Taylor County Genealogical Society
logo of TCHGS

Taylor Co Historical-Genealogical Society

A tree must have a good root system and a good genealogist must know where to dig. Join us---be a TRACER.

Index - Back Issues|
Butler History 1919 Butler Photos| Reynolds Photos| Churches Photos | Homes Photos| Mauk Photos | Mills Photos



By John R. Adams, Sr.
Southland, Taylor County, Georgia the town that was planned to be the ideal town with all the streets carefully laid out and the town lots attractive to business and manufacturing interest. The Rail Road would furnish transportation for goods and services, as well as fast travel for residents and visitors.

In April, 1906, the AB&A consolidated itself with the A&B and began operating under the Atlanta, Birmingham and Atlantic Railroad name. Construction of the extension began quickly. Montezuma to Talbotton was built in 1906 and Talbotton to LaGrange was completed in January of 1907. The railroad reached Birmingham in the summer of 1908.

In 1901 an advertisement for the new town of Southland, Georgia appeared in the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION on June 18, 1901. The Southland Town and Land Company, of Fort Valley, Georgia stated that they were open the Town of Southland, Taylor County, Georgia on or about October 15, 1905.


The town site lies on a beautiful plateau between Cedar Creek on the South and Whitewater on the North. The location is beautiful, the drainage conditions are prefect. There are no swamps, no malaria. The water is abundant and pure. The view to the South, East and West is lovely.


The town has a trading area of fifteen miles square. The surrounding country will sustain at present a town of three thousand people; and a large part of the land is yet undeveloped.


Corn, cotton, peas, sugarcane, sorghum, potatoes, rice, oats, rye, wheat and vegetables all do well in this locality.


As fine peaches as Georgia ever produced grow in this section. It is not uncommon to find trees bearing in this territory that are 25 years old. The famous Elberta peach is at its best in this section. Remember that 30 acres of Elberta peaches produce 21 carloads, which netted the grower $500.00 per car at Fort Valley. The territory around Southland will grow them just as large, color them to perfection and ripen them about one week earlier.

The famous Shabo plum yielded from 2,000 trees in Crawford County, four thousand and six hundred dollars worth of plums in one crop. Southland lands will grow these plums beautifully. Apples, pears, grapes, figs, pomegranates, and all varieties of berries are great producers here.

There are thousands of acres of these lands around the town to be had at from $5.00 to $20.00 per acre. Why are they unoccupied? Simply because the section has had no railroad. But now that the best railroad in Georgia is building right to the town, these lands will rise in price very rapidly.

The Atlantic and Birmingham Railway, with those railway princes, William G. Raoul and George Dole Wadley, at its head, is completed from Brunswick to Montezuma. Work on the extension from Montezuma to Birmingham has begun. The road will be completed to Southland before the time of opening, October 15, 1905.


Whitewater Creek is the boldest and prettiest stream in Georgia. It has ample water the year round for any number of mills and factories. It is only a few hundred yards from the northeast corner of Southland.


The Company will build a commodious school building for the people who move to Southland. The streets will all be opened and put in proper condition. The Company will be prepared to furnish lumber, as cheap as it can be bought, for those who build.


Hotel, brick yard, bank, drug store, variety works, livery stable, warehouse, fertilizer factory, hardware store, poultry farm, and dairy. All these will pay handsomely. There will be work for carpenters, painters, tinners, druggist, doctors, banker, hotel proprietor, common laborers, sawmill hands, etc.


We will sell only business lots. Our residence lots are given away. You pay us $25.00 for each business lot, and with each business lot you get one residence lot. The business lots are 25X120 ft.; the residence lots are 50X120 ft. You must pay for the your lots cash with your application. You will draw for the location of your lots. But there will be no wasted lots Ė no blanks. The day the town is opened you will get a clear title to your lots. The time is short from now till October 15. A great deal is to be done to get the town ready. If you want to get a home, or make a good investment in the prettiest, healthiest place in Georgia, buy now of our agents, or buy of us direct.


W. Peddicord, Pres.; W. E. Henderson, Vice Pres., and Rev. George B. Culpepper, Sec. And Treas., compose the company. All of them are Georgians and all of them know what we offer. There is no proposition before the people to compare with this.


If you want references as to our integrity, write to Hon. H. A. Mathews, John L. Brown, D. Purns and A. B. Greene, all of Fort Valley, Ga.

If you want references as to our ability to do what we say, remember that you get a free title one business lot and one residence lot the day the town is opened, or you get your money back.

Make your application now and send the money with the application. Make your checks payable to: The Southland Town & Land Co., Fort Valley, Ga.


