Commerce was originally known as Harmony Grove. The following article was in the JACKSON HERALD, Jefferson, Jackson Co., GA, issued on Friday, July 15, 1881. It describes the little village of Harmony Grove in 1881, mentions a few of its citizens and their occupations. Thought some of you might be interested in a little of this town's history. Harmony Grove: Mr. Editor: I had the pleasure recently of visiting Harmony Grove and vicinity. This village is on the Northeastern railroad. I should think it contained about 700 inhabitants, and 10 business houses. It has two churches and one high school. Three of the largest tax payers in Jackson county live here, almost in sight of each other: C. W. Hood, S. M. Shankle and Dr. W. B. J. Hardman. The two first named are merchants, while Dr. Hardman has retired from a large, lucrative practice, and is preaching for the Baptists in the Grove and some other churches in the country. Dr. Charles Harden, who once lived in Oconee county, is located here. He is succeeding well; has a large and increasing practice. His mother lives not farm from the Grove on a farm. I called to see R. A. Eckles, who has a large carriage and wagon establishment. He puts up the best home-made buggy known to me. Any one wanting anything in this line will do well to call and see him. Sam Hunter (col.) formerly an employee of the firm of Langford & Co., is painter in this shop. Sam was the only man I knew in the place. No whisky is sold here, and yet it prospers, and the people are quiet and orderly, disproving what we often hear that a place can't prosper and grow unless this stuff is sold in it . . . My home was with Mrs. Fannie Henry, and I could not wish a better one. The people treated me kindly . . . I will write again from Jackson county next week. W. M. F. in Watkinsville Advance.
Location: The town of Harmony Grove, now the City of Commerce, is located on an elevated ridge in the eastern part of Jackson County, Georgia, about three miles from the Banks County line and the same distance from the Madison County line. The center of the town is the dividing water shed between the Oconee, Grove, and Hudson Rivers. The present area is a mile wide and about three miles long. The city is located on the Southern Railway eighteen miles north of Athens and twenty-one miles south of Lula. The general topography in the southern part is level, partly hilly, while the central and northern parts slope off on either side to springs and streams. Still farther to the northwest, the land lies gently rolling. The greatest altitude is a bit over moo feet in the . southern section. Other parts of the town run generally about 950 to 980 feet altitude. This greater elevation which slopes off to the streams on either side with their many diversified hills lends unusual beauty to the scenery which is lavishly bedecked with beautiful trees of varied hues and types of unlimited variety. The virgin forest perhaps suggested the name of Harmony Grove. The city being on the dividing watershed, the soil is varied in its character, running all the way from a sandy gray loam to a very stiff red type, the former prevailing in the southern part of the town and the latter in the central and western part. All this has a firm clay foundation lying in the Piedmont Section just below the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The original location of Harmony Grove was of interest because it was on the main road from the mountain counties to the markets of Athens, Washington, and Augusta. This was a camping ground for the covered wagon caravans as they drove their stock and produce to market. There were no streams to cross but springs ample for their use. The noted cold sassafras tree was known to all mountain wagoners which will be referred to in a later chapter. This tree stood near the railroad one-half mile below the depot at the curve in the railroad track. This tree was more than two feet in diameter. The location of the town was attractive because of its fine and temperate climate with its groves and forest surroundings. The summer temperature averages three to five degrees cooler than Athens, yet it is not so rigidly cold as the mountains in the winter. These environments made it pleasant and beautiful for situation. In this select spot in Northeast Georgia the author was born and reared and has spent the entire years of his life in what we consider the choice section of the Empire State of the South. Georgia was founded by the English under James Oglethorpe and settled largely by the English and immigrants from Virginia and the Carolinas, with some few coming from the northern states. This state was the youngest of the thirteen colonies that obtained their independence from the mother country in 1783. It has been the home of numerous statesmen of the highest quality for the past 16o years, also of leaders and pioneers in the realms of science, literature and religion. In the religious realm Baptists have had a marvelous growth, numbering, at present in Georgia, some 1,200,000 members. The first settlements of this section were along the rivers and creeks. This was in the period immediately following the Revolutionary War, from 1784 to 1800, as evidenced by original land grants from the United States Government. In this particular section of rolling hills, fertile valleys, flowing, winding streams, limitless forests of oak, hickory, chesnut, pine, poplar, maple, gum, elm, and every variety of verdant growth of trees and vegetation, in this, the incomparable Piedmont section of our beloved state, the village of Harmony Grove and our now bustling city of Commerce had its nativity. The above is a picture of this portion of Georgia, with its unparalled, delightful climate, at the close of the Revolutionary War when the Cherokee Indians were receding from this section and passing into mountain countries, leaving evidence of their habitat and hunting grounds in the form of flint arrow heads and cooking utensils found in their burial mounds of stone, some of which were found in this immediate vicinity. Additional Comments:
From HISTORY OF HARMONY GROVE - COMMERCE JACKSON COUNTY, GEORGIA By:
THOMAS COLQUITT HARDMAN 1810-1949
Original Roads, Springs, Trees And Landmarks: Commerce is interesting because of its unique location just on a ridge of a water shed that flows each way. Generally speaking, this ridge is followed by the railroad two or three miles through the town and some two miles east and west. Roads: The original roads leading into and through the town of Harmony Grove, before it was incorporated, were: First, the Athens and Clarkesville road. This entered the southern limits by the L. G. Hardman's peach shed and followed the present paved road by way of the oil mill and cotton mill to a point in front of the First Baptist Church, then crossing the present railroad track, it led up Cherry Street by the Methodist Church, the Shankle residence and his first store, to the Carnesville Road. Then at a right angle with what is now State Street, it crossed over the railroad track in front of the Northeastern Bank, continuing up North Elm Street in front of C. W. Hood's store and residence, again crossing the track and following the railroad to the J. B. Hardman residence, and the present incorporate limit, leaving on the west side a narrow field of about eight acres known as the Hood's field. Second, the Jefferson Road, leading from the W. C. Hood place, entered the town at the B. B. Hawks corner, which is now the present Jefferson Street. The Homer Road followed the present Homer Street, except after passing the Sander's home, it bore to the right in front of the Negro Baptist Church, on to Pittman's Mill on Pittman's Creek. This was also the outlet for the upper Carnesville Road. Third, the Jefferson and Carnesville Road led from the Oconee River Bridge by the Mercer Jackson place, passing through the Dunson and Langston farms, crossing the Clarkesville Road at Wheeler's Gin, on by the Short and Wilbanks farms, entered the upper Carnesville Road at the John Scoggins place about two and one-half miles from town. Fourth, the lower Carnesville Road, leading by what is now State Street, then across to Hargrove bottoms, the place where the present road now runs. Fifth, leaving the Athens Road at Water's Store by what is now Madison Street to the southeast, another road led through Madison County. To the mountain wagon travellers, this road was known under the various names of Nowhere, Sandy Cross, Lexington, Washington and Augusta Road. This road passed by the W. B. J. Hardman home and doctor's office. Springs: Springs were numerous in Harmony Grove. Beginning on the Madison County Road near the James E. Haggard place, now Ingram's store, was a very bold spring, being the head of Sandy Creek. On the north side of the road was a spring, the beginning of Beaver Dam Creek, which formed the branch on which is located the Hardman Jones Lake. At the head of this lake was a fine spring known as Whiteoak Spring. On the east side of Spring Street there is a spring first used by Eli Shankle, known as the Shankle and Barber Spring, which has been in use for some one hundred and forty years. This is another head of Beaver Dam Creek known as the Shankle Branch. These two branches came together about a mile from their heads at which Junction Alfred and J. S. P. Richey had a wheat, corn and saw mill with two mill ponds, one above the fork on Hardman Branch, and one below the fork. These ponds were the joy of the boys of that day for fishing and swimming. On a Saturday afternoon, the boys of the neighborhood, Henry, Lam, and Bob Hardman, the Haggards, the Embreys, and others started to the Richey pond for a swim. As they neared the pond, in the woods and undergrowth ahead they heard a noise and a rustling among the leaves. All were frightened as to the kind of wild animal making the noise. Lam appeared to be bolder than the others. He stepped forward and called out, "Who is that?" Another sharp noise, "chook," came from the rustling leaves and bushes. The boys took to their heels, every man for himself. Some came out near the cotton mill site, some at Haggard's shop, one or two at home. The boys reporting their experience, the older heads returned with them and discovered that the noise proceeded from a wild turkey gobbler, scratching in the leaves and hidden by the under-growth. When disturbed, he made this queer noise and ran the other way. Along these two branches above referred to and between them, the land was covered largely by original forest woods and partly by old field growth. In this original forest were many forest pine and some large chestnut trees which had died decades before, now naked and without bark. Along the branches poplars, oaks, and hickory abounded. This was a suitable place for wild game, such as foxes, coons, opossums, squirrels and rabbits, also quite a few wild turkeys. In these woods were some birds now extinct, or nearly so, in this section. The wood hen, now extinct, was a large black bird about the size of a crow, but of the shape of a woods' bird of the Sapsucker family. It had a white head with a red crest. Other birds, as the yellow hammer, red-headed pecker wood, sap suckers and blue birds are now rarely seen. Along in the '60's and '70's, migratory wild pigeons roosted by the thousands in the forest. At night, the breaking of the limbs from the weight of these birds and the flapping of their wings could be heard all over the woods. On the west side of the railroad and west of the Harmony Grove cotton mill is a spring long used by the operators. There is also a good one in the L. C. Hardman pasture used by the tenants. Up nearer in town on the west side of the railroad was a small spring in the rear of the Cooper lot where once was a gin and a sawmill, operated by Rush Cromer. On the same little branch was the school house spring, which was later enclosed in the L. C. Hardman pecan orchard. This spring for some ten years was the water supply for the school, which was located on the present site of the grammar school building. Up near Central Avenue was another spring, near which was once one of the early school cabins, near the site of the Commerce Brick and Lumber Company, now the Frozen Food Locker Plant. Very early in the pioneer days, the real head of this small stream, on which the above was located, was a spring where is now located the City Hall. The other prong, or head, known as Hood's Branch, had its source west of C. W. Hood's residence, in what is generally known as Hood's calf pasture. There was, also, a bold spring in Willoughby Park on this side of this small stream. On the east side of the railroad, between the Dale and Quillian homes, was a spring near which Dicky Minish, one of the pioneer settlers, lived. This was the head of what was later known as the Tanyard Branch on which was located a tannery. On the Carnesville Road, north side, was a spring between the Jesse Wood and Bowden properties which led by the K. N. Sharp swimming pool. Another spring and branch is located in the northern part of the town. The spring heads near Park Street and runs through the J. B. Hardman's dairy pasture on through the Hood-Quillian Park in which are several springs that make a good size branch in a few hundred yards. This property along the head of this branch was owned by W. J. Goss and in the pasture referred to, Mr. Goss had a well stocked fish pond. In this pond, the writer, together with A. B. Deadwyler and Oscar Harrison and perhaps others, were baptized by Rev. W. B. J. Hardman in August, 1885. Mr. Goss then lived on Homer Street in a house now owned by Mrs. P. C. Strickland. A pathway led from the house to the pond. Trees: There were many noted trees in Harmony Grove. In front of the Harmony Grove Cotton Mill office stood a large spreading post oak under whose shading branches was located a well used by the public and where many weary travellers quenched their thirst. In front of the Y. J. Johnson home on South Elm between the street and the railroad stood a very large sassafras tree known to all the mountain wagoners as the "Cold Sassafras." They spoke of it as the coldest spot between the mountains and Augusta. This tree was more than two feet in diameter with a knot hole some ten feet from the ground, from which the school boys robbed the blue birds' nests. When this