James Caldwell's house served as the initial courthouse of Coweta
County. In 1828, Newnan was designated county seat, and a log
courthouse was built here that year. This was replaced by a two-story
brick courthouse in 1829 (see photo
1 and photo
2). This building was torn down and replaced by the present
courthouse in 1904 (see
early photo). The structure was refurbished in 1975, retaining
principal design features. The courthouse's interior and exterior
were rehabilitated in 1989-90.
County Courthouse Historical
On Feb. 12, 1825, a group of Creek Indians led by William McIntosh
signed the Treaty of Indian Springs, in which they ceded all of their remaining
lands in present-day Georgia. Subsequently, in an act of June
9, 1825, the General Assembly provided that the land ceded by
the treaty be divided into five sections, surveyed into districts
and land lots, and distributed by land lottery (Ga. Laws 1825
Extra. Session., p. 3). [See
map of sections] On Dec. 14, 1826, the legislature redesignated
the five land sections as the counties of Lee, Muscogee, Troup,
Coweta, and Carroll and provided for their organization (Ga.
Laws 1826, p. 57). [See
map of five counties] Additionally, the act provided that
part of southern DeKalb County was transferred to Coweta County.
to see legal description of Coweta County's original boundaries.]
Despite the fact that the five counties were not named until
Dec. 14, 1826, the date their respective boundaries were established
-- June 9, 1825 -- is generally accepted as the date of their
creation. Because the five counties were provided for in the
same act, their order of creation is based on the order they
were mentioned in the act -- Lee, Muscogee, Troup, Coweta, and
Carroll. Thus, Lee was Georgia's 61st county, while Coweta was
the 64th county.
Coweta County was named for the Coweta Indians, a group of
Creek Indians that lived in and around Coweta, one of the largest
and most important towns of the Lower Creek Indians. The Lower
Creeks had two capital towns. Located near the western banks
of the Chattahoochee River across from present-day Fort Benning
(in what today in Russell County, Alabama), Coweta was the "red"
capital -- which meant that all discussions of war or conflict
took place here. Across the river in Georgia was Cusseta, the
"white" capital reserved for non-hostile matters, such
as peaceful negotiations with whites.
Portions of Coweta County were used to create Campbell County
(1828) and Heard County (1830).
The Dec. 11, 1826 act naming and organizing Coweta County provided
that the first election of county officials take place on the
first Monday in May 1827 at the house of James Caldwell (Ga.
Laws 1826, p. 57). After that election, the justices of the county's
inferior court were authorized to select a site for the county
seat and provide for erection of a courthouse and other public
buildings. However, until a county seat was designated, Coweta
County superior and and inferior courts were to meet at the house
of James Caldwell.
On Dec. 20, 1828, the legislature designated Newnan county
seat and incorporated it as a town (Ga. Laws 1828, p. 149). [On
Dec. 26, 1823, the General Assembly had designated another town
by the name of Newnan as county seat of Pike County. However,
in 1825, the legislature moved Pike's county seat to Zebulon,
after which Newnan vanished as a town.] Newnan was named for
Daniel Newnan (1780-1851), who was Georgia's Secretary of
State at the time Coweta County was created.
Size of County (Total
Area): 446.0 square miles
County Rank in Total
Area: 46th out of 159
City of Newnan