Monday, December 14, 2015

Trip to Americus Georgia Autumn 2011 to research the family and story of William Legget Glessner

Somehow since my adventure of the autumn of 2011, to drive to Georgia to visit the sites of my Glessner ancestors, I posted a page about Edward Glessner who died at the battle of Kinnesaw Mt, in the war of Southern Succession as the folks might still call it in the south.  I knew that two of Lewis Glessner's sons move to Georgia  and published newspapers in the 1800's, and I wanted to have first hand experience visiting the south. Below are photos I took in Nov 2011, when I was led to visit Americus where William Legget moved in 1881 as near as I can tell, from this article  published in Clinton IL:
The DeWittGenWeb Project Online TW   Jan 2007

June 27, 1890
Clinton Public
Clinton, Illinois

Some More Fortunate DeWitt County Men.

The article in THE PUBLIC two weeks ago which told of the good fortune of Merrick DAVIS down in Texas, has been the means of bringing to the surface the fortunate business transactions of two well-known Clintonians. About nine years ago Mr. W. L. GLESSNER, who was then the popular and able editor of the Clinton Register, left this city and went to Americus, Georgia, where he bought a weekly paper. Henry STOREY, who learned his trade under Mr. Glessner, and who also worked for a time in THE PUBLIC office, went to Americus to work for Mr. Glessner, and since then he has become his son-in-law and partner in the business. The Weekly Recorder was changed into a daily, and the firm has prospered. From a small beginning they have built up the business of the Recorder, and only a short time ago they refused $12,000 cash for it. They have now one of the finest printing offices in the State of Georgia, and occupy a building that was built expressly for their business. They have also been dabbling a little in real estate during the past couple of years. Their first venture was buying an acre of land on the edge of Americus, for which they paid $600. Within a month they sold half of it for $1200. Then they bought a block of sixteen lots for which they paid $1200, and have already sold eight of the lots for $2500. Lately they invested $7500 in a piece of land which will sell by September 1st for $30,000. So it will be seen that our old Clintonians have struck the tide of good fortune. From occasional notices that we see [of] Mr. Glessner in the Southern papers, it looks as though he cuts quite a figure in that country. He is the president of several big organizations, one of which is a combination of fifteen counties formed into an improvement company to advertise and develop the resources of Georgia. He also holds a prominent position with a railroad company that pays him a good salary as a "boomer." The many friends of Messrs. Glessner and Storey in this city and county will rejoice to hear of their prosperity.

Submitted by Judy Simpson"

In April of 2015, a distant cousin, Walter Jones, of Atlanta, see email below wrote me.  Had I not been clearing out my email this weekend, and found it, I may well have lost the opportunity to learn more.  Thanks Walter for writing, and chatting yesterday, and that you and your son, Walter Jr, might be heading to Americus on a family quest of sorts.  Fun, how things just "pop up" from the Great Mystery!  And that Walter is a descendent from Eleanor Glessner, whose brother Douglas Glessner, was a life long bachelor who purchased a newspaper in 1889 per the article here

 And that two daughters went south to Georgia as well, Florence and Eleanor Glessner to Griffin and William Legget Glessner, left Clinton IL, after 12 years there, and moved to Americus, likely in 1881, and thus the longest living Glessner to venture south to find his fortune......I found a historian, Alan Anderson, on the Sumter Co Historical Society website and he was a very congenial host, that I thought a had acknowledged by writing on my blog. And, voila' nothing here. So, now is the time for my winter count, the Lakota -Dakota way to share stories over a hot cup of coffee, around the warming fires of autumn and winter.
My destination after talking with Alan Anderson on the phone, was this stately well preserved hotel, the Windsor that I reserved for a couple of nights. Was built in 1892, 11 years after William Legget Glessner came to town and purchased the local newspaper The Recorder, around 1881.,_Georgia%29

The Best Western Plus Windsor Hotel at 125 West Lamar Street in Americus, Georgia was built in 1892 to attract winter visitors from the northeastern United States.

