A look at midstate counties

September 30, 2012 

Bibb County

Bibb County, the 54th county formed in Georgia, was created in 1822. The county was named for Dr. William Wyatt Bibb, who lived in Elbert County and served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. He was appointed governor of the territory of Alabama in 1816 and became the first elected governor of that state.

The county has two incorporated municipalities, Macon, which is the county seat, and Payne City, which is entirely surrounded by the larger city.

Macon was incorporated in 1823, named after Sen. Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina, the home state of most of the early white settlers in the area. Macon’s City Hall served as the temporary state capitol from November 1864 to 1865.

Macon is home to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and Wesleyan College, founded in 1836 as the first college chartered to grant degrees to women.

Population

2010 Census: 155,547

Change, 2000 to 2010: 1.1 percent

White: 43.2 percent

Black: 52.1 percent

Hispanic: 2.8 percent

Education

High school or better: 81.2 percent

Bachelor’s or better: 23.1 percent

Public high school graduates, 2011: 896

Graduation rate, 2011: 51.3 percent

Public school enrollment, March 2012: 24,544

Eligible for HOPE scholarship: 28.1 percent

Enrolled, white: 20.6 percent

Enrolled, black: 72.8 percent

Economics

Median household income: $38,798

People below poverty level: 22.4 percent

Unemployment rate, June 2012: 10.5

Civilian labor force, June 2012: 74,753

Health

Births per 1,000 people, 2009: 15.7

Deaths per 1,000 people, 2009: 10.4

Births to unwed mothers, 2009: 64.3 percent

Teen pregnancies per 1,000 girls aged 10 to 19: 40.1

People per physician, 2008: 249

Uninsured, under age 65: 18.6 percent

TANF recipients, Fiscal 2010: 2 percent

Physical

Land: 255.4 square miles

Land in farms: 9 percent

Road mileage, unpaved: 4.7 percent

Sources: Telegraph analysis, Georgia Statistics System, U.S. Census Bureau, Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia Department of Education

Crawford County

Crawford County, the 55th county formed in Georgia, was created in 1822 from Creek Indian lands and part of Houston County. Later, parts of Macon and Talbot counties were added. The county was named for William H. Crawford, who was the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury when the county was created and was a candidate for president in 1824.

The county has one active municipality, Roberta. It is named for the daughter of Hiram McCrary, who gave and sold land for the settlement.

The county seat, Knoxville, received a charter in 1825, but it was one of 187 inactive municipalities to lose their charters in 1995 as a result of a 1993 act of the General Assembly. The routing of the railroad through Roberta induced most of the inhabitants to move a mile away to that town, which was incorporated in 1890.

Nineteen archaeological sites in the county have been filed with the State Archaeological Office. Of particular significance is the Creek habitation area along the Flint River.

Population

2010 Census: 12,630

Change, 2000 to 2010: 1.1 percent

White: 74.6 percent

Black: 22.3 percent

Hispanic: 2.4 percent

Education

High school or better: 78.7 percent

Bachelor’s or better: 13.6 percent

Public high school graduates, 2011: 81

Graduation rate, 2011: 42.3 percent

Public school enrollment, March 2012: 1,865

Eligible for HOPE scholarship: 23.8 percent

Enrolled, white: 70.4 percent

Enrolled, black: 24 percent

Economics

Median household income: $37,062

People below poverty level: 20.5 percent

Unemployment rate, June 2012: 10.5

Civilian labor force, June 2012: 6,278

Health

Births per 1,000 people, 2009: 11

Deaths per 1,000 people, 2009: 10

Births to unwed mothers, 2009: 49.6 percent

Teen pregnancies per 1,000 girls aged 10 to 19: 30.6

People per physician, 2008: 6,270

Uninsured, under age 65: 21.9 percent

TANF recipients, Fiscal 2010: 1 percent

Physical

Land: 326.5 square miles

Land in farms: 18.1 percent

Road mileage, unpaved: 28.8 percent

Sources: Telegraph analysis, Georgia Statistics System, U.S. Census Bureau, Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia Department of Education

Houston County

Houston County (pronounced House-ton), the 51st county formed in Georgia, was created in 1821. Originally part of the Creek nation’s land, the county was named for John Houston, a member of the Continental Congress and governor of Georgia from 1778-1784.

The county has three municipalities: Centerville, Warner Robins and Perry, the county seat. Robins Air Force Base also is located in the county.

Both Warner Robins and Robins Air Force Base were named for Brig. Gen. Augustine Warner Robins.

Robins Air Force Base was built in 1941 for about $15 million. It covers 6,400 acres and is Georgia’s largest single employer, providing an important economic boost to Middle Georgia.

Perry is named in honor of Oliver Hazard Perry, the naval officer who said, “We have met the enemy and they are ours,” after a fleet under his command defeated the British at Lake Erie. Perry also is home to the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter.

