The city of Buford was named after ALGERNON SIDNEY BUFORD, the president of the Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Railroad. He came from a long line of notable Virginians, earned a law degree from UVA, and served multiple terms in the Virginia State Assembly. During the railroad’s 20 years of rapid growth, he presided as president. Although his primary residence was in Richmond, Virginia, he kept an office in Atlanta at 69 Whitehall Street, Suite 201 while the railroad was being built through the Peach State and the Carolinas.
On August 24, 1872, the “Town of Buford” was formally established through legislative action. The city officially became known as “Buford” in 1896.
Buford is a recent arrival in the annals of history. Despite its brevity, Buford’s history is noteworthy.
The “sleepy little village” image that pervaded so many small towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was never really present in Buford. The town’s rapid development and early focus on schools are clear indicators that it was early blessed with able, far-sighted citizens interested in business and education. The name “city of many factories” was originally given to Buford. Buford was lauded as the “New York of Gwinnett” in a December 18, 1902 article published by the News-Herald. Don’t forget to learn about Loganville, Georgia here too.
For over sixty years, Buford was Gwinnett County’s most populous city, and for the majority of that time, it was also home to the county’s only significant industrial growth. Throughout this time period, it was a major player in county politics. In 1900, Buford already dominated the county, and the Sugar Hill Militia District boasted the most ad valorem taxpayers of any area.
The first county bank was established in Buford. Before any other permanent banking facilities opened in the county, Buford was already home to two thriving banks.
All through its history, Buford has been proud of its excellent educational institutions. Students from all over the county and even neighboring counties have traveled to Buford to earn the school’s illustrious diploma for decades.
The tannery” is a common misnomer in recent and contemporary discussions of Buford’s historical economy. Although leather tanning played a vital role in the city’s industrial complex by supplying the raw material for other operations, it was only one of many factories that contributed to Buford’s reputation as “The Leather City” across the country and beyond. During its prime, Bona Allen, Inc. manufactured a wide variety of high-quality leather goods, including footwear, saddles known both in and out of Hollywood, harness, and horse collars. In addition to being a leading adhesives producer, the company also ran the only southern glue plant. The city also had a sizable farming industry, with products including straw for horse collars.
The book “Historic Buford” by Handsel Grady Morgan gives readers access to additional information and history about the city. You can buy a copy of the book at the Buford Municipal Building.
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