CATAULA
ORIGIN OF NAME AND EARLY HISTORY

Cataula bears a Creek Indian name which has been given two meanings. Some authorities say that itmeans Big Rock; others that it means Dead Mulberry. In either case, the village has had an interesting history since trail days.

Cataula is located in lower Harris County, on the Central of Georgia Railway and U. S. Highway 27. The area surrounding the place is known officially as the Cataula District of the Georgia Militia District No. 696.

Militia Districts in Georgia, the relatively low 696 indicates that the Cataula Community is comparatively old.)

The site became the location of permanent settlements. The word is derived from the Muskogee word Kitali or Ke-to-lee; signifying withered or dead mulberry. Presumably, the name referred to a locality where there were once some deadened trees of this species. A likely spot for the original Indian site is a crossroads located five miles west of Cataula, and which is and has long been known as Mulberry Grove. This last community lies a short distance to the south of Mulberry Creek, which perpetuates in English a part of the aboriginal name.

One can be certain of this point since Col. Hawkins mentioned the stream in 1797 as the Ketalee. In the years between that date and the first survey of Muskogee County, 1826-27, the stream began to take its present name, because one district surveyor referred to it as the Cataulee, two others mentioned it as the Cau-tau-lee or Mulberry and a fourth listed the waterway as "Mulberry Creek." . . . Many Indian words actually ended with the ior ee, and it was a mistake to change the letters to an a. Even now there are old folks around Cataula who say Cataulee, and no doubt leave the impression on some modern people that they are using an ending which has been handed down from Indian days. . . .237

The Post Office has been in operation since March 29, 1836, when George W. Heard was postmaster. In the early days the post office was about one mile below the present location of Cataula.

The chief interest of the Community besides farming was-and has been the building of good schools and strong churches.



237 From "Georgia Mineral News Letter", reprinted in Harris County Journal, 5-5-1960.

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