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Milton County was created from Cherokee, Cobb, and Forsyth counties by an act of the General Assembly approved Dec. 18, 1857 (Ga. Laws 1857, p. 36). According to that act, its boundaries were specified as:
“To commence at Grogan’s Ferry on the Chattahoochee river, run a straight line to the northeast corner of the incorporation of the city of Roswell, leaving the incorporation in Cobb county, thence along the line of said incorporation west to the Marietta road, thence making said Marietta road the line to the bridge on the Big Willow Creek, in Cobb county, thence up said creek to its head waters, to lot No. 34 on the west line of the first district and second section, thence due north along said district line to where the line strikes Little river, thence up said river to the fork of said Little river, thence up the west fork along its meandering to the north line of lot No. 196 in the second district and second section, thence in a straight line to lot No. 181 in the second district and second section, Forsyth and Cherokee county line, thence due south along the county line between Forsyth and Cherokee counties to the north-west corner of the first district of the first section of Forsyth county, thence due east along the north line of said district to where it crosses the McGinis Ferry road, thence making said McGinis Ferry road the line to McGinis Ferry on Chattahoochee river, by leaving the residence of Joel Strickland in the county of Forsyth, thence making the Chattahoochee river the boundary line to the starting point at Grogan’s Ferry on Chattahoochee river.”
Georgia’s 121st county was named for Georgia soldier and politician John Milton (circa 1740-1817). During the American Revolution, Milton served in the First Georgia Regiment and later as aide-de-camp to Gen. Benjamin Lincoln and Col. Francis Marion. During the war, Milton also served as Georgia’s first secretary of state (1777-1799). In late 1779 or early 1780, fearing British capture of the state’s records, Milton had them transferred to Charleston, then to New Bern, N.C., and finally to Maryland.
Portions of DeKalb and Gwinnett counties were added to Milton County in 1859 (Ga. Laws 1859, p. 271), with additional land from Forsyth County annexed the next year (Ga. Laws 1860, p. 138).
During the Depression, a “Bigger and Better Counties” movement was launched encouraging small counties to consolidate with larger ones. In an act of July 30, 1931, the General Assembly authorized a referendum on merging Milton and Fulton counties (Ga. Laws 1931, p. 527). [Earlier that year, voters of Campbell and Fulton counties had approved merger of those two counties.] On Sept. 22, 1931, voters of Milton County approved the merger, followed by voters of Fulton County on Oct. 14, 1931. According to the authorizing legislation, Milton and Campbell counties merged into Fulton County on Jan. 1, 1932, thus reducing the number of Georgia counties from 161 to the present 159.
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