History of Adel, Cook County, Georgia
The following is a history written
in 1930. It is interesting for the history it presents as well as the
insight it provides into the perspectives the people of that time had.
In presenting the history of Cook
County, it is essential that we know something of the territory from which
it was created. Irwin County was created in 1818, surveyed in 1818 and 1819
and the people began to draw the land about 1820. Irwin County originally
contained sixteen land districts; four small ones on the north side, nine
large ones in the middle and three small ones on the south side covering to
the Spanish border (or Florida line). The Four small districts on the north
lay broad side to the Ocmulgee River. The nine central districts of original
Irwin contained four thousand seven hundred and sixty one 490 acre lots of
"Old Irwin" was surveyed first
from east to west by Broodnax and from north to south by Johnson. Original
Irwin cornered northwest of Sylvester, Ga., on the Flint River. The
northeast corner was a little above where the present town of Ocilla, Ga.,
now stands, the southeast corner at Irwin Lakes below Valdosta and the
southwest corner is southwest of Thomasville, Ga., on the Florida line.
In 1825, nine districts were cut
off of "Old Irwin" to form Lowndes County. The line between the two counties
was the line between, the 9th and 6th land districts.
Berrien County was made from
Lowndes and Irwin in 1856. It consists of Four whole land districts and a
Fraction of another. These are the 5th and 6th, 9th and 10th and part of the
11th of original Irwin and Lowndes.
Cook County was created from
Berrien County in 1918. It is wholly in the 9th and 10th land districts of
"Old Irwin." Cook County is bounded on the north by Tilt County and New
River, on the east by New and Withlacoochee Rivers, on the south' by
Lowndes, County and on the west by Little River.
Back to the top ^
About 1820, great areas of land
were granted by the state to individuals. It was cut into squares of 490
acres each, which were later granted by the state under the lottery system.
These lots were sold on an average of five dollars per lot. The taxes were
14 cents per lot per year.
Among those who received these
land grants in What is now Cook County were: A. Harper, H. E. Moore,
Zachariah Nester, B. Hancock, Berry Wells, T. W. Baker, Robert N. Parrish,
Sr., J. T. Hancock, R. P. Hutchinson, William Gaskins, A. Edwards, William
McCranie, Daniel McCranie, Jr., Malcom McCranie, John Futch, Thomas Futch,
Martin Shaw, Jr., Mitchell Griffin and William G. Smith.
Back to the top ^
TRAILS AND HIGHWAYS
With the coming of the first
settlers, roads were soon opened. Until this time only Indian trails were
found. The first public road to be built through this country was a stage
road which traversed the county from north to south. The road was known as
the Union Road. It passes by Hutchinson mill pond on through the eastern
part of Adel and up through Sparks and on through the county, the present
National Highway embracing it part of the way.
Since the departure of the
Indians, who did most of their traveling on foot, many changes have been
made in our modes of travel. In the pioneer days many oxen were used on the
farms. The towns were quite far apart and if it became necessary to go to
town or to a neighbor's house the family would ride in a cart. This was
nothing more or less than a large wooden box fitted on an axle. Only two
wheels were used to pull this contraption. An ox or a mule was used to pull
the vehicle. Road carts were often used. This vehicle had only two wheels,
but instead of a big box fastened on to hold the occupants or load, a small
seat for two was arranged upon the axle.
Later, one and two horse wagons
came into use. They were built with two axles and four wheels and a body or
bed as we see them today. The ox carts and wagons had either a tongue or
pair of shafts, according to the desired loads to be transported, heavy
loads requiring more horse or ox power than light ones. Then a tongue was
attached to the vehicle and two oxen or two mules were used. Those citizens
in better circumstances owned buggies and carriages. These often had tops to
protect the occupants from the sun and rain.
Through the country the stage
coaches often came. These were large vehicles, usually closed and driven by
a special driver seated on a specially built seat at the front of the coach.
