Joel Hurt Papers
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Joel Hurt Papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30305. 404.814.4040.
Creator: Hurt, Joel, 1850-1926
Title: Joel Hurt Papers
Dates: 1859-1920
Quantity: 0.5 Linear feet
Quantity: (1 document box)
Identification: ahc.MSS65

Biographical/Historical Note

Joel Hurt (1850-1926) was born in Hurtsboro,Alabama to Lucy Apperson Long and Joel Hurt. He attended Auburn Methodist College in Auburn, Alabama for a year before leaving to attend Franklin College (University of Georgia). He graduated from Franklin College in 1871 with the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science and civil engineering. He married Annie Bright Woodruff (27 October 1855 – December 24, 1942) of Columbus, Georgia in 1876 and they had six children: George Fletcher, Virgilee, Mabel,Eva, Joel H., and Sherwood L.Hurt began his professional career surveying lines for the railroad industry before moving to Atlanta in 1875. In 1875, he formed the real estate and insurance company E. F. and Joel Hurt with his brother, Elisha Fletcher Hurt. Upon his brother’s departure to New York, he took on a new partner, James H. Low, and changed the company’s name to Hurt and Low, agents. In 1882, he founded the Atlanta Home Insurance Company and in 1889, he founded the United Underwriters Insurance Company. In 1906, he merged the two companies and in 1914, he sold the company to the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company of San Francisco. During this time, he also established the East Atlanta Land Company and began developing 130 acres of land east of Atlanta. Hurt named the development Inman Park after his friend Samuel Inman, who provided financial support for the project. Inman Park became the first planned suburb in Atlanta. He hired a landscape designer to create a parkland environment with open spaces and public parks. He also established a streetcar line, Atlanta and Edgewood Street Railway, to connect Inman Park with downtown Atlanta.In 1891, he electrified the streetcar line and formed the Atlanta Consolidated Street Railway Company. The same year he established the Kirkwood Land Company, which bought and developed land in northeast Atlanta. In 1903, the development was named Druid Hills.

Hurt also was responsible for the construction of three significant buildings in Atlanta. Construction began on the Equitable Building in 1891 (1971, razed), the Atlanta Theater in 1911, and the Hurt Building in 1926. He was also one of the co-founders of Commercial Travelers Savings Bank (Trust Company Bank of Georgia) and president of Pratt Engineering and Machine Company. His civic duties included water commissioner in 1886,1888, and 1889 and a member of the first legal planning commission. Joel Hurt died on January 9, 1926 and is buried in Oakland Cemetery.

Scope and Content Note

The majority of the Joel Hurt Papers consist of documents pertaining to the East Atlanta Land Company and financial transactions effected by Joel Hurt. Documents found within the collection include deeds, abstracts of title, personal and professional correspondence, financial documents related to various business interests, and an East Atlanta Land Company account book. The bulk of the deeds pertain to land transactions within Fulton County, 14th land district, land lots 51, 52, 77, and 78.


This collection is arranged alphabetically by folder title, supplied by staff.

Index Terms

Abstracts of title--Georgia--Atlanta
Atlanta (Ga.)--History--Sources
Atlanta Herald Newspaper Company.
Contracts for deeds--Georgia--Atlanta
East Atlanta Land Company.
Hurt, Joel, 1850-1926
Land titles--Georgia--Atlanta
Pratt Engineering (Atlanta, Ga.)
Southern Medical College.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[identification of item(s)], Joel Hurt Papers, MSS 65, Kenan Research Center, Atlanta History Center.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Frank Carroll, 1974 (1974.008)

Processing Information

Collection reprocessed in 2008


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Container List




11Account book: East Atlanta Land Company, 1907-1911
2Bill of Sale, Atlanta Herald Newspaper Company, 1894-1895
3Correspondence, 1893-1919
4Deed: East Atlanta Land Company, 1859-1887
5Deeds and related property documents, East Atlanta Land Company and Southern Medical College, 1869-1887
6Deeds and related property documents, East Atlanta Land Company and Southern Medical College, 1890-April 1892
7Deeds and related property documents, East Atlanta Land Company and Southern Medical College, April 1892-1896
8Deeds and related property documents, East Atlanta Land Company and Southern Medical College, 1903-1920
9Deeds and related property documents, East Atlanta Land Company and Southern Medical College, undated
10Financial Documents, 1887-1919
11Legal Documents, primarily pertaining to railway company and Pratt Engineering, 1893-1910
12Miscellaneous, 1911, undated