Walthourville History...

Andrew Walthour, born in 1750 was the youngest of six children born to Johann Casper Waldhauer, who migrated to Savannah from Austria in 1746. The Waldhauers were supposed to land at the port of Philadelphia, but their ship was captured by the Spaniards. They alternatively setup a homestead in the Ebenezer community, which is now called Effingham County. Johann was 55 when he arrived at Savannah.   He died here around the age of 75.

Andrew Walthour was granted 280 acres of land in the Midway area and was a revolutionary soldier for a short period of time, serving as a physician. As early as 1795, he moved to the coastal area of Liberty County, known then as Sand Hills. There he established his home and his plantation. He was a wealthy respected planter, and sometime around 1800 Sand Hill was changed to Walthourville, in honor of Andrew Walthour, honoring him as the first settler. In 1820, Andrew Walthour donated land for a union house of worship, which was used among other things as an academy.

In 1844, the village of Walthourville was one of the most prosperous communities in Southern Georgia with a population of more than 700. In 1855 Walthourville was one of the largest and most flourishing villages in Liberty County.

Andrew Walthour was married to Ann Hophmire. They had two daughters and one son. Their son who survived his siblings, George Washington Walthour, was the richest and largest slaveholder in Liberty County. In 1824, at the age of 82, Andrew Walthour died and was buried in the Midway cemetery. His wife, after her death was buried in the cemetery at the Walthourville Presbyterian Church. Andrew’s remains were removed from the Midway Cemetery and placed at the Walthourville Presbyterian Church cemetery, next to his wife.

The church was the very cornerstone of existence, and after the forming of the Midway Presbyterian Church, the Walthourville Presbyterian Church was established 1855. Next to religion, education was foremost. Walthourville was one of the four cities in Liberty County where academies were established, named along with Flemington, Jonesville and Dorchester.

During the civil war (1861-1865) there were Walthours, Waldhours, Waldhauers, and Waltowers. Some fought for the north and some for the south. After the conclusion of the civil war, a number of slaves took the last name Walthour. This is all one family, proven to be strong and proud. It should be noted that in 1860, the census reported that the estate of George Washington Walthour was the largest slave holder in the south with 300 slaves. Mr. Walthours plantation was one of six noted in Liberty County having larger than 1000 acres of land and more than 100 slaves.

In the 1900’s, Walthourville was known for its beautiful homes. Notable homes of interest were the homes of Captain Edward Fleming, George W. Walthour, Dr. Raymond Harris, Dr. Andrew Walthour, Samuel Mallard, Calvin Norman, Captain Russell Walthour, Solomon Barnard, William Quarterman Baker, Mr. John L. Harden, Mr. Josiah Law, Preacher Daniel, The Quarterman/Fleming House, and The Barnard House.

The first Walthourville city hall was housed in the old Walthourville train depot, which was purchased from the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Company in 1978.  In 1980 the building was moved from near the railroad tracks to across the railroad tracks. After being renovated, the old depot became the new Walthourville city hall and Walthourville Post Office. In 2009, the old city hall became the Walthourville police department. The building presently houses the Post Office and Walthourville Police Department. (http://railga.com/Depots/walthourville.html).

In March of 2009, Walthourville moved its city hall from the old depot to the building previously occupied by the Reynolds Construction Company. The unique building which faced the railroad tracks was a one story building which was occupied by the Walthourville train master. After the train stop was eliminated, the building was purchased by the family of Nancy Deal.  In later years, Claude Dryden purchased the house, turned it away from the railroad tracks and renovated it into a two-story building. In 2009, the building was again renovated and is now the home of the Walthourville city hall.

Walthourville, which is in Liberty County, is near the Atlantic Coast Line railway. An academy was incorporated here by act of the legislature in 1823. By the census of 1900 the town had a population of 500.  At Walthour station, the towns had express and telegraph offices and a money order post-office with rural free delivery.  It was a shipping point for lumber, rosin and turpentine and had in the town or nearby lumber mills and turpentine distilleries. There were several stores doing a profitable business, good schools and churches.

