News from The Cartersville American

The Cartersville American
Cartersville, Georgia
May 6, 1884, page 1
Transcribed by:  

How it Appeared a Third of a Century ago –Who were Here and what They were Doing.

What changes have been made within the last thirty-three years! The writer came to this place in April 1851, thirty-three years ago. When I look around I can call to mind but very few persons now living here, and whom I found here then. They are gone, and many, alas! Never to return. Those still living are probably widely scattered.

I found here, one hotel, kept by Dr. Humphreys, who died a few years ago in Atlanta, and his wife died at this place last year. One livery stable, kept by Powell & Cunyus. Mr. Powell was well known here, and died a few years ago. A portion of his family are still here. The other partner, D. B. Cunyus, was then living near Stilesboro, where he yet remains, one of Bartow’s most respected citizens. There were three practicing physicians here at that time, Drs. Maltbie, Milner and Reed, all young men. Dr. Milner survived but a few months after my arrival here. Dr. Maltbie died several years before the war. He lived to make a reputation as one of the most learned and successful physicians in this section, and was regarded as a young man of fine ability. Dr. Reed was highly esteemed as a man and physician, and married the daughter of our fellow citizen, Capt. E. D. Puckett. He died during the war, while serving his country. The merchants, so far as I can remember, were J. F. Sproull & Co., J. A. and S. Erwin, Wm. M. Puckett, Stephen Lang, H. M. Morgan, and Grantham and Logan. The retail grocery and saloon keepers were Isham Alley, Thos. S. Miller, Smith, McKee, and perhaps some others whom I can’t call to mind.

The firm of Sproull & Co., was composed of J. F. Sproull and John A. Towers. Mr. Sproull now resides at Stilesboro, and is well and favorably known to all our citizens, as he served us so efficiently a few years ago as tax collector. I have always regarded him as one of our best citizens, and an honest man. The other member of the firm, Col. John A. Towers, is now a citizen of Floyd county –was colonel of a regiment during the war, and was afterwards elected sheriff of Floyd county, and more recently a member of the legislature from that county, and is now the efficient keeper of the penitentiary, which office he has held for several years, giving general satisfaction. When he resided here, he was one of our most public spirited citizens, an active coworker in everything that tended to the prosperity and well being of the citizens. He owned and occupied the house formerly occupied Mrs. Dr. Curry. He removed to Rome a few years before the war. He had a young brother with him in the store, and who remained here after the colonel left, but survived only a short time. He was an upright and moral young man, and his early death was deplored by all who knew him. I should state here that the store house of J. F. Sproull & Co., stood where Curry’s drug store is now located.

J. A. & S. Erwin (John A. Erwin and Samford Erwin) occupied a store room in the hotel until they built a two-story store house on the lot now occupied by Roberts & Collins. John A. Erwin had not then moved to this place, but was running a store at Cassville. He moved here the next fall, 1851, and built and occupied the house now occupied by R. L. Sellers. This house did the leading mercantile business here for many years, and they were very popular as merchants and citizens. The senior of the firm is too well known to require any eulogy of his virtues at my hand. A few months ago his remains were consigned to their last resting place, in our cemetery. Although he had removed to another state, and died in a distant state, his decease was mourned by our whole community. We have probably never had a citizen who maintained, to a greater degree, the unbroken confidence and esteem of our citizens, as John A. Erwin. He was a gentleman, a Christian and an honest man. The junior of the firm is now a respected citizen of Kentucky.

H. M. Morgan occupied the brick store (“the Big Brick”) which stood on the vacant corner lot, next to Wikle’s book store. The house was built and owned by the late Lewis Tumlin and Maj. John S. Rowland – the two wealthiest men in the county. It was said that it required their joint efforts and capital to build such a house. It was the only brick building in the place. Morgan did a considerable business for awhile. He was a genial, liberal and inclined to be extravagant, gentleman. He built and occupied the house now occupied by Mrs. Col. Abda Johnson. Having but little, if any capital, to commence business on, he soon failed. He removed to Atlanta from here. The last I heard of him, a few years ago, he was in one of the north-western states.

William M. Puckett, who so lately deceased, occupied a store house on the public square, near where Howard’s bank is now located.

Stephen Lang occupied a house which stood where Stokely, Williams & Co.’s house now stands. He was not then married, but I believe he married the next year (1852), discontinued business and went to farming. He was a genial, whole-souled man, and strictly honest. Everybody who knew him, liked Stephen Lang. He was killed during the war – I believe in the battle fought near Jonesboro, Ga. His widow still survives, highly respected by all her neighbors.

Grantham & Logan had a store in a house which stood where P. L. Moon’s store house is now located. They were from Union county – were unsuccessful in business, and left here the latter part of 1851. I do not know whether they are yet living or not.

I believe the above names embrace all the dry goods merchants I found here at the time of which I write. There were several retail liquor groceries, one of which was kept by Isham Alley, esq., who is so well known as one of our most successful dry goods merchants. He soon abandoned the liquor business and went into the dry goods trade, which he has followed ever since. He served a term as justice of the peace several years before the war. He is, with one or two exceptions, the only person residing at the same spot where I found him in April, 1851. The only exceptions are the Harwell family and Mrs. Atwood. Thos. S. Miller had a liquor grocery in what is now known as the bank block. He continued the business up to the time of his death, which occurred early in the war. He accumulated some property. He is one of the few men whom I heard say repeatedly that he was killing himself drinking—yet he was in the coils of the monster from which he could not extricate himself. There are some men in this town now in the same deplorable condition, if they would acknowledge it.

There was a man here who was called “Col.” Smith, who had a retail liquor saloon. He soon failed and left. I don’t know what became of him. There was also a man by the name of McKee in the same business. I don’t know where he went. He was a liberal drinker, and it is probable that he did not survive long. The late Nathan Howard also kept family groceries and liquors. He was at that time, one of the justices of the peace for this district. He resided where P. L. Moon now lives. He was one of the first inhabitants of the place, and was well known to the present generation. The late David Quarles was his associate justice of the peace.

There were two wagon shops here, which turned out an excellent class of work. One was run by Buck Harwell, now deceased, and John Greenwood –the former did the iron work and the latter the wood work. As is known, Mr. Harwell died not long after the close of the war – his family is still here, living at the identical spot where I found them 33 years ago. The other shop was run by N. D. Lewis, whose shop was near the present residence of S. T. McCanless. Mr. Lewis is still a citizen of this county. So is Mr. John Greenwood. I believe there was one or two other blacksmith shops here. A. F. Morrison, who still remains with us, worked in one of them.

The leading builders and contractors here were Glazenor & Clayton. I don’t know where Stephen Glazener is – John W. Clayton is now a citizen of Athens, Ga., and was connected with Jackson’s machine shop, of this place, while it was in operation. He had the reputation of being a splendid carpenter. Mr. Milton Loveless lived on a lot of land now belonging to Mrs. Akerman. He sold it and built near where he now resides. He is well and favorably known to everybody here. I can say that I found here, two men whose uniform and consistent Christian deportment, during my acquaintance with them, for thirty three years, has never been excelled by any person I have ever known. They have maintained their integrity in every vicissitude of their lives during that long period. I allude to John Greenwood and Milton Loveless – they have been model church members, living, as I believe, fully up to their professions. They still survive as two of the old landmarks.
There may have been some other carpenters here whose names have escaped my memory.
More anon.
J. R. W.


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