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William and Harriett Pendley

William M. and Harriet (Chamblee) Pendley came to Murray County in 1895, bought the James Morris House on Elm Street in Spring Place, and immediately began several business enterprises. They must have been considered important, because the street that ran parallel to Elm, behind their house, was named Pendley Street. That street, except for the southern-most block, has since been closed.

Spring Place was then the county seat and the center of business for Murray County.

At the intersection of Pendley Street and East Fort Street, William built the Pendley Cotton Gin. A few hundred feet away, at the intersection of present-day Highway 225 and Smyrna Church Road, he built a second Pendley Gin. Business must have been good to warrant having two gins in less than a quarter mile! The Pendleys also owned a grist mill.

While the family lived in Spring Place, son Dewey was born in 1898. Two daughters, one of them known to have been born in Spring Place, died as children and were buried in Spring Place Cemetery in 1899.

As the L & N Railroad construction made it clear that Murray County really was going to have a railroad, new towns sprang up along its path. When it became apparent that Chatsworth was going to be the largest of the new towns, William Pendley made a bold business decision. It was reported in The Jimplecute, published at Spring Place, September 1, 1905:

Is Organized and Machinery Now Being Installed at Chatsworth.
Plant Will Turn Out 200,000 Pressed Brick Per Week.

Spring Place is to have a big $6,000.00 pressed brick making plant.

Well, not exactly Spring Place, but Chatsworth, and Chatsworth is just a suburb of Spring Place and when she gets a little bigger and dolls her swaddling clothes, we will take her into our corporate limits and fetch her up in the way she should go.

The Pendley Brick Manufacturing Company is the style of the new firm and its personnel is entirely local men and local capital has financed the project.

The company is composed of Wm. Pendley, W. H. Pendley, Dr. J. B. Hughes, and T. M. Wright of Spring Place, and I. L. Bishop of Dalton, all of whom are men of mature judgement and sound business qualifications.

It is the intention of these parties to incorporate their company at some convenient time in the future.

Ten acres of land has been purchased near the depot site at Chatsworth and a large sixty-horsepower engine and all other machinery necessary for the complete equipment of the plant has been bought and is being placed in position as rapidly as the circumstances will permit.

When ready for operation the capacity of this plant will be some 200,000 brick per week and will afford continuous employment to from forty to sixty men.

Thus we have substantial evidence of the growth and prosperity of Spring Place and Murray County.

Keep your eye on this old town and witness it thrive and grow.

In 1908 the Pendley family moved from Spring Place to Chatsworth.

It is generally conceded that Chatsworth's first industry established was the talc mill, the second was the Pendley Brick manufacturing, and third was Ryan Brothers Lumber. Over time William Pendley also owned Pendley Lumber Company and a plaining mill.

Pendley was known for inventing things needed locally, farm equipment, tools and equipment needed in the talc industry, even special scissors for clipping chenille bedspreads.

Virtually all of the brick used in the building of Chatsworth were made by the Pendley facility, which was officially named the Chatsworth Brick Company. The Wright hotel was built of special brick made by the Pendley firm. The Bates Department Store plus several other businesses used Pendley's bricks.

One nearly forgotten incident occurred at the Pendley facility in 1920. The following brief item was transcribed from The Atlanta Constitution, dated October 9, 1920:

1 Killed, Several Injured in Cave-In
Brick Kiln Collapses at Chatsworth, Ga.,
Killing Local Baptist Minister and Maiming Four Others.

Chattsworth, Ga., October 8. The Rev. H. C. Shepherd, 35, pastor of the local Baptist church and who was working as a laborer in a brick kiln of the Chattsworth Brick company, was killed this afternoon when a kiln collapsed. Four other workmen received injuries which it is believed will prove fatal, and eight others received painful injuries.

(Note: At that time the town's name was often spelled with three "t"s as shown. And, yes, this was the complete article.)

Family members reported that, even though all of the earlier Pendley enterprises had been profitable, the brick company lost money.

The 1930 Census indicates that William M. Pendley was employed as a machinist at the Talc Mill. His daughter, "Mamie" Henry, also worked at the Talc Mill in 1930.

