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Georgia Natural Wonder #236 - Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site - Irwin Co. ***
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Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site - Irwin County

Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site (also known as the Jefferson Davis Capture Site) is a 12.668-acre state historic site located in Irwin County, Georgia that marks the spot where Confederate States President Jefferson Davis was captured by United States Cavalry on Wednesday, May 10, 1865. The historic site features a granite monument with a bronze bust of Davis that is located at the place of capture. The memorial museum, built in 1939 by the Works Progress Administration, features Civil War era weapons, uniforms, artifacts and an exhibit about the president's 1865 flight from Richmond, Virginia to Irwin County, Georgia.

History
Left marker
Right marker
Monument in June 1936

Confederate States President Jefferson Davis fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, on April 2. From April 3 through 10, Danville, Virginia served as the capital of the rapidly collapsing Confederacy. Accompanied by several members of his Cabinet (John H. Reagan, Judah P. Benjamin, and John C. Breckinridge), and his aide Burton Harrison, along with a military escort, the remnants of the Confederate government fled further south, passing through Greensboro and Charlotte in North Carolina and Fort Mill, York, Abbeville, and Washington in South Carolina. Davis was informed of the surrender at Appomattox on April 13 and of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on April 18.

Davis and his remaining members of his party crossed the Savannah River into Georgia on May 3, 1865, headed for the Western and Trans-Mississippi theaters, where Davis hoped to regroup the Confederate military and continue the war. Davis arrived in Washington in Wilkes County on the same day, and dissolved the Confederate government there. By May 6, Davis reached Sandersville, and on May 7 he met his wife, Varina, and their children. With Union troops in close pursuit, Davis and his family fled through Wilcox County.

On the evening of May 9, Davis and his party reached Irwinville, in Irwin County, and camped in a pine forest (present-day Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site), unaware that Union soldiers were nearby. At dawn the next day, they were surrounded by the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry and the 4th Michigan Cavalry. The two Union regiments were unaware of each other's presence and engaged in a brief firefight (in which two cavalrymen died) before the forces realized that they had been shooting at one another. Davis attempted to flee to a nearby creek before being arrested by a Michigan cavalryman. Captured along with Davis and his wife were his private secretary Harrison, Postmaster General John Henninger Reagan, several other aides, and supply weapons and ambulances.

Davis was charged with treason and held in Fort Monroe, Virginia for two years, before being released.
Jefferson Davis Capture Site

The site was owned by Judge James Bagley Clements (1869-1936), who deeded four acres to the State of Georgia in 1920, "for the purposes of creating a state park." His father had bought the land after the war to ensure that "no Yankee would ever own it." Clements wrote a history of Irwin County, which included a chapter on the Davis capture and site.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy erected a monument on the exact spot where Davis was captured. It consists of a granite stele set upon a stepped granite base, the stele features relief panels and inscriptions, and atop it is a bronze bust of Davis modeled by Atlanta sculptor Laurence Tompkins. The relief on the front depicts a captured Davis flanked by two Union soldiers; the relief on the back depicts a battle scene; the reliefs on the sides depict the Confederate flag. The monument was dedicated on June 3, 1936.

The Works Progress Administration built the memorial's Civil War Museum, completed in 1939. Additional parcels of land were added, bringing the size of the park to nearly 13 acres by 1952.

The site ceased to be a Georgia state park in the mid-1970s, and was deeded to Irwin County in 1976. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

The monument is now surrounded by a square bed of gravel and enclosed by a low iron fence.

Irwin County Georgia

Irwin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2020 census, the population was 9,666. The county seat is Ocilla. The county was created on December 15, 1818. It was named for Governor Jared Irwin.

In the last years of the American Civil War, Irwin County gained the nickname of the Republic of Irwin due to the Unionism of many of its residents.[4] The location where Jefferson Davis was captured[5] is located in Irwin County near Irwinville. As of today Irwin County, Georgia is 205 years old! Irwin was made in 1818 during The Civil War. As of 2024, Irwin population is over 10,000 but as the population keeps growing the population keeps increasing every day at possibly 10 born every month. The exact number of people are not known there is an estimate that we and the rest of Irwin can make a guess of the population in Irwin or Ocilla. In 2025 the expected population will be at 13-14 thousand people born and it counts the children born aswell with the people who move to Irwin.

