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Muscogee County



Courthouse
County Courthouse View large image

Source: David Seibert

LocationColumbus
Date Built1972-73
Architecture StyleModern
DesignerE. Owen Smith and Biggers, Scarbrough, Neal, Crisp & Clark
Seat InformationThe Dec. 24, 1827 act organizing Muscogee County provided that initial county elections be held in the town of Columbus. The law also provided that the justices of the county's inferior court select the site for the county seat and provide for erection of public buildings.They selected Columbus, which was laid out July 10, 1828. Subsequently, the legislature incorporated it on Dec. 24, 1828 (Ga. Laws 1828, p. 153).
Courthouse DetailsMuscogee County's first courthouse was a simple wooden structure built around 1829 or 1830 in the 1500 block of First Avenue. This building was replaced by a three-story brick structure in 1838. A larger, domed courthouse was built on the same site in 1896 at a cost of $63,500. In 1971, Columbus and Muscogee County merged, and construction of a new government complex for the consolidated government began in 1972.The new courthouse was built behind the old courthouse, and for a brief period, both courthouses stood. With completion of the new courthouse in 1973, the old courthouse was torn down.
County Data
Population189,885
Population 2000186,291
Population Growth1.9
County SeatColumbus
County Area221.0 Square Miles
Location MapMuscogee County Location Map
History

On Feb. 12, 1825, a group of Creek Indians led by William McIntosh signed the Treaty of Indian Springs, in which they ceded all of their remaining lands in present-day Georgia. Subsequently, in an act of June 9, 1825 , the General Assembly provided that the land ceded by the treaty be divided into five sections, surveyed into districts and land lots, and distributed by land lottery (Ga. Laws 1825 Extra. Session., p. 3). On Dec. 14, 1826, the legislature redesignated the five land sections as the counties of Lee, Muscogee, Troup, Coweta, and Carroll and provided for their organization (Ga. Laws 1826, p. 57).

Despite the fact that the five counties were not named until Dec. 14, 1826, the date their respective boundaries were established—June 9, 1825—is generally accepted as the date of their creation. Because the five counties were provided for in the same act, their order of creation is based on the order they were mentioned in the act—Lee, Muscogee, Troup, Coweta, and Carroll. Thus, Lee was Georgia’s 61st county, while Muscogee was 62nd.

Muscogee County was named for the Muscogee Indians, otherwise known as the Creek Indians.

In 1827, a portion of Muscogee County was used to create Harris County.

In 1969, the General Assembly created a special commission to draft a charter to consolidate the city of Columbus and Muscogee County into a single countywide government. [At the time, there was one other incorporated municipality in Muscogee County—the town of Bibb City. Its residents and officials decided not to be part of the consolidation, so it was exempted from the new charter.] In May 1970, voters of Columbus and Muscogee County approved the merger in separate referendums. Election of officials took place in Nov. 1970, and the new consolidated government went into effect on Jan. 1, 1971. Subsequently, in an act of Oct. 5, 1971, the General Assembly enacted the charter into law, although confirming the previous Jan. 1 as the effective date of the new consolidated government (Ga. Laws 1971 Extra. Session, p. 2007).

Bibb City, incorporated by superior court in August 1909, continued to function as an independent municipality through 2000. However, when the Bibb Mill closed in 1998, the town lost its principal source of tax revenue. In December 2000, the town council voted to give up its charter and become part of the Columbus-Muscogee consolidated government. Consequently, the General Assembly in 2001 repealed Bibb City’s charter.

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Historical Population
YearPopulation
2010 189,885
2000 186,291
1990 179,278
1980 170,108
1970 167,377
1960 158,623
1950 118,028
1940 75,494
1930 57,558
1920 44,195
1910 36,227
1900 29,836
1890 27,761
1880 19,322
1870 16,663
1860 16,584
1850 18,578
1840 11,699
1830 3,508