Legacy of Famous Residents Lingers as Valdosta Turns 152 Years Old

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Valdosta, GA, December 7, 2012 - One hundred and fifty two years ago the state of Georgia officially incorporated the city of Valdosta.

Valdosta's Mayor, John Gayle, said "Valdosta's like a lot of other things, the older we get the better we get."

The city is encouraging citizens to visit the Lowndes County Museum on West Central Avenue for a taste of the past. Which includes some famous faces.

Donald Davis is the Lowndes County Museum Executive Director. He said "the most recognized citizens of Valdosta lived here early, which was Doc Holiday and James Lloyd Pierponte that wrote jingle bells."

Doc Holiday is most famous for being a wild west gun slinger. But before that notoriety he was a dentist here in Valdosta. But he wasn't the first Holiday to make an impact on the city.

Davis went on to say "Doc Holiday's father was the mayor of Valdosta. At least we know for two terms. And he was also very much interested in agriculture and introduced the pecan tree to this area."

In the 1800's there were just a couple hundred people living in Valdosta. Now there's more than 50,000.

With the gradual growth, building businesses has been a top priority.
Mayor John Gayle said "we do need to continue to try and attract industry especially high paying jobs."

The top three employers in Valdosta are Moody Air Force Base, Valdosta State University and South Georgia Medical Center. Collectively they have an annual economic impact of more than a billion dollars.

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