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[GA] Sumpter County Chronology

Local Black History Chronology
compiled by Alan Anderson

early 1828 Avery Wheeler, Jacob W. Cobb, Thomas Key, Isom West,

John Kimmey, Edmund Nunn and two blacks, Richmond and

Judy, his wife, came across Flint River at Shelby's

Ferry to be pioneers of originally Lee, now Sumter
July 1834 "common burying ground for the citizens of Americus"

established on 3 acres, Lot 1, Square P, where "the

present Baptist meeting house now stands" (north side

Ashby at Eastview Cemetery)
Aug. 1834 Martin Miller and Royal Jenkins advertised Danville,

Americus' chief rival for twenty years, north of Hwy.

27, 28th District (the town possessed a Masonic hall,

church, warehouse, carriage shop, blacksmith, four

stores and a bakery, the latter owned by John Hardy

Newsome and his wife Clarissa, "both free colored,

but of considerable means")
May 1859 Scott's Mater Tabernacle C.M.E., the city's first

black church, organized when Thomas C. Sullivan dona-

ted 1/2 acre (northwest corner Anchrom and Hampton)

to M.E. Church, South trustees, T.M. Furlow, A.A. Ad-

ams, A.C. Hornady, W.W. Ford and W.M. Hardwick, on

behalf of their slaves, built and named for Rev. W.J.

Scott of Americus Methodist
Apr. 1864 Bethlehem Baptist Church established in 17th District

(west side Thomas Mill Rd. at Pessell Creek)
Oct. 1865 Pvt. Prat Martin, Co. G, 147th Illinois Regt., white,

married Emma Poe, former slave of J.H. Black's, by

Rev. G.T. Wilburn of Americus Baptist Church (Martin

was tarred and feathered and run out of town by his

fellow soldiers)
Aug. 1866 Rev. Geo. F. Cooper organized first black Baptist

church in Americus, Bethesda (west side Forrest south

of Church)
June 1868 Old Shady Grove Baptist Church organized near New Era
Aug. 1868 Mrs. Mary B. Brown deeded Bethesda Baptist Church its

lot on Forrest to Booker Norman, James Jones, Lyman

Butler, Peter Ragland and Hugh Bivins, trustees
May 1871 "Lebanon Colored Baptist Church" organized in Plains

of Dura
Oct. 1874 "City Blues", first local black militia organized,

Capt. E.W. Ansley, commanding ("Americus Guards",

Capt. D.S. Harris, commanding, organized second)
July 1876 C.M.E. trustees J.R. Covington, George Andrews, Cato

Key, Austin Jones and Dennis J. Shepard branded Rev.

N.B. Sterrett, A.M.E., a liar in the burning of ori-

ginal Scott's Mater Tabernacle sanctuary
Oct. 1877 dedication of first A.M.E. church (originally organi-

zed in 1859), with Bishop Campbell, D.D., officiating

(northeast corner Jackson and Wild)
Spring1880 Ebenezer Baptist Church organized, Rev. Joseph McGra-

dy, pastor (south side Sweetwater Creek, 29th Dist.)
May 1880 Mrs. Ella E. Clark donated 1 acre lot to Welcome Bap-

tist Church (south side Middle River Rd. east of Ga.

195)
Nov. 1880 "Colored" Odd Fellows Lodge organized in Americus
Jan. 1881 Literary Club organized, G.W.F. Phillips, president,

A.R. Cooper, secretary, Miss S.M. Lowry, treasurer
Mar. 1881 Martha M. Gwynes sold 2 acres for Freeman Hill Ceme-

tery, Peter Lowe, Turner Hall, Asbury Harrison, John

Epkins, Sam Peterson, trustees (east side Burma Rd.

just south of Andersonville)
May 1881 Mt. Olive Baptist Church began construction (north-

west corner Jefferson and Poplar)
July 1882 Mt. Olive Baptist Church dedicated, Rev. J.C. Bryan,

pastor
June 1883 Bethel African Missionary Baptist Church organized,

Rev. B.B. Hinton, officiating, Rev. Stephen White,

pastor, bought and moved into Presbyterians' former

antebellum sanctuary (north side Lamar near north-

west corner Lamar and Prince)
Aug. 1883 Elbert Head and James Ellis were first blacks to ever

serve on Sumter Superior Court jury
July 1884 McCay (pronounced McCoy) Hill School construction be-

gan, Americus' first black public school, Samuel Ste-

vens and Jefferson Jones, local black architects
Aug. 1884 dedication of New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist

