About Ruckersville, Where Jabe McGehee was born Give Seperate Page
"ìPerhaps Ruckersville of all the early  settlements of Elbert County has received the greatest publicity notwithstanding the fact that in its era of greatest prosperity it could boast of no more than 200 inhabitants and a great number of these were slaves. This state of affairs has been brought about, no doubt, byu the outstanding achievements of a number of its citizens.
Ruckersvilleís most noted  citizen was Joseph Rucker. This unusual man was the descendant of Peetr Rucker of Orange County, Virginia, and the son of John Rucker and Elizabeth Tinsley.  He was born on Jan 12 1788. His wife Margaret Houston Speer, whom he married in January 1812, was a daughter of William Speer.
In his young manhood he evidenced a decided genius for business zand without having inherited property of any great value soon accumulated large holdings in land and slaves. When banking was in its infancy he established the Banks of Ruskersville in a wooden store building and conducted this institution with marked success. He was the only sotckholder, the president and cashier. Bills of this bank were onored in every section of the United States without the least question. This insitutition has been said to have been the first of its kind in Georgia.
Perhpas a portion of the graphic account given by his son in law, Rev James S Lamar, will present a true insight  to his character:
ìSquire Ruckerís judgment was never known to fail. Violently opposed to secesssion, when the final act came at Milledgeville, he said, pointing to one of his slaves ëSee that fellow. A year ago he was worth $1,500 , today he isnít worth a thrip.í But he accepted the situation-helped to equip a company-took 30,000$ of the first issue of Confederate bonds, at par. These bonds were lying in the old Banks of Athens, in the care of the late albin Dearing, when the war was over, not a coupon had ever been clipped.
ëHe was always called Squire Rucker. I well remember the first time that i saw him. It was in the summer of 1856. He was dressed in an old fashioned suit of broadcloth, a vest also of cloth, and a coat of the same material in the style called shad-belly-somewhat like the cutaways of the present day. He wore it unbottoned-a watch chain with a heavy seal hanging from a fob, or watch pocket. His neck cloth was then as always s white. It was not a simple tie but a sort of folded handkerchief, put on by laying the middle against the throat leading the ends back and crossing them, then bringing them to the throat to be tied together. The knowt was plain. I am not sure it was even a bow.
ëHe was polite, but very reserved. He seemed to be studying me, his conversation was mainly questions-chiefly about men and women and things in Augusta-Mrs Tubman, the Cummings, the Claytons, The Gairdners, and Mr Metcalf-then about cotton and business prospects, but no human being could have told by any expression on his face what effect my answers had upon him or what inference as to me he drew from them.í
Josephf Rucker was sadly effected by the results of the War Between the States and in 1865, here followed his wife to the grave within a month. He was truly a remarkable character and many of his descendants, Joseph Rucker Lamar, Assoc Justivce of the US supreme Court; Elbert Rucker, Tinsley W Rucker, US States Congressman and noted lawyer and wit; and Jeptha Rucker, postmaster of Atherns for many years, were all born in Ruckersville, and took first rank among Georgians.
Joseph Rucker Lamar was appointed to the US Supreme Court by the affable William H Taft. His choice was excellent for Justice Lamar served the nation with unwavering faith,  ability and fidelity. Lamarís father was Rev James S Lamar who married Mary Rucker; his grandfather, Phillip Lamar Jr married Margaret Anthony; his great grandfather Phillip Sr married Ruth Davis, and his Great great grandfather, Robert, married Sarah Wilson. Mrs Joseph Rucker Lamar, prominnent in Georgia society and club work, was Clarinda Huntington Pendleton, dtr of Dr William K Pendleton once Pres of Bethany College.
In the year 1822, the date of Ruckersvilleís incorporation, it had become a small trading center and was, it then seemed, destined to become a town of major importance. In 1827, according to Sherwoodís Gazetter, the village contained 10 houses, six stores, an academy
and a Baptist church. In the year 1849, there were 200 inhabitants and this was undoubtedly its greatest era of prosperity.
The citizenship of Ruckersville was of the highest type and a number of characters of note were born there. Among these were: Nathaniel J Hammond, Major Peter W Alexander, Joseph R Lamar, Mrs Corra White Harris, James Lofton, Dr Richard Banks, Elbert M Rucker, Tinsley White Rucker and William H. H. Underwood. The Adams, Tyalors, Banks, Clevelands, Loftons and Wansleys live there. Descendants of the illustrious families still reside in the locality.
With the outbreak of the War Between the States Rukersville began to wane [spelled this way  at text] and at its close when chaos and confusion, poverty and sadness reigned, its death knell as a town of importance was sounded. The most vivd reminders of Ruckervilleís importance today are the remains of the Joseph Rucker home, now owned by Earl W Rucker, one of his descendants, and Vanís Creek Baptist churchyard, where many of the early inhabitants sleep.
The act of the General Assembly of Georgia incorporating Ruckersville is set out below:
ëAn Act
To appoint commissioners for the better regulation and government of the village or Ruckersville, in the County of Elbert.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatitives of the State of Georgia in General Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same.
