Chambliss announced the hiring of Americus' first black police officers, J.W. "Sport" Jones and Henry L. "Spann" Williams.

Sept. 11:

In 1891 the Bank of Commerce was chartered, John W. Sheffield, president, and located in the Windsor Hotel on the Jackson St. side.

Sept. 12:

In 1964 Americus got its first FM radio station when what is now WDEC began broadcasting.

Sept. 13:

In 1914 city engineer John B. Ansley instituted the present street numbering system beginning at Lamar and Lee.

Sept. 14:

In 1933 Mrs. Florida C. Brannon, for whose family Brannon Ave. was named, died at her home in Montgomery, Ala.

Sept. 15:

In 1965 County Attorney Warren Fortson and family left Americus after being threatened and harassed for advocating racial reconciliation.

Sept. 16:

In 1881 the "Americus Light Infantry," Co. L, Ga. State Troops, was organized, Capt. George S. Watts, commanding.

Sept. 17:

In 1918 the Americus Rotary Club was organized, with Franc Mangum, "Times-Recorder" editor, as president.

In 2006 First Baptist Church of Americus held its 175th anniversary service with Bethesda Baptist, with former President Jimmy Carter and local historian Alan Anderson as the featured speakers.

Sept. 18:

In 1885 passenger service between Americus and Preston was inaugurated on the Americus, Preston & Lumpkin Railroad.

In 1911 to improve the city's dirt streets, the first creosoted wooden blocks were laid at the artesian well in the intersection of Lamar and Lee.

Sept. 19:


Sept. 20:

In 1882 Gov. Alexander H. Stephens, former vice-president of the Confederacy, visited Americus.

In 1920 Union High School opened, F.G. Clark, principal, serving DeSoto and Leslie.

Sept. 21:

In 1865 Col. Thomas C. Sullivan, former mayor and state representative, was arrested by Federal troops for shooting with buckshot a soldier who was stealing from his fruit orchard (he was court-martialed and sentenced, but local citizens raised and paid the fine).

Sept. 22:

In 1940 at the stroke of midnight Americus began its first dial telephone system.

In 1951 Murphy's Mill, 110-years-old, was destroyed by fire.

Sept. 23:


Sept. 24:

In 1951 the Southwest Georgia Experiment Station was formally dedicated, on Hwy. 280 near Plains.

In 1964 Sumter Players, the local theatrical group, was organized, Dr. T. Schley Gatewood, president.

In 2006 A Journey of Grace - A History of the First Baptist Church of Americus, Georgia, by Alan Anderson, was distributed as part of the church's 175th anniversary.

Sept. 25:

In 1909 Sumter County's first automobile fatalities, John McLendon and Miss Ella G. Burton, were killed on the Myrtle Springs Rd.

In 1910 the 83 acres of the Andersonville Prison site became the property of the U.S. government.

Sept. 26:

In 1937 Bethesda Baptist Church's present sanctuary was formally dedicated, Rev. R.W. Riley, of Rome, Ga., officiating, Rev. P.H. Jackson, pastor.

In 1965 Morningside Methodist Church was established, Rev. Homer Grimes, pastor.

Sept. 27:

In 1911 it was announced that Americus High School was organizing its first baseball team.

Sept. 28:

In 2000 the Sumter County Youth Development Campus, on McMath Mill Rd., was formally dedicated by Sen. George Hooks.

Sept. 29:

In 1950 the A.S. Staley High School's football field was completed on the site of the old orphanage between Jackson and Lee, just south of Northside Dr.

Sept. 30:

In 1857 Joseph E. Brown gave a political speech at the courthouse during his successful gubernatorial campaign.

In 1908 actual construction began on the Carnegie Library on S. Jackson.

In 1962 Central Baptist Church dedicated its new sanctuary and education building, southeast corner of College and Lee.

In 1991 the Windsor Hotel had its grand reopening after a $5 million renovation.

Oct. 1:

In 1854 the first train pulled into the wooden depot in Americus on the South Western Railroad, beginning an era that ended in 1971.

