Hancock County Courthouse

HISTORY
Educators, clergymen, senators, representatives governors,doctors, authors and planters
sprung forth from the soil of Hancock.

CREATION
An Act to lay out a county out of a part of the counties of Washington and Greene
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Georgia in General Assembly met, and by the authority of the same,
That a new county shall be laid off out of a part of the counties of Washington and Greene, in the following manner:  A line shall be run beginning near Alexanderís Mill on the north fork of the Ogeechee, to run in a direct course to Fosterís plantation on the Oconee river; Thence down the same to the mouth of Buck Creek, near the Rock landing; thence a direct line to where the lower trading road crosses Town Creek, from thence with a road leading from the Rock landing to George town, to where the same crosses the river Ogeechee; thence up Ogeechee to the beginning, and all that part of the counties of Washington and Greene comprehended within, and lying between the said lines and boundaries shall be a county, and known by the name of the county of Hancock; and Hermon Reynolds, Mathew Rabon, James Adams, Abraham Miles, and John Mitchell, shall be and they are hereby appointed commissioners, and they or a majority of them, are veiled with full power and authority to fix on the most convenient and centr5al place within said county, at which courts and elects shall be held, as soon as suitable buildings are erected thereat (sic).  And the said commissioners, or a majority of them, are hereby authorized and empowered to contract with fit and proper persons for the purpose of building a courthouse and gaol in the county aforesaid; which after at least thirty days notice, shall be let to the lowest bidder.
Provided:  That until the courthouse shall be erected, the courts shall be held at the house of John W. Whatley.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid:  That the justices of the inferior court of the said county are hereby authorized and empowered to levy a tax on the inhabitants, and taxable property, within the same, for the purpose of erecting a courthouse and gaol in the county aforesaid; which shall be done in such a manner as ion the judgment of the court shall be least burdensome to the inhabitants.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That Henry Graybill shall be, and is hereby appointed to run the upper and lower lines bounding the said county; and that the charges thereof shall be paid by the inferior court of the said county, to be levied, as in this act directed.
IV.  And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid,  That all civil and military officers within the boundaries of the said county, shall be, and they are hereby confirmed in their commissions.
     William Gibbons - Speaker of the House of Representative
      Benjamin Taliaferro - President of the Senate
George Mathews - Governor
December 17, 1793
The History of Hancock County, Georgia by Elizabeth Wiley Smith. 2 volumes. Wilkes Publishing Company, Inc. Washington, GA, Jan 1974. Page ix.. Submitted by Mary Ann Willoughby
FIRST SETTLERS
Among the first settlers of the county were General H. Mitchell, Bolling Hall, Charles Abercrombie, Henry Graybill, Joseph Bryan, William Rees, Jonathan Adams, John Montgomery, Jacob Dennis, Archibald Smith, T. Holt, Thos.Raines, James Bishop, Isham Rees, M. Martin. R. Clarke, R. Shipp, F. Tucker, L. Barnes, W. Wyley, Wm. Saunders, James Thomas, Jesse Pope, Jonas Shivers, Wm. Hardy, L. Tatum, R. Moreland. Historical collections of Georgia. George White.  1854, c1853

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

1850

Extract from the Census of 1850. Dwellings, 761; families, 785; white males, 2,134; white females, 2,078; free coloured males, 33; free colured females 27. Total free population, 4,272; slaves, 7,306. Deaths, 128. Farms, 444; manufacturing establishments, 20. Value of real estate, $1,640,646; value of personal estate, $4,049,156. Source: White's Historical Collections of Georgia 1854
 

1853
Hancock county, Ga. Situate E. centrally, and contains 451 sq. m. Drained by brances of Ogeechee r., its E. boundary, and of Oconee r., its NW boundary. Surface diversified, with some moderate hills; soil very productive. This is in the great cotton belt of Georgia, and attention is directed mainly to its cultivation. Farms 444; manuf. 20; dwell, 761, and pop. wh. 4,212, fr. col. 60, sl. 7,806 - total 11,073. Capital Sparta.
Source: A new and complete statistical gazetteer of the United States of America, founded on and compiled from official federal and state returns, and the seventh national census. By Richard S. Fisher.
Fisher, Richard Swainson. comp. 960 p. 25 cm. New York, J. H. Colton, 1853.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

