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Clinch County

County Courthouse View large image

Source: David Seibert

Date Built1896
Architecture StyleVictorian functional with Neoclassical Revival additions
Seat InformationThe 1850 act creating Clinch County named Elijah Mattox, Simon W. Nichol, Timothy Kirkland, Benjamin Sumon, and John J. Johnson as commissioners to select a county seat (which was to be "as near the center of said county as is convenient or practicable") and provide for construction of a courthouse. The legislation further directed that the county seat be named Polk (in honor of Pres. James Polk). However, on Jan. 15, 1852, the General Assembly changed the name of Polk to Magnolia (Ga. Laws 1851-52, p. 455). Magnolia, presumably named for the magnolia trees found in the area, was incorporated as a town by an act of Feb. 20, 1854 (Ga. Laws 1853-54, p. 257). The Atlantic and Gulf Railroad was built through Clinch County in 1859. One of the railroad's depots -- Station Number 11 -- was built near the residence of Dr. John Homer Mattox, who settled there in 1853. In 1860, 275 citizens of Clinch County signed a petition requesting that the county seat be moved from Magnolia to Station Number 11. As a result, the legislature on Dec. 12, 1860 passed an act authorizing the Clinch County inferior court to move the county seat to Station Number 11. Subsequently, the community that developed around the railroad station came to be known as Homerville, based on the middle name of the Dr. John Homer Mattox. On Feb. 15, 1869, the legislature incorporated Homerville (Ga. Laws 1869, p. 80).
Courthouse DetailsThe 1850 act creating Clinch County named a five-member commission with responsibility for selecting the county seat and erecting a courthouse built (Ga. Laws 1849-50, p. 126). Until the courthouse was built, the act directed that elections and superior and inferior court sessions be held in the house of Jonathan Knight. The first courthouse, built in 1852, burned in 1856. A new courthouse built in 1859 burned in 1867. The present courthouse was completed in 1896. In 1936, the WPA financed a major rehabilitation of the courthouse as well as construction of an addition to the structure.
County Data
Population 20006878
Population Growth-1.1
County SeatHomerville
County Area824.2 Square Miles
Location MapClinch County Location Map

Clinch County was created on Feb. 14, 1850 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1849-50, p. 126). Georgia’s 95th county was created from portions of Lowndes and Ware counties with the following boundaries:

  . . . Commencing at the mouth of Cane Creek, where it empties into the Okefenokee Swamp, thence along said Creek to the ford at Daniel Lane’s, thence a direct line to the mouth of Reedy Creek where it empties into the Saltillo river near John B. Walls, then the river to be the line up to the county line, thence the county line to the Allapaha river, thence the river to be the line to the Florida line, to the Okefenokee Swamp; the territory thus included shall form a new county, to be called the county of Clinch. (Ga. Laws 1849-50, p. 126)

The county was named for Duncan L. Clinch (1784-1849), a former U.S. Army general and Georgia congressman who had died three months earlier .

Portions of Clinch County were used to create the following counties: Coffee (1854), Echols (1858), Atkinson (1918), and Lanier (1920).

Web SiteVisit Web Site
Legal OrganThe Clinch County News
Chamber of Commerce Web SiteVisit Web Site
Historical Population
2010 6,798
2000 6,878
1990 6,160
1980 6,660
1970 6,405
1960 6,545
1950 6,007
1940 6,437
1930 7,015
1920 7,984
1910 8,424
1900 8,732
1890 6,652
1880 4,138
1870 3,945
1860 3,063
1850 637