In 1916 the first service was held in the new sanctuary of Lee Street Methodist Church, Rev. J.A. Thomas, pastor.

In 1920 Dr. John Hope, Morehouse College president, spoke to the Southwest Baptist Association statewide meeting in Americus.

In 1924 future governor and president, James Earl Carter, Jr., was born in Plains.

In 1999 the grand reopening of the Rylander Theater was celebrated with a 75th birthday party for President Jimmy Carter, with numerous national figures in attendance.

Oct. 2:

In 1874 the "City Blues," the first local black militia, was organized, Capt. E.W. Ansley, commanding.

In 1897 Prof. Major W. Reddick and Miss Lula E. Washington opened the Americus Institute with nine students.

In 1986 the dedication ceremony was held for the Rees Park bandstand donated by the Sumter Historic Preservation Society.

Oct. 3:

In 1946 the first Kiwanis Carnival Pet Parade was won by Bubber Eldridge and Polly Marie Long.

In 1947 the first Farm Home Administration loan in the nation was awarded to the Robert A. Hale family of Sumter County.

In 1948 the formal dedication of the Bethel Baptist Church sanctuary in the 28th District occurred, replacing an earlier structure destroyed by fire, Rev. Truitt Kendrick, pastor.

Oct. 4:

In 1955 County Commission chairman George L. Mathews made the world's first solar-powered telephone call near the location of Bethel Baptist Church in the 28th District.

In 1974 Miss Jacqueline "Jackie" Miller qualified as the first woman to run for the Americus city council, although she did not win.

Oct. 5:

In 1921 the U.S. War Department announced the closure of Souther Field as an aviation training center.

In 1952 Gov. Herman Talmadge dedicated the new boys dormitory at GSW, Dr. Lloyd A. Moll, president.

Oct. 6:

In 1941 Americus Fire Chief Simeon Lee Kitchens and the entire fire department staff resigned to take jobs at Ft. Benning.

In 1973 demolition began on Terrell Hall, the last remaining original building on the GSW campus.

Oct. 7:

In 1876 Dr. Albert Rees, the second doctor to locate in Americus in 1835, who donated Rees Park and sold the land for Oak Grove Cemetery, died at his home.

In 1908 the Americus Council of Safety Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, was organized, Mrs. H.B. Simmons, regent.

Oct. 8:


Oct. 9:

In 1897 the Americus chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy received its charter, Mrs. Allen Fort, president.

In 1936 A.S. Staley became a high school with the transfer of 88 students from the old orphanage, giving a total enrollment of 185.

Oct. 10:

In 1969 the formal dedication ceremony for the Federal Building at the northwest corner of Forsyth and Prince was held, attended by U.S. Congresssman Jack Brinkley and Gov. Lester Maddox.

Oct. 11:

In 1974 ground breaking ceremonies were conducted for the Lake Blackshear Regional Library on Lamar in Americus.

Oct. 12:

In 1915 prominent Americus businessman Henry Lanier, the founder of the Americus Grocery Co., died at his home.

Oct. 13:

In 1907 Carrie Nation appeared in "Ten Nights in a Bar Room" at Dudley's Opera House, making a temperance speech during the intermission.

Oct. 14:

In 1877 Campbell Chapel A.M.E. Church dedicated its new sanctuary at the northeast corner of Jackson and Wild, Bishop Campbell, D.D., officiating.

In 2005 Millard and Linda Fuller were honored with a bronze medallion at "Extra Mile Points of Light Volunteer Pathway" in Washington, D.C., with ceremony led by President George H.W. Bush, ABC-TV commentator Cokie Roberts, and D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, for their role in founding Habitat for Humanity International.

Oct. 15:

In 1921 Prof. George Washington Franklin Phillips, first principal of McCay Hill School and highly esteemed community leader, passed away at home on E. Jefferson.

In 1989 Lakeview Baptist Church was constituted at Lake Blackshear.