tree was taken down, T. C. Hardman for several months, used some of its roots to make sassafras tea. Another noted tree was the large hickory in front of C. W. Hood's store, near which was a public well. Another, a large spreading water oak, grew in front of the Hardman Hardware store. This tree attained about thirty-six inches in diameter in about forty-five years. It was planted in 1882. Under its spreading branches and shade in summer boys played marbles and passersby stopped to enjoy the coolness. On one occasion, W. T. Harber, stopping to enjoy the shade, said to the boys, "If that tree was in my yard, I wouldn't begrudge five dollars." Tom Stapler remarked, "As poor as I am, if I had it in my yard, I wouldn't have it cut down for fifty dollars." Harber retorted, "That shows how you appreciate shade and I appreciate money.” In front of the Dr. W. B. J. Hardman’s office on Madison Street, stands an old knarled oak. This tree served his patients as a hitching place. This, with the doctor’s small office, is one of the land marks of old Harmony Grove. The office stood on the same spot as originally built for ninety-one years. The tree is still standing. On the same road just at the incorporate limits, there were two large sycamore trees in front of a two-storied wagon and blacksmith shop, operated by James E. Haggard and later by his son, J. B. Haggard, just where the home of Miss Rosa Haggard, daughter of J. B. Haggard, now stands. At the old home place of Eli Shankle, later known as the Virginia Baugh place, and still later as the Mrs. Mary M. Barber place, were four large sycamore trees, two on either side of the house, and one large cedar tree which gave to the place for a time, the name of "Sycamore Dell." Referring to public wells, there was one located at the corner of North Broad and State Streets at the corner of the Jesse P. Wood building, now occupied by E. B. Crow. This well was a public watering place and most of the merchants in that locality came each morning with their buckets for their drinking water. Some years later after the water system was installed there were some three or more cast iron drinking troughs provided in different parts of town for watering stock of farmers and others. A Northeast Storm: A noted occurrence in the northeast section of Georgia was a severe equinoctial gale on the second Sunday in September, 1882. This storm with heavy rains, began early Saturday night and continued through Sunday, reaching its height by noon. The downpour of rain saturated the ground and caused the trees, especially the forest pines, to fall in great numbers. In fact, millions of trees were blown up by the roots in this section. In the woods above refered to, some 200 forest pines were blown down. Peeler and Lovin put a saw mill at the Roller Mill site and sawed this timber into lumber. For some 25 years or more, people hunting in the woods at night could locate the points of the compass by clay roots which pointed from northeast to southwest. Another Phenomenon: Long remembered was the Nash Cyclone which occurred in the afternoon of February 19, 1884. This cyclone completely demolished and blew away the home of C. T. Nash, killing Miss Mary Nash, his aunt, and injuring several others of the family. Mr. Nash, being some distance away, was not in the path of the cyclone, which was about 3 00 feet wide. The storm seemed to have originated some few miles south of Jefferson, passing over the Oconee River at the Gathright place, by the Benton farm, then passing near the Z. W.. Hood home it exactly centered the C. T. Nash dwelling on the Athens road, on the rise midway between the homes of Dick Standridge and Ed Holland. It passed over into Madison County and was dissipated near the Harrison Hix farm. This cyclone was seen by the people of Harmony Grove as it progressed in its path. It appeared as a funnel-shaped cloud and smoke, with the small end toward the earth. It was preceded by heavy hail precipitation which fell also in the town of Harmony Grove. Some of the hail stones, as large as cups and saucers, were picked up and weighed in Dr. L. G. Hardman's drug store. They weighed from fourteen to sixteen ounces each. This probably was the largest hail stone on record in this part of the state.
Identification Of Houses By Streets Before The Town Was Incorporated: Beginning with South Elm Street, situated just below the oil mill on the knoll where now is the Harmony Grove Mill Ball Park, was a house and lot known as the Rose residence. In front of P.Y. Waters Store, on the opposite side of the rail-road, was the Ezekiel Anthony small three room house, still standing, with additions. On the site of the Harmony Grove Mill office was located a small log building where John Embrey lived at the close of the Civil War. Josephine Carter taught school in this building in the late sixties. This school was attended by H. E. and L. G. Hardman, Billy McGinnis and other children of the community. Later, this building was occupied by R. S. Cheney as a residence during the time he was teaching in the first frame wooden school building located on the site of the present Grammar School. W. B. Powers lived here in 1877, moving from Oglethorpe County. Later, the building was bought by Mrs. M. S. Webb who sold it to the Harmony Grove Cotton Mill. The next house on South Elm Street was located on the hill, the present site of the late R. L. Daughtry home, and is now owned by the Harmony Grove Mill. This house was occupied in 1875 and 1876 by C. T. Nash; then by J. H. Campbell who sold it to A. H. Boone, who sold it to L. G. Hardman in 189o. On the Bran-non Rice lot there was a small house built by Wilson Lord which still stands on the rear of this lot. The next house on South Elm Street was the J. H. Campbell house which was first occupied by his son, Chan Campbell, who had a small store o nthe corner where Col. W. A. Stevenson now lives. The Campbell house is now occupied by Luther Chandler and is the property of Mrs. T. C. Hardman. Where the Baptist Church now stands was a log school house prior to 1874. The first two-story school structure was erected in 1874 on the site of -the present grammar school building, the top story belonging to and used by the Masons. On the site where the old log school house stood the Baptist Church building was erected in the same year. Both of these lots were donated by C. W. Hood as was also one acre for a cemetery. Just back of the late Charley Cooper home,. or house, at the head of the small branch, Rush Cromer had a saw mill and a cotton gin. This was the year 1876, being the year that the North-eastern Railroad was built. About '77 or '78, a house was erected for R. S. Cheney, the first depot agent, which is now the home of Dr. A. A. Rogers. Dr. L. G. Hardman built his first doctor's office at the corner of the depot platform and erected his home, which was used for a hotel. It still stands on Oak Street just behind the present L. G. Hardman residence. On the corner of South Elm Street where stands the present City Hall was originally a spring, before the railroad was built. Sometime after the railroad was built, W. T. Thurmond had a wool carding machinery shop and some years later a planing mill and furniture factory, which was operated by Albert Dunstan, who later became a Baptist Missionary to Brazil, South America. J. A. Seegar owned and ran a livery stable in a wooden building where the Roxy Theater now stands. On the corner of South Elm Street and Central Avenue stood a two-story building known as Strickland Hall. The lower floor was used for legal matters, holding courts, etc. The second floor was used for local entertainment-slight of hand and other forms of public amusements. T. J. Allen's photo-graph gallery was in the second story of this building. Just in the rear of this building on Central Avenue was a boarding house known as the Jennie Butler house. After her marriage it was known as the Jennie Haley house. Here many transient travellers found lodging and many country people, when they came to town, ate their dinner at the price of 15 and 25 cents. Continuing north on Elm Street, the next was the Echols House, just above the old Central Hotel site. C. W. Hood, Sr's store was next which stood just south of the R. L. Sanders' house at the driveway of Mrs. C. W. Hood, Sr. Between this store and the railroad was a blacksmith shop run by W. T. Stapler who moved to town about 1879 or 1880. In the woods at the rear of the present late B. M. Durham house, C. W. Hood operated a gin and threshing machine. Mr. Hood built a house for his sister, Mrs. C. A. M. Mann, mother of W. D. Mann, where Mrs. P. B. Trawick now lives. Just above the Mann house was a house built for, or by, W. L. Williamson, who was clerking for C. W. Hood, and moved into this house in 1879. This afterwards was occupied by A. B. Deadwyler and later by his mother, Mrs. V. H. Deadwyler. Just on the corner of Jefferson Street was the home of Isaac Wilbanks. His wife was a sister of J. C. and H. W. Wheeler. This home later was owned by B. B. Hawks. Isaac Wilbanks was one of the early merchants of Harmony Grove and erected the first brick store, located where Mrs. M. R. Barron's Dress Shop now is. On the opposite side of Jefferson Street on the site of the Standard Oil Station was the home of W. S. Ed-wards who was once one of the early merchants of the town and trustee of the Harmony Grove Common Schools. This was also the house which F. H. Aderhold bought and lived in until his death. The other house just above was the home of Addison Chrisler, afterwards the home of Dr. F. M. Hub-bard, where he spent his life as a physician. Beginning on South Broad Street just within the incorporate limit was the W. C. Farrabee two-story building, erected in 1879. Going north the next was the C. T. Nash dwelling, which was known as the Eberhart place and where John I. Ray lived for several years. Later this was owned by Mrs. C. T. Nash. Next was the old Eli Shankle home off the road, east. Later this place was owned by Mrs. Virginia Baugh who sold it to Mrs. W. M. Barber in 1883. It is now known as the Colquitt Hardman home. Next was the Jonah Bond two-story home, later owned by Mrs. T. E. Key, where Harvey Bray now lives. On the adjoining lot was the Rush Cromer home, an exact duplicate of his brother-in-law, Jonah Bond's house. It is now the Will D. Martin home. Next was the home occupied by L. H. Gober, afterwards bought and occupied by W. T. Harber. And adjoining this was a house in which a Mrs. Carithers lived which was later bought by Col. R. L. J. Smith. Adjoining this was the Methodist Church building, which later was remodelled and replaced by the present brick structure. Just above the Methodist Church on Cherry Street was the J. A. Segar home, later owned and occupied by T. A. Little. Just above on Cherry Street was the Green Sewell home, later bought by W. F. Langston who sold it to P. W. Sheppard. It is now owned by Reagan Sanders. Next was the S. M. Shankle home of which the ell part, the present kitchen, is more than a hundred years old. The main body was built about 1879 or '80. On the corner of Cherry and Carnesville Streets was the house known as the Bowden house, originally owned by James W. Shankle, who married Martha Borders, daughter of Isaiah Borders, and who died in 1847. His widow later married James Bowden. Just across the Carnesville Street was the Caleb Wood home. The original house is still preserved in the backyard of Miss Jessie Wood. This property became the Jesse P. Wood home. Adjoining was the Jasper N. Wood home. North of Carnesville Street, just to the rear of the First National Bank, was the Solomon Seegar home, where he ran the Northeastern Hotel. It was later bought by W. A. Quillian and is still standing. Just below, on the same street, was the Eli Riley house. In the rear of this, near Claud Little's home, was the home of John C. Yeargin, who was the son-in-law of Solomon Seegar. Farther down on the same street, toward North Broad, was a building that, for a long while, was occupied by J. T. Allen, photographer. Farther on was a building owned by Kimsey Smith and later owned by L. J. Sharp. Following North Board Street was a store building owned by J. N. Wood, next to W. A. Dale's tin shop and S. G. Dale's shoe shop, originally Dr. Deadwyler's office. Later it was occupied by T. M. Daniel. Next were two or three buildings occupied by Negroes. These buildings were owned by J. T. Quillian and E. B. Anderson. One was Tom Norris' restaurant. His chief business was feeding prisoners and doing white-washing. Next in the hollow, Jeff Freeman lived and in this house was a Negro barber shop, later a Chinaman's laundry. As I recall there were only three or four Chinamen who ever lived here and ran a laundry. Just in the rear of these houses was the Dr. V. H. Deadwyler home, later owned by J. T. Quillian. Following North Broad Street was the John A. Williford home on the site of the Davis Warehouse. On the site of the A. B. Deadwyler home was the home of Dr. Alexander, a dentist. The G. L. Carson, Sr., home was the home of Marion P. Wood. The last home on North Broad was a house on the site of the J. B. Hardman home. On the corner of North Broad and Homer Streets originally was located a cotton gin, operated by W. B. Powers and W. T. Thurmond, where later was the residence of W. A. Dale and the residence of D. C. Nichols. Just in the rear of the Nichols' house was a small two-room dwelling with a brick basement, which still stands. This building was occupied in 1877 by M. L. Parker, superintendent of the public schools, later by W. T. Stapler. Continuing up Homer Street, there was a house above the railroad sidetrack, on the present Harden lot, which Dr. F. M. Hubbard occupied when he first came to Harmony Grove in 1883. Just above this, was the C. M. Wood home; where he lived all his life. It is now the home of Mrs. John Carson. The First Presbyterian Church was located on the site of the L. L. Davis home. North of this was the Riley lot, the house originally built and occupied by R. L. Hardman, next to the home of Mrs. W. B. Wagnon. The Wagnon lot was part of the Sander's land. On the west side of Homer Street was the home of W. J. Goss, now occupied by Mrs. P. C. Strickland. The last house on Homer Street was the home of D. J. Sanders, still standing on the top of the hill.
