The actual history behind the naming of Brantley County isn’t cast in stone. Most historians say it was named after Benjamin Daniel Brantley, but some say it was named after his son, William Gordon Brantley, 1860-1934.
Brantley County was created by the Georgia Legislature, south of the Satilla river from Pierce County, west of the Old Post Road from Wayne County, and north of Charlton County in the now Hickox, Bachlott area. Originally it was called the Back Woods of South Georgia.
It’s said that the committee organizing the county chose the name of Brantley, naming it after Benjamin Daniel Brantley who lived in Blackshear Georgia. Benjamin Daniel Brantley was defiantly a self-made man and had none of the advantages of schools and colleges or family prestige and money. Through his life time he worked his way up as a real leader of men and was admired by many people from this area of south Georgia.
Opening in 1857, Benjamin Daniel Brantley founded his mercantile business furnishing his customers with supplies of all kinds and helped market their products. He was aware of how the people lived and what they depended on to make money. It’s said that he improved and offered his help unselfishly to the locals. Timber and wool were the main livelihoods, so with the increasing growth of the area, he encouraged the growing of cotton and erected the first cotton gin and fertilizer plant in the area. From this, he also helped in the development of the turpentine industry by opening and operating the first turpentine still in Pierce County. His helpful business advise, and participation didn’t stop there, as well as the many public services he provided for the area, such as the building of schools and churches.