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Burke County Historical Markers

Burke County’s 8 Governors

  • Source: Ed Jackson
  • Marker: Burke County’s 8 Governors
  • Location: Burke County Courthouse, Waynesboro, Ga.


Historic Burke County, formerly St. George’s Parish, claims 8 Ga. Governors by birth, residence or marriage. JOHN HOUSTOUN (1744-1796), Rev. patriot, member of Continental Congress, Gov. 1778-1779 & 1784-1785, was born near present Waynesboro. LYMAN HALL (1724-1790), Ga. signer of the Declaration of Independence, Gov. 1783-1874, died at his plantation home, Shell Bluff, in Burke Co. EDWARD TELFAIR (1735-1807), member of Continental Congress, signer of Articles of Confederation, Gov. 1785-1787 & 1789-1793, owned and operated large plantations in this county. JARED IRWIN (1750-1818), distinguished Rev. soldier and Indian fighter, Gov. 1796-1798 and 1806-1809, lived in the county for 30 years. DAVID EMANUEL (1744-1810) gallant Rev. soldier, Gov. 1801, was a resident and is believed to be buried in Burke County. WILLIAM SCHLEY (1786-1858), Judge, Congressman, Gov. 1835-1837, married Elizabeth, daughter of Brig. Gen. Abraham Jackson, of this county. HERSCHEL V. JOHNSON (1812-1880), Sen. Judge, candidate for Vice-President with Douglas, member of Conf. Senate, Gov. 1853-1857, was born and grew up in Burke County. HOKE SMITH (1855-1931), lawyer, editor, Sec. of Interior, Sen., Gov. 1907-1909 & 1911, was principal of Waynesboro Academy for several years.