City of Homerville
There's No Place Like Homerville
EXPLORE HOMERVILLE & CLINCH COUNTY, GEORGIA

HUXFORD • SPEAR GENEALOGICAL LIBRARY

The Huxford-Spear Genealogical Library has genealogical resources from all 50 states and even other countries. Please let us help you explore your family tree today…

The library is located just west of downtown Homerville, inside the historic Homerville Municipal Complex at 20 South College Street…in between the two one-way pairs of US Highway 84. If you traveling from highway 441, please head West on highway 84 and the complex will be on your left.

Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. for additional information please visit our website at www.huxford.com or call 912.487.2310.

Ossie Davis

BIRTHPLACE OF OSSIE DAVIS
Actor • Author • Activist
With this marker, we celebrate the life of Ossie Davis, native son of Cogdell, Georgia, born on this land on December 18, 1917. His parents, Kince and Laura Davis, named their firstborn son “R.C.”, after his grandfather, Raiford Chatman Davis. When it came time to register the baby’s birth at the Clinch County courthouse, the clerk thought they said “Ossie” and wrote it down that way. The rest, as they say, is history.

When Ossie was born, most of the 400 or so mostly black residents of Cogdell lived under the civic paternity of Alex K. Sessoms. The Sessoms family owned the Waycross and Western Railroad that ran between Cogdell and Waycross, 23 miles to the east. Defying the Ku Klux Klan, Alex Sessoms had hired Ossie’s father to do a white man’s job: Supervise the construction gang that laid the track. Ossie grew up in the brave and faith-filled footsteps of his father and mother who managed to face down the Klan and the odds to survive the harsh realities of the segregated South.

When Ossie was sent to Waycross to start school, Kince continued to work in Cogdell during the week, returning to his family of two daughters and four sons in Waycross on the weekends. Young Ossie spent his summers with his father and the crew, picking up spikes, helping the cook, and sleeping in an old caboose. The sights and sounds of those times—the country store, the railroad cars, the dirt roads, the shanties, the Klan, the tall tales he heard around the campfire—would inspire him for all of his personal and professional life. And although he eventually left Georgia in search of his future, he was never more than a story away from home.

At 17, he hitchhiked north to Washington, D.C. to attend Howard University. While there he witnessed Marian Anderson’s historic performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, an event that moved him to combine his budding dreams of a life in the arts with his insatiable thirst for social justice.

In 1939, Davis set out for New York, making his home in Harlem where Father Divine fed his body, Marcus Garvey fed his soul, and where the Rose McClendon Players gave him is first taste of a life in the theater.

World War II found him in uniform, stationed in Libera, West Africa where he honed his writing skills with articles for Stars and Stripes, and discovered what would become a lifelong kinship with the oppressed peoples of the world.

After the war, he returned to New York and his first Broadway role in Jeb, where he met and married Ruby Dee, his partner in life and in art. Together, they raised three children and welcomed seven grandchildren; created many memorable roles on stage and screen; and lent their voices to organized labor, the civil rights movement, and the international struggle for freedom, equality and justice.

In his 87 years, Ossie Davis received many awards and accolades for more than six decades as an artist and activist, including the Marian Anderson Award, the Medal of Art, and the Kennedy Center Honors. He walked with some of the greatest thinkers and activists of our times—W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Robeson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Nelson Mandela. Whether acting as emcee at the March on Washington or delivering the eulogy for Malcolm X, Ossie’s plainspoken eloquence was always a tribute to the strength and grace of his parents—and a nod of appreciation to his love of words. In his Broadway farce about segregation, Purlie Victorious, Ossie Davis left us perhaps the best of his humor, his skill as an orator, and around the campfires and in the Sunday-morning pews of his beloved Georgia. The play ends with Reverend Purlie’s charge to his congregation:

Tonight, my friends, I find in being black a thing of beauty: a joy; a strength; a secret cup of gladness; a native land in neither time nor place – a native land in every Negro face! Be loyal to yourselves: your skin; your hair; your lips; your southern speech; your laughing kindness – are Negro kingdoms, vast as any other! Accept in full the sweetness of your blackness – not wishing to be red, nor white, nor yellow, nor any other race or face, but this…

Ossie Davis died in Miami, Florida on February 4, 2005.

GATEWAY TO THE OKEFENOKEE & SUWANNEE RIVER HEADWATERS

Homerville is a short drive to the Okefenokee Swamp and the World Famous Suwannee River down in Fargo, GA. Named for being as “far as the train would go,” Fargo is the gateway to the Okefenokee Swamp, home of the Suwannee River headwaters, and offers camping, lodging, golf, hunting, and much more..

For visitor information contact Suwannee River Visitors Center 912-637-5156 or the City of Fargo 912-637-5597.

The Suwannee River Visitors Center in Fargo is located at 125 Suwannee River Drive about 18 miles from Stephen C. Foster State Park. The Suwannee River Visitors Center is open Wednesday thru Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. with free admission.

Sports & Recreation

We have one of the winningest teams in Georgia history...

Our newly expanded recreation park is located at 1199 Pearson Hwy on Highway 441 North and is just south of the airport. The Homerville • Clinch County Recreation Park features baseball, softball fields, tennis court, basket ball court, playground and is home to area youth athletic tournaments.
Call 912-487-3277
Clinch County is home to one of the most successful high school athletic programs in Georgia. Since 1988, our Panthers have won four state football championships, six state baseball championships, and two state basketball championships. Our Lady Panthers have won four state basketball championships. The football team plays at Donald Tison Field, which you can see from Highway 441 North. To get to the high school located at 863 North Carswell St…where you will find the stadium, gymnasium, baseball & softball fields, and tennis court…take Highway 441 and turn east on East Orange Street (beside Harvey’s Supermarket), then turn North on Carswell Street. If you are downtown on Highway 84, turn north on Carswell Street, beside the post office. You'll go through one stop sign…then go about a mile. The high school will be on your left.