Autumn 2022

News & Updates from
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Cherokee History Hero: 

Wilma Mankiller, Principal Chief

Wilma Mankiller Coin

US Mint Press Release - June 6, 2022:

The United States Mint has begun shipping the third coin in the American Women Quarters Program. These circulating quarters honoring Wilma Mankiller are manufactured at the Mint facilities in Philadelphia and Denver.

“It is my honor to present our Nation’s first circulating coins dedicated to celebrating American women and their contributions to American history,” said Mint Deputy Director Ventris C. Gibson. “Each 2022 quarter is designed to reflect the breadth and depth of accomplishments being celebrated throughout this historic coin program. Wilma Mankiller was a leader in the Cherokee Nation and a strong voice worldwide for social justice, Native people, and women.”

Wilma Mankiller was the first woman elected chief of the Cherokee Nation. Mankiller’s administration revitalized the Cherokee Nation through extensive community development, including improvements to health care and education. Mankiller’s leadership on social and financial issues made her tribe a national role model.

Designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Artist Benjamin Sowards and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill, the reverse (tails) design depicts Wilma Mankiller with a resolute gaze to the future. The wind is at her back, and she is wrapped in a traditional shawl. To her left is the seven-pointed star of the Cherokee Nation. The inscriptions include: “WILMA MANKILLER,” “PRINCIPAL CHIEF,” and the name of the Cherokee Nation written in the Cherokee syllabary.

Authorized by Public Law 116-330, the American Women Quarters Program features coins with reverse (tails) designs emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of trailblazing American women. “Principal Chief Mankiller demonstrated that the power to change our communities is limited only by our vision,” said AIP Artist Benjamin Sowards. “She saw her people as the source of hope for the Cherokee Nation. She believed the strength of the community offered solutions to the challenges they were facing.” For the entire press release, click:

Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation

Mankiller relating

Cherokee heritage

Photo credit: The Mankiller Foundation

Presidential Medal of Freedom award from President Clinton

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, Clinton Presidential Library

The first woman to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller was a national icon. Her visionary, principled leadership set a standard for generations of women to follow, reminding us to challenge the status quo and overcome barriers for the betterment of our neighbors, communities and nation. She worked to create jobs, break down social and economic barriers, improve access to healthcare, and address the roots of both rural and urban poverty, leading her people with dignity and grace. A trailblazer in Oklahoma and American history, her inspirational life and transformative leadership continues to inspire us today.

One of eleven children, Wilma Mankiller was born in 1945 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and raised in Mankiller Flats, Oklahoma, on land hard-earned by a resilient people who had endured a long, tumultuous history. Growing up, young Mankiller learned a love of the land and of her Cherokee identity. When she was 10, the federal government relocated her family from Mankiller Flats to a poverty-stricken area of San Francisco.

Unfamiliar surroundings and the grief of a homeland left behind strengthened young Wilma’s determination to retain her Cherokee identity and contributed to her decision to join the historic 1969 American Indian occupation of Alcatraz Island. Citing a treaty that gives Native Americans the right to occupy unused land in the United States, the occupation grew to include thousands of Indian people. The movement shined an international spotlight on the “trail of broken treaties” and the forcing of Native people onto reservations that were a fraction of their original homelands.

Forever changed by Alcatraz and inspired by the women’s movement, Mankiller worked to empower the Native communities surrounding her in California, serving as director of Oakland’s Native American Youth Center. She believed that restoring pride in Native heritage could reduce the downward spiral of Native youth growing up on the streets.

In 1977, Mankiller was a single mother of two living in her car parked by a stream in Oklahoma, struggling to find employment and adapt back into her community after a twenty-year absence. She landed a job as the Cherokee Nation’s economic stimulus coordinator, and later founded the Cherokee Nation’s Community Development Department.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded Mankiller the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Her autobiography, "Mankiller: A Chief and Her People," was published in 2000. Mankiller died on April 6, 2010 at age 64.

Selections of this content originally appeared in the National Trust for Historic Preservation guide on Wilma Mankiller by the MICA Group.

For the entire story, click:

Used with permission of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Editor's note: Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the birthplace of Mankiller, is the seat of government for the Cherokee Nation and home of the Western Band of Cherokee (Keetowah). The Cherokee constitution was adopted in 1839, following the Trail of Tears, and more than 140,000 people live within the Tribal Lands.

This Month in North Fulton History

By Phillip Anglin

September 1921 - A new Milton County school opens for grades one through 11. Prior to 1951, Georgia public schools only had 11 grades. The new school is a brick two-story building, replacing the academy founded by the Alpharetta Methodist Church.

