On Dec. 19, 1823, the General Assembly passed an act organizing Decatur County. Five commissioners were named to select a county seat "as near the center of the county as convenience will admit" and to contract for building a courthouse and jail. The same act directed that Decatur County elections and court sessions be held at the home of George G. Gaines until a county courthouse was built. Subsequently, the commissioners picked a site near where Fort Hughes once stood. Here, they had a wooden courthouse built in 1824. On Dec. 2, 1824, the legislature officially designated this site as permanent county seat and directed that it be known as Bainbridge. The name honored William Bainbridge, former commander of the U.S.S. Constitution. The legislature incorporated the town of Bainbridge on Dec. 22, 1829 (Ga. Laws 1829, p. 186).
In 1824, the legislature designated the settlement of Bainbridge as county seat. According to Jordan and Puster, a wooden courthouse was built here that year. This courthouse was replaced by a brick building in 1832. A larger brick courthouse was built in 1855 and served until the present courthouse was built in 1902.
623.2 Square Miles
Decatur County was created from Early County on Dec. 8, 1823 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1823, p. 63). The county was organized by an act of Dec. 19, 1823. Georgia’s 58th county was named for U.S. Navy Commodore Stephen Decatur. In 1920, Seminole County was created entirely from Decatur County. Also, portions of Decatur County were used to help create Thomas County (1825) and Grady County (1905).