Ancestoring-9-21-2006 -The Jefferson Reporter
This week's article points out many firsts for the Town of Wren's, Jefferson County Georgia.
One of the first major project for the town of Wrens was the approving of a bond issue for a water system and electric light project by the voters of the Town. In the November 4, 1926 election, J. B. McCrary & Co. were awarded the contract for the low bid of $19,134.23.
Next the Town Council approved the contract with Augusta-Aiken Electric Company for the lighting system on October 5, 1923.
By 1897, a 556 foot deep 6-inch artesian well had already been dug by R. F. Laid of Melton, Georgia under the contract with R. J. Bedingfield of Augusta, Georgia.
November 4, 1926, the citizens of Wrens approved the selling of Water System bonds. The project was awarded to J. B. McCrary and Company by the Town Council being the lowest bidder.
1926 the Town Council approved the First Ford Fire Truck, complete with chemical tank and 500 feet of hose. E. J. Young was named first fire chief. After several years Mr. Young resigned and Milo Howard Sr. was named fire chief. In 1946 the Council purchased a new American LaFranc Fire Truck. 2001, the department included several fulltime round the clock fireman, as well as a corps of volunteer firemen on stand by call.
First Town Marshall - A meeting was called on October 5, 1921, to accept the resignation of I. E. Weeks. The Council approved and voted to write a Letter of Appreciation to Mr. Weeks for his many years of faithful service from February 5, 1912 to October 5, 1921. E. B. McClendon was named Marshall at a Salary of $2 a day. During the years, several others had served in this position.
February 7, 1927, C. W. Brown was elected Town Marshall and served until his retirement. He also served as Town Maintenance and Water Works Superintendent along with his police duties. Chief Charles W. Brown was awarded a plaque in recognition of his long and faithful service to the townsfolk and Town Council by The Wren's Young Business Men's Club.
Motion made for Marshall Brown to canvass the Town and ascertain who will take water on the meter basis: Minimum - 3,000 gallons, $1; next, 2,500-20c per thousand; next 50,000 at 15c per thousand. Motion approved for Town to furnish meter and connections from water main to inside of sidewalk at no cost to property owner. This was the beginning of the vast water works expansion over the years.
Among the firsts were:
A horse rack in front of W. J. Wren residence for those coming to Wrens to tie up their horse and buggies and wagons. Mr. J. A. Stone requested a water trough to be built for watering their stock as they visited in Wrens to shop. The cost of the project was five dollars.
This photo shows the water trough built in 1909 by request of J. A. Stone. It still stands on the Lester Hadden property behind his office building.
Survey Town Limits - April 20, 1923, the Council approved hiring County Surveyor to run the outside lines of the Town and plat of same as well as the Cemetery.
Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company made a request on August 1907 for a permit to grant company right-of-way for lines in Town of Wrens. The first exchange was located in the upstairs of the Stone Building, now the property of the John Pilcher Law Officers. The first linemen were Gordon Stephens and Fred Young.
Two Rail Lines Join - November 1916, Town Council granted Savannah & Atlanta Railroad right-of-way through its property to join the Georgia and Florida Railroad lines at the Wrens depot.
In 1918 an Influenza scare swept the state as well as a nation-wide epidemic. All schools, church services and other public gathering places were closed by order of the Town Council.
The First City Hall and Jail was located on Cotton Street. In 1934, the Council acquired the former Citizens Bank building from T. J. Tarbutton. In 1928 with the growing demand for services and to hand the financial affairs, Miss Gussie McNair was selected as the first city clerk. The jail was later moved to the rear of City Hall.
In 1934 the G & F Railroad ceased operation. It was closing the services from Keysville to Tennille.
In 1936 the council passed an ordinance for paving of Railroad Street up Estell Street to US One. The project included curb and gutters with sidewalks.
US Hwy, One-According to June 25, 1929, edition of the Wrens newspaper, "we wish to thank and congratulate Major W. E. Blakely, Judge B. F. walker, Mr. W. A. Logue and Rev. I. S. Caldwell, together with John R. Phillips of Louisville, in their successful effort to get this Federal route through Wrens and Jefferson County. The leg of the project from Augusta to Wrens was completed in 1929.
The first known wedding was performed in what is known as Wrens now was that of John Wren and Martha Corbitt on November 24, 1819.
The first baby was born to John Wren and Martha Corbitt, a son, William Streetman Wren, on September 17, 1820.
The old Wren Home as it looks today.
The first hotel was The Joiner Hotel on US Hwy One and Ellis Street. The two story brick building was fireproof, costing about $12,000 to build. The old hotel was restored by C. P. Wren family and was known as Wren's Nest. The LaCabana Mexican Restaurant is now in this building.
The LaCabana Mexican Restaurant today.
The first Tourist Home was operated by Joe and Nell Wren Howard and was called Howard Tourist Home for years. This home sit at the corner of Stone Street and US Hwy One. The home was razed and the property is now the business of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell that opened in the Summer of 2006.
The Kiwanis Club was organized by Rev. I. S. Caldwell, Wrens ARP pastor and Wrens High history teacher, together with other interested member, sought the charter of a Boy Scout Troop. George W. Adams was the first Scout Master, followed by school principal J. S. Warren. Bailey Florence later headed the Troop 202. In the middle 50's and 60's, Audrey Hunley and George F. Hopper led the troop. The Boy Scouts, along with Girl Scouts, are still active in the community today.
June 12, 1934, the City Council purchased the former Citizens Bank building as City Hall. The city hall was moved into a new municipal building in February 1970. On January 3, 1977, a Public Works Grant was awarded for expansion of the municipal building. In 1981 the building was expanded again for the police and jail facilities. The jail has since been closed and prisoners transported to the county facility.
Email Me! (Your Host, Darlene Brooks.)