Choose another Topic

Dooly County

County Courthouse View large image

Source: David Seibert

Date Built1890-92
Architecture StyleRomanesque Revival
DesignerWilliam H. Parkins
Seat InformationThe Dec. 24, 1821 act organizing Dooly County authorized the justices of the inferior court to select the location of the county seat. Apparently, no action was taken by the inferior court, for an act approved Dec. 25, 1822 named William T. Smith, Asa Richardson, Daniel McNear, Reuben Mannen, and Ezekiah Fountain as commissioners to pick a temporary site for the county seat, "which shall be as near central as convenience will admit" (Ga. Laws 1822, p. 122). Until such site was selected, the law directed that Dooly County courts hold their sessions at the house of Isaac Jones. What happened next is not clear - but on Dec. 10, 1823, the legislature named Blasingain Pollet, William Hillard, Thomas E. Ward, Thomas Cobb, and Littleberry Richardson as new commissioners to select a county seat (Ga. Laws 1823, p. 190). Until a courthouse was erected, Dooly County courts were to meet at the house of John Goldsmith. Again, there is uncertainty about what happened next - but apparently the commissioners could not agree on the location of the county seat. On Dec. 20, 1824, the legislature named five new commissioners - James Powell, Etheldred Farcloth, Moses Ramsey, John Harvard, and William Slaid - to select the site for the county seat "as near the centre of said county as convenience will admit of, paying due regard to that part of the county which is most inhabited or likely to be so. . . ." (Ga. Laws 1824, p. 140). Until such site was selected, county elections and courts would continue to be held at the house of John Goldsmith. On Dec. 26, 1826, the legislature designated land lot 57 in the seventh district as the permanent county seat of Dooly County and directed that the site be known as Berrien (Ga. Laws 1826, p. 93). The name honored John Berrien (1781-1856), who at the time represented Georgia in the U.S. Senate. On Dec. 23, 1833, the legislature changed the name of Berrien to Drayton (Ga. Laws 1833, p. 322). William Drayton, a U.S. Representative from South Carolina, had served as chairman of the House Military Affairs Committee until his term ended in March 1833. A group of Dooly County residents were unhappy with Drayton's location and signed a petition asking that the county seat be moved to a site on the Flint River. On Dec. 25, 1835, the legislature authorized Dooly County's inferior court to move the county seat "to the most suitable situation on [the] Flint river, in the ninth district of said county" (Ga. Laws 1835, p. 260). The legislation also directed that if the county seat was moved, the new county seat continue to be called Drayton. Subsequently, the county seat was moved to a site near - but not on - the Flint River. On Dec. 30, 1836, the legislature confirmed the new Drayton as permanent county seat and incorporated it as a town (Ga. Laws 1836, p. 272). On Dec. 23, 1839, criticism over the location of Drayton led the legislature to appoint William Smith, David Scarboro, Joel Dorsey, James Oliver, Thomas Cobb, John Eubanks, and John Crumpler as commissioners to select a new seat of government for Dooly County - one "which shall be as near the centre of the county as convenience of water and health of situation will admit (Ga. Laws 1839, p. 213). The act further directed that the new county seat be named Glascock. Nevertheless, Drayton continued to serve as county seat. On Dec. 22, 1840, the legislature amended the 1839 legislation by giving the authority to select a new county seat to the Dooly County inferior court (Ga. Laws 1840, p. 149). Moreover, any change would have to be approved by Dooly County voters in a public referendum. Finally, if a majority of voters favored removal, the new county seat was to be named Centreville. If a referendum was held, it failed - for on Dec. 11, 1841, the General Assembly moved the county seat from Drayton back to Berrien, and renamed the town Vienna (Ga. Laws 1841, p. 70). Presumably, the name was based on the famous Austrian city of the same name. On Feb. 18, 1854, the legislature incorporated Vienna (Ga. Laws 1853-54, p. 273).
Courthouse DetailsThe Dec. 24, 1821 act organizing Dooly County provided that until the inferior court designated a county seat, court sessions initially be held in the house of Isaac Jones (Ga. Laws 1821, p. 44). A Dec. 10, 1823 act made the house of John Goldsmith temporary courthouse until a courthouse could be built (Ga. Laws 1823, p. 190). An act passed Dec. 20, 1824 continued Goldsmith's house as the temporary courthouse (Ga. Laws 1824, p. 140). At some point, a wooden courthouse was built in Drayton. In Dec. 1841, the legislature moved the county seat from Drayton back to Berrien, which it renamed Vienna. The legislation directed Dooly County officials to make the move by Feb. 1, 1842 - so presumably a courthouse was quickly erected in early 1842. This wooden building burned in 1847 and was replaced by another wooden courthouse in 1849. This structure was later replaced by the current courthouse in 1892 . The courthouse was renovated in 1963 and again in the late 1980s.
County Data
Population 200011,525
Population Growth29.4
County SeatVienna
County Area397.2 Square Miles
Location MapDooly County Location Map

Dooly County was created on May 15, 1821 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1821 Extra. Session, p. 3). Dooly, Houston, Monroe, Fayette, and Henry County were created in that order by the Georgia Land Lottery Act of 1821, which was enacted at a special session of the General Assembly four months after the Creek Indians ceded lands between the Ocmulgee and Flint rivers on Jan. 8, 1821 in the first Treaty of Indian Springs. Dooly County was organized by an act of the legislature approved Dec. 24, 1821 (Ga. Laws 1821, p. 44). Later, portions of Dooly County were used to create the following counties: Worth (1853), Wilcox (1857), Crisp (1905), and Turner (1905).

Georgia’s 48th county was named for Col. John Dooly (1740-1780), who commanded a regiment at the the Battle of Kettle Creek in 1779 and was killed at his home by Tories in 1780.

Web SiteVisit Web Site
Legal OrganThe News Observer
Chamber of Commerce Web SiteVisit Web Site
Historical Population
2010 14,918
2000 11,525
1990 9,901
1980 10,826
1970 10,404
1960 11,474
1950 14,159
1940 16,886
1930 18,025
1920 20,522
1910 20,554
1900 26,567
1890 18,146
1880 12,420
1870 9,790
1860 8,917
1850 8,361
1840 4,427
1830 2,135