Bowdon Area Historical Society

History of the Bowdon Bulletin

The Bowdon Bulletin rolled off the presses beginning in 1890 when Colonel J.W. Yarborough and his sister-in-law Susie and Lizzie hand set each letter, each word, and each page. Yarborough was the editor of the Bowdon Intelligence, the forerunner of the Bowdon Bulletin.

Since 1890 this newspaper went from handset to computerized typesetting with color. The paper was put together first in the old Yarbrough house on West College Street, then at its own brick building on City Hall Ave. The office was located at 109 Shirley Street before closing. The Bowdon Bulletin was taken to Carrollton to the then Daily Times-Georgian office on Hays Mill Road each Wednesday to be put together and printed.

Early subscribers would get their newspaper in small paper sacks and each one had been stamped by hand with an old addressograph. Marvin Fincher would watch for the papers to arrive in Bowdon and did this tedious work until the early 1980's. During the later years, each paper was stamped and labeled from the Carrollton office with a more modern machine. Fincher, who at one time was Co-owner of the newspaper, stayed with the newspaper until his death in 1983. He had been a newspaperman for over 60 years.

The original publication day for the Bowdon Bulletin was Thursday until 1970, when it was changed to Wednesday to better meet the weekend advertising and to reach route subscribers in particularity on an earlier day.

“Mr. Causey was editor for a short time before 1920," Fincher was quoted in a 1982 interview. In the late 1920's R.K. Pitts and Fincher bought the paper with Pitts acting as Editor. In the mid 1930s the two sold the weekly to Frank Thomasson, who remained editor until 1938. In 1938, Kate Smith Golden became editor, publisher, and owner until 1980. In the latter part of 1980, Glovis Gore South worked as acting editor and was officially named editor in January, 1981, just after the weekly was sold to a national newspaper firm, Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc. The newspaper's last owner was Worrell Communications.

“There have been a lot of changes here with this paper and this town,” Fincher said in 1982. “It’s gone from a four-page paper to an eight to 16 page paper. Before closing, the Bulletin averaged between 14 and 18 pages each week.

An image of the first home of Bowdon Bulletin, colonized by the Yarbrough family.

"The business section of town has grown considerably too,” he said then. There was nothing here (gesturing to the area around Shirley Avenue). There were just the stores on the main street. In 1917, the time when young Fincher began his career in the newspaper business, the Bulletin was housed in a basement under what was Cosper's Jewelry on West College Street. The city owned its own electric generating plant and power was only turned on during the dark hours. The presses were powered by gasoline engine. People “gotabout” back then by horse and wagon mostly, though there were a few automobiles around. Some, like Fincher himself, simply walked everywhere.

He said there were about 450 subscribers when he started working. At the closing, there were about 2,500. The cost for a year’s subscription was 50 cents. The cost (locally) for a year subscription was $9.00, under the cost of many other weeklies. (mailing incurred additional cost) Advertising then cost 10 cents an inch. In the later years, an inch would cost you $2.10 an inch. Fincher also recalled many times that payment would come in the form of eggs, or chickens or other goods people had on hand. Folks didn’t have much money to buy a subscription or to add during the Depression.

In October 1970, the Bowdon Bulletin celebrated 80 years with a “beautiful birthday cake” provided by Douglas Martin, Jr, manager of the Southern Bell Telephone Company, Carrollton, and accompanied by Ted Kennedy, District Manager. In addition to Col. Yarbrough, other editors have been L.R. Hurst, Mr. Causey, R.K. Pitts, C.M. Garrett, Gerald Golden, J.J. Thomasson, Kate Smith Golden and Glovis Gore South.

Mrs. Golden, who was listed in Who's Who in America, filled the capacity of editor for a number of years. She began her career with feature stories in the Atlanta Journal Magazine. Her husband was W. B. Golden, who had the Golden Farms, and was at the Bulletin part-time. Mrs. 

Margaret Eady was Society Editor and was with the Bulletin beginning in 1960. She met her husband, Bobby Eady, while at work at the newspaper and they were married in 1962. He was an ordained minister and was with Dorsey Manufacturing Co. The couple had two sons, Freddy, age 6 and Allen, age 3 in 1970. Marvin Fincher, who also worked with the Burson Printing Company, was in charge of the mailing list and had been with the Bulletin since grade school. Fincher could be found during working hours and often after hours and on Sundays and holidays.

G. W. Burson learned to print at the Bulletin when he was nine and stood on a stool to reach the type. He would later own a printing company, the Burson Printing Company. His wife, Beatrice Joyner Burson, was in partnership with him The couple had one son, Robbie.

Don McWhorter was the Sports Editor and a graduate of Bowdon High School in the class of 1970. His parents were Mr. and Mrs. Frank McWhorter.

