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Joel Hurt Papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS65

Scope and Contents of the Collection

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.


  • 1859-1920


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Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.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.

Administrative/Biographical History

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.


0.5 linear ft.



Arrangement of the Papers

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

Acquisition Information

Gift of Frank Carroll, 1974 (1974.008)

General Physical Description note

(1 document box)

Processing Information

Collection reprocessed in 2008

Joel Hurt papers
Inventory prepared by Melanie Stephan
February 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305