By Eddie Samples
Posted in Feature Stories 11/27/09
Back in the 1830s, when the area we now know as Atlanta was still a wooded paradise belonging to the Cherokee Nation, Roswell King left his home on St. Simons Island by horseback to visit the new United States Mint in Dahlonega, GA.
En route and upon arrival at the Chattahoochee River, he was impressed with the view of hills north of there and thought of it as a pleasant place for a community. With the river supplying abundant power, he established the Roswell Cotton Mill, and with friends John Dunwody and James Bulloch, decided this was where they would live.
Later in life, the three did the unthinkable and died, with Mr. King leaving his name to the new village, and ditto for Dunwody (aka Dunwoody) on the south side of the river. Mr. Bullock let his daughter Mittie marry Ted Roosevelt and then they had a baby U.S. President (Theodore). All three left their homes (architectural treasures today), and the mill (which Sherman put to a match).
Some sixty years later, and with the mill rebuilt, Jimmy Mosteller was born here, and even though not arriving on horseback as Mr. King did, he became an avid rider.
“Back in the 1940s, Roswell, Georgia was not even remotely part of metro Atlanta,” Mosteller told us. “It was, though, a small town square surrounded by country farm and dirt roads and mills. Roswell was known for its mills, which provided jobs for so many folks. Because of my love of riding experienced from farm life, I became a part-time jockey and managed stables, and even found employment at a dairy.”