Although Atlanta, Georgia, was not actually incorporated until well into 1847, it existed for a long time before that. It had been called Marthasville in 1843. The small town was named after Martha Lumpkin, the daughter of Wilson Lumpkin who had previously been the governor. Lumpkin was trying to convince the residents to allow the railroad to go through the little town.
Two years later, the little group of buildings called Marthasville was changed to the name Atlanta which was Martha Lumpkin’s middle name. That same year, the railroad came through the area. The Chief Engineer of the Georgia Railroad, John Thomson, decided to change the name of the small town in 1845. During the previous year, a newcomer Jonathon Norcross, moved his sawmill and lumber yard business into the area.
Prior to that year, the only business there was the post office. Within the next couple of years, Atlanta got its first doctor, school, first newspaper and another railroad called the Macon and Western. By 1848, Atlanta was ready for its first election and there were just 215 voters. Besides their first mayor, they also elected 6 councilmen for the city.
According to historical documents, there was a homicide in Atlanta at that time. Because of that, the councilmen decided to hire a town marshal and build a jail.
The next year Atlanta got its very first telegraph which opened up communication between this town and other areas. That same year, there was a major fire in Atlanta that affected the livery stable and several businesses. Because of this tragedy, the residents decided to form a volunteer fire department.
By the year 1860, the census showed that there were almost 8,000 residents which included slaves. The slaves accounted for approximately twenty-five percent of that number. Between 1862 and 1864, there were 20,000 people mainly because it was being used as a military hospital for the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
Atlanta was confirmed a military zone in 1864 and all the residents were forced to evacuate. A few months later, Sherman burned down the town of Atlanta. Not long after that, the residents of Atlanta returned to find their homes burned and even the railroad destroyed.
Although the people felt discouraged by this situation, they didn’t let this damage to drive them away. They worked together to build shanty houses at first so they could stay in their little town of Atlanta.
When their bank was opened in 1865, businesses began to rebuild; and within another year there were 250 businesses that had rebuilt. There were 20,000 people counted in the 1866 census. Georgia claimed Atlanta as its capital in 1868.
Back in 1813, prior to the building of the first fort, this area had belonged to the Creek Indians who surrendered it in 1821. At that time, counties were created to define the area. They were called Henry and Fayette Counties.
Today, Atlanta is considered the fastest growing city in the United States with its current residents adding up to almost a half million people. Atlanta works at being eco-friendly and is full of cultural events and organizations. Besides being a beautiful modern city, Atlanta appreciates and cherishes its historical roots.
It is rated third in the country having Fortune 500 companies. Considered the city with the fastest growing millionaire population, Atlanta demonstrates growth financially but also is known to be good at balancing itself as it continues to grow.
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