Historical Homes
compiled by Alan Anderson

Jesse Neal Carter, local shoe merchant, built the home at 132
Taylor Street in 1886 after buying a half acre from Ezekiel Tay-
lor, for whose family the street is named. It was owned over
much of the next century by some of Americus' most prominent
families, i.e., the Mashburns, Eldridges, Davenports, Hodges and
Sheffields, successively. From the mid-1960s to mid-1980s the
family of County Agent Robert F. Garner called it home. After
its acquisition by W. Cal Duke, he converted it into an office
in 1987 for his public relations agency. It reverted back to a
family domicile as the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Ledbetter
at the end of 1993, Mrs. Ledbetter being a direct descendant of
the pioneer Dudley family.

Currently the property of Dr. Charles R. Sheffield, 409 Bosworth
Street was originally built in 1859 by Dr. Wade J. Barlow, an
alderman on Americus' first city council in 1856. In 1862 it was
occupied by the city's first mayor, Perry H. Oliver, who had ex-
hibited "Blind Tom", the musical prodigy, to the crowned heads of
Europe. The street is named for the family of Littleton Brooks
Bosworth who, in 1882, bought and renovated the antebellum struc-
ture into its present incarnation. In 1890, he added the little
store fronting Felder and Henrietta next door. The house was
severely damaged by fire in May 1906.

The long-time residence of retired banker Charles R. Crisp, 128
Taylor Street was brick-veneered by his family in the late 1920s
or early 1930s, giving it a more modern appearance. In reality,
it's an antebellum home built in 1850 by Alfred F. McPherson, a
member of one of Sumter's pioneer families and an alderman on the
first Americus city council in 1856. Renovated in 1877 by Thomas
A. Graham, whose son founded Graham Aviation at Souther Field in
this century, it served in the 1880s as the parsonage for what is
now First Baptist Church. Rev. Abner B. Campbell of that denomi-
nation made additional improvements in 1887.

Fronting the park created by Dr. Albert Rees in 1846, James Kelso
Daniel built the imposing two-story residence at 504 Rees Park in
1847. Continuously occupied for 150 years, it served during the
1860s as the home of William A. Wilson, president of the Furlow
Masonic Female College located at the site of the old Furlow
Grammar School. Adjoining the house is a smaller structure that
was one of the many private academies in Americus prior to the
advent of the public schools in 1880. Don and Jodi Miles converted it
into The Rees Park Garden Inn. The present owners, Kim and
Susan Egelseer, renamed it the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast.

The beautiful, Victorian Era, two-story residence at 129 Taylor
Street, lovingly restored by previous owners Mr. and Mrs. W. Cal
Duke, was originally constructed by Griffith Morgan Eldridge in
1894. At that time city engineer of Americus, he went shortly
thereafter to Defiance, Ohio, Nashville, Tenn. and Tampa, Fla. to
hold the same position before returning here to run a bank and
drug store business. His grandson, James L. Ferguson, is a long-
time director of the Sumter Historic Trust. Mr. and Mrs. John
Edgemon bought the home in 1996, the former a Tennessee trans-
plant in the sod and turf business.

Constructed in 1905 by Brown C. Hodges, prominent local farmer,
606 Rees Park has the distinction of being owned by only two
families. It was acquired by George Eshton Buchanan, of Buchanan
Hardware, in 1923. His business lent its name to its location at
Cotton and Lamar, known for decades as Buchanan's Corner. Eshton
Buchanan's step-son and wife, Judge and Mrs. William E. "Billy"
Smith, the current occupants, are both active members of the
Sumter Historic Trust. Judge Smith served as president in 1974
while Lucile Smith had been on the board of directors for a num-
ber of years and was instrumental in the restoration of the Lee
Council House, headquarters for the Trust.

Northeast of Americus on the Andersonville Road, the antebellum
home of Mr. and Mrs. Randolph B. Jones, Jr. was moved from Ogle-
thorpe to its present location in 1969 by Mr. and Mrs. Donald
Nelson, who restored it to its former glory. It was successively
owned by the families of Dr. A. Gatewood Dudley and Randolph B.
Jones, Sr. Built circa 1852 by Col. George W. Fish, that worthy
gentleman was murdered in 1871. Featured in the book, 13 Georgia
Ghosts and Jeffrey, the home is reputed to be haunted by the old
colonel's ghost.