Magnolia Stock Farms Collection

Call Number: MS-32

Name:  Magnolia Stock Farms

Dates:  1883-1897

Size:  1 Box; 4 Items

Biography:

Magnolia Stock farm was a local establishment that was located on the Flint River in Crawford County, Georgia.  The closest settlement was Zenith.  Magnolia Stock farm was founded between the old Creek Agency where Benjamin Hawkins lies and the plantation where Joanna Troutman, the original creator of the Flag of Texas, lived.  The name of the farm grew from the reputation of the tremendous Magnolia tree which stood on the edge of the swamp.  James Fletcher Ogletree and his brother-in-law from Meriwether, Georgia owned Magnolia.  Sometime during the 1890’s Mr. Stinson sold his share of the farm to Mr. Ogletree.  The courthouse in Knoxville, Georgia contains the records of the sale and the deed of Magnolia.  The plantation consisted of 7,600 acres, later expanded to 7,850 acres.  Most of the land was covered with Virginia pines, and the rest of the farm was cleared for cultivation.  It was operated by managers who kept the records until Phil Ogletree, the son of James, graduated from college and took control.  Afterwards the farm began growing and selling fruit and was renamed Magnolia Fruit Farm.  The farm is now owned by Armstrong Cork Company.

Scope and Content:

An early attempt at summarizing the contents of the box is found with the books.  The letter is not dated but provides the majority of the information in the biography.  This letter contains the history of the farm along with a list of different names.  The names are categorized as names, overseers, proprietor of general store, postmaster, and the names of the Negroes that worked the farm.  The letter gives a brief history of the farm and the people involved with it, but it does not discuss the books in the collection.

The box contains four record books from the Magnolia farm dated from 1883 to 1897.  The books can be split up into two day books and two ledgers.  While they contained some similar figures, the books were used to keep track of different accounts and inventories.  In the ledgers there are detailed records of the cattle and cash accounts, while the daybooks keep track of the workers wages and personal accounts.  The first ledger was dated 1883-1885.  Each year in the ledger begins with an inventory followed by the transactions of the cash account for that entire year.  This includes buying supplies for the office and the farm, as well as lending out money to the workers or personal account holders.  After the cash accounts, the ledger begins keeping track of the farm’s bank accounts, the cattle account, rental accounts, cattle sales, health of animals, and wages paid out to farm hands.

The body of the ledger contains the transactions for each account holder on the farm.  This includes the transactions for the Ogletrees and the accounts of the original overseers, the Webbs, and the Flowers.  These transactions inventory the sale of many different products of the Magnolia stock farm.  Cotton, goats, cattle, mules, fruit, tobacco, pine straw, wheat, and grain are all frequently listed in the accounts.  Judging by the ledgers one can find out how much a certain items on a farm would cost in the late 1800’s.  The second ledger was dated 1886-1897 and contained almost the same information, except from the different years.  During these years the farm underwent a change and began selling fruit as the Magnolia Fruit Farm.  In this Ledger was found half of a flyer that is though to have said: “Magnolia Fruit Farm: Phil Ogletree.” There was also a bank receipt found in this ledger that does not list the amount.  Both the flyer and the bank ticket are found in the box in their own plastic case.

The daybooks were used for keeping track of assets, animals, and inventories of wages and other items.  The daybooks also begin as inventories of the farm, and include  farm assets such as acres and workers.  These inventories kept track of the farm’s size as it grew from 7,660 acres to 7,850 acres. The transactions in the daybooks differ from those in the ledgers in that the daybooks list transactions that involve the farm purchasing supplies such as animal feed and care.  The daybooks also list the wages paid to each worker for a days work.  While all of the books overlap in some areas, the ledgers and daybooks were used to keep track of different finances.

Subject Headings:

Ogletree, Phil

Magnolia Stock Farm

Crawford County, Georgia

Zenith, Georgia

Magnolia Fruit Company

Ogletree, James

Armstrong Cork Company

Stinson, Michael

Hawkins, Benjamin

Flint River

Farm Records

1800’s Ledgers

1800’s Daybooks

Early Farm Finances

Inventory:

The Box contains the following parts:

Valdosta State: Letter of Introduction

Bank Note

Fruit Flyer

Book 1: Ledger 1883-1885

Book 2: Ledger 1886-1897

Book 3: Daybook 1886-1891

Book 4: Daybook 1891-1896

Processing Date: Processed by Student, Spring 2006