Search billions of records on

Shirer Family Genealogy Project
Person Page 20171

Main Page - Master Index - Surname Index - Master Place Index - Historical Sources - Photo Albums - Grave Restoration - Scheurer DNA Project - John Shirer of Somerset Co., PA
Previous Page - Next Page

John W. Buchanan1

b. 27 September 1860, d. 4 November 1934

Father George Ramsey Buchanan1 b. November 1823, d. before 1910
Mother Lydia Firestone1 b. 11 October 1834, d. 14 April 1926
Pop-up Pedigree

Family Lizzie I. Stamen b. 18 November 1865, d. 2 May 1937
Marriage* 14 October 1882  Principal=Lizzie I. Stamen1 
Children  1. Clarence Stamen Buchanan b. 28 Feb 1884
  2. John Arthur Buchanan b. 11 Apr 1887, d. b 1920
  3. Daisy M. Buchanan b. 26 Sep 1889, d. Jan 1981
  4. Mary Alice Buchanan b. Dec 1892, d. 13 Jan 1959
  5. Walter Firestone Buchanan b. 8 Sep 1899, d. 26 Jan 1932

News/Obit*   Searchable Digest of Charlton County Herald
the history and genealogy of the Okefenokee Region of south Georgia.

Charlton County Herald - August 13, 1920
Folkston has a new venture. Dr. Buchanan has built and placed machinery for making ice cream. This factory will in time make a market for all the milk and cream produced in this vicinity. The ice cream is made from pure Jersey cream and samples have been placed on the market this week.

Charlton County Herald - November 18, 1927
OLD BANK BUILDING SOLD. One of the largest real estate transfers of late was the sale of the old bank building, the title to 105 feet on Main Street. Dr. J.W. Buchanan was the owner and Mr. J.K. Larkin, the purchaser, is a capitalist and the Herald is glad to have him interested in Folkston. The Union Telephone Co., W.J. Jones and the Texaco Oil Co. have leases on the property which prevents immediate improvements. The purchase price was $10,500.00.

May 10, 1929
RABBIT RAISING. Dr. J.W. Buchanan has become interested in the production of New Zealand rabbits. The doctor has a few hutches of several breeds and feels that the establishment of a commercial hatchery here would be a paying proposition.

Biography   History and Genealogy of Camden and Charlton Counties, Georgia

Dr. Buchanan Created Popular Recreation Area for Charlton

"Dixie Lake"! The name has a rhythmical ring to it. Now it's just a residential settlement west of downtown Folkston. Few know the money and heartaches that went into the projects of an Ohio doctor who first arrived in Folkston on September 1, 1916. Doctor J. W. Buchanan would begin an eighteen-year experience in Folkston, Homeland, and Charlton County that would end with his death on November 9, 1934.

Dr. Buchanan boarded a southbound passenger train in his hometown of Wooster, Ohio heading to Folkston, Georgia, a town he had heard of from some of the fifty-six families from Ohio that had settled in nearby Nahunta, Georgia. They had urged Buchanan to follow them south to the "land of opportunity."

Buchanan was only 56 years old when he arrived in Folkston. He had practiced medicine in Wooster for 30 years, accumulating a substantial fortune, but more importantly, his favorite aunt was Mrs. Jacob Firestone of Spencer, Ohio, a wealthy member of the Harvey Firestone family, founders of Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, and one of the nation's richest men. Many would say Dr. Buchanan was spending some of the Firestone fortune with his economic ventures in Charlton County.

The night the portly Buchanan got off the train at the Folkston railroad depot was cool and damp. He grabbed up a grip in each hand and headed across the town's Main Street toward the Hotel Arnold to put up for the night. A crowd had gathered in the hotel's lobby that night, and Buchanan chose to move a block further down the street to the gleaming, white, Central Hotel.

The hotel's operator, Mrs. Charles Sikes met Buchanan at the registration desk. She had only recently taken over the business, and was eager to register as many guests as she could.

Buchanan told her he would be staying several days.