History

The territories of Appling, Irwin, and Early counties were land newly ceded in 1814 and 1818. These counties were created by a legislative act on December 15, 1818. All or portions of Irwin's five adjacent counties were created from Irwin county along with all of Cook, Colquitt, Lanier, Lowndes, counties and portions of Atkinson, Brooks, Echols, Wilcox, and Worth counties. Irwin was divided into 16 districts of 20 miles and 10 chains square with lots of 70 chains square containing 490 acres according to the Act of 1818. In 1820 each lot was priced at $18, but by 1831 the price was down to $5 per lot.

Irwin County had 372 white residents and 39 slaves in 1820, when the census covered a large portion of central south Georgia. In 1825, Lowndes County was formed out of the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 15th, and 16th land districts in what was then the southern half of the county. In 1830, the county had 1,066 whites, 109 slaves, and 5 free people of color. In 1840, Irwin County had 1,772 whites and 266 slaves. In 1850. Irwin County had 2,874 whites, 459 slaves, and 1 free person of color. In 1853, Worth County was formed out of part of Irwin County. In 1854, Coffee County was also formed from Irwin. In 1860, Irwin County had 1,453 whites and 246 slaves. It was one of a few counties in Georgia outside of mountainous northern Georgia with slaves accounting for a small percentage of its population.

Civil War

During the American Civil War, like the United States in general, Irwin County was also ideologically divided. The county was one of the poorest at the time in Georgia. It was home to a number of Southern Unionists who opposed secession and the Confederacy. The county also provided several regiments to the Confederate Army including:

    Company F "Irwin Volunteers", 49th Regiment Georgia Infantry.

In May 1863, several companies of Duncan Lamont Clinch Jr's Fourth Georgia Cavalry were charged with searching Irwin County for deserters. They spent a month searching the county, but were only able to find twenty-two deserters on May 22, the day they arrived. The deserters were sent to Savannah for enlistment or prosecution.[7]

A prominent Unionist in the county was Willis Jackson Bone. He lived west of Irwinville, near the Alapaha River. He was a miller and operated a steam-powered mill on what was then Bones Pond and presently Crystal Lake. Because he was a gristmill operator, Bone was exempt from conscription. During the Civil War, he helped a number of escaped slaves, Confederate deserters, and escaped Union prisoners hide in the swamps along the river. In February 1865, Bone and a large assembly of others gathered in Irwinville. Those assembled declared Irwin County part of the Union again. A lieutenant of the local militia protested the action, but was knocked down with a musket by Bone. Three cheers for Abraham Lincoln followed. The assembly then took after the lieutenant and the enrolling officer Gideon Brown. They and other Confederate sympathizers were chased out of town and threatened with death if they should return.[8][9] Willis Jackson Bone was hanged near his pond in late April 1865 after he killed a local justice of the peace named Jack Walker while Bone was bringing food to an escaped slave named Toney. Walker had tried to take Toney into custody.[10]

A few months later, Irwinville became the site of the capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Davis was on his way from the capital of the Confederacy at Richmond, Virginia to board a ship with his family and flee to safety in England, Davis stopped at a hotel in Irwinville owned by Doctor G.E. White on the evening of May 9, 1865. There he conversed and socialized with the locals and no one had suspected that they were in the presence of a man of such esteem. Davis and his family moved to an encampment beside a nearby creek bed only a couple of miles from the hotel after they were done talking with the citizens of Irwinville and sometime in the early morning of May 10, the encampment was alarmed by the sound of gunfire. Davis tried to escape towards the creek wearing an overcoat and his wife had tied her scarf around his shoulders, but members of the First Wisconsin and Fourth Michigan Cavalry Regiments captured him. He was taken to Fortress Monroe, Virginia and held for two years.[11] The location is now the Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Irwin County, Georgia

Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site

See above.

Irwin County Courthouse

The Irwin County Courthouse is located in Ocilla, Georgia. It was made out of blond brick in the Neoclassical style at a cost of $52,000. It has a domed clock tower with four hooded clocks. Additions have been made to the rear side. Some interior walls are marble and painted plaster. Floors are made of wood, tile, carpet, and marble.

Ocilla Public School

The Ocilla Public School, also known as Irwin County Elementary School, is a historic school building in Ocilla, Georgia, United States, that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Description

The main building is a one-story U-shaped building with 17 classrooms, a library, a 700-seat auditorium, and more. It has Colonial Revival details. It was built in 1934 to serve as both elementary school and high school. In the early 1950s, it became known as the Irwin County Elementary School when a separate high school was built about three blocks away.

A one-story brick cafeteria and classroom building was added in c.1960, and has International Style design.

