Jeff Davis County, Georgia

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Jeff Davis County, Georgia
Map of Georgia highlighting Jeff Davis County
Location in the state of Georgia
Map of the United States highlighting Georgia
Georgia's location in the U.S.
Founded August 18, 1905
Named for Jefferson Davis
Seat Hazlehurst
Largest city Hazlehurst
 • Total 335 sq mi (868 km2)
 • Land 331 sq mi (857 km2)
 • Water 4.7 sq mi (12 km2), 1.4%
 • (2010) 15,068
 • Density 46/sq mi (18/km²)
Congressional district 12th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4

Jeff Davis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,068.[1] The county seat is Hazlehurst.[2] The county was created on August 18, 1905 and named for Jefferson Davis, the only President of the Confederate States of America

Jesse Thomas Williams & Henrietta Stanfield Williams 01.jpg Brief family history of Jesse Williams in Jeff Davis County Georgia as told by Arley D. Finley, Jeff Davis County Historian and retired Postmaster. The information was given to Mr. Finley by Amos Williams and aired on radio station WVOH on June 17, 1970.

"Mr. Jesse Williams, whose story we are telling today, came from Walterboro, South Carolina. He was an orphan boy and he was brought up on a large plantation where he received practically no wages nor did he get to go to school and get an education. While still a young man, the great civil war came along and he enlisted and fought four long years for his beloved Southland. He came out of the war without a scratch, but when he was mustered, he had no money, no relatives, and no home. The Carpetbaggers had taken over the plantation where he had worked as a boy. "He married Henrietta Stanfield, daughter of John Malachi Stanfield and Sarah Stanfield of Walterboro. By working hard and raising some stock in the swamps and wild woods, he managed to save enough money in Burke County Georgia to buy a yoke of oxen and a cart. With this equipment, he came from Burke County to this county, which was part of Appling County at that time. "Mr. Williams had stayed in Burke County long enough on his way here from South Carolina to raise some cotton and get a start in a financial way. He stayed in Burke County 3 or 4 years and when he left, he had enough money not only to buy his oxen and cart but also enough to buy some land when he got here. He found a good spot about three miles from Hazlehurst on the Alma road. He was able to buy 490 acres (land lot 404) for $1.00 per acre. He moved on the land with his wife & four children and built two log cabins. Each had one room about 15 by 18 feet. It was in one of these cabins, that later, Amos and Abraham (the twins) were born. Today, Mr. Amos Williams lives within ¼ mile of the place where he was born, which is quite a record, especially considering the fact that Mr. Amos is 86 years old. "Mr. Jesse Williams was able later to acquire another lot of land from two gentlemen named Hand who had bought this land according to the deeds on record in Appling County for the small amount of $5.00, each one putting up $2.50 according to the deeds when they bought this land. Later Mr. Williams had to sell this land to pay a $1,000 note, which he had endorsed for his neighbor and in this manner lost this lot (490 acres). The land on which Mr. Amos Williams lives today is part of a 300-acre tract, which he bought from Mr. Head, the father of Mrs. Rhetta Wooten. Mr. Head had bid on this 300 acres of land at the courthouse for $750 and then decided he did not want it. So he let Mr. Williams have the land for the same price he had paid. All this was adjoining his land and later on Mr. Williams decided to divide up his land among his ten children (8 boys and 2 girls). He first wrote out his will and let each child read the will to see if everything was agreeable. He gave some children more than he did others and he had a reason for each size gift. For instance, he gave more to those who stayed home and helped operate the farm. Amos and Abraham received less than others because they were the two who received the most education and were more able to take care of themselves. After all the children had read his will and all had agreed that it was fair and just, Mr. Williams then made out a deed to each child for the amount left to him or her in his will. In this manner he eliminated any chance of a misunderstanding or ill will by any member of the family. Mr. Williams was a smart man. While Mr. Jesse was living in these two log cabins with his family, the Beewick Lumber Company was cutting lumber around him. Lots of people don't know it but back in 1876, the Beewick Lumber Company was located at Johnsonville, near Graham, Georgia on the Macon & Brunswick railroad, which had been completed six years before. Back in 1880, the large plant burned and they moved their large mill to Hazlehurst and stayed in Hazlehurst for the next twenty years. Before they had their fire, they ran tram roads all over the countryside cutting only the larger trees, which were all virgin timber. One of the tram roads ran across the lands adjoining Mr. Williams' and one day the lumber crew cutting large trees went over the line and cut about twenty of Mr. Jesse's large trees before he could stop them. Mr. Williams sent word to Mr. Beewick to come see him about the timber, which had been cut in error. The next morning, Mr. Beewick came out on the tram engine with some other officials and paid for the timber. He was so impressed by the manner which Mr. Williams had handled his complaint and looking over the two small log cabins where the Williams family lived, told Mr. Williams that he was sending out enough finished, dressed lumber for him to build the family a nice five room house. The Lumber would not cost him a dime. The new home was built farther over near the present highway and was used by Mr. Jesse to raise his family and only in the past few years has it been torn down. "Mr. Jesse lived until he reached the age of eighty. Of his ten children, only two survive today. Mr. Ben Williams who lives at Baxley and is 97 years old; and Mr. Amos who is 86 and still travels around and keeps a large group of his customers contented, with their sewing machines running in good shape. "Amos and Abraham were the two school teachers in the family and were identical twins. I transacted business with both of them over the years and I never learned to tell them apart. Abraham was the first schoolteacher hired in this county by the new school superintendent T. J. Ellis when Jeff Davis started operating the schools in 1906. He was a dedicated teacher working more for the good that he could do than the small paycheck he received. At one time when Abraham was teaching school at Johnson's School near Mr. Lott Johnson's farm, Amos substituted for him a whole week and the pupils never knew the difference. Another time, Abraham was going steady with a young lady in the community and was not able to keep a date. Mr. Amos substituted for his brother without his brother's knowledge of it and the young lady did not detect the difference until later. "I could tell you many more interesting episodes in the Jesse Williams story, especially how Amos maintained order in his schools, and the rough times he had and how he gave instructions in writing and arithmetic to grown men who later became some of our most prosperous and well known citizens, but time is running out."


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 335 square miles (870 km2), of which 331 square miles (860 km2) is land and 4.7 square miles (12 km2) (1.4%) is water.[3]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 6,050
1920 7,322 21.0%
1930 8,118 10.9%
1940 8,841 8.9%
1950 9,299 5.2%
1960 8,914 −4.1%
1970 9,425 5.7%
1980 11,473 21.7%
1990 12,032 4.9%
2000 12,684 5.4%
2010 15,068 18.8%
Est. 2013 15,004 −0.4%
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 12,684 people, 4,828 households, and 3,592 families residing in the county. The population density was 38 people per square mile (15/km²). There were 5,581 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 81.20% White, 15.14% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.39% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. 5.13% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,828 households out of which 35.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.50% were married couples living together, 13.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.60% were non-families. 22.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the county the population was spread out with 27.20% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 28.20% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 11.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 96.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,310, and the median income for a family was $30,930. Males had a median income of $26,261 versus $20,095 for females. The per capita income for the county was $13,780. About 16.80% of families and 19.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.70% of those under age 18 and 22.10% of those age 65 or over.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 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 23, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014. 
  8. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 

Coordinates: 31°48′N 82°38′W / 31.80°N 82.64°W / 31.80; -82.64