PTC Pioneers

Fri, 07/03/2009 - 3:12pm
By: John Munford

50-plus notable people who shaped the new city

The following people are among the many who not only helped get Peachtree City off to a solid start 50 years ago but also have played significant roles in shaping the city as it continues to evolve. It is worth mentioning that many of the “old timers” on this list still live here.

We realize that despite our efforts this list is not complete. It is our hope that you will help us correct such omissions via email to so we may continue to honor those who played major roles in making Peachtree City the wonderful place it is today.

Norman Paschal, owner of the city’s longest operating industry, which routinely reinvents its mission and is active in worldwide trade markets.

Dr. Henry Drake, Peachtree City’s first doctor.

Dan Lakly, served multiple elected terms as city councilman, county commissioner and state representative.

Paul Heard, state representative, former City Council member and one-time gubernatorial candidate.

Jimmy Booth, founder and publisher of the city’s first newspaper, “This Week in Peachtree City.”

“Brother” Myron Leach, the city’s first fire chief.

Louise Leach, the sister of Brother Leach, who answered and dispatched fire calls from her home.

Gerald Reed, who died as chief after presiding over a period of tremendous growth for the department.

Steve Black and Doug Mitchell, principals of Peachtree City Development Corporation, the company that by and large planned and developed Peachtree City from the late 1970s until now. PCDC is now known as Pathway Communities.

Jerry Peterson, a land planner who worked for PCDC, designed the median protecting a large stately tree at the intersection of Braelinn and Robinson Roads, and — incidentally — named the majority of villages, subdivisions and roads in Peachtree City.

Jim Williams, long-time City Planner regarded for getting the best out of developers. He’s now the city manager of Fairburn.

Jerry Cobb, volunteer director of The Great Georgia Airshow for many years.

Joel Cowan, Ralph Jones, Chip Conner, Howard Morgan, Herb Frady, Frederick Brown Jr., Bob Lenox and Steve Brown, former mayors who each played their own significant role in shaping the city.

Jim Basinger, city manager during a period of significant growth who routinely bragged about the hard work of his fellow city employees.

James Murray, the city’s longest-serving police chief who professionalized the department by securing state and national accreditation.

Bob Huddleston, one of the largest landowners in Peachtree City before it became a city. His farm encompassed the land on which Walmart and Home Depot now sit.

Sallie Satterthwaite, volunteer firefighter and EMT in the early days and documentarian of those days as a long-time newspaper columnist.

Jim and Marilyn Royal, owners of the city’s longest-standing restaurant, Partner’s Pizza, which keeps expanding.

Jim Hudson, owner of Hudson’s Grocery, the town’s first grocery store.

Frances Meaders, long-time city clerk who still attends occasional meetings when city officials need to be “set straight.”

M.T. Allen, the city’s longest-serving librarian.

Miriam Fulton, Peachtree City’s first Realtor.

Tom Farr, banker and former chairman of the Peachtree City Development Authority which operated and expanded the city’s tennis center.

Floy Farr, the father of Tom Farr, who ran Fayette State Bank, the city’s first bank that was crucial in financing many pioneer businesses in the city.

Stan Neely, who was instrumental in getting emergency medical service started in the city.

Joel Cowan, long considered the “father” of Peachtree City and also the city’s first mayor.

Pete Knox, the man who hired Cowan to spearhead the Peachtree City project.

Wright Lipford, one of the city’s first city attorneys.

Jim Savage, former airport manager for Falcon Field, which has become regarded as one of the finest general aviation airports in Georgia.

Bill Roquemore, built all three of Peachtree City’s golf courses: Flat Creek, Braelinn and Planterra.

Luther Glass, the venerable first president of Peachtree City’s Rotary Club.

Tutt Cawthorne, volunteer dedicated to reorganizing and developing the PTC library.

Arnold Cheek of Cheek’s Electronics, a repair business that received the first official business license in the city.

Robert K. Price who was one of the driving forces behind a play in 1976 at the city amphitheater that told the story of Chief William McIntosh.

Attorney Wesley Asinof, served as municipal court judge in the 1980s.

Mitch Powell, followed Asinof as municipal court judge after serving for many years as city attorney.

Jim Strickland, Rod Barkow, Vince Rossetti, Richard Bearden, Richard McCarl and Bill Barnwell are each considered “pioneer” builders who built the first homes in Peachtree City.

