Mid-19th Century Decline of McDonough
Between the years 1846 and 1882 there was a standstill and decline of growth for
the township of McDonough. Many of the old families moved to Hampton and
some to Griffin with the advent of the railroad to those communities. Even many
houses were moved during this time.
In 1845, Aaron Cloud, Thomas D. Johnson, John M. Cox, James S. Jones, moved
to Pike County. Col. Leonard T. Doyal, Dr. Edward F. Knott, son of James Knott,
moved to Griffin in 1844 to open a medical school there. George Clarke, A. R.
Moore, Seth Parham, and members of the Beck family, as well as, R. L. Tomlinson
went to Griffin also.
Several homes were moved during this time. Many were torn down and hauled on
wagons to Griffin. Mr. Bill White had a handsome house on Jonesboro St. torn
down and moved to Griffin. Rev. Deane moved a two story house. The House of
Mr. Bunn almost north of the Brown House was moved. George Clark moved his
house which was across from the Tye House. The house of Mrs. Strandley which
stood on the corner of Covington and Sims Street was moved.
Mr. Stillwell moved from McDonough in 1858 to a plantation below Luella on the
Towaliga River in Spalding County. John Low and Andrew Brown moved to their
plantations near Luella. A.J. Cloud moved in 1854.
Rev. George White gave the statistical data for 1849 McDonough:
2. Goods sold in a year $50,000.
By 1853, William Markham, Robert Lowery, T.G. Healey, Madison Berry, John J.
Dorsey, Jr. and Joe Thrasher moved to Atlanta and were instrumental in the building
Mr. James Crockett, former Sheriff, moved to DeKalb County andis buried at
Wesley Chapel Methodist Church on Hwy 155.
Hampton became a very busy place and the center of trade for Henry County.
Sheriff Goodwin lived in Hampton and the lawyers of the day set up shop in
Hampton, though the courthouse was in McDonough. By 1875, the Hampton
Ledger was the up and coming newspaper in the area.
It would not be until the coming of the railroad to McDonough in 1882 before the
town would start growing again. But by this time a good portion of the original
settlers of the area had moved away.
That is what caused the boom in growth for Atlanta was the center of the rail
systems built through the area. It had become the hub of the south.
1. Mother of Counties, Mrs. Rainer, 1971.
2. Rev. George Whites Journal, 1849.
3. Henry County Weekly, 1852.
4. Centennial History of McDonough, 1921.