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Murray County

Date Built1916-17
Architecture StyleNeoclassical Revival
DesignerAlexander Blair
Seat InformationThe 1832 legislation creating Murray County directed the first justices of the new county's inferior court to select a site to serve as county seat. In September 1833, the first court session was held in Spring Place. On Sept. 19, 1834, Abner Holliday and Matthew Jones deeded 40 acres at Spring Place for use in erecting public buildings for the county. On Dec. 20, 1834, the legislature incorporated Spring Place and designated it as Murray's county seat. In 1905, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad was built through Murray County, giving the county its first rail service. Unfortunately for Spring Place, the L&N RR's north-south path ran three miles to the east. The Georgia Talc Co. was located east of Spring Place near the path of the railroad, and a railroad depot was built to serve the company. After the depot was built, the Chatsworth Brick Co. was built and the Chatsworth Land Co. formed. The area around the depot was laid out into land lots and a town quickly followed. On Aug. 18, 1906, the legislature incorporated the town of Chatsworth -- though the origin of the town's name is unclear. In Aug. 1912, two-fifths of Murray County's voters signed a petition calling for a referendum to move the county seat to Chatsworth. The following month, the election resulted in 862 votes for Chatsworth, 427 votes for Eton, and 155 votes for keeping Spring Place as county seat. The referendum subsequently was challenged, as the petition calling for an election had not mentioned Eton as a possible candidate for county seat. Georgia's Secretary of State, however, upheld the election because a clear majority had supported Chatsworth. As a result, the legislature in 1913 designated Chatsworth as the new county seat.
Courthouse DetailsIn September 1833, Murray County's first court session was held in Spring Place. Likely, private homes, churches, or other structures served as courtrooms, as there is no record of a real courthouse in the county's early years. On Dec. 27, 1842, the legislature authorized the county to levy a special tax to fund construction of a courthouse -- but it is not known if county officials implemented the law. Murray County's first known courthouse was a two-story brick structure built in Spring Place in 1886 . Chatsworth was designated county seat in 1913, and three years later work began there on a new two-story brick courthouse that continues in use today. After county government moved to Chatsworth in 1917, the old Spring Place courthouse became a school house.
County Data
Population 200036,506
Population Growth8.6
County SeatChatsworth
County Area346.9 Square Miles
Location MapMurray County Location Map

Murray County was created from Cherokee County on Dec. 3, 1832 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1832, p. 56). [Click here for complete text of legislation.] According to the 1832 act :

  . . . such parts of the twenty-seventh, twenty-sixth, twenty-fifth and twenty-fourth districts of the second section, as lie west of the lines herein-before designated, and the seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, twenty-fifth, twenty-sixth, twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth districts of the third section, and the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, eighteenth and nineteenth districts of the fourth section, shall form and become one county, to be called Murray.

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.

According to its original boundaries, Murray County comprised the entire northwest corner of Georgia . Later created entirely from Murray County were Walker County (1833), Dade County (1837), and Whitfield County (1851).

Georgia’s 86th county was named for lawyer and legislator Thomas W. Murray (1790-1832) of Lincoln County. Murray, who served as Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives in 1825, was a candidate for Congress at the time of his death in 1832.

Web SiteVisit Web Site
Legal OrganThe Chatsworth Times
Chamber of Commerce Web SiteVisit Web Site
Historical Population
2010 39,628
2000 36,506
1990 26,147
1980 19,685
1970 12,986
1960 10,447
1950 10,676
1940 11,137
1930 9,215
1920 9,490
1910 9,763
1900 8,623
1890 8,461
1880 8,269
1870 6,500
1860 7,083
1850 14,433
1840 4,695