Timeline (1885-1975)

January 26, 1885

The oldest record found in the City Hall began before the City was incorporated, with a group of men lead by Mr. R.J. Pughsley as Mayor. Councilmen were John C. Coleman, B. F. Coleman, James A. Brannen, Alfred Herrington and E. H Edenfield who were called “Citizens” of the Town Council of Swainsboro for the year 1885. No records were available for the years 1886 and 1887. The first meeting consisted of adopting new ordinances replacing 25 present ordinances set forth on the 3rd of April 1878 and of appointing a City Clerk called a Recorder who was Mr. R.J. Williams. The second meeting consisted of an agreement between Council members to advertise for a Town Marshall by posting three signs in various places around town. Henry R. Daniels was first Town Marshall, hired for a period of 30 days. At this time there were only a few dirt streets and all males between ages 16 and 50 years old were required to work in the in streets doing maintenance not more than 10 days per year. If they failed to do so, they were fined three dollars. Council meetings were very short and usually dealt with some minor infraction by a citizen who was either jailed for ten days or fine some $2.50. Some dealt with granting permission for selling of “spirits” in town which many did at the time. Also, each person owning or controlling a dog was charged 50 cents per dog as a “dog tax.” If any livestock was found in town, the Town Marshall caught them and kept them until the owner claimed the livestock, 25 cents was charged for catching and 10 cents per day was charged for keeping. Most laws of the time were published in a paper and then cut out of the paper and pasted in the minutes of the Council book.

 January 7, 1888-

Voter list numbered 22 people. James H. Brannen was elected Mayor for the year 1888.

August 20, 1888-

Manning Coleman took oath for Mayor for year 1889.

August 1, 1889-

City Council decided to ordain an advolorem tax on property owners in town at 6/10 of one per cent to defray cost of running the City.

January 4, 1890-

B.F. Coleman was elected Mayor for the year 1890.

June 12, 1890-

B.F. Coleman resigned.

July 14, 1890-

Lewis William Canady became the new Mayor, served remainder of 1890, 1891, and 1892.

January 18, 1893-

No record of an election but new Mayor J.F. Hale served with same Council. Mayor Hale served until May 2, 1894. Mr. G.S. Rountree elected Mayor and served remainder of 1894 and 1895.

January 14, 1896-

New Mayor R.M. Garbutt.

July 5, 1896-

R.M Garbutt resigned, J.R. Rountree appointed acting Mayor on July 5th.

1897-

No Records

January 3, 1898-

New Mayor J. Alex Smith

June 22, 1898-

A family developed either smallpox or chicken pox, a quarantine was established with a guard at each entrance to their house to safe-guard against the spread of the disease, the house was “fumigated” and all clothes were burned.

 January 7, 1899-

J. R. Rountree was elected Mayor.

January 20, 1899-

By order of Town Council, no more street lamps will be lit at the expense of the City, each person owning lamps will be responsible for lighting their own

December 27, 1899-

Jessie Thompson Sr. elected Mayor and adopted new by-laws at this meeting establishing the City of Swainsboro under a new Charter. The by-laws consisted of 26 new rules. Mr. Jessie Thompson was one of the most progressive Mayors. In December 1900, he applied to the City Council for rights to establish his own complete electric utility as well as furnish citizens with water for domestic use and to fight fires. Request was granted and approved in February 1903 for the right to use streets of City for light poles and wiring. Mr. Thompson was reelected Mayor for the year 1901.

November 7, 1901-

City held election to decide if City would sell bonds for City improvements and also to build a school- 83 votes yes- 10 votes no.

December 16, 1901-

Jessie Thompson reelected Mayor.

October 6, 1902-

R.A Flanders, Chief Marshall, resigned.

December 15, 1902-

George Rentz elected Mayor for year 1903.

April 6, 1903-

E.R. Lester, Chief Marshall, resigned. John A. Bell appointed Chief Marshall.

December 19, 1904-

George Rentz reelected Mayor for year 1904.