Oct. 16:

In 1970 Andersonville Prison and Cemetery were designated as a National Historic Site.

In 1996 the wrought iron arch at Founders Memorial Park, northeast corner of Forsyth and Prince, was dedicated by the Azalea Garden Club, Mrs. William Forehand, president.

Oct. 17:

In 1832 Isaac Ramsey and Sarah May took out the first marriage license in the new Sumter County.

In 1907 the Wisconsin monument at Andersonville was dedicated by that state's Gov. J.O. Davidson.

In 1964 Samuel M. Weston, Cotton Ave. tailor, qualified for the Democratic primary for city council, the first black person to run for municipal office.

Oct. 18:

In 1917 Leslie's Red Cross chapter was organized, E.L. Wilson, chairman.

Oct. 19:


Oct. 20:

In 1970 President Nixon signed the bill establishing the Andersonville National Historic Site.

Oct. 21:

In 1891 Sumter County's oldest citizen, Aunt Dolly Doe, died at her son's home in the 26th District, aged 105 years and 17 days.

Oct. 22:

In 1916 the "Americus Light Infantry" left for El Paso, Tx. during border unrest with Mexico.

In 1965 Dr. Lloyd A. Moll, retired president of GSW, announced his removal from Americus as a result of harassment for advocating racial reconciliation.

Oct. 23:

In 1865 Americus was scandalized to learn that one of the white Federal soldiers, Pvt. Prat Martin, had tricked Rev. G.T. Wilburn of the Baptist Church into marrying him to a former slave, Emma Poe, and as a result Martin was tarred and feathered and run out of town by his fellow soldiers.

In 1896 former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Charles Frederick Crisp, of Americus, died suddenly while on a campaign tour of Atlanta as Georgia's U.S. Senator-elect.

Oct. 24:

In 1929 during a cross-country flying tour, movie actor Gary Cooper dropped in at Souther Field for a brief visit.

In 1973 movie actor Jimmy Stewart and his wife ate at Carter's Fried Chicken on Tripp while enroute to a Sea Island golf course.

Oct. 25:

In 1953 the "colored" wing of the Americus/Sumter County Hospital (now Sumter Regional) was dedicated, Oscar Maxwell, master of ceremonies.

Oct. 26:

In 1888 construction began on the 2-story black Masonic Hall , diagonally across Forsyth St. from what is now Founders Memorial Park.

In 1939 the Sumter County Livestock Barn on Souther Field Rd. was dedicated.

In 1940 the first draft list for World War II was published in the "Times-Recorder."

Oct. 27:

In 1840 Sumter County's first U.S. Census enumerated a population of 5,734, of whom 1,630 were slaves, with one free person of color.

In 1876 the Americus Library opened on S. Jackson, Miss Emma Rylander, librarian.

Oct. 28:

In 1917 the Lee Street Methodist Church sanctuary was dedicated by Rev. J.A. Thomas, formerly of First Methodist.

In 1964 Americus native Robert Glenn "Bobby" Hooks was inducted into the Georgia Athletic Hall of Fame.

Oct. 29:

In 1904 the fire steamer "Sumter," the city's first, was sold to Hammond, La.

Oct. 30:

In 1873 fire destroyed most of the block on the south side of Lamar, east of Forrest.

In 1892 Americus resident Elbert Head, Republican Party leader, philanthropist and capitalist, died at his home on N. Lee (the funeral procession to what is now Eastview Cemetery was over a mile long).

Oct. 31:

In 1847 the Americus Methodist Church started the town's first single denomination Sunday School, Joseph J. Granberry, superintendent.

Nov. 1:

In 1963 a three-judge federal panel meeting in Americus declared two state laws, used to prosecute civil rights demonstrators here, unconstitutional and therefore null and void.

In 1966 Roy Orbison gave a concert at the AHS gym sponsored by the Americus Jaycees.

Nov. 2:

In 1900 Americus' antebellum 1858 city clock was sold to Blue Ridge, Ga.

