Monroe County GA


The following information comes from the Monroe County Genweb project:

Observation of Monroe County’s sesquicentennial places emphasis on the communities within its border. It was their composite stability that gave vigor to our county just as it has been the thousands of similar communities in our country that formed the nucleus that grew into the greatest nation on earth.

In 1823 when Monroe County was created the area was just emerging from thousands of years of wilderness. Communities, as a cohesive social force, were yet to appear.

It is not known definitely when the community of Blount was named. It was before the turn of the century — Mrs. John Butler’s contact with the Georgia Department of Archives and History elicited the information that Blount had a population of 57 in 1900. It is not known what boundary line was used in ascertaining the number of its citizens.

Following the few lines of information excerpted from the “Cyclopedia of Georgia” under the title of “Blount” is another Blount: James H. Blount. There is not the slightest hint of any connection between the two Blounts. In truth this was the man for whom Blount was named.

James H. Blount served in the U.S. Congress from 1872 to 1892. President Cleveland appointed him “Commissioner-Paramount” to the Hawaiian Islands. He died in Macon in 1903. Locally today his name evokes no recognition. His daughter, the late Mrs. Walter D. Lamar, was well known for her U.D.C. work.

Although my grandfather died in 1912, in my youth someone told me he used to have a horse named Jim Blount. Obviously he was a Jim Blount admirer, and possibly had a hand in naming this community.

If the W.H. Westbrook’s store was not Blount’s first, an earlier one is not known. One of the account books dates back to 1892 or 1893. My mind was not too perceptive around 1908, but I do recall two of the salesmen who called at the store. One was a Mr. Gilmore, and the other a Mr. Pharr who represented a tobacco company. Mr. Pharr is remembered more clearly as he always reached Blount late in the afternoon, and spent the night with my grandfather. It is recalled that Doherty-Redwine Co. of Atlanta supplied some of the merchandise. Freight came to Flovilla and was hauled out by wagon.

There is another man within my earliest recollections. I remember him as a mailman, not as a native of Blount. This was the late Augustus (Gus) Smith, who brought mail from Berner. If my memory is correct the store had a post office from which local mail was distributed. I am not sure whether my memory of Mr. Smith dates back to the post office days, or after the local mail route was established. Anyway he is one of the earliest people I can recall. For many years Blount’s mail came from Berner.

About 1910 the Freeman Brothers started operating a store, first collectively, then individually. This continued until a short time ago. Mr. Tom Stokes had a store for many years a mile south on Route 42. Then for awhile Curtis French was storekeeper. The Butler Smokehouse is now our only accommodation.

Around the turn of the century Blount had two gins. One was operated by Hooten and Westbrook, and the other by the Smiths. The first had a grist mill as an addition, and it seems to me the latter had a sawmill. Later the Stokes Brother’s Gin operated for many years.

Generally each community had its “smithy” who kept the buggies and wagons rolling on serviceable tires, made nails, hinges, and through their skills provided the community with various items made from metal. Years before I was born, Mr. Richard Smith operated a Blacksmith shop at Blount.

After the omission of a few years Mr. Ed Proctor opened a shop at Blount. During this era of maximum land cultivation he not only kept the plows sharp, but had time to be an innovator. As an improvement over the kerosene lamp, Mr. Proctor made and sold the gas light which included the automatic gas generator. With the spread of the automobile he had the additional task of keeping them running. He, also, was Blount’s first and last photographer.

After many years Olin Pettigrew opened his garage in 1941. Forthwith, many ailing cars waited patiently for the gentle touch of a master’s hand on its malfunctional components.

Blount has had a population decline, both white and black during the last five decades. The old cotton economy was an insatiable consumer of labor, but the shift to cattle and timber made this requirement unnecessary. Many of our old family names are no longer with us. A few names and faces have appeared. This counter transition is really a repudiation of urban ills. It is impossible to comprehend what changes will take place in Blount Community (and other communities) in the next 150 years. It has been such a short time from the stage coach to the moon.

If Monroe County, with the assistance of her rural communities, wishes to retain a position of respect from other Georgia counties, let her not forget the fruit of her heritage: the Christian Verities. It is to be hoped that after another century and one half someone will be able to apply to Monroe County this line from Byron: “Time writes no wrinkles on thine azure brow.”

Here is a list of old family names from Blount and vicinity. They go back 50 years:

Freeman — Webb — Williams — King — Garr — Tingle — Weldon — Westbrook — Smith — Proctor — Holder — Sutton — Stokes — Butler — Tucker — Hutchinson — Heard — Gregory — Cuncan — Clark — Craig — Hooten — Scarbrough — Waters — Speir — Coleman — Hamilton — Jones — Morgan — Ross — (by William H. Westbrook)

Are we related?

Here are the GEDmatch Kit #s for my father and mother:

GI: A909282
CL: A216073

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