Crawford County, Georgia

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Not to be confused with Crawford, Georgia.
Crawford County, Georgia
New Crawford County Courthouse.jpg
Crawford County Courthouse in Knoxville
Map of Georgia highlighting Crawford County
Location in the state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location in the U.S.
Founded 1822
Named for William H. Crawford
Seat Knoxville
Largest city Roberta
Area
 • Total 326 sq mi (844 km2)
 • Land 325 sq mi (842 km2)
 • Water 1.6 sq mi (4 km2), 0.5%
Population
 • (2010) 12,630
 • Density 39/sq mi (15/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Crawford County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 12,630.[1] The county seat is Knoxville.[2]

Crawford County is included in the Macon, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Crawford County, in west central Georgia, is Georgia's fifty-seventh county. The 325-square-mile (840 km2) county was created on December 9, 1822, from Houston County, which had been formed from land given up by the Creek Indians in the 1821 Treaty of Indian Springs. The county is named for statesman William H. Crawford who had served as a U.S. senator, minister to France, and secretary of the treasury. Harris was Georgia's first presidential candidate.

The first white settlers in the area were Indian agent Benjamin Hawkins and his family. Arriving in 1803, they built a five-square-mile compound on the Flint River. The compound included a shop and plantation, which became known as the Creek Agency Reserve. Although Hawkins was well liked Hawkins Monument by the Creeks, he believed, as did many white men of his time, that the Indians should embrace a European-American way of life. His efforts to persuade the Creeks, however, were largely unsuccessful. Hawkins died at the reserve in 1816.

Knoxville, Georgia was established on the Federal Wire Road, the main stagecoach and telegraph route from Washington, D.C., to New Orleans, making the town a natural choice for county seat. Although the chief center of population is now Roberta, a mile to its west, Knoxville (no longer an incorporated city) retains its designation as the county seat. The current courthouse, built there in 2002, replaced one built in 1851, which still stands. The Old Courthouse built in 1851 still remains as a historical site and museum.

Roberta, Georgia, originally called New Knoxville, is the only incorporated city in the county. It was incorporated on December 26, 1890. Roberta started out in 1886 as a railroad office and warehouse "Roberta, ca. 1900" at the Atlanta and Florida Railway's "89 Fort Valley" milepost. Two years later, after a freight depot and passenger station were completed at the site, people began to settle in the immediate area. Townspeople gave the honor of naming the new town to Hiram McCrary, who had given the railroad the rights to come through his land. McCrary chose to call it Roberta in honor of his young daughter. Most of the inhabitants of Knoxville, a mile away, moved to Roberta when the railroad arrived. For years, while passenger train service was an important mode of transportation, Roberta served as a thriving tourist stop on the route to Florida. After passenger train service gave way to the private automobile, Roberta relaxed into a quiet residential town. The rail tracks were taken up during the 1980s and only the rail bed remains. During 1950 through 1965 the tourist industry was revised by tourist traveling to and from costal resotrs by way of Highway US 341. This all ended when the interstate system deverted traffic away from Roberta to Macon, Georgia. The many dinners and motels built to meet the tourist needs all but disappeared. Roberta is now a small quite Southern town. Other communities in Crawford county are Musella, Gaillard, Horns, Lee Pope, and Zenith.

Musella, Georgia officially first appeared on the Georgia map in 1895. The evidence points to the Atlanta and Florida Railway (A&F) naming the community Musella to identify it as a flag stop. The A&F began laying 105 miles (169 km) of track from Atlanta to Fort Valley in 1880. The railroad wanted to bring the track from Culloden to Knoxville, which was the most direct and economical route, but Crawford County rebelled. Crawford Countians didn’t want the railroad passing through their county seat, so, the A&F laid the tracks to Musella instead. When Musella became a flag stop, the railroad offered better opportunities for farmers to market their products, so many of the residents of nearby Ceres, Georgia, (named after Roman goddess of agriculture; settlement also called Hopewell) migrated to Musella. Since cotton could be shipped by rail, the cotton gin at Ceres was disassembled and moved approximately two miles to Musella. Soon, a general store and post office sprang up there, and Musella quickly became a hub of economic activity in northern Crawford County. Now it is a snpshot of the past.

Portrait of an attractive young woman in mid-19th century dress sewing a flag that says "Liberty or Death"
Joanna Troutman portrait in the Texas State Capitol

During the county's early days, settlers relied first on agriculture (cotton and oats) then on cattle ranching, timber harvesting, and sand extraction as economic mainstays. Agriculture continues to be important, as are manufacturing and health and social services. Many residents also work in neighboring areas.

