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.
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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.
JONES COUNTY GOVERNMENT
Jones County Board of Commissioners, 166 Industrial Blvd., 478-986-6405
GRAY CITY GOVERNMENT
City Hall, 109 James St., Gray, 478-986-5433
Jones County Government Center, 166 Industrial Blvd., Gray, 478-986-3222, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
No place in Jones County. Officials advise that licenses can be obtained at the Drivers License Bureau, 200 Cherry St., Terminal Station, Macon from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 478-751-6031
Jones County Tax Commissioner’s Office, Jones County Government Center, Gray, 478-986-6538, 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Monday-Friday
Police Department, 911 or 478-986-5554
Sheriff’s Office, 911 or 478-986-3489
Fire, 911 or 478-986-6672 in Jones County, or 478-986-5433 in Gray
2012 estimate: 28,577
Change, 2000 to 2010: 21.3 percent
White: 73.5 percent
Black: 24.5 percent
Hispanic: 1.3 percent
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, October 2012: 5,525
Eligible for HOPE scholarship: 38.7 percent
Enrolled, white: 69.4 percent
Enrolled, black: 26.7 percent
Median household income, 2011: $47,792
People below poverty level: 14.2 percent
Unemployment rate, December 2013: 6.2
Civilian labor force, December 2013: 14,441
Births per 1,000 people, 2010: 12.2
Deaths per 1,000 people, 2010: 8.5
Births to unwed mothers, 2010: 46.7 percent
Teen pregnancies per 1,000 girls aged 10 to 19: 20.4
People per physician, 2010: 7,167
Uninsured, less than age 65: 19 percent
TANF recipients, Fiscal 2011: 0.4 percent
Land: 395.4 square miles
Land in farms: 12.8 percent
Road mileage, unpaved, 2010: 34 percent
Sources: Telegraph analysis, Georgia Statistics System, U.S. Census Bureau, Georgia Department of Labor, Georgia Department of Education