Joel Hurt (1850-1926)
Atlanta businessman Joel Hurt was involved in real estate, insurance, and streetcars.
In 1871 Hurt secured his first job, with the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, surveying a line from St. Louis, Missouri, to San Francisco, California. After finishing that assignment, he worked for the Northeastern Railroad, surveying a line in Georgia from Lula to Athens.
Hurt moved to Atlanta in 1875. With his brother, Elisha Fletcher Hurt, he formed E. F. and Joel Hurt, a real estate and insurance firm. The company's name was changed to Hurt and Low when Elisha left for New York, and James H. Low became Joel's partner.
After selling Hurt and Low, Hurt organized and managed the Atlanta Building and Loan Association. In 1882 Hurt established the Atlanta Home Insurance Company, acting as its secretary, and in 1889 he organized the United Underwriters Insurance Company, acting as its president. He later merged the two companies and served as president of the new business (which took the name Atlanta Home Insurance Company) from 1906 until 1914, when he sold it to the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company of San Francisco.
Hurt was one of the incorporators of the Commercial Travelers Savings Bank, which he reorganized in 1893 to form the Trust Company Bank of Georgia. He also owned and was the president of the Pratt Engineering and Machine Company, which built the Cotton States Fertilizer Company in Macon.
Conscious of his civic duty as well, Hurt was elected as water commissioner in 1886, 1888, and 1889 and served on the first legal planning commission. He also donated Springvale Park, the centerpiece of Inman Park, to the city. Hurt died on January 9, 1926, in Atlanta and is buried in Oakland Cemetery.
Sarah Simms Edge, Joel Hurt and the Development of Atlanta (Atlanta: Atlanta Historical Society, 1955).
Tammy Harden Galloway, The Inman Family: An Atlanta Family from Reconstruction to World War I (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2002).
Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events, 3 vols. (1954; reprint, Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969).
Tammy H. Galloway, Smyrna
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