The City
Directory:  A Beneficial Genealogical
Research To

Classmates, the newsletter released recently announced the wrong person as the award winner. The article should have read: 

This years recipients are Nadirah Achantee Robinson of Gainesville High, the daughter of Nanette Roche Rucker and Anthony Smith of East Hall, the grandson of Joe Norman. Congratulations to these two deserving students. 
We congratulate these students on their achievements and wish them the best as they continue their studies.  The Board also apologizes for this mistake.
FS-BH Alumni BOD

In preparing for the reunion and family reunions as well, many of us are focusing more on our family histories and Trees. The City Directory is a genealogical tool that is sometimes overlooked. A City directory contains the names and addresses of businesses operating in a city and the names and addresses of the residents of the city.  In addition to this information, the directory may list the names of churches, schools, and organizations in the community. City directories, which are published yearly, may be found in public libraries. 

Recently, I decided to re-examine the earliest editions of the Gainesville City Directory at the main branch of the Hall County Library. The earliest available editions are the 1911-1912 and 1913-1914 directories. These books are not on the shelves or in general circulation because of their age and fragility. They are kept under lock and key. However, they are available to patrons for examination upon request.  The patron must submit a driver’s license to be held by the librarian while the books are in the patron’s possession. These books cannot be checked out so anyone planning to examine them will probably need a pen and notepad for taking notes. I would not recommend photocopying because they are so fragile.

In the 1911-1912 Gainesville City Directory, African-Americans are listed in separate categories marked (Col.) or Colored. The 1913-1914 Gainesville City Directory lists everybody under the same categories but distinguishes African-Americans by placing (C.) or Colored after the entry or person’s name. 

Below are samples of some of the information I found in the 1913-1914 Gainesville City Directory, published a hundred years ago.


George W. Stephens ©
Tailor 33 ½ Spring Street Ph.334

Adam Bryant© Barber 144
Athens Street

Albert Davis© 74 Athens

E. Bryant& Son© Shoemaker
70 Athens Street

W. Butler (Nettie) ©
Grocer 62 Race Street

John Kidd© Eureka
Pressing Club 33 ½ Main St. Ph.497

Royal Pressing Club (Col.)
36 E. College Ave

R.A. Chamblee© Georgia
Shoe Hospital 7 E. Spring St. Residence 39 Race St.


M.W. Brown© Athens near
Summit St.


George W. Morgan© 78
Athens St.

Furniture Repair

C. Neal © 32 Fair


Mariah Barksdale© 62 E.
Summit St.

Jessie Byrd© 66 E.
Summit St.

Richard Key© 123 Athens

Rosa Oliver © 52 Athens

Insurance (Colored)

R. W. Chamblee- 78
Athens St.  Residence- 50 Race St.

George W. Morgan-E.
Summit near Athens

Union Mutual Industries
Assn. 225 Pryor


Richard Merck© 66
Athens St.


Dr. N.A. Doyle ©
Physician 60 Athens Street

Colored Churches

First Baptist 38 W.
High Street- Rev. W.M. Dorsey, Pastor

Bethel African
Methodist Episcopal 14 Palmour St. – Rev. F.S. Harris, Pastor

Fire Baptized Holiness
corner Race and E. College Ave. (no regular services)                         

Sanders Chapel 31
Whitehall St. – Rev. J.C. Wilson, Pastor

St. John Baptist Church
Norwood between E. Summit and E. High St.. Rev. H. H. Anderson, Pastor

St. Paul Methodist
Episcopal E. Summit corner S. Pryor- Rev. E.E. Miller, Pastor

Trinity Colored
Methodist Episcopal 131 E. Summit -Rev. W.H. Johnson, Pastor


Gainesville Graded and
High School for Colored Hunter between Fair and School St. 
C.S. Williams,
Principal * correction (C.E. Williams, Principal)

Gainesville High and
Industrial School for Colored Beulah Rucker, Superintendent

 143 Athens Street

Northwestern Normal and
Industrial School for Colored

Mill Street

J. M. Hunter, Principal

There are a number of fraternal and “Secret Society” organizations listed in this directory. Perhaps I’ll write about what I’ve learned about these organizations and some of the entrepreneurs listed here in future articles.  In the meantime, genealogy enthusiasts add the city directory to your list of important research resources.

Linda Rucker Hutchens