In an act of Dec. 8, 1810, the legislature named John Harden,
Jacob Ricks, William Davis, Lovet B. Smith and James McCormick
as courthouse and jail commissioners and authorized them to purchase
between 75 and 200 acres of land in land lot 73 in the 25th and
contract for construction of a courthouse and other public buildings
(Ga. Laws 1810, p. 40). The legislature also provided that until
a courthouse was built, court sessions and county elections would
be held at the house of John Harden (Ga. Laws 1810, p. 72).Twiggs
County's first courthouse -- a two-story wooden building -- in
1812 on land lot 73, which was now known as Marion. When Jeffersonville
became county seat in 1868, the old courthouse in Marion was
dismantled and taken on a six-mile trip by wagon to the new county
seat, where it was reassembled. It is not clear whether other
courthouses succeeded the 1812 structure. In 1901, Twiggs County's
courthouse was destroyed by fire. Construction of the present
courthouse began in 1902 and was completed in 1904. The courthouse
was renovated in 1979, followed by a major renovation and substantial
expansion of the structure (see photos)
begun in 1996 and completed in 2003.
Historical Marker: Click
Twiggs County was created from Wilkinson County on Dec. 14, 1809,
by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1809, p. 75). According
to that act, Twiggs County's boundaries were specified as:
. . . beginning on the Ocmulgee river, where the upperl
line of said county of Wilkinson strikes the river; thence
on the said upper line of said county to where the same crosses
the main south fork of commissioners creek; thence a straight
line to the first branch, which the present line crosses, dividing
Pulaski and Wilkinson, on a south west direction from the corner
that divides Laurens and Pulaski counties, and lower line of
Wilkinson; thence with said line as it now runs, until it strikes
the ocmulgee river; thence up the meanders thereof to the place
of beginning of said river; and all that part of Wilkinson
county, comprehended within the lines aforesaid . . . .
Georgia's 37th county was named for Revolutionary War general
John Twiggs. A portion of Twiggs County was used to created Bibb
County on Dec. 9, 1822 (Ga. Laws 1822, p. 21).
The act creating Twiggs County named commissioners with authority
to select the site of the county seat and build a courthouse.
They selected land lot 55 in the 25th district and gave the lot's
owner a deposit for purchasing the land. However, in an act of
Dec. 8, 1810, the legislature directed that the courthouse be
erected at or near Joiner's Spring above Savage's Creek, on land
lot 73, in the 25th district of the new county (Ga. Laws 1810,
p. 40). On Dec. 15, the legislature provided that until a courthouse
was built, court sessions and county elections would be held
at the house of John Harden (Ga. Laws 1810, p. 72).
By 1811, land lot 73 had been laid out and was named Marion,
after Revolutionary War hero Gen. Francis Marion. That year,
the legislature incorporated Marion (Ga. Laws 1811, p. 183),
though the town's charter was repealed two decades later (Ga.
Laws 1834, p. 262).
On Feb. 11, 1850, the legislature authorized a referendum
on removal of the county seat from Marion to a site on land formerly
owned by Henry Solomon, as designated by the Twiggs County inferior
court (Ga. Laws 1849-50, p. 106). Whether the referendum was
held in not known, but if it was, voters turned down removal.
In an act of Dec. 10, 1866, the legislature authorized a referendum
on moving the county seat from Marion to Jeffersonville, providing
the citizens of Jeffersonville would fund construction of a courthouse
and jail at no expense to the county (Ga. Laws 1866, p. 44).
The referendum was held the first Wednesday in January of 1867,
and voters approved making Jeffersonville the new county seat.
Apparently, Jeffersonville residents were either unable or willing
to finance construction of a new courthouse, so Marion continued
to serve as county seat. Finally, in May 1868, the old courthouse
in Marion was dismantled and moved by wagon six miles to Jeffersonville.
Jeffersonville had been first settled in the 1820s and was
initially known as Rain's Store. In 1849, the town's name was
changed in recognition of the Jefferson family, which had played
an important role in the county's early settlement. Jeffersonville
was not incorporated until Nov. 29, 1901 (Ga. Laws 1901, p. 461).
Historical Maps of
Size of County (Total
Area): 362.9 square miles
County Rank in Total
Area: 72nd out of 159
City of Jeffersonville