Important Women of Liberty County
March is Women’s History Month and as an all-female office, we figured why not celebrate that! We’re honoring women from Liberty County that have made an impact on our community and beyond. These women each have their own distinct legacy and all have been instrumental in affecting change in the lives of many others!
Mary Musgrove was a child of bicultural beginnings, she was born to an English trader & his wife, a Creek Indian. Musgrove grew up embracing both cultures she was born into and taking advantage of her heritage to maintain peace in the developing colony of Georgia. Utilizing her ability to speak both English and the Creek language she became a successful trader with her husband. She & her husband helped James Oglethorpe navigate the waters when interacting with the Creek Indians and subsequently helped settle St. Catherines Island. Musgrove later sold the island to Button Gwinnett (one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence).
Susie King Taylor was born a slave on Isle of Wight in Liberty County. Despite the harsh laws of the time period she was able to receive a formal education at secret schools. Because of the opportunity for education, Taylor later went on to become the first African American to teach openly in a school for freed slaves. After marrying she joined her husband’s regiment and taught African American soldiers to read & write during their free time. Taylor went on to establish multiple schools for African Americans and even wrote & published Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops, Late 1st S.C. Volunteers, making her the only African American woman to publish a memoir of her experiences while at war.
Elisabeth B. Moore began her six-year tenure as Dorchester Academy’s sole female African American headmistress in 1925. Moore introduced physical education, as well as the use of educational movies at Dorchester in 1927. During Moore’s time, Dorchester’s football and basketball teams developed strongly. Moore also introduced swimming and tennis but died before the programs could be completed.
Carrie Kent Brown was one of five members of the all-women council appointed by then Governor Jimmy Carter when the city of Walthourville was incorporated in 1974. She would go on to become the first African American woman elected as mayor in the state of Georgia. Brown was determined to do great work in Walthourville and made it her mission to learn what was necessary for the city to succeed. She was a true trailblazer and made a difference in the lives of Walthourville citizens, as well as her own 10 children.
Second from the left, Lyndol Anderson was born in 1922 on a farm in Bulloch County. In 1942 she married William Hollis Anderson with whom she moved to Walthourville in 1958. The family opened Anderson’s Groceries which was a small store that carried everything the community needed. Anderson was known to support those in need by giving away food and other items for free. The community in returned repaid Andersons’s compassion with love and respect. Walthourville was incorporated in 1974 and Anderson became the first mayor surrounded by an all-female city council. Anderson wasn’t just the first mayor of Walthourville, she was also the first female mayor in the state of Georgia.
Delisha Milton-Jones is a Riceboro native that graduated from Bradwell Institute. She played high school basketball and went on to play college basketball at the University of Florida. Milton-Jones played in the summer Olympics in 2000 & 2008, winning gold both times. In 2005, she became the second woman ever to coach a men’s basketball team and in 2017 she became the head coach at Pepperdine University. She is one of the first in a long line of successful athletes to come from Liberty County.
Our last for now is Dawn Baker. Recognize that name? Yep she’s an anchor on WTOC! Hailing again from Riceboro, Baker has created a legacy of empowering women that will be remembered for years to come. She joined WTOC in 1989 and is now the co-anchor for the 5:30 & 11:00 news. Her scholarship program, “The Dawning of a Miracle Scholarship,” has awarded thousands of dollars to deserving young ladies with chronic or life-threatening illnesses striving to attend college. Her book Dawn’s Daughter: Everything a Woman Needs to Know also donates a portion of the proceeds to the scholarship fund.
These are just a few examples of strong women in Liberty County and many more are leading the way today! We’re looking forward to seeing many more strong women come out of our community in the future.