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Taliaferro County

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History of Taliaferro County, Georgia  

Created by Legislative Act, December 24, 1825. from parts of five counties: Greene, Hancock, Oglethorpe, Warren and Wilkes, a circumstance which accounts for the local name formerly given to this region: "Five Points." Named for Colonel Benjamin Tallaferro, a gallant soldier of the Revolution and a noted citizen of Georgia in the early days. Crawfordville, the county-seat, named for the illustrious William H. Crawford, statesman, diplomat, and Jurist, who was prevented by an unfortunate stroke of paralysis from reaching the Executive chair of the nation.

Colonel Benjamin Taliaferro was an officer in the Revolution, a member of Congress from Georgia, and a man of the strictest probity of character. His educational advantages were somewhat limited, but with keen powers of observation he soon overcame this handicap. He was a native of Virginia, in which State he was born in 1750. Entering the struggle for independence as a lieutenant he soon became a captain under the famous General Daniel Morgan. The following incident in his life as a soldier has been preserved: In the midwinter campaign of 1776, at the battle of Princeton, in New Jersey, his company forced a British commander to surrender. When the English captain stepped forward in his fine uniform and inquired for the American officer to whom he was to yield his sword, Captain Taliaferro felt some hesitation in presenting himself, being without shoes or shirt, and his coat far gone into rags. However, he finally advanced and received the sword of the brave Englishman. Later, he participated in the Southern campaigns; and, on the fall of Charleston into the hands of the British, was made a prisoner of war, but he was discharged on parole and permitted to return to Virginia until an exchange could be negotiated. In 1784 he settled in Georgia and was soon thereafter sent to the State Senate. He served as a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1798 and as a member of Congress from 1798 to 1802. The Legislature which rescinded the iniquitous act paid a singular high tribute to the character of Colonel Taliaferro by electing him a judge of the Superior Court, though he was not a lawyer—a compliment almost without a parallel. Colonel Taliaferro was six feet in height, a man of impressive aspect, genial and courteous in manners, respected by his friends and feared by his adversaries. He died in Wilkes County, Ga., September 23, 1821, at the age of three score and eleven years. The last resting place of this distinguished patriot is unknown.

The mother of Mr. Stephens was Margaret Grier, a sister of Robert Grier, who originated the famous Grier's Almanac, and a distant relative of Justice Grier, of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Captain Alexander Stephens, grandfather of the Great Commoner, was a soldier in Braddock's army at the time of the latter's celebrated defeat, in the French and Indian War. He was also an officer of the American Revolution, in command of a company of Pennsylvania troops. Captain Stephens came to Georgia with his family, some time after the close of the struggle, locating first in Elbert and then in Wilkes, on a plantation which was afterwards included in Taliaferro. He died in 1813, at the age of 87. The old patriot lies buried at the old original homestead, in the private burial ground of the Stephens family, some two miles from Crawfordville. Captain Stephens, before coming to Georgia, married Catherine Baskins, in defiance of parental objections, but the alliance proved to be a love-match of the happiest character. His son, Andrew Baskins Stephens, is buried near him in the same plot of ground, and both graves are substantially marked.

Original Settlers. As given by White, the original settlers of Taliaferro were: George Tilley, William Evans, Marcus Andrew, Asa Alexander, William Little, S. Creighton, William Gunn, Amos Stewart, H. Ellington, B. Jones, G. Kent, A. B. Stephens, W. Anderson, E. King, N. Chapman, A Gresham, and S. Harris.

To the list of early settlers mentioned by White, may be added: Absalom Janes and Josiah Whitlock. The former was for years one of the largest cotton planters in middle Georgia. His son, Dr. Thomas P. Janes, under appointment of Governor James M. Smith, organized the State Department of Agriculture and became the first Commissioner, an office which he ably filled for six years.

Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials and Legends By Lucian Lamar Knight

Towns, Hamlets and Villages

Taliaferro County was formed in 1825 from Wilkes, Warren, Hancock, Greene and Oglethorpe. It was enlarged by the addition of a part of Hancock in 1828, and by parts of Wilkes in 1828 and 1835. It was named for Col. Benjamin Taliaferro. It is situated in the eastern part of the state and is bounded on the north and north­ east by Wilkes county, on the east and southeast by Warren, on the south by Hancock, on the west and southwest by Greene and on the northwest by Oglethorpe. Little river and the North and South Forks of the Ogeechee cross the county, and the lands along the streams are very fertile. The staple productions are corn, wheat, oats, rye, barley, sweet and Irish potatoes, upland cotton, field and ground peas. Garden vegetables and the usual fruits are also raised. Crawfordville is the county seat. It is located near the center of the county on the line of the Georgia railroad. Nye, Sharon, Robinson and Hillman are the principal towns. The population in 1900 was 7,912, a gain of 621 during the decade.
Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form Transcribed by Kristen Bisanz

Sharon, a town in Taliaferro county, was incorporated by act of the legislature on Dec. 24, 1884. It is on the Washington branch of the Georgia railroad, five miles north of Barnett, and in 1900 reported a population of 216. It has a money order postoffice, telegraph and express offices, some mercantile concerns, and does considerable shipping. A skirmish between the Americans and British occurred near the site of this town on May 24, 1782.
Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form Transcribed by Kristen Bisanz

Robinson, a post-village of Taliaferro county, with a population of 50, is on the main line of the Georgia railroad, five miles west of Crawfordville.  It has a good local trade and does some shipping.
Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form Transcribed by Kristen Bisanz

Hillman, a town of Taliaferro county was incorporated by act of the legislature on Oct. 22, 1887. It is located on the Barnett & Washington branch of the Georgia railroad, has a money order postoffice, an express office, stores with good local trade, and does some shipping.
(Source: Georgia Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, VOL II, by Candler & Evans, Publ. 1906. Transcribed by Kim Mohler)


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