Sawyer family papers
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Sawyer family papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Hawkes, Lillian Sawyer, 1893-1990.
Creator: Hawkins, William S., 1845-1915.
Creator: Izan, John L.
Creator: Sawyer, Clinton Howell, 1864-1936.
Title: Sawyer family papers
Dates: 1858-1931
Extent: 2.25 cubic feet (4 boxes, 2 volumes)
Identification: MS 0713

Biographical/Historical Note

Clinton Howell Sawyer (1864-1936) was born in Macon, Georgia. His family moved to Savannah when he was quite young. Allegedly, he was the first person to construct a gas engine in a bicycle frame; he also may have built the first motorcycle in this region. He invented other machines and mechanical devices, among them being the Sawyer Spar Cutter. He was in the automobile tour business in Savannah for awhile, but moved to New Hampshire in 1916, and then to Washington D.C., where he also conducted tour businesses. At the time of his death he was living in New York City where he president of the American mast and Spar Company. His wife was Willie Swoll of Savannah. They had a daughter, Lillian Sawyer Hawkes. Lillian lived in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

William S. Hawkins (1845-1915) was bon in Savannah. He was a cousin of Willie Swoll Sawyer. He was prominent in the lumber business and operated saw and planing mills in various places in Georgia, such as Wheaton, Waynesville, Brunswick, and Statesboro. His last such business was the South Atlantic Lumber Company of Savannah. The principal lumber was yellow pine.

John L. Izan operated a beauty parlor in Savannah between 1922 and 1930.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of the papers of the Sawyer family, including correspondence, printed materials and clippings, household account books, a manuscript music album, photographs, cash books, and stock books. The papers are divided into four sections: Clinton Howell Sawyer papers, 1910-1919; Lillian Sawyer Hawkes papers, 1945-1961; William S. Hawkins papers, 1858-1911; and John L. Izan records, 1906-1930.

The Clinton Howell Sawyer papers include correspondence regarding Sawyer's automobile and tour service, indentures and agreements for sales of automobiles, the constitution of Savannah Epworth League Union, and a clipping with attached photograph of the Sawyer spar cutter. Also included are photographs of the Savannah Auto Livery Co. cars, the 1912 Savannah High School Girls' basketball team, the First Savannah High School Girls' Varsity team, and three photographs of the YMCA boy's athletics, circa 1910-1916.

The Lillian Sawyer Hawkes papers include letters concerning Willie Swolls Sawyer's estate and a 1945 property survey by the Georgia Ports Authority.

The William S. Hawkins papers include letters and a notice to Hawkins. All of the W.S. Hawkins papers pertain to his lumber business. One letter mentions deaths from yellow fever and the elections of teachers at Massie School. The collection also includes his business correspondence regarding lumber, mills, equipment for mills, orders, and quotations. In addition, there are surveys of Melrose Park in Chatham County, Irwin County (Ga., 1889), the lands of the Columbia Lumber Co., and 3 unidentified surveys.

The John L. Izan records include two cash books, two stock books, and an account book.

Index Terms

Automobile industry and trade--Georgia--Savannah.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Hawkes, Lillian Sawyer, 1893-1990.
Hawkins, William S., 1845-1915.
Izan, John L.
Letters (correspondence)
Sawyer, Clinton Howell, 1864-1936.
Sheet music.
Surveys (documents)
Yellow fever.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material was acquired from one of the creators.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Sawyer family papers, MS 713, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Lillian Sawyer Hawkes, 1958.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List




