Category Archives: Vienna GA

Jenkins School, 1934, Vienna

The Vienna School, as it was known upon construction, was the comprehensive education facility for the city’s white population. An early project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), it was built in the English Vernacular Revival style, to replace an earlier two-story wooden school on the site. Bert Gregory notes that his grandmother, Marywood Gregory, was up early nursing her son Alton on Christmas morning when she saw the old school on fire. She woke up the others in the house and they called the fire department to the scene.

As is evident on the cartouche, the school was first called the Vienna School, but was later renamed the Jenkins School in honor of the superintendent who was instrumental in getting it constructed.

Vienna Historic District, National Register of Historic Places


Vienna Industrial & High School, 1926

This school, which served Vienna’s African-American community before desegregation, was built in part with funds provided by the Rosenwald Fund and utilized it “Six Teacher Community School Plan”. It was built by Governor George Busbee’s father, who also built the nearby Lilly School. N. B. Lavender was the first principal.

The National Register of Historic Places listing for the school is a bit confusing, as it identifies this as the County Training School, noting the vocational focus of many schools for African-Americans at the time. However, the original cornerstone for the school identifies it as the Vienna Industrial & High School. An equalization school was built adjacent to the property in 1959, and the campus included all of the earlier Rosenwald structures.

A shop building for vocational activities was built near the schoolhouse, also in 1926. A second shop building (not pictured) was built in 1959 to the right of the schoolhouse.

A food processing/canning plant was attached to the old shop building at a later date..

Members of the Class of 1945 are remembered on the steps of the old shop building, including: R. Lilly; L. Chaney; R. Chaney; A. Graham; F. Smith; L. Smith; E. Bell; B. Godwin; H. Reece; G. Fudge; O. Barnes; G. Eunice; C. Wallace; and M. Edwards.

National Register of Historic Places

Hamilton House, 1885, Vienna

Thanks to Brenda Ambrose Lockerman for the identification. Beth English shared this history from an early illustrated promotional booklet about Dooly County: J. O. Hamilton has always lived in Dooly County, reared on the farm and educated at Mercer University. He has been in business in Vienna many years; married Miss May Holmes and they have a lovely family of five children. Their home is one the corner of Union and Fifth Streets, and is a palatial one indeed. Mr. Hamilton is the president of the Bank of Vienna and is a cotton buyer and does a large stock and buggy business. He has been mayor and councilman of Vienna and is Chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee of Dooly County. He is one of the solid business men of the State and takes a keen interest in every move that tends to build up the city and enjoys the esteem and confidence of all of his fellow citizens. He is modest and conservative and is one of the most useful men of Vienna.

Vienna Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Stovall-George-Woodward-Gregory House, 1908, Vienna

This landmark of the Neoclassical style was built by Dr. C. T. Stovall after “Whitehall”, his previous home at this location, burned. Stovall was Vienna’s primary physician for many years, in addition to serving as the city’s first treasurer and eventually alderman and mayor. In 1914, he sold the home to Walter F. George, who was then serving as the Superior Court judge for the Cordele Circuit. George was elected to the United States Senate in 1922 where he would serve as one of its most influential members until shortly before his death in 1957. He sold the house in 1924.

Subsequent owners were the L. L. Woodward family, Georgia Supreme Court Associate Justice Hardy Gregory, Jr., and his nephew, Bert Gregory. Mr. Gregory graciously allowed me to photograph the house, which he was preparing for sale.

It’s been a wonderful showcase for Mr. Gregory’s numerous collections and served as his law office.

National Register of Historic Places

Georgia State Cotton Museum, Vienna

Just off I-75 at the Vienna exit you’ll notice this structure, which now serves as the Georgia State Cotton Museum. It’s a really small museum, but provides a great link between the historical importance and continued prominence of cotton in Georgia.  The building originally served as the rural Smyrna Schoolhouse (Circa 1890) and was moved here and renovated.

Rose Hill, 1902, Vienna

This is among the grandest homes in Vienna, which has a wonderful historic district full of surprises like this one. It was built by P. G. McDonald from timber cut at his Dooly County farm. In the years following, it was owned by longtime Vienna mayor Jack DeLiesseline and his wife Ethyl, who was a well-known poet and camellia cultivator. It was purchased in 1976 by the Couch family, who have beautifully maintained and restored it ever since. Thanks to Laura Couch Fokes and her delightful mother, Diane Couch, for sharing the history of this special place. Diane’s love for the house and its history is truly inspiring.

Claire DeLand writes: The home has always been known as “Rose Hill” by the family. It was…the family home of the McDonalds. Ethel McDonald married John Thompson (Jack) DeLiesseline, a native of Charleston, SC., on June 18th 1912. They lived in Atlanta for quite a while and Jack was the Southeastern District Manager of the Remington Typewriter Company.
It was after he retired that they moved to Vienna to live in the family home [of] Ethel and her sisters – Vera Claire McDonald Shipp, Lilla Mae McDonald Ketchum, and her brother Middleton McDonald. Jack was elected Mayor and served for a number of years in that position. Ethel taught piano, voice and violin. She wrote several books, and was Poet Laureate of the State of Georgia. Her gardens were gorgeous places of peace and loveliness, and she started several new Camellia varieties over the later years of her life. She was my Great Aunt and I spent many wonderful summers with her and Uncle Jack at Rose Hill.

Vienna Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

First Baptist Church, 1909, Vienna

Gothic design was all the rage in Vienna in the first decade of the 20th century, at least on Church Street. This beautiful structure, as well as the Methodist church just a couple of blocks away, are two of Vienna’s most architecturally significant houses of worship. This congregation was organized in 1836 as Providence Baptist Church and renamed First Baptist Church of Vienna in 1890.



Vienna United Methodist Church, 1907

Formed in 1849 as the Vienna Episcopal Methodist Church, Vienna United Methodist Church is today located in this beautiful Gothic Revival landmark. It’s the third location to house the congregation.

Vienna Historic District, National Register of Historic Places


Prince of Peace Episcopal Church, 1903, Vienna

This was restored by the Vienna Historic Preservation Society and is now used as the Vienna Cultural Center.

Vienna Historic District, National Register of Historic Places

Dooly County Courthouse, 1892, Vienna

dooly county courthouse vienna ga confederate monument photograph copyriht brian brown vanishing south georgia usa 2009

Vienna’s Romanesque Revival courthouse was completed in 1892. It originally featured a spire, which was later removed due to structural concerns. William H. Parkins was the architect.

National Register of Historic Places