Lanier, Macon County, Ga.
Contributed by: Emily O'Neal
The town of Lanier, Ga in Macon County was named for one of the early
settlers among whom were George W. Law,
Eli Taunton, John Sturdevant, Robert Green, Slaughter Hill, and Clement A.
It soon was made the county seat with a courthouse, two hotels, warehouses,
a stage coach stop and a post office. By
1840 the population was 200. Situated on a main highway and connected by
ferry to another great highway which was
the main link between North Georgia and the plantations of the southeast,
the town seemed destined to become great.
By 1870, there was nothing left of the town but a modest cemetery. When the
Central of Georgia Railroad extended
their lines to nearby Oglethorpe, Lanier began to dwindle in size and
importance. A John Mott moved the courthouse to
Lowe on the road to Ellaville, where it stood in the 1930s as a beautiful
old home. The one church in Lanier, a
Methodist one, was moved to Pine Level. The Masonic Lodge was moved to
Turner's Chapel and afterwards to Butler.
The people of Lanier moved to Perry, Marshallville, Butler, Fort Valley and
Oglethorpe. In 1854 Oglethorpe was made
the county seat and most of the remaining people of Lanier moved their homes
nearer to the completed railroad. Like
many towns which have been bypassed by super highways today and decline, the
railroad bypassing Lanier spelled
death for the town which had such a great promise for a prosperous future.