The act creating Catoosa County authorized the justices of the
county's new inferior court to select the county seat and provide
for construction of the courthouse and other public buildings.
Catoosa County's first courthouse was a two-story brick building
constructed in 1856. Shortly after its completion, the local
Masonic Lodge asked permission to built a third story onto the
structure for use as a meeting hall (see photo).
This action reportedly saved the courthouse from destruction
in 1864. After the Battle of Ringgold, victorious Union forces
set fire to the courthouse -- but when Sherman rode up and saw
that the building was also a Masonic hall, he ordered the fire
put out. The old courthouse continued in use until the present
courthouse was completed in 1939.
County Courthouse Historical
Catoosa County was created from Walker and Whitfield counties
on Dec. 5, 1853 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1853-54,
p. 286). [Click here
for a legal description of Catoosa County's original boundaries.]
Georgia's 100th country was named for Catoosa Springs, which
were located near Ringgold. "Catoosa" was a Cherokee
word that may have meant "small mountain."
The act creating Catoosa County authorized the new justices of
the county's inferior court to select the county seat. Kenneth
Krakow reports that Ringgold was designated county seat on on
March 16, 1854. While still located in Walker County, Ringgold
had been incorporated as a town by an act of Dec. 27, 1847 (Ga.
Laws 1847, p. 32). The town was named for Samuel Ringgold, who
was mortally wounded in 1846 at the Battle of Palo Alto -- one
of the first battles of the Mexican War.
Size of County (Total
Area): 162.7 square miles
County Rank in Total
Area: 153rd out of 159
City of Ringgold