Archives | 08/24/2011
Joanna Baxter, a former staff member who now volunteers both here at the Archives and at Hills and Dales Estate, brought in the list of people who signed the guest book at Hills and Dales at its grand opening, in 1916. The occasion also marked the 25thAnniversary of Fuller and Ida Cason Callaway. We’ve been helping her find out details about the various people who signed the guest book that day. There were people from all over the country, especially from New York, and many from LaGrange. Many of them were already known, especially to our current County Historian. Others, we had fun helping her research.
Her first stop was the 1912 City Directory, the one closest to the 1916 event. One unfortunate aspect of that book, though, is that the house numbers were all changed after 1912, though street names remained constant. Many of the people in 1912 had different occupations or titles, too, from what they had in 1916 or later but most of the local people were connected to the Callaways through business, church, family, or social association, as were most of those from Atlanta and other Georgia towns. The majority of New York people were business connections. Next, we helped her use the 1920 census to look for people, especially those from out of town. The census tells their address and occupations as well as detailing their families. One of the more unusual facts we discovered was that noted architect, Hal Hentz, who had a hand in designing Hills and Dales, and his wife Frances, who both signed the guest book, were living with her parents in 1920 and not in their own house. Also living with that family, the Elijah Connallys, was another of Mrs. Hentz’s sisters and her husband, a Spalding, who was president of a foundry. Mr. Connally was president of a realty company, yet all three families lived together. It has been one more “fun research project” and the fun continues as we can only do so many at a time.