Other Information: In
1824, the legislature designated the settlement of Bainbridge
as county seat. According to Jordan and Puster, a wooden courthouse
was built here that year. This courthouse was replaced by a brick
building in 1832. A larger brick courthouse was built in 1855
and served until the present courthouse was built in 1902. [For
early photos of the courthouse, see postcard
2, and postcard
County Courthouse Historical
County History: Decatur County was created from Early County
on Dec. 8, 1823 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1823,
p. 63). The county was organized by an act of Dec. 19, 1823.
Georgia's 58th county was named for U.S. Navy Commodore Stephen Decatur.
In 1920, Seminole County was created entirely from Decatur County.
Also, portions of Decatur County were used to help create Thomas
County (1825) and Grady County (1905).
County Seat: On Dec. 19, 1823, the General Assembly
passed an act organizing Decatur County. Five commissioners were
named to select a county seat "as near the center of the
county as convenience will admit" and to contract for building
a courthouse and jail. The same act directed that Decatur County
elections and court sessions be held at the home of George G.
Gaines until a county courthouse was built. Subsequently, the
commissioners picked a site near where Fort Hughes once stood.
Here, they had a wooden courthouse built in 1824. On Dec. 2,
1824, the legislature officially designated this site as permanent
county seat and directed that it be known as Bainbridge. The
name honored William Bainbridge, former commander of the U.S.S. Constitution. The legislature incorporated the town of
Bainbridge on Dec. 22, 1829 (Ga. Laws 1829, p. 186).
Size of County (Total
Area): 623.2 square miles
County Rank in Total
Area: 13th out of 159
City of Bainbridge