People, Places, and Things (1914-1917)

Georgia paid Liberty County still another high honor in 1914 when it created a new county and named it in honor of Augustus O. Bacon. Bacon was a descendent of Joseph Law, who migrated from South Carolina to the Midway Dis­trict in 1754.


Something new came to Liberty County in 1915 when James R. Bagley established the Hinesville Bottling Company. It manufactured Cheri-Cola and other varieties of soft drinks.


The 1756th Militia District was instituted out of the 16th and 17th Militia Districts by the Liberty County Board of Commissioners in 1916. The action was approved by the governor the next year. The new district encompassed the Gum Branch community.


J .R. Elarbee was the Willie postmaster in 1917. He was replaced that year by Alma Darsey. She moved the post office to a millinery shop she operated in town.


If you had visited Hinesville during this period of time and walked around courthouse square, you would have seen the Magnolia, Hines, Laing, and Caswell hotels. They were all two-story wooden structures with from five to ten rooms each. They were similar to the Barclay House operated by J.L. Harden in Walthourville. The home of Beulah Hines Fraser, also the Hinesville post office, was on one comer of courthouse square, up a short alley from which was the home of Elbert Calhoun and Carrie Linda Brooks Miller.


General stores around courthouse square were operated by Jesse G. and R.M. Ryon, E.C. Miller, C.B. Jones, Charly Hines, and Bruce C. McCall. Marshall Reveire operated the only drug store in town. Ludowici had a larger business district and population than Hinesville.


If you had walked up North Main Street, you would have passed the home of Annie Belle Darsey Ryon on the corner of courthouse square across from the Fraser home, some vacant lots, and then come to the home of J. Madison Smith. Across the Flemington, Hinesville & Western Railroad tracks was a freight warehouse. It was later used by the Martin and Brewer Ford Motor Company, and many, many years later as an indoor basketball court by Bradwell Institute.


The railroad depot was across the street from the Smith home. Across a narrow lane (now Washington Street) was the home of E.C. (“Nuck”) Caswell. His wife, Ellen Long Caswell, operated a boarding house, while he operated a farm in fields across North Main Street from his home, and in the rear of his home to Bradwell Institute, or where it would be located in 1927.


Hinesville during those years was a sleepy farm town which came alive only during sessions of the Liberty County Superior Court twice a year. The courthouse and railroad depot were the only places in town where there was much activity most of the time.