1905-

Mayor George Rentz served for the year 1905.

May 9, 1905-

First system of public schools established in the City.

December 20, 1905-

Jesse Thompson elected Mayor for year 1906.

December 17, 1906-

C.H. Thompson elected Mayor for year 1907.

December 16, 1907-

John F. Price elected Mayor for year 1908.

December 21, 1908-

Jesse Thompson Sr. elected Mayor for year 1909.

December 21, 1909-

Jesse Thompson Sr. reelected Mayor for year 1910.

December 5, 1910-

An ordinance passed that it shall be unlawful for anyone to drive an automobile, motorcycle or any machine within the limits of the City exceeding 12 miles per hour or be fined $1 to $10 at Mayor’s discretion.

December 19, 1910-

Jessie Thompson Sr. reelected Mayor for year 1911.

April 11, 1911-

Election held to decide whether to sell bonds to be issued to put water works and electric lights across the City. Election in favor of bonds with the following schedule: one light- 75 cents per month, two to ten lights-40 cents per month each, eleven to twenty lights- 35 cents per month each and twenty one and over- 30 cents per month each.

December 18, 1911-

S.J. Tyson elected Mayor for year 1912.

February 3, 1913-

S.J. Tyson reelected Mayor for year 1913.

December 16, 1913-

C.H Thompson elected Mayor for year 1914.

Years 1915-1923 No Records

Since we have no records of this period, Mr. Price thinks the first City Hall was located in the Hotel Marquretta (old Durden Hotel). In 1921, the City Hall moved to West Main Street (Masonic Building). In 1971, the old Citizen’s Bank was purchased by the City and moved to its current location in May 1971.

1924-

Felix C. Williams was Mayor for 1924.

December 15, 1924-

Felix C. Williams reelected Mayor for 1925.

December 21, 1925-

Felix C. Williams reelected Mayor for 1926.

March 1, 1926-

Franchise between City and Georgia Southern Power Company to establish and direct the sale of complete electric power to City.

December 20, 1926-

Felix C. Williams reelected Mayor for 1927.

February 17, 1927-

A smallpox epidemic in the area made it compulsory to be vaccinated. A motion passed that doctors be paid 30 cents per person treated.

April 25, 1927-

Council decided to get bids for paving of streets and sidewalks for the City. Bids were accepted June 6, 1927. Also decided at this meeting was to “clay” Coleman Street from Gumlog to Court House Street

July 11, 1927-

Resolution passed to exclude corn and bunion doctors and all peddlers from Court House Square.

August 1, 1927-

City executed contract with Georgia Power Company for City Street lights.

December 20, 1927-

Felix C. Williams reelected Mayor for year 1928

May 7, 1928-

City was given a deed from R.H and W.E Vann for a lot to build a park and swimming pool, pool was called Vann’s Park Swimming Pool and was in service July 1928 (tickets cost .05 cents)

August 13, 1928-

City bought American LaFrance Fire engine for $6500.

December 17, 1928-

Felix C. Williams reelected Mayor for year 1929.

December 17, 1929-

Felix C. Williams reelected Mayor for year 1930.

February 3, 1930-

Council decided the City should buy all gas from Hotel Service Station. Gas was 22.5 cents a gallon.

May 13, 1930-

Ordinance passed granting franchise to Georgia Natural Gas Corporation.

September 9, 1930-

Permit granted Coca Cola Company to build a plant on corner of North Main Street and Gumlog Street.

December 16, 1930-

W.W. Flanders elected Mayor for year 1931.

December 22, 1931-

W.W. Flanders elected Mayor for year 1932.

December 19, 1932-

W.W. Flanders reelected Mayor for year 1933.

1933-

Although there was some City water service in existence in 1921, the first major extension of water and sewer came about in preliminary plans in August 1933 through a W.P.A. Grant: City officials obtained local unemployed citizens to the work. This covered the downtown area and North Main Street.

December 18, 1933-

P.L. Watson elected Mayor for year 1934.

