City Charter Unveiled In Smyrna

S150 July F 2014 005A hand-written copy of the 1872 Smyrna City Charter came home to the city as Mayor Max Bacon unveiled a framed document at Brawner Hall July 1.

The unveiling was a part of the city’s observance of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Smyrna.

Bacon recounted how the gift came about, saying, “a lady called and wanted to give something to me personally. It’s a copy of the original charter of the city dated August 1872.”

The handwritten charter, six pages long, names the original aldermen and attendant (mayor) for the new city and set an election the following year.

“It’s neat,” Bacon said. “It will be here for you to read. It’s important to see what we can do to document the past.”

The charter joins many Civil War era artifacts on display that come from the Cox-Armstrong collection at Smyrna City Hall, Library and Brawner Hall.

Gerald Cox was born in 1945 in Atlanta, growing up in a family of Civil War historians. When he was a boy in the 1950s, Gerald spent many weekends at Uncle Quig’s home in Smyrna. Quig often took Gerald to the Carmichael Plantation, near I-285 and Atlanta Road. With his ancient metal detector, Gerald searched the area where the Yankees battled through Smyrna to reach Atlanta in 1864. Gerald found his first Civil War relic, a lead .58-caliber bullet. After that, he was hooked. He and his family continued exploring, building a huge collection of artifacts through the years.

Gerald and Smyrna’s Mayor A. Max Bacon crossed paths many times since the 1970s. Shortly before he passed on Christmas Day 1996, Gerald invited Max to the 100-year-old family home in Cartersville. Gerald showed Max the relics one last time and asked Max to find a home for them when he was gone. He wanted the public to see an enormous slice of history.

“This is just as nice an exhibit as they have at the Atlanta Historical Society,” Bacon said. “There’s no silver in the collection. The Yankees got all the silver,” he said.

From the July 2014 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton and Austell, GA.