In 1976 Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States, the first native Georgian so honored.

Nov. 3:

In 1901 the "Times-Recorder" began publishing Dr. E.J. Brinson's "Column for Colored People," the first of its kind.

In 1964 Janet Scarborough Merritt became the first woman elected to represent Sumter County in the General Assembly.

In 1970 Jimmy Carter was elected the 76th Governor of Georgia, the first from Sumter County.

Nov. 4:

In 1957 actual construction began on the present-day courthouse at Lamar and Spring.

Nov. 5:


Nov. 6:


Nov. 7:

In 1889 the town of DeSoto was incorporated, Edward S. Ferguson, mayor.

In 1923 the Americus Symphony Orchestra was formed.

In 1936 Sumter County's last surviving Confederate veteran, George A. "Sweet" Johnson, died at the age of ninety-one.

In 1994 the plaque commemorating the fifteen Sumter County citizens killed in the 500 Year Flood was dedicated at the Russell Thomas, Jr. Public Safety Building.

Nov. 8:

In 1927 Prof. Alfred Samuel Staley, long-time McCay Hill School principal and state Baptist and Masonic leader, died at his home on E. Jefferson.

In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the drug case involving Scott Randolph, an Americus lawyer.

Nov. 9:

In 1917 fire destroyed the Carter, Council and Turpin homes on S. Lee across from First United Methodist Church.

In 1940 the boulder monument was erected at Oak Grove Cemetery honoring Rev. Dr. George F. Cooper, the father of the city school system.

Nov. 10:

In 1865 Capt. Henry Wirz, former acting commander at Andersonville Prison, was executed by hanging in Washington, D.C.

In 1866 the telegraph came to Americus with its connection to Macon.

In 1961 it was announced that McCay Hill Playground was nearing completion, after the demolition of the old school building.

Nov. 11:

In 1921 "The Spirit of the American Doughboy" statue, by Americus resident Ernest M. Viquesney, was dedicated at the intersection of Lamar and Lee (it was removed to the south end of Rees Park in 1947).

Nov. 12:


Nov. 13:


Nov. 14:

In 1874 Primus Edwards was executed by hanging, at the southwest corner of Forsyth and Prince, for the murder of Berry Adams.

In 1904 the Maine monument at Andersonville was dedicated by Col. C.H. Prescott on behalf of that state's Gov. John F. Hill.

Nov. 15:


Nov. 16:

In 1900 U.S. Census figures showed Americus with a population of 7,674 while Albany, by contrast, only had 4,600.

In 1909 Windsor Hotel architect Gottfried L. Norrman committed suicide in an Atlanta hotel.

In 1975 First Baptist Church of Americus dedicated its Reva Dupree Memorial Chapel, Rev. Hayden Center, pastor.

Nov. 17:

In 1900 the federal census listed Americus as the eighth largest city in Georgia, behind Atlanta, Savannah, Augusta, Macon, Columbus, Athens and Brunswick.

In 1906 the Iowa monument at Andersonville was dedicated by that state's Gov. Albert B. Cummins.

Nov. 18:


Nov. 19:

In 1836 Josiah Scrutchins bought Land Lot 138 in the 15th District and became the first permanent settler of DeSoto.

Nov. 20:

In 1897 the city's only white public school was given the name Furlow School.

In 1963 the city school board awarded the contract for the construction of Cherokee Elementary School.

Nov. 21:

In 1906 State Senator William Harris Crawford Wheatley, of Americus, used his political influence to get the Third District Agricultural and Mechnical School located here instead of Hawkinsville.

In 1971 the First Baptist Church's $400,000-education building was formally dedicated, Rev. Harold A. Collins, pastor.

Nov. 22:

In 1952 the Seaboard Depot, on S. Jackson across from Finn, was demolished after train service ended the previous year.

Nov. 23:

In 1833 Shiloh, Providence, Bethesda, Bethel and Spring Creek churches in Sumter County helped organize the Bethel Baptist Association.

