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Laurens County

County Courthouse View large image

Source: David Seibert

Date Built1962
Architecture Style
DesignerCunningham and Forehand
Seat InformationThe Dec. 1807 legislation creating Laurens County made no provision for designating a county seat but provided that courts and public business be conducted at the house of Peter Thomas. It is not clear where Thomas lived, but it may have been at or near a settlement known as Sumterville, which was situated on the confluence of Turkey Creek and the Oconee River about eight miles from what would become Dublin. On Dec. 1, 1809, the General Assembly designated Sumterville as county seat (Ga. Laws 1809, p. 10). However, on Dec. 13, 1810, the legislature named John G. Underwood, Jethro Spivey, Benjamin Adams, John Thomas, and William H. Mathews as commissioners to purchase up to 200 1/2 acres at or within two miles of the place known as Sand Bar on the Oconee River for location of the county seat (Ga. Laws 1810, p. 95). The commissioners selected land lot 232 in the 1st District -- site of the new town of Dublin -- and on Dec. 13, 1811, the legislature formally designated Dublin as county seat. Jonathan Sawyer, an Irish immigrant, had agreed to donate the land for erection of public buildings providing the town was named for Dublin, Ireland -- the original home of his wife. The General Assembly incorporated Dublin by an act of Dec. 9, 1812 (Ga. Laws 1812, p. 94).
Courthouse DetailsThe current courthouse is the fourth courthouse in Laurens County history. At the time of the county's creation in Dec. 1807, there was no county seat or courthouse. The act creating Laurens County provided that courts and public business initially be held at the house of Peter Thomas (Ga. Laws 1807, p. 3). Sumterville was designated county seat in 1809, but it is not clear what served as courthouse. The legislature moved the county seat to Sand Bar on the Oconee River in 1810, and then to Dublin in 1811. A temporary courthouse was built in 1811 in either Sand Bar or Dublin. At some point after Dublin became county seat, a two-story courthouse was built. The third Laurens County courthouse -- a large, two-story brick structure with imposing clock tower -- was built in 1895. This building served until a new one-story courthouse was constructed in 1962.
County Data
Population 200044,874
Population Growth7.9
County SeatDublin
County Area818.6 Square Miles
Location MapLaurens County Location Map

Laurens County was one of six new counties created by an act of the General Assembly approved Dec. 10, 1807 (Ga. Laws 1807, p. 3). According to that legislation, Laurens County’s original boundaries were specified as:

  . . . all that tract or parcel of land herein after pointed out, long and being in the county of Wilkinson, beginning at the mouth of Big Sandy Creek, on the Oconce river, running south sixty degrees west to the Ocmulgee river; thence down the meanders of the same to the upper corner of the fourteenth district on said river; thence north sixty degrees cast to the Oconee river; thence up the same to the beginning. . . .

Georgia’s 34th county was named for Col. John Laurens of South Carolina. Laurens, who had been aide-de-camp to George Washington, was involved in numerous battles—including the siege of Savannah—and was killed in battle in 1782.

On Dec. 13, 1808, the legislature created Pulaski County from Laurens County (Ga. Laws 1808, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 52). On Dec. 11, 1858, portions of Laurens County were used to create Johnson County (Ga. Laws 1858, p. 32).

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Legal OrganThe Courier Herald
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Historical Population
2010 48,434
2000 44,874
1990 39,988
1980 36,990
1970 32,738
1960 32,313
1950 33,123
1940 33,606
1930 32,693
1920 39,605
1910 35,501
1900 25,908
1890 13,747
1880 10,053
1870 7,834
1860 6,998
1850 6,442
1840 5,585
1830 5,589
1820 5,436
1810 2,210