1854

HANCOCK  Definition: a county in the N. E. central part of Georgia, has an area of 440 square miles. The Oconee river forms its boundary on the W., the N. fork of the Ogeechee on the N. E., and it is also drained by Buffalo creek. The surface is diversified, the dividing ridge between the primary and tertiary formations passing through the county. The soil in the N. is clayey; in the S. it is sandy, and covered with a growth of pine. Cotton, Indian corn, and wheat are the staples. In 1850 this county produced 11,374 bales of cotton; 440,699 bushels of corn; 72,875 of oats, and 119,205 of sweet potatoes. There were 2 cotton factories, 7 flour mills, and 8 saw mills. It contained 21 churches, and 339 pupils attending academies and other schools. The county contains an abundance of granite, and a great variety of rare minerals and precious stones, including gold, agate, chalcedony, opal, kaolin, zircon, and galena. (White's Statistics.) The rivers furnish motive-power. Formed in 1793. Capital, Sparta. Population, 11,578, of whom 4272 were free, and 7306, slaves. 1854 Gazette
   Hancock Manufacturing Company- situated at Sparta; dimensions of factory, 54x140; engine-room, 25 by 54; eninge, 100 horsepower, capital, $80,000; spindles, 4,500; looms, 100; operatives, 140; yards of cloth made per day, 3,500; pounds of threat per day, 500; osnaburgs, sheets &c., are manufactured.  Historical collections of Georgia. George White.  1854, c1853
    The lovers of natural science will find much to interest them in this section of the State. Minerals are abundant, viz., agate, jasper, chalcedony, iron, gold, asbestos, kaolin, galena, zircon, plubago, epitdote,&c.
    There are some remarkable mounds in this county. A gentleman has furnished us with an account of several on Shoulder Bone Creek. He says. "the principal one is 400 feet N. of the centre prong of Shoulder Bone Creek; its base is 20 feet above the level of the creek. A few years ago it was 37 feet high; around it are the remains of a ditch or intrenchment, containing about four acres. Near the mound is an inclosure. Human bones, to a large amount, have been exhumed."
      Shoulder Bone Creek is memorable as being the place where a tready was made with the Creeks in 1786.
      Historical collections of Georgia. George White.  1854, c1853
1855
Hancock County, Ga. Situated a little N.E. of the centre of the state. Area 431 sq. ms. The Oconee r. runs on its W. border &  Great Ogeechee r. on its E. border. Watered by branches of these rivers. Capital, Sparta. There were in 1850, live stock valued at $394,883; Ind. corn, 440,699 bush. produced; sweet potatoes 119,205; cotton, 11,374 bales; 7 flouring & grist m, 8 saw m.; 2 cotton fac.: 1 tannery, 3 persons employed; Cap. emp. in maufact. $126,185; value of manufactured articles, $76,064; -2 libraries, 450 vols; 21 churches; 6 academies, 132 pupils; 8 schools, 207 scholars. Pop. 1840 9,652. Pop. 1850 11,578.
Source: Harper's statistical gazetteer of the world / by J. Calvin Smith ; Illustrated by seven maps.
vi, 1952 p. New York, Harper & Brothers, 1855.

1859
1859 Hancock County Post Offices
Devereaux' Store
Long's Bridge
Mount Zion
Powelton
Rock Mills
Shoals of Ogechee
Sparta (c.h.)
List of post offices in the United States ... United States. Post Office Dept. v. 17-28 cm. Washington, 1859.

1870
 
Hancock--Population, in 1870, 11,317--3,645 white, 7,672 black; 56 per cent. of tillable land cleared; 80 per cent. of farm laborers black; 34 free public schools for whites, 15 for blacks; Baptist churches 9, Methodist 13, Presbyterian 2, Episcopal 1, Roman Catholic 1; 1 cotton mill, but now suspended; 1 sash and blind factory; several cotton-gin and carriage factories.
Sparta, the capital town, is situated on the Macon & Augusta Railroad, 50 miles from Macon and 70 from Augusta, the market town, though much cotton sold at the place; white population 570, black 250, private dwellings 70, hotels 2, banks 1, churches 4, schools 2, pupils 80, 1 weekly newspaper, 13 dry goods stores, 5 grocery stores, 2 drug stores, 7 physicians, 10 lawyers, 2 dentists.
A manual of Georgia for the use of immigrants and capitalists / prepared under the direction of Thomas P. Janes, commissioner of agriculture  Georgia. Dept. of Agriculture; Janes, Thomas P. : ii, 119 p. ; 21 cm.  Atlanta: [s.n.], 1878

Finister-Walker German Colony -1907
LINKS

Hancock County

Hancock County Courthouse

Historical markers

National Register of Historic Places

Camilla-Zack Community Center District, Mayfield
Cheely-Coleman House
Glen Mary Plantation, Linton Road
Hurt-Rives Plantation
Jackson, John S., Plantation House and Outbuildings, off Hwy. 16, White Plains
Jewell Historic District, GA 248 and GA 16, Jewell
Linton Historic District
Pearson, Stephen Edward, House, Deveraux
Pearson--Boyer Plantation, Devereaux
Rockby, N.E. Sparta, off Hwy 16
Shivers-Simpson House, Rock Mill, N of Jewell on Mayfield Rd., Jewell
Shoulderbone Mounds
Sparta Cemetery, N of jct. of Hamilton and Boland Sts., Sparta
Sparta Historic District, roughly bounded by Hamilton, Elm, W, and Burwell Sts., Sparta
Old Eagle Tavern

Rockby School for Boys

Sparta

The New Georgia Encylopedia

Vanishing Georgia

Digital Library of Georgia

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Sparta  1884, 1889, 1895, 1901, 1909, 1920
 
 

Eileen B.McAdams copyright 2004