Reba and Claude Thompson – had the first pharmacy in town which included a lunch counter (famous for its homemade chicken salad) and a soda fountain.

Nick Harris and Jim Daughtry, the driving forces behind the creation of the Field of Hope, a handicap-accessible baseball field.

Luther Holt, a tireless supporter of recreation activities for children.

Colleen Sugar and Tate Godfrey, who helped lead the charge to create the Luther Holt All Children’s Playground at Picnic Park, designed so children of all abilities can play together.

Haskell Barber, the city’s first police chief.

Mike Smith, owner of the city’s first package store.

Ed Koons, city engineer in the early 1970s.

Marcy Curry, spearheaded the committee in charge of the city’s 25th anniversary celebration.

Know somebody who should be in this list? Commemorate their contributions by emailing names, dates and accomplishments to Put “PTC pioneers” in your email subject line. We will add them to our online “PTC Pioneers” story.

login to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Sat, 07/04/2009 - 10:39pm.

Willard Byrd of Willard C. Byrd & Associates and his employee Walter Hunziker should be included.

Hunziker suggested to homebuilding clients of Byrd’s firm to examine the process of building new towns instead of hundreds of scattered subdivisions, which was the norm.

One specific client of Willard C. Byrd & Associates was the only one willing to listen to the wild idea of forming new towns, and his name was Pete Knox, Jr., owner of Thompson, Ga.-based Knox Homes.

Byrd and Hunziker were instrumental in creating the concept of Peachtree City for Pete Knox, Jr. and a group of his fellow investors.

You will notice that most of the earliest conceptual drawings of Peachtree City have Hunizker’s name etched on them.

For the most part, unfortunately, Byrd and Hunziker have been left our to the city's history.

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Sat, 07/04/2009 - 10:43pm.

My research shows that Flat Creek Golf Club opened in 1968 and was designed by Joe Lee.

Bill Roquemore entered the picture later with Braelinn and Planterra. Roquemore's family did obtain ownership of Flat Creek, but it was later sold to the current owner.

TinCan's picture
Submitted by TinCan on Sun, 07/05/2009 - 12:07pm.

Just curious, why do you lead each subject with your name? Isn't seeing it in the "submitted by" enough? I believe that device began with Don Haddix, but he stopped. After this one I'm quiting too.

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Sun, 07/05/2009 - 10:40pm.

Hi TinCan. The "Steve Brown:" is merely a search device. It helps me pull-up all of my comments using search engine tools for future reference.

It is also a good way of locating a particular news story (where I made a comment) when you cannot remember the headline.

God bless the Internet.

TinCan's picture
Submitted by TinCan on Mon, 07/06/2009 - 12:14pm.

That makes a lot more sense than the other responses my question elicited. Hope you don’t feel “destroyed” by it as one really “astute” observer opined. Do have to admit I thought it may have been for other purposes.

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Sun, 07/05/2009 - 12:24pm.

Yeah, you oughta give that up alright--personally, I kinda favor "Destroyer" anyway--much more descriptive!

Submitted by Bonkers on Sun, 07/05/2009 - 2:10pm.

You are correct about Destroyer---now more than ever.

I have a close relative about to embark onto a new Missle Destroyer.

I also remember watching "tin cans" go underwater in rough seas when we were refueling them from a carrier!!!

TinCan's picture
Submitted by TinCan on Sun, 07/05/2009 - 2:00pm.

Don't think Steve is that athletic!

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Sun, 07/05/2009 - 3:46pm.

I have lived in unincorporated Fayette County since 1986 and observed all the PTC political antics from a comfortable distance. Two words describe the residents: Never Satisfied. But back to the subject: I think Brown served them better than they realize.

Submitted by Bonkers on Sun, 07/05/2009 - 2:32pm.

I know what a surp porter is!

One of those guys in the Vermont woods who carries buckets of maple syrup out of the woods to the bottling plant!

Submitted by Spyglass on Sat, 07/04/2009 - 6:54am.

at the Fred..good times...

Submitted by wheeljc on Fri, 07/03/2009 - 8:14pm.

This is a great tribute to leaders who established the underpinnings of a city which is now routinely sited nationally as a place to raise a family --- and live an enjoyable life!

Great work John Munford -- and The Citizen!!

Submitted by Bonkers on Sat, 07/04/2009 - 7:39am.

There are people on there who cost us millions with Tennis Centers.

There are people on there who engaged in pornography and was fired!


Why not just include Michael the Pedophile and doper?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.