The legislation creating Banks County directed the justices of the county's first inferior court to select a site for location of the county seat and to arrange for building a courthouse and other public buildings. Until this was completed, the act designated New Lebanon as the site for holding court and conducting county business. Subsequently, the inferior court designated the settlement of Homer as county seat, and in Dec. 1859 the General Assembly incorporated the town of Homer. The origin of the town's name is not clear, though Kenneth Krakow attributes the name to an early settler by the name of Homer Jackson.
The legislation creating Banks County provided that New Lebanon serve as temporary county seat until the justices of the inferior court could designate a permanent site and build a courthouse. Where court met in New Lebanon is not known. Subsequently, the justices selected Homer as county seat.
Work began on a new courthouse in 1860, but the outbreak of the Civil War delayed completion of the building until 1863.
By the 1980s, the original courthouse was still in use but badly in need of repair. Also, county government had grown too large for the small building, so county officials directed that a new courthouse be built on the block behind the original courthouse. This modern facility was completed in 1987.
233.9 Square Miles
Banks County was created by an act of the General Assembly signed by Gov. Joseph E. Brown on Dec 11, 1858 (Ga. Laws 1858, p. 30). According to that legislation, the county was to be laid out from portions of Franklin and Habersham counties on Feb. 1, 1859, with county officers elected the next month. Georgia’s 129th county was named for Dr. Richard Banks, a noted Gainesville physician and surgeon who died three years earlier.