A prominent citizen of Washington County, Mr. Lewis Cohen was born in Germany in 1849 and came to America at the age of three. He grew up in Americus, GA, and moved to Tennille ca 1877. After a short time in Tennille, he moved to Sandersville and was associated with the firm of Pinkus Happ and Company. He was described as an enthusiastic businessman and was determined to see the town he had adopted grow. He worked diligently for Sandersville's advancements and was one of the town's most aggressive business leaders with numerous and varied profitable interests.
Mr. Cohen began the first banking system in Sandersville in 1885; it being the first banking system between Macon and Savannah. He continued to be involved in the banking business for approximately twenty-nine years. He was responsible for the first cotton warehouse being built in Sandersville. He also sold wagons and buggies and when the Birmingham Guano Company was located in Sandersville, he served as President of the company. He built the first ginnery and flour mills, which afterward he sold to Wiley Harris and Sons.
Lewis Cohen built the short line railroad between Sandersville and Tennille after the first railroad had been purchased by the Augusta Southern; worked effortlessly to cause the Sandersville and Tennille Telephone Exchange to be established; promoted the telegraph line from Sandersville to Dublin; installed the first electric light system in the town; worked actively in obtaining the municipal-owned electric light, waterworks, and sewerage system in Sandersville.
Mr. Cohen served on the city council as well as serving as Mayor. For thirty years he was a member of the City Board of Education and for eleven of these years, he served as president. He was also the owner of Cohen's Jewelry Store. Mr. Louis Cohen died at his home in Sandersville on 10th February 1937 at the age of 88 years. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, GA.
Lewis Cohen Stone Step
The stone step with the name lewis cohen inscribed came from the front yard of Mr. Cohen's home on north harris street in Sandersville. The stone was used in his era to assist ladies as they stepped in and out of carriages. The home was demolished a number of years ago to allow for the expansion of the George d. Warthen bank. When the stone step was removed it was only befitting that it be placed beside the gazebo on the courthouse square. In 1898 Mr. Cohen had the gazebo built for his daughter Florence so concerts could be held there for her enjoyment and the enjoyment of the town.
Researched by Mary Murphy April 2015