Georgia Genealogy Trails

"Where your Journey Begins"




With the coming of the railroad in 1870, Sumner, Poulan, and Ty Ty were the stations along the road in the county at first. Sumner was located on land belonging to John C. Sumner, (Jack) the father of the present sheriff of Worth County, John N. Sumner, and it was named for him. The families of Joseph M. Sumner, George W. Sumner, Daniel S. Sumner, William Garrett, Derrell H. Herrington, Bluford Pittman, L. S. Thompson and Isaac Rooks lived on nearby farms and many members of these families moved into the village.

Immediately, almost as if by magic, streets were laid off, trees planted that still beautify and furnish shade and comfort to the people, sawmills, turpentine stills, mercantile establishments, post office, doctors' "shops", schools, and two churches were built.

A large number of people from North Carolina came soon after the operating of the road began. The first of these were Columbus Alford and brother, Jack Alford, who were large saw mill and turpentine operators. Their kinspeople soon followed. The Jones families and the Sinclair family from North Carolina, then A. C. Douglas and family who was supervisor of the railroad, Dr. Warren Williams and family, Prof. Williams M. Clements and family, (he taught the school), Mr. John McCranie, depot agent, Dr. J. W. Perry and D. W. McLeod, naval stores operator. The Sumner Free-Trader was established and financed by Hon. A. J. Alford, edited by W. M. Clements and Walter A. Allen in charge of the mechanical department. A few months later Allen succeeded Clements as editor. Associated with them was John L. Herring who became the noted editor and writer of South Georgia. Others were Jim Lane and family, Alex Holtand family, J. B. and H. B. Davis families. Dr. W. L. Sikes and family, Wm. Sikes and family, W. E. Sessions and family, S. E. Blitch and family, Dr. R. R. Pickett and family, C. G. Tipton and family, Joseph Fannin Kimble and family, Dr. J. B. (Jack) Pickett and family. He was County School Superintendent. Malcolm C. Lemmons and family, G. Washington Edwards and family. He was depot agent for about thirty years and his daughter, Mrs. Ibbie Pierce, was postmistress for as long; J. Dan Bridges and family, Charlie Pittman and family, Willis Haisten and family, the La Seurs, Ellis families, Z. C. Allison and family, Daniel W. Sumner and family, Sparks Anderson and family, Jessie Spurlin and family, T. D. Smith and family. Aurelius Bass and family, Wm. Hay and family, J. H. Pate, D. C. Strickland and others we failed to get.

With all these good citizens and enterprises with her splendid schools and churches Sumner soon became the metropolis of the county. Her citizenry have always been of a high order and have put first things first. In her cultural advantages she has held a high standard.

Sumner has the largest business house in the county. It was built for a mercantile and warehouse combined by J. Daniel Bridges, the financial genius, who in the days of his prime did the largest business in the county and was one of the wealthiest citizens. His sons John B. Will. Hugh, and "Buster" and one of his sons-in-law, Harry Jenkins, are among the leading business men of Sumner in 1934. They are the managers of his estate.
Among the older citizens that have made Sumner a delightful place to live and who are there today are. Mr. and Mrs. T. L. Sumner, Mrs. Charlie Pittman, Mrs. Frances Sumner Lemmons, Mrs. Dan Bridges, Mrs. Ibbie Pierce, Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Gleaton, Mrs. Dan Garrett, Mr. and Mrs. Z. C. Allison, Dr.and Mrs. W. W. Sessions, Mr. and Mrs. Sylvan Sessions, Mr. C. A.Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. J. R. McGill, Mrs. Rhodes Ellis and Miss Ina Ellis, Miss Maude La Seur, and Mrs. Tom B. Jenkins and family.

While the last named family do not live right in the city they have contributed so much to the life of this community they are a part of it. Hon. Tom B. Jenkins was elected to represent the county in the legislature but died before he took his seat. Through the recent years of depression Sumner floated bonds of some $27,000 and built a splendid brick school house with basketball shell and Teachers' home. The present generation are largely descendents of the first settlers and splendidly illustrate their ancestors. From the earliest settlers to this generation she has the finest school spirit. If it takes self denial; if it takes work; if it takes unity of spirit to achieve anything for the school, Sumner has it. From this community citizens have gone to make their homes all over our country and wherever they are you find this same fine spirit.

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

Sumner, an incorporated town in Worth County, reported a population of 333 in 1900. It is located on the Atlantic Coast Line railway, about nine miles southeast of Isabella, has a money order post office, with rural free delivery, an express office, several stores with good trade, and does considerable shipping. [Source]: Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons; transcribed by Kristen Bisanz


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