Nov. 24:

In 1907 Bishop James Atkins officiated at the dedication of the First United Methodist Church sanctuary, at the southeast corner of Church and Lee, Rev. J.P. Wardlaw, pastor.

In 1927 the dedication service for the Leslie United Methodist Church sanctuary was conducted by Bishop W.B. Beauchamp, Rev. J.H. Wilson, pastor.

Nov. 25:

In 1969 the city acquired the current Municipal Building at the northwest corner of Lamar and Lee.

Nov. 26:

In 1908 the Indiana monument at Andersonville was dedicated by that state's Gov. J. Frank Hanly.

In 1928 the "Times-Recorder" began filming a two-reel comedy entitled "Americus' Hero" at the Rylander Theater, starring local citizens.

Nov. 27:


Nov. 28:

In 1866 the Georgia Methodist Conference began its last session in Americus, at the Furlow Masonic Female College.

In 1947 the Americus Key Club was chartered, Harry Entrekin, president.

Nov. 29:

In 1950 John Edgar Dawson Shipp, the founder of Cordele and official historian of Sumter County, died at the age of ninety-two at his home on Hwy. 280 West, where he had his 30,000-volume personal library.

Nov. 30:

In 1934 Boy Scout Troop #3 was organized and sponsored by First United Methodist Church, Rev. O.L. Evans, scoutmaster.

Dec. 1:

In 1848 Lebanon Baptist Church (now Plains Baptist) was constituted at the Plains of Dura, Francis F. Seig and John U. Fletcher, presbytery.

In 1900 the first rural mail delivery began in Sumter County, coordinated by S.A. "Sonny" Smith, Americus postmaster.

Dec. 2:

In 1890 Timothy Mathews Furlow, the single individual most responsible for Americus when he brought the railroad here in 1854, ran for governor in 1863 and served as mayor, state representative and county treasurer, died during an operation in Atlanta.

In 1968 it was announced that Union High School would be the first in Georgia to offer driver education to special education classes.

Dec. 3:

In 1882 Rev. Dr. George Franklin Cooper, the founder of Bethesda Baptist Church and first president of the city school board, died at his home on W. College.

In 1963 Gov. Carl Sanders was the keynote speaker at the dedication of Magnolia Manor.

Dec. 4:

In 1918 the county commission ordered electric lights installed in the courthouse for the first time ever.

In 2005 the Central Baptist Church congregation worshipped for the first time in its new sanctuary on Upper River Rd., Rev. Harris Malcom, senior pastor.

Dec. 5:

In 1859 the General Assembly incorporated Americus Lodge #13, Free and Accepted Masons, Louis Bruner, worshipful master.

In 1866 the Georgia Conference of the Methodist Church held its last meeting in Americus.

In 1968 Georgia Southwestern's accreditation as a four-year college was announced, Dr. William B. King, president.

Dec. 6:


Dec. 7:

In 1897 U.S. Congressman Charles F. Crisp, of Americus, was elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Dec. 8:


Dec. 9:

In 1931 Americus and Sumter County celebrated their one hundredth anniversary with parades and programs attended by thousands.

In 1968 the Kappa Sigma Fraternity chapter became the first national affiliate at GSW.

Dec. 10:

In 1840 Sumter County was made part of the Southwestern Judicial Circuit, encompassing the present counties of Lee, Macon, Schley, Stewart and Webster.

In 1992, after a year-long campaign by the MLK Ministerial Association, led by Rev. Fer-Rell Malone of Bethesda Baptist, the city council renamed Hwy. 19 as Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

Dec. 11:

In 1839 Sumter County's first sheriff, John Kimmey, died from wounds he received in a shootout at the Franklin Hotel on the northwest corner of Forsyth and Lee.

Dec. 12:

In 1870 Laura Keene opened with "Our American Cousin" in Americus, the same play she was in at Ford's Theater when President Lincoln was assassinated there.

