Georgia Genealogy Trails
"Where your Journey Begins"
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.
Hamlets and Towns
Lupont, a post-village of Effingham
county, is about five miles east of Egypt, which is the nearest
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.
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
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 postoffice, telegraph and
express offices, and handles a considerable quantity of freight.
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
postoffice, and in 1900 had a population of 50.