DEVELOPMENT OF HARMONY GROVE FROM 1810 TO 1884: Some pioneer families and individuals who laid the foundation and formed the background of the village and town of Harmony Grove from its beginning in 1808 to 1880- together with their children and some of their grandchildren: Hardy Minish-His two sons: Eli and Pierce. Dickey Minish-Three sons: B. J., Will and Jesse. Eli Shankle-Three sons: James W., Levi, S. M. and five daughters: Polly, Elizabeth, Eritha, Martha Ann, Ophelia. Levi Shankle-Three sons: Sam, Ras, and Dr. William M. and four daughters: Virginia, Mrs. Levi Mathews, Mrs. D. D. Baugh and Sara King. S. M. Shankle-Five sons: A. G., A. M., L. P., Claud and O. E.; four daughters: Anelia, Ida, Maggie and Pauline. Tapley Bennett-Two sons: Captain A. T. and Hosea C. W. Hood-Two sons: C. J. and C. W., Jr.; two daughters: Mary and Ruth. W. C. Hood-Three sons: John H., Ben and W. T.; two daughters: Estelle and Delia. W. B. J. Hardman-Six sons: H. E., L. G., R. L., W. B., T. C., and J. B.; five daughters: Anelia, Ethlene, Lanora, Sallie, Mildred. His sons were: two preachers, H. E., and T. C.; two physicians, L. G. and W. B.; two business and public men, R. L. and J. B. W. C. Farrabee-Three sons: C. O., L. J. and Luther B.; five daughters: R. A., R. D., L. H., P. C. and Loonie B. Caleb Wood-Four sons: M. P., J. N., J. P. and M. C. M. P. Wood Four sons: John W., Ed, Pleasant and Ernest; five daughters: Julia, Laura, Viola, Maggie and Marion. Samps Butler-Two sons: Jesse and Tom; one daughter, Miss Jenny Butler; two grandsons, Bob and Joe. J. N. Wood-Five sons: D. C., Lee, E. S., C. C. and Omar; four daughters: Josie, Mattie, Nezzie and Maude. Jesse P. Wood-Two sons: Carey and Calvin; three daughters: Leila, Toonie and Jessie. M. C. Wood-One daughter: Lizzie. Solomon Seegar-Two sons: J. Ansel and Thomas; one daughter: Mrs. J. C. Yeargin. John C. Yeargin-Two sons: William J. and Charlie. J. Ansel Seegar-Three sons: S. J. T., P. S. B. and J. W. J.; three daughters: Lizzie, Francina and Mary. J. A. Williford-Four sons: Q. L., J. H., W. D. and Robert. D. J. Sanders-Four sons: D. G., C. B., C. M. and R. L.; three daughters: Ella, Florence and Mary. P. C. Pittman-Five sons: P. O., J. I., N. O., T. C. and C. E.; three daughters: Alice, Sue and Octie. P. O. Pittman-One son: W. O.; two daughters: Maud and Lillian. T. C. Pittman-One son: O. C.; one daughter: Reba. C. E. Pittman-Two sons: Brooks and Clarence. W. T. Stapler Three sons: Odell, Carl and Hoyt; three daughters: Emma, Gussie and Hallie. C. T. Nash-Four daughters: Addie, Rosa, Lovie and Lula. Dr. V. H. Deadwyler-Eight sons: Henry, Phil, Will, John D., A. B., O. E., Hoyt and Clyde; two daughters: Savannah and Lula. A. B. Deadwyler-One son: Joe; one daughter: Rene. James C. Campbell-Three sons: Chan, J. B. and Gibson. Wilson Lord-Five sons: Jim, Dave, Bob, John and Emory. Mrs. C. A. M. Mann-One son: W. D.; two daughters: Lizzie and Nelia. J. S. P. Ritchie-Six sons: L. A., R. C., Jim, Gamer, John and Otis; two daughters: Cornelia and Lilly. L. H. Gober-Four sons: Willie, Marvin, Olin and Lenos; three daughters: Carrie, Emma and Mera. J. Madison Keith-Three sons: Claudius Alphonso, Byron Sebastian and Adrian Alfucius. J. M. Chandler-Five sons: Walter, Edgar, Arthur, Herbert and Clovus. Rush Cromer-Five sons: Eddie, Rondo, Theo, Roscoe and Ponto. Jonah A. Bonds-Two sons: Charlie and Luther; two daughters: Minnie and Bertie. Littleton Barber-Five sons: C. T., W. L., Dee, Ed and Henry; four daughters: Jennie, Emma, Frances and Minnie. C. T. Barber-Nine sons: Clint, Fred, Theo, Wily, Rob, Dave, Calvin, Howard and Talmadge; three daughters: Marion, Estelle and Bell. W. L. Barber-Three sons: Earl, Hugh and Alf; four daughters: Kathleen, Gertrude, Nan and Camille. Dee Barber-One son: Cliff D.; two daughters: Pearl and Ruby. J. O. Adair-Two sons: Thomas B. and Ferdinand; three daughters: Hattie, Montine and Mary. W. B. Barnett-Two sons: Keff and John. J. D. Barnett-Three sons: Horace, Harold and Paul; three daughters: Kathleen, Lorena and Merle. R. S. Cheney-Five sons: Roy, Rob, Hood, Mell and Berkley; five daughters: Kate, Wertie, Edna, Olive and Agnes. B. S. Bohannon-One daughter: Ida. Buck Nunn-Home near the L. P. Shankle residence. Frank Sewell-Home near Methodist Church; later the T. A. Little home. W. S. Edwards-Four sons: Joe, Hugh, S. N., and Lamar; two daughters: Fannie and Delia. W. B. Power-Three daughters: Emma, Pearl and Ossie. W. R. Goss-Two sons: W. J. and I. H.; three daughters: Mrs. D. M. Burns, Dora and Ella. W. J. Gross-Two daughters: Lady and Grace. J. L Ray Two sons: Charlie and Frank. W. T. Thurmond Two sons: Thad and A. H.; four daughters: Exa, Kyle, Alma and Sue. Micajab Williamsson-Three sons: John, W. L. and L. W.; one daughter: Mary Appleby. W. F. Stark-Five sons: C. D., Young, W. W., Albert and A. G.; three daughters: Mrs. Clara Maddox, Lula and Ellie. C. D. Stark-Four sons: Homer, W. F., E. C. and Hope D. W. W. Stark-One son: William; two daughters: Ruth and Zelma. Eli Crow-Two sons: Frank E. and Lonnie; two daughters: Mattie and Lena. W. T. Harber-Four sons: H. R., P. T., T. A. and R. B.; five daughters: Lizzie, Nelle, Estelle, Lucy Bell and Thelma. Development of Harmony Grove from r 8 r o- r 884 25 G. W. D. Harber-Four sons: W. Y., John, Henry and Leo; five daughters: Ethel, Ruth, Pat, Marie and Mary Dillard. W. B. Hardman-Four daughters: Wilda, Elizabeth, Helen and Ida Shankle. T. C. Hardman-Three sons: Colquitt, Lawrence and Joseph; two daughters: Francine and Mary. SOME OF THE MEN WHO CAME TO HARMONY GROVE BETWEEN 1880 AND 1900: E. F. Adair F. H. Aderhold C. C. Alexander N. C. (Lat) Alexander N. Stiles Alexander Dr. W. A. Alexander W. G. Alexander T. J. Allen E. B. Anderson Ezekiel Anthony J. H. Ayers Neal Bates A. N. Bellamy T. J. Bennett A. M. Benton M. A. Benton J. W. Black R. L. Black C. C. Bolton Herchel Bolton Lenard Bolton A. H. Boone C. H. Brock E. G. Brock R. B. Burgess W. B. Burns D. U. Carson G. L. Carson, Sr. G. L. Carson, Jr. John M. Carson C. W. Cooper Addison Crisler A. S. Crow J. H. Crow W. A. Dale S. G. Dale John Dale T. M. Daniel Cicero H. Daniel L. L. Davis J. F. Dowdy John W. Dowdy J. L. Dunson W. L. Dunson Ed P. Eberhart Jack Eberhart R. A. Eckles Charley Eckles J. H. Eckles Neal Eckles W. C. Eckles R. S. Eidson J. F. Goode George W. Gordon Taylor Gordon John M. Gordon W. C. Green John H. Gunnels S. D. Harber Dr. Charles Harden Dr. R. R. Harden Dr. W. P. Harden I. H. Harris A. D. Harris B. B. Hawks Obe Hawks R. H. Hawks S. P. Hawks Henry Herring Joe W. Hill H. Corbin Hood Reuben Howington Robert Howington P. D. Howington Dr. F. M. Hubbard G. L. Hubbard Marcus Jacobs Jefferson Jennings J. P. Johnson L. B. Johnson J. W. Johnson Y. J. Johnson G. T. Jones W. W. Jordan T. E. Key W. W. Landrum W. F. Langston Henry Langston John Langston W. P. Lovin T. A. Little J. R. Little T. C. Little W. L. Little Claud Little J. E. Massey M. T. Massey J. C. Massey J. U. Merritt W. S. Mize Lonnie Mize Charley Mize Theron Mize Horace Mize W. W. Montgomery J. O. Montgomery Claude Montgomery Dr. M. F. Nelms D. C. Nichols J. M. Nix R. C. Nix D. M. Nix Reuben C. Nunn Lovic Oliver R. S. Pomeroy Bit Peeler H. W. Peeler W. D. Power W. A. Quillian J. T. Quillian Joe A. Quillian T. F. Quinlan D. D. Qnillian R. T. Quillian J. M. Rhodes E. P. W. Richey A. P. Rice G. T. Rice W. B. Rice J. T. Rogers Eli J. Rylie John W. Sailers W. L. Sailers Dr. L. J. Sharp Nathaniel (Nat) Sharp K. N. Sharp W. G. Shrarp B. B. Sharp J. F. Shannon W. A. Shannon J. J. Sheppard W. D. Sheppard Paul Sheppard Frank Sheppard P. W. Sheppard Press Shore H. C. Sims W. H. Simpkins Kimsey Smith R. L. J. Smith Jeremiah Strickland J. N. Telford William Thurmond, Sr. J. H. Walker C. M. Walker W. B. Wagnon Alex Webb F. P. Webb William Webb A. S. Webb Alcane Webb Joe H. Webb George Webb Leon P. Webb Albert Webb G. B. Whitehead W. T. Whitehead F. O. Whitehead J. G. Whitehead O. J. Whitehead W. Ed Whitehead James E. Williams Henry E. Williams John T. Williams Harmon Williams Isaac Wilbanks H. O. Williford G. N. Wilson L. W. Williamson B. F. Wardlaw Neal Yarbrough Mack Yarbrough Family Record of Eli Shankle who was probably the first settler of Harmony Grove. Eli Shankle-Born Aug. 5, 1784, died April 15, 1852. Rebecca Hargrove Shankle-Born Dec. 4, 1786, died Dec. 4, 1866. Polly Shankle-Born March 5, 1811; married Henry B. Gober, father of L. H. Gober. James W. Shankle-Born Oct. 18, 1812, died Feb. 12, 1847. Levi H. Shankle-Born Feb. 9, 1815, died 1883. Elizabeth Shankle-Born May 20, 1819. Eritha Shankle-Born June 1, 1821; married Linton C. Dunson. Martha Ann Shankle-Born Jan. 29, 1823; married Linsey Dunson. Seaborn McKendree Shankle-Born July 8, 1825, died 1885. Ophelia Amanda Shankle-Born Sept. 11, 1830; married C. W. Hood, Sr.; died 1857. Eli Shankle married Rebecca Hargrove whose father lived on Hargrove Creek. They married about 1808 or 1809 and settled at the head of a large spring on the east side of Spring Street. Later he built a log house on the hill west of the spring, where he reared his family. The home was owned later by Levi Shankle who sold it to his oldest daughter, Virginia Baugh. Mrs. Baugh sold it in 1883 to Mrs. M. M. Barber of Washington, Ga. After the death of Mrs. Barber in 1906 this home was bought by her daughter, Mrs. T. C. Hardman. In 1915 this house was taken down and a home built on that site, for her eldest son, T. Colquitt Hardman. Some of the original timbers were put into the new building. HARMONY GROVE-COMMERCE POST OFFICE AND POSTMASTERS: The Harmony Grove Post Office was established October 14, 1825 and evidently located near Pittman's Bridge on the place known as the John B. Jackson farm, in the vicinity of the Harmony Grove Female Academy. There is no recorded information that this school ever functioned to any great extent and as the site of the town later known as Harmony Grove began to settle up and to establish business places, the post office was evidently moved to that place, probably in the 1830's, not later than 1840. The post office when moved from its original site was first located at a point near the present Harmony Grove Mills office. Soon afterward it was moved to the center of business activities which was then on State and Cherry Streets and known as the Athens and Clarksville road. The first location I remember, about 1876, was in a wooden building on the present site of the C. E. Pittman brick building. The office was moved in 1882 to a corner in the L. G. Hardman Drug Store building. Some years later it was moved to North Elm Street in a building now occupied by Dr. A. A. Rogers. Still later about 1910, or 1912, it was located on the corner of Central Avenue and South Elm Street where it remained until 1933. At this date it was moved to the present site into the government owned building. The Commerce Post Office was raised from the fourth class to the third class on January 1st, 1903. The name was changed to Commerce, November 17, 1903. Russell Jones was appointed first postmaster in 1825 and served at the original location. Of course there were other postmasters during the fifty year period from 1825 to 18751 