These coaches were drawn by two or four horses according to the number of
passengers. These were used for long journeys and for the transportation of
mail. As the country developed and inventions became more numerous, trains,
automobiles, auto trucks, and buses came into use.
The coming of the train through
our country was a source of untold benefit in transporting passengers and
freight. In later years, the automobiles, trucks and buses have furnished a
wonderful means of transportation and with these conveniences have come
improved roads and in many instances paved roads.
Our county has a paved road, the
National Highway, traversing it from north to south. A paved road has been
completed between Adel and Nashville. The right-of-way has been cleared by
Scott Concrete and Pipe Co. and the county convicts for a paved road from
Adel to Moultrie.
The community roads are such an
improvement over the past muddy, bumpy ones, that one would scarcely
recognize them as the same roads they traveled a few years ago.
Elsewhere we will mention our
railroad facilities. We have the three railroads traversing our county.
This, too, makes transportation easy for those without cars. At present the
roads and highways are so good that great quantities of freight are
transported in trucks.
Back to the top ^
Since possession is nine points of
the law, the Indians naturally looked upon themselves as rightful owners of
In 1833 Wilson Lumpkin was made
governor of Georgia. The two political parties in Georgia at the time styled
themselves as the States Right and the Union Party.
White pioneers were rapidly
filling the country. This caused discontent among the Indians and they
became quite troublesome. The United States Government wanted to move the
Indians west of the Mississippi River. This they resented.
From Bill Arm's History of
Georgia, we learn that in 1835, the Cherokee nation sent two men to
Washington for the purpose of forming a treaty. One Deputy was John Ross,
who was opposed to immigration. The other was John Ridge in favor of it.
Ross offered to cede lands in
Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee to the United States for the sum of 20
million dollars. The government refused this offer and appointed Mr.
Schermerhorn to confer with Ridge.
A compromise was finally effected
and after violent opposition, accepted by Ross and his party. The principal
points of this treaty were as follows: The Cherokees were to relinquish all
claim to lands east of the Mississippi River. In return they were to receive
7,000,000 acres west of the Mississippi. The government was to remove them
to their new home and support them for one year and give them $100,000
yearly for the poor of the Indian nation. They were promised the protection
of the United States. They were not to leave this country before two years
About 1835, William Schley was
elected governor. Soon after his election, the Seminole Indians in Florida
declared war, because the government endeavored to move them west of the
Mississippi. They began murdering the whites. General Winfield Scott and his
men were sent to protect the whites. They fought with the Indians for
The Creeks, hearing of this,
gathered in great numbers and began murdering the people. It was during
these two years that the Roanoke trouble and the Battle of Brushy Creek were
The first Indian trouble near here
of which we know anything was the attack upon the small village, Roanoke, on
the Chattahoochee River. The village consisted of a few homes and four or
five stores. The Indians surprised the whites one morning and burned their
village, killing part of the inhabitants and burning their two boats, the
Georgiana and the Hypernia. The Indians were driven south but continued
pillaging and killing until the governor ordered the people into forts.
In our immediate section, the
families had lived in peace with the Indians until this outbreak at Roanoke
occurred. Fearing for their lives and in obedience to Governor Williams
Schley's orders, the people, of what is now Cook County, gathered themselves
into three different groups and built three forts.
The Wellses and Rountrees and
their neighbors built a fort at the Rachel Morrison place which is now the
John Rountree old field. This was Morrison Fort and the company of soldiers
formed there was known as Pike's Company.
The Futches and Parrishes and
others built their fort at the Futch place on the Withlacoochee River where
the ferry was located.
The McCranies and their neighbors
built their fort on Brushy Creek where the George Moore farm is now located.
Their company of soldiers was known as the Hamilton Sharp Company.
Back to the top ^
BATTLE OF BRUSHY CREEK
Scarcely had the people of the
present county gotten into forts and formed companies for fighting when the
hostile Creeks and Cherokee Indians, coming from the North to join the
neighboring Seminoles in Florida, began murdering families along the way.
