Georgia Genealogy Trails

"Where your Journey Begins"

Fitzgerald, a new town in Irwin county was founded by colonists from the northwestern states through the agency of Ex-Gov. W. J. Northen. It is located at the junction of two branches of the Atlantic & Birmingham railway and was incorporated in 1896. Although founded in the woods it has by 1900 grown into a thriving little city with a population of 1,817 in the corporate limits of 2,515 in the entire district. The population is now (1905) estimated at over 3,000 in the corporate limits alone. Fitzgerald has electric lights and water works worth $45,000 all paid for and owned by the city, three banks, a money order post office, with rural free delivery, express and telegraph offices and many prosperous mercantile establishments enjoying a good trade. Of about 8,000 bales of cotton received and shipped from the county 5,000 are handled in Fitzgerald. There are also one wagon factory and three sash and blind factories. School and church privileges of the highest order are enjoyed by the citizens.

[Source]: Georgia: Sketches, Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions & People, Vol. 2, Publ. 1906 Transcribed By: Maggie Coleman.

Fitzgerald Public Schools-The public school system of Fitzgerald, as now constituted, was inaugurated Jan. 1, 1898, under the charter adopted in 1897. The first board of education was composed of W. H. Marston, E. S. Childs, E. Towne, D. B. Jay, D. T. Paulk, C. E. Becker, J. W. Turner, and J. Baughman. Prof. James Saunders was the first superintendent, with a corps of nine teachers. Prof. M. D. Miller succeeded him in 1899, to be in turn succeeded by the present incumbent, Prof. W. H. Klepper, in 1904, who held the position until his death on May 30, 1906.

The board of education has always been composed of representative business and professional men, and for the year 1906 is as follows: President, Hon. W. H. Marston, postmaster, who is serving his eighth year on the board; vice-president, C. P. McMillan, tinner, who is likewise serving his eighth year; Clerk, Dr. L. S. Osborne, seventh year on the board; and Dr. J. H. Twyman, dentist, sixth year on the board; C. H. Gill, machinist, second year on the board; J. H. Hicks, retired; W. B. Moore, real estate; and J. C. Glover, hardware merchant.

The system is composed of three primary, four grammar, four high-school and two commercial grades. The Latin-scientific course is sufficiently comprehensive to accredit the high school to the state university. The commercial course is thorough and included everything needed to fit the graduates to fill any business position. In the near future will be added to the high-school curriculum a two-years normal training course for teachers and a preparatory course for those pupils who have been unable to obtain the advantages of a public school until beyond school age.

This will give Fitzgerald educational facilities equal to any outside the largest cities of the state. Since the opening of the “Colony City” its school system, with free tuition and free text books, has always been the pride of the people, and never has it been more worthy of this appreciation then in the year 1906, when the schools have a total enrollment of 950, with fifteen teachers.

[Source]: Georgia: Sketches, Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions & People, Vol. 2, Publ. 1906 Transcribed By: Maggie Coleman.


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