but their names are not available. Those who have served as postmasters with dates as far as can be obtained: Under the name of Harmony Grove: W. J. Goss 1875-1880 Taylor Gordon 1880-1888 C. C. Alexander 1888-1892 A. C. Appleby 1892-1896 R. C. Moss 1896-1898 J. L. Dunson 1898-1904 After the name was changed to Commerce: C. C. Alexander 1904-1908 N. C. Alexander 1908-1912 G. L. Carson, Sr. 1913 W. T. Thurmond 1913-1922 J. L. Dunson 1922-1933 Mrs. C. C. Ward 1933-1949 There are six rural mail routes radiating from Commerce in every direction and covering all the territory in a radius of eight to ten miles. INDIVIDUALS WHOSE PERSONALITIES CONTRIBUTED TO THE CHARACTER, TONE AND REPUTATION OF HARMONY GROVE TOGETHER WITH THE EARLY BUSINESS FIRMS WHO FIRST PUT HARMONY GROVE ON THE MAP Little is recorded or known of the very early settlers as to their particular personalities, but from the beginning of the growth of the village of Harmony Grove, about 1845 or 1850, a number of men came upon the scene whose characteristics are worth noting. (1) C. W. Hood, Sr., who was born in 1827, was the son of William C. Hood and Winnifred Hood who were charter members of the Beaver Dam Baptist Church in 1826. Mr. C. W. Hood, Sr., was reared near Apple Valley and while a young man came to Harmony Grove and entered into the mercantile business which he conducted for more than forty years. Mr. Hood was a man of retiring disposition, limited education, but with great business qualifications, noted for his economy and thrift. Having large farm interests, he ac-cumulated a princely fortune for those days. Mr. Hood was very active in church and school affairs and contributed largely to these institutions, donating land and money in a liberal way. He had a large part in building the Northeastern Rail-road, subscribing stock and giving the site for the depot. Verily, it can be said, he was one of the founders of Harmony Grove. C. J. Hood, son of C. W. Hood, Sr., entered into the affairs of the town and community about 1883. He was the chief promoter of the Northeastern Bank, the first banking institution in the town. Mr. Hood in many ways contributed to the progress of the city, serving as mayor three times and noted as one of the most liberal contributors to the community welfare. (2) W. C. Hood, who was the younger brother of C. W. Hood, Sr., was identified with the progress of the town after the Civil War. Owning a good portion of the land in the business section, he sold lots for business enterprises and was himself engaged in the mercantile business for several years. (3) S. M. Shankle was the youngest son of Eli Shankle, born in 1825 and was the brother-in-law of C. W. Hood, Sr. Mr. Hood's first wife was his sister. Mr. Shankle inherited a large section of land on the eastern side of the town, most of which has since been developed as a residential section. Mr. Shankle was engaged in the mercantile business some thirty-five years. All his life he was a strong supporter of the Methodist Church in Harmony Grove. He reared a family of five boys and four girls, all of whom were worthwhile contributors to the progress of the town and community. (4.) Dr. W. B. J. Hardman: Dr. Hardman was born November 23, 1822 and reared in Oglethorpe County and came to Harmony Grove in 1848 or '49 as a practicing physician. He boarded with Mr. S. M. Shankle for about two years and was married to Miss E. S. Colquitt of Oglethorpe County, January 2, 1851. His first residence for one year was the old Bowden house on State Street. Then he resided five years in the J. P. Wood house across the street. In 1856, he built his home on Madison County road. Having purchased a large tract of land, he engaged in farming while he continued the practice of his profession. Dr. Hardman, in cooperation with C. W. Hood, Sr., was active in the promotion of a number of institutions and industries in Harmony Grove. Among these were the establishment of the Harmony Grove Baptist Church and the fostering of the schools of which he was for a long time a trustee, serving as Chairman of the Board. He aided in locating the Northeastern Railroad through Harmony Grove. He, with C. W. Hood, Sr., was the author of the section in the Harmony Grove Charter prohibiting the legal sale of intoxicants within the incorporate limit of the town perpetually. Dr. Hardman had a wide range of territory in his practice before and during the war as he was the only physician in this section. Dr. Crawford Long of Jefferson and Dr. Daniel of Danielsville were his contemporaries and were the nearest located physicians. After practicing his profession for nearly thirty years, he was called to the ministry and be-came the first pastor of the Harmony Grove Baptist Church. His family consisted of six boys and five girls, two of whom died in early girlhood. Two, L. G. Hardman and W. B. Hardman, became physicians. Dr. L. G. Hardman had a wide sphere of influence and as a practicing physician, he succeeded his father in this community. He served in the State House and Senate and was co-author of the Prohibition Bill that gave Georgia a dry law in 1907. He served two terms as Governor of the State of Georgia. W. B. Hardman enjoyed the distinction of being one of the finest surgeons in this section and his reputation was state-wide. He was also a popular practitioner who knew how to treat patients in the home and to meet their needs. His friendly approach was greatly appreciated and he found a place in the hearts of the people. Two, H. E. Hardman and T. C. Hardman, were ministers of the Gospel. These two ministered to the churches in the surrounding section as pastors of various churches. They strengthened the faith and stabilized the spiritual life of the people. These two preached salvation by grace, a new life and a transforming Gospel. Two, R. L. and J. B. Hardman, were business men. R. L. Hardman spent his life in the hardware business, opened the first hardware store in Harmony Grove in 1884. He was the second mayor of the town. A few years later he moved to Atlanta and continued in the hardware business. J. B. Hardman served the town both as a merchant and in the insurance business. He served four terms as mayor of Harmony Grove and Commerce. He was later a member of the Georgia Senate. The number of his friends was measured only by the extent of his acquaintance. (5) Caleb Wood was one of the early settlers who lived about two miles northwest of Harmony Grove at what is now known as the W. B. Hardman Peach Orchard. He bought and owned a large acreage near the center of town which his four sons inherited and which was divided into four tracts. From best information, Mr. Caleb Wood never lived in Harmony Grove, but bought part of the land he owned in town from Samps Butler; certainly the house and lot on State Street later owned by his son, Jesse P. Wood and probably some other portions of land owned by Caleb Wood. Two of his sons, J. N. and Jesse P., engaged in business at various times in Harmony Grove and all four of his sons had a part in the growth of the community. The two above mentioned reared good size families, most of whom continued here and furnished growth and strength to the town. (6) W. C. Farrabee was a unique character in Harmony Grove. He was high tempered, temperamental and excitable, with a good bit of Irish in him. He was always ready to con-tend for what he considered his rights. Harmony Grove was not complete without this man of eccentricities, yet withal a valuable citizen. Mr. Farrabee's family consisted of three boys and five girls. These for the most part remained as citizens of Harmony Grove-Commerce. The eldest son, Cecil, went to Arkansas in his early manhood and made a success in that state. (7) Solomon Seegars was a rather old man when he came from Madison County and established the Northeastern Hotel some years after the Civil War and had a small part in the mercantile realm. His son, J. Ansel Seegar, was pioneer in the livery stable business. For quite a while he furnished the transportation and drayage facilities for the town. (8) W. T. and G. W. D. Harber were brothers who came to Harmony Grove in 1875 or 76 and established a mercantile business together. They were reared in Franklin County. W. T., the older of the two, had had some business experience in Marietta, Ga. This firm of W. T. Harber & Brother was one of the stalwart business institutions' for some thirty years. Both of these men were frugal, industrious and wise business men and each had accumulated a sizable fortune for himself and family. After the death of W. T. in 1902, G. W. D. with his son, W. Y. Harber, conducted a thriving business for a long period. Each of these men had a family of four boys and five girls, several of whom have made Commerce their permanent home and contributed to its progress. (9) W. B. Power. Perhaps no man was more closely associated with the business life of Harmony Grove than W. B. Power. Coming here from Oglethorpe County in 1877, he engaged in several enterprises. In 1882 he formed the partner-ship with J. M. Chandler and R. L. Hardman under the firm name of Power-Chandler & Company. After a year or more in business, this firm enlarged its partnership and changed the firm name to Power-Key & Company. This partnership was not a success and was liquidated. Mr. Power then formed a partnership with John H. Gunnells which continued for some five years and was finally dissolved. Then, Mr. Power formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, H. O. Williford. They built a large supply store in 1891 where the Blue Bell Overall Plant is now located. Here they conducted a large supply business and cotton buying enterprise that gave Harmony Grove a wide reputation as a good market. Mr. Power died in 1904 and the business continued under the firm name of Williford, Burns & Rice. (10) C. D. Stark. C. D. Stark came to Harmony Grove from his country home in Jackson County in about 1885 and entered the mercantile business. Mr. Stark was full of life, unbounded energy, good business ability and a liberal supply of gab. In the thirty-five years of his business activities, he added much to the reputation of the town as a business center. He often sold goods at a close or cut price which gave much concern to his competitors, the Harbers, Powers, Hoods, and others. He had a family of four boys, all of whom have made a success in life. (11) W. A. and J. T. Quillian. These brothers came to Harmony Grove in 188o and entered into the mercantile life of the town. When Harmony Grove was incorporated, W. A. Quillian was elected the first Mayor and served for two years. After some years of partnership, J. T. Quillian withdrew and set up a separate business in the sale of wagons and buggies, also in the brokerage of grain, flour and other lines. W. A. continued the business under the name of Quillian & Sons, T. F. and R. T. being members of the firm. (12) E. B. Anderson-W. D. Mann. About the time the Northeastern Bank was founded, C. W. Hood & Son sold their mercantile business to Anderson & Mann, who conducted a large supply and general mercantile business which added