Georgia Marble and a President
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Been a little while since I've posted some early commemorative history. So, here we go:

 

The plan to perpetuate the memory of President McKinley by the building of a suitable structure to mark his birthplace is due entirely to Joseph G. Butler, Jr., a childhood companion and lifelong friend of the martyred president. He conceived the idea while addressing the Niles Board of Trade on the evening of February 4, 1910, and announced it during his address. Although the plan was eagerly approved by his audience, as usual in such things, it was soon forgotten by all except Mr. Butler, and to his energy and zeal was left the task of bringing it to realization.

 

jg-butler-jr-1915-engraving-bu-file-1854B.jpg

 

The National McKinley Birthplace Memorial Association was incorporated by Act of Congress, approved by President William H. Taft on March 4, 1911. Its object is declared in this Act of Incorporation to be “to perpetuate the name and achievements of William McKinley, late President of the United States of America, by erecting and maintaining in the city of Niles, in the State of Ohio, the place of his birth, a Monument and Memorial Building.” The incorporators named in the Act are: Joseph G. Butler, Jr., Myron T, Herrick, J. G. Schmidlapp, John G. Milburn and W. A. Thomas.

 

The building will be 232 ½ feet long by 136 feet deep and 36 feet high. It will be thirty-six feet longer than the Lincoln Memorial proposed in Washington.

 

NY_Public_LibraryA.jpg

 

A gold commemorative coin was struck in 1916 and 1917 to help funding for the building.

 

1916_McKinley_Combo.jpg

 

Built of the finest Georgia marble and after the plans prepared by one of the country’s leading architects, the structure is declared to be one of the finest, if not actually the finest, of its kind in the world. In it will be many tablets and busts of men noted in the fields of business and politics, largely associates of the late president or connected with the industrial upbuilding in which President McKinley was born and grew to manhood.

 

Stone_Dec1917B.jpg

 

One of the most important changes in the marble industry in the country is reported from Georgia. The Georgia Marble Company, the leading producer of Georgia marble, which, during the past few years, has absorbed some of the smaller quarries, has now taken over a number of the mills and finishing plants in the district, including the Blue Ridge Marble Company, of Nelson, the G. B. Sickles Company, of Tate, and the Kennesaw Marble Company, of Marietta. These plants in the past have all done the same kind of work. In the future each plant will specialize on a certain line of finishing, thus introducing economy of operation. The concern will be known as the Georgia marble Company, the old name, and this takes in, as well, the southern Marble Company and the Amicoola Marble Company. The officers are: President, Sam Tate; vice-presidents, Alex Anderson, H. L. Litchfield, H. H. Miles, A. V. Cortelyou, Walter Tate; treasurer, R. K. McClain; assistant treasurer, G. M. Atherton; secretary, W. A. Richardson. The following compose the Board of Directors: Sam Tate, T. C. Erwin, John Tye, A. V. Cortelyou, Alex Anderson, J. E. Cassey, Walter Tate, H. L. Litchfield, T. V. Buchanan, G. U. Atherton, H. H. Miles, W. A. Richardson and R. L. McClain.

 

Tate_Quarry_1914.jpg

Above image was in 1914

 

This consolidation, which makes for economy and efficiency in operation, constitutes one of the greatest marble companies in the entire world. Its products have a well-established reputation and have been used in all parts of the country. There are few structural materials that have figured in more notable buildings. Georgia marble has been used for a number of state capitols as well as for hundreds of important public and private buildings. It is commended for such use by its excellent texture, its attractive color, and the fact that it is one of the least absorbent of stones, so that it weathers well in every climate.

 

Aside from the fact that this in now one of the greatest producing marble concerns, the Georgia Marble Company has a long and proud history behind it. The leading deposits of Georgia marble are found in Pickens County, Ga., and the quarries that have gained the greatest fame are in Longswamp Valley, near Tate. The Cherokee Indians, who originally inhabited this section, were the first to realize the merits of the stone and they quarried it in a rude way for their domestic uses. They roughly shaped mortars for the grinding of corn out of the stone and also used it for their rude habitations. The marble was not quarried for commercial use until 1840, when one Fritz S. Simmons began to work the outcroppings and weathered boulders, exposed long along the hillside. Two years later he erected a crude mill, with one gang of saws, and a short time later a second mill was erected in the same neighborhood. In 1850, Tate, Atkinson & Co., opened a quarry in the vicinity of Tate and erected two mills, each with two gangs of saws. The product was largely used for tombstones throughout the South. From that time, for a full generation, Georgia marble deposits were worked in a spasmodic way, but nothing was done to give the product a national importance. The year 1884 is important in the marble annals of the country, for in May of that year, the Georgia marble Company was organized with a capital of $1,400,000. The company secured control of thousands of acres of marble land, opened quarries, erected mills, perfected means of transportation and introduced the stone as a structural and decorative material throughout the country.

 

Georgia_Marble_Company_1920sA.jpg

Above image was in the 1920s

 

The history of the company has been one of steady growth. The marble has been used for some of the most important buildings and it has also become established in favor for monumental purposes. There is a most elaborate equipment, both for the quarrying and working of the stone. The nature of the deposit is such that it lends itself for quarrying operations. Most of the quarry pits are cut in rectangular form, so that they present a very striking picture of a quarry. There are a large number of quarry openings, as the marble is found in various colors and markings. There is white, gray, veined, and pink, so that almost every kind of work can be undertaken.

 

While the history of the Georgia marble industry shows a steady growth for more than half a century, the present consolidation of interests will mean far greater spheres of usefulness in the future.”

 

Stone2_Sept1917.jpg

 

 

Stone3_Oct1917B1.jpg

 

 

Stone3_Oct1917A.jpg

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to read some history.

 

 

:)

 

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4,125 posts

Nice work Lee. Really interesting stuff. Thanks.

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Thanks for that piece of info and history, Lee. Is the Georgia Marble Co. still in operation, today?

 

Chris

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Thank you for posting this. I down loaded it and filed it away for my future enjoyment and reseach. It's great when I can find out a little more about a couple coins in my collection.

 

When I was working on my FUN exhibit I had a fair amount of trouble finding a picture of the McKinley Memorial building which is depected on the reverse of the commemorative gold dollar.

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I used to visit the McKinley Libray frequently as a youngun. Just a couple of blocks down Main Street from Neil Street where I lived in the '50's

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Thanks all for the kind words!

 

:)

 

Is the Georgia Marble Co. still in operation, today?

 

Chris

 

In name only. The Tate family are no longer the owners.

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I used to visit the McKinley Libray frequently as a youngun. Just a couple of blocks down Main Street from Neil Street where I lived in the '50's

Cool.

 

Any mementoes saved?

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I used to visit the McKinley Libray frequently as a youngun. Just a couple of blocks down Main Street from Neil Street where I lived in the '50's

Cool.

 

Any mementoes saved?

 

Given that I was 9 years old at the time, I would just spend time in the Library reading.

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4,167 posts
I used to visit the McKinley Libray frequently as a youngun. Just a couple of blocks down Main Street from Neil Street where I lived in the '50's

Cool.

 

Any mementoes saved?

 

Given that I was 9 years old at the time, I would just spend time in the Library reading.

 

(thumbs u

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