We come now to the final installments of life in Monroe & Walton County in the year 1873 as recorded by the late Rev. W. Stokes Walker, which was passed along to his good friend, Editor Ernest Camp, in 1935.

        Filling out his days as a youngster, Rev. Walker noted that: “Farm hands received from eight to ten dollars a month and board. Foremen on a carpenter’s job received two dollars a day and others one dollar a day, boarding themselves and working ten hours a day. Brick masons were given $1.50 a day.  Lands were not terraced.

        During winter farm hands cleared new ground to take the place of worn out fields. Rails were split for new fences, ditches were dug and houses were repaired.

         Commercial fertilizers were not in general use.  Cotton seed was not considered valuable, but they were hauled into the fields and scattered broadly for wheat and oats or boiled for cow feed, then made into compost with acid.

        Practically all meal and flour were water ground, and I can now count ten such mills in Walton that have been  abandoned.

        Until I was grown, I had never seen a white republican, a Negro democrat or a white barber.

        Ox teams, single and double, were often seen resting in the shade of our many white mulberry trees. Everybody felt at home and nobody was in much of a hurry.  The yellow dog under the wagon was a fine target for a boy with a sling-shot.

        Cicero Edwards, who was an aspiring example of contentment and blissful ignorance, came to town one day in his two-wheel cart, drawn by a half-sized steer named “Billie White.’  He was  hauling a heavy barrel of syrup and when the steer was pulling up a steep grade back of the stores, the cargo rolled heavily towards the rear and “Billie White” was suspended high overhead for several minutes until he could be lowered to the ground again.

         Uncle George Gibson, a loveable character, won a law-suit in a justice court, through his favorite attorney, Judge Felker, after which the following animated conversation took place: ‘I will carry this case to the Superior Court of Walton County.’ ‘I will be there,’ said Uncle George, ‘and will carry it to the Supreme Court of Georgia.’ ‘I’ll be there.’ ‘Before you shall have what belongs to me, I will carry this case to Hell!’ Judge Felker replied, ‘My lawyer will be there!’

        Graff Harris, a fine young fellow, engaged board with Uncle George while he clerked for the Nunnally Company. After the first meal, the old man said,

        ‘Graff, if I was running a gin and a sawmill, I would not board you for $8.00 a month if I fed you on motes and sawdust!’

        The clerks of our Superior courts were: Vincent Haralson, John T. Lucan, Wm. W. Nowell, John P. Edwards, John Robinson, James Shelnutt,  James E. Malcom.

        Our sheriffs have been: Judge Ivey, J.M. Ammons, John Cox, R. C. Knight, Job Smith, Claude Arnold, Alex Smith, W.B. Stark, J.M. Riley & E. S. Gordon.

        Our solicitors have been: D. H. Walker, Emory Speer, A. B. Mithchell, Dick Russell, Clifford Walker, Charlie Brand, Sam Tribble, John B. Gamble, W. O. Dean & Henry West.

        Our Superior court judges were: Charles Davis, Judge Rice, Judge Irvin, N. L. Hutchins, R. B. Russell, Charles H. Brand, A. J. Cobb & Blanton Fortson.

        The ordinaries of Walton County have been: Job Smith, Jesse Mitchell, Robert Kennedy, Thomas Giles, R. A. Cook, R.C. Knight, Claude Arnold, E.M. Williams and George A. Garrett.

        Those who collected taxes from us were: Gus Slunder, Rufus Hughes, W. A. Rogers, G. A. Garrett, W. T. Lee, G.N. Briscoe, Mrs. G. N. Briscoe and Gus Stark.

        The lawyers who were born here or spent their lives here and are not living are: Wilson Lumpkin, governor;  George Hillyer, judge of the Superior court; Junius Hillyer, James Jackson, Supreme court; Charles Davis, judge Superior court; D. H. Walker, solicitor general and judge of county court; Jack Arnold, Henry McDaniel, governor; W. J. Ray; B. S. Walker, Toombs Spearman, George Napier, state’s attorney general, Charlie Brand, solicitor judge, congressman; Bob Cox, solicitor city court; Allen Arnold, Ben Edwards, judge county court; E.S.V Bryant, S. Florence, Lon Stone, judge city court; James Rogers, Tom Galloway, Charles Blalock, Fletcher Johnson, solicitor Hall County; Hal Nowell, solicitor of city court; Josiah Nunnally, Judge Superior Court, Floyd County; George A. Johns, prison commissioner & Ben Burson.

        Our early merchants who provided what we needed for day to day life were: Gallaway and Van Horne, C. G. Nowell, John Felker, Ely & Wash Smith, Bill Baker,  Malsby and Avery, Bob Sheats and James Ray, Ray and Stanford, Michael and Kelly, Colley Breedlove, Charles Nowell, Gibbs and Sheats, Mosely and Claud Arnold, Miss Betty Tuck (Millinery), Roberts, Sheats and Co., and Poore and Lawrence.

        Our first railroad was built from Social Circle to Pleasant Valley under the leadership of my father and it was completed to Monroe by brother Sanders. 

        After six years in office as County School Superintendent, I resigned in 1901 and went to western Texas for my wife’s health.  Our first board of education was comprised of George Napier, president; Joe Nunnally, Joe Roquemore, James Gresham and James Bradley.       

        To fill vacancies, Ed Gibbs, Permetus O’Kelly, Gus Cannon, and Len Bennett were added. Our enrollment was 8,000 children, three-fourths of them being white.

        We had sixty-six schools, which number was reduced to fifty-two by consolidation.  Our teachers numbered about one hundred. Public school lasted five months, with the choice of months.  Visits to schools were usually announced beforehand and brought out a goodly number of parents and trustees, to whom an address was made, lasting thirty minutes.  School rallies also were occasionally held to keep up public interest.  One at Walnut Grove, for whites, presided over by George Napier, and another at Fellowship Church for Negroes, with the state superintendent as principal speaker, are remembered with pleasure, including the large crowds, fine addresses and wonderful dinners.”