In 1890 "The Club," a literary organization, adopted its constitution and by-laws, Moses Speer, president, G.T. Earl, vice-president, Lott Warren, secretary.

In 1969 explosions and fire destroyed the 1938 Community Center Recreation Building, at the southeast corner of Bell and Harrold next to AHS.

Dec. 13:

In 1974 Gov. Jimmy Carter formally announced his candidacy for President of the United States.

Dec. 14:

In 1940 the U.S. War Department announced the reactivation of Souther Field as a primary aviation training center.

In 1952 the Americus/Sumter County Hospital (now Sumter Regional) was formally dedicated, Charles F. Crisp, authority chairman.

Dec. 15:

In 1839 Friendship Baptist Church in the 26th District was constituted, Joseph King and James McGarrah, deacons.

In 1936 the boys dormitory at GSW was dedicated, Dr. Peyton Jacobs, president.

In 1966 Hiram K. Undercofler, former Americus resident and state revenue commissioner, was sworn in as an associate justice of the Georgia Supreme Court.

In 1970 ground was broken for the construction of Eastview Apartments, John W. Sandeford, architect, Warren Scott, contractor.

Dec. 16:

In 1953 Henry Taylor, Jr. opened the first black motel in Americus, "Taylor's Cafe and Tourist Court," on N. Jackson.

In 1961 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent the weekend in the Sumter County jail after being arrested in Albany civil rights demonstrations, Fred D. Chappell, sheriff.

In 1966 Mrs. Betty Anderson, of the Vienna Rd., became the first woman to ever serve on a Sumter County superior court jury.

Dec. 17:

In 1896 the City of Plains was incorporated by the General Assembly.

Dec. 18:

In 1913 the cornerstone ceremony was held for the new hospital on Dodson.

Dec. 19:

In 1901 the Massachusetts monument at Andersonville was dedicated by that state's Lt. Gov. John L. Bates.

Dec. 20:

In 1912 the Illinois monument at Andersonville was dedicated by that state's Gov. Charles S. Deneen.

Dec. 21:

In 1970 Sigma Chi Fraternity installed its chapter at GSW.

Dec. 22:

In 1832 the General Assembly incorporated Americus as the county seat of government.

In 1857 the creation of Schley County removed the 884th Militia District from Sumter County.

In 1892 Dr. James B. Hinkle or his son, Dr. Albert B. Hinkle, shot and killed Dr. J.J. Worsham on S. Jackson, for testifying against them in a civil court case.

In 1935 work began on the construction of the steel water tank on E. Lamar near Prince.

Dec. 23:

In 1943 the destroyer escort U.S.S. Elmore was launched, named for Americus native Eugene Evans Elmore, who had been killed by the Japanese at the Battle of Savo Island.

Dec. 24:

In 1833 the Sumter Academy at Americus was incorporated by the General Assembly.

In 1842 the Farmers Academy in Sumter County's 30th District was incorporated by the General Assembly.

Dec. 25:


Dec. 26:

In 1831 the General Assembly created Sumter County out of the northwest quadrant of Lee County.

In 1843 the Line Creek Academy in Sumter County was incorporated by the General Assembly.

In 1867 the first volunteer fire company in Americus, the Wide-Awake Hook & Ladder Fire Co., was organized, Capt. William Sirrine, foreman.

In 1888 the General Assembly granted expansion authority to the Americus, Preston & Lumpkin Railroad, changing its name to the Savannah, Americus & Montgomery Railroad, Samuel H. Hawkins, of Americus, president.

In 1896 long distance telephone service between Americus and Atlanta was announced.

Dec. 27:

In 1970 the Martha McDonald Moore Memorial Chapel at Magnolia Manor was formally dedicated.

Dec. 28:


Dec. 29:


Dec. 30:

In 1968 the Martha McDonald Moore Memorial Chapel at Magnolia Manor was consecrated.

Dec. 31:

In 1967 St. John's Masonic Lodge #17 dedicated their new building on the west side of Bumphead Rd., just north of Souther Field Rd.