Thus began almost a quarter-century of spending in Charlton County for the Ohio doctor. In the dining room of the Central Hotel that night, Dr. Buchanan learned that the county's newspaper, The Charlton County Herald, had just changed hand on that very day. Mrs. J. W. Robinson and her husband, of Elred, Florida had bought the newspaper from Tom Wrench.

Two months after first arriving in Folkston, Buchanan began buying up farmland west of Folkston. On this land would be his Dixie Lake Dairy. He spent weeks-riding railroad cars to numbers of towns in Florida, buying up prize bulls and cows for his dairy. Dr. Buchanan, always one to find the most competent help he could, imported a native of Switzerland, C. J. Klumph, who bred prize Jersey Bulls, to run his dairy farm. Even though there was no electricity available at the time, the ambitious doctor bought electric milking machines. Current furnished by gasoline engines would operate them. The dairy showed a profit only when Buchanan and Klumph sold off some of their prize bulls.

Soon, Buchanan would begin his dream, building Dixie Lake itself and in conjunction with it, the county's first swimming pool. Buchanan bought lands at Clay Branch, a half-mile west of Folkston, owned by Abraham Ponce, and once operated as a small grits mill. The site held the remains of an earthen dam that had been built 75 years earlier.

Buchanan began his Dixie Lake project by using dynamite to blast out a huge hole in the clay soil. Men with shovels labored for months to fashion out Dixie Lake. Buchanan's money flowed like wine.

With the lake taking shape, Buchanan decided to build a large community swimming pool adjoining the lake. Buchanan rapidly became one of the county's more popular businessmen. His Dixie Lake Dairy supplied housewives with milk, butter and ice cream. On his Dixie Lake, ten rowboats afforded people of the town with countless afternoons of boating pleasures and his Dixie Lake Swimming Pool endeared him to the county's young.

Buchanan chose to develop a large pecan grove, sending to west Georgia and Alabama for the finest young pecan trees. He developed a 210-acre pecan grove that became the envy of the state.

With the nation getting into World War One, Buchanan was called upon to lead patriotic parades to spur military enlistments. The people of the county wanted to celebrate July 4, 1917 as never before. Buchanan responded, gathering brass bands, what few automobiles that were available, including Dr. A. D. Williams' new Overland sedan and Ben Scott's shiny new Buick. The automobiles were decked out in red, white and blue bunting. Horses in the parade, likewise, were wrapped in colorful bunting.

On that July 4, 1917, there was no one more popular with the people of Charlton County than Dr. J. W. Buchanan. Buchanan relished the warm friendship heaped upon him, a northerner, by the people of the area. On that July 4, he opened his Dixie Lake and swimming pool at no charge. Ice cream from his Dixie Lake Dairy was served free to all that would have some.

Buchanan then became obsessed with airplanes. He bought land between Folkston and Homeland and developed an airport. Buchanan hired pilots from Atlanta to move to Folkston to provide rides over the Okefenokee Swamp. To run the airport venture, he hired a man who called himself "Count DeWay". Deway caused commotion's in Folkston when he rode his prancing walking horse along the dirt Main Street, dressed out in fashionable riding clothes and holding a riding crop under his arm. A giant airplane hangar was built at the airport, used for airplanes and for holding boxing matches among the locals. The hangar would be destroyed by a wildfire in the 1930s.

In retrospect, it turned out that DeWay, whom some called a con man, helped Buchanan run through hundreds of thousands of dollars on the airport project. Buchanan's money, and perhaps some of the Firestone's too, began to reach the bottom of the barrel

Then, the luck of Dr. Buchanan began to change; for the worse. A typhoid fever epidemic struck Charlton county causing many deaths. Dr. Buchanan's Dixie Lake was blamed for breeding mosquitoes, which the residents thought responsible for the fever. Buchanan was criticized in the weekly newspaper for allowing the mosquitoes to breed. He responded in subsequent issues, reminding readers of their own unsanitary outhouses, garbage dumps and privies, and citing evidence that his lake had no mosquitoes.

Then, too add insult to injury, a severe hurricane worked its way up the coast north from Florida, bringing deluges of rain and wind ahead of it to Charlton County. Weeks of rain undermined the soil at Buchanan's Dixie Lake swimming pool, and after a few days, the dam broke, the walls of the swimming pool crumbled, and the dreams of Dr. J. W. Buchanan were dashed against the driving winds of the tropical hurricane.

