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Kingston in Bartow County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Kingston's Rich, Historical Past

 
 
Kingston's Rich, Historical Past Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, April 11, 2021
1. Kingston's Rich, Historical Past Marker
Inscription.  For thousands of years prior to trains and civilization, Native Americans — mainly Cherokees — thrived in the area now known as Kingston. The Cherokees survived by living off the land, faming and trading. Saltpeter, an ingredient in gunpowder, was one of the items traded and sold to British and Americans as late as the War of 1812. The Land Lottery of 1832 brought the white settlers, the forced removal of the Indians, and eventually the railroad. Named for John Pendleton King, a railroad financier from Augusta, Georgia, Kingston's fate and history, like so many small towns, was tied to the rise and fall of the railroad. In 1849 with the opening of the Memphis Branch Railroad to Rome and connecting it to the Western and Atlantic Railroad, Kingston became an east-west, north-south hub, a major factor during the Civil War.

Civil War Museum
During the 1960 term of the Georgia General Assembly, former state representatives Henry A. Keever and Woodrow Bradley secured an acre of land for the City of Kingston for the purpose of erecting a Civil War Memorial Museum. The Kingston Woman's History Chub (KWHC)
Kingston's Rich, Historical Past Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, April 11, 2021
2. Kingston's Rich, Historical Past Marker
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accepted the deed to the acre of land on behalf of the City of Kingston with the provision that the club had ten years in which to build a museum; otherwise the land would revert back to state ownership. Rep. Keener presented the deed to the land at the Club's monthly meeting held in the home of Mrs. J.G. Malone, and on April 25, 1971, the new Civil War Museum was presented to the public at an open house after the Confederate Memorial Day Service.

Martha Mulinix Annex
The Kingston Woman's History Club, one of the oldest women's clubs in Georgia, was organized at the home of Miss Bell Bayless on January 25, 1900. These ladies on that day organized a history club to meet monthly with one stated purpose — “To make tomorrow better than today.” Since its inception in January of 1900, the women of the Kingston Woman's History Club, Inc. have played an integral part in preserving Kingston's history and heritage through its civic-minded endeavors. In the Club's 100-plus years history, the women of the KWHC, Inc. have helped develop, fund and establish the Kingston City Park, the Civil War Museum, the Martha Mulinix Annex, and the Veterans Monument. In addition they have continued the 150-plus years tradition of honoring all fallen soldiers on Confederate Memorial Day and recognizing on Veterans Day those who have served our nation in
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the military.

Approximately 25 years after the completion of the Civil War Museum, an even larger building, the Martha Mulinix Annex, was built with donations, lots of volunteer work and a state grant. In order to start the ball rolling on the second museum building, two committees were formed: a planning and building committee and a fund-raising committee. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on August 15, 1997. Once the museum was completed in June of 1998, the club members voted unanimously to name it the Martha Mulinix Annex in honor of her many contributions. Mrs. Mulinix worked tirelessly as an active member in the KWHC for 58 years. The Martha Mulinix Annex houses a collection of historical Kingston artifacts and has been the site of many exhibits.

Veterans Monument
A meeting of the Kingston Women's History Club (KWHC) was called and held on February 13, 2003, in which the KWHC Veterans Monument Committee was formed to accept responsibility for construction of the monument. Margaret Applin was appointed chairman of the committee. On January 20, 2003, Elbert (Chuck) Wise presented the KWHC with a $1,500 donation from his employer, the Georgia Power Company, that quick-started the monument fundraising campaign. After many fundraisers and much hard work the monument was completed. An auction of equipment and other items donated by
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Tommy Strickland was held on his property which raised $21,545, pushing the fundraising over the top. All of the hard work paid off and the monument was dedicated on Saturday, December 8, 2007. Guest speakers were State Representative Barry Loudermilk and Robert Turner of the Georgia Department of Veterans Services in Cartersville. The monument displays the names of local veterans who fought or served in one of the four branches of the military in World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Viet Nam War, and post Viet Nam wars.

Kingston City Park
The Kingston City Park was originally owned by the Western and Atlantic Railroad and served as a parking area for horses and horse-drawn wagons. Resolved to transform the old gullied red clay by the depot, the KWHC set into motion a series of events to do just that. The Club members took advice from the local farmers as to the best methods of enriching the worthless clay, received advice from many sources on trees and flowers for the park, and gladly accepted the help of the citizens of the community in establishing the park. Throughout the decades since the turn of the twentieth century, the park has been a standing committee for the Kingston Woman's History Club to improve and maintain. Trees have been planted periodically to replace dead and diseased ones. In 1912, an arch and pillars were erected at each entrance to the park.

1861 — First Wayside Home
Because of its rail connections during the Civil War, Kingston became not only a supply center but also a refuge for sick and wounded soldiers. The first Wayside Home was established here in 1861. A local gentleman named Doc Tippin brought to the attention of the ladies of the Soldiers Aid Society that the sick and wounded soldiers who had to wait overnight outside the depot for connecting trains, had no place to go to get out of the weather, nor a place to sleep or food to eat. The ladies secured vacant stores, provided comfortable beds and cooked meals at their own expense. Over 10.000 sick and wounded troops were served until the retreat of the Confederate Army and a Federal Hospital was established. Kingston became known as the first Wayside Home in a system from Georgia to Virginia.

Sherman Occupies Kingston
During the final year of the War, several skirmishes took place in the Kingston area with Kingston ultimately falling into the hands of General William T. Sherman. He marched into Kingston on May 19, 1864 expecting a fight with General Joe Johnson. However, General Johnson tricked him by moving east of Cassville. When Atlanta fell, Sherman headquartered in Kingston again. It was here that he completed his plan to “March to the Sea.” After requesting permission from General Ulysses S. Grant to execute his plan to “make Georgia howl” he left Kingston on November 12, 1864 with 60,000 men and arrived in Savannah six weeks later.

From Slavery to First Lady
Born a slave in South Carolina, Melvinia was bequeathed to Henry Shields, who lived in Clayton County, Georgia. At age 16, Melvinia gave birth to a son Dolphus Shields, who was fathered by Henry's son Charles. Melvinia eventually moved to Kingston, Georgia where she spent the remainder of her life working as a midwife. In Kingston, residents knew her fondly as Mattie McGruder. Dolphus Shields moved to Birmingham and became a successful businessman. Later Dolphus descendants settled in Chicago, where his great-great-granddaughter, Michelle Robinson was born. Michelle married Barack Obama, who was elected President of the United States in 2008, serving two terms in office. A marker is placed in honor of Melvinia Shields at Queens Chapel Methodist Church Cemetery, where First Lady Michelle Obama's great-great-great grandmother was laid to rest in 1938.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansFraternal or Sororal OrganizationsWar, US CivilWomen. A significant historical date for this entry is January 25, 1900.
 
Location. 34° 14.129′ N, 84° 56.738′ W. Marker is in Kingston, Georgia, in Bartow County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Park Street, on the right when traveling west on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Kingston GA 30145, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Original Hospital Site of Wayside Home (within shouting distance of this marker); Sherman’s March to the Sea (within shouting distance of this marker); Nellie Margaret Harris Applin (within shouting distance of this marker); Kingston Methodist Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Andrews Raiders at Kingston (about 300 feet away); House - Site Thomas V. B. Hargis (about 300 feet away); Rome Railroad (about 400 feet away); Confederate Memorial Day (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kingston.
 
Also see . . .  Kingston Woman's History Club. The organization's Facebook page. (Submitted on April 16, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 16, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 16, 2021, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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May. 14, 2021