Ava McArthur Peterson Wilbanks bought the lot for this house, a half-acre cotton patch at the time, in 1911. She first married A. A. Peterson, Jr., one of the largest landowners in Toombs and Montgomery counties. Upon Mr. Peterson’s death she married H. P. Wilbanks. The house was lost to foreclosure in 1936, at the height of the Great Depression. It was purchased by W. Frank Jenkins in 1940. Jenkins was a grandson of W. T. Jenkins, who founded Vidalia in 1890 and was the namesake of its predecessor, Jenkins Station. He and his wife Katharine were the last residential owners of the house, living here until the 1980s.
The architect, Ivey P. Crutchfield (1878-1952) was responsible for commercial and religious work in Soperton, Glennville, Reidsville, Mount Vernon, Cochran and other nearby towns. He also built several other homes and commercial structures in Vidalia, including the town’s first bank. Crutchfield, a native of Wilkinson County, never received formal training in architecture but was a working architect by 1916. He left Georgia and was a successful architect in Fort Myers, Florida, until his retirement.
National Register of Historic Places