Canon Universalist

Franklin County
Org 1885
Photography by Randy Clegg

There are three unique churches, all on the National Register, in the small village of Canon, located on the western edge of Franklin County.  The photo you see above is that of Canon Universalist, founded by John M. Bowers in 1885 and still an active church today.  John was also well known as the editor and publisher of the Universalist Herald, which he purchased in 1896 and moved from Notasulga, Alabama to Canon.  The Universalist Herald was published in Canon until 1991.  The other two churches are Canon Baptist, organized in 1895 and Canon Methodist, organized in 1905.  You can get a quick glimpse of the Baptist and Methodist churches in the gallery photos below.  All were placed on the National Register in 1985.

Canon, located on the western edge of Franklin County is a picturesque little farm village located three miles from Bowersville, in Hart County. It was called West Bowersville when laid out in 1875 but, when the town was incorporated in 1902, the name was changed to Canon to avoid confusion with Bowersville.  Franklin County, created in 1784,  was the first county established in Georgia after the Revolutionary War.  It was inhabited by the Lower Cherokee Indians until they ceded the land in the treaty of 1783.  This part of Georgia was settled by the descendants of Job Bowers, who was born in Virginia in 1755 and settled in Georgia around the time of the Revolution.  He served in the war and while home on furlough in 1779, he was dragged from his home by a group of Loyalists and murdered.  His wife, Charity, was subsequently given substantial land in gratitude for Job’s service. The Bowers family roots run deep in this part of Georgia.and many of Job’s descendants are still here and very active in the community.

It is very unusual to have three historic churches in one small (population is just over 800) rural village.  The other two, Canon Baptist and Methodist, are visible in the gallery photos below.  We are grateful that these treasures have been saved and two of them, the Universalist and the Methodist, have active congregations today.  The Baptist church is also still active but the congregation worships in a newer and larger facility.  Be sure to click and scroll the photos below for more history and information.