The health of Dr. Buchanan began to deteriorate, and his son, Clarence, moved down from Ohio to help his struggling father. Dr. Buchanan's wife and daughters however, remained in Wooster.

Clarence Buchanan began to wind down his father's projects. He continued to dip gum from the pine trees, but soon began to dispose of his property. Many of the land holdings were sold to the Firestone family, and some were sold at public auction in front of the Charlton County Courthouse.

Dr. Buchanan died on November 9, 1934. His body was returned to his native Wooster, Ohio for burial, but the forward-looking projects of the Ohio physician excited Charlton County residents for 18 years. Locals speculate that Dr. Buchanan spent millions on his Charlton County projects, much of it during the Great Depression.

The ventures of the stocky-friendly doctor , J. W. Buchanan, from Wooster, Ohio are mentioned now only infrequently. Few recall the beginning of Dixie Lake and its accompanying projects, the visions of an ambitious man who sought adventure and lost his fortune in the pinelands of Charlton County. 
Biography*   JOHN W. BUCHANAN, M. D., is a native of Wayne County, Ohio, born in Chester Township, September 27, 1860. His ancestors on his father's side, were of Scotch-Irish descent, and the grandparents came to Wayne County from Pennsylvania, locating first in Wayne Township, moving thence to Chester Township, where both died, George Ramsey Buchanan, the father of John W., was born in Wayne Township, in 1823, and is now living in Chester, on a farm adjoining the one where his parents died. He was brought up to farming, teaching school winters until the breaking out of the California gold fever, when he sailed for the New Eldorado, leaving February 4, 1850, going by way of New York and the Isthmus of Panama. He stayed in the Golden State about three years, and then returned, bringing with him several thousand dollars as the reward of his labors. On his arrival in Ohio he engaged in mercantile business at Jeromeville, Ashland County, which, however, he carried on but a short time, returning to his native county, where he took charge of the home farm for his parents ; he has ever since lived there, and now owns the home farm, to which he has added by purchase. He is a man of strict Christian principles, a prominent member of the Presbyterian Church, of which he has long been an elder, and has always been a liberal supporter of " Chester Church." Throughout the county he is known as a thoroughly honest and upright man. He has been twice married, his first wife being Miss Mary Dunham, who died in Jeromeville, leaving no issue, her only child having died at birth. His second wife was Miss Lydia Firestone, daughter of David and Elizabeth Firestone, natives of Pennsylvania, and residents of Chester Township, where both died. Their daughter was born in Wayne County, in 1834. She is a member of the Lutheran Church, a sincere Christian, and noted especially for her generosity and hospitality. Mr. and Mrs. Buchanan are the parents of seven children, of whom three—Franklin, Sidney and Ira—are deceased; those living are. John W. ; Cynthia Alice, wife of Harvey L. Piper, of Chester Township; Mary E. and Edward F., living with their parents.

