1886 List of Men to work on Roads in Gore area

1886 Road Work in Dirt Town, Chattooga County

Submitted by Thomas Weaver Weesner

From its earliest days to the turn of the 20th century, Chattooga County’s roads, like most of the counties’ in North Georgia, were laid out and maintained by its citizens.  The system required that all able-bodied men from 16 to late middle-age devote a specified number of days or pay a fee so that others could be hired in their places.  The program had limited success—some men would neither work nor pay the tax for not working, many who were initially listed as potential workers turned out to be too young or too old to be of any help.  The rolls for the various militia districts have numerous “non est” notations meaning that the road commissioners could not find the individuals within the bounds of the county. 

The following records were located during the progress of the Loose Records project undertaken several years ago by volunteers from the Chattooga County Historical Society, in cooperation with the Georgia Archives.  While other records pertaining to road maintenance were found in the loose records and still more may be found in bound court records, it was unusual to find a complete roster for an entire militia district in Chattooga County.

Given the destruction of the 1890 U.S. Federal Census, we hope that this listing of many of the able-bodied men of Dirt Town in 1886 may help someone in placing an ancestor for that time period.



No. 1 – From top of Taylor’s Ridge to a mile past William Owings

Hix & McLeod – No. Bondsme

Thomas Williamson pd

Willy McCay pd

Dick Johnston wk

Henry Johnston wk 28 dys

Jas. Cooper pd

Dock Ware pd

R.D. Jones √

Willie Green wk

John T. Wooten pd

Oscar Gore wk

Walt Gore wk

Norman McCollum pd

Richard Cheney pd

Dave Spear √

George Woodall √

Joe Bryant Gone

Andy Farmer Too Young

John Wooten

Jas. Doster pd

Thos. Doster pd

Jerome Morton Over Age

G.W. Morton pd

Tean Hayes pd

Thos. Chase pd

Will Haze pd

Joe Hunter pd

Parks Millican pd

Thos. Smith Under Age

Lige Smith pd

Forrest Millican wk

Fletcher Millican wk

Jack Millican wk

Pinck Millican wk

Will Gore pd

Tom Gore wk

No. 2 From William Owings to Mrs. Gains

Hix & McCleod – $86.00 No Bondsman

Hugh Gains pd

Walt Gains pd

Pierce Gains pd

John Kendrick pd

Geo. Kendrick pd

T.A. Bailey pd

Will Smith pd

J.F, Pless pd

Ed Scott wk

Dan Scott pd

Felix Reed Gone

Jeff Langston pd

Sam Couey pd

Joel Couey pd

Hillary Dunaway Over Age

Sam Dunaway

Monroe Millican Over Age

Geo. League √

James Louallen √

T.B. Pool √

Wm. Owings pd

J.D. Ayres pd

John Perry pd

Dick Perry pd

Jas. Dawson pd

Tom Davis pd

John Davis pd

Dock Cheney pd

Tom Smith pd

Bibb Cheney pd

No. 3 From Mrs. Gains’ to Floyd County Line

Hix and McLeod, $90, No Bondsman

Bill Benton √

Andy Barbour √

W.S. Powell pd

Sam Sorrow pd

J. R. Ray pd

Joe Scoggin pd

Bob Favors pd

T.A. Crawford pd

Willie Crawford pd

Jno Crawford non est

Bob Crawford pd

Geo. Crawford too young

Noah Perry √

James Green pd

O.E. Omberg √

Henry Scoggin pd

Taylor Wootten √

Anderson Favors pd

John Fisher √

W.W. Williams non est

Gus Perry pd

Simon Taylor pd

John Phinezy pd

Riley Farmer √

Sam Dunaway wk

