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Worth County

County Courthouse View large image

Source: David Seibert

Date Built1905 (substantially rebuilt after 1982 fire)
Architecture StyleNeoclassical Revival
DesignerJ.W. Golucke
Seat InformationThe legislation creating Worth County named the small settlement of San Bernard [named for Saint Bernard of Clairvaux] as temporary seat of government. The act empowered the justices of the new county's inferior court to pick any site they saw proper for a permanent county seat, and in 1854, tthey chose a site a mile to the east of San Bernard. The new settlement was amed Isabella [named for the wife. of Gen. Worth]. In 1872, a railroad built to connect Albany with Brunswick, missed Isabella by three miles to the south. Though a rail stop known as Isabella Station was built on the railroad, the county seat suffered by not being directly served by the railroad. Soon, other communities sprang up along the railroad in Worth County. By 1893, the small community of Isabella Station was known as Sylvester [the origin of the name refers to forests, though why it was chosen is unknown (though it may have been associated with one of the first settlers of the community)]. On Dec. 21, 1898, Sylvester was incorporated. By the early 1900s, Sylvester residents had launched a move to have their city designated as Worth's county seat. In 1904, a county-wide election was held and the vote favored the move. On July 1, 1904, the General Assembly formally designated Sylvester as the new seat of government for Worth County.
Courthouse DetailsThere have been four courthouses since Worth County was created in 1853. The first courthouse was a two-story frame structure on the public square in Isabella, which was then Worth's county seat. This building burned down in 1879, and a schoolhouse was used as a temporary courthouse until a new courthouse could be built in 1893, but that structure soon burned also. A new courthouse was constructed the following year, but in 1904 the legislature changed the county seat from Isabella to Sylvester. The next year, a new courthouse was built on Sylvester's public square. In January 1982, the Worth County courthouse suffered major fire damage, requiring substantial rebuilding.
County Data
Population 200021,967
Population Growth-1.3
County SeatSylvester
County Area507.08 Square Miles
Location MapWorth County Location Map

Worth County was created from Dooly and Irwin counties on Dec. 20, 1853, by an act of the General Assembly (Ga. Laws 1853-54, p. 308). Georgia’s 106th county was named for Maj. Gen. [](William J. Worth) of New York. Worth, who had gained fame during his service in the Mexican War, died in 1849, the year after the war ended. One of those in Worth’s command during the war was Maj. William Harris, who later was a leader in the formation of a new Georgia county, which he proposed be named in Worth’s honor.

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Legal OrganThe Sylvester Local News
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Historical Population
2010 21,679
2000 21,967
1990 19,745
1980 18,064
1970 14,770
1960 16,682
1950 19,357
1940 21,374
1930 21,094
1920 23,863
1910 19,147
1900 18,664
1890 10,048
1880 5,892
1870 3,778
1860 2,763