The atrium as viewed from a balcony on the upper floor where I was staying overnight.

My red pony, Dodge Caravan that I drove to Americus in after stopping in to visit the Othman's in Mecon, whom I met in Duluth MN during my internship back in 1974.  Here is the moon over the stately hotel where I hosted Alan Anderson for breakfast .

Sumter County Historian Alan Anderson, met me at the Windsor and guided me to the Glessner Hom at the corner of Glessner and Lee, out to Plains, where I was active in Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign back in the day, and showed me the home where Jimmy was a peanut farmer and his brother of Billy Beer Family had is gas station!  Great memories..
Some framed wall hangings here. The Carters from Plains.
Framed add for Whisky from Tennessee found in the Windsor Hotel.
A primary purpose of my trip was to learn more about William Legget, and found he had a great entrepreneurial spirit, expanding the local newspaper to a weekly in the 1880's and in reading another reference, went on trains to the north to advertise southern products.  Here is his home on the corner of Glessner and Lee in the south part of town. Queen Anne Style it appears. 

Allan Anderson in front of the Glessner House. 
Yours truly, Tom Weaver at the corner of Lee and Glessner by Alan Anderson.
Glessner, E and West, corner with Lee where the Glessner Home is located in Americus.    
The author, Thomas Glessner Weaver, in front of the Wm Legget Glessner home....By Alan Anderson 

 Ripe Pecans. on the large pecan tree in the front yard of the Glessner home, that is included in a local history tour.  No one was home when we knocked on the door .

Next destination out west of town, Plains Georgia of Jimmy Carter fame.   Peanut and cotton fields...

Here is Alan in Plains at the train station that was a campaign headquarters during the 1976 election cycle. Now preserved.
And Billy Carter's famed gas station in plains.  The locals agreed that Billy Beer did not taste very good and that is was a colorful time in rural plains when Billy ran this station. 


In 1972, Billy Carter purchased a gas and service station in Plains. He owned and operated it for most of the decade.[1]
Carter ran for mayor of Plains in 1976, but lost the election. It was his only attempt to win elective office. In 1977, he endorsed Billy Beer introduced by the Falls City Brewing Company, who wished to capitalize upon his colorful image as a beer-drinking Southern good ol' boy that developed in the press when his brother ran for President. Carter's name was occasionally used as a gag answer for a Washington, D.C., trouble-maker on 1970s episodes of Match Game. He was known for his outlandish public behavior; he once urinated on an airport runway in full view of the press and dignitaries.[2]

And in the local cemetery, The marker of Wm L Glessner, Born in Delaware OH Sept 1840, moved from Clinton IL in 1881 and lived here from age 41 to age 86.  45 years as a resident of this town in the deep south.  

While clearing out my iphouse, emails Dec 13, I discovered this

April 10, 2015 email from Atlanta from Walter Jones at
Morris News Service


Just a note to thank you for posting your research about Lewis Glessner that I came across tonight. My mother, Martha Lee Miller Jones, was the daughter of Georgiana White Miller, who was the daughter of Thomas Jackson White and Eleanor Glessner White, all of Griffin, Ga., where Eleanor’s brother Douglas published the Griffin Daily News. Florence Glessner also lived in Griffin.

As a newspaperman myself, I was interested to learn that Douglas wasn’t the only publisher in the family and that his brothers and fathers had been as well. It’s also interesting to know that Douglas and his brother William were publishers in Georgia when their brother Edward was killed there at Kennesaw Mountain during the Civil War. I wonder if they ever felt like Georgians or like missionaries?

Walter Jones
Morris News Service
18 Capitol Square
Atlanta, GA 30334

(404) 783-8509"

I just LOVE the connections I can find on line, and now, I have unearthed the research I did with Alan Anderson of Sumter Co, Americus, where I took some photos in the area of Plains Georgia I visited in November 2011.  I will send Walter the link after I add some more photos from my own genealogical archives.  l.

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