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Oglethorpe County

County Courthouse View large image

Source: David Seibert

Date Built1887
Architecture StyleRomanesque Revival
DesignerL.B. Wheeler, W.H. Parkins, and H.I. Kimball
Seat InformationLexington [named for Massachusetts village where the first battle in American Revolution was fought in 1775]. The 1793 act creating Oglethorpe County named commissioners to select a site that would serve as county seat. The act further authorized the judges of the inferior court to levy a tax not exceeding 250 pounds and contract for the building of a courthouse and jail. What happened next is unclear. One source says that the settlement of Philomath [then known as Woodstock] was designated county seat, and that Oglethorpe's first courthouse was built here. However, an account of the history of Oglethorpe County states that the first courthouse was built of logs and located on the Salem Road, and that this structure was moved to Lexington in 1800. The date of Lexington's original settlement is not clear. What is known is that the General Assembly incorporated Lexington and designated it county seat in an act approved on Nov. 24, 1806.
Courthouse DetailsOglethorpe County's first courthouse is somewhat of a mystery. One source says that soon after the county's creation, the settlement of Philomath was designated county seat, and that here the first courthouse was built. Another source, however, says that the first courthouse was a log structure built on the Salem Road near present-day Lexington, and that this building was moved to Lexington in 1800. In 1806, the legislature designated Lexington as county seat. What served as courthouse from 1806 to 1887 is not known, although a volume on the history of Oglethorpe County states that the courthouse during this period was located just northwest of the present courthouse. In 1887, a new courthouse was built in Lexington of local brick, granite, and timber The most distinctive feature of courthouse is the clock tower with open areas that frames the entrance to the building. The clock in the tower reportedly weighs 1000 pounds. In preparation for the 1993 celebration of Oglethorpe County's bicentennial, the courthouse was remodeled in 1992-93.
County Data
Population 200012,635
Population Growth17.9
County SeatLexington
County Area442.2 Square Miles
Location MapOglethorpe County Location Map

Oglethorpe County was created from Wilkes County on Dec. 19, 1793 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1793, p. 10). Georgia’s 17th county was named for Georgia founder James Oglethorpe, who died in England in 1785.

Portions of Oglethorpe County were used to create Madison County (1811) and Taliaferro County (1825).

Web SiteVisit Web Site
Legal OrganThe Oglethorpe Echo
Chamber of Commerce Web SiteVisit Web Site
Historical Population
2010 14,899
2000 12,635
1990 9,763
1980 8,929
1970 7,598
1960 7,926
1950 9,958
1940 12,430
1930 12,927
1920 20,287
1910 18,680
1900 17,881
1890 16,951
1880 15,400
1870 11,782
1860 11,549
1850 12,259
1840 10,868
1830 13,618
1820 14,046
1810 12,297
1800 9,780