John W. Buchanan was reared on the farm until he was sixteen years of age, 23 attending district school in winters. He then went to Wooster University, where he spent two and a half years, after leaving which he attended Cleveland Medical College, Ohio Medical College, at Cincinnati, and the Kentucky School of Medicine, at Louisville, graduating from the latter institution June 2, 1882. Following month he began practice at Lodi, Ohio, remaining six months; then removed to Mansfield, Ohio, staying there until October 14, 1884, and then came to Smithville, Wayne County, where he has since been engaged in practice. October 14, 1882, Dr. Buchanan was married to Lizzie I., only child of Henry N. and Susan A. Stamen, former of whom has been dead many years; the latter lives with her daughter at Smithville. Mr. Stamen had for a considerable time been a teacher, but in his later years was engaged in milling. Mrs. Buchanan was born in Mansfield, Ohio, November 18, 1865. She is the mother of two children : Clarence S., born February 28, 1884, and John A., born April 11, 1887. Since locating in Smithville Dr. Buchanan has acquired considerable repute in his profession, and is rapidly building up a lucrative practice. He is justly regarded as a rising man, and has the confidence of his patients, and the esteem of his neighbors and fellow-citizens for his correct life and honorable character.1 
Birth* 27 September 1860  Chester Twp., Wayne Co., OH1,2 
Census* 1870  1870 Federal Census, Ohio, Wayne County, Chester Township, Series: M593, Roll: 1280, Page: 69A, July 22
(enumerated with father, G M Buchanan)
24, 306, 302, Buchanan, J W, 9, M, W, At Home, , , Ohio, , , , , 1, , , , ,3 
Census 1880  1880 Federal Census, Ohio, Wayne County, Chester Township, ED: 226, Series: T9, Roll: 1076, Page: 52A, June 16
(enumerated with father, Ramsey Buchanan)
19, 42, 42, Buchanan, John W, W, M, 19, , Son, 1, , , , At School, , , , , , , , 1, , , Ohio, Ohio, Ohio4 
Marriage* 14 October 1882  Principal=Lizzie I. Stamen1 
Census 1900  1900 Federal Census, Ohio, Wayne County, Green Township, ED: 152, Series: T623, Roll: 1331, Page: 184A, June 5
Sheet 6A
01, 128, 128, Buchanan, John W, Head, W, M, Sept, 1860, 39, M, 17, , , Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, , , , Farmer, 0, , Yes, Yes, Yes, O, M, F, 20
02, 128, 128, Buchanan, Lizzie I, Wife, W, F, Nov, 1865, 34, M, 17, 5, 5, Ohio, Ohio, Pennsylvania, , , , , , , Yes, Yes, Yes, , , ,
03, 128, 128, Buchanan, Clarence, Son, W, M, Feb, 1884, 16, S, , , , Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, , , , Farm Laborer, 0, 5, Yes, Yes, Yes, , , ,
04, 128, 128, Buchanan, John A, Son, W, M, April, 1887, 13, S, , , , Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, , , , At School, , 9, Yes, Yes, Yes, , , ,
05, 128, 128, Buchanan, Daisy B, Daughter, W, F, Sept, 1889, 10, S, , , , Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, , , , At School, , 9, Yes, Yes, Yes, , , ,
06, 128, 128, Buchanan, Mary A, Daughter, W, F, Dec, 1892, 7, S, , , , Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, , , , At School, , 9, Yes, Yes, Yes, , , ,
07, 128, 128, Buchanan, Walter F, Son, W, M, Sept, 1899, 8/12, S, , , , Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, , , , , , , No, No, No, , , ,
08, 128, 128, Cordray, Ida E, Servant, W, F, Mar, 1883, 19, S, , , , Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, , , , Servant, 0, , Yes, Yes, Yes, , , ,2 
Census 1910  1910 Federal Census, Ohio, Wayne County, Green Township, ED: 176, Series: T624, Roll: 1239, Page: 172B, April 28
Sheet 7B
66, 173, 176, Buchanan, J W, Head, M, W, 49, M1, 28, , , Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, , , English, Farmer, General Farm, OA, , , Yes, Yes, , O, F, F, 54, 0, 00, 0
67, 173, 176, Buchanan, Lizzie I, Wife, F, W, 49, M1, 28, 5, 5, Ohio, Ohio, Penn, , , English, None, , , , , Yes, Yes, , , , , , , ,
68, 173, 176, Buchanan, Daisy M, Daughter, F, W, 18, S, , , , Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, , , English, None, , , , , Yes, Yes, Yes, , , , , , ,