Population

2010 Census: 139,900

Change, 2000 to 2010: 26.3 percent

White: 63.3 percent

Black: 28.6 percent

Hispanic: 6.1 percent

Education

High school or better: 87.3 percent

Bachelor’s or better: 24.4 percent

Public high school graduates, 2011: 1,537

Graduation rate, 2011: 73.2 percent

Public school enrollment, March 2012: 27,324

Eligible for HOPE scholarship: 39.4 percent

Enrolled, white: 49.9 percent

Enrolled, black: 35.9 percent

Economics

Median household income: $55,098

People below poverty level: 12.8 percent

Unemployment rate, June 2012: 8.1

Civilian labor force, June 2012: 70,737

Health

Births per 1,000 people, 2009: 15

Deaths per 1,000 people, 2009: 7.3

Births to unwed mothers, 2009: 43.1 percent

Teen pregnancies per 1,000 girls aged 10 to 19: 29.4

People per physician, 2008: 625

Uninsured, under age 65: 16.8 percent

TANF recipients, Fiscal 2010: 1 percent

Physical

Land: 379.9 square miles

Land in farms: 19.4 percent

Road mileage, unpaved: 5.5 percent

Sources: Telegraph analysis, Georgia Statistics System, U.S. Census Bureau, Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia Department of Education

Jones County

Jones County was the 30th county created in Georgia, in 1807. Originally part of Baldwin County, it was named for James Jones, a prominent Savannah attorney, Georgia legislator and U.S. Congressman.

The county seat since 1905 and the only incorporated municipality is Gray. The town was originally known as James in honor of the man whose land it was on, James. H. Blount. It was changed to Gray to honor James Madison Gray, a major financier of the Confederacy.

The Ocmulgee River, the restored Jarrell Plantation and the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge are located in the county.

Jones County was the site of the first iron foundry in Georgia, founded in 1820 by Samuel Griswold from Connecticut to produce cotton gins. His factories and properties were destroyed by the Union forces because he made guns and ammunition for the Confederacy.

Old Clinton, built in 1809, was a center for New England settlers whose influence is reflected in the architecture of the town. The houses stand close to the streets, which ran out from a central square. In 1860, this was the county seat and the fourth largest city in the state. Clinton was one of 187 inactive municipalities to lose its charter in 1995, as a result of a 1993 act of the General Assembly. It had lost most of its population to Gray in the 1890s when the residents rejected having the railroad pass through.

Population

2010 Census: 28,669

Change, 2000 to 2010: 21.3 percent

White: 73.2 percent

Black: 24.4 percent

Hispanic: 1.1 percent

Education

High school or better: 85.4 percent

Bachelor’s or better: 17.2 percent

Public high school graduates, 2011: 339

Graduation rate, 2011: 72.1 percent

Public school enrollment, March 2012: 5,539

Eligible for HOPE scholarship: 38.7 percent

Enrolled, white: 69.5 percent

Enrolled, black: 26.7 percent

Economics

Median household income: $50,717

People below poverty level: 13.1 percent

Unemployment rate, June 2012: 8.9

Civilian labor force, June 2012: 14,803

Health

Births per 1,000 people, 2009: 13.4

Deaths per 1,000 people, 2009: 8.9

Births to unwed mothers, 2009: 43.2 percent

Teen pregnancies per 1,000 girls aged 10 to 19: 27.5

People per physician, 2008: 4,547

Uninsured, under age 65: 17.7 percent

TANF recipients, Fiscal 2010: 0.8 percent

Physical

Land: 395.4 square miles

Land in farms: 12.8 percent

Road mileage, unpaved: 34 percent

Sources: Telegraph analysis, Georgia Statistics System, U.S. Census Bureau, Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia Department of Education

Monroe County

Monroe County was formed in 1821 from Creek Indian land. It is named for President James Monroe, the fifth president and author of the Monroe Doctrine.

Forsyth, the county seat, is named for John Forsyth, who as minister to Spain negotiated the purchase of Florida in 1819. Culloden, once a junction of cross-state Indian trails, is the only other municipality. It was named for a Scottish Highlander who opened a store there in 1780. Culloden is also the site of the oldest brick Methodist church in Georgia, built in 1893.

High Falls State Park, the Chattahoochee National Frost and Lake Juliette are located in the county. High Falls used to be the site of a prosperous town that faded away after being bypassed by the railroads in the late 1880s.

Juliette is home to the Whistle Stop Cafe, made famous by the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes,” which filmed there.

