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Georgia Counties
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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.


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Irwin County, Georgia

Irwin County History, Geography, and Demographics

County Seat: Ocilla
Year Organized: 1818
Square Miles: 357
Court House:

207 South Irwin Avenue, Suite 1
County Courthouse
Ocilla, GA 31774-1858

Etymology - Origin of County Name

Irwin County was named for Governor Jared Irwin, a North Carolina native. Irwin was famous for his opposition to the Yazoo Law of 1795, by which the state of Georgia sold a vast tract of land at one and a half cents per acre to several companies, including one owned in part by a US Senator. Irwin rescinded the law in 1796 during his term as governor.

Demographics: County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

Irwin County, the 45th county created, retains only a small portion of the territory given to it when it was formed from Creek Indian lands in 1818. It once encompassed all of south central Georgia, but now contains the upper reaches of the Alapaha, Willacoochee and Satilla rivers.

Irwin County was named for Governor Jared Irwin, a North Carolina native. Irwin was famous for his opposition to the Yazoo Law of 1795, by which the state of Georgia sold a vast tract of land at one and a half cents per acre to several companies, including one owned in part by a US Senator. Irwin rescinded the law in 1796 during his term as governor.

During the Civil War, Irwinville to the northeast of Ocilla was the county seat, and the location where Union soldiers captured Jefferson Davis. The site is now the Jefferson Davis Park and Museum.

Ocilla is a version of an old Indian name, Osceola. The county's first courthouse was constructed in 1848-1849, and the one currently in use was built in 1905.

Points of Interest

There are two entries on the National Register from Irwin County: the Irwin County Courthouse and the Jefferson Davis Capture Site.

There are several endangered species found in the county, including the Florida Panther, the Peregrine Falcon and the Southern Bald Eagle.

Notable Citizens

Dave Prater of the soul group, Sam and Dave, was from Ocilla. This soul duo was responsible for hits like "You Don't Know" Like I Know" during the 1960s.

Neighboring Counties:

  • Northeast: Ben Hill County
  • East: Coffee County
  • South: Berrien County
  • Southwest: Tift County
  • Northwest: Turner County
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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!"


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