Note: REFN: 3203 "George Huguley, Founder of First Valley Cotton Mill" by Floyd Tillery
copied from "The Huguleys - Who Are We?" The Chattahooche Valley owes a
great debt to a great pioneer of the past. George Huguley was born in
Wilkes County, Georgia on January 27, 1809 to Jobe and Alley (Lay)
Huguley. George Huguley's family was a large one, so he has many direct
descendants living in the Valley today. This pioneer Valley industrialist moved to Troup County about the year of 1833. The Indian
Springs Treaty with the Creek Indians was signed in 1825.
Left fatherless when he was a child, George Huguley learned early to shift for himself. He "entered" a small tract of land in Troup County,
where, later, the old Troup Factory, the first cotton mill in LaGrange,
was built in 1845. Soon after the founding of West Point (old Franklin),
in 1831, Mr. Huguley moved to "New Alabama", as recently opened territory
was called; and he settled in Chambers County in the vicinity now known
as the Huguley Community. Here he acquired a large tract of fertile
land, which he soon converted into a profitable plantation;
and , in time, he became one of the largest and wealthiest land owners in
this section, owning more than 100 slaves.
Having forseen the inevitable defeat of the Confederate armies, George
Huguley began preparing for tomorrow. A year before the Surrender, he
had sold his cotton for high prices; and when Fort Tyler fell, seven days
after Appromattox, Mr. Huguley took most of his cotton and hid it deep in
his plantation, knowing the Federal Government would attempt to
confiscate everything of value in the South that had been produced by slave labor. Before the federal agents had arrived in this section, Mr.
Huguley had rushed most of his cotton by wagons to Augusta and Savannah,
where he sold it to greedy eastern agents for mor than a dollar a pound.
What happened- - - - - or what didn't happen! - - to the cotton remainin
at the Huguley gin is told by George Lanier, a grandson of George
Huguley, Mr. Lanier's recalling boyhood memories of the reminiscences of
"I can recal", says Mr. Lanier, "hearing my mother say that, immediately after the war, when the carpetbaggers were raiding the south, they came by the plantation of her father; and in the name of the Government they
demanded possession of the cotton that was lying on the platform of the gin. at the time of this visit from the carpetbaggers, my grand-father,
George Huguley, was not at home.
"His wife, being notified of what was going on, summoned to her aid one
of the strongest ex-slaves on the plantation. This faithful Negro, with
an axe in his hand, followed his mistress to the gin." "Then my grandmother said defiantly to the Federal agents: "Don't you
touch one bale of this cotton! If you do, this Negro will kill you. He
and the others here on this plantation will do anything I ask of them!
Whereupon the carpetbaffers took a hasty departure."
George Huguley managed to get the remainder of his cotton to the Atlantic
seaboard, where he sold it for a fancy price. But Mr. Huguley knew that
there were scores of people in this community and surrounding areas who
had not been so fortunate as he. He knew that the South was wrecked, and
that there were hundreds who were destitute. He also knew that, before
the war, cotton manufacturing had begun to prosper in the South.
Therefore within a year, early in 1866, the Alabama-Georgia Manufacturing
Company was manufacturing osnaburg at the Huguley Mill in present
Riverview. Mr. Huguley's venture no doubt spurred Elisha Trammell,
Lucius Beall Lovelace, Major N. L. Atkinson, James McClendon, W. C.
Darden, James Reed, Benjamin Thomas and John D. Johnson to organize th
Chattahooche Manufacturing Company, which began operations a few months
after the Huguley Mill started up. But the credit of founding the first
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