Mr. Emory McMillan (along with Mrs. Eula) and his jewelry store were synonymous with style and good taste in Ocilla for much of the later half of the 20th century. He was a no-nonsense gentleman who, like the best of small-town merchants, knew his community and his customers well. Since his passing in 2012, the storefront has been repainted and another business located here. To many, it will always be remembered as McMillan’s Jewelers.
Category Archives: Ocilla GA
Karen Phillips writes: For most of its history this was known as the Free Will Baptist Church, located on 7th Street between Oak Street and Maple Street. It was probably built in the early 1900s. It was moved to its present location in the mid-2000s and is now occupied by an African-American congregation. To me, it’s the most unique church building in Ocilla. I hope it can be preserved in its present appearance.
This Craftsman bungalow has always been one of my favorites. According to Trish Lilly Jones, it was owned by Ms. Lillie Mobley (1898-1983) until her mother, Barbara Wilkinson, purchased it in 1986. Trish lived here when she was in high school and notes that it had a “great Sweet Potato Parade-watching porch”. Trish lives in beautiful Madison, Georgia, these days, and publishes a blog, The Old Post Road. She’s an accomplished artist and I think you’ll enjoy her paintings.
In his History of Irwin County (Atlanta, Foote & Davies, 1932), J. B. Clements writes: The Methodists must have been in Irwin County as early as the Baptists, if not earlier. He notes that the first known Methodist circuit rider in the area was John W. Yarborough, a young man just from the mountains and his first appointment was the Irwin Mission in Irwin County. This was in 1832. In 1866, another Methodist circuit rider noted he rode seventeen miles through Irwin County without seeing a single dwelling or a living thing save a deer leaping through the woods. Methodists were fairly sparse in Irwin County throughout most of the 19th-century. Unfortunately, Clements does not give any account of the history of the Ocilla Methodist Church in his work, though he does include a photograph of the building. It’s likely that it dates to the first decade of Ocilla’s incorporation, between 1897-1907.