This week’s #MarkerMonday explores the Bleckley County historical marker. Bleckley County is located in central Georgia and was established by the Georgia General Assembly on July 30, 1912. The county was made up of land from Pulaski County and named after Chief Justice Logan E. Bleckley of the Georgia Supreme Court, who passed away a few years earlier in 1907. While the land was still a part of Pulaski County in 1884, the College of the New Ebenezer Association was established.
New Ebenezer College was organized by Baptist churches from surrounding counties to create a denominational (religious) school for White students. The city of Cochran, the current county seat of Bleckley County, contributed $8,500 and five acres of land to the creation of the school. The school opened to about 100 students on January 10, 1887, and reported nearly 120 students by September 1888. By 1894, the college’s curriculum was described in The Christian Index as, “unsectarian, and purely literary, theology is not taught in its halls. We see no reason why all denominations, and people of no denomination, should not feel proud of the college.” However, in 1897, the New Ebenezer Association stopped supporting the school and it closed by 1898.
The former campus was used to house a branch of the Georgia State College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts, opening in October 1919. Under the Perry Act of 1906, each congressional district of Georgia was required to offer an agricultural and mechanical (A & M) school. Originally named Middle Georgia Agricultural and Mechanical Junior College, it was changed to Middle Georgia College in 1929.
In 2012, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents voted to merge Middle Georgia College with Macon State College and name the new institution Middle Georgia State College. In 2015, the school became eligible to award master’s degrees, changed its name to Middle Georgia College University, and adopted the mission: Middle Georgia State University educates and graduates inspired, lifelong learners whose scholarship and careers enhance the region through professional leadership, innovative partnerships and community engagement.
Explore the links below to learn more:
New Georgia Encyclopedia – Bleckley County
New Georgia Encyclopedia – Middle Georgia College
Middle Georgia State University – Middle Georgia College History
Middle Georgia State University – History Of Middle Georgia State University