Depression Years In Liberty County (1930)

By early 1930, Liberty County was feeling the harsh reality of the economic depression by now affecting most parts of America. The county depended for its survival on the sale of farm products and naval stores, and there was virtually no market for them during the first year of the depression.


The county’s taxable wealth in 1930 was $1,739,891, its tax rate was 19 mills, and its total county-wide indebtedness was $176,159, including bonds to build schools at Dorches­ter ($14,000), Hinesville ($19,000), Willie ($15,000), and Taylors Creek ($10,000). The City of Hinesville had a bond indebtedness of $48,000.


To stimulate the local economy, the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce was organized in Hinesville on Febru­ary 13, 1930. H.C. Saunders was elected its president, Joseph B. Fraser Jr. was elected its vice president, D.S. Owen was elected secretary, and T.H. McDowell was elected treasurer.


During a meeting of the Liberty County Chamber of Com­merce on March 3, 1930, also in Hinesville, W.P. Gooden, H.F. Long, G .C. lambert, H.C. Saunders, Strong Ashmore, E.G. Smith, S.B. Brewton, and C.A. May were elected directors of the organization.


A real estate committee of the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce was appointed, also on March 3, 1930. It con­sisted of  D.C. Martin Sr. as chairman, and L.F. Bacon, T.H. McDowell, Wallace F. Mills, S.B. Brewton, and R.M. (“Bob”) Martin as members.


To publicize the commercial possibilities in Liberty Coun­ty, a booklet titled “Liberty County, In the Heart of the Coastal Empire” was compiled by the Liberty County Cham­ber of Commerce. The Savannah Chamber of Commerce published the booklet free of charge. The real estate commit­tee also wrote and produced programs using local talent, which were aired as a public service by radio station WTOC in Savannah, Georgia.


The Hinesville Telephone Company in 1930 installed 18 miles of line to Midway and Riceboro for seven subscribers, two at Dorchester Academy, and the others alongside U.S. Highway 17. All of them paid $5 a month for the service.


James Harford Morgan established the J.H. Morgan Sea­food Company at Sunbury in 1930. He was born at Sunbury in 1899, the son of James Wilson and Eugenia Poppell Morgan, and married Rachel A. Todd, daughter of Eugene and Sular Todd of the Gum Branch community.