Welcome to Glennville Georgia sign

Glennville is in the southern part of Tattnall County, which was formed from a portion of Montgomery County by Act of December 5, 1801. The first settlements in this section seem to date back to the beginning of the 19th century. One of the earliest settlers was Gideon Poppell, who received a grant for 900 acres of land from the state of Georgia in November 1832. In January 1833, 300 acres of this tract were transferred to John Stanfield, and later this land was divided and one part given to a Mr. Barnard and the other to a Mr. DeLoach. The eastern and southern part of the city of Glennville was built on that portion of the grant to Mr. Barnard.

This dense area of woodlands was abundant with deer, turkeys and other animals. A favorite “deer stand” once stood where the Glennwanis Hotel now stands. Many of the earlier settlers migrated from the Carolinas and Virginia.

Our History

It is evident in reviewing the history of Glennville that the nucleus around which this town was founded may well date back to the laying of three strong pillars, viz the church, the school, and the Masonic Lodge. The community at that time was known as Philadelphia Cross Roads. These three institutions were not organized at the same time, but as they all came into being, they held the inhabitants together. In the church, which was constituted June 28, 1857, and known as Philadelphia Baptist Church, the Christian faith and hope were manifested; in the Masonic Lodge, the bond of brotherly love was established; and in the little rural schoolhouse, the desire for advancement along educational lines and for the upbuilding of the community is evident.

The first building in this town was erected in the summer of 1857. It was a small log building, 20 x 30 feet, on or about the site where the City Barber Shop was and Associated Assurance is now located. It was used for both school and church purposes. In 1881, a frame building was erected for church use. It was built almost on the site where the Blue Bird Café was and where Velma’s Beauty Shop now stands. About the same time, a new school building was erected on what is now Caswell Street. It was a two-story building, the first floor being used for school and the upper floor for the Masonic Lodge.

The first store was built in 1887 on what is now North Main Street and was operated by Rev. Aquilla Weathers. Although small in size, it served the few people of this section. It must be remembered that the growth of the town was slow. During the Civil War and following, this section, like others, keenly felt the effects of the war and the devastation that was connected with it.

Around 1888, the farmers met and organized a store that was known as Farmers Alliance, or Club Store. Operated by J.D. DeLoach for three years, it was later sold to J.P. Collins and A.J. DeLoach. This marked the beginning of the mercantile business. Up to this time, the little village which consisted of one church, one school, and a Masonic Lodge was called Philadelphia and the meaning of this name, brotherly love, was strongly felt, for the people loved each other and were always ready to assist when there was sickness or distress in the community.

About this time a young man named Glenn Thompson came to town as a teacher. He proved himself an energetic and influential fellow and played an important part in the history of Glennville. Being interested in the affairs of the community, he suggested to the people the importance of having a post office. He accepted leadership in this matter and took it up with the Post Office Department. His request was granted and the Glennville Post Office opened on July 15, 1889. A name had to be selected, so to show their appreciation for his efforts, the people decided to call it Glennville. Glenn Thompson was named postmaster. There were already post offices named Philadelphia, Thomasville, etc., so the name of Glennville was chosen. The U.S. Government wouldn’t allow two of the same name. Prior to the establishment of the post office, the people received their mail at Matlock, 2 ½ miles from town. The mail was brought to Matlock from Lumber City and Johnston Station (now Ludowici). In those days when the nearest railroad was many miles away, and the ways of travel and road conditions made distance a reality, it required an entire week for the man on horseback to make the round trip from Johnston Station to Lumber City.The first rural routes established at this office were created in 1905, with Luther L. Knight and W.H. (Bub) DeLoach as carriers. They traveled by horse and buggy, although often the streams were swollen so the routes were impassable in some places. Today we have four routes emanating from the office and nearly every mile is paved.Circa 1892, the Methodist Church was organized with Rev. E.A. Sanders serving as pastor. In 1899, the Free Will Baptist Church was organized. In October 1922, the Christian Church was organized. Other denominations also have churches here. The Primitive Baptist denomination has two strong and very active churches, Beards Creek and Loves Chapel, adjacent to the city. Many of the leading citizens of the town are members of these churches and have played a great part in the building of the town.

Glennville was incorporated in 1895 and its first two mayors were Robert T. Knight and Dr. F.R. Gross, but statistics do not state who served first. To meet the demands of the time and to keep pace with the progress of the town and community, The Glennville Bank was organized January 12, 1905 with a capital stock of $30,000. H.J. Banks was named president. In 1907 the People’s Bank was organized with a capital stock of $25,000 with C.C. Padgett serving as president. Later, the Beasley Banking Co. was organized with J.C. Beasley serving as president. The Beasley Banking Co. would eventually expand and become The Citizens Bank.

In 1890, a school known as the Baptist Institute or “Academy” was started. The building was destroyed by fire in 1910 and a modern brick building was erected in 1912. In 1921, a growing population called for more adequate buildings, so another commodious brick building was erected on the same campus. Later, a more modern building was erected on another campus to take care of the growing high school, leaving the other campus and buildings for the grammar school grades.

In 1905, Glennville suffered a disastrous fire which wiped out the entire business section; but the town immediately rebounded and modern buildings were erected in place of the older buildings. These buildings are of brick and they add beauty and prestige to the town.

Glennville has been well-represented by many of the government officials who have represented this county in the Georgia Legislature.

During Glennville’s history there have been four railroads: Georgia Coastal and Piedmont, Collins and Georgia, Savannah and Southern, and Register and Glennville, yet currently the modern bus lines have taken over the traveling public.

The fertile lands and the stately pines that surround the town continue to influence the community. The pecan industry that sends its products around the world is also important. The nearby location of Fort Stewart provides jobs for a large segment of Glennville’s population as well as bringing newcomers and business to the town. However, the economy of the community still depends to a great extent on agricultural and related industries. Glennville is renowned for its onions and once was the Tomato Capital of the State.

The City of Glennville was incorporated in 1905 and reincorporated in 1911 with a population of less than 1,000 people. The city limits were formed from the intersection of Caswell and Barnard Streets forming a circle of three-quarters of a mile in every direction. The only annexation to the city limits was made March 25, 1970 when the city acreage was increased from 1,131 acres to 3,945. The population of the city, according to the 2000 census, is around 4,829.

City Hall, a two-story building, was located at 102 N. Caswell Street with the city offices upstairs and a filling station on the lower floor. Later the offices were moved downstairs with the fire department adjoining on the same floor. In 1968, the present city hall was constructed which included offices for law enforcement, city clerk, mayor, veterans, soil conservationist, home economist, county agent, as well as a conference room.

Presently, City Hall houses the mayor, city manager, city clerk, code enforcement officer, public works administrator, utility billing office, accounts payable, and the city council conference room.


In the early part of 1970, the mayor and council sponsored a contest, “Glennville needs a slogan.” The winning slogan, “The Accommodating City,” was submitted by Ronald Dasher and was chosen from a large number of entries.

Mr. Dasher chose his slogan because he felt that the word “accommodating” was applicable to Glennville. Webster’s Dictionary defines accommodating as “adaptation; reconciliation of differences; willing to do favors; lodging and travel; convenience; loans.” Mr. Dasher was a very aggressive young man and native of the county.