69, 173, 176, Buchanan, Mary Alice, Daughter, F, W, 16, S, , , , Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, , , English, None, , , , , Yes, Yes, Yes, , , , , , ,
70, 173, 176, Buchanan, Walter A, Son, M, W, 10, S, , , , Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, , , English, None, , , , , Yes, Yes, Yes, , , , , , ,
71, 173, 176, Staman, Susan, Mother-in-Law, F, W, 83, Wd, , 1, 1, Penn, Penn, Penn, , , English, None, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,5 
Census 1920  1920 Federal Census, Georgia, Charlton County, Folkston District, Folkston Town, Ward 4, ED: 192, Series: T625, Roll: 238, Page: 235B, February 15
Sheet 2A, Dixie Highway
58, 145, 145, Buchanan, John W, Head, O, F, M, W, 59, M, , , , Yes, Yes, Ohio, , Ohio, , Ohio, , Yes, Farmer, General Farm, Em, 49
59, 145, 145, Piper, Harney A, Brother-in-Law, , , M, W, 59, M, , , , Yes, Yes, Ohio, , Ohio, , Ohio, , Yes, Farmer, General Farm, OA,
60, 145, 145, Piper, Alice C, Wife, , , F, W, 58, M, , , , Yes, Yes, Ohio, , Ohio, , Ohio, , Yes, None, , ,
61, 145, 145, Buchanan, Jewel, Daughter-in-Law, , , F, W, 28, Wd, , , , Yes, Yes, Ohio, , Ohio, , Ohio, , Yes, None, , ,
62, 145, 145, Cason, Sarah, House Keeper, , , F, W, 35, M, , , , Yes, Yes, Georgia, , Georgia, , Georgia, , Yes, House Keeper, Private Family, W,
63, 145, 145, Hinds, Emma, Lodger, , , F, W, 17, S, , , , Yes, Yes, Michigan, , Michigan, , Michigan, , Yes, None, , ,6 
Census 1930  1930 Federal Census, Georgia, Charlton County, Folkston District 32, Folkston, ED: 25-1, Series: T626, Roll: 343, Page: 45A, April 4
Sheet 1B
73, 18, 18, Buchanan, John W, Head, O, 1400, , No, M, W, 69, M, 21, No, Yes, Ohio, Ohio, Ohio, , 59, , , , , Yes, Retired, , , , , , , ,
74, 18, 18, Mizel, Sarah, Housekeeper, , , , No, F, W, 45, Dv, 18, No, Yes, Georgia, Georgia, Georgia, , 78, , , , , Yes, Housekeeping, , 6v96, W, Yes, , , ,7 
Death* 4 November 1934  Folkston, Charlton Co., GA 
News/Obit 9 November 1934  DR. J.W. BUCHANAN DIED. In the death of Dr. J.W. Buchanan Folkston loses a citizen that has always been one of our most loyal boosters. He passed Sunday morning after a lingering illness of over a year. Since a stroke of paralysis in 1924 he has been suffering but kept up his activities until a couple of years ago. He is one of the largest landowners adjacent to Folkston, was the prime mover of several industries that made starts to success but his health caused them to be money losers to him. He was donor of the property on which the Folkston Airport is located. He came to Folkston from Wayne County, Ohio where he practiced medicine in Worchester. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and active in Knights of Phythias and held office in that lodge. His body was taken to Waycross for preparation for shipment to Ohio for interment in the family burial ground. He is survived by his widow of Lakewood, Ohio; one son, Clarence Buchanan of Folkston; two daughters, Miss Daisey Buchanan and Mrs. Alexander Heggie of Gary, Indiana; one brother Edward F. Buchanan of Chicago and a sister Mrs. Allie Piper.

(Appeared in the Charlton County Herald, (GA), November 9, 1934) 

Last Edited 14 Jun 2009

  1. [S681] History of Wayne Co., OH, Ben Douglas.
  2. [S246] 1900 U.S. Federal Census , 1900 U.S. Federal Census.
  3. [S71] 1870 U.S. Federal Census , 1870 U.S. Federal Census.
  4. [S100] 1880 U.S. Federal Census , 1880 U.S. Federal Census.
  5. [S73] 1910 U.S. Federal Census , 1910 U.S. Federal Census.
  6. [S247] 1920 U.S. Federal Census , 1920 U.S. Federal Census.
  7. [S248] 1930 U.S. Federal Census , 1930 U.S. Federal Census.

Previous Page - Next Page
Main Page - Master Index - Surname Index - Master Place Index - Historical Sources - Photo Albums - Grave Restoration - Scheurer DNA Project - John Shirer of Somerset Co., PA

Compiled by: Denny Shirer, Canton, Ohio

This page was created by John Cardinal's Second Site v1.8.7.
Site updated on 18 July 2016; 47,987 people