January 1, 1934-

Paul Bell appointed Fire Chief, Walter Boatright Police Chief.

November 5, 1934-

Council requested Southern Bell Telephone to install new and modern phone system.

December 17, 1934-

P.L Watson reelected Mayor for year 1935.

December 7, 1935-

Roy Brannen elected fireman

October 8, 1935-

Motion made to proclaim a City Holiday for the occasion of President Roosevelt’s speech in Atlanta. Approved. Permit granted to build John C. Coleman Hotel.

December 16, 1935-

Judge Frank Mitchell elected Mayor for year 1936.

December 8, 1936-

City purchased 23 and 7/10 acres of land adjoining old City Cemetery for $750.

December 21, 1936-

Frank Mitchell reelected Mayor for year 1937.

December 20, 1937-

Frank Mitchell reelected Mayor for year 1937.

December 5, 1938-

Motion made to pay all supplies used in giving of barbeque to Fire Departments from Dublin and Statesboro in their help for fighting the Court House fire in Swainsboro on November 10, 1938. Next courthouse is built on square in its place on same foundation.

December 20, 1938-

Frank Mitchell reelected Mayor for year 1939.

January 16, 1939-

Building permit granted to construct Swainsboro High School Building.

December 18, 1939-

Frank Mitchell reelected Mayor for year 1940

December 16, 1940-

T.R. Spivey elected Mayor for year 1941

February 3, 1941-

City Attorney was to proceed with steps to have present session of legislature to increase term of Mayor to two years beginning in December 1941.

April 7, 1941-

City agreed to purchase 448 acres of land from Jesse Thompson near Grandee for $10 per acre.

December 1941-

T.R. Spivey reelected Mayor for year 1942.

December 1942-

T.R. Spivey reelected Mayor for year 1942

December 20, 1943-

Edwin F. Flanders elected Mayor for year 1944.

Jan 3, 1944-

W.M. Lamb becomes new Police Chief.

July 3, 1944-

Mention of first chlorinator for Water Department at cost of $1472.

December 4, 1944-

Clevie Scott hired as Policeman

December 1944-

Edwin F. Flanders reelected Mayor for year 1945.

February 9, 1945-

After serving five terms as Mayor, Judge Frank Mitchell died while still active as member of City Council.

December 17, 1945-

Edwin F. Flanders reelected Mayor for year 1946.

December 1946

Edwin F. Flanders reelected Mayor for year 1947.

December 15, 1947

Ralph Smith Sr. elected Mayor for years 1948 and 1949. Paul Bell Fire, W.M. Lamb, Police Chief. 

March 1, 1948-

Proposed water system and sewer treatment system contract passed. Progress report, December 6th, 1948, 44,745 linear feet of sewer lines laid, 30,000 feet of distribution lines, also 33,500 feet of 2” pipe is laid.

February 7, 1949-

J.A. Thompson came to discuss with Council his permit to establish a radio station for the City of Swainsboro.

June 6, 1949-

Water and Sewer Extension is completed.

 December 19, 1949-

Ralph Smith Sr. reelected Mayor for years 1950 and 1951.  Paul Bell, Fire Chief. W.M Lamb, Police Chief.

January 2, 1951-

Roy Brannen elected Supt. of Water Department.

March 28, 1951-

Vernon Braswell hired by Fire Department.

December 17, 1951-

Ralph Smith Sr. reelected Mayor for years 1952 and 1953. Paul Bell, Fire Chief. W.M Lamb, Police Chief.

February 4, 1952-

City of Swainsboro becomes a member of Georgia Municipal Association.

April 7, 1952-

Permit granted to Mr. James A. Morgan for building of Fordville.

December 21, 1953-

Ralph Smith Sr. reelected Mayor for years 1954 and 1955. Paul Bell, Fire Chief. W.M Lamb, Police Chief.

December 19, 1955-

Ralph Smith Sr. reelected Mayor for years 1956 and 1957.