September 1, 1881 - The Roswell Railroad begins service. The tracks ran 9.8 miles from the present-day intersection of Roswell Road and Roberts Drive to present-day Chamblee. At Chamblee, the narrow-gauge railroad joined with the Atlanta & Charlotte Air Line Railroad. Stockholders report at a September 1881 meeting that “After many years of effort to better the transportation facilities of the company (Roswell Manufacturing Company) the desired result has been reached by the construction of a narrow-gauge railroad, which is now finished, equipped and in operation.”

September 8, 1932 - Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta historian, surveys the Mount Pisgah United Methodist Church Cemetery and Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Cemetery, located in Milton County (present day north Fulton).

September 8, 1948 - The first television set in Alpharetta is viewed at the Barnett Brothers’ store.

September 15, 1899 - Simeon B. Rucker is named postmaster of Crabapple.

September 15, 1980 - Dolvin Elementary School, located at 10495 Jones Bridge Road, is dedicated by President Jimmy Carter. The school is named in honor of Carter’s uncle, W. Jasper Dolvin. (At present, the school has an average enrollment of 690 students, and serves children pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.)

September 16, 1899 - Nannie Teasley is named postmistress of Alpharetta.

September 16, 1976 - E.S. Jackson Elementary School is dedicated to the memory of Esther S. Jackson, a Roswell educator.

September 21, 1995 - A dedication ceremony is held for the opening of the Old Milton Parkway. The Georgia General Assembly passes a resolution that states, “It is a fitting remembrance of Milton County to designate a major thoroughfare…as Old Milton Parkway.”

September 26, 1873 - Isham Teasley is named postmaster of Alpharetta.

September 28, 1922 - Ruth E. Rucker is named acting postmistress of Alpharetta.

September 30, 1884 - George Napoleon “Nap” Rucker of Crabapple is born. From 1907 to 1916 he pitches for the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team, winning 134 games and losing 134. Rucker bats right-handed, but is famous for his ability to throw left-handed. He pitches a no-hitter on Sept. 5, 1908. (Rucker died Dec. 19, 1970, and is buried at the Roswell Presbyterian Church Cemetery, located at the intersection of Atlanta Street and Oak Street.)

Editor’s note: This undated article was found in the scrapbooks chronicling the history of the Crabapple Crossroads kept by Virginia Reeves and donated to the Society by Sally Rich-Kolb. Historian and author Anglin is best known for the encyclopedic book on old Milton County cemeteries. Milton County, Georgia Cemeteries (Present Day Northern Fulton County), January 1, 2002, Gateway Press.

Submitted by Society Archivist, Kathy Beck

Did you know?

Connie Mashburn, Resident Historian

Both Chicken Creek and Cooper Sandy Creeks empty into Little River east of Highway 140 north.

Sections of Highway 140 north serve as the border between Fulton and Cherokee Counties.

Chicken Creek is named for the large Cherokee family who lived near the Chicken Creek and Little River junction. Several family members purchased goods at the James Dorris store in Crabapple. The 1830s store ledger lists Old Chicken, Joseph Chicken, Suzy Chicken, Rachel Chicken and Silk Chicken.

Early maps, as well as some current ones, identify Cooper Sandy Creek as Copper Sandy Creek.

An early name for Little River was Alacalusa or Alcalusa. The origin of the name is unknown.

The name Chattahoochee comes from the Creek/Muscogee Indians and means, “marked or painted rock.”

Chicken Creek flowing into Little River

Dots showing improvements on Cherokee property - some payments were made to Cherokees during removal

Editor's note: In "Historical Collections of Georgia," Rev. George White describes the sizeable Indian village of 300 Cherokees, Little River Town, as being 14 miles southeast of Canton, headed by Chief Chicken.

Graphics above by Rev. Charles Walker

"Maps of the Old Cherokee Nation of Georgia"

Fun history shorts...

Submitted by Jeff Dufresne from

Georgia has had five capitals:

1. Savannah (1777-1785)

2. Augusta (1786-1789)

3. Louisville (1789-1807)

4. Milledgeville (1807-1867)

5. Atlanta (1868-present)

Georgia is rich in marble. The marble from the state was used to build the Lincoln Memorial n Washington, D.C., and the capitols of many states.

Thoughts for today...

“Being retired means you just have more time to work!”

Larry Chadwick

“Educate and inform the mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is in their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them.” Thomas Jefferson; engraved in the John Adams Building, Library of Congress

Preserving what we love

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

Henry David Thoreau, quoted in the Smithsonian Magazine

“I am deeply proud of the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative’s work because I know that culture is so much more than treasured sites or artifacts. It is the glue that holds communities and countries together during times of strife and crisis. It is the beating heart of a people, an irreplaceable record of human creativity, and a vital source of sustenance and support.”

Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution

Lifestyle Choices...

Musings from Rick Steves

Vienna State Opera House

“I spend a lot of time puzzling over why I love Europe so much. On my recent travels to some big European cities, the answer hit me: European societies invest in the good life. The next time you’re impressed by how inviting and friendly a big city can feel - like, say, Copenhagen…or Vienna…or Munich - thank a city government with a passion for nurturing and protecting a people-friendly culture.”

“In Copenhagen, bikes have clear priority over cars in the old center, and my favorite modern library in Europe turns its harbor side setting into a near-beach resort with inviting lounge chairs.”

“In Vienna, if you can’t get (or afford) opera tickets, the performance is streamed live on the Opera House square. Just down the street at Vienna’s City Hall, on the biggest outdoor screen I can remember seeing, famous concerts are projected with free seating surrounded by a food court - funded by a city government with a budget for helping the younger generation gain a taste for classical music."

Building a Preservation Ethic

In the spirit of preserving historic resources, two local initiatives are in the works. (For a thoughtful legacy explanation of local preservation benefits, see the Aubrey Morris article below.)

The District at Mayfield: 

835 Mayfield Road: This structure was constructed around 1905 by

J. J. Rucker and owned by C. C. Oliver by 1930, as indicated in the Georgia Power Company survey of that year. The home is country Queen Anne style. The land on which it sits was part of a larger plot owned by J. J. Rucker.

815 Mayfield Road: This home was built between 1908 -1912 by J. J. Rucker. In 1930, ownership transferred to John B. Broadwell (husband to Nancy Ruth Rucker). The land on which it sits was part of a larger plot owned by J. J. Rucker.

A proposed District at Mayfield was presented to the Milton City Council in June, which voted to place a 6-month moratorium on further development plans for the area. The 22 parcel property is comprised of an area generally to the immediate northeast, east and southeast of the intersection of Broadwell and Mayfield Roads. The moratorium means that no development activity can take place in the proposed district until 2023. Information on the historical and cultural significance of the proposed district will be gathered during that period to determine the best future usage and benefit of the property. The primary property developer stated that he supports preserving the historic integrity of the area.

You have probably felt the historical energy of this area as you have driven or walked down the streets, or even gone to the Milton Public Library, which is at the eastern boundary of the district. This is because there are not only old buildings (several of which are over 130 years old) but also several large and very old trees. Among the historically significant properties in this area are the Broadwell Building (at the corner of Broadwell, Mid-Broadwell and Mayfield Roads) and the small brick building behind it at the corner of Mayfield and Mid-Broadwell Roads. Both of these buildings were built with locally-produced bricks. The Broadwell Building was a dry goods store and community gathering place; the smaller building behind it served as storage and overflow sales capacity for the dry goods store throughout the years. Many of the homes were built around the turn of the 20th century or by around 1930. Further, the names of the property owners over time are exactly those of the important families who first pioneered the development of the close knit agricultural community what is now the City of Milton.

The Chadwick-McConnell House:

Chadwick House circa 1972

Photo courtesy of

Bernard Wolff

Front entry with portico

and fluted columns

Photo courtesy of 

Bob Gamble

A committee of interested citizens has been researching the historical and architectural significance of the circa 1840 house on Arnold Mill Road just before the Little River bridge. The house has been in the family of the Chamblee/Chadwick family for generations. The Greek Revival style sets it apart from other rural houses in the farming community of old Milton County (now North Fulton County). The land lot was owned by Brigadier General and State Senator Eli McConnell from 1837 at least until the estate sale following his death in 1861. The impressive two-story house was worthy of a family of McConnell’s status and stature (he and his brothers stood well over six feet).

The house is well built and structurally sound but needs stabilization and maintenance. To bring community attention to the restoration and need for preservation of the structure, a committee was formed to document the history of the house and the quality of its construction. Following months of research, the committee gathered letters of support and endorsement from the owner, Larry Chadwick, presidents of North Fulton historical societies (including Roswell Historical Society, Alpharetta and Old Milton County Historical Society) and the Cherokee County historical society, a prominent Milton business leader, and an architecture professor from Georgia Tech. In June, the application to nominate the Chadwick house was submitted to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s "Places in Peril" program for 2023. The Trust selects ten structures in Georgia each year as worthy of historic preservation. Although the program awards no monetary stipend, the state-wide publicity on each structure promotes community support and access to preservation grants and tax benefits. 

The Committee: Members include an architectural historian, an author of local history publications, the home owner and other long-time landowners in the Little River area, a contractor, five members of the Milton Historical Society, along with members of the Alpharetta and Old Milton County Historical Society.

