county was laid off in 1818, and named in honor of Lyman Hall. It
was very rapidly settled by a class of worthy but poor
The land is not generally fertile, but most of it
repaid the tillerís toil, and there are some beautiful and
productive farms on the creeks and on the Oconee and Chattahoochee
It was, like Habersham, famous for the salubrity of
its summer climate, and early drew to it a class of wealthy people
from the low-country, who fixed their summer homes in Gainesville.
The celebrated New Holland springs and the White Sulphur springs
were excellent summer resorts near Gainesville, and when the
Southern railway was built Gainesville developed into an excellent
market for the mountain counties bordering it, and became a place
of large trade. The manufacturing of shoes became a leading
industry, to which has since been added the man ufacturing of
It has been an educational center, and the
Gainesville Female College has become famous as a school for young
Gainesville has now grown into a city of
considerable size, populated by a class of enterprising and
intelligent people, and has become the leading summer resort of
The celebrated Glade mines are in this
county. They were owned by Dr. Richard Banks for many years, and
while working the mines some beautiful diamonds were found which
are still in the family of Dr. Banks. The mines are now owned by a
Dr. Richard Banks was long a citizen of
this county. He was a member of that distinguished family who
sprang from Ralph Banks, one of the first settlers of Elbert
county, and was long noted for his sterling worth and his tender
The celebrated banker, Richard T. Wilson of
New York, began his life in this county as the son of a Scotch
tanner, and made his first money as a boy on a Hall county
The religious character of the people has always been
good, the Methodists and Baptists being the leading de
The villages of Flowery Branch and Belton,
considerable little hamlets, are in this county.
of Gainesville, with its handsome court-house and its neat
churches and handsome private residences, as well as its
well-built stores, is the most important point of northeast
The population of Hall as early as 1830 was nearly
twelve thousand, but in 1850 eight thousand seven hundred and
The first settlers of this county as given by Mr.
White were: W. H. Dickson, E. Dunnegan, Jos. Wilson, John Bates,
B. Reynolds, R. Armour, Jos. Gailey, T. Terrell, John Miller, D.
Wofford, M. Moore, W. Blake, Jos. Read, R. Young, J. McConnell, R.
Wurm, Thos. Wilson, William Cobb, Joseph Johnson, John Barnet, E.
Cowen, A. Thomson, Jesse Dobbs, James Abercrombie, Solomon Peake,
Richard Banks, Wm. Cotter.
Towns, Hamlets and Villages
Flowery Branch, a town in the
southern part of Hall county, is on the Southern railway between
Atlanta and Gainesville. It is the shipping point for a
considerable section of the county, and its stores do considerable
business. It contained in 1900 a population of 420 in the
corporation, has a money order postoffice with rural free
delivery, express and telegraph offices, a bank and a gin and oil
company. The people of the town and vicinity have churches
[Source: Georgia: Sketches, Counties, Towns,
Events, Institutions & People, Vol. 2, Publ. 1906 Transcribed
By: Maggie Coleman]
Gainesville, the county seat of
Hall County, was incorporated in 1821 and named in honor of Gen.
Edmund P. Gaines, who participated in the Indian wars in
Georgia. In 1872 the charter was amended and Gainesville was
made a city. Upon the completion of the Atlanta &
Charlotte Air-line railroad (now the Southern) from Atlanta to the
Carolina line, soon after the close of the Civil war, old towns
along its line, hitherto without railroad connection, began to
take on a rapid growth and new towns sprang into being.
Among the old towns Gainesville soon took a place in the front
rank, a position she has ever since maintained. Situated
fifty-three miles from Atlanta, it is far enough from the great
center of Georgia enterprise to have some independent territory of
its own and has not been slow to profit by this advantage.
The Gainesville, Jefferson & Southern railway by one branch
connects the city with Winder, Monroe and Social Circle and by
another with Jefferson-all prosperous towns. Gainesville has
express and telegraph offices, a money order postoffice with rural
free delivery, a court house valued at $75,000, an electric light
plant and water works owned by the city, four banks, good hotels,
and many flourishing business houses, all of the stores in the
business section being good, substantial brick buildings.
The streets are for the most part macadamized, and there are many
handsome residences. Among the many manufacturing establishments
are two tanneries, four planing mills, three sash, blind and
furniture factories; three wagon, carriage and buggy factories;
one ice factory, one furniture and chair factory, one steam
laundry, one iron foundry and machine shop, lime works, five brick
works, one paper box factory, one pottery, a cotton seed oil mill,
three cotton mills, and the shops of the Gainesville, Jefferson
& Southern railway. The cotton factories represent a
capital of $2,000,000. In all these various manufactories
are employed between two and three thousand people.
Gainesville handles annually about 20,000 bales of cotton.
The North Georgia Electric Power Company has two plants, one at
the Chattahoochee river, the other at the Chestatee river, the
latter being fifteen miles from the city and supplying the power
for the North Georgia Electric Railway Company, which has a first
class system of street railroads on the chief business and
residence streets of the city, extending out to New Holland
Springs on the north, and to the plant of the electric power
company on the Chattahoochee river. There are in Gainesville
ten churches, seven for white people and three for Negroes,
representing the Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and Episcopalian
denominations; and an excellent public school system. In the
schools for whites the enrollment is about one thousand, and in
those for Negroes something over four hundred. Gainesville
is also the site of Brenau Female College. In 1905 the
population of the city, including its factory suburbs, was about
(Source: Georgia Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events,
Institutions, and Persons, VOL II, by Candler & Evans, Publ.
1906. Transcribed by Renae Donaldson)
Gillsville, a town of Hall
county, near the Banks county line, was incorporated by act of the
legislature Dec. 16, 1901. It is on the Athens & Lula
division of the Southern railroad and in 1900 reported a
population of 177. It has a money order post office, with
free rural delivery, an express office, some stores, with good
local trade, and does some shipping.
Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons,
Arranged in Cyclopedic Form. VOL III Publ. 1906. Transcribed by
Lula, an incorporated town in the
eastern part of Hall county, is at the junction of two divisions
of the Southern railway, and in 1900 reported a population of
217. It has a money order postoffice, from which a number of
free delivery routes supply mail to the surrounding rural
districts, express and telegraph offices, mercantile and shipping
interests, schools, churches, etc.
(Source: Georgia Sketches of
Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, VOL II, by
Candler & Evans, Publ. 1906. Transcribed by Joanne
Murrayville, a post-village of
Hall county, with a population of 56, is ten miles northwest of
Gainesville, which is the most convenient railroad
[Source: Georgia Comprising Sketches of Counties,
Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Vol 2, Publ 1906.
Transcribed by Renae Donaldson]
Motan, a post-hamlet in the
southeastern part of Hall County, is on the line of the
Gainesville, Jefferson & Southern railroad, a short distance
north of Bellmont.
(Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events,
Institutions, and Persons, publ. 1906. Transcribed by Tammy