Historical Markers and War Memorials in Irwin County, Georgia

Irwinville

Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis Memorial State Park

Confederate Memorial

Dorminy's Meeting House Young's Meeting House Brushy Creek

Irwin County

Irwin County Veterans Memorial

Jefferson Davis Memorial State Park

Old Coffee Road

Veterans of All Wars Memorial

Communities
City

    
Ocilla

The city of Ocilla is the county seat[4] of Irwin County, Georgia, United States. Its population was 3,498 at the 2020 census. Ocilla is part of the Fitzgerald micropolitan statistical area.

History

Ocilla was founded in 1880, incorporated as a town in 1897, and finally re-incorporated as a city in 1902. It is not clear whether Ocilla is named for the Seminole Chief Osceola, for an Oswichee Native American tribe, or, as proposed by historian John Goff, it could be an adaptation of the place name Auscilla.[5] A 1981 Fitzgerald Herald-Leader says that "a tribe of Oswichee Indians once lived near the Ocmulgee River on land known in 1818 as Irwin County." There, towns were called Oswitchee and Ocilla, and sometimes Ocichi. The French census shows that a town called Ocichi existed there in 1750. A later census in 1832 gives Oswhichee as the name of another Indian village close to Osochi." It goes on with "The town's name was changed seven times. It was called by the Indians Assile, next Aglie, Axilla, Agulu, Ochile, and lastly Ocilla." This theory is less popular today.

The most popular theory is that Ocilla is named for Chief Osceola, who had a prominent role in the Second Seminole War. Allegedly, he camped in the area known as Western Heights in Ocilla and frequently could be found in the area until his capture and imprisonment at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. Osceola is probably the reason that the sports teams in Irwin County are now known as the Indians.

Christmas Lady of Ocilla

In the 1980s and 1990s Marie Watson was known in Ocilla as the "Christmas Lady." Watson would intricately decorate the property around her home on Cherry Street with lights and Christmas decorations and each year "Santa Claus" would visit the property, taking wishes for gifts from children. Watson became famous for her Christmas cheer but eventually stopped due to the hassle of decorating and because of her older age. Today, her tradition is somewhat carried on every year as the City of Ocilla now decorates Cumbee Park, the public park directly in front of Watson's former home, and holds a yearly session with Santa Claus.[6]

Ocilla Raceway or New Veterans Memorial Track

On the outskirts of town, Ocilla once hosted the New Veterans Memorial Track (commonly known as the Ocilla Raceway) which was a 3/8 mile layout racing track. It was inaugurated on April 23, 1950. Governor Herman Talmadge was scheduled to attend but was unavailable and the former Governor M.E. Thompson appeared instead. On opening day 2,500 people watched the first program featuring five separate races. James Bennett of Macon, Georgia won the 20-lap featured race and Lucy Stacks of Fitzgerald won the women's race. VFW would eventually take over the track after the original owner, Marion "Buddy" Green, decided that its liabilities were too great.[7]

The races eventually began to run from January to December and hosted drivers from as far away as Atlanta and Northern Florida, as well as some local drivers. It was eventually shut down and the track survives in severe disrepair.

Railroad

The railroad was a prominent factor in the development of Ocilla and Irwin County in the late 19th and early 20th century, with multiple railroads bearing the name of the town. A March 20, 1981 Fitzgerald Herald-Leader article said that at one time, fourteen passenger trains stopped in Ocilla each day. According to Frank Crouch, "The Seaboard passenger trains stopped two times a day," and there was also a railroad shop where trains would have gone for repair.

While no tracks currently connect any industry or passenger service to Ocilla, the remnants of the "Iron Horses" that once whizzed through the area are still visible from track embankments in Irwinville, Georgia to the historical red caboose prominently overlooking Cumbee Park. There were at least four railroads that connected directly to Ocilla.

The Ocilla and Irwinville Railroad

The Ocilla and Irwinville Railroad was incorporated on October 4, 1900 or earlier and operated 11 miles of track between Ocilla and Irwinville. The railroad owned one locomotive, one passenger carriage, and 46 freight carriages. The railroad was purchased in 1903 by the Brunswick & Birmingham Railroad, which later leased it to the Fitzgerald, Ocilla, & Broxton Railroad in 1911. The 11 miles of track originally built by the Ocilla & Irwinville Railroad were abandoned in 1916 and later removed.[8]

