Located just 25 miles from the growth and traffic of Macon and Warner Robins, Jeffersonville is a neat little town worth visiting. There are quite a few nice old buildings in the small downtown and surrounding Twiggs County is beautiful.
Better known as the home of J. E. Beck & Son Hardware (established 1945), the building was built by a Mr. Shannon in 1920. In the distance is the old WPA-built city gymnasium. According to Billy Humphries, it will soon be restored and used as a a theater/opry house. Jean Clements also notes that for a time after the Jeffersonville school building burned in the late 1940s, it was used as the temporary grammar school.
This monument’s location away from the courthouse was long a source of controversy. When I photographed it, it was still located on Georgia Highway 80 across from the courthouse. Russ Huffman and Tommy Fountain, with the help of the Lt. James T. Woodard SCV Camp 1399 worked for at least a decade to have it moved to the courthouse lawn. Billy Humphries writes: The Confederate statue has now been moved and prominently placed on courthouse square, thanks to efforts by the SCV (Son’s of Confederate Veterans) who raised funds to move numerous confederate statues and monuments to more secure and more appropriate locations. Regarding Peggy Anderson’s comments…… the disagreement over placement of the monument was reportedly over a disagreement between families who lost sons to the war and a family or families who did not send their son’s but supported the war effort with supplies and money. Both were important, of course, but the argument of a spilled blood sacrifice prevailed over a sacrifice of money to support the war…. So, the courthouse lost a statue at the turn of the century…. 100 years later the statue now has a more respectable resting place. At least this is the local legend. It is fact, not legend, that the names on the statue are all those of white soldiers.
The text of the monument, located on all four sides, is thus: To the Twiggs County Soldiers and Those who Sacrificed All to Establish the Independence of the South 1861 – 1865; Twiggs Volunteers – Capt. Jas. Folsom – 4th Ga. Reg.; Twiggs Guards – Capt. Jas. Barclay – 6th Ga. Reg.; Faulk Invincibles – Capt. E. S. Griffin – 26th Ga. Reg.; Slappey Guards – Capt. U. A. Rice – 48th Ga. Reg.
This is now restored and used as the city hall and police department. The Macon & Dublin Railroad was chartered in 1885 and withing a few years Savannah was added to the name to attract investors. Since the Central of Georgia already ran to Savannah, albeit via a more northerly route, the main attraction of the MD&S was a more direct route to Savannah, passing through Vidalia. This distinction earned the shortline the nickname “The Vidalia Route”. And Vidalia was the end of the line for the railroad, as it never made it to Savannah. The Atlantic Coast Line took over the MD&S in 1904. Luckily, Jeffersonville was historic-minded enough to save this rare relic.