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Effingham County, Georgia
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Effingham County, Georgia History

"The Story of Georgia and The Georgia People" 1732 to 1860

As we have seen elsewhere this county, which took the place of St. Matthew's parish, was settled mainly by Germans, and in the account of the German settlement we have already had a picture of the natural features of the county and of the people. In common with all the parts of the tide-water country this county suffered greatly during the Revolution.

The bulk of the people, speaking only the German tongue and concerned only about their small farms and domestic interests, knew little and cared less about the issue between the colonists and England. Most of them desired to hold a neutral place. Some of them, however, were loyal to the king, and some of them were sympathizers with the colonies, and one of them, John Adam Treutlen, was a Georgia governor, and pronounced a rebel by Governor Wright.

They were thus sadly divided and suffered on all sides. Their villages were occupied at different times by both armies, and their church was desecrated and defaced, for though their pastor took the side of the British and invited the English troops to Ebenezer, the rude soldiers turned their revered church into a stable.

The whole country was desolated by the repeated raids of the soldiers on both sides, but the people were industrious and thrifty, and after peace came the herds of cattle on which they largely relied were soon replenished. The church was at once repaired, their schools were reopened, and the fields of the farmer put once more into cultivation, and though for the two years after the close of the war they had no pastor, they then secured a pious man from Germany to take the place.

In 1790 there were 2,420 people in the county, of which only seven hundred and fifty were slaves, and in 1830, forty years afterward, there were only five hundred more inhabitants. The proximity of the county to Savannah, and its want of any commercial advantages, prevented its having towns of any considerable size, and yet gave it a fine position as a place for gardens and dairies.

Its climate was excellent, and when the Central railroad traversed it some residence villages sprang up, and Guyton and Marlow have become favorite places for the country homes of Savannah merchants. Springfield is the county site, and while it is a small village, it has been famous in days gone by for its excellent schools and the high character of its people. Ebenezer, of which we have so often spoken, which was at one time a thrifty village, has long since ceased to be a place of any importance, and is now unpeopled.

The old Lutheran church, famous as the first church in Georgia, still stands and has a congregation and a pastor. The county, being originally peopled by Germans, has many of their descendants still in it. They are good people, honest, thrifty and religious. There are Lutherans and Baptists and Methodists in the county, and good churches and good schools are found in all parts of it. There are few sections in Georgia where there is a better type of plain, good, contented, pious people than in Effingham, and their descendants are found in all sections of the low-country of Georgia, and wherever found are recognized as among the worthiest of the people.

Source: "The Story of Georgia and The Georgia People" 1732 to 1860
by George Gillman Smith ©1901
Transcribed by K. Torp ©2007


Villages, Hamlets and Towns

Lupont, a post-village of Effingham county, is about five miles east of Egypt, which is the nearest railroad station.
(Source: Georgia Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, VOL II, by Candler & Evans, Publ. 1906. Transcribed by Joanne Morgan)

Marlow, a town in the southwest part of Effingham county, reported a population of 150 in 1900. It is located on the Central of Georgia railroad, has a money order post office, with rural free delivery, express and telegraph service, and is an important commercial center for the neighborhood.
(Source: Georgia Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, VOL II, by Candler & Evans, Publ. 1906. Transcribed by Kim Mohler)

Meldrim, a town in Effingham county, is eighteen miles from Savannah, at the junction of the Central of Georgia and Seaboard Air Line railways. The population in 1900 was 150. It has a money order post office, express and telegraph offices, some mercantile interests and does a great deal of shipping.
(Source: Georgia Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, VOL II, by Candler & Evans, Publ. 1906. Transcribed by Kim Mohler)

Monteìth Swamp, in Effingham county, was the scene of a lively skirmish on Dec. 9, 1864. The Twentieth army corps left Springfield that morning and continued its march toward Savannah. About the middle of the afternoon they reached Montieth swamp to find Confederate works on either side of the road manned by a force of infantry and artillery. The main body of the First division engaged the Confederates in front, while two regiments were sent to turn the right of the works. The movement was successful and after a stubborn resistance the Confederates were compelled to yield to the superior force. They retired in good order, however, and that night the Federal force encamped in the redoubts that had been evacuated.
(Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, publ. 1906. Transcribed by Tammy Rudder)

Oaky, a post-hamlet in the northern part of Effingham county, is not far from the Screven county line. Oliver, seven miles west on the Central of Georgia, is the nearest railroad station.
(Source: Georgia Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Vol 2, Publ 1906. Transcribed by Kristen Bisanz)

Rincon, a village in the southern part of Effingham county, is a station on the Seaboard Air Line railway, about sixteen miles from Savannah. The population in 1900 was 91. It has a good local trade, a money order post office, telegraph and express offices, and handles a considerable quantity of freight.
(Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form Transcribed by Kristen Bisanz)

Tusculum, (railroad name Brewer's Station) a post-village of Effingham county, is on the main line of the Central of Georgia railroad about eight miles northwest of Springfield. It has some mercantile and shipping interests, a money order post office, and in 1900 had a population of 50.
(Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form Transcribed by Kristen Bisanz)

Stillwell, a post-village of Effingham county, about six miles northeast of Springfield, is a station on the Seaboard Air Line railway, and in 1900 had a population of 110. It has some stores doing a good business, an express office, and ships considerable produce to Savannah.
(Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form Transcribed by Kristen Bisanz)

Springfield, the county seat of Effingham county, is located near the center of the county. The nearest railroad stations are Guyton, on the Central of Georgia, and Stillwell, on the Seaboard Air Line, each being about five miles distant. It has the courthouse, several stores, schools, churches, a money order post office, with rural free delivery, and in 1900 reported a population of 107. On Dec. 10, 1864, as Sherman's army was advancing upon Savannah, the Federal pickets were attacked at Springfield by a detachment of Confederate cavalry. The Eighth Indiana cavalry was sent to the rescue and the attacking party was driven off with a loss of 3 men and 7 horses.
(Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form Transcribed by Kristen Bisanz)


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