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Macon County

County Courthouse View large image

Source: David Seibert

Date Built1894
Architecture Style
Seat InformationThe act creating Macon County authorized the justices of the county's inferior court to select the site for the county seat, purchase land, lay the site out into town lots, sell lots, and use the proceeds to construct a courthouse and jail. Until this was done, county business was to take place at the house of Walter L. Campbell. The inferior court selected the town of Lanier to serve as county seat, and on Dec. 29, 1838, the General Assembly designed Lanier as permanent county seat and incorporated it as a town (Ga. Laws 1838, p. 121). Reportedly, Lanier was named for Clement S. Lanier. In the early 1850s, the Central of Georgia Railroad was built through Macon County. Its route missed Lanier but went through the town of Oglethorpe six miles to the south. As a result, many of Lanier's residents moved to Oglethorpe to be near the railroad. Subsequently, a number of Macon County residents began a campaign to have Oglethorpe declared county seat. In Feb. 1854, the General Assembly passed legislation calling for a referendum on removal of the county seat (Ga. Laws 1853-54, p. 341). Either the election failed or never was held, for on Feb. 28, 1856, the legislature passed another act calling for a referendum on removal of the county seat (Ga. Laws 1855-56, p. 416). Apparently, this election was held and resulted in Oglethorpe being designated the new county seat. First settled around 1840, Oglethorpe was named for Georgia founder James Oglethorpe and incorporated as a town on Dec. 14, 1849 (Ga. Laws 1849-50, p. 92).
Courthouse DetailsThe 1837 act creating Macon County directed that until a county seat was selected, county business would take place at the house of Walter L. Campbell. In 1837, the first courthouse was built in Lanier. This courthouse burned in 1857 just after a referendum was approved to move the county seat to Oglethorpe. The 1856 act calling for the referendum authorized the county to levy a special tax to build a new courthouse. Details about Macon County's second courthouse are unclear, but it was probably completed in the late 1850s. This building was replaced in 1894 by the present courthouse.
County Data
Population 200014,074
Population Growth4.7
County SeatOglethorpe
County Area406.0 Square Miles
Location MapMacon County Location Map

Macon County was created from Houston and Marion counties on Dec. 14, 1837 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1837, p. 66). According to that legislation, the new county’s boundaries were defined as:

  Beginning on Flint river, at the corner of Houston and Dooly counties, running thence East, on the line between Houston and Dooly, to the corners of the 14th and 15th Districts of Houston county; thence due North on the line between the 14th and 15th Districts, and between the 8th and 9th Districts of Houston county, to the let of land in the 8th District, whereon James A. Everett, Esq. now resides; thence around the Southern, Western and Northern boundary of said lot of land, to the said dividing line, between the said 8th and 9th Districts; thence due North again along said line, to the line between Houston and Crawford counties; thence South-westwardly along said county line, to Flint river; thence across said river and up the same to the line between Marion and Talbot counties; thence westwardly along said line, to the second East meridian of the 13th District, of originally Muscogee, now Marion county; thence due South along said meridian line, to the line dividing the counties of Sumter and Marion; thence Eastwardly on said line, between Sumter and Marion, to the Flint river; and thence up and along said river, to the beginning.

Georgia’s 91st county was named for North Carolina politician Nathaniel Macon (1757-1837), who served in both houses of Congress (including six years as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives). Six months after his death, the Georgia legislature named a new county in his honor.

Portions of Macon County were used to create Taylor County (1852) and Peach County (1924).

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Legal OrganThe Citizen Georgian
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Historical Population
2010 14,740
2000 14,074
1990 13,114
1980 14,003
1970 12,933
1960 13,170
1950 14,213
1940 15,947
1930 16,643
1920 17,667
1910 15,016
1900 14,093
1890 13,183
1880 11,675
1870 11,458
1860 8,449
1850 7,052
1840 5,045