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Hampton City


Hampton City Hall is located at 17 East Main Street South, Hampton, GA 30228; phone: 770-946-4306.

Beginnings [1]

Two surveyors once lay down to rest from the heat of the noonday's summer sun near a cool spring beneath the shade of two magnificent poplars. Shading his face from the glare of the sun's rays, one of the men raised his eyes to the branches of the larger tree and, with a smothered exclamation, he jumped to his feet and grabbed his gun; for, sitting calmly upon a limb and each in the act of "surveying" the surveyors, sat two great, black bears!

The village, which was being laid off, had up to this time, received no name, but in the future, because of the bears which inhabited the banks of the creek, it was to become known as Bear Creek, GA.

The first building erected was in the year, 1848. "Lowery's Store" and the post office were in this same building and was for two years the gathering place for the male inhabitants of the village.

For the next three years the village of Bear Creek continued to grow and prosper and it was decided to move it to a more convenient spot where the best interests might have the greatest advantages. So in 1851 Bear Creek moved half a mile in a southeasterly direction.

Among the first settlers in Bear Creek were: Messrs. Tom Barnett, who succeeded Lowery as postmaster and who was also a merchant; Jim Hightower and Pete Knight, Lem and Ben Roan, Cas Black, another merchant, and Gray Hughes, the shoemaker. These settlers' homes were in the village and they are the pioneers who first promoted the civic improvement of Bear Creek.

The men whose plantations formed the circle that skirted the village of Bear Creek were: T. J., J. L, and Jim Edwards, Jim Cleveland, Buck Fears, Wade Westmoreland, Smith H. Griffin, George Barnett, R. A. Henderson, R. A. Moore, R. W. Turnipseed, and John H. Smith. The descendants of nine of these old families are living on the original sites of these old homesteads today.

As time passed on and the village became known over the state, Bear Creek, after the perversity of her sex, decided to change her name. It was fitting that a name more in keeping with the new spirit of thrift and advancement should be accredited the little village which had now reached the size of a small town. So a meeting was held and at the suggestion of one of the residents, Rev. Smith H. Griffin, it decided to rename Bear Creek and call it Hampton, after General Wade Hampton.

Bear Creek had been incorporated in 1872, so by an amendment of the charter, which was in the year, 1873, she became known as Hampton, and Mr. Thomas Barnett, the justice of the peace, was elected mayor, and Hampton proper started on a career that she can be justly proud of.

  1. Miss Emily Griffin "Hampton and Her History" in History of Henry County. May 1821-1921, compiled and printed by Wiley A. Clements, www.shingleroof.org, accessed August, 2011.

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