The Bowdon Bulletin had many significant columnists in its eighty years. The late Prof. Vachel D. Whately wrote the March of Time from 1938 until his death on September 19, 1946, succeeded by Mrs. H. M. Bird whose weekly column pertained to current events, particularly religious, educational, civic, and appeal fund drives. Dr G. B. Coley was a special writer during 1961 and 1962 ,and his articles were widely read.

The Antioch Baptist Church located on 31 Antioch Church Road Carrollton, GA 30117.

Antioch Baptist Church

31 Antioch Church Road Carrollton, GA 30117

Early in the twentieth century when nearby Mount Olive Baptist Church disbanded, Baptist in the area felt a void in their lives and began thinking about a new church. On August 14, 1903, a group of 17 met under a brush arbor and Antioch was constituted.

The original name was Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and later Antioch Church of Christ be- fore settling on Antioch Baptist Church.

With land donated by T.L Roberts for a new church building, the community mobilized. The Build- ing Committee included; G. W. Eason, T.L. Roberts, R.B. Fletcher, J.F. Nance, and J.W.A Roland. Timber was cut and sawed from long leaf pine stands, then taken to Bowdon to be kiln dried. Within six weeks, the little congregation was meeting in the new sanctuary for Sunday School and worship. That frame structure served the church well until it was destroyed by the cyclone in February 1934. Salem Baptist Church let the church use their church building while Antioch built a new church.

In September of 1903, Rev. Rhoney Walker became Antioch's first pastor. A.D. Tyson and J.F. Garrett were elected as the first Deacons.

Charter members were; Mrs. M.E. Fletcher, Mrs. N.A. Garrett, Mrs. Josie Cook, Mrs. M.L. Fletcher, Mr. and Mrs. R. B. Fletcher, Mr. and Mrs. G.W. Cook, Mr. J.F. Nance, Mr. and Mrs. G.W. Eason, Mr. and Mrs. J.W.A. Roland and Mr. and Mrs. Jim Todd.

Pastors serving at Antioch; Rev. I. Rhoney Walker, Rev. W.W. Roop, Rev. R.M. Lovvorn, Rev. W.J. Lovvorn, Rev. W.P. Cumbie, Rev. C.L. Matthes, Rev. L.H. Hanie, Rev. L.D. Palmer, Rev. A.D. Adams, Rev. Chester Craft, Rev. Gus Young, Rev. Carl Tapley, Rev. Donald Voyles, Rev. Searcy Jackson, Rev. James Galloway, Rev. Truman Skaggs, Rev. Stephen Drake, Rev. Michael Holdredge, Rev. Thurman Henderson, Rev. Tony McManus and Rev. Jamie Beam.

A picture of the 1934 Building Courtesy of History of Antioch Baptist Church.

1934 Building Courtesy of

History of Antioch Baptist Church

Carroll County and Her People

Pvt. Joe Cobb

Excerpts from page 38

New Mexico is a District on the Alabama line, Joel is the Post-office and Justice's Court ground; it is a good farming country, and is inhabited by moral and industrious people. One of the oldest and most honorable men was Isiah Beck. He lived to a ripe old age and left several sons, all good citizens; there lives the Buchanan, Chambers, Cooks, Grizzard, Holcomb, Lee, Lester, Lovvorn, Moons, McLendon, Morris, Perkins, Philips, Robison, Simpkins, Thorntons, Toney, Wiggins, Yates, and a great many other good men and families.

Victory is a small town in a New District in the extreme southwest corner of the county. It was known for many years as McDaniels\;s mills, on the banks of the Little Tallapoosa River. Gen. Geo A. McDaniel owned the mills, which were very fine mills, and run with water power from the river. The number of the District in 1529 G. M. There are many splendid farms and good citizens, some of whom are Allen, Barr, Bloodworth, Causey, Eason, Farmer, Fletcher, Foster, Garrett, Harris, Harmon, Holloway, Holcomb, Jackson, Jones, Landers, Lovvorn, McDaniel, McGarrity, McWhorter, Nesbit, Noles, Preast, Smith, Sprewell, Stephenson, Tisinger, Traylor, Upchurch, Millner, Wyatt.

Joe Cobb and his family standing for their portrait.
Bowdon Area Historical Society

April Meeting

Featuring Richard Witten

The Pollard Family

April 9, 2024

Covered Dish supper at 6:30 pm

Program will begin around 7:10 pm

105 College View Street

A picture of Richard Witten.
Researchers Needed

BAHS needs volunteers to assist with researching the history of Bowdon area. We invite you individually or as a team to record the facts and stories of Bowdon. The Society will develop e-books from the research. Topics of research include:

  1. Bowdon area street names.
  2. Bowdon area church histories
  3. Community Leaders
  4. Bowdon Railroad
  5. Bowdon Businesses
  6. Bowdon Industries

Please email researchbowdon@gmail.com for information and research forms.

Bowdon College

Pen & Ink Drawing by Richard Green