The soldiers of the Hamilton Sharp
Company at the McCranie Fort looked out one morning about the 10th of June
1836 and found the woods just across the Musket Branch from their camp,
literally full of Indians. They saw they were so completely out-numbered
that they sent Mr. Ashley Lindsey through the country to the Morrison Fort
to get aid from Pike's Company.
While he was gone for help,
Hamilton Sharp, Captain of the McCranie Fort, sent out Robert N. Parrish,
Richard Golden, Penuel Folsom and William McCranie as scouts to guard the
Indians until help could come. The Indians out-witted the scouts and decoyed
them away from their camp and attacked them.
They wounded Robert N. Parrish and
Penuel Folsom. Folsom was mortally wounded and just as the Indians got to
him to scalp him, Pike's Company came up in the rear, began firing and the
Indians fled across Brushy Creek.
The companies were all soon united
and together they pursued the Indians, killing men, women and children.
Numbers of Indians were killed that day. Pike's Company lost three brave
soldiers, James Therrell, Edwin Shanks and Edwin Henderson.
Penuel Folsom, the first soldier
killed in the Battle of Brushy Creek, was buried in what is now known as the
Rountree Cemetery, his being the first grave in it. After this terrible
battle with the Indians, it was found that an Indian maiden had been
captured and held at the fort on Brushy Creek. That night she asked
permission to yell and this permission was granted. Her mother soon came out
of the darkness to the child and she was released to go with her mother.
To the astonishment of all the
whites, when morning came, every Indian corpse that could be found had his
or her hands folded and each lifeless body had been straightened, but not
buried. Their bodies were never buried. The companies drove the Indians
south of Milltown, now Lakeland, Ga. There, they killed one of their biggest
Everyone thought all the Indians
were driven from the country after this terrible battle and not an Indian
was seen for a whole year. An occasional shot was heard, but each one
thought it a shot from a neighbor's gun.
Just a year after the Battle of
Brushy Creek. John J. Hancock was butchering a hog just before nightfall one
afternoon and a gun was fired nearby. The bullet went into a post near his
hand. On turning to run for his gun, Mr. Hancock saw some Indians. He
gathered his family and left immediately for help and protection. He had
scarcely gotten across the first branch when he looked back and saw his home
in flames. The Indians were wreaking vengeance for their injuries of the
After these and other desperate
battles, the chiefs were anxious for peace. As soon as possible, they were
sent to the Indian Territory and the state was freed of the troublesome
Indians. Only a few Seminoles remain in the Everglades of Florida.
Following is the Pay Roll of
Captain H. W. Sharp's Company for services rendered during the Indian War of
Archibald McCranie, Capt. $124.93
John Lindsey, 1st Lieut. 45.79
John McCranie, 2nd Lieut. 42.27
John D. Hancock, Ensign & 4th Lieut.
Martin Shaw, Sr. 19.75
Daniel McCranie, Jr. 35.50
Joseph Anderson 5.75
Jas. J. Burman 5.05
Thomas Belote 2.38
Wm. Coone 3.75
Samuel Connell 8.75
Peter Connell 12.00
Ebin Deloach 6.75
Wm. Durrance 12.00
D. J. Durrance 3.75
Martin Folsom 7.25
Elijah Folsom 12.25
Wm. H. Fountain 6.50
Randal Fulford 11.50
J. B. Golding 23.25
Wm. Griner 6.00
Samuel Griner 2.60
Richard Goldlng 13.00
Anderson Goldlng 1.98
Wm. Gaskins 5.25
Jeremiah Hancock 15.00
Henry Hancock 8.75
Durham Hancock 8.75
Jordan Hancock 5.75
Jas. T. Hancock 2.38
Lewis Harrell 2.38
Wm. Kirby 9.75
Daniel Kinard 12.00
Arthur Lindsey 8.75
Joshua Lovett 15.75
McKeeny McLoud 5.75
Malcolm McCranie 21.50
William McCranie 21.75
Neil E. McCranie 16.75
John D. McCranie 5.75
Daniel McCranie, Sr. 15.00
John McDermid 27.75
Norman McDonald 26.00
Malakiah Monk 11.75
Wm. Monk 9.00
Rice Mathis 7.25
C. J. O'Neal 2.00
R. N. Parrish 9.50
A. A. Parrish 10.50
James Parrish 16.50
E. W. Parrish 11.50
Joseph Parrish 5.50
Alexander Patterson 15.55
West Rountree 17.20
Thomas Rooks 14.00
D. C. Smith 5.25
John R. Varner 52.50
S. G. Williams 13.50
E. J. Williams 7.50
The above is a true transcript of
the original Muster Roll audited at the executive department with the amount
due each officer and soldier annexed to their names.