much to the assets of the town. This firm continued its operation and became one of the large cotton factors of the city. After some twenty years, Mr. Anderson withdrew and established a private bank. Mr. Mann continued the business until after 1920. (13) T. E. Key and J. D. Barnett. These men under the firm name of Key & Company did a general supply and grocery business from about 1888 for fifteen or twenty years. This firm had a large trade and bought a considerable amount of cotton during their business career. Each of them served as Mayor of Harmony Grove and Mr. Key was the first Mayor of Commerce after the new name was adopted. (14) J. M. Nix, L. L. Davis, P. W. Sheppard. These fine men came to Harmony Grove in 1895 and opened the firm of Sheppard, Davis & Nix, later changed to Davis & Nix when Mr. Sheppard withdrew. This firm supplied a place in the town of supply merchants after most of the others had discontinued and was probably the last firm who carried on this method of business after the retirement of other firms. Mr. Davis became the chief cotton factor under the name of L. L. & V. L. Davis. (15) Among others who did a mercantile business in Harmony Grove from 1880 to 1900 were W. J. Goss, W. S. Edwards, Key & Williamson, Burgess & Allen, Isaac Wilbanks, W. W. Jordan, Jeremiah Strickland, Alexander & Teasley, A. H. Boone, B. B. Hawks, Kimsey Smith, J. E. Massey, Hardman & Shankle, Hardman Merchandise Company, Hardman Hardware Company, L. J. Sharp & Bro., L. G. Hardman & Bro., Wagnon & Wood, Marcus Jacob, Bennett & Wilson, A. C. & J. H. Campbell and W. A. Dale, William Thurmond, Sr., John M. Gordon, I. H. Harris & Co., and Herschel Bolton, and Benton and Adair Hardware Co. Harmony Grove Crowd Does Not Want To Be Bracketed With Early Commerce: By Paul T. Harber, Commerce News, Sept. 13, 1945 Recent comment in the News relative to Harmony Grove and its successor, Commerce, and a comparison of the times years ago with conditions today, has roused the feelings of some of the real old-timers who want to be known as the Harmony Grove crowd. One of them said, "Don't bracket our crowd with the early Commerce contingent. They are a different species. Call them old-timers, if you choose, but let our crowd be known as P.S.A.W., Pre-Spanish American War, which represents a period before 1898." But let him tell it. Here's what he has to say. Furnished Spark: "Our Harmony Grove crowd" don't want any disunity or unfriendly feelings, but we want it to be known that it was old Harmony Grove that did big things and furnished the spark for later progress by the new city of Commerce which carried on successfully for many years and then was let down by a generation that seemed to have forgotten the lessons taught them by their grandfathers. Original Industry: What was this community's first industry? Why it was R. A. (Bob) Eckles exterior finish shop, or buggy and wagon factory, a contribution of Harmony Grove to the world of transportation. Mr. Eckles first made two-horse wagons and began majoring in buggies. He finished his buggies with 14 to 16 coats of varnish and they shined until you could see yourself in the body. Judge B. S. Bohannon was one of the painters and Mr. Petat an expert trimmer. No such buggy or wagon, for durability, ever rolled out of any factory. Studebaker, White Hickory and other wagons were manufactured in large numbers, but no wagon was superior to that of Robert A. Eckles. His buggies and carriages were equally as durable and popular. Ask your granddad about this successful industry in Harmony Grove. Good Schools: Our crowd believed in providing a good education for children. We didn't ask the state and the federal government for money. Two school buildings were built by the pioneers. The first was where the grammar school is now located. It was a two-story frame structure, built in 1874 and it was razed in 1889, and was replaced by a brick structure which burned to the ground in 1895. The second brick building burned in 1903. Capable Teachers: The first teachers after the Civil War were G. J. N. Wilson, R. S. Cheney and G. W. Brown, a one-armed veteran of the Civil War. Mr. Cheney taught again in 1875 and 1876, after which he became the first local agent for the Northeastern Railroad. M. L. Parker succeeded Prof. Cheney in January 1877 and taught for five years. L. M. Landrum taught in 1882 and 1883 and afterwards was Superintendent of Boys High School in Atlanta for over thirty years until his death. W. H. Key succeeded Prof. Landrum in 1884 and he was followed by Joe A. Quillian in 1885 and 1886; F. M. Blount in 1887; Henry Walker from 1888 to 1891 inclusive; Harry Strozier and his brother, A. J., in 1892 and 1893; W. Herschel Cobb in 1893 to 1895 inclusive; Claud Gray in 1896 to 1898; M. L. Parker in 1899 to 1900 and Peter Zellers from 1902 through 1904. Prof. Cobb was the father of Tyrus Raymond Cobb, the noted baseball player. Miss Rosa Taylor, Mrs. Jennie Truitt, Mrs. Nettie Methvin Holder and other highly capable women teachers were among those who served in the local school back in the days of Harmony Grove. We went after the best teachers and got 'em. Able Pastors: In religious circles Harmony Grove was a leader. Such able, consecrated' and influential preachers as Dr. W. B. J. Hard-man, Dr. Henry F. Hoyt, Rev. W. M. Coile, Henry E. Hardman, Rev. John H. Wood, Dr. B. F. Riley, Rev. Groves Cartledge, Rev. G. W. Duvall, Dr. M. L. Troutman and other leaders in religious thought were among the pastors of the local and nearby churches. Congregations were large. People went to church in those days. Dr. B. F. Riley was pastor of the First Baptist Church from 1894 to 1896 and the present brick structure which houses the church in Commerce was built in 1896. The wooden structure was moved from the present location of the First Church to Madison Street Baptist Church where it now stands. Rev. Henry Hardman was the first pastor of the Madison Street Church. Rev. W. B. J. Hardman served the First Baptist Church from 1874 to 1890, a period of sixteen years. He was followed by Rev. W. M. Coile and then Dr. B. F. Riley who served for three years. Rev. G. W. Garner served the First Baptist Church from 1897 to 1902. Somebody ought to write a complete history of the schools and churches of those days. It would be an inspiration to the newer generations. Big Retail Stores: Our merchants and store-keepers were known for their full stocks of high class merchandise, consisting of dry goods, groceries, notions, and plantation supplies. Among the pioneers were Solomon Seegar, Seabom M. Shankle, C. W. Hood, W. J. Goss, W. T. Harber, G. W. D. Barber, W. B. Power, Jasper Wood, H. O. Williford, C. D. Stark, T. C. Hardman, W. D. Mann and others who sold goods over a period of years. After the railroad was constructed from Athens to Lula in 1876, Harmony Grove became one of the leading distributing communities of Northeast Georgia. Trade from four counties was built up and in time the freight receipts of Commerce exceeded those of any other town of similar size on the Southern Railway. Real Farmers: Rural soundness was one of the reasons for Harmony Grove's solidarity and progress. Farmers back in those days were real dirt farmers. They lived in large white houses with green blinds and broad porches. Commodious barns, smoke-houses and storage buildings were on the premises. Corn, wheat, oats, potatoes, peas, sorghum and other crops were raised in addition to cotton. On the place were apples, peaches, grapes, scuppernongs, figs, and other kinds of fruits. There were fine farm animals, milk cows, pigs, cattle, and sheep. Yes, the people believed in raising their own food products and did. Rural sections had good church buildings and school houses. Communities like Arp, Beaverdam, Ashland, Hebron, Nails Creek, Apple Valley, Hudson River, Blacks Creek, Ft. Lamar, Ila and other country communities, were well known for their good farms and excellent citizens. In those days the country sections had medical facilities. Such able physicians as Dr. H. P. Quillian, Dr. W. P. Harden, Dr. Frank Payne, Dr. George Westbrooks, and Dr. Robert Westbrooks were among the practitioners who resided in the country districts. You said in your paper that the new Commerce women made the old Harmony Grove store keepers remove the chicken coops from the front of their establishments. This was true but don't forget that the P.S.A.W. pioneers went in for a chicken in every pot and a good horse in every stable. Sociable People: People in those days were friendly, sociable, generous and democratic. Picnics, barbecues, ice cream festivals, school entertainments, family reunions and candy pullings were popular. A young man could have more fun with a nickel than modem youth with a dollar. There wasn't much to buy for pleasure purposes. And there was no such thing as juvenile delinquency. Children had homemade fun. They were too busy playing wholesome games and working to get into mischief. Beautiful Women: Harmony Grove was also noted for its pretty girls and handsome boys. While the girls wore puffed sleeved dresses, buttoned shoes, Flora Dora big hats (done over by milliners each season) and long hair rolled up in a long psyche, their complexion was peachy and positively beautiful. No period has ever seen such beautiful Georgia women as those magnolia and old lace days. Handsome Men: And the boys were really handsome. They wore black high-top shoes, detached white collars and cuffs, bow ties, dark coats and striped trousers and sported a black derby and a mustache. This combination had its appeal. Topped off with a bay horse, a red rubber-tired buggy, a highly colored embroidered lap robe and a $1.50 sporty whip, young men did some fancy courting. Their clothes and technique were of the Gay Ninety days but no more ardent lovers were ever known than your grandfathers. Used Candles And Some Oil Lamps: Yes sir, Mr. Editor, the man of yesterday wore jeans breeches, brass toed leather shoes, boots with red tops, sprouted mustaches, wore long hair which was cut semi-occasionally by their mothers, using plain scissors, studied by candle light, played town ball in the streets, cat ball at the church buildings, baseball in pastures, went barefooted until they were six-teen years of age, fed the stock, held the calf off at milking time, and helped their mothers with the chores. And the girls canned fruit, helped cook and wash dishes, sewed, darned, churned the milk, worked in the flowers and learned to make their own dresses. Call them old fashioned if you want to but your grandmothers of Harmony Grove were among the finest and best looking women the world has ever seen. These are just some of the evidences of a sturdy, dependable, thrifty, God fearing people who paved the way for and set an example for succeeding generations to follow. So in talking about the new and big things to be accomplished by Commerce in 1945, look back to the days of Harmony Grove, the days of your grandparents, for inspiration. Remember the P.S.A.W. people. They were worthy of your best efforts to build a better community and a better civilization.
