Closeup of the Crawford County courthouse
|• Total||0.32 sq mi (0.83 km2)|
|• Land||0.32 sq mi (0.83 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||495 ft (151 m)|
|• Density||216/sq mi (83.3/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0332159|
Knoxville is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Crawford County, Georgia, United States. It is the Crawford County seat. The community is part of the Macon Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, Knoxville had a population of 69.
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.
There is confusion in the topic of for whom Knoxville was named for. Historians who rely on old records and spoken tradition have pointed to General Henry Knox, who served the Continental Army under George Washington, though General Knox had no ties to the state of Georgia and had been deceased for 15 years at the time of naming (c. 1821). Some historians argue that the town was named for Hugh Knox, a stagecoach operator who delivered mail along the Federal Wire Line through the future location of Knoxville. Knox owned a half-way house, where you could rest and swap horses, called the Knox House. Since there is no solid evidence of either of these men being the namesake of the town, it is left open to the individual interpreter.
On December 23, 1822, the Georgia legislature had Crawford County's Inferior Court select a county seat and build a courthouse. Considering Knoxville was centrally located in the county and also rested along the Federal Wire Road, it was decided. On December 10, 1823, Knoxville became the county seat. The house of a local resident was used as a temporary courthouse until a permanent one was built, which happened c. 1825. But, in an apparent act of arson, the courthouse was leveled in 1830, destroying all court and county records. A second courthouse was completed in 1831, which still stands today as a museum and home to the Crawford County Historical Society. In 1832 a jail was built in Knoxville, yet was torn down in 1839 due to a grand jury presentment declaring that this jail was not fit for use. Therefore, in 1843, another jail was brought up, though, in 1887, this jail, now 44 years old, was declared unfit for use and yet again torn down. A third jail was complete by 1888, standing to this day.
Rise and Fall
On January 2, 1827, Knoxville Academy opened, the town's first school. In 1888 the "Knoxville Journal" began print. Publisher Percy V. Howell printed advertisements for property in the yet to be named Roberta, which was speculated to become a boomtown. Yet, by 1892, the Crawford County Herald was the official newspaper of Crawford County, and was published in Roberta rather than Knoxville. Knoxville's population by c. 1886 was around 200, but was expected to increase to 3,000. The A&F Railroad, also known as the Atlanta and Hawkinsville Railroad, missed Knoxville to the southwest by about one mile. This is believed to be the result of local opposition of out- of- state intruders penetrating Knoxville. A new railroad station began boiling around this time, which would later become Roberta. Inhabitants of Knoxville began the one mile shift to Roberta once the new railroad was completed, dooming Knoxville's growth. Thenceforth, Knoxville was merely a community that held the title of county seat.
1995 Municipal Charter Law
Knoxville is located in central Crawford County and is bordered to the west by the city of Roberta, the only incorporated place in the county. U.S. Route 80 passes through Knoxville, leading east 25 miles (40 km) to Macon.
- Knoxville is the birthplace of John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola, although he moved to Columbus, Georgia, while a child.
- 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.
- "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. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Knoxville CDP, Georgia". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
- Hellmann, Paul T. (May 13, 2013). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. p. 235. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Government Printing Office. p. 177.
- Southerland, Henry DeLeon; Brown, Jerry Elijah (1990). The Federal Road through Georgia, the Creek Nation, and Alabama, 1806-1836. maps by Charles Jefferson (1st pbk. ed.). Tuscaloosa, Ala.: University of Alabama Press. p. 60. ISBN 9780817305185.
- Powell, Billy. "History of Crawford County: Knoxville, and Roberta". TheGagenWeb. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Chambers, Raymond. "Municipal Services". The Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 18, 2014.