Hello, Wilcox County Georgia researchers! We are Janet Moore and Janice McGough and
we are your hosts for Wilcox County. We
welcome your suggestions and comments on what you would like to see posted here.
If you have bible records, cemetery records, family stories, will records, deed
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The Creation of Wilcox County Georgia
Wilcox County was created from Dooly, Irwin, and
Pulaski counties 22 December 1857. Wilcox County was named for General Mark Willcox, state legislator and one of the founders of the Georgia Supreme
Court. These counties were the home of many Revolutionary War
Soldiers who were granted land or drew land in the land lotteries. Shortly after
Wilcox County was created, the Civil War was fought and, once again, Wilcox
County volunteers fought bravely in battle. For more information on these
early soldiers, please see our military pages.
The settlers came for the free land and stayed for
the beautiful streams, rivers and pine forests. It was the land
of milk and honey, if your cow survived, and your sweet tooth made you crazy
enough to fight the bears and bees for it. The pioneers of the Georgia
frontier had made it to Ocmulgee River by 1804. The Ocmulgee River is the area's
largest river. This river was the only boundary between the pioneers on the east
bank and the Creek Indians on the west. It was a situation filled with conflict
resulting in bloodshed on both sides of the river. Some of the major
battles of the Creek Indian War were fought on the banks of the Ocmulgee. The
Ocmulgee was the river transportation in the early days.
The Alapaha River winds through the western section of the county. These
Wilcox county sections of the river were the favorite grounds of marauding
Seminole Indians in 1836-1837 time frame.
There are also some nice springs in the county, among them is Poor Robin
Poor Robin Spring is said to have been named for an Indian
chief who was said to have been healed after bathing in its ice-cold waters.
The spring became a popular mineral spa. A venison ham more than
100 years old was taken from the depths of the spring and found to be petrified. Oscewitchee Spring, also a cold spring, was once a very poplar recreational
area. Many family reunions have been held there with the watermelons
being kept cool in the shallows. Look
if you would like to see some younguns having a good time at the spring.
Both springs are privately owned now.
Plans to extend the railroad into Wilcox County were
finalized in early 1887. On October 17, 1887 the first train came roaring down
the track to a new town that had been formed at the focal point where the
railroad crossed the Hawkinsville-Irwinville Road. The new town was Rochelle.
The railroad was a magnet that attracted newcomers to Wilcox county and they
came in droves. New stations sprung up due to demand. Colonel Hawkins, the
railroad magnate received all these appeals for new stations and post offices
while in Europe with his young daughters. He named one station "Alamo" and left
it to his daughters to name the rest. They chose the names of the cities they
had enjoyed in Europe: Seville, in Spain; La Rochelle, in France; Milan in
Italy; and Rhine for the Rhine River. The new station at Ashley Pitt's store was
simply called Pitts.
There are four major municipalities in Wilcox County,
Abbeville, Pitts, Pineview and Rochelle. Abbeville is the county
seat, however, Rochelle is the largest of the four.
Surrounding counties are
Farming was the major occupation of the early
settlers and a large portion of Wilcox County residents farm today.
The long summer season and mild winter are ideal for the farming of many crops.
Farmers and their families bought very few items from the store. They raised
sugar cane to make their own sugar and syrup, grew vegetables in their gardens
which the women canned to preserve for the winter, made their own soap, and
raised corn which they ground into grits and meal. They raised cows, pigs and
chickens for the family food. Some of the old smokehouses where the meats were
cured are still standing today. Wilcox County is the state's second
largest producer of watermelons and among the top producers of cantaloupe.
Peanuts, corn, soybeans, cotton, tobacco and pecans are also profitable crops
for the local farmers. In earlier days turpentine industry was thriving and many
people made their living harvesting and selling rosin, lumber and turpentine.
Each May The Ocmulgee Wild Hog Festival is held
in Abbeville. There is plenty of barbecue, arts and crafts,
a hog baying contest, a display of wild boars, an unusual beauty pageant
of men and an antique car show. Want more information?.... just email them
Research sources for the history portion of
Passing of the Pines by Mary Lou McDonald and Samuel Jordan Lawson III.
Published and copyrighted 1984.
A History of Savannah and South Georgia by William Harden
Huxford Genealogy Society Publications
The Georgia Genealogists Publications
Personal memories of Zaroga Goff
Personal memories of Hazel Helms Gordon
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With Other Wilcox County Researchers
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want to read some