News from The Cartersville American

The Cartersville American
Cartersville, Georgia
May 13, 1884, page 1
Transcribed by:  

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

Following up the reminiscences of Cartersville, commenced in last week’s paper, I can remember that there was one silversmith here, Caleb Tompkins, who still survives, but now of very advanced age and an invalid. He had then the reputation of being one of the best silversmiths in the state. He was originally from the state of New York, and claimed to be a relative of Gov. Daniel D. Tompkins, who served one or two terms as vice-president of the United States. In his younger days, he possessed considerable mechanical genius.

The railroad had then a small brick depot, which stood a short distance north of the present one. The late James C. Jones was then railroad agent. The railroad had erected a temporary boarding house near the depot, which was kept by a Mrs. Linton, where the railroad men boarded when they lay over here. She took other boarders also. I remember hearing of an amusing story of one of them, who made a contract to board with her at eight dollars per month, but was to count three meals as day’s board. Under this arrangement he ate only one meal (dinner) a day, and it is said would eat enough to last him until the next day at dinner, thus getting three months’ board for eight dollars. W. A. McCreary was assistant agent at the depot and was some months after appointed agent. He was living at Kingston during the war, employed on the railroad as conductor. When the road was abandoned by the state, on Sherman’s approach, he joined a cavalry company and went into the army, and was killed in North Carolina in one of the last skirmishes of the war. He was a good man.

There were two Smiths here. One was known as “Mud-hole” Smith, the other as “Mutton-head” Smith. The former took the name from the proximity of his domicile to a mud-hole. The latter kept a beef market for awhile, and threw a sheep’s head into a street, for which he was arraigned before the council, and which circumstance gave him the name of “mutton-head” to distinguish him from the other Smiths. He was a carpenter by trade. He did not remain long, but I don’t know what became of him. “Mud-hole” was high bailiff of the district. He removed to Brunswick some years afterwards. I think he is dead.

There were two saddle and harness shops here. One was run by old Mr. Callahan and his son Troupe. The latter recently removed to Dalton. Uncle Billy Callahan was highly respected by all who knew him. He removed from here during the war. He died a few years ago at Campbellton, Ga., where he had resided for some time. He was, previous, and perhaps up to his death, pastor of the Baptist church at that place.

The other shop was run by Humphrey Callahan, an elder brother of Troupe and John. He removed to Texas in 1852, where I am informed, he became a successful Baptist minister.

The only tailor shop was navigated by Sam H. Patillo, who was so long and favorably known here. He was a very zealous and bright mason, and presided over the Masonic lodge of this place for several years. He now resides in Atlanta.

Dr. Leake, with his mother and sisters, was also residing here. The doctor has practiced medicine around here until he is probably as well known as any man in the county. He had then suspended practice, but resumed it soon afterwards. He has probably treated more cases, during his long practice, than any physician in this section, and perhaps with as much success.

W. R. Coleman, now a worthy and prosperous citizen of Pickens county, I found here. He built a store house where the Curry building now stands, and sold goods there for a year or two.

Dr. Woodbridge was living where Mrs. Akerman now lives. He afterwards sold the place to Mr. Malcomb Johnston, father of the Hon. Mark Johnston who died in Atlanta a few days ago. Dr. Woodbridge moved to Brunswick, I do not know whether he is still living or not. He was a very quiet and estimable gentleman.

I can think of but few more names besides those I have mentioned. There were four carpenters here whom I believe I have not mentioned – Walker Pitts, John Millsaps, James Henry and __ Venable. The last named is dead, I don’t know what became of the others.

I can now call to mind two other blacksmiths – a man by the name of Spikes (an appropriate name for his calling) and Whit Alexander. Neither of them remained in the place long. I don’t know where Spikes went to –Alexander went to Arkansas a few years ago.

Col. Simpson Fouche, now a prominent citizen of Floyd county, resided where Col. J. J. Howard now lives. He sold out to Col. Howard, in 1851 or 1852, and moved in to town, where he resided a year or more.

There was a young man here by the name of Davidson, who was running a store here for some merchant of Atlanta. He was afterwards in business here for himself and Dr. Maltbie. He married and moved off, I think, to Alabama.

Judge J. A. Howard and Capt. D. W. K. Peacock were both then youths, approaching their majority, and, as is well known, have remained with us ever since.

The Harrison family were then at the same place where a portion of the survivors of the family are still located. The old man and his wife were both then in life and highly respected.

There were probably other persons here whom I cannot now remember, as I have no memoranda or means of ascertaining their names, and am governed entirely by a somewhat defective memory.

The men elected to the legislature from this county in 1851, were, Col. Lewis Tumlin, senator, and Gen. Wofford and Dr. Felton representatives. The county was, probably, never more ably represented. Col. Tumlin and Gen. Wofford had served in previous legislatures, but it was Dr. Felton’s first term, and he made a reputation as an able speaker and legislator, rarely attained by a new member.

In looking around I can see no family that has not been broken by death or removal. I believe I can mention all the families that I found her in April, 1851, and which are still here. They are the Alleys, the Harwells, the Callahans, the Harrisons, the Howards, the Lovelesses, the Peacocks, the Powells, Mrs. Atwood and her daughter (Mrs. M. P. Maxwell), the Morrisons and Caleb Tompkins. I can barely remember now who were the county officers. I believe they were Thomas Booker, sheriff (who still lives in the county) and Humphrey W. Cobb, our present county treasurer, was then clerk of the Superior court.

One third of a century has wrought a great many changes in the affairs of families, communities and the whole county. Nearly all who were then in middle age have passed away and their places have been filled by another generation. Some who were then children now have families and perhaps some of them have become grand parents.

In recurring to the past it brings up many pleasing as well as sad memories, and if these hasty and disconnected reminiscences shall be read with any interest by our oldest, as well as our younger citizens, I shall have accomplished my object. I, as an old citizen, feel very grateful to this whole community, as well as to the entire county, for their uniform kindness to me for so long a period.
J. R. W.


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