I was born Saturday a.m., April 22, 1882 in Macon County, Georgia about two miles west of the little town of Ideal. I was the oldest child of Monroe and Anionette "Net" (Turner) Hill. Our family moved to Taylor County (on farm of Wesley Hill, father of Monroe Hill) in the fall of 1882 where they lived in a one room house in 1883-1884. Here Albert Oscar Hill, another son, was born January 28, 1884. The family moved back to the Turner place where they lived in 1882. My mother, (Net as she was called) fell heir to 107 acres of land of her grandfathers estate. On this land father built a split log house about 18X20 feet, with 9 foot shed on back and a rock and mud chimney at the east end of each room. Here another son Archie Fleming Hill was born January 8, 1886. Mother died at this little home October 2, 1888. Father married Leila Adkins of Americus, Georgia on May 12, 1889. We lived on the little farm of my motherís until December, 1900. Three children were born of the second marriage while we lived at this place.

I saw my first train at Oglethorpe about 1889. It was a wood burner; and a big fright to me.

I went to school to Professor George L. Dwight at Turnerís Chapel, one 5 or 6 months term in 1889-1890. I went to school to Miss Lizzie Dukes at the Hambrick School House at Hambrick Cross Roads (1890-91). Later I went to Miss Dee Slappey at the same place, and later I went to Professor M. T. Duke, 5 1/2 months at Salem Church in 1899-1900.I got to about the seventh grade (although county schools were not graded then).

I saw my great-grandfather, Milton Ham (Grandma Hillís father) in 1891. (Rebecca Ham wife of William Wesley Hill) He was 94 years old and took his first train ride from Ozark, Alabama to see us. He was born in 1796 while George Washington was living. He lived to be 98 years old and is buried about Ozark, Alabama. (Died September 23, 1895 in Coffee Co., Ala.)

I heard Tom Watson (Populist Party) speak at Montezuma in 1892, and there I saw my first ice in the summer time. Also first soda pop.

I saw my first telephone at Oglethorpe, Georgia 1896-97.

I saw my first talking machine at Oglethorpe, Georgia in 1897 or 98.

My first train ride was from Montezuma to Oglethorpe (two mile for ten cents) in 1899.

In December, 1900 my father sold our little place to George Brooks for $500.00 and bought a farm in Taylor County, Georgia.

We moved to Taylor County, Georgia December 26, 1900.

I lived with my father about 10 months and then went to Columbus, Georgia.

I met my wife, Miss Vashti Cox, in summer of 1901, wrote to her 2 years.

On November 6, 1901 I went to Columbus, Georgia to work for myself. On the night of that day I saw my first electric light. Also my first gas light. On November 7, 1901 I saw my first automobile.

I had $10.02 when I went to Columbus but got a job and went to work on November 9th at 85 cents a day. I found board at $2.50 per week.

I had measles in March, 1902 and spent all the money I had before I was able to work. Fortune smiled and I did not go in debt. I saw my first ice machine in 1902 at Columbus, Georgia. I saw my first steam boat in 1901 at Columbus, Georgia on the Chattahoochee River.

I joined the Missionary Baptist Church at Garard, Alabama (where I boarded) July, 1902 and was baptized by James T. Edus, D. D.

First case of appendicitis I ever heard of was 1902.

I saw my first gas engine in 1903, the exhaust sounded like the firing of cannons.

I married Miss Dora Vashti Cox at her fatherís home 2 1/2 miles south of Butler, Georgia, Sunday p.m., December 6, 1903, Elder A. A. Garrett officiating.

I farmed a share crop for Winfield Worth Cox, my wifeís father, 1904-05.

In December, 1905 I built a house on the place bought by my father in 1900, where the town of Southland was laid out. I moved in the home March 20, 1906.

I saw the A. B. & C. Railroad built in 1905 and first freight & passenger trains above Montezuma in January, 1906.

First fountain pen I remember seeing was P. C. Jones in 1906.

I was appointed Postmaster of Southland in July, 1907. I opened a grocery store at Southland September 1, 1907. First mail train received there September 15, 1907. Rural route established December 1, 1908 with J. N. "Nat" Turner as carrier.

THE BUTLER HERALD, November 24, 1908.
Beginning on Tuesday, December 1, 1908, the rural mail service will begin from this office with Mr. J. N. Turner as carrier. The boxes have arrived and will be delivered promptly by Mr. Turner, and will cost the patrons only 53 cents. Locks 17 cents extra. We kindly ask all patrons and persons accessible to the Route to get ready by the date mentioned and have their mail changed to this office early as possible. Arrangements have been made for Money Order business which will be of great convenience. Mr. Turner, will ever be at the service of the people, ready to accommodate each one in all that the Postal Regulations will allow, while Mr. W. G. Hill as Postmaster offers to the public the very best service possible. At any time he or Mr. Turner can serve you in any way donít fail to call on them.

I rode in my first automobile at Tifton, Georgia 1910.

First case of Pellagra I ever saw was in 1912.

I bought cotton seed from Lilly Oil Mill Co., of Lilly, Georgia several seasons. I built a gin house and put in a ginnery in 1914. Ran it two seasons and lost $1500.00 on it.