That the following named persons, to wit: John Banks, Henry Bourne, John S Wilson, William White, and William H Underwood, be and they are hereby appointed Commissioners of Ruckersville, in the County of Elbert, and that they or a majority of them shall immediately after the passage of this Act, convene and proceed to the appointment of a Clerk and such other officers as they may deem necessary to carry this Act into execution.
Sec 2. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid,
That the said Commissioners shall hold their respective appointment hereby given them, until, the first monday in February, 1824, at which time and on every subsequent first Monday in Feb thereafter, the citizens of Ruckersville entittled to vote for memebers of the General Assemby shall choose by ballot five persons to succeed them as Commissioners of said village. And they shall have and are here by vested with full authority to make such by- laws and regulations, and inflict and impose such pains, penalties and forfeitures as in their judgement shall be most conducive to the good order and government of said village: Provided, such by laws and regulations be not repugnant to the laws and consitution of this State.
Sec 3. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that any two or more justices of the peace for the said county of Elbert ae hereby authorized and required to preside at said election for Commissioners aforesaid: Provided nevertheless, that nothing contained shall be so construed as to prevent the elction of the commissioners hereinbefore named. And any person or persons who may hereafter be elected commissioners of said village, shall be reeligible at the next or any subsequent election after the expiration of the time for which he or they may be elected Commissioners under this Act.
Allen Daniel,
Speaker of the House of Representattives
Mathew Talbot,
Preseident of the Senate
Assented to Dec 9 1822
John Clark, Governorî
The foregoing was introduced in the House of Representatives by Barnard C Heard, Charles W Christian, and William morre, the Elbetr County delegation, and was sponsored in the Senate by Beverly Allen, of the County of Elbert.
Had the village of Ruckersville continued to thrive a subsequent Act would, perhaps, have been necessary for the text of the Act does not mention the importnant matter of boundary lines.
Rukersville [again spelled this way], considering it s population led all Georgia in educational facilities. There were  two seminaries, one male and one female. Young people, not only from Georgia, but So Carolina as well attended these excellent institutions.
Eudisco Academy, situated at Ruckersville, was incorporated by The General Assembly in 1823, and John Banks, Bedford Heard, William H Underwood, Asa Thompson, and Joseph Rucker were named trustees.
One year afte Eudisco Academy was incorporated the following Act was passed and assented to by Governor Troup; ....to incorporate Philomathia Academy in the County of Elbert and to appoint commissioners therein named....that from and after the passage of this Act the Academy in the County of Elbert known by the name of Philmathia Academy, shall be called and known by that name: and that Beverly Alle, Henry White, Asa Thompson, Bedford Harper and Richard Banks, the present  Trustees .....
Section 5 of the foregoing act refers to the academy which was located in thee town of Elberton. This school proved of great benefit to the surronding country and ocntinued to thrive for more than half a century.
Until the public school system was established in Elberton there were two institutions known as the ìelberton male Academyî and ìElberton Female Academy.î.....
[excluded text regarding the pedigree of Allen Daniel, SPeaker of the House of Res in 1822 when Ruckersville was incorporated ìfor many years a citizen of Elbertc County....born in Virginia in 1772, married Mary Jones.. both with distinguished and long American lines.]...
In the year 1832 Ruckersville Methodist Church was charterd by and Act of the Georgia Legislature.
The trustees named were Richard C Adams, Alfred Hammond, Peter Alexander, John Johnes and William Bailey. They, and their successors, in office, were empowered to employ a marshal whose authority, within a three mile limit of the church building, was the same as the county high sheriff. This provision has never been repealed. The muster ground of the militia was within the prescribed limit and on one occasion two young militia offiers, having drunk too freely of the plentiful spirits of the day, were chained to trees for a period of three hoursr.s The trees were used in lieu of a house in which to confine them.
This church is close3ly interwoven with the history of the families of Alexander, Adams, Bailey, Banks, Burch, Cleveland, Hammond, Jones, Blackwell and others.
In 1932 the centennial celebration of the church was held and a large number of persons attended from every section of Georgia. Rev O A Vickery was pastor at that time.
When the famous meteoric shower  of 1833 took place, the vast majority of people believed that the end of time had come and that the universe was to be destroyed by fire. Some at once began to pray, some sat quietly in their homes, calmly awaiting the end, some fled to storm cellars, while the more practical minded began to seek means by which they might save their wordly possessions.
John Watkins, fo Petersburg, when the show3er first begun, caused his slaves to lower his family into wells about his largeplantation where they were forced to stand fro several hours in water almost to their necks. Mr James M Tate rushed his wife and children out of doors, into the barn yard, and caused all of his female slaves to be placed beside them. He then ordered his male slaves to draw bucketr after Bucket of water to throw upon them in the event otheir clothing should begin to ignite. it is a matter of conjecture just what his intentions were in the event that the menís clothing began to burn. At any rate, it demonstrated the fact that not only at sea did women and children come first. ....."
McIntosh, John H. The official history of Elbert County, 1790-1935  Elberton, Ga.: The Chapter, c1940, 568  pgs.  [page 91-102]