Saturday, May 30, 2015

+George Washington Collier

There are so many Collier people to write about, it took me a while to figure out who to write about next.  So many of the Colliers were part of the founding of Atlanta, Georgia. 'So I decided to just write all the names on paper and draw from a box and George Washington Collier is who got picked.

George Washington Collier was born in Gwinnett, Georgia November 29, 1813 to Meredith Collier and Elizabeth Gray-Collier, his parents had 14 other children. His father bought some land in 1822 and built a small four room house.  
    Wash, as he was called, purchased the land from his father years later and built a new house on the site where the old home stood.  One of his earlier jobs was carrying mail back and forth from Decatur, Georgia and Allatoona, Georgia. He made the mail carrying trip twice a week usually walking and never missing a trip.

    During the time when the railroad was expanding in the area, Wash was one of those that saw the opportunity to make a living as a builder, so he built small homes and sold them, he said he didn't make a lot of money but it was worth the time, and while building he still continued to deliver the mail.  In 1845, he was appointed postmaster in Marthaville, GA,
  Soon after he bought several pieces of property one for $130.00 which with all the other property he acquired amounted to a very profitable  investment, which was the beginning of Atlanta's Five points.
His grocery store and Post office were in PeachTree.

In 1849 Collier who was a Democrat was replaced with a new postmaster by the new Whig administration, but he continued his grocery store on the site of what would be known as 25 Peachtree Street. He built the Hunnicutt Drug Store in 1859.
By the 1850 George and his siblings had established themselves very well in the community with Edwin Collier and Wesley Collier owing farms north of Peachtree Rd, John Collier a lawyer built himself a house at 47 Nelson St.

George married late in life, around 1870's he married:
 Lesbia Ann Cornett born, 1856 Georgia - 1889 DeKalb, GA. 
They had six living children and one child that died with the mother at birth, both child and mother are buried together.

Their children were:

Virgil Collier, 1872- Atlanta Ga, - Oct 13, 1929 Atlanta, GA.
George Washington Collier Jr. Aug 1876 Atlanta Ga, -  1910 Atlanta GA.
Lula Valentine Collier - Feb 14, 1878 Georgia - March 30 1965 Fulton Georgia
Lemma Collier -1880-1880
Irwin Collier -1885- 1886
Roy Collier -1887- 1965

In 1892 along with owning Five Points and a general store, he also built the Aragon Hotel, at the Five points which had 125 rooms, six stories tall and cost $ 250.000, it was one of the three major first class hotels in the city located 169 Peachtree ST. NE, at the corner of Ellis St in Atlanta, what is today The Peachtree Center.

   Wash continued to farm and deal in real estate through his life.  George Washington Collier died a millionaire in 1903.

Here is a link to some photos of the Collier house and post office.

I will probably write more about Wash as I continue my research.

Westview Cemetery, Atlanta, Fulton Co. Georgia


Atlanta History Center