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Wilkinson County



Courthouse
County Courthouse View large image

Source: David Seibert

LocationIrwinton
Date Built1924
Architecture StyleColonial Revival
DesignerAlexander Blair
Seat InformationThe 1803 act creating Wilkinson County made no provision for a county seat. In 1805, the General Assembly authorized the justices of the county's inferior court to select "some convenient place, as nearly central as circumstances will admit" for the courts to meet (Ga. Laws 1805, p. 51). No action was taken, so the legislature in 1807 directed that Wilkinson County courts and public business take place at the house of Willis Anderson (Ga. Laws 1807, p. 3). The next year, the General Assembly named Arthur Fort, John Hays, William Biven, Elkanah Loftin, and Jesse Brown as commissions to select the county seat of Wilkinson County, provided that their choice was within two miles of the center of the county (Ga. Laws 1808, p. 70). Until a county seat was designated and courthouse built, the 1808 act directed that Willis Anderson's house continue to serve as temporary courthouse. In 1809, the legislature appointed Stephen Johnson, John Eady, Sr., Elkanah Lofton, Philip Pitman, and William Crawley as new commissioners to select a county seat, purchase between 100 and 202.5 acres of land, and lay off and sell town lots (Ga. Laws 1809, p. 75). Finally, in 1811, the legislature directed that the county seat be located on land lot 83 in the 4th district and be known as Irwinton (Ga. Laws 1811, p. 123). Incorporated by an act of Dec. 4, 1816 (Ga. Laws 1816, p. 72), Irwinton was named for Jared Irwin (1751-1818), who served as Georgia governor for three terms (1796-1798 and 1806-1809).
Courthouse DetailsIn an act of Dec. 10, 1807, the General Assembly provided that house of Willis Anderson serve as temporary courthouse of Wilkinson County until a courthouse could be built (Ga. Laws 1807, p. 3). In 1809, the legislature named Stephen Johnson, John Eady, Sr., Elkanah Lofton, Philip Pitman, and William Crawley as commissioners to select a county seat, purchase land, lay it off into town lots, sell the lots, and use the proceeds to construct a courthouse and jail (Ga. Laws 1809, p. 75). Apparently nothing happed, so two years later the legislature named John Proctor, Robert Barnett, John Speight, John Ball, and Daniel Hicks as commissioners to construct a courthouse and jail (Ga. Laws 1811, p. 123). Until this was done, the legislation directed that a temporary courthouse be built on land lot 83 in the 4th district. By 1817, Wilkinson County apparently had a courthouse, for the legislature designated the town boundaries of Irwinton as all areas falling within 400 yards of the courthouse (Ga. Laws 1817, p. 65). In 1818, the General Assembly authorized a special tax to be levied in Wilkinson County for the purpose of building a courthouse (Ga. Laws 1818, p. 25). It is not clear whether a new courthouse was built utilizing this tax. A courthouse built in 1829 burned down that same year. At some date, a new courthouse was built -- but in 1854 it too was destroyed by fire. A new courthouse built before the Civil War was burned by Sherman's troops in 1864. At an unknown date, another courthouse was built--but it burned in 1924, with the present courthouse built in its place the same year.
County Data
Population9563
Population 200010,220
Population Growth-6.4
County SeatIrwinton
County Area452.6 Square Miles
Location MapWilkinson County Location Map
History

On June 16, 1802, the Creek Indians and U.S. commissioners signed the Treaty of Fort Wilkinson, which ceded Creek lands in two different areas to Georgia. The northern cession involved land west of the Oconee River, which the legislature divided into two new counties—Wilkinson and Baldwin—on May 11, 1803 (Ga. Laws 1803 Extra. Ses., p. 3).

In 1805, the Creeks signed the Treaty of Washington, which extended Georgia westward to the Ocmulgee River. An act of June 26, 1806 added lands ceded by the Creeks to Baldwin and Wilkinson counties (Ga. Laws 1806 Extra. Ses., p. 3).

In an act of Dec. 10, 1807, Laurens and Telfair counties were created entirely from Wilkinson County (Ga. Laws 1807, p. 3). In an act of Dec. 14, 1809, Twiggs County was created entirely from Wilkinson County (Ga. Laws 1809, p. 75).

Georgia’s 28th county was named for Gen. James B. Wilkinson (1757-1825), one of the U.S. commissioners who negotiated the Treaty of Fort Wilkinson, in which the Creeks ceded the land that would be used to form Wilkinson County. Gen. Wilkinson, who served in the American Revolution and War of 1812, was the first governor of the Louisiana Territory (1805-1807).

Web SiteVisit Web Site
Legal OrganThe Wilkinson County Post
Chamber of Commerce Web SiteVisit Web Site
Historical Population
YearPopulation
2010 9,563
2000 10,220
1990 10,228
1980 10,368
1970 9,393
1960 9,250
1950 9,781
1940 11,025
1930 10,844
1920 11,376
1910 10,078
1900 11,440
1890 10,781
1880 12,061
1870 9,383
1860 9,376
1850 8,296
1840 6,842
1830 6,513
1820 6,992
1810 2,154