|Perry, Georgia, USA|
Houston County Old Courthouse in Perry, Georgia
|Nickname(s): Crossroads of Georgia|
Location in Houston County and the state of Georgia
|• Mayor||James E. Faircloth|
|• City Manager||Mr. R. Lee Gilmour|
|• Total||16.4 sq mi (42.5 km2)|
|• Land||16.4 sq mi (42.5 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||364 ft (111 m)|
|• Density||584.7/sq mi (225.8/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0320389|
Perry is a city and county seat of Houston County in the U.S. state of Georgia. It is part of the Warner Robins, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 9,600 at the 2000 census. //. The city is in the Macon metropolitan area.
Founded in 1823 as Wattsville, the town was located near the center of Houston County and served as its courthouse. The name was soon changed to honor Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, a hero of the War of 1812. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the town on December 9, 1824. The original city limit was a circle, one mile in diameter, except where bounded on the north by Big Indian Creek.
Perry is perhaps best known as the location of the annual Georgia National Fair.
Ante-bellum industry in Perry included gristmills, sawmills, and cotton gins. The Houston Home Journal (now the Houston Times-Journal) began publishing in 1870. Robins Air Force Base in nearby Warner Robins has been a significant employer since World War II. Other manufacturers in the city have included Frito-Lay, Perdue farms(formally Heileman Brewing Co)., and Cemex, Inc. (formally Penn-Dixie Cement and Medusa Cement Company).
Tourism has been important to the local economy since about 1920, when U.S. Highway 41 to Florida was paved. The New Perry Hotel, built in 1870 and rebuilt in 1925, became a landmark for many Florida tourists. President Jimmy Carter's family frequented the hotel. The downtown area is home to several quaint shops and restaurants. In the early 1960s Interstate 75 passed through the western side of the city, bringing more businesses that cater to travelers. The Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter opened in 1990. The Go Fish Georgia Education Center opened October 8, 2010.
A resort country inn in Perry, Henderson Village, opened in 1998. It serves as a destination for retreats and hunting.
A few of the city's best known natives are ABC News correspondent, Deborah Roberts, former Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn and Mildred Warren Evans, the Home Journal columnist whose 1969 book, The Art of Southern Cooking (ISBN 0-517-34664-8), remains in print as of 2006.
Perry is located along U.S. Interstate 75, and also U.S. Highway 41, south of Atlanta and Macon, Georgia. Interstate 75 is the major north-south artery through Georgia. U.S. Highway 341 also passes through Perry.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.4 square miles (42 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,602 people, 3,720 households, and 2,574 families residing in the city. The population density was 584.7 people per square mile (225.8/km²). There were 4,053 housing units at an average density of 246.8 per square mile (95.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 59.53% White, 37.18% African American, 0.21% Native American, 1.25% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.90% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.85% of the population.
There were 3,720 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 19.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.8% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 30.1% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,418, and the median income for a family was $38,480. Males had a median income of $35,870 versus $21,136 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,266. About 15.6% of families and 18.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.4% of those under age 18 and 15.4% of those age 65 or over.
- Ernest Greene, electronic musician performing under the name Washed Out
- Casey Hayward, Green Bay Packers football player
- Courtney Hodges, United States General during World War II
- Willis Hunt, senior federal judge
- Sam Nunn, former United States Senator
- Michelle Nunn, his daughter, born and partly raised there, later CEO Points of Light and candidate for U.S. Senate
- Sonny Perdue, former Governor of Georgia
- Deborah Roberts, correspondent for ABC News
- Ron Simmons, WCW/WWE wrestler and former Florida State Seminoles football player
- Dontarrious Thomas, linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers also the Minnesota Vikings and former Auburn University Tigers football player
- Al Thornton, Golden State Warriors player
- Larry Walker, former State Representative and Majority Leader
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Bobbe Hickson Nelson, A Land So Dedicated: Houston County, Georgia ([Perry, Ga.], 1977) OCLC 3597733.