The accounts of subscriptions and
forage furnished the Volunteers in the Creek War in 1835 or 1836 is as
Malcolm McCranie $ 17.00
Samuel Griner 25.20
David Mathis 14.00
Lewis Harrell 8.71
David McCranie, Sr. 21.00
Malici Monk 7.80
John Lindsey 7.50
J. G. Goldin 2.00
Daniel McCranie, Jr. 9.33
Richard Goldin 5.50
E. J. Williams 10.75
A. A. Parrish 10.00
Nancy Parrish 16.65
R. N. Parrish 19.17
Elijah Folsom 8.65
Besides being interesting as a
relic of the Creek War of 1836, the list contains the names of many of the
fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers of some of our most honored
Back to the top ^
EARLY PIONEER DAYS
After the Indians had been
dispelled forever, the pioneers began to feel a sense of security. They
settled down in earnest to the task of making permanent homes. There was a
continual influx of new settlers from the north and east.
The homes the first settlers built
were log houses with hewn floors and wooden shutters. Near this home would
be found a log barn surrounded by a crude fence to form a barnyard. The
field fences were of the zig-zag type built of rails. The wells were dug
deep, usually having a hewn sweep and a long, slim rope for a chain.
Everything bore a home-made appearance.
Most of the families who settled
in Cook County were in fair circumstances, but few of them were rich. A more
honest and hospitable group hardly could be found. They were a thrifty
people, too. Some of the most prosperous families owned slaves. These slaves
helped with the house and field work. Farming was then and is yet the
leading industry of the county.
Clothes were made from cloth
manufactured by themselves. The women carded cotton and wool into small
rolls. These were spun into thread in spinning wheels roll of this thread
was called a hank. They dyed the thread and then wove it into cloth in a
home-made loom. Indigo blue, soft brown and yellow were popular colors. Some
of the ladies were quite expert in this art and made beautiful cloth as well
as lovely blankets and coverlets.
The spinning wheel and loom are
almost unheard of now. Occasionally you can find one which has been
preserved as a relic of colonial days.
Kerosene lamps were unknown at
that time. Tallow candles made in home-made molds were used to illumine the
The houses were usually built with
one large room for the fire room and another smaller room at the back for
sleeping quarters. The kitchen and dining room were in most instances a
separate house adjacent to the "big house." This small house, or kitchen,
usually had a chimney at one end. The floor to this building was often made
of clay. The chimneys were made of sticks and clay. The fire places were
broad and in many of them the women did their cooking. Stoves were quite
rare with the poorer families. The women used large covered iron pots,
spiders and bakers for their utensils. The kettle, where water was heated,
was often hung from a crane above the fire. Meat was often roasted on spits
hung before the fire.
In many of these pioneer homes the
round dining or turn tables, were found. The plates, knives, forks and
spoons were placed on the outer and lower circle which was about one and one
fourth feet broad. The next circle was raised about six inches. This center
section would revolve. At intervals about every two feet around this inner
circle were pegs. Upon this upper section, the food was placed and instead
of asking for what one wanted at the table, he took hold of a rig and turned
the inner section until he brought the desired dish to his plate.
In some of the richest homes they
had grand pianos. They were so big and long that they almost filled a room.
