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Upson County

County Courthouse View large image

Source: David Seibert

Date Built1908
Architecture StyleNeoclassical Revival
DesignerFrank P. Milburn
Seat InformationLegislation organizing Upson County approved on Dec. 20, 1824, directedt the justices of the county's first inferior court to select the site for the county seat, which was to be as near the center of the county "as convenience will admit" (Ga. Laws 1824, p. 45). The justices selected a site on the principal road through the county almost in the geographic center of the new county. It is not clear whether a settlement already existed on this site -- but in any event, the site selected for the county seat became known as Thomaston (named for Gen. Jett Thomas, who fought in the War of 1812 and earlier built the University of Georgia's first building in Athens and the state capitol at Milledgeville). On June 11, 1825, the legislature incorporated Thomaston and designated it as Upson's county seat (Ga. Laws 1825 Ex. Sess., p. 23).
Courthouse DetailsThe Dec. 20, 1824 legislation organizing Upson County authorized the justices of the county's first inferior court to provide for construction of a courthouse and jail. However, no action was taken at first, and the house of John Turner was rented for holding superior court. Construction of a brick courthouse was begun in 1826 -- but not completed until 1828. This structure was torn down in 1852, with its brick used for construction of a new courthouse. However, there was not enough brick, so the second floor of the new courthouse was built of wood. Upson County's second courthouse served until the present courthouse was completed in 1908. The courthouse underwent a restoration in 1968, with a second renovation begun in 2000. In 1998, the Upson County commissioners and county government agencies moved out of the courthouse and other buildings into the recently renovated three-building complex that once housed the R.E. Lee High School. Earlier, county voters had approved a special purpose local option sales tax to cover the cost of remodeling the school complex and renovating the 1908 courthouse to make it ADA-compliant.
County Data
Population 200027,597
Population Growth-1.6
County SeatThomaston
County Area327.7 Square Miles
Location MapUpson County Location Map

Upson County was created from Crawford and Pike counties on Dec. 15, 1824 by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1824, p. 43). According to that act, the county’s boundaries were specified as:

  . . . all that territory embraced by a line beginning at Flint river, in Crawford county, where the Auchumka creek enters said river, thence up said creek to the fork, thence on a straight line to the corner of Monroe and Pike counties, thence along the line dividing said counties to the district line of the eleventh and seventh districts formerly in Monroe thence west on said line to Flint river, thence down said river to the place of beginning . . . .

Georgia’s 59th county was named for Stephen Upson, a noted Georgia lawyer of the times. Born in 1784 or 1785 in Waterbury, Conn., Upson graduated from Yale University in 1804. Because of health reasons, he moved southerward—first to Virginia, and then in 1807 to Lexington, Ga. Here, he practiced law and became a respected friend of William Crawford. Upson died in Aug. 1824 at age 40 and was buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery in Lexington. Although it is not clear that Upson ever served in public office, his reputation as an attorney and jurist led the General Assembly to name a new county in his honor four months after his death.

Web SiteVisit Web Site
Legal OrganThe Upson Beacon
Chamber of Commerce Web SiteVisit Web Site
Historical Population
2010 27,153
2000 27,597
1990 26,300
1980 25,998
1970 23,505
1960 23,800
1950 25,078
1940 25,064
1930 19,509
1920 14,786
1910 12,757
1900 13,670
1890 12,188
1880 12,400
1870 9,430
1860 9,910
1850 9,424
1840 9,408
1830 7,013