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Flournoy, John Francis


John Francis Flournoy, second son of John Manly and Mary Ann (Gordon) Flournoy, was born in (Wynnton) Columbus, March 13, 1847. His paternal grandparents were Josiah and Martha (Dixon) Flournoy of Eatonton, originally from Virginia. His maternal grandparents were Charles P. and Barbara (Galbraith) Gordon of Putnam County, also of Virginia. He attended the little brick schoolhouse in Wynnton and Professor Isham's school. After nine months at the University of Alabama he left July 1st, 1864 for the Confederate Army with the Alabama Corps of cadets. He was transferred in November to Nelson's Rangers, then at Florence, Ala. He served with Hood's Army through the Tennessee campaign, surrendering at High Point, N. C., 1864.

Devoted eight years to farming in Russell County, Ala., and then entered the cotton warehouse business in Columbus, continuing this until 1905. In 1887 he organized the Muscogee Real Estate Company, now the Flournoy Realty Company, which developed hundreds of acres in East Highlands, St. Elmo Place, Peacock Woods and Wildwood Circle. He organized the Columbus Investment company, serving as president for ten years. The Murrah building was erected by that organization. Mr. Flournoy was president of the Columbus Railroad company from 1887 to 1902, and in 1894, the old dummy line and the horsecars were combined and equipped with electricity. Wildwood Park was also developed and was a favorite pleasure resort for Columbusites many years. Mr. Flournoy was one of the organizers and builders of the Georgia Midland Railroad from Columbus to McDonugh, now owned by the Southern System. He was quite active in securing Fort Benning to locate near Columbus, being one of the government appraisers in purchasing the land.

He was chairman of the committee which built and equipped the present Wynnton Grammar school around the old brick structure, and as a living monument of appreciation for his services a beautiful cedar was planted and dedicated to him by the Parent-Teachers association of that school February 15th, 1924.

In 1902 he and Mr. George J. Baldwin of Savannah, organized the Coweta Power Company which bought lands on each side of the river, comprising the present locations of the Goat Rock and Bartlett's Ferry dams. It was later absorbed by the Columbus Electric and Power Company. For ten years Mr. Flournoy was chairman of the Tax Equalization Board of Muscogee County. He is now chairman of the City Planning Board, a director of the Third National Bank, a director of the Columbus Electric and Power Company, and president of the Flournoy Realty Company.

Mr. Flournoy was twice married, first to Miss Rebecca Epping, November 1869, and to this union two children were born: John Francis, Jr., and Rebecca (Mrs. George S. Hamburger). In September 1881, he married Miss Mary Welch Reynolds, of Talledega County, Alabama. To this union seven children were born : Mallory Reynolds, Maud (Mrs. S. M. Dixon). Josiah, Gordon, Mary Hannah, John Manly and Walker Reynolds. He has fifteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

He is now living in Wildwood Circle near where he was - born, in sight of the school he and his children all attended; and where his grandchildren are being educated. While eighty-one years have passed since he first saw the light in Wynnton, he is still active in the conduct of his business and is deeply interested in the city he has seen grow from a population of 5,000 to 65,000.

A history of Columbus, Georgia : 1828-1928; Columbus, Ga.: Historical Pub. Co., 1929

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