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Coffee County Towns


Coffee County Towns

Douglas was established as a city in 1854 being named for Senator Stephen A. Douglas, who ran against Abraham Lincoln for the presidency. He was born in 1813 in Brandon, Vermont. Fifty acres of land for the purpose of building public offices/buildings was donated to the city by Mr. James Pearson. In 1888, Douglas had 6 houses, one small store and a log courthouse. The city began to grow slowly until the Civil War period at which time the town actually begin to die. Around 1890, Douglas couldn't be found on the map. The population in 1900 was only 617. However, in the early years of 1900 the city began to flourish and continues to do so today.

Ambrose became a town in 1899. The founding of the city was due to the A.B. and A. Railroad. After the railroad came through that portion of the county, Mr. Dennis Vickers and J.J. Phillips gave the land to build the town. Vickers and Phillips families still live in this area and are quite large families. Mr. H.L. Vickers built the first brick building for which he used as a general mercantile store. Dr. Moorman built the first drug store. Mr. Dennis Vickers built the first cotton gin. Here also was the counties first guano plant, built by Mr. T.J. Holland. Ambrose's first church was built in 1915 and still stands today. On October 1, 1930 the town received electricity. Ambrose is located about twelve miles west on Douglas. The railroad is still the north/south dividing line for the city.

Broxton was named after the nearby Broxton Creek. Mr. John Passmore owned the land on which the town is situated. Later, Mr. Jesse Lott bought the land from Mr. Passmore and built a log cabin in the center of the present town. At first Broxton was known as Gully Branch, and is still referred to as such by many elderly citizens. Mr. Jesse Lott was the first postmaster of Broxton.

Nicholls also was established due to the railroad. This town is located about twelve miles east of Douglas and was first settled by the Southern Pine Company, in 1895. The tobacco business got its start in Nicholls. Actually on a farm about two miles south of Nicholls occupied by a Mr. S.J. Brown. At the time the farm was known as the McGee farm. It is here that the first tobacco warehouse was built. Some of the pioneer families of this area are: Meeks, Halls, Bagleys, Kirklands, Davis, Lewis, Tanners, and Taylors.

West Green actually came about as the result of two tramroads belonging to the Southern Pine Company. The main road from Hazlehurst, Ga. branched out into two roads; one going to Broxton, the other going to Nicholls. It was at the site of this branching that West Green was formed. In the early days it was known as "The Twenty" and boasted on one shanty. Eventually, a small courthouse was built. West Green's first industry was the Boyd Bird Cross Tie Company. Later, when the railroad changed its name to Garrant so did the settlement. Later Mr. G.W. Lott sold his entire real estate holdings to the South Georgia Farm Co. Through their influence people from South Carolina, Tennessee and other states begin to arrive. During this period the town was incorporated and named West Green after Mr. Westbrook, a member of the South Georgia Farm Co.

Source: Ward's History of Coffee County

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Melody M. McCook / Douglas / Georgia


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