GROWTH OF THE TOWN HARMONY GROVE, INC., 1884-1904 AND THE CITY OF COMMERCE TOGETHER WITH ALL OFFICIALS AND OFFICERS, 1904-1948: The town of Harmony Grove, Ga., was incorporated in 1884, a charter having been approved by Governor Henry D. McDaniel Dec. 24, 1884. An election was held Jan. 15, 1885 and the following Mayor and Councilmen were elected: W. A. Quillian Mayor W. C. Green Councilman 1st Ward R. B. Burgess Councilman 2nd Ward G. W. D. Harber Councilman 3rd Ward W. S. Edward Councilman 4th Ward The first meeting of the Council was on Jan. 19, 1885. William H. Simpkins was elected Clerk, W. C. Green, Treasurer, and G. B. Whitehead, Marshal. Salaries fixed for officers were: Mayor $ 50.00 per year Clerk 50.00 per year Treasurer 15.00 per year Marshall 300.00 per year Councilmen served free: All officers were exempted from street tax. Street tax was $3.50 a year. The first tax assessment was .20 on $100.00 and penalties were designated for violations of the ordinances. The town was divided into four wards. TREASURER'S REPORT FOR 1885: RECEIPTS:
Fines & Cost $ 173.00 Tax on Shows 43.50 Street Tax 286.90 Tax on Personal Property & Real Estate 566.00 TOTAL RECEIPTS $1,069.40 EXPENDITURES:
For Work & Material on Streets 245.30 Officers Salaries 415.00 Calaboose & Printing & Misc. Accts. 219.48 Cash on hand 189.62 TOTAL 1,069.40 POPULATION IN 1886: Male Female White 395 198 197 Negro 184 79 105 Total 579 277 302 POPULATION IN 1948: Estimated Registered Voters Church Mem'ship. White 4800 1180 1979 Negro 600 144 435 Total 5400 1334 2414 The charter of Harmony Grove was unique in the history of the towns of the state in that this instrument contained a provision in section 31 that the Mayor and Council of the town of Harmony Grove shall never have power to license the sale of spirituous, malt, vinous, alcoholic or intoxicating liquors or beers of any kind in the town of Harmony Grove. This provision was transferred into the Charter of the City of Commerce. The credit for this wise provision was due chiefly to C. W. Hood and Dr. W. B. J. Hardman. An ordinance was proposed in 1906 in reference to the sale of spirituous liquors to increase the fine for violation from $300 to $ 500, or 60 days, not to exceed 12 months on the street. This ordinance was passed. In 1906, the first electric lights were contracted for with the Harmony Grove Mill to install twenty or more street lights, the mill to have the street franchise to install lines and sell current to the town. This contract was to continue for eleven years. After the expiration of this contract, the city installed a light plant at the waterworks site, and paid the Harmony Grove Mill $6,800.00 for their lines, poles and other equipment. The city continued to produce electric cur-rent until 1927 when contract to purchase current was made with the Georgia Power Company. An ordinance for fire protection was passed in Feb. 1907. A Fire Department was organized and it was provided that in the fire area that no building or structure should be erected other than brick, concrete or stone. This area extended from Homer Street to the railroad crossing near the Methodist Church and from the railroad on the west. Dwellings were exempted. An election was held July 16, 1907 to vote bonds for water-works and sewerage; $45,000.00 5% bonds were issued in 1908 and $8,000.00 5% bonds in 1909 for sewerage. The first waterworks commissioners were T. C. Hardman, chairman, C. J. Hood and Claud Montgomery. The first superintendent was D. L. Caston. A preliminary survey was made in 1907. Purchase was made of 2.6 acres of land from H. E. Hardman for the waterworks site. Also the right of way for the pipe lines to the corporate limit was secured and same was incorporated as part of the city. This land was deeded Sept. 11, 1908. The contract for installing waterworks and the sewerage system was given to J. B. McCrary Company of Atlanta. Eight thousand dollars 5% bonds were issued in 1913 for paving side walks. The contract was let to W. C. Campbell Company, Columbus, G a. T. C. Hardman, chairman of the street committee, was supervisor of the project. More than two and one-half miles of concrete sidewalks were paved in the fall of 1913 and the spring and summer of 19141 the owners of property paying one-half the cost. Thirty-one thousand dollars 5% bonds were issued in 1927 for the paving of some two and one-half miles of concrete pavement of streets. The paving began at the corner of Washing and North Elm Streets extending to Madison Street. The State Highway Department participated one-third in this part of the highway with the property owners paying one-third on either side of abutting property. This project covered also Broad Street from intersection of Rice Street to intersection of Jefferson Street and also Cherry and State Streets. Wingfield Company of Augusta were the engineers. The Powell Paving Company of Winston-Salem, N. C., were the contractors. T. C. Hardman, chairman of the street committee, with the assistance of W. M. Thurmond, supervised the paving. Later black top street pavement was laid on several streets and concrete sidewalks were laid in which the property owners paid one-half and the city one-half. No bonds were issued for this construction. Some streets were paved by property owners, the city not participating. Among these was Homer Street from intersecting North Broad to the corner of Short Street. The extension of Homer Street was paved by the State High-way, property owners paying for grading and sewerage. Washington and Jefferson Streets were paved by the State High-way. Other streets have been paved by property owners paying entire cost. During the Harmony Grove Period the chief of police was called the Marshal and the others were nightwatchmen or night police. Under the City of Commerce, the chief officer is the chief of police and the other officers are designated by number. Street Paving Bonds confirmed Oct. 20, 1927, $31,000.00. High School Bonds dated Feb. 1, 1936, $20,000.00. TOWN AND CITY OFFICIALS: Mayors Treasurers Clerks Marshals 1885-86 W. A. Quillian W. C. Green W. H. Simpkins G. B. Whitehead 1887-88 R. L. Hardman T. E. Key J. F. Goode J. R. Hix 1889 W. W. Stark W. S. Edwards W. H. Simpkins N. P. Lovin 1890 T. E. Key W. A. Quillian H. H. Duncan B. A. Bray 1892 W. B. Hardman C. J. Hood H. H. Duncan R. H. Hawks 1893 W. B. Hardman D. U. Carson A. H. Thurmond S. T. Hawks 1894 W. B. Hardman D. U. Carson A. H. Thurmond R. H. Hawks 1895 A. B. Deadwyler M. T. Massey G. L. Carson R. H. Hawks 1896 J. D. Barnett T. E. Key W. D. Williford H. S. Jackson 1898 Chas. M. Walker J. T. Quillian W. D. Williford H. S. Jackson 1899-02 J. B. Hardman L. L. Davis J. N. Telford H. S. Jackson 1902-3 C. J. Hood W. B. Burns J. E. Stevens H. S. Jackson Chief of Police 1904 T. E. Key W. S. Mize L. L. Davis G. L. Carson, Jr. 1906 P. Cooley A. P. Rice T. A. Little J. R. Little Clerk and Treasurer 1907 C. J. Hood A. P. Rice H. S. Jackson 1908 J. M. Nix A. P. Rice B. R. Vaughn 1910 J. B. Hardman C. A. Goodin 1912 T. A. Little C. A. Goodin 1914 E. B. Anderson C. A. Goodin 1916 C. J. Hood C. A. Goodin B. R. Vaughn 1918 C. J. Hood C. A. Goodin S. A. Mize 1920 W. W. Stark C. A. Goodin H. H. Seagraves 1922 J. B. Hardman N. B. Lord C. M. Almond 1924 J. B. Hardman N. B. Lord C. M. Almond 1926 C. J. Hood N. B. Lord John W. Sailers 1928 C. J. Hood Mrs. N. B. Lord (Supplied) C. H. Nelms 1930 L. L. Davis P. B. Trawick C. H. Nelms 1932 L. L. Davis P. B. Trawick C. H. Nelms 1934 J. B. Hardman P. B. Trawick J. R. Hix 1936 J. C. Verner Carl Williamson J. R. Hix 1938 J. C. Verner Carl Williamson J. R. Hix 1940 L. L. Davis Carl Williamson C. H. Nelms 1942 H. C. Sims Carl Williamson Avery Byrd 1944 H. P. Little Carl Williamson Avery Byrd 1946 H. P. Little Carl Williamson Avery Byrd 1948 H. P. Little Jack Meaders A. D. Fitzpatrick Acting Mayor G. 0. Castellaw Mayor P. T. Scoggins Clyde Short A. D. Fitzpatrick CITY PARKS: The Hood-Quillian Park was donated to the city for park purposes May 18, 1904 by C. J. Hood and J. T. Quillian. This park was on a branch with a spring at its head just below J. B. Hardman's dairy on the north side of town. This park was used for several years, but went out of use after the city received the gift of the Willoughby Park, nearer town. The Willoughby Park was tendered to the city Oct. 3, 1910 by heirs of the C. W. Hood Estate. A pavilion was built in 1913. This park, consisting of about four acres has been improved at various times by the erection of and by the construction of a swimming pool and electric lighting of the grounds. This park has served well the needs of the community in public speakings, barbecues and anniversaries. The Hood-Quillian Park was secured by the American Legion and the V.F.W. in 1949 partly by purchase and partly by donation. They are building a splendid commodious lodge home and otherwise improving the property as a recreation ground. One of the special features is the restoration of the large spring and water supply.
