James Render House, Circa 1832, Greenville

This house, begun on a much smaller scale in the Plantation Plain (I-House) style, is the focal point of the Render Homestead National Register property. James Render (1777-1854) came to Meriwether County in 1832 and established a large cotton plantation from this house. He served as a justice of the Inferior Court of Meriwether County. He migrated from Wilkes County, where he had served several terms in the General Assembly. By 1850, he owned 1900 acres and owned 76 slaves. One reason for his success was his diversification. Besides cotton he raised potatoes, sweet potatoes, Indian corn, wheat, rye and oats. He had eleven children and among his descendants were Governor James M. Terrell of Georgia and Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice James Render Dowdell.  Render’s son, Joshua (1818-1867) inherited the house and continued the successful farming operations of his father. Forty-two of the plantation’s freedmen remained as contract laborers after the Civil War. Upon the death of Mrs. Joshua Render in 1902, James L. Render (1863-1932) became the owner of the property. It was during James L. Render’s ownership that the house was expanded to its present Neoclassical appearance, thought to have been the work of prominent Georgia architect T. F. Lockwood. There have been at least four owners since the death of Sarah McGehee Render in 1960. It is beautifully maintained to this day but not open to the public. More information about the property in historical context can be found here.

National Register of Historic Places

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