Tom (?) Dunaway pd

Gus Dunaway pd

No. 4 From Wm. Gore’s to T.B. High’s

Dump Moore, Contractor         W.S. Kilgo, Bondsman $20

Tom High wk

A.J. Moore wk

Willy Shropshire too old

James Herndon pd

Frank Shropshire wk ½ day

Carter Westbrooks pd

Joe Westbrooks pd

Tom Westbrooks pd

Bob Bullman pd

Cyrus Drew √

Henry Hamilton wk ½ day

J.B. Gordon too old

Geo. Tilly √ non es

No. 5 From T.B. High’s to District line on C.C. Bryan’s Place

Dump Moore, Contractor W.S. Kilgo, Bondsman $24.25

H.G. Baker wk

J.A. Couey pd

Boog Smith wk

Jerry Perry pd

Frank Quinn wk

Monroe Hunter wk

George Gaskins pd

Dolphus Bramlett pd

Millard Brown wk

Edgar Brown wk

John C. Posy non est

Jas. D. Brown too old

Sam Gordon pd

Few Gordon pd

No. 6 From William Gore’s to Mrs. Kendrick’s

W.S. Kilgo, Contractor W.W. Mount, Bondsman $38.25

Charles Hambrick wk

Tom Hambrick wk

Sam (or son) Hambrick wk

Jas. Carter pd

Hoston Hambrick wk

Ike Jones wk

Cy Jones wk

Alex Jones wk

Sam Jones wk

A.M. Chandler wk

W.A. King √

J.W. McIntosh over age

Bob McIntosh wk

Dave Carter wk

Jas. Carter wk

Mack Carter non est

Wm. Carter non est

Dock Morton wk

Joe Copland pd

Jerry Mercer wk

Ben Jones wk

No. 7 From Mrs. Kendrick’s to District Line at Herndon place

W.S. Kilgo, contractor            W.W. Mount, bondsman $44.00

B.F. Weisner pd

Paul Weisner pd

John Weisner pd

W.L. Pullen pd

Gill Cheney pd

Dave Ryles (Pyles?) over age

Mose Ryles pd

Hugh Benton pd

Wash Hilly pd

Lewis Bolling pd

Mose Bolling pd

Tom Cummings pd

Matt Overton √

Turner Warren pd

Ed Herndon pd

Wm. Holcomb pd

Pink Whitehead pd

Reuben Cheney pd

Oscar Jett √

James Cumming √

Bob Jett pd

Albert Oneal over age

Simon Oneal √

Richard Oneal too young

Doug Cheney pd

Hugh Oneal pd

No. 8 From Mrs. Kendrick’s to Cheney Place

W.W. Mount, Contractor W.S. Kilgo, Bondsman $37.75

Willis Kilgo wk

Luke Prickett pd

John Hickey wk

Wm. White wk

W.S. Kendrick pd

Lee Cathy pd

J. Terrell Hunter non est

Jas. Alexander pd

Jas. Patrick wk

H.A. Brownfield √

Jas. Bolling pd

Wm. Garmany pd

Tom Hendrix out of county

Cicero Brownfield too young

Alex Woods wk

Jack Woods wk

Jas. Scott pd

David Nichols pd

John Bolling pd

Lewis Durham pd

Lucus Woods wk

No. 9 From foot of Mountain beyond Gil Cheney’s to top of 

Mountain beyond Reuben Herndon’s place

W.W. Mount, Contractor W.S.Kilgo, bondsman $16.80

Geo. Martin pd

John Garmony non est

Dave Rice pd

James Rice pd

Abe Findly pd

No. 10 From fork of road near Mrs. Scott’s via Bethel Church 

to Cheney-Kendrick

W.W. Mount, Contractor W.S. Kilgo, Bondsman $17.75

Tom Lee pd

Henry Farmer wk

John Cheney not in county

Nelse Harris wk

Wm. Biggers pd

John Echols too young

Grant King pd

Jno. Alexander pd

John A. Jones pd.

J.W. Carroll pd

No. 11 From Dirt Town to Farmersville at Camp’s Barn

Geo. H. Perry, Contractor E.N. Perry, Bondsman $29.75

Dan David pd

Joe Salmon pd

Geo. Perry pd

Alex Farnsworth pd

Clark Farnsworth wk

Mack Farnsworth wk

Will Dunwoody wk

Jno. Dunwoody wk

Brock Dunwoody pd

Wm. Jones non est

Lige Duncan pd

Henry Robinson wk

John Robertson wk

Bud Scoggins √

Jud Brooks pd

Dave Hendrix a preacher

Jas. Brown pd

Gus Wright wk

Aaron Barbour wk 1 day, pd.