February 5, 1956-

Recreation Commission established, consisting of five persons serving without pay, to have rules and regulations for proper conduct of public recreation for the City.

September 4, 1956-

Robert Banner becomes the first Recreation Director for the City.

April 1, 1957-

Swainsboro made a bird sanctuary.

April 1957-

Clyde Barnes joins the Police Department.

December 16, 1957-

Ralph Smith Sr. reelected Mayor for years 1958 and 1959. Paul Bell, Fire Chief. W.M Lamb, Police Chief.

January 13, 1958-

New Recreation Director, Jack Upchurch.

November 2, 1959-

Grady Price appointed as City Clerk replacing Mr. Howard Roberts who had been clerk since 1945.

December 21, 1959-

Ralph Smith Sr. reelected Mayor for years 1960 and 1961.

January 1, 1960-

Police Chief W.M. Lamb resigned as Police Chief due to health.

January 4, 1960-

Curtis Coleman hired as acting Chief of Police.

March 7, 1961-

Although Swainsboro’s Planning Commission was established several years prior to this date, no resolution was ever drafted. It was adopted now for then.

December 18, 1961-

Ralph Smith Sr. reelected Mayor for year 1962 and 1963. Paul Bell, Fire. Curtis Coleman, Police Chief.

January 25, 1962-

Ernest Beasley hired as new Chief of Police.

September 9, 1963-

New water well drilled, present tank at Swainsboro Printing and Finishing Company.

December 16, 1963-

Ralph Smith Sr. reelected Mayor for years 1964 and 1965. Paul Bell, Fire. Ernest Beasley, Police Chief.

January 6, 1964-

Talks begin with Thomas and Hutton Company concerning completion of City sewer extension program.

May 13, 1963-

Election held to Swainsboro City Limits, passed to extend.

April 5, 1965-

Curtis Coleman becomes Supt. of Street and Sanitation Departments.

December 20, 1965-

Jack D. Davis elected Mayor for years 1966 and 1967

December 31, 1965-

Ralph Smith Sr. retires after serving 18 years as Mayor of Swainsboro.

January 31, 1966-

Special election to fill unexpired term of Council seat vacated when Jack D. Davis was elected Mayor, Roger Shaw elected to Council.

June 13, 1966-

Clyde Barnes appointed acting Chief of Police.

November 21, 1966-

Lamar Anderson elected to City Council.

December 5, 1966-

George Hagins resigned as Director of Recreation Department.

January 8, 1968-

Jack D. Davis elected Mayor for years 1968 and 1969.

December 5, 1968-

Jake Wilkerson hired as Fire Chief.

March 1, 1969-

Billy Carmichael hired as new Recreation Director.

November 17, 1969-

R.J. Waller elected Mayor for years 1970-1973. Office of Mayor was changed from two years to four year term by State Legislature.

March 12, 1971-

Special election to fill unexpired term of W.H. Rountree, Alex Grindler elected to City Council.

April 12, 1971-

Motion made and carried that the City buy the old Citizens Bank Building for the purpose of relocating City Hall.

November 29, 1971-

Special election to fill the unexpired term of Mayor R.J. Waller (deceased). Mayor Roger L. Shaw was elected in run-off election on December 13, 1971.

January 24, 1972-

206 acres proposed site for Emanuel County Junior College, motion made to annex into City limits, carried.

November 19, 1973-

Roger Shaw reelected Mayor for years 1974-1977. Clyde Barnes, Police Chief. Jake Wilkerson, Fire Chief.

January 7, 1974-

Resolution requesting to rename Emanuel County Junior College in honor of late George L. Smith III, carried.

November 12, 1973-

Resolution awarding sewer extension, Division A, to DaNell Engineering Company of Evans, Georgia.

December 2, 1974-

Resolution awarding sewer extension, Division B, to Eastern Construction Company of Savannah.

March 3, 1975-

Resolution awarding sewer extension, Division C, to B.F. DeLaigle Inc. of Augusta.