Joseph Chestnutt Sumner Jr.

Joseph Chestnutt Sumner Jr. was born to Joseph Chestnutt Sumner Sr. and Mary Kight in Burke County, Georgia on September 15, 1793. Joseph Sumner was a tall man, he was a veteran of the Creek Indian War and was one of the first of Inferior Court Judges of Worth. He served in the establishing of the County. He was one of the outstanding citizens of this area, many of his posterity have done him honor. His father, Joseph Sumner, of Emanuel County was a revolutionary soldier.

Through the years


Joseph Chestnutt Sumner Jr married Mahala Smith in Emanuel County, Georgia on the 19th of April 1813. Mahala Smith was born on the 11th of October 1799. Joseph and Mahala Sumner had 17 children; 14 reached maturity with 3 dying young.


Death and Burial

Joseph Chestnutt Sumner Jr died on the 14th of June 1880 and is buried in the Joseph Sumner Family Cemetery, Sumner, Worth County, Georgia. Mahala Smith died 30 March 1882 and is buried with her husband.

Sumner Family of Worth County, Georgia


The Sumner family and its wide connections, is one of the largest and most influential families of this county, and of the state. The first one of the family to come to this part of the state was Joseph Sumner, Jr., and wife, Mahala (Smith) Sumner. They immigrated here about 1830 from Emanuel County, with several children, stock and other property. White's History of Georgia gives him as one of the earliest settlers of Irwin County. He was later cut off into this county when it was organized, making him among Worth's first settlers.

Joseph Sumner Jr, was the son of Joseph Sumner Sr, of Emanuel County, Georgia. As one of Georgia's Revolutionary soldiers, he drew land twice in that county for service in the Revolutionary War. This is found in the office of the Secretary of Sate. The last draw was in 1827 shortly before his death in 1827. His will is to be found in Emanuel County court house.

Joseph Sumner Jr was on of the executors of his will. Joseph Sumner Jr and wife, Mahala Smith Sumner, had a large family of seventeen children. He and his wife and many of his descendants are buried in the family graveyard near his home a few miles north of Sumner.

His sons are found among the first officers of Worth County.

  • Daniel S. Sumner, Tax Collector from 1856-1860; Treasurer from 1873-1875.
  • George W. Sumner, Tax Collector 1866; Tax Receiver 1877.
  • Joseph M. Sumner, youngest son, was Representive in the State Legislature in 1880-'81.
  • W. J. Sumner, grandson, Ordinary, 1893.
  • George S. Sumner, grandson, Treasurer, 1887.
  • Joseph L. Sumner, grandson, Representative from the county in 1894-'95.
  • John N. Sumner, grandson, has been Sheriff of Worth with the exception of four years since 1900 to date, 1934.
  • Dr. Gordon S. Sumner, great-grandson, was Representative from the County, 1913 to 1917, and elected to represent the County 1933 to 1934, and seved 22 months in the World War as Medical Officer, 1st Lieutenant.
  • Colonel Walter R. Sumner, great-grandson, was County Superintendent of Schools of Worth with the exception of one term from 1911 until his death in 1931.

The descendants of Joseph Sumner who served in the Southern Army during the Civil War, Muster Roll of Militia District 1125, G. M., Worth.

  • Daniel S. Sumner
  • Joseph M. Sumner
  • John C. Sumner-Sometimes called Jack
  • William R. Sumner
  • Berrian Sumner
  • Mathew Sumner

Muster Roll of 867 G. M. District, Worth County, Georgia

  • Orderly Sargeant George W. Sumner
  • Gordon Sumner

Miss Estelle Sumner, great-granddaughter of Joseph Sumner, was the only woman from Worth County to go to the World War as a nurse doing oversea duty in the American Red Cross. She is presently living at Jacksonville, Florida. She married T. L. Caldwell a few years ago.

Colonel Will S. Sumner, a grandson, who is Postmaster of Poulan.

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