“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fitzgerald in Ben Hill County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)


The Colony City

Fitzgerald Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, January 17, 2011
1. Fitzgerald Marker
Inscription. Founded at Swan in 1895 by Mr. Philander H. Fitzgerald, lawyer, veteran and publisher of the AMERICAN TRIBUNE of Indianapolis, as a soldiers’ colony in the South. Fitzgerald was settled by Union veterans who, tired of Northern winters, flocked from 38 states and 2 territories to this benign and fertile land, which, only 30 years before, had been deep in enemy territory.

In the early 90’s, devastating droughts had impoverished the farmers of the Mid-West and Georgians had sent trainloads of food to relieve their plight. Impressed, Mr. Fitzgerald conceived his plan and formed the American Tribune Soldiers’ Colony Company (non-profit). Despite offers from neighboring states, the Company chose this site, acquired 50,000 acres of land, and laid out a town.

By December, 5,000 colonists had arrived. The next fall, the schools opened with 501 pupils, the first in Georgia to offer free tuition and texts and a nine-month term. On Dec. 2, 1896, Fitzgerald was incorporated and elected officials took charge.

With principal streets named to honor great leaders of both armies, and with Confederate veterans joining their former enemies in this unique community endeavor, Fitzgerald has symbolized through the years an enduring unity born of that unfailing respect which brave men hold for each other.
Fitzgerald Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, January 17, 2011
2. Fitzgerald Marker
1957 by Georgia Historical Commission. (Marker Number 009-4.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Georgia Historical Society/Commission marker series.
Location. 31° 42.891′ N, 83° 15.186′ W. Marker is in Fitzgerald, Georgia, in Ben Hill County. Marker is at the intersection of West Central Avenue (U.S. 319) and North Grant Street (U.S. 129), in the median on West Central Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fitzgerald GA 31750, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Jefferson Davis Memorial State Park (here, next to this marker); Dedicated to the Veterans of 1898 - 1902 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ben Hill County (approx. 0.2 miles away); In Grateful Appreciation of The Boys of Ben Hill Co. (approx. 0.2 miles away); Gen. Bush's Home (approx. 0.6 miles away); First Baptist Church Bell (approx. 0.7 miles away); a different marker also named Jefferson Davis Memorial State Park (approx. 8.4 miles away); Irwin County (approx. 8˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fitzgerald.
Also see . . .  Philander H Fitzgerald. Background on City of Fitzgerald web site. (Submitted on February 22, 2011, by Jamie Abel of Westerville, Ohio.) 
Categories. Settlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
Fitzgerald Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Seibert, January 17, 2011
3. Fitzgerald Marker
Looking east on West Central Avenue, toward the Ben Hill County Courthouse.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2017. This page originally submitted on February 19, 2011, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 766 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 19, 2011, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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