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Cook County

County Courthouse View large image

Source: David Seibert

Date Built1938-39
Architecture StyleStripped Classical
DesignerWilliam J.J. Close
Seat InformationThe constitutional amendment establishing Cook County provided that Adel serve as county seat. Adel was settled at an unknown date, perhaps as early as the 1860s. According to Kenneth Krakow, it originally was a small settlement named Puddleville. The town's first postmaster apparently wanted a more sophisticated name and derived the name "Adel" from Philadelphia by taking away the first four and last four letters. He was successful in having the post office designated Adel in 1873. In the 1880s, the Georgia Southern & Florida Railroad was built through Adel, and in 1889 the legislature incorporated the town. By 1915, Adel was served by the National Automobile Highway and was the largest town in the western portion of Berrien County that would form Cook County.
Courthouse DetailsAfter Cook County's creation in 1918, Adel city officials offered the second floor of the city hall for use as a county courthouse. Later, a two-story garage was used as a temporary courthouse until a permanent one could be built. In 1938, the U.S. Public Works Administrtion funded construction of a new two-story brick courthouse , which was completed in 1939. In 1973, an extension was added to the right wing of the courthouse
County Data
Population 200015,771
Population Growth9.1
County SeatAdel
County Area233.2 Square Miles
Location MapCook County Location Map

On July 30, 1918, the General Assembly proposed a constitutional amendment to create the state’s 155th county . In that year’s general election, Georgia voters ratified the proposed amendment on Nov. 5, 1918, which marks the date of Cook County’s creation (although a state historical marker on the Cook County courthouse grounds incorrectly cites the county’s creation as the day the legislative act proposing the constitutional amendment was approved).

Why was Cook County created by constitutional amendment instead of an act of the General Assembly? In 1904, Georgia voters had approved a constitutional amendment limiting the number of counties in the state to 145. The next year, the General Assembly created eight new counties, bringing the total number to 145 - the constitutional limit. Nevertheless, there was continuing pressure to create more counties. Beginning in 1906, lawmakers got around the 145-county limitation by creating new counties through constitutional amendments that were not subject to the limitation. By 1924, Georgia had 161 counties - 16 of which had been created by constitutional amendment. On Jan. 1, 1932, Milton and Campbell counties merged with Fulton, leaving 159 counties. In 1945, Georgia voters ratified a new constitution - one which provided an absolute limit of 159 counties, with an additional provision that no new country could be created except through consolidation of existing counties.

According to the boundaries spelled out in the 1918 constitutional amendment, Cook County was created entirely from Berrien County. However, in 1857 the legislature had transferred several land lots along the southwestern boundary of Berrien County to Lowndes County . In proposing the creation of Cook County in 1918, the legislature intended that the Cook-Lowndes County border be a straight east-west line and apparently had forgotten about the 1857 change in county lines. So in 1919, the legislature corrected the mistake by transferring these land lots from Lowndes to Cook County. Taking into account this correction, Cook is one of 25 Georgia counties that today retain their original boundaries from the time of creation.

Cook County was named for former Confederate general, U.S. Representative, and Georgia Secretary of State Philip Cook (1817-1894).

Web SiteVisit Web Site
Legal OrganAdel News Tribune
Chamber of Commerce Web SiteVisit Web Site
Historical Population
2010 17,212
2000 15,771
1990 13,456
1980 13,490
1970 12,129
1960 11,822
1950 12,201
1940 11,919
1930 11,311
1920 11,180