KEYSVILLE, GA., JAN. 4 -- Five blacks and one white were elected today to represent the predominantly black community of Keysville, which held its first city election in 55 years.
The Justice Department supervised the election, in which Emma Gresham, who headed an all-black slate of candidates, was elected mayor with 75 votes to Joseph Cochran's 65 votes.
James E. Poole Jr., the lone white elected, defeated Johnny Rucker for the City Council Post 1 position by a vote of 67 to 65.
Burke County officials said 140 of the city's 173 registered voters cast ballots and two were thrown out. Keysville's population is about 300.
About 60 white residents of Keysville petitioned Burke County Superior Court Judge Albert Pickett to halt the election, claiming the boundaries of the town were not well enough established to determine who could vote. He sided with the petitioners, but on Thursday U.S. District Court Judge Owen Forrester overturned Pickett's order barring the election.
Gresham, a retired schoolteacher, was elected mayor Jan. 6, 1986, in an election that was declared invalid by Pickett five hours after results were in.
Keysville was chartered in 1890, and its boundaries at that time were set as a circle with a half-mile radius centered on Keysville Academy, a whites-only school later destroyed by a storm.
Interest in the town's governance dwindled steadily through the early 1900s, and in 1933 the government collapsed.