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Wheeler County

County Courthouse View large image

Source: David Seibert

Date Built1917
Architecture StyleNeoclassical Revival
DesignerFrank P. Milburn
Seat InformationThe 1912 constitutional amendment creating Wheeler County designated the town of Alamo as county seat. Alamo had developed around 1890 as a railroad depot on the new Seaboard Air Line Railway (see map). Kenneth Krakow indicates that the daughter of a local judge suggested the name of the town after the San Antonio mission destroyed by Mexican forces in 1836. The legislature incorporated Alamo on Aug. 16, 1909 (Ga. Laws 1909, p. 498).
Courthouse DetailsIt is not known what served as Wheeler County courthouse for the first two years following its creation, but in 1914 a courthouse was built in Alamo. This structure burned in 1916. The present courthouse was built in 1917 and completely renovated in 1961.
County Data
Population 20006179
Population Growth20.1
County SeatAlamo
County Area300.2 Square Miles
Location MapWheeler County Location Map

On Aug. 14, 1912, the General Assembly proposed a constitutional amendment to create Wheeler County from that portion of Montgomery County west of the Oconee River . (Ga. Laws 1912, p. 41). In that year’s general election, Georgia voters ratified the proposed amendment on Nov. 5, 1912, which marks the official date of Wheeler County’s creation (although a state historical marker on the courthouse grounds incorrectly cites the county’s creation as the day the legislative act proposing the constitutional amendment was approved).

Why was Wheeler County created by constitutional amendment instead of an act of the General Assembly? In 1904, Georgia voters had approved a constitutional amendment limiting the number of counties in the state to 145. The next year, the General Assembly created eight new counties, bringing the total number to 145—the constitutional limit. Nevertheless, there was continuing pressure to create more counties. Beginning in 1906, lawmakers got around the 145-county limitation by creating new counties through constitutional amendments that were not subject to the limitation. By 1924, Georgia had 161 counties—16 of which had been created by constitutional amendment. On Jan. 1, 1932, Milton and Campbell counties merged with Fulton, leaving 159 counties. In 1945, Georgia voters ratified a new constitution—one which provided an absolute limit of 159 counties, with an additional provision that no new country could be created except through consolidation of existing counties.

Georgia’s 148th county was named for former Confederate general Joseph E. Wheeler.

Web SiteVisit Web Site
Legal OrganThe Wheeler County Eagle
Chamber of Commerce Web SiteVisit Web Site
Historical Population
2010 7,421
2000 6,179
1990 4,903
1980 5,155
1970 4,596
1960 5,342
1950 6,712
1940 8,535
1930 9,149
1920 9,817