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Georgia Counties
Georgia is divided into 159 counties. Under the Georgia Constitution, Counties are granted home rule to deal with issues that are local in nature. Four consolidated city-Counties — Athens (Clarke County), Augusta (Richmond County), Columbus (Muscogee County), and Cusseta (Chattahoochee County) — exist.

Georgia has the second-highest number of Counties of any state in the United States, behind Texas (254). A few Georgia Counties have changed names over time. Jasper County was originally known as Randolph County. Later, the current Randolph County came into being. Webster County was once known as Kinchafoonee County, and Bartow County was formerly known as Cass County.

DeKalb County, Georgia

DeKalb County History, Geography, and Demographics

County Seat: Decatur
Year Organized: 1822
Square Miles: 268
Court House:

1300 Commerce Drive
County Courthouse
Decatur, GA 30030-3222

Etymology - Origin of County Name

Named after Baron Johann DeKalb who accompanied LaFayette to America and served as a major general in the Continental Army.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

DeKalb County was formed in 1822 from parts of Henry, Gwinnett, and Fayette counties. It was the 56th county created in the state and was named after Baron Johann DeKalb who accompanied LaFayette to America and served as a major general in the Continental Army.

Decatur was incorporated December 10,1823, and named after Stephen Decatur, a US Naval hero. It is said that early residents rejected a proposal by the Western and Atlantic Railroad to make Decatur a major stop on its new line in the 1830s. These citizens did not want the noise, smoke and confusion, and turned the railroad down. The railroad thus moved seven miles west to a small settlement called Terminus. In 1843, that settlement was renamed Marthasville, and two years later became Atlanta.

Mills and ginneries were vital to the county's early growth. This heritage lives on in the names of various DeKalb roads that once led to these mills, such as Browns Mill, Evans Mill and Henderson Mill.

The county's previous courthouse was built in 1917 at a cost of $10,000. DeKalb's present courthouse was built in 1965 at a cost of $3.5 million, while the old facility has been renovated and serves as the headquarters for the DeKalb Historical Society.

Points of Interest

Stone Mountain Park, one of Georgia's most popular tourist attractions, is located on Gwinnett's border with DeKalb County. Highlights of the 3,200-acre park include a golf course, a 363-acre lake, an antebellum plantation and a carving of Confederate heroes on the world's largest exposed mass of granite.

The Fernbank Museum of Natural History, which opened in 1992, is said to be the largest museum of the natural sciences south of the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Also, the Fernbank Science Center, a museum and an educational center, houses a planetarium and observatory.

Callanwode, the Tudor-style mansion, was built in 1920 as the home of Charles Howard Candler, eldest son of Coca-Cola founda Asa G. Candler. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The heart of DeKalb County's international population is located in the International Village District within the city of Chamblee and DeKalb's International Corridor.

The collections of the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University span the globe and the centuries. Housed in a distinguished building by renowned architect Michael Graves, the Carlos maintains the largest collection of ancient art in the Southeast with objects from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Near East, and the ancient Americas. The Museum is also home to collections of 19th and 20th-century sub-Saharan African art and European and American works on paper from the Renaissance to the present.

Notable Citizens

Rebecca Latimer Felton, born near Decatur, was the first appointed woman US senator from Georgia. For several years she wrote newspaper columns that expressed her beliefs regarding women's suffrage. Following the death of Senator Tom Watson in 1922, the governor appointed Felton to the United States Senate to serve just twenty-four hours, from November 21 to 22, 1922. Felton, having served one day, served the shortest term and was the oldest Senator, at age eighty-seven, at the time of first swearing-in.

Brenda Lee, the pop singer from the 1950s and 1960s, is from Lithonia.

Higher Education

Emory University, Agnes Scott College, Mercer University and Georgia Perimeter College.

Neighboring Counties:

  • Northeast: Gwinnett County
  • Southeast: Rockdale County
  • South: Henry County
  • Southwest: Clayton County
  • West: Fulton County

Cities and Towns:

- Atlanta city Incorporated Area
- Avondale Estates city Incorporated Area
- Chamblee city Incorporated Area
- Clarkston city Incorporated Area
- Decatur (County Seat) city Incorporated Area
- Doraville city Incorporated Area
- Lithonia city Incorporated Area
- Pine Lake city Incorporated Area
- Stone Mountain city Incorporated Area

County Resources:


Chamber of Commerce

Additional County Info

County Resources
Counties: US Map
The history of our nation was a prolonged struggle to define the relative roles and powers of our governments: federal, state, and local. And the names given the counties, our most locally based jurisdictions, reflects the "characteristic features of this country!"