CHURCHES AND RELIGIOUS GROWTH: The churches of Harmony Grove and vicinity were at first located in the adjacent vicinity, or country-side. There was no church located in the town of Harmony Grove before 1874. METHODIST: The Methodist church was known by the name of Sandy Level, located on the opposite side of the railroad from L. G. Hardman's peach shed where there is an old cemetery. To this church belonged as members the Shankles, the Hargroves, some of the Hudsons, the Gobers and the Butlers. This building was torn down and moved in 1874 to the present site of the Methodist Church. Just before the Civil War there was erected a church building on the Dunson place near the beacon light and was known as the Old Protestant, or Northern Methodist church, which had a small membership. This church disbanded and disappeared soon after the Civil War. In addition there was the Mt. Bethel Methodist Church, located three miles northeast of Harmony Grove. This church contributed much in membership and otherwise to this denomination in the town, as did also Wilson Church, four miles north of town. BAPTIST: There were a number of local Baptist churches located early in the century near the vicinity of Harmony Grove, namely, Cabin Creek Baptist Church, six miles south and constituted in 1796; Black's Creek Church, three miles from town, south-east, constituted in 1803; Beaver Dam Baptist Church, four miles east, constituted in 1822; Bold Springs Baptist Church, constituted in 1871 at Addison Chrisler Springs; Grove Level Baptist Church, constituted in 1801, seven miles north of town. All these churches had members in and around Harmony Grove. In 1874 the Harmony Grove Baptist Church was constituted with eighty-eight charter members, some from each of the five churches mentioned above, chiefly Black's Creek and Cabin Creek. PRESBYTERIAN: The Presbyterians had no local church here until the year 1882. A church was organized and a house built on the lot where L. L. Davis now lives. Under the leadership of Rev. Groves Cartledge and Dr. H. F. Hoyt, there was organized a church with a small membership, these members coming partly from the Hebron Presbyterian Church in Banks County and Thyatira Presbyterian Church in Jackson County, the two latter churches being organized before 1800. MADISON STREET BAPTIST: The Madison Street Baptist Church was constituted in 1895. This church was organized under the leadership of Rev. H. E. Hardman. He requested the gift of the wooden building of the Harmony Grove Baptist Church, which was granted, and he moved it and erected at his own expense a building on the present site on Madison Street. This was the year, 1896, that the present brick building of the Harmony Grove Baptist Church was begun. The primary purpose of the Madison Street Church was to give religious facilities to the operatives of the Harmony Grove Mill and to the residents of that vicinity. This church has advanced steadily in growth of membership and influence. Its membership is among the largest in Commerce. OTHERS: The Holiness people of various faiths have had religious meetings in tents and other ways. In recent years one of these groups has had a church building in South Commerce which was originally constructed by the Methodist Church, in which they for a time held services. Some two years ago the Holiness people secured this building and remodeled it. Other religious groups hold services in their homes without having a public place of worship. NEGRO CHURCHES: The Negro churches of Commerce have been an important factor in the religious life of the community. There are in the section of the city known as Johntown at least four thriving congregations. The Baptist Church has been in operation for over sixty years. In 1927, there was erected a splendid brick veneer church building with all equipment necessary for Sunday School and other church organizations. This building was erected during the pastorate and under the leadership of Rev. J. C. Barnett at a total cost of more than $6,000.00, fully paid off in five years. The present membership enrollment is 250 and the pastor is Rev. Claud Clayton. The Methodist have an equally equipped brick veneer building on the Commerce-Carnesville Highway, known as the Methodist Episcopal Church with a membership of 63 and whose present pastor is Rev. P.H.P. Mayes. On another street is the CME group of Methodist with a nice frame structure and a membership of too. The present pastor is Rev. E. D. Martin. Near by this church is the Holiness Church with a comfort-able house of worship and a membership of 20. The religious life of our town as represented in these five white and four Negro churches form the background of the high character and moral tone of our citizenship. These churches have a membership of 2,414. There has been unusual cooperation and harmony among all the churches and especially have the white people encouraged and contributed financially to provide splendid church buildings and equipment for the Negro congregations. The moral tone of the Negro population has been advanced and improved in proportion to their church and religious life and school facilities. Total White Church Membership 1,979 Negro Membership 435 Total 2,414 COMMERCE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH: On Saturday, November 21, 1874, the Baptist Church of Harmony Grove was constituted with 88 charter members who had been lettered from Black's Creek, Cabin Creek, Beaver Dam, Oconee, and Grove Level Churches. W. B. J. Hardman was chosen pastor and R. S. Cheney and L. J. Dun-son elected deacons. On the following day, Sunday, November 22, the ordination service of pastor and deacons was con-ducted by a presbytery, consisting of W. F. Stark, A. J. Kelly, W. R. Goss and W. T. M. Brock. The following is a list of the charter members: MALES J. O. Adair W. S. Edwards Elbert Hardman D. W. Barnett W. C. Farabee R. L. Hardman W. B. Barnett C. O. Farabee C. W. Hood E. H. Borders W. R. Goss C. J. Hood John Bruce I. H. Goss A. J. Hudson Chris Coleman W. C. Glenn J. M. Hutchins R. S. Cheney W. B. J. Hardman R. K. Minish W. C. Davis H. E. Hardman E. H. Ingram L. J. Dunson L. G. Hardman S. R. Jordan P. O. Pittman W. W. Tolbert W. B. J. Perry J. G. H. Pittman Solomon Seegar E. A. Perry John L. Parks J. S. P. Richey S. J. T. Seegar E. Edwards Francis Ray J. A. Skates D. M. Hix FEMALES Julia Adair S. E. Goss Sarah A. Minish Virginia Barnett Martha Hudson C. A. M. Mann E. A. Borders Melissa A. Hood Minerva C. Nix F. L. Borders Temperance Hardy Mary E. Nix T. A. V. Barnett E. S. Hardman Julia M. Perry Frances Coleman Flora E. Hardman Johanna Perry Eugenia E. Cheney Lottie Hardman Sarah Perry Lydia Davis L. L. Hardman M. E. Perry Mary F. Dunson Josephine Hudson Ermine Park M. R. Dunson Martha Hutchins M. A. E. Ray M. C. Edwards Emma Ingram L. P. Richey Delanie E. Farabee M. A. Jordan L. C. Richey L. H. Farabee Delilah Ingram Cynthia Sanders P. C. Farabee E. C. Lackey Dora A. Webb R. D. Farabee Sidney Minish S. F. Tolbert E. A. Goss Frances E. Minish Sarah J. Yeargin
The first conference was held on December 26th, and several important transactions are noted: The election of R. S. Cheney as clerk; P. O. Pittman, assistant clerk; L. J. Dunson, treasurer; and R. K. Minish, chorister. Ten a.m. was set apart as the hour of prayer on each meeting day. On solicitation of W. R. Goss several subscriptions were taken for The Christian Index and Baptist. The fourth Sunday in July was fixed for the annual revival meeting, services to begin on Friday before that Sunday. Quarterly Conferences were held when they received and appointed correspondents to sister churches. The first large ingathering came at a protracted meeting in July, 1880, at which time almost every young person of eligible age joined. A majority of these are living and a number of them are still members with us. Thirty were baptized and two received by letter. The church at first had preaching only one Sunday a month. In 1892 they went to two Sundays a month, W. M. Coile pastor, and in 1900 they adopted full-time service, G. W. Gamer, pastor. The present brick building was erected in 1896 and dedicated February 14, 1897. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. T. W. O'Kelly of Griffin. The name of the church was changed from the Harmony Grove Baptist Church to the Commerce First Baptist Church, September 18, 1904. The former wooden building was donated to Madison Street Church, and was moved and erected by H. E. Hardman at his own expense. This church entertained the Sarepta Association five times, in 1879, 1897, 1914, 1936, and 1946; the Sunday School Convention five times and the Georgia Baptist Convention in 1916. Ministers ordained by this church are: W. B. J. Hardman, A. H. Boone, R. S. Cheney, H. E. Hardman, Ronald Bullin, and T. C. Hardman. Deacons ordained: R. S. Cheney, L. J. Dunson, W. C. Davis, H. E. Hardman, J. D. Barnett, C. J. Hood, T. C. Pittman, A. B. Deadwyler, W. B. Hardman, W. T. Thurmond, T. C. Hardman, F. M. Hubbard, J. M. Nix, Geo. L. Hubbard, C. J. Hardman, H. B. Carreker, A. P. Rice, C. A. Goodin, W. C. Dowdy, J. B. Elrod, M. T. Sanders, J. L. Dunson, A. A. Rogers, L. G. Hardman, Jr., Avery Bird, J. N. Harris, Dr. G. O. Castellaw. A number of members have come in from other churches as deacons and have served this church faithfully in that capacity. The pastors who have served the church: W. B. J. Hardman, sixteen years; W. M. Coile, four years; B. F. Riley, three years; G. W. Gamer, five years; W. A. Nelson, two years; H. W. Williams, five years; Gilbert Dobbs, seven years; W. L. Culbertson, seven years; W. H. Wrighton, six years; C. C. Tooke, seventeen years. We show some figures which show the larger activities during the years. The first 45 years, for missions and benevolence, we gave approximately $45,000.00; from 1919 to 1924, $55,000.00; since then $20,000.00; total, $120,000.00; for schools and education, $60,000.00; total-missions and benevolences, $180,000.00. On the same date that the Harmony Grove Church was constituted there was begun the Sunday School which has been maintained through the entire history. A Men's Bible Class was organized, also a class for the young men and young women. The feature of this early Sunday School was the "Beginners or Primaries," taught by Mrs. W. B. J. Hardman in which the "Blue Back Speller" and "Kind Words" were used. The "Kind Words" were edited by Rev. Samuel Boykin of Macon. From the beginning, over sixty years ago, the school has had a continuous progress until at present it has reached the A-1 Standard. In 1918 an addition was built to the church, including a room for the Primaries, and in 1936, a complete and commodious Sunday School Annex was constructed which is sufficient for a school of 800 pupils. The following have served as superintendents: R. S. Cheney, J. A. Williford, W. H. Simpkins, H. E. Hardman, J. H. Walker, W. B. Haygood, W. B. Hardman, C. J. Hood, J. H. Williford, H. B. Carreker, W. H. Martin, C. L. Veatch, J. B. Hardman, A. A. Rogers, Alvin Collins, and Clyde Nunn. The women of the First Baptist Church were among the first of the state to organize a Woman's Missionary Society, under solicitation of Rev. C. M. Irwin, about the year, 1881. This group of women carried on the work and supported missionaries direct for several years. Some years later, under the ministry of Dr. B. F. Riley, the work was re-organized and has been continuous up to the present status. The B.Y.P.U. organization was established under the leadership of Landrum and Frank Leavell, about the year 1915, and has been one of the helpful auxiliaries to the church work. The First Baptist Church has enlarged its facilities recently, expending some $15,000.00 on redecorating interior, laying concrete paving on walks around the building and enlarging the heating plant. The present membership is 737. HISTORY OF THE MADISON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH: The Madison Street Baptist Church of Commerce was constituted in 1895 in South Commerce in the vicinity of the Harmony Grove Mill. The lot was contributed by the Rev. W. B. J. Hardman and the building was erected by Rev. H. E. Hardman, who became the first pastor and served until 1911, a period of sixteen years. The building was the original church house of the Harmony Grove Baptist Church and was taken down and removed to Madison Street at the time the Harmony Grove Baptist Church erected a new brick building, which is now the Commerce First Baptist Church. This church has been encouraged and partly supported by the Harmony Grove Mills. It has cooperated with the Baptist program and has been a liberal contributor to same, having from the beginning a very active Sunday School with well organized and prepared teachers. This church entertained the Sunday School Convention in 1941. It is also active in the training of young people, having maintained an active Baptist Training Union. The following have served as pastors: Rev. H. E. Hardman, Rev. W. M. Pettit, Rev. Chas. Rowe, Rev. W. L. Culbertson, Rev. M. A. Love, Rev. R. J. Tyler, Rev. G. H. Collins, Rev. P. M. Webb, Rev. G. H. Davis, Rev. Clyde