George Linder, while enslaved on the Cooper Plantation in 1859, established Strawberry Chapel, the oldest African-American congregation in Laurens County. A preacher and farmer, he was one of the Original 33 black legislators elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1868 and subsequently expelled from the body. Though they were reinstated in 1870, the rise of the Klan and white supremacy helped ensure the end of black politicians in Georgia until the 1960s. Nearly a quarter of the Original 33 were lynched, beaten, maimed, or jailed.
Reverend Linder owned this house in town in his later years. He is largely forgotten today but an effort to publicize the Original 33 will hopefully bring him and his fellow legislators to their rightful place in Georgia history.
Thanks to Cynthia Jennings, who is volunteering with the the Original 33 project, for bringing him to my attention and sharing this location.