How Did Danville, Georgia Get Its Name?

How Did Danville, Georgia Get Its Name?


In the quaint town of Danville, Georgia, nestled amid the Southern charm and sunflowers of middle Georgia, lies a tale that’s as straightforward as it is somewhat humorous. This little town owes its name to none other than a guy named Dan – well, Daniel Greenwood Hughes, to be precise.

Picture this: it’s 1892, a time when naming towns after significant local figures was all the rage. Danville, initially known as “Hughes,” began as a humble railroad stop in 1891. The tracks reached this speck on the map, and with them came the seeds of a community​​. But it wasn’t until 1905 that the Georgia General Assembly decided to make things official, incorporating it as the “Town of Danville.”​

Now, let’s talk about the man behind the name. Daniel Greenwood Hughes, born in 1828, was a figure of some prominence, being the father of Congressman Dudley Mays Hughes. Congressman Hughes, a man of influence in his own right, was born in 1848 in Jeffersonville in Twiggs County. He had quite the life, dropping out of the University of Georgia in 1869 to manage his father’s plantation near Danville​​​​.

So there you have it — a town named after a man named Dan. It’s may sound a bit like calling a place “Bobville” after a local hero named Bob, but Danville stands as a testament to the simplicity of 19th-century naming conventions, where towns were often christened in honor of local luminaries or, in this case, their fathers.

Danville’s origins may not be the stuff of legend or myth, but they certainly embody a slice of American history, flavored with a dash of familial pride and a sprinkle of straightforwardness.

After all, in a time when town names were often drawn from illustrious historical figures or grandiose concepts, the residents of Danville kept it refreshingly real. They simply looked around, tipped their hats to a respected local figure, and said, “Let’s name it Danville, after ol’ Dan Hughes.” And so, a town was born, carrying a legacy as modest and enduring as its namesake.

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