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Floyd County

County Courthouse View large image

Source: David Seibert

Date Built1995
Architecture StyleModern
Seat InformationIn an act of Dec. 21, 1833, the General Assembly designated Livingston as county seat and incorporated it as a town (Ga. Laws 1833, p. 321). However, in an act approved Dec. 20, 1834, the legislature repealed the earlier act and directed that the county seat of Floyd County be "permanently located on lot number two hundred and forty-five, in the twenty-third district of the third section, at the head of the Coosa river; and that place shall be hereafter known by the name of Rome" (Ga. Laws 1834, p. 250). This legislation also incorporated Rome as a town. Originally, the site of Rome was located in the Cherokee Nation and known as "Head of Coosa" (because the Oostanaula and Etowah rivers converged here to form the Coosa River). In 1827, Cherokee chief John Ross settled at the site, where he built a two-story house and operated two ferries across the rivers. In 1830, the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation claiming all Cherokee lands in Georgia and providing for a land lottery (which was held in 1832-33). Ross subsequently lost his land to white lottery winners. A group of five land owners and attorneys quickly decided to create a town at the confoluence of Oostanaula and Etowah rivers and to urge the legislature to designate the new settlement as county seat of Floyd County. Members of the group proposed five names for the town -- Hillsboro, Pittsburgh, Hamburg, Rome, and Warsaw. A drawing of names was held, and Rome selected. Presumably, the name was based on the association of the surrounding hills to the seven hills of Rome, Italy.
Courthouse DetailsFloyd County's first courthouse was a log cabin built in Livingston in 1833. On Dec. 20, 1834, the General Assembly designated Rome as county seat. It is not known what initially served as the county courthouse, but around 1840 a new courthouse and jail were built, as evidenced by the fact that in an act of Dec. 19, 1840, the General Assembly authorized the justices of Floyd County's inferior court to levy a special tax "for the purpose of paying the debt already incurred by the erection of a Court-House and Jail in said county" (Ga. Laws 1840, p. 184). It is not clear how long the 1840 courthouse was used, but apparently a third courthouse was built sometime prior to the Civil War (as indicated by war-time references to the "old courthouse" in Rome). Though Rome was occupied by Union troops for six months in 1864, the courthouse was spared -- despite Sherman's order that his troops burn all public property upon departing. What is believed to be Floyd County's fourth courthouse -- a new two-story brick courthouse with clock tower --was built in 1892-93. Though no longer used as a courthouse, this building still stands as the most prominent structure in the Floyd County government complex in downtown Rome. Floyd County's fifth courthouse originally served as the U.S. Post Office for Rome. Construction began in 1895 and was completed in January 1896. Opened for business on Jan. 30, 1896. the facility was subsequently remodeled in 1904, 1911, and 1941. The post office moved to a new federal building constructed in 1974. The next year, Floyd County purchased the old post office building for use by county agencies and courts. Between 1975 and 1978, the building was renovated and modernized, finally opening as the new Floyd County Courthouse in June 1978. Lack of space forced Floyd County to construct its sixth and present courthouse in 1995. Built in conjunction with a new civic center, the multi-purpose county government building is located behind the old 1893 courthouse. Officially known as the Administrative Courthouse Building, this three-story brick structure houses the offices and courtrooms for Floyd County's superior court and other county courts, additionally serving as offices for various administrative agencies. Meanwhile, the 1893 courthouse continues in use, housing the tax commissioner and other county offices. Also, the old U.S. Post Office (which still bears the designation "Floyd County Court House" above the front entrance) continues to be used by county agencies, though it no longer serves as a court house. Completing the buildings in the Floyd County government complex is the Rome-Floyd County Law Enforcement Center build in 1998 across the street from the front of the 1893 courthouse. It houses the city and county police departments and jail, while the county sheriff's department has been moved to new facilities outside the downtown Rome area.
County Data
Population 200090,565
Population Growth6.4
County SeatRome
County Area518.5 Square Miles
Location MapFloyd County Location Map

Floyd County was created from Cherokee County on Dec. 3, 1832 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1832, p. 56). According to that act, Floyd County was to consist of the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th districts of the 3rd Section, and the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 14th, 15th, and 16th districts of the 4th Section of the original Cherokee County.

In way of background, by 1830, the Cherokee Nation consisted of most of northwest Georgia , plus adjoining areas in Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Even while Cherokee Indians remained on their homeland in Georgia, the General Assembly on Dec. 21, 1830 enacted legislation claiming “all the Territory within the limits of Georgia, and now in the occupancy of the Cherokee tribe of Indians; and all other unlocated lands within the limits of this State, claimed as Creek land” (Ga. Laws 1830, p. 127). The act also provided for surveying the Cherokee lands in Georgia; dividing them into sections, districts, and land lots; and authorizing a lottery to distribute the land. On Dec. 26, 1831, the legislature designated all land in Georgia that lay west of the Chattahoochee River and north of Carroll county as “Cherokee County” and provided for its organization (Ga. Laws 1831, p. 74). However, the new county was not able to function as a county because of its size and the fact that Cherokee Indians still occupied portions of the land. On Dec. 3, 1832, the legislature added areas of Habersham and Hall counties to Cherokee County, and then divided the entire area into nine new counties—Cass (later renamed Bartow), Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding, and Union—plus a reconstituted and much smaller Cherokee County. Cherokee lands were distributed to whites in a land lottery, but the legislature temporarily prohibited whites from taking possession of lots on which Cherokees still lived. By 1833, however, whites began occupying areas of Floyd County.

The official basis for Georgia claiming possession of all Cherokee lands in Georgia was the Treaty of New Echota of Dec. 29, 1835. In this treaty, a faction of the Cherokees agreed to give up all Cherokee claims to land in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina and move west in return for $5 million. Though a majority of Cherokees opposed the treaty and refused to leave, the U.S. and Georgia considered it binding. In 1838, U.S. Army troops rounded up the last of 15,000 Cherokees in Georgia and forced them to march west in what came to be known as the “Trail of Tears.”

Georgia’s 88th county was named for Gen. John Floyd, who was involved in various campaigns against the Creek Indians in the early 1800s and later served in the Georgia General Assembly and U.S. Congress.

Portions of Floyd County were used to create Chattooga County (1838), Gordon County (1850), and Polk County (1851). Between 1840 and 1856, the General Assembly transferred land between Chattooga and Floyd counties on ten occasions.

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Historical Population
2010 96,317
2000 90,565
1990 81,251
1980 79,800
1970 73,742
1960 69,130
1950 62,899
1940 56,141
1930 48,667
1920 39,841
1910 36,736
1900 33,113
1890 28,391
1880 24,418
1870 17,230
1860 15,195
1850 8,205
1840 4,441