Population

2010 Census: 26,424

Change, 2000 to 2010: 21.5 percent

White: 73.3 percent

Black: 23.7 percent

Hispanic: 2 percent

Education

High school or better: 80.7 percent

Bachelor’s or better: 19 percent

Public high school graduates, 2011: 218

Graduation rate, 2011: 78.4 percent

Public school enrollment, March 2012: 4,028

Eligible for HOPE scholarship: 33.6 percent

Enrolled, white: 67.2 percent

Enrolled, black: 27.8 percent

Economics

Median household income: $48,297

People below poverty level: 12.3 percent

Unemployment rate, June 2012: 8.3

Civilian labor force, June 2012: 14,174

Health

Births per 1,000 people, 2009: 11.4

Deaths per 1,000 people, 2009: 10

Births to unwed mothers, 2009: 41.6 percent

Teen pregnancies per 1,000 girls aged 10 to 19: 28.6

People per physician, 2008: 2,785

Uninsured, under age 65: 17.5 percent

TANF recipients, Fiscal 2010: 0.8 percent

Physical

Land: 397.8 square miles

Land in farms: 15.5 percent

Road mileage, unpaved: 16.8 percent

Sources: Telegraph analysis, Georgia Statistics System, U.S. Census Bureau, Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia Department of Education

Peach County

Peach County was the last county formed in Georgia. Created from Houston and Macon counties in 1924, it is named after the area’s most famous crop.

Fort Valley is the county seat; the only other municipality is Byron.

Fort Valley was originally called Fox Valley because of a good fox in a valley near town, but its name accidentally became Fort Valley when a congressman scrawled the name on the application for a post office in 1825 and an official in Washington misread it.

Byron was named for the English poet, Lord Byron. On Fourth of July weekend in 1970, it was the site of the South’s largest pop festival.

Fort Valley is home of Fort Valley State University, a member of the University System of Georgia.

The American Camellia Society is headquartered at Massee Lane Gardens in Peach County. This park is 100 acres and has more than 2,000 varieties of camellias.

Population

2010 Census: 27,695

Change, 2000 to 2010: 17 percent

White: 48.3 percent

Black: 45.9 percent

Hispanic: 6.8 percent

Education

High school or better: 80.1 percent

Bachelor’s or better: 18 percent

Public high school graduates, 2011: 191

Graduation rate, 2011: 59.9 percent

Public school enrollment, March 2012: 3,861

Eligible for HOPE scholarship: 42.2 percent

Enrolled, white: 34 percent

Enrolled, black: 49.7 percent

Economics

Median household income: $41,014

People below poverty level: 25.4 percent

Unemployment rate, June 2012: 12

Civilian labor force, June 2012: 12,391

Health

Births per 1,000 people, 2009: 13

Deaths per 1,000 people, 2009: 7.6

Births to unwed mothers, 2009: 47.9 percent

Teen pregnancies per 1,000 girls aged 10 to 19: 39.6

People per physician, 2008: 2,014

Uninsured, under age 65: 22.4 percent

TANF recipients, Fiscal 2010: 1.8 percent

Physical

Land: 151.3 square miles

Land in farms: 41.6 percent

Road mileage, unpaved: 10.2 percent

Sources: Telegraph analysis, Georgia Statistics System, U.S. Census Bureau, Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia Department of Education

Twiggs County

Twiggs County was created in 1809, taking its territory from Wilkinson County. Georgia’s 37th county was named for Gen. John Twiggs, a prominent leader in the Revolutionary War and the Indian wars.

The county has two municipalities, Jeffersonville and Danville. Jeffersonville, the larger, is also the county seat. It was established in 1828 as Rains’ Store, but its name was changed to honor the Jefferson family, leaders in the county’s early development.

Industrial development in the county centers on the mining and production of kaolin. There are 36 mines and 3,797 acres used for kaolin and sand.

The geographic center of the state is located in the county, near Marion.

Population

2010 Census: 9,023

Change, 2000 to 2010: -14.8 percent

White: 56.8 percent

Black: 41.3 percent

Hispanic: 1.4 percent

Education

High school or better: 61.4 percent

Bachelor’s or better: 6.7 percent

Public high school graduates, 2011: 60

Graduation rate, 2011: 59.1 percent

Public school enrollment, March 2012: 935

Eligible for HOPE scholarship: 32.7 percent

Enrolled, white: 31.2 percent

Enrolled, black: 66 percent

Economics

Median household income: $26,521

People below poverty level: 21.2 percent

Unemployment rate, June 2012: 12.3

Civilian labor force, June 2012: 4,195

Health

Births per 1,000 people, 2009: 9

Deaths per 1,000 people, 2009: 11.7

Births to unwed mothers, 2009: 53.8 percent

Teen pregnancies per 1,000 girls aged 10 to 19: 21.6

People per physician, 2008: 10,218

Uninsured, under age 65: 21.7 percent

TANF recipients, Fiscal 2010: 2 percent

Physical

Land: 362.6 square miles

Land in farms: 19.6 percent

Road mileage, unpaved: 23.2 percent

Sources: Telegraph analysis, Georgia Statistics System, U.S. Census Bureau, Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia Department of Education

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