The Ocilla and Valdosta Railroad

The Ocilla and Valdosta Railroad was chartered in 1903 with plans to connect Valdosta with Macon. By 1906, the railroad had completed its first line from Broxton to Ocilla and had begun the construction on its line from Ocilla to Fitzgerald. It also purchased a line between Broxton and Hazlehurst in 1905 and had started to absorb the Fitzgerald, Ocmulgee, and Red Bluff Railway. Due to financial issues, it sold the Broxton-Hazlehurst line in 1907. In 1908, its remaining properties became the property of the new Fitzgerald, Ocilla, and Broxton Railroad. Like the Ocilla-Irwinville line, the Broxton-Ocilla line was abandoned in 1916.[8]

The Fitzgerald, Ocilla, and Broxton Railroad

The Fitzgerald, Ocilla, and Broxton Railroad was formed in 1907 to take over the failing Ocilla and Valdosta Railroad lines connecting its namesake cities. As it is said above, the railroad also took over the Ocilla-Irwinville route from the Ocilla and Irwinville Railroad by leasing that railroad from its parent owner, the Brunswick & Birmingham Railroad. Like the Ocilla and Valdosta Railroad, the FO&B soon began to fail. It was forced to lease its tracks between Ocilla and Fitzgerald to the Ocilla Southern Railroad in 1911.[8]

The Ocilla Southern Railroad

The Ocilla Southern Railroad was incorporated in 1908 and opened its Ocilla-Alapaha line in 1910, leased the Ocilla-Fitzgerald line from the FO&B in 1911, built an extension from Fitzgerald to Rochelle in 1914, and extended its line from Rochelle to Pope City in 1917. From Pope City, the Ocilla Southern extended its line to Nashville and owned all of the 69 miles of track between Ocilla and Nashville except for the 10 miles of Ocilla-Fitzgerald line that it was leasing. In 1917, the Ocilla Southern also leased a line between Pope City and Hawkinsville from the Hawkinsville and Florida Southern Railway and the line between Hawkinsville and Perry from the Hawkinsville and Western Railroad. According to the 1923 Poor's Manual, the Ocilla Southern Railroad wanted to connect Atlanta to Jacksonville, Florida but only ever covered a third of that distance. In 1918, the railroad entered receivership status and by 1923 had begun abandoning most of its lines.[8]

The crash of the Dixie Flyer

On March 25, 1911, the southbound Dixie Flyer running from Chicago, Illinois to Jacksonville, Florida crashed through a trestle over the Alapaha River, only a short distance from Ocilla. The wreck was found to have been caused by the engine driving wheel axle breaking off. The baggage and express cars, as well as two day coaches, were flung into the water, a steel-construction first class coach car was forced through the sleeper car, the engine stayed on the trestle, and the tender was derailed. Ten people perished as a result, and the line was shut down for 36 hours for all trains. The disaster is considered one of the region's worst train wrecks in history

Unincorporated communities

   
Irwinville

Irwinville is an unincorporated community in Irwin County, Georgia, United States.

Irwinville was founded as "Irwinsville" in 1831 as the seat for the newly formed Irwin County. The community was named for Georgia governor Jared Irwin. It was renamed to Irwinville (without the S) when it was incorporated as a town in 1857. In 1907, the seat of Irwin County was transferred from Irwinville to Ocilla.[1]

Irwinville is well known for its role in the American Civil War as the site of the capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who was fleeing Union troops. Today, the site of his capture is marked by a monument as well as a museum and park.

It was also a part of the WPA projects in the 1930s. A small water park originally called Crystal Lake (later changed to Crystal Beach) operated just outside there from the middle of the twentieth century to 1998.

History

Unionist takeover

In mid-February 1865, a group of Southern Unionists, a large number of residents, and deserters led by local miller Willis Jackson Bone assembled in Irwinville. Bone operated a mill on Bone Pond (now Crystal Lake) near the Alapaha River. The group passed a resolution declaring the county's return to the Union. A lieutenant of the local militia protested the action, but was knocked down with a musket by Bone. Three cheers for Abraham Lincoln followed. The assembly then took after the lieutenant and the enrolling officer Gideon Brown. They and other Confederate sympathizers were chased out of town and threatened with death if they should return.[2][3] Willis Jackson Bone was hanged near his pond in late April 1865 after he killed a local justice of the peace named Jack Walker while Bone was bringing food to an escaped slave named Toney. Walker had tried to take Toney into custody.[4]

Capture of Jefferson Davis

Jefferson Davis Capture Site, a property on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Irwin County, Georgia

