Place:Newnan, Coweta, Georgia, United States

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NameNewnan
Alt namesNewmansource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS13015865
TypeCity
Coordinates33.376°N 84.789°W
Located inCoweta, Georgia, United States
Contained Places
Cemetery
Oak Hill Cemetery
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Newnan is a city in Metro Atlanta, and the county seat of Coweta County, Georgia, about southwest of Atlanta. The population was 33,039 at the 2010 census, up from 16,242 at the 2000 census, for a growth rate of 103.4% over that decade.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Newnan was established as county seat of Coweta County (replacing the defunct town of Bullsboro) in 1828 and was named for North Carolinian General Daniel Newnan. Newnan quickly became a prosperous magnet for lawyers, doctors, other professionals and merchants. Much of Newnan's prosperity was due to the thriving cotton industry, which relied on slavery. Newnan was largely untouched by the Civil War due to its status as a hospital city (for Confederate troops), and as a result still features much antebellum architecture. Celebrated architect Kennon Perry designed many of the town's 20th century homes. During the Atlanta Campaign, Confederate cavalry defeated Union forces at the nearby Battle of Brown's Mill.

One of the first spectacle lynchings took place near Newnan on April 23, 1899. Sam Hose was tortured and put to death for allegedly murdering his employer, Alfred Cranford. The Springfield Weekly Republican described the scene:

Before the torch was applied to the pyre, the negro was deprived of his ears, fingers, and genital parts of his body. He pleaded pitifully for his life while the mutliation was going on, but stood the ordeal of fire with surprising fortitude. Before the body was cool, it was cut to pieces, the bones were crushed into small bits, and even the tree upon which the wretch met his fate was torn up and disposed of as 'souvenirs.' The negro's heart was cut into several pieces, as was also his liver. Those unable to obtain the ghastly relics direct paid their more fortunate possessors extravagant sums for them. Small pieces of bones went for 25 cents, and a bit of the liver crisply cooked sold for 10 cents. As soon as the negro was seen to be dead there was a tremendous struggle among the crowd, which had witnessed his tragic end, to secure the souvenirs. A rush was made for the stake, and those near the body were forced against it and had to fight for their freedom. Knives were quickly produced and soon the body was dismembered.

Newnan was also host to the trial in 1948 of wealthy landowner John Wallace, the first white man in the south to be condemned to death by the testimony of African Americans, two field hands who were made to help with burning the body of murdered white sharecropper Wilson Turner. These events were portrayed in the novel Murder in Coweta County. The film version starred Johnny Cash, Andy Griffith, and June Carter.

The Newnan/Sharspburg area is home to three high schools, Newnan High School (founded in 1887), East Coweta High School (founded in 1946), and Northgate High School (founded in 1996). Newnan is also home to The Heritage School, a small private school. Newnan is served by the Coweta County School System.

The city is home to one of the few Georgia counties with a museum that focuses mainly on African American history. The Coweta County African American Heritage Museum and Research Center, or Caswell House, was opened in July 2003 in a donated mill village house once owned by Ruby Caswell. The museum sits on Farmer Street on an old, unmarked, slave cemetery. It has collected hundreds of family genealogical records by interviewing residents and going through the census records. The museum also houses the Coweta Census Indexes from 1870 to 1920. The first black library in the county was the Sara Fisher Brown Library. Built in the 1950s, the library has since been converted into the Community Action For Improvement Center. The "Farmer Street Cemetery" is the largest slave cemetery in the South, and may be the largest undisturbed one in the nation. It is in the city limits of Newnan and was recently cleaned up again in August and September 2011.

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