In 1897, railroad fever was at its peak in Thomas County. Land was acquired to build a railroad town. Bill Miller established a sawmill, promised land to anyone who would help clear timber and a small village was created. A story circulated that if the town was named after the president of the railway, Mr. Coolidge, that he would build a sugar refining mill. In 1901, the city was chartered, but never got the mill.
With shipping to market readily available by rail, residents were encouraged to produce vegetables and other commodities – including cotton, tobacco, peanuts, watermelons, livestock and sugar cane.
Today, Coolidge (with a population of just over 500) can boast of several large industries. In 1971, Gene Hurst moved his small boiler service company from Thomasville into the county. Years of hard work have transformed a small service center into the fourth largest boiler company in the world. Hurst Boiler & Welding Co., Inc. has 400 employees.
In 1987, Atlanta-based entrepreneur Mr. Charles Loudermilk built the first MacTavish Industries furniture manufacturing plant. Since that time, three more plants and a furniture showroom have been added. Coolidge also has a variety of other businesses, public library and recreational facilities.