Do You Know Jack

This question may be posed in many different hypothetical forms, however; we mean it literally.  In this instance, we are referring to Mr. Jack Morgan.  Jack was born in Talbot County, Georgia in 1903 and moved to Upson County at age 19.  Soon after moving to Upson County, he began working at Stephens Automobile Company and a few years later, he married his love Margaret Boyt in 1926.  Mr. Morgan worked for Stephens Automobile Company for 30 years and then took a position as Supervisor of Building Maintenance for the Thomaston School System where he worked for 21-1/2 years and where he was involved with many activities.  If this were the complete picture of Jack Morgan’s life, many from Upson County would have still known and remembered him.  Perhaps they would have known him from his jobs, church, Boy Scout troops he led, his time driving a bus or even the repairs he made for his neighbors.  However, the work he started in 1965 is what has cemented his legacy.  It was at this time that Mr. Morgan began digging into the past of his own existence and a snowball grew into an avalanche of genealogical work, which would eventually benefit countless individuals.   From the mid-sixties Mr. Morgan became a devoted genealogist and spent time traveling to courthouses , libraries and cemeteries all over the United States.  Needless to say, Mr. Morgan was not paid for this work and would receive letters from all regions asking him to help them with holes which needed filling in their own genealogy.  It was not only Upson County which benefited but Mr. Morgan also compiled cemetery records and genealogies for surrounding counties.  As a result, the week of April 20 was once proclaimed Jack Morgan week in Thomaston Georgia.  In addition, Mr. Morgan was responsible for the vast amount of information in The Cemeteries of Upson County Georgia publication as well as a plethora of other sources of which the staff of the Thomaston Upson Archives utilizes daily.  Furthermore, Mr. Morgan donated over 500 family genealogies to the Upson Historical Society, where in turn they were given to the Thomaston Upson Archives.  Therefore, we can revisit the original question and if you did not know Jack, it is okay, because with over 500 genealogies completed, he probably knew you.




Bottles of the Past

Humans change, there is no denying this fact and upon this alteration comes new techniques and new inventions.  Today we have incredible advances of which past generations could not have imagined of such luxuries that make life a little easier.  Furthermore, on the heels of these inventions come methods to make even the most ingenious creation more phenomenal.  For instance, when the automobile first rolled past the jaw dropped crowded corner, it helped change the world and made getting from one point to the next much easier.  However, the engineering minds did not let this stand as sufficient, as they wanted to make this incredible feat even better.  As a result, conveyances began to have power steering, wipers, then wipers with various speeds, air conditioning, cruise control and even navigation systems among other luxurious qualities.  Although, not all new things feel as good as the old, and sometimes we wish things could remain as they were.  One example of this change, is something eluded to before on this blog.  For instance, that liquid dream we call soda once came only in a glass bottle and bottled in hometowns all across this land.  Although we only got about 8 ounces at a time, the drink seemed a little colder and when that metal top popped off and the fountain of fizzing carbonation danced on the rim, hope of a better day began anew.  In addition, those glorious glass bottles that once held that ecstasy of liquid were not meant to be disposable, but rather meant to fulfill their destiny again and again.  Therefore, youngsters in the early summer morns set out to find the bottles to cash in while searching barefooted, careful not to step on the caps, in the alleyways of stores hoping to retrieve the price of refund for each glass container.  With this money, perhaps they would buy baseball cards to keep or trade and even a fresh bottle of their favorite soda from that metal icebox in front of the register.  However, today not too many baseball cards are swapping hands, not too many glass bottles are used, and the ones that exist are mostly thrown into the over flowing landfills.  No, today the bottles are easier to open; they are plastic and come in larger sizes.  Moreover, sometimes not only do our favorite drinks not come in glass bottles any longer, sometimes our favorite drinks change names and at times cease to be bottled at all.  All of this took place at what is now Cotton Avenue mall but what was once a soda bottling company.  It began in the early 20th century and was known as the Chero Cola Company.  However, as time passed and ownership did too, it became the NEHI bottling company.  From this small building came some of the most refreshing drinks humankind has ever touched to their lips.  An obsolete manner of bottling today, took place in front of the glass-lined building for anyone who cared to watch to do so.  Change continued to come around and in the 1940s, there was a strong ad campaign for that great tasting RC Cola and the company began to bottle this as well.  Depending on whom you speak with, some still call it the NEHI building, some the old RC company and now, thanks to wonderful people who saved the building, others call it the Cotton Avenue Mall.  Although, no matter the name, when you pass by or even go into to look at the items of yesteryear, think back to the ways that were.  Possibly in your mind you can still see that child rushing around to find deposit bottles, maybe even you can hear that unmistakable sound of a cap being popped off the bottle and if you are real lucky you can taste the majestic taste of your favorite soda straight from a glass bottle.



Feb. 7 1927 Thomaston Times

Chero bottle

Chero Cola bottle housed at the Thomaston Upson Archives

Chero Bottle3

Chero Cola Twist bottle housed at the Thomaston Upson Archives

July 4 1924

July 4, 1924 Thomaston Times


May 1924 Thomaston Times



May 24, 1924 Thomaston Times




April 1917 Thomaston Times



Chero 1917


April 1917 Thomaston Times

Chero Cola


April 1928 Thomaston Times


FEB 1 1929 AD


Feb. 1, 1929 Thomaston Times



NEHI Bottling Comp3.

NEHI Bottling Comp2.





NEHI Bottling Comp.Nehi 1950











NEHI 1955





Feb. 1, 1946 Thomaston Times



1946 J


RC Cola Ad Campaign Thomaston Times 1946



RC Cola Ad Campaign Thomaston Times 1946



RC Cola Ad Campaign Thomaston Times 1946

Nehi bottleing