Aubrey's Corner:

Historic Preservation:

Good sense and good business

February 16, 1996 - North Fulton Revue & News

“What’s historic about Alpharetta?”

That provocative question still rings in my ears, several years after a well-known Fulton County official asked it. It was the cynical retort from the then-chairman of the Atlanta-Fulton County Library Board, in answer to a question I had put to him as a journalist.

I simply asked that official why the Library Board, then asking for public approval of a countywide library bond referendum, hadn’t sought more input from Alpharetta citizens on the design of the new library for Alpharetta.

As you may remember, citizens and city officials of Roswell raised such a howl over the proposed design of their new library that it was sent back to the architectural drawing board. The desired results were quickly forthcoming: a Roswell library more attuned, architecturally and aesthetically, to the location, a corner of the Archibald Smith Plantation property.

The new Alpharetta Library, it is true, is functional. Aside from scarce parking at times, it’s a great public facility, with utility and charm - after you get used to it.

Editor's note: The Alpharetta Library Morris refers to is now the Alpharetta Arts Center, pictured above. Photo credit: City of Alpharetta.

But I still remember the callous words of the Library Board chairman when I drive past the intersection of Mayfield Road and Canton Street. Those old-timey Alpharetta houses, occupied by the Teasleys and Upshaws, Mannings and Castleberrys, which graced Canton Street many, many years before the new library became a community neighbor, are still just as beautiful - and historic - as ever.

Some are true Victorian, others a little plainer, but all wear a proud look. Those old houses that many a generation called home are becoming more charming with each passing day. Houses like those give any community real charm.

The Lewis House on Canton Street

Which brings me to the point I set out to make. Far too many of our North Fulton architectural treasurers have already bitten the dust, as we raze for progress. Newcomers to Alpharetta will never have the joy of viewing the old Milton County Courthouse. It was a Georgian-style structure that stood where the present Alpharetta City Hall sits.

Its doom was sealed by the Fulton County Commission. A few old photographs and several tasteful paintings of the Courthouse are all that’s left to remind future generations of that sturdy, altogether appealing structure, Its imposing walls were made with brick fired at the James Brickyard, located on Roswell Road, across from the Prison Camp property.

Old Milton County Courthouse in Alpharetta

Photo credit: Mike Patten and Gerald Asherbranner

Hand it to Roswell. They’ve done a commendable job in protecting historic buildings, commercial and residential. But they need to expand the Roswell Historic District to protect outlaying buildings and historic sites within the city limits.

The same preservation spirit is beginning to really blossom in Alpharetta, thanks to years of hard work and dedication by Marjean Wood Birt and her loyal flock of volunteers at the Alpharetta Historical Society, Inc. Local preservationists luckily have the understanding and support of the Alpharetta mayor and council. But it takes more. Private enterprise is the key.

The Hometown Grill, which opened last July in the old Milton County Bank Building, at 29 South Main Street, across from the Alpharetta City Hall, is proving that historic preservation is good business. Owner Peter Tompkins has lovingly restored the two-story brick structure, that, since opening as the Cotton Exchange in 1848, has served, successfully, as cotton dealership, bank, Ford place, and - for three decades til last year - as the Parsons Hardware emporium.

Members of the Piedmont Chapter of the S.A.R (Sons of the American Revolution) have started holding their monthly breakfast meetings at the Hometown Grill. The members love it. Why? Because of the ambiance.

Yes, Mr. Library Board Chairman, Alpharetta is historical in many ways. Citizens, many of them newcomers, are waking up and realizing just that. Time and bulldozers don’t wait. What’s left of old houses and business structures must be saved and enhanced.

The new Canton Street Project, in Roswell, and the restored and revitalized downtown area of neighboring Canton, over in Cherokee County, are examples of historic preservation and restoration at its best. Words have turned into action. These folks have put civilization back into suburbia.

Without such appreciation of our past, how can we have faith in the present? And how can we dream for the future?

About Aubrey Morris: Morris was a reporter for the Atlanta Journal newspaper, and in 1957 was hired at WSB radio to create and manage the news department, where he served for over 30 years. Morris wrote over 150 columns for local papers including the Alpharetta & Roswell ReVue.

The Morris family has generously allowed the Milton Historical Society to copy and reprint the articles.

Coming Attractions...

Milton Historical Society event scheduled for Fall 2022:

September 13, 2022 - SAR "Traveling Trunk" Rooftop - Crabapple Market

September 17, 2022 - Annual Shindig at Wildberry Creek Farm

October 11, 2022 - "Some history you probably never heard before!"

November 15, 2022 - Milton's "Properties in Peril"

December - Holiday Party

Watch this space for more information on program topics with confirmed dates and venues!

Photo by Leslie Watson
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