Amos Hemphill non est

No. 12 From Farmersville to Shropshire’s Mill

Geo. Perry, Contractor E.A. Perry, Bondsman $37.70

Lewis Dunwoody wk

Pierce Higgins wk

Tom Ratliff pd

Virg Carwile wk

Milton Carwile wk

John Scoggins wk

Weldon Williams wk

Fuller Scoggins wk

W.J. Dorster pd

Lon Dorster pd

Lewis Burnett √

Berryman Fleetwood wk

Gus Long pd

No. 13 From Farmersville to Mrs. Moore’s

J.R. Moore, Contractor W.S. Kilgo, Bondsman $76

Bob Johnston wk

Columbus Pollard wk

John Ratliff pd

Jas. Hopper wk

J.R. Moore wk

Frank Moore wk

W.H. Barron wk

No. 14 From John Perry’s to Gabe Barbour’s

W.L. Cooper, Contractor Z.D. Perry, Bondsman $25.90

W.B. Dorster wk

Crawford Doster wk

Joe Eastwood wk

M.M. Wright pd

George McAbee pd

Henry Perry wk

Geo. W. Woodall pd

John Perry wk

Ben Murdock pd

John Plunkett over age

Harve Plunkett too young

Willy Murdock over age

Thos. Brooks wk

Bud Murdock wk

No. 15 From George W. Morton’s South line to Shropshire’s Mill

Hix and McLeod, Contractors, $55.00

J.P. Johnston pd

M.N. Johnston wk

R.B. Johnston pd

Joe Johnston wk

Jack Johnston wk

T.M. Grey pd

J.D. Whitehead pd

Dave Middlebrooks pd

Sam Plummer wk

J.T. McLeod wk

Cy Shropshire wk

Aaron Drew √

Darius Buchannon wk

H.L.T. Overly √

Ike Ballenger wk

Dr. J.P. Ballenger wk

R.J. New wk

Joe Roberson pd

Lem Millican pd

J.R. Roan wk

B.F. Hammett wk

Z.M. Floyd pd

Joe Dunn wk

Ral Jackson √

Wm Durham pd

No. 16 Cox Gap Road

Hix and McLeod, Contractors $35.90

J. Lee Davis wk

John W. Davis wk

Jas. Davis wk

J.B.F. Floyd wk

Jas. M. Quinn wk

A.C. Westbrooks wk

Steve Phillips wk

J.B. Phillips wk

S.D. Scoggins wk

J.S. Scoggins wk

L.C. Quinn wk

John Pope wk

W.H. Peters wk 1 day

A.L. Hix pd

S.B. Hix wk

J.T. Rhudy wk

John Biggers wk

Wm. Biggers pd

[Editor’s note:  I am grateful to my good friend, Tom Weesner, for sharing the information below.  For about two years, Tom and I met frequently at the Georgia Archives to work on what we referred to as the “Chattooga County Loose Records Project” which involved cleaning, flattening, organizing and filing thousands of loose documents that had at one time been stored in the attic and various corners of the Chattooga County Courthouse in Summerville.   Some of the documents had been recorded in the official registers and some had not.  These particular records escaped the “house cleaning” of an earlier administration that resulted in many of the county’s historic documents (and some not-so-historic as well) being transported to the county landfill and duly buried before local history friends could be notified and mobilized.  Mercifully, quite a number of records did not meet that fate (one suspects that may be because the truck going to the dump was not capacious enough to accommodate a full “house-cleaning”) and it was with the full support of our county officials that a great many were transferred to the custody of the Georgia Department of Archives and History for preservation.  

We had as co-workers on this project a number of other Chattooga history devotees, the tireless “Four B’s”—our official county historian Bob Baker, as well as Beverly Woodward, Bernice Crane and Brooksie Vines We had the encouragement of Probate Judge Jon Payne, Clerk of the Superior Court Lann Cordle, and a grant from the Georgia Historic Records Advisory Board (the grant was managed by the staff of then-commissioner Jim Parker).  Tom, who is one of the most organized people I have ever known—and who is also one of the most tenacious researchers—treated the project as a serious job.  He worked several days per week, with the occasional “Ah Ha!” moment with a particularly interesting document and the overall satisfaction of the accomplishment of this important work as his only compensation.  Neither Tom nor I are quite as spry as we were then.  I passed the fateful 50th birthday this year.  Tom has turned 85 and, while not as agile as a few years ago, is assuredly sharper in his thought processes than I am!  He and Bob Baker remain my two “go to” people for all seemingly unanswerable questions about Chattooga County history…and I can count on them to provide me with answers that are unerringly correct and always fascinating.

I should note that there remain additional records in the county that would ultimately be of use to historians if we sorted and indexed them.  Bernice Crane has attempted to pick up on this project, and Brenda and Mike Lanier,  Charlotte and Henry Mason and Jackie Strickland have helped.  The project is currently on hold but for the foreseeable future the records are safe. — Steven W. Strickland