finish out this 8-week series of columns with some more browsing in the
of the most unique events of the early 1900s was staged in Doerun on
December 18, 1901.
the Horse Swappers Convention.
traders from near and far, and more horseflesh than most south Georgians
had ever seen, congregated at Doerun.
early as 10 AM, a report of the convention said, Doerun held “about the
jolliest crowd of typical horsemen” one could imagine.
report said a number of trades occurred during the day “and everybody
Colquitt County’s wettest day, officially occurred between 6 PM, March
31, 1948 and noon on April 1, 1948 when 8.5 inches of rain unloaded on the
area. Almost all highways out of the city were blocked and several homes
in low-lying areas were flooded.
of the county roads were made impassable for several days, causing classes
to be canceled, and Governor M. E. Thompson ordered all highway
construction and maintenance crews to south Georgia to work on flood
Colquitt County’s wettest year was 1964 when 71.78 inches of rain was
recorded. That broke the old record of 68.45 inches recorded in 1947.
average, Colquitt County gets from 48-54 inches of rain each year.
of the first men in the United States to recognize the commercial
value of turpentine – and a Confederate veteran who was a personal friend
of General Robert E. Lee –helped open the Moultrie-Colquitt County
died in Colquitt County in December of 1902 at the home of a daughter,
Mrs. J. M. Heath. He died at age 77.
Major N. M. K. McNeill, a North Carolinian by birth, who was reared at
Cheraw, South Carolina and came to Georgia about 1885, drawn by the great
potential of the forests and naval stores.
McNeill, described as a man “of fine physique,” began the manufacture of
turpentine while a young man and is recorded as “one of the first pioneers
in naval stores in Georgia,” which included Colquitt County.
reports say he established one of the first turpentine stills in the
county and in later years was known as “the grand old man of the
McNeill served four years in the War Between the States, being an officer
in the volunteer army. He was among the first to volunteer and raise a
company of his own. Just prior to the close of the war he was promoted to
colonel, but the name “major” stuck through his civilian life.
only was Major McNeill a personal friend of General Lee, but a report of
his death in The Observer on January 2, 1903 said, “He was near General
Lee when he surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse.”
McNeill actually lived in Colquitt County some 12 years.
survived by several children including T. I. McNeill, Mrs. W. C. Vereen,
Mrs. J. M. Heath, Mrs. M.D. Allen and Mrs. R. C. Lindsey. A number of
grandchildren and great grandchildren also survived.
newspaper browsing next time!