Clinton [originally named Albany but renamed for N.Y. Gov. Dewitt Clinton] was designated county seat in 1808 and incorporated in1816. Around 1890, when the Central of Georgia RR decided to build a north-south route through Jones County, citizens of Clinton reportedly protested having the railroad built through their town, so a route was selected to bypass Clinton. A railroad station was built two miles northeast of Clinton and quickly grew into a community known as Gray [named for James M. Gray, a prominent local citizen in the mid-19th century]. Clinton's importance declined, and county residents successfully petitioned the legislature to designate Gray as county seat in 1905. Gray was incorporated on Aug. 23, 1911.
The first courthouse, in Albany (later renamed Clinton), was the private residence of William Jones. A temporary structure housed the court until 1816, when a third, more permanent, building was erected. When the county seat moved to Gray the current courthouse was built in 1905. It is noted for its arched clock tower, which was restored in 2005-06. The courthouse was rehabilitated in 1992.
395.4 Square Miles
Jones County was created from Baldwin County on Dec. 10, 1807 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1807, p. 3). Georgia’s 32nd county was named for U.S. Representative James Jones (? - 1801). Jones served in the U.S. House from 1799 until his death two years later. In 1822, part of Jones County was used to help create Bibb County.