Claxton, Georgia

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Claxton, Georgia
The city hall in Claxton
The city hall in Claxton
Nickname(s): "The Fruitcake Capital of the World"
Location in Evans County and the state of Georgia
Location in Evans County and the state of Georgia
Coordinates: 32°9′39″N 81°54′31″W / 32.16083°N 81.90861°W / 32.16083; -81.90861Coordinates: 32°9′39″N 81°54′31″W / 32.16083°N 81.90861°W / 32.16083; -81.90861
Country United States
State Georgia
County Evans
Founded May 1890
Incorporated April 1894
 • Mayor Terry Branch
 • City Clerk Gayle Durrence
 • City Administrator Gayle Durrence
 • Total 1.75 sq mi (4.54 km2)
 • Land 1.74 sq mi (4.50 km2)
 • Water 0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)
Elevation 184 ft (56 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,393
 • Density 1,377/sq mi (531.5/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 30414, 30417
Area code(s) 912
FIPS code 13-16600 [1]
GNIS feature ID 0312697 [2]

Claxton is a city in Evans County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,393 at the 2010 census,[3] up from 2,276 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Evans County.[4]


The petition to incorporate the town of Claxton was approved by Tattnall Superior Court in April 1894.

The town had its visionary, W.R. Hendricks.[5] In May 1890 there were only a couple of dwellings scattered around the area that is Claxton. Hendricks, son of Glenn and Nancy Hendricks, had been given a large tract of land by his parents. The Hendricks' ambition was to secure a railroad station at the site, but they met considerable opposition from railroad company officials who maintained that existing stations in the area were sufficient to meet the needs. W.R. Hendricks made a proposition to railroad officials that a well be dug and pump installed free of charge so that trains could stop for water.[5] The deal was made and actual construction began in the latter part of June 1890. The vision of building a town was fully supported by Hendricks' mother, who offered to give a lot to anyone who would erect a building upon it. A number of people accepted her offer, so she revised the plan and proposed to sell one lot and give the adjoining parcel to those who desired to build.

With the establishment of a town well underway, efforts were begun to establish a post office at the settlement already widely known as "Hendricks". Postal officials in Washington, D.C., upon receiving an application from George E. Wood, declined to approve the name, because a post office in the state was already operating under that name in Upson County.[6] Two other names were then submitted, "Jenny" and "Claxton". Postal officials agreed to Claxton, and the post office opened in 1890.[6]

There is some dispute about the origin of the name. Some local historians contend that the name of a popular actress, Kate Claxton, was the source, while others believe it was in honor of Philander Priestly Claxton, a noted educator of the time.[7]

Shortly after the Claxton post office opened, D.C. Newton, one of the partners in a naval stores company, laid out on a sheet of brown wrapping paper what became the original map of Claxton. Newton drew in the streets, laid out lots and later added street names. The whereabouts of the original map is not known; however, it is believed that this first map remained in his possession until his death and was passed down to his son who died in the 1990s. Another map, believed to be similar to the original, was in the possession of R.R. "Bobby" Tippins, president of Tippins Bank and Trust Company and descendant of the family that founded the bank in Claxton, who died in the early 2000s.


Claxton is located at the center of Evans County at 32°9′39″N 81°54′31″W / 32.16083°N 81.90861°W / 32.16083; -81.90861 (32.160932, -81.908674).[8] It is bordered to the west by the city of Hagan. U.S. Routes 280 and 301 intersect in the center of town; US 280 leads east 52 miles (84 km) to Savannah and west 36 miles (58 km) to Vidalia, while US 301 leads north 22 miles (35 km) to Statesboro and south 48 miles (77 km) to Jesup.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Claxton has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.5 km2), of which 0.02 square miles (0.04 km2), or 0.84%, is water.[3] The city is in the coastal plain region of Georgia. Several types of tree, including pine, oak, sycamore, chinaberry, live oak, sweetgum, poplar, are prevalent in the area.


