Sunday, March 30, 2008

Some Hogansville Black History, Troup County

In Hogansville around 1880, there were two blacksmith’s shops, run by two black men, Billie Martin and Oliver Phillips. There were also two wood shops, one owned by C R Phillips and the other by W. J. Prather. There was a shoe shop ran by Uncle Nat Epps.

In Hogansville around 1890, there was a black Postmaster by the name of John Clopton. He bought, from P. O. Whitaker, the building where the Hogansville Cleaners now stands now and he ran a restaurant in the back part of the building. Clopton also owned the various other properties around Hogansville, which was very rare for a black man in the area.

Willis Hatton who was the first black funeral director in Hogansville owned the land on which the first funeral home was built and also the land on which the first unit of the Masonic Building was located on West Main Street. He also owned a large farm and home near Hogansville and extensive property in the black community.

Isaac Loftin was the second black Postmaster in Hogansville; he served in the administration of William McKinley.

Seborn “Sonny” Johnson was a rock mason. Charlie Mobley, Garland Byrd and Charles Thrash were brick masons. John Wilkins, Gilbert Lakes and James Sanders were builders and carpenters. Sulay Bryant was the only plasterer in town. Many homes and building in Hogansville attest to the skill of these men.

Ed Shank was the first black undertaker in Hogansville; he also operated a barbershop in the Hatton Building.

Pearl Herndon had a restaurant famous for its soul food. Downstairs was a well-known recreation room, which served as a black nightclub, very popular with the young and the young at heart.

The next funeral home was Hatton and Thrash, John and Willis. Willis Hatton was wealthy, owning much property in West End of Hogansville and out in the county.

Buddy Green owned a grocery store on Lee Street for many years. Mr. W. D. Woodall, who had been a teacher went to California but returned to open a general store in what is part of Thrash Funeral Home now.

The earliest black school was in the vicinity of St Mary Church. Mr. M. Parks was an early superintendent in the 20’s and early 30’s. In the 30’s a four-room school was built by the WPA labor when E.R. Wilburn was principal. Later a vocational building was added and Mr. J. C. King came as Vocational-Agriculture teacher. There were three rooms and a shop in this building.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dianne - thank you for these factoids about the black community in Hogansville, GA. However, do you have source(s) for this information?