Jug Tavern was renamed Winder a year after the Georgia, Carolina and Northern Railway's maiden run through the town. The change became official by an Act passed by the Georgia General Assembly on December 12, 1893. Named for the general manager of the Seaboard Railway, John H. Winder, the City's boundary was enlarged to encompass a one-mile circle extending from the same crossing of the railroad of Broad Street. In similar fashion to Jug Tavern, the town was governed by a mayor, but now with six aldermen, who had the power to issue bonds for public schools, water works and other purposes. The last mayor of Jug Tavern and the first of Winder was H. S. Segars.
Considerable growth took place in Winder during the 1890s. As the 20th century arrived, banks had been established as well as offices for attorneys, doctors, dentists, undertakers, real estate operations and blacksmiths. A drugstore came into existence and, in 1900, the Winder Telephone Company opened. While farming remained the chief occupation of most of the area's citizens, many residents began working in newly forming manufacturing enterprises, including Winder Foundry and Machinery, Bell Overall, Smith Hardware and Winder Cotton Mill (later the Winder Rug Mill). Retailing also grew in downtown: general merchandisers, drugstores, dry goods, sundries and bakeries. Four churches were constituted, a hotel was built, and a volunteer fire department was formed. Increasingly, Winder became an important trade center in eastern Georgia.
Being situated in three counties caused continuous legal problems and governance confusion for the residents and businesses of Winder. It required almost 75 years, following many aborted efforts, for Barrow County to be established. Finally, on July 7, 1914, the Georgia General Assembly carved territory from Gwinnett, Jackson and Walton counties to create the new county, with Winder as the county seat.
Last updated on Aug 3, 2021 2:16:am.