Resigned as Postmaster of Southland October 1, 1917 and gave more attention to my little farm that I had bought in 1910 for about $1100.00.

I saw my first airplane about 1917 and went to the opening of Souther Field at Americus, Georgia on July 4, 1918 to see the planes fly.

Bought an Overland automobile May, 1918 for about $800.00, the only one I ever bought.

I moved with my family to Butler, Georgia November 2, 1922. Went into business here November 15, 1922. Built a house here in spring of 1928. Moved into the home April 2, 1922.

Saw my first radio in I. F. Peeples Store in 1922 at Butler.

We reared 4 children as follows; Nettie Beatrice Hill born August 31, 1904, Mary Louise Hill born March 25, 1908. Carolyn Vashti Hill born May 8, 1913 and Herman Gregory Hill born December 22, 1917. The last three born at Southland, Georgia.

The photographs and personal notes of William Gregory Hill were furnished to the TRACER for publication by Jack & Dianne (Hill) McGlaun. Dianne is the daughter of Herman Gregory Hill and granddaughter of William Gregory Hill. We always appreciate those who allow us to copy genealogical & historical information about Taylor County, Georgia and surrounding counties.

Southland Maps

825 Acres
1864 Residence Lots
1860 Business Lots
103 1/2 Undivided Blocks

The map of Southland is located in the Superior Court room with the deeds. It is very large and thanks to Diane Renfroe for coping it for me. I also made a photograph of the map. The one on page 4 is the whole map. I cropped the map to show the depot, Railroad & Cedar Creek.


Caption Click the Hyperlink for Enlarged Picture

William Frank Callahan Depot Agent 1910. He was born October 23, 1891 son of James Morgan Callahan & Mattie E. Wilson Callahan. He married Jewell Cochran December 17, 1916 in Taylor Co., Ga.

Other Depot Agents at Southland were: 1908 - J. G. Shivers; 1908 - Mr. Marion McKiney, of Stovall; 1908 - 1909 - Herman H. Luther; of Alabama;
Published:The Taylor Tracer January 2005.

Pictured L-R: Dora Vashti (Cox) Hill, wife of William Gregory Hill, Nettie Beatrice Hill and Mary Louise Hill. Published:The Taylor Tracer January 2005.



W. G. Hill started this home at Southland in November, 1905. He moved his family in the home on March 20, 1906. Published:The Taylor Tracer January 2005. P

Water Tank Construction

Construction of Water Tank - Southland Atlanta, Birmingham & Atlantic Railroad - 1906

Published:The Taylor Tracer January 2005.

Archie Fleming Hill, first man on the left seated on the cart.

Archie Fleming Hill was born January 24, 1886 son of William Monroe Hill & Annette (Turner) Hill. He died January 26, 1919.

THE BUTLER HERALD, Taylor Co., Ga. Thursday, January 30, 1919
At Williams' Sanitarium, Macon, Sunday, occurred the death of Mr. Fleming Hill, age about 30 years, son of Mr. W. M. Hill. He was a member of one of the county's best families and himself deservedly popular with a large circle of warm friends all of whom are saddened by his death.
Some weeks ago Mr. Hill suffered a severe attack of influenza followed by an acute attack of Bright disease. All that medical skill, careful and patient nursing of loved ones could do for him proved of no avail and on Wednesday of last week he was taken to the Williams Sanitarium for an operation. He continued to grow worse until the end came Sunday. The remains of Mr. Hill were laid to rest in the family lot at Prosperity Cemetery Monday, the funeral services being attended by a large concourse of sorrowing friends and relatives.


Train wreck on the A. B. & A. Railroad in 1906. Many accidents were mentioned in the Southland column and in THE BUTLER HERALD. Published:The Taylor Tracer January 2005.

Facts on Southland

Morse & Dale General Farmers' supply store
S. R. McCart dwelling & store
D. J. Brewton contractor. Built the building for The Southland Banner and Bank Building. Used artificial stone made at Southland.
Mr. Samuel contracted and built the building for the livery and sale and feed stables.
Sunday School superintendent, Mr. Kicklighter
Post office changed from Bon View to Southland.
Charles A. Barfield was Notary public and Real Estate Agent. Frank Callahan was living with him in 1910 Census.
Nellie Lou Hill School teacher
Bessie Lou Hill Teacher at Southland
Dr. L. B. Turner Doctor
Mr. Thompson Store
M. O. Bryant Store
J. W. Mitchell Dry Goods Store
Miss Lizzie Ragan teacher at Southland. There were 32 children enrolled in 1908. 

This article and photos appeared in the Janury 2005 issue of The Taylor Tracer. Available.
Copyright: Taylor County Historical and Genealogical Society 1998

Virginia Crilley.

|Back to the top| Taylor Co Historical-Genealogical Society Home Page