Georgia Genealogy Trails

"Where your Journey Begins"



Poulan, nestling among the whispering trees near the center of the county, was named for Judge W. A. Poulan, and was settled about 1877. Those families who lived within a radius of two or three miles, and most of whom were originally from North and South Carolina, were B. T. Collier, who was the oldest settler and among the first to be buried in the Poulan cemetery, W. A. Lancaster, Newell Thornhill, Samuel and Amanda Castleyberry, the Sumners, Hobbys, Monks, Hancocks, and Fords.

In 1877, W. H. and J. G.McPhaul came from North Carolina to Worth County. J. G. McPhaul and a negro boy camped in the fall of that year on the banks of the Warrior Creek, near the site of Poulan and made the boards used in building the first house.

Mr. McPhaul later enlarged his sawmill and turpentine industries, and in 1885 the Presbyterian Church was erected on its present site by W. H. and J. G. McPhaul, Walter and Lawrence McNeill, and Major Peter Pelham, with a few others. That same year a planing mill was put in operation by George F. Montgomery & Company, of Indiana. The next year the first school house, a one-room building, was built. Later this was moved to the present school campus and additions were made as needed. In this year, 1933, Poulan has a consolidated school in a modern brick building. The church and school attracted people to the town, and by 1889 there were several nice dwellings in Poulan.

It was about 1895 that J.G. McPhaul looked ahead and saw the possibilities of a manufacturing industry at Poulan, and built the Poulan Cotton Mill. This mill did not begin operation however, until some time later, when a stock company was formed. This is the only enterprise of the kind in Worth County.

Poulan's population was greatest in the years between 1902 and 1905. For a short time a large sawmill, planing mill, and overall factory were in operation in Poulan, but these were closed for various reasons and the population began to decrease. However, the spirit of progress in the hearts of the people was on the increase, and in 1903 the Baptist Church was built. Mr. Moats, Mr. Peckham and Mr. W. C. Underwood were the members of the building committee, and Mr. D. A. McGirt, who had lived in Poulan since 1882, was in charge of the construction work.

During the last few years Poulan has been awake and keeping up with the times. The Bank of Poulan was soon established in the office now used by the cotton mill, and was later moved to the building which Chase S. Osborn, ex-Governor of Michigan has, since the closing of the bank, bought and now occupies as an office. Then came the public library which was backed by such men as Mr. Osborn, Mr. Cram and Mr. Kemp. This library grew steadily, and is now one of the smallest chartered libraries in Georgia. In 1924 the Poulan School District voted bonds and erected an excellent modern school building under the name of Poulan Consolidated School, and is now considered one of the best schools in the county.

[Source]: History of Worth County, Georgia : for the first eighty years,1854-1934. Macon, Ga.: Grubbs, Lillie Martin, J.W. Burke Co., 1934.


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