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Louis Cohen Family Papers

Identifier: Mss 190

Scope and Contents

Researchers studying the Louis Cohen Family Papers will gain insight into early Jewish life in Sandersville, Georgia, and Jews in politics. The papers are arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within each folder.


  • Creation: 1875 - 1996


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Louis Cohen was born in Germany in 1849 and came to America with his parents at the age of 3. He spent his youthful days in Americus, Georgia, and came to this section in his young manhood.

He first engaged in business at Tennille and later moved to Sandersville where he was associated with the firm of Pinkus Happ and Company. Louis Cohen later entered the banking business in which he was engaged for approximately 29 years. He was also interested in a cotton warehouse, sold wagons and buggies, and was president of the Birmingham Guano Company.

Mr. Cohen was one of Sandersville's most aggressive businessmen and had large interests which were profitable. With Judge Beverly D. Evans he established the Sandersville and Tennille Telephone Exchange. which later merged with Southern Bell Telephone Company. He installed the first electric light system in Sandersville. He was one of the most active citizens in obtaining the municipal-owned electric lights and waterworks and sewerage system, which was one of Sandersville's more forward steps during the administration of Dr. D.L. Cheatham as mayor of the city. Mr. Cohen also served the city as mayor and also was a member of the City Council. For 30 years he was a member of the City Board of Education, serving 11 years as president.

He built the short line railroad between Sandersville and Tennille, after the first road had been purchased by the Augusta Southern.

Mr. Cohen was also the owner of Cohen's Jewelry Store.

In 1898 Mr. Cohen built a bandstand on the courthouse grounds. The Florence Symphony, named for Louis Cohen's daughter, Florence Cohen (Lieberman) was popular attraction there in the early 1900's.

He was married to Miss Annie Happ, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pinkus Happ. They had one son, Edward H. Cohen, and a daughter, Florence Cohen Lieberman.

Louis Cohen died at his home on North Harris Street, Wednesday, February 10, 1937, at the age of 88, and is buried in Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia.

Source: "Cotton to Kaolin, A History of Washington County, Georgia, 1784-1989," pg. 303.


0.6 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



A German immigrant, Louis Cohen was elected mayor of Sandersville in 1887 and served several terms. The papers consist of certificates from the Banking House of Louis Cohen, family genealogical materials, a scrapbook completed by Louis Cohen, the recipe book of Henrietta Happ, family bibles containing additional genealogical records, and correspondence from Cohen and Happ family members.


The papers are arranged in alphabetical order by subject and chronologically within each folder.

Physical Location

The Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History, The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309.

Louis Cohen Family Papers, Mss 190
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum Repository

1440 Spring St. NW
Atlanta Georgia 30309 United States