The William M. Pendley Family

William M. Pendley was born in 1854 in Georgia, the son of Jesse and Mary Ann "Polly" Gravitt. On July 6, 1874, William married Harriet Missouri "Zoo" Chamblee, the daughter of Robert and Mary Elizabeth (Haley) Chamblee.

The 1880 Census listed the family living in Pickens County, Georgia as: William Pendley, age 24; Missouri Pendley, age 24; Willis Pendley, age 3; and Willard Pendley, age 2. All members of the family had been born in Georgia.

The 1900 Census listed the family in Spring Place, Murray County, Georgia: William, age 46; Harriett M., age 43; Virgel C., age 11: Leila C., age 14; Mary B., age 12; Georgia A., age 10; Sara A., age 8; Rosa M., age 6, and Dewey H., age 2.

In 1910 the family was living in Chatsworth: William, Harriett, Rosa, and Dewey.

The 1920 Census lists only William M., age 65, and Harret M., age 64.

The 1930 Census lists William and Harriet, plus daughter Mamie Henry, and four grandchildren: Mildred Henry, age 18; Verlie Henry, age 16; Juanita Henry, age 14; and William D. Henry, age 11. Mamie had been married to a man with family name Henry but there exists some confusion regarding his first name. The Census of 1910 listed the couple in Murray County as Green E. Henry and Mannie (Mamie). A niece and nephew both insist that they remember Mamie's husband name was G. C. Henry, which stood for Grover Cleveland, the same as their father. The fate of Mamie's husband is unknown.

Family records reveal other useful information:

Ida Ardelia Pendley was born in 1875 and died in 1875 in Pickens County, Ga.

Willard Lee Pendley was born in 1877 and died in 1964 in Imperial County, Calif.

Willis Hayes Pendley was born in 1878 and died in 1952 in Worth County, Ga.

Note: Several family histories claim that Willard and Willis were twins,

however, the Census of 1880 listed Willis at age 3 and Willard at age 2.

Monie Estell Pendley was born in 1880 and died in 1916 in Oklahoma.

Virgil Clayton Pendley was born 1881 and died 1953 in Imperial County, Calif.

Leila Elizabeth Pendley, born 1885, married Anderson, died 1973 in Murray County, Ga.

Mary Bell "Mamie" was born 1887, married Henry. Widowed. Death details unknown.

Georgia Anne Pendley was born 1889 and died 1948 in Murray County, Ga.

Sarah Addie was born 1890, married Terry, died 1978 in Murray County, Ga.

Rose Mae was born 1893, married Carlock, died 1915 in Murray County, Ga.

Dewey Hobson Pendley was born 1898 and died in 1973 in Whitfield County, Ga.

"Infant daughter of W. M. & H. M. Pendley died 1899 in Murray County, Ga.

"Virley Ethel Pendley, daughter of W. M. & H. M Pendley, died 1899 in Murray Co. Ga.

Note: Grave markers for all above who died in Murray are in Old Spring Place Cemetery.

Although numerous family trees list this Pendley man's name and birth date differently, his tombstone in the old Spring Place Cemetery clearly shows his name as William M. Pendley, and his years as 1854 - 1937. Harriet's marker includes dates 1856 - 1939.

Back One Generation

William M. Pendley's father was Jesse Pendley, born about 1816 in North Carolina. Jesse married Mary Ann "Polly" Gravitt in Forsyth County, Georgia, October 23, 1842.

The 1860 Census listed the family as: Jesse Pendley, age 44; Mary A., age36; Mary L., age 14; Thomas S., age 12; Rufus C., age 11; Samuel T., age 8; William, age 6; and Barbary M., age 3. The family lived in the Sharp Mountain community of Pickens County, Georgia, using the post office at Rich Mountain, Ga.

Family history indicates that Jesse probably was part Indian.

Jesse served in the Confederate Army, Capt. Ritter's Company, Georgia Light Artillery. He was a sergeant in Co. C, Stephen's Light Artillery Battery, when he was discharged.

The 1870 Census added three new children to the household: Marcilla, age 11; Stephen, age 8; and Cassey, age 5. The family was still living in Pickens County, Georgia.

Family records indicate that Jesse Pendley died in 1871. Polly was born in 1822 and died in 1880.


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