Mary Alice Montgomery
The Fairview/ES Brown Heritage Corporation
3 Central Plaza Box 147
Rome, GA 30161
Official Email Address:
Joshua B. Atwater
Joshua B. Atwater (March 25, 1890 – Feb.13, 1950) was a public school professor, principal, and a minister of the A.M.E. church in Cave Spring, GA. He was known by at least three names, JB, John B., and Joshua Atwater. He taught at the Fairview School in Cave Spring, Floyd County, GA.
Mr. Atwater was born in Flippen, GA in Henry County to John and Mollie Atwater, one of at least nine children. By 1900, the Atwater family had moved to the town of Loves in Henry County. The 1910 Federal Census shows the family living in the town of Stockbridge, GA in Henry County.
On June 5, 1917, JB Atwater registered for the World War I Draft. He listed his hometown as Stockbridge, GA. His draft record states that he is 27 years old, is a self-employed farmer, and has a wife and two children, live in Stockbridge, GA. Although the Atwater family is found once again living in the town of Loves in the 1920 census, JB Atwater is not shown living with them. In 1919, at the age of 29, he married Laura Bell Styles, she was 22 years old from Campbellton, Campbell, Georgia. She was born January of 1898 to Thomas and Mattie Styles. She was one of eleven children.
He is subsequently found in the 1930 census living in the town of Aragon in Polk County. According to JB’S and Laura Bell’s ages in 1930, she was his second wife. The 1930 Census lists his name as John B., and he had fathered five children, John B., Dorothy B.,AT, Mary Lee, and Edward S. He later fathered four more children, James, IT, and Doris, and one unknown.
He is subsequently found in the 1930 census living in the town of Aragon in Polk County. According to Joshua’s and Laura Bell’s ages in 1930, she may have been his second wife. The 1930 Census lists his name as John B., and he had fathered five children, John B., Dorothy B.,AT, Mary Lee, and Edward S. He later fathered four more children, James, IT, and Doris, and one unknown.
The 1930 census record lists his profession as public school professor. He was at the Fairview School from 1925 -1928, and in the Polk County Schools after leaving the Cave Spring School. The census also shows that he was not an armed forces veteran. So although he had registered with the draft in 1917, he apparently never served in the armed forces.
Joshua and Laura Bell’s children were:
Johnny B: b.1924 - d. 1984
A T: b. 1926 - d. 1996
JB Atwater’s brother Anak T Atwater lived in Rome, GA and founded the first black newspaper in that town. He was the owner, publisher, and editor of the Rome Enterprise. The paper existed from 1922 – 1955. AT Atwater was born in 1904 and died in 1949 in Rome, GA.
After leaving the Cave Spring school district, JB Atwater taught school in Polk County. He passed away in 1950 leaving his wife, Laura and nine children. Many of his children eventually moved to Dayton, OH. Dorothy and Edward still live in Dayton. Laura died September 10, 1956 in Baldwin County, GA, although her residence was listed as Polk County Georgia.
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