John Gordon Cranford, born January 31, 1868, Echols County, Georgia, was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Lemuel Cranford, who migrated from North Georgia during the Civil War. He attended school at Statenville, Ga., and at age 15 entered the University of Georgia, from whence he received his academic and law degrees. He married Sarah L. Varnedoe of Valdosta. In 1891, he began practice of law with his brother-in-law, Sen. William Stanley West (who built the historic Crescent Home and for whom West Hall at Valdosta State University is named for). Later Cranford became associated in practice with J.M. Wilkinson. He served 4 years as solicitor of City Court and Judge of City Court for 3 terms of 4 years each. Cranford was briefly in practice of law with J.R. Walker and E.K. Wilcox. He served many years on the Board of Education when county and city schools were under one authority. Cranford was also engaged in naval stores business with B.G. Lastinger, associated with D.C. Varnedoe in grocery business, and was interested in automobile retail. Cranford was elected City Recorder in 1937 and to office of Justice of Peace in 1939, both offices he held until his death, May 22, 1945.