If you’ve ever driven west on Georgia Highway 37 to Lakeland, chances are you’ve passed by this house and not even noticed it. It was the longtime home of Governor E. D. “Ed” Rivers (1895-1967). From the historical marker placed in 2002 by The Georgia Historical Society, et al: Eurith Dickinson Rivers was governor of Georgia from 1937 to 1941. He actively supported President Franklin D. Roosevelt´s New Deal Program. Rivers´ innovative leadership produced Georgia’s first Department of Public Welfare, free school books, the State Highway Patrol, and modernization of the state highway system. Born in Arkansas, Rivers married Lucile Lashley in 1914 and moved with his family to Milltown (later Lakeland) in 1920 to practice law. He is buried in Lakeland. Built in 1940 on the shores of Banks lake, the ranch style house, designed by Frank Byrd, was relocated to this site in the early 1980s.
Governor Rivers met Miss Lashley while a student at Young Harris College and they were married in 1914. After earning a law degree from LaSalle Extension University in Illinois, the family moved to Cairo, where Rivers served as justice of the peace as well as Cairo City and Grady County Attorney. They then moved to (Milltown) Lakeland where Mr. Rivers became editor of the Lanier County News. Background on Rivers’s political history can be found here.
The photo below was made on 22 December 1936 when Governor-elect Rivers was meeting with President Roosevelt about problems facing Georgia.