Tag Archives: Georgia Governors

Governor George W. Towns House, 1828, Talbotton

According to the 1973 nomination form which added this property to the National Register of Historic Places: Construction of the house began in 1828. It is an amalgamation of two two-story…houses to which was added a mid-19th century portico and several 2oth century rooms…[the house] is an example of what happened to vernacular architecture in Georgia as a family and its needs and stylistic wants grew and changed…

The house is also known as the Towns-Persons-Page House. After Towns left the governorship and moved to Macon [circa 1852], the house was sold to the Persons family, who occupied it until 1968, when it was purchased by the Gary Page family.

George Washington Bonaparte Towns (1801-1854) was born in Wilkes County, though his family soon moved to Greene County, and then on to Morgan County. He moved to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1821, and operated a pub while studying law. He was admitted to the bar in 1824. He also briefly owned a newspaper, the Alabama Journal. His first marriage, to Margaret Jane Campbell in 1826, ended tragically. His bride, who had been in poor health, died just a few days after the ceremony. [He married Margaret Winston Jones of Virginia in 1838].

Towns moved to Talbotton in 1828 and served as one of its first commissioners. He was also one of the first attorneys in the new town, owning a very successful practice. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1829 and 1830. He served in the state senate from 1832-1834. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1835 but resigned in 1836 over concerns that the legislature might be forced to pick a Whig as President in the upcoming election. Instead, a Whig won Towns’s seat, but he successfully won re-election to the seat in 1837 and served until 1839. He continued to practice law and served one more term in Congress, in 1846, but lost re-election to John W. Jones, a Whig.

In 1847, Towns was elected governor of Georgia in a highly contested race against the Whig candidate, Duncan L. Clinch. He served until 1851 and died in Macon in 1854.

National Register of Historic Places

Gravesite of Governor Ernest Vandiver, Lavonia

Samuel Ernest Vandiver, Jr., (1918-2005) who was born in nearby Canon, served as Georgia’s 73rd governor from 1959-1963. During his administration, the archaic county unit system that gave local political bosses vast power, was ended. This was seen as a step forward for Georgia but angered many of its beneficiaries. Honesty and fiscal responsibility were hallmarks of Governor Vandiver’s term. After leaving the governor’s office, he practiced law, first in Atlanta and then back in Lavonia. His wife, Betty, was a niece of U. S. Senator Richard B. Russell.


Old Governor’s Mansion, 1839, Milledgeville

Designed by Charles Clusky, who was already known for building the first light house on St. Simons Island in 1810, the Governor’s Mansion in Milledgeville is considered one of the finest extant examples of High Greek Revival architecture in America. General William T. Sherman occupied the building on 23 November 1864. After the capital was moved to Atlanta after the Civil War, the mansion fell into disrepair but was given to the Georgia Normal & Industrial College (now Georgia College) in 1889 and is now the most treasured building on the campus. An extensive restoration was undertaken in the early 2000s and today the home of Georgia’s governors from 1839-1868 is one of the finest residential museums in the state.

National Historic Landmark

Liberty Hall, 1872, Crawfordville

Liberty Hall Home of Confederate CSA Vice President Georgia Governor Alexander Hamilton Stephens Crawfordville GA Taliaferro County National Historic Landmark Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

Liberty Hall was the home of Confederate Vice-President and Georgia Governor Alexander Hamilton Stephens, known as Little Aleck for his small stature.

Liberty Hall Crawfordville GA Front Porch A H Stephens House Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 2014

An extensive renovation was completed in the 1990s by Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites, painstakingly replacing period textiles, wallpapers and paints.

Alexander H. Stephens State Mark Walter Sculptor Liberty Hall Crawfordville GA Taliafero County Photograph Copyright Brian Brown Vanishing North Georgia USA 201

Sculptor T. Markwalter’s imposing statue of the statesman keeps guard from the front lawn of the estate; Stephens is buried adjacent to the monument.

United States National Historic Landmark, National Register of Historic Places

Old Belleville or Troup Cemetery, McIntosh County

Within these walls are buried Captain Troup, British Naval officer, and his wife, Catherine McIntosh Troup. They were the parents of George M. Troup, Governor of Georgia 1823 – 1827; U. S. Senator 1829-1833. It was on this plantation that George M. Troup spent his early boyhood.

Ten other graves lie within this enclosure; the inscriptions on the marble slabs which marked them were effaced by time before 1850.

This plot, like many historical cemeteries of the Georgia coast, is surrounded by a tabby wall.