The Dec. 24, 1827 act organizing Meriwether County provided that the first election of county officials take place on the first Monday in Feb. 1828 at the house of Hugh W. Ector (Ga. Laws 1827, p. 65). The legislation also authorized the justices of the county's new inferior court to select the site of the county seat, purchase the land, lay out town lots, and arrange for building a courthouse. The inferior court selected a site on land owned by Ector and named the new town Greenville after Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene. On Dec. 20, 1828, the legislature designated Greenville permanent county seat and incorporated it as a town (Ga. Laws 1828, p. 149).
Meriwether County's first courthouse reportedly was a two-story brick building constructed in 1832. The courthouse was badly damaged by a tornado in 1893 -- but it was rebuilt and served until the current courthouse was completed in 1904. In 1976, a fire destroyed much of the building -- except for the brick exterior walls. In a restoration begun in 1977 and completed in 1980, the courthouse was rebuilt within the original walls. The interior, however, was significantly altered to provide more office space. The courthouse rotunda was eliminated, a basement dug, and the ceiling space reduced to allow three floors instead of two. A French bell weighing one-half ton was installed in the clock tower, and a statue of the female muse Justice placed on top of the tower.
505.4 Square Miles
Meriwether County [initially spelled Merriwether] was created from Troup County on Dec. 14, 1827 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1827, p. 69). The county was organized by an act of Dec. 24, 1827 (Ga. Laws 1827, p. 65). Georgia’s 71st county was created entirely from Troup County. [Click here to read a legal description of the county’s original boundaries.] Georgia’s 71st county was named for former Georgia congressman David Meriwether (1755-1822).