Smith, and Rev. Edward L. Aiken, the present pastor. Those who have served as deacons are: Wm. Thurmond, C. T. Nash, J. L. Lord, E. J. Pruitt, G. C. Steele, H. C. Minish, Charley Turner, O. G. Chandler, A. R. Owens, D. P. Morrison, Archie Davis, W. E. Williams, P. D. Howington, Woodie Phillips, J. J. Morrison, D. L. Nunn, S. R. Spurlock, J. R. Toney, L. Burruss Morrison, H. Odell Williams, W. L. Ayers, Andrew O'Kelley, Clyde O. Nunn, L. H. Clarke, Emory E. Vaughn, Martin F. Allen, W. M. Saxon, V. Turner Allen, H. A. James, Luke L. Smallwood, Rufus O'Kelley, R. S. Gillespie, and A. M. Hampton. Those who have served as clerks are: F. O. Whitehead, C. T. Nash, J. H. Webb, W. A. Webb, Charlie Turner, G. C. Steele, John Thomas, P. D. Howington, O. G. Chandler, D. P. Morrison, Robert S. Wheeler, C. O. Nunn, H. Odell Williams, C. L. Burns, Sr., and Wilson Morrison. The present clerk is. Kyle Savage. Those serving the church as treasurer are: J. W. Massey, P. D. Howington, H. E. Williams, L. Burruss Morrison, H. Odell Williams, W. L. Ayers, Emory E. Vaughn, B. L. Sea-graves, V. Turner Allen, Miss Hilda Boswell, and L. L. Smallwood. Sunday School superintendents are as follows: W. F. Stark, Robert Howington, Jack Cash, T. S. Coleman, F. A. Cole-man, Callie O'Kelley, M. C. Bellew, H. C. Minnish, G. C. Steele, H. E. Williams, Archie Davis, D. L. Nunn, D. P. Morrison, P. D. Howington, V. Turner Allen, Kyle Savage, Melvin Minnish, H. Odell Williams, and Rufus O'Kelley. The present superintendent is A. M. Hampton. In 1941 the church called Rev. Edward L. Aiken, of Gainesville, as pastor. It has perhaps been during his ministry that our church has made more progress than in any other years of her history. There has been a large increase in our membership and attendance. The building program during his pastorate includes: three additional Sunday School classrooms, a pastor's study, two restrooms and the vestibule. The church has been repainted both on the inside and outside, new carpets and light fixtures added and an oil furnace installed. Present membership 600. The present church officers include: Pastor, Rev. Edward L. Aiken. Deacons: A. M. Hampton, H. Odell Williams, Rufus O'Kelley, L. L. Smallwood, R. S. Gilespie, W. F. Williams, and H. A. James. HARMONY GROVE-COMMERCE METHODIST CHURCH: The first record in this community of the Harmony Grove-Commerce Methodist Church is taken from a Sunday School record book (this book was presented in 1921 to the Commerce News by John Gober who was the grandson of H. B. Gober). The record book covers a period from 1843 to 185 I in which is indicated a Sunday School was organized in 1843 at Adaline Methodist Church, two miles south of Harmony Grove on the Athens road, probably between the T. P. Hudson place and the S. R. Hood place on the west side of the road. Afterwards at this spot there was a school house known as the Hood School. In this Adaline Sunday School were the following names: Christopher Sewell, Eli Shankle, James W. Shankle, Reuben Nash, William Johnson, William LaMaster, H. B. Gober, William Gober, and Linton C. Dunson. The Adaline Church seems to have later been moved to Harmony Grove and located near the present home of Mrs. L. J. Sharp on the opposite side of Shankle Street. Sometime later this place of worship was again moved and located near the old Farrabee home site outside the city limit, some quarter of a mile and on the east side of the railroad. This church was known as Sandy Level. The place is marked by a small grave yard. In 1874 this church was moved to its present site on a lot donated by S. M. Shankle. The present membership is 460. The following is a list of Stewards and Trustees: F. H. Adams Claud Montgomery Herbert Sharp A. D. Bolton Milton Nix T. J. Syfan W. D. Bolton Ralph Pardue Fred Tanner C. H. Beard F. E. Durst, Jr. W. M. Veal James Wilbanks Charles L. Brown, Jr. W. W. Foster J. D. Parham Thomas L. Conn J. L. Hope N. H. Perry R. M. Davidson J. E. Jarrell W. R. Pickins Tom Mealor Corner Fowler R. L. Sanders James Wilbanks, Superintendent of Sunday School. The following is a list of the preachers of the Harmony Grove-Commerce Methodist Church: HARMONY GROVE:
J. T. Curtis 1879-1881 J. R. Parker 1882-1883 W. W. Lampkin 1884 Rev. Murrah 1885 J. B. Allen 1886 Rev. Embry 1887 Rev. Bond 1888-1889 George W. Duval 1890-1891 R. Branham 1892-1893 J. D. Milton 1894-1895 C. A. Jamison 1896 G. W. Griner 1847-1898 M. L. Troutman 1900 W. T. M. Bell 1901 G. M. Eakes 1902-1903 COMMERCE:
G. M. Eakes 1904-1905 A. A. Tilly 1906 W. R. Foot 1907-1908 Walter Robison 1909-1910 Frank Quinlan 1911-1913 T. Eakes 1914 K. Read 1915-1916 V. P. Scoville 1917-1918 J. Lytle Jones Supply 1918 J. E. Ellis 1919-1920 Irby Henderson 1921-1922 J. R. Turner 1923-1925 J. R. Jordan 1926-1927 J. H. Allison 1928-1929 G. E. Barrett 1930-1931 A. Lee Hale 1932-1933 J. P. Irwin 1934-1935 J. O. Brand 1936-1938 F. E. Crutcher 1939-1941 C. W. Fruit 1942-1948 Hubert Dodd, present Pastor THE HARMONY GROVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: On July 28, 1882, Rev. R. W. Milner, evangelist of Athens Presbytery, and Rev. Groves H. Cartledge held a meeting ina little log school house near their first permanent church building on Homer Street. On July 30th, Rev. Cartledge preached from Isaiah 54: 5, after which they proceeded with the organization of a church with the following members: T. E. Key and Mary E. Bird from Hebron Church; T. M. Daniels from Athens; Dr. R. R. Harden from Smyrna; Mrs. Coles from Gainesville; Mr. M. T. Davis and wife from Wilson's Church; Mr. and Mrs. E. A. McDonald from Thyatira; and Mr. T. Cole on profession. The following officers were elected: Elders: T. E. Key, T. M. Daniel, E. A. McDonald. Deacons: Dr. R. R. Harden, T. Cole. T. M. Daniel was elected Clerk of the Session. Rev. H. F. Hoyt, Rev. Milner, Rev. Stevens, Dr. Henry Newton, Dr. Cleveland and Dr. Cartledge supplied the church until Dr. Hoyt was elected pastor in 1884. In 1883 the Independent Presbyterians of Savannah, Ga., gave the church $200.00 to be used on a house of worship. On July 11, 1886, the day the church was dedicated, a meeting was held in the afternoon and arrangements made for an afternoon Sunday School, members of other denominations cooperating. Meetings were held in the little school house until July, 1885, after which they met for one year in the Methodist Church. In January, 1884, a lot was purchased from J. N. Wood for $200.00. The building was erected on this lot and dedicated on July 11, 1886. The membership being small, the construction was slow and the different members took part in the building and contributed different parts of the furnishings. T. E. Key furnished the blinds; T. Cole made the pews; and W. T. Stapler gave the organ. The membership gradually increased. The Hoyts came in 1884; the Telfords in 1888; the Littles in 1889; the Burns in 1891; Mrs. Barnett in 1892; the Smiths in 1892; E. P. Eberhart in 1893; the Mizes in 1893; the Watsons in 1893; Mrs. Owens and Miss Alice Owens in 1893; the Kemps in 1891; G. L. Carson and family in 1896; and the Rices in 1899. Our membership is still small but many members have gone out to take leadership in other places. On April 6, 1905 the name of the church was changed from Harmony Grove Presbyterian Church to Commerce Presbyterian Church. In June, 1910, it was decided to change the location and erect a new church building. By October of the same year, $7,358.00 had been subscribed for the purpose. A trade was made with L. L. Davis to exchange their present house and lot for a lot on the corner of Cherry and Bowden Streets, paying him $1,500.00 difference. Later two lots were sold from the original lot fronting on Bowden Street for $550.00 each. The erection of this building was begun and completed in 1912 at a total cost of $12,850.00. This beautiful structure in the center of town furnishes an ample place of worship and service. In July, 1919, the purchase of the manse was decided upon. The purchase was made January 24, 1920. They bought from W. Y. Harber a seven room house on Shankle Street for $7,-500.00. Rev. John A. Simpson was the first occupant. In all the construction and improvement of buildings, the women of the church have been of invaluable help in all the undertakings of the church; in the furnishings and equipping of the Manse, installing the heating plant and the pews and in many ways showing their devotion to the cause. The present membership is 130. On October 9, 1946, the Presbyterian Church passed resolutions in appreciation of the faithful, long service in the church of Mrs. A. B. Deadwyler as organist and assistant organist; Mr. George Rice as Superintendent of the Sunday School, and of Mrs. George Rice as Sunday School teacher of the Beginners Class in the Sunday School. Mrs. Ernest Jackson deserves special recognition for her long service as organist in the church. In January, 1906, Dr. L. G. Hardman tendered the Presbyterian Church and each of the other religious denominations a room in his Sanitorium for the free use and treatment for the poor of their congregation who needed medical care and with the provision that congregation supply the necessary furnishings for its room. This proposition was accepted with thanks by each congregation but did not materialize as a practical plan. PASTORS WHO HAVE SERVED THE COMMERCE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: For two years after its organization, several preachers sup plied the pulpit from Sabbath to Sabbath. In 1884, Dr. Hoyt was called as a regular pastor. From that date on the pastors have been: H. F. Hoyt, total of fifteen years; Rev. Stevens, four years; H. S. Allyn, three years; D. J. Blackwell, two years; J. D. McPhail, one year; George M. Telford, three years; J. N. McCord, two years; W. R. Henderson, four years; John A. Simpson, six years; W. W. Pippin, three years; H. R. Foster, fifteen years; Reid Newland, four years; Robert J. Marshman, the present pastor, who is serving his first year. The church began by having services once a month. In 1896 they called for two Sundays. Since 1905 they have varied from full time to three quarter time. The present pastor is giving his full time. The following have served the church as Elders: T. E. Key, E. A. McDonald, T. M. Daniel, W. G. Alexander, J. N. Telford, W. N. Burns, W. L. Little, G. L. Carson, Sr., R. L. Smith, R. E. Kemp, E. P. Eberhart, Claud Little, D. M. Burns, T. A. Little, W. S. Mize, E. B. Watson, George T. Rice, G. P. Martin, T. N. Mize, W. B. Rice, C. W. Voiles, W. T. Stapler and H. P. Little. Deacons: Dr. R. R. Harden, T. Cole, J. W. Carrington, J. N. Marbury, C. A. Mize, A. P. Rice, M. C. Arthur, C. N. Bird, A. C. Carson, W. A. Echols, W. D. Martin, C. W. Hood, Jr., T. P. Coker, R. F. Powers, Joe Deadwyler, Lauren McDonald, F. M. Fuller, W. A. Gibbs, A. S. Johnson, C. C. Ward, L. A. Richardson, and W. A. Stevenson. Sunday School Superintendents: T. E. Key in 1883; J. N. Telford served more than twenty years to 1908; Claud Little for a total of fourteen years; H. B. Bible two years; R. L. J. Smith, two years, and George T. Rice, a total of twenty-three years. Clerks: T. M. Daniel, ten years; W. G. Alexander, W. B. Burns, thirty-four years; Claud Little, twelve years; C. W. Voiles, four years; G. P. Martin, the present clerk, six years. Personal sketches of two pioneer Presbyterian preachers of Harmony Grove and this section of Northeast Georgia. REV. GROVES H. CARTLEDGE: Rev. Groves Cartledge was a Presbyterian preacher high in the Presbyterian Church of the northeastern part of the state. He was born February 15, 1820 in Madison County and was the son of Samuel and Agnes Groves Cartledge. He at-tended the common schools in Madison, Jackson and Gwinnett counties, also Old Oglethorpe at Midway and Columbia Seminary. He settled in Franklin County about one mile from Hebron Church, where he spent forty-seven years as pastor of Hebron Church and other Presbyterian churches in this section. He was also a successful school teacher and became a scholar of recognized ability. Mr. Cartledge was a leader in the founding of the Harmony Grove Presbyterian Church. He died July 5, 1899 in his eightieth year. DR. HENRY F. HOYT: Dr. Hoyt was the son of Rev. Nathan Hoyt, born in Athens, Ga., in 1833. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1851 and completed his theological course at the Presbyterian Seminary at Columbia, S. C. He was chaplain in the Confederate Army and afterward preached at Darien for some time. He for more than thirty years served churches in Northeast Georgia at Elberton, Commerce, Cornelia, Maysville, Homer, and other points. Dr. Hoyt was much admired for his lovable character and ability as a preacher and pastor. He supplied the Harmony Grove Presbyterian Church in its early days and was called as pastor in 1884. He served as pastor at different times for a total of fifteen years and was well known and universally loved during his ministry in Harmony Grove and Commerce. He passed away at the Hardman Sanatorium in Commerce in 1912 and was buried at Maysville, Georgia.