Well-known figures from Crawford County include Jefferson Franklin Long, Georgia's first African American congressional representative and the first African American to speak from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Long, of mixed African and Caucasian ancestry, was born into slavery in Knoxville. As a freedman after the Civil War (1861–65), he became a tailor, but an avid interest in equal rights led him to politics. He was elected to Congress in December 1870 and served until March 1871.

John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola, was also born in Knoxville. Pemberton was a veteran Confederate States of America lieutenant colonel who served on the first Georgia pharmacy licensing board after the war. His state-of-the-art laboratory for chemical analysis and manufacturing became the first state-run facility to conduct tests of soil and crop chemicals.

Joanna Troutman, who designed the first Lone Star flag (later adopted as the Texas State Flag) was born in Crawford County. She presented her flag to a Volunteer Georgia Battalion, who went to Texas in 1835 to assist Texans in their fight for independence. The flag was first flown at Velasco January 8, 1836, was hoisted along with the Bloody Arm flag at Goliad on news of the declaration of independence March 8, 1836. Although Troutman lived most of her life in Knoxville, her remains were moved to the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, where a bronze statue was erected in her honor. A portrait of Troutman also hangs in the Texas State Capitol.

In 1775 naturalist William Bartram, traveling across Georgia, found a previously unknown plant in Crawford County. He named the plant Hydrangea Quercifolia—now commonly called Oakleaf Hydrangea. Bartram described the area near Sweetwater Creek as a "delightful diversified rural scene," noting that it "promises a happy, fruitful and salubrious region." See The Botanical Explorations of William Bartram in the Southeast by David H. Rembert Jr., Department of Biology, University of South Carolina—article and picture courtesy of Bartram Trail Conference

Crawford County pottery was a thriving business in Crawford County during the 1800s and early 1900s. Names like Long, Becham, Merritt, and Dickson were known throughout the area for their utilitarian jugs and crocks. Clay from Crawford County and the Rich Hill alkaline glaze used by the early "jug makers" is still prized today.

Historic places to visit:

  • Knoxville: The Old Jail (Est 1843) Museum and the Old Courthouse (Est 1832), which was re-built in 1851 after a fire, houses documents and local history. Knoxville is also the home of the annual Crawford County Pottery Jug Fest.
  • Roberta: Historic Old Town Buildings, Replica of the original Train Depot and Passenger Station, Bejamin Hawkins Monument. Currently renovating a rail car Caboose for a railway Museum.
  • West of Roberta off Highway US 80: The Museum of Southeastern Indians with its collection of Indian artifacts and Appalachian settler history.
  • Musella: Dickey Farms (Est. 1897) one of Georgia's oldest, continuously operating peach packing house (built in 1936), Hays General Store (Est. 1900) is 110 years of continuous operation, is one of the oldest stores of its kind in Georgia still in operation, Musella Baptist Church. Founded in 1884, the current building was built in 1908, a beautiful example of traditional old country church architecture.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 326 square miles (840 km2), of which 325 square miles (840 km2) is land and 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) (0.5%) is water.[3]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 5,313
1840 7,981 50.2%
1850 8,984 12.6%
1860 7,693 −14.4%
1870 7,557 −1.8%
1880 8,656 14.5%
1890 9,315 7.6%
1900 10,368 11.3%
1910 8,310 −19.8%
1920 8,893 7.0%
1930 7,020 −21.1%
1940 7,128 1.5%
1950 6,080 −14.7%
1960 5,816 −4.3%
1970 5,748 −1.2%
1980 7,684 33.7%
1990 8,991 17.0%
2000 12,495 39.0%
2010 12,630 1.1%
Est. 2013 12,504 −1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[4]
1790-1960[5] 1900-1990[6]
1990-2000[7] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 12,495 people, 4,461 households, and 3,457 families residing in the county. The population density was 38 people per square mile (15/km²). There were 4,872 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 72.85% White, 23.80% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.81% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. 2.41% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,461 households out of which 37.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.50% were married couples living together, 12.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.50% were non-families. 18.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.78 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.60% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 31.60% from 25 to 44, 23.70% from 45 to 64, and 9.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 100.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,848, and the median income for a family was $41,799. Males had a median income of $31,099 versus $21,138 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,768. About 12.70% of families and 15.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.20% of those under age 18 and 23.80% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 

Coordinates: 32°43′N 83°59′W / 32.71°N 83.98°W / 32.71; -83.98