Mr. Candler was born a week ago on June 23, 1887. For those of you not native to Atlanta or DeKalb County, you may ask who was Mr. Candler? You might recognize the name of the road named after him or our Scott Candler branch.
Scott Candler was actually known as “Mr. DeKalb” and was instrumental in shaping the county as we know it. His family, at the time of his birth, went back six generations in which there was a history of public service. To prepare for this post, I checked out a book that we have titled, “Mr. DeKalb” by Morris Shelton.
Some of the interesting facts I discovered was that back during World War II, Candler had a county-owned cannery built for the citizens. They could bring up food that they grew and have it canned. In 1969, the County Commissioners tried to shut the cannery down but were met with an outcry from the DeKalb citizens.
Mr. Candler was instrumental for creating DeKalb’s water system which, during the mid 1950’s, was one of the few county systems in the United States. According to the book by Mr. Shelton, the City of Atlanta and DeKalb fought over who would provide water to the Druid Hills community. The community and the City of Atlanta already had a contract for water provision. Atlanta was already providing the water but that did not stop Mr. Candler. He had work crews build an intake plant and lay the lines to the community. He then hooked up the water to the Druid Hills community and lawsuits ensued. The Georgia Supreme Court eventually sided with DeKalb and the water system was created.
Mr. Candler is credited with many more services that were created during his time including the creation of the DeKalb Regional Library System ( a predecessor of our current system). In 1970, Mr. Candler tried to get DeKalb created as a city. As we know now that was not successful. Want to learn more about the politics of the 1950’s and 1960’s in DeKalb? I recommend reading this book. As I was reading, I found myself remembering many of the names of people I had been introduced to as a child who were the movers and shakers up until the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The DeKalb History Center is also a great source to learn more about the history of this county. Thanks to them for the use of the picture of Mr. Scott Candler.