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Coffee County

County Courthouse View large image

Source: David Seibert

Date Built1940
Architecture StyleStripped Classical
DesignerWilliam J.J. Chase
Seat InformationThe 1854 act creating Coffee County provided for election of county officials -- including five justices of the inferior court -- on the first Monday in April 1855. The act gave the inferior court justices full authority to select a site for the county seat, purchase the land and lay it off into lots, and to levy a special tax and contract for building a courthouse and other county buildings. Subsequently, James Pearson donated 50 acres of land near the center of the county for use as the county seat. The land was surveyed and laid out in lots. The new town was named for Illinois U.S. Sen. Stephen A. Douglas. Coffee County's seat of government was not served by any railroad for the first four decades of its existence, and the town almost disappeared. However, in the early 1890s, a railroad was built connecting Douglas with McDonald, a train station on the Albany & Brunswick Railroad, which crossed southern Coffee County. This helped revive Douglas, and the legislature incorporated it as a town on Dec. 10, 1895 (Ga. Laws 1895, p. 213).
Courthouse DetailsCoffee County's first courthouse -- a simple structure built of logs -- was erected sometime between 1855 and 1858. In 1889, this courthouse was replaced by another log structure, which burned in 1898. The county contracted for a more substantial courthouse -- a large two-story brick building with clock tower completed in 1900. This structure burned in 1938 and was replaced the present two-story brick courthouse, which was completed in 1940. In 1991, a large addition was constructed as part of a renovation of the courthouse.
County Data
Population 200037,413
Population Growth13.2
County SeatDouglas
County Area602.7 Square Miles
Location MapCoffee County Location Map

Coffee County was created by an act of the General Assembly approved on Feb. 9, 1854 (Ga. Laws 1854, p. 294). This area originally was Creek land. Most of the county was ceded to Georgia by the Treaty of Fort Jackson in 1814, though the northern portion was ceded in Jan. 1818 by the Treaty of the Creek Agency. On Dec. 15, 1818, the Georgia legislature divided the lands ceded by the two treaties into Appling, Early, and Irwin counties. Most of what would later become Coffee County fell in the original boundaries of Appling County, though the legislature transferred much of this area to Telfair County in 1819 and 1825. When Coffee County was created in 1854, it was formed primarily from the region of Telfair County south of the Ocmulgee River, with smaller portions added from Irwin, Clinch, and Ware counties.

Georgia’s 108th county was named for former soldier, state legislator, and congressman Gen. John E. Coffee (1782-1836).

Portions of Coffee County were used to create the following counties: Berrien (1856), Jeff Davis (1905), and Atkinson (1917).

Web SiteVisit Web Site
Legal OrganThe Douglas Enterprise
Chamber of Commerce Web SiteVisit Web Site
Historical Population
2010 42,356
2000 37,413
1990 29,592
1980 26,894
1970 22,828
1960 21,953
1950 23,961
1940 21,541
1930 19,739
1920 18,653
1910 21,953
1900 16,169
1890 10,483
1880 5070
1870 3192
1860 2879