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Fickling's Mill

Fickling's Mill community is located in the Northeast section of the County in the Panhandle GMD 768 and just west of Crowell Community on Highway 137 at the Intersection of with State Rd. 208 East out of Talbottom.

Origin of Name

The area was named for its early resident, Christopher F. Fickling, who had come to Taylor County from South Carolina with his wife, Annah and family Mary L and son, William H. He deeded land in 1859 to his son, William H. Fickling for the sum of "$1.00, love and affection". William was an officer in the Civil War as well as a member of both houses of the General Assembly.

Early Beginnings

The Fickling family may have established an early mill, but on July 23, 1910, they sold the property to H. Earl Neisler and Lovick Mosley who constructed the dam and built a grist mill, a cotton gin, sawmill and planing mill--all run by water power. A small grocery and blacksmith shop were also part of this complex.

Mr. Mosley sold his share to Tom Gaultney, and the Gaultney and Neisler families built homes overlooking the mill on the "Wire Road".

At the turn of the century, this was a favorite picnic spot for young people, and some of the trees still have their initials carved in them. Some of those who spent summer weekends included: Sarah Wallace, Mab Carson, Birdie and Irene McGee, Mattile Bateman, Ouida Chapman, Helen Montford, Mrs. Benona Childs, Mrs. Ross Chapman, Mrs. Charlie Benns, Mrs. Fred Peed, Mrs. Gray Montford, Mrs. Charlie Neisler and Mrs. Charlie Fickling.

Mr. Neisler built a bathhouse which his daughters (Bessie, Sarah, Helen and Janie) enjoyed on hot summer afternoons with the cool water continuously flowing through a small pipe in the wall.

Mr. Neisler also built coffins for people, both black and white, who coul dnot afford to buy one. They were made of pine and Mrs. Neisler lined them with white sheeting after padding it with cotton. At that time, the corpse remained in the family home until burial.

The Fickling family continued to play a part in the history of Taylor County. Dr. Charles Francis Fickling (Oct 11, 1870-Mar 19, 1926) was a graduate of Vanderbilt University and returned to Taylor County as a physician, practicing here all his life. Much of the time he rode horseback, until a car was available.

Dr. George Walker Fickling (son of William H and Elizabeth) was born in 1874. Dr. Ficklin practised dentistry for 48 years as well as being engaged in farming. He served for two terms as the Mayor of the Reynolds and one term as a Commissioner. He died in April, 1953, at his home in Reynolds and is buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Macon.

"When he drove his car, he never shut his doors so he would be coming down the street with all the doors flapping to and fro.

"My Daddy had never had a filling when he went to see Dr. Fickling. He was at Mercer and had taken up pipe smoking and wanted to have the tobacco stains cleaned from his teeth. Daddy said that Dr. Fickling made him get up from the chair and told him that he wouldn't clean them because the tobacco was a protective coat. Sure enough, Daddy didn't have a cavity until he was in his forties and the new dentist cleaned Daddy's teeth.

"His son, William, taught at Reynolds High School. He was let go after a year by Mr. Joiner, the principal, who told him that he wasn't cut out to be a teacher. Mr. Joiner's school was known for excellence and Mr. Fickling didn't cut the mustard.

"After that, he went to Macon and joined up with Mr. Walker to form Fickling and Walker Real Estate. He eventually became quite wealthy. He never forgot Reynolds, though, and always gave money to the community.

"The Reynolds High School building was privately owned (although run by the county school system) so they handled their owned building program. When they built their gym, they named it Fickling Gymnasium in honor of Mr. Fickling and the contribution he had given to its building.

"Mr. Fickling started rooting Japanese cherry trees as a hobby and planted them in one of his new subdivisions. In the spring it became quite the thing to drive around and look at the cherry trees so they started a cherry tree festival which has grown to be a large event. Reynolds was not forgotten as Mr. Fickling gave cherry trees to be planted in the town park. --Contributed by Beth Collins (

This material is based on information in the Butler Herald 1976 History. I welcome additional information about early Fickling Mills and the families who lived there.

FICKLING FAMILY researcher: Bill Fickling, III >

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