|Seat Information||The legislation proposing a constitutional amendment to create Lanier County designated Milltown, then located in Berrien County, as county seat (Ga. Laws 1919, p. 68).The date of Milltown's initial settlement is not clear, but on Dec. 17, 1901, the legislature incorporated the community as a town (Ga. Laws 1901, p. 535). On Aug. 11, 1925, the legislature changed the name of Milltown to Lakeland (Ga. Laws 1925, p. 1217).|
|Courthouse Details||Lanier County's first courthouse was built in 1921 -- the year after the county's creation. It was replaced by the present courthouse in 1973.|
|County Area||199.8 Square Miles|
In an act of Aug. 11, 1919, the General Assembly proposed a constitutional amendment to create Lanier County from Berrien, Clinch, and Lowndes counties (Ga. Laws 1919, p. 68). An act of Aug. 7, 1920 amended the constitutional amendment to redefine the boundaries of the new county (Ga. Laws 1920, p. 45). Georgia voters approved the constitutional amendment on Nov. 2, 1920, which marks the official date of Lanier County’s creation (although a state historical marker on the courthouse grounds incorrectly lists Aug. 11, 1919 [the day the legislative act proposing the constitutional amendment was approved] and Aug. 7, 1920 [the day that act was amended] as the dates Lanier County was created).
According to the constitutional amendment as amended, Lanier County’s legal boundaries were defined as:
Beginning at the northwest corner of land Lot 312, in the 10th land district of Berrien County, thence running south along the west line of Lots 312, 333, 358, 379, 404, 425 and 450 to the southwest corner of said Lot 450, thence westward along the north lines of Lots 470 and 469 to the northwest corner of Lot 469, thence south along the west lines of Lots 469, 498 and 515 to the southwest corner of Lot 515, thence east along the south lines of Lots 515 and 516 to the northwest corner of Lot 231, all of said lots being in the 10th District of Berrien County; thence south along the west lines of Lots 231, 232, 233, 234, 235 and 236 to the southwest corner of said Lot 236, all of said lots being in the 11th District of Lowndes County; thence east along the south lines of Lots 236, 271, 282, 317, 328, 363, 374, 409, 420 to the run of Alapaha River in Lowndes County, all of said lots in the 11th District of Lowndes County, and thence down the run of said Alapaha River in a southerly and southeasterly direction to where said run of said river crosses the present line between the Counties of Clinch and Echols, said line being the run of Cow Creek at said point, thence easterly and northeasterly along the run of said Cow Creek to a point where said creek leaves the present line between Clinch and Echols Counties, thence easterly and southeasterly along the present line between the Counties of Clinch and Echols to the southeast portion of lot of land 519 that lies in the present County of Clinch, and in the 11th District of said county; thence north along the east lines of lots of land 519, 518, 517, 516, 515, 514, 513, 512, 511, 510, 509, 508, 507 in the 11th District, and 529, 484, 483, 438, 437, 392, 391, 346, 345, 300, 299, 254, 253 to the northeast corner of said Lot 253, in the 10th District, all in the County of Clinch; thence westward along the north lines of Lots 253, 252, 251, 250 and 249 to the run of Alapaha River in a southerly direction to where the run of said river crosses the north line of Lot 304 in the 10th District of Berrien County; thence westward along the north lines of Lots 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311 and 312, in the 10th District of Berrien County, to the northwest corner of said Lot 312, the starting point.
Why was Lanier County created by constitutional amendment instead of an act of the General Assembly? In 1904, Georgia voters had approved a constitutional amendment limiting the number of counties in the state to 145. The next year, the General Assembly created eight new counties, bringing the total number to 145—the constitutional limit. Nevertheless, there was continuing pressure to create more counties. Beginning in 1906, lawmakers got around the 145-county limitation by creating new counties through constitutional amendments that were not subject to the limitation.
Lanier County was created from portions of Berrien, Clinch, and Lowndes counties. Georgia’s 157th county was named for Georgia poet Sidney Lanier.
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|Legal Organ||Lanier County Advocate|
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