Walthourville transitioned from Sand Hills to Walthourville to Lambert and back to Walthourville.  In 1974, Walthourville was charted as a city, with its first mayor being (Mayor) Mrs. Lyndol Anderson.  Mrs. Anderson along with five other women, Mrs. Faye Booth, Mrs. Maxine Gaskin, Mrs. Carrie Kent, Mrs. Ardith Herbert, and Miss Celia Davis were appointed by President Jimmy Carter and were featured on the CBS Evening news with Walter Cronkite. The slogan of the organized Walthourville was “Organized by Women and Supported by Men."  After the first election, Mrs. Anderson was re-elected and went on to complete a total term of four years.

In Walthourville history, the city has only had 4 mayors.  The city celebrates 3 firsts, the first mayor being (Mayor) Mrs. Lyndol Anderson.  The second mayor, (Mayor) Carrie Kent was the first African American female mayor in Georgia.  She served for 24 years.  The first African American male elected in Walthourville, (Mayor) Rev. Henry Frasier, Sr. served 8 years.

In 2000, the citizens elected its first male mayor, Rev. Henry Fraiser, Sr.  Now that there was a man at the helm, the men felt it was not appropriate to use the slogan” Organized by Women, Supported by Men. At the first city-wide cook-out in May of 2000, a slogan contest was held. Several entries were received; however the slogan submitted by Mrs. Linda Futch, “Always Moving, While Improving”, received overwhelming approval from our citizens and won hands down. This became the city’s new slogan,

Our present Mayor is Mayor Daisy S. Pray.  In her first term, along with her council, she is continuing the work of the first three mayors and their councils, who started our water system, put in our first street lights, started the sewer system, started parks and recreation, installed sidewalks, implemented the Christmas lighting program and are responsible for the city’s only traffic signal, started our public works department, sanitation department and fire department.  Mayor  Pray and council are continuing this work by expanding the sewer system,  making it citywide by next year, installing a turn signal on our traffic light, expanding street lights, starting a neighborhood watch program, implementing a senior citizen group, starting a police department, road paving, and moving into the new city hall.  In January 2011, the City of Walthourville was recognized by the Georgia Municipal Association as Certified City of Ethics These actions and this recognition truly exemplify our slogan, “Always Moving, While Improving."

We are pleased to recognize notable residents of our community. First is Mr. Robert "Bobby" Walthour, descendant of Andrew Walthour, who brought fame and honor to Georgia as one of the greatest cyclists the sport has produced.   “Bobby” was the only man to ever hold the American and World Cycling Championships simultaneously. He was also the “Iron Man of Cycling”, twice pronounced dead by doctors and reported “fatally injured” six times after track smash-ups. Bobby was a two-time World Champion Cyclist, also noted for winning the six-day race in Madison Square Garden, and the world’s motor-paced championship in London. He also won every European motor-paced classic for 10 years preceding World War I and he set 26 world records.

Walthourville also recognizes Mr. Ralph Waldo Quarterman, another notable Walthourville citizen. He was the organizer of The Liberty County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Color People (NAACP). The Walthourville branch was organized when Mr. Quarterman organized Black citizens in 1952. The National Association required 100 adults to grant a charter. In 1953, after working for more than a year, Mr. Quarterman only had 96. Determined to move forward, he submitted a request with the names and fees of the 96, along with a request for an exception to the requirement of 100 adults. The request was honored and the charter was issued. Mr. Quarterman was elected the first president of the Liberty County Branch of the NAACP. He served from 1952 to 1959 and again from 1962-1964. Between his presidencies, Mr. Quarterman took a leave of absence and went to Liberia, West Africa to teach Liberians how to harvest timber.

Mr. Quarterman was an extraordinary Civil Rights Leader and businessman.  He was owner of the Quarterman store, which still stands on Wilder Road in Walthourville. No night was too dark, no hour was too late and no problem was too great for Mr. Quarterman to tackle. At his funeral, the late Dr. W. W. Law, a noted historian, civil rights giant, long time President of the Savannah Branch of the NAACP, and preservationist said “The tallest tree in the forest has fallen.”

We are still standing strong, still standing proud.

Children of Pride by Robert Manson Myers

The Walthour Family History

The Coastal Courier
Article written by
Margie Love on June 19, 2007


Maria Barbara (Knappenberger) Walthourville Family