The following historical account of the City of Hiram and its beginnings is taken directly from HIRAM, The Little Town By the Tracks, by Kathryn Bookout. The Bookouts own and operate Main Street Antiques, Main Street Hiram. This book is available in their store. We want to thank the Bookouts for their contribution in preserving the Old Town of Hiram and its significantly historical heritage.
The Beginning - Garrett Gray - Gray's Mill, Ga
The City of Hiram was originally founded as Gray's Mill, Ga., named after one of the earliest settlers, Garrett Gray. He was the son of Isaac Gray, a Revolutionary War soldier from South Carolina born in 1750. Garrett was born on September 23,1802 in South Carolina, where he was reared on the farm and educated in the common country school.
Garrett Gray married Jane Jenkins on January 1,1828 in Franklin County, Ga. She was also born in South Carolina and was orphaned as a small child. Jane was reared by her brother, with whom she came to Georgia in 1825. Garrett and Jane lived in Franklin County where they successfully farmed until 1835, when they relocated to this area of Paulding County.
As well as being one of the first settlers, Mr. Gray made many contributions to the community that led to it being an incorporated city later on. He had a contract to deliver the first locomotive on the first Georgia railroad, and he also built the first cotton gin in the county in about 1836. He served in the 5th Congressional District of Georgia Legislature and was considered a prominent possible candidate for governor. He also was a private in Company D 1st Regiment Ga. Calvalry until 1862 when he was discharged for the reason of old age.
Perhaps the greatest contribution that Garrett Gray made to the local community was the building of Grays Mill as early as 1850. Located on the outskirts of what is now Hiram, approximately 100 yards above the present Highway 92, the site of the mill was a lovely picturesque place, complete with a dam with water pouring over it and a large mill wheel at one side. A favorite local spot for picnics and gatherings, the creek at the mill was also used for baptisms. For many years, the grist mill operated as a place where everybody from miles around brought their corn and wheat to be ground. Because of the mill's importance in the community as both an economic and social gathering place, the town in the beginning was named Gray's Mill, Ga.