Have you ever wondered who the road is named after that you drive on every day? Or who your child’s school is named after? The book I referenced in last week’s article in which I wrote about Floy Farr and Joel Cowan, Peachtree City by Rebecca Watts, Ellen Ulken, and Clarence Lyons helped to answer these questions and more. This book is full of fascinating information about the history of our area. It can be checked out of the library and purchased there as well. The information that follows was taken from this historical resource.
Robert H. (Bob) Huddleston was a large landowner in Fayette County in the late 1950’s when real estate agents questioned Floy Farr at Redwine Bank in Tyrone about purchasing a large tract of land for the purpose of building a new city. Farr put the men in touch with Bob Huddleston who agreed to sell several thousand acres to the developers. Huddleston was born in 1883 as the 25th of 26th children. He was a farmer and served as the assistant county agent in the 1930’s where he helped start the Federal Farm Assistance Program. Huddleston was also active in county government as county registrar and on the Board of Education. For over fifty years he was on the board of directors for the Farmers and Merchants Bank. Later in life as the largest landowner in the area, he sold the first property that would become the beginning of Peachtree City. He also served on the first Peachtree City Council. Not only is Huddleston Elementary School named after him, but also Huddleston Pond and two different roads.
The legislation that designated Peachtree City as a new city in Georgia was introduced by Grady L. Huddleston, son of Bob Huddleston. Grady Huddleston was Fayette County’s representative in the Georgia House of Representatives at that time. It was co-sponsored by Harry H. Redwine who was the state senator representing this area. Redwine Road may have been named after him or possibly after his family who operated one of the first banks in Fayette County in 1912. Floy Farr worked as manager at this bank which was eventually moved to Peachtree City where it became known as Fayette State Bank.
J.C. Booth Middle School was named after a beloved educator, James Cecil Booth. Booth spent 15 of his 40 years in education in Fayette County. He died in 1971 and in 1978 J.C. Booth Junior High was created and began by sharing space with Fayette County High School. The new building was completed in 1979 and eventually the name was changed to J.C. Booth Middle School.
Many of the names that are used today for different areas of Peachtree City came from early settlements with those same names. Aberdeen was the name of an early settlement in rural Fayette County as was Shakerag and Kedron. Developers kept the historical names when designating the new “villages” of Peachtree City. The original community of Shakerag was located on a small hill where Robinson Road, Stagecoach Road and Highway 54 meet. There was a tiny courthouse there and the name “Shakerag” may have come from possible election disagreements among residents. As the legend goes, “after a fight, the victor hung the tattered clothing of the defeated on a fence post to blow in the wind.” (From Peachtree City by Rebecca Watts et al)
The very first road built in Peachtree City was Hip Pocket Road. In 1959 Joel Cowan and his cousin, “Chip” Conner, used a bulldozer to create the path, and when Chip pulled a surveying instrument out of his hip pocket, that served as inspiration for the name! Conner would eventually become Peachtree City’s 3rd mayor in 1970.
The history of Peachtree City and of Fayette County is honored through many of its place names. With a little research at our local library, you can learn where these names originated and what has led to the success of this special community that we call home.