Claxton has a humid subtropical climate according to the Köppen classification. The city has hot and humid summers with average highs of 94 degrees and lows of 70 degrees in July. Winters are mild with average January highs of 61 degrees and lows of 36 degrees. Winter storms are rare, but they can happen on occasion.[9]

Climate data for Claxton, Georgia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 81
Average high °F (°C) 61
Average low °F (°C) 36
Record low °F (°C) −2
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.36
Source: The Weather Channel[10]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 553
1910 1,008 82.3%
1920 1,265 25.5%
1930 1,584 25.2%
1940 1,808 14.1%
1950 1,923 6.4%
1960 2,672 38.9%
1970 2,669 −0.1%
1980 2,694 0.9%
1990 2,464 −8.5%
2000 2,276 −7.6%
2010 2,393 5.1%
Est. 2015 2,334 [11] −2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 2,746 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 46.4% White, 41.7% Black, 0.0% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.1% from some other race and 1.2% from two or more races. 9.6% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

At the 2000 United States Census, there were 2,276 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 57.0% White, 39.6% Black, 0.1% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 2.4% from some other race and 0.7% from two or more races. 3.6% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.


Claxton is governed by a mayor and city council. The mayor is elected at large, while the seven member council is elected by district.[13] Other officials in the city include the city manager, city attorney, police chief, street superintendent, public works director, personnel director, finance officer, purchasing agent, code enforcement, fire chief, municipal court judge, municipal court clerk, zoning administrator, gas superintendent, and the water superintendent.[14]


Public education in Claxton is supervised by the Evans County School District. The current superintendent is Dr. Joy S. Collins.

All schools have been fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as well as the Georgia Accrediting Commission.[15] The public schools in Claxton are: Claxton Elementary School; Claxton Middle School; and Claxton High School.

Claxton Fruit Cake[edit]

The water tower for Claxton, Georgia, celebrating its fruitcake manufacture.

The city is known as the home of the Claxton Fruit Cake which is exported from the world-famous Claxton Bakery and The Georgia Fruitcake Company. (See fruitcake.)


Claxton and Evans County are well served by locally owned and operated radio and newspaper. W C L A Radio broadcasts at 93.7 on the FM dial, as well as 1470 on the AM dial. WCLA was known for years as the World's Only Drive-In Radio Station, as the station was based in the large screen of Claxton's Tos Drive-In Theatre. The weekly Claxton Enterprise has been continually published since 1912, prior to the creation of Evans County. Local cable television service is provided by Comcast Xfinity. WLFH-FM (88.9) and WMCD-FM (107.3), while legally licensed to Claxton by the Federal Communications Commission, neither station has offices or studios in Evans County. WLFH-FM is based in Savannah, and WMCD-FM is based in Statesboro.

Claxton meteorite[edit]

Further information: Claxton meteorite

On December 10, 1984, a meteorite fell in Claxton and hit a mailbox.[16] The mailbox sold for $83,000 because it is said that it is the only meteorite to have struck a mailbox.[17] The meteorite is also classified as an L6 meteorite.


  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Claxton city, Georgia. Count revised 02-22-2013.". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved January 27, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ a b Simmons, Dorothy (1999). A History of Evans County, Georgia. The Evans County Historical Society. 
  6. ^ a b Helbock, Richard W. (2007) United States Post Offices, Volume VIII - The Southeast, p. 58, Scappoose, Oregon: La Posta Publications
  7. ^ "City of Claxton". State of Georgia. Retrieved 2009-06-28. 
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  9. ^ "Average Weather for Claxton, Georgia". Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  10. ^ "Average Weather for Claxton, GA – Temperature and Precipitation". Retrieved January 8, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Government: Claxton Evans County Chamber of Commerce". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  14. ^ "Georgia Municipal Association". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  15. ^ "Georgia Accrediting Commission" (pdf). Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  16. ^ "Famed Meteorites Fail to Sell at Auction". New England Meteoritical Services. October 2000. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  17. ^ Associated Press (29 October 2007). "The Claxton Mailbox: The Only Mailbox in the World Hit by a Meteorite!". Fox News. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 

External links[edit]