Knoxville was founded in 1823 as seat of the newly formed Crawford County. It was incorporated as a town in 1825. The former city's municipal charter was dissolved in 1995 pursuant to a Georgia law which abolished city governments which were defunct or minimally operative.
Alexis de Tocqueville visited Knoxville in 1832 as part of his tour of America which he would eventually describe in his famous book, Democracy in America.
Knoxville was heavily involved in the February–March 2007 tornado outbreak, which damaged at least ten homes, and a small storage building business. There was over $20,000 in damage in Knoxville alone.
Knoxville was also home to Joanna Troutman, a young girl who sewed a single star on a white banner to give to a battalion of Georgia troops headed west to assist Texas citizens in their fight for independence.