Lowndes County, Georgia
|Lowndes County, Georgia|
Lowndes County Courthouse in Valdosta
Location in the state of Georgia
Georgia's location in the U.S.
|Founded||December 23, 1825|
|Named for||William Jones Lowndes|
|• Total||511 sq mi (1,323 km2)|
|• Land||496 sq mi (1,285 km2)|
|• Water||15 sq mi (39 km2), 2.8%|
|• Density||220/sq mi (85/km²)|
|Congressional districts||1st, 8th|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC-5/-4|
Lowndes County (pronounced Lounds) is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 Census the population was 109,233. The county seat is Valdosta. The county was created December 23, 1825.
The county is a major commercial, educational, and manufacturing center of south Georgia with considerable forest products including pulpwood and naval stores, such as turpentine and rosin. Part of Grand Bay, a 13,000-acre (53 km2) swamp is located in Lowndes County.
The land that became Lowndes County, had historically been inhabited by the Timucua. During most the age of European colonization the area of modern Lowndes County was part of the colony of Spanish Florida. From approximately 1625 to 1657, the Spanish Empire maintained a Catholic mission to the Timucua dubbed Mission Santa Cruz de Cachipile in the southern portion of Lowndes County near Lake Park. In the centuries that followed Timicua civilization collapsed due to slave raiding and disease. By the dawn of the 19th century the future area of Lowndes County was considered to be part of the lands belonging to the Creek Nation. On December 15, 1818 Irwin County was organized out of the Creek lands.
Lowndes County was established by an act passed by the Georgia legislature on December 23, 1825. It was formed out of the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 15th, and 16th land districts of Irwin County, Georgia. The county was named for William Jones Lowndes (1782–1822), a prominent South Carolina lawyer and Congressman whose father, South Carolina Governor Rawlins Lowndes, had been a Revolutionary War leader. The Coffee Road was the first route through the area of Lowndes County and opened up the area to white settlers.
The first county seat was named Franklinville and was located a mile to the east of Hahira. The introduction of steam-powered ships on the Withlacochee and Little Rivers led to a shift in the population. In December 1833 the state legislature passed a law establishing a new county seat at a place to be called to Lowndesville. The law also called for a courthouse, a jail, and a town to be laid out within land lot 109 in the 12th land district. This land lot is near the present Timber Ridge Road in Lowndes County. It is uncertain why the plans for Lowndesville were abandoned. In December 1834 another law was passed by the state legislature authorizing commissioners to select a suitable site for a courthouse, so that the county seat could be moved from Franklinville. In October 1836, another group of commissioners were advertising for contracting proposals for the construction of a brick courthouse at Troupville. By Summer 1837, Troupville and Franklinville were both serving as courthouse sites. This continued until at least 1838. In December 1837 Troupville was incorporated. Rumors of the Brunswick and Chattahoochee Railroad, the opening up of Florida, and the prosperity of the surrounding farmland led to the growth of Troupville and Lowndes County in general. In 1845 the remaining county owned land at Franklinville was sold at the courthouse in Troupville.
Native Americans were not a huge problem in this area. The closest battle between Native Americans and whites to Troupville was at Brushy Creek on November 10, 1836 in modern Berrien County. The reason for the conflict was that the Native Americans were passing through Lowndes County to join the Seminoles in Florida. General Scott intended to stop it and did. Virtually no Native Americans were left in South Georgia.
In February 1850 Lowndes County lost land during the formation of Clinch County, Georgia. At that time the eastern border of Lowndes County became the Alapaha River. At the time of the 1850 census, Lowndes County had a free white population of 5,339, a free colored population of 20, and a slave population of 2,355. Lowndes County lost additional territory with the establishment of Berrien County, Georgia and Colquitt County, Georgia on February 25, 1856.
Many residents of Lowndes County were unhappy when the plans for the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad to bypass Troupville were announced June 17, 1858. On June 22 at 3:00 am, the Lowndes County courthouse at Troupville was set aflame by William B. Crawford, who fled to South Carolina after being released on bond. On August 9, a meeting convened in the academy building in Troupville at which it was decided to create from the area of Lowndes County to the west of the Withlacoochee River a new county to be called Brooks County. Brooks was formed that December. On December 13, 1858 the Georgia legislature passed a bill establishing Echols County, Georgia.
In December 1859 the Lowndes County board of commissioners were instructed by an act of the Georgia legislature to purchase for the county land for a new county seat along the line of the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad and as close to the center of the county a possible. As part of the same act the Brooks-Lowndes County border was adjusted so that the east bank of the Little River formed the border.
Land belonging to William Wisenbaker was chosen as the site of the new county seat of Valdosta. The arrival of the railroad led to the downfall of Troupville and the rise of Valdosta as a center for the economy of south Georgia. The shifting county boundary lines led to population loss for Lowndes County. The 1860 census showed the county having 2,850 free whites, no free persons of color, and 2,399 slaves.
Prior to 1872, the southern border of Lowndes County and of Georgia itself was slightly farther south. The border when Lowndes County was created was along McNeil's line. A dispute between the states of Florida and Georgia later developed (see Florida v. Georgia). In 1857, the governors of the two states appointed surveyors for a joint survey of the border. This led to the creation of the Orr and Whitney Line which was agreed to by the United States Congress on April 9, 1872.
The final major change to the borders of Lowndes County came in 1920 when Lanier County, Georgia was established.
- Berrien County (north)
- Lanier County (northeast)
- Echols County (east)
- Hamilton County, Florida (southeast)
- Madison County, Florida (southwest)
- Brooks County (west)
- Cook County (northwest)
- Interstate 75
- U.S. Route 41
U.S. Route 41 Business
- U.S. Route 84
- U.S. Route 221
- State Route 7
- State Route 7 Alternate
- State Route 7 Business
- State Route 31
- State Route 38
- State Route 94
- State Route 122
- State Route 125
- State Route 133
- State Route 135
- State Route 376
- State Route 401 (unsigned designation for I-75)
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 109,233 people residing in the county. 58.1% were White, 35.8% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.0% from some other race and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.8% of the population.
As of the census of 2000, there were 92,115 people, 32,654 households, and 22,237 families residing in the county. The population density was 183 people per square mile (71/km²). There were 36,551 housing units at an average density of 72 per square mile (28/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 62.00% White, 33.99% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 1.20% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.08% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. 2.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 32,654 households out of which 35.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.50% were married couples living together, 15.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.90% were non-families. 24.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.60% 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 3.14.
In the county the population was spread out with 26.20% under the age of 18, 15.10% from 18 to 24, 31.30% from 25 to 44, 18.50% from 45 to 64, and 9.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 98.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.60 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,132, and the median income for a family was $41,580. Males had a median income of $28,411 versus $20,755 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,683. About 13.90% of families and 18.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.80% of those under age 18 and 17.30% of those age 65 or over.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Shelton, Jane (2001). Pines and Pioneers: A History of Lowndes County, Georgia 1825-1900. Lowndes County Historical Society. ISBN 9780877970347.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- Lowndes County
- Lowndes County Schools
- Documents from Lowndes County at the Digital Library of Georgia
- Valdosta Wake Compound
||Cook County||Berrien County||Lanier County|
|Brooks County||Echols County|
|Madison County, Florida||Hamilton County, Florida|