Current Events (1837-1849)

Civic organizations abounded in Liberty County 20 years before the Civil War. The Social Hunting Club of Liberty County celebrated its anniversary at Riceboro in 1837. There were also the Liberty County Hunting Club, the Liberty County Agricultural Society, and Liberty County Temper­ance Society, the Liberty County Association for the Reli­gious Instruction of the Colored Population, and the Liberty County Bible Society.


The state appropriated $1,500 in 1838 to remove obstacles from Taylors Creek. The Liberty County Inferior Court appointed commissioners to get the job done. The waterway was used by farmers in that section to transport their farm products to near Hughes Landing on the Altamaha River, for farther shipment via the river to other points.


It was on May 15, 1838, that Raymond B. Harris was born in Bryan County. Georgia. He was educated at Sunbury Academy, and became a medical doctor like his father.


The state legislature in 1839 authorized the Superior Courts of the Eastern District to hold an extra session in Liberty County each year. As the population of the county grew, so did the case load of the Liberty County Superior Court.


The Sunbury post office was discontinued in 1841. At least some of its postmasters were Henry Schmid, John Dollar, Mydeet van Yeversen, James Holmes, Steven S. Wing, Thomas Helm, David Carter, Truman T. Whiteville, Paul Hathaway, Robert Law, Oliver Stevens, and Oliver W. Stevens.


The congregation of the Taylors Creek Methodist Church erected a new church building in 1841. It served as their house of worship for the next 100 years.


Liberty County in 1841 produced 261 bushels of rye, 12 bushels of buckwheat, 91,000 bushels of corn, 3,500 pounds of wool, 14 pounds of hops, 477 pounds of wax, 88,000 pounds of sweet potatoes, 451 pounds of hay, 223,000 pounds of rice, 347,000 pounds of cotton, 20 pounds of silk cocoons, and 8,451 pounds of sugar.


The Taylors Creek Methodist Church in 1842 appointed Edward Way, John Wells. E.Q. Andrews, Thomas I. Shep­pard. and David Zoucks as trustees of “the Methodist church in Hinesville.” First pastors of the church were Reverend W.B. Busbee and Reverend Capel Raiford. The latter was the son of Maurice Raiford of Jefferson County, Georgia, and eventually relocated in Thomas County, Georgia, where he died at the age of 81 on April 8, 1885.


The Mount Olivet Methodist Church in the Fleming commmunity was founded in 1843 by John Stacy and Hannah McCall Adams of Liberty County. Its congregation erected a church building on property donated for the purpose by William and James Clark.


It was in 1843 that Grant Wilkins was born at Sunbury. He was a member of the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and afterward resided elsewhere in the state. He never lost contact with Liberty County, and was active over the years in several county civic endeavors, like the Stewart ­Screven Monument. He became one of the most proficient engineers in Georgia history.


Dorchester village was established, generally by residents of Sunbury, in 1843. It was located about half-way between Midway Church and Sunbury.


The Liberty Guards, a volunteer militia organization, was organized at Jones Creek in the 16th Militia District by Enoch Daniel in 1845. Its first captain was James Robinson Bird. It had an armory and parade ground near Jones Creek Baptist Church, and a secondary parade ground near Ebenez­er Baptist Church in Tattnall County. It celebrated Its first anniversary on May 3, 1846, at the parade ground near Taylors Creek Union Academy. The celebration was organ­ized by First Sergeant James H. Alexander. Private John A. Hendry made what a Savannah newspaper called “a stirring speech.”


Charlton Hines ran for reelection as state senator In 1844. A Savannah newspaper accused him of cowardice and deser­tion while a member of the Liberty Independent Troop during the War of 1812. Hines produced affidavits from various persons to disprove the charge and was reelected. Joseph Jones, captain of the Liberty Independent Troop In the War of 1812, in 1845 wrote a long letter to the Savannah news­paper confirming that Hines had indeed failed in 1815 just before the end of the War of 1812 to repair at the proper time and place for active duty after being duly notified.


Liberty Union Lodge No. 96, Free and Accepted Masons, was organized at Taylors Creek in 1849 with 26 members, Some of its first officers were M.D. Mooney, Worshipful Master; M.J. Moody, Senior Warden; DJ. Baggs, Junior Warden; D.S. Baggs, Treasurer; W .P. Girardeau, Secretary; John Delk, Senior Deacon, and A. Hodges, Junior Deacon.


A busy place in the 16th Militia District during this period of time was a blacksmith shop and a general store near Pigott Branch operated by George Howard and his son, Jacob Howard. The Howards migrated from Virginia to Liberty County in 1812.


The population of Liberty County in 1849 was 1,854 white persons and 5,517 slaves and free black persons. The population of Hinesville, the county seat, was less than 100 persons. There were 12 churches in the county, 111 children attended Poor Schools, and the county paid taxes amounting to $3,629.