Joyce Millsaps Bryson, June 7, 2005
My maternal grandfather Mac Kenny Cannon & his wife, Mina Nelson Cannon, brought their family to Cartersville on a train from Atlanta to work at the new American Textile Company cotton mill. His family had been employed by the Exposition Cotton Mill in Atlanta, but he had chosen to drive a street car. He got a job as an elevator operator in the Mill. It wasn’t long until his teen age daughter, Kate, met a guy named Alec Buchanan whose parents, Daniel Monroe & Martha Kaylor Buchanan had moved to the Atco Village from Blue Ridge. Dan had served as a Justice of Peace in Fannin County where there were no factories so he came to Atco to get a job in the mill. It wasn’t long until Alec and Kate married and moved to the house on Goodyear Avenue where they spent the rest of their lives.
I was delivered by Dr. McGowan to this couple on December 6, 1926. I lived on Goodyear Avenue when I met my husband John Willie Wilson who was also born in Atco. His parents were Edward Chess and Lula Cornett Wilson. At the time we met they lived in the Echota Cotton Mill Village in Calhoun. After his service in World War 11 He came to work at Goodyear and we lived with my parents on Goodyear Avenue until he could get an apartment in the village. I have many happy memories of my years spent living in Atco.
In 1932 when I was in the 1st grade at the Atco School I was a Japenese girl in a play in chapel. The whole school went to the auditorium on Friday for chapel. The classes took turns putting on a play. I felt very pretty and important performing for the whole school.
In 1939 Ms. Vincent was my teacher. She gave all of us a pink hobnail dish. It is a treasure I have kept for the past 66 years, along with her memory. In 1943 I had serious surgery. . The bus we rode to Cass High had a long route and did not have heat so it would have been a long cold ride. I had to be out of school for so long couldn’t catch up with my class so I did not go back to school.
During WW11 the American Red Cross set up a place in the clubhouse for the ladies to roll bandages to be used by the military hospitals. I felt honored when Ms. Gould, the Atco School Principal called me and asked me to help. Another WW11 memory is the blackouts we had at home at night sometimes. Everyone to turn off the lights or use dark shades . I wrote letters to Willie, my husband to be, and my brother Hugh, who were fighting somewhere in the world. Sometimes the blackouts caught me while I was writing.
I attended the Atco Baptist/Methodist Church, just up the street from my house. I remember the “card” class when I was a very small child. I made friends for life during my years spent at the Atco School and Church.
I wish that every child could have a loving neighborhood such as mine. In 1947 our son Carter was born at the Howell Quillian Hospital in Cartersville. We brought him home to our home in Atco. He attended Atco Elementary School and Atco Baptist Church where he also made lifetime friends.