A few months later, Irwinville became the site of the capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Davis was on his way from the capital of the Confederacy at Richmond, Virginia to board a ship with his family and flee to safety in Cuba. Davis stopped at a hotel in Irwinville owned by Doctor G.E. White on the evening of May 9, 1865. There he conversed and socialized with the locals and no one had suspected that they were in the presence of a man of such esteem. Davis and his family moved to an encampment beside a nearby creek bed only a couple of miles from the hotel after they were done talking with the citizens of Irwinville and sometime in the early morning of May 10, the encampment was alarmed by the sound of gunfire. Davis tried to escape towards the creek wearing an overcoat and his wife had tied her scarf around his shoulders, due to a heavy rainstorm, but members of the First Wisconsin and Fourth Michigan Cavalry Regiments captured him. He was taken to Fortress Monroe, Virginia, and held for two years. J.B. Clements went on to claim in his book The History of Irwinville that had Davis revealed himself, the residents of Irwinville would have happily hidden him from the pursuing Union troops.[5]

Today a monument marks the spot of Davis' arrest. The monument is located at the Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site. There is a museum, picnic facilities, and hiking trails. There are also frequent Civil War reenactments near the park.

Ocilla & Irwinville Railroad

The Ocilla & Irwinville Railroad was incorporated on October 4, 1900 or earlier and operated 11 miles of track between Ocilla and Irwinville. The railroad owned one locomotive, one passenger carriage, and 46 freight carriages. The railroad was purchased in either February or March 1903 by the Brunswick & Birmingham Railroad which later leased it to the Fitzgerald, Ocilla, & Broxton Railroad in 1911. The 11 miles of track originally built by the Ocilla & Irwinville Railroad were abandoned in 1916 and later removed.

As county seat

Irwinville served as the official county seat of Irwin County from the formation of the county in 1831 until August 17, 1907. A total of three courthouses had been built in Irwinville over its 76-year tenure as county seat. The first courthouse was built by Benjamin Baker at a cost of about $1,500.00. Little is known about the first courthouse other than that it was a story and a half tall. It had a shingle roof, common with rural courthouses during this time.

In 1854, Loam Brown built a new courthouse at a cost of $1,323 to replace the courthouse built by Benjamin Baker. There is no known description available for this courthouse. In August 1883, a notice was placed on the door of the courthouse stating that it and the public square in which it sat would be sold to the highest available bidder within 10 days. John Clements won the courthouse at a sum of $40.50, to which there was significant public outcry because the citizens of Irwinville did not want to see the building go.

The last courthouse in Irwinville, 1935

During the summer of 1883, the third and final courthouse in Irwinville was commissioned at a cost of $4,080. This courthouse was of an elongated design and would have sat in about the same location as where Moorehead's County Store stands today. It was of plain white siding on the exterior with a tin roof.

In 1897, a petition to move the seat of Irwin County to Fitzgerald, was submitted but not approved. However in 1905, Irwin County was divided into Irwin, Ben Hill, Turner, and Tift counties. The Spring of 1907 saw the county seat moved to its present location in Ocilla although the courthouse in Irwinville was still used for its original purpose until the new courthouse was completed in 1910.

As a town

Irwinville was once the largest town in Irwin County and contained several stores, a bank, and a jail.

Jails

Similarly to the courthouses, Irwinville had three jails throughout its history. The first jail was built between 1849 and 1850 at a cost of $800.00. The building was of log construction although nothing much is known past that. In 1856, an African-American prisoner named Josh Williams was imprisoned for the murder of two European-American men, Daniel and Bill Luke. On the night that Williams was arrested, someone set fire to the building and although the jailer lived only a mile away, neither the jail nor the prisoner could be saved. Josh Williams' remains are buried in a field cemetery behind the Masonic Lodge.

The jail was rebuilt in nearly the same way and reportedly had not been sealed well. In 1880, R.W. Clements had jailed another African-American man on the basis of a misdemeanor. According to witnesses, the inmate was said to have been "screaming and hollering as if all kinds of demons were after him." When Clements arrived at the jail, a rattlesnake had entered the cell that the prisoner was in. The prisoner was removed and the jail sealed so that nothing else could find its way in.

An Irwinville Farms Project family living in the second Irwinville jail during the 1930s.

In 1890, the county built another jail in Irwinville. It was of brick construction, contained eight steel cells, and cost $3,395.00 at the time of construction.