Churches in this section in the
early days were few and far between. Services at these churches were held
only once a month on the Sabbath and the preceding Saturday. The people were
quite religiously inclined. They looked forward to these monthly
appointments with the keenest anticipation, as they were hungry for the Word
As soon as these pioneer settlers
had built themselves comfortable places of abode, they began clearings for
fields. There was much virgin timber which was used for homes, barns,
fences, etc. After the clearings were made, crude plows were used for
breaking the land. Oxen were often used when there was a scarcity of stock.
The first settlers raised their stock as quickly as possible.
It was found that the land, while
comparatively smooth, was quite fertile. Almost anything would grow. Corn,
cotton and potatoes did exceptionally well.
The country was full of wild
animals. Fox and wild turkey hunts were great sports. The wolves often came
out of the creeks and branches at night and devoured fat hogs and calves if
these were not carefully housed. Many did they get even in the day time.
Bears were not infrequent. Deer were also plentiful. Most of the wild
animals are gone today. An occasional fox hunt is about all the sport one
has to remind him of the early days of our section.
Back to the top ^
LIFE OF COLONEL PHILIP COOK
Philip Cook, soldier, was born in
Twiggs County, Georgia, July 31, 1817. He sprang from a soldiery and
distinguished lineage. His great-grandfather Cook was a wealthy citizen of
Brunswick County, Virginia. His grandfather, John Cook, was a Captain in
Colonel William Washington's calvary legion, and married Martha, of the
noted revolutionary family of Pearsons.
His father, Major Philip Cook, 8th
U. S. Infantry, who was stationed at Fort Hawkins, Ga., about 1812, wedded
the gifted beauty, Anna, daughter of Major John Wooten who was killed at
Fort Wilkinson in 1812.
General Cook was graduated from
Oglethorpe University and began the practice of law with Zach Harmon in
Forsyth, Ga., in 1841. He bought a farm in Sumter County in 1843; settled
later in Lanier, and removed thence to Oglethorpe, to practice law until
1869, when he took up his residence in Americus, living there until a few
years ago, where he made his home on a plantation in Lee County.
He was state representative in
1854, and state senator in 1859, 1860 and 1863. Enlisting in 1861, a private
in the Fourth Georgia Infantry, he became Lieutenant, Adjutant, Lieutenant
Colonel, Colonel and Brigadier. After the war he was in President Johnson's
reconstruction Georgia constitutional convention; elected national
representative in 1865 to the thirty-ninth congress, but excluded by
political disabilities, and in 1872, 1874, 1876 and 1880, to the
forty-third, forty-fourth, forty-fifth, forth-sixth and forty-seventh
congresses; appointed Georgia Capitol Commissioner in 1882, and in 1890
appointed and then elected Georgia Secretary of State, which position he
continued to hold up to the time of his death.
General Cook has been an excellent
lawyer, heroic general, valuable legislator, and in all private relations a
model citizen. His war career was signally gallant and distinguished. He won
by rapid strides the splendid sobriquet of "The Old War Norse." His brave
conduct carried him at one leap from Adjutant to Lieutenant Colonel.
At Malvern Hill he was badly shot
through the body; and again at Chancellorsville was so desperately wounded
that amputation was at one time necessary, and after four months he went to
the State Senate and returned to service on crutches, having to be assisted
for months into the saddle, and still never missed a battle. His brigade,
with the sharpshooters of his division, led the attack on Fort Stedman, and
he was badly wounded after his men had taken it, and got some distance into
the Federal lines.
When Petersburg was evacuated, he
was left behind disabled, and paroled four months after the war. His
activity was even somewhat impaired from his wounds, when he passed away.
In Congress, while Chairman of the
important committee on public building and grounds, from both houses,
together with the architect of the Capitol, were appointed commissioners to
erect the annex to the National Museum.
General Cook was the embodiment of
manly courage, combined with strong common sense. He was married in 1842 to
Miss Sarah Lumpkin, who died in 1859. He has two children, Philip Cook, Jr.,
and Mrs. Lucy Peel, an intellectual and social leader of Atlanta society.