Ball along with his family originated in Raleigh, N.C., traveling to South Georgia on the Brunswick and Western Railroad. He became the town’s first postmaster, and not long afterward, Capt J.B. Gunn from Terrell County, Georgia came as an assistant. Ball and his son Jim started a turpentine business around 1878. Ball returned to Raleigh to bring back a man named Tubb Daughtry and his family to help run the business. He gave them land to live on and permission to worship as they pleased. The turpentine business soon dwindled and lumber became the main focus. Capt. J. B. Gunn and Capt. S. R. Weston built a sawmill two miles east of Enigma. H. F. Stewart came to work in the sawmill.
Other businesses opened in Enigma throughout the years, including a grocery, merchandise, and hardware stores. E.F. Bussey set up a merchandise store in a building owned at one time by Gunn. This building also housed the U.S. Post Office and sold coffins on its second story. It was located on the south side of the railroad. The railroad’s closest depot was in Brookfield, Ga., four miles away. Enigma had a doctor’s office run by G.R. Parker. There have been three banks in Enigma throughout the years. Two banks were started around 1915 to 1917 and the other one was started in 1973. The People's Bank opened in 1915 and closed in 1916, and the Ambrose-Enigma Banking Company opened on June 5, 1917 and closed around 1920. The Bank of Alapaha opened a branch in Enigma on March 1, 1973 and is still in business today.
Most citizens of Enigma commute to neighboring towns to work and shop. The town's economy is based primarily on agriculture. The Corner Café is its only restaurant, and it has two gas stations - the Quick Stop #2 (#1 is in Brookfield) and the Danfair Express, and all three are located on Highway 82. The Post Office, Glass Unlimited, Volunteer Fire Department, City Hall, the salon (Freida’s Beauty Barn), and the Bank of Alapaha are all located on Main Street. Just off of Main Street is the factory Geo Tex, LLC Plant #2 where screening is made. There is also Berrien Peanut Company two and a half miles outside of Enigma and there used to be a skating rink about a mile from Berrien Peanut Company. There are other buildings on Main Street and Highway 82 but they are currently vacant.
Enigma is also home to Southern States Championship Wrestling. They run monthly shows and only charge $2 a seat. This has helped add a little southern tradition and entertainment for all ages
Enigma really is not known for any mystery, and does not have anyone famous from it except for Bobby Rowan, former senator in the Georgia Senate and Naomi Sego, a gospel singer. A 1971 novel by Harry Crews, The Gospel Singer, is set partly in Enigma, but Crews grew up in nearby Fitzgerald.
Enigma’s first fire department was established in 1893 with a cistern to hold ten thousand gallons of water and have a pump and hose ready in case of fire. The first car in Enigma was a Rio owned by Dr. J.H. Hammond in 1893. The telephones were in operation earlier around the beginning of the 1900’s. The first airplane to fly over Enigma was in 1918. Enigma’s first electric lights were set up in approximately 1936, and the city water system was put into place about 1955. The oddest thing about Enigma is that there was once a well in the middle of Main Street. Pictures of this are hard to find and many of those who lived to see it are not around anymore.
Enigma is located at (31.411466, -83.331056).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.3 square miles (8.5 km²), of which, 3.2 square miles (8.4 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.91%) is water.
There were 313 households out of which 43.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.9% were non-families. 23.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.24.
In the town the population was spread out with 35.4% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 18.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 97.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $25,268, and the median income for a family was $27,375. Males had a median income of $22,202 versus $16,964 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,498. About 20.9% of families and 24.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.4% of those under age 18 and 19.5% of those age 65 or over.
Truth about Enigma, by Someone Who Was There. ENIGMA: THE BATTLE FOR THE CODE by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, [Pounds Sterling]20)
Jun 23, 2000; Byline: LUDOVIC KENNEDY A TRUTH universally acknowledged is that those who read reports of events in which they have taken part...