All three jails in Irwinville were built around the same area as the courthouses and where Moorehead's Country Store presently stands. We know from historical records that the Oak trees that stand around Moorehead's were once used for the hangings of criminals jailed at the jailhouses and convicted at the old courthouses.
Hotel

The only surviving hotel building in Irwinville is the one built by Dr. G.E. White in the mid-1800s. Little is known about this building but it once welcomed visitors from many places and had played host to the American Confederacy's first and only leader, Jefferson Davis.
Bank

There have been several banks in Irwinville. The original bank operated until sometime near the 1920s or 1930s. The building still exists with the safe still inside, although a newer bank once operated in Irwinville until the 2000s.
Health Department

The Irwinville Farms Project brought a Health Department to Irwinville during the Great Depression era. It was considered to be very useful for the people of Irwinville who visited it. The building, originally the bank, is still standing and is now used as a shop.
Post office

Irwinville had its own post office up until 2012, although it had operated without a postmaster since 2010. The post office was closed by the United States Postal Service due to the cost of keeping it open.

Irwinville Farms Project

Between 1935 and 1939, the Works Progress Administration began a program centered around Irwinville. The project came to be known as the Irwinville Farms Project and its main goal was to rejuvenate the area around Irwinville that had suffered greatly during The Great Depression. The Irwinville Farms Project resulted in the construction of a cooperative cotton gin (at the stoplight in Irwinville, directly across from Quick change #50 store), the monument in the park at the Jefferson Davis Memorial Historic Site, school playground, and a health clinic. The project brought sports and ultimately resulted in the famous Irwinville Farmers basketball team, a May Day-health festival, and it saw the old courthouse converted into apartments for farm families.
    
Mystic

Mystic is an unincorporated community in Irwin County, Georgia, United States. The community is located on Georgia State Route 32, 5.4 miles (8.7 km) west-northwest of Ocilla. Mystic has a post office with ZIP code 31769, which opened on July 6, 1896.[2][3] It is described as a "tight-knit community" where "everyone knows everyone", 2.5 hours south of Atlanta.[4]

History

A post office was established at Mystic in 1896.[5] The community was named after Mystic, Connecticut, the former home of an early settler.[6] The Georgia General Assembly incorporated Mystic as a town in 1903.[7] The town's municipal charter was repealed in 1995.[8] One reference states that Mystic was the original home of Nelson Tift, founder of Albany, Georgia, but it is perhaps equally likely that the homestead was that of Henry Harding Tift, for whom nearby Tift County was named.[8]

Mystic was struck by a tornado on December 17, 2019, which did significant damage to the community and several buildings.
   
Waterloo

Waterloo is an unincorporated community in Irwin County, in the U.S. state of Georgia.

History

A post office called Waterloo was established in 1896, and remained in operation until 1903.[2] According to tradition, the community received its name from the failed business dealings of a first settler, i.e. he "met his Waterloo".


    
Wray

Wray is an unincorporated community in Irwin County, Georgia, United States. The community is located near the county's eastern border, 3.1 miles (5.0 km) northwest of Ambrose. Wray has a post office with ZIP code 31798.
   
Abba

Abba is an unincorporated community in Irwin County, in the U.S. state of Georgia.

History

A post office called Abba was established in 1884, and remained in operation until 1954.[2] Besides the post office, Abba contained a railway depot.

Notable people

Paulene Myers (November 9, 1913 - December 8, 1996) was an American actress. She was a pioneer among African–American actors who performed on Broadway stage and appeared on many television series throughout her long career. Myers' career spanned over six decades.

Dennis Dove (born August 31, 1981), is a former pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. Dove graduated from Irwin County High School in Ocilla, Georgia in 2000. He went on to Georgia Southern University and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the third round of the 2003 amateur draft and was signed on June 30, 2003. He is currently a high school technology teacher and coach to the Jenkins County War Eagles baseball team.

Justin Anderson (born April 15, 1988) is an American football guard who is currently a free agent. He was selected in the seventh round, 208th overall, by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2012 NFL Draft. He played college football at Georgia. He now coaches for his hometown team, the Irwin Indians.

Tyler Harper, Georgia State Senator, from Ocilla.

Newt Hudson, Georgia state legislator, was born in Ocilla.

Dave Prater, of the soul duo Sam & Dave, was born in Ocilla in 1937 and grew up singing gospel in the church choir.

Dr. Robert Andrew Hingson, humanitarian and promoter of the Jet Injector which made mass immunization economical, lived in Ocilla from 1984 to his death in 1996.

Jack Smith, American football player

Rodney K. Miller, television host for Small Town Big Deal

Walt H. Sumner, outfielder and defensive back for Florida State University.

Tara Grinstead, former Irwin County High School teacher who mysteriously disappeared.
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