11Clinton Howell Sawyer papers, 1910-1919 ( 30.0 items. )
Correspondence and other papers, 1916-1919. All except two letters are to C.H. Sawyer re his automobiles and tour service. The exceptions are one by C.H. Sawyer to the Chatham County Tax Assessor, July 6, 1916, regarding taxes on his automobiles, and the other by William Swoll Sawyer to O'Byrne, Hartridge & Wright, February 16, 1918 re balance due on C.H. Sawyer's subscription to the Savannah Tourist and Convention Bureau. Clipping from The marine News, September 1919, regarding the Sawyer spar cutter, with attached photograph of the knife of the beveling machine. Indentures and agreement for sales of automobiles, 1911-1916. constitution of Savannah Epworth League Union, undated. Financial accounts of trips ad license to operate a vehicle in Washington, D.C. for passenger transportation, November 1, 1916. Receipted bills for auto supplies and repairs, 1910-1916. Fi fa issues on C.H. Sawyer by the Savannah Marshall, June 30, 1916. Ticket for "Sawyer's Tours." Unidentified list of household furnishings left in various places.
2Clinton Howell Sawyer papers, 1910-1919 ( 13.0 items. )
Printed materials and clippings. Tribute of Respect, Dr. Joseph J. Robertson of Washington, Ga., 1873; Thermometrical Observations at Clarkesville, Habersham County, Georgia,...1847, 1848, 1849 (extract from H. Doc. 102, 1852); invitation to closing exercises of the Boy's Bible Study Clubs, Savannah YMCA, 1912; Rule for Ascertaining the Amount of Paint Required to Cover a Desired Surface; undated clippings: obit of Zach Herbert, obit of Julian Hartridge; Old Landmarks: Building the Chatham Academy; Lee's Natal Day Celebration...; Grant and Lee at Appomattox; Grant and Lee in England; Death of Stonewall Jackson; "Off For the Sunny South..." by William Drysdale from The New York Times, March 24, 1898; Songs to Make Your Happy, compliments of Savannah Tourist and Convention Bureau.
3Clinton Howell Sawyer papers, 1910-1919 ( 2.0 items. )
Household account books, November 1, 1890-June 24, 1895; October 13-November 11, 1893.
45Clinton Howell Sawyer papers, 1910-1919 ( 1.0 items. )
Music album, manuscript. Words and music.
4Clinton Howell Sawyer papers, 1910-1919 ( 6.0 items. )
Photographs: Savannah Auto Livery Co. cars lined up, C.H. Sawyer, driver of one, circa 1907-1908 (2 photos on one card); Savannah High School girls' basketball team, 1912; First Savannah High School Girls' Varsity team (Lillian Sawyer Hawkes in both photos); 3 photos of YMCA boy's athletics, circa 1910-1916.
5Lillian Sawyer Hawkes papers, 1945-1961 ( 5.0 items. )
Letters of Thomas and Hutton to Lillian S. Hawkes re survey of some property belonging to the estate of Willie S. Sawyer, enclosing a line tracing (attached is a note from Mrs. Hawkes to Lilla M. Hawes, August 21, 1961, telling how much the city paid for the tract), 1951-1954; The Bayou Corporation in Account with Lillian Sawyer Hawkes, William Swoll Sawyer, and Clinton Howell Sawyer, Jr., February 28, 1955; property survey, Georgia Ports Authority...1945.
6-7William S. Hawkins papers, 1858-1911 ( 48.0 items. )
Letters and notices to William S. Hawkins, 1858-1911. The first letter, October 9, 1859, may not have been sent to Hawkins, as there is no addressee. It mentions deaths from yellow fever and elections of teachers at Massie School. The second letter, October 8, 1883 is from Antonio Gorgoza asking Hawkins to be a godfather for his newborn son. Others concern shares in the schooner, Mabel Hooper, Savannah Hotel Co. (mostly printed notices, invitations, etc. regarding the opening of the DeSoto Hotel, stock-holder's shares, etc.) and property. Included in folder 7 are receipted bills, 1891-1898.
8W.S. Hawkins business correspondence, 1892 July 14-1899 December 4 ( 26.0 items. )
Letters to and from Hawkins regarding lumber, mills, equipment for mills, orders, quotations, etc.
9W.S. Hawkins business correspondence, 1900 August 17-1912 November 30 ( 24.0 items. )
10W.S. Hawkins business correspondence, 1912 December ( 23.0 items. )
11W.S. Hawkins business correspondence, 1913 January 1-February 24 ( 29.0 items. )
12W.S. Hawkins business correspondence, 1913 March 4-April 24 ( 23.0 items. )
13W.S. Hawkins business correspondence, 1913 May 1-July 11, and undated ( 24.0 items. )



214W.S. Hawkins: cost of timber for the months of May and July 1884 ( 2.0 items. )
15W.S. Hawkins: bills, promissory notes, etc., 1879-1894 ( 27.0 items. )
16W.S. Hawkins: bills, promissory notes, etc., 1895-1907 ( 47.0 items. )
17W.S. Hawkins: bills, promissory notes, etc., 1908-1913 ( 47.0 items. )
18W.S. Hawkins: notes, etc., undated ( 22.0 items. )
19W.S. Hawkins: Gibbes Machinery Co.; agreements, promissory notes, bills, 1906-1908 ( 15.0 items. )
20W.S. Hawkins: Brinson Railway Co., 1913 ( 30.0 items. )
Bills for transportation.
21W.S. Hawkins: legal documents, 1871-1908 ( 22.0 items. )
deeds to property; agreements; petition; inventory of W.W. Aimar & Co. Plaining Mill, 1889; description of 108 3/4 acres of land on White Bluff Road, Chatham County, 1908; information in reference to lands in Worth County, Ga., 1893-1907.
22W.S. Hawkins: surveys. Melrose Park, Chatham County; Irwin County, Ga., (shows timber lands owned by different companies); lands of Columbia Lumber Co., undated; 1889 ( 6.0 items. )
3 unidentified.
23W.S. Hawkins: printed materials ( 5.0 items. )
Interstate Rules of ascertained, 1911; Lumbermen's Yellow Pine and Cypress Reference Book, 1902 ed. (first 4 pages and title page torn out); Post Office Department Parcel Post Information, 1912; Irwin (County) Superior Court: George P. Northrop vs. Thomas Hurley, et al, 1903; Official Map of Georgia, issued by the Dept. of Agriculture, 1898.
24W.S. Hawkins: small notebooks and account books, 1879, 1880, 1895, 1907, and undated ( 7.0 items. )


3W.S. Hawkins cash book, 1884-1885 ( 1.0 items. )
W.S. Hawkins cash book, 1884-1893 ( 1.0 items. )


4John L. Izan records

Cash book, 1922-1931, 1.0 items.
Account book, 1922-1930, 1.0 items.
Outside box.
Stock book, 1922-1923, 1.0 items.
Stock book, 1929-1930, 1.0 items.
Unidentified cash book, 1906-1907, 1.0 items.
Outside box.