Church, Rev. Alex H. Hall, pastor (south side Mask

Rd. west of Brady Rd.)
Mar. 1885 Geo. W.F. Phillips and Lee Jones started Franklin

Square Library, at McCay Hill School, Americus' first

public library for blacks
Aug. 1886 "The Americus Monitor", first local black newspaper,

edited and published by Prof. G.W.F. Phillips, McCay

Hill School principal
May 1887 Rev. J.C. Bryant, of Americus, elected President,

State Baptist Convention
Oct. 1887 Southwest Baptist Association bought 17 acres on N.

Lee to erect black center of higher education, ulti-

mately the Americus Institute
Jan. 1890 Americus-Columbus Institute incorporated (present

site of A.S. Staley Middle School) by A.J. Allen, R.

Munson, A.S. Staley, A.W. Walker, O.C. Green, W.W.

McKenzie, S.S. Humbert, B. Carter, with name changed

to Americus Institute Sept. 1902
Feb. 1890 local black Republican Party leader, David A. Dudley,

was appointed Americus postmaster by President Benj.

Harrison, but strenuous opposition from Congressman

Chas. F. Crisp and the local Democratic power struc-

ture killed the nomination; Emily Robinson sold Tri-

nity A.M.E. Church its 1/4 acre lot, in Isomville, a

black suburb at the intersection of Furlow and Tripp,

Julius Dixon, James Kendrick, Abram Purdy, trustees

(consolidated with Allen Chapel A.M.E. in 1965)
Aug. 1890 John R. McNeill deeded Joe Dowdell, Jackson Carter,

J.M. Littleton, trustees Shady Grove Baptist Church,

1 1/6 acre (south side New Era Rd. halfway between

Hwy. 49 and New Era)
Oct. 1890 Ed Timmerman sold St. Paul's A.M.E. Church its land,

Charles E. Little, Prince Sanders, Edmond Little,

Godfrey Kleckley, Henry Evans, John King, Jackson

Hicks, trustees (northeast corner Della Glass Rd.

and Logan Store Rd.)
Nov. 1891 "Americus Tribune", weekly black newspaper, began

publication
Oct. 1892 death of Elbert Head, prominent local black capital-

ist and Republican Party leader
Mar. 1893 Mary J. Taylor sold Mt. Creek A.M.E. Church its 1 a-

cre lot in Andersonville, "where church house now

stands", Isaac Watson, Green Watson, John Walker,

Jackson King, Louis Gant, Wilburn Johnson, Aaron Wat-

son, Stephen Gant, Green Waters, trustees (now loca-

ted north side Sam Bradley Rd. just west of Ga. 195)
Aug. 1895 Friendship Baptist Church organized, Rev. J.C. Bryan,

pastor (east side Cotton north of Wheeler)
May 1896 R.L. Kite sold Mt. Carmel A.M.E. Church its 1 acre

lot, Simon Merritt, Joe Terry, George Chaney, Frank

Hooks, Jerry Walters, trustees (west side Hooks Mill

Rd. south of Mask Rd.)
July 1896 cornerstone ceremony for Scott's Mater Tabernacle

C.M.E.'s brick sanctuary, Rev. G.A. Thomas, pastor
Oct. 1897 Americus Institute opened with two teachers and nine

pupils in a small, two-room cottage, as a high school
Apr. 1898 Masonic Grand Master W.E. Terry led cornerstone cere-

mony for Masonic Orphans Home, 3-story brick edifice,

dedicated June 1903 (south side Brinson between

Jackson and Lee)
June 1898 Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church bought 1 acre

from DeSoto Plantation Co., Lige Hardaway and Pleas

Gosha, trustees (now west side DeSoto Seed Farm Rd.

just south of DeSoto)

see the rest years 1901-2005

http://www.sumtercountyhistory.com/history/BlackHx.htm


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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